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Old 05-14-2008, 09:31 AM   #18
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 244
Re: Taiji Motion study

Erick Mead wrote: View Post
You mistake what I am doing. Ki as traditionally understood explains the how. Now we must explain Ki in other terms.

Hearing is the primary sense of language, and the primary sense is necessary to internalize it. That's why kids read out loud. Written images that are closest to the actual primary sense (in a given culture) are most effectively learned. Alphabetical languages are easily "heard"; a Westerner can more easily internalize the sound than the pictogram, because pictorial languages require much rote learning to internalize sound from the image. Alphabetics are analytic, and less foundational work is necessary to work it out. Ki, as a conceptual system, and physics have a similar distinction in their approaches to physical problems.

Aikido is a physical "language." Its primary sense is touch and movement. Touch and movement are no more directly perceptible in the written page than hearing is, but a representation of it can be made if the representation makes the primary sense datum accessible to the sense memory of the reader.

Two systems, physics and ki, may equally represent the primary sense data. They are not, however equally accessible in talking about or writing about the primary data, depending on culture. You may analogize what I am trying to do with the transliteration that various systems have attempted with the sounds of Chinese. Pinyin is NOT Chinese -- it is a Western point of access to Chinese.

Aikido, in western terms, is somewhere between steps one and two, above. For those that get it in traditional terms as those terms were meant (and not as fancifully imagined) they need no more. For those who do not easily get it in traditional terms some transliteration is necessary into a different system of understanding, to get it in terms they can use their own physical sense memory to access and internalize it.

And anyone who merely defaults to "you just have to feel this stuff" as an exclusive retort is simply complaining that "pinyin is not Chinese." While not wrong, it simply misses the point (apart from tending to be condescending and presumptive). It would be like saying that Shakespeare's written work is good for nothing but wiping up spills simply because it is not in its "intended" directly spoken form, as though people are incapable of "hearing" in the head when reading what is written.

Once you have access, have learned the alphabet and basic grammatic structure of the language you can start to puzzle out the place and meaning of essential words, and then in comparing what you hear and seeing what is written, you can get on to nuances of grammar, inflection and more elegant forms of expression.
Mr Erick,

I agree on many points. When I started teaching my daughters to read from "100 lessons for Teaching Your Children How to Read", by Haddux; I had an epiphany.

As the story goes, the guys who wrote the book in the late 1970's were IBM employes. They were concerned with the fact that "Johnny Couldn't Read". As such, they looked at the method of "teaching reading" in the schools. They found that teachers were in fact, habitualizing children to "never read" properly.

They created an alphabet that used phonics (learning to state the ABC's in fact becomes a barrier to reading words.) They used arrows to tell the children which direction to read in (teachers had assumed that kids knew to read from right to left). They placed dots at the bottom of her phonetic letter (to employ touch, with sound, with sight). Lastly, with the arrows they employed a method of "connected" sounds.

My epiphany was that "I was teaching martial arts" in this same way. I was using the modes of "data intake" (i.e. sight, sound, touch, taste and smell) to multiply the ability of my students to learn.) Lastly, instead of "particle" (1 separated by 2, separated by 3), I in my practice was teaching "wave".

I am curious. Do you have any videos of your practice? My opinion is that one's intellect should take root in one's body motions. More interestingly, one's body motions can add to the epiphany of intellect.

Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

Joseph T. Oliva Arriola
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