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Old 10-16-2013, 11:24 AM   #6
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,135
Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

I think the definition of technique is important here. From my experience so far Aikido kata is not important to internal strength conditioning exercises. But, undo is not kata. Kata is not waza.

Also, I do not think internal strength is aiki... yet. If we want to express aiki, then I think there are some other things that go into that soup, IS being a core component. The result of natural expression of aiki would be waza. The problem is that unless you: A.) possess internal strength and B.) express aiki (in any demonstrable form) you will would not able to express aiki in a particular form. You can also screw up expressing aiki in a particular form. That's a lot of potential to screw up.

Those two things said, it seems logical that during your aikido training someone expressing aiki would express it in aikido waza. This may be different if your exposure was during cross-training, but I think it would make sense to share aiki in a format familiar to those participating.

If it helps any, I am still confused by kata and waza as it relates to aikido and aiki. Kata is prescribed form, waza is natural expression. Most of what we do is kata, not waza. Yet we call it waza. What's more, you can do both kata and waza without internal strength... with some measure of success. You can argue the effectiveness of the movement as a criticism of moving without IS but...

For me, the rub is that modern aikido needs kata. If you want the four-legged animal, you need someone else with whom to connect and a shared form to define the interaction. If you do the kata enough, there is some chance that you will become proficient with the connection to your partner. Your proficiency to naturally connect and control your partner can arguably be called waza. Of course, if you partner is more proficient... she must subordinate her control in order for your control to lead the movement. The internal strength exercises do not seem to require that relationship.

As your observation suggests, I think the proficiency with which the practitioner is able to express aiki in waza is limited by their ability to convert the conditioning into waza.

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