No touch throwing or muppets in a circle?
Genuinely interested in feedback on the following:
There is no doubt that O'Sensei was a great martial artist, skilled in several arts to the highest level and through the later part of his life he created Aikido.
If we are to assume that O'Senseis method of doing Aikido is the correct way, and I think it fair to say the founder has a good claim on that. Then as a starting point we should have a general look at how he got there.
He of course claims he had "enlightenment" but I agree with other writers on this subject that it was likely that this was far more to do with his spiritual fervour than his practicing of the martial arts.
Therefore if we believe that through his Aikido O'Sensei could throw people with a finger tip, or similar, then we can never know if that was due to his spiritual experience and spiritual enlightenment or simply his practicing of the martial arts.
Although I've been thrown by persons able to "find" my centre extremely well, and minimise the force they use I have yet to be influenced by Ki, or similar, flowing from someone and affecting me, in particular without them touching me.
When I have "felt" Ki it has always been through static exercises like the unbend able arm or similar, these are often referred to as Ki tricks, and taking this point further I'm sure that if I placed a speck of dust on a nearly frictionless table and placed my hand closeby, my "extending Ki" would not move that speck of dust even a micro millimetre, and I would suggest that nobody can or else they would be famous.
Ki always seems to involve yourself, or persons and because of this we can perhaps say that it has something to do with the inter-relationship between people. Perhaps when we change or direct our "ki" we are actually changing something between two persons. The fact that Ki is a human to human thing is important when we look at "no touch' throwing.
We should also remember that even after his enlightenment O'Senseis early forms of Aikido were very physical, it was really only later in his life that the "no touch" throwing came about.
I am of the opinion then that this simple fact shows that enlightenment was not the reason for his "no touch" throwing, or else it would have happened immediately.
Also from what I have viewed and been informed of those who do "no touch" throwing tend to do so in the later part of their Aikido lives, and they generally have a dedicated group of followers some looking for the "mystical."
To look for something spiritual is quite common whilst practicing a martial art.
Speaking for myself, when practicing Karate I remember thinking that there must be more to this than punching a bag? Hence I started Aikido as I was looking for something spiritual, or at least something with a greater philosophical base.
But perhaps the "danger" to a martial arts style/club is that it gets caught up in its own bubble of belief. This is indicative of what I have heard described as self indulgence. For example the easiest resolution to a certain attack might be a simple throw, but through a process of years of training we create "layers" to this - what if they did this? What about this as response to that response of yours? Before you know it the layers of techniques have become self perpetuating and no longer do you train in a simple resolution to the attack but are training in the development of an art form.
This is perfectly understandable as it is what eventually creates every art - the pursuit of excellence, and thorough understanding of what we do.
However, when you combine a group of "spiritual/philosophical" people who have all trained in this now self indulgent martial art, they are at risk of not realising it is such.
I would suggest that once a club reaches this state is when you start to get "no touch" throwing, and similar such things.
I have yet to see, no touch throwing, or similar, done on people outside of a clubs own students, or even outside of a style.
So is no touch throwing real? Or is it just a bunch of respectful muppets standing in a circle, not wishing to embarrass Sensei.
Your thoughts? Experiences?