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Old 08-05-2014, 05:43 PM   #131
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
First I have to admit, that I don't really understand your "five basic mechanisms" because I simply lack the knowledge of physics. Simply not my buiseness, so this language doesn't speak to me ...
The beauty is -- IF you want to -- you can look it up in a text book or ready resource and turn to finding ways to apply it that pertain to your experience and situation -- and there is not just one way. Far less intermediating cultural references are required -- unless mechanical is a culture -- and some basic knowledge of mechanical and physiological concepts is necessary -- but not maths by any means.

Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
... which leads to my first question:
Does this knowledge help you to teach your students? Do they get what you mean and can they transform it into movement?
Yes. It gives defined concrete images and concepts that can be applied more directly. Asagao - the blooming morning glory image, for instance is a concept reference that comes from the Daito line ( as I understand it) -- but encodes what we might in aikido call the irimi-tenkan principle, which is a far more thoroughgoing concept than just the gross tai sabaki of shifting forward and turning.

In mechanical terms, one way of illustrating this is the principle of the screw -- it can extend and retract position only if it also turns while doing so -- and along a characteristic and consistent spiral line. This is the mechanism of delivering kokyu tanden ho. This characteristic line is also related to the curves of freely swinging pendulums (lissajous curves) and to the curves of simultaneous tension and compression stress in the body under torsion. It is all of a piece and involves torsional stress or action on two axes at once which Ueshiba called Juuji (+) . He once referred to the art as jujido, in fact.

The bowing-unbowing of the wu gong (five bows) is an example of using principle of spherical structure and movement by framing the body around a spherical form as though plastered to a large ball. This takes on a structure with two different axes of curvature (the upper cross -- most obviously -- and which is also true (in a different way) of the helical screw of irimi tenkan. When the ball is before me, the body is concave in front vertically and horizontally, the tail is tucked, the lordosis becomes more "c" shaped, the upper back stretched, the chest closed, and the arms curving inward and down. The legs flex in compensation (in-yo) and the knees are over the toes.

If I imagine the ball to my rear instead of to my front, my body must reverse its curves on two axes. Spherical buckling -- which involves these rotations of plane curvature. It is as though I stretch back to the form of the large sphere behind me, instead of to my front. The arms twist out and opening, the lordosis of the spine becomes developed, the upper back contracted across the shoulders, the chest opening and the legs extending, with the weight toward the toes and the heels nearly coming up.

In spherical buckling -- when a thin concave metal plate reverses its curvature -- it often with great force because it concentrates stresses until it finally pops through. If these forms of action are done inversely from left to right it is ten-chi --one side rising, twisting and opening -- the other side falling, twisting and closing. It develops a characteristic turning about the support because the eccentricity of stresses in two different axes at once -- causes a form of stress that occurs on the third axis -- if you feel it, and you let it, and you can feed into and can drive it -- but not directly - it produces action in a direction you are not directly acting, spooky, in other words, in some contexts (like a gyro) and more obvious in others, such when twisting in two axes advances the screw forward in the third.

These are some examples of things that I can describe in these ways and easily result in immediate improvement on the mat.

Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
And - second question - can you? Does this knowledge help you to delve into yourself, to change your body and soul and to develop new abilities?
Yes. It does and continues to do so.

Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
But what is most important to me:
The language that is traditionally used does not only cover the physical aspects, but has also a energetic, psychological and spiritual Dimension.
Can you re-connect your physical language to those other dimensions? Do you want or need that after all?
This is not an either/or issue. The astronauts did not fail to understand where they were and how -- precisely how -- they were where they were, nor the difficulties in getting there -- but they did not experience any less the visceral and spiritual wonder of being in and witnessing space and the threshold of the universe off our ball of clay. Knowledge adds to experience -- it never subtracts.

Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
The phenomenon oft the language that is traditionally used to transmit knowledge in the context of CMA, Daoism, Buddhism, Shintō, ... aikidō ... has been studied scientifically at great length.
I think what you understand as imprecise, vague or ambiguous actually was intended. This language is a vehicle of transmission of knwoledge in itself. It is my actual experience that most important parts of the transmission get lost when it ist "demythologized" by converting it's meaning into only physical aspects.
I do not deny this. Much of what I glean from the Doka, though, is the physical images themselves -- which are not mediated knowledge, but as concrete and direct. Once the referent object or situation is manageably translated -- the physical image of the thing described provides the information, e.g -- "demon snake" and "spirit of bees." Mythology (Kojiki) also has these qualities, though at a greater remove, culturally from us, and requiring far more cultural curency to decode completely. This was a lesson that even few who heard it first hand received -- for historical reasons of the war and loss of the cultural heritage in Japan that rapid modernization had begun long before. The cultural background of those mythological images is also informative -- but the Doka poetry has the benefit of being visceral and concrete in ways that ordinary speech often is not.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 08-05-2014 at 05:46 PM.


Erick Mead
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