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Old 08-17-2007, 11:27 PM   #25
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,403
Re: Sword work, internal skill, & "Aiki"

Robert John wrote: View Post
Before you go quoting Kimura I'd go back and read Sagawa's book "Clear Power" ...he was pretty famous for doing 1000 reps of pushups (and did 100 in one go in front of Kimura's younger brother, a doctor at Tokyo Univ) at a time, using them to connect his body...
No *angular momentum* junk at work.
Showing only that you do not really understand what it is and what it means. One cannot perform a pushup without angular momentum being developed -- or any other motion involving the articulation or rotation of limbs or torso. Besides, I can find at least ten Marines age 50 plus in this town at the drop of a hat to equal that -- and I doubt they have developed aiki.
Robert John wrote: View Post
Like I said, I'd go get a feel from someone who has these skills first and establish a common baseline
sigh. (I don't cop feels, BTW. )
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
The preceding three posts are a rough and unedited translation by another forum member.
And much appreciated -- if ill advised... So, to respect the copyright in the original (which Jun has by now deleted in observance of wholesale copying restrictions), I will simply use a small portion -- in proper fair use commentary. This I found most intriguing:
Sagawa wrote:
You (the Author) are always thinking about math, so you should be able to do even better work <as you go on>. The secret is in always thinking about it. The reason no one progresses or gets any better, stronger is because no one thinks. They forget about what they do in between practices. It has to become a part of your life.
(Author "Even Gauss, and other Mathematicians said the same thing.")
See! This is why you are no good. You don't do something simply because so and so said so. If you simply go through life by simply thinking you can copy people you'll never get anywhere. The only person that can do this is you. You must create your own understanding for yourself.
Take Aiki for example. There is no way to really teach this. Even if I could point at something that is Aiki I can't put it into words. You simply think you can learn everything from me, so you don't develop the habit to think for yourself. That is what divides people that are smart from whose who are not. Even with mathematics, its not as if you suddenly wake up one day able to do these things, am I right? This is the same with Bujutsu. It is about long periods of work, innovation, that you slowly over time become able to do these things.
The counterargument to the traditional approach in aikido training seems to be that its selection of waza and kokyu undo are simply not capable of functioning as tanren in the manner described by Sagawa and what he relates of Takeda. What is essential, says Nidai Doshu, quoting his father, is nen (concentration), kan (intuition) and assiduous training. I fail to see a significant difference in the technical merit of the two recommended approaches to training, on these grounds, if followed faithfully with right intention. If this intention has failed anywhere then the training has failed -- and has failed to meet what Nidai Doshu transmitted. It is not a failure in the transmission of the art, as such -- at least as compared to Sagawa on these grounds, if the intention is maintained elsewhere.
O Sensei wrote:
In training the first task is to continually discipline the spirit, sharpen the power of nen, and unify the body and mind. This is the foundation for development of waza, which in turn unfolds endlessly through nen.
To give due self-criticism, Nidai Doshu acknowledged objective analysis in physical terms as valid in itself, but simply not a substitute for the required development of the ki-mind-body unity. I think I am fairly clear that I merely suggest the mechanics as a way to think critically about correction and form -- again in line with Sagawa's advice.

Sagawa says that kokoro is the key, an indomitable spirit. Again, little difference in approach with O Sensei. Sagawa's approach, however, clearly following Takeda, is calculated commitment. Commendable, and undoubtedly effective. Actually, coming from my critical, analytic bent, there is much that resonates with me in that perspective.

But what is different? O Sensei said Love. O Sensei's premise is that committed love is ultimately superior to committed calculation. The purpose in the practice methods of traditional aikido is directed toward that end. That practice Sagawa does plainly criticize. Uncommitted anything is nothing at all, without question. But there is a point in aikido that is not contained in Sagawa's thought nor in Takeda's, however much their teaching on commitment, innovation and constant and critical self-improvement must be applauded and followed.

Personally, I see what O Sensei meant, from the standpoint of warfare as well as conflict short of that. There is an objective physical basis to believe he was right about the superiority of loving protection as motivation in physical terms. The unification of k-mind-body flows from loving- protection in ways that nothing else, neither calculation nor rage, can match biomechanically. There is much mythic truth in that perspective, a source of wisdom ignored at peril, too, in the psychosocial arena that is actual combat. The study of combat unit cohesion tells me he was right. That doesn't mean we don't need to be just as critical and committed as Sagawa suggests. But the approach of traditional aikido training has a point beyond his intent, and which his criticism shows that he does not get or disagrees with.

Sagawa wrote:
You must possess instant intuition. Do not become obsessed with frames or shapes. ... You must always be ready to defeat any opponent in front of you. You build upon this spirit. In the end it is about spirit clashing against spirit. This applies to everything. A person with weak will could never move hand nor foot against his opponent. A real match is about who will be cut down. If you are weak willed, you will be cut down instantly.
Un wavering will is absolutely essential, regardless of approach. But merely reacting without thinking from indomitable will to cut down the opponent and reacting without thinking from loving protection are two very different forms of intuitive action.
Even if you train everyday all the while innovating yourself, it will take at least 20 years. Ten years or so isn't nearly enough time.
If aiki takes 20 years according to Sagawa to use reliably, it hardly seems a grave imposition to develop that instant intuition in O Sensei's mode, assuming, of course, that one gets his point about why.

If not, then by all means, carry on with my blessing and pay me no mind.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 08-17-2007 at 11:32 PM.


Erick Mead
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