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Old 09-07-2014, 09:37 PM   #21
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,619
Re: Refining my view of aiki

Keith Larman wrote: View Post
David Skaggs wrote:
The ip/is/ihtbf/aiki people on this forum are not able to describe how aiki works without resorting to Japanese or Chinese culture and language because they do not have an understanding of how what they are doing works.


The fact that you or anyone does not understand a description does not mean the person saying it does not understand how it works. And the utilization of Japanese or Chinese terminology appears to me to be appropriate if a) the terms are explained as best possible and b) there may not be perfectly equivalent translations available in the target language. I use Japanese terms all the time when discussing Japanese swords and sword arts because a) it is precise and b) they are correct. Especially when they don't have exact corollaries in English due to the unique evolution of the craft in that culture.
Yukio Sagawa -- reputedly quite capable in aiki -- said explicitly that :
Sagawa in "Clear Power" wrote:
If you simply go through life by simply thinking you can copy people you'll never get anywhere. The only person that can do this is you. You must create your own understanding for yourself.
Take Aiki for example. There is no way to really teach this. Even if I could point at something that is Aiki I can't put it into words. You simply think you can learn everything from me, so you don't develop the habit to think for yourself. That is what divides people that are smart from whose who are not. Even with mathematics, its not as if you suddenly wake up one day able to do these things, am I right? This is the same with Bujutsu. It is about long periods of work, innovation, that you slowly over time become able to do these things.
I think Matthew's question and David's response are both flowing from the broadly felt need to do what Sagawa could not -- what Ueshiba could not -- put this into plain words and unambiguous concepts. That's a task for us Westerners. Direct and unambiguous expression is not the chief genius of Japanese culture, after all....


Erick Mead
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