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MM
03-23-2010, 08:17 AM
But some people don't want to be that good as Ueshiba. Some people don't have the need to reach the top or be the best someday.
Some people want to do Aikido for other reasons.
Like a runner who just wants to go jogging as recreation to get fit, but doesn't want to do it only to be able to run a marathon some day.
I don't mean that it has to be soft, you can still train hard and learn the good techniques, but for me personally it's not my purpose to get a black belt someday.

For some people, Tai Chi or Yoga would be better to practice instead of Aikido.
Aikido needs to stay Aikido. It needs to stay a MARTIAL art.

Ueshiba created his aikido to be a spiritual and a martial pursuit. His son, Kisshomaru, might have placed more emphasis in the spiritual area than the aiki of his father, but it would be a hard argument to say that Kisshomaru Ueshiba didn't view aikido as martial, too.

If you want pure martial there are quite a lot of other systems out there for that, like boxing. I'd also say that other systems will get you martially effective quicker, so all you'd have to do is to add your own spirituality to that training to have a better sense of self defense with a moral purpose.

I have experienced aikido schools that have top quality instructors with very good training systems that produce top quality jujutsu skills. And I don't downplay those skills as they can be extremely effective. I just think that they take a lot longer to develop than other martial arts and I don't view them as aiki skills.

Personally, I think that if we define "aikido" as the way of aiki and we define aiki as the definable body quality exemplified by Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Kodo, etc, then most of the threads here would fall under the "Non-Aikido Martial Traditions" forum. I don't believe most modern "aikido" has "aiki" but relies upon high level jujutsu skills to mimic the "aiki" of Ueshiba.

dps
03-23-2010, 11:00 AM
I don't believe most modern "aikido" has "aiki" but relies upon high level jujutsu skills to mimic the "aiki" of Ueshiba.

How are you able to determine that?
Is your aiki ability what you base your judgment of others on?
Does your level of aiki ability near that of O'Sensei or his students?

David

ChrisHein
03-23-2010, 11:15 AM
I think a really big problem in the Aikido community is the fact that we all call Aiki different things.

To some Aiki is what others would call kokyu, or internal skills. While others don't think Aiki hinges on this at all.

Others relate Aiki to rhythm and timing. Or the ability to project or lead intention. Some even call Aiki the type of techniques we use. There are lots of things that we call Aiki, but when we talk to each other we are not talking about the same things.

I know above you related Aiki to the "body quality" show by Takeda, Ueshiba etc. What exactly does that mean? I would guess you're talking about their ability with kokyu. But you could mean the way they move their body, or the way they use their body (leverage, angle, development). There are lots of things we can be talking about.

I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong in their definition of Aiki, just that we need to come to a common understanding so we can talk about this. For example the Iwama kind of Aiki, or the Aiki of the kodokai, or Aikikai Aiki, etc. We have no foundation on which to start our conversation.

The same goes for martial. You used boxing as an example of martial, while I know where you are going with that, I giggled a bit. Boxing doesn't seem very martial to me, it seems like a sport, like MMA, or Judo. Fighting with guns seems martial to me. When we say martial, some mean fighting in the streets, some mean fighting in a gym, some mean on a battle field; all very different animals, while all being valid in their own right.

We all throw these things around like everyone has the same understandings and definitions, but we don't.

C. David Henderson
03-23-2010, 12:17 PM
Hi Mark, could you say more about your thinking on the way in which pursuit of the internal skills you refer to as aiki has a "spiritual" component?

Many thanks.

MM
03-23-2010, 12:51 PM
I think a really big problem in the Aikido community is the fact that we all call Aiki different things.

To some Aiki is what others would call kokyu, or internal skills. While others don't think Aiki hinges on this at all.

Others relate Aiki to rhythm and timing. Or the ability to project or lead intention. Some even call Aiki the type of techniques we use. There are lots of things that we call Aiki, but when we talk to each other we are not talking about the same things.

I know above you related Aiki to the "body quality" show by Takeda, Ueshiba etc. What exactly does that mean? I would guess you're talking about their ability with kokyu. But you could mean the way they move their body, or the way they use their body (leverage, angle, development). There are lots of things we can be talking about.

I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong in their definition of Aiki, just that we need to come to a common understanding so we can talk about this. For example the Iwama kind of Aiki, or the Aiki of the kodokai, or Aikikai Aiki, etc. We have no foundation on which to start our conversation.

We all throw these things around like everyone has the same understandings and definitions, but we don't.

Hi Chris,

It's a really good post (although I clipped the part about martial).

And I'll start by stating that until a few years ago, I would have thought of "aiki" in a similar manner as you've described -- way the body moves, angles, deflections, timing, , rhythm, techniques, etc. In the end the phrase, "I didn't know that I didn't know" was right on target.

However, after getting the experience of training with someone who has aiki changed everything. In a matter of minutes, everything listed above fell away. In the coming year or so, more people with better experience than I had in aikido all came away with the exact same notions about aiki.

Do I expect people who haven't had this kind of experience to understand what I'm talking about? No. I could never have come to an understanding until personally experiencing it, but in the end there really is a right and wrong with aiki.

Why do I go on about it, then? :)

Because aiki is *the* secret to the martial arts that is a foundational change to make you better. The Holy Grail, the Fountain of Youth, the Hope Diamond of the martial arts. Aiki is what allowed Ueshiba to implement his spiritual vision amidst a martial encounter and bring the highest ideal of non-violence of nullifying an attacker without damaging either person to reality.

The way of aiki (and I mean both aikido and Daito ryu) has the potential to be *the* preeminent martial arts.

Those people who are still alive and who have trained with Ueshiba, Kodo, Sagawa, Shioda, Tomiki, Shirata, etc have all felt the capabilities of aiki in some manner. And those who haven't can research just what these people did.

So, I go on about aiki to get people to toss out what they think they know about it. To look at it from a perspective that says, I don't know anything about aiki because (to list a few examples):

1. I can't replicate what Ueshiba did when he encountered Tenryu (and others).

2. I can't replicate sitting on the floor cross legged and not be pushed over.

3. I can't replicate what Tomiki did when he held out his hand for judoka to throw him and they couldn't.

4. I can't replicate what Ueshiba did to Nishimura with the folded paper (which, btw, Takeda also did to show off his skills).

5. I can't replicate Ueshiba not being lifted off the floor by four strong men.

6. I can't explain how Ueshiba got great in less than 10 years (which btw, Tomiki and Shioda also did).

7. All the people in modern aikido who have gone out and gotten their hands on someone who has aiki, have come away with the realization that everything they knew about aiki was wrong. Every single one, including shihan level aikido people.

So, yes, I'm trying to get people to toss out most everything they know about aiki. Why?

Because modern aikido has yet to give anyone any hope that they can reach a skill level on par with Shioda, Tomiki, Shirata, let alone Ueshiba. It's all dreams built upon notions of keeping at it for a lifetime that no one has yet to achieve.

But training in aiki makes those dreams a reality.

ChrisHein
03-23-2010, 07:57 PM
Well, I guess what I'm saying here is, lot's of people call different things Aiki. Lot's of people can lay legitimate claim to why what they call Aiki is correct.

I'm all for talking about how we (you and I, or Aikiweb people) will choose to define Aikido, but that will still simply be our definition.

On your list of things above:

1. I can't replicate what Ueshiba did when he encountered Tenryu (and others).

2. I can't replicate sitting on the floor cross legged and not be pushed over.

3. I can't replicate what Tomiki did when he held out his hand for judoka to throw him and they couldn't.

4. I can't replicate what Ueshiba did to Nishimura with the folded paper (which, btw, Takeda also did to show off his skills).

5. I can't replicate Ueshiba not being lifted off the floor by four strong men.

6. I can't explain how Ueshiba got great in less than 10 years (which btw, Tomiki and Shioda also did).

7. All the people in modern aikido who have gone out and gotten their hands on someone who has aiki, have come away with the realization that everything they knew about aiki was wrong. Every single one, including shihan level aikido people.


2-5 can be done using angle and alignment. There are a number of people who preform these things regularly. Several of them fall into the area of tricks and can be learned in minutes.

http://www.nardis.com/~twchan/mag.html

A study of Lulu Hurst will reveal many of the same, and some even more impressive body skills that Ueshiba demonstrated. These things will be found to be simple application of leverage, body weight, mental suggestion and timing. Natural parts of martial arts training, found in almost every system.

When we train in Aikido we enter into a compliant state of mind, we want to take part in the magic, so we participate in it. There is nothing wrong with this. It can help us to learn, and learning to put someone into this state of mind can be, martially speaking, very useful indeed. I believe Ueshiba got himself out of some very difficult situations thanks to this skill.

Anyways, I'm getting long winded here. Basically we have to decide what it is that we are going to call Aiki. Then we can talk about it.

Michael Varin
03-24-2010, 05:49 AM
Personally, I think that if we define "aikido" as the way of aiki and we define aiki as the definable body quality exemplified by Takeda, Ueshiba, ....
Saying that a particular body quality is aiki because you trained with someone who has that particular body quality and you were impressed doesn't get us anywhere. Likewise, it is an error in reasoning to say people with this body quality can do #1-6; this body quality is aiki; therefore, lack of ability to do #1-6 shows that a person doesn't know anything about aiki.

You fully accept that aiki is "the secret to the martial arts," and this body quality is aiki.

Your definition of aiki may very well be correct, but you must still prove your argument.

In fact, you didn't define the "definable body quality," which you suggest is the definition of aiki.

Do I expect people who haven't had this kind of experience to understand what I'm talking about? No.
On some level you recognize the lack of effectiveness of your argument. But I'm not sure we should just chalk it up to ‘people don't know what they don't know.' If this body quality is aiki, define it, and explain why it is aiki. Then show why aiki is the secret to the martial arts.

stan baker
03-24-2010, 08:12 AM
Aiki and high level internal is not something that can be proved in debate or argument it has to be felt and expressed in action.

stan

ChrisHein
03-24-2010, 10:41 AM
Aiki and high level internal is not something that can be proved in debate or argument it has to be felt and expressed in action.

stan

High level internal can be shown. I know because I've trained with a recognized high level internal expert for a number of years. He can do a number of very impressive things. However he will be the first to tell you that they are all a product of angle, leverage, body weight, natural elasticity of the tissues and alignment.

You can see all of these things demonstrated by modern sport martial artists as well. If the definition of Aiki is internal martial arts, then we are going jump out of one pot and into the next. Because (Chinese) internal martial artists are having this same debate.

Because the martial arts are of a physical nature, there must be a tangible representation of any skills that are useful. This thread, posted recently:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17875

Shows the power of suggestion at work. The Sensei here is demonstrating great control over his students. This is a useful martial skill. There is a tangible representation of this skill, his students are willing to do all number of things for him. I think this is just one of the skills that Ueshiba was very proficient in.

Defining the power of suggestion as Aiki is a reasonable one. No more or less valid then angle, or timing.

stan baker
03-24-2010, 09:08 PM
Hi Chris
I think your teacher is mistaken, it is not about angels and all that.
You need to be blown away like you do not exist then you can understand what I am talking about. There are only few people in the world that I know that are in that category.

stan

Michael Varin
03-24-2010, 09:35 PM
You need to be blown away like you do not exist then you can understand what I am talking about.
OK. . . but why is that aiki?

The idea is to define aiki.

ChrisHein
03-25-2010, 12:06 AM
Hi Chris
I think your teacher is mistaken, it is not about angels and all that.You need to be blown away like you do not exist then you can understand what I am talking about. There are only few people in the world that I know that are in that category.

stan


While I'm sure your experience in these matters is second to none Stan, you're not helping us find a definition. "Blown away like you do not exist" tells me very little about what Aiki may be.

bulevardi
03-25-2010, 07:20 AM
If you read the book "Abundant peace: the biography of Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido By John Stevens", then somewhere around page 40-50 is mentioned that Ueshiba got illuminated someday. (or how do you say that in proper English, he got one with the universe? I'm reading the book in Dutch)
He got visions about things after training long lonely periods in the mountains and standing under holy waterfalls, and suddenly he got the secret power.
Anyway, a list of supernatural things were mentioned in the book that Ueshiba experienced once to achieve his power (like his body looked like it was glowing etc...)

What is real about it? It's like the Bible explaining with surrealistic examples what super powers Jesus had aswel.

Perhaps it could be that Ueshiba was gifted someday to do things no others could by training.

stan baker
03-25-2010, 08:24 AM
Hi Chris,
That is probably true, I do have alot of experience testing some of the best people in both chinese and japanese arts. I suggest you read Dan's posts on Aiki and then get first hand experience with him.

stan

ChrisHein
03-25-2010, 11:15 AM
Hi Chris,
That is probably true, I do have alot of experience testing some of the best people in both chinese and japanese arts. I suggest you read Dan's posts on Aiki and then get first hand experience with him.

stan

Sometimes Stan Baker, I think you are Dan. I can see we're in for more proselytism and propaganda. I've been down this road. I'm here to discuss, not chase my tale.

stan baker
03-25-2010, 12:03 PM
Hi Chris
after some direct experience then we can discuss, speculation is a waste of time in martial arts.

stan

ChrisHein
03-25-2010, 06:03 PM
Why didn't you just tell me you didn't have a definition because of lack of experience?!

stan baker
03-25-2010, 06:54 PM
Hi Chris
Aiki means to join energy, that is easy to say. Bringing one's unification to a high level is difficult, everybody knows that.

stan

Michael Varin
03-26-2010, 01:37 AM
Aiki means to join energy....
Well, that's a start.

But a crude English translation is not a definition.

bulevardi
03-26-2010, 03:35 AM
I'm starting to like Stans way of posting. :)

jxa127
03-26-2010, 01:23 PM
I don't believe most modern "aikido" has "aiki" but relies upon high level jujutsu skills to mimic the "aiki" of Ueshiba.

Speaking for myself (and only myself), this is true. But I'm not sure where high level jujutsu skills end and aiki begins. There probably is no line -- it's possible for somebody to have good aiki skills, but still need to work on the jujutsu, I suppose.

One key component of the difference between jutusu and aiki, from what I can tell from my limited internal strength training so far, is that "aiki" is about using the whole body in a fully coordinated manner. The result of aiki is that those with it are able to respond instantly to unexpected forces from different directions, to exploit those forces for off-balancing the opponent(s), and to generate a lot of power without a lot of movement.

Jeremy Hulley
03-26-2010, 01:52 PM
it's possible for somebody to have good aiki skills, but still need to work on the jujutsu, I suppose.
.

Maybe..
I'm not convinced that you can have aiki and not have done the jujutsu work first.

I think that people have to train enough jujutsu to udnerstand when they are confronted by something that's just different. Does not fit in the pardigm.

I don't think that most people hwo have not done the jujutsu get it.

Jeremy Hulley
03-26-2010, 01:53 PM
One key component of the difference between jutusu and aiki, from what I can tell from my limited internal strength training so far, is that "aiki" is about using the whole body in a fully coordinated manner. The result of aiki is that those with it are able to respond instantly to unexpected forces from different directions, to exploit those forces for off-balancing the opponent(s), and to generate a lot of power without a lot of movement.

Nicely put..

C. David Henderson
03-26-2010, 03:37 PM
Maybe..
I'm not convinced that you can have aiki and not have done the jujutsu work first.

I think that people have to train enough jujutsu to udnerstand when they are confronted by something that's just different. Does not fit in the pardigm.

I don't think that most people hwo have not done the jujutsu get it.

Hi Jeremy,

Not to disagree, but what about those whose start out by training for the body skills first, without formal jujustu technique? If I recall, some contend this is not only possible, but a better route to take.

(This does not describe my own practice or history BTW.)

Regards,

ChrisHein
03-26-2010, 03:40 PM
Ah, now we are getting somewhere.

I personally distinguish Aiki an Ju by physical relation. I believe Aiki can be used without any physical contact, where Ju must be in contact with a direct force.

For example, I would say musicians playing music together are exhibiting a kind of Aiki. The music coming from their instruments (Ki) is working together to make a harmony (Ai). There is not a physical interaction between the musicians yet they are forming a harmony with the energy they are releasing.

Ju requires a physical force to be applied. For example a balloon has the quality of ju. If you push on it, it will yield to your force, yet as soon as the force is removed it will spring back into place, or move around the force.

Martially this can be seen: with Aiki I lead your mind with my mind, making you over extend yourself and become unbalanced; with Ju I physically stick to you, following you physically, applying force where you are weak and unbalancing you.

C. David Henderson
03-26-2010, 07:56 PM
This is interesting; the manifestation of "aiki," under this discription, then seems often displayed by exquiste maai and tai sabaki, which seems to make powerful execution of a technique relatively unimportant.

At the same time, the process of applying force where I am weak (ju) encompasses the area of application of skills that internal training folk tend to refer to in terms of "aiki." However, it would include the use of "external" strength, through technique, or some maniuplation of uke's structure through "internal" methods.

Is there a link between the set of skills involved in "aiki" in the sense used here and the set of skills involved in the kind of "aiki" that internal training aims to instill?

Are they overlapping?

Are they both valid in their respective domains?

Respectfully,

ChrisHein
03-26-2010, 08:54 PM
Just to quickly clarify. I don't believe That applying force where your target is weak, is ju. But rather, using the quality of ju allows me to yield to your force, which will protect me, and allow me to find a weak spot on you (if that is my goal). The force that I apply once I have found your vulnerability can come from any number of methods, but the ju is a springy quality of yielding to your force.

We are still working on our definition of Aiki, so it can include anything we agree on. I'm not sure what other "internal" people may call aiki, but I'd love to hear it.

Mike Sigman
03-26-2010, 09:04 PM
Hi Mark, could you say more about your thinking on the way in which pursuit of the internal skills you refer to as aiki has a "spiritual" component?
Just to toss in an observation. Often when I chase down an actual translation (as opposed to an opinion by a westerner) that mentions "spirit" or "spiritual", I find that the original comment had something to do with "ki" and that the translator opted to talk about "spirit" and "spiritual" simply because that is what suited him, based upon his own understanding.

It's very much like how the word "jin" (sometimes "jing" or "ch'ing") in Chinese was translated by many westerner translators as "energy", even though the original and functional meaning was about a function and not an energy per se. I.e., what someone knows has a lot to do with translations and therefore translations should be looked at askance.

"Spiritual" and "energy" (and other terms) have become such standards in the translations of "internal" martial arts that many styles have become locked into that kind of discussion and, like a chronic face twitch, have become almost impossible to be rid of.

I'm always reminded of the old trope about a discussion where someone tries to avoid getting involved in emotional debate about god by saying, "I'm an atheist". One of the people in the discussion then asks insistently, "But which god is it that you don't believe in... the god of Abraham or the god of catholicism???".

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
03-26-2010, 09:18 PM
Just to quickly clarify. I don't believe That applying force where your target is weak, is ju. But rather, using the quality of ju allows me to yield to your force, which will protect me, and allow me to find a weak spot on you (if that is my goal). Hi Chris:

I think that your sceptical approach is basically correct, although I don't personally think that someone can take an already-known term and apply a consensus agreement among a limited faction that uses the same term to mean a different thing. It becomes like the hookah-smoking caterpillar telling Alice that words mean what he wants them to mean. If that's the case then nothing can ever be defined.

In terms of Asian martial arts, there is obviously a consensus of some sort or Ueshiba would not have been using (in his writings and douka) the traditional terms about ki and ki's physical functions that go back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The terms and sayings that Ueshiba quoted are the same terms and sayings found in a great number of Asian martial arts... wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that he (Ueshiba) was talking about the same "internal" things as the old-sayings he was quoting? In other words, Ueshiba wasn't making up any new definitions, he was abiding by old ones.

Physically/functionally, I haven't seen Ueshiba demonstrate "ki" things in any way that was outside of the known ki/qi demo's of China. When Ueshiba, Tohei, Shioda, and others, show these things in stark or at least reasonable isolation (outside of techniques), nothing they do is different from the known qi/ki demonstrations in a great number of arts.

What I'm basically saying is that there seems to be little demonstration of individual definitions of internal strength (whether it's called "aiki", "kokyu", "jin", "ki", "qi", or whatever), so a call for individual definitions seems out of place to me. If you posit that there is a unique definition for "aiki" in Aikido, then you're left with explaining why Ueshiba used so many references to the traditional terminology.

Best.

Mike Sigman

C. David Henderson
03-26-2010, 09:25 PM
Mike,

Mahalo.

ChrisHein
03-26-2010, 10:15 PM
Good points Mike. As a VERY poor historian myself, I can't speak to what Ueshiba was up to in his writings/references. I think even among those who know much on the subject there is still a lot that is up to interpretation.

From my studies in the ki no nagare waza found in Aikido, and my studies of Chinese internal, and Brazilian Jiujitsu (from Tim Cartmell) I have found a distinct difference between things generally called "ju" and things called "aiki". This is why I make a distinction.

Now there are understandings/definitions of these different words (Ju and Aiki) used by many different "authorities". These "authorities" often explain these words differently. This is why I say we must find our own agreed upon definition before we can talk further on the issue. Because when one person says Aiki, they are not necessarily talking about the same thing as another person.

To be clear, it's not important to me that you agree with my personal definition, it's only important that we agree on a single definition when we use the word.

Mike Sigman
03-26-2010, 10:44 PM
Good points Mike. As a VERY poor historian myself, I can't speak to what Ueshiba was up to in his writings/references. I think even among those who know much on the subject there is still a lot that is up to interpretation.

From my studies in the ki no nagare waza found in Aikido, and my studies of Chinese internal, and Brazilian Jiujitsu (from Tim Cartmell) I have found a distinct difference between things generally called "ju" and things called "aiki". This is why I make a distinction.

Now there are understandings/definitions of these different words (Ju and Aiki) used by many different "authorities". These "authorities" often explain these words differently. This is why I say we must find our own agreed upon definition before we can talk further on the issue. Because when one person says Aiki, they are not necessarily talking about the same thing as another person.

To be clear, it's not important to me that you agree with my personal definition, it's only important that we agree on a single definition when we use the word.Well, I take your last point, Chris, but in my opinion it still leads into the realm of "we use the same words but they mean different things" which I tend to avoid.

I'm somewhat reluctant to get too much into "authorities" because I find that many people use people with "names" in place of people with real authority. I think you must have seen similar situations in your time in Asian martial arts. Heck I could tell you stories about "authorities" that widely conflict with stories about the same "authorities" as told by people who studied with that person when he was studying. A few cases come to mind, but one of the most interesting that comes to mind is about a Chinese "name" guy who has written a number of books and the people who studied with him in the same schools on Taiwan since his childhood are aghast at the reputation this person has as an authority. ;) You see how it goes.

My suggestion is that instead of looking for a definition that is acceptable, why not take some basic physical demonstrations (e.g., Tohei's "ki tests") as a starter and explain how they're done, demonstrate the static before moving to the dynamic, etc., and then you can be fairly certain that your definitions will mesh with reality.

Heck, posting videos of demonstrations wouldn't be a bad idea, either. For instance, someone could post a video demonstration of standing against a push (static) and people could rebutt with "here's my video of me doing it", or etc. Hmmmmm.... maybe if there was a set example using certain criteria, that would work even better. That way, the guy depending on his lean, his back-foot brace, etc., could be pointed out and a consensus of 'correct' could be arrived at before a final definition was agreed upon.

In terms of dynamic, which we could look at something like a sudden application of power done clearly in a non-technique mode and discuss how it was done and our opinion of the how's and why's. A rebuttal could again be supported by a video, and so on. Comments could be about use of the middle, using the shoulders, augmentations of power, replays of 'the way Tohei (or Ueshiba or Shioda or whoever) did it', and so on.

What I'm suggesting is that an "agreed upon definition" would be much clarified by a simple video (say, everyone in the discussion pretty much showing their ideas on video of the same simple demonstration), as opposed to verbal "here's my take on it" discussions.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

ChrisHein
03-26-2010, 11:40 PM
Video sounds like a great idea to me Mike! I'm all for it.

What I would call Aiki, I can easily make a video of. In fact I'll make one this week. From your examples though, I can see that you would call aiki, if that's what you were talking about, is what I would call structure and alignment. I'll make a video of that as well, and I'll make a video of what I would call mental suggestion.

To me these 3 things are different animals, but I think many people are lumping these 3 things into the category of aiki. I'll have the video's by Saturday next week.

Jeremy Hulley
03-26-2010, 11:42 PM
Hi Jeremy,

Not to disagree, but what about those whose start out by training for the body skills first, without formal jujustu technique? If I recall, some contend this is not only possible, but a better route to take.

(This does not describe my own practice or history BTW.)

Regards,

I have not met those folks or people who fit that yet. I am open to that possibility..

JW
03-27-2010, 12:30 AM
In the old days, before the net, these discussions would be had in-person, and there would be no arguing over how things feel, and there would be a much easier time trying to define things as a group. The net has opened up discussion and information access in an unprecedented way-- but it is getting messy with contention and pointless arguments and confusion. We should have been doing video years ago, and now we can. It's the closest we can come on the net to feeling each other's skill.
If I feel I have something I can contribute, I'll get some training partners and shoot some too.


To me these 3 things are different animals, but I think many people are lumping these 3 things into the category of aiki. I'll have the video's by Saturday next week.

I agree that lots of times things get unnecessarily lumped when they are discussion-worthy as separate parts. It would be great to get things parsed out.
BTW Chris, I agree with your def of ju, but I think the distance-type stuff you are calling aiki should get a specific name other than aiki. Whenever O-sensei talked about "the secret of aiki," it was in relation to receiving force, yes? (rather than the distance stuff. Or, if I am wrong, it would be cool to see if he lumped these skills too)
It gets confusing because I think that people who get good at the force-receiving kind of aiki also tend to get good at the distance stuff.. they do both come from mastery/understanding of intent, I think.
Anyway thanks guys for keeping discussion moving.

JW
03-27-2010, 12:58 AM
From your examples though, I can see that you would call aiki, if that's what you were talking about, is what I would call structure and alignment. I'll make a video of that as well,

Chris- I still am anxious to see your video, but before you make it I wanted to ask if you have read these internal folks on this board (or elsewhere) talk about it not mattering what position or posture one is in when receiving a push or making the pusher lose balance?

ChrisHein
03-27-2010, 01:40 AM
Jonathan,
I have read several of the "internal" threads posted here. In my opinion they always read a bit differently. I'm not sure where everyone is going with their ideas, hopefully we'll get this hashed out. I figure the least I can do is show my examples, and if others show theirs, maybe we'll get somewhere.

As far as giving another name to what I would call "aiki", I often say that aiki is timing and rhythm. I would be fine with calling it that, and I feel strongly that timing and rhythm is a very large part of the Aikido strategy. It could very well be that Ueshiba lumped many things together as what he would call Aiki. Like I said I'm not stuck on my ideas being right or wrong, just that we have clear ideas that we can all talk about.

Mike Sigman
03-27-2010, 09:47 AM
What I would call Aiki, I can easily make a video of. In fact I'll make one this week. From your examples though, I can see that you would call aiki, if that's what you were talking about, is what I would call structure and alignment. I'll make a video of that as well, and I'll make a video of what I would call mental suggestion.

To me these 3 things are different animals, but I think many people are lumping these 3 things into the category of aiki. I'll have the video's by Saturday next week.OK. I'll actually be in San Francisco next week, if you're anywhere near, and we could compare quickly. A lot of these terms are often arbitrarily defined by people and I think that great care has to be taken not develop side-definitions that are different principles.

I've posted Inaba Minoru's definition of "aiki" a number of times. I agree with that definition. That being said, I don't see how it differs from other terms in Asian martial arts that describe the same phenomenon using the same classical sayings that Ueshiba used. I.e., "aiki" per se is not unique to Aikido; the problem is that most of the people talking about it are unaware of the larger world of Asian martial arts and the traditions going back thousands of years.

A classic example of these misdefinitions can be seen in the post that involved Michael Phillips' Tai Chi, a few months back. Phillips shows a form of uprooting (with willing students) and he calls it "Fajing". What he showed is really called "Ti fang" by anyone knowledgeable in Chinese martial arts.... it's not "fajing". Getting under someone and throwing them backward is not "fajing". But among many westerners, there is a feeling that their ignorance of nomenclature is OK and no one will catch it; many people will catch it, ultimate... and with unfortunate ramifications resulting. Rather than go down that road, I think an attempt at establishing a definition is a good thing. But that definition should comport with the definitions of people who are established (as opposed to "instant") experets. ;)

My opinion, FWIW

Mike Sigman

ChrisHein
04-05-2010, 07:29 PM
My videos:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=255040#post255040