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Old 05-25-2007, 06:39 AM   #76
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Wow. Great discussion...and very interesting.

Best,
Ron

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Old 05-25-2007, 07:40 AM   #77
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Wow. Great discussion...and very interesting.
I don't usually like this type of post... but Ditto. Me too.

Best regards,

Chuck Clark
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Old 05-25-2007, 08:15 AM   #78
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I think Erick Mead's last long post (#65) deserves a much more detailed response, ..
Onegaishimasu.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 05-25-2007, 09:41 AM   #79
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

What about he Ainu and ainu language. Hokkaido is the home of the original indigenous people of Japan. They speak a language called Ainu. O'Sensei spent many years in Hokkaido during his early manhood. I feel this is relevant and it is an area that has drawn my inquiry and study.

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Old 05-25-2007, 01:28 PM   #80
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Josh Lerner wrote: View Post
.. atoning for the bursts of exasperated sarcasm that peppered my responses
None necessary, it just spiced up the discussion. It's not like you made it "Thai-hot" .
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Josh Lerner wrote: View Post
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'". ...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?"... 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.
This observation bought some intriguing thoughts -- takig a slighlty different tangent on the non-rational uses of language, of which poetry is also one.

The Jeopardy analogy suggests another one that I think is most useful in looking at the grammatical aspects. The larger question that grammar ( in any language) addresses is -- causality. The Jeopardy game show format reverses causality of question/answer in ways that echo the denial or reversal of causality in the typical koan.

The predicate of "the sound of one hand clapping" is, of course, nonsense. Except as an answer (one of a nearly infinite number of alternatives) to the predicate of "What is nothing?" -- putting the answer into the form of a question in Jeopardy terms.

In other words, when we come at the problem from the direction of ordinary linear or efficient causation, the problem is not solvable in its own terms. The possible outcomes swiftly become infinite beyond an arbitrary number of steps in the chain of causation.

But come at the problem from the stand point of ultimate or final causation, and the answer is nearly as obvious in its form as its content is almost immaterial. In response to the inquiry, "What is nothing?" One could as easily answer, "A duck's pajamas" as the classic "one hand clapping." From the stand-point of ultimate or final causation, any answer or no answer suffices, because the predicate of efficient causation is not operative from that perspective.

Going back to Whitehead, (if you will bear with me on the metaphysics briefly) final or ultimate causation is just as close or integral to the event of experience as the efficient causation of linear antecedents that "cause" it in the ordinary sense. If you adopt the perspective of final causation, you are, in effect, permitted to give the answer in the form of a question -- and to which, in our reversal of the causal perspective in this koan, any answer will do.

This allows that his "answer" (attack) whatever it may be, to be accepted as the completely true response to our (as yet inchoate) inquiry( technique) that invites it. Ordinary causation would deny the attack as untrue. What is denied is not really the attack, but the presumed consequence of the attack if we proceed from the perspective of efficient causation. At the point of connection, the presumed course of events past that point is undetermined from the efficient causation perspective. The contest of wills over the causal chain that transpires thereafter has not occurred and therefore is not yet (if ever) true. It is literally fighting a phantom -- if you approach the connection from the standpoint of efficient causation.

This is what I think O Sensei means when he says that in Aikido "there is no attack." Put in terms of aikido as O Sensei expressed it, Aiki is similarly about restoring the harmony between efficient causation (the attack/technique response) and ultimate causation (The Unity of the Universe), and phenomenal relationships of the presumed inquiry (attack) to the presumed answer (technique) in a physical and spiritual context.

This allows causation, in the exclusively linear causal view, to be apparently reversed or even nullified -- but in terms of the final causation the situation has really only been re-harmonized to its original state before disturbance. The moon neither advances nor retreats in the water -- nor is it really the moon, nor is the moon truly disturbed by the appearance of its disturbance in the surface of the water. The moon neither advances nor retreats in the sky, nor is it disturbed by our advancing or retreating, but neither is it really the moon, but merely the image of the moon in the surface of our mind. Suigetsu.

In one sense the dropped pebble makes waves in the surface of the pond, in another sense the water mere gives way in closing over the sunk pebble -- which ceases to have any phenomenal appearance that is not coincident with the ordinary movement typical of water's surface. Aiki converts the perspective at the moment of efficient causation, by neither rejecting the fall of the pebble, nor accepting it in the phenomenal terms that existed before connection occurred, therefore readjusting the balance toward the ultimate causality in the engagement.

If you bind yourself to the ordinary or efficient causation of attack/response, rather than harmonizing that with the truth of final causation, you get stuck in the trap posed by the koan of the attack. If you harmonize the perspectives, you know more of what is knowable in the reality of the moment and you are freed of the trap of causation in the ordinary trivial sense.

But you cannot plan for a given outcome. For planning is a phenomenal aspect of mentality from the efficient cause perspective. It is a contest of will over the chain of phenomenal causation. For Aikido to be effective, we must merely train at the level of awareness from the non-phenomenal perspective of mentality, not this-and-then-that causation. Find our connection, be true to the connection that we find and deepen that connection. The final causation will occur on its own. In this sense, the "set-up" training that aikido teaching presumes is integral to learning awareness of the non-contest that is at the heart of the engagement when considered from the perspective of ultimate causation, and which competitive ( i.e.-- goal-oriented) training would destroy.

Some will call this airy-fairy aiki-fruity stuff -- but there is a real and fundamental psychological mechanism at work in this, whatever else you may think about it.

Aiki is the defeat of the phenomenal mind of conflict, restoring its original nature with the truth of the harmonized perspective of reality -- Masagatsu Agatsu. "Aiki" is not, in the physical and spiritual sense, defeating the opponent, for that role is no more real or distinct from ourselves than is the image of the moon in the water from the mind that perceives it. Love-Ki. Love of Other as Self.

"On this hangs all the Law and the Prophets..." as Someone else once said.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 05-25-2007, 03:28 PM   #81
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

aikido: turning the world on it's head one person at a time.

Jennifer Paige Smith
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Old 05-28-2007, 10:00 AM   #82
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Two points: I don't have the exact quote in front of me, but in about 1922, Ueshiba was quoted in Admiral Takeshita's diary as saying - "Aiki is the art of making other people do what you want." - see Harden above.
And with all the writing about how old "aiki" is, remember another word, also using the composite of "onyomi and kunyomi" - KIAI - which is always, and definitely has been always read that way, not "goki." Kiai clearly is the art of making the other do what you want - and in Araki-ryu, for example, this is done by manipulation of one's own stance, one's attitude and one's internal state - and this is linked (as it is in Jikishin-kage-ryu) with the manipulation of different aspects of gogyo - yin/yang. The distinction is usually considered as that kiai, whether predominantly yin or yang in it's energy exerted on the other, is on a larger level, a YANG state - you actively express your will on the other - centrifugal force, if you will. Aiki (see below), whether the dominant energy is yin or yang, is, on a larger level, a YIN state - it is gravitational.
Aiki, which was referred to in some ryu as soshin (I have no ability to reproduce kanji, but the first character, so, is ki-hen/moku-hen (tree/eye) and means something similar to "ai") and shin = kokoro. In other words, one controls the other by unifying "heart/mind" - - - - BUT this is not love - (the other "ai"). It means that one achieves such organization within oneself that one can pervasively influence the other in spite of themselves, so that they are "templated" to what your will.
Best

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Old 05-28-2007, 10:30 AM   #83
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Two points: I don't have the exact quote in front of me, but in about 1922, Ueshiba was quoted in Admiral Takeshita's diary as saying - "Aiki is the art of making other people do what you want." - see Harden above.
And with all the writing about how old "aiki" is, remember another word, also using the composite of "onyomi and kunyomi" - KIAI - which is always, and definitely has been always read that way, not "goki." Kiai clearly is the art of making the other do what you want - and in Araki-ryu, for example, this is done by manipulation of one's own stance, one's attitude and one's internal state - and this is linked (as it is in Jikishin-kage-ryu) with the manipulation of different aspects of gogyo - yin/yang. The distinction is usually considered as that kiai, whether predominantly yin or yang in it's energy exerted on the other, is on a larger level, a YANG state - you actively express your will on the other - centrifugal force, if you will. Aiki (see below), whether the dominant energy is yin or yang, is, on a larger level, a YIN state - it is gravitational.
Aiki, which was referred to in some ryu as soshin (I have no ability to reproduce kanji, but the first character, so, is ki-hen/moku-hen (tree/eye) and means something similar to "ai") and shin = kokoro. In other words, one controls the other by unifying "heart/mind" - - - - BUT this is not love - (the other "ai"). It means that one achieves such organization within oneself that one can pervasively influence the other in spite of themselves, so that they are "templated" to what your will.
Best
Would the statement 'this is not love' still apply if we were to redefine what love is actually made of? If we were to discover in our own expereince that love is the eye of the tree ( some kanji for aiki also mean 'blue spruce' as is the case with one of my children students whose parents are Japanese). What if we were to discover or support that love is an organization (natural) within oneself ( and therefore the other) and can pervasively influence the other in spite of themselves(ourselves). In other words, maybe our idea of love is fragmented and the term aiki is a better model, as it is a unified body of principle.

For me aiki has been a constant challenge to my concepts of love. Implementing aiki has been the strongest tool I've brought to 'my' love.

thanks

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 05-28-2007 at 10:33 AM.

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Old 05-28-2007, 10:34 AM   #84
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
And with all the writing about how old "aiki" is, remember another word, also using the composite of "onyomi and kunyomi" - KIAI - which is always, and definitely has been always read that way, not "goki."
Prof. Goldsbury just pointed out to me that "ki" is also considered to be kunyomi in some dictionaries, as well as onyomi, which means that both "aiki" and "kiai" can actually be read as purely Japanese words. Thus solving the on/kun mixing problem, such as it existed.

Since there is no apparently no pre-Chinese-influence Japanese word that has the same meaning as "ki" that I'm aware of, my guess is that it was such an important word culturally that it was adopted as kunyomi. Or that the dictionary compilers were trying to convince people that the Japanese invented the word.

Josh
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Old 05-28-2007, 11:41 AM   #85
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Jennifer - I suppose you could choose to read the character according to however one likes. And like Ueshiba, you could choose to reframe "so" as love, just as he did with "ai." Furthermore, not having access to my dictionaries, I don't know how "so" has been used in other words. But in Araki-ryu and Jikishinkage-ryu, the two schools which I'm aware of that use the word, "soshin," it is simply a means to more effectively manipulate, control, and most likely kill your enemy.

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Old 05-28-2007, 02:24 PM   #86
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Jennifer - I suppose you could choose to read the character according to however one likes. And like Ueshiba, you could choose to reframe "so" as love, just as he did with "ai." Furthermore, not having access to my dictionaries, I don't know how "so" has been used in other words. But in Araki-ryu and Jikishinkage-ryu, the two schools which I'm aware of that use the word, "soshin," it is simply a means to more effectively manipulate, control, and most likely kill your enemy.
Thank you.

I suppose this somehow leads to 'all is fair in love and war' in the long run.
Realizing that this is also an independent interpetation.

Jennifer Paige Smith
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Old 05-28-2007, 02:53 PM   #87
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Aiki, which was referred to in some ryu as soshin (I have no ability to reproduce kanji, but the first character, so, is ki-hen/moku-hen (tree/eye) and means something similar to "ai") and shin = kokoro. In other words, one controls the other by unifying "heart/mind" - - - - BUT this is not love - (the other "ai"). It means that one achieves such organization within oneself that one can pervasively influence the other in spite of themselves, so that they are "templated" to what your will.
Best
Ellis,

The kun reading of 相 SOU ( = mutual) is also 'ai'.

PAG

P A Goldsbury
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Old 05-28-2007, 11:59 PM   #88
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Two points: I don't have the exact quote in front of me, but in about 1922, Ueshiba was quoted in Admiral Takeshita's diary as saying - "Aiki is the art of making other people do what you want." - see Harden above.
O Sensei's thoughts changed critically shortly after this date. His revelatory vision of aikido as Love was distinct from his vision of budo up to that point -- and came in 1925.

"All at once I understood the nature of creation: the Way of a Warrior is to manifest Divine Love, a spirit that embraces and nurtures all things. Tears of gratitude and joy streamed down my cheeks. I saw the entire earth as my home, and the sun, moon, and stars as my intimate friends. All attachment to material things vanished."

The difference in the 1922 quote and the 1925 quote is profound. Reputedly, the 1925 revelation occurred in the hot afterglow of a bout with a very skilled swordsman in which O Sensei was unarmed, but prevailed.

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Aiki (see below), whether the dominant energy is yin or yang, is, on a larger level, a YIN state - it is gravitational.
LIKE that.

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Aiki, ... In other words, one controls the other by unifying "heart/mind" - - - - BUT this is not love - (the other "ai"). It means that one achieves such organization within oneself that one can pervasively influence the other in spite of themselves, so that they are "templated" to what your will.
Best
Let me dwell on the topic of love in this image of gravitational dominance in the conceptual elements of "aiki." "Orbit" is a very narrow regime of participating bodies that exists between the regimes of escape and collision.

First, love in this context is not about flowers and chocolates. It is about running through hail of bullets to pull a hit buddy out of a hole, Walking into a compartment in a fuel fire to drag out the last guy that went in to put the fire out for his shipmates. It is about charging the hill, attacking the fire, because of the love for those next to you or in harm's way. It is primal and it is about survival, not sonnets.

Leaving aside any larger metaphysical questions, psychologically, seeking to structure oneself so as to compel the action of another to template to what you will, is still in the phenomenal, objectifying frame of mind. This -- then -- that. The chain of incipient causation is still intact. Therefore, the branch points of that causal chain are contestable by the will of any participant, as they occur.

Presumably, no budo can depend on an opponent surrendering his will. Logically, that leaves one option, surrendering one's own. Not surrendering to HIS will -- vice your own, but surrendering, if you will, the very concept of "will" in the engagement. That means becoming identified with the will of your opponent, but not identical to it -- since you are not him. And his will is expressed in action -- so your identification is with his action, not his presumed or anticipated will or intent (beyond what is revealed in his action). After all, he may (and probably will) change his mind about what he wants or intends.

The attacker needs to go one step further in the (as yet contingent) causal chain to prevail, than does the aikidoka. I need only reach him -- he must reach AND strike/grasp me. As they say, "Reach exceeds grasp." If I seek to grasp him, I am fighting him for first or best grasp -- and one or the other of us always loses. As long as I keep reaching him -- without grasping -- as he comes in reach of me, he cannot win, unless I stop doing that.

Once one achieves this connection, the logic of reactive cause/effect ceases. You want what he wants -- you/he move as he/you moves. All that is required is to have the connection to know what he wants to be doing -- NOW -- rather than what I should do to counter what he (may be) about to do -- much less trying to scheme a path to some result that I imagined to begin with.

"Aiki" means concerning oneself with the needs/desires of another in a situation of violence to the exclusion of one's own. The word for this budo is, properly, "love."

The Earth orbits the sun, not because of the sun's domineering power (although it is), but because their relationship is critically favorable to stable dynamic of mutual attraction. If the Earth were less favorable (moving too fast) it would escape or (moving too slow) collide.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 05-29-2007, 06:51 AM   #89
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Two points: I don't have the exact quote in front of me, but in about 1922, Ueshiba was quoted in Admiral Takeshita's diary as saying - "Aiki is the art of making other people do what you want." - see Harden above.
And with all the writing about how old "aiki" is, remember another word, also using the composite of "onyomi and kunyomi" - KIAI - which is always, and definitely has been always read that way, not "goki." Kiai clearly is the art of making the other do what you want - and in Araki-ryu, for example, this is done by manipulation of one's own stance, one's attitude and one's internal state - and this is linked (as it is in Jikishin-kage-ryu) with the manipulation of different aspects of gogyo - yin/yang. The distinction is usually considered as that kiai, whether predominantly yin or yang in it's energy exerted on the other, is on a larger level, a YANG state - you actively express your will on the other - centrifugal force, if you will. Aiki (see below), whether the dominant energy is yin or yang, is, on a larger level, a YIN state - it is gravitational.
Aiki, which was referred to in some ryu as soshin (I have no ability to reproduce kanji, but the first character, so, is ki-hen/moku-hen (tree/eye) and means something similar to "ai") and shin = kokoro. In other words, one controls the other by unifying "heart/mind" - - - - BUT this is not love - (the other "ai"). It means that one achieves such organization within oneself that one can pervasively influence the other in spite of themselves, so that they are "templated" to what your will.
Best
Interesting and informative as always. For five years I have been discussing and debating with the boys a project with that very same name. I chose .....Soshin for its multiple meaning potential.

The kanji for "so" I used was for "twin" or "Dual" but "mutual" works just as well, thanks Peter. and "shin" as kokoro.
Hence "Twin heart" .
The idea being a play on words: old/new, traditional / live, empty hand /weapon, In/yo, contradictory force ai and Kia.
Never once did I consider the idea of bodies moving at just the right speed or distance for timing which most folks mistakenly associate as "aiki."

The idea of "so" meaning to make others do what you want by way of aik-ki is, in the end going to prove confusing for most exponents of the martial arts. I honestly think we have been struggling under a misinterpretation from decades. Eric's idea of orbiting relatonships in perfect balance is the the quintessential example of what is wrong with aikido. Why aikido works best against "other" folks doing aikido. And why Uehsiba disasociated himself from it and stated repeatedly that "this is not my aikido.

In/yo has to be worked in you, harnessed and resolved in you (to what ever degree we train it) Aiki is about energy in you. Without that firmly in place you have nothing. The movement aspects -what is yin what is yang ceases to have meaning. It' all in/yo all yin and yang. This is idea of making a yin movement or "leading" relationship is merely a furtherence of external martial arts; Kissomaru's understanding, not his Dad's.
The very essence of the failure in understanding is exhibited in the nature of the body turning. The most perfect example of what has been left out is demonstrated in entering.
Both are demonstrated as individual acts when they are not. they are mutual acts in a single person's body. The proper execution has nothing at all to do with the other person.

In his own way Eric is expressing an understanding forstered on him by teachers, so it can't be helped.

I'll give you a clearer picture Eric. Planets don't solely by relationship. They work by exhibiting perfect balance unto themselves. Without that their can be no relationshoip. Meaning-long before you ever considered viewing a relationship between two bodies in motion there were two entities in balance to themselves.
1.WIthout the sun being in perfect balance to itelf it would have nothing to attract or hold the earth.
2. The earth without its own rotation would have nothing worth saving.

They exhbit internal power in being. In /yo revealed. The body is capable of perfecting this in itself as well. And when it does so it becomes much more powerful in any relationship to another object.
Most have their first clue about this when they run into someone with good structure...moving. They instantly sense hisd movements are superior. Weak structure, spinning about in a dance and tryng to meet or join is all but laughable. So the real key is what makes the sun express itself in balance? What makes the earth whole and have an intregal structure? It is understanding what makes the human body- and the generations of chinese and Japanese who have done countless hours of solo training-express itself so well that it can repel or attract and manipulate other bodies that is the first step.
It is exactly why in/yo can be so powerful.
And why most aikido is not.

Last edited by DH : 05-29-2007 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 05-29-2007, 07:09 AM   #90
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Dual post. Please delete the one above this

Ellis
Interesting and informative as always. For five years I have been discussing and debating with the boys a project with that very same name. I chose .....Soshin for its multiple meaning potential.

The kanji for "so" I used was for "twin" or "Dual" an example being Sosuishitsu ryu (Twin rivers school). But "mutual" works just as well, thanks Peter. And then "shin" as kokoro. Hence "Twin heart" .
My idea was a multi layered play on words: old/new, traditional / live, empty hand /weapon, In/yo, contradictory force ai and Kia.
Never once did I consider the idea of bodies moving at just the right speed or distance for timing which most folks mistakenly associate as "aiki."

The idea of "so" meaning to make others do what you want by way of aik-ki is, in the end going to prove confusing for most exponents of the martial arts. I honestly think we have been struggling under a misinterpretation from decades. Eric's idea of orbiting relatonships in perfect balance is the the quintessential example of what is wrong with aikido. Why aikido works best against "other" folks doing aikido. And why Uehsiba disasociated himself from it and stated repeatedly that "this is not my aikido.

In/yo has to be worked in you, harnessed and resolved in you (to what ever degree we train it) Aiki is about energy in you. Without that firmly in place you have nothing. The movement aspects -what is yin? What is yang? ceases to have meaning. It's all in/yo. All yin and yang. This is idea of making a yin movement or "leading" relationship is merely a furtherence of external martial arts; Kissomaru's understanding, not his Dad's.
a. The very essence of the failure in understanding is exhibited in the nature of the body turning.
b. The most perfect example of what has been left out is demonstrated in entering.
Both are demonstrated as individual acts when they are not. they are mutual acts in a single person's body. The duality of the movement can be found within the single-bodies central pivot. Hence the proper execution has nothing at all to do with the other person.

In his own way Eric is expressing an understanding forstered on him by teachers, so it can't be helped.

I'll give you a clearer picture Eric. Planets don't orbit solely by relationship to one another. They work by exhibiting perfect balance unto themselves. Without that there can be no relationship. Meaning-long before you ever considered viewing a relationship between two bodies in motion there were two entities in balance to themselves.
1.WIthout the sun being in perfect balance to itelf it would have nothing to attract or hold the earth.
2. The earth without its own rotation would have nothing worth saving.

They exhbit internal power in being. In /yo revealed. The body is capable of perfecting this in itself as well. And when it does so it becomes much more powerful in any relationship to another object.
Most have their first clue about this when they run into someone with good structure...moving. They instantly sense his movements are superior. Weak structure, spinning about in a dance and tryng to meet or join is all but laughable. So the real key is what makes the sun express itself in balance? What makes the earth whole and have an intregal structure? It is understanding what makes the human body- and the generations of chinese and Japanese who have done countless hours of solo training-express itself so well that it can repel or attract and manipulate other bodies that is the first step.
It is exactly why in/yo can be so powerful. It is what Captured Ueshiba's attention and why he got it about his place in the whole universe relationship thingy
And why most aikido is not....with all its hype and discussion. It is still vying to fit-in and blend with another causal action. Like every other martial art.

Last edited by DH : 05-29-2007 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:26 AM   #91
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Eric's idea of orbiting relationships in perfect balance is the the quintessential example of what is wrong with aikido.
Who said perfect balance? You have a mistaken impression of the dynamics of orbits, stable or otherwise as exhibiting "perfect balance." Hardly so. Orbits can be quite violent things, especially unstable ones. Even stable orbits exhibit tides (inyo-ho ?), and they can be vicious things, that can literally tear a lesser mass apart at the seams inside the Roche limit -- even in a stable orbit -- Saturn and its rings for instance. It should be mentioned that O Sensei prefigured this discussion, speaking of the mythological red and white balls that allowed one to control the ebb and flow of the tide.

Even equal mass objects can present very interesting stable mechanics in orbit about a common center:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi.../0e/Orbit5.gif

That image has a air of familiarity to me in the practice of aikido.
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[Irimi/tenkan] Both are demonstrated as individual acts when they are not.
Well, on this we agree. Every tenkan begins in irimi, every irimi ends in tenkan. In-yo, quite.

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In his own way Eric is expressing an understanding fostered on him by teachers, so it can't be helped.
I know what I know, and, more importantly, what I do not know. You can ask my teachers how much of that is their responsibility -- and how much is my own fault.

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I'll give you a clearer picture Eric. Planets don't solely by relationship. They work by exhibiting perfect balance unto themselves. Without that their can be no relationshoip.
Monsieur Roche disagrees with you here. If an orbiting body enters an orbit that passes inside the Roche limit, tides can destroy its structural coherence. The difference is the Roche limit is closer if there is greater inherent structural coherence, and the limit is further if there is less inherent structural coherence.

You may speak of strong versus weak structure, but the judgment element in that characterization is suspect. Both aspects of inherent structural coherence have their places in the art, as strategic elements involving where to place energy in a given situation, rather than judgment of better or worse in abstract terms.

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Meaning-long before you ever considered viewing a relationship between two bodies in motion there were two entities in balance to themselves.
1.WIthout the sun being in perfect balance to itself it would have nothing to attract or hold the earth.
The earth would orbit a diffuse gas cloud of the same mass of the sun at the same orbital distance from the center of mass of the cloud. I should point out that it is gravity that gives the sun the "perfect balance" of spherical structure as a very compact gas cloud.

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2. The earth without its own rotation would have nothing worth saving.
Analogizing gravity to Aiki (thanks again Ellis, very fruitful!), gravity does not care if the bodies rotate internally or not, although the dynamics of tides will vary depending on that additional source of forces and changing moments.

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Most have their first clue about this when they run into someone with good structure...moving. They instantly sense hisd movements are superior. Weak structure, spinning about in a dance and tryng to meet or join is all but laughable. ... It is exactly why in/yo can be so powerful. And why most aikido is not.
Your idea of it is self-limiting. Aikido, if it is truly in-yo ho (and we agree on that) must serve those who are naturally weak in structure as well as those who are strong in structure. Otherwise, there is no true yin to balance the yang in the art.

The applications may appear different, as the Roche limits of more structured vice more fluid orbital bodies may also differ. The same principles are in application, merely at different degrees of extension. As the coherence of structure improves through training, the art may move closer with greater safety and exposed to greater levels of energy (highly eccentric orbit) in the approach.

That does not mean that the principles of engagement at the limits of extension (appropriate to less structured bodies) are different or inferior, merely that they are not complete as a description of the totality of the art. Of course, neither is the "strong structure" model as a derogatory criticism -- to the extent that it neglects the operation at the limits of extension appropriate to less well-structured bodies.

At a higher level of training both internal strategies are available to the practitioner who develops both. Beginners start with the inherently weak structure model as an almost unavoidable premise. Their access to the coherence model ("strong structure") comes through training in perception and adjustment of form as much or more than physical rehabilitation or strengthening.

These represent differential focus in applying dynamic energy. Decoherence is just as powerful as coherence -- applied correctly. Strategic collapse of internal structure can destroy the support of any structure that comes to bear on it, regardless of its inherent strength..

Last edited by Erick Mead : 05-29-2007 at 10:32 AM.

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Erick Mead
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Old 06-03-2007, 12:03 PM   #92
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Skipping past the long and irrelevant analogies to planetary bodies- I will key in on the comments about the idea of differences in movement in poorly structured bodies.
The thought of their even -being- poorly structured bodies in Japanese budo is anathema to everything budo was meant to be about in the first place. The main purpose wasn't about better ways to swing a sword or punch. If you read various interviews- just about every master class teacher talks about an Asian model of training in budo "to be strong." But none of them were talking about lifting. They were talking about a bujutsu body that created unusual strength through structure. The main purpose to budo was to build that structure. It has been thoroughly ruined over the last century or so and now it has become convoluted and about waza or quasi-spiritual pursuits. There are few men with any real knowledge of the truths of bujutsu movement anymore.
Aikido's "matching" and "blending" ain't it.
Oddly enough were one to more accurately understand the purpose of resolving the physical aspects of in/yo in our bodies- it more fully explains the mumbo jumbo quasi religious stuff they are trying to find and force fit into their aikido. Moreover, it would more accurately book match the Ueshiba model of a balanced and fully realized human living in accord with a balanced universe really well. And in the most curious and oddly poetic sense this physical realization will increase their power and sensitivity exponentially-along side their ability to neutralize and resolve an attack

But it is all but pointless to even talk about it anymore. The masses are irrevocably convinced there is nothing more to be had than what they do and know. Even something as simple as the central pivot, or even winding, is poorly understood and all but absent in the arts. Ill-expressed as "tenkan," the turning movement in aikido is empty of it's true potential. Absent of the potential power contained in a structured bodies central pivot, instead everyone mindless quotes "Turn when pushed- enter when pulled." and thinks they are saying something substantial. After all it's in several books.

Speaking to no one in particular......
The art of Aiki can only be understood when one removes the other person from the equation. In point of fact you will never understand it by seeking to fit, match, lead or blend. Until you unify Ki in you -you cannot unify ki in conflict.

But no worries, chances are:
a. No one will ever correct you
b. No one you know will ever know the difference anyway.
c. The few who do will not tell you how anyway
d. You will spend your life getting along with the group -very well.
The truth of Ai-ki-do will forever escape you, and instead you will end up doing Aikido along with everyone else. But hey-that’s all most folks only want to do to begin with.
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Old 06-03-2007, 06:06 PM   #93
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
. In other words, one controls the other by unifying "heart/mind" - - - - BUT this is not love - (the other "ai"). It means that one achieves such organization within oneself that one can pervasively influence the other in spite of themselves, so that they are "templated" to what your will.
Best
This would, in my opinion, be the place at which O-Sensei's "aiki" starts to differ from what he (and others I would guess) believed the more traditional meaning to be.

O-Sensei's spiritual experience caused him to a) identify with "the other" thereby removing the dichotomy of anyone controlling anyone else and b) make accord with the "Will of the Kami" the central focus of ones actions.The Kannagara no Michi or Divine Path is how O-Sensei saw his world. Misogi would purify ones intentions to the point which they were brought into accord with the Will of the Kami. So "aiki" moves from being a set of psycho / physical techniques to cause involuntary reaction in the other to being descriptive of the essential state of connection existing between all things (in which there is no other). Hence the phrase Take Musu Aiki in which the martial technique arises spontaneously from the state of aiki. Or, said another way, the state of aiki gives birth to martial technique.

This fundamental shift in orientation opens the door for the alternative use of ai = love in the term the aiki. You can see the shift from aiki being a description of technique used to create connection between opponents to a term that describes the connection that already exists and once the ai becomes "love", begins to describe the energetic nature of that connection.

Training then shifts away from discovering how to use the principle of aiki in ones technique to defeat another, towards using technique utilizing the principles of aiki as misogi to bring one into accord with the Will of the Kami.The idea being that in discovering the principles of aiki through training in Aikido technique, one is "templated" to the Divine Will.

This would be my understanding of how O-Sensei's use of the term was different from how it had been used before, even in the parent art of Daito Ryo Aikijutsu.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 06-03-2007 at 06:17 PM.

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Old 06-03-2007, 08:32 PM   #94
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Ellis Amdur wrote:
In other words, one controls the other by unifying "heart/mind" - - - - BUT this is not love - (the other "ai"). It means that one achieves such organization within oneself that one can pervasively influence the other in spite of themselves, so that they are "templated" to what your will.
Best

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
This would, in my opinion, be the place at which O-Sensei's "aiki" starts to differ from what he (and others I would guess) believed the more traditional meaning to be.
O-Sensei's spiritual experience caused him to a) identify with "the other" thereby removing the dichotomy of anyone controlling anyone else and b) make accord with the "Will of the Kami" the central focus of ones actions.The Kannagara no Michi or Divine Path is how O-Sensei saw his world. Misogi would purify ones intentions to the point which they were brought into accord with the Will of the Kami. So "aiki" moves from being a set of psycho / physical techniques to cause involuntary reaction in the other to being descriptive of the essential state of connection existing between all things (in which there is no other). Hence the phrase Take Musu Aiki in which the martial technique arises spontaneously from the state of aiki. Or, said another way, the state of aiki gives birth to martial technique.
And this is EXACTLY where my description of unified ki making unifying ki arises. Ellis is exactly correct and so am I. You fail to see where they are the same all while saying exactly the same thing to being descriptive of the essential state of connection existing between all things (in which there is no other). Hence the phrase Take Musu Aiki in which the martial technique arises spontaneously from the state of aiki. Or, said another way, the state of aiki gives birth to martial technique. . The physical state of aiki is resolved in/yo ho- unified ki.
Ueshiba's Aiki was unchanged from all his years in Daito ryu. They remained aiki-no-jutsu. Precisely Daito ryu Aiki.
You have commented on my ability to understand one (the physical) while not being able to understand the other (spiritual). Well, all due respect- I contend it is you who do not understand. How could someone if they do not understand the one (physical) they have no hope of seeing where it in fact creates the other (spiritual) Anyone can of course choose to believe in the spiritual, but it will remain mere concepts and models with correlation twixt the two.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
This fundamental shift in orientation opens the door for the alternative use of ai = love in the term the aiki. You can see the shift from aiki being a description of technique used to create connection between opponents to a term that describes the connection that already exists and once the ai becomes "love", begins to describe the energetic nature of that connection.

Training then shifts away from discovering how to use the principle of aiki in ones technique to defeat another, towards using technique utilizing the principles of aiki as misogi to bring one into accord with the Will of the Kami.The idea being that in discovering the principles of aiki through training in Aikido technique, one is "templated" to the Divine Will.

This would be my understanding of how O-Sensei's use of the term was different from how it had been used before, even in the parent art of Daito Ryo Aikijutsu.
There is no "aiki as a set of principles and techniques." Those are martial arts. Principles and techniques....are not aiki.
The difference between the two are in the trained body. The internally trained body expresses itself in a retained balance that generates power-in-balance. When you contact it the one in balance has a keen sense of where your weight is , where your intent is and his ability to move his own body in balance becomes highly disruptive to your every intent or action. Thus you become one with him and he is still moving himself. It is powerful expressed this way as a connection in the grappling arts but in an instant it can break bones and generate knockout power.

Ueshiba saw the universal aspects of how one can perfect the dichotomy of energy in oneself and he recognized it and saw it echoed in the greater world, universe what have you.
He chose to demonstrate that in the physical manner that did not cause harm. A distinction that is not as major-as you claim.
Were one to take away his aiki his world vision would not have gone farther than Deguchi's.

The physical and spiritual aspects of aiki are one. They are involved in unifying in/yo in yourself. And THAT is where he saw- as you said- "an accord with the divine will." Once a person has attained aspects of this power, physical attacks on them become rather empty and pointless. The attacker is dealt with by being repulsed, spun away or captured with little harm. The interchange becomes rather pleasant and quite fun to do. The power generation can of course be massive and lead to breaks and knock out power by choice-which oddly enough peacenick Ueshiba did do. What -you- choose to do with the power of a body-in-balance is anyone’s personal choice. It is the reason I admired Ueshiba's vision.
Unified Ki is unifying Ki.
In/yo (Yin yang) is the nature of the world. Takemusu aiki will only come from in/yo ho trained and attained in oneself, by oneself, in solo training. There is a world of training and I'd suspect a whole new path in the paragraph above. But knowing the terminology and readiing the words will not get someone a single step closer to demonstrating it in their body.
Each one has to decide whether to do Ai-ki-do or Aikido. THey are two very different paths

Last edited by DH : 06-03-2007 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 06-03-2007, 08:46 PM   #95
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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But knowing the terminology and readiing the words will not get someone a single step closer to demonstrating it in their body.
I very much agree with that statement.
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Old 06-03-2007, 10:09 PM   #96
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Hmmm...words

I can say I am in hot pursuit of hibiki. Of becoming hibiki. We can debate if it preceeds or follows. Or, we can debate who, creates what. But all I can do is say it. At this point I am still profoundly dissapointed in my progress.
But it is an interesting idea from the kotodama; hibiki preceeding ki, or combined to express kokyu. All expressed and discussed in universal terms that seem etherial...till they knock you on your ass.

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Old 06-04-2007, 09:31 AM   #97
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote:
... that one achieves such organization within oneself that one can pervasively influence the other in spite of themselves, so that they are "templated" to what your will. Best
Hence the phrase Take Musu Aiki in which the martial technique arises spontaneously from the state of aiki. Or, said another way, the state of aiki gives birth to martial technique. [/i][/b] . The physical state of aiki is resolved in/yo ho- unified ki.

Ueshiba's Aiki was unchanged from all his years in Daito ryu. They remained aiki-no-jutsu. Precisely Daito ryu Aiki.

There is no "aiki as a set of principles and techniques." Those are martial arts. Principles and techniques....are not aiki. The difference between the two are in the trained body.
...
The physical and spiritual aspects of aiki are one. They are involved in unifying in/yo in yourself. And THAT is where he saw- as you said- "an accord with the divine will."
...
Unified Ki is unifying Ki.
In/yo (Yin yang) is the nature of the world. Takemusu aiki will only come from in/yo ho trained and attained in oneself, by oneself, in solo training.
A few points. Dan's contention is that few ( if anyone) practice (or seek after) Ueshiba's aiki. I think he is wrong, but let's leave that.

The Chinese proverb says that the first step to learning anything is to call it by its proper name. That is what this "parsing aikido" thread is exploring. What we are actually debating in discussing the "name" of anything is not the thing aimed at but the tutoring method.

Put this in Taoist terms to make the pedagogical point. The Nameless way begets the One, One begets Two, Two begets Three -- and Three begets the Ten Thousand Things. Dan is trying to teach people to learn the One -- directly. An awful big bite for many, many people. It is like the same terms of the Rinzai/Soto debate in different dress. Surely, a lot of "sleepy sitting" is just as useless as "mindless intellectualism" in paradox-wrestling, but the fault lies not in the method -- but the sincerity in doing either one of them

Problem is, most people are stuck on the phenomenal perception of events -- the Ten Thousand things. Dan criticizes the teaching of many, many techniques as a distraction from the direct route up the face of the cliff, going -- as he says -- the "wrong way."

His problem is in assuming that all people start the problem from the same position or with the same relative impediments to learning. That simply is not the case. He mistakes the purpose of techniques as embodiments (phenomena) as being about themselves. In fact, they are ultimately to be discarded, but are not useless per se, even if meant to be superseded along with the phenomenal perspective they represent.

The caterpillar does not become the butterfly by act of will but by cooperation in the process of its nature. Aiki, in other words. This includes cooperating with phenomenal processes even as we transform them into something else. Some are by nature more attuned to Oneness, and others are more attuned to the changes of the phenomenal world. Neither will progress except in accord with their nature. Neither is fundamentally distinct

The purpose of the techniques is not to multiply the forms of phenomena. It actually represents a tremendous simplification of the existing multiplied, uncounted, ineffective variations of habitual movements of people as they move about their lives. The waza method also rigorizes them (misogi). That makes the forms themselves more defined. (and therefore more fragile and boundaries more easily broken).

Misogi of practice also makes the mind more fluid. (Arbitrarily) defined forms create cracks in the bucket of the teaching floating in the stream of aiki. When the cracks are perceived -- the mind and training can pass beyond the vessel of the teaching into the wider stream. If thrown headfirst at the beginning most untrained people would likely perceive this as drowning -- with the equally predictable result of froth and flailing, or conversely, resigned sinking. (I've taught swimming, and seen both.)

Aikido as it is practiced (indeed all budo regimens) seem at first to have many, many (too many) techniques. But those represent the first step of reducing the number of perceived movements (phenomena) and the degrees of distinction between them. It is an approachable path from the phenomenal perspective, whereas Dan's cliff is forbidding. I know the mountain is a hoary old metaphor, but it is still repeated many thousands of years later -- because it is true and useful.

At a certain point the usefulness of distinguishing between the different modes of kotegaeshi, shihonage, iriminage or tenchinage merge into one concept of action. The trees thin out a certain elevation and the peak only intermittently seen up to that point -- comes into constant view. At another point -- that concept of action merges with one or two others. And eventually you arrive at your desired Singularity. Difference is the path -- Dan's traverse up the cliff face, or the switchback trail up the back of the ridge. Are their more places to become lost or lose sight of the singular goal on the less steep grade? Surely. Are those people necessarily lost merely because they are on it? Hardly. But when they stumble, the point of recovery is good deal closer or, at least, a great deal less precarious.

Point being, Ueshiba's aiki points even beyond that One ans singular poiont -- to the Numberless, the Nameless. Takemusu Aiki. The road from Ten Thousand to Three, and then Two and then One -- and then -- Not Then... Dan is correct that the One is a thing to be attained ( fr. L. attingere -- "to touch, to arrive at,"). Dan is wrong that it is to be attained in only one way - or that one way is necessarily better than another when it is not in accord with one's nature. Dan is wrong if he means that the One is a thing to be grasped, possessed, or a place in which to dwell. "I went to the rock to hide my face / But the rock cried out / No hiding place/ There's no hiding place / Down here." One must move on -- even from the One.

The Unnumbered Takemusu Aiki and the Ten Thousand techniques are not apart from one another -- but they are not the same, either. The mountain is again the mountain, the river again the river. But at a point it was both and This and Other, but neither of them. And then we moved on. This is the lesson of both Western Scripture and Fudo. At some point we all come down from the mountain. Even Moses came down from the mountain, and still was left to deal with the mess "down here" from which there is "no hiding."

That was and is Ueshiba's Aiki -- from the perspective of this particular One.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:35 AM   #98
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Hmmm...words ... I can say I am in hot pursuit of hibiki. Of becoming hibiki.
Yes. Yamabiko.

But wait -- surely, surely, you do not mean Hibiki.

"Hibiki Dan"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hibiki_Dan

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Erick Mead
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:37 AM   #99
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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His problem is in assuming that all people start the problem from the same position or with the same relative impediments to learning.
Having seen Dan work with myself and others, I'm pretty sure that "simply is not the case".

He's also not the only one I think that says technique is not what you train, it's what you do after you've trained. Yiquan comes to my mind (e.g. Lam Kam Chuen).

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Old 06-04-2007, 11:21 AM   #100
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

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Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
His problem is in assuming that all people start the problem from the same position or with the same relative impediments to learning.
Having seen Dan work with myself and others, I'm pretty sure that "simply is not the case".
There is admittedly strong self-selection ( Dan has said this) from both sides in your choices of training. So, this is not proof of anything. You and the others feel the need to seek what Dan feels prepared to offer and he offers it it to those who feel the need. A circular argument.

Not that you are wrong in your observation of what works for you all (and evidently for Dan). Your observation is just not complete nor inconsistent with mine. You have all sought out what you believe or feel will work for you and thus is presumably true to your natures if you are receiving more benefit from it than from other training you may have experienced.

That does not mean that it is true for all, the great majority, or even a sizeable plurality. It is not grounds for expanding the premise of a training model drawn from (largely) unconscious preferences as a model for everyone, even when personally verified, because your experience may not be representative. Of course, the same is true for the advocates of waza and kokyu undo instruction or other variant forms.

The differences is in the adaptability of the approaches to instruction. The cliff-climbers can generally make the hike -- while the reverse is rarely true. And the cliff climbers may take some vertical pitches from trail leg to trail leg and short-cut the well-trod paths here and there. Note however: they may miss important and informative perspectives of the peak and the upper trails that come in view only from certain specific positions on the trail, and which, if skipped over they may never see.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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