Mark Murray wrote:
Just thought I'd add this little bit of info.
In aikido, there is absolutely no attack. To attack means that the spirit has already lost. We adhere to the principle of absolute non-resistance, that is to say, we do not oppose the attacker. Thus, there is no opponent in aikido.
Hmmm ... seems to me that Ueshiba could very well be talking about Internal Arts. It certainly does fit the concept of what I know about them so far. It's all about internal centering without relying on outside sources, it's about not really doing anything to uke so yeah that's absolutely no attack and it really is non resistance because you aren't doing anything to build any type of resistance.
Things that make you go hmmmm ...
To hazard a point on which Mike and I actually agree -- I do not think that aikido falls within "internal arts." I think this because my experience of aikido is open and receiving. And for this reason -- O-Sensei's sensibility was of very active engagement with the opponent -- but not in any spirit of opposition at all.
There are a number of accounts of his uchi deshi, especially in his later years, of him being rather -- well, really cranky -- until he stepped on the mat when he would immediately cheer up and be energized facing an opponent. It is a narrative that resonates for me perwsonally. The Doka echo this:
By means of the way
Call out the misguided enemy
Advance and persuade him with words of instruction
Through the Sword of Love.
With links and ties too numberless to be known
Is found in the body and souls of the people
They who will enlighten the world.
I like things to be judged on their objective merits, but subjectivity also has its place in qualitative judgment. Intuition from unconscious observations necessarily precedes both deliberated theory and evidence. Beauty may not be truth, nor truth beauty, but something that strikes one as just not pleasing always should cause a degree of reflection. One can be wrong objectively or subjectively, so it is important to critically view both aspects of judgment in looking at an issue.
One of the things in the discussion of these internal arts that puts me off (and has no basis in objectivity at all) is the sense of solipsism that I perceive in it. Being so internally oriented -- unaffected and unmoved -- in a sense that seems to bleed beyond the physical movement and into the spiritual movement.
That probably is an utterly and horribly wrong indictment of internal arts, from an objective standpoint, but one of the reasons I began the practice of aikido in the first place is to take me out of myself, and find humane connection even when in opposition to toher people.
It is a quality I have found that aikido, as it has been spread about the world so far, promotes remarkably well. The discussion on the application of the internal arts, with its internal orientation and movement, to aikido seems remarkably contrary to that spirit, at least to me. Aiki has been for me about expanding the sense and the meaning of the center of movement, physically, as well as spiritually, not turning it in further in upon itself. I would find deeply concerning anything that seemed to make a material change in that spirit.