View Single Post
Old 01-04-2012, 11:12 AM   #182
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS

Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Well, that *is* the debate about what the proper use of the term is, and I guess this is as good a place to have it as any.

The thing is that with people like Andy, who appears not to have seen a lot of the IS/IP debate over the past years, you have to start with the idea that there's actually a debate to be had. Look at the exchange between him and Chris--if "internal power" has always meant only some misty spiritual awareness, how's he to know it means something quite specific here?

And "here" isn't the whole Aikiweb community, either. There are still a lot of folks who have followed the arguments and still aren't on board.

I am on board, but I understand why It's contentious. We could say, here's this new set of techniques called DH-waza and it's better than yours so you should learn it. And that would be bad enough. But we want to do worse--we want to say here's this old set of techniques called what teachers have always called it--"aiki" in Japan or "internal power" more generally. And, so sorry, the way you've all been using those words is missing the essence completely. And no, we don't want to cede the use of those words because they have actual historical meaning.

People have the right to demand that the case be made, and it has been made in my opinion, but it's scattered across lots of posts and personal contact--a lot of the language really only resonates if you know the internal feeling it's pointing to. It takes a lot of work to see the whole picture. And every new guy who comes along has to make the same journey over again. Maybe somebody should write a book or something.

And yes, the old translations have not been any help at all. BTW, I ran across another good example in Prof. Goldsbury's monumental Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation #11, where he discusses translations of Budo and Budo Renshu. Here's a translation from Budo by Larry Bieri, copied whole hog from the good professor's column:

And here, Stevens translating Budo, with the same words but different orthography (and how literate Japanese manage to stay sane I do not know):

Ouch. It seems clear that the first translation is trying to transmit real training advice, though the language is cumbersome and perhaps obscure (move your back vigorously?). The second seems to value flowery metaphor over fidelity to the original text. I'm afraid Stevens felt that he had to produce a book that people could understand--but all the real training information was in the hard-to-understand bits.

(Woo, first real post of the new year contains a tribute to TIE, which is a totally amazing series of columns. Happy New Year!)
Well Hugh, taken in context with other correctly translated material, he was clear in drawing a distinction about intent driving the body, then progressively talking about intent relate to the soul. So when reading other passages and he opts to use soul moving the body, it makes sense. It should also be noted that this language was used by the Chinese as well for the same physical manifestation of the intent driven body being mind/ body or soul body.

I found another passage interesting where he also stated that your body must be trained so that when you move it unbalances them...essentially on contact. Does that sound familiar? What is one of the key differences you guys keep noting about the quality of the feel in someone who does this well? No need for waza as when they move your whole body moves with them. So when we take this admonition, combined with his repeated notation of intent-driven movement through in yo ho, again we see Ueshiba talking about his own skills much more explicitly than prevously realized. Unfortunately this was to an audience not always able to understand, nor others later to translate what he meant. As you now see, feel and are coming to know ; what was gibberish to them and to many modern aikido-ka, was work-a-day information to others.

Last edited by DH : 01-04-2012 at 11:14 AM.
  Reply With Quote