Thread: What is "IT"?
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:04 PM   #162
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,220
United Kingdom
Re: What is "IT"?

David Orange wrote: View Post
In the new paradigm, the "baseline skills" cannot be enacted through mainly muscular actions. In this paradigm, are use of the body's internal structures (not the muscles) to redirect incoming power such that the body does not lose its equilibrium and can return that force to the provider without muscular effort--which is to say, not using the muscles to drive the force but only to maintain the body's own organization, which is a far smaller effort than actually throwing someone with your muscular effort (even if you do it by "leading" them off balance first).
Hi David,

Where I come from this is not a 'new' paradigm, it is the one I have been working since I started on my aikido journey 17 years ago. In all of those years I have not been outside of my own federation, mainly because I haven't felt the need to and have never felt that the aikido I was learning was lacking in any way.

When I discovered aikiweb a few years ago I was pretty ignorant of other forms/styles of aikido. Now through reading, discussing and watching many videos, I have a much greater appreciation of the wider world of aikido and all it has to offer, from the hard as nails martial, to the soft and fluffy dancing. I read posts from the sublime to the ridiculous, and I have learnt much from some of the more informed members on the forums, particularly about some of the more buried history of our art.

The paradigm mentioned above I didn't really start to fully 'own' until I had been teaching for a while, even though I had felt it from my teacher from day 1. Any discussion about these skills whether they are called IS, IP, IT, aiki, ki, kokyu are going to get bogged down in terminology. It seem there is not a fully agreed dictionary/alphabet that we can all agree on. I do agree with Dan though, the proof of the pudding is in the 'hands on'.

I fully agree with the physical aspects contained within the quote I clipped above, however, in my own experience the 'redirection' of power is not a primarily a physical thing it is mental. Of course the body must be relaxed, co-ordinated (every limb connected to the centre/one point), completely free to move with non-contention. The mind initiates the redirection. The partners/opponents mind/ki is what needs to be redirected, if you can move their mind, you can move their body with little or no effort.

I like Dan's optimism that one day all aikido will be proper aiki-do, I hope that he is right and that I see it in my lifetime, but there may well be many who are set so far in their ways that they will not change. One only has to look at the 'faith' communities to see how difficult it is to change their paradigms even in the face of literally millions of tons of fossil evidence to the contrary. They may go the way of the dinosaurs, but they were around for a very long time before their time was up

Anyway, I do think that both you and Dan are being too dissmissive of Erick, he may well be using a different language to describe something that through his own endeavours and enquiry, he understands and explains in a way that most do not get, in other words it 'goes over their heads'. I can't really call him on it as much of it is just too complex for me. I like simplicity, and one of the reasons I love aikido so much is that it is so simple to do when you 'get it'. The problem is, it is devilishly hard to get to that place.

Do I have 'the skills'? I'd like to think so. Have I mastered them, most definitely no. Have I still got things to learn, of course. Am I worried by what is going on in the rest of the aikido world, not really. I am selfishly focussed on learning everything I can from my own teachers and passing on what I get and incorporate into myself to whoever wants to come and learn from me.

Nobody here seems to be offering a 'how to' guide/instruction manual to IT etc., probably because it cant be learnt through words, it has to be instructed by someone who can do it. My shock in all of this is that so few ( according to Dan, Mike etc, ) have these skills in aikido. Is it really as bad as they say out there?

Having said that I will be meeting Mike Sigman this weekend, so I may well be having my backside handed to me on a plate, I will let you all know how I get on



Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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