Thread: RE: Elegance
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:24 AM   #15
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Re: Elegance

Gerardo Torres wrote: View Post
For the record, Iwama style teachers and schools are no different to other aikido schools in that they also train their uke in specific ways of receiving. Some aikido styles out there like to claim badass aikido or "the real aikido", and many like to put down other styles. Truth is they all use the trained uke model, whether it's a more technically-oriented style or not. As soon as they go out of their style with different uke, their stuff doesn't work as expected anymore (it only takes a bit of experience and honesty to observe this). If any particular style had the "real goods", all aikidoka would flock to that style just like people flocked to Ueshiba and Takeda. But that ain't happening, right?
I don't practice Iwama style so I can't say if it is a case for them. I don't attach elegance to a particular style but I can rather observe it in personal practice an individual. I was talking about Saito sensei himself.

My reference to ‘trained uke' was to point out to the teaching as a tool to achieve elegance (as Basia expressed so well) "the internal logic of the solution is so perfect that it's beautiful to someone who loves the subject". Such perfect internal logic can't be achieved with the artificial model of uke.

If we take example of the swordsmen who cuts a target -- the beauty of the cut happens not because target helps swordsman to create harmonious situation, does it? On the contrary, target is doing anything in his capacity to NOT to be cut. That creates dramatic and dangerous situation from where perfect, elegant cut can be born.

The same mechanism is used i.e. by Zen masters to create dramatic changes in the minds of the students -- they are using mental paradoxes as a tool, to help students to abandon usual logic to be able to grasp intuition.

As you can see from these two examples (one purely physical, second spiritual) it is always a Nage job to create elegance through perfection. As aikido contains both physical AND spiritual aspects, it is very clear what path must be chosen.


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