George S. Ledyard wrote:
One does not move a rock using "aiki", unless, as Mike Sigman would probabaly maintain, you include "internal power" as inherently part of "aiki". I don't but I understand why he might. In my own understanding, aiki is the way in which we use the opponent's sensory system (the five senses and the intuition, or sixth sense) to move his mind and thereby get him to move his body. It is this aspect of Aikido that I am interested in. Anyway, when the two opponents come together the defender establishes the Ittaika or "single body" in which it is impossible for the attacker to move separately from him.
Ooooooo.... It's a good point and in some ways, I've set myself up for this, so I'll make amends. Let me see if I can make my point of view a little clearer, George. And bear in mind I'm just talking out loud to give a viewpoint; not trying to be offensive in the least. (Nor do I take any offense; it's just a good discussion topic)
I tried to explain how I arrive at "jin" more than anything else during our very limited meeting in Glenwood, but I actually showed 2 faces of it. One of it can be called "power" and how I derived it, in that step-by-step logic I tried to go through. But there a lot to using "internal power" that is more than strength. Part of it is to "listen" to an opponent's power, part of it is to try to make the whole body connected like a web so that a movement in any direction by the center is immediately available by connection to any part of the extremities.
So a couple of times when you unconsciously "set" against me and attempted to stop a movement I was making by adjusting your hips I simply immediately went with you (very lightly) in the direction of your hips (usually it was to your left front). And you were immediately off-balanced as a result. THAT was "internal power" in action. There was no real discernible use of power in the strength sense, but I had your balance. I can do far better and more subtley I think, but we'll have to wait until next time.
The point is that "internal power" can be both a "strength" and a very subtle way of controlling an opponent. An example would be that when you and I engage physically, I sense the direction of your power and without moving I add one of those force directions directly to your direction of power so that there results a new direction that just happens to lead to a point where you have no power. You'll feel that your power is simply being drained and I will only have to maintain a constantly shifting response force that negates your shifts. Or I could add it in such a way that you and I together (this is the hypothetical "you"; no slights intended) contribute power that results in a direction leading toward a "hole" in your balance.
The point I'm trying to make is that it is this ability to generate forces in various directions and have them available at my extremeties that I think of when I say "internal power". Yes, sometimes it can be used as an admirable demonstration of real power/strength/force, but its value is in the subtle usages. So my response is more that I'm not using the opponents "senses", I'm using his force-direction-intention (his "ki" if you want to use the old terminology). That's the part I find so interesting.
Insofar as viewing people like Endo Sensei, regardless of his uke's cooperation, etc, Endo is good. I was impressed.