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Old 11-30-2006, 04:34 PM   #310
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,616
Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Mike Sigman wrote:
In other words, you don't understand what jin is or you wouldn't be off into these lengthy diatribes? It's just simple jin manipulation (although there are some cute ways to accomplish jin manipulation and there are some simple, less-powerful ones). Mind controls the sourcing and application points of a jin path. Too many people reading this forum and others can do this to make it such a lengthy, torturous process, Erick.
My issue is not applicability. I have great respect for Chinese traditional knowledge in application. Maybe we are talking about the same things, maybe not, but jin (as you describe it) does not appear from all evidence I can gather to be mechanically sound -- if it is intended to be a mechanical concept.

I don't think it has to be in order to be useful as a concept, but I question the limits of it usefulness, either way. That does not mean that your imagery does not teach or that your methods are ineffective. I don't have to agree with one voice coach's imagery to learn to sing well, either.

The point is two fold --

1) Utility -- What is better to aid in teaching and transmitting the aiki concepts to the widest possible audience?

2) Corroboration -- Does the concept have corroborational support in a widely-understood field for reference to illustrate concepts in physical application, or to check or to suggest novel ideas of application?

In Shanghai, I might defer to you and the Chinese traditional approach on both points, (although, the Chinese do not fly planes that way). I am very sorry, but the concept and operation of jin as you describe it is not mutually intelligible to the concepts and operation of Western mechanics, and fails on both points when used over here.

Your "chest push" description approached it but then veered back in to the terms of art, instead of describing plain motion. There is another video of the same demonstration (maybe later on in the first one I linked) in which O Sensei is doing the same thing but nearly up on tippy-toes, so the "rooting" ground path you are talking about is not operating, or at least, not in the same way.

The rotational moment model I am talking about explains, mechnically, technique performed with nothing but one the ball of one big toe in contact with the ground. I think Shioda had some thing important to say about that in reference to chushin-ryoku, actually. The "center axis" image running though his works is much more in line with this mechanical concept than the jin model is.

Maybe you or someone else can persuade me from this model. I do many of the things you describe and have represented in various videos in this and other discussions as "relaxed jin" in operation. Whether I do them as well as, or better, or worse than others remains to be seen (as if I were competing here.). But that is hardly the point, either.

I just differ with you on my understanding of how or by what means they are done, or the means to describe or analyze how they are done. If I were not convinced that you all do them and have information to aid me in my attempts to better describe them I would, quite frankly, ignore you. Why the resistance to an expansion of knowledge or its comprehension in this manner?

I could be wrong in my assesment of the mechanics, but so far I see no evidence of it. I have said that my understanding of the Chinese concepts is academic, and my understanding of movement is mostly from aikido. While I understand the academic concepts you present, your images do nothing for me in terms of what I feel when I do the types of movements you speak of and which have been illustrated. What likelihood should I then ascribe to any other person, without such cultural familarity, ever finding them uesful in learning?

This is very much in keeping with the objections stated here about the uses of "kokyu" in common Japanese usage differing from its usage in martial arts circles. Terms of art require definition to be intelligbile outside the sphere of their application. The same is true in all three languages, much less between them. I doubt seriously you know what vortex ring state is either, but it will surely kill you just the same.

As some of you have described your reaction to such training, I, too, walk and feel very differently having handled a sword for lo these fifteen years, too. Is it the same as you feel differently from your jin training? Maybe, maybe not, as I have never understood what I know how to do in those terms, and find them less than useful in either furthering them in myself or in teaching them to others.

Notwithstanding these observations, if you or anyone else is willing to do so, I would love to engage the jin concept as you understand it to operate physically, in terms of its mechanics in this forum.

If not, by all means, please talk amongst yourselves in whatever terms seem pleasing to you.


Erick Mead
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