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Old 12-08-2010, 09:42 AM   #105
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,266
United Kingdom
Re: Golden Center Sword

Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Hi Mathew,
On reading through this thread I saw you communicating to Chris Hein and commenting I didn't answer your questions so I that's why I've come back to this one.

On appearing to suggest none of the people criticising have experienced Ki based training. Well yes I was. However since then I have changed my mind to a degree.

As to remaining standing after an attack, well I don't know what you mean by that unless it's connected to the statement about feeling good giving that impression.

I stand by that statement that all training should make you feel good otherwise you're doing the wrong training. If a person is sweating blood and tears and knows why then they will feel good, and so they should.

As far as what O'Sensei meant by what he said, well I use these things as an entrance point for students rather than something they have to wait and find out about in 20 years. This I have found makes me different to most teachers I have read about or met or seen, note I said different, not better, not worse.

As an example, let's start with the word Aikido. Very simple to me, harmony-love,kindness,life energy-the way. I see people on some writings trying to say it's all a matter of interpretation and the japanese language blah, blah, blah. Well, not to me. Love is love and harmony is harmony so I suggest many people do not know what love is and also do not know what harmony is.

Your definition of harmony is one of the best I've seen which leads me to point out that there are indeed natural laws to be learned and followed in Aikido. It is precisely this point which could better be understood. For example love itself has natural laws so I translate these as priciples to be followed in Aikido.

Love never harms, nor does kindness and yet they are both enegies of Ki. They both work towards and result in harmony which is also non-harmful. So hence my statement in a previous thread that there is no harm in true Aikido.

As far as harmony goes I find most people translate it as moving in unison or even that it means moving in unison in order to attack, seek an opening and attack or dominate etc. etc. Excuse me for smiling but a little differenciation is needed here if anyone wants to understand better what O'Sensei meant by there is no attacking in Aikido(his own words) and there is no enemy.

There is a whole subject everyone is aware of which is the subject of harmony. It deals with sound. It's called music. Sounds in harmony.

Now two samurai may move in unison and strike and kill each other. This is not harmony. Another samurai may move in unison and kill the other samurai and yet remain alive. That is not harmony but he used 'some' rules of harmony in order to achieve his disharmonious goal. In music however you have notes all working in harmony, all in unison and yet in that unison the support, enhance and help each other. Result is music. Sounds clashing with each other or stopping each other or overwhelming each other or forcing each other or killing each other results in noise. It may be an interesting noise, it may be a loud noise, it may be a noise with five stars and gold braid but none the less it is just noise.

I don't expect others to teach like me or be like me for in a way I teach almost opposite to the way most people teach, I teach more like a zen master. But there is a difference, I am willing to explain in a way that any enquirer could understand if they should ask.

For me there is physical ma-ai, there is mental ma- ai and there is spiritual ma-ai and I make it my job to study the three aspects of all things Aikido and am not satisfied until I know and can demonstrate all three and I apply this to center, to koshi, to tai-sabke et al.

So there you are, a little insight into me and my way. It may lead to more questions than answers but there again if I was to tell you of my experiences in the real world you would still have the same questions. For example, the sword or Aikiken. Let's say as far as it is taught if someone was to ask me certain questions I might have to look up the terminology to see what they mean before I could answer them yet the principles I do know I teach in such a way that the student is still waiting to learn the sword, unaware that they know more than what they think for I tell them I will not teach them what others call the way of the sword or Aikiken until 'much later.Here's one little happening:

So off goes one of my students to cyprus, where he was born, to visit his family and spend a few months with them. Officially he knows hardly anything about the sword and if one of the experts on this forum was to give him a few questions he would probably be confused. Anyway he was harassed by some cousins to take them to a dojo to see some real martial arts so he took them to one which was nearby and was in fact a Kendo School.

As they watched he tried to explain what was happening. After the class finished the second in charge, as he called him, came over to talk to him as he had heard some of the things he had been saying and found them fascinating but strange. It ended with him giving him bokken to show what he meant. This led to the second dan attacking and losing, which then led to the teacher getting involved. Now he was a 6th dan and explained how in competition they would do real attacks and proceeded to demonstrate. Well the first time he had the bokken knocked out of his hands and on the second try he ended up on the floor. They were not angry but surprised. When he came back he was on a high for a month yet still trying to understand why it had been so easy for him.

Well it's all fun to me, hope I answered your question.
Good training. G.
Dear Graham,
If indeed the incidents that you described with your junior student occurred as you state and your student downed a 6th Dan Kendoka, all I can say is this either your guy is really good or the 6th Dan Kendoka should immediately hang up his hakama and shinai and take up tiddly winks.
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