Actually, when I said it's "unique" I mean that it's a unique definition of aiki. Aikido people don't describe it like that and don't use it as Sagawa did. So I really meant it for those who wanted to consider "the meaning of aiki" again. But instead of another "What is Aiki?" thread, I thought I'd let Sagawa define it for us and let us see if we can reconcile our own understandings of aiki with his.
I've trained with both Ark Akuzawa now, and Dan Harden. Ark, of course, actually trained with Sagawa and Dan is involved in daito ryu. And what I felt from both those guys was a degree of power very unusual in aikido.
I hope this thread can shake down some recognition of that fact and maybe help some aiki people look a little more beyond the surface. Sagawa's long association with Takeda and his own hyper-serious development of aiki are not things to be by-passed lightly.
I have no intention of shaking things down or out or debating with anyone. I hope -while you were reading Sagawa's book- you recognized so many familiar debate points from over the years, so we can move forward in our own discussions.
*Aiki as a body skill
*Sagawa denying the stress on kokyu power as aiki -thought it's not that simple a statement --kokyu is valuable as an add-on to the the more complex aspects of IP skills. Training is not always the same as practical application at speed.
*His continued mentioning of being unthrowable -with 5th dan judoka not being able to throw his white belts yaada yaada
*Training under full force pressures as the only way to truly learn (no matter what some recent posters think)
*Aiki against MMA -as a skill that must -by its nature- work in fighting. (now think of the nonsense on E-budo with certain well known members talking about aiki as "fine motor skills" failing under stress
It's just a reflection of their own level of understanding ten years ago.
*Now that you see page after page after page of reference to body aiki, training the body, taking on judoka and wrestlers, him stating flatly that focusing on techniques is stupid, and stating over and over that people in DR "just don't get it"
Also worthy of note is Sagawa also stating that you can watch someone move, in video or see pictures etc., and you know..."they don't have a clue."
In light of his own comments and his own work not being taken seriously on occasions maybe you can see why the mere mention of training this way with certain popular people on that other forum and others like them about what aiki really is had led to some interesting threads there - some of which I hear were "dissapeared" and/ or heavily edited. BTW did you catch Sagawa referencing the dilemma of people who were "deeply initiated" or invested in their aiki arts and what happened time and again when they felt his aiki? How's this for real life matching the book; one of those well known guys from that other board who has said similar things on-line and was arguing this stuff with me? His own teacher went to Sagawa and shed tears after meeting Sagawa's "body aiki"-face to face. In many ways some of the "debates" you see on-line are truly hilarious and prove as empty as an old coat.
Not everyone is like you. You stepped-up, (several times) spent hard earned money, traveled and put your body where your mouth and brain was. I knew it when we first starting talking on ebudo that you would be one of the people who would. It's in your nature.
I stated in another thread about M.A.B.S.
The next phase is going to be I.M.A.B.S.
The subject of internal training and aiki is not a simple one. I suggest that folks keep their eyes and ears open to information-that's always a good thing- but in the end, were one to be considering appropriate information that is practical and applicable for the Japanese aiki arts-I'd follow George Ledyard and Bill Gleason's advice -and recently to include more teachers who are out there testing's advice as well.
To stick with the people who can deliver internals/aiki; with weapons and without, under pressure and stress in many environments (think of what you personally know and have seen) and who can present others that they have taught with similar skills.. There may be some well known and well meaning guys out there; some of whom posses good information but just so-so skills, and others who have good fighting skills but in the end are really just external fighters. It might prove to be difficult to find someone with internal skills/aiki who has honed them in fighting in pressured environments that can relate to the aiki arts. It just isn't that common. It's no wonder it is recently being downplayed here to be of questionable worth. We need to be smart about these things. Many feel that they have already been misled to one degree or another; why take another false step that can costs many more years. It's wise to be careful about assessments of skills that are new to us in light of our pursuits and interests. "In the land of the blind..." and all that
I have some more observations on the book itself and the lessons and cautions it should be imparting to us.…later