View Single Post
Old 06-03-2016, 12:08 PM   #21
R.A. Robertson
Dojo: Still Point Aikido Center
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 345
Re: Looking for Aiki (in all the wrong places)

Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
There are different levels of "why," though.

[\] It's like the joke about asking a centipede how to walk: I've seen plenty of people with analysis paralysis, so busy trying to access specific biology that they're effectively unable to move.

I like the story of the centipede, and I have often found it instructive, and cautionary in the way you suggest.

I would counter-caution, though, in that too much faith in the "intuitive" method creates a suspicion of all analysis.

My fencing instructor made a marvelous distinction between the natural and the instinctive. He explained that what we do that is most instinctive is not always the most natural. We train in order to become more natural, not less.

I meet centipedes all the time... they know how to walk just fine and they don't want to have to stop and think about it, let alone explain it. I'm happy to let them go on their way, and I might even marvel at whatever they happen to be gifted at.

But in aikido, I assume we are here to study, to go deeper. We do indeed risk going through periods of questioning if we ever really even knew how to walk to begin with, because we are now being asked to do it mindfully. We study, and we practice.

Analysis is a significant part of any meaningful study. (Analysis and synthesis should cycle in a balance.) Study is shugyo for the mind.
  Reply With Quote