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Old 10-03-2010, 12:52 AM   #1
torbjornsaw
 
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Dojo: Aikido Alive London
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Yamabiko 山彦 echo of the mountain

In Iwama we learned of the notion of Yamabiko, the mountain echo, that refers to the natural response in the blending in Aikido. In the dojo we train this interaction. We "call out" and receive an answer. We initiate and blend with the response. Instead of waiting, for example, for a Shomen (frontal attack) (like in the old days or like in Daito Ryu) O Sensei changed it to become pro-active. So he would initiate the Shomen movement to bring out the response from the opponent. In this way we are able to stay with the opponent from early on, taking the initiative away from the attacker. This understanding is crucial in practicing awase, or blending in Aikido.
It is a natural response just as when you reach out to shake someone's hand, they respond in kind almost automatically. It is an inherent, pre-conscious reflex of the body. Someone smiles at you and you smile back. Someone puts a fist in your face and you pull back or raise your hands.
There's a wonderful secret in this that is deeply human and spiritual. It's all about a relationship and being alive to the world around us. Once we are keenly aware we'll be able to read the situation and respond or initiate appropriately. Once we're fully awake this will come naturally to us. A perfect response in any situation. The event lending itself to a match that completes and fulfills.
Yamabiko reflects the harmony of the world in detail. It is ultimately a deeply spiritual perspective and a perfect way to engage with others.

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Old 10-04-2010, 08:44 AM   #2
Russ Q
Dojo: Shohei Juku Aikido Gibsons
Location: Gibsons BC
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Re: Yamabiko 山彦 echo of the mountain

Hi Bjorn,

Yes! A local teacher here in the Pacific North West introduced this at a seminar I attended. Not sure about the deeply human, spiritual connection (that sounds like a bit of "transference" on your part) but will meditate on that further. Yamabiko is very helpful for static technique for me.

Thanks for keeping things lively Bjorn!

Russ
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:14 AM   #3
torbjornsaw
 
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Re: Yamabiko 山彦 echo of the mountain

Thanks Russ,

I just like to draw things to their utmost possible meaning as I don't see how principles stops with the physical alone. Awase and aiki, to me, carries a much larger meaning than solely in regards to Ikkyo or Nikkyo but I'm sure you'd agree.

This is my passion and therefore opt only to post on the spiritual board.

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Old 10-05-2010, 10:59 AM   #4
Conrad Gus
 
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Re: Yamabiko 山彦 echo of the mountain

Quote:
Russ Qureshi wrote: View Post
Hi Bjorn,

Yes! A local teacher here in the Pacific North West introduced this at a seminar I attended. Not sure about the deeply human, spiritual connection (that sounds like a bit of "transference" on your part) but will meditate on that further. Yamabiko is very helpful for static technique for me.

Thanks for keeping things lively Bjorn!

Russ
Very interesting post Bjorn. I had never thought of it quite in those terms before.

Russ, to which seminar are you referring? I'd like to keep it on my radar for next time around (since I'm not that far away from you).
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:58 AM   #5
Russ Q
Dojo: Shohei Juku Aikido Gibsons
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Re: Yamabiko 山彦 echo of the mountain

Hi Conrad,

It was a seminar by George Ledyard sensei. He visits another dojo here in Gibsons twice annually. Highly worthwhile! Next one is the first week of December. Check www.gibsonsaikido.com (dojo cho - Allen Wynne).

Hopefully see you there!

Russ
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:29 AM   #6
Tsunemori
Dojo: Takemusu Aiki Dojo Rijeka
Location: Rijeka
Join Date: May 2010
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Croatia
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Re: Yamabiko 山彦 echo of the mountain

@Bjorn...I like the way you think...
Yamabiko no michi for me it is....what you give is what you get..
You are creator of your own world...
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:53 PM   #7
Johann Baptista
Dojo: Aikido Institute Davis
Location: Davis, CA
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 29
Brazil
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Re: Yamabiko 山彦 echo of the mountain

Bjorn, great post! Gave me a lot to think about. Thanks for sharing your passion.

I'll try and give a better response later.

Last edited by Johann Baptista : 10-12-2010 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:57 AM   #8
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Yamabiko 山彦 echo of the mountain

Quote:
Bjorn Saw wrote: View Post
In Iwama we learned of the notion of Yamabiko, the mountain echo, that refers to the natural response in the blending in Aikido. In the dojo we train this interaction. We "call out" and receive an answer. We initiate and blend with the response. Instead of waiting, for example, for a Shomen (frontal attack) (like in the old days or like in Daito Ryu) O Sensei changed it to become pro-active. So he would initiate the Shomen movement to bring out the response from the opponent. In this way we are able to stay with the opponent from early on, taking the initiative away from the attacker. This understanding is crucial in practicing awase, or blending in Aikido.
It is a natural response just as when you reach out to shake someone's hand, they respond in kind almost automatically. It is an inherent, pre-conscious reflex of the body. Someone smiles at you and you smile back. Someone puts a fist in your face and you pull back or raise your hands.
There's a wonderful secret in this that is deeply human and spiritual. It's all about a relationship and being alive to the world around us. Once we are keenly aware we'll be able to read the situation and respond or initiate appropriately. Once we're fully awake this will come naturally to us. A perfect response in any situation. The event lending itself to a match that completes and fulfills.
Yamabiko reflects the harmony of the world in detail. It is ultimately a deeply spiritual perspective and a perfect way to engage with others.
As Russ offered, I use this concept a lot. It functions at all levels of technique. At a distance it governs what happens when you project your intent over distance and connect with the partner's attention.

It also functions when you actually make contact. In the west we call this principle a "conditioned response", but I really like the visualization of he mountain echo. What does an echo do? The sound goes out and hits something and bonces back, hence the echo. When you connect with a partner on the physical level, that's exactly what happens. You touch their center with your intent and then receive the energy of that connection back to your center creating an energetically balanced contact point thereby neutralizing the opponent's strength. This is Ushiro Sensei's "zero power".

Eventually, technique can move from the physical towards the energetic in which the touch no longer is physical but rather the touch is to the mind via the perception (the sensory inputs). You move the mind so the mind moves the body.

The "out and return" principle is one of the most important principles in Aikido and yet you don't hear many people talk about it. I first encountered it in Saito Sensei's books back in the seventies but didn't have the background to understand what he was talking about. Now I do. I don't know if it precisely the same way Saito understood the concept... I never had a chance to work with him. But I find the concept to be crucial to what I am doing in my Aikido at this point and it seems to be very helpful in helping others to improve.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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