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Old 10-02-2006, 01:04 PM   #85
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,568
Re: What is "Aikido"?

Ignatius Teo wrote:
If I tried to explain what I do in gyrodynamics, rotational dynamics, or angular momentum, he won't understand a word I'm saying. But if I use simple analogies like rubber bands, see-saws and rolling balls, he'll get my drift in a jiff.

FWIW, my teachers NEVER explained any of this in physics terms... always simple analogies...
"What is aikido?" Simple analogies are not what IT IS. What we do is NOT SIMPLE, although the tools (balance and instability) we use to do it are very common indeed.

As I have said, the point is not to substitute anything that works as a convenient teaching aid but to build a complementary foundation (or better yet, a connecting bridge between two rich palaces) to enable the comprehension of aikido in as thorough and deep a manner in Western idiom as it is understood in the idiom of East Asian natural philosophy.

It is incorrect to assume that just because that form of knowledge works by principle of similarity rather than principle of difference, it is thereby any LESS complex or less rigorous to learn properly as Western learning is. Full comprehension of ki, kokyu, jin, and a whole host of other holistic principles embodied in that cultural complex is the work of a lifetime to master.

What we lack is a Western complement to that tradition, which may allow some of the same simplifications of root native concepts tofunction here, as simiplifications of root native concepts function in Japan. That effort will allow a deeper penetration of aikido into Western culture than it appears to be capable of now.

We cannot start with the simplifications, or the terms of reference to the root concepts will be skewed from the beginning, as I think this discussion is beginning to show.


Erick Mead
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