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Old 03-29-2007, 11:23 AM   #16
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,616
Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Michael McCaslin wrote: View Post
You keep bringing this point up.
Only because it has not been answered.

Michael McCaslin wrote: View Post
What is not clear, I'll give you, is why he was unhappy and what he felt was missing.
Which is the only question worth answering in this context.

Michael McCaslin wrote: View Post
I don't know how anyone can see a statement like "the practices we were doing were different from what O-Sensei expected us to do" from someone who was there and not be in the least bit interested in seeing what's out there while the people who have it are generous enough to show it.
What "it" is that is being shown now in certain quarters and its relation to "what he felt was missing," have not been established, and are the point of my criticism. Ushiro has been the focus of the outside critics.. He essentially said that basically aikidoka need to simply learn to hit effectively to fix the problem.
... when Mr. Pranin asked Ushiro Sensei what suggestions he might have that might help the students improve their aikido, he replied: "Things will change if you learn how to attack better. And that's pretty much it." ... (An audio replay of the entire discussion may be heard at
See: entire article:

Whirly-twirly dance is justly to be criticized, but it is also not what I was taught nor those alongside me. I just don't get the point of all this hand-wringing. That is not to say that the discussion is not worth the attention and the effort. I have certainly spent some effort in engaging it.

In every lineage in which I learned aikido (Saotome's, Saito's, and even briefly, Chiba, himself) we were specifically instructed in how to hit and kick, quite effectively. I see no problem in the typicality of my arc of training on that score. Mechanically, his overall point makes perfect sense: concentration of force and dissipation of force are the same exact prinicple in operation and to understand the one you must also understand the other. "In-yo ho" as Dan likes to say.

But also mechanically, his explanation of how this is occurring, while more than adequate in the idiom he learned it, needs some serious work to put into to the idiom of physical mechanics.
Using ki, you can enter into the opponent's center instantly, directing them at will through the hips and knees. In the case of throws, too, it is not an external rotation that breaks the partner's balance, but an internal one. Because it is applied internally, the opponent cannot feel it."

Some of what I have proposed, in terms of manipulating angular momentum, centers of inertia, gyrodynamics and related principles of waveforms are all applicable to his general description. Aspects of the Huygen/Fresnel Principle on wave gates, which I have mentioned previously, come into play to precisely the same effect that Ushiro describes for the internal rotation action noted above.

I won't belabor my thoughts on these things at any greater length than I have already. It seems like it should be unobjectionable that work on defining the nature and operation of that internal rotation in the idiom of physical mechanics of the principle would be helpful. In our increasingly technological society this seems an inevitable and long overdue development in the art, to me, especially if the art is to not only survive and keep attracting and helping practitioners in the future but also to develop and grow in depth of understanding, and ability to relate its prinicples even more broadly in society.

I have heard much analogy and pointing to websites, and mention of things like tensegrity structures, but little in terms of the actual proposed dynamics of those (or any other) structures in physically meaningful internal actions in the terms that Ushiro Sensei puts it. Dan, Mike (S.), Rob, and the others in their line of thought would do well to aid everyone if they would give their thoughts in line with what Ushiro says above, on a couple of fairly simple points:

1) What structure(s), to their way of thinking is/are rotating internally?
2) How do they rotate internally ?
3) What mechanism(s) transmit that rotation externally to the other person?

Feel free to point the response to any of the other threads if you so desire. But I think I made the topicality of my point fairly clear.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 03-29-2007 at 11:31 AM.


Erick Mead
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