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Old 03-22-2005, 07:11 AM   #36
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
Re: Kotodama Question

Shaun Ravens wrote:
Mr. Liberti,

Thank you for your clear description. I have several questions:
You may certainly call me Rob if you like. Also, if you would like to be called Mr. Ravens, that is perfectly fine with me.

Shaun Ravens wrote:
1. Do you understand why the sound does that?
My working theory when you apply kotodama to aikido is that physical movements of the body have certain vibrations. If you scale that vibration to the audible range, you might hear with your ears what your body already feels. For instance, I've never heard anyone yawn and say "EAUUU" or anything other than "AHH" - even monkeys...

Shaun Ravens wrote:
2. If yes, then are you able to apply that principle to all of your techniques?
To my way of thinking, certain feelings don't have good names. In that particular example, if something doesn't feel quite right, I might start thinking about that sound which will act as a mental pointer to help me bring the feeling associated with that sound into focus which will tend to help me stay on track of attempting to manifest principle by means of doing technique. Am I able to apply this to all of my technique? - Well I'm not perfect so probably not - and there are many other feelings besides that one to any technique.

Shaun Ravens wrote:
3. If yes, then are you able to extrapolate the meaning and relevance of the additional sound currents and also apply these in a dynamic manner.
Certainly not all of them. Not to as obvious of a tangible result as "AHH". SU, KA, RA, and MU have been helpful to me in terms of connecting to some of the primitive feelings associated with ikkyo. I'd say I can apply some of these in a dynamic manner. I still have a long way to go and while I remain passionate, I'm not in any particular rush.

Shaun Ravens wrote:
4. If yes, have these principles exponentially elevated your techniques such that if you did not use said principles your technique would appear empty or even depleted by comparison?
In a sense I'd say so, personally. I'd say that it has helped me the most in that it gives me pointers that allow me easier access to feelings that otherwise wouldn't have names (and therefore wouldn't have pointers easily available to them). I prefer to learn on all of the modalities. I think I could learn just as well devoid of a lot of the different things which are part of my training - probably just not as efficiently.

It is possible that O-sensei taught some students wrong as a joke.

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