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Old 08-22-2006, 12:59 AM   #56
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Don Magee wrote:

So remember, there are many aspects of bigger, faster, stronger. A stronger, faster mind can keep you ahead of the fastest attacker. We talk about overcomming someone physically bigger, faster, or stronger a lot. But I have never seen anyone but that judo instructor talk about dealing with someone with a more cunning mind.
Once again, I understand what you are trying to say but it isn't about being stronger or faster. It's about being connected to the point that the attacker cannot act separately from you. This connection exists in the mind (this is what was meant when O-Sensei talked about joining one's ki with that of the opponent) and it exists on the physical level (this is what is meant by ittai ka or "single body").

Anyone who has taken ukemi for someone at the level of Saotome Sensei can recount what it is like to attack as fast as one can and have their teacher move almost casually to enter in without being struck. It is not about being faster, it is about moving when it is necessary to move. The mind isn't faster, it is slower, in the sense that when one is very calm, one's sense of time changes and one sees things more slowly. Attempts to go "faster" simply result in feeling like there is less and less time available. What I am talking about results in a feeling that one has all the time in the world.

Karl Friday in his book, Legacies of the Sword: The Kashima-Shinryu and Samurai Martial Culture has a whole section on why someone who is older and slower but more experienced can actually be perceived as faster by an opponent. It is very interesting.

At summer camp I was asked by a young man less than half my age how I got so fast. I explained that I am just over three hundred pounds and 54 years old. I am not fast in any absolute sense. This fellow was much "faster" than I. I am simply relaxed and I move at the right time, therfore I do not need to rush. I am efficient. This is possible because I am connected in a way to my opponent that I never was when I was less experienced. Then I had to hurry.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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