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Keep one point.
Keep weight underside.
Maintain correct posture.
Coordinate mind and body.
Have positive mind.
I use these, and other, phrases a lot while in class, never however, in a vacuum. The phrases themselves while appearing instructive in nature do not actually transmit any useful information. What is one point and how I keep it? Keep weight underside of what? How do I feel when my posture is correct? What does it mean to coordinate mind and body? Positive mind, does that mean I have to be happy all the time?
The phrases are introduced in conjunction with Ki development exercises and are used to provide hooks upon which to hang feelings engendered when the exercises are performed correctly. The phrase provides me with a point of reference for recalling a set of feelings associated with the performance of a particular exercise. As I grow and get stronger the need for the words to trigger a physical response in me lessens until I can dispense with the association altogether and simply rely on having correct feeling.
Perform, associate, reinforce and do it again… and again… and again… It's the process that matters, not the individual outcome of any particular iteration.
Peter Goldsbury, from Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 12 wrote:
One might ask how Descartes' problems with skepticism and Neo's problems in the Matrix are relevant to aikido. The answer is that they are not, but the underlying assumptions are. One of the crucial issues with aikido is the degree to which one gives credence to various ‘internal' experiences that are not part and parcel of waza. The issue is compounded by lack of a common language that is immediately understood. This is evidenced by the following instructions, quoted earlier (numbered here for ease of reference):
1. Extend ki to your partner into his back at your right hand into his wrist at your left hand. 2. Do nothing. 3. Wait. 4. Focus your intent on having your partner accompany you. 5. Do nothing. 6. Wait. 7. Imagine both of you beginning to move in the direction his extended left hand is pointing. 8. Wait. 9. When you feel your partner begin to move, use only your ki to encourage him to continue. 10. Follow his lead as you lead him in the direction he wants to go.
This could cause a major problem if the partner does not do what nage intends. In addition, if the partner does indeed do what nage intends/imagines, there is still no demonstrable causal relationship between the intention/imagination and the subsequent action. We will see from the discussion on Wittgenstein that one of the issues with aikido, especially after Koichi Tohei split with the Aikikai, is that of the legitimacy of focusing on certain internal experiences that cannot be verified, except in
If I say, "apple," is the one you see the same as the one I see, or are they different?
Apple is too complex, let's reduce it to "red". If I say, "red," is the red you see the same as the red I see, or are they different? Now you may argue that "red" is defined by a particular wave length of light and that we can agree that wavelength = x is red. That's all very nice, but it doesn't tell us anything about how we perceive red. I can be shown light of wavelength x + dx where dx represents a change in x and call it red. You meanwhile could be shown light of wavelength x - dx and come to the same conclusion that it is red. Whose red is red?
Clearly, since we agreed at a prior point in time that wavelength x is red neither of us can be right. The wavelength of the light we were shown varied from x by some amount dx. We are forced to admit that our definition of red is, perhaps, to constrained to be of any use when dealing with human perception of color. To enable us to talk about red, as it is perceived by humans, in any meaningful manner we must expand our definition of what is red to include a spectrum of wavelengths.
Aikido is like red. We could attempt to define Aikido simply as the form of "what Ueshiba did" and leave it at that. Therefore if I am doing what Ueshiba did then I am doing Aikido. Simple really. The problem with that is that Ueshiba did what he did over a long period of time and what he did and how he did it varied with respect to when in time he was doin
I can smell the aroma of spring drifting in air still bearing winter's chill; a chill though now without the bite of only a couple of weeks ago. Berkshire winters give up the ghost reluctantly and often there's still snow on the ground when the crocuses and daffodils begin to appear. Not for a while yet, I'm afraid, but still, something has changed, as if winter has finally accepted that it's time to head south for the summer.
Last night in class I felt the familiar awakening of renewed flexibility that I have come to identify as a harbinger of the promise of spring. The gumminess of my joints, jelled by winter's icy grip, is thinning and by May, or June at the latest, my ukemi will, at last, once again not reflect my advancing years.
From the Aikido IS a Practical Martial Arts Thread:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
If so, is the process really designed to teach folks morals or ethics....
I don't see the process of Aikido study as a delivery vehicle for any moral or ethical lessons. Rather the physical practice of Aikido provides me with a way of looking inward to discover who I am and how I interact with the world around me. This process of discovery has enabled me to witness the emergence and maturation of a moral and ethical base of personal behavior that is substantially different from when I started my study.
My study of Aikido has been decidely inwardly directed, resulting in outward behavior that has been moving toward a more ethical and moral form than would othwerwise have been had I never taken up Aikido.
Much of my training is concerned with attaining what I refer to as "proper fit" with uke. Proper fit occurs when uke and I move in concert, our energies complementing rather than conflicting. To have proper fit with uke I must abandon my agenda, notions of winning and losing, my ego. I must allow myself to be absorbed into the moment. Thought moves me further away from the moment and, as a consequence, hinders my ability to achieve a proper fit with my partner.
Training, therefore, is my process of discovering, experiencing and developing no-mind, a necessary prerequisite for achieving proper fit. Techniques are the tools of training not the finished work, just as brushes are the tools of painting and not the finished canvas.
When I began Aikido, I knew nothing and didn't know it. I began to learn and in learning I knew that I knew nothing. As my knowledge grew I found that I had less and less capacity to learn. There came a point at which I chose to forget all that I thought I knew and so began again.
Gently falling snow renders the world with its own unique brushstroke. The falling snowflakes the emphasize the stillness of everything else. The edges of things are blurred by the intervening motes of snowflake, distance becomes less clearly delineated. Sounds are muffled; the ensuing quiet seems to remove much of the hustle and bustle from everyday existence.
The snow seems to say "slow down, calm down; be at peace, at least for a little while…"
Aikido is, for me, like the falling snow. The motion of Aikido practice counterpoints the stillness of the dojo; walls, ceiling and floor stand, hover and support according to their nature while we whirl around, our motion defining the limits of their realm while they define the space in which we move. Aikido, an agent of integration, blurs the distinction of self, the ultimate differentiator, and fosters unity from multiplicity. The quiet single-mindedness of practice brings me closer to the moment and, for a time, the noise of my life is reduced in scope and volume.
Aikido says to me "slow down, calm down; be at peace, at least for a little while…"