View Single Post
Old 10-04-2005, 12:05 PM   #38
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido

George S. Ledyard wrote:
Actually, these things are often stated quite clearly. The atemi issue was made quite clear when I started. The Koan issue is my own, it was not my teachre's. But my understanding of what was meant changed over the years after tens of thousands of hours of practice. That doesn't mean that something was purposely withheld, it just meant that when I had five years in, there was no way my understanding could match a man who had 35 years in.

I think you must have an issue here with something...
I thought I was being reasonably clear about my feeling toward obscurata... I have an issue with it being used as a "stay with it, son, and someday you'll understand what I do" sort of argument. Nothing personal. I'm just saying that there are no "koans" in Aikido (Aikido is not a Zen Buddhist sect or training methodology) and there is no reason to argue on the basis of vagaries and appeal to authority ("I have been teaching x-number years so I win the argument", etc.).
I don't know what. Anyway, if explaining something clearly and demonstrating something clearly were sufficient to pass on fifty years of experience, a fifty year teacher would be able to create a student of the same ability in a very short time. If anyone in history has managed to do this I am unaware of it...
I think we're moving off topic ... I never said or implied that all the knowledge of a multi-year teacher can be passed on in a short time. My statement has more to do with basic training concepts and how simply they can be stated. "Aikido Shugyo", for example, makes a number of attempts at explaining basic concepts (including atemi) in non-esoteric terminology, while not approaching the implication that someone can bypass years of experience in all concepts in the art.
Frankly, Aikido has lots of "koans". There are all sorts of places in Aikido when things seem contradictory and one has to discover how the resolve those seeming contradictions. These things can't be "taught" although the teacher can model the answers. But getting that answer into ones body at a level where that wisdom is automatic requires much practice and frustration before the "answers" become apparent.
. OK, that's your opinion, but I would add to your comment that all one has to do is look at the level of Aikido in general to get the idea that "getting the answer" often seems to wind up with "getting the wrong answer, even after years of experience, and then passing it on to trusting students". In other words, these intuitive grasps of concepts that take years to acquire can lead to the wrong answers... and that needs to be recognized. It's sort of in the vein of "do this exotic practice for many years and you will wind up with Ki" ... unfortunately, I know a lot of people that did everything, believed all the "koans" and exotic reasoning, and wound up with nothing but some cooperative training routines and a black skirt. I.e., I think these esoteric quips about "koans" can be disappointingly empty and I suggest that basics can be described without vagaries.

My opinion, FWIW.

  Reply With Quote