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Old 03-30-2007, 08:08 AM   #9
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Feldenkrais, Nature and Martial Response

Robert Rumpf wrote: View Post
That was one of the things that I got out of your (and Rob John's) trip to the dojo. There was a real effort to offer concrete and concise explanation of certain ideas, and the new phrases that you guys mentioned (and certain exercises you did) have stuck with me, and given me some different ideas to think about and use in my practice in the future. Sometimes the message was similar to things I have heard, but the words were new, and that really helped.

In addition, now that I have some idea of how what you say aligns with what you do, and can come to some guess at what some of it means, I can go back and look through some of the Aikiweb posts and reevaluate them.

Some of what was done resonated with things I have seen demonstrated in passing before, but these past experiences were buried in the complacency that one gets into when on familiar ground, or lodged within a wholly different paradigm (Ki Society).

In an eight hour seminar spread over four days with complete strangers (typically of different styles) as partners, people are often grasping at straws with the most basic techniques, and so when something that is advanced comes out, like ki-related techniques, it is often relegated to the "wow, I can never do that!" bin, or conveniently ignored, instead of being a training goal.

That is one of the reasons why I respect Erick Meade - he is making an effort to characterize his ideas in a way that is abstract and robust, if abstruse. The fact that it is incomprehensible to me is at least as much my fault as it is his (like almost all of the training difficulties I face).

--- Tangent over ---

It sounds like the Feldenkrais stuff could bring new insights if you found the right instructor and spent enough time with them to learn their language. But then again, what wouldn't?
A lot of this discussion is (from Erick, me, Feldenkrais, Tohei, Inaba, Abe, Ushiro, etc.) our attempts at "how to do it". Although to be precise, I think Erick is offering something quite different from what the rest of us are talking about, so let me put that one to the side. But even if Erick were talking about the same thing, his approach would not, in my opinion, be of any value to anyone other than him. You can't learn anything from mathematical descriptions of physical concepts. You couldn't, for instance, learn how to ride a bicycle by arguing that it had to do with angular momentum (it does), so the question is how to you find words, buzzwords, and phrases that will most succinctly convey learning insights to the person listening to you.

The many Asian approaches I've heard over the years are simply too obscure to learn the substantive physical skills I encountered and wound up learning to do (to a moderate extent). It's a work in progress, trying to give verbally useful descriptions of these things and many Aikido teachers will have to (1.)learn these skills and then (2.) try to convey the how-to clearly, dropping the costumery of esoteric Asian-sounding terms.

Upon reading some of Feldenkrais' books/stories, I feel that he did indeed try to formulate and articulate some portion of ki-related movements in his ideas. Frankly, he was not very successful, not judging by the numbers of Feldenkrais practitioners that I've felt in my life. He didn't understand the concept of yi/intent to form the paths of power with the mind. None of his practitioners that I've felt had any idea about this either. So while I'm not knocking Feldenkrais in any way, I simply discard the idea that it's somehow related to Aikido, Taiji, or anything like that.

End of Ramble.

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