Re: Where's the hara?
Thanks for further explaining your perspective. I'll add some context to aikido given the 'spontaneous condition' that O-sensei supposedly said something to the effect of 'I lose my center all of the time; I just get it back faster than most of the people I am working with'. That's not an exact quote (as it is in English and all) but it makes sense to me and helped me with the way I think about these things. I think it is the same kind of 'balance - unbalance - balance again' pattern we have in walking where you have to break your 100% balance if you are going to move.
I've also read other discussions where they stopped talking about moving from center and started talking about grounding to the floor (which you reminded me of when you discussed the interdependant relationship between the feet and the head). Their reasons were that if you removed the floor, that the person wouldn't have much ability to do what we generally refer to as move from center. I think that has some validity as well except I can make the counter arguement that plenty of people stand on the floor and I can knock them over with a feather - so it is probably both (as you suggested).
Good discussion. If you have the time and the inclantation to PM me about the actual definitions of shu-ha-ri I would appreciate it.
Thanks - Rob