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Old 10-03-2012, 12:17 PM   #20
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

I am interested in the self-claimed "spiritual pursuits" only when and if it produced the power Ueshiba others! When allowed to run it's course and it leads to a dead end, we have some other considerations to review;
Did everyone else but Ueshiba miss it?
No? Okay?
If they got it...where are they?
Or maybe, just maybe, the Kami, and souls and other things that lie outside of the known standard internal practices actually were worthless as far as his...or anyone's power and aiki were concerned. Sure there are overlaps. Breath power is one of them. There are certain practices that produce good -although far from complete -results. It is practiced in different ways, some with breath, pressurized or not, others in chanting. But we can chant all day long, and chant in accordance with waza or movement patterns and miss an incredible amount of needed work to produce a bujutsu body. In fact that has and is happening right now.

For other concerns, people in the arts are always going to embrace the social, cooperative, community building aspects they attach to their budo pursuits. Which is fine, it just doesn't have anything to do with his soft power or aiki. There is a discussion to be had regarding a mental/physical state that involves the spirit in this kind of training. It is transformative and it is discussed in Koryu, in the ICMA as well as in Indian arts. I just don't think it is worth discussing with those who have no power to begin with. Although it seems like it on the surface, we would not be having the same discussion.

So, what I'm concerned with is;
Who has power from their practice?
What practice is it?
Is it singular genius? A "one-off?" Or, is it the same model, utilizing the same terminology used cross culturally and spanning eras. That pedagogy is irrefutable and telling. It not only produce power in Ueshiba, but Takeda before him, and others before him. As stated elsewhere we see the same terminology being used in India and China and being noted for power building methods.

It is the use of the same terminology in and of itself that blows up any idea of convergent evolution of similar models in agrarian cultures and instead points to the sharing of information, partly through shared cosmology, partly through labor, partly through a warrior cultures acquisition and pursuit of power. It is no coincidence to read of a shinto ryu adept describing heaven/earth/man and six direction produce power in 1451, then Ueshiba pointing to the same terminology for the same goals.

At this stage in the game, when it comes to this topic; from Shodan to Shihan, mokuroku to menkyo, I dismiss rank entirely. Instead, I look for results in the physical form of those claiming any understanding whatsoever...demonstrated in their own hands. It was NOT an academic exercise in the past when it mattered and it shouldn't be to us today. That said, we can judge degrees of accomplishment, skill and depth of understanding in results that can be tested. Cool waza is cool waza, fighting is fighting, weapons are weapons, and rank is rank- it doesn't mean people have any inkling whatever of this higher level material, even when they publicly claim otherwise. I think we have all heard enough clanging symbols and empty promises. We need to focus on absorbing the material, improving ourselves and our arts and heling each other move forward.

Last edited by DH : 10-03-2012 at 12:31 PM.
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