View Single Post
Old 08-19-2008, 10:05 AM   #8
Erick Mead
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,619
Re: revelation "vs" intuited aiki

Mark Murray wrote: View Post
From personal experience, I have found that it is very, very hard to learn it without someone to teach it to you. Looking inward with intensity of purpose will not get you these skills. They are not "innate" in that you have to train in specific exercises to gain a specific martial body.
Look at it this way, if you wanted to be a pro cyclist,...
... start riding a bike, stopping only when necessary to sleep, eat and attend to personal needs. That pretty much covers it.

Mark Murray wrote: View Post
They are supposed to be exercises for building a martial body, not something you learn to do out in the real world.
Dealing out hard blows and learning to receive them with minimal impact used to be something one actually did out in that there "real world." Nothing has changed in regard to what is necessary -- only our sensibilities about what we consider "normal" in the "real world."

Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Think about it ... if it was like that, then why isn't it prevalent?
Because we got out of the habits that developed the foundations -- like no longer doing heavy manual labor and discouraging people from hauling off and hitting one another on a fairly regular basis? Those are both facts. Nothing more is necessary to explain it, and Occam's razor cuts off the remainder of the supposition.

Have you studied what traditional uchi-deshi training entailed? The secret formula is as old as the hills -- Chop wood, carry water, scrub floors. Heavy, repetitive tasks build efficient basic movement and body carriage. There is no substitute for work. Dojo time was nothing but shape and polish.

Now the legitimate question is how, in our present environment, to have workable substitutes for those basics (or to engage in them in a modern setting) -- and then how to refine that raw material. No one should pretend at ancient secret principles that don't at some point involve something like hauling lumber and hacking brush.

Look at the IMA exercises -- actually look at them. Imagine loads where loads would be carried if you had them. Look at the kokyu undo, and imagine wielding tools where tools might be wielded in them. They are all little more than structured imitations of the effort of actual labor. For this reason they probably do work if done right. That is the only reason for having people to correct you in doing them, because keeping the illusion of actual loads is critical, and that takes some imaginitive focus. Kettlebells work wonders for most of them.

OR, you could chop wood and carry water. The skill is no secret, and the body will learn carriage and efficiency on its own if you are mindful in dealing with ACTUAL heavy repetitive loads and body extension tasks like cutting, tossing, lifting, sweeping, raking etc.

The better course for refinement from those basics in our culture I take different view of, and it can take a variety of forms, but the basics are not really in question, on either score, even if they may be misunderstood.

Me, I do and have done a lot of construction. I practice at not quite hitting people in aikido. IOW, 90% of my aikido is an atemi and the last 10% (or so) of every atemi I just leave off, in most settings. If pushed my innate and intuitive response it to hit the person pushing me. Why? Because like every other human being, I inherited the hindbrain of a killer ape.

We can pretend better but we do not alter nature, we only provide it another outlet. We have to work to restrain that. Most of the time we succeed only in waiting to hit him better. It is what we want to do and is innate and intuitive and left to its own devices we seem to kill pretty well, with minimal training, and technology has removed much of that restraint.

My considered sense of aikido is that it is best considered as a leash on a well-loved but very bad dog. That is why it is more necessary now in a technologically violent but physically passive culture than it was when those aspects were reversed in prominence. Nature has not changed merely because capabilities have shifted. This is as poorly understood among the "more power now" crowd as is the relationship between traditional labor and traditional budo.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 08-19-2008 at 10:08 AM.


Erick Mead
  Reply With Quote