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Old 12-05-2006, 10:35 AM   #44
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: opening the joints

OK, let me prime the pump a little bit. Japanese calligraphy is based on Chinese calligraphy. The relationship of qi/jin to Chinese calligraphy is the same as ki/kokyu is to Japanese calligraphy. The same can be said of the sword arts. Same thing for Aikido.



What influence did practicing both misogi and aikido eventually have on your calligraphy?

The three converged into one for me. Aikido, for example, is ultimately not really about twisting wrists, causing pain, or throwing people; it is about cultivating "ki," which is something distinctly different from these things. The same is true of calligraphy. There are five or ten thousand characters we can brush in learning about form and line, but ultimately we are pursuing something beyond these, and that something is none other than "ki".So calligraphy and aikido became the exact same pursuit for me and I began to practice both as hard as I could.


You once remarked that "the essence of calligraphy lies in kokyu. (lit. breath)." Is this the same sort of kokyu we find in aikido?

The very same.

This brings to mind the question, "What exactly are we teaching when teach calligraphy?" We teach form and how to draw the characters, of course, but I think if we are unable to teach a certain "something more," then the life will go out of calligraphy and it will no longer interest people.

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