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Old 10-24-2013, 09:40 AM   #3
Dojo: Kakushi Toride Aikido
Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 93
Re: It's not You, It's Me

Jon Reading wrote: View Post
So we have an emerging concept of aiki, derived from strong internal power. There are a several major models out there and gaining some exposure. There are some differences of opinion about the details, even among the major proponents of the internal power models.

Clearly the aiki models contain elements that create a strong response, such a strong response as to craft perceptions within people who have yet to experience one or more training models. So what are the specific elements that you feel affect the validity of the model(s)? What would change your opinion? Are these measures of validity consistent with your exposure to other training models within Aikido?

For example, a previous comment made about all of the aiki models was, "how does it help me fight bad guys?" You could elaborate on this statement by identifying the specific model of aiki with which your exposure does not satisfactorily give you confidence to apply the model in applied waza.

Or, maybe the Chinese influence in some models is not consistent with your Japanese martial art. What model was too culturally difficult to translate into your training? Or, maybe there is no translation yet and you are not comfortable leaving aikido to get the information.

Or, maybe you believe its BS. What model were you exposed to that felt fake or contrived? Were you constantly being told how to attack or move in a manner not consistent with your fighting experience or training?

Or, maybe you don't yet have exposure to the various aiki models. What is your perception of the training? Why does it interest you enough to participate in discussion about it?

What's your story? I am really looking at discussing the bolded questions, but it is possible your own story is similar to one of the examples.
Hello, Mr. Reading

I'd like to take a stab at your question:

The things I look for in the model is whether there is an understanding conveyed of the nature of attack and the center-to-center ki connection transmitted from uke. Also key for me is whether the model takes into consideration the responses uke may have if his defense reflexes are stimulated. With my spin on things, I consider it to be an optimum expression of a feasible model if the intention is that the attacker obtains healing in the process of his attack being fully realized.

One doesn't have to look to Chinese arts as the exclusive arts that call on ki - Aikido has included ki as its central element since its inception. Once Morihei Ueshiba was seen to uproot a tree that numerous farmers working together couldn't pull up. When his then uchideshi, Kanshu Sunadomari Sensei asked Osensei how he was able to single-handedly pull up a rooted pine tree, Osensei demonstrated by picking up a toothpick and said. "Like this."

It's interesting to me because it is the prime ingredient of the system of art I practice. This energetic manifestation that has been noticed since the earliest records of history has always been mystified even though it is fundamental. Because it is not yet objectively measurable, it is often considered imaginary, but then so is love. Is love imaginary or is it a real phenomenon to yet unsatisfactorily defined?

There are many people charting their own courses when it comes to understanding ki and aiki, particularly in the context of martial arts. Kisshomaru Ueshiba described ki no nagare, or stream of spirit, in the book Aikido as one of the fundamental elements of aikido along with spirit power as opposed to "force power." How can a student of ai-KI-do not be interested in ki? It is a constant source of wonder for me that some would practice an art they believe is based on a misconception. When I hear about people dismissing the founder as quaint or uninformed or primitive because spirituality informed his creation, I am incredulous. It's hard for me to imagine thinking I will be successful following the notions of a fool. Go figure…

In the navigation of largely uncharted waters, there are many now investigating and examining how ki functions in conflict situation. It is an emerging consciousness. That is one way to explain how two systems, or technologies, of effective non-violent responses were both during the first third of the 20th Century, Gandhi's methods on a massive scale and Ueshiba's on an individual scale. My prediction is that in the near future it will be hard to remember a time when ki was dismissed as a fantasy.
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