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Old 10-15-2012, 10:20 AM   #58
Budd's Avatar
Dojo: Taikyoku Budo - NY, MD
Location: Williamsville, NY
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 932
Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

Near as I can tell, most of the things I've seen described here are small steps towards what the full suite of skills and body development are anyways, as espoused by the various folks espousing them. Whether it's "two centers making a connection" or "mutually opposing spirals", I think the tenor of the debate would go a long way if whatever the theory is being espoused - that it's kept either within the framework of "here's how it lives within the overall discipline of Internal Strength" versus "here's how this training at this level makes for more effective martial application". Those are two separate arguments, tho related. I also don't think it helps that the discussion jumps from factual to anecdotal to sentimental all in a go as they distract from each other rather than reinforce any single point.

The stickler for me is the notion that the "make a connection and move your insides" is being propped up as the endgame of some "four-legged animal" approach. I don't think anyone has made that point - at best, I've seen it described as a training exercise and foundational approach to handling simple forces. Which is why I'm puzzled as to how it can be disproven as a method when near as I can tell it's intentionally stood up as a gateway checkpoint before you can do other things that are more complex along the spectrum of internal strength. Now, if you can't do some of the simple things within that framework, that's kind of a tell in its own way, but that's also a different discussion. But I think, unless your working definition of internal strength also includes fighting skills (which I think most have agreed is more a parallel framework that works with internal strength, depending on your style, art, etc.) and hypnosis activities - like I've seen also attributed to some teachers - it may make sense to be clear about what you're relating and where it fits within micro and macro considerations.

I kind of liken it to how you receive a simple push. There's being rooted and strong to receive a push. There's being soft and ghost-like such that the pusher never feels you, only the ground. There's being soft and connected so that the pusher doesn't feel like they can actually push you, etc. and so on and so forth. It's basically a drill to train how you handle simple loads. Is it the end-game? Hopefully not, as I actually think that would be stupid from both IS and fighting perspectives. But I do think it can be indicative of where someone is on the IS spectrum with how they choose to handle a simple force that's brought to bear on them. Does how you handle a simple force load indicate how well you can fight? Probably not, although if you can't take any load, even with basic muscular strength, balance and bracing - I'd be suspicious of one's ability to do much more. But I'd never make a final call based alone on that criteria.

And that's just on how you'd handle a simple push. If someone starts telling me that I shouldn't fight that way - I'm not going to bother debating them because, "DUH" (see here on Aikiweb from about 2004-2007 for lots of "DUH" discussions of that nature). If someone tells me they don't have to receive a push IN A TRAINING DRILL because they could move out of the way of the push - I'm not going to bother talking to them about internal strength. If someone says the best way to not get pushed is to punch the pusher in the faced, again, I'm not going to have a discussion with them about internal strength.

How about them apples? There's Macintosh, Gala, Pink Lady, Empire, etc. No, sir and madam, I do not wish to hear about your oranges. Or furthermore hear you say you know all about apples as you go on to describe the merits of Clementines as your resultant proof. Away with you to another tree, altogether, I say.

Last edited by Budd : 10-15-2012 at 10:23 AM.
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