Thread: Sagawa's Aiki
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Old 09-02-2009, 02:10 PM   #17
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,511
Re: Sagawa's Aiki

George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
So I guess my point is that making a guy like this ones benchmark is problematical in that, if, as Sagawa clearly believed, no one was even close to his level in aiki, one gets back to that problem of having an unobtainable model before one. It's an issue of why start if you know you'll never get there? Over and over in the book Sagawa talks about how few people will train hard enough to get it, how difficult it was to develop the skills, etc. It's on almost every page.
Great points, George. I didn't want to make Sagawa a benchmark in general, but just for the sake of this thread, to provide something very unique as a clear and vivid reference that aiki may be very different from what generations of people have been told.

George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Most of the discussions we have about these skills center on "what you are currently doing sucks", "you need to totally change what you are doing to get anywhere", etc. That kind of presentation never gets anywhere, even when it's true.
Well, I took a lot of that heat for many months before I finally understood why that heat was true. Now I try to go more along the lines of "I had to totally change what I was doing". Of course, there hasn't been that much change for me yet. But getting the clear recognition that I did neet to change in very specific ways helped a lot, in itself. Getting out and meeting Ark and Dan and getting specific information on "how" I had to change was even more helpful. You make very good points about how everything in America these days seems just ready to fall into divided camps. I'm surprised no one so far has attempted to label internal skills as either liberal or conservative!!!

(I guess I shouldn't give anyone that idea )

George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I found Sagawa's book interesting but not inspirational in the sense that I didn't come away feeling like this was a guy I wanted to be like, not on a personal level. I'm happy and eager to learn some of what he knew from people who have received that knowledge from various sources, but I didn't find him to be a compelling guy. Single minded, a genius, disciplined, skillful, even creative about his approach to learning, but not someone I found very attractive in many ways.
He seemed to need even less from humanity than Sokaku Takeda. I think Sokaku wanted to be "liked" more than Sagawa did and I wonder if that might be related to Sagawa's clear financial independence. He credited himself and pretty much no one else but his father, his family and Sokaku Takeda. I did have to admire his unswerving honesty. All honne, all the time!



"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"
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