Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Internal Training in Aikido

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-20-2013, 01:51 AM   #26
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,079
United_States
Offline
Re: Is ki just good physics?

Quote:
Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
In the book Aikido, 1958, K. Ueshiba, under the guidance of Morihei Ueshiba, in the section called "Basic Knowledge" are two points (out of nine) dedicated to ki flow. Even though the concepts were presented as "basic knowledge" and fundamental to the practice of Aikido, it is acknowledged by the author that they are not easy concepts to grasp or explain.
I'd be fairly cautious about assuming how much guidance there actually was from Morihei.

Kisshomaru talks quite a bit about writing this book in "Aikido Ichiro".

He does state that he asked for his father's guidance, but he also states that he wrote the entire text himself, that it was edited extensively by a third party, and that he changed many particulars of his father's explanations in order to make things more understandable to the general populace.

He never once mentions actually receiving any guidance from his father.

According to Kisshomaru his father's response when he talked to him about writing the book was "well, do what you like", and his father's response upon seeing the finished work was "hey, great, it's got my picture in it".

Quote:
Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
It even goes on to describe a child who is incapable of lifting more than 50 pounds being able to "bewilder" someone capable of lifting 500 pounds. From this description I find it easy to infer two things; Ueshiba recognized and utilized ki as something other than muscular strength; that anyone is capable of this use of ki, not just shihan.
This is one of Koichi Tohei's classic examples, and of course his influence at the time the book was written and published can't be underestimated.

In the later "Aikido no Kokoro" ("Spirit of Aikido"), Kisshomaru speaks about Ki in some detail, describes it in classical Chinese terms, and cites the Chinese origin of the entire concept. He doesn't relate it to being muscular, or to the lack of muscle. He goes on to relate it to modern science.

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2013, 11:01 AM   #27
jonreading
 
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 893
United_States
Offline
Re: Is ki just good physics?

Quote:
Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post

To approach aikido from a non-technique emulation practice, authentic attack energy is necessary because aikido is only applicable to attack (differentiated from aiki principles which may apply throughout one's life in many ways). In the study of attack from a spiritual perspective, my conclusions about intention have been reaffirmed, because without an intention to connect to the central core of the target in a meaningful, impactful way, no aikido will manifest, unless the "aikidoist" uses brute force to employ an aikido shaped throw (counter attacks using technique).

Once one's partner understands and can produce and maintain energy through authentic attack intention to nage's central core, one can start to see how hardwiring in the lower brain produces an instant defense response. This is great for fighting, but no so good for aikido. I can demonstrate the principles of uke/nage interchange in a hard style application of aikido, but the problem is two fold. The hard martial use of aikido principles will trigger defense mechanisms in a attacker who is not 100% committed, and in the case of the attacker following through on his attack despite the aikido counter attack, the attacker leaves the event with the feeling of being bested, thereby promoting retaliation, and perhaps an escalation of the conflict, which I feel is not the purpose of aikido.

When working with a partner who is not just "giving ukemi" but is dedicated to directing a flow of penetrative energy to one's center, it is then much easier to see where one's own lower brain has reflexively put one into fighting mode rather than a "state of all-is-one."

This is perhaps as challenging as any aikido practice can be because rather than uke giving nage "practice dummy" energy so that a prescribed aiki path can be trained, uke puts nage under pressure, thereby usually eliciting the default limbic response immediately. At this point in the conversation I like to point out that this is not an intention to stop the aikido. That would be a defense rather than an attack. I can demonstrate the difference.

This is the point where the "paradox" of aikido is revealed to be less of a paradox than a call for a paradigm shift.

The conflict is between lower brain responses, hardwired through millions of years of central nervous system evolution for a creature to survive at any expense, and our neocortex reasoning and abstract thoughts that allow us to respond from a place of higher consciousness in lieu of reflex.

Mr. Mead, I believe this is what you are getting at, but I also have found that it can be realized through rational thought.

The lower brain will fight tooth and nail against the idea that love will produce a flow of energy that will be an effective defense against physical assault. Intermediate level students in my classes will stay "stuck" as long as their intentions are defense oriented. Sometimes the defense intention will be very subtle, but as long as it is there, there will be some indication of its presence.

But as soon as they can transcend the lower brain response and enter a "state of all-is-one," which we practice by generating beneficent intention, the aikido spontaneously manifests, sometimes like things you might think of as aikido techniques, but usually in more immediate, more direct paths. In zen this is mushin, but as we are interacting with a partner, the no-mind has a "flavor" of compassion or loving kindness. The way we train to generate beneficent intention often includes mental imagery of things that induce love.

It is totally a trainable thing, and I don't think Ikeda Sensei goes around showing stuff he doesn't think anyone can do but him. We practice what he shows in our dojo, and that is all we practice. It is no mystery to us - it is definitely awe-inspiring when nage finds that state and embodies it - on both sides of the aikido - but it is not a mystery. We do it all the time - even beginners. The training becomes about shifting intention from the automatic to the conscious.

Here is a clip of one of my training partners, Rene, beginning with him working with an 11 year old after regular class about three years ago: http://youtu.be/kkOa3FRfu5k

As you can see we don't teach him how to move, we instruct from intention. Rene is not being brutal but he is being relentless with his attack intention like he would with anyone in the dojo. The kind of ukemi you see in the rest of this clip may look like normal ukemi during some parts, but in my experience, if I were to attack average aikido practitioners the way Rene and I are attacking, most would either panic and/or try to force Rene or me into a throw using a technique. I would bet that 2% will actually find aiki under this kind of pressure. It wouldn't be because either Rene or I were being defensive against the aikido, or just bad ukes - just the opposite. The energy we are giving should have us on the mat very quickly, just as you see it happening with each other, but most people have not trained to work with authentic attack intention.

The key instruction which provided the aha moment for this young student was when he took the advice to "share." Had he misunderstood the word and taken it to mean he had to give a portion of what's his to someone else, he wouldn't have been able find aiki. But he actually embodied the idea of sharing and the ki extended out of him to Rene. Because Rene kept his attack up we see him go to the ground. "Sharing" from a pure intention is beneficial to the "extendee."

Next some jiuwaza practice, at 1:30 Rene responds to my shomen attack with a technique which brings him to the ground because employing one of his old hard style techniques made him into the primary attacker. My attack took on aikido characteristics, but this just goes to show that the attack intention never let up.

Around 3:00 Rene then gets stuck because his limbic system triggers defense from my attack. You can see him start and stop because he can feel that he is automatically trying to apply force and refuses to do so as to use force just to do the throw would be meaningless in this kind of practice. Instead, he extends ki through his other hand to complete the circuit. There is no physical force there, but there is a flow of ki. This can't be faked by either one of us because we have an agreement in our dojo not to let each other get away with anything.

Practicing this way reveals the literal truth in masakatsu agatsu and makes it our operating principle, because without transcending the lower brain response, the fighting mind, to a state of higher consciousness we will see no aikido.

If you (or any other readers) live in or are visiting the Los Angeles area and would like to experience what I am talking about (or just call me on my b.s.), please feel free to contact me.
At the risk of losing focus on the thread, I think there are 2 points in here I am working to resolve myself:
1. There is a notion that 100% commitment from uke is required to "do" aikido. The presumption here (at least I hope the presumption here) is that in parity, uke is applying 100% of the technique upon herself, leaving a negligable workload for nage. By reasoning, one could assume that *0% commitment would require *0% response, etc. and so on until you reach the point of obstenance where uke commits 0% to her attack. I do not know of any system of combat that advocates a 100% commitment to attack with abandon. Rather, most systems advocate a balance of commitment and reservation. Even when I work out with a partner who can apply irresistable pressure to my center, I always feel like they have more but are holding back.
2. There is a notion that the primal brain and nervous systems are somehow inferior to "higher" brain functions. The presumption here is that my superego (i.e. "me") has greater control over my body and its functions and therefore it is desireable to elevate my intellect. But then we rely upon basic exercises that are designed to condition the body's basic reactions... It falls back to the concept of hitting a baseball... There is not sufficient time to consciously decide to hit a fastball and commit to that action. Rather, I think we are specifically conditioning our basic systems to function more intelligently without our conscious involvement. It's about being, not doing. Isn't that where aiki takes hold of us? When we stop doing and start being?

These are both issues for me because they do not reconcile when you work out with someone who has aiki. When I touch some of these guys, it does not matter if I push, pull, stand there, cry, whatever. I will not affect them. The only percentage that applies is how much of my ass gets kicked. When the same guys attack... They do not even have to move and I get my ass kicked. They are doing it on both sides of the ball, and my involvement is inconsequential to them. Similarly, consciously participating in my ass-kicking does not solve the problem. The ol' lizard brain is good for some things, many of which I think we exclude because some of that talent is God-given and damn it if its not fair that we weren't given more of it. For being about our super-ego, I am not sure if its our ego that gets in the way.

I am still pissed off that God saw fit to deny me the 6 ft., 200 lb. frame that would've let me pitch in Major League Baseball. Instead, I take solice in criticizing the poor pitch counts of those players that were given the body that was supposed to go to me.

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2013, 01:55 AM   #28
Lee Salzman
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 405
Offline
Re: Is ki just good physics?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
At the risk of losing focus on the thread, I think there are 2 points in here I am working to resolve myself:
1. There is a notion that 100% commitment from uke is required to "do" aikido. The presumption here (at least I hope the presumption here) is that in parity, uke is applying 100% of the technique upon herself, leaving a negligable workload for nage. By reasoning, one could assume that *0% commitment would require *0% response, etc. and so on until you reach the point of obstenance where uke commits 0% to her attack. I do not know of any system of combat that advocates a 100% commitment to attack with abandon. Rather, most systems advocate a balance of commitment and reservation. Even when I work out with a partner who can apply irresistable pressure to my center, I always feel like they have more but are holding back.
2. There is a notion that the primal brain and nervous systems are somehow inferior to "higher" brain functions. The presumption here is that my superego (i.e. "me") has greater control over my body and its functions and therefore it is desireable to elevate my intellect. But then we rely upon basic exercises that are designed to condition the body's basic reactions... It falls back to the concept of hitting a baseball... There is not sufficient time to consciously decide to hit a fastball and commit to that action. Rather, I think we are specifically conditioning our basic systems to function more intelligently without our conscious involvement. It's about being, not doing. Isn't that where aiki takes hold of us? When we stop doing and start being?

These are both issues for me because they do not reconcile when you work out with someone who has aiki. When I touch some of these guys, it does not matter if I push, pull, stand there, cry, whatever. I will not affect them. The only percentage that applies is how much of my ass gets kicked. When the same guys attack... They do not even have to move and I get my ass kicked. They are doing it on both sides of the ball, and my involvement is inconsequential to them. Similarly, consciously participating in my ass-kicking does not solve the problem. The ol' lizard brain is good for some things, many of which I think we exclude because some of that talent is God-given and damn it if its not fair that we weren't given more of it. For being about our super-ego, I am not sure if its our ego that gets in the way.

I am still pissed off that God saw fit to deny me the 6 ft., 200 lb. frame that would've let me pitch in Major League Baseball. Instead, I take solice in criticizing the poor pitch counts of those players that were given the body that was supposed to go to me.
Regarding #1, yep, no commitment or cooperation from uke is required. Uke can stand there like a martial inept doing nothing, and aiki still works. As you noted, that is because aiki is never done to uke, aiki is done to nage, by nage, and uke is affected by it. That is why it is "internal" - it is stuff nage is doing inside, to himself, with an expression outside, that uke can't resist. And ironically, this aiki skill is learning to rather not commit any of our intention to uke, we keep it in ourselves, and give it to the universe as a whole, but never to uke. Uke never gets our commitment.

Quote:
Morihei Ueshiba wrote:
Do not stare into the eyes of your opponent: he may mesmerize you. Do not fix your gaze on his sword: he may intimidate you. Do not focus on your opponent at all: he may absorb your energy. The essence of training is to bring your opponent completely into your sphere. Then you can stand where you like.
Committed attacks, especially 100%, are martially unsound; you are just giving control of yourself to someone else a priori, the complete opposite of what you, as an offensive strategist, are trying to do. And just on a practical martial level, non-committed and deceptive attacks are what a skilled attacker in any venue will give you, so this is what we need to be good against, not human cannonballs that use a dead-reckoning strategy of throwing themselves "relentlessly forward" at a target like a zombie.

Regarding #2, yep, higher brain trains the lower brain through conscious conditioning/focused practice, and also the usage of intent to provoke responses from the more un/sub-conscious aspects of the body. All the same, it is not merely getting rid of some higher brain overlay or lower brain interference either, you have to put stuff in, then get rid of the non-useful responses like struggling against or giving commitment back to something that opposes you. But only getting rid of the habitual response to struggle against resistance is not the skill of aiki, it is merely something that detracts from the ability to practice the skill of aiki.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 10:25 AM   #29
CorkyQ
Dojo: Kakushi Toride Aikido
Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 103
United_States
Offline
Re: Is ki just good physics?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
At the risk of losing focus on the thread, I think there are 2 points in here I am working to resolve myself:
1. There is a notion that 100% commitment from uke is required to "do" aikido. The presumption here (at least I hope the presumption here) is that in parity, uke is applying 100% of the technique upon herself, leaving a negligable workload for nage. By reasoning, one could assume that *0% commitment would require *0% response, etc. and so on until you reach the point of obstenance where uke commits 0% to her attack. I do not know of any system of combat that advocates a 100% commitment to attack with abandon. Rather, most systems advocate a balance of commitment and reservation. Even when I work out with a partner who can apply irresistable pressure to my center, I always feel like they have more but are holding back.
2. There is a notion that the primal brain and nervous systems are somehow inferior to "higher" brain functions. The presumption here is that my superego (i.e. "me") has greater control over my body and its functions and therefore it is desireable to elevate my intellect. But then we rely upon basic exercises that are designed to condition the body's basic reactions... It falls back to the concept of hitting a baseball... There is not sufficient time to consciously decide to hit a fastball and commit to that action. Rather, I think we are specifically conditioning our basic systems to function more intelligently without our conscious involvement. It's about being, not doing. Isn't that where aiki takes hold of us? When we stop doing and start being?

These are both issues for me because they do not reconcile when you work out with someone who has aiki. When I touch some of these guys, it does not matter if I push, pull, stand there, cry, whatever. I will not affect them. The only percentage that applies is how much of my ass gets kicked. When the same guys attack... They do not even have to move and I get my ass kicked. They are doing it on both sides of the ball, and my involvement is inconsequential to them. Similarly, consciously participating in my ass-kicking does not solve the problem. The ol' lizard brain is good for some things, many of which I think we exclude because some of that talent is God-given and damn it if its not fair that we weren't given more of it. For being about our super-ego, I am not sure if its our ego that gets in the way.

I am still pissed off that God saw fit to deny me the 6 ft., 200 lb. frame that would've let me pitch in Major League Baseball. Instead, I take solice in criticizing the poor pitch counts of those players that were given the body that was supposed to go to me.
Thanks for the consideration of my post, Mr Reading. I'd like to address the points you brought up with clarification.

1. Anyone who knows and has practiced the movements of aikido can use them to throw someone who is not attacking as long as the target of the technique does not resist or if the resistance is insufficient to withstand the physical forces applied through body mechanics, but this is not the kind of action I would consider aikido from my point of view. I would call it "ass-kicking" (as you did).

The only kind of aikido of which I speak is the kind reflected in Osensei's statements, "A martial art in which there are conflict, winning and losing is not true budo," "The Aiki of which conventional martial artists spoke and the Aiki of which I speak are fundamentally different in both essence and substance," and "Aikido is not the art of fighting using brute strength or deadly weapons, or the use of physical power or deadly weapons to destroy one's enemies, but a way of harmonizing the world and unifying the human race as one family."

The reason I bring up this distinction is that it separates aikido from all other martial arts, as far as I know.

Most martial arts are predominantly defensive in nature. That is, the main purpose of them is for the martial artist to defend his life. Even in attack, the primary purpose of the application of most martial arts is to protect oneself (or one's interests), if by destroying or controlling the opponent. Even a suicide attack, such as in the case of Kamikaze pilots, are defensive in the sense of protecting the perceived "larger self" of the family or nation of the attacker as an extension of self.

When seen on a continuum of defense and attack, the lower brain default is always to defend. Attack in and of itself serves no purpose if it ends the life of the attacker (unless suicide is the purpose, and that would make it simply pathological).

That a default to defense in conflict is hardwired is evidenced though natural selection. The often used example of our protohuman ancestors reacting to a rustle in the bushes is a clear one - if the rustle was caused by a predator but did not elicit a reflexive defensive response, the protohuman would be eaten and not able to reproduce and pass on whatever reflexive response did occur if any. But the ancestor who demonstrated a defensive response to a rustle in the bushes might live to reproduce whether the rustle was made by a predator or a non-predator, hence the hardwired defense response, necessary or not, gets passed on genetically.

As you pointed out, in typical martial arts, fighters train not to over extend, to remain balanced, and to deliver destructive impact from the central core, but there is a range of effectiveness based on the physical limitations of the body. For the fighter to maintain his balance and still deliver a strike with meaningful impact, either the opponent has to move within the fighter's range of effectiveness or the fighter has to move himself so that the opponent is inside his range.

For the fighter to do this he must transcend his limbic system's defense mechanisms and move within his opponent's range of effectiveness. If the fighter has no fear of the opponent, he can easily commit fully to the attack. This is true in any case, even the swatting of insects. An allergic person who would swat a fly with his bare hand might act more cautiously if the insect is a large bumble bee. Even then, if the allergic person swatted the bumble bee, he or she would have to commit to a degree that the impact be strong enough to damage the bee enough to insure a wounded bee couldn't counter-attack in self defense.

In aikido we learn to stay outside the range of effectiveness of our partner through ma'ai, accomplished by distance or position (e.g. tenkan), therefore the attacker must be at least 51% committed to the attack to reach us. Because unlike other martial arts aikido is not about scoring hits or attacking, we never move within the range of our partner's effectiveness. Even irimi requires turning off the line of the attack to insure we are out of range by position.

There seems to be much anecdotal evidence that Osensei demanded a committed attack from his ukes. Why?

Because of the predominance of firearms in today's conflicts, from rifles to rockets, hand to hand combat has become more and more archaic, but looking at physical conflict before the 20th Century, to attack without full commitment could mean certain death. Imagine wielding a katana on a battlefield and you will realize that every time you strike you had better strike to kill. If you aren't in the midst of an attack your action better be fully in defense. Any portion less than 100% with any action would mean an opening for your opponent to take advantage. The reason samurai encounters often ended with double kills is because there was 100% commitment to attack and 0% commitment to defense from both warriors. If one of two equally skilled warriors was 50% committed to attack and 50% committed to defense, but the other is 100% committed to the attack, who would you think is most likely to achieve his goal? However, all attackers may not have a samurai spirit or be foolish enough to attack fully with no reserve of defensiveness. We can see this clearly in one-on-one encounters or sport fighting.

Is sport fighting and one-on-one contests, there is opportunity for the fighter to give less than 100% commitment in his attack because his main intention is to be on his feet at the end of the round. In contrast to a battlefield situation, neither combatant has to worry about being attacked from the rear by someone else or shot with a projectile so there is plenty of time for feinting, jabbing, doing little bits of accumulating damage to take down the target. But it doesn't matter how many crippling blows a fighter can deliver, if the fighter is the one on the ground at the end he is defeated. An examination of any sport fight will show more time spent defending and less time attacking, particularly fully committed attacking, as 100% commitment to attack means 0% commitment to defense. Unless the contestants are so unevenly matched as to be silly (Mike Tyson versus Woody Allen) either contestant can only launch a fully committed attack if they drop their defense.

Aikido is the only martial art in which every attacker demonstrates a "failing" attack to the point that he goes to the ground. In other martial arts partners may lower their defenses on purpose so that a fighter can practice, but those partners still do not get knocked down every time they do so. Aikido practitioners go to the mat (are "defeated") for their partners virtually every time.

So how can this paradox be resolved? The Founder of our art tells us on one hand that our art is not about defeating an opponent, and yet every time we practice aikido some one is thrown to the ground. Or are they?

If you follow through with your ukemi all the way through an attack you will go to the ground. If you hold back even a little and your partner insists on you still going all the way through the throw, you both will feel the resistance. Is this harmony? Who is the attacker if one insists the other goes to the ground?

When the aiki experts you encounter "kick your ass," my guess is that you are still doing your part as uke, because if you were really trying to attack them as in a real fight, the moment you felt them take the advantage, your limbic system would trigger your default defense mechanism, whether it is resistance or withdrawal. If you stopped being a typical aikido uke, providing service to your nage, you would react to the attempt to throw very differently than going into a roll.

About ten years ago when I first transformed my practice of aikido to eliminate anything that would cause harm to my attacker, I stopped trapping the fingers of my partners' grabbing hand during execution of nikyo. A seminar I attended subsequently included a teacher demonstrating nikyo in the traditional manner in which I had learned it. Each time I performed the technique with my partner, with the only exception of not trapping the fingers of my partner's grabbing hand, my partner would withdraw his hand as soon as his system registered the force that was going to break his wrist if he didn't drop like a stone. He'd then point out that he could then remove his hand and not go to the ground. He didn't realize that for me the purpose of aikido is so that the attack will stop, as he stopped his attack. Then and now, I continue to not be interested in any form of aikido that defeats an attacker through pain compliance, or that insists a non-attacking partner go to the floor. Try not trapping the fingers or grabbing your partner next time you apply nikyo, sankyo or kotegaeshi the way you normally would. if you are applying a painful technique the limbic system trigger will produce a reaction of resistance or withdrawal - unless the uke is 100% committed.

If you teach aikido, you know how hard it is to get a beginner to give you the kind of energy necessary to demonstrate without lugging them around and forcing them into the ukemi path, do you not? I think you are 100% correct in your premise that someone giving 0% attack requires 0% response, because aikido is a response to attack and if there is no attack, aikido is irrelevant. Remember I am not talking about the use of aikido movements to attack someone who is not attacking.

Sometimes people refer to uncooperative partners as "ukes from hell." Wendy Palmer Sensei said to me once that a bad uke can make a master look bad and a good uke can make a beginner look like a master. The "bad uke" gets his reputation, not from fully attacking with an effective attack that is hard to deal with, but by being defensive when an aikido technique is being applied. If you want to quickly lose all your training partners in the dojo you belong to, start defending yourself any time your partner starts to throw you. You will begin to understand what I mean about commitment to the attack.

What I have found is that when uke is 100% committed to the attack, hard style aikido works fine in producing a throw. But when the attack is less than fully committed, say 75% committed to the attack and 25% committed to defense, any physical action by nage (including the machinations of throwing) that will trigger a limbic system response in uke will either cause uke to resist or withdraw and there will be no aiki. The less committed an attack the more likely the chance the attacker's default defense mechanism will be triggered. Allow me to reiterate that I am not talking about the ability of someone to forcefully throw someone using the movements common to aikido.

As an example, think about someone determined to kill someone else with a gun. For the moment of truth, that is for the space of time in which the intention to kill produces the pulling of the trigger however short the time, there can be only negligible regard to the consequences of the action or the trigger will not be pulled. If the consciousness of how this murder could also destroy the life of the murderer is present in the murderer, the would-be murderer must transcend the default defense mindset in order to pull the trigger, even if that transcendence is only long enough for the murderer to act.

Bearing in mind that an attacker who is not fully committed has a portion of his intention in defense, and that at least a portion of this intention is hardwired in the lower brain, if there is anything that triggers that limbic system defense mechanism, the attack will revert to defense. To test this, have a partner grab you and ask them to not let you do anything with your arm. Try to touch your partner's nose with muscular strength. If your partner is doing what you asked it will be a struggle.

Hard style aikido uses a constricted flow of ki (stream of spirit) to make the center-to-center connection referred to in Aikido, and it is extremely effective when dealing with a fully committed attack. But off the battlefield there may be less commitment. In our dojo, because we do not practice in a technique emulation way, we learn to give authentic attack energy with reduced intensity. However, even with less intensity the commitment to the attack can be 100%. At 100% anyone who can demonstrate the movements of aikido sufficiently can find an aiki resolution. But as students advance in my dojo we begin to vary the level of commitment all the way down to 51%. At fifty-one percent, there is no way anyone, not even the most accomplished aikidoka is going to throw uke, because uke can respond defensively to anything out of harmony with his attack. At 51%, the connection MUST be of a different nature and it is at this level we start to see the most subtle truths about aikido and the stream of spirit connection.

2. There is nothing "inferior" about lower brain functions. We rely on our autonomous nervous system to keep us breathing, keep our heart beating, our blood flowing, our hormones working. But these are all automatic. There is no choice in our brain to breathe or not to breathe, for our hearts to beat or not beat except temporarily on the conscious level and even in that case the autonomic brain will win every time if we consciously attempt to overcome it.

The neocortex allows us to make choices, and some of those may counteract or encourage our limbic system directives, such as the ability to hold our breath as long as we can or to hyperventilate. Ultimately though, the lower brain will always win in cases of body and cell survival. (non sequitur: cetaceans, with their lack of corpus callosum, have two independently operating brain halves and have conscious control over their breathing even to the point of death) When the lower brain is triggered to produce a defense response, it is also difficult to transcend, but it can be done. We can maintain a cool head when the s*** hits the fan if we apply our higher brain functions to the cause even with a flood of adrenaline to the whole body.

In our practice at my dojo we have found that the only way to achieve aiki and a subsequent aiki resolution (what other aikido practitioners might describe as a throw) with out triggering uke's defense responses when the attack is at a 51% level of commitment is to embody beneficent intention (love, compassion, appreciation, acceptance, forgiveness, etc.), thereby eliciting a broad "flood" of ki that joins the constricted, destructive flow of ki of the attack. This is not easy, but it is definitely attainable and is a literal manifestation of masakatsu agatsu.

The feeling of grabbing someone with the full intention of locking them up (and we do this with all students after they have learned the basic movements of aikido, even beginners) when they embody some form of intention that you will benefit from your interaction is indescribable except for the feeling of your attack intention melting instantly as you head toward the mat. Once the student experiences this spontaneous manifestation of aiki, they will never forget it. The practice then becomes about making a more rapid transition from limbic response to transcendent response until the transcendent response can be generated before physical contact with uke. In concert with that, the practice becomes about doing this more consistently. In this way, we bypass the habitual responses (trained techniques) that the lower brain can integrate into its automatic fight or flight repertoire and instead train a response of higher consciousness that will permit aikido to manifest spontaneously in whatever path the union of ki of the particpants creates.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 11:11 AM   #30
CorkyQ
Dojo: Kakushi Toride Aikido
Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 103
United_States
Offline
Re: Is ki just good physics?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I'd be fairly cautious about assuming how much guidance there actually was from Morihei.

Kisshomaru talks quite a bit about writing this book in "Aikido Ichiro".

He does state that he asked for his father's guidance, but he also states that he wrote the entire text himself, that it was edited extensively by a third party, and that he changed many particulars of his father's explanations in order to make things more understandable to the general populace.

He never once mentions actually receiving any guidance from his father.

According to Kisshomaru his father's response when he talked to him about writing the book was "well, do what you like", and his father's response upon seeing the finished work was "hey, great, it's got my picture in it".

This is one of Koichi Tohei's classic examples, and of course his influence at the time the book was written and published can't be underestimated.

In the later "Aikido no Kokoro" ("Spirit of Aikido"), Kisshomaru speaks about Ki in some detail, describes it in classical Chinese terms, and cites the Chinese origin of the entire concept. He doesn't relate it to being muscular, or to the lack of muscle. He goes on to relate it to modern science.

Best,

Chris
Dear Chris, I merely copied what it says on the author page of the book.

But if you mean to imply that Kisshomaru, his translators and editors presented something not in keeping with the Founder's intention or teaching, and that Morihei Ueshiba was such an ego-maniac that all he cared about was having his picture in the book (I read a similar story in Remembering Osensei about an aikido newsletter which had no picture of him in the first edition, which he dismissed, but then approved of the second edition which did display his picture) to the extent that he let his life's work be misrepresented, then we will have to find another honorific for him besides "Osensei" - something that means "Great Fool." I would assume only great trust or massive stupidity would inspire the Founder to give free rein to his son to literally "write the book" on Aikido.

I could be wrong of course, but it seems to me that wlth all the reverence with which Osensei's son writes of his father, his father's work and intentions for Aikido, that he would not have attempted to conspire with editors and translators to add two main points out of nine (or three, if you count "breath power" as another description of ki) to the "Basic Knowledge" section of book Aikido that were not in keeping with his father's budo.

I do appreciate K. Ueshiba's efforts is giving us something easier to grasp than the esoteric sounding words of his father regarding ki, and I enjoy his exploration of the nature ki in The Spirit of Aikido in which he relates ki to modern science, but a word of caution: Mentioning ki as a physical force of nature in these forums may incite the torch and pitchfork mob!
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 12:12 PM   #31
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,079
United_States
Offline
Re: Is ki just good physics?

Quote:
Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
Dear Chris, I merely copied what it says on the author page of the book.

But if you mean to imply that Kisshomaru, his translators and editors presented something not in keeping with the Founder's intention or teaching, and that Morihei Ueshiba was such an ego-maniac that all he cared about was having his picture in the book (I read a similar story in Remembering Osensei about an aikido newsletter which had no picture of him in the first edition, which he dismissed, but then approved of the second edition which did display his picture) to the extent that he let his life's work be misrepresented, then we will have to find another honorific for him besides "Osensei" - something that means "Great Fool." I would assume only great trust or massive stupidity would inspire the Founder to give free rein to his son to literally "write the book" on Aikido.

I could be wrong of course, but it seems to me that wlth all the reverence with which Osensei's son writes of his father, his father's work and intentions for Aikido, that he would not have attempted to conspire with editors and translators to add two main points out of nine (or three, if you count "breath power" as another description of ki) to the "Basic Knowledge" section of book Aikido that were not in keeping with his father's budo.

I do appreciate K. Ueshiba's efforts is giving us something easier to grasp than the esoteric sounding words of his father regarding ki, and I enjoy his exploration of the nature ki in The Spirit of Aikido in which he relates ki to modern science, but a word of caution: Mentioning ki as a physical force of nature in these forums may incite the torch and pitchfork mob!
I'm not disparaging Kisshomaru's efforts - but Morihei was not really all that involved in things during the time that the book was written, most of the time he wasn't even around, and yes, it was pretty much laissez-faire in terms of how Kisshomaru was running things.

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 01:12 PM   #32
CorkyQ
Dojo: Kakushi Toride Aikido
Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 103
United_States
Offline
Re: Is ki just good physics?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I'm not disparaging Kisshomaru's efforts - but Morihei was not really all that involved in things during the time that the book was written, most of the time he wasn't even around, and yes, it was pretty much laissez-faire in terms of how Kisshomaru was running things.

Best,

Chris
I understand, but again, are you implying that Kisshomaru (or his translators or editors) were altering, or adding to in a contrary way, or selectively discarding from a true representation of his father's work as he understood them in any signifcant way in the texts he wrote or had ghost written?

Best,

Corky
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 01:17 PM   #33
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,079
United_States
Offline
Re: Is ki just good physics?

Quote:
Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
I understand, but again, are you implying that Kisshomaru (or his translators or editors) were altering, or adding to in a contrary way, or selectively discarding from a true representation of his father's work as he understood them in any signifcant way in the texts he wrote or had ghost written?

Best,

Corky
Well, yes, that's been pretty clearly established, even on the technical side. Whether one agrees with those changes or not is up to the individual.

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 01:42 PM   #34
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,079
United_States
Offline
Re: Is ki just good physics?

Quote:
Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
Thanks for the response. The parts I am specifically interested in are the descriptions of "Stream of Spirit" and "Extension of Power" in the section of Aikido called "Basic Knowledge." Are they significantly adding to, or dismissing from, or altering his father's teaching or philosophy?

If so, is the implication that Osensei cared so little about this book and its contents that he would allow something he felt was in opposition to his teaching to be published?

Best,

Corky
It's not just descriptions, but how they're interpreted, and the context - especially the context in the original language, which is often (usually) different from the translations. That's really too much to get into here, in any case (I've touched on some of this in my blog, I'd just say to be cautious about how literally you take a translation of Kisshomaru as an absolute statement on Morihei's beliefs.

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2013, 05:30 PM   #35
Bill Danosky
 
Bill Danosky's Avatar
Dojo: BN Yoshinkan
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 433
United_States
Offline
Re: Is ki just good physics?

We all have differing degrees of awareness within our bodies. Conscious awareness is a remarkable thing, to say the least. Yoga notably enhances one's sensitivity to their own body, and over time, Aikido seems to enhance the practitioner's sensitivity to uke's body. By extension, even into the environment, hypothetically speaking. We haven't invented a meter that detects the energy of awareness, but of course, if we can know anything, we know it exists. You probably can't do a Jedi mind trick with it, but good connection with uke sure helps with kokyunage.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 10:21 AM   #36
mjhacker
 
mjhacker's Avatar
Dojo: Renshinkan
Location: Arizona
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 198
United_States
Offline
Re: Is ki just good physics?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
The sum of the whole is indeed always greater. Yet a part of a bicycle is not part of the whole of a Ferari.
But a Batcycle IS part of a whole Batmobile.

Michael Hacker
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Renshinkan
http://renshindojo.com/

自由心流合気武道 - 鍛心館
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido DVDs and Video Downloads - by George Ledyard Sensei & other great teachers from AikidoDVDS.Com



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ki to the Highway OwlMatt External Aikido Blog Posts 174 09-07-2012 11:36 AM
what does religion say about ki? malsmith Spiritual 105 03-17-2010 07:03 AM
What is Ki? Mohammed Akmal Testing 88 02-20-2010 04:05 AM
I like this definition of ki dps General 10 09-25-2007 06:55 PM
Stanislavsky and Ki DaveO General 11 01-20-2006 10:11 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:09 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate