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Old 08-17-2006, 01:44 PM   #39
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,618
Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

George S. Ledyard wrote:
Erik is on to something here, although I'd need a bit more science up my sleeve to quite be able to get it all.
Gives my overly analytical brain something to distract it so the rest of me can train properly...
George S. Ledyard wrote:
The picture in Saotome Sensei's book is an excellent one in this regard. He shows two opponents on a log bridge over a chasm. Anyone who tries to get "off the line" is going to fall into the gorge. Aikido is ALL about irimi. Inside every tenkan movement must first be an irimi. I don't "get off the line" I go to the center and rotate. That's very different and the attacker perceives what you are doing quite differently.
I can't attribute it properly, it may have been Bernice Tom when I trained in San Diego, and she may have attributed it to Saito, I cannot remember now, but the statement was to the effect that :

"Tenkan begins with irimi and irimi ends in tenkan."
George S. Ledyard wrote:
In Aikido we "own" our space. As a visualization to counter the misconception that we are in some way "escaping" from the attack, I have students say to themselves "this is my house and I am not leaving just because you are coming in". Aikido entry is quite simply about creating rotation at or just before the moment of physical contact. This rotation is created by the relative movement of the hips. But the mind, how you place your attention, does not change at all when you enter. The mind is simply "inside" the attack at all times, even before there is an attack. A step coupled with hip rotation will change the angle relative to the attacker but there is no perceivable shift of attention to the place to which one is moving.
Neurological studies of Christian nuns and buddhist monks (which I have mentioned in more detail in a thread in the 'Spiritual' forum some time ago) have looked at the signal changes and focus of activity in the brain with profound religious experience in contemplative practice. They have found that the portion of the brain that distinguishes self from non-self becomes altered in its perceptual activity, so that the sensation of non-self is lost (or sense of self enlarged, however you prefer).

The experience of reality becomes subjectivity writ large, and in the extreme cases to the limits and total constituents of the universe.
This is precisely what O-Sensei's ecstatic visions also describe. (I believe the statement "I AM who AM" reported by Moses in his ecstatic vision in Exodus has some resonance here, as does the statement to Moses at that same time, while stopping on some wide spot on a mountain trail of no particular importance, he was told "YOU stand on holy ground." Think about it. But I digress.)

The mechanisms that I have posited as to the physiology of mususbi experience from the perceptual studies in body mechanics seem to corroborate that same perceptual function at a smaller uke/nage scale -- changing the subject/object division of uke nage into one subject so that, in essence, the experience of uke's attack becomes like me hitting my own head with my hand.

The experience of budo and contemplative experience are not so foreign, really.


Erick Mead
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