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Old 06-05-2007, 08:29 AM   #106
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,618
Re: Parsing ai ki do

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Erick, The entirety of your post suggest that all training and all truths are subective. and therefore there is no constant to be trained in-no underlying truth. So each has to go show or train increasingly larger numbers of people to gather a consensus enough to make a whole other construct of Aikido.
The entire discussion becomes a non-starter so...yah... er...ok.
No. I am suggesting that the objective truth is larger than you credit. And that the subjective modes of experiencing that objective truth are more varied than you would allow.

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Takeda and Ueshiba were in fact real and their training method and the way to get there is well established across many arts in Asia. It doesn't need to be "proved" or validated by ignorant masses of westerners to have worth. I think its all too clear that the masses never got it in the first place-so seeking validation from them is a bit ridiculous-even comical.
You mistake my point. Of course, the art needs no proof in its own objective terms. It is what is. The point of this discussion is that it does need communicating to people who have no (or very few) points of reference to understand its significance and its differnt approach from their "normal" assumptions about physical power and repsonses to it.

The point of parsing or deconstructing the word and concept of ai-ki-do is to see what means may allow those unfamiliar with it as such, to gain a better understanding of it. The difference between us is that students of O-Sensei, spoken or unspoken, tend to have a sense of mission about their practice. It is in full flower in this forum. Plainly, you have a similar sense from a different source. It may be in accord fundamentally, but coming from a different source is different in its terms of reference. It is therefore a source of potential misunderstanding. Common references are important to mutual intelligibility, and this is true of non-verbal as well as verbal forms of communication.

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
The truth of Aikido does exist and it is a living model to follow. It is replicable and teachable and not subject to -for example- the whims and composite belief systems of new age shaman seekers, nor technique-junkies.
Umm. Shaman? No, I have a priest and Church and need no substitutes, and make no apologies. I do not allow that perspective to stop me from speaking to people in terms they may be more likely to hear. In this discussion about what "ai-ki-do" means as an expressed concept, all the ways in which that communication can occur are worth considering. The medium is not the message.

You are correct that people who may view "technique collection" as the end of discussion, are making this mistake. But you are, also, in assuming that mistake to be inherent to the medium of communicating the aiki through technique. Technique is one medium, as compared with, say kokyu undo, which are complementary practices toward the same end.

The involvement of a partner with independent will in connection with us in technique is the physical equivalent of a koan. That requires us to resolve what we learn on our own in kokyu undo and the movement of our own centered bodies, but in a way that does not provoke the 1-2-3 of attack-response-reply in our partnered interaction.

To the extent that technique practice results in that cookbook causal progression -- it is ineffective training in my view. To the extent that it allows us to break that paradigm, it is achieving its purpose -- so that chi no kokyu and/or ten no kokyu (the composite elements of TWO in the Taoist epistemology I suggested) are expressed in the partner in the same way that they are expressed in ourselves.

As I have said before, I have not read anything described physically or performance-wise by you or anyone taking your point of view that does not answer to one or another of kokyu undo practices I have seen or done. Your criticism of what "ai-ki-do" is in the sense of how we "ought" to arrive at that knowledge (beyond admittedly sloppy practice in some quarters) seems on closer examination, in the context of proper kokyu undo practice, to largely be a distinction without a difference. If it is anything else, that can only be seen in a broader framework of training, absent the self-selection problem, as I suggested.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 06-05-2007 at 08:33 AM.


Erick Mead
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