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Old 08-06-2009, 12:37 PM   #626
Lee Salzman
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Ah now I see. Be mindful that -that aspect is only the process for initial identification of paths in the body. It helps to clearly mark them. Later you pay with them, lets say; send them on their way, split and absorb or send, send back, or do some interesting neutral changing in your body that doesn't require an action on your part but they are controlled. It gets much more complicated than the initial steps.

Intent is extremely important, but everyone I have met and continue to meet- their structure is a mess. That is not going to be fixed by standing or intent alone. Force and movement is required to identify the many failures that need to be worked on.
If you noticed the many guys I played with- I "reacted" differently with each one. Why? Structurally they were all different and had different vulnerabilities to play with or strike into. So, intent- while being paramount to real power and sensitivity- has to be bolstered by a good structure which will lead to a familiarity or joining of these things- "in use."

I have played with other Yi quan guys who were very soft. I wonder what part your teacher had some odd or unusual ideas, what part you may or may not have understand his training.
To me softness, is the key to the best training out there.
Cheers
Dan
Yah, my structure is a mess, and I really wanna work on those exercises and clear that up within my broken body hopefully!

My teacher was very odd, yes, and my ability to in any way replicate his level of skill is still pretty bad yet. He has me working both ends of the spectrum, relaxation and extreme tensions and all points between.

He did not believe that tension and strength were the problem in the end, but that it was the fact that they broke one's structure, intent, fluidity, and responsiveness without adequate skill behind them - and boy does it break me all over the place right now. And he observed that when he would subject other CMAists to higher levels of pressure testing and force, they would break apart under the stress as well. When he was teaching me clinching and wrestling, it felt like grappling with a python during an earthquake.

That said, he has given me a ton of work on the relaxation end of the spectrum which I am still trying to get into my body, and elaboration on it and being able to view it from the lens of different sources I only view as a good thing to me. Doesn't matter to me where valuable training comes from in the end, I will do it all regardless so long as it improves me!
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:03 PM   #627
rob_liberti
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
He asked how they can be unified.
I think the point here is that I just don't think you have experienced the martiality -we- are discussing, which leaves the physical explanations wholly inadequate. Don wasn't asking how martial arts in general can be unified.

It's almost like: "f=ma + intent" now...

Rob

old mcdojo had a form, aiki aiki do...
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:44 PM   #628
jss
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote:
Weight lifting won't get you there, in my opinion.
I think we are underestimating martial artists.
No, we're not. And I still don't get what makes Yiquan's form of coordination superior.

Quote:
As you said, your formlessness is defined by the methods you used to acquire it, so I don't think there is need to invoke absolutism just yet.
I don't see the reasoning behind that, but I'm tired of talking past each other anyhow, so never mind.

Quote:
Consider me and my rambling as a public service announcement: woe be unto all aikidoka who follow the path of yiquan, for it is a pursuit unto itself and doesn't necessarily take them on the path they may have originally been seeking.
Agreed, but probably based on different reasons.
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Old 08-06-2009, 03:20 PM   #629
DH
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Min Kang wrote: View Post
Wow.

I don't presume to have trained nearly as long as many posters have, and I certainly don't presume to have as much skill or knowledge. But in sixteen years of Aikido training, and a smattering of this and that beforehand, I can pretty much tell what works and doesn't, and sometimes, even why it works or doesn't

I first felt Gleason Sensei fifteen years ago and he was very, very good. I felt him several years ago and he was better. I felt him this year and he was better in an eye-opening *different* way. There was a VERY palpable difference in his structure and movement. I understand he trains with Dan Harden - and I would jump at the chance to train with Dan.

Similarly, Ikeda Sensei has evolved over the years I've seen him and felt him. And I would leap at the opportunity if I have a chance to train with Mike Sigman.

I give the benefit of doubt to those respected by people I respect, but bottom line: I personally felt the difference in these two very accomplished martial artists - and man, I'm excited not only by where their aikido is going, but by the fact that these very senior people had the confidence and courage to step out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves, and learn.
Hello Mr, Kang
You bring up a very good point. No one will really answer it and most will say that of course they would do it too ....but
Does anyone really appreciate and honor what it takes for these men to step up and say "I am learning from this or that source?"
I find it to be thee finest example a budo teacher could offer to anyone. In an arena where so many people are about protectionism and having to be the "it" or "go to guy," these men are making damn well sure they WILL be the "it" and "go to guys" in the years ahead. Bill said to me once about the arguments on aikiweb. He got this fiery gleam in his eye and leaned in "You would have to be a damn fool to feel this and NOT want to learn it. I don't really care what they do. This is like graduate school for aikido teachers. Let em play *catch up* to this old man!!"
Ouch! I Felt like I was talking to this old green beret I know who at 53 was still doing HALO jumps!!
I also told him he reminded me of the old koryu menkyo who trained with Ueshiba and told me and a friend who were doing some push training "This is Ueshiba's aikido! They don't do that anymore you know. It's not in modern aikido." When asked about the debate on the internet I got the sweetest and most poignant answer. "What do they know? Did they train with Ueshiba?

I dearly love the fact that there are old warriors out there who undeterred never lost sight of the vision that drove them from the very beginning and- who's best years......may still be ahead of them! Powerful stuff!
Budo is damn good fun!
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:29 PM   #630
dps
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
The stances are used as a framework within which coordination of movement is initially practiced.
Is how much time you spend in each stance important?

David
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:54 PM   #631
Lee Salzman
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Is how much time you spend in each stance important?

David
The way it was explained to me was that what was important was reinforcing whichever quality was being trained and making sure it overrode the habitual responses acquired in daily life, so frequency was as important or more than duration. Duration also depended on the intensity of the quality being trained, so it could range from a couple minutes at most for heavy tension to a half hour at times for relaxation. Once the quality was maintained in movement in daily life, the focus was to be shifted less from longer bouts of reinforcement to more intense shorter bouts of deepening the state.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:38 PM   #632
dps
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Hi Lee,
I found this site.
Is this similar to what you have done?

http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:...&ct=clnk&gl=us

David
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:39 AM   #633
rob_liberti
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
The rest, I really think I'm far enough along to give a good enough answer.
Darn, a while back, I missed an important word! That was supposed to be:
I really think I'm NOT far enough along to give a good enough answer.

old mcdojo had a form, aiki aiki do...
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:16 AM   #634
MM
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
Hi Rob,
Very interesting. Your descriptions were cool. Can I ask about it?

Do you think that big part of the aiki is literally a pressure manipulation in the body's hydraulic system (i.e. liquid pressure in muscles & tissues)? (I assume that ground path is the major conduit of force, driven by hara). How can nage protect (hide?) his own hara even while simultaneously driving the motion from there?
I think you have a very complex system in the human body. So complex that brilliant physicists can't explain with equations some fundamental movements of our bodies. So complex that brilliant engineers can't create equations to make robots move and resort to non-human equations.

I think that if you want to dabble for fun and create simple physics analogies, then have a blast. If you're an engineer and want to dabble for fun and create simple systems, then have a blast.

I think the major disconnect is if you're not able to physically manifest these skills and you're trying to use physics and engineering to define them. It isn't like non-human physics where equations can define interactions and produce outcomes. It isn't like non-human systems where engineers can define pressures and build systems to hold them.

These are human systems that even the world's most brilliant physicists and robotic engineers can't create equations to define, model, or create systems to replicate human interactions for internal structure skills.

There is a reason that a lot of people say, "How the *&^% are you doing that?" or "What the *&^% was that?" when they get hands on experience.

So, when you or others talk about hydraulics, vectors, shear, etc, you get either silence or replies like mine here. You won't get anywhere talking physics or engineering when working on these skills.

You *will* get somewhere if you're talking physics and engineering *and* you're working on basic jujutsu applications. Sort of like taping two pencils together and pushing them toward each other so that the force coming through from one hand or the other causes the taped point to shift off the line. But, that's just like two people holding out a hand palm up and pushing into each other's palm. And having them push hard while a third person uses their pinky to push 90 degrees to their connected palms. It doesn't take much force to move them. But, again, that's basic level jujutsu theory, not internal structure or aiki.

You want to work on basic jujutsu, sure, theories of levers will help. It's what you're doing with arm bars or joint locks. Using the limbs as levers and fulcrums to get some change in the person's torso. Using the above example to move something while using less force or energy. Pivoting a person as you get them to weight themselves all on one side. Don't get me wrong, there's some good stuff there. Really good stuff. You can be soft, fluid, relaxed and manipulate someone who is bigger and stronger.

but it ain't aiki.
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:51 AM   #635
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Hi Mark,

[just finished writing this. sorry for the length. my lack of understanding stops me from being precise and succint....so i 'open the kimono' and show you what i am thinking...and ramble for some time. with my thoughts. please don't take offense where none is intended..just thoughts.]

Heh.
Crap; just when i thought I was out...they pull me back in <in best deNiro voice>
no way. I don't think we are exactly communicating..(But (i know) lack of hands' on ain't helping). Come on. .. i thought we were connecting more than that. Please don't put talk of pressure in the same camp as the shear; i tried to be very literal and explicative. really; i thought it was at least clear enough to have bs called on it. (that is a major 'want' of mine...just someone to say it is wrong/stupid/unprofitable). There was one poster here who was quick to attack weaknesses in models; but i thought i defended the view okay. i'm not married to this stuff; but have thought about it.. you can't tell me that Dan and Mike don't have a literal (/possibly analogy-driven) model of what is literally happening.) Are the choices: 1) it is magic; kneel & don't approach; 2)it is real; and analytical (no way), 3) it is real and non-linear to the extreme (accounting for structure; muscular issues; pressure, chemical; intent) but approachable via some 'mental model' that is profitable for extrapolation of future possibilities? I think #3 is it FWIW. but that is the imagineer in me.
Quote:
I think you have a very complex system in the human body.
I could not agree more. The mysteries and complexities hidden under the skin are practically infinite.

I agree with your definition of being unable to simulate this stuff. 100%.
I am trying to understand wtf is going on with the weird feelings.
What is 'happening' in the body. Cause something is. in a nuts-and-bolts way. I think coupling the nuts-and-bolts practical understanding plus the 'feeling' approach is most likely to yield useful stuff. Forget about describing the math. This is not a profitable approach. Simulating or analyzing in a dry scientific way is not the thrust of my thinking. I am well familiar with the intractability of physical problems and have been well humbled (i'm not Spock, dammit) and learned those lessons long ago.
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My approach;
Something is literally happening. What is that something?

I can understand why the dantien area is called the cinnabar field. (to a point)
I cannot understand why DR manipulations can cause people to cramp up..or the 'wind-touches' of Sagawa (can you guys do that; send you flying with a light touch? If so; HOW!!?!). Thought it was linked to ki manipulations so strong in your body that it effects/influences/becomes/attacks/hypnotizes the opponents ki; given by the field of influence about the rest of nage(i.e. structure, spiral energy, supported in/out/up/down flows). (I think At some level becoming strong is by/about flexing your muscle and in a very literal way is about increasing blood pressure in the muscles...and yet all of this IT is in a very real literal way about NOT flexing. I also know that IT is about changing and augmenting your body with fascial development and the knitting spoken of. This allows for the extents of the body to be connected and used in different ways (coupling,storage, release). For all of these reasons (and more): This is why I figure pressure is in-and-about all these things and must figure prominently in any model assumed 'useful' or functional for a discussion. I wrote about what I was thinking/feeling here<. Is it wrong? re:Pressure-It is like fish that cannot see the water..it is sooo all around us and part of what we are; that we take it for granted that human beings are composed of pumping systems. pneumatic. hydraulic. (and others) this is only one 'framing' of the understanding of the body (not even talking about hormonal/chemical manipulations; as in triple-burner). there are many other points of view of the body. I'm just thinking and considering ... trying to find a profitable frame-of-reference and point-of-view. After all IT(==aiki) can disorient you and your assumptions(in a multitude of ways). Should I stop talking about it? ...don't think it'll be useful to go on. I *TOTALLY* hope it has not been harmful in any way to anyone.

Mark, you wrote
Quote:
You want to work on basic jujutsu, sure, theories of levers will help. It's what you're doing with arm bars or joint locks. Using the limbs as levers and fulcrums to get some change in the person's torso. Using the above example to move something while using less force or energy. Pivoting a person as you get them to weight themselves all on one side. Don't get me wrong, there's some good stuff there. Really good stuff. You can be soft, fluid, relaxed and manipulate someone who is bigger and stronger.
I was thinking (to be corrected?) that structure, in terms of literally being *perfectly* aligned within your body is the ultimate jujutsu. Taking it to the next level is about utilizing the intent-systems in the body...about ki, dantien area manipulations. Perfecting finer and finer control of more and more subtle (sub-)systems of the body is the way (right?). This is the 'beyond jujutsu' you point to, i believe. I'm trying to _talk_ about that. it is possible. there are other sites out there with other waay more learned brothers who do just that. succintly, with precision and understanding. and it helps.

i am done with words. my webs tangle myselfs aand it is imminently frustrating.. and english IS my first language. I have no excuse.

Anyway; I hope you didn't think i had such a simple view. I would not underestimate the field so badly; nor Dan, Mike or you, Rob, etc..who talk about the depths; and when even now in another thread experienced men are daunted by standing in front of a new huge ladder...seeing the way upwards. What is on that ladder? What is at the top you are climbing to?

Sorry for the rambling;
takeaway points:
Something is happening. We can think about it. Understanding it (literally or by analog) is important to be able to go forwards in training. Doing it properly is thee most important of all. There are principles to guide you to recovery of the 'proper way' to hold your body; when you lose it (either in identifying paths at the beginning, structure, connection, knitting yourself, intent, seamless connection, internal contradictory tensions, on and on.). There must be a unified view that encompasses these facets that are scattering the light..

i'll stop typing now. it hurts.
Rob, Mark, Dan, what do you guys think? (i know; shaddup! train! iHTBF! ... give me time!)
Best,
Josh

p.s. are we gonna let this thread die a peaceful death or is someone gonna lose an eye?

pps. Mark- what is aiki? Making the opponents power go to 0? How do you move the power of the hara/dantien region to where it is needed?
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:58 AM   #636
DH
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

I think this post remains one of the best. In trying to address the spiritual and physical aspects-it gives examples of many of the challenges, and questions.
Yet remains largely ignored.
Thoughts?
Dan
Quote:
Don Hebert wrote: View Post
Hi All,

I have been very interested in this discussion regarding what might be missing from Aikido. Having practiced Aikido for good many years I find myself continually drawn back to the fundamental question of why do I continue to practice this art. The way I see it practiced and what I often encounter on the mat as I practice in different venues can be discouraging.

To simplify my perspective, let's say that the fundamentals of Aikido can exist along a spectrum that has martial effectiveness on one end and spiritual attainment on the other. I believe that O'Sensei's vision was to somehow unify these two elements so as to enrich the life of the practitioner as well as the condition of society. It is difficult to interpret O'Sensei from modern day America. He was from a very different era and culture and was considered a bit of an anachronism even in his own time. Who knows what he would make of today's spiritual paths or transpersonal psychology, just to give an example. In any case, he deeply pursued martial effectiveness and in doing so came to feel a need to place this skill into a context of larger meaning.

Most of the discussions on this forum appear to be concerned with Aikido's effectiveness as a martial art, the physical end of spectrum. Aikido is susceptible to criticism along these lines. Most aikidoists I know do not have a strong martial ability. Even the ones that do seem to obtain it via their size, attitude, agility, etc. but not really because they have learned some sort of powerful aiki. I will be the first to admit that I don't have a natural proclivity for fighting. My natural impulse is to be retiring and avoid confrontation. This, of course, is why Aikido is good for me. It pushes on my edges and thus makes me grow. However, investing lots of effort into embodying martial power for its own sake is not very nourishing to me. In fact it is ultimately disheartening. There world is full of violence for its own sake and seductiveness of martial prowess has lead to many disasters. Aren't there better ways to spend my very short life?

Interestingly, the spiritual side of Aikido can only be explored from a place of martial integrity. It is the dangerous side of the art that makes me confront myself, the nature of war and conflict, the problem of suffering, the potential for reconciliation, the fear that manifests itself in my movements, the power of kindness. So if I have inclination to explore the meaning of my life and how I participate in the world, the martial edge of my practice is what helps me really make progress.

The problem I see in the current state of Aikido is that we are at risk at losing both ends of the spectrum and ending up with a kind of a ghost of an art. If we are in need of re-introducing true aiki skills into the art to make it martially real, then I would also say we also have a big problem on the spiritual side. Allowing that many of the shihan level instructors can exhibit martial skill, very few of them seem to have anything to say about spirituality. In fact, most them seem unable to model a spiritual path and are all too human and dysfunctional. If our teachers are not manifesting this, then how is it getting taught? Why continue to associate spirituality with Aikido? If fake martial ability is bad, fake spirituality is even worse. Going deeper, what would it mean for Aikido to be spiritual? How can we practice and teach it? Are there training methods analogous to Dan's aiki training will help us to grow as human beings? What can happen during training that is true spiritual work?

These are important questions for me personally and perhaps many who are reading this are not troubled by them. However, I just recently read a quote from a holy man that unless one is on the verge of abandoning a chosen path, then one isn't really seeking. I don't know how true this is, but I found it encouraging all the same.

Best regards,

Don Hebert
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:15 PM   #637
donhebert
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Hi Josh,

Wow! What an enthusiastic seething mass of questions. I would like to respond as someone who saw Dan for the first time just six days ago. I saw what he was doing, felt it and was completely convinced. Your right, something is going on that is quite tangible. However, I warn you that, although I was exposed this stuff, I was dismally unable to reproduce it except in the rudimentary manner, and only then after a lot intensive coaching.

Here is analogy. I like to play soccer which involves kicking a ball. Now, I think an engineer would have a grand time analyzing what happens. In the end, the foot connects with ball and the ball goes.

After much work I am sure that engineer could create a convincing mathematical model of what is happening. Now imagine two people standing side by side on the soccer field, each preparing to kick a ball. One is our engineer who has never actually kicked the ball, the other is a world class soccer player. Each kicks. Assuming the engineer hasn't actually missed, the results are going to be vastly different. It should be comically evident to the engineer that, despite his analytical ability, the only way he going to ever kick the ball like Pele is to get some good coaching and put in a huge amount of practice. If he thinks that the soccer player got the ball to go due to some sort of weird magic power, he is likely to go off in an odd pursuit.

That was very much how I felt at Dan's seminar. I hope this is helpful.

Best regards,

Don Hebert
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:17 PM   #638
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
he is likely to go off in an odd pursuit.
and probably look rather like Charlie Brown after Lucy pulls the ball away...

B,
R

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:33 PM   #639
mickeygelum
 
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
... get some good coaching and put in a huge amount of practice.
Thank you, Mr. Hebert.

Train well,

Mickey
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:51 PM   #640
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I think this post remains one of the best. In trying to address the spiritual and physical aspects-it gives examples of many of the challenges, and questions.
Yet remains largely ignored.
Thoughts?
Dan
Dan,

largely ignored yes, but completely ignored...? not exactly. Of course, I know you didn't say that.

You and Mike and Akuzawa Sensei (and others) have come along and been embraced as some of the go-to options to better budo, today. No quams there. Aikidoka, just like others who train in various martial arts have a need to answer the martial integrity/practicality question as a way to validate ourselves as teachers of our respective art forms. While I have always trained with that in mind, and therefore agree with the merits of that method of determining who students should seek out and learn from, I do so only to a point that martial effectiveness is or should be the indicator that one has knowledge of the true of nature of the art. But I digress...

However, if we agree that using the martial integrity/practicality has merit, and it is that very merit which has given rise to the Aikido community's willingness to open its arms and embrace you and others, must we not find some similar standard when it comes to the spiritual side of Aikido? I want to point out that I am not in agreement with the need to deconstruct any art form in this manner, but if we are going to apply a standard with regards to one aspect, then should we not do the same across the board?
If the logic holds, then we need to ask ourselves at that point...
  • Who are/should be the leaders we recognize when it comes to Aikido's spiritual side?
  • What are the standards by which we should judge them to be competent?
  • What might we use as a standard to determine an agreed upon definition of the nature of the spiritual component of O-Sensei's Aikido
  • Would there be latitude given to other spiritual, or perhaps even religious aspects other senior teachers want to incorporate into Aiki arts that might not be compatible with O-Sensei's Aikido, but might be well founded as part of some other Aikido, like say, Shodokan, or Yoshinkan, or "Real Aikido" as they are accepted as something different than what the Founder was doing?
  • Should there be competitions to decide competence, or merely debate to find who is the stronger person spiritually?
  • Will we define testing protocols along the lines of Tohei Sensei's KI tests to determine if people have it?
and the all important question - the one I am really interested to get your thoughts on...
  • Does a leader with regards to some agreed upon spiritual component within Aikido need to be able to back up their points using a physically/martially/practical version of Aikido?

I certainly have been thinking about these things for at least the last 17 years. Just has you, Mike and others have been working for years on your efforts to bring about some sort of Aiki revolution with the art, I have been working behind the scenes and engaging people with regards to what surely will be known as the spiritual revolution of Aikido should it ever be as successful and firmly take root. However, as I also pointed out, looking back to the Founder's time, no one was really interested it listening to him, so I am not too sure how we may actually define success when it comes to revealing another thing hidden in plain sight...

You can be sure that I have a very long list of questions should someone like yourself be willing to discuss the issue, engage in debate about their merits, or even step up and provide some answers... I really can't wait...

Best in training to you and all...

PS - Congratulations on what I am sure was an event whose success will finally be understood when the next generation of budoka surpasses the understanding and abilities of those who brought it about.

.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:10 PM   #641
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I think this post remains one of the best. In trying to address the spiritual and physical aspects-it gives examples of many of the challenges, and questions.
Yet remains largely ignored.
Thoughts?
Dan
Hi Dan,

well I don't really agree that Spirituality and Martial Effectiveness are on Opposite ends of the spectrum.

I think it might be semantics maybe?

I don't think they are even on the same spectrum at all.

You have a two spectrums here. One of Spirituality and one of Martiality.

They are related, but not on the same spectrum.

If they were then, as you became "more spiritual" you would become "less martial".

See the problem?

Maybe this paradigm is a big part of our problem?

That and I think we need definitions about what we consider to be spiritual in order to put it own a spectrum. (Now I am starting to sound like Erick!)

What is "More Spiritual"?

I think there is a "Happiness Spectrum", and "Anger Spectrum", and alot of other emotions, but not really sure how you define Spiritual Spectrum.

I think it is not atomic enough to be a spectrum at all. Spirituality simply is a means to an end.

It is the same with Martial Effectiveness. It is a means to an end.

You are either spiritual or your not.

You are either martially effective or you are not.

There is an Use of Force Spectrum....and I think this is what we are really talking about here.

We "judge" that spectrum with our VALUES.

Our Value in aikido is minimal harm. So anything that minimize harm goes on the "good end" anything that maximizes it goes on the other end.

I will submit that a Snipers bullet coming out of a 50 Cal can be done in a very compassonate way and that it CAN be minimal force the person firing it CAN be a spiritual person, and he is obviously MARTIALLY Effective.

I certainly appreciate that most if not all of us don't want to be the guy that has to make that choice, but it can actually be the most ethical and right choice in a given situation I believe.

What we need to do is not adopt a convulted and confused paradigm that would cause us to pass judgement on the trigger puller as being something less evovled than someone else who doesn't pull the trigger at all.

I simply don't think it is that easy.

We need models that allow us to use martial training and effectiveness as a vehicle to better understand violence and compassion and how the two of them work together.

It is our chance to heal and get things right in the long run I believe.

Nor should we use compassion and spirituality always as a justification to do harm...that is not right either.

I think we need a better model than this.

Sorry, I hate to be negative, as I agree with alot of what he said, but I do think the model and paradigm is wrong.

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Old 08-07-2009, 02:23 PM   #642
Thomas Campbell
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I think we need a better model than this.

Sorry, I hate to be negative, as I agree with alot of what he said, but I do think the model and paradigm is wrong.
Kevin:

Quck question--Could you clarify what you are referring to when you say

" . . . better model than this."

and

"I agree with alot of what he said . . ."

Which model, and who is "he"? Ueshiba?

Thanks.
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:41 PM   #643
John Brockington
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I think this post remains one of the best. In trying to address the spiritual and physical aspects-it gives examples of many of the challenges, and questions.
Yet remains largely ignored.
Thoughts?
Dan
I asked Akuzawa if he thought his physical training changed him mentally, and he looked at me very hard and said, "This training changes everything about you. Everything. You will never look at things the same again."

Goza Shioda intimates this, too, in his book "Shugyo." Especially at the end, if I recall correctly. Heck, just consider the title.

I suspect that what is in common here, and with O Sensei, is the willingness to basically go off on one's own and train like crazy. Not in a dojo or other place where there is a lot of readily accessible validation or social support. But in a place where there is no one to answer to but yourself. No one to make you train or to train with but yourself. And then question yourself, over and over, test yourself again and again. And do this with brutal honesty and introspection. Then, I think, the spiritual and physical, the "do" and the "jutsu" will converge.

I am watching someone do this in another art form right now, and am stunned at how fast and profoundly he is improving, how truly skillful he has become in a short time. Transformed. And I also see how very hard this is for him, and how lonely. But he really doesn't care.

John
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:42 PM   #644
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Sorry about that. Better model that puts Martial Effectiveness on one end of the spectrum and spirituality on the other.

Or, more specifically the notion that avoiding or moving away from violence is more spiritual or harmonizing than moving towards it.

I think we tend to over simplfiy the issues at hand in attempt to define Utopia.

To bring it back on topic. I think that developing power and Aiki skill CAN be a vehicle for change and for acheiving an understanding and appreciation for how much potential that we have to do harm. So, therefore, someone training for Dan could actually use the training to become more skillful and powerful. They might even expand their ability to make better, more ethical choices.

However, the attainment or lack of attainment of these skills has no direct correalation to spirituality or can be used as a "test" to see how "spiritual" someone might be. Skills are skills...what you choose to do with them...that is another issue.

Sorry if I drove up the wrong tree on this. I didn't reply initially cause I didn't really want to go there, but since Dan asked.....

Or I didn't really understand the topic. that happens too!

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Old 08-07-2009, 02:45 PM   #645
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
Kevin:

Quck question--Could you clarify what you are referring to when you say

" . . . better model than this."

and

"I agree with alot of what he said . . ."

Which model, and who is "he"? Ueshiba?

Thanks.
Sorry Thomas...the he I was referring to was the OP that Dan quoted.

Again, I did not mean to pick his post apart...I can tell that it is very heartfelt and I agree with much of what he had to say. But we are dissecting things critically here so I think it is good to do this in the name of learning.

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Old 08-07-2009, 02:50 PM   #646
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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John Brockington wrote: View Post
I am watching someone do this in another art form right now, and am stunned at how fast and profoundly he is improving, how truly skillful he has become in a short time. Transformed. And I also see how very hard this is for him, and how lonely. But he really doesn't care.

John
Lonely... so true!

Of course, that is by design, you know.

Best in training to you and all...

.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:58 PM   #647
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Sorry if I drove up the wrong tree on this. I didn't reply initially cause I didn't really want to go there, but since Dan asked.....

Or I didn't really understand the topic. that happens too!
Kevin,

I think your points are right on the mark. That is why I have said that is the thing of which we all need to beware. The initial list that I put in my recent post points at this exact thing. I would really like to hear Dan's and Mike's and even Akuzawa Sensei's thoughts on the subject. I think I know what they might say. I have a lot to say if they reply in the manner I have come to expect. Of course, I would love to be surprised. It is important to point out that I have continued to be surprised by the revelations in thought that we have all had over the recent years. Much of that has formalized itself, here in this very thread. That is why I believe Jun should mark it off in some way, denoting its importance as a movement that will more than likely effect great numbers of people practicing Aikido.

Best in training to you and all...

.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:19 PM   #648
DH
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

I have a lengthy reply I will try to get to at some point.
A few quick comments
This training is spiritual for me.
Also, it not only has changed me but it is a continuing comment I have heard from many people who train here. That it is changing, not only peoples view of the martial paradigm but their need to fight anybody. That in itself becomes a defining point in your training when you realize there isn't much anyone can do to you without an extraordinary effort on their part.
Last, Lonely? I would seriously consider that. I am surrounded by smiling laughing people. Maybe that speaks to our own choices in life
I...am having a blast .
Dan

Last edited by DH : 08-07-2009 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:07 PM   #649
Lee Salzman
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Sorry about that. Better model that puts Martial Effectiveness on one end of the spectrum and spirituality on the other.

Or, more specifically the notion that avoiding or moving away from violence is more spiritual or harmonizing than moving towards it.

I think we tend to over simplfiy the issues at hand in attempt to define Utopia.

To bring it back on topic. I think that developing power and Aiki skill CAN be a vehicle for change and for acheiving an understanding and appreciation for how much potential that we have to do harm. So, therefore, someone training for Dan could actually use the training to become more skillful and powerful. They might even expand their ability to make better, more ethical choices.

However, the attainment or lack of attainment of these skills has no direct correalation to spirituality or can be used as a "test" to see how "spiritual" someone might be. Skills are skills...what you choose to do with them...that is another issue.

Sorry if I drove up the wrong tree on this. I didn't reply initially cause I didn't really want to go there, but since Dan asked.....

Or I didn't really understand the topic. that happens too!
This brings to mind a story I overheard from an acquaintance when I used to train around in different dojos to supplement my own training in my home dojo. I hope I am remembering it right, but I will keep the details hazy because they were not so important.

The person in question was at a seminar under a highly placed aikido instructor, and had occasion to ask, when a certain technique being practiced was not working because the other person could not be moved... And after asking the instructor what to do, given the instructor knew this person cross-trained in karate, the reply was essentially, "You train karate. Hit him."

Was that the spirituality that I was supposed to be training for there - so long as it is in the service of an aikido "technique" and I am imagining I am an avatar of the kami and chanting the kotodama, lashing out is okay? If I find myself not powerful enough to make the techniques of aikido work, I should just lash out and beat on the other person till they're weakened enough to offer no resistance? The person in that story never really had a choice, nor did I that I recall throughout any of my training even though the option was never put in those terms to me by my teachers.

But, Isn't the spirituality in aikido precisely stemming from the fact that, operating from a certain base of power and skill, that is no longer necessary?

Last edited by Lee Salzman : 08-07-2009 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:35 PM   #650
DH
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Hi Dan,
Well I don't really agree that Spirituality and Martial Effectiveness are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
I think it might be semantics maybe?
I don't think they are even on the same spectrum at all.
You have two spectrums here. One of Spirituality and one of Martiality.
They are related, but not on the same spectrum.
If they were then, as you became "more spiritual" you would become "less martial".
See the problem?
Hello Kevin
No, not really. You are placing your own artifice on spirituality. There are many religious warriors from antiquity till the present age. Defining spiritual as a state of being that has to sacrifice one for the other and become less martial is just one definition or an individual or group identity.
I see what I do as spiritual and I see my ability to handle martial artists and fighters efforts in that vein. Mores the point, and as I previously stated I have seen this training change the people who entertain it. They even talk about openly. We created a joking phrase years ago that it makes you feel like you are "Living free in the world.". Hokey and as odd as it sounds-it eventually resonates with a lot of folks who do this.

Quote:
You are either spiritual or your not.
You are either martially effective or you are not.
The two are neither mutually inclusive or mutually negated. They have, and can, exist as one. Oddly enough you have:
Takeda- A Shinto priest widely regarded for killing criminals and being a dangerous man.
Ueshiba- with his evolving beleif system and state of bliss who seemed to enjoy (even seek out in later years at the kodokan where he broke someone’s hip) active resistance.
Mushashi-who wrote of his vies on transcending the human condition, and was singularly deadly
Tesshu-incredible martial artist who with his spiritual pursuits openly discussed how the spiritual mind effects budo-thus the art of "No-sword" (anyone want to suggest non-resistance) that wins, who announced his death, and gave up the ghost on the spot!
The well established model of Katsujinken /satsujinken
On and on.
Oh, least we forget, we have our own model of how outward violence may force the worldly man to get in touch with his maker before he meets him face to face. "There are no atheist in foxholes"

I think you are attempting to redefine a rather well established pedagogy of the two (spiritual and martial) as joined paths into your own views of two separate spectrums. Which is perfeclty fine.
You could even start a religion!

Quote:
We "judge" that spectrum with our VALUES.
Our Value in aikido is minimal harm. So anything that minimizes harm goes on the "good end" anything that maximizes it goes on the other end.
I will submit that a Snipers bullet coming out of a 50 Cal can be done in a very compassionate way and that it CAN be minimal force the person firing it CAN be a spiritual person, and he is obviously MARTIALLY Effective.
I certainly appreciate that most if not all of us don't want to be the guy that has to make that choice, but it can actually be the most ethical and right choice in a given situation I believe.
Well nothing new here.
"Kill one to save ten thousand" works for some but not for a Buddhist who'll let the chips fall as they may and call it all good. In any event you're back to Katsujinken /satsujinken in your model.

Quote:
What we need to do is not adopt a convoluted and confused paradigm that would cause us to pass judgement on the trigger puller as being something less evovled than someone else who doesn't pull the trigger at all.
I simply don't think it is that easy.
We need models that allow us to use martial training and effectiveness as a vehicle to better understand violence and compassion and how the two of them work together.

It is our chance to heal and get things right in the long run I believe.
Nor should we use compassion and spirituality always as a justification to do harm...that is not right either.
I think we need a better model than this.
Sorry, I hate to be negative, as I agree with alot of what he said, but I do think the model and paradigm is wrong.
Actually, I think your earlier statements were much more confusing and contradictory and not in line with budo as a know it. The later statement just above was no more than a restatement of the points Don had initially raised in the first place!
the whole thing, his whole post was addressing definitions and questions of definitions, and personal challenge, and the idea of the notion can personally facing those challenges change you spiritually or lead you to a state of change.
In other words when and how and with what as a vehicle does the physical practice become transformative?
At least that was how I read it. Don?

I don't want to add to any confusion. so I hope my points (even if we need to debate them a little) are at least clear.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 08-07-2009 at 05:41 PM.
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