View Single Post
Old 12-08-2006, 03:37 PM   #108
Erick Mead
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,616
Re: Practical internal training ?

Christian Moses wrote:
... Kano Sensei's intent. He was educated in Western methodologies of Phyisical Education ...
Aikido could have used these same concepts... but ... didn't. Ueshiba ... was not a scientist. He described aikido in just as sophisticated a lexicon as any scientist could hope for, but it was ... obscure ... .
I firmly believe that everything he said or wrote or was recorded in teaching must be preserved AND APPLIED in relation to aikido. While it is alchemical knowledge in its nature, that is not derogatory in any way. It describes a certain type of non-reductionist symbolic knowledge. Without the direct legacy of alchemy we would not have either organic or inorganic chemistry, for instance. Without the indirect legacy of alchemy the very basis of metatheory in empirical science, as early developed by Bacon, would not exist.

There are many potential mechanical perspectives on interpretion of these principles. Several of them could be equally valid from differnt perspectives or in understanding certain principles of action at different scales, for instance.
Christian Moses wrote:
I think in structures, rules and psychological phenomena.
Then we truly have common ground.
Christian Moses wrote:
One of the greatest gifts I've gotten from my current teacher is a lexicon for aikido/budo/jutsu that actually means something to me.
Is it drawn from mechanics? What is his approach?

Jacques Heyman, an engineer, and who, as far as I know, doesn't even know what aikido is, started me thinking about structures and their mechanical interpretation in ways that called up aikido for me. A good start is his book translating and discussing the principles of analysis used in "Colulomb's Memoir on Statics." Particular attention should be given to the principles graphically illustrated on the cover of the 1998 edition. and if you get a copy , the discussion of that topic. See here:
Christian Moses wrote:
There are already people and groups out there that have done this to a large degree, but by doing so, have moved themselves out of the art. It's a slippery slope,
Which is why I want to constantly check the mechnical interpretation against actual practice and the sources that O Sensie gave us. It is necessary to have the patience to delve into both streams of learning to do this.

O Sensei is and must be the acid test for anything that aspires to be aikido. Budo Renshu, the Takemusu Aiki lectures or in the lectures and depictions of the kotodama and mandala, and tehcniques and principles he otherwise communicated all have application to this effort. I do not propose to abandon any of them. Far from it. I wish draw from them to re-relate that knowledge into one or more recognized systems of mechanics, as Ledyard Sensei is re-relating the knowledge in a system of psychology.

Ledyard started me thinking in this way because of his way of translating O Sensei's concepts into terms of Western psychology. On that point, an excellent analyst of the psychology of budo from a purely Western perspective is John Hillman (a direct student of Carl Jung). He wrote "A Terrible Love of War." I found it remaindered at the Barnes & Noble. It is a marvelous book summing up his ideas drawn from a lifetime of psychological study and practice in Jung's method. What is intrgiguing is that like O Sensei, Hillman deeply relates the principles of both war and love using a Jungian mytholigical backdrop, from bothe clasical and modern sources. It gives some strong examples of how to do the same thing in approaching the functional symbolic imagery that O Sensei drew from the Kojiki.
John Hillman wrote:
One sentence from one scene in one film, Patton, sums up what this book tries to understand. The general walks the field after a battle. Churned earth, burnt tanks, dead men. He takes up a dying officer, kisses him, surveys the havoc, and says,

"I love it. God help me, I do love it so. I love it more than my life."


Erick Mead
  Reply With Quote