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Old 08-15-2006, 10:50 PM   #26
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
eh, I just choke things.

Seriously though, I'll have to think about that for a bit.
That's OK.

Chokin' 'em out pretty much qualifies as an unconscious cue.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:44 AM   #27
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
I have been experimenting with observing my students at the dojo and my practice partners when I travel, attempting to discern where they are placing their attention when they stand across from me. Most folk's attention stops at their own physical extension. You tell them to extend and their attention goes out to their hands or the tip of their own sword.
Funny how sometimes a few words can be just the nudge in the right direction that you need...I read that yesterday and started playing around with it in my living room where I was sitting, trying to feel if my attention was actually reaching out anywhere beyond the sphere of my own physical reach, and then trying to place it over there at that chair or lamp or whatever. It was kinda scary at first actually, because in a way it meant that myself became less concrete to me in my awareness and so it felt somewhat like a loss of self to some extent.

Having done this little mental exercise I then went to give a couple flute lessons, and attend an aikido session. There were a few times during the flute lessons where I was accompanying a student and felt like what I was playing just fell into place just so and it all fit perfectly. This was exiting because I tend to be a player that is always a bit behind, late, dragging, and I've never found a way to change that very effectively until now.

Our dojo is on summer break but some of the more fanatic members had rented the gym where we train for the night yesterday. I had a go at a drill that I first learned from David Valadez where your partner is randomly attacking and you are only allowed to step away, hands behind back, in the first level of the drill. (you can find it on aikiweb by searching for a discussion called "David's drills")

The nice thing here was that how well I managed to maintain my attention on my partner showed up instantly in my ability to keep free of her. In the best moments I stepped just right - without planning to!- to have her almost loose her balance completely just by her own attack. In the moments that I lost it and retreated into my own sphere, I'd walk into a fist or a knee, and get stuck.

In the past when I tried to go on to the next level of the drill, where you're allowed to use your arms to deflect the atttacks, I'd invariably get stuck. This time it wasn't a problem at all, I think because my attention didn't get stuck at my own arms but was beyond them where my partner was. It felt like my arms were just floating freely in the space between us, and free to go to any spot that was open between us.

Once I had gotten the difference between having my attention inside my own sphere, and outside of it wherever I want it to be, the practice now would seem to be being able to maintain it under different conditions. Heck, being able to maintain it under the most favorable conditions would be a nice start...

exited kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 08-16-2006, 05:26 PM   #28
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Quote:
Pauliina Lievonen wrote:
Having done this little mental exercise I then went to give a couple flute lessons, and attend an aikido session. There were a few times during the flute lessons where I was accompanying a student and felt like what I was playing just fell into place just so and it all fit perfectly. This was exiting because I tend to be a player that is always a bit behind, late, dragging, and I've never found a way to change that very effectively until now.
My favorite activity, aside from Aikido, is going dancing with my sweetie. Neither of us has any formal training so we don't do any set pattern or steps, it's just movement. I do the very same thing when I dance with a partner... I extend my attention to include the both of us and just relax... It's not set who leads or initiates a move...when we are on, it's like we become alomost a single unit. I make instantaneous adjustments to her movement, even when I had started to initiate my own, it's one of the great experiences. Definitely another form of moving meditation.

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Old 08-17-2006, 10:24 AM   #29
ian
 
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
...Since we are capable of using neuromuscular signals below the perceptible limit to provoke feedback for postural balance..
Jes' man - do you have to write your PhD thesis on aikiweb?

Are you saying that there is some unstopable cascade of thought/movement from uke which we are able to react to because we are relaxed, and thus by 'not-controlling' we can actually control the movement?

- I like your exercises Ledyard Sensei. I have a student who is a fencer (with swords - not selling stolen goods) who is particularly subtle with giving away any intentions. This idea of Musubi is certainly something I wish to develop further in my own training. If it does work it is surely the ultimate strategy. This year, due to pressure from my students, I have done lots of jo practise. I was certainly suprised at how spontaneous awareness of the next persons move (even outside forms) develops.


P.S. for anyone interested, though I'm not a John Stevens fan, this book by hip I think is excellent:

Teshu - Sword of No Sword

And it illustrates that teshu (on achieving enlightenment) also felt that this projection of intention/spirit was vitally important in sword fighting.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 08-17-2006, 11:07 AM   #30
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
Are you saying that there is some unstopable cascade of thought/movement from uke which we are able to react to because we are relaxed, and thus by 'not-controlling' we can actually control the movement?
Erik is on to something here, although I'd need a bit more science up my sleeve to quite be able to get it all. Anyway, I was trying to understand why Saotome Sensei could move almost languidly around the mat while I tried to strike him and I would be ABSOLUTELY sure that I had him this time and then miss. He had never moved rapidly he simply moved and I missed.

I finally understood that, he never thinks about where he is moving to. His attention stays directly on your center and "inside" the attack. He is always going forward to the center in his mind. I tried this out on my own and it was dramatic. I had a couple of my San Dan students go after me with shomen-uchi. First, I tried to do irimi, tenkan, dodge, feint, etc. Every time their strikes stopped dead center on my forehead. Then I tried to do what I believed I had noted Saotome Sensei doing and the result was dramatic. They couldn't hit me any more, even though I was now moving at a fraction of the speed I had been. They had the same looks on their faces that I have had a million times with Sensei when I simply couldn't understand how I had missed him.

This made me understand that there is something going on beyond just the visual input. If visual information is the only input you are getting from the partner, your movements are too slow. So when you stand across from an attacker and execute an irimi, there should be no shift in your attention, no feeling of trying to escape from the attack. That is a yin energy and it will pull the attack right to you. Irimi is like the spokes of a wheel with the attacker at the center hub. I might change my angle from the one directly in front of the attacker but I am always facing the center of the hub. If I place my attention on the center and don't change it at all when I move to a new angle, the attacker simply doesn't register what I am doing soon enough to track me.

This brings me to one of my own pet peeves, so to speak. Aikido is commonly described as the art in which the defender gets off the line, leads the energy of the attack past him and then puts it back in to the attacker. I think this very concept is wrong. The picture in Saotome Sensei's book is an excellent one in this regard. He shows two opponents on a log bridge over a chasm. Anyone who tries to get "off the line" is going to fall into the gorge. Aikido is ALL about irimi. Inside every tenkan movement must first be an irimi. I don't "get off the line" I go to the center and rotate. That's very different and the attacker perceives what you are doing quite differently.

In Aikido we "own" our space. As a visualization to counter the misconception that we are in some way "escaping" from the attack, I have students say to themselves "this is my house and I am not leaving just because you are coming in". Aikido entry is quite simply about creating rotation at or just before the moment of physical contact. This rotation is created by the relative movement of the hips. But the mind, how you place your attention, does not change at all when you enter. The mind is simply "inside" the attack at all times, even before there is an attack. A step coupled with hip rotation will change the angle relative to the attacker but there is no perceivable shift of attention to the place to which one is moving.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 08-17-2006 at 11:10 AM.

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Old 08-17-2006, 11:14 AM   #31
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
The mind is simply "inside" the attack
I don't understand what you mean by "inside the attack".
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Old 08-17-2006, 11:39 AM   #32
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote:
I don't understand what you mean by "inside the attack".
Most people's attention is "outside that attack" or one could say "on" the attack. Their attention is on grabbing the arm or getting out of the way of the strike. The attack is not the same thing as the attacker's center. The attack originates at the attacker's center, that is where the attacker's mind is, that's where you place your attention. The attack itself is unimportant, it's controlling the mind of the attacker that allows you to do the physical technique. That's why the "reactive mind", the one that thinks in terms of speed and timing etc is not what O-Sensei was talking about. Your mind is already "in", not on the attack but inside the attack. If you understand this you can put the would be attacker in a position in which he will feel that he can't attack you because on some level he perceives that he has already lost.

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Old 08-17-2006, 11:40 AM   #33
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Thank You,
David
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Old 08-17-2006, 11:50 AM   #34
Mark Freeman
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Most people's attention is "outside that attack" or one could say "on" the attack. Their attention is on grabbing the arm or getting out of the way of the strike. The attack is not the same thing as the attacker's center. The attack originates at the attacker's center, that is where the attacker's mind is, that's where you place your attention. The attack itself is unimportant, it's controlling the mind of the attacker that allows you to do the physical technique. That's why the "reactive mind", the one that thinks in terms of speed and timing etc is not what O-Sensei was talking about. Your mind is already "in", not on the attack but inside the attack. If you understand this you can put the would be attacker in a position in which he will feel that he can't attack you because on some level he perceives that he has already lost.
Nice explanation George, thanks. In your experience, at what sort of level of practice do you see people 'getting' this concept?

regards,

Mark

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Old 08-17-2006, 12:21 PM   #35
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
Nice explanation George, thanks. In your experience, at what sort of level of practice do you see people 'getting' this concept?

regards,

Mark
The problem with how most people train is that they aren't made aware that this is a big deal right from the start. We start right at the beginning, right from the moment that one offers his hand for katatetori, right when one grabs that wrist. We teach the sword exercises I mentioned to the beginners. So I see people being aware of this issue and being able to work with it a bit quite early. But definitely one should have a fairly good sense of it by the time one is taking his shodan test.

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Old 08-17-2006, 12:39 PM   #36
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Excellent thread. Thanks everyone.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 08-17-2006, 12:44 PM   #37
Mark Freeman
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
The problem with how most people train is that they aren't made aware that this is a big deal right from the start. We start right at the beginning, right from the moment that one offers his hand for katatetori, right when one grabs that wrist. We teach the sword exercises I mentioned to the beginners. So I see people being aware of this issue and being able to work with it a bit quite early. But definitely one should have a fairly good sense of it by the time one is taking his shodan test.
I too was made aware of this right from the start, but I can't say that I really started to understand it until much later (around 1st Kyu ). That was 10 years ago, so I now feel that is part of my aikido - although I'm working on improving it, and this for me is where I feel the most progress can be made.
In turn I am doing my best to teach my students the same, which is where I need to be getting off to right now.

regards,

Mark

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Old 08-17-2006, 02:18 PM   #38
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
Jes' man - do you have to write your PhD thesis on aikiweb?
Nah. just thinking out loud, really.
Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
Are you saying that there is some unstopable cascade of thought/movement from uke which we are able to react to because we are relaxed, and thus by 'not-controlling' we can actually control the movement?
If you mean stoppable by uke, stoppable implies that it is under voluntary control, and subsensory cues are, almost by definition, not under voluntary control. There are many consistently enriched poker players, and many consitently busted one's, who prove the point with some force.

If by stoppable you mean stoppable by nage, then yes they are eminanetly stoppable -- too stoppable in fact -- by the least intent or preparation we might make to control or correct uke's perceived actions.

However, even dumb animals may be trained (on either side) -- and this part of the psyche responds to the same basic methods as they would - train, train, train...

Ledyard Sensei's points about how to deal with the conscious attention we cannot (and would not) do away with is well put, however.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-17-2006, 02:44 PM   #39
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Erik is on to something here, although I'd need a bit more science up my sleeve to quite be able to get it all.
Gives my overly analytical brain something to distract it so the rest of me can train properly...
Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
The picture in Saotome Sensei's book is an excellent one in this regard. He shows two opponents on a log bridge over a chasm. Anyone who tries to get "off the line" is going to fall into the gorge. Aikido is ALL about irimi. Inside every tenkan movement must first be an irimi. I don't "get off the line" I go to the center and rotate. That's very different and the attacker perceives what you are doing quite differently.
I can't attribute it properly, it may have been Bernice Tom when I trained in San Diego, and she may have attributed it to Saito, I cannot remember now, but the statement was to the effect that :

"Tenkan begins with irimi and irimi ends in tenkan."
Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
In Aikido we "own" our space. As a visualization to counter the misconception that we are in some way "escaping" from the attack, I have students say to themselves "this is my house and I am not leaving just because you are coming in". Aikido entry is quite simply about creating rotation at or just before the moment of physical contact. This rotation is created by the relative movement of the hips. But the mind, how you place your attention, does not change at all when you enter. The mind is simply "inside" the attack at all times, even before there is an attack. A step coupled with hip rotation will change the angle relative to the attacker but there is no perceivable shift of attention to the place to which one is moving.
Neurological studies of Christian nuns and buddhist monks (which I have mentioned in more detail in a thread in the 'Spiritual' forum some time ago) have looked at the signal changes and focus of activity in the brain with profound religious experience in contemplative practice. They have found that the portion of the brain that distinguishes self from non-self becomes altered in its perceptual activity, so that the sensation of non-self is lost (or sense of self enlarged, however you prefer).

The experience of reality becomes subjectivity writ large, and in the extreme cases to the limits and total constituents of the universe.
This is precisely what O-Sensei's ecstatic visions also describe. (I believe the statement "I AM who AM" reported by Moses in his ecstatic vision in Exodus has some resonance here, as does the statement to Moses at that same time, while stopping on some wide spot on a mountain trail of no particular importance, he was told "YOU stand on holy ground." Think about it. But I digress.)

The mechanisms that I have posited as to the physiology of mususbi experience from the perceptual studies in body mechanics seem to corroborate that same perceptual function at a smaller uke/nage scale -- changing the subject/object division of uke nage into one subject so that, in essence, the experience of uke's attack becomes like me hitting my own head with my hand.

The experience of budo and contemplative experience are not so foreign, really.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-17-2006, 02:53 PM   #40
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Most people's attention is "outside that attack" or one could say "on" the attack. Their attention is on grabbing the arm or getting out of the way of the strike. The attack is not the same thing as the attacker's center. The attack originates at the attacker's center, that is where the attacker's mind is, that's where you place your attention. The attack itself is unimportant, it's controlling the mind of the attacker that allows you to do the physical technique. That's why the "reactive mind", the one that thinks in terms of speed and timing etc is not what O-Sensei was talking about. Your mind is already "in", not on the attack but inside the attack. If you understand this you can put the would be attacker in a position in which he will feel that he can't attack you because on some level he perceives that he has already lost.
In light of this worthwhile advice, and the expansion of selfless subjectivity apparently involved in both ki musubi and contemplative experience, this is appropriate:

"God is an infinite sphere -- whose center is everywhere, and whose circumference is nowhere." Nicholas of Cusa.

In other words, there is but one and only one center; he who sees the "other" instead of a slightly more remote part of himself -- is not standing there.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-18-2006, 06:00 AM   #41
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
The attack originates at the attacker's center, that is where the attacker's mind is, that's where you place your attention. The attack itself is unimportant, it's controlling the mind of the attacker that allows you to do the physical technique. That's why the "reactive mind", the one that thinks in terms of speed and timing etc is not what O-Sensei was talking about. Your mind is already "in", not on the attack but inside the attack.
Osu Sensei,
A very clear operational explanation of an abstract concept.
I could not agree more.
Compliments and appreciation.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:10 AM   #42
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Ledyard Sensei wrote:

Quote:
In Aikido we "own" our space. As a visualization to counter the misconception that we are in some way "escaping" from the attack, I have students say to themselves "this is my house and I am not leaving just because you are coming in". Aikido entry is quite simply about creating rotation at or just before the moment of physical contact. This rotation is created by the relative movement of the hips. But the mind, how you place your attention, does not change at all when you enter. The mind is simply "inside" the attack at all times, even before there is an attack. A step coupled with hip rotation will change the angle relative to the attacker but there is no perceivable shift of attention to the place to which one is moving.
A great point you are making here Sensei! Thank you!

What personally works for me on the mat is the following: I try to keep my mind empty until I perceive an imminent attack and at the moment I perceive it I think of completely dominating my opponent by penetrating his circle of power and displacing his center. This usually puts me well inside the attack without trying to avoid the attack proper.

At a seminar, I've heard Chiba Sensei say "you must penetrate" in this context and he related to us a koan given to him by O'Sensei in the form "how do you cut the center of a circle?" After many years of sitting on this he realized that in order to cut the center of a circle, you must 1st be inside the circle. As I was taught, this is the purpose of irimi.

Best regards,

Mark

Last edited by mjchip : 08-18-2006 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 08-18-2006, 11:11 AM   #43
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Quote:
Mark Chiappetta wrote:
What personally works for me on the mat is the following: I try to keep my mind empty until I perceive an imminent attack and at the moment I perceive it I think of completely dominating my opponent by penetrating his circle of power and displacing his center. This usually puts me well inside the attack without trying to avoid the attack proper.
No doubt your technique is effective, but ... if, in light of what has been discussed here I am striving to be "in" the attack, I am not trying to dominate the attack -- I am participating in it.

I will what occurs -- not what I wish to occur. This is recommended in my religious tradition and many others. I am simply willing the attack that is already occurring as though I were uke making that attack. An aphorism in line with this thinking:

"If you will be happy, you will what happens."

I find that when this sensibility becomes particularly vivid for me it takes on a deja vu quality, where the time sequence is slightly disjointed in my favor, even though I do not consciously perceive the actual events any more slowly, nor am I able to consciously act upon them any quicker. And yet things seem to fall into place of their own accord. The deification of luck, Fortuna, in many cultures, is likely predicated on this same experience. William James decribed this as the "noetic" quality of mystical religious experience.

When I am "in" it, I do not feel that I am dominating uke, any more than I dominate my own hand to scratch the back of my neck. It itches -- I scratch it right where it itches -- even though I cannot see either my hand or the back of my neck when I do it.

This sensiblity is most distinct for me at times in performing kumitachi variations in ki no nagare. In those moments, uchitachi's sword feels simply never in the way, any more than my head is in the way when I scratch my neck. My regular kumitachi partner is our resident iajutsu yudansha instructor. I know she gives me nothing, whatsoever. When it clicks I seem move to the right spot without having to "see" where I am supposed to be moving to, anymore than I need to see the back of my neck to scratch it.

I wish I could walk around with that feeling. It seems I get snatches of it a little, more and more, at various points in the day as time and training go on. I guess the "abstract term" is expanded proprioception, but whatever you call it, it is a fascinating state to experience, even if only for brief flashes.
Quote:
Mark Chiappetta wrote:
At a seminar, I've heard Chiba Sensei say "you must penetrate" in this context and he related to us a koan given to him by O'Sensei in the form "how do you cut the center of a circle?" After many years of sitting on this he realized that in order to cut the center of a circle, you must 1st be inside the circle. As I was taught, this is the purpose of irimi.
I have trained with Chiba Sensei, for a brief time, and this koan makes much sense to me from that training. I recall him being quite amused at me as uke when he performed kokyu tanden ho on several occasions. He chuckled at me as we sped up and I kept coming back in again and again, almost jiyuwaza, but he was always there just as I thought I got back in.

My sensibility is more in striving to never leave the center, even for a moment, and never having to seek to move to the center since, if I get my mind right (as my D.I. used to say) I am (hopefully) already there. Uke's attack is centered there, and by centering his attack on me he cannot be the center any more -- unless I allow it. This is sort of the obverse perspective of what Ledyard Sensei describes, but not in any way different from it.

My sense is that if I wish to be in the center, I should simply -- be in the center. I have found that the more I try to distinguish the center from where I am, the further it seems from me. Tautology or not, it has helped me to think about the problem.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 08-18-2006 at 11:16 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-18-2006, 11:31 AM   #44
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
My sense is that if I wish to be in the center, I should simply -- be in the center. I have found that the more I try to distinguish the center from where I am, the further it seems from me.
Dang edit limit -- I didn't finish. Anyway, here it is:

To put it in abstract terms, anyone who has seen a chaotic Lorenz attractor (the butterfly-like picture) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenz_attractor , would undertand that the "center" is only the "basin" of the attractor where the current state of the system is organized -- around one of the two orbits (wings) of the butterfly. Chaotic attractors shift from centering on one basin of attraction to the other from exceedingly tiny differences in initial conditions. Arbitrarily large changes in variable can still be oriented around either attractor basin because of very small differences in values clustered around the new quantitative level. Fine qualitative differences are therefore far more critical than gross or large quantative changes in determining the center of the attractor at any given moment.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-18-2006, 11:44 AM   #45
Nick Pagnucco
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

I'm sorry I dont have anything to add, but I do so love when I find threads online that result in me taking notes. Thanks
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Old 08-18-2006, 03:32 PM   #46
Esaemann
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

I believe this will fit into the context of this discussion.

Mostly directed toward Erick and George Sensei.

Do you believe "projecting" self into open areas or into/toward inanimate objects can help in doing the same with uke(s)? For example, in meditation or doing solo forms/movements. If so, please elaborate.

I ask because my time in aikido training where there are ukes to practice with is much too little to become effective in this. Although, I realize that will be where the rubber meets the road.

Second, I find it easier to concentrate on whatever I need to when I'm doing solo work than when a partner (uke) enters the picture. I'm just trying to think about what's going on internally (as I do when no uke is present), albeit not very successfully, when an uke is present. It seems from this discussion that I could also think outside self and beyond uke (into open space). Any suggestions.

Thanks.
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Old 08-18-2006, 04:13 PM   #47
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Quote:
Eric Saemann wrote:
Do you believe "projecting" self into open areas or into/toward inanimate objects can help in doing the same with uke(s)? For example, in meditation or doing solo forms/movements. If so, please elaborate.

I ask because my time in aikido training where there are ukes to practice with is much too little to become effective in this. Although, I realize that will be where the rubber meets the road.

Second, I find it easier to concentrate on whatever I need to when I'm doing solo work than when a partner (uke) enters the picture. I'm just trying to think about what's going on internally (as I do when no uke is present), albeit not very successfully, when an uke is present. It seems from this discussion that I could also think outside self and beyond uke (into open space). Any suggestions.
It's funny you should ask.

I had the advantage of two six-month deployments with no training partner, and a lot of solitary time on my hands. I did a lot of carefully thought-through free-form shadow boxing, working through a standard aikido technique curriculum, plus every other technique I could remember seeing or doing.

I projected an imaginary partner for training to give some sense of connection rather just than doing empty movements. I was forced to break techniques down into component movements, which helped articulate the nodes of transition to other techniques and variations. I would sweat more in doing those than I have in some energetic ki no nagare paired practices.

I was 2d kyu the first time and 1st kyu the second time and so I knew enough techniques, basically, plus some weapons suburi and other solo and companion forms to work through. (If any sailors on board make jokes about the goofy pilot swinging the broomstick and the bent stick on the flight deck or fo'c'sle, they didn't do it to my face )

My conscious awareness was busier in modeling the movements of my imaginary partner for training than it was in deciding how I would move in repsonse (which was virtually a given once (he)I had determined his move). It left me to simply move in response to the companion move he (I) had made. Once he (I) had moved -- I moved without thinking at all, because, well, I didn't have to -- he(I) was doing that for me. Sounds a little schizoid, I suppose, but it really was very much the the opposite of that in feeling.

It has stood me in good stead, particularly as it helped my instinct for musubi, by learning rigorously how to dispose my mind to let uke decide my movement for me, while still playing an active but not dominating role in the cascade of movements that led to the outcome. I could not -- if I was to approach the training in any realistic context -- move before I had allowed my mental image of the attack to move first -- and then simply adapting my movement to that premise.

Oddly enough, since I could "dominate" my imaginary friend at any time, it seems there was absolutely no motivation to do so. I think there is an aiki/budo principle there to explore -- in the sensibility that leads to the attitude of noblesse oblige. By disposing my self to HAVE to will the attack, I was no longer disposed to will the response -- it just was what naturally had to happen at the point given what the attacker had just done.

I ended up shifting my perspective from uke to nage and back again -- just to move correctly. At the time, I just wanted to practice and had no training partner, so I had to imagine him. I realize now this was a unique gift. It made me internalize uke as I was performing as nage.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 08-18-2006 at 04:23 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:24 PM   #48
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

This thread has reminded me something that Matt Thornton posted in his blog aliveness101.blogspot.com back in March. It said

"Aliveness is about the freedom to use whatever works in the moment. Right action at right time. Which is another name for true compassion. A freedom that is only fully felt when one is completely immersed in the present moment of now, and free of the burden of beliefs, which manifest as thoughts. A clear mind fully aware of reality as it is now, and operating with absolute synchronicity within time and space, that is the real beginning of Aliveness."

Sounds very similar.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 08-21-2006, 08:56 AM   #49
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

And that quote sounds like it was written by an aikidoka.

Best,
Ron ("things that make you go hmmmmm")

Ron Tisdale
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Old 08-21-2006, 09:37 AM   #50
ian
 
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Re: Rhythm/Speed/Musubi - How they work

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
This thread has reminded me something that Matt Thornton posted in his blog ...."
I presume you are a fan of Matt Thornton - do you have his 'JKD' DVDs; I've thought of getting them recently but not sure.

Ledyard sensei; firstly I keep sending your fantastic posts to my students - many thanks. Secondly. Can I clarrify exactly what you have to do to achieve this 'being inside the attack'. Effectively you occupy the area (and thus may even move towards an attacker if you feel they are about to encroach on your space). When someone attacks you can perceive this because they have had to encroach to initiate, at by that time you are already in the process of irimi.

More practically, if for example, I was doing sokumen irimi-nage, this is not an entry whilst turning, instead, I am entering, but uke just happens to be at the angle at which I then perform the technique. Indeed, I would be pretty much facing them. Also, for tenkan techniques, practically would you advance with irimi, and then tenkan at the last moment (possibly through necessity due to the force of the contact). Thus you always do irimi first, and tenkan is a second option. This makes sense, but I've never thought of it in this way.

Ian

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