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Old 05-06-2010, 11:19 AM   #44
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
Re: Yoshinkan and "aiki"

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Mr. Matthews (I don't believe we have spoken before)
I'm only partially interested in what Ueshiba said. I learned a long time ago not to trust Asian teachers in what they say or do at face value. I am more interested in what they display. In Ueshiba's case-that was more in-depth than Kokyu ryoku alone. Mind you, I did not diminish breath power training. There is just a lot more to aiki than that.
If you, or anyone else, thinks Aikido-is only Kokyu ryoku..that's fine. Your opinion "Lift your arm and throw." will last about as long as your meeting someone who has a deeper understanding of these things -most likely outside of aikido.
I'm not trying to change your mind or argue with you. Enjoy your training. I am talking to others; who either now know better, or are beginning to understand there is more to it than that.
Follow up.
I think the above sounds to condescending. That wasn't my intent at all. Let me try it again

1. What they say versus what they do
I don't think we can ever go by what Asian teachers "say." Too many times their movements and actions do not align with what they say.
In Ueshiba's case his movements are far more revealing than the one liners he is noted for. Perhaps, one liners serve to create a legacy-the famous one liners you can be noted for, but they certainly do not lead to a road map of what to do. In fact often times they leave conflicting information and understanding in your wake.

2. Our own one liners
In the same way "Lift your arm and throw" can be a powerful statement of what happens after you have built a conditioned body or just more inane teaching that we have all been part of. That's why I say some of these comments and one liners are loaded. Does that make better sense?

3. Leaving people be to train as they will.
For the last part, I don't think it is conducive to the discussion to argue about it on an internet forum and make enemies. As so many have pointed out- it is too difficult to lay out the training, and the effects of IP/Aiki in written terms- when one meeting resolves the debate points, and everyone moves forward in the discussion from there. The difficulties of laying it out in written form is being noted by the very people training this way. It's why so many have said "You have to feel it." I am trying to avoid arguing about it anymore and instead just leaving people to train the way they will until they meet someone training this way. It seems that after that a different type of discussion takes place.
On a personal note, one thing I struggle with (and other Aikido and Daito ryu teachers training this way do as well) is now knowing that this is indeed a superior way to train over just doing waza and struggling through the aiki arts hoping for those nights where things "click."

4. Why Kokyu is not enough
Training without the benefit of both the prerequisite body conditioning to create an aiki body-and then the training in martial movement to allow IP/aiki to express itself more fully can take decades and one may still never really get it.
A case in point is Kokyu Ryoku. Kokyu will indeed connect your body in powerful ways. It is not going to teach most people how to use their hara in some very advantagous ways. It is also not going to resolve; a more full understanding of the effects of intent- on your body and the opponents, one side weighted issues, double weightedness, certain openings or weak moments when power is simply not enough (either absorbing or casting away) the ability to make change (alter what the opponent may be doing in fluid motion) the ability to soften the hips and shoulders and use the body in very potent continuos spiraling that people have one hell of a time getting in on before they themselves are thrown or trapped and hit, learning how to use the upper and lower body to effectively use both large and small weapons and also do unarmed work as a seamless "whole" that is more or less unimpeded or interrupted by an opponents efforts. This works without you continually having to try to do things -to- them. As a systematic way to train the body this can be devestatingly effective in more fluid and stressful martial movement; away from one or two step, katas.
And those are just a sampling of pertinent issues one could face with a broader over arching view of martial arts and martial movement, and Kokyu-ryoku does not begin to cover those problems.

I am stating that Ueshiba knew this and showed it in his own movements irrespective of his famous one liners.
I hope that helps understands my view more clearly.

Last edited by DH : 05-06-2010 at 11:34 AM.
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