Rupert, I have to go with the definition of aiki in terms of Japanese and the orgin of the word's usage in terms of Osensei to describe what he was doing. But I think we can actaully meet in the middle. I would certainly go so far as to agree that aiki represents a skill set - one that has so much "depth" that it is difficult to find anyone who can teach it at all, let alone directly. -Rob
Sorry - but I need to pursue my point. To do this, forget what you think. Open your mind to a new idea. Don't try to meet me halfway. Just try to understand me and if you don't like it ignore it. First, I am not interested in what O-Sensei said, or what someone said they thought he said. No one really knows as even his best students admit they could not understand him. And how do we know he was doing what he said he was doing? If what he said was important/useful, his students would all be able to do what he could do and that is clearly not the case.
To me, aiki
is not a skill 'set'. It is 'a' principle we should be seeking. 'One' principle. Think - can you topple your partner in suwariwaza kokyu-ho
? If you can, then think - how can I use this skill in other techs? If you can't, you have to figure it out. And then, add resistance. If you get it right, it works no matter how hard they resist. The easier it is to topple him without using your own strength, against increasing levels of his resistance, the better your own skill, or aiki
. To me, aiki
can be found in this one exercise (and in many others). And this 'aiki'
= one thing, one method = one principle. It is not - if he does A I do X; if he does B I do Y; if he does C I do Z. Rather, no matter what he does, I do aiki
(or try to). Then, once you have the incling of an idea, you can 'begin' to put it into everything else = other techniques.
Does that make any sense? Easy to show, hard to explain.