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Old 03-06-2008, 11:12 AM   #168
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,619
Re: why focus on internal power

George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
You won't see any large scale change until a few of the senior folks in various organizations start to work on these things and the rank and file can see the results. ... and things will change.
Ledyard Sensei: With respect, I happened across a comment you wrote just about two years ago to the date:
George Ledyard wrote:
I think that speculation combined with a lot of research is quite valuable in trying to understand this art which he created. Why? Because he was wise enough to create the art in the first place. Many of us care what he thought about it and what he intended for it. It matters to us what the individual contributions have been by the people who learned from the Founder and taken his art and made it their own.
If I may ask, what, if anything, changed for you between that time and this? I have on my own done just exactly what your earlier comment suggests be done -- to make the art more OUR own in a Western sense in terms of what KI is physically. I have a substantial foundation in three lineages, and a passing familiarity with a fourth (none of them in any Tohei branch, FWIW). I will be the first to declare that my effort at research and reasonably informed speculation remains a work in progress -- to ground Ki and aiki in a physical basis that is sensibly Western.

My approach seems "odd" to the ordinary physics sorts because only a less common, but more concrete convention of physics works across the board for all instance of use of "KI" in traditional Asian terms -- the fact of cyclic or rotational motion and the potential for such motion. The more commonly used abstracts of linear force/vector/energy in physics conventions do not work to describe what the Chinese and Japanese mean to describe by the use of Ki. Hence "ki" has been largely relegated, by Western minds that are technically inclined, to the bin of mystical nonsense. It would seem so if you start with the wrong physical convention. It is not nonsense for anyone who understands how the Chinese and Japanese understand and employ it. It is not nonsense when put into terms of cyclic or rotational action/potential. That is, quite simply, what the Taiji-Tu illustrates. That aside, it is still very much a work in progress, even though I have come to that one very important and well-founded conclusion on the physics, which I have stated here or elsewhere. I am now trying to refine better ways to express it, and to apply the understanding in practical training.

Despite the change in terms, I remain tied to O Sensei's direct expressions and actions as my guide posts, together with the teachings of his students. I am just trying to translate them into a Western physics paradigm in this manner, without doing any injury to the knowledge on either side.

My effort in that regard continues, but yours seems to have taken a different direction from your earlier comment. Perhaps you do not perceive it so, which is why I asked.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 03-06-2008 at 11:20 AM.


Erick Mead