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Old 05-20-2007, 09:26 PM   #11
Tim Schmelter
Dojo: South Austin Aikido
Location: Austin, TX
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 6
United_States
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Re: What Exactly Are We Practicing Here?

Al:

A very timely and thought-provoking article for me. In the last class of a seminar with Kevin Choate Sensei (6th Dan, ASU) today, I was practicing kokyu dosa with my partner and we worked on some very subtle hara manipulations, trying to send "intent" into each other to move.

Choate Sensei came over to us and watched for a moment and shook his head. "It's not magic, it's basic technique," he said, and demonstrated very clear movements to use to train the motion of our bodies. The foundation is mechanical, and it's that structure where we build all the juicy stuff that happens inside.

Even more importantly, through the rest of the class, he stressed the importance of constantly questioning your belief in what works, and challenging your deeply held convictions that this style or the other must be "wrong".

Is it just physical, or is it engergetic? Is it ki, or psychology, or body mechanics? Is there a fundamental difference? In what ratios will each of these components exist in my aikido, and will that ratio change over time? And why do I practice? I've started to realize that these questions will be informing my training over the coming years.

Best of luck on your own path, and I hope you continue to share your thoughts as you move along it.

--Tim
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