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Old 03-09-2011, 06:58 AM   #16
Alex Megann
Dojo: Southampton Aikikai
Location: Southampton
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 376
United Kingdom
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

As well as over thirty years in aikido, I am a trained physicist. For this reason, my teacher has asked me many times to explain what he is trying to get across in physical terms - he talks in terms of gravity, wave-like movements and so on, and I think he is hoping I will come up with some kind of "universal theory of aikido".

I have tried on at least two occasions to start writing articles describing aikido principles in terms of concepts like Newton's laws of motion, static stability and rotational forces, but each time I realised that that is actually not how I, personally, understand aikido. In other words, this way of looking at aikido doesn't help me to make progress. Others, of course, may have different ways of learning than I do.

In both my aikido training and my yoga practice right now, I am working on things like freeing the shoulder blades and linking them to my spine, and feeling connections between the soles of my feet and my hips. Of course physics explains these things perfectly well, but it doesn't help me to relax and to cultivate awareness in my body - if anything, engaging my logical, rational brain has the opposite effect!

From what I have read, I have a lot of respect for Tom Read and his teaching, and I wouldn't hesitate to go to one of his classes if he came to my neighbourhood. All the same, I am completely befuddled by the use of complex and subtle but extremely precise physics terms in this context. Maybe I have been made cynical by exposure to the whole industry of alternative quackery using "quantum" this and "holographic" that, but I am immediately cautious when I see relatively obscure physics terminology such as waveguides and asymptotes being used to describe movements of the human frame.

Have any other physicists read this book, and if so do they have any comments on it?

Alex
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