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Old 04-15-2013, 11:29 AM   #38
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 760
Re: "Conventional Muscles" and Internal Power

Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Sorry, I should have included this in my last post.

It's interesting to note the list of "mysterious teachers" above (Sawada is the one from Nagoya, and there is some interesting back story there that I won't go into) - all of who are apparently acceptable to the conventional Aikido community even though they do mysterious things with little or no explanation.

Masuda, for example, I've known for over thirty years and have translated for on many occasions, but he has never once, in the time that I've known him, given anything approaching the detail and clarity of explanation that you'd get from some of the IP folks that are criticized for their lack of explanation.

And yet - that's generally accepted in the Aikido community for a hombu shihan (I like Masuda, and this isn't about him personally - it's just a symptom of the situation).


Perhaps these folks can do what they do without calling it anything special? I rather suspect it's learned over thousands of hours of training. Just like someone who raced bicycles many years in the past can handle hills better than someone who's just as fit but didn't race bikes when younger - motor recruitment patterns (also called muscle memory) - Judo people who seem quite relaxed while their partners in practice work their tails off (I had an experience like that once - the guy I was practicing with was working SO hard and I wasn't even getting warmed up...

I don't really think that shihan have any magical powers. Many who purport to teach aikido are actually not very good at TEACHING.. Show and tell, yes, but not teaching. I don't understand why "IS" is anything different from "well developed skill and trained responses" Elite athletes "look" relaxed when they're setting world records - it's not magic, it's very well developed movement patterns, being able through intense, focused training to sense and anticipate others' actions - Gretzky or Crosby in ice hockey, Yamashita in judo, Ueshiba O-Sensei.

Anyhoo. Count me someone who's confused about the whole thing. And at my age, and with a crushed patella, I don't anticipate having the chance to figger it out...
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