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Old 04-22-2012, 09:33 PM   #1
Chris Li
 
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Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

New post on the Aikido Sangenkai Blog: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/...and-aun-part-2

Enjoy!

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-23-2012, 06:14 AM   #2
Chris Knight
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

Interesting stuff, thanks Chris

If you dont mind me asking, why haven't these translations been done earlier than now... are they newly discovered documents etc?

Regards

Chris
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:28 AM   #3
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

another winner.

Interesting to note that in his earliest books, Tohei included reverse breathing in his breathing methods, but dropped reverse breathing in reprints and in his later books. There seems to be a stigma around reverse breathing as a health concern, so I wonder if that's why or if he simply felt it wasn't important.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:12 AM   #4
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

Hi Chris,

Great article, though I have one quibble with it.

In Chinese cosmology, the hun and po are, although a pair in one sense, also part of a larger group of five souls that include the zhi (will), shen (spirit), and yi (intent). Being a group of five, they are correlated to the five elements and in Chinese medicine with the five important yin organs -

earth - Spleen/Pancreas - Yi (intent)
metal - Lungs - Po
water - Kidneys - Zhi (will)
wood - Liver - Hun
fire - Heart - Shen (spirit)

The point being that if you are going to go back into Chinese cosmology, it is somewhat problemmatic to translate hun as "intent", as there is another very similar term used for that idea. Yi is also the term used in all Chinese arts that talk about intent, such as I Liq Chuan, Xing Yi, Xin Yi, Yi Quan, etc. Hun and po are, to my knowledge, not used as technical terms in Chinese martial arts nearly as much as yi and shen.

To add some further info, one way that the hun and po are described is that the hun is the soul that leaves the body at night when you dream, and the po is the soul that is responsible for our ability to, in a sense, "be in our body" and really experience the physical world, especially through our sense of touch. This aspect of the po is connected to its association with the lungs, as the lungs are, in Chinese medicine, connected to the health of the skin, since the lungs are the one internal organ that is in contact with the outside world directly and can be considered to be an extension of the skin. The po is also the soul that can remain and become a ghost after death and cause trouble; this may be related to the presence of the character for "white" in the character for po, as the white may be a reference to the color of dried bones, which are the part of the body that remain the longest after death.

Josh
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:23 AM   #5
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

@Jason:Or maybe those teaching where unaware/unfamiliar with what RB is supposed to accomplish. Anyway, another mighty fine read Chris. The belly thing was very interesting to see. Never noticed that "connection" ;D before.

@The other Chris: mostly because those translators wheren't educated in the traditions Chris is trying to point out. Also, it takes some aquintance/initiation with said tradition/method/system to connect Ueshiba's pointers to the actual physical process he is referring to. Which is why you'll find so little descriptions online of "how to's."

Ernesto
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:34 AM   #6
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

Chris, you should write a book

No really..

G'day to y'all!

Tim Bergman
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:09 AM   #7
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

"Finally, compare the above statement to this one by Morihei Ueshiba:
そこで合気道は形はない。形はなく、すべて魂の学びである。すべて形にとらわれてはいけない。それは微妙な働きが出来なくなるからである。

There are no Forms in Aikido. No Forms, the study of intent is everything. You must not let everything be subsumed by Form. This is because you will become unable to move with subtlety."


Unfortunately, it appears not too many paid attention to the above - to most, form is the only thing.

greg
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:14 AM   #8
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

Quote:
Josh Lerner wrote: View Post
Hi Chris,

Great article, though I have one quibble with it.

In Chinese cosmology, the hun and po are, although a pair in one sense, also part of a larger group of five souls that include the zhi (will), shen (spirit), and yi (intent). Being a group of five, they are correlated to the five elements and in Chinese medicine with the five important yin organs -

earth - Spleen/Pancreas - Yi (intent)
metal - Lungs - Po
water - Kidneys - Zhi (will)
wood - Liver - Hun
fire - Heart - Shen (spirit)

The point being that if you are going to go back into Chinese cosmology, it is somewhat problemmatic to translate hun as "intent", as there is another very similar term used for that idea. Yi is also the term used in all Chinese arts that talk about intent, such as I Liq Chuan, Xing Yi, Xin Yi, Yi Quan, etc. Hun and po are, to my knowledge, not used as technical terms in Chinese martial arts nearly as much as yi and shen.

To add some further info, one way that the hun and po are described is that the hun is the soul that leaves the body at night when you dream, and the po is the soul that is responsible for our ability to, in a sense, "be in our body" and really experience the physical world, especially through our sense of touch. This aspect of the po is connected to its association with the lungs, as the lungs are, in Chinese medicine, connected to the health of the skin, since the lungs are the one internal organ that is in contact with the outside world directly and can be considered to be an extension of the skin. The po is also the soul that can remain and become a ghost after death and cause trouble; this may be related to the presence of the character for "white" in the character for po, as the white may be a reference to the color of dried bones, which are the part of the body that remain the longest after death.

Josh
This is one of those things that shifts a little in Japan - there are generally 3 variations of hun soul and 7 of po, but exactly what they are varies depending upon who you speak to. I didn't go into that very much.

The same character for "intent" exists in Japanese - but Ueshiba didn't use it much, although he clearly talks about intent in many places. Maybe that would have been too easy to understand...

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-23-2012, 10:17 AM   #9
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

Quote:
Ernesto Lemke wrote: View Post
@Jason:Or maybe those teaching where unaware/unfamiliar with what RB is supposed to accomplish.
While he obviously didn't get everything, I do think he got that. I recall reading some writings of his where he talks about the purpose of those breathing methods and using his terminology, it fits in with the other things he seems to have gotten from Ueshiba.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:19 AM   #10
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

Quote:
Chris Knight wrote: View Post
Interesting stuff, thanks Chris

If you dont mind me asking, why haven't these translations been done earlier than now... are they newly discovered documents etc?

Regards

Chris
No, this is almost all from existing documents (with some rare exceptions). I first started reading this stuff while living in Japan - and found that even most Japanese people never read it. It's very difficult even for native speakers in their own language - one of Ueshiba's direct students told me that he regarded reading these things an exercise in code breaking.

IMO, there's an element missing in most existing translations because the translators didn't have the background to evaluate certain parts of what the Founder was talking about.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-23-2012, 11:44 AM   #11
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

Very cool! Thank you, Chris!

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:34 PM   #12
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

Hi Chris,

So, looking at the O-sensei picture . . .

He seems to have a double edged "Kusunagi" - like sword, which makes me think that the disk over his heart/chest may be "Yata no kagami," which (if intended) begs the question . . .

"Where is the Yasakani no Magatama?"

And, if these symbols are indeed represented, what significance did those symbols have for O-sensei? (Keeping in mind that O-sensei was a lover of multiple layers of symbolic meaning, and he liked hanging out with other lovers of multi-layers of symbolic meaning (i.e. Shingon, O-Moto, etc.), most of whom delighted in the holographic interplay between micro and macro.)

Oh, and while I'm being inquisitive, do we know what plant is depicted behind O-sensei? Does that have meaning significant to him?

Lunch is over. As always, enjoying the blogs!

Allen

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Old 04-23-2012, 02:43 PM   #13
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

Quote:
Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
"Where is the Yasakani no Magatama?"
Right there in his hands ... HIPS.


PS The plant ... looks like camellia.

"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 04-23-2012, 02:48 PM   #14
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
This is one of those things that shifts a little in Japan - there are generally 3 variations of hun soul and 7 of po, but exactly what they are varies depending upon who you speak to. I didn't go into that very much.

The same character for "intent" exists in Japanese - but Ueshiba didn't use it much, although he clearly talks about intent in many places. Maybe that would have been too easy to understand...

Best,

Chris
That is very interesting - the 3 hun and 7 po go back to China, as they are discussed in early Daoist texts. I didn't realize that part of the imagery had survived in Japan as well, though I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Is the usage of hun as being equivalent to yi/intent common in Japan? I've never come across that before. Though I haven't looked very hard.

Josh
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:57 PM   #15
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

Quote:
Josh Lerner wrote: View Post
That is very interesting - the 3 hun and 7 po go back to China, as they are discussed in early Daoist texts. I didn't realize that part of the imagery had survived in Japan as well, though I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Is the usage of hun as being equivalent to yi/intent common in Japan? I've never come across that before. Though I haven't looked very hard.

Josh
No, it's no common, and I could well be wrong - I based that on inferred meaning based on the passage quoted and a number of other places.

As you've probably already figured, Ueshiba loved rich imagery, encoded text, and multiple layers of meaning in a single phrase. He'd also phrase the same concepts in various different fashions in an attempt, I suppose to get what he was talking about across (it's like this - or maybe it's more like this...).

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-23-2012, 03:02 PM   #16
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Right there in his hands ... HIPS.

PS The plant ... looks like camellia.
I don't know from plants, but I think you're right about the Jewel (Yasakani no Magatama) being represented by the abdomen. Interestingly, the standard Jewel looks like this, but Ueshiba's abdomen is perfectly round...

For Alan - there's some interesting stuff about symbolism inherent in the Kusanagi that Ueshiba used - but that's a work in progress.

For anybody who's confused, we're talking about this. Ain't esoterica fun?

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-23-2012, 03:13 PM   #17
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I don't know from plants, but I think you're right about the Jewel (Yasakani no Magatama) being represented by the abdomen. Interestingly, the standard Jewel looks like this, but Ueshiba's abdomen is perfectly round...

For Alan - there's some interesting stuff about symbolism inherent in the Kusanagi that Ueshiba used - but that's a work in progress.

For anybody who's confused, we're talking about this. Ain't esoterica fun?

Best,

Chris
But what if he had a Red and White jewel or some such complimentary combination (Fire/Water, Sun/Moon, Howard/Joe, etc.) in his tummy? Maybe that would make a nice round circle.

Looking forward to the Kusanagi stuff!

Esoterica is all such a mystery to me!



Allen

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Old 04-23-2012, 03:26 PM   #18
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

Quote:
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But what if he had a Red and White jewel or some such complimentary combination (Fire/Water, Sun/Moon, Howard/Joe, etc.) in his tummy? Maybe that would make a nice round circle.
Bingo! Wouldn't it be interesting?

I vote for Howard and Joe.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-23-2012, 03:33 PM   #19
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I don't know from plants, but I think you're right about the Jewel (Yasakani no Magatama) being represented by the abdomen. Interestingly, the standard Jewel looks like this, but Ueshiba's abdomen is perfectly round...

For Alan - there's some interesting stuff about symbolism inherent in the Kusanagi that Ueshiba used - but that's a work in progress.

For anybody who's confused, we're talking about this. Ain't esoterica fun?

Best,

Chris
don't they call his belly the jewel of perfection in one of the books?
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:40 PM   #20
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

I was thinking the same thing but can't recall which book that is. I think one of Stevens'. Anyone?

Ernesto
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:41 PM   #21
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
don't they call his belly the jewel of perfection in one of the books?
I don't remember offhand, but you may be right. In any case the shape of the jewel and the shape of the belly rang bells for me, since the artist was obviously instructed what and how to paint.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-23-2012, 04:02 PM   #22
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

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the standard Jewel looks like this, but Ueshiba's abdomen is perfectly round...
I do not recall the earliest reference to the jewel (Yayoi period) but I do seem to recall the shape you refer to has archeological sources that predate the kojiki by ~1700 years and they do appear, more or less, in the 'standard' shapes.

Take two 'standard' jewels and place them together and, viola, round in a blend of in yo (yin-yang aka 'diagram of ultimate power'). Six of them suckers in complimentary pairs in three orthogonal planes gives a sphere ... sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Last edited by Rob Watson : 04-23-2012 at 04:04 PM.

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Old 04-23-2012, 04:08 PM   #23
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
I do not recall the earliest reference to the jewel (Yayoi period) but I do seem to recall the shape you refer to has archeological sources that predate the kojiki by ~1700 years and they do appear, more or less, in the 'standard' shapes.

Take two 'standard' jewels and place them together and, viola, round in a blend of in yo (yin-yang aka 'diagram of ultimate power'). Six of them suckers in complimentary pairs in three orthogonal planes gives a sphere ... sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
Sometimes - but I have to consider that Ueshiba Loved (with a capital L) symbolism and multiple layers of meaning. Also, the artist was certainly instructed to portray certain things in a certain way.

Still, it's just my speculation, since I haven't seen mention of it elsewhere (that doesn't mean that it hasn't been mentioned somewhere, just that I haven't seen it or don't remember).

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-23-2012, 04:17 PM   #24
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

Quote:
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I don't remember offhand, but you may be right. In any case the shape of the jewel and the shape of the belly rang bells for me, since the artist was obviously instructed what and how to paint.

Best,

Chris
I dug around and found it mentioned in Budo: teachings of the founder of aikido
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:41 PM   #25
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2 - Breathing deeper...

I have a cultural question. Following your blog I went looking at Heng Ha breathing and I found that a description of generals Heng and Ha

http://www.chinahistoryforum.com/ind...erals-heng-ha/
Quote:
"As for the name "General Heng and Ha 哼哈二将", they originated from Ming dynasty novel Fengsheng Yanyi 《封神演义》 (The Investitures of the Gods). The author based them on the two door guardians of buddhist temple. Both of them were fierce and brave. They generally became Chinese folks figures because of this novel.

One was called Zheng lun 郑伦. He was able to spit out white breath from the nose to kill the enemy. The other was called Chen Qi 陈奇. He was able to spit out yellow breath from the mouth to kill the enemy."
So general Heng is actually spitting ("hoicking a lurgey" according to the school kids across the road) or forefully exhaling, hence the contracted abdomen

I understand Heng usually but not always refers to inhalation in Taiji which would be different from the cultural understanding above.. So I was wondering if in Japan the common cultural understanding, not the martial artists' version, is whether the Un/Heng figure is inhaling or spitting. Just wondering if the imagery has changed when it moved countries or whether this association of Un/heng with inhalation is purely a martial artists conception.

Last edited by davoravo : 05-16-2012 at 05:43 PM. Reason: punctuation

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