I picked up a set of Baoding Balls at a oriental themed shop in the mall, for those of you who dont know, they're those golf ball sized excersize balls you roll around in your hand. I've been using them a lot lately and have found them to be quite interesting. At first you try to use your fingers to push them, after a bit of practice you can spin them around pretty fast. Next you try to spin them in the opposite direction, which is strangely difficult considering it's the same movements. Again, with practice you can push them around pretty well. But something is missing, you still cant get it perfect. You begin to really watch them. You realize it isnt the fingers that are doing the moving. By shifting your hand slightly openings appear and allow the balls to roll into them. You realize it's nescessary for both balls to move together at the exact same time and at the same speed or neither will have a place to go. With much practice you can cause the balls to rotate quickly without even appearing to move your hand. I'm sorry if this doesnt fall under the category of Aikido per say, but I definitely see a connection. I've found that the Baoding Balls are quite similar to Aikido and I urge those of you who have them to try using them with Aikido in mind. If you dont have them, they only cost a few dollars and they're well worth it, if you cant find them even golf balls will do. If this doesnt belong here, move it elsewhere, but I urge you to leave it here. Practicing with these has helped improve my understanding of Aikido very much and I feel it could do the same for others.