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Old 02-05-2007, 11:00 PM   #396
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,618
Re: Baseline skillset

Dan Harden wrote:
And I find it odd that you quote him.... as he is an advocate for being able to train these skills outside of waza.
You have repeatedly stated to Mike, that you think they are to be learned -in- Waza.
Aikido is an extended set of paired kata. That is the reason it gets criticized for "lacking martial effectiveness" by the guys that Ushiro also criticizes on the karate side of the aisle. What we do is almost completely kata.

And what did Ushiro say about that? Instead of letting you recraft his statements to make your point (and since Mike chooses apparently not defend his own position on the technical merits) -- Let me quote Ushiro Sensei, again:
Ushiro wrote:
Over time, the various techniques and secret teachings (gokui) that have emerged from this kind of training have been compiled, and these compilations of physical knowledge gradually led to the formation of the kata (forms) we practice today.

The question we have to ask now is what kind of approach and thinking should we adopt today in order to learn these kata and all that they have to offer?

I personally have found it best to view kata not simply as forms to be learned, but rather as "tools" for studying how to deal with critical situations, and more specifically how to keep myself out of harm's way in those situations. This is how I think about kata, and this is also how kata are viewed within the Shindo-ryu tradition.
O Sensei said, very specifically that the secrets are in the omote forms. I see them there, and have for quite some while now. Increasingly, I can use them with facility from the forms I have learned and unceasingly find new variations from those now that the root forms are clearer. I therefore have reason to trust his assurances on this point.

You and Mike -- not so much. Whatever else may be said -- you do not deliver in kind when pressed. And what sort of budo shrinks from engagement? This is not a fight, but it is supposed to be an honest conflict. And you are trying to lead a contingent of aikidoka toward your promised land of "skills." Things you cannot desribe in modern terms to a modern audience, and which you cannot fit within a coherent tradition of the forms of aikido you both consistently deride as useless "waza."

Nor, do you come to speak with me. Rather you speak at me, to condescend. It is is disrespectful. I say this not to claim any respect that I am due, for I am not. But disrespect of an opponent, even an opponent you believe to be lesser than you -- that is serious suki. That betrays a serious weakness of budo, and confirms my other, lesser opinions about this particular engagement.
Dan Harden wrote:
The kind of skills discussed by Ushiro and displayed on video by Ueshiba and many Chinese artists. I asked if you could do those examples. You honestly answered that you could not.
I have analyzed every single vidoe offered in the mechanical terms I see in action. You cannot describe what these skills are in terms that have been common since Sir Isaac Newton got bonked on the head.

And when you purport to say what I "said" -- you quote me.

Otherwise -- it ain't what I said. 'Nuff said.

Your opinion of whether I meet functional "tests" you even cannot adequately describe, is most entertaining. I've read some of Mike's other descriptions of "teacher tests" and entertaining as they are, I am well-satisfied I have your measure. And, no I cannot do some of the nifty gee whiz things I see that O Sensei does on film. And gee, gosh, boy, howdy that really proves somehting doesn't it? But I have learned enough of what he handed down to see how he is doing it when I have stop-motion film to help me out, and thus can explain it to you.

Neither you nor Mike are bothering to rebut me on my descriptions of what they are, and how they fit the forms of aikido as received in tradition. Ushiro's observations from a differnt stream of tradition, only confirm me to return, again and again, to the root forms where the secrets lie. And to oppose your efforts to lead others away from them, for reasons that are most unclear to me.

But better yet, since I remain in my sin, why don't you stop refusing and take up Jim Sorrentino's expense-paid invitation and come down show us the error of our ways down at Shobukan in Washington, since we obviously are not going to be led to the light over the internet.

I am pretty sure the offer is still open.


Erick Mead
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