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Old 11-05-2012, 11:18 AM   #28
ChrisHein's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Location: Fresno , CA
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,646
Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

Tom Quinn wrote: View Post
I suggest that these are not different definitions of aiki, but causes and effects, provided one starts with the premise that C is the definition of aiki.
Hey Tom,
Thanks for the concise, and thoughtful reply.

If aiki is a body ability, that once acquired gives it's practitioner great physical power, making them seem unmovable and strangely forceful. then it stands to reason that once acquired, it would allow your body to automatically adapt to movements and changes made by an attacker/opponent, that make the opponent feel strange, weak, unable to adapt to you.
So you started with "C" here, and moved on to say how that makes "D". I got where you're going. However, to me, "C" (and maybe we just need a better definition of the phenomenon of "C") sounds like it is describing a kind of physical powerfulness. If we compared you to a child for example, you are much much more powerful then the child, to him you would seem unmovable and strangely powerful (Definition "C"). However your power over the child doesn't give you definition "D" "automatically able to adapt to movements and changes made by the child (ever had a kid surprise you with a hit to the face? HA). It also doesn't make the child feel strangely weak, he just can simply tell the you are more power then he is. Like if you arm wrestled one of the competitors from the "worlds strongest man", he would probably easily beat you, but you wouldn't feel strange, or weaker then normal. Definition "D" has a quality about it that requires a strangeness or otherworldly quality. Definition "C" seems to simply show great physical power.

It would also stand to reason that two equally skilled opponents when looking for an opening would be in a situation created by two people, of equal skill wherein neither can make a successful attack, locking them in a stand off and that if one person was more skilled than his opponent that he would have ability to understand, blend with, lead and manipulate the mind/intention of his opponent.
There is a problem here where we get into if one person were more skilled. That would eliminate definition "A" all together, because they are equally skilled. An example of this that I saw from Josh Reyder ( he was saying that in Yagyu Shinkage-ryu when the word Aiki is used, they are talking about "Departing the Aiki" in a situation where both opponents were in a unity of "attack and defense".

Having the ability described by "B" seems to be a different type of phenomenon to me then a physical skill, or body ability.

In essence, it's like the blind men and the elephant, each describing a different animal because they each got hold of a different part.
I definitely agree with you here! The thing I'm trying to avoid/find our way through, is something like one of the blind men yelling "I can feel that the elephant is pink" and all the other blind men agreeing.

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