View Single Post
Old 03-30-2005, 04:35 PM   #105
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Standing Postures in Aikido?

Shaun Ravens wrote:
Well, to be honest I don't believe that any level of descriptive dialogue will do anything outside of confuse people at best, alienate people next, or even worse
I don't agree. There are some very helpful basic things that can be pointed out to people who are looking for a toehold. However, the general rule in martial arts seems to be to get a little knowledge and act like it's a lot... doling out peanuts while thinking it's gold by both the giver and the givee.
... For example the article about misogi that Ward Rafferty put out is interesting to me on several levels. If you compare his and mine (the one Ron Tisdale pointed out) you will see that at one level they are the same, albeit there are some minor differences in the physicality of how things are done. However, he then adds much more descriptive things, such as. "…you must concentrate and imagine that you are breathing in the Ki of the Great Universe..." which seems like additional knowledge, but in fact is anything but that. I hear this stuff all the time, quoted in, and worse from multiple sources, and passed along as though it is helpful, or really what O-Sensei was doing, imagining or otherwise. I have discussed this with Abe Sensei at length and his view is well known to those close to him.
Actually, that description is just as clear as all the rest of the descriptions in the list. No one can do anything on any list, yours or Wards, if they don't know how to do them. The "…you must concentrate and imagine that you are breathing in the Ki of the Great Universe..." is extremely important because it tells me that O-Sensei was doing a Buddhist-derived qigong of the type derived from the Yi Jin Jing. But you have to know how to do the breathing or it's just an imagination drill. I seriously would wonder, if I were you, if you're being shown everything. No offense, but I've learned over many years that the assumption is that one is NOT being shown everything. There is often the imagined scenario that someone is saying about the occasional foreign student, "At Last he is here! Now I can reveal it all because I have waited my whole life for this yagi-no-mei to arrive... he is like my son!". It doesn't happen like that, no matter how friendly someone is.


Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote