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Old 12-11-2009, 08:57 AM   #29
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
Re: Dan Harden's PA Seminar

Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
Here are some throwaway comments from the peanut gallery:
a) makes me wonder how the first guys ever stayed the course long enough to know it was worth it. There is the internal compass mentioned...that tells you that you are growing stronger, more aligned, balanced and 'bodily-free', isn't there?
Look back to history.

When Ueshiba met Takeda, Ueshiba's physical strength meant nothing. Ueshiba encountered a powerful Budo man in Takeda that went beyond physical strength. In the very first hand experience of that, why wouldn't anyone stay the course? ***

More recent history. Jon H's own training has shown through by the comments from some of his students.

My history. While I wasn't able to tell for 6 months or so that anything was happening, it was quite an eye opener when I finally did get someone (a muscled prison guard) to try wrist locks and he couldn't get them to work.

The body changes. I don't "feel" the same as before. More importantly, not only does the body change but so does the mind and mental outlook. But, that's another topic yet to be discussed.

Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
b) Is the serious work in doing (a) for a long time and listening internally...following... 'the course', once you find the way to train? (i.e. just following the consequences of the body changes) Or, as I suspect, an actual syllabus of body training (knowledge and testing)? i guess if you ask secret ninjas about their secret techniques you will be deafened by the silence. (and/or poked in the eyes)
As was discussed at the seminar, going off on your own in your training has an advantage and disadvantage. You could be doing something wrong for months. Or you could be working something right for months. Perhaps once you get so far into the training, you can understand better what to do or not to do. I'm not that far yet.

Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
c) no rank=approval from others? but the value is felt in your body, isn't it?
Yeah. The value is not only in the body, but in the mind and the spirit. And it's felt both in yourself and by others. Aiki can be debated online for decades, but it only takes a few minutes for the truth to be determined in person.

*** It's worth mentioning here about Ueshiba's experience with Takeda. One account has said that Ueshiba ended up crying. I think people don't like to read that because they attribute some negative connotation to that statement. But, I don't believe there is anything negative about it at all. Takeda had aiki. I think when Ueshiba encountered Takeda, Takeda did whatever he wanted and Ueshiba couldn't stop him.

I'd bet Ueshiba was overwhelmed with Takeda's skill. So much so, that Ueshiba felt helpless and trapped. Ueshiba couldn't stop Takeda, couldn't counter him, couldn't get away from him, and frustration, being overwhelmed, being helpless, smothered, etc all contributed to Ueshiba's mental state.

Crying? Yeah, I can believe that. But not because he was a baby, but because he encountered a completely overwhelming situation. I think it also shows a greater character trait of Ueshiba that he ended up becoming one of Takeda's top students. He was so overwhelmed that he cried, yet he got back up, became a student of Takeda, worked through his physical muscles, and trained as Takeda taught. He recognized the rarity of aiki, the power of aiki, trusted Takeda in his teaching (you don't get powerful overnight and there is a lot of solo training), and kept working on building aiki.

There were many jujutsu schools, many sword schools, judo, kendo, etc out there. Yet after a very humbling experience, Ueshiba focuses solely on Takeda's Daito ryu and more specifically, Takeda's version of aiki.

Did he cry? Yeah, I think he did. But he was more the man for it and more the Budo man after it. Takeda opened his eyes to true Budo. No matter what happened, Ueshiba never forgot Takeda, nor the gift given.
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