Charles Moulton wrote:
Aikido is not just a physical technique, it also requires at least some further more philosophical understanding to grasp the entire foundation. Examples of this would to me include ki extension, sincerity in the uke/ nage relationship, etc. etc. These are not tangible or necessarily easily learned and require more than just good physical movement. CJ
Good points CJ, but I have to disagree with the assessment that ki extension, and sincerity in the uke/nage relationship are philosophical and not physical. Sure you can say that you have to define the parameters in which we operate on the mat, but is this necessarily philosophical? Some people get rather good extensions without even knowing what ki is.
Physical manifestations of the philosophical ideal in aikido can be duplicated without extensive knowledge of the philosophy. Does it lose something? Perhaps. But, on the mat you practice the physical, and if you're serious, and your students are serious, you will gasp snatches of the philosophical which ought to prompt more serious discussions after class.