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Old 05-22-2015, 10:17 AM   #26
Cliff Judge
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Re: Doka of the day

Quote:
Joshua Landin wrote: View Post
Within the context of the doka, I take "battle cry" to mean "releasing the Mountain Echo (山彦)".
Do you mean within the context of all of the doka, or just within the context of this one?
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Old 05-22-2015, 12:15 PM   #27
allowedcloud
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Re: Doka of the day

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Do you mean within the context of all of the doka, or just within the context of this one?
Yes.
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Old 05-22-2015, 12:19 PM   #28
jonreading
 
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Re: Doka of the day

Quote:
Joshua Landin wrote: View Post
Within the context of the doka, I take "battle cry" to mean "releasing the Mountain Echo (山彦)".
He is a doka I like that talks specifically to the mountain echo:

Quote:
Blend the Ki within the self (ki-musubi)
Stand erect in the very center
Polish the spirit/mind (Kokoro)
"The Way of the Mountain Echo".
In this doka, I think we are talking about mountain echo as a outcome. Do x and y and you'll be the mountain echo. I am not sure if the mountain echo is an action. Also, I am not sure if "releasing" the mountain echo is a sudden expression of energy and now we're squabbling about kiai semantics.

Another point of interest for this doka is a clear reference to individual behavior (solo exercise) resulting in a desirable outcome. The blending translation here is not between partners, giving room for the possibility (probability) that aiki does not require energies from two (or more) people.

I think there is a good argument to be had that one can have aiki can not express it (kiai). I think similarly, one can express kiai and not have aiki. The kanji is ordered different, so I do think there is a relation; I am not sure it is a causal one. Aiki is not the sole property of aikido; there are plenty of people who express power (kiai) and no aiki and plenty of arts who have more aiki than many aikido people. As to whether there is a representative of aiki, I think O Sensei argued on several occasions that was him (or the aikido practitioner).

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Old 05-22-2015, 12:35 PM   #29
Cliff Judge
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Re: Doka of the day

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Joshua Landin wrote: View Post
Yes.
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Old 05-22-2015, 12:59 PM   #30
Cliff Judge
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Re: Doka of the day

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Another point of interest for this doka is a clear reference to individual behavior (solo exercise) resulting in a desirable outcome. The blending translation here is not between partners, giving room for the possibility (probability) that aiki does not require energies from two (or more) people.
I don't think this is clearly a reference to solo exercise. To me it sounds more like a description of an experience that happened or could happen at one particular instant. There was some moment during teaching or a demonstration where Ueshiba had a revelation or epiphany and he is capturing the moment in a doka.

That would fit into a larger tradition of swordsmen having a fight, not dying, and then afterwards trying to capture what it was that allowed them to not die in poetry.

Orrr....maybe those guys were also just talking about training.

Quote:
I think there is a good argument to be had that one can have aiki can not express it (kiai). I think similarly, one can express kiai and not have aiki. The kanji is ordered different, so I do think there is a relation; I am not sure it is a causal one. Aiki is not the sole property of aikido; there are plenty of people who express power (kiai) and no aiki and plenty of arts who have more aiki than many aikido people. As to whether there is a representative of aiki, I think O Sensei argued on several occasions that was him (or the aikido practitioner).
Well (hey stop rolling your eyes!) I think that the only arts that have aiki in them are Aikido, Daito ryu, and Toda ha Buko ryu, but that's because aiki is a label for a set of techniques and principles. The set is different among the three arts I just mentioned. Other arts have sets of technique / principles which overlap with what Aikido and DR have. However, if you insist on the universality of the label you don't do any art any justice. And I do grant that there may be a different set of techniques and principles between what gets done at the Aikikai Hombu these days and what Ueshiba was doing.

But that was an interesting parenthetical there at the end of your post, Jon. What if Ueshiba was talking only and exclusively about himself? About processes that were talking place in his universe and his alone? There would be no "(of the aikido practitioner)" and the doka could not be tutelary. Maybe he is just writing poems about how awesome he is, never suggesting that you could ever be that way.

Last edited by Cliff Judge : 05-22-2015 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 05-22-2015, 02:52 PM   #31
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Re: Doka of the day

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I don't think this is clearly a reference to solo exercise. To me it sounds more like a description of an experience that happened or could happen at one particular instant. There was some moment during teaching or a demonstration where Ueshiba had a revelation or epiphany and he is capturing the moment in a doka.

That would fit into a larger tradition of swordsmen having a fight, not dying, and then afterwards trying to capture what it was that allowed them to not die in poetry.

Orrr....maybe those guys were also just talking about training.

Well (hey stop rolling your eyes!) I think that the only arts that have aiki in them are Aikido, Daito ryu, and Toda ha Buko ryu, but that's because aiki is a label for a set of techniques and principles. The set is different among the three arts I just mentioned. Other arts have sets of technique / principles which overlap with what Aikido and DR have. However, if you insist on the universality of the label you don't do any art any justice. And I do grant that there may be a different set of techniques and principles between what gets done at the Aikikai Hombu these days and what Ueshiba was doing.

But that was an interesting parenthetical there at the end of your post, Jon. What if Ueshiba was talking only and exclusively about himself? About processes that were talking place in his universe and his alone? There would be no "(of the aikido practitioner)" and the doka could not be tutelary. Maybe he is just writing poems about how awesome he is, never suggesting that you could ever be that way.
My parenthetical was intended to create a placeholder for us. I do not think that O Sensei was as "out of this league" as some imply and I honestly believe there are people and opportunities to train to such a level. I think there is a particularity to our individual training regimes that give us some freedom, but I have not yet come across documents or evidence that O Sensei wrote in a style that was self-important in the fashion you suggest. I have read several pieces that claim that "you are not doing what I do," but I haven't come across, "you will not be as good as me."

Part of why I write here and in my personal training journal is to help catalog my decisions, opinions and training. It helps me find my wrong turns and misunderstandings so I can correct my training and move on. I think, rather, I would turn this question on its head and ask, "if O Sensei laid a foundation of instruction that mimicked his path to success, how would that reflect upon our path to success? Part of my frustration is trying to figure out which part is crazy old man and which part is teaching, understanding that maybe what I think is crazy old man is actually teaching above my pay grade. Reading into your other question, what if it isn't the universality of aiki damaging the arts, what if it's the plurality of the arts damaging aiki?

Last edited by jonreading : 05-22-2015 at 03:05 PM.

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Old 05-22-2015, 04:04 PM   #32
Cliff Judge
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Re: Doka of the day

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Part of why I write here and in my personal training journal is to help catalog my decisions, opinions and training. It helps me find my wrong turns and misunderstandings so I can correct my training and move on. I think, rather, I would turn this question on its head and ask, "if O Sensei laid a foundation of instruction that mimicked his path to success, how would that reflect upon our path to success?"
This would actually be a pretty easy question to answer. If he really wanted students to follow him on his path, then it is not entirely on us if we can't find it. If we find ourselves trying to reconstruct it, that's his failure for not making it something that is at least easy to find. IMO there were a good handful of swordsmen hundreds of years before Osensei who did a much better job at this.

Quote:
Part of my frustration is trying to figure out which part is crazy old man and which part is teaching, understanding that maybe what I think is crazy old man is actually teaching above my pay grade. Reading into your other question, what if it isn't the universality of aiki damaging the arts, what if it's the plurality of the arts damaging aiki?
TOTALLY with you on the crazy old man part. Some days it makes me want to chuck the whole thing, other days I think its a call to just be more crazy.

It's not that applying the term everywhere and insisting that it is universal damages the arts themselves, its that it hurts you when you are in the middle level of training, when you've mastered a foundation and are about to start putting some things together.

The building blocks of different arts can be basically identical (Yagyu Shinkage ryu, Itto ryu, and orthodox Daito ryu all begin with teaching the student to move directly into an attack, just at the moment the attacker commits, and cutting him down). And they all tend to go to the same place - which I think is a state like mushin, where you basically don't move or do anything, and the universe bends around you. But the essential "flavor" is different at the end, because the path has been different.

The human brain wants to see patterns and similarities in the universe where there are none. But you have to pierce through that and try to see what is real underneath or you are not really letting new information into your system. That's how you progress. I am sure this is how you actually do things when you train, to the extent that your aiki is different than that of the people you train with. IMO if you can't see the distinctions between sets of principles that is sort of like getting lost on your path.
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