Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Again, it is one thing to say that you have something additive to contribute to aikido, another to categorically say that aikido is lacking and it's senior instructors on the average do not know what they are doing. That is the crux of my issue with the internal stuff, which is illuded to as being somehow "special".
Well, Kevin, do you know and understand exactly what it is that breathing techniques work on? Can you extrapolate that if someone has an unusual strength that allows them to hold odd postures against strong pushes (as Tohei shows) that that same ability allows them to push strongly in unusual ways and manipulate their uke's forces upon touch? Have you decided that really all those dumb old Chinese and Japanese thought was a big deal was really just good body alignment, etc., which you already happen to do? You realize, don't you, that there are already terms in Japanese and Chinese for "good alignment", etc.? Why do you think they went out of the way to use other terms to express what you think must be the same basic concepts?
I think you've made your point that you don't see anything special because you've personally not experienced. I get that; I think everyone gets that. However Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, Modern Dance Movement, and all those use the mind to form paths of force at will, regardless of posture.... that's what I was talking about. Let's just leave it for the moment that you don't understand what I'm talking about and you'll check it out the first time you get a chance?
I think you're fixating on the sort of demonstrations that someone like Tohei does, maybe too much, as "tricks somewhat apart from the strength we actually use in martial arts". Those demo's are actually what you want to consider as a first step. If you normally see someone using this kind of strength/skills you can't really SEE anything unusual in their techniques, etc. That's why these strengths/skills are often called the "concealed strength". So if somebody like you is watching somebody able to martially use this sort of power, you'd say "I don't see anything but good body posture, good alighnment, etc.".
So to show you that even though it LOOKS normal, it's actually different, they do these demo's to highlight that it's not your average use of "good alighnment", etc. They use odd positions to highlight that it's not something the average joe can do, using his "good alignment", etc. Your approach is that "good alignment and strength as Kevin uses it is everything and the 'ki tests' are trick usages that aren't anything but tricks". I'm saying, and so will everyone else who knows how to do these things and is reading the thread, that "no, these are not tricks outside of the way we move but instead the 'ki tests' etc., actually highlight the normal and common things you can do, along with using it martially, if you have this skill/ability." But if you knew how to do these things, you'd already know this.
O-Sensei used some of his demo's to show the limits to which his useable, working everyday strength was developed. You think instead that he was showing tricks unrelated to his working strength. Maybe O-Sensei was just doing tricks or maybe he, Tohei, and others knew something that was in Aikido which you don't? Take your pick. Obviously, you tend to think that you know what there is to know, from what you're writing.