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Old 05-20-2007, 08:58 AM   #26
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

Quote:
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Ki, Ken, Tai, Itchi is an old budo discription of the the same thing.
Thank you. These words are wonderful examples of the place of congruency. It seems like we might have a couple of features left to tend to. If congruency is ki, tai, itchi (which it is,), than what are the ai and the do for ( besides seeing that the 'do' is closed and not running into it. Sorry couldn't resist the joke.) ? This isn't intended as a word splicing or analysis. Really, I believe there's more to the binding.
Literally, O'Sensei said that the binding feature of the universe was love (ai, you decide which one). So with that clue, how do we witness and build it?

Thank you. Sorry to give away the plot.

P.S. The butler did it.

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 05-20-2007 at 09:07 AM.

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Old 05-20-2007, 09:13 AM   #27
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

A very good book that speaks to this question I think is called:
"Mind Over Matter - Higher Level Martial Arts" by Shih Ming. Basically it talks about the necessity of learning and polishing, becoming efficient, in the physical elements of movement, connection, etc. (and this is the 'simple' part) and understanding that the most important aspect of martial art is the internal, mental, spiritual intent training that fuels the physical. When these are ONE (in agreement would be another good word) highest level martial art is simply actualizing our (right) intent one hundred percent each instant. Philosophically it is understood that 'All Things Are One' but we as doers often get in the way of the 'Universal Suchness' and need to realize our natural, original, congruence.

It's a great little book but very hard to read. It's repetitive and the original Chinese is translated very literally and requires rereading to get to the heart of the book.

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Old 05-20-2007, 09:59 AM   #28
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

Good suggestion.
It is also my experience that what you are referring to is indeed what we are doing. We are evaluating and mostly reaquainting our selves with our given natures and 'missions in life' -O'Sensei. I witness forces at work that bind me to myself, to love, and to my given purpose, met with my greatest intent. I find the truth of this force in the smile that is drawn from my soul when I am in the presense of children. I warm up, my skin feels whole and connected to my muscle, my heart slows down, my eyes see everything in the room and I can feel the oncoming of any new impulse ( or person, carbon-based being, etc.) in the room several moments before it is felt by anyone else. My impulses are completely correct and I literally know what is going to happen before it happens. I'm tied in, I'm correct, I'm intent, I'm whole,strong, protective, loving and completely alive in my body and senses. I am returned to correct, natural instinct. I also find this quality in my work as a professional gardener/farmer. I witness the function of the plants. I don't call to my mind to know, I see and hear the movement of impulse and outpulse of the plant and it's environment. I see it's health and weaknes, I reflect on my own place of observation and then cause an action( interference with nature or confluence with nature) or not. This is exactly what I feel when I train. They are now the same for me, as they have always been the same in nature. They are calling to me because it is my course to follow and I need to know when to hear my calling. I believe that witnessing the mystery and unique beauty of the universe is the most natural condition and course for human beings and training ourselves to be correct in natures flow is our roadmap for a life well lived. I appreciate it daily in training, work and play. Thanks for inspiring me.

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Old 05-20-2007, 12:24 PM   #29
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

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Where is it displayed in all of the above arts? Specifically.
For me, it is expressed in the quality of our relationships (e.g. relationships with others, with the land, with our actions, with wisdom, with truth, etc.). In other words, a spiritual existence is about improving our capacity for relating, and this is both cultivated for and cultivated through the problematizing of the relationships we have before us - such that we not only generate a practice for and of this relating, we creating a life of and for this relating.

dmv

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Old 05-20-2007, 12:41 PM   #30
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

I agree David... relationships are really the way we both actualize and define reality. Constantly relating and changing... and as that wise Frenchman said... "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

As I said earlier in this thread, Tomiki Sensei often defined all aspects of aikido as "the Way of Fitting Appropriately"... this has always felt... appropriate to me.

We all have to find our own way/s of practicing, relating, describing, and sharing this realizaton in our life. It takes many forms. Funny thing is, in the midst of all the differences, recognition happens... but often the more we try to define it, the more our relationships suffer. Many of us end up fighting about the differences...

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Old 05-20-2007, 07:42 PM   #31
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

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We all have to find our own way/s of practicing, relating, describing, and sharing this realization in our life. It takes many forms. Funny thing is, in the midst of all the differences, recognition happens... but often the more we try to define it, the more our relationships suffer. Many of us end up fighting about the differences...
Thanks for sharing Chuck. This is very timely for me - I'm glad to be able read it now. It makes me ponder over how our insecurities may be related to our need to define things - as we always seek to define things by means of contrast and exclusion, never by what is common and shared.

Again, thank you,
dmv

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Old 05-21-2007, 05:56 AM   #32
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

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but often the more we try to define it, the more our relationships suffer. Many of us end up fighting about the differences...
Osu Sensei,
Yes, relationships, especially when the "binding feature" is truly in the agreements, similiarities, sameness, and (dare I say) our congruency with each other.
Rei, domo.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:04 AM   #33
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

I have found that my model for relationships took a 180 degree turn after a natural realization about harmony, fitting and congruence.I noticed that after I had found ways to implement aikido principles in the world as I knew it, my relationships were less problematic and less 'relative',this vs. that, as it were Next relationships took a turn when I recognized the congruency of nature in it's wholeness. This vs. that is the human trajectory. Natures trajectory is wholeness and sustanability. Nature doesn't seem to have a lot of opinions or ideas. It certainly has substance, principle and flow. And because of this change in observation my definition of love has changed drastically from the common thread. The basis of my relationships has changed to a model of nature as love, love being a sustainable state of wholeness in ever changing balance.

Of course this is training. But at what level do we operate and understand our principles, congruency and confluence with the fabric of this model. Not extremely romantic in description. But from experience my relationships are wondeful and the 'sameness' that I share with my partner is a sameness in trajectory toward a natural union. Working together to leave old unworking models at the junk yard for productive recycling.
Lucky fro me, this sounds a lot like aikido.

I know a lot of us have suffered in relatonships in the past. Natural realization has elevated my level of relationship incomparabley.

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 05-21-2007 at 10:09 AM.

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Old 05-21-2007, 12:38 PM   #34
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

Ueshiba gave us another way. In a world of life and death, winning and losing, power and weakness, he found another option. When the power lifter pushes on you and his strength fails him, then he doesn't care anymore about pushing on you, but rather why his strength failed. When the swordsman cannot hit his target, he doesn't care anymore about hitting his target but why he can't hit it. When your spouse lashes out verbally with all the anger he/she can muster and he/she finds that emotional energy matched just as if it were the strongman pushing, then the anger subsides and another option becomes available. And in those moments, it still isn't about winning and losing. For in those moments, you can choose winning. But Ueshiba gave us another option. To match appropriately. To each person, to each situation, to each encounter.

And to do that, you have to have the skill, otherwise the strong man will push you over, the swordsman will cut you, and the anger will wash over you. This isn't some touchy feely mental meditation kind of thing either. It's still a martial art. The skill must be learned.

But it's having a life to be oneself, to know the winning and the losing, but to go beyond both to give another option and match appropriately with each encounter. Winning and losing are always there, have always been there, and shall always be there. We may not always have a chance to choose the other option, but Ueshiba added it.

In history, you find that quite often, warriors would also learn calligraphy, chado, ikebana, etc. It was, to generalize a lot, a way of bringing harmony into one's life to contrast with the death. Ueshiba gave us all of that in one art. The life and death are there, but he added the serenity, for lack of a better word. And it fits with his history. Takeda was of the old class. Some even describe Takeda as paranoid. Takeda passed on his skills to Ueshiba. Had it ended there, we would have only had Daito ryu. But Ueshiba was also influenced by Deguchi and Omoto kyo. The skill came from Takeda, but the added option the spiritual that was Omoto kyo.

With the skill, you have winning and losing, life and death. With the spiritual, you create that other option and forego winning and losing, life and death. You must have both and this is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training. He didn't care how you came to the spiritual, he didn't care how you came to the skill, but the two must be joined for his vision of aikido.

All IMO,
Mark
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Old 05-21-2007, 02:03 PM   #35
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

I very much loved the last two posts - Jennifer's and Mark's. Thank you very much for sharing. Very grateful.

dmv

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Old 05-21-2007, 02:27 PM   #36
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

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With the skill, you have winning and losing, life and death. With the spiritual, you create that other option and forego winning and losing, life and death. You must have both and this is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training. He didn't care how you came to the spiritual, he didn't care how you came to the skill, but the two must be joined for his vision of aikido.
To be honest, I don't really think that's true - that that was his vision of Aikido or the binding feature. There is a story that he awarded a woman dancer tenth dan when he saw her dance. No martial skill involved.... But that notwithstanding, I think he used the martial form to express - in part - his sense of what Aikido was (take musu aiki, etc.), but I personally don't think it was dependant on it. If it were, than only people who have martial skill can "realize" Aikido? I don't think that's true.

my opinion,
LN

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Old 05-21-2007, 03:06 PM   #37
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

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There is a story that he awarded a woman dancer tenth dan when he saw her dance. No martial skill involved....
There's also a long tradition of awarding honorary rank/certificates to those who one likes or finds exceptional. These are however understood by all parties to be different than traditionally earned licenses in the same way that universities give out honorary degrees today. Valentino Rossi (a famous motorcycle racer) may have an honorary PhD from the University of Urbino, but no one would consider him to be a "real" PhD, or accept those credentials in say a job interview.

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Old 05-21-2007, 03:08 PM   #38
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

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There's also a long tradition of awarding honorary rank/certificates to those who one likes or finds exceptional. These are however understood by all parties to be different than traditionally earned licenses in the same way that universities give out honorary degrees today. Valentino Rossi (a famous motorcycle racer) may have an honorary PhD from the University of Urbino, but no one would consider him to be a "real" PhD, or accept those credentials in say a job interview.
Yes of course, but one would assume that O Sensei was making a point....

LN

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Old 05-21-2007, 04:00 PM   #39
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

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I think he used the martial form to express - in part - his sense of what Aikido was (take musu aiki, etc.),
Osu,

Gotta join you on this one (okay a few other too). This is the internal/attitude stuff.

I get the thought (yea, for what that is worth) that the martial context of Aikido was where he expressed his spiritual beliefs of Aikido. To hold those beliefs congruently, even in conflict and confrontation.

You can feel that internal state, the intention directs energy/ki, whiz directs the technique. Its inside out, not outside in.

Lynn Seiser PhD
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Old 05-21-2007, 05:31 PM   #40
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

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Osu,
Its inside out, not outside in.
I agree Lynn. Perhaps it's all in how one defines Aikido, which is another big subject.... :-)

To me, Aikido is akin to what one would refer to as "the Tao." This can be transmitted through practice of the physical art. It doesn't have to be, and it isn't always. I think that's what O Sensei was trying to do though.

LN

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Old 05-22-2007, 10:58 AM   #41
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

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I agree Lynn. Perhaps it's all in how one defines Aikido, which is another big subject.... :-)

To me, Aikido is akin to what one would refer to as "the Tao." This can be transmitted through practice of the physical art. It doesn't have to be, and it isn't always. I think that's what O Sensei was trying to do though.

LN
One definition of 'the tao' is unobstructed nature. Nature in a big sense, nature as 'musu', and nature as our personal natures: as in, "it is/isn't in my nature."

Train, release. Learn, forget. Flow back into nature and feel nature flow back into you.

Iku Musubi

thanks!
By the way, forget you ever read this.

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Old 05-22-2007, 11:20 AM   #42
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

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One definition of 'the tao' is unobstructed nature. Nature in a big sense, nature as 'musu', and nature as our personal natures: as in, "it is/isn't in my nature."

Train, release. Learn, forget. Flow back into nature and feel nature flow back into you.

Iku Musubi

thanks!
By the way, forget you ever read this.
In some dojo, I believe it's also known as: ickie musubi....

:-)

LN

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Old 05-22-2007, 12:44 PM   #43
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

Thank you all for a thread well worth my limited reading time.

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 05-22-2007, 04:28 PM   #44
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

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To be honest, I don't really think that's true - that that was his vision of Aikido or the binding feature. There is a story that he awarded a woman dancer tenth dan when he saw her dance. No martial skill involved.... But that notwithstanding, I think he used the martial form to express - in part - his sense of what Aikido was (take musu aiki, etc.), but I personally don't think it was dependant on it. If it were, than only people who have martial skill can "realize" Aikido? I don't think that's true.

my opinion,
LN
Hello Larry,

I took some time to digest and think about your post. I guess I'd have to say I disagree with it. There was an article about an incident with Ueshiba where some uke was attacking and he turned and did his thing and the uke went into a wall or pillar (I forget) and got hurt. If I remember right, Ueshiba pondered what happened and changed his way of doing things. Now, if he did not have the martial skill to do what he did, he wouldn't have been in a place to find other options. So, I guess I'd have to say that yes, people do have to have a martial skill to go along with the spiritual to realize Ueshiba's Aikido. Each is dependent on the other.

I never read about the dancer, but Ueshiba was known to just hand out dan ranks willy nilly.

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 05-23-2007, 12:40 PM   #45
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

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Hello Larry,

I took some time to digest and think about your post. I guess I'd have to say I disagree with it. There was an article about an incident with Ueshiba where some uke was attacking and he turned and did his thing and the uke went into a wall or pillar (I forget) and got hurt. If I remember right, Ueshiba pondered what happened and changed his way of doing things. Now, if he did not have the martial skill to do what he did, he wouldn't have been in a place to find other options. So, I guess I'd have to say that yes, people do have to have a martial skill to go along with the spiritual to realize Ueshiba's Aikido. Each is dependent on the other.

I never read about the dancer, but Ueshiba was known to just hand out dan ranks willy nilly.

Thanks,
Mark
I think I agree to disagree.... :-) Only because I think we see what Aikido is, differently. Which I think is natural, and in a very real sense, good. I think it is many different things to different people.

LN

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Old 05-23-2007, 12:53 PM   #46
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

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I think I agree to disagree.... :-) Only because I think we see what Aikido is, differently. Which I think is natural, and in a very real sense, good. I think it is many different things to different people.

LN
I'm good with agreeing to disagree.

Mark
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Old 05-23-2007, 02:22 PM   #47
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

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Hello Larry,
There was an article about an incident with Ueshiba where some uke was attacking and he turned and did his thing and the uke went into a wall or pillar (I forget) and got hurt. If I remember right, Ueshiba pondered what happened and changed his way of doing things.
It was a challenge from a certain swordsman, the guy wasn't an "uke". O-Sensei did an irimi, the guy had attacked with full commitment and intent, not the partial commitment that would have been the polite and safe way of checking out O-Sensei's skill. He hit O-Sensei so hard that he bounced off into the wall and his injury ended his martial arts career.

What O-Sensei changed wasn't his technique, he simply stopped accepting challenges any more. He said that it simply wasn't safe to do so.

People misunderstand about the training methodology and the underlying philosophy and think that there is some magic non-violent, non-injurious way to defend oneself that O-Sensei discovered. What he, in fact, said was that there was no way to have violent intent because it lead to your destruction. There is no way to deal with a fully committed attack with intent to harm by a skilled attacker that would leave him intact. That's why he stopped accepting challenges and that's why we don't have competition. Without rules, there is no way to do it safely and O-Sensei did not want to create an art that was shaped by the artificial constraints of rules.

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Old 05-23-2007, 02:24 PM   #48
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

Thanks for the clarification on that, Ledyard sensei.

Mark
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Old 05-23-2007, 02:30 PM   #49
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

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I'm good with agreeing to disagree.

Mark
Well see - we're both good Aikidoists! :-)

LN

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Old 05-23-2007, 09:42 PM   #50
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Re: What is the binding feature of O'Sensei's teaching and training?

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In some dojo, I believe it's also known as: ickie musubi....

:-)

LN
I'm sure you're right. Dang southern accents.
I'm glad it isn't 'icky musubi'. I've had just about enough of that.

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