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Old 11-21-2011, 09:40 PM   #55
Ellis Amdur
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Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 901
Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Me? I define "aiki," as best I understand it as an admixture of skill and power derived from breath training (which develops the nervous system and the connective tissue in specific ways, "'intent" (directing attention so that specific, in many ways quite powerful effects are created within the body, all directed by tantien (or tantien(s)), which function as kind of universal joints, to a) effectively direct power from the wheels b) augment with it's own power.

My own skill in this area is quite limited. This is my understanding from that limited perspective. Most of my education is from a Chinese perspective (which I've retrofitted back into my Japanese koryu). If there are nuances or aspects unique to Japanese aiki arts, I'm not the one who can - at this point - enunciate them. It is very likely (I sure hope so) that as I practice enough, my understanding may change or be augmented significantly.

I've taken ukemi (see upcoming column - more later) from most of the top post-war shihan in the Aikikai. And I've only experienced mere shreds of what I define as aiki above. I met great athletes and some superlative martial artists - but little aiki - by the definition above - that I could discern.

What Ueshiba defined as "aiki" was, in my opinion, the above definition - braided with his spiritual/religious practices, which created, depending on the opinion-makers, something more or less than Daito-ryu aiki he learned, and something more or less than the t'ai chi or xingyi or whatever of top Chinese martial artists. Having never felt him, I don't have a clue.

Ellis Amdur

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 11-21-2011 at 09:42 PM.

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