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Old 10-02-2006, 05:45 PM   #93
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Re: What is "Aikido"?

Erick Mead wrote:
"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.
When you say "we", perhaps you mean the royal "we"? What I do and teach is very simple - as it was taught to me by my teachers - a point that was consistently reinforced to me time after time - this stuff is simple.

What is not simple is getting the body, mind and intent coordination working together as a cohesive unit - THAT takes anywhere from 10yrs to a lifetime to master.

I think you are confusing what Aikido (the Art - or rather the Path of Aiki) is, and what the learning tools are for transmission of the body skills under discussion.

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.
I don't see any incongruence between the Laws of Physics and the East Asian teaching modality of adherence to Laws of Nature. As Mike has pointed out before, and I agree, these things can be described using levers, pulleys and Newtonian mechanics. I would add, it can also be described in far more comprehensive ways without recourse to Physics 101.

I just think your theory of choice is way off the mark in terms of what we are discussing.

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.
Not to name drop here, but Prof. Rick Clark once told me to look for the similarities rather than the differences. A point that was consistently reinforced by other teachers I have had, more notably, Patrick McCarthy.

It's not that the Eastern traditions are less complex or rigorous, it's a diametrically opposed teaching modality to the modern Western perspective of "education". The Latin root of the word "education", educaré, means to "draw out" - the very same modality by which the Eastern paradigm operates - to draw it out of the student.

Zen 101 - it's not the finger... and it's not the waza.

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