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A Solid Idea
A Solid Idea
by Ross Robertson
12-23-2010
A Solid Idea

In addressing the problem of violence, we may take it as axiomatic that no two solids may occupy the same space at the same time. As a corollary, we may also say that no one solid may occupy more than one location at a time. Borrowing both the idea and the term from physics, we will call this principle exclusion.

For our purposes, the degree of violence may be assessed by the amount of energy over time applied in attempting to violate this Aiki Exclusion Principle.

It follows then, that, where it is desirable to minimize violence (or conversely, optimize structure/function) we need only act in accordance with the exclusion principle. That is to say that we should not allow force to be applied to solids as if to cause them to occupy the same space at the same time.

The method for accomplishing this may occur in stages, and these have elsewhere been described as open, merge, ground, and release. In this discussion, we will look at each of these as an independent process. Accordingly, new terminology is introduced, wherein we will examine relocation, condensation, and attenuation. In this model, merge and release are subsumed into one topic, namely condensation.

Relocation is the simple idea that if a particular object is in one location, all other objects must be elsewhere. If in motion, headings must also be taken into account so there will be no intersection in space and time.

Condensation is the idea that two objects can become one. As one, there is no conflict. The opposite of condensation is sublimation, whereby one object may become two. Such a body undergoing separation may or may not experience violence, depending on the binding force resistant to separation.

Attenuation is the reduction of energy or momentum such that collision force is less than the force that maintains structural integrity.

Thus we see that violence requires plurality in forceful convergence, or else a singularity in forceful divergence. By reducing or eliminating any one of these factors, a system may be oriented toward greater structural and functional integration. Achieve unity, reduce force, or distribute solids in space and time. If any one of these is accomplished, the principle of exclusion is retained, and violence cannot occur.

In situations where violence may be deemed necessary or constructive, an understanding of its nature is helpful in assessing how best to utilize it creatively and judiciously.

Aikido has been declared a way of nature. It is only through a proper understanding of the principles of nature that we can foster effective and efficient action. Finally, we should observe that psychological violence is analogous to physical violence inasmuch as ideas and emotions also form structures with varying degrees of resistance to change, and therefore "solidity."

11/30/10
Ross Robertson
Still Point Aikido Systems
Honmatsu Aikido
Austin TX, USA

www.stillpointaikido.com
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:15 AM   #2
niall
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Re: A Solid Idea

Hi Ross,

I particularly liked the Aiki Syntax article in the link.

I might have misunderstood your description of this model and how it relates to aikido but I'm wondering in what kind of situations violence - physical but especially psychological - could be necessary or constructive.

I can see how the exclusion principle could be an interesting way of interpreting irimi. But in discussing relocation I think an intersection in space and time is necessary for musubi. And I wanted to add as an extension of the exclusion principle that it's a good idea to stay out of dangerous places!

Thanks, Ross. Best wishes for the holidays and for 2011, Niall

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
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Old 12-26-2010, 02:00 PM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Re: A Solid Idea

Bill Cosby said the "hurt people hurt people".
I would tend to agree. IMHO, agression/violence comes from the fear and pain of thinking its all about you and trying to control everything so it comes out the way you want it to.
While we can have understanding and compassion for the origin of the pain, we still must hold people responsibile and accountable for the expression and consequences of it.
While ideas may not be solid, their expression and impact can be.
Good article. 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 01-07-2011, 12:39 PM   #4
R.A. Robertson
Dojo: Still Point Aikido Center
Location: Austin, TX, USA
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Re: A Solid Idea

Quote:
Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
Hi Ross,
I might have misunderstood your description of this model and how it relates to aikido but I'm wondering in what kind of situations violence - physical but especially psychological - could be necessary or constructive.
People will disagree on how to define violence. Some may say it depends on the intent, some say it's a matter of outcomes, some say it's about the process.

For my purposes, I say anything destructive is violent. Anything which impairs function is violent, at least by degree.

So the question then becomes, can destruction be necessary or constructive?

I think it's easy to come up with many examples. What about the work of our immune systems against pathogens? What about demolition crews preparing a site for construction? What about how we acquire our food, then cook, eat, and digest it?

So it's possible, and frequently necessary, that destructive processes lead to healthy and vital outcomes.

But this observation should not lead to facile adoption of the philosophy that "the ends justify any means."

Quote:
I can see how the exclusion principle could be an interesting way of interpreting irimi. But in discussing relocation I think an intersection in space and time is necessary for musubi. And I wanted to add as an extension of the exclusion principle that it's a good idea to stay out of dangerous places!
I think musubi relates to what I'm calling "condensation."

Quote:
Thanks, Ross. Best wishes for the holidays and for 2011, Niall
And my heartfelt thanks to you for your participation is our ongoing dialogue. You enrich us all with your thoughts and questions. Happy New Year to you and yours.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:43 PM   #5
R.A. Robertson
Dojo: Still Point Aikido Center
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 282
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Re: A Solid Idea

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Bill Cosby said the "hurt people hurt people".
I would tend to agree. IMHO, agression/violence comes from the fear and pain of thinking its all about you and trying to control everything so it comes out the way you want it to.
While we can have understanding and compassion for the origin of the pain, we still must hold people responsibile and accountable for the expression and consequences of it.
While ideas may not be solid, their expression and impact can be.
Good article. Compliments and appreciation.
That is a great quote. And who among us is not a hurt person? This is why something like aikido is so essential. It has the potential to help us identify our own hurts, our manifold vulnerabilities.

Once this is so, it becomes possible to "hurt less."
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