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Chris Li
04-08-2012, 08:11 PM
New blog entry - "Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven - Izanagi and Izanami on the Bridge Connecting Heaven and Earth":

http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-04-08/aikido-and-the-floating-bridge-of-heaven

Enjoy!

Chris

Ernesto Lemke
04-09-2012, 01:19 AM
Pretty impressive if not conclusive. This series is getting better and better Chris!

Chris Li
04-09-2012, 01:27 AM
Pretty impressive if not conclusive. This series is getting better and better Chris!

Thanks Ernesto!

Best,

Chris

chillzATL
04-09-2012, 07:30 AM
loved this one Chris, great job.

phitruong
04-09-2012, 08:28 AM
interesting. from wuji comes taiji, from taiji comes yin and yang. from yin/yang comes the five elements. asian cultures seemed to share quite a bit on the creation stuffs and other stuffs, like IS.

Ernesto Lemke
04-10-2012, 01:50 AM
I'm both somewhat surprised and dissapointed this series of articles renders so little discussion. Of course there's no saying whether there are aikido dojo/individuals out there who, as a result, are having these discussions indoors.
Right now it's hard to tell how interested people really are in the first place. I think Chris is doing a mighty fine job, offering what at first glimpse are rather complex issues, ripe for a plethora of various interpretations, and bring them back to much more straightforward concepts that seem part of a larger, widerspread picture. Also, he brings them back to the level of actual physical training as espoused perhaps most notably by Dan Harden.

Two random questions:
- what does this information offer you?
- in what way does this cause a change?

Just to spark the fire a bit...maybe....:cool:

ewolput
04-10-2012, 03:25 AM
Kenji Tomiki used to say "mushin mugamae".
It is from the "emptines" the technique is created, without the emptines, the opponent will always read your intention to apply a technique.
Basically we attach to the opponents power, expressed by his body, we don't pull or push, we align our body and apply power. When we apply power, we use the polarity between both hands (active and passive hand changing constantly as complimentary forces).
From the emptines (mu) comes the power which creates a waza with the intention to throw (nage waza or atemi waza) or to control (katame waza and kansetsu waza).
Kenji Tomiki was very "academic" in his approach to aikido, but sometimes he used almost cryptic expressions to formulate ideas which he learned from his teacher like Morihei Ueshiba or Jigoro Kano.

Eddy

Carsten Möllering
04-10-2012, 07:01 AM
- what does this information offer you?
My thoughts about "what aiki-do is" and my search on the matt, my tries to find out practically "what aiki-do is" finally get connected to the words of the "founder" of "what aiki-do is". And get connected to the world, this "founder" lived in.

For me since some time what I am looking for and trying to find in my practice often did not fit in the words of Ueshiba as they are to read in the books behind me in my book-shelf.

- in what way does this cause a change?
In my case I experienced a major change in my view of aikido when I first met Endo sensei. By now I think he does not do what is labled "IS" here. But at least he is on the same journey. And what he teaches changed my way of thinking and doing completely.

Listening to Endo's talking about aiki-do as dao I started to practice a "small form" o" qi gong. I found a set of exercise which I know from the beginning of my aikidol life. And which I could fill in now in a deeper - but not new - way.

So when I read Chris' blog, I don't get exited because it is new to me and changes everything. And that means I don't have to discuss it or to question it or to change something.

But I get exited because I finally read what has been there but had no clear words. Had no connection to Ueshibas words. I finally can connect what I actually think and do to what has been thought and done before.
I read, I say to myself: "Yyyyyyyyyes!!!". I copy it, formatize it nice, print it and put in my bookshelf.

phitruong
04-10-2012, 07:14 AM
Kenji Tomiki used to say "mushin mugamae".
It is from the "emptines" the technique is created, without the emptines, the opponent will always read your intention to apply a technique.
Basically we attach to the opponents power, expressed by his body, we don't pull or push, we align our body and apply power. When we apply power, we use the polarity between both hands (active and passive hand changing constantly as complimentary forces).
From the emptines (mu) comes the power which creates a waza with the intention to throw (nage waza or atemi waza) or to control (katame waza and kansetsu waza).

Eddy

what do you mean by "emptiness"? is it a state of mind or body or both? the chinese called it wuji, and i sure hope they don't mean it a "blond" moment. :)

Carsten Möllering
04-10-2012, 07:18 AM
... and put in my bookshelf.
So, there behind me, in my book shelf a major change takes place!

ewolput
04-10-2012, 07:32 AM
what do you mean by "emptiness"? is it a state of mind or body or both? the chinese called it wuji, and i sure hope they don't mean it a "blond" moment. :)

Mushin mugamae is a state of mind and body, there is nothing. Of course the body is there, but if uke is touching you, he only feels your body, no movement, no intention.

Eddy

phitruong
04-10-2012, 08:24 AM
Mushin mugamae is a state of mind and body, there is nothing. Of course the body is there, but if uke is touching you, he only feels your body, no movement, no intention.

Eddy

if no movement or intention, how do you proposing the kuzushi on contact?

Patrick Hutchinson
04-10-2012, 08:51 AM
"From the emptines (mu) comes the power which creates a waza"

How does the power come? What do you do exactly?

ewolput
04-10-2012, 09:51 AM
"From the emptines (mu) comes the power which creates a waza"
How does the power come? What do you do exactly?

if no movement or intention, how do you proposing the kuzushi on contact?

If your intention is to create "kuzushi" your opponent will feel your movement
If your intention is to do a "waza" your opponent will feel the waza

By making contact with uke, you take the empty space in uke's body to prevent him from moving (locking him up), by aligning your body and stretching (but not moving) you create power (not pulling in power, raw muscle power). This power can be used as kuzushi and waza (for example learned by kata training). If you start with a mind and body full of techniques, you will lose.
I must say this is quite difficult to explain with words.

Eddy

woudew
04-10-2012, 10:10 AM
Great blog again, Chris.

I just keep on thinking: It Has To Be Felt, In You.

DH
04-10-2012, 11:58 AM
Kenji Tomiki used to say "mushin mugamae".
It is from the "emptines" the technique is created, without the emptines, the opponent will always read your intention to apply a technique.
Basically we attach to the opponents power, expressed by his body, we don't pull or push, we align our body and apply power. When we apply power, we use the polarity between both hands (active and passive hand changing constantly as complimentary forces).
From the emptines (mu) comes the power which creates a waza with the intention to throw (nage waza or atemi waza) or to control (katame waza and kansetsu waza).
Kenji Tomiki was very "academic" in his approach to aikido, but sometimes he used almost cryptic expressions to formulate ideas which he learned from his teacher like Morihei Ueshiba or Jigoro Kano.

Eddy
Cryptic?
I think he is exactly right. And his comments directly align with his teacher-Ueshiba- who obviously taught him. For what it is worth, he, like his teacher before him, is all but quoting the taiji classics.
Dan

Chris Li
04-10-2012, 05:39 PM
I'm both somewhat surprised and dissapointed this series of articles renders so little discussion. Of course there's no saying whether there are aikido dojo/individuals out there who, as a result, are having these discussions indoors.
Right now it's hard to tell how interested people really are in the first place. I think Chris is doing a mighty fine job, offering what at first glimpse are rather complex issues, ripe for a plethora of various interpretations, and bring them back to much more straightforward concepts that seem part of a larger, widerspread picture. Also, he brings them back to the level of actual physical training as espoused perhaps most notably by Dan Harden.

Two random questions:
- what does this information offer you?
- in what way does this cause a change?

Just to spark the fire a bit...maybe....:cool:

I've been trying to make them understandable, but of course some of it is hard to get without a certain background.

And of course, there are always going to be some people who thing that it is the same as whatever it is that they're already doing - although it is, in all likelihood, quite different.

Then there are those whose eyes just glaze over when they hear about spear wielding gods and the void (I sympathize, believe me).

Then there are the people who have enjoyed them and contacted me privately about them - which I appreciate, of course. It would be interesting to see more of a conversation going, though.

Best,

Chris

Lee Salzman
04-10-2012, 06:08 PM
Above the sound "A" and below the sound "O" - opposites connected with Ki, there Attractive Force ("Inryoku") is created.

For example, we were expected to recite the alphabet in a different order. Rather than saying the vowels of Japanese as ''AIUEO'' we were made to repeat them over and over as ''AOUEI,'' as if this new sequence had a deeper meaning.

I couldn't see it touched on in the article, maybe it was and it went over my head, but it seemed to only address this comment in a dry literary sense.

But in my own training, unrelated to aikido, we have at one point used sounds to coordinate 'things' in the body that are hard to coordinate or make move by any other means. These particular sounds not being the pair of 'A' and 'O', but something else, though 'A' was conspicuously present, in a form, and maybe even 'O', if I look past the superficial sound itself.

Though the sounds were not what was sought after, and other sounds could have been used in the end, or really no sound (which was sought after), but the sounds were a gateway into that state, to identity what unconscious effects they had on the organization of the body first, then make them conscious, then get rid of the sounds and keep the effect. The sounds are like postures, ends of a spectrum, for some aspects the body, but in between the sounds, there is movement, of a sort, and that is what you try to learn.

MM
04-10-2012, 06:26 PM
I've been trying to make them understandable, but of course some of it is hard to get without a certain background.

And of course, there are always going to be some people who thing that it is the same as whatever it is that they're already doing - although it is, in all likelihood, quite different.

Then there are those whose eyes just glaze over when they hear about spear wielding gods and the void (I sympathize, believe me).

Then there are the people who have enjoyed them and contacted me privately about them - which I appreciate, of course. It would be interesting to see more of a conversation going, though.

Best,

Chris

Hi Chris,
Been away from AikiWeb (voluntarily) for a little while. But, since you asked about starting a conversation ... :)

So, we have
1. Opposing forces themselves. Fire/water, in/yo, etc.

2. Then, you have the these opposing forces in a spiral. As you noted in your article, Ueshiba said, "The Floating Bridge of Heaven is the turning of fire and water bound together. Fire moves water, water is moved by fire. Fire and water are one thing. They turn in a spiral."

3. Aiki. Now, according to Ueshiba, aiki is something other than just the opposing forces.

4. Breath, breathing, chanting.

5. Structure.

6. Power

There is a lack of 5 and 6 in your blog post, but I'm sure it's covered elsewhere. But, it's interesting to note that Ueshiba broke down some of it so nicely.

So if we take, for an example, the often used unbendable arm where one is supposed to imaging water going out one's arm so that it becomes unbendable. But, according to Ueshiba, that's not nearly enough. One must have opposing forces. Wait, not quite right. One must have opposing forces that are in a spiral. Thinking of water going out the arm is only 1/3 of the whole equation. Kind of hard to actually get to aiki if 2/3 are missing. :)

Now, we have to wonder just where all these fire/water spiral(s) are supposed to be happening? Not just externally, because Ueshiba pretty clearly laid out the fact that it's all within oneself. So, where are these fire/water movements taking place?

It's nice to see the Chen model on display, thanks. We can see that in Chen style, these opposing forces are all over the body. But, is there anything in Ueshiba's talks to point to that? Just curious. (You know I'm 100% behind you - I'm just musing out loud to the public and trying to generate conversation.)

Then we have aiki ... According to Ueshiba, once you have fire/water, yin/yang, in/yo, Izanagi/Izanami, heaven/earth spirals, you must intertwine them with ki. To do that, you use breath. Once you have that, you have aiki. But, that's quite a leap of, um, faith. :)

If I had not been specifically shown certain things and heard those words, I'd have been completely lost. Even knowing some of the Chinese classic theories, unless I actually had more of a physical understanding, I'd have trouble following Ueshiba. I can certainly see why his students (both pre-war and post-war) complained about not understanding him.

Anyway, just some thoughts. Hope you're doing well. Maybe one day, I'll make it over there to say hi in person.

Mark

Chris Li
04-10-2012, 06:32 PM
I couldn't see it touched on in the article, maybe it was and it went over my head, but it seemed to only address this comment in a dry literary sense.

But in my own training, unrelated to aikido, we have at one point used sounds to coordinate 'things' in the body that are hard to coordinate or make move by any other means. These particular sounds not being the pair of 'A' and 'O', but something else, though 'A' was conspicuously present, in a form, and maybe even 'O', if I look past the superficial sound itself.

Though the sounds were not what was sought after, and other sounds could have been used in the end, or really no sound (which was sought after), but the sounds were a gateway into that state, to identity what unconscious effects they had on the organization of the body first, then make them conscious, then get rid of the sounds and keep the effect. The sounds are like postures, ends of a spectrum, for some aspects the body, but in between the sounds, there is movement, of a sort, and that is what you try to learn.

I haven't really touched on that, since I've been trying to keep things clear and (mostly) understandable.

Of course, that's the whole paradigm of Kototama, and the chanting that Ueshiba did was used for that purpose. Basically speaking, I think that he was using it to focus his intent in certain ways, and this worked well for him because of his religious beliefs and background.

For other people, perhaps not so much (it never did much for me). Notably, he discouraged people from joining his religion or joining in his religious exercises, so maybe he understood that it was different for his students than it was for him.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
04-10-2012, 06:47 PM
There is a lack of 5 and 6 in your blog post, but I'm sure it's covered elsewhere. But, it's interesting to note that Ueshiba broke down some of it so nicely.

Sharp eyes - it's not covered yet.

In Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-04-08/aikido-and-the-floating-bridge-of-heaven) the last part of one of the quotes mentioned is "That is something that is enacted through the breath ("iki"). This breath ("iki") is Aiki."

This is kind of a big topic in itself, so I'm leaving it for a future blog of its own.



So if we take, for an example, the often used unbendable arm where one is supposed to imaging water going out one's arm so that it becomes unbendable. But, according to Ueshiba, that's not nearly enough. One must have opposing forces. Wait, not quite right. One must have opposing forces that are in a spiral. Thinking of water going out the arm is only 1/3 of the whole equation. Kind of hard to actually get to aiki if 2/3 are missing. :)

Now, we have to wonder just where all these fire/water spiral(s) are supposed to be happening? Not just externally, because Ueshiba pretty clearly laid out the fact that it's all within oneself. So, where are these fire/water movements taking place?

It's nice to see the Chen model on display, thanks. We can see that in Chen style, these opposing forces are all over the body. But, is there anything in Ueshiba's talks to point to that? Just curious. (You know I'm 100% behind you - I'm just musing out loud to the public and trying to generate conversation.)

Also coming... ;)


Then we have aiki ... According to Ueshiba, once you have fire/water, yin/yang, in/yo, Izanagi/Izanami, heaven/earth spirals, you must intertwine them with ki. To do that, you use breath. Once you have that, you have aiki. But, that's quite a leap of, um, faith. :)

If I had not been specifically shown certain things and heard those words, I'd have been completely lost. Even knowing some of the Chinese classic theories, unless I actually had more of a physical understanding, I'd have trouble following Ueshiba. I can certainly see why his students (both pre-war and post-war) complained about not understanding him.

Anyway, just some thoughts. Hope you're doing well. Maybe one day, I'll make it over there to say hi in person.

Mark

Thanks Mark, we're still waiting for you to make it out here!

I'm definitely going to stay away from any "how to do" stuff, so there's going to be a significant and continuing gap between a more accurate explanation and actually translating it into a physical expression.

Besides the fact that my "how to do" is mostly "how to don't", it's just too tough to try and get into much of a detailed physical explanation without the kind of common reference that we both share. I have my hands full just not screwing up anybody around here, let alone screwing up people virally over the internet.

Anyway, better physical explanations may be forthcoming. :cool:

Best,

Chris

Allen Beebe
04-10-2012, 10:34 PM
I haven't really touched on that, since I've been trying to keep things clear and (mostly) understandable.

Of course, that's the whole paradigm of Kototama, and the chanting that Ueshiba did was used for that purpose. Basically speaking, I think that he was using it to focus his intent in certain ways, and this worked well for him because of his religious beliefs and background.

For other people, perhaps not so much (it never did much for me). Notably, he discouraged people from joining his religion or joining in his religious exercises, so maybe he understood that it was different for his students than it was for him.

Best,

Chris

How about the Kiai:

"Ya" "Toh" Unn (non-verbalized)" and "Ehii"

They contain A, O, U, E, and I and O-sensei used them martially, not just religiously. They too were passed down in Doka (to all who care) and Kuden (to some at least).

Just as A and O were specific referents, O-sensei used these kiai (my computer insists on "kiwi":freaky: ) in specific ways . . . do you see a connection??? :o

Do any Koryu aficionados??? :p FWIW, (very little no doubt) I learned these in the context of Ken . . . (I learned almost everything that was "a thing"* in the context of Ken from my teacher!) [Back in the "old days" that was the the quintessential answer to any conundrum raised in the dojo, "Get your ken!" I kind of miss the "old days." :( ]

*essential

Chris Li
04-10-2012, 10:59 PM
How about the Kiai:

"Ya" "Toh" Unn (non-verbalized)" and "Ehii"

They contain A, O, U, E, and I and O-sensei used them martially, not just religiously. They too were passed down in Doka (to all who care) and Kuden (to some at least).

Just as A and O were specific referents, O-sensei used these kiai (my computer insists on "kiwi":freaky: ) in specific ways . . . do you see a connection??? :o

Do any Koryu aficionados??? :p FWIW, (very little no doubt) I learned these in the context of Ken . . . (I learned almost everything that was "a thing"* in the context of Ken from my teacher!) [Back in the "old days" that was the the quintessential answer to any conundrum raised in the dojo, "Get your ken!" I kind of miss the "old days." :( ]

*essential

Yes, certain Kiai are supposed to have certain effects (different effects for different Kiai) on the nervous system. Certainly, under the same theory, that would work the other way as well, as a conditioning method.

OTOH, I'm not sure whether it's the specific syllables, the specific intent, or the specific delivery that produces the effect. Would nonsense syllables produce the same effect if you believed that they would? Or is the human body biologically "tuned" to certain auditory stimuli?

O-Sensei came from a certain background, with certain beliefs, so some things would affect him in different ways (I expect) from somebody raised in a different manner. Or maybe not - it would be interesting if we could really put it to the test on a blind group...

Best,

Chris

Henrypsim
04-11-2012, 12:01 AM
Sharp eyes - it's not covered yet.

In Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-04-08/aikido-and-the-floating-bridge-of-heaven) the last part of one of the quotes mentioned is "That is something that is enacted through the breath ("iki"). This breath ("iki") is Aiki."

This is kind of a big topic in itself, so I'm leaving it for a future blog of its own.

Also coming... ;)

Thanks Mark, we're still waiting for you to make it out here!

I'm definitely going to stay away from any "how to do" stuff, so there's going to be a significant and continuing gap between a more accurate explanation and actually translating it into a physical expression.

Besides the fact that my "how to do" is mostly "how to don't", it's just too tough to try and get into much of a detailed physical explanation without the kind of common reference that we both share. I have my hands full just not screwing up anybody around here, let alone screwing up people virally over the internet.

Anyway, better physical explanations may be forthcoming. :cool:

Best,

Chris

Mark and Chris,

I think it would be difficult to put into words the "how to". When I attended Dan Harden's seminar for the first time, I had no clue what he was talking about eventhough I had some background in Ki and Chinese Chi Kung plus Aikido. My wife with the same background had the same feeling when she attending Dan Harden' s seminar for the first time. Some people do get it right away but I believe most of us are kind of in a fog. HOWEVER, we did keep the faith and try our best to do the exercises as he taught without truly understanding the concept. On the second seminar, things became clearer and on the third, the concept was much much more clearer (do not misunderstand, I am not saying that I understood everything, I said much much more clearer), The "how to" also suddenly has meaning and feeling. I discovered that I had power that I did not even know. (not muscle power!!!!)

My point is that if anyone ONLY follow instructions from a book on "how to", it is very difficult. For one thing, there would not be anyone with the knowlege to give feedback. Without feedback, one can never be sure whether one is doing it right or wrong. But, of course, not impossible. Nothing is impossible.

It is my personal wish that more and eventually ALL Aikido Sensei's would first recognize O-Sensei's vision of Aikido (yin/yang, aiki etc), make an effort to overcome their ego, empty their cup, learn the concept and "how to" then teach it to their students. Please understand that I am not saying to "throw away" the "Do" (technique), All I am proposing is that the senseis add on the "secret of Aikido" to their teaching. Then Aikido would truly take its rightful place as one of the best martial arts created. Any "how to" books would/can be used as reference for training but, in my opinion and limited experience, can NEVER be a substitute for a sensei.

We in Hawaii are very lucky to have Dan Harden visiting us and Chris to support and teach us, otherwise most of us will be by the way side, either frustrated or lost or whatever and gave up.

Lee Salzman
04-11-2012, 01:01 AM
Yes, certain Kiai are supposed to have certain effects (different effects for different Kiai) on the nervous system. Certainly, under the same theory, that would work the other way as well, as a conditioning method.

OTOH, I'm not sure whether it's the specific syllables, the specific intent, or the specific delivery that produces the effect. Would nonsense syllables produce the same effect if you believed that they would? Or is the human body biologically "tuned" to certain auditory stimuli?

O-Sensei came from a certain background, with certain beliefs, so some things would affect him in different ways (I expect) from somebody raised in a different manner. Or maybe not - it would be interesting if we could really put it to the test on a blind group...

Best,

Chris

It wasn't presented to me in the context of mental effects, but of assisting the solidity of the trunk in explosive movement. The idea was the abdominal cavity. The vocal apparatus helps manipulate pressure of the abdomen, through the diaphragm, by putting downward pressure on it, which when combined with pressure from below and the sides, surrounds it with pressure. In the transition between sounds, you can manipulate this into becoming a transition from a pressured state to an even more highly pressured state, and then, why not even the reverse? This is why the end sounds were unimportant, because firstly the goal was not the noise, and secondly because that would ultimately leave the diaphragm locked up and rigid. But even then, this was one limited effect, whereas Moriheu Ueshiba seemed to have a more extensive vocabulary of letters here than two, so I wonder then what he was doing with them or what shapes were implied?

Chris Li
04-11-2012, 01:26 AM
It wasn't presented to me in the context of mental effects, but of assisting the solidity of the trunk in explosive movement. The idea was the abdominal cavity. The vocal apparatus helps manipulate pressure of the abdomen, through the diaphragm, by putting downward pressure on it, which when combined with pressure from below and the sides, surrounds it with pressure. In the transition between sounds, you can manipulate this into becoming a transition from a pressured state to an even more highly pressured state, and then, why not even the reverse? This is why the end sounds were unimportant, because firstly the goal was not the noise, and secondly because that would ultimately leave the diaphragm locked up and rigid. But even then, this was one limited effect, whereas Moriheu Ueshiba seemed to have a more extensive vocabulary of letters here than two, so I wonder then what he was doing with them or what shapes were implied?

Well, he had a vocabulary of 50 - which grew out of the 5 base vowels, of which we're really just talking about two. Anyway, Kototama can get quite complex, and gets into much more tangled knots than just pressurization (I'm not saying that pressurization isn't important - although I think it can be quite tricky to actually pressurize correctly).

Best,

Chris

Marc Abrams
04-11-2012, 07:52 AM
Yes, certain Kiai are supposed to have certain effects (different effects for different Kiai) on the nervous system. Certainly, under the same theory, that would work the other way as well, as a conditioning method.

OTOH, I'm not sure whether it's the specific syllables, the specific intent, or the specific delivery that produces the effect. Would nonsense syllables produce the same effect if you believed that they would? Or is the human body biologically "tuned" to certain auditory stimuli?

O-Sensei came from a certain background, with certain beliefs, so some things would affect him in different ways (I expect) from somebody raised in a different manner. Or maybe not - it would be interesting if we could really put it to the test on a blind group...

Best,

Chris

Chris:

Different sound wave frequencies have differing effects on our neurological system. It is fun to test this out.

Marc Abrams

Carsten Möllering
04-11-2012, 07:57 AM
... O-Sensei came from a certain background, with certain beliefs, so some things would affect him in different ways (I expect) from somebody raised in a different manner.
As far as I know there is a group of certain kiai which are common to most/ (all?) ryû. And there exist additional kiai which are only used in certain schools. As far as I know, it was especially the first, common, group Ueshiba referred to when talking about kiai?

When I learned to sing and to speak, I learned about the different ways our body uses to form certain lutes (sounds?). And you learn how different lutes (sounds?) affect you yourself and the person who hears what you sing or speak.
The body is connected to the sounds/lutes: Producing them and perceiving them.
And our emotions are affected to the sounds/lutes.

The effects are comparable. So maybe it is not a question of personal context?

MM
04-11-2012, 09:54 AM
I haven't really touched on that, since I've been trying to keep things clear and (mostly) understandable.

Of course, that's the whole paradigm of Kototama, and the chanting that Ueshiba did was used for that purpose. Basically speaking, I think that he was using it to focus his intent in certain ways, and this worked well for him because of his religious beliefs and background.

For other people, perhaps not so much (it never did much for me). Notably, he discouraged people from joining his religion or joining in his religious exercises, so maybe he understood that it was different for his students than it was for him.

Best,

Chris

Chris,

Do you think Ueshiba might have been chanting to reach a natural "high", too? If training sort of affects the mental state of mind, maybe Ueshiba really was feeling like he was the universe. Some people meditating/chanting have said they felt like they had a buzz or that they felt like they were floating above their bodies.

Plus, Ueshiba knew that Horikawa and Sagawa had reached an equivalent level of aiki in their own way, so Ueshiba knew that follwing in his religious foot steps wasn't necessary. But you had to have aiki to ... What did he say ... Aiki makes the religion better.

For Ueshiba, it was Izanami/Izanagi. But, as you have read, he did say that these were contradictory forces working at the same time in a spiral fashion - internally.

Mark

Chris Li
04-11-2012, 10:27 AM
Chris:

Different sound wave frequencies have differing effects on our neurological system. It is fun to test this out.

Marc Abrams

I agree - but I wonder how closely that is linked to specific sounds (ala Kototama), and how much the links to specific sounds are influenced by the belief system or environment of the listener.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
04-11-2012, 10:31 AM
Chris,

Do you think Ueshiba might have been chanting to reach a natural "high", too? If training sort of affects the mental state of mind, maybe Ueshiba really was feeling like he was the universe. Some people meditating/chanting have said they felt like they had a buzz or that they felt like they were floating above their bodies.

Sure, that's a common usage of chanting - and he used specific chants to channel specific mental states. But I wonder if that works so well without the same or similar belief system in place, or at the very least, an understanding of what state you're attempting to invoke with each practice.

Best,

Chris

hughrbeyer
04-11-2012, 12:02 PM
OTOH, I'm not sure whether it's the specific syllables, the specific intent, or the specific delivery that produces the effect. Would nonsense syllables produce the same effect if you believed that they would? Or is the human body biologically "tuned" to certain auditory stimuli?

FWIW, I've heard it said that "toh" in particular is used for what it sounds like--breaking through a barrier. "T" is the barrier holding the breath back--"o-o-o" is no resistance once you're past.

Rob Watson
04-11-2012, 12:10 PM
Chris:

Different sound wave frequencies have differing effects on our neurological system. It is fun to test this out.

Marc Abrams

Plus the basic vibrations that stimulate physical elements of the body through resonance as a means to identify and feel those elements working - and to energize them. When utilizing the physical elements at their resonance frequencies the efficiency at which they can 'channel' energy is greatly enhanced. Also fun to play with while maintaining a connection in a static position and run through a range of frequencies until finding the ones that resonate with that connection. Thankfully, one can do this in solo practice while no one is looking as it does look quite silly.

I never heard anyone explain it like the above as I just stumbled upon it myself ... could be a rabbit hole.

gregstec
04-11-2012, 12:30 PM
Well, he had a vocabulary of 50 - which grew out of the 5 base vowels, of which we're really just talking about two. Anyway, Kototama can get quite complex, and gets into much more tangled knots than just pressurization (I'm not saying that pressurization isn't important - although I think it can be quite tricky to actually pressurize correctly).

Best,

Chris

In Mashilo Nakazono's book "Inochi" the book of life, he talks about three principles represented by different orders of the Mother sounds (vowels) Amatu-Kanagi is the first order of AIUEO and represents the material and physical realm of existence. AMATU-SUGASO is the second order of AOUEI and represented the spiritual realm. AMATU-FUTONOROTI is the third order of AIEOU and represents the true realm of existence that combines and brings together as one the material and spiritual. Much like the Kojiki , this book is also very esoteric and goes into great depths of the relationship and order of the child sounds to represent various aspects of life and its creation.

I personally chant the 50 sounds in the FUTONORITO order of AIEOU simply for the physical aspects of the vibrations that are set up in the body while chanting; similar to what Lee mentioned. Interesting thing is that each sound has a certain pitch/frequency (as Marc stated) and will manifest itself in a different part of the body based on the pitch. I have found that the AIEOU order naturally starts higher in the body and goes lower as it progress into the order - this apparently correlates to the higher pitch of A being the highest level and U the lowest level; which resonates very nicely in the center and dantien area. Anyway, with the chanting I use mental intent to follow the vibrations and try to mentally control what is going on in that part of the body at the time. I find it helps in exercising intent as well as getting to know the internal aspects of the body for IS development.

Greg

DH
04-11-2012, 12:34 PM
Then you have such notables as CXW, and LCD and Sagawa stating the whole breath thing is overplayed...
So who -among top notch pros- rather than amateurs and yoga practioners place it as any thing definitive, or should I say defining of their power in practical use ____________________?
I haven't met anyone who does it and it alone who has any sort of unusual and usable power I couldn't walk right through.

I have my own thoughts on it, but I wanted to see where chanting and breathing was going to go.
Dan

chillzATL
04-11-2012, 02:09 PM
Then you have such notables as CXW, and LCD and Sagawa stating the whole breath thing is overplayed...
So who -among top notch pros- rather than amateurs and yoga practioners place it as any thing definitive, or should I say defining of their power in practical use ____________________?
I haven't met anyone who does it and it alone who has any sort of unusual and usable power I couldn't walk right through.

I have my own thoughts on it, but I wanted to see where chanting and breathing was going to go.
Dan

I recall several videos of CXW doing a form that's full of various power releases and it seems he's using breath quite heavily in those. Though he's certainly not doing only that. It would seem to be additive, as many of these things are, rather than a core skill.

Allen Beebe
04-11-2012, 02:22 PM
So my post might have prompted a splintering of Chris' intended focus for this post (BTW, in the Doka O-sensei gives specific examples of the usage of specific kiai for specific circumstances . . . and Chris is probably more aware of this fact than most.), so I'll see if I can pull things back on point a tad.

Cutting and pasting from Chris' post:

合気道は「天の浮橋に立たされて」ということである。天の浮橋は水火結んでめぐるということ。火は水を動かし、水は火によって動かさる。火も水も一つのものである。螺旋状 にめぐる。気をもって絡むのである。それは、息によるものであり、この息が合気であります。

It is said that Aikido is "Standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven". The Floating Bridge of Heaven is the turning of fire and water bound together. Fire moves water, water is moved by fire. Fire and water are one thing. They turn in a spiral. They are entwined through Ki. That is something that is enacted through the breath ("iki"). This breath ("iki") is Aiki.

It is interesting to note, although I am certain that this is not lost on Chris, for the kanji 息 "iki," the "breath" from which Fire and water are entwined through Ki and begin to turn in a spiral, which is "Aiki" is comprised of two characters: one for "self" and the other for "heart." So (via a bit of creative thinking) it is through the "self's-heart" ("iki" 息) that Fire and Water (In/Yo) are entwined through Ki, and they, in turn, turn in a spiral . . . (identified in other writings as Aiki) without "iki" there is no Aiki. Iki is the origin of Aiki, therefore it can be said Aiki is essentially Aiki.

This understanding or treatment seems to be confirmed with the following:

左手は伊耶那岐、右手は伊耶那美、真中は天之御中主(あめのみなかぬし)、これは自分のことである。天の浮橋に立たされて、螺旋状にめぐることである。これを高天原(たか あまはら)という。天も地も一つのもの、水も火も一つのもの、みんな息から現れるのである。神の常動の現れである。合気の技は常動により出てくるのである。

The left hand is Izanagi, the right is Izanami, in the center is Ame-no-minakanushi, this is yourself. This is standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven and turning in a spiral. This is called Taka-ama-hara. Heaven and earth are one unit, water and fire are also one unit, all appears through Iki (breath). This is the endless appearance of the Kami. Aiki technique comes forth endlessly.

"all appears through iki" 息 (the heart of the self).

Super cool! Physical reality (the process and result described above as embodied by Ueshiba and others) is in line with his (and other) Religious cosmology each seeming to reflectively affirm the other. In this way Aik isn't a religion . . . it makes the teaching of religion manifest. It "completes religions." I accord my heart with the great source (universe) and the great source (universe) accords with me. I am the Universe.

There is a accordance of the individual specific "Heart leads mind/intent, Intent leads Ki, Ki leads the body" model, and the mythic (commonly reoccurring) model described above . . . if one looks at iki 息 as a combination of its constituent parts.

One more thing . . . isn't the Floating Bridge of Heaven comprised of the 8 opposing forces? Maybe that is something to throw out there as well.

Well, that is my lunch 15 minutes!

Cheers,
Allen

Chris Li
04-11-2012, 02:38 PM
"all appears through iki" 息 (the heart of the self).

Super cool! Physical reality (the process and result described above as embodied by Ueshiba and others) is in line with his (and other) Religious cosmology each seeming to reflectively affirm the other. In this way Aik isn't a religion . . . it makes the teaching of religion manifest. It "completes religions." I accord my heart with the great source (universe) and the great source (universe) accords with me. I am the Universe.

There is a accordance of the individual specific "Heart leads mind/intent, Intent leads Ki, Ki leads the body" model, and the mythic (commonly reoccurring) model described above . . . if one looks at iki 息 as a combination of its constituent parts.

One more thing . . . isn't the Floating Bridge of Heaven comprised of the 8 opposing forces? Maybe that is something to throw out there as well.

Well, that is my lunch 15 minutes!

Cheers,
Allen

Very nice Alan! I really like your reading of the Kanji.

"Iki" is another one of those things that Ueshiba would imbue with multi-layered information. I kind of left it alone this time so that I can go back and do it justice another time, but yes - "iki" is all tied up with the 8 opposing forces, so it all "connects". ;)

Best,

Chris

Marc Abrams
04-11-2012, 03:32 PM
I agree - but I wonder how closely that is linked to specific sounds (ala Kototama), and how much the links to specific sounds are influenced by the belief system or environment of the listener.

Best,

Chris

Many factors..... We can look at the rhythm and beat as very important and separate factors. Simply look at the importance of percussive instruments in many ancient religions. My good friend, Maroghini, a world renown percussionist, is a deeply spiritual person who participates in a lot of religious ceremonies ranging from Hindu to ancient African. The rhythm and beats of the instruments facilitate the entering into and sustaining of trance-like states. I have seen him go into trance-like states and he can play non-stop all night-long. He is seated with his legs crossed and if you pushed into him, you simply bounce off of him. Incredibly intense stuff to be a part of.... We have a small body of data on how these instruments modify brain waves.

We can look at the frequency of certain sounds (high to low) and they also interact with brain waves. The military (DARPA) is very interested in the use of sound-wave weapons and have developed some very interesting "toys."....

Add to these factors, the psychological impact that people place upon certain spiritual/religious activities......

My limited practice with the effect of sounds is that using a low frequency (bass) sound in a kiai has the effect of bottom weighting a person (person described feeling very heavy and stuck), while a high frequency (alto) sound in a kiai has the effect of rising energy (person describes becoming lighter and rising from their base). Still playing around with this stuff and trying to make sense out of it.

Marc Abrams

MM
04-11-2012, 04:45 PM
Standing on the Bridge = something different but a concrete internal concept.
Izanagi/Izanami = another concrete internal concept.

Why do we think breath = breath? or chanting?

If you have contradictory forces going in a spiral and you reverse them ... don't you get a sort of in/out motion. Not literally in/out, mind you, but think of breath. Breathing in is one way, breathing out is the opposite. Contradictory forces going one way and then reversing them going the opposite. You are enacting with breath the spiral contradictory forces entwined with ki. And there, at the infinite point where the breath actually changes, where contradictory forces are reversed, is the center of the Universe. The creation of aiki.

gregstec
04-11-2012, 05:59 PM
Many factors..... We can look at the rhythm and beat as very important and separate factors. Simply look at the importance of percussive instruments in many ancient religions. My good friend, Maroghini, a world renown percussionist, is a deeply spiritual person who participates in a lot of religious ceremonies ranging from Hindu to ancient African. The rhythm and beats of the instruments facilitate the entering into and sustaining of trance-like states. I have seen him go into trance-like states and he can play non-stop all night-long. He is seated with his legs crossed and if you pushed into him, you simply bounce off of him. Incredibly intense stuff to be a part of.... We have a small body of data on how these instruments modify brain waves.

We can look at the frequency of certain sounds (high to low) and they also interact with brain waves. The military (DARPA) is very interested in the use of sound-wave weapons and have developed some very interesting "toys."....

Add to these factors, the psychological impact that people place upon certain spiritual/religious activities......

My limited practice with the effect of sounds is that using a low frequency (bass) sound in a kiai has the effect of bottom weighting a person (person described feeling very heavy and stuck), while a high frequency (alto) sound in a kiai has the effect of rising energy (person describes becoming lighter and rising from their base). Still playing around with this stuff and trying to make sense out of it.

Marc Abrams

I follow what you are saying, and part of my focus is on how the various pitch sounds impact my feeling of center and awareness internally as well as externally. As you said, low pitch sounds lead down and a higher pitch gives a feeling of up :)

Greg

Rob Watson
04-11-2012, 06:08 PM
My limited practice with the effect of sounds is that using a low frequency (bass) sound in a kiai has the effect of bottom weighting a person (person described feeling very heavy and stuck), while a high frequency (alto) sound in a kiai has the effect of rising energy (person describes becoming lighter and rising from their base).

Perhaps a simplistic way to rationalize this is to understand that a string (or drum head) under tension vibrates at a higher frequency as the tension increases. Note that when someone carries more tension in their body they are easier to unbalance as their 'center' seems to float upwards. Note also that in those few tracks in which one can hear the founders kiai it is quite high pitched.

bothhandsclapping
04-11-2012, 08:39 PM
Perhaps a simpler take ...

yin ... ok, yang ... ok. floating bridge ... a state that transcends yin and yang, or more precisely, the state where yin and yang have disappeared, a singularity of pure potential.

a seed in the ground - no yin, no yang. and then spring and pop! the seed comes to life. the yang activity of expansion quite apparent, dominating the yin activity of contraction for a time of growth. but spring gives way to summer and autumn and eventually yang gives way to yin, the plant withers and dies ... ah, but a seed, a seed in the ground - no yin, no yang.

the floating bridge ... no yin, no yang ... a singularity of pure potential ... the source of aiki.

gregstec
04-11-2012, 08:49 PM
Perhaps a simpler take ...

yin ... ok, yang ... ok. floating bridge ... a state that transcends yin and yang, or more precisely, the state where yin and yang have disappeared, a singularity of pure potential.

a seed in the ground - no yin, no yang. and then spring and pop! the seed comes to life. the yang activity of expansion quite apparent, dominating the yin activity of contraction for a time of growth. but spring gives way to summer and autumn and eventually yang gives way to yin, the plant withers and dies ... ah, but a seed, a seed in the ground - no yin, no yang.

the floating bridge ... no yin, no yang ... a singularity of pure potential ... the source of aiki.

Simpler still - what goes around, comes around.... :D

Greg

bothhandsclapping
04-11-2012, 08:54 PM
Simpler still - what goes around, comes around.... :D

Greg

nice!

bob_stra
04-13-2012, 02:46 PM
Then you have such notables as CXW, and LCD and Sagawa stating the whole breath thing is overplayed...
So who -among top notch pros- rather than amateurs and yoga practioners place it as any thing definitive, or should I say defining of their power in practical use ____________________?
I haven't met anyone who does it and it alone who has any sort of unusual and usable power I couldn't walk right through.

I have my own thoughts on it, but I wanted to see where chanting and breathing was going to go.
Dan

I have to say, that's pretty weird; I met ZTC and he was *very* into breath stuff as being foundational.

Where did CXW / LCD / Sagawa gainsay that? If anything, I remember CXW saying some good things about breathing on his "Coiling Slightly" set. I'd like to see it so I can study what they had to say.

bothhandsclapping
04-14-2012, 11:50 AM
I haven't met anyone who does it and it alone who has any sort of unusual and usable power I couldn't walk right through.
Dan
I'm always intrigued by these kinds of statements, meaning that, say we objectively look at 'a breather' - somewhat frail and almost always quite unassuming, and some of us might quite rightly conclude "I could kick his/her ass in a heartbeat." And yet we don't Why is that? In fact, that type of person never gets in a fight. Why is that? If I could just "walk right through" him/her ... then why don't I? What stops me? A part of us would have to say "Well, why would I?" "What's to gain?" "I would end up looking like a complete jerk!" Legitimate questions, but where did those thoughts come from? We obviously didn't have those thoughts until we looked at this person. So is there something that we see or sense in these "breathers" that can actually generate a conflict within our own minds?

Chris Li
04-14-2012, 12:05 PM
I'm always intrigued by these kinds of statements, meaning that, say we objectively look at 'a breather' - somewhat frail and almost always quite unassuming, and some of us might quite rightly conclude "I could kick his/her ass in a heartbeat." And yet we don't Why is that? In fact, that type of person never gets in a fight. Why is that? If I could just "walk right through" him/her ... then why don't I? What stops me? A part of us would have to say "Well, why would I?" "What's to gain?" "I would end up looking like a complete jerk!" Legitimate questions, but where did those thoughts come from? We obviously didn't have those thoughts until we looked at this person. So is there something that we see or sense in these "breathers" that can actually generate a conflict within our own minds?

Well...no, I've seen plenty of frail folks get picked on or beat up. Just take a look at nature - the weak ones in the herd get cut out first, all imagination aside.

Best,

Chris

bothhandsclapping
04-14-2012, 12:47 PM
Well...no, I've seen plenty of frail folks get picked on or beat up. Just take a look at nature - the weak ones in the herd get cut out first, all imagination aside.

Best,

Chris
Not every frail person is a 'breather" (vaguely meaning totally accepting of the present moment). Just as there are a plethora of 'energetics' who fear the present moment, the same can be said of 'frails'

I like to frame it as the old samurai/zen story of the bad-ass and the monk ... "I'm the one that could run you through without a thought" and "I'm the one who could be run through without a thought" Of course the bad ass withdraws (not much of a story otherwise). :o

Chris Li
04-14-2012, 12:54 PM
Not every frail person is a 'breather" (vaguely meaning totally accepting of the present moment). Just as there are a plethora of 'energetics' who fear the present moment, the same can be said of 'frails'

I like to frame it as the old samurai/zen story of the bad-ass and the monk ... "I'm the one that could run you through without a thought" and "I'm the one who could be run through without a thought" Of course the bad ass withdraws (not much of a story otherwise). :o

The reason why it's repeated as a story is because it's so unusual that it virtually never happens.

Is it possible to face someone down with chutzpah and "being there in the moment"? Sure - but it has nothing to do with conditioning in the body - of which they have none. If it did, then monks with a long history of breath training would regularly have faced down the fighters who killed them - but historically that is just not the case.

Best,

Chris

bothhandsclapping
04-14-2012, 01:00 PM
The reason why it's repeated as a story is because it's so unusual that it virtually never happens.

Is it possible to face someone down with chutzpah and "being there in the moment"? Sure - but it has nothing to do with conditioning in the body - of which they have none. If it did, then monks with a long history of breath training would regularly have faced down the fighters who killed them - but historically that is just not the case.

Best,

Chris
Curious, so, from a pure evolution and natural selection perspective ... how have pacifists survived?

MM
04-14-2012, 01:38 PM
Curious, so, from a pure evolution and natural selection perspective ... how have pacifists survived?

They have an army protecting them. Or a society that has an armed populace. History is filled with armed groups killing unarmed, peace protestors or pacifists. One of the most extreme examples was the Hutus killing their own peace-filled Hutu people. The Hutu military threatened Hutu civilians that if they did not kill Tutsi, then they (Hutu civilians) would be shot and killed. And they did carry out their threats.

Evolution and natural selection have nothing to do with pacifists. Society does. Apples and Airplanes.

bothhandsclapping
04-14-2012, 02:21 PM
They have an army protecting them. Or a society that has an armed populace. History is filled with armed groups killing unarmed, peace protestors or pacifists. One of the most extreme examples was the Hutus killing their own peace-filled Hutu people. The Hutu military threatened Hutu civilians that if they did not kill Tutsi, then they (Hutu civilians) would be shot and killed. And they did carry out their threats.

Evolution and natural selection have nothing to do with pacifists. Society does. Apples and Airplanes.
If we accept evolution and natural selection (or if we don't then fine), but if we do, then to quote Darwin ...

"I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term Natural Selection"

It seems reasonable to presume that pacifism did not always exist, that it did in fact come into being as a 'slight variation" and since it seems to have been preserved, then, according to Darwin, it must be useful. Of course we would have to acknowledge that any ideology, while useful to some will be deemed a threat to others, and thus your example of the Hutu.

The argument is that because pacifism exists, it must be useful and that usefulness must be a source of protection for the pacifist. No?

Chris Li
04-14-2012, 02:31 PM
If we accept evolution and natural selection (or if we don't then fine), but if we do, then to quote Darwin ...

"I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term Natural Selection"

It seems reasonable to presume that pacifism did not always exist, that it did in fact come into being as a 'slight variation" and since it seems to have been preserved, then, according to Darwin, it must be useful. Of course we would have to acknowledge that any ideology, while useful to some will be deemed a threat to others, and thus your example of the Hutu.

The argument is that because pacifism exists, it must be useful and that usefulness must be a source of protection for the pacifist. No?

The fact that something survived doesn't make it a source of protection.

Acne survived, does that make it useful against muggings?

Stupidity survived, does that make it an effective force for self protection?

Look back at the historic record - it tells the whole story, if you leave your imagination aside.

I'm not saying that pacifism, or any kind of breathing/meditative work is bad - just that it won't help you much in the kind of situations that we're discussing. If you think it will - then no need to get on the mat at all.

Best,

Chris

graham christian
04-14-2012, 02:35 PM
Here's a funny thing, kind people and kind and wise people are usually fiercely protected by those who know them.

An old kind lady who ran a small cafe on portobello market never got any trouble from the local hoods or drug dealers or louts and in fact got the utmost respect from them.

I think she survived much longer and was much happier than most of those too.

Peace.G.

bothhandsclapping
04-14-2012, 03:04 PM
FWIW, I lived for 13 years in a gang-ridden neighborhood in Chicago. Been in a good portion of the sleazy bars there. Here in Albuquerque, every day for 3 years at 7am, ! would walk several miles to work through what we affectionately call the "War Zone." Total number of confrontations: 0

In the negative, isn't Darwin really saying that if you have 'protect' yourself then you aren't very useful?

Chris Li
04-14-2012, 04:29 PM
Here's a funny thing, kind people and kind and wise people are usually fiercely protected by those who know them.

An old kind lady who ran a small cafe on portobello market never got any trouble from the local hoods or drug dealers or louts and in fact got the utmost respect from them.

I think she survived much longer and was much happier than most of those too.

Peace.G.

Plenty of nice old ladies get mugged and killed every day - what's your point, that a nice old lady lives a better live than a drug dealer, or that military and police just aren't necessary if you think good thoughts?

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
04-14-2012, 04:31 PM
FWIW, I lived for 13 years in a gang-ridden neighborhood in Chicago. Been in a good portion of the sleazy bars there. Here in Albuquerque, every day for 3 years at 7am, ! would walk several miles to work through what we affectionately call the "War Zone." Total number of confrontations: 0

In the negative, isn't Darwin really saying that if you have 'protect' yourself then you aren't very useful?

And then, thousands of nice kind people are mugged and killed every year - that you haven't been proves exactly nothing.

About Darwin - no.

What do you think about Kisshomaru's statement that his father was not a pacifist?

Best,

Chris

Rob Watson
04-14-2012, 05:27 PM
If we accept evolution and natural selection (or if we don't then fine), but if we do, then to quote Darwin ...

"I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term Natural Selection"


Acceptance and understanding are different beasties.

graham christian
04-14-2012, 05:35 PM
Plenty of nice old ladies get mugged and killed every day - what's your point, that a nice old lady lives a better live than a drug dealer, or that military and police just aren't necessary if you think good thoughts?

Best,

Chris

What do you mean what's my point? I already made it. I didn't say any little old lady thank you. I'll repeat it just for you.

Kind people are fiercely protected by those who know them. This kind of adds a little extra to trying to compare animals to humans using darwinian theory.

The sword I use is the sword of kindness. I'll leave you to work that one out.

Peace.G.

Chris Li
04-14-2012, 06:04 PM
What do you mean what's my point? I already made it. I didn't say any little old lady thank you. I'll repeat it just for you.

Kind people are fiercely protected by those who know them. This kind of adds a little extra to trying to compare animals to humans using darwinian theory.

The sword I use is the sword of kindness. I'll leave you to work that one out.

Peace.G.

Frankly, that's meaningless. All that does is shift the requirement for your defense to somebody else who may (or may not) be willing to protect you. It also doesn't work - just look at all the kind people slaughtered throughout history.

Best,

Chris

bothhandsclapping
04-14-2012, 06:27 PM
Of course there's a difference between a proof and a data point, and as you can imagine that there are plenty of data points that show that average folks get on quite well in rough areas, that the majority of deaths in these high crime areas are gang and drug related, that concealed carry laws due decrease the incidence of crime, that bad-asses die, that innocents suffer, etc.

So, without a whole lot of thought, we would have to conclude that it just comes down to personal, quality of life decisions. If you are happier studying a martial art, thinking that you will need it to one day defend yourself, then have at it.

After getting a shodan in aikido, early 90's, I thought I'd do some cross-training in a very self-defense oriented, northern style kung fu. I gave it a shot, a little over a year (while still studying aikido). I finally stopped when I started getting crazy thoughts like ... "If that person makes a move, I could take out a knee, elbow to the temple and thumb to the eye" I was not seeing a fellow human, I was seeing a set of potential target areas. I hadn't had those thoughts doing aikido, and haven't had them since.

graham christian
04-14-2012, 06:39 PM
Frankly, that's meaningless. All that does is shift the requirement for your defense to somebody else who may (or may not) be willing to protect you. It also doesn't work - just look at all the kind people slaughtered throughout history.

Best,

Chris

Actually it does work for it is true. History is written in the form of agrressiveness and how it does this and that as if it's natural. So like sheep people follow it.

Maybe they should study the history of kindness and peace for it not only clears up all the mess created by war and the theory of darwin put into the human realm but it is the kindness which saves people in wars and bad situations. Thus even in such chaotic and destructive circumstances the instances of courage and kindness shine like beacons such is the power of it.

They are so bright and heartwarming that I feel sorry for those who can't see it for they truly must be blind.

Plus I think you will find the aggressive in both war and life get slaughtered too and in far greater number. Those interested in glory fail to mention this glaringly obvious fact and thus they glory in death.

Even the 'fighting' monks, who by the way were more feared than the samurai, and developed more skill and internal skills than them or any martial arts had one major difference. The Samourai and so called fierce warriors actually meditated on being dead already in an effort to be fearless whilst the fearless monks had a different all powerful stability and that was that they meditated on life. So you could say the one point or center of the samurai was death yet quite opposite to the one point of the monks.

Life always wins and war always loses and when mankind destroys itself then life will carry on regardless.

The true reality cannot be hidden by such history of empires and strength for they rise and fall in there arrogance and rightness and ignorance, unaware of the true power of life of which kindness is the golden light so to speak.

All seekers of so called internal strength will hopefully come to realize these things eventually and understand Aikido. God willing.

Peace.G.

Chris Li
04-14-2012, 06:45 PM
All seekers of so called internal strength will hopefully come to realize these things eventually and understand Aikido. God willing.

Peace.G.

Dude, you don't even know what you don't know. I'll be back when the conversation gets back to the Floating Bridge of Heaven (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-04-08/aikido-and-the-floating-bridge-of-heaven).

Best,

Chris

graham christian
04-14-2012, 09:02 PM
Bless. It's all good, said all I have to say on the matter.

Peace.G.

bothhandsclapping
04-15-2012, 11:20 AM
and so we observe the floating bridge manifested in a thread ... starting from a singularity of pure potential (in this case, the potential of humans to create ideas and make associations). an idea forms ... yang and yin inevitably appear - the yang of affirmation, advancing the original idea, the yin of negation, in terms of countering ideas. yang and yin in concert as they always are - asmutually opposing activities. there will always be a point of maximum activity and the cycle predicts that we will inevitably come to a point where the thread ceases - yang and yin will disappear. and what is left? a singularity of pure potential (the floating bridge) ... in this case, the mind's ability to create ideas and make associations, waiting for the idea that spawns the next thread ... marvelous!

Tom Verhoeven
04-15-2012, 11:21 AM
Well...no, I've seen plenty of frail folks get picked on or beat up. Just take a look at nature - the weak ones in the herd get cut out first, all imagination aside.

Best,

Chris

That is a myth. I used to work for the city-council of Amsterdam and studied the yearly figures; the people that are most likely to be a victim of violence are young males in there teens and early twenties. Young, aggressive, dominant men who have an urge to prove something. Hormone-driven they will always find a reason to pick a fight with another young man with the same attitude.
These figures have been compared to figures in other cities all over the world. Same results everywhere.

It is not possible to compare it with predators in nature who try to cut out one animal out of a herd. But even if we would want to make that comparison; it is not true that it is always the weak that gets cut out. Many times it is the weak (the young) that are best protected.

Funny thing is; I usually get to hear this "weak frail old lady that gets raped, mugged and murdered" myth from people who are training martial arts. Is saving such an elderly lady an archetypical phantasy for everyone who is into martial arts?

One of the inspiring notions of being in balance with heaven and earth as we stand on the heavenly floating bridge is that there is no longer a need for anyone to attack us. That seems to me a form of strength or power that is worth working towards.

Tom

Chris Li
04-15-2012, 11:54 AM
That is a myth. I used to work for the city-council of Amsterdam and studied the yearly figures; the people that are most likely to be a victim of violence are young males in there teens and early twenties. Young, aggressive, dominant men who have an urge to prove something. Hormone-driven they will always find a reason to pick a fight with another young man with the same attitude.
These figures have been compared to figures in other cities all over the world. Same results everywhere.

It is not possible to compare it with predators in nature who try to cut out one animal out of a herd. But even if we would want to make that comparison; it is not true that it is always the weak that gets cut out. Many times it is the weak (the young) that are best protected.

Funny thing is; I usually get to hear this "weak frail old lady that gets raped, mugged and murdered" myth from people who are training martial arts. Is saving such an elderly lady an archetypical phantasy for everyone who is into martial arts?

One of the inspiring notions of being in balance with heaven and earth as we stand on the heavenly floating bridge is that there is no longer a need for anyone to attack us. That seems to me a form of strength or power that is worth working towards.

Tom

Violent crime in general, yes - but the elderly are more likely to be victims of violent crime by strangers, according to the US Department of Justice statistics.

None of which matters - you pointed out yourself that young people are more likely to put themselves in a situation where such a thing will occur, and the fact that someone else gets attacked too doesn't eliminate the problem for the elderly.

The point is - there is no inherent protection in appearing frail and weak. The discussion had nothing to do about "fantasies of saving an elderly lady", which wasn't even mentioned until you brought it up - I suggest that you go back and read the thread.

Being at a point where there is no need for anyone to attack us (although I question whether such a point can actually be reached) is all well and good, but that's not what I'm talking about here.

The Floating Bridge of Heaven (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-04-08/aikido-and-the-floating-bridge-of-heaven) as described by Ueshiba really has nothing to do with "being in balance with Heaven and Earth" in that sense. He is describing a training methodology, a very old one, and one that has to do with martial application.

Best,

Chris

Tom Verhoeven
04-15-2012, 02:45 PM
Violent crime in general, yes - but the elderly are more likely to be victims of violent crime by strangers, according to the US Department of Justice statistics.

None of which matters - you pointed out yourself that young people are more likely to put themselves in a situation where such a thing will occur, and the fact that someone else gets attacked too doesn't eliminate the problem for the elderly.

The point is - there is no inherent protection in appearing frail and weak. The discussion had nothing to do about "fantasies of saving an elderly lady", which wasn't even mentioned until you brought it up - I suggest that you go back and read the thread.

Being at a point where there is no need for anyone to attack us (although I question whether such a point can actually be reached) is all well and good, but that's not what I'm talking about here.

The Floating Bridge of Heaven (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-04-08/aikido-and-the-floating-bridge-of-heaven) as described by Ueshiba really has nothing to do with "being in balance with Heaven and Earth" in that sense. He is describing a training methodology, a very old one, and one that has to do with martial application.

Best,

Chris

Well, excuse me for bringing up a seemingly new point to the discussion. I did not realize there was a rule on this forum that said this is not allowed.

I never said that appearing frail and weak gives an inherent protection. But being strong and aggressive does not give any inherent protection either.

I tend to see dominance, aggression and arrogance as appearances of inner weakness. If not visible immediate, then in the long run. It should not be the direction for Aikido to go. O Sensei pointed in a different direction. Several of the traditional ryu did as well. In accordance with the classic philosophers.
They all seem to have in common a striving towards a natural, everyday, calm and kind mind with a body reflecting that. And I would call that a strength, not a weakness. And as I said, that strength is worthwhile pursuing, for anyone, but especially those who are into Budo or more specifically Aikido.

Your search seems to be about another kind of strength, but from your writing it is not altogether clear what it is that you are looking for. But I do get the impression that it is something different from what the ancient philosophers were writing about, different from what classical ryu were aiming at and different as what is being taught at the Shinto- Shingon and Zen schools.

The floating bridge of heaven may very well be a description of Ueshiba's training method - and you seem to suggest it as a specific training method to gain inner strength for a martial application. You present this here as a fact, but the truth is that a lot is mere speculation, guessing or interpretation.

I am interested in where you are going with this, but up till now you have not delivered the goods.

Best,

Tom

Chris Li
04-15-2012, 06:07 PM
Well, excuse me for bringing up a seemingly new point to the discussion. I did not realize there was a rule on this forum that said this is not allowed.

I never said that appearing frail and weak gives an inherent protection. But being strong and aggressive does not give any inherent protection either.

I tend to see dominance, aggression and arrogance as appearances of inner weakness. If not visible immediate, then in the long run. It should not be the direction for Aikido to go. O Sensei pointed in a different direction. Several of the traditional ryu did as well. In accordance with the classic philosophers.
They all seem to have in common a striving towards a natural, everyday, calm and kind mind with a body reflecting that. And I would call that a strength, not a weakness. And as I said, that strength is worthwhile pursuing, for anyone, but especially those who are into Budo or more specifically Aikido.

Again, you're arguing against something that hasn't been brought up. Nobody here has said that being calm and kind is a bad thing. Nobody here has said that being strong and aggressive (in the way that I think you're talking about) is a good thing. They have said that being calm alone is not going to provide you with much protection against an attacker.


Your search seems to be about another kind of strength, but from your writing it is not altogether clear what it is that you are looking for. But I do get the impression that it is something different from what the ancient philosophers were writing about, different from what classical ryu were aiming at and different as what is being taught at the Shinto- Shingon and Zen schools.

The floating bridge of heaven may very well be a description of Ueshiba's training method - and you seem to suggest it as a specific training method to gain inner strength for a martial application. You present this here as a fact, but the truth is that a lot is mere speculation, guessing or interpretation.

I am interested in where you are going with this, but up till now you have not delivered the goods.

Best,

Tom

Well, I've laid out my arguments, with references to the Founder and to external supporting resources. The arguments could well be more complete - but I'm not going to go there in the context of a blog, which I think should keep to the basic outline.

I'd love to see your explanation of it, with similar references (I'm not kidding - I'd like to to see more people digging into these things).

The physical expression of what I'm writing about is happening in many places around the world right at this moment - I think that Dan is in London today if you can get across the channel - he'll be in Holland next weekend if you can't.

Best,

Chris

Tom Verhoeven
04-15-2012, 09:28 PM
Again, you're arguing against something that hasn't been brought up. Nobody here has said that being calm and kind is a bad thing. Nobody here has said that being strong and aggressive (in the way that I think you're talking about) is a good thing. They have said that being calm alone is not going to provide you with much protection against an attacker.

Well, I've laid out my arguments, with references to the Founder and to external supporting resources. The arguments could well be more complete - but I'm not going to go there in the context of a blog, which I think should keep to the basic outline.

I'd love to see your explanation of it, with similar references (I'm not kidding - I'd like to to see more people digging into these things).

The physical expression of what I'm writing about is happening in many places around the world right at this moment - I think that Dan is in London today if you can get across the channel - he'll be in Holland next weekend if you can't.

Best,

Chris

This conversation is starting to sound like Abbott and Costello's "who's on first".

I am not arguing against anything here!

I am trying to express what inner strength could mean. Or what it means to me. Or what I have learned from my teachers. Or what I have found in the religious/philosophical/martial traditions that I have studied. One of these expressions of inner strength is a mental and physical calmness and even kindness. To an onlooker this may come across as weakness. Hence the start of this part of the discussion. But in the Budo tradition we learn to look closer - is there really a weakness or a suki here? There are pictures of O Sensei where he seems very relaxed and he is also getting older. Yet if you look at him, is there really a suki?
The calmness, the kindness and even the politeness that I am talking about are all part of Aiki awareness. Just as creativity is. And that is to be found in the story of Izanagi and Izanami and the floating bridge of heaven (as you translate it).

If you are saying that this is not what you mean by inner strength or Aiki for that matter, fine! I am open to new ideas or different approaches. And if you want to put them on your website first or publish it in a book - I'll be patient!

But untill that time could you stop throwing sand in my eyes? I still have no definition of what you mean by inner strength or of this different kind of Aiki. It is, as you stated, not what the students of O Sensei are doing, it has not really to do with breathing as Dan Harden stated (I take it for granted that you agree with him), which is a statement if I may add that goes against all traditions, including Western tradition and clarifies...nothing. According to you O Sensei showed it (do we have it on tape?) but he did not teach it, you pointed out. It is not muscle power, it is not aggression or dominance? Is it similar to what Takuan Soho is talking about? Is it something universal? Can I apply it while riding my horse? Or drawing my longbow?

If you would ask me how a horse looks like I could give you a fair description of a horse or as Plato would put it the idea of a horse. I would not ask of you to run after a particular horse.
I can accept that Dan Harden is the physical expression of your ideas. I might say the same of my teachers. What I find unacceptable is that you would consider him as the sole person who can physically express this new found but very old concept of inner strength or concept of Aiki in the world.
Even O Sensei himself referred to others, even outside the Aiki tradition, as exponents of deep understanding of Aiki. In my classes I give examples from other disciplines so my students can come to a better and quicker understanding of what they should be looking for. Teachers in other disciplines do the same. I had a university-teacher of math as an Aikido student in my class. He was able to teach me complex theories of math with all kinds of examples from daily life.
Now if you can do that then you are giving a true example of genuine transmission of knowledge.

You give me nothing to work on.
Yes, you have laid out your arguments, yes you gave references to the founder and yes you gave external supporting resources. But of what?
It is not just that it is incomplete. Nothing that you mention is new to anybody who is familiar with the Shinto traditions. The only real improvement lies in the translations of O Sensei's words. But where does that show us proof of a different idea of Aiki? Or a different idea of inner strength? Where does it point to only a martial application? And where does this idea of only a martial application come from? Not from the classics that I have read!

You give your approach the smell of science, but it is not really a scientific approach. It is only meant to "prove" your own doctrine. You are not really open for contributions from others. Unless they have anything to add to what you are already saying. That is not the critical mind of a scientist.

And sure, I would love to give an explanation of "it" and a list of references. If only I knew what you meant by "it".

Nevertheless, I am curious to your next "revelations" on your website.

All the best with your search,

Gassho,

Tom

Chris Li
04-15-2012, 09:55 PM
This conversation is starting to sound like Abbott and Costello's "who's on first".

I am not arguing against anything here!

I am trying to express what inner strength could mean. Or what it means to me. Or what I have learned from my teachers. Or what I have found in the religious/philosophical/martial traditions that I have studied. One of these expressions of inner strength is a mental and physical calmness and even kindness. To an onlooker this may come across as weakness. Hence the start of this part of the discussion. But in the Budo tradition we learn to look closer - is there really a weakness or a suki here? There are pictures of O Sensei where he seems very relaxed and he is also getting older. Yet if you look at him, is there really a suki?

Look, you stepped right into a conversation already in progress. That means that what you say gets taken in with the context of the conversation. Otherwise, best to start a new thread.


I can accept that Dan Harden is the physical expression of your ideas. I might say the same of my teachers. What I find unacceptable is that you would consider him as the sole person who can physically express this new found but very old concept of inner strength or concept of Aiki in the world.

That, I never said. I said that Dan was near you and could show you physically what we're talking about - there are numerous others who could do so as well.



You give me nothing to work on.
Yes, you have laid out your arguments, yes you gave references to the founder and yes you gave external supporting resources. But of what?
It is not just that it is incomplete. Nothing that you mention is new to anybody who is familiar with the Shinto traditions. The only real improvement lies in the translations of O Sensei's words. But where does that show us proof of a different idea of Aiki? Or a different idea of inner strength? Where does it point to only a martial application? And where does this idea of only a martial application come from? Not from the classics that I have read!

You give your approach the smell of science, but it is not really a scientific approach. It is only meant to "prove" your own doctrine. You are not really open for contributions from others. Unless they have anything to add to what you are already saying. That is not the critical mind of a scientist.

And sure, I would love to give an explanation of "it" and a list of references. If only I knew what you meant by "it".

Nevertheless, I am curious to your next "revelations" on your website.

All the best with your search,

Gassho,

Tom

Tom - you really haven't given any contributions to be critical of, so far as I could see, just some general statements that weren't really all that relevant to the post in question.

Anyway, the blogs aren't meant to "prove" anything - and I've said that in the blogs themselves, more than once. I'm just trying to point towards some of the deeper implications.

Are there other, philosophical implications? Sure there are - but those are, and must be (according to Ueshiba) founded upon and connected to the physical training methodology. So saying that, for example, being calm is an important goal is good - but how you get there is specific to Ueshiba's training method, so saying that being calm is Heaven-Earth-Man is not, IMO, quite correct, since that is really the effect and not the cause.

Best,

Chris

niall
04-22-2012, 10:02 AM
I did a blog post this week on Izanagi and Izanami (http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/moon-in-the-water-19051/myth-izanagi-izanami-and-the-leech-child-4487/) from a literary and mythological point of view.

Chris Li
04-15-2016, 08:00 AM
Now in Romanian (http://aikido-jurnal.ro/index.php?pagina=art_209), courtesy of Aikido Jurnal. The original English version is available on the Aikido Sangenkai blog (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/aikido-floating-bridge-heaven/).

Best,

Chris

Larry Feldman
04-26-2016, 03:10 PM
Chris - Many thanks for your translation work and the insights it provides. It is a great service to us all, and far more insightful than anything else I have read trying to 'explain' what O'Sensei was talking about.

Chris Li
04-26-2016, 03:37 PM
Chris - Many thanks for your translation work and the insights it provides. It is a great service to us all, and far more insightful than anything else I have read trying to 'explain' what O'Sensei was talking about.

Thanks Larry, I'm glad that you're finding them interesting!

Best,

Chris