Charles David Henderson
I have a few questions I'd like to put out there, and I'm sincerely interested in hearing anyone's answers as the questions arise whenever this discussion about "what is aiki" comes around.
Here is my premise: One of the things about O Sensei that his students seemed to find remarkable was his ability to "disappear" from where they thought he was and "reappear" suddenly, often right beside them, as when surrounded by a group of armed or unarmed attackers.
1. Are these accounts creditable? They seem to me to be, as reflected in films I've seen.
2. Is it appropriate to consider this an aspect of "aiki" in your view?
A. If not, is it fair to talk about it as a "higher level" skill at least as he manifested it?
B. If the answer to that second question is "yes," then how did he train it and why did he seem to regard it as a significant element of his budo?
3. Is this kind of ability connected, in your view, to internal training -- that is, is this something that internal training either helps to impart or otherwise enhances?
Disclaimer: I'm quite interested in the whole IP/IS paradigm, although I'm still working at what has been referred to as "baseline skills." I'm not trying to score points or get into a debate with people who are more skilled or knowledgeable. Still, I keep wondering whether this aspect of training explains everything that I, with my limited experience, find remarkable about Ueshiba's budo.
Yes those accounts are quite credible as far as I am concerned.
Yes it is an aspect of aikido.
He trained with the spiritual elements and applied them in action to do so. He had it as significant because it demonstrated many things and statements he made on the subject of his Aikido. ie: "When a person attacks they have already lost, when another attacks I am already standing behind them, the spirit of loving protection, they come I meet, I turn, they follow........etc.etc.etc.
In my view internal gives a totally different thing. It will lead to 'ip' or 'is' but is not Aikido as he described and did.
For some it may 'open the door' but personally I feel it only leads in the wrong direction.
Such is my view, sincerely. Small steps long journey.