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Chris Li 08-13-2002 05:27 PM

Tora no Maki
 
I thought that I'd post this for comment, in case anybody's interested. It's a section from the Tiger chapter ("Tora no Maki") of the "Rikuto" ("Six Strategies", or "Six Scabbards", also called "Liutao" in Chinese, IIRC), which is a well known Chinese book of strategy. The reason why it's relevant to Aikido is that M. Ueshiba cited this passage as containing one of the central "secrets" of Aikido. This translation is my rough English version of the Japanese version of the Chinese text, so apologies in advance to the original authors :) :

If it comes, then meet it, if it leaves, then send it away.
If it resists, than harmonize it.
5 and 5 are 10.
2 and 8 are 10.
1 and 9 are 10.
You should harmonize like this.
Intuit true and false, know what is hidden,
The large is everywhere, the small enters the realm of the microscopic.
There are chances for life and death, without reacting to changes.
Approach things without moving your heart (without being disturbed).


Best,

Chris

Chuck Clark 08-25-2002 02:33 PM

Chris,

I must admit that parts of this make great sense to me and I have a gut level understanding of it. However, the references to the numbers mean nothing to me. Maybe I'm just dense. By the way...3 and 7 make 10 and 4 and 6 make 10 also.

Please give me a hint if you understand the relevance of the numbers.

Regards,

Chris Li 08-25-2002 04:03 PM

Quote:

C.E. Clark (Chuck Clark) wrote:
Chris,

I must admit that parts of this make great sense to me and I have a gut level understanding of it. However, the references to the numbers mean nothing to me. Maybe I'm just dense. By the way...3 and 7 make 10 and 4 and 6 make 10 also.

Please give me a hint if you understand the relevance of the numbers.

Regards,

It's my understanding (which may be wrong!) that the numbers mean that when the opponent approaches you add whatever is necessary to harmonize the interaction. Therefore, if they attack with the power of 2 then you add 8, if they attack with the power of 7 then you add 3 - in other words, the total power involved in the interaction always stays the same no matter how much (or little) power the opponent attacks with. Does that make sense?

Best,

Chris

Chuck Clark 08-25-2002 04:17 PM

Of course that makes sense. I thought there would be way more to it. I've heard so many talk about it as if it was a koan and the solving of it would cure world hunger.

I guess I do understand it.

Regards,

Chris Li 08-25-2002 04:46 PM

Quote:

C.E. Clark (Chuck Clark) wrote:
Of course that makes sense. I thought there would be way more to it.

There may be, you never know, but that's the way that I read the text, anyway.

Best,

Chris

George S. Ledyard 08-26-2002 04:18 PM

Balance
 
Quote:

Christopher Li (Chris Li) wrote:
It's my understanding (which may be wrong!) that the numbers mean that when the opponent approaches you add whatever is necessary to harmonize the interaction. Therefore, if they attack with the power of 2 then you add 8, if they attack with the power of 7 then you add 3 - in other words, the total power involved in the interaction always stays the same no matter how much (or little) power the opponent attacks with. Does that make sense?

Best,

Chris

The way I have been interpreting this, and the focus of my training at the moment, is that the balance exists already. O-Sensei said that the Universe is in a state of harmony and that it is simply a matter of misunderstanding that gives rise to violence.

If we assume that there is some balance already, like the scales in the scales of justice, then any action that effects one side of the scales creates it's own balancing energy in the other. So in your Aikido you simply allow that balancing energy to take place and not interfere with it or try to force something artificial to happen.

The center between the scales is immoveable no matter what is happening on both ends. That is where the immoveable Mind comes in. We wnat to have that immoveable Mind which wil aloow us to simply reflect back to the attacker the balancing energy that nutralizes his attack. In a sense we don't make the technique happen, the attacker does.

I refer to this state as being in a "state of potential". In this state any movement or action is possible. You are completely free to move as you need to depending on the circumstance. The attack itself determines what technique happens. I think this is what O-Sensei meant when he talked about Take Musu Aiki.


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