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Old 06-06-2016, 10:20 PM   #25
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 809
Re: Looking for Aiki (in all the wrong places)

Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Why do you change? What is the catalyst for changing the work in progress that is you?
I change, I grow. I stop changing, I stop growing. Not growing in my aikido not an option. The catalyst is the joy of discovery I feel as I delve deeper into my practice, and therefore myself, and find ever more questions, which the answers to always lead to more questions.

Mary refers to it as being in the question.

Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Presumably because something better presents itself.
If by better you mean something that enables me to relate to my partner more efficiently, energetically and effectively then I'd say yes.

Jon Reading wrote: View Post
The theory of gravity is still a theory because some day, maybe a scenario comes along that breaks the theory. So goes our aikido training - cut it or keep it, right? It's not right or wrong, but an argument of quality. Hopefully, at some point in our training we have discarded the completely wrong ideas.
Generally, I agree. But just like Einstein enfolded Newton into Relativity, so I can incorporate those old ideas, that I have supplanted by my new discoveries, into my aikido and thus enrich my suite of tools. Old theories in science are often found to be special cases of the more general theories that replace them. So I think it is with a lot of my development in aikido.

Jon Reading wrote: View Post
But, the similarity in our movement to sister arts, or even non-martial movement creates an issue - how can our movement look like all these other things that don't have aiki training? If we cannot differentiate our movement from a non-aikido person... then either our movement doesn't have aiki or everyone's movement has aiki. Since we need to have aiki, the answer is obviously everyone has aiki. But do they?
This wonderful paragraph really illustrates our different views of aiki Jon.

You seem to be of the view that aiki is the movement, that it's generated by some quality or qualities of the movement itself ('how can our movement look like all these other things that don't have aiki training?'). This implies that aiki can be seen and identified as such by the simple act of observation (assuming the observer knows what to look for). To me you're saying that aiki is essentially an external phenomenon, that it's manifestation is dependent upon how movement is executed. Therefore since not everyone can execute this very specific movement not everyone possesses aiki.

My view of aiki differs in that I see aiki as a manifestation of a unified mind and body. I hold that everyone has some degree of mind/body unification; that it is a consequence of how we have evolved. What differs from person to person is the degree to which mind and body are unified. I think that devotion to just about any practice will naturally enhance mind/body unification and thus increase aiki. Aikido and other arts that incorporate training specifically designed to enhance mind/body unification is what sets these practices apart from activities that don't specifically train aiki development.

Since I see aiki as an internal organization of mind and body, I conclude that the type of motion on display is not a determining factor of the level of aiki development within an individual. That's why, to borrow a phrase, it has to be felt.

So does everyone possess some degree of aiki or not? I am casting a yes vote on that question.


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