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Old 03-09-2007, 05:23 PM   #19
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido as External Art -or- Where's the Chewy Center?

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
This probably could have been placed in the Baseline thread, but I'm hoping for a new tone/direction.
Hope springs eternal.

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
... the real point of this piece is that despite frequently being referred to as an internal art, Aikido exists today as an external art.
Yep.

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
I believe that what really separates an internal art from an external art is the *teaching paradigm* itself.
Yep.

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
I think Aikido is often misunderstood as an internal art due to its complicated nature and emphasis on softness/relaxation. I feel this is an error. Hard/soft are not good indicators of internal and external arts.
Yep.
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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
An internal art forces the practitioner to become extremely introspective about what is happening within their own body. The kihon of the art exists to help reshape internal structures of the body (often developing support muscles) and teach the disciple how to really feel. ... On the flip side, an external art will focus on the outside shape of the body ... the assumption being that the external form will eventually lead to a correct internal state.
Yep. Obverses.

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
It's my belief that the Japanese education system is decidedly external. The idea is that understanding comes from repetition and mimicry.
Whereas the socialization in Japan is remarkably internal, complex, and many layered.

And oddly enough the Western system of education has tended toward the internal and analytical mode of education and away from the rote methods. And at the same time the "external" Japanese (and Korean) martial arts are vastly more popular here, fitting our much more "off the cuff" socialization.

Inevitable compensations, perhaps: where there are hills -- there must also be valleys. In-Yo.

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Over time, the shape and repetition of the external shape of the exercise gradually educates internal awareness. To be perfectly clear, what we are talking about is an external paradigm attempting to teach internal skills.
Yep. And the other way, too.

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
[Tenryu Pushing O Sensei] In clearer terms, the techniques of aikido had led to his being able to be unmovable (external paradigm) rather than his skill of being unmovable leading to his ability to do aikido techniques (internal paradigm). ... my intent is more to offer a better analysis of what aikido really is so that it can be fairly judged.
A goal we share, even if our methods may differ.

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
I think the teaching paradigm (as I've experienced it) sucks. Most people have no idea what exactly they're doing , why what they are doing works or how to control their internal structure to correctly/efficiently move.
For me it was not so. Maybe I was lucky, or exceptional, but I think not on either count. But, I am a very internal, analytical person. Most of my learning has been self-directed and critical even when under instruction, and I tend to disregard what people say they mean and look more at what they actually say and do. Stubborn that way. So, there you go.

Of course, to save time let me just say that I must therfore not know what I know, .. or don't know what I don't know, OR.. I forget, but Dan or MIke know what I know or know what I don't know or don't know what I don't know ... or something else Rumsfeldian along those lines ... Just to save everybody the time

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
...it was a revelation to learn some of Don Angier's principles. Suddenly I had a lexicon to describe what I was doing and what other people were doing. It all suddenly made sense.
The problem with that being, not its effectiveness or authoritative nature, but its communicability. That lexicon may not be broad enough, and it may still be too figurative to allow a skeptical frustrated student ot access the material on his own and from his own observations. That is a strong Western trait that the training paradiogm in these arts has yet to address. That is why I am doing what I am doing in working through strict terms of physical dynamics as much as I can and looking for BS flags on anything that I propose that is simply not sound mechnically. That would be as opposed to being ill-fitting in some other lexicon, which was the tenor of much of far too much of the earlier debate.

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
So perhaps instead of blasting everyone and their teachers for doing it all wrong, we could start anew with a different tone, say, "Hey, I think I know something that will really improve what you're doing and save you a lot of time and frustration over the years, but you'll have to trust me and try something new."
at the same time it may be helpful to come to COMPLETELY bland neutral territory to avoid the my language your language arguments. Again, that is what I am working on.

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Almost done here, one last point to make. I believe aikido is such a long and difficult art to become a proficient martial artist with because we're literally taking the hardest road possible.
Yep. El Capitan. North Face of K-2. No one does that to find the easy way to the top. There are other reasons for doing it.

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
... paraphrasing a Hsing Yi book I read recently, any martial artist is defined by a combination of their speed, power and technique. According to the writer in question, speed is the most important, followed by power, and finally by technique. I'm sure this is up for debate, so bear with me. ...
Aikido, because of its teaching paradigm is actually an external art which could benefit greatly from insights gained through internal arts and practices.
One issue think I would quibble. Musubi -- connection is more imortant than all three.

Speed does not matter if you do not connect; power does not matter if you do not connect; technique does not matter if you do not connect.

If I connect, in a fundamental way, with him:

Speed does not matter; he moves me as he moves himself;
Power does not matter: mine is joined to his, not contesting it;
Technique does not matter (See Dan?); because the technique is simply doing what he wants to do.

We train in different techniques to learn different ways in which our partner expresses the motion of his desire. We train at different speeds to learn how our partners expresses the urgency of his desire. We train at different power levels to learn how our partner exresses the depths of his desire.

Ultimately, it is learning to abandon our own desires and invest ourselves completely in our partner's desires. Which is simply to say, as OSensei said : True Budo is love.

Big mountain. Huge. Biggest one there is.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 03-09-2007 at 05:34 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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