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Old 10-24-2006, 11:20 AM   #29
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,139
Re: Takemusu Aiki in Systematic Teaching?

The sponteneity of take musu aiki makes it difficult to replicate, even in the vacuum of a dojo. Ultimately, training for me relates to the expression of instruction from teacher to student, the pinnacle of training being the complete divulgence and absorbtion of knowledge from teacher to student, and the preparation of the student to exceed the teacher.

I analogize aikido to chess when I evaluate my views on this topic. In chess, a foundation of rules govern play, a series of established techniques adhere to strategies of play, and each player creates a unique series of plays executed as a game. Without rules to govern play and established techniques to execute, the results of play would not resemble what I consider chess.

Take musu aiki is created spontaneously from the rules that govern the world and the principles and techniques we execute in aikido. I do not feel instruction is complete without the inclusion of take musu aiki, but I think far too often we fall on the side of creative expression and the foundation of techniques we are so eager to disregard in favor of "freedom." The ability to communicate, or teach, technique is a wonderful experience to assess how much you don't know about aikido. For example, I can effectively communicate ikkyo omote to a student using kihon waza (kata). If take musu aiki is truly part of the curriculum of training, then it must be reproduceable and measurable. rather, I believe take musu aiki falls beyond the role of curriculum and is expression. To me, the ability of a student to express take musu aiki is an indication of comprehension, not the study of curriculum.

Hooker Sensei has an expression that I like to paraphrase; Picasso can draw two circles and 4 lines and call the drawing a cow. He can do this because he knows what a cow looks like.
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