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Old 08-17-2007, 10:27 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: Sword work, internal skill, & "Aiki"

Robert John wrote: View Post
Wow...that was like the most readable post by you yet Eric...
But for some reason I definitely get the feeling you're completely missing the mark. You really should get out and feel Dan, or someone else with these skills etc etc etc <yawn>

but somehow I feel another post coming up on angular gyrotonical hip swaying.

go out feel someone with these skills then come back here and post on this subject.
Etc. etc. etc. Sorry to disappoint. It's taken some time to get it that short. It's all bundled above, and I have no further need to unpack it for my own purposes -- unless asked -- unless -- you are asking???

As for the rest, my approach is sound from either perspective, since I have taken the time to digest and comprehend the conceptual perspective that you and some others here take on the matter of your own practice in comparison with my own and those I have practiced with. While I have not perceived the same effort directed at my observations -- it does not trouble me at all. Beyond that I won't respond to the presumption of my experience or practical understanding merely from my interest in conceptual matters, except to relate this: 知行合一。 (I'll presume you recognize it as Chinese.)
陽明子 wrote:
My translation: "Knowledge is the rule of action. Action is the work of knowledge. To know is action's beginning. To act is knowing's completion. If you put this together in some moment, then speaking of knowledge alone, already your knowledge itself is possessed of action in that moment; and speaking of action alone, already your action itself is possessed of knowledge in that moment."

The principle goes both ways. Action in ignorance is ultimately no more effective or wise than 'knowledge' not acted on. And this form of knowledge in action is not really capable of shortcut, either, conceptually or practically. Kimura Sensei, a student of Sagawa in DTR (See Dan's tagline) was reported in an interview in Aikido Journal to have said that "when a person first has some inspiration about aiki, it still takes a considerable amount of time until one can execute aiki in all techniques. However, the difference lies in the performance of all techniques. [Kimura said]: 'The difference appears later since the way of progress is very different with aiki than without aiki.' "

As to the variance of my approach on the conceptual, the state of Japanese learning has not always nor everywhere been so monotonically against novelty. I've already quoted this once in another thread, but it is very responsive so I'll include this excerpt again here:
First Steps Into the Mountains (Uiyamabumi), Motoori Norinaga, 1798 wrote:
: In life, there are many routes to pursue learning, not just one. ...
[E]ach student learns according to his preferred way. The method of learning also varies according to the intentions of the teacher and his students.
You should begin studying your discipline in an orthodox manner, adopting a correct attitude; in this way you will not later deviate into erratic and improper directions. In addition, your learning will bear fruit sooner if the most effective methods are clearly outlined from the beginning. This is the most desirable way to approach scholarship.
In any kind of study, it is easy enough to teach a method based on a set of superficial reasons, with the teacher instructing the pupil to follow this path or that. There is no way of knowing, however, whether the adopted method is indeed good, or whether against all expectations it may turn out to be unhelpful. So the method should not be forced onto a student; the choice should be left entirely to his preference. In essence, the most important and fundamental requirement is that learning be pursued for many years, sparing no effort, without ever becoming boring or fatiguing.

In this respect, any methodology is acceptable and it should not be a matter of great concern. Yet, however excellent your method of study, you will meet with no success if you are lazy and make no effort. . . .

from Nishimura, "First Steps. . . .", Monumenta Nipponica, 42:4,
Winter 1987, pp. 449 et seq.


Erick Mead
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