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Old 06-23-2003, 08:27 PM   #3
Scott Sweetland
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 14
Charles Hill wrote:
What is the source of your understanding that O'Sensei intended for people to learn "the principles of aggression?"
I base this upon the way Aikido practice is performed. Why do we practice defending against so few different types of attacks when there are so many ways to attack a person? Because the attacks we use demonstrate broader principles; understand Shomen and you can defend against any attack from above, understand Yokomen and any attack where the energy is directed against you in a circular path will be understood, etc. There is a quote from O Sensei's book "Budo" which sums this up: "The best strategy relies upon unlimited responses. Pursue the Glorious Path, use the one to strike the many, and then the one will open the way to ten thousand vital principles"
Charles Hill wrote:
You wrote of martial arts possibly as a path to Budo. What do you think is the difference between the two?
Budo is a way of life wherein a person uses the martial arts to perfect the self by achieving a perfect blend of action and intention. This can only be achieved through sincere practice. If Uke's attack is not sincere, then there is no real encounter and neither will learn anything. We learn by placing ourselves in extreme situations. Not life or death as the practitioners of the arts that Aikido was based upon did, but as real as we can. One method: by doing a technique over and over with all of our energy, we become exhausted to the point where we can no longer concentrate on what we are doing and suddenly the mind and body speak to each other directly without passing through the distortion of the ego and something "clicks". You suddenly see something you never understood about the technique and it works in a way you never were able to make it work before. The body knows its place in the universe and once we get that part of ourselves which says "this won't work", "I can't do it", "I already know this", etc. to shut up, the body can teach us things. In a sense, Budo is the martial arts, but not all martial arts are Budo. There's a lot more to this, but I don't want to write a book here.
Charles Hill wrote:
Can you explain specifically how you think training the body will lead to skill in dealing with aggression verbally?
Have you ever watched water trickling from a garden hose in the dirt and noticed that it looks like the grand canyon as seen from far above? That little trickle of water and the raging river both are subject to the same rules. This can be seen in many other places in life and it applies to aggression too. When pushed, tenkan. When pulled, irimi. Here's an example: Someone approaches you and says "You acted like a real jerk last night!" This is a direct attack upon you, a "push" now you can say "Who are you calling a jerk you jerk!", but then you are pushing back. You are meeting the incoming force directly and there is no Aiki. Or you can say "You know what, I agree, I wasn't on my best behavior. I don't think either of us were really at the top of our game last night. I apologize." You accept their attack, turn around it and redirect it. If they push in again, you can tenkan again, etc. Just as in a physical encounter. Someone can be unbalanced mentally the same as they can be unbalanced physically. The underlying principles are the same.

Hope that clears some things up about my views.
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