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Old 06-04-2005, 11:31 AM   #4
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Mike,

Interesting thoughts....had to read it several times to see if I understood what you are communicating....maybe I don't have it, but any way these are some thoughts that came into my mind as I read.

I agree, all paths don't lead to the top. As you point out, not all of us may be on the same mountain, or climb the mountain for the same reasons.

What you define "highest level" /low level...I have typically labeled "internal versus external" martial arts in the past....however, these days I am not sure I even understand how you label something one or the other.

I think technique is based on principles of kinestics and the dynamic of movement. In the Highest level you work on understanding the principles. If you understand them well, then you have many options. These options are a broad range of techniques. The "higher" you are the more choices you have, from avoiding conflict, to resolving it at the lowest level possible.

"lower" (external) systems will typcially focus on ending a fight efficiently with as minimium effort or risk of exposure as possbile, but may not worry much about the application of excessive force. The goal is to learn a broad range of techniques quickly that will work in most common situations. I call this the "80%" solution. (pareto principle approach). In the past, you find this in "combat" oriented systems.

Why I am confused over internal versus external as it seems that many "combat" oriented systems that have come into popularity in last few years are really fairly complex and based on the same principles that aikido focuses on.

Strength and the relation to KI is always an interesting topic. I know the soldiers I work with are very strong, but have not realized when they first start martial arts training how to effectively apply that strength. They thrash, flail, grunt, and strain to apply it...as they get better, the center it and use is in a relaxed way from their core. You can literally feel the difference when the strength is aligned and focused properly. The same amount of KI existed in both cases, it is just being able to understand how to align it and apply it in a more effiicient and economical way.
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