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Old 12-24-2012, 07:44 PM   #52
Chris Li
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Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,306
Re: Multiple attackers, using their idea of what is happening against them

Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I'm out of town, and I only have Budo Renshu with me, but here are a few quick quotes I found from Ueshiba, describing his art.

"Thinking I am in front of him, the enemy raises his sword to attack, but lo I am already standing behind him"

"Drawing out the attack of the perverse enemy, my body stands behind him and cuts."

I also have "Aikido" by Kisshomaru Ueshiba with me. In that there is a story-

" A young naval officer and kendo teacher came to his [Ueshiba's] Dojo. The jujutsu man [Ueshiba] tried to explain the theory of his "Aiki" to the Kendo man but it seems that the visitor had come for a fight. In the end, Ueshiba consented to having a match. The officer dashed forward to attack with his wooden training sword but each time Ueshiba was able to dodge the weapon with ease. Finally the challenger sat down without once touching him."

So here we have two poems where Ueshiba himself describes his art, and how using it means convincing your attacker you are in one place, when in fact you are behind him.

Then we also have a story, recounted by the founders son, where he describes Ueshiba, when pressed to show "Aiki" simply dodges all of the swords mans attacks until the swordman is to tired to continue.

Sounds like what you were asking for, no?
Not really, no, but a couple of points:

1) The top two quotes have everything to do with Aiki in the body and intent, and nothing to do with evasion. This becomes evident when you work with the body of Ueshiba's speech as he defines his method (which I won't go into here, but have touched on in my blogs), and look at it in the context of arts such as Daito-ryu and traditional sword, which the quotes are describing.
2) The story is by Kisshomaru describing the appearance of what happened, and even that is a second hand account - Kisshomaru was four at the time. Mistaking the effect for the cause is one giant reason why things go astray.

Trying to reason these things from the outside in is very difficult - most of the standard assumptions end up wrong.

That being said, "convincing your attacker you are in one place, when in fact you are behind him" is not exactly wrong, so much as it is misleading - enough so that I don't think that it's very useful, except as a description on an extremely crude level, such as pulling a chair out from under somebody so that the fall on the floor. The kind of thing that Dan (and Morihei) is talking about is way beyond that.

Anyway, I'm going to step out here, again.