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Old 09-28-2006, 01:50 PM   #39
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,511
Re: What is "Aikido"?

Mike Sigman wrote:
David, there is a whole "way of life" reflected in that writing that says a very common thing within Asian (particularly Chinese) culture. There is an Order to the universe and the ideal is to do things such that the laws of the universe are met with a harmony, not a conflict.
Well, that is the core of my thinking and acting. And I don't see any need to differentiate that "universal ki" from martial arts technique. as Liang Shou Yu described it as a single continuum in "Emei Baguazhang." The universal ki is the same ki used in fighting techniques. You first connect yourself to the world and the universe through your body, then through your family. Then you act in ways that protect both. And while even the attacker has "value" in a harmonious view of the world, we value our own lives and the safety of our family and nation above those of people who would attack us. So, harmony or not, the methods must be overwhelming for an attacker.

Mike Sigman wrote:
You should move in the "natural" way (which is where the kokyu/ki/jin idea comes in). This is where you'll see the justification for cultivating your ki and jin powers... you can spot it usually in the term "cultivation". Doing qi etc., exercises is considered to be a bona fide and important part of the whole "self cultivation" thing.
That, too, is in accord with my idea that we cultivate what is correct in our inborn nature. We cultivate human ki and mind to refine it to its most greatest natural potential. Proper cultivation of ki creates a flexible, strong and supple body, a relaxed and perceptive mind and an instantly responsive awareness, all useful for every aspect of daily life as well as self-defense and other feats of derring do.

Mike Sigman wrote:
...a universal cosmological concept that generally drives Asian philosophy, in important segments, should not be construed as being in congruence with the "peace, love, and harmony" in the PepsiCola Song.
I've never subscribed to the idea of doing that though it is clear that many people have construed it that way. Still, I think that Ueshiba went farther in developing it that way than his predecessors. While Sagawa may have said that aiki is harmonization of the universe, I don't think he went as far as Ueshiba in insisting that our techniques also protect the attacker. I think that in DTR it is presumed that an attacker will be lucky to walk away unbroken.

I do agree that many aikido practitioners have taken Ueshiba's "no enemy/loving protection for all things" statements to mean that we have to avoid injuring the attacker at all costs, even to the point of leaving ourselves and our families in danger and I don't think he meant that. He also did not mean to practice in any weak way or to remain weak, but I think that in practice it is necessary to work in such a way that we don't injure our training partners.

And I don't think Ueshiba intended ukes to develop as dive monkeys in randori. I don't know where that came in, but Mochizuki Sensei never tolerated it. For him, aikido was always a means of self development through hard training in serious self-defense methods and you had to work hard to stay in his dojo. He thought that a lot of Tohei's stuff was "hypnotism" and he only taught reliable physical methods. No hocus-pocus.


"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"
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