View Single Post
Old 12-08-2011, 01:45 PM   #146
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
I don't speak for Saotome Sensei (please refer to him properly). These posts are petty. I provided the definition given by Takeda Sensei to avoid playing the petty game.

Saotome Sensei's books and videos are widely available. They require careful study. He addresses Aiki in these. Aiki is a complex concept. What Takeda Sensei and his son described as Aiki still fits. Certainly Aiki is also more than this. Saotome Sensei seems to have a broad definition of Aiki. It would be the same concept as that of O Sensei. If anything O Sensei broadened the concept of Aiki rather than narrowed it. Putting it this way isn't quite right, either, however. For O Sensei Aiki was not completely knowable by human beings. We only get glimpses of it. Aikido being a window into another plain of existence. I don't know if Saotome Sensei believes this completely himself. I do know that this is what O Sensei taught Saotome Sensei about the spiritual/metaphysical side of Aiki.

If there can be more than one side to Aiki, then can there be more than one way to demonstrate tenshinage? Can there be more going on in heaven and earth than grounding or internal strength? The jo trick is often brought out as an example of the secret of O Sensei's ability as are other grounding exercises. But is it possible that there is more than one way to avoid having the jo moved or being pushed over? For example, perhaps you can ground out or otherwise neutralize the pushing energy and weight in your own body. But you can also destabilize those pushing as a way to make their pushing have less effect. This is a rather easy way to do the jo trick. It accomplishes the same thing. The jo doesn't move much or move Nage.

I, for one, am glad that you are toning down your posts. If you remember back, I positively acknowledged your zeal. The deep, heart-felt desire to learn is critical to one's own progress.

Here are some tips to help you further along these lines:
1) Back off further from the insults "These posts are petty." Most of them were very pointed, factual and had a deeper context than you are able to see just yet.
2) If you don't speak for Saotome Sensei, then you should not also express to others what he thinks, what O'Sensei taught him, etc.. You are better off presenting your opinions of what you think something means. This is particularly the case, since you are not a direct student of Saotome Sensei.
3) If you want to explore topics like Aiki, FIRST, be open to and receiving hands-on with as many people out there who represent what they consider Aiki to be. I, for one, try and keep my mouth shut about defining these things. Despite my hands-on experience with a variety of people, it never ceases to amaze me how little I really know when I discover new layers and deeper understandings of these things that can even negate ideas that I previously held. Never lose a beginner's mind! I always joke with my students that they are always at risk of me telling that what I think now will soon be outdated. You might have shut a lot of doors with people who had a lot to offer you. You will now need to be more patient and humble so that some important doors can be opened again.
4) Respecting your seniors is an important aspect of budo. Your attacks to people who are really your seniors in a variety of areas makes it difficult if not impossible for them to assist you in your learning. Cases in point. Ellis Amdur Sensei was very, very close to Terry Dobson. He knew more about that man that almost anybody on the face of this earth. Telling him that he did not really know what his best friend meant was beyond absurd; Chris Li is a well-known interpreter and well-connected in the world of Aikido. Challenging his interpretations is like challenging the Shaq to a one-on-one game in basketball; Dr. Fred Little has a depth of knowledge about Japanese culture, like Dr. Peter Goldsbury, that far exceeds what we think we might know. This list goes on & on. These people have been of valuable assistance to many of us as we pursue similar journeys.
5) It is more important to discover what we don't know than to stay stuck on what we think that we know. A zeal for learning is about discovering the unknown.

Marc Abrams
  Reply With Quote