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aiki-jujutsuka
08-22-2012, 01:50 PM
I've been trying to understand from a physical stand point how aiki works. The definition of ki I found on the internet was "circulating life energy". Now energy takes many different forms such as chemical, electrical, heat and light. There are also two types of energy - potential and kinetic. Another internet definition of the two types is potential energy is stored energy while kinetic is moving energy.

Our bodies use bio-chemical energy that we get from the breakdown of nutrients. This bio-chemical reaction takes place as our bodies catabolise the nutrients. Catabolism and the energy produced by it is vital for our respiratory and circulatory systems as well as digestion.

How does this relate to aiki? Well the First Law of Thermodynamics states that energy cannot be destroyed only changed from one form to another. As aiki (generally speaking) is the harmonizing of energy then it complies with the First Law of Thermodynamics. The principle of blending and redirecting your attacker's energy so as to harmonize with the universe as found in Aikido is scientific as well as philosophical. Thus our potential energy as martial artists and practitioners of aikibudo is in correlation to the kinetic energy exerted by our attacker and consequently the kinetic energy used to defend ourselves will be equal to that of our attacker.

This may be old ground to many of you so forgive me if I am only repeating ideas that have been thoroughly debated before, but this has helped my understanding of the principles and practises of our aiki arts. If anyone can help me further to understand the dynamics of aiki I am eager to explore. :)

Millsy
08-22-2012, 02:51 PM
Firstly I can't resist appropriating my favorite line from Homer Simpson "In this dojo we obey the laws of thermodynamics", of course he was referring to entropy.

Interesting thoughts, I've seen a number of physics based aikido analogies, the following came to mind that you might be interested in : http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/osensei-einstein.htm

Mike Hamer
08-22-2012, 11:02 PM
ki-netic energy :)

Dave de Vos
08-23-2012, 02:06 AM
As aiki (generally speaking) is the harmonizing of energy then it complies with the First Law of Thermodynamics. The principle of blending and redirecting your attacker's energy so as to harmonize with the universe as found in Aikido is scientific as well as philosophical.

I'd be surprised if someone can give a scientifically sound explanation. I'm not trying to be negative, but I see several issues with this question.

In general, using conservation laws like the law of energy conservation to solve physical problems works so well because it enables one to ignore many details. One may not even know how it works in detail, but one can still calculate the numbers. That is the power of those laws. Statistical mechanics (most of the details) were only discovered after the classical conservation laws were discovered. And quantum statistics (the full details) were discovered even later.

Body mechanics is a complex subject. Of course one can calculate the numbers by leaving out details, by viewing the body as a simple object and then using conservation laws. But that doesn't tell you much about what goes on inside (see point 1).

I think that the validity of any scientific analysis depends on the validity of ones initial assumptions. But I don't think there exists full agreement on the definition of aiki that you give. Many may agree with that definition (it can be found on Wikipedia), but then again, I think that many who are actively seeking and studying aiki will disagree with it.

Even if someone is able to give you a satisfactory scientifically sound answer, what do you expect to gain by that knowledge? Learning about aiki is interesting indeed, but it's not the same as learning aiki.

Rob Watson
08-23-2012, 12:15 PM
I'd be surprised if someone can give a scientifically sound explanation. I'm not trying to be negative, but I see several issues with this question.

In general, using conservation laws like the law of energy conservation to solve physical problems works so well because it enables one to ignore many details. One may not even know how it works in detail, but one can still calculate the numbers. That is the power of those laws. Statistical mechanics (most of the details) were only discovered after the classical conservation laws were discovered. And quantum statistics (the full details) were discovered even later.

Body mechanics is a complex subject. Of course one can calculate the numbers by leaving out details, by viewing the body as a simple object and then using conservation laws. But that doesn't tell you much about what goes on inside (see point 1).

I think that the validity of any scientific analysis depends on the validity of ones initial assumptions. But I don't think there exists full agreement on the definition of aiki that you give. Many may agree with that definition (it can be found on Wikipedia), but then again, I think that many who are actively seeking and studying aiki will disagree with it.

Even if someone is able to give you a satisfactory scientifically sound answer, what do you expect to gain by that knowledge? Learning about aiki is interesting indeed, but it's not the same as learning aiki.

And much like quantum mechanics simply knowing the equations does not help explain how to actually do something. For example, knowing the details of quantum tunneling does not particularly help in building a Josephson junction - takes more practical hands on experience in using vacuum deposition methods for that (depending on how you want to make your junction - and what you want to use it for).

Janet Rosen
08-23-2012, 12:26 PM
A law such as conservation of energy may be fixed. But a human being within her individual capabilities has many options for how much speed, strength or energy she chooses to use in any particular encounter. I may be missing something but am so far baffled by the implied connection of the two things. Can it be further explained? Thank you.

Millsy
08-23-2012, 01:13 PM
I may be missing something but am so far baffled by the implied connection of the two things. Can it be further explained? Thank you.

I think it comes down to Aikido's first law of conservation of energy: The harder you attack me the harder you hit the mat.

aiki-jujutsuka
08-24-2012, 08:45 AM
some great points, I'm just exploring and trying to understand I recognise that definitions of aiki are contested and I also understand that theory and practice are two different things. I'm no scientist, I just found the idea interesting, hopefully over the years the gaps in my understanding and practice will decrease as I gain more experience. :)

lbb
08-24-2012, 12:36 PM
Well, obviously there's a pure physics dimension of anything, including a martial art. That will give you at least some part of the answer to the question "How does it work?" And, for some people, that's all the answer they care about, maybe. It explains a lot. But it doesn't explain much of "Why does it work?" or maybe "Why does it happen?"

As a practical matter, I'd consider Tony's "Aikido's first law of conservation of energy". Understanding how what you put in equals what you get out is much more useful than trying to find the manifestation of abstract laws of theoretical physics.

miser
08-24-2012, 06:56 PM
I've been trying to understand from a physical stand point how aiki works. The definition of ki I found on the internet was "circulating life energy". Now energy takes many different forms such as chemical, electrical, heat and light. There are also two types of energy - potential and kinetic. Another internet definition of the two types is potential energy is stored energy while kinetic is moving energy.

Our bodies use bio-chemical energy that we get from the breakdown of nutrients. This bio-chemical reaction takes place as our bodies catabolise the nutrients. Catabolism and the energy produced by it is vital for our respiratory and circulatory systems as well as digestion.

How does this relate to aiki? Well the First Law of Thermodynamics states that energy cannot be destroyed only changed from one form to another. As aiki (generally speaking) is the harmonizing of energy then it complies with the First Law of Thermodynamics. The principle of blending and redirecting your attacker's energy so as to harmonize with the universe as found in Aikido is scientific as well as philosophical. Thus our potential energy as martial artists and practitioners of aikibudo is in correlation to the kinetic energy exerted by our attacker and consequently the kinetic energy used to defend ourselves will be equal to that of our attacker.

This may be old ground to many of you so forgive me if I am only repeating ideas that have been thoroughly debated before, but this has helped my understanding of the principles and practises of our aiki arts. If anyone can help me further to understand the dynamics of aiki I am eager to explore. :)

It will be difficult to connect the two concepts of ki and physical energy, since ki isn't an energy in the same way that physicists talk about energy. We can see this because the movements of a given person can be wholly expressed purely in physical terms known to science, such as mass and kinetic energy, without invoking ki or an equivalent. Ki, in my opinion, is more-or-less a convenient way to express otherwise very complex physical processes.

I would also say here that the first law of thermodynamics applies only to closed systems - that is, a system from which energy cannot be lost or gained. When taking a 'system' of two aikidoka practising together, conservation of energy is not present as energy dissipates outside the system, for example into the ground, or as body heat lost to the atmosphere, etc. Aikdo does, of course, comply with the first law of thermodynamics, but this is because all known classical physical processes comply with the first law of thermodynamics.

danj
08-25-2012, 05:25 AM
I think the great temptation is to treat Physics like we treat Ki, as a *cough* big tent. Many of the elements of science and physics just aren't so relevant except to what they are intended to study. Most frequently its jumping straight to quantum physics and the more esoteric (in the sense that its not so well understood) aspects of physics, when really as an aid to understanding aiki starting with the more mundane questions - such as where is my centre of mass?, where is the base of support? and some force diagrams can help a lot. I am sure the other stuff can help but KISS (keep it simple ) is the guiding though less attractive light.

aiki-jujutsuka
08-25-2012, 06:14 AM
I think the great temptation is to treat Physics like we treat Ki, as a *cough* big tent. Many of the elements of science and physics just aren't so relevant except to what they are intended to study. Most frequently its jumping straight to quantum physics and the more esoteric (in the sense that its not so well understood) aspects of physics, when really as an aid to understanding aiki starting with the more mundane questions - such as where is my centre of mass?, where is the base of support? and some force diagrams can help a lot. I am sure the other stuff can help but KISS (keep it simple ) is the guiding though less attractive light.

I can see now my comparison is flawed, however this thread has raised some really interesting points (at least to me). Would you mind elaborating on these force diagrams you mention? You also refer to 'mundane questions' could you enlighten me to the fundamental Aikido questions that all good Aikidoka should know in regards their practice.

Thank you :)

Millsy
08-25-2012, 10:17 PM
I wouldn't say flawed, such physical systems as two people interacting are complex, but we often use concepts we understand as analogies for what we do. I'm sure we've all been given instructions in class such as: "pick up a boulder and lay it on your uke's chest". Such things help form an image in our mind of what we are trying to do. If you have a concept that helps you visualize what you're doing, I think go for it.

By the way Ewen, check out Daniels AikiPhysics link in signature block to see his articles on physics and Aikido, interesting stuff I think, and he has a few force diagrams.

Young-In Park
08-27-2012, 02:04 AM
Dear aiki-jujutsuka,

I can see now my comparison is flawed, however this thread has raised some really interesting points (at least to me). Would you mind elaborating on these force diagrams you mention? You also refer to 'mundane questions' could you enlighten me to the fundamental Aikido questions that all good Aikidoka should know in regards their practice.


the only thing that all good aikidoka should know in regards to their practice is not to ask questions. in aikido, function follows form. by taking your line of inquiry, it is disrespectful and heretical to your senpai, sensei, shihan, association, organization and/or style.

if you want to know how techniques actually work, you're better off studying another martial art other than aikido. but if you want to become a better person who strives for personal development and growth, then study aikido.

YoungIn Park

Chris Li
08-27-2012, 02:47 AM
Dear aiki-jujutsuka,

the only thing that all good aikidoka should know in regards to their practice is not to ask questions. in aikido, function follows form. by taking your line of inquiry, it is disrespectful and heretical to your senpai, sensei, shihan, association, organization and/or style.

if you want to know how techniques actually work, you're better off studying another martial art other than aikido. but if you want to become a better person who strives for personal development and growth, then study aikido.

YoungIn Park

Of course, since you can't ask any questions, how do you know that Aikido actually gets you to personal development and growth?

Also, by your line of reasoning, how do you figure that Morihei Ueshiba wasn't disrespectful and heretical to his senpai, sensei, shihan, association, organization and/or style?

I'm sorry, but if you believe the above then you're in a cult, IMO.

Best,

Chris

danj
08-27-2012, 04:46 AM
Dear aiki-jujutsuka,

the only thing that all good aikidoka should know in regards to their practice is not to ask questions. in aikido, function follows form. by taking your line of inquiry, it is disrespectful and heretical to your senpai, sensei, shihan, association, organization and/or style.

if you want to know how techniques actually work, you're better off studying another martial art other than aikido. but if you want to become a better person who strives for personal development and growth, then study aikido.

YoungIn Park

Imitate or innovate..its a tricky one

aiki-jujutsuka
08-27-2012, 08:26 AM
Of course, since you can't ask any questions, how do you know that Aikido actually gets you to personal development and growth?

Also, by your line of reasoning, how do you figure that Morihei Ueshiba wasn't disrespectful and heretical to his senpai, sensei, shihan, association, organization and/or style?

I'm sorry, but if you believe the above then you're in a cult, IMO.

Best,

Chris

Thank you, that comment unnerved me alittle.

@ Daniel James I loved the aikiphysics articles, they were very informative and thought provoking :)

Millsy
08-27-2012, 09:47 AM
Imitate or innovate..its a tricky one

Looking back on my Aikido recently, this is a question that has occurred to me. I was reminded of my first sensei, his attitude was: his sensei spent many years on the mat with O'sensei, and he has copied what every movement his sensei did, we should observe and copy exactly everything movement that our sensei does, that way we learn the aikido O'sensei taught.

In someways this can make sense, but I'm reminded of a Michael Keating film where he copies himself, and they copy themselves, and Michael asks whats wrong with that one, and they answer, "you know when you make a copy of a copy of a copy it doesn't turn out right".

Don't get me wrong I still consider my first Sensei an excellent Aikido-da and his Sensei (Saito) amazing, I just feel that Aikido is more than body position, and the angle you fingers are spread apart. So any ideas or insights we can gain to what going on can only help.

On the innovation front, I think that's a natural and unavoidable part of any art. I remember seeing a video of Saito saying he taught what he learnt from O'sensei and other are teaching what they learned and they all took different thing out of it. I think its natural of O'sensei students, many of whom are masters in their own right, to be maybe 80% of what O'sensei taught and 20% of their own personality/style (all statistics are made up :)). We know Saito doesn't look like Shioda, doesn't look like Tohei, doesn't look like Nisho ... etc.

Personally I'm still at the learning stage. Still so much to learn and a long time, if ever, before I'd have a tool chest big enough to think of innovating, but I love learning from those that do.

aiki-jujutsuka
08-27-2012, 10:39 AM
Looking back on my Aikido recently, this is a question that has occurred to me. I was reminded of my first sensei, his attitude was: his sensei spent many years on the mat with O'sensei, and he has copied what every movement his sensei did, we should observe and copy exactly everything movement that our sensei does, that way we learn the aikido O'sensei taught.

In someways this can make sense, but I'm reminded of a Michael Keating film where he copies himself, and they copy themselves, and Michael asks whats wrong with that one, and they answer, "you know when you make a copy of a copy of a copy it doesn't turn out right".

Don't get me wrong I still consider my first Sensei an excellent Aikido-da and his Sensei (Saito) amazing, I just feel that Aikido is more than body position, and the angle you fingers are spread apart. So any ideas or insights we can gain to what going on can only help.

On the innovation front, I think that's a natural and unavoidable part of any art. I remember seeing a video of Saito saying he taught what he learnt from O'sensei and other are teaching what they learned and they all took different thing out of it. I think its natural of O'sensei students, many of whom are masters in their own right, to be maybe 80% of what O'sensei taught and 20% of their own personality/style (all statistics are made up :)). We know Saito doesn't look like Shioda, doesn't look like Tohei, doesn't look like Nisho ... etc.

Personally I'm still at the learning stage. Still so much to learn and a long time, if ever, before I'd have a tool chest big enough to think of innovating, but I love learning from those that do.

I have just finished watching Katsuyuki Kondo's What is Aiki? dvd and in it he mentions the fact that one day his younger brother will take over the hombu of Daito Ryu AJJ and that his brother's interpretation of aiki & his teaching of Daito-Ryu AJJ will be slightly different from his. He concedes this is natural and said nothing was wrong with it.

I think it's only natural, especially as aiki arts are internal arts that we interpret things slightly differently from our teachers, we know how our body mechanics work and which techniques suit our bodies and abilities better than others. Most of my instructors are thicker set men than I am and shorter too, they are also considerably older than I am so their bodies are not as agile as they used to be. One of my instructors used to box and so atemis are very important to his AJJ, another likes to keep things very simple and stresses the small circle movement of our kata, still another loves experimenting with henka waza and coming up with different solutions to hypothetical attacks. They all offer something different and help me with the different aspects to AJJ.

Young-In Park
08-27-2012, 09:08 PM
Dear Mr. Li,

Of course, since you can't ask any questions, how do you know that Aikido actually gets you to personal development and growth?

Also, by your line of reasoning, how do you figure that Morihei Ueshiba wasn't disrespectful and heretical to his senpai, sensei, shihan, association, organization and/or style?

I'm sorry, but if you believe the above then you're in a cult, IMO.


I know I achieve personal development and growth when my sensei tells me I have achieved enlightenment. The most tangible metric of my personal development and growth is my rank in aikido. instead of ranks based on technical proficiency in the art, i've voluntarily subordinated myself to a system where rank is rewarded on the basis of sycophantic actions towards the sensei, shihan, dojo, association, organization and/or style.

i've heard the argument in aikido that its disrespectful not to do exactly what the sensei is doing and that it is very important to do preserve the lineage by faithfully following the instructional methodologies as you've learned them. and yet Ueshiba clearly took a divergent path than that of Takeda and Daito-ryu, the technical basis of aikido. however, any student of Japanese history knows that inconvienent inconsistencies should be overlooked in order to promote the outward image of the senpai, sensei, dojo, shihan, association, organization and/or style.

Personally, I don't care for your opinion that I'm in a cult. "[Civility] is claiming and caring for one's identity, needs and beliefs without degrading someone else's in the process." I would appreciate it in future communication that you conduct yourself in a more civil and respectful manner.

trying to maintain the wa,
YoungIn Park

Chris Li
08-27-2012, 09:16 PM
Dear Mr. Li,

I know I achieve personal development and growth when my sensei tells me I have achieved enlightenment. The most tangible metric of my personal development and growth is my rank in aikido. instead of ranks based on technical proficiency in the art, i've voluntarily subordinated myself to a system where rank is rewarded on the basis of sycophantic actions towards the sensei, shihan, dojo, association, organization and/or style.

i've heard the argument in aikido that its disrespectful not to do exactly what the sensei is doing and that it is very important to do preserve the lineage by faithfully following the instructional methodologies as you've learned them. and yet Ueshiba clearly took a divergent path than that of Takeda and Daito-ryu, the technical basis of aikido. however, any student of Japanese history knows that inconvienent inconsistencies should be overlooked in order to promote the outward image of the senpai, sensei, dojo, shihan, association, organization and/or style.

Personally, I don't care for your opinion that I'm in a cult. "[Civility] is claiming and caring for one's identity, needs and beliefs without degrading someone else's in the process." I would appreciate it in future communication that you conduct yourself in a more civil and respectful manner.

trying to maintain the wa,
YoungIn Park

Honestly, I have no idea what you're trying to say.

Best,

Chris

danj
08-28-2012, 12:52 AM
Thank you, that comment unnerved me alittle.

@ Daniel James I loved the aikiphysics articles, they were very informative and thought provoking :)

Thanks Ewen and glad they were of some use, To be sure they are incomplete and probably only a first order approximation (at best ) of understanding. Whilst somewhat autobiographical they have also allowed/facilitated conversation and dialogue. I hope to get better....

mrlizard123
08-28-2012, 05:38 AM
Dear Mr. Li,

I know I achieve personal development and growth when my sensei tells me I have achieved enlightenment. The most tangible metric of my personal development and growth is my rank in aikido. instead of ranks based on technical proficiency in the art, i've voluntarily subordinated myself to a system where rank is rewarded on the basis of sycophantic actions towards the sensei, shihan, dojo, association, organization and/or style.

i've heard the argument in aikido that its disrespectful not to do exactly what the sensei is doing and that it is very important to do preserve the lineage by faithfully following the instructional methodologies as you've learned them. and yet Ueshiba clearly took a divergent path than that of Takeda and Daito-ryu, the technical basis of aikido. however, any student of Japanese history knows that inconvienent inconsistencies should be overlooked in order to promote the outward image of the senpai, sensei, dojo, shihan, association, organization and/or style.

Personally, I don't care for your opinion that I'm in a cult. "[Civility] is claiming and caring for one's identity, needs and beliefs without degrading someone else's in the process." I would appreciate it in future communication that you conduct yourself in a more civil and respectful manner.

trying to maintain the wa,
YoungIn Park

Is there some sort of sarcasm tag that should be around this? I'm a bit confused by the latter parts and can only make sense of the first part if it is meant in jest. :confused:

lbb
08-28-2012, 07:32 AM
Maybe one day we can have a thread that doesn't go toxic PDQ.

But that is not this day, nor any day soon, I'm thinking.

More and more and more discouraged about this forum,

Keith Larman
08-28-2012, 08:58 AM
Ignore list... :)

On the topic... I met a guy recently, a metallurgist, who told me all sorts of stuff about how it is that what I do gets the results I get. He then brings out a blade he bought and "polished" himself with natural stones he found that he felt worked great. I stood there looking at a horribly shaped, rounded, partially dull blade with virtually nothing brought out in the finish. Everything from point A to point Z was "wrong".

I have no doubt he knows tons more than me about metallurgy. He apparently doesn't know jack about polishing it in the traditional style, however... :) And the fact that he apparently sincerely believed he did a good job showed how very little he knew about actually doing it. You often can't see what you don't already know. Sometimes you need to see it over and over again until it "pops" in to view. Then you're ready to see the next thing. Funny how that works...

Millsy
08-28-2012, 09:10 AM
Maybe one day we can have a thread that doesn't go toxic PDQ.

But that is not this day, nor any day soon, I'm thinking.

More and more and more discouraged about this forum,

Don't get caught in the strength of his grip, its but one point in space let him have it, you can ignore and move around it because the rest of space yours to do with as you wish. If we are talking analogies that is :)

phitruong
08-28-2012, 09:29 AM
Don't get caught in the strength of his grip, its but one point in space let him have it, you can ignore and move around it because the rest of space yours to do with as you wish. If we are talking analogies that is :)

i think we move into the quantum side of the fence here where two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time and be observable by a mime. :)

Millsy
08-28-2012, 09:48 AM
i think we move into the quantum side of the fence here where two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time and be observable by a mime. :)

Surely this is an Aikido metaphor, you can and are encouraged to occupy the others space. See how we can take the energy of an attack and use it to produce a positive outcomes.

PS. I think mimes would make great Aikido-ka, the ability to observe movements and copy them is useful, but I can see how they would get annoying on the mat: "how am I supposed to attack him, he seems to be stuck inside some sort of invisible box?" :p

danj
08-29-2012, 05:46 AM
Surely this is an Aikido metaphor, you can and are encouraged to occupy the others space. See how we can take the energy of an attack and use it to produce a positive outcomes.

PS. I think mimes would make great Aikido-ka, the ability to observe movements and copy them is useful, but I can see how they would get annoying on the mat: "how am I supposed to attack him, he seems to be stuck inside some sort of invisible box?" :p

And you wouldn't know if he was dead or not until you opened the box ;)

danj
08-29-2012, 06:01 AM
Ignore list... :)

You often can't see what you don't already know. Sometimes you need to see it over and over again until it "pops" in to view. Then you're ready to see the next thing. Funny how that works...

An apologia for science. Science and the scientific process is just a tool, Sometimes its used well, sometimes not so much. Like any tool it has limitations and a good tradesman has a bunch of tools, he right one for the right time. Its not the case in point for your experience (and i can just imagine several scenarios of some collegues doing similar goofy stuff in translating their science to something else) but i'm sure metallurgy has a lot to offer swordsmithing (is that the right word), but some times to get there ya gotta make a d*ck of yourself in the process of building up that knowledge from first principles.

For my own part physics etc.. has been a cool window for me to peer through and look at aiki (and its been helpful to me and others), but it's not for everyone as you have to get past the language or the discipline long enough to wield it creatively. Probably (heck certainly) its not a better tool than tradition, lineage, this or that root art etc... but there it is in my tool box, along with those other things i collect as i get to every damn aiki hardware store i can.

best,
dan

Keith Larman
08-29-2012, 10:24 AM
No need for an apologia, I was raised in a very "scientific" family. Dad was literally a rocket scientist and I spent years growing up in Madagascar because dad was working at a NASA tracking station outside Tananarive (Antananarivo now I suppose). I think a scientific approach to what's going on in Aikido would be a god-send for many discussions.

However, we'd first need to agree as to what it is. There's an old quote that I wish I could find again that said essentially that every study is biased by the questions we decide to ask. And therein lies the rub for me on many of these questions. First off we don't agree as a community as to exactly what it is we're doing. Is it the totally non-confrontational, relaxed, uber-blending/timing stuff that some excel at. Is it the more robust and acrobatic (no negative intended on my part here) stuff like you see from guys like Tissier. Is the the internal stuff many are now looking at that appears to involve vastly more complex phenomena than would be easily accounted for by just looking at localized muscle and bone structure (consider some stuff going on in functional fitness, yoga, and even high level runners where they're starting to realize that a slight rotation in the hand and wrist can somehow impact the speed of a runner -- why?). And on and on. The problem science faces with this domain, I think, is defining the domain itself before the study even begins. Then deciding what to look at. And do we have good models in the first place? It reminds me greatly of nutrition science. We are greatly limited in our thinking by what we think we know. We start off years ago knowing cholesterol seemed to be a marker for certain health problems. So we advice cutting cholesterol in the diet. Then we find there are different types of cholesterol, hdl and ldl, and one is "good" while the other "bad". Suggestions change a bit. Then they find VLDL, Triglycerides, intermediate density, chylomicrons ... Then we find that maybe it's not the cholesterol per se, but maybe saturated fat. Fat is cut in the diet. Then we find that carbohydrates seem to cause LDL rises and HDL lowering. Then it's transfats in the diet that replaced the bad for you butter (which itself seems to have some interesting compounds that may actually be good for lipid levels). Anyway, the point of this is that the understanding of "what's going on" changes constantly because our vocabulary is limited to what we know. So it goes back to something I've said before -- we need a better vocabulary to talk about some of this stuff. And we need to get more refined and rigorous about what's going on in the body. And then we can start to possibly get a better scientific understanding of what's actually going on. And hopefully get people more on the same page.

At one point in my life I was told the right way to eat was as little fat as possible. Fat, after all, had 9 calories per gram vs. 4 for carbs. So fill up on pasta, breads, etc. Eat some fruit and veggies. And watch out for cheese, milk, eggs and meats. It all made sense *given* what we knew, *given* the models we adapted. And we are the fattest generation ever.

Aikido needs some robust models. And some robust vocabulary. Then, maybe, the scientists have something to work with that will actually give useful results.

Jeremy Hulley
08-29-2012, 11:30 AM
Keith Great Post +1 and more.

danj
08-30-2012, 10:17 PM
However, we'd first need to agree as to what it is. There's an old quote that I wish I could find again that said essentially that every study is biased by the questions we decide to ask. And therein lies the rub for me on many of these questions.

Aikido needs some robust models. And some robust vocabulary. Then, maybe, the scientists have something to work with that will actually give useful results.

I think this is really an interesting point, science is guided by asking questions, whereas the eastern method is founded on just copy what sensei does. In this mix of cultures, asking questions isn't the right thing often.... and its a foreign concept traditionally.

My own personal journey of asking questions, and proffering explanations brought some public castigation....the world is probably a different place now though thankfully - though not without personalities.

The robust models and vocabulary I think are a real challenge, even on aikiweb we all speak a slightly different language, and many are quite educated in aikido. Bringing in additional scientific language and method can just bring in a barrier for many as there is a lot of training there that needs to have place, and why study science for 10 yrs when its time away from practicing martial arts right? As an aside I have been working my way through "Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law" its heavy on using scientific language, but i found, as a scientist, it was quite hard to read (I'm planning to write a review to explain more fully my views on what is a book with many pearls in it).

People seem to have a fairly negative view of science as a conspiracy/ mad scientist, its not surprising when this is what you see in most movies, also many have had a bad experience with it in school (mostly because school teachers just teach it as something you have to teach ...rather than really diggin it!). Then too are the progress science has made, with each generation learning more than the previous such as your nutrition example.

One of my favourite quotes is something Yoshigasaki Sensei said 'only when your concept of aikido improves will your aikido improve', there are plenty of concepts in aikido, be they analogy or something like KI, many have a root in science/mechanical models and i think there are a few more too at the micro and macro level. Waza/kata is another mode. All models if improperly used, are never learn't / discarded or internalised are limiting i guess

Anyways i start to rant

dan

lbb
08-31-2012, 09:29 AM
Asking questions isn't always helpful, particularly if your background is so limited that you won't understand the answer. In that case, it can be a real waste of time unless you, the person asking, are willing to hear the answer "This is a highly simplified answer, to understand the detailed answer you'd have to do a lot more study." If a person with no background in physics asks a question about quantum fields, what do you tell them, and what sort of answer should they be satisfied with?

Chris Li
08-31-2012, 10:13 AM
Asking questions isn't always helpful, particularly if your background is so limited that you won't understand the answer. In that case, it can be a real waste of time unless you, the person asking, are willing to hear the answer "This is a highly simplified answer, to understand the detailed answer you'd have to do a lot more study." If a person with no background in physics asks a question about quantum fields, what do you tell them, and what sort of answer should they be satisfied with?

Plenty of books out there that successfully explain quantum fields to people with no real physics backgrounds in understandable terms...

Best.

Chris

aiki-jujutsuka
08-31-2012, 11:07 AM
asking questions is a good thing if you're sincere. I'm no scientist but try to improve my understanding of science to help me grow as a person. I do the same thing as a martial artist of AJJ and I do the same thing about religion and philosophy as well. There is a link between Aikido and physics as there is also a link between Aikido and mathematics (geometry). That does not mean you have to take a reductionist approach to Aikido but an understanding of the mechanics of the art can lead to greater appreciation and insight. :)

Rob Watson
08-31-2012, 12:39 PM
Plenty of books out there that successfully explain quantum fields to people with no real physics backgrounds in understandable terms...

Best.

Chris

Yeah, but they won't be using Feynman diagrams anytime soon. Takes more than getting the gist of something to be able to make practical use of it. Not that Feynman diagrams will help anyones aikido ...

Chris Li
08-31-2012, 01:07 PM
Yeah, but they won't be using Feynman diagrams anytime soon. Takes more than getting the gist of something to be able to make practical use of it. Not that Feynman diagrams will help anyones aikido ...

Sure, but the basic concepts can and should be explainable.

I really don't hold much with the "It's just too hard for you to understand just shut up and trust me" school of thought.

Best,

Chris

Alex Megann
08-31-2012, 04:12 PM
Yeah, but they won't be using Feynman diagrams anytime soon. Takes more than getting the gist of something to be able to make practical use of it. Not that Feynman diagrams will help anyones aikido ...

Interesting comment, Rob - when I was studying this stuff was around the same time when I was first trying to teach aikido, and I was convinced that Feynman Diagrams somehow had a lot to do with aikido, and I often referred to them in class (I was also quite heavily into "the Tao of Physics" and the "Dancing Masters of Wu Li" at the time). The poor bemused students must have thought I was more than a little odd. These days I realise that back then I had only a slight understanding of either QED or aikido...

All the same, I have noticed over quite a few years that most of the members of the university dojo are either scientists or engineers. I have never worked out whether this was aikido itself or just my own slanted view of it.

Alex

Alex Megann
08-31-2012, 04:16 PM
asking questions is a good thing if you're sincere. I'm no scientist but try to improve my understanding of science to help me grow as a person. I do the same thing as a martial artist of AJJ and I do the same thing about religion and philosophy as well. There is a link between Aikido and physics as there is also a link between Aikido and mathematics (geometry). That does not mean you have to take a reductionist approach to Aikido but an understanding of the mechanics of the art can lead to greater appreciation and insight. :)

Now geometry has a LOT to do with aikido...

Alex

Rob Watson
08-31-2012, 05:34 PM
Sure, but the basic concepts can and should be explainable.

I really don't hold much with the "It's just too hard for you to understand just shut up and trust me" school of thought.

Best,

Chris

I never said nor implied such. A topical read of a deep subject is not worth more than a slight diversion. Expecting more is delusional.

"Energy is quantized" is hardly a synopsis of quantum mechanics. Right up there with "everything is relative" really has nothing to do with relativity.

I'm more of a "Don't believe me, figure it out on your own" kind of school of thought. Besdies, most items of interest are best found out through self discovery.

Chris Li
08-31-2012, 05:38 PM
I never said nor implied such. A topical read of a deep subject is not worth more than a slight diversion. Expecting more is delusional.

"Energy is quantized" is hardly a synopsis of quantum mechanics. Right up there with "everything is relative" really has nothing to do with relativity.

I'm more of a "Don't believe me, figure it out on your own" kind of school of thought. Besdies, most items of interest are best found out through self discovery.

Actually, I was replying to:

Asking questions isn't always helpful, particularly if your background is so limited that you won't understand the answer. In that case, it can be a real waste of time unless you, the person asking, are willing to hear the answer "This is a highly simplified answer, to understand the detailed answer you'd have to do a lot more study." If a person with no background in physics asks a question about quantum fields, what do you tell them, and what sort of answer should they be satisfied with?

Best,

Chris

Rob Watson
08-31-2012, 05:38 PM
successfully explain quantum fields

On another reading I got quite a chuckle here. I know quite a few quantum theorists that would debate that such a thing is even possible - they certainly squabble amongst themselves about this exact point to no end. Some of the founding greats almost came to fisticuffs over this very point.

Rob Watson
08-31-2012, 05:39 PM
Actually, I was replying to:

Best,

Chris

Oh, yeah, that's lame. Bet they pay dues on time tho ...

phitruong
08-31-2012, 06:02 PM
I
"Energy is quantized" is hardly a synopsis of quantum mechanics. Right up there with "everything is relative" really has nothing to do with relativity.
.

nope. you got that one wrong. it's "everyone is a relative" and it very much related to relativity theory, as in, the speed of your money disappear into black hole relates to whether you lend them out to your relatives or not.

Rob Watson
08-31-2012, 06:53 PM
"everyone is a relative"

Maybe for you but there is no blood of the mighty khan swimming in my veins. Better if some of my relatives stay under the rocks the frequent.

Entropy and the internet are made for each other.