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Old 05-21-2007, 06:56 AM   #51
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I am confused. Whose view do you mean here? Richards' view, my teacher's view, or my view?
-- none of the above, really -- more a generalized observation prompted by your story -- against language deemed as either irredeemable nonsense or nonsense deemed as incorporating deep meaning -- the polar positions suggested by your anecdote. On the latter point Steve Wolfram may well differ (and with a serious point), but last I looked he is not a poet, or if he is, I have not seen him published as such.
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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
As for my view, I think you cannot gauge my view of the poetic universe from my posts in this thread.
Point taken. Nor mine.

Slithy toves excepted, of course.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 05-21-2007, 07:55 AM   #52
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

"While the word aiki is an old one, the aiki of which I speak is fundamentally different."

Doesn't this kinda stop the 'it's an old word' fall back in this conversation? O'Sensei said this and I don't have any reason not to believe he meant it at face value. It takes all the vintage argument away ( sorry intellectuals) and says 'mine is fundamentally different." Our aim is to discover how and what as aikido evolves in our hands, our mouths, our bodies and our lifetimes.
And like Eric Mead I also flow into the poetics of this art in language and in use. Like language, aikido is living. We steer the meaning through our associations and usage. As we are aiki-doka (did I just say that?, shame on me). we are living songs in a way of natural harmony. Or has that word been used before?
In a practical sense you could call this art ' running shoes' and if you practiced the forms as they stand, you would still change. Just probably not into running shoes.

RRRIIIIGGHHTT RASTAFARI, Ai and Ai.

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 05-21-2007 at 08:02 AM.

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Old 05-21-2007, 07:59 AM   #53
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

This thread highlights something that really annoys me on aikido boards sometimes. We have people who insist on knowing more than they do, and using pedantic sounding language to bolster their personal perspectives...while ignoring more learned posters who obviously have their facts straight.

Thus we end up with misunderstandings being spread...incorrect facts based on partial knowledge and the assumptions made from them. We find puns where there are none...miss puns that are there...leave practicality behind in lofty flights of fancy...and are generally brought down to a rather low level of discourse, even though it sounds quite nice.

Too bad that too often extends to our aikido on the mat as well.

I remember in college, I was a little miffed that the poetry club didn't deem some of my work fit to be published in their magazine. So I wrote a computer program based on random selection from a grammatical tree structure to produce poetry reminicient of e.e. cummings. They were all over it Loved it. Wanted to publish it...right up until the time I saw fit to stop them making fools of themselves. That poetry had no meaning either, Peter. I found that funny as hell.

My poetry still sucked, of course.

Best,
Ron

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Old 05-21-2007, 08:25 AM   #54
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Thus we end up with misunderstandings being spread...incorrect facts based on partial knowledge and the assumptions made from them. We find puns where there are none...miss puns that are there...leave practicality behind in lofty flights of fancy...and are generally brought down to a rather low level of discourse, even though it sounds quite nice.
Ron,

I'm smiling as I write this because your post brings back fond memories. I have experienced something similar and fortunately one of my teachers/mentors at the time brought home wonderful lessons about this sort of thing. I spent several years under the loving, strict, care of a wonderful writer/poet named Bess Truitt. She was Poet Laureate of Oklahoma at the time and quite willing to show me the essence of what you speak of above.

Thanks for the memories...

Chuck Clark
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:16 AM   #55
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
This thread highlights something that really annoys me on aikido boards sometimes. We have people who insist on knowing more than they do, and using pedantic sounding language to bolster their personal perspectives...while ignoring more learned posters who obviously have their facts straight.
OK. As you like. We can use short words. Seven letters or less. Nothing that sounds foreign. Keep it to the lowest denom ... (sorry, too many letters). That will surely raise the level of what we know or might find out. Take no chances on making new or creative connec... (damn letters!)

What does that prove or advance?

When I talk to a jury I talk that way, -- here, I give this crowd the benefit of the doubt and write what occurs to me to write in the discussion, and try to do a little work to digest information and offer something more in my association of ideas than mere offhand comments. As Josh and Prof. Goldsbury have done, and for which I am grateful, and for the challenge.

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
... [we should not] leave practicality behind in lofty flights of fancy... I wrote a computer program ... to produce poetry reminicient of e.e. cummings. ... My poetry still sucked, of course.
Have you considered that poetry may just be the former, and there may actually be a connection between the aesthetics of the two? I commend Wolfram's book to you on that point, if you have not read it. It's online now, you don't even have to buy it. http://www.wolframscience.com/nksonline/toc.html. If you are that capable in linear algorithm, you really should read it, and will certainly appreciate his observations on linear algorithm and the nature of aesthetics. There is a reason why we like the quasi-ordered chaos of light on water or fluttering leaves.

Facts. There are no facts to prove or disprove the origins of the term "aiKI," which I knew when we started -- and the discussion has only demonstrated that further. The closest we get is earliest written usage, and not its origin or substantive context in forming the compound, which is hidden in unrecorded usage.

What is even more curious is the older the earliest reference gets (re Amdur's observation), the more troubling the term becomes as a hybrid reading. I am not knowledgeable enough about the history of hybrid readings to remark more on it, as my background is on the Chinese side of the language arguments. But if "aiKI" really is one of the rare hybrid readings, pace Josh, it seems to me it ought to be a more modern construction. The earlier the construction that is shown, the more conservative the traditional use of language as a class marker -- especially written language, which was a class distinction all by itself. The distinctions between appropriate use of foreign and the native sensibilities should be tighter earlier -- and therefore the more unlikely a hybrid reading.

I am perfectly prepared to be proved wrong on that point (or any point, for that matter). If I were not prepared to be contradicted from time to time, I had best keep to myself. But that is rather dull way to go about life. I certainly wouldn't practice martial arts in that event.

If I am not completely wrong, then perhaps that flight of fancy was worth the intellectual risk in making it, if we find some nugget for useful exploration . If we knew where everything was we would hardly go looking, and if we did not risk making imperfect, but rational conjectures (guesses = 7 letters), we would not know where to start.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:52 AM   #56
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
What is even more curious is the older the earliest reference gets (re Amdur's observation), the more troubling the term becomes as a hybrid reading. . . it seems to me it ought to be a more modern construction . . . The distinctions between appropriate use of foreign and the native sensibilities should be tighter earlier -- and therefore the more unlikely a hybrid reading.
Well, remember that Chinese characters have been in use in Japan since at least the fifth century, and have existed in Japan from Chinese sources from at least the first century. So looking at it from that point of view, the seventeenth century is pretty modern.
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:54 AM   #57
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Hi Eric,

I guess my peeve is from the desire to see flights of fancy (all well and good) acknowledge themselves as that. Instead of continuing on without acknowledging that they are indeed that, and not based on an accurate reading of the facts. One example might be the continued disagreement with Josh and Peter, in the face of the facts they present. This is not the first time this has occurred.

Another might be this:

Quote:
As we are aiki-doka (did I just say that?, shame on me). we are living songs in a way of natural harmony. Or has that word been used before?
Which flies in the face of this thread:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...light=aikidoka

Another example would be in the blackbelt = white belt turning black thread around here somewhere. In fact, I'm sure people can find a few posts of mine where these same types of mistakes are made...but hopefully I acknowledge my error, made note of the difference between what my emotions connect to, and the actual facts.

It is this continued obstinence in the face of all evidence that peeves me so.

Best,
Ron

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Old 05-21-2007, 11:58 AM   #58
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Hi Chuck,

Most glad to be of service, sir.

Best,
Ron (the former poet laureate of his own private Idaho )

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Old 05-21-2007, 12:08 PM   #59
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
It is this continued obstinence in the face of all evidence that peeves me so.
Proverbs 29:1

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:40 PM   #60
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Good one! And so appropriate to some circumstances in the dojo!

Best,
Ron

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Old 05-21-2007, 12:45 PM   #61
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Have you considered that poetry may just be the former, and there may actually be a connection between the aesthetics of the two? I commend Wolfram's book to you on that point, if you have not read it. It's online now, you don't even have to buy it. http://www.wolframscience.com/nksonline/toc.html. If you are that capable in linear algorithm, you really should read it, and will certainly appreciate his observations on linear algorithm and the nature of aesthetics. There is a reason why we like the quasi-ordered chaos of light on water or fluttering leaves.
Unfortunately, like many other things in my life, I was as a programmer, at best, a hack. But I did really enjoy the journey.

Wild horses couldn't drag me into a programming discourse now. It's bad enough dealing with Cisco products.

Best,
Ron (CatOS, IOS, Bleah...the money is good though...)

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Old 05-21-2007, 12:48 PM   #62
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Josh Lerner wrote: View Post
My critique is specifically of your attempts at a scholarly linguistic argument. ...
"Music for angry conversation," indeed. If I have offended it is, at worst, an intellectual offense, which in my book is among the most venial of sins, but I suppose, among some, the most unforgivable.

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Josh Lerner wrote: View Post
Maybe I misunderstood your reasoning. I took your reasoning to be the following, based on what you wrote above -

a) "aikido" is onyomi
b) onyomi is a Chinese way of reading kanji
c) reading "aikido" as onyomi is therefore a Chinese way of reading the compound
d) "The connotations appropriate to onyomi in poetry are Chinese in origin"
e) therefore the word "aikido" can be parsed according to the way Chinese compounds are parsed in classical Chinese poetry, and doing so will give us an insight into what Ueshiba wanted to say.

Which of these steps doesn't reflect what you are trying to say?
The reasoning, if this is what you are trying to say, is faulty, because the very first step is not true, and because Ueshiba had nothing to do with the creation of the word "aiki".
The mistake was to assume that I was making a reasoned argument in the first place. Rhetoric is larger than logic. Knowledge is larger than what may be shown logically. I was pretty clear about my purpose: "Reading it in the Classical Chinese manner may thus give a variety of associations or connotations appropriate to poetic license."

My point was prior to reasoning about anything, as I said, speaking to the poetic elements of O Sensei's thought with the association of concepts signaled by a pictogram commonly used by both cultures and with deep roots. I was simply drawing out associations of concepts centered on the CHINESE character adopted by the Japanese. How they choose to pronounce it currently or at any other time, is also a secondary association (other than the fact is is now pronounced "ai" and forms part of the word 合 氣 道). Development of accepted premises or propositions from those associations is secondary (and any logical development of argument from those premises, is a third order function.)

But the fact of differential readings opens the discussion of the other associations embodied in that pictogram beyond the idea that there is any strictly denotative meaning in the term. Which was my point in a discussion about "parsing" the name.

Reasoning about those associations happens, if at all, after that point. You attacked an argument I was not making, simply because I began my associations with one likely flawed observation as to the particular philology of "ai," then disregarded the remainder of my associations simply because they had not fit into the dependent scheme of the logical strawman you immediately made of it.

In other words:

"This isn't an argument, it's just contradiction."

"No, it isn't"

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Josh Lerner wrote: View Post
What independent homophones are you talking about that are cognate with each other? Maybe if you can explain that, I'll have a better idea of what you are talking about. Are you talking about "he" and "ai"? The Chinese "he" and Japanese "ai" of "aikido" are neither cognates nor homophones.
Neither are KI and q in any more obvious way. The point is there are several historical rounds of the onyomi transmission, which I referenced, albeit a bit carelessly, because historic "Chinese" has not been everywhere and at all times spoken the same way, depending on the period and which region was in more or less ascendancy at the time. It is one of the reasons why their non-phonetic writing system has survived. That also makes one-for-one tracking of word priority nearly impossible to establish. It also makes the present association of "ai" as kunyomi, in a hybrid reading of "aiKI," somewhat problematic, for the historical and sociological reasons I noted above, and you yourself signaled on other grounds.

I wanted to provoke some discussion, but this is not the one I had hoped would ensue. I don't really care one way or the other, as it is the scheme of concepts I am addressing, not establishing or disproving the parochial claim of the Japanese to one or the other pronunciation of a Chinese character. (Prof. Goldsbury's point about pointless Augustinian arguments.) I don't pretend to be the best at anything, much less the linguistics, but I learned a long time ago that the best is often the enemy of the good. Making progress in anything requires trying what's at hand -- if it is not good enough -- the better will be found out sooner.

The key point is the complex of Chinese meanings and associations given the character carried through several historical changes of language and transmission to Japan, and their schemes of refernce in a poetically-minded perosn like O Sensei. -- And what we can then say with or about the word and its meaning to us and to those who have used it before us.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 05-21-2007, 01:42 PM   #63
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Apropos of some of this discussion. What is in the sound of a name?
More, apparently, than we are consciously aware:

http://www.livescience.com/health/07...cognition.html

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 05-21-2007, 02:33 PM   #64
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Apropos of some of this discussion. What is in the sound of a name?
More, apparently, than we are consciously aware:

http://www.livescience.com/health/07...cognition.html
Are you a Kabalarian then?
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Old 05-22-2007, 09:33 AM   #65
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
... hopefully I acknowledge my error, made note of the difference between what my emotions connect to, and the actual facts.

It is this continued obstinence in the face of all evidence that peeves me so.
Let me take a step back and parse the aiki and conflict in this thread a bit in the same spirit. I offered an observation directed to a specifically non-rational aspect of the language at issue, together with a collateral statement of assumption contradicted by some accepted authority. Given by Prof. Goldsbury, I expressly deferred on the point, which was, as I laid out, quite tangential to my essential point of discussion.

Not to point fingers, as that is not my point, but the accusation of "obfuscation" was the beginning in this discussion -- not of a change of topic -- but a change of tone and the initiation of an argument. While it may be taken as a personal criticism, it is just as much a self-accusation. I know that in other arenas I have done much the same thing, which is why I can speak with some small "authority" on the point. The form and progression of this discussion gives further opportunity for my purpose, which is why I go on at some length here.

What is interesting is that in response to more questions -- a more passionate and contrary discussion began, masking in assertions of "logical" argument a very non-rational sense of offense. The point made above by Ron is the same, but in a tone much more amenable to engagement, so I respond to him . Specifically, both share a dislike for questioning of an offered authority as a "fact." Authority is not "fact" that ends argument -- it is continuing of argument in another form -- and not a logical one. By definition it is not a resort to logic, but a fallacy in asserting a logical argument.

Accepting an authority as saying what it says, is not the end of argument, logical or otherwise, any more than a physical attack, even a well-executed one, is the end of the engagement when a conflict has arisen. Use of authority is not the harmonious resolution of conflict, because authority is not truth -- it is atemi. It may be ultimately decisive, but that does not in itself make it true.

As atemi may be engaged in aiki -- authority may be validly questioned (ki-musubi) in its premises and challenged in its foundations (kuzushi), without contesting it directly. That is the proper mode of response to address the logical fallacy inherent in the argument from authority. Never mind the fact I didn't start this particular argument, I am always happy to work to its conclusion as part of my "operative" aiki training.

As I said when I began, and pointed out again in the course of things, my point was never intended to be taken logically, but poetically. It was intended to hunt out the non-rational elements brought in by speaking about "aiki" and conflict in its historical development. Prof. Goldsbury made a related point about the term "aiki" in Western ears and our own idiosyncratic loadings that we may give it regardless of the historical antecedents of the word as a tool with other intent.

Prof. Goldsbury's response is the measure of engaging those points of correction (which needed to be made) without conflicting, and leaving the issues open for further questions. For this reason, (and more critically my trust in Prof. Goldsbury's reputation of interest in the truth on the point), I deferred on that trust in HIS OPINION, backing the previous assertion of authority. I generally do not lay my trust upon those who are attacking, except in the dojo. He has given an "aiki" lesson in this.

Resort to authority is not in and of itself a resort to truth without error. Authority, per se, does not primarily defend truth, it defends interest. NO authority solely defends truth because its first interest must always be in defending its own authority, even if it is otherwise interested in truth. Authority may not successfully be contested on grounds of truth, directly, (at least not in a spirit of aiki) because authority is about power -- of tradition or numerosity of opinion (as with dictionaries), of force, of reputation or any number of other controlling interests in a situation. Use of authoritiy is therefore primarily an appeal to power, not truth. Dictionaries are as much authoritative reflections of the true interests and prejudices of the times in which they are written (and often of the authors) as they are of truth of language in the abstract. The OED is being continually edited as we speak. What authority says is relevant and important but by no means conclusory on a legitimately contestable point.

The point was made here, that a system of classification that expressly acknowledges a class of widely accepted pronunciations (Kanyo-on) that are known to be erroneous in lineage, may legitimately be questioned as to its truth, by the mere fact that it acknowledges the actuality of, not merely the possibility of, embodied error. The question is whether the primary interest of the authority in question is in defending truth on a given point as such, or in legitimately defending some other interest -- such as accepted usage. Such bias or interest may always be questioned, especially when the bias is expressly admitted by that authority.

Aiki is one among many other modes of parsing a process of conflict, several of which are demonstrated in this discussion, if we take step back and ask the right questions about it. In parsing this as aikido, I note that the "logic of attack," found in many arenas of life, pursued in a spirit of passionate opposition, displays itself as dangerously non-rational in its premises even when claiming logical grounds or means. It is contrasted with a more dispassionate but engaged questioning or offering of more informed opinion (proper ki-musubi) finding areas of essential agreement in the context of isolating a disagreement, as distinct from creating more fronts of conflict.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 05-22-2007, 10:08 AM   #66
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Convoluted, but a good post.

I agree that not only should authority be questioned; it MUST be questioned. I think I have a better understanding now of how to read your posts. I still have some resevations, but that is neither here nor there. And I strongly agree that Peter is a master of proper engagement.

Best,
Ron

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Old 05-22-2007, 11:16 AM   #67
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Convoluted, but a good post. ... I think I have a better understanding now of how to read your posts. I still have some resevations, but that is neither here nor there.
Thanks.

Alfred North Whitehead was reputedly once asked, "Why do you not write more clearly?"

He replied, "Because I do not think more clearly."

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 05-22-2007, 11:32 AM   #68
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Because I do not think more clearly
Heh, me too!

B,
R

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Old 05-23-2007, 07:30 PM   #69
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Convoluted, but a good post.

I agree that not only should authority be questioned; it MUST be questioned. I think I have a better understanding now of how to read your posts. I still have some resevations, but that is neither here nor there. And I strongly agree that Peter is a master of proper engagement.

Best,
Ron
Hey maybe if you can read Erics posts a little better, I'll attempt a piggyback as Erics post expressed how I have been hearing this thread and myself as well. So maybe you can 'get me' a little better, by inference. I hope .

I offer poetic and spirited responses that are based in study and practice as well as my first person trajectory in life and topic. Some of this is based in the fact that I come from a Native background and I tend to talk about and view this stuff differently. I like to speak my mind, but mostly my heart, which is measured in rhythm. This is a fundamental reason why I chose the path of aiki and why I've been at it for my entire adulthood. I enjoy the arts inclusion of Kotodama practices. Some people hear this type of conversation well. Others do not. I'd like you to know that I make an effort to listen to your voice and I think I can now hear you better.
thanks

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Old 05-24-2007, 02:35 AM   #70
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

I think Erick Mead's last long post (#65) deserves a much more detailed response, not because I disagree with it (I do not), but because it supplements and illuminates his other posts in this thread and also further illuminates the issues under discussion. Because this is a long post, I have numbered the paragraphs.

1. The first poster began this thread by asking how to parse the word 'aikido'. This sort of question is often asked because the word does not have a clear English translation, perhaps also because of the way the art is sometimes presented: a budo that is quite different from anything that has gone before, different in particular from arts like judo & karate and especially different from 'western' sporting contests.

2. One common response is to parse the word in the abstract by breaking it down into its constituent parts and analyzing these, usually by quarrying Japanese-English dictionaries. So, 'ai' means A, 'ki' means B, 'do' means C and then the parts have to be put together again, and the result more or less gives the meaning of the word. (I say 'more or less' because there is still the problem of the internal structure of the term. Because Japanese is assumed to be like English, the meaning is usually expressed as C of A-ing B, for example, and not simply ABC.)

3. Another response is to look at the word not in the abstract, but as it is actually used in Japanese. In this respect 'aikido' is unusual because it appears in Japanese dictionaries only as the term for the particular martial art. Thus, on p.19 Vol. 1, of the largest monolingual dictionary I possess, the following definition is given:
"Koryu jujutsu no ichi ruyha daito ryu jujutsu no nagare wo kumu bujutsu de, atemi waza oyobi kansetsu waza wo sho toshita mono." "Aikijutsu."
A very rough translation would be:
"An art (mono = something: the term eartf is not stated specifically) which mainly uses atemi waza and joint waza, by means of martial skills stemming from Daito-ryu jujutsu, one school of koryu jujutsu." "Aikijutsu."

4. There is no discussion here of the word's internal structure or etymology. For such a discussion, one needs a dictionary of Chinese characters, as these are used in Japanese. 'Aikido' is still a problem here because it is a made-up word and therefore does not possess an established internal structure. On pp.795-805 of Vol. 2 of the largest Kanji dictionary I possess, the character is dealt with. There is no discussion of 'aikido', but there is a reference to C, with the older form of KI . However, this is read as GOU-KI. The meanings are given as (1) to match (awaseru) ki; (2) to match the KI of IN and YOU (yin and yang).

5. So this means that there is no reference to 'ai-ki' in the Classical Chinese texts read by the Japanese, so far as is known by Tatsuto Morohashi, the scholar who compiled the dictionary.

6. How can we go further in understanding the term? One recourse is to look at the older examples of the term above, but read as 'ai-ki' (Ellis Amdur gave one example), and then see what Morihei Ueshiba did with this. The problem here is to understand what the older term actually meant and then to see how Ueshiba further changed the meaning.

7. This recourse leads us to the written discourses/lectures of Morihei Ueshiba and Erick Mead raises the very important question of how we understand these. The possibilities here are similar to those appertaining to biblical texts: we can immerse ourselves in classical Aramaic or Greek and discover as much as possible what the texts meant to those who wrote them. In this case we immerse ourselves in contemporary Japanese and try to discover as much as possible both the meaning of the words themselves and also what Ueshiba intended to convey by them.

8. Or we can use an accepted translation of the Bible and work from that, with or without a commentary. Equally with Morihei Ueshiba, there are accepted translations, such as appear in Budo Renshu/Budo, in the examples scattered through Kisshomaru Ueshibafs writings, or in Stanley Praninfs Aikido Journal. Here we have to assume that the translator has done a sufficiently professional job that we can be confident of reading what Ueshiba actually meant and not what the translator thought he meant or would like him to have meant.

9. In either case, the possibilities are vast. I myself have done what I sketched in (7.), above, with the Greek texts of Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Plato & Aristotle, the Latin texts of Virgil, Horace and Cicero, the plays of Shakespeare and the poems of writers such as Chaucer, Donne and Hopkins. It is not so much a matter of elitism here, as a matter of penetration or depth. In some respects it is easier to deal with poetry expressed in onefs native language than in a foreign language, especially a language like Classical Greek, where there is no model offered by native speakers. On the other hand, to appreciate a poet like G M Hopkins in any depth demands some acquaintance with his theories of stress and rhythm, which illuminates further what he was trying to achieve. But he can still be appreciated without this, as I can appreciate Bachfs cantatas without knowing the German text.

10. Japanese poetry is no exception. The Manyoshu and haiku can be read and enjoyed in translation, though being able to read the Chinese characters adds a certain richness to the experience. I think the Manyoshu is where one needs to start in order to appreciate Ueshibafs douka, but, of course, this is my personal opinion and he can still be read with profit without such preparation.

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 05-24-2007 at 02:48 AM.

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Old 05-24-2007, 01:27 PM   #71
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Quote:
"Koryu jujutsu no ichi ruyha daito ryu jujutsu no nagare wo kumu bujutsu de, atemi waza oyobi kansetsu waza wo sho toshita mono." "Aikijutsu."
Ok, I am personally impressed with myself that I actually had a pretty good grasp of what that said before Peter translated it! Ok Ok, I'm back to earth now, realizing that is probably the only definition in that dictionary I had a chance of understanding...

Best,
Ron

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Old 05-24-2007, 05:07 PM   #72
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Ok, I am personally impressed with myself that I actually had a pretty good grasp of what that said before Peter translated it! Ok Ok, I'm back to earth now, realizing that is probably the only definition in that dictionary I had a chance of understanding...

Best,
Ron
Hello Ron,

I edited the post after I sent it to remove the actual kanji. However, since Erick Mead's point really involves Chinese characters, here they are:

古流柔術の一流派大東流柔術の流れをくむ武術で、当て身技および関節技を主としたもの。合気術。

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 05-24-2007, 06:09 PM   #73
Josh Lerner
 
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Although I feel that Erick's early assertion about reading the compound "ai-ki-do" as a Chinese compound, with the appropriate Chinese grammar, was problemmatic due to the fact that "ai" is a native Japanese pronounciation, considering the exact opposite of his idea has sparked an idea about the word that might be interesting to discuss. So, as a way of atoning for the bursts of exasperated sarcasm that peppered my responses, I offer something positive to the discussion.

The idea was particularly sparked by Prof. Goldsbury's idea that reading the Man'yoshu would give us insight into Ueshiba's doka. This is an idea that really struck a chord with me, because the idea had never occurred to me when I was both writing papers on translation problems in the Man'yoshu and teaching aikido. For whatever reason, I never made the connection.

Erick made the point (which I will paraphrase) that Chinese is an S-V-O language - like English, basic sentence structure is subject -- object -- verb ( "I ate chicken"). If "aikido" is a Chinese-style compound, then it should be read as such, meaning that "ai" is a verb that acts on an object, "ki". That is, "aikido" means "the way to ai' ki'". This morning while driving on the way to work, the idea occurred to me, "Well, if it's not a Chinese phrase, and if it uses Japanese grammar, what would it mean if it was read strictly as a Japanese noun phrase? Would it mean anything different from what it normally is taken to mean?"

To make my point clear, I'll repeat myself by starting with the example I gave above, "tabemono". "Mono" means "thing", "tabe" is from the verb that means "to eat". If it was a Chinese compound, it would usually (but not always) mean "to eat a thing." But since it is a Japanese phrase, the verb acts as a modifier, giving the meaning "something that is eaten", i.e. "food". The meaning of the phrase rests in the final noun.

This entails taking "ki" as the primary meaning of the phrase, being modified by "ai". Thus "aiki", when read with Japanese grammar, means "ki that has ai'd", or "ki that ai's".

In other words, if we can cue up the Jeopardy theme music, with a standard Chinese grammatical reading, the word "aiki" is an answer to the question, "what do you do with ki?" Answer: you harmonize ki.

The Japanese word "aiki", if read in the way I'm suggesting, is an answer to the question "what kind of ki?" Answer: the harmonized, or harmonizing, kind of ki. The Chinese way of looking at the word could also be read this way, incidentally, and there are similar phrases in Chinese medicine that could be used as examples, but that is beside the point.

Translating it this way, with the emphasis on "ki" instead of "ai", also makes more sense when we here or read of people saying "use aiki". It is a way of saying "use a particular kind of ki".

That begs the question -- what kind of ki? There are probably many ways of looking at it, but grammatically, they would all boil down to two different types, based on whether you take "ai" as passive or active:

Passive: "ki that has been harmonized" or "ki that has been unified"-- I would take this to refer to what people like Dan Harden, Mike Sigman and Rob John refer to in terms of unifying and resolving contradictory forces inside the body, which then produce a specific type of power that can be applied to techniques. Aiki here could also mean something like "Ki that is produced by meeting". I see many references in the doka that could be references to this idea, and the bits and pieces of information available about Daito-ryu seem to point to something along these lines. If anyone knows more to support or refute this idea, please feel free to chime in.

Active: "unifying ki" or "harmonizing ki" or "meeting ki" -- this could be a more commonly used translation of the term, though again it would be a type of ki that you would use. In this case, a type of ki that you use to match or fit in with your opponent. It could also probably be used the same was as the passive construction.

Again -- this is nothing more than speculation, based on hearsay and grammatical play. But I hope it provides some food for thought for the discussion.

Josh
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Old 05-24-2007, 06:56 PM   #74
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Quote:
Josh Lerner wrote: View Post
........................
Translating it this way, with the emphasis on "ki" instead of "ai", also makes more sense when we here or read of people saying "use aiki". It is a way of saying "use a particular kind of ki".

That begs the question -- what kind of ki? There are probably many ways of looking at it, but grammatically, they would all boil down to two different types, based on whether you take "ai" as passive or active:

Passive: "ki that has been harmonized" or "ki that has been unified"-- I would take this to refer to what people like Dan Harden, Mike Sigman and Rob John refer to in terms of unifying and resolving contradictory forces inside the body, which then produce a specific type of power that can be applied to techniques. Aiki here could also mean something like "Ki that is produced by meeting". I see many references in the doka that could be references to this idea, and the bits and pieces of information available about Daito-ryu seem to point to something along these lines. If anyone knows more to support or refute this idea, please feel free to chime in.

Active: "unifying ki" or "harmonizing ki" or "meeting ki" -- this could be a more commonly used translation of the term, though again it would be a type of ki that you would use. In this case, a type of ki that you use to match or fit in with your opponent. It could also probably be used the same was as the passive construction.

Josh
I'll leave the grammer and translation to you fellows. Speaking to the practical use I can see a delightful Japanese play on words.
"Ki that has been unified" becomes "unifying ki"

Passive: "ki that has been unified"-- is needed to affect a change in you. once in yo is relsoved in you the effects when another adds a foce to you is that the added force then gets resolved in you.
Thus the
Active: "unifying ki" or "harmonizing ki" or "meeting ki"

Now the play in meaning.
Without one of the parties having resolved in/yo in himself (passive) the meeting with another will not produce a true harmony of ki within him from the added force. How could he?
Instead what will happen is just two forces meeting; the external push-when-pulled, turn-when-push, that most "call" aiki.
You are also correct in noting the references where Daito ryu can say "Apply aiki" Or "create Ki by meeting," How would one "create ki by meeting? The opponent is drawn to your unified ki and moves with you unwillingly. This is not as far fetched as it sounds as it can be expressed in more practical projection throws, draw-ins, leg sweep, or punches. Not just in aiki-no-jutsu. And all through applied Aiki age, aikisage or fure aiki.
Were the pull when pushed turn when pudsherd model correct (its not) then the Daito ryu model makes no sense.

So "Ki that has been unified" becomes "unifying ki"
without the former you have no hope of accomplishing the later. Rather you will just do external arts, maybe really, really well, but its still just external arts.
Excellent job Josh

Last edited by DH : 05-24-2007 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 05-24-2007, 09:13 PM   #75
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Josh Lerner wrote: View Post
Erick made the point (which I will paraphrase) that Chinese is an S-V-O language - like English, basic sentence structure is subject -- object -- verb ( "I ate chicken").
Sorry, typo. That should have been subject - verb - object, to match S-V-O. But you know what I meant.

And Dan - thanks for the input.

Josh

Last edited by Josh Lerner : 05-24-2007 at 09:15 PM. Reason: Props to Dan.
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