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Old 10-03-2012, 11:21 AM   #16
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,511
Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
None of the information on the site is helpful at all. Actually, much of the information on how these things are done is flat out wrong and will actually lead you astray.
Yes. I posted that to show what people run into when they try to get deeper information on these things. Balancing in and yo in the body is translated as "gathering the spirits of the divine" into oneself, which is not helpful at all, even though it's true that Ueshiba describes in and yo as specifically two divine spirits, which are actually principles of nature--in and yo. The article makes it sound like some bizarre entourage of all kinds of sprites and goblins come out of nowhere and enter your body to make you a fighting dervish. People were willing to believe that because of the way Ueshiba whirled about flinging big men everywhere at will! No wonder he was always smiling. Also, you know, they used to call Takeda "little goblin," so articles like the one I posted leave the door open to interpreting a clear idea in a bizarre and useless form.

Chris Li's translations have just knocked that foolishness out of the picture (not speaking of the budodojo thing specifically, because it is sourced in the general ocean of standard aikido teaching as I've always heard it). I think we'll find that almost all of Ueshiba's references to "the gods" entering his body are specifically references to in-yo ho.

The thing about the purple clouds and "all the gods of Japan" was probably mistaken when O Sensei tried to explain what he meant about Izanagi and Izanami. To do that, he had to tell about all the other elements of that cosmology and left the listener unable to clearly understand that he was talking about embodying only in and yo.

Also, he used to tell Mochizuki things that got translated to us as "I just got that technique suddenly from God." Again--spontaneous generation of technique by the budo body balancing in and yo internally, which he talked about all the time as takemusu aikido, but passed to us as a very general reference to God or gods...or...what?.

It makes O Sensei more like a scientist than a religionist, when he can physically express the dynamic power of the principles of yin and yang in his body and movement. That's an art, but it is very precise and now we are finding that it's replicable! By ordinary humans! With no imps, sprites or demons required!


Dan Harden wrote: View Post
The descriptions will not help in any meaningful way to gain the type of power people are looking for. The descriptions offered are an overview of the obvious movement that in no way leads to real power. Why? It is no different from the way any typical external oriented martial arts school would do the exercises and results will be to feel like ...well, every other external oriented martial artist.
Yes. I have always disdained that simple furitama exercise because I never met anyone who knew anything more about it than the external form and none of them had technique that could move me if I didn't just fall for them on purpose.

But when I began to feel the in/yo balance through work with the three dantiens, the arch in the legs and so on, I began to suspect that furitama was involved with Izanagi on the left and Izanami on the right...or vice I haven't yet memorized it that way....

And looking for information on furitama, I found this article as an example of how the lack of precise information on "the gods" simply made the explanations meaningless.

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Is that what we are after?
Is that what Ueshiba felt like? Wasn't one of his trademarks was that he felt different?
Why was that?
How was that-if he was moving like the average person?
The answer is that he wasn't. His power building methods are along the lines of classical models.
I so wish this information had been available to me thirty years ago, that I'd had some of this knowledge when I lived with Mochizuki and trained with Washizu, Tezuka and Murai Senseis.

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
The actual method Ueshiba used poduced power. It is evident and testable in any person who dares claim they know.
And the sad, sad fact is that most teachers will pretty much tell you they don't know.

And on the other hand, they also have accepted that it's not knowable, that what they have is the deepest that can be learned or understood because Ueshiba was a religious man and a lot of what he did was "metaphysical." So they believe that only the kata of the standard aikido waza is all that is left and the only avenue to whatever improvement they can still make is a matter of doing those waza kata over and over until they can't do them anymore, and whatever they get from that, they have accepted as the best that can be gotten.

Their poor students...

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Since these things are specific, known, and taught to "insiders" and they have gotten -and are getting- real results to this day. Since those teachings actually do work to produce soft power-and they have nothing to do with the descriptions offered-what does that say- I find it very odd that I have never, (not anywhere) read an actual description of these exercises coming out of Japan or western sources that had any value. The only sources are with certain new teachers coming out of the closet and really teaching from sources in Japan and China.
Well, thank God (specifically) for Chris Li's fantastic translations! And you were the one who motivated him to do it! So thank you, too!

And speaking of insiders, I'm fascinated every time I see William Gleason on vids. He's a great baseline example of what you say. You can't get much more impeccably mainstream in aikido than him. Aikikai hombu under Saotome's teacher???

But watching his recent videos, I can just feel the ukes sticking to him and the effortlessness of his movement.

I'm only making very incremental progress in this but I can do much more interesting stuff than I could just over two years ago, before I met Ark and Rob, then you, and felt the potentials of the soft power.... And it doesn't conflict with anything I learned in yoseikan. You can do the outer forms of yoseikan the same with or without it (actually not the same, though) and the performance with the internals will be softer but crisper, more effective but less exerting. If there is a conflict in this with yoseikan waza, it might be in the karate punching. I've almost completely quit that in favor of a xingyi approach, which does remain consistent with the in/yo ho as I'm coming to feel it.

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
P.S. There is a reason that the floating bridge can also be considered the void, and the essense of in/yo.
Yeah. I think that's what I was trying to describe in the thing on "crossing" the floating bridge of heaven. For most martial artists, it doesn't have a name. They know it only as the "chance" spot in the middle of their attack, where the opponent's unpredictable movement could spoil their technique. They must count on timing to aim a technique where the other guy is going to be when the attack arrives--knowing that he may not be there or may respond somehow to spoil it.

The thing is, they need to get through that "chance" moment as fast as possible, so they're trying to rush across this nameless void that Ueshiba and the ancients called The Floating Bridge of Heaven. And Ueshiba et al chose to stand right there in the middle of it as a way of life. So no wonder they were impossible for ordinary people to understand!

It's in the nature of the movement, but teachers often teach one further from it as they go.

Thanks for keeping on target on this. You're sort of like a table saw, cutting a clear, straight line. That's called "true," yeah?

The screams of protest also sound like wood becoming straight...



Last edited by David Orange : 10-03-2012 at 11:33 AM.

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"
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