" And it is in presentation itself that we find a home for the word elegance. To me, elegance can be compared to the frosting on the cake, but never the cake itself. It is much about the old dichotomy of "style" vs. "substance""
I have a different understanding of the word 'elegance', or at least, it has more than one meaning to me. I have many times heard the word applied in the maths and sciences, in the context of a mathematical or logical proof, a piece of computer code, or a solution to some practical problem. In that context, an 'elegant' solution always referred to one that was clear and simple and somehow got to the heart of the problem in some striking way. And it's not that it's just a different definition of the word -- because it's always said in such a way that implies an aesthetic judgment, that the internal logic of the solution is so perfect that it's beautiful to someone who loves the subject.
So for this reason what Szczepan is saying makes perfect sense to me -- the experience of 'elegant aikido' (or even beautiful aikido) comes from the 'rightness' of everything fitting together just right. So to me it isn't something that can be added on top of substance or substituted for substance; it's the substance itself that's elegant.
Last edited by Basia Halliop : 09-05-2012 at 08:56 PM.