Thread: Feeling
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:09 AM   #35
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Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Re: Feeling

Graham Christian wrote: View Post
I'm a bit mystified, but getting a bit clearer, as to what the overall scene in Aikido is. It's taken over a year of reading these posts to get a clearer picture.

At first my mere mention of spiritual led to mass attack. Now I see a lot are experiencing a new phenomenon (needs no name) and recognising there is more than what they originally thought.

I have said consistently that the spiritual, universal principles can be learned and thus Aikido better understood. This would take perceptions other than the five senses, hence feeling.

Now, in a slight change I hear 'you have to feel it'.

How many different feelings are you aware of and based on which principles? Statements like 'on touch a person feels different to normal'** is standard in my Aikido. Taught from day one.
**NOTE: The quotation (paraphrase) is attributed to Dan Hardin**

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Throwing and connection
...Leave budo out of it, leave waza untouched and walk up to someone and do the Ueshiba test.
Every person who so much as grabbed him to try something all said he felt different and they knew right away.
Go lay hands on someone.
If they don't feel different than normal people?
They don't know what Ueshiba was talking about
They don't know what they are talking about when it comes to aiki.
Everything else is judo or jujutsu.
I am trying to figure this one out...

First, let's put a name to the "new phenomenon" - internal strength, correct? Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself, right? (sorry, a little Harry Potter humor there).

Second, the OP is using "feeling" as a emotional term, not a sense - so we are not talking about something you can "feel" using the sense of touch, correct? We are not talking about the instructional request to "feel" something because it is difficult to explain.

Third, we have this observation that a component of aikido has to be physically felt (touch sensory) in order for the body to process and internalize refined aiki.

Finally, we have a claim from the OP that the observation that "feeling" (sensory?) aiki is standard practice in his aikido. Through this statement the OP is also indirectly claiming he is applying internal strength training because the origin of the quote.

I do not know if I would describe internal strength as "new" or a "phenomenon". I believe the Japanese versions of strength training existed in early aikido and have been strained out. I know of many aikido people who are looking to re-invigorate aikido with these exercises and application. Hell, I am not even sure how much of the "internal strength" strength is Chinese compared to Japanese (as those guys teach it). I would not describe what I have felt (and classified as internal strength) as "feel" in an emotive sense - the stuff is quite tangible with a direct physical body reaction. I concede that you need to train your body to be acutely aware of your body state and subtle changes that affect your body state.

In the US, I know few aikido people who actually have strong aiki. Of those with whom I have personally worked, almost all have referred to a structural strengthening as a component of their understanding of aiki. I don't think any of them have claimed they had been doing the stuff all along. If fact, some of the people are simply saying, "I cannot explain this yet, but feel this..." I think we use the qualitative statement, "feel this" to describe a body reaction that we do not know well enough to coherently explain. It is a placeholder explanation that implies "I don't have the knowledge to concisely explain this, but I want to share this experience." Forgive my incredulity, but I think the OP has some strong claims that lack sufficient evidence to support the claim. I, for instance, have a million bucks. You don't have to believe me, but I do.

I think claim series has something to be desired; less if you read additional posts. I think we maybe need to clear up our statements, inferences and claims before continuing. Also, we need to apply the 70's kung fu master translation device to about half of these posts to translate the grand master pontifications. I echo a previous post - let's be clear and concise in our writing, or wait until we can better explain what it is we are expressing. I think this thread has some interesting posts, but some of the stuff is non-coherent.
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