Mark - That was a very interesting post!
That is amazing changes can happen so quick. I would love to ask, maybe not specifically to Jon, or any of you....but do you feel like..."How could we have missed this?"...or was it really an alien kind of a thing. Totally a new 'gift' that was given and shown. An extension to things ... or a bridge to a 'new vista'.
I'm at home sick today...this could just be the cough syrup talking.
How do you feel? Would this do a fair job: 'full', 'connected', 'inflated', 'able to 'push-back' in new ways'...less inclined to 'collapse' or 'kink' in on itself? ??
This has been mentioned a couple of times. I would love to hear more on that from anyone inclined to share; especially you Mark, and Dan. I remember this sprouted off into a side topic on how 'testing-yourself in venues such as MMA or sparring' lead to sincere, mettle-tested men (and of course women) who know their worth. I recall also the phrase 'walking free in the world'. I hope i got that right...cough syrup clouding mind). There is a spiritual thread going on right now...maybe that is the spirituality of Aikido. This is something I think on. How does it change your mind? Determination? Learning your mind-body and its' myriad feedback systems? Spirit- Knowing and learning and embracing duty, diligence, ferocity, seeking. To butcher another quote by a good Doc: "Those that know they know, know. You know?" I am sure that level of truth and conviction cannot not change you. The feeling of control and ever increasing mastery over your body must be empowering. How has it changed your heart and spirit?
Where they envisionable before? Any unintended changes? Werewolvian or otherwise?
re: crying & what Dan wrote
--- like a flock of wild geese, i read. Yeah.. I can imagine how that suffocating feeling.. finding all that you are, and have, and do to be fleeting and of no import in the very moments you need it most....sounds indeed like the very definition of being utterly and completely helpless and alone. If that don't make you cry out in frustration i'm not sure what would.
i'm about a quart low on robitussin right now.
I am very reluctant to discuss spirit when it comes to this training as people draw their one personal conclusions to what they think I meant.
Any discussions I have about how this training changes you mentally and spiritually is not about a faith or about a personal belief in God-or any of the new age animist beliefs. People who know me personally, know I am a Christian and I leave that entirely out of the discussions. I am talking about the mental/physical connection in the body. How the mind/ intent/ body alters your own awareness in the physical world.
I coined the term "Living free in the world" back in the mid 90's to help define what IP/aiki was doing in me, mentally and physically.
If you think about your mind leading your awareness out from you, as well as drawing everything in to you constantly, and joining that with your breath- it gives a greatly enhanced feeling of awareness, relaxation, and tactile control of people interacting with you. It is too difficult to explain/debate on net. On contact you have the feeling that you can drain energy from them while cutting right through them If you train that continually with long weapons; your awareness is "out there" and your perception of tactile response is now 6-8' away from you and people feel like you are controlling them from a distance. There are various models for cones of perception and projection in different Koryu Bujutsu.
And once more.... no I am not talking about being superman, anyone can get hit S_____ happens. But this training does changes your game in tactical control of strikes and throws and as several people have told me "They feel like they are always one step behind what I am doing to them."
We can add to that how active sparring changes you mentally and emotionally, and why some of the most relaxed and stable guys I know are wrestlers (BJJ included) and MMA types, but thats a different topic.
I'll leave it up to you to debate spirituality in the martial arts in that other thread.. For the most part I have yet to see it create a physical effect on the martial artists I keep meeting. Aikido and Systema talk about forgiveness and self awareness and receptive ideas. I have seen that profoundly change some people on a personal level while the same attributes produced an abundance of passive/ aggressive personality types in others. All in all I have yet to see it produce the same stability and shear power and control in the manner I am discussing. But thats remains to be seen