Re: Morihei Ueshiba's Use of the Term "Aiki"
How many martial artists did/do the same thing as Ueshiba? There are so many examples it's hardly worth mentioning.
How is it that Takeda had solo training drills to produce (as Sagawa noted) an aiki body for power and told Sagawa not to talk about it....yet. he also said with aiki he could read minds and sort pout peoples skills on site using "aiki?"
The founder of a Koryu discussed Heaven/Earth/Men producing power that made his Ken unstoppable and then later in life discussed Heaven/Earth/Man as a way to be one with the universe and embrace your role as a true human being.
You might as well quote Kondo and a famous Koryu teacher who both say (with a sword in their hand) that budo is about living and not dying..
It's equally fascinating to meet, hear and read the many definitions of yin and yang offered by some of the ICMA master level guys who have power as well. Particularly when they wax on about the grand universal ideas of yin/yang theory and Qi affecting entire countries persona, down to communities, down to families and then. to individuals.
Then....They get into practical use of Yin/yang and qi in a martial art and what they then say, makes very real practical results for physical power and disruptive movement. As stated Takeda and Sagawa had solo training as aiki to produce power and low and behold so did Ueshiba. And they all called it aiki as well.
So when asked, all of the above examples would give an expansive wonderful and pithy commentary on their particular shtick being grand, multi-facted, multi-layered, and a deep and worthy life long pursuit. How many people want to say "I spent my life studying better ways to kill people."
It is interesting to note Inue (quoting Ueshiba) saying that due to the loss in WW2, he thought he had to remove budo from the name. And much of Ueshiba's "aiki is love" rhetoric really started to crank up.
So hearing any individual teacher (with power) discuss common terms that are known for producing power then wax on about his grand vision is a twice told tale
I think i'ts fine that people have discovered all sorts of things in their Aikido:
Aiki is love
Aiki will change the world
The verbal interaction at work as aiki
Remaining centered with an attacker or even an angry wife as aiki. And I am NOT down playing that skill either
Aikido is big and there is a lot in it that is fun, that is healing, and that builds community.
None of which ever explained Ueshiba's power.
What actually did produce his power he defined as well.
We do have documented and known terms that he also used as descriptions of aiki, and he used them specifically when being asked about martial usage. The terms he used were known for developing physical power.
Remove the internal practices he described and you will find that Ueshiba's colorful versions of grander aiki have not produced his power in anyone. Not that that is a bad thing. But if you are looking for it, you are not going to find it in his lofty ideas.
Anyone can establish equal value on the term "aiki" or yin and yang just by agreeing to agree.
Aiki is love
Aiki produces an atemi that is lethal
Standing in the midst of Heaven/earth/man releases the mountain echo
Not the weight of a feather can be added, nor can a fly alight that does not induce rotation.
Through change, ten thousand endings, but only through one theory, the union of opposites
Which one(s) addresses the state of man, which one(s) are a very practical means to deliver disruptive power?
*Just a little side note: In the past no one used to tackle the missing power issue. It is routinely skirted around. Ueshiba produced power. He discussed that as aiki as well, didn't he? Yet, for decades...no...discussion about how that aiki was supposed to be created. Instead everyone just bragged on him as amazing and then went back to "Aiki is love," "Aiki is evading."
Fine by me, but it is damn peculiar that to date I've never met anyone who had unusual power who got it by following "aiki is love" or "yin and yang makes you one with the universe."
But they keep saying it..
However you...can get it...by understanding the terms Ueshiba used, what they meant and how to train them.
I can understand if people want to make the case that the vast majority of people in TMA don't really want unusual power or even argue that it simply doesn't exist (that's the new rhetoric about Ueshiba as well, that he really was not unusual). I know quite few people who are very happy with their practices, as is.
But they certainly cannot make the case that aiki is love ever got Ueshiba or any other live human being the sort of unusual physical power Ueshiba was noted for. Not that there's anything wrong with that either. As we can see, today many people could care less.
Last edited by DH : 01-07-2013 at 10:06 AM.