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Old 05-20-2015, 09:32 AM   #1
lbb
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Doka of the day

For May 20:

Quote:
Training everyday,
I smile again to see
The King of the Eight Powers
About to give his battle cry.
- Morihei Ueshiba
Who or what is the King of the Eight Powers?
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:55 AM   #2
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Re: Doka of the day

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
For May 20:

Who or what is the King of the Eight Powers?
Buddha

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:33 AM   #3
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Re: Doka of the day

The eight powers are the eight opposing In-Yo (Yin-Yang) forces (made up of four pairs), discussed here. The "King of the Eight Powers" is a name for the "Kami of Opposing Forces", who is also called Kunitokotachi-no-Kami - who is sometimes associated with Amenominakanushi - who Morihei Ueshiba sometimes identified as...himself (rather, the human element in heaven-earth-man).

In other words, Morihei Ueshiba is talking about the In-Yo interactions that are the heart of his technical method.

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-20-2015, 12:47 PM   #4
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Re: Doka of the day

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
The eight powers are the eight opposing In-Yo (Yin-Yang) forces (made up of four pairs), discussed here. The "King of the Eight Powers" is a name for the "Kami of Opposing Forces", who is also called Kunitokotachi-no-Kami - who is sometimes associated with Amenominakanushi - who Morihei Ueshiba sometimes identified as...himself (rather, the human element in heaven-earth-man).

In other words, Morihei Ueshiba is talking about the In-Yo interactions that are the heart of his technical method.

Best,

Chris
Okay so the in-yo interactions are about to give a battle cry and this makes him smile...why is that? Does it sound like a fart or something? That would be very Japanese.
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Old 05-20-2015, 02:54 PM   #5
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Re: Doka of the day

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
The eight powers are the eight opposing In-Yo (Yin-Yang) forces (made up of four pairs), discussed here. The "King of the Eight Powers" is a name for the "Kami of Opposing Forces", who is also called Kunitokotachi-no-Kami - who is sometimes associated with Amenominakanushi - who Morihei Ueshiba sometimes identified as...himself (rather, the human element in heaven-earth-man).

In other words, Morihei Ueshiba is talking about the In-Yo interactions that are the heart of his technical method.

Best,

Chris
Hi Chris,

For awhile I have been struggling with the meaning of the "Eight Powers" and how they relate to our training. I'm reminded by your article that he expressed them in terms of pairs of numbers (9-1, 8-2, 7-3, 6-4 etc), stating the different relationships between yin and yang, but it seems in Aikido that we aspire to do just 5-5 (circular aiki?). Do you think the more (uh, linear?) aiki was taught/demonstrated by O-sensei? Or perhaps it's one of the differences between his pre-war and post-war art?
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:08 PM   #6
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Re: Doka of the day

Quote:
Joshua Landin wrote: View Post
Hi Chris,

For awhile I have been struggling with the meaning of the "Eight Powers" and how they relate to our training. I'm reminded by your article that he expressed them in terms of pairs of numbers (9-1, 8-2, 7-3, 6-4 etc), stating the different relationships between yin and yang, but it seems in Aikido that we aspire to do just 5-5 (circular aiki?). Do you think the more (uh, linear?) aiki was taught/demonstrated by O-sensei? Or perhaps it's one of the differences between his pre-war and post-war art?
Hi Josh,

I don't think that conventional Aikido (modern Aikido?) pays much attention to it, although they certainly ought to, IMO.

The eight powers are different combinations of yin and yang that produce different effects or "jins", basically speaking. In terms of the balancing, as we see in Morihei Ueshiba's citation of Kiichi Hogen, the actual numbers don't matter so much as the fact that they have to balance. Without that you can't get the neutral, and you introduce stagnancy.

Of course, it's important to remember that there's something missing when Morihei Ueshiba talks about yin and yang, and that's...the other person. He references it (as you know) in terms of oneself, in terms of balancing those forces within one's own body - "I am the Universe", not "You and I are the Universe".

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-20-2015, 08:00 PM   #7
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Re: Doka of the day

So he is smiling to see the king of the eight powers about to give his battle cry from within himself? Not in some student on the mat?
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:37 PM   #8
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Re: Doka of the day

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
The eight powers are the eight opposing In-Yo (Yin-Yang) forces (made up of four pairs), discussed here. The "King of the Eight Powers" is a name for the "Kami of Opposing Forces", who is also called Kunitokotachi-no-Kami - who is sometimes associated with Amenominakanushi - who Morihei Ueshiba sometimes identified as...himself (rather, the human element in heaven-earth-man).

In other words, Morihei Ueshiba is talking about the In-Yo interactions that are the heart of his technical method.

Best,

Chris
Clear as mud.

dps
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:52 PM   #9
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Re: Doka of the day

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Okay so the in-yo interactions are about to give a battle cry and this makes him smile...why is that? Does it sound like a fart or something? That would be very Japanese.
Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
So he is smiling to see the king of the eight powers about to give his battle cry from within himself? Not in some student on the mat?
Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Clear as mud.

dps
Comments like these are exactly why I rarely participate in AikiWeb anymore. If anybody else has questions about what the founder of their art was talking about feel free to PM me, I'll refrain from participating in any more threads.

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-21-2015, 06:48 AM   #10
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Re: Doka of the day

I apologize if you found my questions challenging, Mr. Li.
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:29 AM   #11
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Re: Doka of the day

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I apologize if you found my questions challenging, Mr. Li.
I think I would describe them as "mocking" and "confrontational" rather than "challenging", honestly.

Chris, thank you for answering my question. Your answer was very helpful. I don't entirely get what is being talked about (hey, it's esoteric stuff, right?), but I sincerely appreciate the effort.
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:45 AM   #12
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Re: Doka of the day

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Comments like these are exactly why I rarely participate in AikiWeb anymore. If anybody else has questions about what the founder of their art was talking about feel free to PM me, I'll refrain from participating in any more threads.

Best,

Chris
Chris,

One purpose of my question was an attempt to get the thread back on track. Obviously, I have failed.

The apparent lack of moderation action in regards to some of the comments here has convinced me that this is not a place where we can discuss such things.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:01 AM   #13
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Re: Doka of the day

edit:
Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I think I would describe them as "mocking" and "confrontational" rather than "challenging", honestly.
Well I'll own "irreverent," "cheeky," "flippant," and even "petulant" or "idiotic" with regards to the first one but there was no disrespect towards Chris intended.

Given the chain of associated names that Chris provided to identify the King of Eight Powers,

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
The eight powers are the eight opposing In-Yo (Yin-Yang) forces (made up of four pairs), discussed here. The "King of the Eight Powers" is a name for the "Kami of Opposing Forces", who is also called Kunitokotachi-no-Kami - who is sometimes associated with Amenominakanushi - who Morihei Ueshiba sometimes identified as...himself (rather, the human element in heaven-earth-man).

In other words, Morihei Ueshiba is talking about the In-Yo interactions that are the heart of his technical method.
I think it is quite salient to ask what Ueshiba means by the "battle cry" of the King of Eight Powers and why it made him smile.

Because the original post was made in General I assumed it was a good faith attempt to generate an open discussion. After reflecting on this being a doka about eight directions, I envisioned Osensei smiling because he saw a student, you know, "get it." But then Chris pointed out

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Of course, it's important to remember that there's something missing when Morihei Ueshiba talks about yin and yang, and that's...the other person. He references it (as you know) in terms of oneself, in terms of balancing those forces within one's own body - "I am the Universe", not "You and I are the Universe".
And that is where my second question came from. Was he then inspired to write this after engaging in his solo training? What was it that inspired him to write this? What was he trying to convey?

(edit: lost track of who I was addressing in this post...I apologize if it seems too directed at a specific poster.)

Last edited by Cliff Judge : 05-21-2015 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:32 AM   #14
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Re: Doka of the day

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Clear as mud.

dps
I don't think it was fair to lump this comment in with mine by the way. It may seem that an answer like

Quote:
The eight powers are the eight opposing In-Yo (Yin-Yang) forces (made up of four pairs), discussed here. The "King of the Eight Powers" is a name for the "Kami of Opposing Forces", who is also called Kunitokotachi-no-Kami - who is sometimes associated with Amenominakanushi - who Morihei Ueshiba sometimes identified as...himself (rather, the human element in heaven-earth-man).
brings clarity to the discussion but it really does not. Not without a lot of explanation of who these entities are, what their provenance is, and why you think this. The cited blog post does not fully serve here, at least for me.
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:46 AM   #15
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Re: Doka of the day

Chris has spent a lot of time and effort translating and explaining these things in clear English on his many blog posts. Spend sometime reading more than just what he linked, they are well worth studying to reexamine the founders words with new found clarity of the "spiritual ramblings" we have been dismissing all these years. The real question here should be what is the in/yo relationship he is referring to when mentioning The King of the Eight Powers and how should it affect our training.

Chris, I hope you change your mind about posting here. There is a severe lack of any quality posting going here and yours would be sorely missed.
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Old 05-21-2015, 12:02 PM   #16
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Re: Doka of the day

My two cents:

Kunitokotachi-no-Kami is referenced in the Kojiki, so is Amenominakanushi. O Sensei has several references to the Floating Bridge of Heaven (Amenominakanushi). I think he also has more than one doka that talk about the king (or maybe god) of eight powers:
Quote:
Deep in the glow of Izu
Which Shines in the Heavens above
There is the reverberating sound
Of the King of the Eight Powers
Quote:
The "Cross Of Aiki" (Love-Ki)
Of the structure of the Great and Swift God
The meritorious deeds (samuhara) of the
God of the Eight Powers.
I think in all these references, O Sensei is not referring to a physical sound, but rather something else. The first quote above is sometimes combined with another doka that talks about the mountain echo, which is a body posture - a posture trained in solo exercise. As a general interest, I'd like to know if that is a substantial relation or mere speculation.

To quote The Princess Bride, "I do not think it means what you think it means." I find most of the doka to be a combination of very clear instruction presented in a package that exceeds my functioning knowledge of my martial arts history, Japanese culture and Japanese language. I think most of the English translations I originally reviewed were intended to be "dummed down" and in many respects I think that work was not done well [enough]. Calculus is "clear as mud," for most of us, yet that truth makes calculus no less real or practical for those who understand it. It does create a distinction between the know/know-nots.

As a general observation of the doka, O Sensei included several concepts into many of his doka: Aiki (not aikido), the floating bridge, the opposing gods, the one god, sounds (like kotodama) and postures (or positions) are only a few of these themes. The King of Eight Powers appears enough to incur my interest.

I think while maybe for non-practitioners this stuff may be esoteric, I think it is probably a general knowledge with which we (aikido people) should be at least familiar. Considering how many books I have in my library with doka in them, you'd think I want to at least know to what they referred regardless of whether I inherited the content as part of my education process. I kinda like the thread and the question posted by Mary for this reason.

My personal opinion of this doka is that O Sensei is calling for regular (solo) training to build the aiki body (with some reference as to the posture - the roar of the mountain echo/batttle cry)...

FWIW

Last edited by jonreading : 05-21-2015 at 12:07 PM.

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Old 05-21-2015, 12:26 PM   #17
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Re: Doka of the day

asian uses a lot of analogy in their descriptions. If you have ever read Terry Pratchett's "Interesting times", he wrote about it (Lord Hong talked about writing) pretty well. pretty funny, because it's so true.

as for the doka, i got out of it as,

i train every day, and happy to be able to balance the forces (opposing, yin-yang, in-yo, ho ho ho) within me to create aiki (taiji), which is ready to unleash/use on moment notice ("About to give his battle cry" = ready to unleash on moment notice).

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:30 PM   #18
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Re: Doka of the day

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
And that is where my second question came from. Was he then inspired to write this after engaging in his solo training?
I think that's absolutely right. Most of those doka make me think of him after waking up and doing his morning misogi and tanren, feeling inspired by his physical sensations and interpretations thereof. This one is a perfect example.

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
What was it that inspired him to write this? What was he trying to convey?
I think Phi nailed it. "Battle cry" is what you perceive when someone/something with the ability to manifest great power is approaching. When I do my first exercises of the day, getting my body sorted out, I feel kind of like that.
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:51 PM   #19
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Re: Doka of the day

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I think in all these references, O Sensei is not referring to a physical sound, but rather something else. The first quote above is sometimes combined with another doka that talks about the mountain echo, which is a body posture - a posture trained in solo exercise. As a general interest, I'd like to know if that is a substantial relation or mere speculation.

To quote The Princess Bride, "I do not think it means what you think it means." I find most of the doka to be a combination of very clear instruction presented in a package that exceeds my functioning knowledge of my martial arts history, Japanese culture and Japanese language. I think most of the English translations I originally reviewed were intended to be "dummed down" and in many respects I think that work was not done well [enough]. Calculus is "clear as mud," for most of us, yet that truth makes calculus no less real or practical for those who understand it. It does create a distinction between the know/know-nots.
From what little I know, translation is very difficult between Japanese and English. That's one of the things I greatly admire about Chris Li, his blog posts are a lot of work. The two languages differ on the semantic and even pragmatic levels (there are fundamental differences in what there is to be said and not just in how to say it). So if you want to accurately capture the meaning of the Japanese in English, it isn't going to make a lot of English sense. If you want it to sound good in English, you are going to have to add or subtract shades of meaning from the original. Furthermore, when you get into literature and poetry, there is an entire dimension of clever choices of kanji to express subtle or even multiple meanings. Note that [love-cross] comment in your first doka!

And I believe that Japanese poetry also expresses meaning using the caligraphy itself. So even if you were fluent in literary Japanese and reading it as typewritten characters, you'd still be missing thay layer of meaning.

So I don't think this type of writing is meant to be clear at all, or at least not explicit. Osensei is not trying to say something that is to be specifically interpreted. Not to take away from the importance of Chris Li's translations that he makes available to all of us.
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:57 PM   #20
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Re: Doka of the day

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
I think Phi nailed it. "Battle cry" is what you perceive when someone/something with the ability to manifest great power is approaching. When I do my first exercises of the day, getting my body sorted out, I feel kind of like that.
I would think you'd have made eye contact and sussed each other up for some time, and the battle cry is something that breaks tension and releases.

But you know...the term in Japanese might have other connotations that you could support by finding contemporary writings...maybe there is hope for my fart joke interpretation yet...
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Old 05-21-2015, 04:30 PM   #21
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Re: Doka of the day

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
.... So if you want to accurately capture the meaning of the Japanese in English, it isn't going to make a lot of English sense. If you want it to sound good in English, you are going to have to add or subtract shades of meaning from the original. Furthermore, when you get into literature and poetry, there is an entire dimension of clever choices of kanji to express subtle or even multiple meanings. Note that [love-cross] comment in your first doka!

And I believe that Japanese poetry also expresses meaning using the caligraphy itself. So even if you were fluent in literary Japanese and reading it as typewritten characters, you'd still be missing thay layer of meaning.

So I don't think this type of writing is meant to be clear at all, or at least not explicit. Osensei is not trying to say something that is to be specifically interpreted. Not to take away from the importance of Chris Li's translations that he makes available to all of us.
This is what I meant when I posted "clear as mud", no disrespect intended just an observation.
Too many nuances of the language and culture of the Japanese and Chinese language and culture over the centuries to get a clear meaning.
Can you explain what you are talking about using modern biology of the body, like muscular, skeletal system, nervous system, facia, etc.?


dps

Last edited by dps : 05-21-2015 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 05-21-2015, 04:32 PM   #22
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Re: Doka of the day

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I would think you'd have made eye contact and sussed each other up for some time, and the battle cry is something that breaks tension and releases.
Well, I just don't think you need to bring a second person into it in the first place.

I can see how the words themselves, without any prejudice about what basic training entails, can lead to your interpretation-- so I am certainly not saying that is wrong. But in my understanding of training, this doka would very likely refer to a feeling within oneself during solo training.

Part of my interpretation is based on the initial words of the doka (but of course at some point it's true that we have to get away from the English translation to really make sense of anything). The "training everyday" makes it seem like the doka is referring to the most basic, fundamental level of practice (the "everyday" aspect).

If you take the most fundamental part of training to be partner practice, your "partner-based" interpretation makes the most sense. But, if you take solo misogi to be the fundamental aspect of practice, with partner practice being a less frequent type of training on top of it, then the doka seems to refer to a feeling that makes you smile that is independent of any partner.
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:04 AM   #23
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Re: Doka of the day

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I would think you'd have made eye contact and sussed each other up for some time, and the battle cry is something that breaks tension and releases.

But you know...the term in Japanese might have other connotations that you could support by finding contemporary writings...maybe there is hope for my fart joke interpretation yet...
I think in this doka, "battle cry" is kiai. What is kiai? A sudden expression of energy. For me, this is an indication that the proper training solicits a postures that creates the potential to express energy. I am moving away from "release" because releasing energy necessarily creates a need to restore energy. I am more a fan of the concept of energy through balance - a constant state of potential/kinetic energy that never has "down-time." If you kiai in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Yep.

Also, I think we need a differentiation between a kiai and yelling (which is not an expression of energy) and the possibility that the sound is only a metric of success of kiai because you can kiai without noise. In other doka, sometimes O Sensei talks about opposing sounds (Yah and Toh, for example), I think as a cycle of energy. The "sound" is simply a guide to the posture and movement (for example, "Toh" is sometimes explained as exhalation). We often see tori fune taught with some vocal component, presumably to help create the proper exercise movement. Otherwise, it's just yelling.

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Old 05-22-2015, 09:18 AM   #24
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Re: Doka of the day

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I think in this doka, "battle cry" is kiai. What is kiai? A sudden expression of energy. For me, this is an indication that the proper training solicits a postures that creates the potential to express energy. I am moving away from "release" because releasing energy necessarily creates a need to restore energy. I am more a fan of the concept of energy through balance - a constant state of potential/kinetic energy that never has "down-time." If you kiai in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Yep.
I was thinking that but wasn't going to mention it without seeing the doka in Japanese.

Also because my head exploded!! AIKI making a KIAI ??? What if KIAI can make AIKI happen? If the King of the Eight Directions can make a KIAI, is there a king of something related to KIAI, who can make AIKI??



Quote:
Also, I think we need a differentiation between a kiai and yelling (which is not an expression of energy) and the possibility that the sound is only a metric of success of kiai because you can kiai without noise. In other doka, sometimes O Sensei talks about opposing sounds (Yah and Toh, for example), I think as a cycle of energy. The "sound" is simply a guide to the posture and movement (for example, "Toh" is sometimes explained as exhalation). We often see tori fune taught with some vocal component, presumably to help create the proper exercise movement. Otherwise, it's just yelling.
and yeah kiai does not neccessarily have to be vocal. In Yagyu Shinkage ryu our kiai is mostly unvocalized. One metric for success of kiai is whether you manage to hit your sempai when in the uchidachi role of hankai-hankou or a few other kata.

Kiai that sounds like a yell certainly CAN be an expression of energy, and it can be sudden, or progressive, or constant.

I am not sure if we should regard the fact that the King of Eight Directions makes a "battle cry" to mean that this doka is about kiaijutsu though.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:56 AM   #25
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Re: Doka of the day

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I think in this doka, "battle cry" is kiai. What is kiai? A sudden expression of energy. For me, this is an indication that the proper training solicits a postures that creates the potential to express energy. I am moving away from "release" because releasing energy necessarily creates a need to restore energy. I am more a fan of the concept of energy through balance - a constant state of potential/kinetic energy that never has "down-time." If you kiai in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Yep.

Also, I think we need a differentiation between a kiai and yelling (which is not an expression of energy) and the possibility that the sound is only a metric of success of kiai because you can kiai without noise. In other doka, sometimes O Sensei talks about opposing sounds (Yah and Toh, for example), I think as a cycle of energy. The "sound" is simply a guide to the posture and movement (for example, "Toh" is sometimes explained as exhalation). We often see tori fune taught with some vocal component, presumably to help create the proper exercise movement. Otherwise, it's just yelling.
Within the context of the doka, I take "battle cry" to mean "releasing the Mountain Echo (山彦)".
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