Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
After talking to some Japanese kendo people, some of who saw the thread, I'll stay with my definition. Haven't talked to more senior Aikido people yet but I doubt that would change things.
When I was in Japan, we had a Sensei who came to teach once a month. Along with his Aiki, he is a 7th Dan in Kendo, and focused his teaching almost entirley on ma ai/ ri ai in every lesson. Many of my compadres at the dojo used to roll their eyes when he came because he almost always only taught tai no henka and ikkyo, often spending the whole lesson on just one of the techniques. I had a long chat with him in the locker room after class one evening (followed up over a few beers in a local izakaya immediately after). I remember vividly the large grin, vociferous nodding of the head and lit up face when I asked him about my perspective on mai ai (not about safe distance, that is just something that I was thinking on yesterday). From then on, he always spent a lot of time with me in his classes
I still think I'm on the right path with this, but there's still a lot of undergrowth to cut away, and I may have to change direction many more times yet.