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Old 06-01-2005, 11:06 AM   #48
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: A Word of Concern to all Aikidoka...

Ted Ehara wrote:
Central to the concepts of center/centre, dan tien or hara is that it is a person's center of gravity.
I disagree with you. Although a person's center of gravity is generally in that area, the center of gravity, as you have noted below, is a relative thing. I've never heard a serious discussion about the dantien in which it being the "center of gravity" was of primary importance or central to the concept, frankly.
This center of gravity is the point that the body will move around. If you change the shape of the body, like leaning forward to tie one's shoe laces, then the center of gravity shifts. This is how parachutists maneuver in free fall. They change the shape of their body, so they can get different rotations or go in a desired direction.

The center of gravity for a given object can be outside of that object. Using the shoe tying example, your center of gravity moves outside your body as you lean forward. This is high school physics.
Not only is it high-school physics, it is also beside the point, if you'll pardon the pun.
Traditional eastern concepts about chakra, center, hara or dan tien have been as points of power. However Koichi Tohei is not a traditionalist. The way he presents his concept of one point is psychological. It is a place you can focus your mind. However you can focus your mind anywhere inside or outside your body.
I can focus my mind on the rings of Saturn, but it doesn't do anything, so I would ask that you clarify your use of the term "anywhere". I can also, by using my mind, effect physical changes in various locations (in my body; outside my body if I am touching some portion of that place "outside").

Insofar as Koich Tohei not being a traditionalist, certainly he is or he wouldn't be using the term "ki" and all its attendant terminlogy, usages, and demonstrations. What Tohei does is take the "ki" that was already a part of Aikido, add a lot of self-help psychology, etc., and turn it into a quasi-religion. He's not the first person to make ki into a quasi-religion, BTW. It's simply a variation of a theme that is encountered in other Asian countries, including India.
This is the source of much confusion. For a traditionalist who understands the concepts of chakra, center, hara or dan tien, K . Tohei's idea of one point seems similar to traditional teachings, but it is not. That is why Mike is talking about points of power, while Craig is talking about awareness.
I can pretty easily establish that chakra's are "points of power" and that the "dan tian" is also a "point of power" and that the concept derives originally from India. I'll be happy to do so, if you'd like. In other words, I won't just assert things or speak cryptically ... and I'm asking you and Craig, if you really understand these things, to try and explain a few simple concepts that have been brought up by your own declarative statements.


Mike Sigman
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