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Old 03-21-2007, 02:55 AM   #26
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

Well, my point was that there is a lot of exaggerated fantasical language being used to describe this stuff, and I doubt it's helping anyone understand it, or enhance persuasion or credibility with anyone who is skeptical. When pressed, what was blithely described as "unbendable arm", "not a trick", and requiring "no tension at all" has been revealed to be a moderately bend-resistant arm in which the mechanics of the demo prevent more than a marginal bending force to be applied to it, requiring a low to moderate amount of muscular tension to do properly, the purpose of which has little or nothing to do with actual arm bendability.

Being a skeptical, analytical person, I have always objected to this kind of hyperbole in Aikido instruction and coaching. Someone insisting that I 'just relax' signifies to me that I should crumple into a lump on the floor. Not useful. There is the argument of the sort that 'most people are so tense that it will send them in the right direction', but this sounds like a lame excuse to me. This is essentially admitting that you are telling students something that is literally wrong and likely misleading under the assumption that they are too stupid to be reasoned with properly. This is a 'dumbing down' process that is going to retard smarter students and convolute serious discussions among more advanced people about what is really being talked about.
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