Gerry Magee wrote:
sorry, I should clarify..
We train in three distinct timings..
Sen: This is the worst case senario, Uke is able to mount a powerful attack and Nage has time only to protect his centreline and move out of line of the attack.
Sen no Sen: This is the most common timing in martial arts training, we enter in on uke's attack before he is able to kimi, unbalancing him to a kusushi and applying a technique.
Sen Sen no Sen: This is a pre-emptive strike, perhaps when uke is hesitant allowing nage to initiate an attack and make a technique.
In all these situations we try to avoid Aiki, we must seek to break the attackers rhythm at all times. This is done by moving quicker than him and having a stronger spirit.
Sente training is, of course, familiar and worthwhile in approaching these questions initially. But the point of takemusubi aiki appears to depart from questions of timing and initiative, as was noted here, earlier in the thread, in O-Sensei's own words:
The same is noted in Ledyard Sensei's practical examination of the issue, and in my tentative attempts to put some analytical flesh on what too many see as dismissable, esoteric bones. I do not feel that way at all, but I recognize the trivialization of ancient, esoteric but very practical concepts that often biases the analytical worldview. One way to cure this bias is to chasten the analytical mind with some data, physiological studies and suggestive physical theories derived from them, and then explore their practical consequences for training.
Considerations of sente for instance, considered merely in terms of time, are, past a certain point of training, easily addressed in terms of either space or interval adjustment in maai (irimi), or rotation (tenkan), so that the question of who starts or finishes first becomes somewhat academic. A simple turn of the hips often changes sensen no sen into sen no sen or sen no sen into go no sen. That, too, is the point of takemusubi from my perspective. I personally like many techniques in go no sen timing, and feel no particualr burden or rush in that timing mode, nor does it affect or diminish the effectiveness of my technique.
My approach in exploring these issues is equally practical, as well as scholastic and scientific. Most ancient knowledge is exceedingly empirical -- what it lacks is a quantifiable, and testable theoretic basis to persuade the overly analytical mind. Analytical knowledge is not better, nor is it even remotely as useful to most practitioners as what Ledyard Sensei teaches in this regard, and indeed it was his observations in actual training that set me on this road.
Given Sensei Coyle's long experience, I would be very grateful if you could solicit and report his views on ki musubi, rhythm, speed and sente -- especially in light of ki ken tai ichi.