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Old 08-14-2011, 06:29 PM   #26
niall
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

Graham doesn't need any help but I would just like to point out that he started the thread - he gets to decide what he's talking about. Trying to move the discussion to internal stuff and to someone who doesn't even do aikido was disingenuous and just a distraction. This is in the spiritual forum - if you want to talk about internal stuff please do it in the non-aikido martial traditions forum.

Graham didn't say anything revolutionary - koshi is a normal concept in martial arts. Maybe there are some differences in definition but it's a pity that the interesting suggestion he made that you connect to earth with koshi and heaven with hara is getting lost.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:37 PM   #27
Janet Rosen
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

Quote:
Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
it's a pity that the interesting suggestion he made that you connect to earth with koshi and heaven with hara is getting lost.
I agree it is interesting, which is why I am engaging in this thread!

I keep wishing that he could cite a reference other than his own experience. Is this a reflection of how ki moves up and down in the body during certain breathing meditations? Does anybody from Ki Society background know if this was ever explicitly discussed, taught or shown by Tohei Sensei?

Janet Rosen
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:37 PM   #28
graham christian
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I agree it is interesting, which is why I am engaging in this thread!

I keep wishing that he could cite a reference other than his own experience. Is this a reflection of how ki moves up and down in the body during certain breathing meditations? Does anybody from Ki Society background know if this was ever explicitly discussed, taught or shown by Tohei Sensei?
Hi Janet.
Niall quite right in pointing out the gist of the thread. For those who find it interesting I have cited a reference they can look up in order to understand what Koshi is and some history of it and indeed how it is used generally within the martial arts. ie: as the pivot and power base and the place from which you move.

As to Tohei? I'd like to know too.

I have taught this for more than ten years and so have a good understanding of what I mean and I'm sure you'll understand that when teaching I don't give references but demonstrate and give exercises for people to do and learn and apply.

Thus I can see when someone is using good Koshi and when they are not. I recall someone pointing out a Shihan who used to say Aikido could be done on one mat. This teacher it is said used to draw shapes, as i recall for instance the letter D and basically the uke would splatt straight down and indeed wouldn't want to feel that again. To me this was an example of the Ki of Koshi or rather both being used, hara and koshi.

So I'm afraid I can only give you what I know and use and any citations which align with it.

As far as Ki and Ki flow through the body during breathing meditations? Well that's a bit of a subject in it'self.

Once again I can only give you my experience gained through solid practice over many years without referring to any references.

Through Ki breathing or meditation you do become aware of filling the body with Ki and also aware of Ki flowing through the body. The breathing analogy is just that to me, an analogy. You may start with physical breathing but in the ned it is the natural flow in and out from centre of Ki.

So from that perspective your question of up and down the body doesn't make sense for it is like saying does air move up and down the lungs.

However from another perspective in my opinion and experience it does.

I can only explain this however in terms of Koshi and Kokyu and maybe add on to that centerline.

Kokyu being universal heavenly Ki and Koshi being infinite earth Ki. Heaven and earth.

Now the connecting line being centreline and the gathering place for the heaven Ki being Hara.

Now you can direct your Ki to go up or down or sideways or circularly through the body if you wish but the best way in my opinion is in and out. So now to explain the difference between Kokyu Ki and Koshi Ki in laymans terms and operational effect.

Kokyu Ki enlivens, invigorates, energises, gives life to. Koshi Ki relaxes, receives, allows, settles.

So it is like the great universal space of love and the infinite void.

Thus more to do with Aikido exercises and waza than with breathing for Koshi can receive any and all force and negativity whilst Ki from hara (collected from kokyu) then takes it's place.

When you sit in seiza and relax the body you will then feel the tension and force in the body go straight down centre line through Koshi to earth. Then via hara you may refill your body with heaven Ki and feel refreshed and replenish it all with Ki breathing.

So there you are. I bet that's quite new for you to hear put in that way. Hopefully you find it interesting or even useful but alas no citations.

Regards.G.
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:05 PM   #29
Janet Rosen
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
So I'm afraid I can only give you what I know and use and any citations which align with it....
...
Thank you, Graham
New? not really. A mix of things pulled from various places, with your own spin and experience and use of language which is I imagine the basis of how you teach in your dojo - which is fine.

Janet Rosen
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:08 AM   #30
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Thank you, Graham
New? not really. A mix of things pulled from various places, with your own spin and experience and use of language which is I imagine the basis of how you teach in your dojo - which is fine.
Hi Janet.
Not sure what you mean by 'pulled from various sources' or indeed 'spin' . Anyway, glad you enjoyed it.

Regards.G.
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:17 AM   #31
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

.... uh, what Fred, Janet, and Keith said... in spades, three times.

best regards,

Chuck Clark
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:38 AM   #32
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

Quote:
Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
Graham doesn't need any help but I would just like to point out that he started the thread - he gets to decide what he's talking about.
Mr. Matthews, it isn't that I object to him talking about it. What I do object to is his refusal to address the points brought up by Mr. Little.

Furthermore, when one takes liberty with the meaning of words, especially with the added layer of complexity involved in translation, there is really nothing left to discuss. Graham's approach dramatically limits the possibility of rational discourse. What I see is self-serving definitions created to change the common meanings of words to support a point a view. And Mr. Little was pointing out a series of objections, none of which were addressed. It has little to do with "internal strength" discussions directly, but more about how he has redefined a number of concepts to make them fit more cleanly in to a conceptual framework he apparently already holds and to claim "I'm already doing this stuff I've never seen or experienced because I can redefine words to make it sound like it."

When I read Graham's posts here in this thread I'm reminded of a famous quote.

Quote:
'There's glory for you!'

'I don't know what you mean by "glory," Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't - till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.'

Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass.
Back in the old college days in logic we used to call this the shifting grounds problem. Another one to reference is a so-called "definitional retreat". These modes of argument make rational discourse impossible.

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Old 08-16-2011, 10:49 AM   #33
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Does anybody from Ki Society background know if this was ever explicitly discussed, taught or shown by Tohei Sensei?
Never heard it discussed in the way Graham has. We talked all the time about focusing on one-point. Also many would make a clear distinction between one point and koshi. The one-point would be center. One does "settle down" (our way of discussing it -- conventional was "weight underside"). Those imply a sinking down. But the whole idea of "ground path" as espoused by others (which was the implication of Graham's post) is actually a heck of a lot more subtle and nuanced. So in essence saying "this isn't part of my vocabulary because I'm already doing it" is really just definitional sleight of hand. Unfortunately all the nuance gets lost when one waves that wand. I've been guilty of it myself.

I still want to hear more about how Western Cartesian mind/body dualism contrasts with pan-Asian concepts. It would be an interesting discussion especially considering some of Wittgenstein's ideas about how we understand our world. Pervasive and insidious forces... That made my philosophy-trained ears perk right up. Love that stuff...

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Old 08-16-2011, 11:38 AM   #34
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
The one-point would be center. One does "settle down" (our way of discussing it -- conventional was "weight underside"). Those imply a sinking down. But the whole idea of "ground path" as espoused by others (which was the implication of Graham's post) is actually a heck of a lot more subtle and nuanced. ...
I quite agree at least in how my mind/body system experiences things. As it happens, last night a couple of us co-led class in absence of more senior folks on the mat. I was working w/ folks on how to notice/feel/use 4 principles at different stages in a technique, using our first basic (katatori ikkyo).

I illustrated "weight underside" with the feeling of relaxed heaviness that unbendable arm generates at the point in ikkyo where nage has uke turned and imbalanced but not yet going to the ground (if nage lets up on uke and uke starts to turn back and rise, that feeling of a relaxed "weight underside" is what lets nage keep uke down until nage decides to funekoki forward to fully break uke's balance).

I am just starting to play with ground path stuff but definitely experience that in my body differently from what I was doing last night.

I'm no philosopher, but as a sentient organism, dualism never made much sense to me.

Janet Rosen
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:32 PM   #35
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I'm no philosopher, but as a sentient organism, dualism never made much sense to me.
Cartesian Dualism is pervasive and inescapable in western thought. It has also been a Pox on our thinking since the day Descartes overheated himself to come up with that winner...

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Old 08-16-2011, 12:53 PM   #36
Marc Abrams
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Cartesian Dualism is pervasive and inescapable in western thought. It has also been a Pox on our thinking since the day Descartes overheated himself to come up with that winner...
Keith:

Heard a rumor that when Descartes overheated he allegedly said:
"I think too much, therefore I may be no longer be, therefore I certainly hope that god exists".

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:14 PM   #37
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Keith:

Heard a rumor that when Descartes overheated he allegedly said:
"I think too much, therefore I may be no longer be, therefore I certainly hope that god exists".

Regards,

Marc Abrams
Ah, cogito ergo sum.

I've always preferred the other side of this coin -- I doubt I exist therefore I do. That's kinda fun.

And I should be fairer to Descartes -- he gets all the credit even thought the whole mind/body dualism thing could be tracked back to Plato (forms) and earlier. So it is a pervasive theme in western thinking. And then Descartes sure hammered the nails deeply in to the coffin.

Now... How does that compare with Pan-Asian views of mind and body? And how does this change how we view notions of "dualism" in mind/body distinctions? Is this something we think we understand in Japanese arts or are we wearing Bertrand Russell "rose tinted glasses" when we examine these things?

Anyway... All the stuff Graham wrote is kinda familiar for me coming directly from a Tohei line (Tohei -> Rod Kobayashi -> Seidokan). But at the same time it seems forced and skewed.

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Old 08-16-2011, 02:00 PM   #38
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Ah, cogito ergo sum.

I've always preferred the other side of this coin -- I doubt I exist therefore I do. That's kinda fun.

And I should be fairer to Descartes -- he gets all the credit even thought the whole mind/body dualism thing could be tracked back to Plato (forms) and earlier. So it is a pervasive theme in western thinking. And then Descartes sure hammered the nails deeply in to the coffin.

Now... How does that compare with Pan-Asian views of mind and body? And how does this change how we view notions of "dualism" in mind/body distinctions? Is this something we think we understand in Japanese arts or are we wearing Bertrand Russell "rose tinted glasses" when we examine these things?

Anyway... All the stuff Graham wrote is kinda familiar for me coming directly from a Tohei line (Tohei -> Rod Kobayashi -> Seidokan). But at the same time it seems forced and skewed.
Keith:

I kind of look at the mind/body from a more existential philosophical perspective in that they are two ends of a spectrum that cannot be detached from or looked at separately from the other.

As to Graham.... I gave up a long time ago... "fuzzy logic" forced to fit within a post-hoc reasoning scheme at it's best/worst.... and then there are his videos......... Nuff Said!

Hope all is well.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:25 PM   #39
Fred Little
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Now... How does that compare with Pan-Asian views of mind and body? And how does this change how we view notions of "dualism" in mind/body distinctions? Is this something we think we understand in Japanese arts or are we wearing Bertrand Russell "rose tinted glasses" when we examine these things?
Keith,

The short answer is that Buddhism (Indian origins notwithstanding, I'll tag it "Pan-Asian") has a fundamental doctrine of dependent origination.

One of the more common examples given of this process is basic Boy Scout fire-starting-theory:

In order to start a fire, it is necessary to bring together fuel, oxygen, and heat.

In this view, consciousness in relation to the physical aggregates of the body is like fire in relation to fuel, oxygen, and heat -- something that seems to be distinct from those aggregates, yet remains dependent on and conditioned by those same aggregates.

Now things get interesting. In this view, once consciousness arises from those aggregates, the aggregates seem to also become dependent on and conditioned by the activity of mind, and that which has arisen and that from which it has arisen become mutually conditioning -- allowing for the possibility of changing the mind through changing the body or vice-versa, or (to pick up on Marc's usage) through varying combinations of the two along the spectrum from "pure body" to "pure mind" (neither of which actually exists in isolation from some measure of the other).

While this is a pretty orthodox Buddhist view, it has worked its way pretty thoroughly into the Asian cultural substrate, in the same way that the Cartesian (or if you prefer, Platonic) view has into ours.

Or something like that.

Hope this helps.

FL

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Old 08-16-2011, 02:31 PM   #40
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Ah, cogito ergo sum.
isn't that "let go of my eggo", roughly translation, which involved sweet syrupy stuffs, with buttery stuffs, and on occasion fruit chutney stuffs although, that would be closer to the Frenchy stuffs which would related to Descartes who often ate the things right off the cart.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:56 PM   #41
Keith Larman
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

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Fred Little wrote: View Post
While this is a pretty orthodox Buddhist view, it has worked its way pretty thoroughly into the Asian cultural substrate, in the same way that the Cartesian (or if you prefer, Platonic) view has into ours.

Or something like that.

Hope this helps.

FL
Mr. Little:

Yes, it does help. Gonna get me doing some more reading. Any suggestions for a book on the Buddhist side that isn't too terminology heavy? Just as an impression it reminds me a great deal of Searle's ideas about consciousness.

Oddly after many years of being an avowed atheist (with a minor in religious studies, ironically enough) I find myself gradually more enthralled with Buddhism.

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Old 08-16-2011, 03:15 PM   #42
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Mr. Little:

Yes, it does help. Gonna get me doing some more reading. Any suggestions for a book on the Buddhist side that isn't too terminology heavy? Just as an impression it reminds me a great deal of Searle's ideas about consciousness.

Oddly after many years of being an avowed atheist (with a minor in religious studies, ironically enough) I find myself gradually more enthralled with Buddhism.
Keith,

If you'll stop calling me "Mr. Little" then I'll take a look on the shelves tonight after practice.

Fortuitously, there is no incompatibility between atheism and Buddhism. While I"m rummaging through my shelves, you might find the resources at the following link useful:

http://www.stephenbatchelor.org/book-confession.html

Best,

FL

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Old 08-16-2011, 03:59 PM   #43
Janet Rosen
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
isn't that "let go of my eggo", roughly translation, which involved sweet syrupy stuffs, with buttery stuffs, and on occasion fruit chutney stuffs although, that would be closer to the Frenchy stuffs which would related to Descartes who often ate the things right off the cart.
Jeez, I thought I was bad with my "honeyed swans quay mallard ponds"

Janet Rosen
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:11 PM   #44
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
...the whole mind/body dualism thing could be tracked back to Plato (forms)...
It's been a long time since I heard a reference to "eide" though maybe I just wasn't paying attention. Your reference brings to mind the story of an observation of a teacher whose name I do not remember from a school I almost do. When asked if he believed in Plato's "forms" he said no, he did not. When asked, "why not?" he responded with one word: "Darwin". This put a different cast on that whole conversation for me.

I don't know about the dualism of body/mind in the "west" vs. the "east" but I would have thought there was at least a triumvalism of body/mind/spirit that need be dealt with.

I am quite sure there are a host of notions in "eastern" thought as well as in "western" thought that refer to different aspects of human being. That is, they do not use but one word to refer to the whole ball of wax.

Is not all else but detail?

I have no idea about Wittgenstein.

Howard

p.s. Still polishing?
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:11 PM   #45
graham christian
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

Ahh. Keith and Marc together on the same thread. Well there's a nice dualism for you.

So through this 'philosophical' intellectual debate comes what?

No mention of Koshi, no understanding of it maybe.

Regards. G.
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:21 PM   #46
Howard Prior
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

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The second concept is Koshi.
This Koshi is different than, or the same as, the same word, in English, in the phrase koshi-nage?

Howard
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:23 PM   #47
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

Can any discussion of koshi be complete without the expert guidance of Slim Harpo?

(Bonus visualizations and indications of sunyata! No charge!)

FL

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Old 08-16-2011, 04:27 PM   #48
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

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Graham,
The basic set of definitions in Nelsons (admittedly, not a specialized dictionary for Chinese medical usages) has the following:

Nelson 3799: koshi hips, loins, waist, pelvic region; small of the back; haunch; lower-panel wainscoating (lower wall only)

Afterwards come the compounds. So, a couple of questions:

First, do you have a citation in which it is quite clear that Tohei (or any other Japanese martial artist) is using koshi in a way that refers specifically to "small of the back" and not the entire region, which includes "hara?"

Second, while all these points or regions play a role in direction and alignment, how could a ground force "originate" or be "centered" someplace other than the ground? Wouldn't that make it some other kind of force if it were?
Best,
FL
Good talking point.
Story of a session with a venerated, very talented and famous Japanese teacher:
Students seeing him turn from the waist and twist during all movements and he tells them "Move from Koshi."
Note* The teacher says koshi in Japanese but knows the english word, hips.
Students ask "Sensei you say move from the hips and yet when you move, you turn from the waist, leaving the hips more or less square. Which is it; waist or hips?"
Teacher does the Kata again and looks down and looks up at his students confused. He slides his hands up and down from hip line to sternum and looks at his students and with a big smile says.... "Koshi!"

Years go by
Two students under the same teacher go different ways. They meet. They teach completely different body mechanics. Both watch each other and say....
"You didn't get it."
Good luck with that.
What is key is that what most people would call their hips, is not what you really need to move down there for power, or what and why it is important to move their waist in the first place.
I read all of it and shrugged. Everyone is going to go back to what they were doing when they walked in the door.
Just say'n
Dan

Last edited by DH : 08-16-2011 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:30 PM   #49
Keith Larman
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

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...I don't know about the dualism of body/mind in the "west" vs. the "east" but I would have thought there was at least a triumvalism of body/mind/spirit that need be dealt with.
The point of the issue is that Western and Eastern cultures have very different conceptions at the very core of issues such as mind/body. So when someone starts to analyze the "meaning" of certain things through the eyes of the other culture apparently disregarding the very different underlying world view there is inevitably a significant alteration or loss of meaning. Misunderstanding abound as a result of this. The reference to Wittgenstein was a rather subtle concept he raised in the tractatus about how our way of understanding the world, even things like mathematics, physics, etc. in essence force our understanding to conform to our method of understanding. Some would argue that his underlying point was that there could very well be other ways of seeing the same thing giving different representations of reality which would in turn alter our conceptions of other things as well. So things like a very subtle difference in how mind/body (the very title of this thread) between cultures could have a significant effect on how one understand issues.

The very fact that some will talk about mind/body/spirit has having to be something to be dealt with shows a preconceived notion that those things are somehow distinct, different, or whatever. Or that the question is even relevant at all. It implies a certain world view where to another viewpoint the entire discussion may be not so much trivial as it would be without any meaning at all. In other words, nonsense in one meaning of the word.

But... I'm tired and my back hurts a lot so I"m talking through a painkiller at the moment. So I may reserve the right to come to this later and do an Emily Latella... (Nevermind!).

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p.s. Still polishing?
Every day whenever the grumpy back will allow it.

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Old 08-16-2011, 04:31 PM   #50
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Re: The two body/mind concepts of Japanese Martial Arts.

[quote=Howard Prior;290451... I would have thought there was at least a triumvalism of body/mind/spirit that need be dealt with.
[/QUOTE]

hey! i know the answer to that one. you pour the spirit into the body which in turn, and giving the right amount fermentation time, it would affect the mind. you see the evident of this at various spring break locations along Florida coast where things get very philosophical especially during white T-shirt contests; of course, i knew nothing about such things.
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