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Old 08-26-2011, 02:45 AM   #109
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Niall made a comment about techniques that kill being the antithesis of aikido. I think I understand the gist of the comment, but in application, would the argument then be that a technique applied incorrectly (and therefore effectively causes no harm) be considered aikido? Conversely, would a technique applied correctly, but resulted in harm (killing) not be considered aikido? I ask these questions mostly to construct the argument premise. To point out the obvious, the argument is action-oriented; mens rea is missing from the argument.

I think sometimes we confuse the ends and the means. I can understand that the study of "aiki"do is a study of the means, the end is simply closure to the experiment. In this context, I could entertain a statement that expressed the irrelevancy of the end. Likewise, I can understand a statement that the end is the purpose of training, the means is the medium used to accomplish the end.

For me the study of aikido is not about the end. If I correctly perform aiki, the end result is demonstrative of that success. I think the study of aikido is in the present of interaction, not the future of conclusion. In a sword book I read, the author advices students not to plant their front foot until they have reached the proper striking distance. In planting your foot before you strike you forego the ability to pursue your opponent should he retreat.

If I am already committed to the end, how can I possibly be free in the present to perform aikido? In using Graham's example, If I commit to performing a shiho nage that causes no injury to my partner, how can I do anything but move in a manner that will, in its end, look like shiho nage and not cause injury to my partner? Further, how can one validate whatever movement is necessary to get to the end as aikido? This is flawed logic. A move like shiho nage and shiho nage are not the same. Committing to make a shape that looks like shi nage and committing to aiki resulting in shiho nage are not the same. I think this is why we have non-functional aikido-like movement.
Jon. I would say first you would have to see that there is an end a middle and a beginning. ie: Result, means applied, purpose. All three have to be there if you're talking completion or the subject of correct Aikido.

Thus when I talk about correct shihonage for example I am talking about all aspects in so for me there is no just end product or just means or just purpose. Therefore the means is not shihonage and neither is the shape, it's the whole.

Therefore in your first premise I would say a technique done incorrectly is not good Aikido obviously so if it doesn't cause harm then that's just fortunate.

A technique applied correctly would therefore be a complete harmonious action and therefore couldn't cause harm. So one that does doesn't exist.

There's always a minimal chance of the result being harmful for example if someone was about to have a heart attack or something at that precise moment or if they were hiding an injury they already had but you never know, done correctly it might save that persons life.

A person who says it's one aspect is all important and the other is not needed is missing a third of Aikido.

The purpose I would say is not the end of Aikido it's the beginning. It's the reason to do it in the first place, it's the reason for the middle or the means. So without correct purpose there is no correct middle or without purpose then you have a student concentrating on the means without knowing why.

The end is the ideal, the envisioned result. So that takes the firt two factors to be known and used together in order to accomplish.
Therefore if a student doesn't have the correct ideal or cannot envision it then he cannot recognise what the result of Aikido is. He has no target, no goal, no end product of any worth.

So focussing on the end is just as important as the other two. All three should be focussed on in order to enjoy the whole journey.

Such is my view.

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