Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the
world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to
over 16,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a
wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history,
humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.
If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced
features available, you will need to register first. Registration is
absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!
I've also used an analogy of a bowling ball on a spring inside a box as a simplified mechanical explaination for some internally powered movement.
I can't explain what dantian is and I'm pretty sure even if I could it would not matter - the phenomenology is what matters. What does dantian driven movement look like? Look closely at the Mexican jumping bean and notice that there is nothing on the exterior of the bean which can be used to make the bean jump -no legs, arms, or appendages of any kind. Yet the bean moves and even 'jumps' and can fly through the air ( in smallish bean sized flights).
The phenomenom of the jumping bean is exactly what internally powered movement looks like. What happens inside the bean is responsible for the observed external movement. The twitchy worm inside is what makes the bean move. No, gentle reader, dantian is not a worm inside you - well, actually, yes it is ... sort of. The point is movement with no movement - stillness in motion and motion in stillness. We now know what to look for -movement like a Mexican jumping bean.
A bit of a diversion ... everyone is familiar with gravity, Newton and apples and all that. If you're like me you even know certain equations that describe the phenomenom of gravity (classically like Newton or 'modern' using general relativity) and c
So I winessed a fight this weekend ... well sort of. Was in the car with my kids drivring past a local high school as the soccer games were in flux- the traffic light was red. Saw a fat guy well into the precursor stage of getting physical with a skinny guy. The body language was crystal clear to me that skinny guys big mouth had gotten the better of fat guys temperment. There was also a woman and a child present but it was very mixed to whom the child held dear which I found remarkably disconcerting.
The fat guy shoves skinny then takes off his sweatshirt and shoves again and I see where this is going and the light turns green. I really wanted to do something but I exhaled and drove on to the hardware store (that's where we were going). My decision bothered me quite a bit and after our business at the hardware store was concluded we drove by the scene again (nothing there).
I think my oldest did notice what was happening but we didn't speak of it. I know many will opine that taking care of mine is more important but that is no comfort. What about the child? I could have just stuck my head out the window and yelled "NO" or "STOP" and I bet something would have changed. I really wanted to go over there and play my standard protective role for the sake of the child. I'm way bigger than either of the fellers so my usual intimidation by presence would have likely quelled things like it usually does. Nope. Nothing. Just drove away.
I've always found it easy to be critical. A well developed critical ability comes in handy in most every field of endeavor. "Healthy" or constructive criticism is often offered by those with an opinion but one is just as likely for find other types of critical commentary readily and copiously offered. Lately I've been working on keeping my opinions to myself.
When ever I feel the urge to opine rising I think to myself "What would O'sensei have to say about my own training?" and my urge subsides quickly. Just how many truly dedicated, serious and otherwise fully committed students of aikido were relatively sure of their direction along the path and had heard the words from the source "That's not my aikido!"
It is not humility but common sense that stays the all too frequent urge to offer opinions and/or criticism: If those so close to the founder were so far off the mark with what surety can those of us two, three or four "generations" removed can we audaciously cling?
The more I read the more I feel compelled to post. Then I read some more and begin to feel unsettled. Now I just don't think I should post all! There are so many seriously experienced and knowledgable folks here that it seems rude to consider posting.
The more I train the more I realize I have very little understanding of what I'm striving after. What I knew and did last year seems confused now. Two years ago I was just wrong. More than two years ago I'm embarassed that I was even seen in public doing that stuff - much less posting about it!
For me this last year has proven that shodan really is just the beginning. I've barely scratched the surface ... just finding the extent of the surface is tough much less the volume bounded by the surface (keep your fractal commentary to yourself).
I've been ruminating on this for a while and I'd like to share. Finding a way to cover a great many different aspects of the art without getting stuck on something or stagnating can be a problem so I developed a method to use as a guide. I hope this is of interest.
The moon has a very nice cycle from full through the waning crescents into the 'darkness' or absence of the new moon back through waxing up through crescents back to full. I'm sure all are aware of this but we city folk tend to find ourselves removed from the influence of the night sky (even though the moon is visible in the daytime!). The ancients so revered the night sky that they postulated systems of divination, etc for all manner of things being driven by the signs and events of the night sky.
The actual science of the moon and the interaction of the sun, earth and moon are fun and interesting topics but are not the topic I wish to mention but do encourage one and all to delve as one desires.
I propose to use the moon as a mundane time piece and to modulate ones training based on the phase of the moon. While it certainly seems overly romantic and possibly silly I hope to persuade that such can be quite practical and a useful tool to enrich and broaden ones training.
There are at least 8 distinct phases of the moon that are easily discernable by simple inspection that anyone can do. There can be finer gradations to perhaps 16 phases but it takes a trained eye to make such subtle distinctions. This
I just got back from a jury summons. Normally I look forward to active participation in our system (voting etc) but this one is a bit much.
The charges are 3 counts around child molestation event and one count of trafficking in stolen property.
All I can see are the faces of my children and I just can't do it. There is no way I can give this poor pitiable schmuck the justice and fair review of the evidence he deserves. Our system of justice depends on it and I can't do it.
I'm a failure to the nation and my fellow citizens and I really don't know what to make of this right now.
IT, IP, IS, aiki or whatever Dan Harden and Mike Sigman are posting about (let's presume they are both on the same topic) -- and I only mention these gentlemen because they post often on the matter and general consensus is they have got the goods.
Me? I'm nobody and don't know nutt'n. I want IT. There is no debate about IT. When someone like William Gleason Shihan goes to see Mr. Harden and becomes one of ‘them' that ought to settle the matter once and for all -- for everyone. No, it is only a question of when and where are we all going to get IT, too? I don't have to be convinced and I don't need to feel it before I ‘drink the koodaid'. I'm ready to get on with it (IT). Either Mr. Gleason really found something special or he has been brainwashed and beguiled by Mr. Harden -- either way I want that kind of mojo. Don't care for Gleason or Harden? How about Ushiro, Ikeda, Threadgill? Pick you favorite exemplar -- If you've already got one then let's move on. Still need convincing -- this is not for you. I admit that I had my doubts, too. For me, Mr. Gleason was the nail in the coffin (please forgive the metaphor). Of course, I was already leaning pretty far that way anyhow (but still centered).
I'm a scientist (physicist) and am a true believer and that means everything must be explainable using the ‘tools of the trade' of physics and science in general and eventually all will yield to the scientific method. If you don't grant me that then might as well stop reading now. Just