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Old 02-19-2013, 07:52 AM   #45
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,135
Re: Understanding "decoupling"

Dan Richards wrote: View Post
Hey, Jon, good to see you here.

Well, first to "separate" is impossible. Nothing is separate. Everything is connected.
Is this literal, or figurative? Later you quote Messisco sensei specifically as not connecting to the Earth.

You've got Dan Messisco coming to your place next week. He's got some interesting things to say about and demonstrate about connection.

In this video Dan talks/shows the idea of decoupling your arms. Not to have them fused to the body.

"We don't have to connect with the Earth. We're all connected on a Universal level." - Dan Messisco

And I swear I've heard Dan say something like, "Why would you want to connect with the Earth, when you're already connected with the Universe."

In Dan's language he talks about "attachment." That's the connection. It's a given. I'd be interested to talk with Dan. I haven't yet. But he seems to be on a lot of the same wavelengths I am. We don't need to ground.

In my language, I talk about coupling and decoupling. It's not that you separate anything, but you change with coupled relationship that's "fused together" to a decoupled relationship - where you are free to move.
So are we talking about coupling/un-coupling or fusing/un-fusing? Coupling implies a mechanical process that can re-occur. Fusion implies a more permanent state. I think this language is a little muddy. What about unity? Or, just separation?

If you think about it - our exhaled breath, with CO2, while waste to us, is dessert for the plants. The Earth is designed to receive your waste. That's why it's there. And so many are so invested in holding all this waste and uncirculating, stale energy inside them. Flush it. Drain it. Discharge it. Breath out - it's food for the trees. Discharge your energy - the Earth's there to receive it. Then you are like an empty cup, and can be filled with new, fresh energy.

Nature abhors a vacuum. The second you discharge your body of energy - it creates a vortex for the return of energy. Draining, discharging, flushing -- is actually the action of receiving fresh energy.

In fact, look at a toilet. The act of flushing is done by sending fresh water in.
Technically, there is both a draining and a filling. Again, sounds more like yin/yang. If you flushed a toilet only by filling the bowl you'd have a problem in short order.

How many people are doing aikido with moves with unflushed or partially-flushed toilets. I'd call that crappy aikido.

I have bolded some more comments in the quoted text. Hope they help.

First, as a shameless plug, Dan Sensei will be at Aikido of Lake Keowee, Seneca, SC. He is awesome and I look forward to seeing him again. He is a seminar worth attending - it will change how you look at aikido.

Second, I am not speaking for Messisco sensei, I believe he has a couple students that hang around here, but I am not sure he is talking about what you are talking about. Of the videos you posted, I think he is talking more about what he calls "independent movement." That is moving the self and not being concerned (read connecting) with your partner. I believe I heard him use the example of a spinning punching bag - the rotating bag moves independent of someone striking the bag, yet when the punch makes contact it is affected by rotation. Of independent movement, I feel two things when I grab sensei: 1. Dan sensei is not using some kind of set ground path structure to receive my energy, my energy never enters his body; 2. my attack does not affect what he is doing, in fact, my attack actually contorts around his movement. I am connected to sensei, but he does not connect to me - I cannot feel his center, nor move his body, but he can do both to me.

I believe his direct reference to [not] connecting with the Earth was to imply that mechanical ground path is not necessary to aiki. He moves quite freely when you try to grab him and never sticks to the ground.


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