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Old 04-12-2006, 06:19 PM   #16
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,616
Re: "Self-defense" or Something Else?

David Knowlton wrote:
Aggressive: ... When I said OSensei wasn't aggressive, I meant he wasn't 'hostile'. True strength is gentle.
I know what you meant, and I do not disagree. I just like to point out how language AND action are sometimes used to create perceptions rather than actual meaning or effective action (Action v. Acting (portrayal= "false" image)??)

In the films I have seen of O-Sensei's movement he could care less about communicating a perception of his action. Notoriously, Many of his students often had to watch him extremely closely to even see what technique he was applying, beceause he didn't tell them. He rarely repeated the same movement twice in the same way to the observer, even when asked. He did not act in the perceptual, or communicative sense, he simply moved. Thus, he did not delay in any internal calculations of the likely perception of his movement. He just was --THERE.

The converse is the kind of mock combat, or threat display, stylized stageacting so common among some "MA" practitioners (even some very traditional forms). It is tied to the "self-defense" issue that I started this thread with. Acting hostile or looking deadly is the personal equivalent of the MAD "mutually assured destruction" strategy to avoid actual fighting. It works for wasps and coral snakes; but then they have no loved ones to defend. Interestingly, nesting birds tend to take the opposite tactic, and present themselves as wounded, easy prey for the would be predator -- even inviting or luring an attack to draw them away from nestlings. For humans, who calculate as much as react, and have loved ones to defend, MAD bluffing strategies tend to simply up the stakes for battle when it may ultimately erupt.

O-Sensei was not interested in portraying or "acting out" agression, which is what you meant, and rightly so. He was simply aggressive in the root sense I used. A - gressio. He just moved in.

Erick Mead
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