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Old 04-11-2012, 12:26 AM   #26
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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It wasn't presented to me in the context of mental effects, but of assisting the solidity of the trunk in explosive movement. The idea was the abdominal cavity. The vocal apparatus helps manipulate pressure of the abdomen, through the diaphragm, by putting downward pressure on it, which when combined with pressure from below and the sides, surrounds it with pressure. In the transition between sounds, you can manipulate this into becoming a transition from a pressured state to an even more highly pressured state, and then, why not even the reverse? This is why the end sounds were unimportant, because firstly the goal was not the noise, and secondly because that would ultimately leave the diaphragm locked up and rigid. But even then, this was one limited effect, whereas Moriheu Ueshiba seemed to have a more extensive vocabulary of letters here than two, so I wonder then what he was doing with them or what shapes were implied?
Well, he had a vocabulary of 50 - which grew out of the 5 base vowels, of which we're really just talking about two. Anyway, Kototama can get quite complex, and gets into much more tangled knots than just pressurization (I'm not saying that pressurization isn't important - although I think it can be quite tricky to actually pressurize correctly).

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-11-2012, 06:52 AM   #27
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Yes, certain Kiai are supposed to have certain effects (different effects for different Kiai) on the nervous system. Certainly, under the same theory, that would work the other way as well, as a conditioning method.

OTOH, I'm not sure whether it's the specific syllables, the specific intent, or the specific delivery that produces the effect. Would nonsense syllables produce the same effect if you believed that they would? Or is the human body biologically "tuned" to certain auditory stimuli?

O-Sensei came from a certain background, with certain beliefs, so some things would affect him in different ways (I expect) from somebody raised in a different manner. Or maybe not - it would be interesting if we could really put it to the test on a blind group...

Best,

Chris
Chris:

Different sound wave frequencies have differing effects on our neurological system. It is fun to test this out.

Marc Abrams
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:57 AM   #28
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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... O-Sensei came from a certain background, with certain beliefs, so some things would affect him in different ways (I expect) from somebody raised in a different manner.
As far as I know there is a group of certain kiai which are common to most/ (all?) ryû. And there exist additional kiai which are only used in certain schools. As far as I know, it was especially the first, common, group Ueshiba referred to when talking about kiai?

When I learned to sing and to speak, I learned about the different ways our body uses to form certain lutes (sounds?). And you learn how different lutes (sounds?) affect you yourself and the person who hears what you sing or speak.
The body is connected to the sounds/lutes: Producing them and perceiving them.
And our emotions are affected to the sounds/lutes.

The effects are comparable. So maybe it is not a question of personal context?
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:54 AM   #29
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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I haven't really touched on that, since I've been trying to keep things clear and (mostly) understandable.

Of course, that's the whole paradigm of Kototama, and the chanting that Ueshiba did was used for that purpose. Basically speaking, I think that he was using it to focus his intent in certain ways, and this worked well for him because of his religious beliefs and background.

For other people, perhaps not so much (it never did much for me). Notably, he discouraged people from joining his religion or joining in his religious exercises, so maybe he understood that it was different for his students than it was for him.

Best,

Chris
Chris,

Do you think Ueshiba might have been chanting to reach a natural "high", too? If training sort of affects the mental state of mind, maybe Ueshiba really was feeling like he was the universe. Some people meditating/chanting have said they felt like they had a buzz or that they felt like they were floating above their bodies.

Plus, Ueshiba knew that Horikawa and Sagawa had reached an equivalent level of aiki in their own way, so Ueshiba knew that follwing in his religious foot steps wasn't necessary. But you had to have aiki to ... What did he say ... Aiki makes the religion better.

For Ueshiba, it was Izanami/Izanagi. But, as you have read, he did say that these were contradictory forces working at the same time in a spiral fashion - internally.

Mark
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:27 AM   #30
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Chris:

Different sound wave frequencies have differing effects on our neurological system. It is fun to test this out.

Marc Abrams
I agree - but I wonder how closely that is linked to specific sounds (ala Kototama), and how much the links to specific sounds are influenced by the belief system or environment of the listener.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-11-2012, 09:31 AM   #31
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Chris,

Do you think Ueshiba might have been chanting to reach a natural "high", too? If training sort of affects the mental state of mind, maybe Ueshiba really was feeling like he was the universe. Some people meditating/chanting have said they felt like they had a buzz or that they felt like they were floating above their bodies.
Sure, that's a common usage of chanting - and he used specific chants to channel specific mental states. But I wonder if that works so well without the same or similar belief system in place, or at the very least, an understanding of what state you're attempting to invoke with each practice.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-11-2012, 11:02 AM   #32
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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OTOH, I'm not sure whether it's the specific syllables, the specific intent, or the specific delivery that produces the effect. Would nonsense syllables produce the same effect if you believed that they would? Or is the human body biologically "tuned" to certain auditory stimuli?
FWIW, I've heard it said that "toh" in particular is used for what it sounds like--breaking through a barrier. "T" is the barrier holding the breath back--"o-o-o" is no resistance once you're past.
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:10 AM   #33
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Chris:

Different sound wave frequencies have differing effects on our neurological system. It is fun to test this out.

Marc Abrams
Plus the basic vibrations that stimulate physical elements of the body through resonance as a means to identify and feel those elements working - and to energize them. When utilizing the physical elements at their resonance frequencies the efficiency at which they can 'channel' energy is greatly enhanced. Also fun to play with while maintaining a connection in a static position and run through a range of frequencies until finding the ones that resonate with that connection. Thankfully, one can do this in solo practice while no one is looking as it does look quite silly.

I never heard anyone explain it like the above as I just stumbled upon it myself ... could be a rabbit hole.

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Old 04-11-2012, 11:30 AM   #34
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Well, he had a vocabulary of 50 - which grew out of the 5 base vowels, of which we're really just talking about two. Anyway, Kototama can get quite complex, and gets into much more tangled knots than just pressurization (I'm not saying that pressurization isn't important - although I think it can be quite tricky to actually pressurize correctly).

Best,

Chris
In Mashilo Nakazono's book "Inochi" the book of life, he talks about three principles represented by different orders of the Mother sounds (vowels) Amatu-Kanagi is the first order of AIUEO and represents the material and physical realm of existence. AMATU-SUGASO is the second order of AOUEI and represented the spiritual realm. AMATU-FUTONOROTI is the third order of AIEOU and represents the true realm of existence that combines and brings together as one the material and spiritual. Much like the Kojiki , this book is also very esoteric and goes into great depths of the relationship and order of the child sounds to represent various aspects of life and its creation.

I personally chant the 50 sounds in the FUTONORITO order of AIEOU simply for the physical aspects of the vibrations that are set up in the body while chanting; similar to what Lee mentioned. Interesting thing is that each sound has a certain pitch/frequency (as Marc stated) and will manifest itself in a different part of the body based on the pitch. I have found that the AIEOU order naturally starts higher in the body and goes lower as it progress into the order - this apparently correlates to the higher pitch of A being the highest level and U the lowest level; which resonates very nicely in the center and dantien area. Anyway, with the chanting I use mental intent to follow the vibrations and try to mentally control what is going on in that part of the body at the time. I find it helps in exercising intent as well as getting to know the internal aspects of the body for IS development.

Greg
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:34 AM   #35
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

Then you have such notables as CXW, and LCD and Sagawa stating the whole breath thing is overplayed...
So who -among top notch pros- rather than amateurs and yoga practioners place it as any thing definitive, or should I say defining of their power in practical use ____________________?
I haven't met anyone who does it and it alone who has any sort of unusual and usable power I couldn't walk right through.

I have my own thoughts on it, but I wanted to see where chanting and breathing was going to go.
Dan
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:09 PM   #36
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Then you have such notables as CXW, and LCD and Sagawa stating the whole breath thing is overplayed...
So who -among top notch pros- rather than amateurs and yoga practioners place it as any thing definitive, or should I say defining of their power in practical use ____________________?
I haven't met anyone who does it and it alone who has any sort of unusual and usable power I couldn't walk right through.

I have my own thoughts on it, but I wanted to see where chanting and breathing was going to go.
Dan
I recall several videos of CXW doing a form that's full of various power releases and it seems he's using breath quite heavily in those. Though he's certainly not doing only that. It would seem to be additive, as many of these things are, rather than a core skill.
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:22 PM   #37
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

So my post might have prompted a splintering of Chris' intended focus for this post (BTW, in the Doka O-sensei gives specific examples of the usage of specific kiai for specific circumstances . . . and Chris is probably more aware of this fact than most.), so I'll see if I can pull things back on point a tad.

Cutting and pasting from Chris' post:

合気道は「天の浮橋に立たされて」ということである。天の浮橋は水火結んでめぐるということ。火は水を動かし、水は火によって動かさる。火も水も一つのものである。螺旋状 にめぐる。気をもって絡むのである。それは、息によるものであり、この息が合気であります。

It is said that Aikido is "Standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven". The Floating Bridge of Heaven is the turning of fire and water bound together. Fire moves water, water is moved by fire. Fire and water are one thing. They turn in a spiral. They are entwined through Ki. That is something that is enacted through the breath ("iki"). This breath ("iki") is Aiki.

It is interesting to note, although I am certain that this is not lost on Chris, for the kanji 息 "iki," the "breath" from which Fire and water are entwined through Ki and begin to turn in a spiral, which is "Aiki" is comprised of two characters: one for "self" and the other for "heart." So (via a bit of creative thinking) it is through the "self's-heart" ("iki" 息) that Fire and Water (In/Yo) are entwined through Ki, and they, in turn, turn in a spiral . . . (identified in other writings as Aiki) without "iki" there is no Aiki. Iki is the origin of Aiki, therefore it can be said Aiki is essentially Aiki.

This understanding or treatment seems to be confirmed with the following:

左手は伊耶那岐、右手は伊耶那美、真中は天之御中主(あめのみなかぬし)、これは自分のことである。天の浮橋に立たされて、螺旋状にめぐることである。これを高天原(たか あまはら)という。天も地も一つのもの、水も火も一つのもの、みんな息から現れるのである。神の常動の現れである。合気の技は常動により出てくるのである。

The left hand is Izanagi, the right is Izanami, in the center is Ame-no-minakanushi, this is yourself. This is standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven and turning in a spiral. This is called Taka-ama-hara. Heaven and earth are one unit, water and fire are also one unit, all appears through Iki (breath). This is the endless appearance of the Kami. Aiki technique comes forth endlessly.

"all appears through iki" 息 (the heart of the self).

Super cool! Physical reality (the process and result described above as embodied by Ueshiba and others) is in line with his (and other) Religious cosmology each seeming to reflectively affirm the other. In this way Aik isn't a religion . . . it makes the teaching of religion manifest. It "completes religions." I accord my heart with the great source (universe) and the great source (universe) accords with me. I am the Universe.

There is a accordance of the individual specific "Heart leads mind/intent, Intent leads Ki, Ki leads the body" model, and the mythic (commonly reoccurring) model described above . . . if one looks at iki 息 as a combination of its constituent parts.

One more thing . . . isn't the Floating Bridge of Heaven comprised of the 8 opposing forces? Maybe that is something to throw out there as well.

Well, that is my lunch 15 minutes!

Cheers,
Allen

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Old 04-11-2012, 01:38 PM   #38
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
"all appears through iki" 息 (the heart of the self).

Super cool! Physical reality (the process and result described above as embodied by Ueshiba and others) is in line with his (and other) Religious cosmology each seeming to reflectively affirm the other. In this way Aik isn't a religion . . . it makes the teaching of religion manifest. It "completes religions." I accord my heart with the great source (universe) and the great source (universe) accords with me. I am the Universe.

There is a accordance of the individual specific "Heart leads mind/intent, Intent leads Ki, Ki leads the body" model, and the mythic (commonly reoccurring) model described above . . . if one looks at iki 息 as a combination of its constituent parts.

One more thing . . . isn't the Floating Bridge of Heaven comprised of the 8 opposing forces? Maybe that is something to throw out there as well.

Well, that is my lunch 15 minutes!

Cheers,
Allen
Very nice Alan! I really like your reading of the Kanji.

"Iki" is another one of those things that Ueshiba would imbue with multi-layered information. I kind of left it alone this time so that I can go back and do it justice another time, but yes - "iki" is all tied up with the 8 opposing forces, so it all "connects".

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-11-2012, 02:32 PM   #39
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I agree - but I wonder how closely that is linked to specific sounds (ala Kototama), and how much the links to specific sounds are influenced by the belief system or environment of the listener.

Best,

Chris
Many factors..... We can look at the rhythm and beat as very important and separate factors. Simply look at the importance of percussive instruments in many ancient religions. My good friend, Maroghini, a world renown percussionist, is a deeply spiritual person who participates in a lot of religious ceremonies ranging from Hindu to ancient African. The rhythm and beats of the instruments facilitate the entering into and sustaining of trance-like states. I have seen him go into trance-like states and he can play non-stop all night-long. He is seated with his legs crossed and if you pushed into him, you simply bounce off of him. Incredibly intense stuff to be a part of.... We have a small body of data on how these instruments modify brain waves.

We can look at the frequency of certain sounds (high to low) and they also interact with brain waves. The military (DARPA) is very interested in the use of sound-wave weapons and have developed some very interesting "toys."....

Add to these factors, the psychological impact that people place upon certain spiritual/religious activities......

My limited practice with the effect of sounds is that using a low frequency (bass) sound in a kiai has the effect of bottom weighting a person (person described feeling very heavy and stuck), while a high frequency (alto) sound in a kiai has the effect of rising energy (person describes becoming lighter and rising from their base). Still playing around with this stuff and trying to make sense out of it.

Marc Abrams
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:45 PM   #40
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

Standing on the Bridge = something different but a concrete internal concept.
Izanagi/Izanami = another concrete internal concept.

Why do we think breath = breath? or chanting?

If you have contradictory forces going in a spiral and you reverse them ... don't you get a sort of in/out motion. Not literally in/out, mind you, but think of breath. Breathing in is one way, breathing out is the opposite. Contradictory forces going one way and then reversing them going the opposite. You are enacting with breath the spiral contradictory forces entwined with ki. And there, at the infinite point where the breath actually changes, where contradictory forces are reversed, is the center of the Universe. The creation of aiki.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:59 PM   #41
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Many factors..... We can look at the rhythm and beat as very important and separate factors. Simply look at the importance of percussive instruments in many ancient religions. My good friend, Maroghini, a world renown percussionist, is a deeply spiritual person who participates in a lot of religious ceremonies ranging from Hindu to ancient African. The rhythm and beats of the instruments facilitate the entering into and sustaining of trance-like states. I have seen him go into trance-like states and he can play non-stop all night-long. He is seated with his legs crossed and if you pushed into him, you simply bounce off of him. Incredibly intense stuff to be a part of.... We have a small body of data on how these instruments modify brain waves.

We can look at the frequency of certain sounds (high to low) and they also interact with brain waves. The military (DARPA) is very interested in the use of sound-wave weapons and have developed some very interesting "toys."....

Add to these factors, the psychological impact that people place upon certain spiritual/religious activities......

My limited practice with the effect of sounds is that using a low frequency (bass) sound in a kiai has the effect of bottom weighting a person (person described feeling very heavy and stuck), while a high frequency (alto) sound in a kiai has the effect of rising energy (person describes becoming lighter and rising from their base). Still playing around with this stuff and trying to make sense out of it.

Marc Abrams
I follow what you are saying, and part of my focus is on how the various pitch sounds impact my feeling of center and awareness internally as well as externally. As you said, low pitch sounds lead down and a higher pitch gives a feeling of up

Greg
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:08 PM   #42
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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My limited practice with the effect of sounds is that using a low frequency (bass) sound in a kiai has the effect of bottom weighting a person (person described feeling very heavy and stuck), while a high frequency (alto) sound in a kiai has the effect of rising energy (person describes becoming lighter and rising from their base).
Perhaps a simplistic way to rationalize this is to understand that a string (or drum head) under tension vibrates at a higher frequency as the tension increases. Note that when someone carries more tension in their body they are easier to unbalance as their 'center' seems to float upwards. Note also that in those few tracks in which one can hear the founders kiai it is quite high pitched.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

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Old 04-11-2012, 07:39 PM   #43
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

Perhaps a simpler take ...

yin ... ok, yang ... ok. floating bridge ... a state that transcends yin and yang, or more precisely, the state where yin and yang have disappeared, a singularity of pure potential.

a seed in the ground - no yin, no yang. and then spring and pop! the seed comes to life. the yang activity of expansion quite apparent, dominating the yin activity of contraction for a time of growth. but spring gives way to summer and autumn and eventually yang gives way to yin, the plant withers and dies ... ah, but a seed, a seed in the ground - no yin, no yang.

the floating bridge ... no yin, no yang ... a singularity of pure potential ... the source of aiki.

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Old 04-11-2012, 07:49 PM   #44
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Perhaps a simpler take ...

yin ... ok, yang ... ok. floating bridge ... a state that transcends yin and yang, or more precisely, the state where yin and yang have disappeared, a singularity of pure potential.

a seed in the ground - no yin, no yang. and then spring and pop! the seed comes to life. the yang activity of expansion quite apparent, dominating the yin activity of contraction for a time of growth. but spring gives way to summer and autumn and eventually yang gives way to yin, the plant withers and dies ... ah, but a seed, a seed in the ground - no yin, no yang.

the floating bridge ... no yin, no yang ... a singularity of pure potential ... the source of aiki.
Simpler still - what goes around, comes around....

Greg
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:54 PM   #45
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Red face Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Simpler still - what goes around, comes around....

Greg
nice!

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Old 04-13-2012, 01:46 PM   #46
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Then you have such notables as CXW, and LCD and Sagawa stating the whole breath thing is overplayed...
So who -among top notch pros- rather than amateurs and yoga practioners place it as any thing definitive, or should I say defining of their power in practical use ____________________?
I haven't met anyone who does it and it alone who has any sort of unusual and usable power I couldn't walk right through.

I have my own thoughts on it, but I wanted to see where chanting and breathing was going to go.
Dan
I have to say, that's pretty weird; I met ZTC and he was *very* into breath stuff as being foundational.

Where did CXW / LCD / Sagawa gainsay that? If anything, I remember CXW saying some good things about breathing on his "Coiling Slightly" set. I'd like to see it so I can study what they had to say.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:50 AM   #47
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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I haven't met anyone who does it and it alone who has any sort of unusual and usable power I couldn't walk right through.
Dan
I'm always intrigued by these kinds of statements, meaning that, say we objectively look at 'a breather' - somewhat frail and almost always quite unassuming, and some of us might quite rightly conclude "I could kick his/her ass in a heartbeat." And yet we don't Why is that? In fact, that type of person never gets in a fight. Why is that? If I could just "walk right through" him/her ... then why don't I? What stops me? A part of us would have to say "Well, why would I?" "What's to gain?" "I would end up looking like a complete jerk!" Legitimate questions, but where did those thoughts come from? We obviously didn't have those thoughts until we looked at this person. So is there something that we see or sense in these "breathers" that can actually generate a conflict within our own minds?

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Old 04-14-2012, 11:05 AM   #48
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Jim Redel wrote: View Post
I'm always intrigued by these kinds of statements, meaning that, say we objectively look at 'a breather' - somewhat frail and almost always quite unassuming, and some of us might quite rightly conclude "I could kick his/her ass in a heartbeat." And yet we don't Why is that? In fact, that type of person never gets in a fight. Why is that? If I could just "walk right through" him/her ... then why don't I? What stops me? A part of us would have to say "Well, why would I?" "What's to gain?" "I would end up looking like a complete jerk!" Legitimate questions, but where did those thoughts come from? We obviously didn't have those thoughts until we looked at this person. So is there something that we see or sense in these "breathers" that can actually generate a conflict within our own minds?
Well...no, I've seen plenty of frail folks get picked on or beat up. Just take a look at nature - the weak ones in the herd get cut out first, all imagination aside.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-14-2012, 11:47 AM   #49
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Well...no, I've seen plenty of frail folks get picked on or beat up. Just take a look at nature - the weak ones in the herd get cut out first, all imagination aside.

Best,

Chris
Not every frail person is a 'breather" (vaguely meaning totally accepting of the present moment). Just as there are a plethora of 'energetics' who fear the present moment, the same can be said of 'frails'

I like to frame it as the old samurai/zen story of the bad-ass and the monk ... "I'm the one that could run you through without a thought" and "I'm the one who could be run through without a thought" Of course the bad ass withdraws (not much of a story otherwise).

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Old 04-14-2012, 11:54 AM   #50
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Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

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Jim Redel wrote: View Post
Not every frail person is a 'breather" (vaguely meaning totally accepting of the present moment). Just as there are a plethora of 'energetics' who fear the present moment, the same can be said of 'frails'

I like to frame it as the old samurai/zen story of the bad-ass and the monk ... "I'm the one that could run you through without a thought" and "I'm the one who could be run through without a thought" Of course the bad ass withdraws (not much of a story otherwise).
The reason why it's repeated as a story is because it's so unusual that it virtually never happens.

Is it possible to face someone down with chutzpah and "being there in the moment"? Sure - but it has nothing to do with conditioning in the body - of which they have none. If it did, then monks with a long history of breath training would regularly have faced down the fighters who killed them - but historically that is just not the case.

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Chris

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