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Old 07-29-2013, 09:12 PM   #10
Cady Goldfield
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 940
Re: What is Aiki? Introduction to a method of analyzing Aiki. (Part 3)

Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
well, he wrote this:

"For example, even in seated techniques, one cannot apply Aiki only through the movement of the hands. The hands are supported by the trunk and the lower body. There are also such teachings as "keep your body straight", "don't move your hips" and "put power into your lower abdomen".
That's the very vague allusion I was referring to. Those teachings tell us, precisely, nothing about what aiki is, where it comes from, how it is created, maintained, and expressed. Whether it's because he did not have the words with which to describe these, or whether he was intentionally misleading, we'll never know. Going by the general lack of descriptive terminology in DR teaching, though, I more and more suspect that none of these people had the words, and that whatever skills they had were learned and passed on through physical, intuitive transmission.

So he's not focussing on the hands. In fact, if you read carefully, he doesn't even talk about the hands being important, he talks about the wrists. Yes he's vague, but at least he does allude to specific points, unlike, for example, Kimura. .

BTW, I've never even seen Takahashi, so I have no opinions on his abilities/knowledge of "Aiki" one way or the other, but, I'm a little surprised that people have been so dismissive.
Yeah, Kimura's even better at being obscure. I do feel that Takahashi spent too much time and attention on the hands, to the point that it seems to be a genuine distraction to avoid talking about more relevant things such as the tandan, meimon, femoral region, legs, and feet, etc.

As for being dismissive, there's a growing body of individuals who are training in aiki and learning very specific body methods. There is a vocabulary and a physical, technical curriculum that is quite focused. For those of us who have been practicing aiki for 15 years or longer, and have some skills and understanding, it's frustrating to read descriptions of aiki that only tangentially touch on it and lead the would-be student in the wrong direction, away from any glimmer of understanding.

That said, I will say, as I always do, that it's great to have English-language access to these essays, if only for historic perspective and confirmation of our suspicions about the secrecy and restriction in transmission that has enshrouded both the heritage and legacy of Daito-ryu.
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