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jennifer paige smith
05-13-2007, 11:04 AM
After reading many insightful posts that relate to O'Sensei's practice of "Japanese MMA" in other threads ( Ueshiba on the Future of Aikido) I came to a point where I want to ask the above question:
In all of this myriad training of martial methods, farming methods, spiritual methods and community methods what was the binding feature that tied it together for him? In your view, please.

dps
05-13-2007, 11:40 AM
In all of this myriad training of martial methods, farming methods, spiritual methods and community methods what was the binding feature that tied it together for him? In your view, please.

Unending practice moving from the center.

IMHV

David

tedehara
05-13-2007, 12:54 PM
Ki development or what others would call kokyu or internal power is the prominent feature of Morihei Ueshiba's teaching and training.

Some people on these forums look to the founder as the source of aikido. However if you look at the founder's writings, he looks to the universe as the source of knowledge. He had a almost Platonic understanding of the universe in that there are absolute principles that lie beyond the relative world.

An irrational learning can be reached through physical training and practice. An irrational learning means not being able to put the experience in just words, thus it is a full understanding that enables the student to perform based on those principles.

It seems people have been misdirected by the founder's mystical approach. They look closely at each tree and cannot see the forest.

heathererandolph
05-13-2007, 01:09 PM
embracing conflict

SeiserL
05-13-2007, 01:44 PM
what was the binding feature that tied it together for him? In your view, please.
IMHO, congruency.

Chuck Clark
05-13-2007, 02:11 PM
Fitting Appropriately.

Aiki1
05-13-2007, 08:58 PM
An interesting question.

Personally, I think it is.... depth. Ulitmately, perhaps, it became spiritual depth.

I think that, at some level, he was always looking for a deeper experience, and that was what lead him forward.

Not something that is easily described, but he knew it when he found it. And it seems that, to him, he found it several times in his life - in something about what he experienced and learned from Takeda, in something that he experienced and learned from Deguchi, and in something that he learned from his own path that grew out of those experiences.

LN

Peter Goldsbury
05-13-2007, 09:40 PM
Kisshomaru Ueshiba's biography of his father (Aikido Taiso Ueshiba Morihei Den) is at present being translated into English. When it appears, you will have a much better basis for debating this question. The biography, though written from a certain viewpoint, contains a wealth of information.

senshincenter
05-13-2007, 09:47 PM
I would say, from what I have been able to gather up until now, it would be a "union with God" and/or "a reconciliation of fear" and/or "a personal embodiment of Love" - all the same thing.

Erick Mead
05-13-2007, 11:12 PM
In all of this myriad training of martial methods, farming methods, spiritual methods and community methods what was the binding feature that tied it together for him? Your answer is in your question. Musubi (結び), of course. Tied up. With a lovely bow. :D

divinecedar
05-14-2007, 04:11 PM
Awesome thread...

Harmony with and reverance for all creation.

Nafis Zahir
05-14-2007, 05:07 PM
Awesome thread...

Harmony with and reverance for all creation.

I agree. It was harmony of mind, body and spirit. And it was also harmony of self, the world, and others.

SeiserL
05-15-2007, 10:33 AM
it would be a "union with God" and/or "a reconciliation of fear" and/or "a personal embodiment of Love" - all the same thing.
Congruency

SeiserL
05-15-2007, 10:38 AM
It was harmony of mind, body and spirit. And it was also harmony of self, the world, and others.
Congruency

SeiserL
05-15-2007, 10:39 AM
Fitting Appropriately.
Congruency

Stefan Stenudd
05-15-2007, 05:51 PM
I might slide a bit off topic here, judging from how the above posts have responded to the question.
One thing about Osensei's teaching that never ceases to impress me, is that his students developed in differing directions. Although they had the same teacher, and no doubt an impressive one, their aikido differs immensely.
As a teacher, I try to remember that.

senshincenter
05-15-2007, 06:14 PM
Does congruence really imply "union"? Can you really say to your wife, "I so congruence you my darling." She might slap you! ;-)

d

Larry John
05-15-2007, 08:27 PM
True, but she might not if you say, "You and I are in congruence."

Back on topic, though, at this point, my view is that the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching is irimi--to enter unafraid--where, when and how needed.

So, irimi complete, I tenkan ...

jennifer paige smith
05-19-2007, 12:15 PM
IMHO, congruency.

Would you please elaborate on your thoughts and provide examples of 'congruency'. I enjoy this response and would like to hear more.
thanks

jennifer paige smith
05-19-2007, 12:22 PM
Your answer is in your question. Musubi (??), of course. Tied up. With a lovely bow. :D
1st let me achnowledge the rhetorical nature of my question.
Of course the answer is the question.

But what quality connects these practices? What features create musubi between farming, art and budo?

jennifer paige smith
05-19-2007, 12:27 PM
Kisshomaru Ueshiba's biography of his father (Aikido Taiso Ueshiba Morihei Den) is at present being translated into English. When it appears, you will have a much better basis for debating this question. The biography, though written from a certain viewpoint, contains a wealth of information.

I think we have a wonderful basis for discussion given the beautiful volume of information that is already available. If you have pre-insight into the contents of this text, than you have the information available at this moment and it certainly is coursing within you. So, give. I suspect many of us are aleady hot on track.

SeiserL
05-19-2007, 05:28 PM
Would you please elaborate on your thoughts and provide examples of 'congruency'. I enjoy this response and would like to hear more. thanks
Congruency: body, mind, and spirt in agreement, aligned, in harmony.

Chuck Clark
05-19-2007, 05:39 PM
Congruency: body, mind, and spirt in agreement, aligned, in harmony.

Ki, Ken, Tai, Itchi is an old budo discription of the the same thing.

SeiserL
05-20-2007, 04:25 AM
Ki, Ken, Tai, Itchi is an old budo discription of the the same thing.
Osu Sensei,

IMHO, incongruency is a major problem, going in opposition to what we know is true and what is the right thing to do.

Re, Domo.

jennifer paige smith
05-20-2007, 07:52 AM
Congruency: body, mind, and spirt in agreement, aligned, in harmony.

Thank you, Lynn. I am aware of the definition of congruency as agreement. I was hoping for a concrete example from your own experience that would color your notion that the binding feature is agreement.I would seek to ask anyone what creates congruency? Where is it displayed in all of the above arts? Specifically.

jennifer paige smith
05-20-2007, 07:58 AM
Ki, Ken, Tai, Itchi is an old budo discription of the the same thing.

Thank you. These words are wonderful examples of the place of congruency. It seems like we might have a couple of features left to tend to. If congruency is ki, tai, itchi (which it is:),), than what are the ai and the do for ( besides seeing that the 'do' is closed and not running into it. Sorry couldn't resist the joke.) ? This isn't intended as a word splicing or analysis. Really, I believe there's more to the binding.
Literally, O'Sensei said that the binding feature of the universe was love (ai, you decide which one). So with that clue, how do we witness and build it?

Thank you. Sorry to give away the plot.

P.S. The butler did it.

Chuck Clark
05-20-2007, 08:13 AM
A very good book that speaks to this question I think is called:
"Mind Over Matter - Higher Level Martial Arts" by Shih Ming. Basically it talks about the necessity of learning and polishing, becoming efficient, in the physical elements of movement, connection, etc. (and this is the 'simple' part) and understanding that the most important aspect of martial art is the internal, mental, spiritual intent training that fuels the physical. When these are ONE (in agreement would be another good word) highest level martial art is simply actualizing our (right) intent one hundred percent each instant. Philosophically it is understood that 'All Things Are One' but we as doers often get in the way of the 'Universal Suchness' and need to realize our natural, original, congruence.

It's a great little book but very hard to read. It's repetitive and the original Chinese is translated very literally and requires rereading to get to the heart of the book.

jennifer paige smith
05-20-2007, 08:59 AM
Good suggestion.
It is also my experience that what you are referring to is indeed what we are doing. We are evaluating and mostly reaquainting our selves with our given natures and 'missions in life' -O'Sensei. I witness forces at work that bind me to myself, to love, and to my given purpose, met with my greatest intent. I find the truth of this force in the smile that is drawn from my soul when I am in the presense of children. I warm up, my skin feels whole and connected to my muscle, my heart slows down, my eyes see everything in the room and I can feel the oncoming of any new impulse ( or person, carbon-based being, etc.) in the room several moments before it is felt by anyone else. My impulses are completely correct and I literally know what is going to happen before it happens. I'm tied in, I'm correct, I'm intent, I'm whole,strong, protective, loving and completely alive in my body and senses. I am returned to correct, natural instinct. I also find this quality in my work as a professional gardener/farmer. I witness the function of the plants. I don't call to my mind to know, I see and hear the movement of impulse and outpulse of the plant and it's environment. I see it's health and weaknes, I reflect on my own place of observation and then cause an action( interference with nature or confluence with nature) or not. This is exactly what I feel when I train. They are now the same for me, as they have always been the same in nature. They are calling to me because it is my course to follow and I need to know when to hear my calling. I believe that witnessing the mystery and unique beauty of the universe is the most natural condition and course for human beings and training ourselves to be correct in natures flow is our roadmap for a life well lived. I appreciate it daily in training, work and play. Thanks for inspiring me.:)

senshincenter
05-20-2007, 11:24 AM
Where is it displayed in all of the above arts? Specifically.

For me, it is expressed in the quality of our relationships (e.g. relationships with others, with the land, with our actions, with wisdom, with truth, etc.). In other words, a spiritual existence is about improving our capacity for relating, and this is both cultivated for and cultivated through the problematizing of the relationships we have before us - such that we not only generate a practice for and of this relating, we creating a life of and for this relating.

dmv

Chuck Clark
05-20-2007, 11:41 AM
I agree David... relationships are really the way we both actualize and define reality. Constantly relating and changing... and as that wise Frenchman said... "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

As I said earlier in this thread, Tomiki Sensei often defined all aspects of aikido as "the Way of Fitting Appropriately"... this has always felt... appropriate to me.

We all have to find our own way/s of practicing, relating, describing, and sharing this realizaton in our life. It takes many forms. Funny thing is, in the midst of all the differences, recognition happens... but often the more we try to define it, the more our relationships suffer. Many of us end up fighting about the differences...

senshincenter
05-20-2007, 06:42 PM
We all have to find our own way/s of practicing, relating, describing, and sharing this realization in our life. It takes many forms. Funny thing is, in the midst of all the differences, recognition happens... but often the more we try to define it, the more our relationships suffer. Many of us end up fighting about the differences...

Thanks for sharing Chuck. This is very timely for me - I'm glad to be able read it now. It makes me ponder over how our insecurities may be related to our need to define things - as we always seek to define things by means of contrast and exclusion, never by what is common and shared.

Again, thank you,
dmv

SeiserL
05-21-2007, 04:56 AM
but often the more we try to define it, the more our relationships suffer. Many of us end up fighting about the differences...
Osu Sensei,
Yes, relationships, especially when the "binding feature" is truly in the agreements, similiarities, sameness, and (dare I say) our congruency with each other.
Rei, domo.

jennifer paige smith
05-21-2007, 09:04 AM
I have found that my model for relationships took a 180 degree turn after a natural realization about harmony, fitting and congruence.I noticed that after I had found ways to implement aikido principles in the world as I knew it, my relationships were less problematic and less 'relative',this vs. that, as it were Next relationships took a turn when I recognized the congruency of nature in it's wholeness. This vs. that is the human trajectory. Natures trajectory is wholeness and sustanability. Nature doesn't seem to have a lot of opinions or ideas. It certainly has substance, principle and flow. And because of this change in observation my definition of love has changed drastically from the common thread. The basis of my relationships has changed to a model of nature as love, love being a sustainable state of wholeness in ever changing balance.

Of course this is training. But at what level do we operate and understand our principles, congruency and confluence with the fabric of this model. Not extremely romantic in description. But from experience my relationships are wondeful and the 'sameness' that I share with my partner is a sameness in trajectory toward a natural union. Working together to leave old unworking models at the junk yard for productive recycling.
Lucky fro me, this sounds a lot like aikido.

I know a lot of us have suffered in relatonships in the past. Natural realization has elevated my level of relationship incomparabley.

MM
05-21-2007, 11:38 AM
Ueshiba gave us another way. In a world of life and death, winning and losing, power and weakness, he found another option. When the power lifter pushes on you and his strength fails him, then he doesn't care anymore about pushing on you, but rather why his strength failed. When the swordsman cannot hit his target, he doesn't care anymore about hitting his target but why he can't hit it. When your spouse lashes out verbally with all the anger he/she can muster and he/she finds that emotional energy matched just as if it were the strongman pushing, then the anger subsides and another option becomes available. And in those moments, it still isn't about winning and losing. For in those moments, you can choose winning. But Ueshiba gave us another option. To match appropriately. To each person, to each situation, to each encounter.

And to do that, you have to have the skill, otherwise the strong man will push you over, the swordsman will cut you, and the anger will wash over you. This isn't some touchy feely mental meditation kind of thing either. It's still a martial art. The skill must be learned.

But it's having a life to be oneself, to know the winning and the losing, but to go beyond both to give another option and match appropriately with each encounter. Winning and losing are always there, have always been there, and shall always be there. We may not always have a chance to choose the other option, but Ueshiba added it.

In history, you find that quite often, warriors would also learn calligraphy, chado, ikebana, etc. It was, to generalize a lot, a way of bringing harmony into one's life to contrast with the death. Ueshiba gave us all of that in one art. The life and death are there, but he added the serenity, for lack of a better word. And it fits with his history. Takeda was of the old class. Some even describe Takeda as paranoid. Takeda passed on his skills to Ueshiba. Had it ended there, we would have only had Daito ryu. But Ueshiba was also influenced by Deguchi and Omoto kyo. The skill came from Takeda, but the added option the spiritual that was Omoto kyo.

With the skill, you have winning and losing, life and death. With the spiritual, you create that other option and forego winning and losing, life and death. You must have both and this is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training. He didn't care how you came to the spiritual, he didn't care how you came to the skill, but the two must be joined for his vision of aikido.

All IMO,
Mark

senshincenter
05-21-2007, 01:03 PM
I very much loved the last two posts - Jennifer's and Mark's. Thank you very much for sharing. Very grateful.

dmv

Aiki1
05-21-2007, 01:27 PM
With the skill, you have winning and losing, life and death. With the spiritual, you create that other option and forego winning and losing, life and death. You must have both and this is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training. He didn't care how you came to the spiritual, he didn't care how you came to the skill, but the two must be joined for his vision of aikido.

To be honest, I don't really think that's true - that that was his vision of Aikido or the binding feature. There is a story that he awarded a woman dancer tenth dan when he saw her dance. No martial skill involved.... But that notwithstanding, I think he used the martial form to express - in part - his sense of what Aikido was (take musu aiki, etc.), but I personally don't think it was dependant on it. If it were, than only people who have martial skill can "realize" Aikido? I don't think that's true.

my opinion,
LN

ChrisMoses
05-21-2007, 02:06 PM
There is a story that he awarded a woman dancer tenth dan when he saw her dance. No martial skill involved....

There's also a long tradition of awarding honorary rank/certificates to those who one likes or finds exceptional. These are however understood by all parties to be different than traditionally earned licenses in the same way that universities give out honorary degrees today. Valentino Rossi (a famous motorcycle racer) may have an honorary PhD from the University of Urbino, but no one would consider him to be a "real" PhD, or accept those credentials in say a job interview.

Aiki1
05-21-2007, 02:08 PM
There's also a long tradition of awarding honorary rank/certificates to those who one likes or finds exceptional. These are however understood by all parties to be different than traditionally earned licenses in the same way that universities give out honorary degrees today. Valentino Rossi (a famous motorcycle racer) may have an honorary PhD from the University of Urbino, but no one would consider him to be a "real" PhD, or accept those credentials in say a job interview.

Yes of course, but one would assume that O Sensei was making a point....

LN

SeiserL
05-21-2007, 03:00 PM
I think he used the martial form to express - in part - his sense of what Aikido was (take musu aiki, etc.),
Osu,

Gotta join you on this one (okay a few other too). This is the internal/attitude stuff.

I get the thought (yea, for what that is worth) that the martial context of Aikido was where he expressed his spiritual beliefs of Aikido. To hold those beliefs congruently, even in conflict and confrontation.

You can feel that internal state, the intention directs energy/ki, whiz directs the technique. Its inside out, not outside in.

Aiki1
05-21-2007, 04:31 PM
Osu,
Its inside out, not outside in.

I agree Lynn. Perhaps it's all in how one defines Aikido, which is another big subject.... :-)

To me, Aikido is akin to what one would refer to as "the Tao." This can be transmitted through practice of the physical art. It doesn't have to be, and it isn't always. I think that's what O Sensei was trying to do though.

LN

jennifer paige smith
05-22-2007, 09:58 AM
I agree Lynn. Perhaps it's all in how one defines Aikido, which is another big subject.... :-)

To me, Aikido is akin to what one would refer to as "the Tao." This can be transmitted through practice of the physical art. It doesn't have to be, and it isn't always. I think that's what O Sensei was trying to do though.

LN

One definition of 'the tao' is unobstructed nature. Nature in a big sense, nature as 'musu', and nature as our personal natures: as in, "it is/isn't in my nature."

Train, release. Learn, forget. Flow back into nature and feel nature flow back into you.

Iku Musubi

thanks!
By the way, forget you ever read this.:)

Aiki1
05-22-2007, 10:20 AM
One definition of 'the tao' is unobstructed nature. Nature in a big sense, nature as 'musu', and nature as our personal natures: as in, "it is/isn't in my nature."

Train, release. Learn, forget. Flow back into nature and feel nature flow back into you.

Iku Musubi

thanks!
By the way, forget you ever read this.:)

In some dojo, I believe it's also known as: ickie musubi....

:-)

LN

tarik
05-22-2007, 11:44 AM
Thank you all for a thread well worth my limited reading time. :)

MM
05-22-2007, 03:28 PM
To be honest, I don't really think that's true - that that was his vision of Aikido or the binding feature. There is a story that he awarded a woman dancer tenth dan when he saw her dance. No martial skill involved.... But that notwithstanding, I think he used the martial form to express - in part - his sense of what Aikido was (take musu aiki, etc.), but I personally don't think it was dependant on it. If it were, than only people who have martial skill can "realize" Aikido? I don't think that's true.

my opinion,
LN

Hello Larry,

I took some time to digest and think about your post. I guess I'd have to say I disagree with it. There was an article about an incident with Ueshiba where some uke was attacking and he turned and did his thing and the uke went into a wall or pillar (I forget) and got hurt. If I remember right, Ueshiba pondered what happened and changed his way of doing things. Now, if he did not have the martial skill to do what he did, he wouldn't have been in a place to find other options. So, I guess I'd have to say that yes, people do have to have a martial skill to go along with the spiritual to realize Ueshiba's Aikido. Each is dependent on the other.

I never read about the dancer, but Ueshiba was known to just hand out dan ranks willy nilly. :)

Thanks,
Mark

Aiki1
05-23-2007, 11:40 AM
Hello Larry,

I took some time to digest and think about your post. I guess I'd have to say I disagree with it. There was an article about an incident with Ueshiba where some uke was attacking and he turned and did his thing and the uke went into a wall or pillar (I forget) and got hurt. If I remember right, Ueshiba pondered what happened and changed his way of doing things. Now, if he did not have the martial skill to do what he did, he wouldn't have been in a place to find other options. So, I guess I'd have to say that yes, people do have to have a martial skill to go along with the spiritual to realize Ueshiba's Aikido. Each is dependent on the other.

I never read about the dancer, but Ueshiba was known to just hand out dan ranks willy nilly. :)

Thanks,
Mark

I think I agree to disagree.... :-) Only because I think we see what Aikido is, differently. Which I think is natural, and in a very real sense, good. I think it is many different things to different people.

LN

MM
05-23-2007, 11:53 AM
I think I agree to disagree.... :-) Only because I think we see what Aikido is, differently. Which I think is natural, and in a very real sense, good. I think it is many different things to different people.

LN

I'm good with agreeing to disagree. :)

Mark

George S. Ledyard
05-23-2007, 01:22 PM
Hello Larry,
There was an article about an incident with Ueshiba where some uke was attacking and he turned and did his thing and the uke went into a wall or pillar (I forget) and got hurt. If I remember right, Ueshiba pondered what happened and changed his way of doing things.

It was a challenge from a certain swordsman, the guy wasn't an "uke". O-Sensei did an irimi, the guy had attacked with full commitment and intent, not the partial commitment that would have been the polite and safe way of checking out O-Sensei's skill. He hit O-Sensei so hard that he bounced off into the wall and his injury ended his martial arts career.

What O-Sensei changed wasn't his technique, he simply stopped accepting challenges any more. He said that it simply wasn't safe to do so.

People misunderstand about the training methodology and the underlying philosophy and think that there is some magic non-violent, non-injurious way to defend oneself that O-Sensei discovered. What he, in fact, said was that there was no way to have violent intent because it lead to your destruction. There is no way to deal with a fully committed attack with intent to harm by a skilled attacker that would leave him intact. That's why he stopped accepting challenges and that's why we don't have competition. Without rules, there is no way to do it safely and O-Sensei did not want to create an art that was shaped by the artificial constraints of rules.

MM
05-23-2007, 01:24 PM
Thanks for the clarification on that, Ledyard sensei.

Mark

Aiki1
05-23-2007, 01:30 PM
I'm good with agreeing to disagree. :)

Mark

Well see - we're both good Aikidoists! :-)

LN

jennifer paige smith
05-23-2007, 08:42 PM
In some dojo, I believe it's also known as: ickie musubi....

:-)

LN

I'm sure you're right. Dang southern accents.:)
I'm glad it isn't 'icky musubi'. I've had just about enough of that.

dps
05-24-2007, 07:19 AM
In all of this myriad training of martial methods, farming methods, spiritual methods and community methods what was the binding feature that tied it together for him? In your view, please.

"He realized the true purpose of Budo was love that cherishes and nourishes all beings."

http://www.aikidofaq.com/history/osensei.html

The binding feature was O'Sensei's concept of Budo. The four methods you mentioned in your post all have to do with nourishing.

dps
05-24-2007, 07:32 AM
"He realized the true purpose of Budo was love that cherishes and nourishes all beings."

http://www.aikidofaq.com/history/osensei.html

The binding feature was O'Sensei's concept of Budo. The four methods you mentioned in your post all have to do with nourishing.

1.Martial methods for protection from harm.
2.Farming methods for sustenance.
3.Spiritual methods for the relationship with God ( or whatever your religious beliefs are).
4.Community methods for the relationship with others.

jennifer paige smith
05-24-2007, 10:58 AM
It was a challenge from a certain swordsman, the guy wasn't an "uke". O-Sensei did an irimi, the guy had attacked with full commitment and intent, not the partial commitment that would have been the polite and safe way of checking out O-Sensei's skill. He hit O-Sensei so hard that he bounced off into the wall and his injury ended his martial arts career.

What O-Sensei changed wasn't his technique, he simply stopped accepting challenges any more. He said that it simply wasn't safe to do so.

People misunderstand about the training methodology and the underlying philosophy and think that there is some magic non-violent, non-injurious way to defend oneself that O-Sensei discovered. What he, in fact, said was that there was no way to have violent intent because it lead to your destruction. There is no way to deal with a fully committed attack with intent to harm by a skilled attacker that would leave him intact. That's why he stopped accepting challenges and that's why we don't have competition. Without rules, there is no way to do it safely and O-Sensei did not want to create an art that was shaped by the artificial constraints of rules.

This is also representative of my learning regarding the underlying reason 'challenges' were called off.

jennifer paige smith
05-24-2007, 11:04 AM
"He realized the true purpose of Budo was love that cherishes and nourishes all beings."

http://www.aikidofaq.com/history/osensei.html

The binding feature was O'Sensei's concept of Budo. The four methods you mentioned in your post all have to do with nourishing.

I believe you will enjoy this article related to budo and farming.http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=2903. The article is great and it has some sitings at the end for material of Masanobu Fukuoka, Mu Farming and the creation of 'true people'.

Here is another article called greening the desert.http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC14/Fukuoka.htm

Good reading. :)