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Old 10-29-2002, 06:19 AM   #26
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Aiki = That which is possesed by everything yet eludes the multitude and can only be found in the most natural of movements...

-Mongo
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Old 10-29-2002, 07:48 AM   #27
Chuck Clark
 
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
Interesting though how these terms are pretty universal. .... When a Tomiki stylist refers to Aiki they are probably refering to the more practical sense see Chuck Clark's comment above. That of course does not negate the more esoteric either.
I see absolutely no difference in the "practical" and the "esoteric". They are the same thing expressed in different language, examples, metaphores, etc. I tend to wax a bit philosophical at times (so I hear...) however we must not get so lost in the large poetic and spiritual view that we forget to actually apply the smallest expression of the whole.

Chuck Clark
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Old 10-29-2002, 11:56 AM   #28
Don_Modesto
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FWIW: I was intrigued by Kondo Katsuyuki's definition of aiki as basically unbalancing as given in Stanley Pranin's book on DR Aikijujutsu. During the DR seminar last weekend I asked Stanley--with tongue somewhat in cheek--during his talk about the translation of aikido. Usually translated as "the way of harmony, what do you think of the translation: 'The way of unbalancing.'"

He answered straight that this is obviously not what the founder was thinking when using the term.

Still, it's interesting to see the permutations of meaning that occur with time and personalities. The Japanese love their punning: Osensei saying Asahi-ryu was a fine name for what he was teaching but that for the students to find different kanji for writing it from the kanji for the Asahi newspaper where they were practicing; Osensei say AIkido is the way of love; Okamoto riffing off the many possible meanings of his "Roppo"-kai (in the same book cited above)...

Don J. Modesto
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Old 10-29-2002, 05:56 PM   #29
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Hi Chuck;

I agree on all points.

As to the difference between "practical" and "esoteric" however, if one tends to the extremes of either end the connection gets lost. I am very comfortable with Don's quote of Kondo and I am pretty sure Kondo would also, under different context, use something more metaphorical.

I don't see Aiki as just kuzushi for instance but then I also have real discomfort when I hear talk of the "Aiki way of life".

PS. My new adventure starts November 9th with unbelievable facilities.


Quote:
C.E. Clark (Chuck Clark) wrote:
I see absolutely no difference in the "practical" and the "esoteric". They are the same thing expressed in different language, examples, metaphores, etc. I tend to wax a bit philosophical at times (so I hear...) however we must not get so lost in the large poetic and spiritual view that we forget to actually apply the smallest expression of the whole.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-29-2002, 08:52 PM   #30
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I don't know if someone said it above (I don't have the patience to read the whole thread ), but for me Aiki is the synchronization with the attack of the opponent...
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Old 10-29-2002, 10:23 PM   #31
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Greetings Peter,

It's good to hear things are going well for you. As you know, I'm a bit jealous...I often long to wake up to the calls of the kakko (cuckoo) in the bamboo forests.

I also felt like I instantly understood and recognized the "feel" of Kondo's definition of aiki. It works for me, but then so does mine and yours and some other folks' too.

"A rose by any other name..."

Take care,

Chuck Clark
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Old 10-30-2002, 06:02 AM   #32
L. Camejo
 
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Definitions

Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
You scare me sometimes Larry.

Interesting though how these terms are pretty universal. Have you bought the Nariyama/Shishida book yet - right at the beginning they answer the question "What is Aiki" from a historical to conceptual point of view. Very very clear.
Hi Peter,

I think the question was "What is MY definition of Aiki", not my style's definition of Aiki.

The definition I gave is what I felt comfortable with at the time. It can change, like all things.

Yes, I have read the Shishida/Nariyama book-very concise and practical in the tried and true Shodokan way. Could use some better english though .

The examples of Aiki from the book include: "A situation in which two people stand facing each other", "When facing an enemy, this gets to the point of Aiki, waiting and seeing how one beats the other", "It is important to avoid fighting directly with an opponent's ki".

The oldest known book on Aiki states that "tekijin dokushin no jutsu (techniques of reading an opponent's mind) and kiai (yelling) are the most important parts of aiki."

Finally in the Taisho era: "They say aiki is the technique in which you can take advantage in a battle by reading an opponents's mind".

All of this mind reading sounds more esoteric than practical to me, but then I'm only a beginner in this thing

To me, the only way to read someone's mind (that is, if you're not Miss Cleo) is to become totally in tune with that person. If "every man is a universe" so to speak, isn't aiki about being in tune with the universe?

I would not even begin to assume that I know what I am talking about .

Just train hard and all .

L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 10-30-2002, 08:45 AM   #33
Chuck Clark
 
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Larry,

Great stuff! That all fits in the package of what it takes to understand what "aiki" is and can be.

I must add that my experience of "what it is" is limited and I'm still looking and learning.

Thanks,

Chuck Clark
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Old 10-30-2002, 05:27 PM   #34
PeterR
 
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Re: Definitions

Quote:
Larry Camejo (L. Camejo) wrote:
I think the question was "What is MY definition of Aiki", not my style's definition of Aiki.
Understood Larry - I actually like your definition. Actually at the Shodokan you never here a statement like "apply Aiki". You do here things like apply kuzushi, tsukuri, sen no sen and we all know about sen sen no sen. When we hear the term Aiki in the practical sense it is all of these lumped togeather. As I mentioned in the previous post Aiki is part practical part esoteric and when you go to either extreme the connection is lost resulting in something else.
Quote:
Yes, I have read the Shishida/Nariyama book-very concise and practical in the tried and true Shodokan way. Could use some better english though .
You should have seen the first round - that was really really bad. Except for the parts I did of course. It was smoothed out but basically it was a direct translation from Japanese and that will always sound strange.
Quote:
The examples of Aiki from the book include: "A situation in which two people stand facing each other", "When facing an enemy, this gets to the point of Aiki, waiting and seeing how one beats the other"...
This is my favourite of all. I really like the imagery here and if anything it defines my view Aiki (as sen sen no sen).
Quote:
I would not even begin to assume that I know what I am talking about .
You are doing pretty good. I have yet to read anything you put down that hasn't been food for thought.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-30-2002, 05:30 PM   #35
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Quote:
C.E. Clark (Chuck Clark) wrote:
I must add that my experience of "what it is" is limited and I'm still looking and learning.
A model which I endeavor to follow.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-31-2002, 08:59 PM   #36
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I agree Peter, extremes either place one's mind in a box, or makes it so etheric that there is no substance to make meaningful decisions from.

BTW, did you ever read the book written by Scott Allbright from Shodokan UK - Aikido and Randori I think was the title. A great complement to the Nariyama/Shishida book.

Chuck, I too am still looking and searching... will let you guys know if I find anything If I get lost you'll find me on your dojo step

Arigato Gozaimashita

L.C.

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Old 10-31-2002, 09:14 PM   #37
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Larry Camejo (L. Camejo) wrote:
BTW, did you ever read the book written by Scott Allbright from Shodokan UK - Aikido and Randori I think was the title. A great complement to the Nariyama/Shishida book.
Briefly looked it over, did not have the chance to look in more detail.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-24-2002, 09:16 AM   #38
Paula Lydon
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~~First off, I consider Ki the same as Chi, Mana, Prana, Life essence, etc. So Aiki to me means how I feel, access, harmonize and move with Ki.

~~Paula~~
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Old 11-25-2002, 06:37 PM   #39
Tom Peņa
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- encompasses a lot of things in aikido (and in life) in all its levels, whether it is the practical side or the esoteric side, whether it is in relation to an opponent(s) or with one's "SELF". You will never be able to flow with any attack if you are not in harmony with yourself. Simply beacuse you have allowed anger, fear, hatred, frustration and so forth to be a hindrance in responding with the proper mindset, thus delivering poor technique.

From whatever perpective we take it, and even from whatever style of aikido we practice the principle of as taught by O'sensei will always manifest in various level of practice. When we focus on being "centered" or just by achieving a certain posture with a stability harmony within our physical, emotional, & mental state is already being emphasized. Whenever your sensei tells you to move as "a single unit" or "as one" aiki is given emphasis. Remember, before we can say that we can blend with our opponent we should learn how to blend with our moves first. Otherwise we wil find our movement colliding with that of our attacker. Or in the larger scale we find ourself trapped in the middle of two attckers because we seized to see the fact that their actions are not totally independent from one another. That they are based on each others movement which we can treat as just one movement. As O'sensei said "use the one to strike the many"

Tom V Peņa
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Old 11-25-2002, 08:53 PM   #40
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On a related note this weekend was the All Kansai Aikido Championships (Tomiki). I was watching both the male and female world champions (the male also does really well in shoot fighting) and one thing both had in common was a certain calmness when dealing with their opponnent. This of course, especially in the case of Yu (male) translated into an explosive application of technique at the correct moment.

Interesting weekend - the next day was my town's Judo tournament. The All-Japan Juniour High School champion hails from here. Damm he was good. I also couldn't help but admire the physique. You could tell he was just 15 when you looked at his face but other than that he looked absolutely dangerous - not an ounce of extra meat on him. He fought the same way the Aikido guys did - calm, calm, explosion.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-25-2002, 09:10 PM   #41
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Quote:
So, what's your definition of "aiki"?
Masakatsu Agatsu, maybe?
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Old 11-26-2002, 04:05 AM   #42
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step aside

Quote:
So, what's your definition of "aiki"?
When a freight train is coming, get off the tracks.
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Old 11-26-2002, 07:03 AM   #43
L. Camejo
 
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Talking

Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
On a related note this weekend was the All Kansai Aikido Championships (Tomiki). I was watching both the male and female world champions (the male also does really well in shoot fighting) and one thing both had in common was a certain calmness when dealing with their opponnent. This of course, especially in the case of Yu (male) translated into an explosive application of technique at the correct moment.

Interesting weekend - the next day was my town's Judo tournament. The All-Japan Juniour High School champion hails from here. Damm he was good.
Oh how I envy you Peter Hoping to get to the Internationals in the UK in 2003.

I agree with that calm before the explosion tactic - great practical manifestation of yin/yang principles too. I use it a lot in tanto randori when I get cornered (basically becuz I have no other choice).... remain calm, relax and harmonise with tanto's breathing and as the tsuki comes, just before the tanto makes contact... BOOM! textbook Uki otoshi (randori no kata style), unquestionable ippon

Talk about

We now take you back to your regularly scheduled programming

L.C.

Last edited by L. Camejo : 11-26-2002 at 07:07 AM.

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Old 11-26-2002, 07:48 AM   #44
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Quote:
Reza Kauzar (sanosuke) wrote:
Masakatsu Agatsu, maybe?
More like "Hatsu haya hi" = "Victory Faster Than Light" (or something like that).

Best Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 11-28-2002, 08:04 PM   #45
Richard Elliott
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Aiki: an attempt at definition.

being in the zone.

being by myself, but not alone.

where things slow down

where taking time to mark what's in-here and out-there seems superfluous (and stops the technique!)

what makes misogi worthwhile

being able to forgive oneself and others (this makes aiki attainable)

taking the initiative to assert non-violence (this, derived from the Nishio approach. I think Gandhi and King would have cringed to have their non-violence labelled "passive.")

whatever it is, it must (or should be) more than just harmonizing with "the way things are" or the status quo. Otherwise, blending with any group no matter how racist, righteous, powerful, seductive, artful or bloodthirsty would be an expression of aiki.

Therefore, I would think that a component of a more exact definition would have to be it is more than what "I" or "WE" may perceive it to be-at some particular time.

So, how to define?

So, how are "the way things are"--Really!?

It seems to me that O'Sensei attempted to point to what could make a definition possible, in theory anyway, and that is a goal, a destination, an end: Love.

It seems to me that some "end" or goal must be, in theory at least, be definable if not in creedal form then in the quality of the activities, the results of training, the quality of relationships.

Can an adequate definition of "aiki" be without definitions and distinctions of values? I hope not. Otherwise, when we talk about "being one with the 'universe'", or the "cosmos" can mean anything--and nothing.

Whatever aiki is, I would hope that holding life sacred does not mean treating all goal, all ends, all values as holding equal value because the perception of these heuristics are absolutely--Relative.

Respectfully, Richard
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Old 11-29-2002, 06:08 AM   #46
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Aiki = fluidity

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Old 11-29-2002, 06:34 AM   #47
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aiki= how can I word this... Harmony with that which you are aware of.

I was trying to write it as a computer program in which life was a function of intent and focus.

function life(intent,focus)

to show how entering into life with a harmonious intent and a focus on 'ki' (choose your own definition.. mine is too long) creates an outcome directly related to both.

Last edited by Creature_of_the_id : 11-29-2002 at 06:37 AM.

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Old 12-10-2002, 08:33 PM   #48
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Here is a completely new definition:

One of my Japanese students recently had a baby. He and his wife wanted to be able to call her Ai-chan. And so they settled on the name AIKI. Different characters, but quite an unsettling bit of news. Now I suddenly feel like I have to get serious, or when this Aiki is 18 and asks mom, what she was named after, the only thing they will be able to point to is a balding 42 year old fat white guy and a story about some old dojo...

I will have to do my best to show Aiki a meaning to be proud of in her name.

(Maybe the next baby can be kokyu, NAH...)

Life is choice.
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Old 12-11-2002, 12:32 AM   #49
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Out of curiosity, what is the kanji for the baby's name...

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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