I think what Mike Sigman highlights is the issue with some using differing words to say the same thing....and others using similar words and meaning something different
We all have phrases we are comfortable with ...and I think we could all gain more from this forum if we try to find common ground and not continually redefine things.
It's a good idea in theory, I'm not sure how it will happen in practice. That doesn't mean I don't think it can or will, it's just there are so many coming from different levels and angles, with different backgrounds/lineages. We all have our own take on what we think aikido is. We all have our experiences to draw on. Some of those can not be fully appreciated by the reading of text alone.
So why can't we agree on the basics of aikido? That's a question I have wondered about since I discovered aikiweb about 5/6 years ago.
I quite like the ephemeral nature of it all. Personally I feel I am really getting a handle on how to do and teach the central basics of aikido.
Just a thought...and not popping at you or Randall at all.
Even if you were, no probs, it's only the interweb, a place for sharing
in this case...I'm personally comfortable with all of the expressions Mike has highlighted and suspect strongly they are mostly similar to Randalls thoughts.
What Mike says about 'Kokyu-Ryoku as opposed to Kokyu alone, and how people are becoming more comfortable with this being referred to as IP/IS particularly 'rings my bell' ...and ties in very much with teaching I've received in the past.
I see in the posts here (and feel it my self) ..a temptation to try and jump straight to this level...but I have in my ears the teaching I received from day 1..."first construct the body"...I've been taught that Aikido practice, especially with regard to shisei/ posture is preparation of an Aiki body. ..I suspect that this may be similar to Dan Harden and others use of solo excercises to build the body...(and will find out soon ;-) ).
I like both Dan and Mike's take on things, they are both different and often don't see eye to eye, but they do challenge the aikido community to face up to some uncomfortable questions?
My own background was not - build the body first approach - this may well be a valid and the right approach. I was taught that the mind had a part to play in every single exercise that was practiced. The body was used to train the mind, once the mind could do as it is shown by the body, then the body can relax and take the lead from the mind, following the mental construct in perfect co-ordination. It works for me and now I am stuck with it
So ..I've been taught thus, When through years practice one has prepared the body then you create something that may be capable of generating and delivering the icing on the cake...kokyu / ryoku ...or internal power.
A bit like preparing a rolls royce framework for a rolls royce engine.
Try and stick that same engine in a mini...and it just doesn't work.
You have to be careful with the metaphors Darren, One of the best VW Beetles I ever came across had a 911 Porche engine in it
I'm not disagreeing with you, the body/posture does have to be right to deliver kokyo/IP/IS but the mind is the master.
p.s. see you in London in May