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Old 11-24-2006, 01:14 PM   #10
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,568
Re: Discussion of Summer Camp 2006 on AJ

Mike Sigman wrote:
Don't get me wrong, Erick. I don't "deride" your abstruse theory. In fact I sort of think of your theory as being somewhat akin to "the Peace of God" ..... it passeth all understanding.
Well, then ...since we're done with derision and all ... The Peace of God is all around you, and it needs no understanding, only acceptance.

By all means let's move on to things that are not abstruse ... you know -- like kokyu, ki and jin ...

All of this is subtle. Sheesh.

Mike Sigman wrote:
On a realistic level, you have to admit that your theory sort of stands alone.
Actually, judging from what Ushiro Sensei actually said about the critical involvement of internal rotation, I'd say I look to be headed roughly the right way from the perspective of Western mechanics in looking closely at gyrational dynamics. I am hardly the best M.E., and certianly not the best aikidoka, but I am a guy with some knowledge of both straddling the border here at the moment.

You do what you like -- I'll carry on with what's at hand in my pathetic little excuse for a world-view, which sadly unlike yours, has so few real sophisticates that actually share it with me ... So many more will surely be drawn to the art and seek to develop in it by their innate and native grasp of jin, kokyu and ki ... Do carry on.

It would be laughable, were it not so sad and contradictory, for the advocates of exploring alternatives to squelch exploration because it is "not well-understood, or well-accepted." Well, isn't that sort of the point?? Can we not admit that there are multiple, legitimate perspectives? Each has its own traditions and systems of nomenclature (and resulting gaps of ignorance) that need to be explored so as to both inform and to be informed.

Ikeda Sensei certainly realizes and advocates this. His stated concern is about losing the all too prevalent "collision of forces" by expanding the range of practice that is understood in terms of kokyu. Ushiro presents some opportunities to cure that acknowledged problem in the kokyu practice that is poorly done.

Aikido Journal (Ikeda) wrote:
For ourselves and for the Aikido of the future, it is necessary to completely change the way aikido is practiced. I think we have come to this critical crossroads.
Like anyone scholed in Japanese language, Ikeda said precisely what allows anyone who reads it to take away from it exactly what they want.

I can read this to say that kihon and kata must be abandoned, because they stultify the sensitivity and elmination of "collision" that lead to the development of takemusu aiki - which is the spontaneous creation of techniques, not merely performance of predefined interactions or "clever monkey" tricks (which is the level of kokyu practice in many settings, and which Mike legitimately criticizes, BTW). Takemusu aiki could be roughly described as willingess to "completely change" at a moment's notice.

Dan, Mike and others may read it to mean that "aikido is all wet, abandon it as quick as possible, you poor dupes." That would be what they choose to read, from their admitted prejudgment.

It is not what was said, on either reading.

He said nothing, Dan's questions notwithstanding, that kokyu as it is taught is wrong per se, merely that is incomplete and very often poorly done. He said nothing, nor did Ushiro Sensei claim, that Ushiro's kokyu practice is complete or without flaw, even while his training presents a new perspective. The example should provoke the willingness to explore for aiki where we find it, with beginner's mind, and not merely continue looking where we are simply because "the light is better." This is Ikeda's point, in both this interaction and in the Systema event.

There is nothing without strength, and nothing without vulnerability, and very often they may be one and the same thing.

Aiki is about making vulnerability itself a strength. No force, no resistance, no conflict. How we understand this and communicate it needs to be fitted to the circumstances, as much as the techniques to the attacks.

So, I'll wait patiently for Mike's next swing ...


Erick Mead
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