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Old 01-04-2010, 08:23 PM   #19
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,184
Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido

Hey, folks, I think we've got a bit of miscommunication here. There may be a bit of a language barrier, but also, I think that some of you are taking Szczepan's remarks as an attack on your intelligence or knowledge or desire to know. I don't think it's quite like that. In particular, I am guessing that the statement "All your intellectual concepts are wrong" might be rephrased as "You cannot rely on your intellectual knowledge at this point", and still capture the essence of what Szczepan is saying.

If I'm right about that, that's a statement I agree with -- and it is not an attack, nor is it in any way that there's something particularly obtuse about the person he's talking to. It's just a statement of fact that aikido is one of those things that can't be grasped intellectually or conceptually, at least not until you have a lot of data points (meaning a lot of mat time) to hang those concepts on. Eugene, you said "I suggest one read O'Sensei's teachings and look inside yourself along with your Sensei's teachings for answers and not squabble for concrete answers amongst the novices and the spiritual neophytes; (like myself at this point in time)." I agree about the squabbling, but strongly disagree that a beginner's time is well spent in a quest for intellectual, conceptual or theoretical answers. Concrete answers are exactly what is called for -- concrete answers to the most elementary and limited questions, like "What will happen if I move my foot this way while attempting to perform this technique on that person?". Those are the data points. I believe in gathering the data points and not trying to grasp the concepts: I feel that if you have the data points, the concepts fall into place when you're ready to understand them. Don't understand the concepts? Go get more data points -- don't read another book or dredge up some esoteric-sounding language to make it sound like you really do see those beautiful clothes that the Emperor is wearing, and that all the cool people can see. Be true to yourself, be honest about your level of understanding, let the understanding come when you are ready for it, rather than trying to hunt it down and capture it. It'll come.
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