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Old 12-23-2009, 03:56 PM   #37
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 16

Toby Threadgill wrote: View Post

Do these concepts sound familiar to anyone in CMA? They are only a few of the doka associated with Akiyama Yoshin ryu.

"With roots reaching into the earth and leaves reaching for heaven, the purple willow sways in harmony with the forces of nature, flexible but strong"

"The flow of ki is in and out, up and down, left and right, inward and outward. In these eight planes divine movement manifests itself.

"The purple willow like the harmony of nature is never still, Even in apparent stillness is movement.

"The purple willow gathers great power by yielding to the forces of nature."


FYI....The character for yo ( 楊 ) in Yoshin ryu refers to a type of upright branching willow tree commonly found along the Yangtse river (楊子汢)in southern China. Many people mistakenly assume yo refers to the ryu/yanagi character(柳)that instead refers to the the weeping willow tree. This is another subtle hint of Yoshin ryu's origins in China.

Toby Threadgill
Hi Toby:

I'm assuming the "Purple Willow" is a style-specific reference to a member/person/man of that sect, in which case the purple-willow quotes would be the usual general Chinese quotes from cosmology about using the qi/forces of Heaven and Earth, harmony with the forces of nature (use the forces; no resistance), and movement within stillness (be interested to compare notes on that one, but don't want to write an exposition).

The comment about ki seems to be one of a number of legitimate variations of front-back (in and out), up-down, sides, and contract/expand.

I.e., I don't see anything other than the usual vague, legitimizing, statements that are pretty much the same in many martial arts. They're a sort of "we know the secrets, too" commentary that is ubiquitous in Asian martial arts.

I tend to like to separate the general ki-skills discussion into a jin/kokyu and qi/ki/breath/fascia dichotomy (for ease of discussion only), but the above quotes cover both of those.

Incidentally, in Ueshiba M.'s writings, he also refers to a lot of these general ki-skills comments from the classical Chinese, but he includes a reference to the Eight Gates (although he appears to have inverted two of them from the original saying). I don't have the book in front of me (donated it to a dojo in need), but the Eight Gates comment cleaned of various embellishments goes roughly:

Hard - Soft
Powerful - Relaxed
Motion - Stillness
Contraction - Extension

I'd be curious if your style has a reference to those eight because I was a little surprised to see them in Ueshiba's writings (it's part of what clued me that Ueshiba may have known more stuff than we can see in the occasional film).

BTW, seeing you post reminds me... I'll probably go to Denver in January during the week that ends on the 23rd. If you've got any time we can try once again to meet up. With my luck that'll also be the week of the most vicious snowstorm seen in Colorado in 40 years, but that's the only thing that will stop the trip probably.


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