Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?
Aiki as a clash of forces
Ueshiba and generations of giants before him focused on power (not normal power) and solo training to achieve power...for a reason. It was the central pillar of how to make aiki happen. You need a profound "neutral" in order to demonstrate and manipulate force within you, to create change in the forces outside of you that are attempting to enter in. The more developed you are, the more those forces are never allowed to enter in and are dealt with by your making change in you on the supported surface. If and when you encounter someone equal or superior who might enter you have management within and movement to deflect.
Deflection to create aiki is not done the way people try to move. Moving away from a force vector is just jujutsu. Anyone can do it. Moving in accordance with in yo-you now have a supported tangent that is created in a balanced state, that created a disruption that is all but impossible for them to track. This leaves them continually reacting to your movement and trying to respond to a non sourced change they cannot apply force on.
In/yo creates a state within you, that makes a continuous flow of tangents outside of you that never allows force on you. Thus your movements make "no force" possible. No internal management of in/yo inside of you, no aiki between you and someone else-just jujutsu movement.Add to this the ability for explosive force (force that need not cause any harm at all) and you have a nice package that is devestatingly effective.
This missing requirement of in/yo inside of you first, was the source of the damning comment of a Taiji grandmaster who taught for 11 years in Japan (he taught two of Sagawas people) who stated...
"All this talk of aiki. Where is Yin? Where is Yang? How then is there ai-ki? You cannot pretend Dantian. You will be found out!"
Notice his critique was that you must first demonstrate yin and yang in you, and his instant correlation of that to the dantain. Where all is joined and balanced. Oddly, his admonition matches Ueshiba; who continually answered question on aiki by first and foremost discussing a balance of forces within himself.
Aikiweb and Aikido practitioners never address that because they just don't get it, get him, get the history and pedagogy of what their own founder was discussing, all while claiming higher knowledge that is actually nothing more jujutsu principles. So, when you begin a discussion with someone and they have no understanding of what Ueshiba talked about; Six direction forces, aiki being opposing forces within yourself, heaven/earth/man, the mysteries of which are displayed in dual opposing spirals that give birth to Yin and yang, No idea of his exercises such as rowing, and twirling his stick in the air, and what they meant, no idea of what Dantian is, and how to develop it...where do you begin?
What is fascinating as well is how this work creates the very foundational spiritual challenge AIkido should be known for. Harnessing power, and being able to deliver it is the foundation for spiritual growth in witholding and controlling it. His was never the peacnick model of avoiding power and running away from force. His constant admonitions were of possessing power killing force and then having to forge ones soul to manage it's use and practice that.
I had a recent encounter with a 90 years old who trained with Tohei and Ueshiba who had strong opinions on aikido's founder having and displaying *POWER* repeatedly but the modern art being absent of it. He was delighted to one again feel Ueshiba's power being taught in the art once again.
What is happening right now is an evolutionary step that is being forced on the Asian arts. The teachers are going to have to step up and demonstrate skills and then actually teach, or we are going to go someone place else. No one is going to abandon the Asian teachers though. Just about every martial artist I know will pick an Asian face and established art, nine out of ten times. You could actually decimate their teacher right in front of them it wouldn't matter at all. Westerners prefer Asian arts. What we are going to be forced to do is to start demonstrating a higher level of skill. It is my opinion that most of the Shihan are simply no capable of it. Of those who are, they are going to be facing a growing student base that they cannot handle so easily. Eventually the art is going to be known for people practicing with real power and aiki the Ueshiba way, and than those who can't handle them. I would be happy to revisit that statement ten years from now. It is going to be a whole different landscape.