When I look at that model now, I don't see it as I did before. It looked like what I thought the process was at the time, but since then, and since reading the floating bridge material and working with those ideas, this model appears as a general abstraction of principles of stress in a cylinder...only abstractly related to the human body. And when you try to relate it to Ueshiba's statements about amenominakanushi, the relevance of this model to me just disappears.
Let me try.. if you will -- with two key sources -- Abe and O Sensei:
Abe Sensei said
Speaking of the heart of "Kojiki", it is Minakanushi, who was created first. In other words, center is important. On flat surface, center of circle is important. Even though the shape changed to three-dimensional space, the center always locates the same spot. For instance, to talk about oneself, there are body and heart. Then, the matter is which one is Minakanushi. If body were Minakanushi, heart would be accessories. If heart were Minakanushi, body would be accessories.
In a case of Aikido, there are invisible heart and breathe there. And, if one trains the method of breathing mainly by oneself, one's own Aikido will be established. The way of training of body is depend on where one places Minakanushi. It means that heart, breathe, and body should be united and, when one practices, heart, breathe, and body must be located at the center.
"Exhale, stop breathing, inhale, hold breathing", each position of breathing method is the location of Minakanushi. The technique is changed by your decision of which one is main: Is inhale main?, is holding breath main?, is exhale main?, or is stopping breathing main? The choice can be made unconsciously by training. Therefore, the Aikido will be Aikido with harmony.
O Sensei said of breathing
(taken from the Aiki news issue compilation):
When one has become skilled in leading the subtle applications of Aiki one may realize the honored virtue of Holy Creation. The breath will ascend upward in a rightward spinning spiral and descend again in a leftward spinning spiral, giving birth to the blending of water and fire. The continuous productive activity of friction is also produced. Means (Iki-musubi means the joining of the opposing divine elements representing the physical and spiritual aspects of life and is a homonym for the word life, "iki," and for the word breath, "iki." Musubi, is also homonym with possible meanings of blend/tie together; or generate/produce.) Sui-ka no musubi (water and fire musubi) is the ultimate root source of the multitude of things in the universe; it is without substance and limitless in its infinity.
Minakanushi is the kami of the Center in O Sensei's thought. Kami Musubi and Takamimusubi no kami are principles of action that proceed from and return to the Center. Abe Sensei uses various physical analogies of the relation of the Center to the peripheral -- or, if you will of the internal to the external.
The cylinder model is of shear in torsion -- which as Abe says, is just taking the Kami of the Center from flat circle 2D description into a spherical 3D perspective. O Sensei's "friction" is simply sliding action (which is the linear
aspect of shear) -- like shears --scissor blades --slide past one another -- opposed but joined without conflict, at a single center of rotation BUT with an EXTENDING line of ACTION).
Shear creates a field
action -- this is what makes aerodynamics work -- vortex field effects on a volume of air -- Breath is the correct dynamic analog -- A field effect is like twisting a flat cloth at a point and it will wind itself around the point of action -- like the scissors -- a point of central rotation and an extending field of action.
Try to do that from OUTSIDE the field of the cloth -- and it is not merely difficult -- it is IMPOSSIBLE to do the same action -- it will not work -- it only works by ENTERING WITHIN THE FIELD you mean to affect, and defining an essentially arbitrary center -- by the action within you and within the the field -- and in connection (musubi) -- and that is the form of the action that the field (opponent) will take on. The tighter the spirals, the more power they have -- but long period and short period actions have different kinds of action.
O Sensei is plainly speaking of field effects in his own understanding:
The kokyu breath sets up waves of motions or undulations in the ki of the vacuum of space.
Depending on whether these waves are vigorous or sluggish the various origins in the universe
are brought into being. Likewise according to the liveliness or dullness of these sinuous waves,
the coagulation or solidification of the spirit and the body is known.
When the congealing of the kokyu breath overflows to the spirit/mind and the physical
body, the breath then becomes one with the universe in a natural way, whether or not all goes as
you yourself wills it to be, and you will feel it spread out spherically into the universe. Then,
after that, you feel the kokyu which has once expanded to the universe recondenses back into the
When you have become capable of this sort of kokyu breath, the spiritual reality/essence
will concentrate in the area around your self where you will perceive its presence. This very
thing is your guidepost for the first step toward the Subtle Functions of Aiki. These subtle uses
are necessities if Aiki is to be drawn out in a spontaneous and unwilled fashion.
The four stages of breath, as Abe describes - these take the 3D center and extend the Kami of the Center into expanding and contracting space AND time (rhythm) -- Breath (kokyu) thus describes the action of a 4D Center.
The halts of breath are the maximum potential points for such action -- at the cusp of the reversals -- the dynamic Center of the breath (Minakanushi) -- while the intake (Takamimusubi no Kami) and exhale (Kamimusubi no Kami) are EACH the simultaneous release from
the Center AND gathering toward
the Center of that potential ( i.e. --both inhale AND exhale each manifest both in
) and the ultimate action occurs through either one --- though in reversed modes -- as one can cut with equal power either advancing or withdrawing -- turning toward or turning away.