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Old 08-06-2013, 02:55 PM   #42
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Dojo: Taikyoku Budo & Kiko - NY, PA, MD
Location: Greater Philadelphia Area
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Re: What is Aiki? Introduction to a method of analyzing Aiki. (Part 3)

Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Budd, I wouldn't necessarily disagree with your point there, but with respect to the article referenced, I was trying to suggest that there may be a lot more being said "behind the scenes" by the use of the term "tenouchi" as used within sword arts. In other words it was likely one of those assumed "you know what I'm talking about" deals in the writing. So depending on how you read the term there might be a lot more there than he is being given credit for.
Keith, I wouldn't disagree either that "tenouchi" might be a code word for being in the know (much like referencing the classics like Ueshiba would do with Heaven/Earth/Man). That being said on the flip side there's plenty of folks that parrot the buzzwords without the goods, so to your point it all becomes a matter of speculation.

Keith Larman wrote: View Post
So often much of the good stuff is contained in assumed common knowledge which becomes a problem when someone goes outside the original intended audience or too much time passes and information is lost/changed. Or worse yet if someone who is reading it with ignorance of the alternative meanings and/or self-serving understandings combined with not knowing the source language. So there's not much more for me to discuss on that count as I don't know the language well enough to do what Chris is doing.

I will say that spear work does seem to fit in quite well with much of what I've learned in person from a number of folk so I'd grant that idea. But that itself be confirmation bias of a particular interpretation as well -- it's all above my current paygrade. But yeah, you start to see connections with stick shaking, spear, ... A very large subset of the same stuff finds it way into sword arts as well, but what I understand of it does seem more "magnified" if you will in the spear/long stick work.
Well, if we're talking about what is "aiki" and how it works, my position is that so far aiki has been described as mostly a kind of application that requires a level of internal strength development. My read is that there's been a lot more functional discussion of how to do aiki as techniques, applications and body positions than there have been how to functionally build the internal strength to make those things work appropriately (along with the ideal application and body position).

So if we dive a bit deeper into Internal Strength as a topic (based on the two articles referenced, the original and the other one more from the Chinese perspective), I'd say that what is described has more to do with how to manage gravity and ground (the ki/qi of Earth if you will) but seems to be lacking in the breath/sounds area (I'm going to remain intentionally vague on that one, as there's both more dangers in that side of practice and greater proprietary ownership over the results, etc.) that somewhat describe the ki/qi of heaven. Most martial arts have some degree of study in these areas, but the question that seems to arise to those interested in the topic of internal strength is to what degree and sophistication these things were passed on (either as arts were developed or influenced from China or as systems were passed down through subsequent generations).

My speculation is that the gross requirements of the spear would indicate a better possibility that the functional aspects of internal strength remain intact as part of the transmission (note: this doesn't mean it's a better fighting system or that internal strength beats everything). But if you've got some meat to what tenouchi describes and how the same stuff finds its way its way into sword, please do share. I would love to hear more about the how's and what's.
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