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Old 03-07-2011, 02:49 PM   #1
dps
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Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law
by John Thomas Read

http://www.aikibojitsu.com/BookPage.html

I am trying to decide whether to buy this book.

To that end I want to know if my understanding of this excerpt from the book (http://www.aikibojitsu.com/files/Asy..._Surface_2.pdf) is correct.

Simply put the katas are a way of tuning or harmonizing the practitioner's body with the bo or jo so that the practitioner "becomes one" with the bo or jo.

dps
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:08 PM   #2
crbateman
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

I have the book, and I must confess that I've had a hard time getting my head around much of it, partly because I'm not a physicist, and partly because I have not previously tried to decipher the techniques I do into this much matter-of-fact science. It's definitely a thought-provoking read (until your head explodes), but I don't honestly know how much or how little it might help my Aikido training. Only time will tell.
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:16 PM   #3
Tenyu
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

David,

The most important book on Aikido ever written.

For my 'antagonists', you still have to buy the book to prove me wrong!

-Tenyu

I gave my honest assessment of the book. Any ad hom replies will be ignored in advance.
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:20 PM   #4
jbblack
 
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

I have the book and it is quite interesting.
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:14 PM   #5
graham christian
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

Looks good to me. Well done Sensei Read.
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:43 PM   #6
dps
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

I learned electronics and radio communications in the Air Force. I also have an associate degree in electrical/electronic engineering technology and have designed and built antennas though nothing in the microwave range.

From my viewpoint the body is a signal generator, the arms are the transmissions lines and the staff is the antenna. It seems that you are trying to tune the system ( generator, tx lines, antenna or body, arms, staff) to the same frequency.
I think that the explanation of microwave waveguides is confusing as the vibrations talked about are no where near the frequencies of microwaves. Plus the frequency of the staff is a mechanical vibration not an electrical-magnetic vibration.

I am still trying to figure out what "attenuated activation" is. What are you attenuating and what are you activating?

How does this help my Aikido?

Any help?

dps

Last edited by dps : 03-07-2011 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:24 PM   #7
Tenyu
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

David,

Attenuation is my concept, it's not in the book. I can't explain its application without describing how to do it which I already stated I'm not going to do publicly. It's not something you should be concerned with.

The electrical analogies of non-resistance, load matching(nage to uke), and infinite impedance are relevant to Aikido and are thoroughly explained in the book.

-Tenyu
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:17 PM   #8
danj
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

There was a previous thread discussing the book here
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...ht=aikibojitsu

My thoughts then were the use of the technical terms were a little misleading to those familiar with them and might present a barrier. Thus at some point the analogy my cease to be helpful but if it helps some thats great.

of course i haven't read the book, George gave a great review in the thread sufficient to make me rethink..but haven't reached for the wallet just yet.

best,
dan

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Old 03-08-2011, 12:10 AM   #9
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

Quote:
Daniel James wrote: View Post
There was a previous thread discussing the book here
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...ht=aikibojitsu

My thoughts then were the use of the technical terms were a little misleading to those familiar with them and might present a barrier. Thus at some point the analogy my cease to be helpful but if it helps some thats great.

of course i haven't read the book, George gave a great review in the thread sufficient to make me rethink..but haven't reached for the wallet just yet.

best,
dan
I have an entire library of totally mediocre, in some cases poor, aikido and martial arts books. When you occasionally find one that actually has some content, and even content that is extremely difficult to wrap your mind around, I think we should do our best to support the effort, rather like supporting local small businesses rather than the big chains or trying to buy local produce to support small farmers.

There's a tremendous amount in the is book that I have a hard time wrapping my mind around... isn't that fantastic? A book that represents a real stretch? In the same way folks had a hard time understanding the Founder, this book is HUGE in its conception and it takes work to digest. It is also one of those books that you will be able to read each year forever and see something new each time. That makes it quite the bargain as books go.

I do not think that reading this book will make your Aikido better. (Practicing the stick work described probably would.) It will enlarge your conception of what our art offers... it's really staggering. It is so NOT an ordinary technique book. You don't speed read this book. If anyone read Ushiro Sensei's latest book, there's a lot of content like that... a paragraph that you simply stop and think about for a couple of days; stuff you aren't sure you understand what the author meant. I love stuff like this... it isn't easy but it's definitely worth reading if you are thoughtful about the art at all. The folks who think that Aikido is pretty much about fighting, and worry most about whether their Aikido can defeat an MMA practitioner should stay away for sure.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:19 AM   #10
graham christian
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
I learned electronics and radio communications in the Air Force. I also have an associate degree in electrical/electronic engineering technology and have designed and built antennas though nothing in the microwave range.

From my viewpoint the body is a signal generator, the arms are the transmissions lines and the staff is the antenna. It seems that you are trying to tune the system ( generator, tx lines, antenna or body, arms, staff) to the same frequency.
I think that the explanation of microwave waveguides is confusing as the vibrations talked about are no where near the frequencies of microwaves. Plus the frequency of the staff is a mechanical vibration not an electrical-magnetic vibration.

I am still trying to figure out what "attenuated activation" is. What are you attenuating and what are you activating?

How does this help my Aikido?

Any help?

dps
David. From your viewpoint the staff is the antenna. From Sensei Reads viewpoint the staff is used 'as' a waveguide. So you would have to see it from that viewpoint to understand what he is saying.

He's not saying it IS a waveguide, he is saying it acts according to the principles of one.

I'm not saying treating it as an antenna is wrong as that may indeed lead to a different way of using it.

Anyway, therefore the energy put into it travels through it and as he says bounces off of it's walls as it travels and reflects back from the ends. So I suggest the 'vibrations' are more to do with feeling the movement of the energy in the staff.

The energy is put into it by the person holding it or using it. So I would think therefore that person is activating this movement of energy in the staff.

Now if you can therefore put a lot of energy into it causing this activation then surely you could reduce that as well no? Would that not be attenuated activation?

Especially if you think of holding the staff with someone pushing hard from one end. They would therefore be pushing a lot of energy into it.(activation) I'm sure with your experience you could adjust and move in such a way that either earths that force or disperses it and thus reduces it.

Now I may be completely wrong here, but that's my attempt at it.

If I add on all the other concepts he gives there to do with motion of the staff and then even to motion of the person with the staff it makes it all the more fascinating. Plus the fact that he is saying it is a matter of following Natural Laws which you need to understand, see, follow and apply. Interesting.

2cents. G.
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:42 PM   #11
Mark Kruger
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

Does he define what preformal means? I am unable to locate a definition elsewhere.

Respectfully,
Mark Kruger
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:01 PM   #12
Tenyu
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

Quote:
Mark Kruger wrote: View Post
Does he define what preformal means? I am unable to locate a definition elsewhere.
Yes, everything's defined. Glossary included for easy reference.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:12 PM   #13
danj
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I have an entire library of totally mediocre, in some cases poor, aikido and martial arts books. When you occasionally find one that actually has some content, and even content that is extremely difficult to wrap your mind around, I think we should do our best to support the effort, rather like supporting local small businesses rather than the big chains or trying to buy local produce to support small farmers.

There's a tremendous amount in the is book that I have a hard time wrapping my mind around... isn't that fantastic? A book that represents a real stretch? In the same way folks had a hard time understanding the Founder, this book is HUGE in its conception and it takes work to digest. It is also one of those books that you will be able to read each year forever and see something new each time. That makes it quite the bargain as books go.

I do not think that reading this book will make your Aikido better. (Practicing the stick work described probably would.) It will enlarge your conception of what our art offers... it's really staggering. It is so NOT an ordinary technique book. You don't speed read this book. If anyone read Ushiro Sensei's latest book, there's a lot of content like that... a paragraph that you simply stop and think about for a couple of days; stuff you aren't sure you understand what the author meant. I love stuff like this... it isn't easy but it's definitely worth reading if you are thoughtful about the art at all. The folks who think that Aikido is pretty much about fighting, and worry most about whether their Aikido can defeat an MMA practitioner should stay away for sure.
tapping out and reaching for wallet!

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Old 03-08-2011, 11:57 PM   #14
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

I have a question for all who bought or will buy this book. What makes you want to give it a chance? For instance, Ellis Amdur had a lot of articles on AJ, and posts on forums. He got people engaged. Big-name aikido shihans in major organizations get interest because people in aikido know or "believe in" them.
I know some people would have seen Read Sensei do a demo, and became interested that way. But otherwise, what is the reason?

I'm just curious about how a person who has something to say produces enough interest and gains enough credibility to sell their book.
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:13 AM   #15
Tenyu
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

Jonathan,

Are you interested in learning the technical principles of Aikido?
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:58 AM   #16
Alex Megann
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

As well as over thirty years in aikido, I am a trained physicist. For this reason, my teacher has asked me many times to explain what he is trying to get across in physical terms - he talks in terms of gravity, wave-like movements and so on, and I think he is hoping I will come up with some kind of "universal theory of aikido".

I have tried on at least two occasions to start writing articles describing aikido principles in terms of concepts like Newton's laws of motion, static stability and rotational forces, but each time I realised that that is actually not how I, personally, understand aikido. In other words, this way of looking at aikido doesn't help me to make progress. Others, of course, may have different ways of learning than I do.

In both my aikido training and my yoga practice right now, I am working on things like freeing the shoulder blades and linking them to my spine, and feeling connections between the soles of my feet and my hips. Of course physics explains these things perfectly well, but it doesn't help me to relax and to cultivate awareness in my body - if anything, engaging my logical, rational brain has the opposite effect!

From what I have read, I have a lot of respect for Tom Read and his teaching, and I wouldn't hesitate to go to one of his classes if he came to my neighbourhood. All the same, I am completely befuddled by the use of complex and subtle but extremely precise physics terms in this context. Maybe I have been made cynical by exposure to the whole industry of alternative quackery using "quantum" this and "holographic" that, but I am immediately cautious when I see relatively obscure physics terminology such as waveguides and asymptotes being used to describe movements of the human frame.

Have any other physicists read this book, and if so do they have any comments on it?

Alex
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:10 AM   #17
Graham Farquhar
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I have an entire library of totally mediocre, in some cases poor, aikido and martial arts books. When you occasionally find one that actually has some content, and even content that is extremely difficult to wrap your mind around, I think we should do our best to support the effort, rather like supporting local small businesses rather than the big chains or trying to buy local produce to support small farmers........

If anyone read Ushiro Sensei's latest book, there's a lot of content like that... a paragraph that you simply stop and think about for a couple of days; stuff you aren't sure you understand what the author meant. I love stuff like this... it isn't easy but it's definitely worth reading if you are thoughtful about the art at all. The folks who think that Aikido is pretty much about fighting, and worry most about whether their Aikido can defeat an MMA practitioner should stay away for sure.
George

Thanks for this. It would be great if you could share one or two titles of books which make you stop and think about things for a couple of days that would be great for those of us who want that stretch.

Graham
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:45 AM   #18
dps
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

Quote:
Graham Farquhar wrote: View Post
George

Thanks for this. It would be great if you could share one or two titles of books which make you stop and think about things for a couple of days that would be great for those of us who want that stretch.

Graham
George,

It would also be great if you could explain the terminology used.

I love stretching the old gray matter.

dps
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:55 AM   #19
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

Quote:
Alex Megann wrote: View Post
As well as over thirty years in aikido, I am a trained physicist. For this reason, my teacher has asked me many times to explain what he is trying to get across in physical terms - he talks in terms of gravity, wave-like movements and so on, and I think he is hoping I will come up with some kind of "universal theory of aikido".

I have tried on at least two occasions to start writing articles describing aikido principles in terms of concepts like Newton's laws of motion, static stability and rotational forces, but each time I realised that that is actually not how I, personally, understand aikido. In other words, this way of looking at aikido doesn't help me to make progress. Others, of course, may have different ways of learning than I do.

In both my aikido training and my yoga practice right now, I am working on things like freeing the shoulder blades and linking them to my spine, and feeling connections between the soles of my feet and my hips. Of course physics explains these things perfectly well, but it doesn't help me to relax and to cultivate awareness in my body - if anything, engaging my logical, rational brain has the opposite effect!

From what I have read, I have a lot of respect for Tom Read and his teaching, and I wouldn't hesitate to go to one of his classes if he came to my neighbourhood. All the same, I am completely befuddled by the use of complex and subtle but extremely precise physics terms in this context. Maybe I have been made cynical by exposure to the whole industry of alternative quackery using "quantum" this and "holographic" that, but I am immediately cautious when I see relatively obscure physics terminology such as waveguides and asymptotes being used to describe movements of the human frame.

Have any other physicists read this book, and if so do they have any comments on it?

Alex
Alex,
Reading a book on Aikido such as the book in question might well give you complex theories. However I think too much emphasis is put on these type of books . Best bet is to just practice and if you use this experience and a bit of common sense I think you can acquire understanding of Aikido principles.On the one hand you have the Mystic Meg group/on the other the 'Science /Theoretical /Universal principle/Unified Theory groups, me? I say KISS.
Cheers, Joe.
Ps Meant to say hello at Cardiff.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:37 AM   #20
Alex Megann
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Alex,
Reading a book on Aikido such as the book in question might well give you complex theories. However I think too much emphasis is put on these type of books . Best bet is to just practice and if you use this experience and a bit of common sense I think you can acquire understanding of Aikido principles.On the one hand you have the Mystic Meg group/on the other the 'Science /Theoretical /Universal principle/Unified Theory groups, me? I say KISS.
Cheers, Joe.
Ps Meant to say hello at Cardiff.
Hi Joe,

I'm sure there is some content in books like this - as I said, I'm sure Tom Read knows his stuff as far as aikido goes - but sometimes the words tend to put me off delving too far. There are only so many hours in the day, after all!

I think I remember us having quite a long chat in Cardiff, but then maybe my old brain is getting too tired these days...

Alex
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:22 PM   #21
Mark Kruger
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

Quote:
Alex Megann wrote: View Post
From what I have read, I have a lot of respect for Tom Read and his teaching, and I wouldn't hesitate to go to one of his classes if he came to my neighbourhood. All the same, I am completely befuddled by the use of complex and subtle but extremely precise physics terms in this context. Maybe I have been made cynical by exposure to the whole industry of alternative quackery using "quantum" this and "holographic" that, but I am immediately cautious when I see relatively obscure physics terminology such as waveguides and asymptotes being used to describe movements of the human frame.

Have any other physicists read this book, and if so do they have any comments on it?

Alex
Well, I'm working in structural and civil engineering, but my BS is in physics. I've also worked as an aircraft electrician for the Navy and at a university applied physics laboratory on underwater acoustics. I've been practicing aikido for close to 20 years. My wife has a PhD in physics and did her dissertation on quantum dots. She has been practicing aikido for over 15 years.

I just borrowed the book last night from my Sensei, so I can't give a full assessment. From what I have read, I concur with your post. For the layperson the terminology isn't a problem, but for knowledgeable folks it is the equivalent of fingernails on the chalkboard.

I'll post more once I have a chance read more of his book.

Respectfully,
Mark Kruger
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:31 PM   #22
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

Quote:
Alex Megann wrote: View Post
In both my aikido training and my yoga practice right now, I am working on things like freeing the shoulder blades and linking them to my spine, and feeling connections between the soles of my feet and my hips. Of course physics explains these things perfectly well, but it doesn't help me to relax and to cultivate awareness in my body - if anything, engaging my logical, rational brain has the opposite effect!
I haven't yet read Read Sensei's book, but that's been my experience as well. (My background is in materials science and solid state physics.) The more "accurate" and "scientific" a description is, the less it helps me. Sometimes science-based metaphors can help -- like thinking of body structure as an electrical ground path -- but only as long as they remain metaphorical.

Katherine
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:48 PM   #23
Keith Larman
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

Well, unlike Alex, I'm an amateur. But in my graduate/"professional student" days I spent a lot of time in physics and mathematics. Asymptotes are kind of an interesting topic, I suppose, but the thing here is that the application in this case seems odd. In mathematics I have a fairly good understanding although it seems Mr. Read is focusing on a sort of special case to describe something physical -- like skating just outside the range of something else. The problem for me is that asymptote has a very distinct meaning and asymptotes can intersect the line depending on the function (a wavy line that repeatedly crosses the line but the wave gets smaller and smaller as an example). But anyway, I guess the problem I have is one of instantiation. He's talking about an rather obscure mathematical concept as if it is a physical *thing* of sorts which itself carries all sorts of properties (Alex's point about applying it to the human frame for instance). That seems like one heck of a leap. But maybe it is possible/correct in physics in a way I don't know, but I'm kinda stuck in the mathematical definition. Then again I've been out of school for a quarter century...

Shrug. I can see hints of what he's getting at. But I also find the use of the terms, well, misleading. Then again it might by my limitations.

One issue I have long had is the misuse of highly technical words. Scientific/philosophical jargon tends to lend an air of authority and "accuracy" to writing. Unfortunately if the words are not being used in a sort of "canonical" fashion then we're left with at best confusion and misinterpretation.

That's all I got on this one... I'm sure he could be doing some great stuff. I'm just not so sure about the explanation...

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Old 03-09-2011, 01:09 PM   #24
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

I'm wondering what is Read Sensei background in maths/physics.
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:31 PM   #25
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Re: Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I'm wondering what is Read Sensei background in maths/physics.
I may risk a guess.
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