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Old 11-15-2006, 03:56 PM   #36
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,504
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
John Butz wrote:
But can the child replicate the principals of aiki at will, against resistance, in a stressful conflict, with consistency? That is the crux of the argument for me.
Well, who really can consistently show aiki at will? It depends on many factors. It might take decades of training to be able to "do aikido" consistently and at will against "any and all" attackers. If that's the case, then only a few eighth dans even do aikido at all.

Quote:
John Butz wrote:
while relaxed movement definitely improves aiki, it is not all of aiki, as Chris mentions above.
Well, first, it's not simply relaxed movement. It's relaxed, balanced, centered and in timing and harmony with the obstructive movement of another person. And at a certain phase of child development, it is reliable.

Quote:
John Butz wrote:
We train to be able to consistently and predictably manifest these abilities in stressful situations with consistent and predictable results.
And yet, many people go decades and still cannot reliably do aikido on "any" comer. I think a large part of that is because of a real illusion of what aikido really is. As Jesus said, "Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

The problem is that most people are trained "away" from "the way that they should go" early on in life. Before they can be trained away from the right way, children frequently demonstrate aiki movement. Social stress is what squeezes that ability out of them with physical/emotional tension, which changes everything about how they relate to the world.

Quote:
John Butz wrote:
The goal is control of the opponent and disruption of his balance, as soon as possible(preferably on contact). To be able to manifest those skills requires deliberate practice, experimentation, and a willingness to grow through failure. I am just not convinced that children can do that.
Well, re-read Mikel Hamer's first post on this thread. The little girl did a beautiful tenkan with the cell phone and the boy tried to follow and fell down. Sounds just like Tohei or Ueshiba.

Quote:
John Butz wrote:
The goal of this training is to coordinate our bodies in ways that affect the opponents structure. That requires some tension, some stability, some relaxation, which will all be dependent on the situation. The body needs to be able to change and adapt as the situation changes and adapts so that you remain in control of the opponent. Again, relaxation is not all of it.
And relaxation is not all the baby does. They wriggle, they squirm, they drop their weight, they pull, they push, they twist and turn and all directly in time with what you're trying to do with them. When you want to put the diaper on the baby and he doesn't want you to do it, you can have a hard time getting it on him. Those whole-hearted and whole-body movements are something a martial artist should aspire to.

Quote:
John Butz wrote:
I think some aikido people tend to fall back on "Relax" as a blanket correction for when we can't really tell what isn't working in the technique(I know I do more often then not), and that has lead some of us to a misunderstanding of what is really going on in the body.
I don't think I have ever emphasized "relaxing" as the core of how a baby expresses aiki. Especially if you read the aikido journal blog entry Roy Klein linked. The baby drops his weight, turns, pulls, pushes, squirms and moves to the position where you are weakest and he is strongest. It's willful movement with all the force he can summon. It's real "shuchuu ryoku" or concentrated strength.

Quote:
John Butz wrote:
I do believe that introducing your child to martial arts at a young age will provide them with a useful skill set, and prevent them from acquiring some bad habits in regards to posture and movement. It can even lay the foundation for acquisition of more advanced skills as the child matures. However, I must part ways with the idea that we all had aiki when we were wee toddlers and just happened to lose it as we got older.
Actually, it disappoints me to see parents dress their kids up in dogi and put them into lessons on the mat--especially pre-school children. That's when the parents can be learning from the children.

I think that most people who don't accept this idea either have never had children or were at the dojo when their children were going through these levels of development unobserved. Then, later, when they have lost the "nature"of aiki, they have to have it "re-programmed" into them as "second nature."

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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