Thread: Ki and Koryu?
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Old 07-08-2007, 10:56 PM   #12
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Dojo: Houston Ki Aikido
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Re: Ki and Koryu?

Ted Ehara wrote: View Post
Ki training probably became explicit because aikido moved westward. Within the Japanese culture the understanding of ki is implicit. In the west there is no tradition of ki, so an instructor had to become explicit so the student can comprehend. Koichi Tohei remarked that American students always asked questions. He would take a non-traditional approach to ki training and develop a curriculum that would parallel the aikido training.
I have always found this sort of statement hard to swallow, because a) it implies that the Ki Society in Japan has no need of explicit non-traditional training because the students are Japanese. Ki training is just for us backward Westerners. I think there is ample evidence that this is not the case. and b) seems more likely that in dealing with Americans who not only had the temerity to ask questions but to actually expect answers, Tohei found it useful to draw upon his training in with Tempu Nakamura, a teacher who himself was partly the product of Western experiences and Western empiricism as reflected is his approach to yoga. When students caught on faster he realized he was on to something and it changed his approach to teaching.

From what I've seen of traditional training, the feeling is that there is no need to teach ki development, since it should grow naturally as one practices.
From a koryu perspective, it's really laughable to call anything about aikido "traditional". Daito Ryu itself has very little claim and perhaps none to anything traditional. The osmosis approach is a highly questionable approach in a gendai art where teaching large groups of people who practice relatively infrequently in their spare time is far more often the norm than the occurence of full time one-on-one apprenticeships. Plus the fact that koryu tend be more explicit in what they teach than the "traditional" aikido approach. Someone going to battle needs to learn quickly and doesn't have the luxury of taking 20 years to develop.

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