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Old 02-05-2007, 11:52 PM   #399
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

Eddie deGuzman wrote:
His thoughts on useability go right to the heart of the matter though. Does it work, and does it work consistently, and does it work in response to any style of attack? If I critiqued my aikido, I would say yes, it works. Consistently, no. Not yet because I need more training, IMO. With any style attack, no, not yet. As Ushiro said, irrespective of aikido, higher level budo doesn't involve technique. The mere extension of one's ki is sufficient. I'm not there...yet.
O Sensei said in one of the Doka to treat everything he throws at you as "merely seigan." Something that is an idle threat -- not even a real attack -- to be put out of your way to get to the heart of the matter. One thing I have learned is that if you are dealing with the attack then you stop at dealing with the attack, and do not get to the mind/body that is wielding it. If you are dealing with HIM then the attack does not matter. It is merely seigan, becasue the attack will abrely slow you down. Flick away everything that is in the way to get in to deal with the heart of the problem. In kokyu tanden ho, you don't want his arms -- you want him. So shake off the attack, immediately, without losing his connection and just get in and get him. I would paraphrase Ushiros five steps in this way: The first step is learning that you can. The second step is learning how you can. Third step is forgetting that you ever doubted you could. The fourth step is knowing that you will no matter what. And the fifth step is him knowing that without you having to do it.

That is defininitely NOT waza. That is fudoshin -- nothing, absolutely nothing, gets in the way of or slows down your immoveable intent to GET HIM! Then you do the form correctly, and the form increasingly does not matter or is the same essence in everything you do, whichever you prefer. I see this now, and manage to do it more and more. but I still have to DO stuff. That practice of the form with proper intent ultimately becomes the ki extension (intent/energy as Ushiro says) that I palpably sense from people like Hooker Sensei. I know, viscerally, when he looks at me that nothing I threw up in his way would possibly keep him from getting through to deal with ME. And he is sickly old man, too. (Please, nobody tell him I said that.)
Eddie wrote:
He says learn through the body, not through the mind. Perhaps the answer lies in more practice.
Actually, he said more to practice with the body and then apply the mind to what you did, and then more practice, and then ..., etc.
Ushiro Sensei wrote:
... first you have to have practical fighting experiences, and then it takes time to build words and theories around those experiences. There's also the fact that I've also spent a lot of time testing and verifying the universality of these things from every angle I can think of. Even if you can do something with your body, you still have to do a lot of confirmation work if you want to build it into a theory. I've just recently come to a good stopping point in that process, to the end of one phase in my analysis, so only just now has it seemed a good time to share my findings with others.
Empirical correction combined with conceptual critique, in other words, and it never stops. Both are equally important. As Ushiro said, forms are "processes to be unfolded." And that means a critical component as much as consistent drill. Doran Sensei quoted Musashi in the introductory article to the 2006 Summer Camp as follows:"The purpose of today's training ... is to defeat yesterday's understanding." An endless and virtuous cycle.


Erick Mead
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