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Old 07-20-2006, 08:49 AM   #22
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: intuition vs. speed

Lynn Seiser wrote:
My thought, its not "vs".

Intuition "and" speed = timing.

IMHO, timing is very important.
Actually, and I consider this to be an Aikido Koan, O-Sensei stated that it wasn't about timing. I can give my own take on what he meant but this is a work in process. I have experienced it but can't say I have "mastered" it.

The Mind moves before the body. In other words your Mind decides to strike before the body manifests the movement of the Mind physically. If you want to execute a technique like ikkyo, you must enter in to take the center. This isn't that hard at the typical speed that most Aikido people attack. But as you train with people who are capable of great speed in their attacks, the window of opportunity for ones entry gets smaller and smaller. There is a point at which "reaction", ie. starting ones movement as a reaction to the attack becomes impossible as there simply isn't enough time.

If, however, you place your attention on the opponent / partner and touch him with your intention, it's as if the entry already pre-exists in your Mind and you simply have to allow it to actualize physically. In other words the entry is already a reality in your Mind, before you move. When you can do this, you start to feel like there simply is no speed that the attacker can acheive that gets him ahead of you because you have already done it on some level.

Doing this shifts your perception of time. You start to see the opponent's movements as being rather slow, even when they are objectively very fast. Ushiro Kenji Sensei, the Karate teacher appearing as guest instructor for the second time at Rocky Mountain Summer Camp talks about this at length. He talks about having your Mind on the "inside" or the "outside". I have interpreted this as inside his ma-ai or outside. Anyway, it has changed my Aikido entirely both in terms of my ability to enter when attacked and to execute my attacks.

Since O-Sensei looked at everything from a mystical standpoint in which there really is no separation between attacker and defender, they are one and the same, then one can't talk about action and re-action. Timing is a concept which is essentially relative. It deals with "when" relative to something else. I would suggest taking a look at replacing the concept of "when" and replacing it with the concept of "already" and see how that changes things.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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