The Catalyst of Aikido, Non-Resistance.
Hi, I'm going to write here in my normal straightforward way as if stating something as self evidently true, such is my way.
Non-resistance. I think this is one of the most misunderstood and even abused or disregarded principles in Aikido.
The other reason I want to say something about it is that whilst many debate and complain about possible lost 'words' or ways of training I myself always watch out for lost principles and this is one which I think is given less and less importance when actually it the foundation of Aikido as a principle in action.
So I will attempt to clarify something about it which I feel many never get to understand or are explained and thus come up with totally false conclusions about it. So I'm not interested in the thoughts of using resistance for any purpose whatsoever in Aikido but want to show how those who have ever felt it from another are almost always at fault in their resultant observations and conclusions.
1) Statements like 'It has to be felt' sound logical yet can be completely misleading.
2) To be understood it has to be done by the person, not felt by the person.
3) On feeling the effect of someone using non-resistance you get many different responses from different people and different conclusions. Thus feeling it is open to great misunderstanding. Conclude nothing until you can do would be my advice.
These points are the reasons things get lost.
Non-resistance comes from the spiritual/mind realm and even beyond that too so trying to use that principle talking physically and thinking physically is impossible.
O'Sensei is a prime example of someone who always used this principle in Aikido and yet when I read the opinions of many who felt him as ukes and their subsequent conclusions I can see why they misunderstand and pass on the misunderstanding.
Someone may say something like he felt 'solid' or even like 'steel' or that his grip was like a 'vice' and all sorts of things as their perception of what they felt. Meanwhile he himself would say how he is soft and uses non-resistance. Thus the two things don't go together unless you understand the principle of non-resistance from many angles. It is spiritual.
So here is the major point to understand. What you feel as the receiver is a lot of times not what is being given. That is the major point of this thread right here. This is the point I am giving you and if you really take it into account it will save you going down the wrong path when trying to understand Aikido as different from other martial arts. It's based on non-resistance.
Non-resistance is the catalyst for all other principles of Aikido. I may be the first person who has ever said that and I hold that as the golden rule of Aikido. Thus all else I consider not Aikido.
A vice like grip done from the principle of non-resistance is so soft, so free of any force or resistance in itself yet the person feeling it can only understand it in terms of a physical vice and then unerringly go off to practice hand exercises and gripping 'harder' etc. Completely back to front based on what they think they felt.
The spiritual principles of Ki and non-resistance and love etc. do not manifest or operate as the body they merely operate, with discipline, through the body. So it is not the physical hand that is holding in truth.
So it had to be felt does not lead to understanding how to do. It does not lead to even grasping what was being done. It can lead to completely wrong views. It can also be a very good experience. However conclude nothing until you can do.
Non-resistance is inherent in all principles of Ki and Ai and Do. The catalyst.
Depending how it's applied, ie: with which principle, it may feel to the receiver like nothing at all, like steel, or like an invisible brick wall. Many ways it can be perceived and felt but the doer knows they are using no force or body mechanic at all.