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Old 05-17-2012, 11:45 AM   #5
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: The Catalyst of Aikido, Non-Resistance.

Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
I certainly don't disagree that spirtual practices could facilitate non-resistance. On the otherhand, can't one simply relax and go along with movement (or not go along with movement as their partners interia would only have to overcome their bodyweight and not their musculature pushing back) and "not-resist"?

To be sure there is some subjectivity in what people feel. When referring to what Ueshiba could do, when viewed in light with practitioners with similar skill sets, they are able to replicate a vice like grip, or a ghost like feeling etc as applications of particular skills/principles rather than widely disparate interpretations of a sensation. That is to say that a person demonstrating an unmovable vice like grip is a demonstrating a different thing than when they demo an absence of feeling and feedback.

There is some truth to point 2, in that in order for it has to be felt to be understood to actually work, you need someone who can actually do it, to be able to do it to you.

yways, what is interesting about this sort of thing is that when you get it right, you get....... an absence of feedback. That is to say you don't feel any resistance whatsoever, from yourself, your partner or anywhere at all. I'm not completely convinced that this is the result of a spritual practice.
True relaxing cannot be done other than spiritually I would say. What we get used to calling relaxing is nowhere near the same thing and thus confusion abounds.

Yoga, misogi, zen, and all other such things teach us this and introduce us to this thing called relaxing. They are all spiritual practices. Aikido should do the same I would say.

You could have a drink and relax, you could switch off, lie down and relax, you could take drugs to relax, but none of these are the relaxation pertinent to Aikido or any other spiritual discipline. Thus you learn relaxing is an action you do and that action relaxes the body and allows Ki to flow through naturally. It's not a physical action. Now for many they start off with various physical things to do like breathing etc. to guide them to the state of mind needed to relax, among other benefits. In the end it is a self thing, you do it. There is you, there is the mind, there is the body. Via the mind, calm mind, you can relax the body. You can also directly from true self do so too.

Here's the joke. The body is not relaxed because we are doing something to it already. The things we are doing to it already are mental and spiritual so we must change doing these things and replace them with doing better things or else how can we relax the body. It's also caused by things we are not doing mentally or spiritually but should be and thus we must discover what they are and do them.

There's more behind that word relax than meets the eye.

Your example of one going along with 'relaxing' and not using any musculature pushing back and thus they would have to overcome the body weight to me is nothing to do with true relaxing or non-resistance. That's more like turning your body into a sack of potatoes, a common misinterpretation in my experience.

The point of needing someone who can actually do it on point two is not the point. The point is that doesn't lead to much understanding at all. You doing it is the only points of understanding, not another doing it to you.

I see you have experience the feeling of something working and you get an absence of feedback. So you have experienced non resistance. At that point you felt your self, spiritual. That is the true you. Can you maintain it, have it in all situations of Aikido, apply it all the time, use those principles which allow you to do so? That is the question and the path.

The only ones in the way of doing such is ourselves. We put our own barriers there, our own disbeliefs and fears there, our own denials there, our own misunderstandings there. Thus it is only us who stop ourselves by these mental and spiritual barriers, put there by yours truly. Then we have the cheek to say what we are doing to ourselves is hidden or not unstandable or nothing to do with us.

Masakatsu Agatsu springs to mind. We are our own enemy for in truth spiritually we are non-resistance.

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