View Single Post
Old 01-03-2009, 06:23 PM   #20
Erick Mead
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,619
Re: Physical Theory of Aiki?

David Henderson wrote: View Post
To me, ki as describing oscillation doesn't connect readily to the transformative aspirations of aikido, such as eloquently set forth by George Ledyard Sensei today in the combat-effectiveness thread.

On it's own, understanding "ki" in terms of oscillation makes sense (for me) of some physiological considerations that explain why aikido strategies work in the physical world.

But that appears at first glance difficult to use as a tool for understanding how Aikido can serve to help people connect or integrate, to borrow a phrase.
Well, in part, you are correct. The physical aspect of Ki alone is a matter held in common with aikido, taiji, various jujutsu arts and any number of other martial arts, koryu and otherwise. Ki is oscillation, and everything is oscillating. Ki is one thing -- but this thread is about the physical theory of Ai-ki, which is specifically about that sense and action connection of ki-musubi that George Ledyard is speaking about and which is used to resolve conflict. We just have to get the physical nature of Ki established before we can talk in these terms consistently about the Ai-ki.

Aiki is about becoming sensitive to and able to act through certain aspects of initially opposing ki as it relates in conflict. One could match phases of Ki (constructive interference, doubling energy), or oppose phases of Ki (destructive interference, destroying energy), but neither of those would be Aiki.

The ki of persons differing in objectives relating to one another in right angle relationships (juuji) does not conflict. It is in -- the correct physical term -- harmonic relationship. It creates resonance. The one who is working to find the resonance point does not conflict with the other, and yet changes the whole situation. That is Aiki.

It creates chaos, from the standpoint of anyone trying to predict the outcome, but a deeply creative chaos from which are born (ubuya) any number of "techniques" which are simply expressions of following these principles consistently (Takemusu aiki). Training should put the body in the way of following it without the need of conscious decision on your part. The latter is crucial, because the action changes too contingently for conscious decisions to have anything but a detrimental impact. It just happens. Keeping the contending mind out of the way and keeping the body from straying back into conflict mode is the hard part.

David Henderson wrote: View Post
If "ki" is seen just in terms of the physical logic of practice, then it seems ill suited to serve as a guide to understanding these larger issues.
If you simply look at ki and ways of manipulating it, sure. Cancelling a positive phase oscillation with a negative phase is certainly effective, but it explicitly conflicts with the opponent and is not Aiki, (even though it is it more subtle than a bone-on- bone cross-block collision). What is done and felt physically must match what is sought to be done, spiritually , anything less, fails on both scores.

David Henderson wrote: View Post
Maybe Ledyard Sensei remark about the two poles between fighting and avoiding conflict, which he sees as needing to be balanced in order to "connect" provides a way of talking about "ki" in Erick's sense too -- as a dialectic.
Makes sense to me. When conflict clearly appears in the offing, there should be, all at once, a smile -- and a sigh.

David Henderson wrote: View Post
Aren't I the Young Hegelian?
Hegel? Bleaghh!

Phenomenology. Whitehead is Da Man!


Erick Mead
  Reply With Quote