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Old 09-19-2006, 04:28 PM   #64
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,616
Re: What is Weight Transfer(Taijuuidou)??

Mike Sigman wrote:
I think I've spent a lot of time laying out pretty detailed explanations and illustrations around the classical
idea of "kokyu" forces, Erick... it's all archived.
Since my effort is not to supplant traditional means of description (not theory) but to supplement them with other descriptions, I do not dispute it. That was not the point of the inquiry. Rather it was to ask if there was anything in my description of the dynamics from the perspectives I have outlined that is contrary or just flat out wrong in principles from the perpectives that you teach. You say it is so, but do not elaborate why, in this context, since in your other writings here you have not adresed (to my knowledge) anyhing like this.
Mike Sigman wrote:
Your theory of joints and gyro-dynamics isn't needed to explain that at all.
Maybe not to a scholar of Chinese martial arts -- It goes a good deal further with an American college kid or sailor, however.

Mike Sigman wrote:
I disagree with it and prefer to stick as close as I can to the classical theory and the practical demonstrations. ... There's no mention or need to mention the ideas of gyro-dynamics, etc., to arrive at "aiki". There's no need to have to mention "spiralling". There may be some usage of the body's joints around the axes at some times and sometimes (often) there is "spiralling" use of the forces... but that's not the essence of what "kokyu" and the "ten chi jin" forces are.
OK. For you. I'm not in this for me alone, I have to prepare to transmit a tradition in turn, and according to my own understanding, and to make it comprehensible to others ultimately, third or fourth hand. I may be corrected from time to time when I make grievous errors. Point some of them out -- I am sure they are there. Please instruct me. Onegaishimasu.

I have no brief to argue that O-Sensei innovated his concepts of kokyu (he did not), or of ki generally (he likewise did not). His innovations revolve around ki musubi and takemusu aiki. I have a firm grasp (and a degree) in the Chinese philosophical antecedents, while you seem to have a grasp on the particular usages in the Chinese qigong and related martial traditions. We need not belabor those points to the degree that you and I have done elsewhere. I have no interest in the parochial battles between the Sinophiles and the Nipponophiles or whether kokyu or Tenchijin is the term of art du jour...

Japan, on most of these concepts is at least second hand, (but a very good reporter, I might add). We in the West are at least two steps removed from those root concepts and worlds away from their context of development. We need our own interpretation from our own foundation, that is true to tradition in technique and yet has a common basis to relate to earlier traditions of description about what is actually happening to the state of the body's balance and weight dynamic as technique occurs.

Bottom line, I could are less which team gets credit for it, or who innovated ( or stoel from) whom. I want to teach it in ways that are capable of being understood by the largest possible scope of people I might ever have occasion to try to teach and to develop my own understanding of it further and deeper.

The problem is that the Chinese system of references is remarkably ill-suited to teach a round-eye kid with a whiff of physics, and a love of fighter planes who simply admires the art of aikido and wishes to practice it and to receieve what it offers. That is our chief student pool. It is not so atypical of aikido students generally here in the States, I find.

Physically, empirically, we also experience the same things in our bodies, East or West, though we describe them differently. We should be able to observe what is occurring, describe it appropriately and then draw conlusions and lessons form those observations. That is the teaching of the West. It was the teaching of the Chinese scholars as well. Their systems and tradition knowledge should not be disregarded, but their terms of reference are not terribly apt for this time and place. I respect them and will look to any one with due knowledge to show me corrections that rely upon them. But they are simply not useful in teaching here to someone who has neither the time or inclination (as I did) to research that background beforehand. I need good rubrics to reach them, to teach them and to assist them to understand the concepts physically, and to help them want to understand.

That is all I am trying to accomplish, and really only because in looking and looking, I do not see that any one else has yet tried to do so in this way. God knows there are better physicists than me, but I see what I see with the eye of an aikidoka of some length of experience, and an eye and intuitive "hara/seat-of-the-pants" sense for rotational dynamics and gyroscopic stability from a previous helo career. I bring one or two things to the table on these points.

Take it or leave it as you like, but if we are in a discussion forum let us at least discuss and not dismiss.

Mike Sigman wrote:
If you'd like to see what I consider a fairly pragmatic description (although still vague, partially due to the translator maybe) of the forces and "aiki", take a look at this old interview from Aikido Journal of Inaba Minoru:
Your quote is wonderful, right on, true, accurate and I get it the concepts because I have studied them in many respects. I get the admonition regardless of the concepts: "Do this and it will work for you." You get the problem: translation. Not good or poor but that it is necessary.. I wish to make it native, not translated.

In China or Japan the result of that admonition may be a student bowing or nodding smartly and carrying on to do those things until it does work for him. We have wilder horses to train here. They ask why; they do not ncessarily train well if they do not see why they are training. Maybe one can view this as a fault, may be not. Asking why is expected here, almost as much as not asking is in Japan. But it is a characteristic of culture that must be used to teach as much as dutiful practice with little question at the suggestion of one in authority is commonplace in Japan.

Westerners are different (few Japanese will argue with this) and we learn differently, although we do not learn differing techniques. The leaven of those willing to follow the eastern models of learning are and will remain a relative few. We do not, by and large, take such instruction well.

Some traditionalists may say this makes us unworthy of instruction. I do not agree, we bring other, not superior, but different, qualities to bear, chiefly initiative, challenge and collaboration, that can inform development of an art, and expand its penetration while yet be true to tradition in technique as well as being comprehensible and without the "secret teachings" that O-Sensei warned against and a sensibility that reliance on alien or esoteric concepts tends to risk creating.

I just want to make it as plain as possible. Wabi.

It requires some detailed messy prep work to accomplish that seemingly effortless result.


Erick Mead
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