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Old 10-09-2012, 04:51 PM   #48
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,618
Re: More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

David Orange wrote: View Post
For anyone who puts on a black belt and especially someone who teaches and promotes people to black belt, my remarks really should be considered mild and humorous.

In IP/IS/AIKI, our baseline is not what Ueshiba said but what he did. Anyone can mimic what he said but very few can mimic what he did and fewer can actually do what he did.

You have repeatedly given us this diagram and I have said it's valid for what it is: a drawing of forces in a cylinder. I can understand that what happens is shear, but the question is can you actually produce that effect and is it either the same as or on the same level as the effect produced by...
As to "fears," I will refrain from all issues of personality. I declared myself only at the instigation of those concerned. I will further say only the following: As a martial tactic, many who doubt themselves are drawn out by such rhetoric as yours -- I do not take anything amiss at all by your use of such devices to do so -- this is my stock in trade after all -- and it is certainly fair game toward your goals. As for me, "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." What would you do, in similar circumstance? Forgo the trust earned, in favor of a manifest disregard ?

But as you say, the issue is not about personality but a concrete reality -- in this we are agreed. But concrete understanding takes several forms -- all grounded in the body AND the mind. Neither suffices alone -- nor has either any preeminence in martial action.

You asked "what would you like to see?" and I simply said more or less, "Physical results. Not a diagram."
OK. What results ?

So, please, don't quibble in abstraction. It flies or it doesn't, it jumps the gate or falters, it goes ... someone reputed to have IP/IS/AIKI power...or it publishes an unworkable design again with claims that it can do the same thing...
No reputation is of any concern to me -- only trust.

There is nothing abstract. We are agreed that the diagram shows forces in a cylinder.

I know that the body is several series of connected chains of cylinders. This is obvious. I know and can feel the action of shear in the cylinders of my torso and limbs, and their segments. This is not obvious -- but can be learned. I know that the same principles of shear action that apply to the solid cylinder ALSO apply to the dynamic action of many objects in a chain. This is most certainly not obvious and takes some dwelling on to grasp -- but it is the fact of the matter.

I know that this series of connected cylinders has connections that vary in flexibility or stiffness according to my mind and my reflexive physiology. I can feel, observe and deploy this variability to good effect. I know that reflexive action can be molded and modulated by training and become deployable rather than merely reactive action, and in ways that are not predictable. I feel the ways in which those forces and reflexes are deployed and I observe the effects that they have -- dynamically and in setting the potentials within the body.

I gather that the most consequence to the teaching you advocate is in the role played by setting the potentials by mindful guidance in training. I have no doubt if you tell me it is effective. But whether it is more effective or not has never been a concern of mine -- my path is my path, not anyone else's -- nor mine theirs, necesarily.

The perspective that I have is that the dynamics and the potentials are one and the same, governed by the same action and physiology and that training and observing them both complement one another. The perspective I have is that the modulated reflexes -- keying into the reflexes of the opponent -- are a key component of the action AND the effectiveness of potentials.

The perspective I have is that the Aiki Taiso describe, illustrate and train BOTH the development of these potentials, and their relation to right dynamics. While the setting of potentials is hardly immune to conscious creation and use, the reflexive aspects are much less amenable to mindful guidance -- though they may certainly be shaped in mindful training (be it Aiki taiso, or Taiji, Sanchin or a few others besides, in which I see the similar things operating).

These things are however, in action, much more amenable to the unmindful and "inexhaustible creation" of the martial moment -- which -- as I see things in his own words and in his own reported action -- is much closer to what Ueshiba both advocated as a goal and DID as his singularly declared accomplishment. Takemusu Aiki. Not the sideshow tricks he did for the rubes.

I won't declare what I know and do to be what anyone else knows or does. Some people seem to take offense. But since you seem genuinely to care, how would you propose that I show you what you would like to see? Seeing as I won't be in Birmingham soon (nor ever have been, FWIW). The Alabama cousins keep to themselves, mostly.


Erick Mead
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