Ron Tisdale wrote:
One reason I suggest looking at Daito ryu is because of something we've discussed before I believe...the focus on 'aiki' as opposed to just 'ki'. That seems (to me) to be the real focus in aikido's predesessor, and that is why if you want to see the basis for a lot of these things, it pays to look at what the other 'top dogs' in Daito ryu did/do. Its just a suggestion, and given the more secretive nature often associated with the higher levels in Daito ryu, not an easy thing to do in any case.
I get a little confused with the term "aiki" as some people are using it. Some people are using it to mean what actually is kokyu and some people are using it to mean "blending", etc. One of the problems with the term "aiki" is that a lot of somewhat sheltered Aikidoists think there's this neat Aikido idea of not resisting and blending with the opponent's attack and then either setting them aside gently or planting their face in the floor at the choosing of nage. The unfortunate thing is that if you've been around a while you understand that this same philosophy appears in a number of martial arts. So, it's a cool idea, etc., but it is not something really unique like the comparison in a lot of peoples' minds between Aikido and "karate" (poor karate... it's always the fall guy for people who do "soft", "internal", and "spiritual" stuff).
In terms of "aiki" as a definition of kokyu, I'll have to pass, BTW. It does not compute.
The interesting thing about "harmonizing" with the opponent is that to a large extent you always have to harmonize with your opponent if you're going to beat him with anything other than a sucker-punch or brute strength/size. If you read Shioda's comments on timing, etc., and the use of atemi, these are certainly within the realm of "aiki" as he defines it (of course, Shioda, not being of style X, could not possibly understand the real meaning of "aiki" the way adherents of style X do... that goes without saying. He was only a direct student of Ueshiba and was not enlightened in the approved manner.
What I meant about Daito-Ryu and Aikido is that I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that at the higher levels of both arts they use the same amounts of ki and kokyu..... which is to say every movement is imbued with this sort of power/skill/conditioning.
My opinion, FWIW.