Thread: Shuhari
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:19 AM   #18
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: Shuhari

Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I am not following you. what is the principle of the circle?

What are the core principles of Aikido?

Yes, I understand water is not a principle, it is an element...that was my point. It is the form and structure...the DNA at the base level that gives it meaning and defintion.

In order for something like aikido to have meaning, there has to be "something" that is transmitted. I think we would agree on that.

What is being transmitted? Principles is what you are saying are transmitted. I say no.

Principles are there regardless of what we do or don't do. We are all subject to the laws the impose on us (Gravity). So no, you don't transmit identify what is affecting you and you learn how to manage yourself because of them.

So, again...what is it that we are doing to explore the "principles" and their effects?

How are we TRANSMITTING that knowledge (methodology)?

and WHAT exactly is being transmitted? and WHAT does it affect (Spiritually, Mentally, or Physically)?

So when we look at the phyical practice of Aikido...what is it that we are transmiting that gives definition or meaning to the physical body?

Mike Sigman would ask very direct questions about this kinda stuff. Lets not beat around the bush...lets discuss intelligently and specifically what these things are.

Since your thread was about Shuhari...then we are talking pretty much about METHODOLOGY. Specifically Aikido methodology.

In that line, how does the methodology work and what exactly does it transmit? what does it affect?
Good questions. There are many. The circle being one.

I don't say principles are transmitted I say they need to be observed and practiced. What is to be transmitted is the purpose of Aikido. Harmony, peace.

So as far as I am concerned Aikido should bring about harmony and peace so that is what should be transmitted. Therefore I say the principles of Aikido can be known and used and thus by so doing will bring such about.

So now to principles and their use in the activity of Aikido. You ask for 'core' principles and you also ask for how circle is a principle.

Core principles I take it would mean the more important ones or the 'central ones' if you like. Well O'Sensei was on about these continuously so just 'saying' what they are may not lead very far. However we have the principle of universal love, the principle of non resistance, the principle of center, the principle of Ki flow, the principle of blending. Many principles to be understood as such. So the first thing to do is recognise which are principles and which are not.

Now, if you take my purpose I gave for Aikido then the principles would have to fit with such in order to be relevant and thus relevant to Aikido.

So we come to shuhari or study and methology as you put it.

So up comes the question of what are we trying to do? Bring harmony back to that person attacking me. To bring about a harmonious result, a peaceful resolution.

We are dealing with what? Motion. For that person to attack me he has to move. So the first port of call is the study of motion and if we are studying motion and we want to move in alignment with it according to those universal principles of such, which according to O'Sensei Aikido is, then we must study the ways of energy.

Any fist or thing coming your way to harm you is in motion and follows the underlying principles of energy, it has no choice but to.

So if we get to know these underlying principles of energy motion then we can move in accordance with them and all will be natural and thus return to harmonious alignment. That is the challenge.

Ki is energy and thus even it follows the principles of energy also. So to study the ways of Ki you would also start by just locating and following the principles of energy the same as you would if you are talking about force or effort or whatever other label you have for the energy coming at you.

So observe the ways of energy, what does it do and more interestingly what paths does it naturally follow.

Did you know energy LOVES circles. That's one of its preferred pathways. Throw a pebble in a pond you will see those circles and you will also see another principle in play as with that example you will see expanding circles and contracting ones. Thus one of the basic principles of yin and yang, which also comes into play in Aikido.

Anyway back to circle. Those who build big buildings have to know about these same principles and thus comes about the invention of the arch. So we begin to see that give it a choice then energy will follow the circle. Hence curves (parts of circles) There you are trying to force a person down and his energy is pushing back up at you. Now you want to let's say push him down at a certain angle and his force or energy is going against that. Why won't his energy join with yours and thus go down?

Because there is a kink in the hosepipe so to speak, you are asking his energy to suddenly go back at say 30 degrees. Now if you just make a little curve like a 'u' shape suddenly his energy is going back down and so is he. Energy loves circles and thus curves. It cant resist, it's a principle.

Kotegaishe is a circle. It is in it's purity a circle and nothing else. But number one, can a student see that. Number two, can a student even believe that for in their mind surely it must be more than that, you know a slight twist and a bit of force and, and and....

A person who really knows this can hold a circle there as kotegaishe, just hold it there, no more no less. If the person tries to move foreward or rush foreward then their energy or force rushes back around the circle of the Kotegaishe at the same speed and thus they are throwing themselves. All you actually have to do is form the circle and maintain and control it.

Their energy is already in the circle so you already have them but do you believe it? Principle are not only hard to trust but also hard to believe until they become more real to you than what you are used to using or reverting to.

Thus we start to see the use of the principle of the circle. Other principles of energy can then be studied in a similar fashion and then seen how and where they fit into the motions of Aikido.

Yin and Yang. One of the primary principles of that is the principle of expansion and contraction. Thus we see center has something to do with this and one point as taught by Tohei was to do with this also. So we see how that is applied and used in Aikido. Another principle.

Then we could also look at non resistance and energy. Well we would venture into spiritual and Ki here so let's just take a step back. Energy follows the path of least resistance. Another principle.
It is from this principle that we discover pathways, pathways and directions we follow in Aikido for they are all paths of least resistance. Thus irimi was borne. Etc.

So the study of irimi is actually the study of a path, a path of least resistance and it becomes a challenge of recognising it versus the mind which says'hold on a minute, that's too close!' Thus the mind interferes. Another challenge. With enough practice and successes the mind finaly changes to accepting it as best.

So there you are. A few principles and a few examples of how they apply in Aikido.

There are many. Small steps long journey.

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