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Old 04-15-2012, 08:55 PM   #72
Chris Li
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Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,300
Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
This conversation is starting to sound like Abbott and Costello's "who's on first".

I am not arguing against anything here!

I am trying to express what inner strength could mean. Or what it means to me. Or what I have learned from my teachers. Or what I have found in the religious/philosophical/martial traditions that I have studied. One of these expressions of inner strength is a mental and physical calmness and even kindness. To an onlooker this may come across as weakness. Hence the start of this part of the discussion. But in the Budo tradition we learn to look closer - is there really a weakness or a suki here? There are pictures of O Sensei where he seems very relaxed and he is also getting older. Yet if you look at him, is there really a suki?
Look, you stepped right into a conversation already in progress. That means that what you say gets taken in with the context of the conversation. Otherwise, best to start a new thread.

Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
I can accept that Dan Harden is the physical expression of your ideas. I might say the same of my teachers. What I find unacceptable is that you would consider him as the sole person who can physically express this new found but very old concept of inner strength or concept of Aiki in the world.
That, I never said. I said that Dan was near you and could show you physically what we're talking about - there are numerous others who could do so as well.

Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post

You give me nothing to work on.
Yes, you have laid out your arguments, yes you gave references to the founder and yes you gave external supporting resources. But of what?
It is not just that it is incomplete. Nothing that you mention is new to anybody who is familiar with the Shinto traditions. The only real improvement lies in the translations of O Sensei's words. But where does that show us proof of a different idea of Aiki? Or a different idea of inner strength? Where does it point to only a martial application? And where does this idea of only a martial application come from? Not from the classics that I have read!

You give your approach the smell of science, but it is not really a scientific approach. It is only meant to "prove" your own doctrine. You are not really open for contributions from others. Unless they have anything to add to what you are already saying. That is not the critical mind of a scientist.

And sure, I would love to give an explanation of "it" and a list of references. If only I knew what you meant by "it".

Nevertheless, I am curious to your next "revelations" on your website.

All the best with your search,


Tom - you really haven't given any contributions to be critical of, so far as I could see, just some general statements that weren't really all that relevant to the post in question.

Anyway, the blogs aren't meant to "prove" anything - and I've said that in the blogs themselves, more than once. I'm just trying to point towards some of the deeper implications.

Are there other, philosophical implications? Sure there are - but those are, and must be (according to Ueshiba) founded upon and connected to the physical training methodology. So saying that, for example, being calm is an important goal is good - but how you get there is specific to Ueshiba's training method, so saying that being calm is Heaven-Earth-Man is not, IMO, quite correct, since that is really the effect and not the cause.



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