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Old 06-04-2007, 03:15 PM   #104
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,568
Re: Parsing ai ki do

Glad you liked the Hibiki Dan bit. Teenage son. I osmose.
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
No one, not one "needs to learn through ten thousand techniques" ... Anyone and everyone can clearly learn to approach the art from the source or from "the one" as you call it. And I and others can get you there faster and more efficiently then any of these waza laden methods.
For you, yes, I suppose. Me, I'm coming along fine. Others? Maybe. Maybe not. The question is whether they are prepared to go where you are ready to take them. Your own post discloses a measure of people who were frustrated in the gentle path, so what you report is not only not surprising, it is much to be expected. But, as a result, you cannot escape the blinders of self-selection in the people that you are teaching and the inferences and conclusions you draw from their reported reactions and frustrations.

As I said, your students may not be representative. Experience of many sincere, very knowledgeable teachers around the country says otherwise. There are large classes of people who see the world from a different perspective -- not without its own flaws, certainly, but a style of learning that may be as ill-suited to your paradigm as those who seek you out are ill-suited to the one in mainstream aikido.

The way things are now, you cannot very effectively rebut the self-selection fallacy that underlies your point, because it is in the data reported to you. To correct it you need more data. Teaching a broad sample of persons successfully with your methods would tend rebut this counter-argument. In a more cooperative mode, even if it failed in part, it may help to find ways to better identify students and their needs in learning this stuff more effectively. That is what I perceive to be occurring in Ikeda Sensei's project with Saotome Shihan's blessing in the Aikido summer camp workshops featuring Ushiro Sensei and others.

That is the real point of Jim Sorrentino's invite, actually, to see if the reports given to you are reflective of a real difference of result, or simply an artifact of a categorical difference in learning styles By successfully introducing your methods to a wider and more representative body of aikido students, you can accomplish that. There really is no other way to make the determination.

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Well written, well constructed, total nonsense.
Thank you. It is a gift. I can't take credit. That is something of my point, actually, as I made it earlier, in my emphasis on the poetic and non-rational sense of the kanji and their many associational clouds of meaning.

Learning these things is fundamentally NOT a logical enterprise. Why? Because learning such things involves working on the very assumptions from which the logic of the martial action proceeds, and therefore, logic does not (and cannot) operate at that level of learning or perception of new concepts. We are schooling intuitive premises, not operational efficiencies. It is one reason why these debates are interminable -- and why it also must be so, and everyone should simply resign themselves to the turn of this particular wheel from time to time. .
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
When we are in balance and others are not they are easily moved in accordance with their measure of balance in themselves. ...
To that end, the one with the internal strength of Aikido does not blend and need to match to move others, he simply exists and moves. His will predominates while not resisting at all.
One word refutes this. Sword. I occasionally perform the odd good cut in a mess of tameshi giri when we have done it -- and the good one's involve about as much resistance as there is to unzipping a jacket (and almost the same sound, actually, in the tatami) -- hardly any resistance at all -- on the part of the target, that

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Learning it from ten years or ten thousand techniques is simply the saddest, most staggeringly stupid way to learn it imaginable. ...
Those that do know- know there are faster ways to get there.
I hope you understand that it does, it must, seem that way to you, and very likely most who seek you out. But that does not necessarily make it so, on either point. All relevant perspectives on the nature and shape of the goal are not to be had simply by arriving at the "destination" sooner or more directly. If you climb a mountain, you climb THE MOUNTAIN. Not merely the peak.

There is a "TWO," before we get to the ONE in the progressive elimination of distinctions in phenomenal perception. From my perspective, and that of a teacher I greatly respect who has both seriously considered and seems to respect your views as far as they go, your One is but one half of the TWO. The other element of the TWO is more predominantly about the things (movement, blending) you dismiss, but which actually form a coherent whole. From that perspective, an intermediate position on your proverbial cliff-shortcut is equivalent to the intermediate position on the winding, twisting trail coming from the other perspective. Both are only unified close to the top.

In fact, this is a recurrent theme of learning: at any stage we may give in for a while to the temptation of assuming that This -- FINALLY -- is IT. We tarry and fail to move on, and violate the first and last rule of budo, and risk getting skewered, literally or figuratively for our lapse. I have done this. We have all done this. I will very likely do it again. But at some point I have always moved on -- so far.


Erick Mead
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