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Old 12-05-2012, 12:36 PM   #333
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,619
Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Kristoffer Sandven wrote: View Post
The thing is: That's just what Dan is doing. He's talking about these things in a way that even me, a simple guy without your academic background or any medical expertise, can understand. ... Dan also provides the methods you need to "get this" from the start.

FWIW - there is nothing wrong with the terminology and methods Dan provides. The challenge lies in the willingness to put in the time and effort required to turn theory into practice.

Now, what was the original question again?
I understand and question none of that -- save one thing only: "Theory into practice." Practice requires no theory. None.

Theory, on the other hand, objectively worked out, tends to expand the realm of possibilities for refining existing practices and even new practical applications never before developed. That is the history of the West. Japan learned our lessons well. China is coming along. India likewise. Why should these matters be any different?

It is said , "In theory, theory and practice are the same; in practice, they are not." That is because good theory, well conceived, always points beyond any practice of the moment. Where it points may have little immediate application to existing practice -- if all that concerns you is improving one's own grasp of existing practice.

We have different aims. It is the "what" of the thing not the "how" of the thing that I am aiming at on this topic. People who are practical-minded may view the "what" with disinterest relative to the "how" -- but it interests me. The "what" is not captured by the traditional training terminologies -- not in Western terms -- That terminology was never concerned with the "what" -- it was concerned with "how-to."

If our technical development had ignored theory in favor of existing practice, then we would all have DC elcectrical appliances -- and have to pay for fueling and maintaining household generators. As it is, we have large-scale generation and AC transmission -- which, in theory, was more efficient. But AC has all kinds of complicated practical concerns that DC lacks -- like cyclic phases -- which are not even problems encountered with DC circuits. But that theory changed the existing practice, resulting in cheap electrical power wherever a wire can run.

I find correspondence in much of what he describes -- as I would expect to if his practical methods work and if my conceptual work is at least in the neighborhood of reality, even if it still has rough patches. There are many of the "how-to's" --better or worse as understood or applied -- and I'll freely accept the testimony of all concerned that his is among the better. That is not and never was the issue. I am not concerned with promoting any methods, be it my own (I have none) or any others, and to presume such is to utterly miss the point.

Budo as a science seminar!!
Since I have no "methods" to compare -- and I think the traditional ones work just fine, properly understood (and which seems to be a point of general agreement) -- what is the point of a meeting to compare? "What" or "How"? What would be compared -- apples and pineapples? I am not saying no, just asking what the purpose to be accomplished would be.

This came later:
At least then, Eric, you would get a chance to then accurately model what I am really doing.
True. There is no substitute for observation and experience -- My point is that what I think I experienced and what actually happened may diverge when the causes, effects and perceptions are -- physiologically speaking -- out of sync and the sequence of events and perceptions is not reliable subjectively, which is a critical part of what I am looking at as part of the mechanism. As much or more than "feeling" it for myself would be to watch others feeling it too -- because watching it objectively, the sequence remains intact, and undisturbed by the internal delay/disconnects built in to our different perception and action pathways.

Some of this eagerness to meet on the one side versus reticence on the other gets routinely misinterpreted -- it is largely a matter of personality -- extroverts versus introverts. Extroverts love company; introverts, not so much. I look for more intensive contact on ideas and things of particular personal importance -- not for contest, nor for fests of general convivial presentations. I got into law so I could avoid unending business meetings and constantly competitive goal-setting -- not that there's anything wrong with that.

I'd rather take apart a brief and build a better line of thought, and argue the point. From a standpoint of budo, while contingency rules-- if find I have contest on my hands-- then something was wrong with my strategy. If it is premised as a contest -- I have zero interest. I have oodles of conflict everyday in my profession -- which oddly, I do enjoy -- but certainly have no desire to go looking for more of it. And beer waza would need to be mandatory.

Somebody asked or suggested Fresno, at some point I think. I lived in California for almost seven years and I never went to Fresno -- not that there's anything wrong with Fresno.... I did try in good faith to arrange something down here a few years back. It got quite unnecessarily tangled up. As a result, there is little interest amongst anyone else here who has to be consulted. I would not go far out of my way , here or elsewhere, despite the invitation. Fact is that I have not taken a vacation in five years, and if I did -- my wife has dibs on any significant travel -- and would kill me to take one solely for this purpose. Something in Atlanta might be doable -- Jon Reading and Mike Magno are at Emory, someone might inquire if they have any interest, perhaps, and ask if they would want to host or coordinate. My wife likes the Scott's Antique Market, and that will keep her occupied for a goodly part of a weekend. So for my druthers it would be one of those weekends, (January 10-13 February 7-10, March 7-10 April 11-14) but not January or February for me, as I have major hearings to prepare that would conflict.


Erick Mead
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