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Old 01-24-2011, 10:10 AM   #10
JW's Avatar
Location: San Diego CA USA
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 561
Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

Here's my reasoning. Aiki using I.S. seems to me based on the evidence to be the path that O-sensei himself was following. He suggested it might have some value for all of us, and wrote things like the Doka about it. But, his students (can't fault them mind you) in general imitated him and his movements (as has happened in a lot of arts that use IS).
So when the above slowly became evident to me, I was faced with the decision: should I continue to mimic a guy who was following this path, and hope to gain all that such mimicry could offer in terms of life enrichment, or follow that path myself, and then hope to see first-hand what O-sensei was talking about and enrich my life via the same path he was on?
The former had enough in it to hook me for 12 years. I'm sure I could have felt happy sticking with it for the rest of my life. It is not worthless as a source of enrichment. But-- the latter seems to be the heart of what I am really after.

Kind of like being inspired by Ansel Adams, and chosing between becoming a photographer or becoming an environmental advocate through photography. One is following the message and one is imitating the activity. And as this analogy starts to break down let me cling to it one last bit: let's suppose fictionally that the reason Adams' photos were so amazingly striking and mine for 12 years were only kind of "nice looking" in comparison is because he had a camera-building technological technique that was not popularized, and the mechanics of that design simply do things with light differently than my Canon camera. Things that I could imitate in a studio but could NEVER get out in the wild like he did.

Last edited by JW : 01-24-2011 at 10:15 AM.
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