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Old 04-15-2012, 10:34 PM   #1
Chris Li
 
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Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Latest blog post:

Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun - Some thoughts on breathing in Aikido training.

http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/...eng-ha-and-aun

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-16-2012, 07:42 AM   #2
Ernesto Lemke
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Aaaaand another must read...
+1

Ernesto
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:48 AM   #3
gregstec
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Nice job Chris - another good example of how we continue to be challenged in the separation of the metaphoric from the pragmatic. Unfortunately, when we do not get the separation correct, we can really end up down a wrong path

Greg
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:36 AM   #4
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Great Chris!

BTW, it loos as though the picture with O sensei and the Circle Square were "enhanced" but lest there be rumors of cover up, they just seem clearer now, not changed in any way.

One can read behind him "ichi rei, San gen, shi . . .". And also "Aiki ju . . . "

Shirata sensei wrote a poem for my dojo opening, "As the Sun and Moon (In/Yo) sparkle and shine (as reflected [mountain echo] in the earth's water [Heaven/Earth]), Kodokan (The Way of Light Hall)

Doug is actively translating a bunch of Shirata's lectures and they directly parallel your posts, it is fun to read them together!

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:08 AM   #5
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Quote:
Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
Great Chris!

BTW, it loos as though the picture with O sensei and the Circle Square were "enhanced" but lest there be rumors of cover up, they just seem clearer now, not changed in any way.

One can read behind him "ichi rei, San gen, shi . . .". And also "Aiki ju . . . "

Shirata sensei wrote a poem for my dojo opening, "As the Sun and Moon (In/Yo) sparkle and shine (as reflected [mountain echo] in the earth's water [Heaven/Earth]), Kodokan (The Way of Light Hall)

Doug is actively translating a bunch of Shirata's lectures and they directly parallel your posts, it is fun to read them together!
They'll be great to read!

The screen shot is a little funky, it comes of a video, which came of (I think) one of those old Super 8 reels.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-16-2012, 09:29 AM   #6
Chris Knight
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

absolute genius

the jigsaw is being pieced back together

Chris
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:05 AM   #7
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

http://www.hermetics.org/pdf/ScienceOfBreath.pdf

Ignore the Hermetics stuff ....

Also much from the Yang style taiji here http://ymaa.com/publishing/dvd/qigon...ng_qigong_DVD6

Even if this stuff is 80% junk that leaves 20% golden nuggets for the taking.

Just listening to CXW do power releases one can hear the breath at work.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:05 AM   #8
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Breathing, the act of taking in air and then expelling it. That is a physical act which every person does.

Ueshiba's "iki" and "kokyu" are translated as "breath".

Chris, even in your blog, you look at it like breathing. "Still don't know how to breath"

It's not breathing. Why do you think Sagawa said breathing isn't important?

Ueshiba used spiritual terms for nearly everything. Kami, universe, bridge, Izanagi, etc. Why on Earth would we take Ueshiba literally in the midst of all his symbolic talks? Ueshiba's talk of breath isn't equivalent to breathing.

Breath Power? Anyone know how someone can generate power by exhaling? Inhaling? Doesn't that seem silly? He isn't talking about a training exercise in these talks. He's talking about a fundamental way of being by the changes from IP/aiki training.

I think we should start concentrating on just exactly how Ueshiba was manifesting in/yo, yin/yang, that it was different enough to call it something other than the symbolic terms/phrases he already used.

IMO,
Mark
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:20 AM   #9
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Breathing, the act of taking in air and then expelling it. That is a physical act which every person does.

Ueshiba's "iki" and "kokyu" are translated as "breath".

Chris, even in your blog, you look at it like breathing. "Still don't know how to breath"

It's not breathing. Why do you think Sagawa said breathing isn't important?

Ueshiba used spiritual terms for nearly everything. Kami, universe, bridge, Izanagi, etc. Why on Earth would we take Ueshiba literally in the midst of all his symbolic talks? Ueshiba's talk of breath isn't equivalent to breathing.

Breath Power? Anyone know how someone can generate power by exhaling? Inhaling? Doesn't that seem silly? He isn't talking about a training exercise in these talks. He's talking about a fundamental way of being by the changes from IP/aiki training.

I think we should start concentrating on just exactly how Ueshiba was manifesting in/yo, yin/yang, that it was different enough to call it something other than the symbolic terms/phrases he already used.

IMO,
Mark
I think that's a good point, although I would say the he (as many people have) tied these concepts to breathing, at least as an entry point for the intent.

But maybe that's closer to "how to do" than I intended to get at in the blog...

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-17-2012, 09:46 AM   #10
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Breathing, the act of taking in air and then expelling it. That is a physical act which every person does.

Ueshiba's "iki" and "kokyu" are translated as "breath".

Chris, even in your blog, you look at it like breathing. "Still don't know how to breath"

It's not breathing. Why do you think Sagawa said breathing isn't important?

Ueshiba used spiritual terms for nearly everything. Kami, universe, bridge, Izanagi, etc. Why on Earth would we take Ueshiba literally in the midst of all his symbolic talks? Ueshiba's talk of breath isn't equivalent to breathing.

Breath Power? Anyone know how someone can generate power by exhaling? Inhaling? Doesn't that seem silly? He isn't talking about a training exercise in these talks. He's talking about a fundamental way of being by the changes from IP/aiki training.

I think we should start concentrating on just exactly how Ueshiba was manifesting in/yo, yin/yang, that it was different enough to call it something other than the symbolic terms/phrases he already used.

IMO,
Mark
This is all fine and good, but we're talking about skills that go back ages before Ueshiba and WERE physically tied to breathing and breathe control. While the greater cosmology that surrounds these skills can and likely does evolve to fit the persons view of everything and as such can take on various meanings, it's odd to suggest that when he talked about breathing, he was in fact, not talking about breathing. It's more odd to suggest it when he physically used breathing in what he was doing and taught some of that to his students.

Do we really trust anything Sagawa said? Other than him saying he had more aiki than anyone, how do we know that for sure?
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:03 AM   #11
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I think that's a good point, although I would say the he (as many people have) tied these concepts to breathing, at least as an entry point for the intent.

But maybe that's closer to "how to do" than I intended to get at in the blog...

Best,

Chris
Hi Chris,

Many people have put an emphasis on a 60 degree kamae. . We know that isn't right. So, we have to examine what Ueshiba is writing in a new light. And you have that expertly covered in your blogs. I'm thoroughly enjoying them ( now if we could only get Peter to write some more).

But Ueshiba's writings seem more of a what to do with what you have than a how to train manual. Training, yes, there are breath/breathing exercises. But, in your opinion, do you really get the feeling Ueshiba is trying to write a training manual for what he's doing? Or is it more like a journal on how to put the pieces together to be like him?

In that manner, Ueshiba's writing of breath isn't tied completely to breathing. It's something else. IMO, but I could be wrong.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:27 AM   #12
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Breathing, the act of taking in air and then expelling it. That is a physical act which every person does.

Ueshiba's "iki" and "kokyu" are translated as "breath".

Chris, even in your blog, you look at it like breathing. "Still don't know how to breath"

It's not breathing. Why do you think Sagawa said breathing isn't important?

Ueshiba used spiritual terms for nearly everything. Kami, universe, bridge, Izanagi, etc. Why on Earth would we take Ueshiba literally in the midst of all his symbolic talks? Ueshiba's talk of breath isn't equivalent to breathing.

Breath Power? Anyone know how someone can generate power by exhaling? Inhaling? Doesn't that seem silly? He isn't talking about a training exercise in these talks. He's talking about a fundamental way of being by the changes from IP/aiki training.

I think we should start concentrating on just exactly how Ueshiba was manifesting in/yo, yin/yang, that it was different enough to call it something other than the symbolic terms/phrases he already used.

IMO,
Mark
Hey Mark,

From what(I think)I understand, it is possible to generate/release power through breath. It's part of some of the kata I've practiced. Breath can create kuzushi. But I think that it is of course only one part of the aiki puzzle. I bet you've even done it yourself...

As far as Sagawa goes...why would he give all of his secrets away? If he wasn't always forthcoming in his teaching, maybe the same holds true for his thoughts on breathing. IMO, it would seem that breathing is very important for body conditioning and making aiki...hence, aiki in yo ho... :0).
But I'm only an amature.

It may not be normal everyday "breathing". But there is something to it. I don't think Ueshiba would have mentioned it otherwise. Thanks.

ChrisW
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:34 AM   #13
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Hi Chris,

Many people have put an emphasis on a 60 degree kamae. . We know that isn't right. So, we have to examine what Ueshiba is writing in a new light. And you have that expertly covered in your blogs. I'm thoroughly enjoying them ( now if we could only get Peter to write some more).

But Ueshiba's writings seem more of a what to do with what you have than a how to train manual. Training, yes, there are breath/breathing exercises. But, in your opinion, do you really get the feeling Ueshiba is trying to write a training manual for what he's doing? Or is it more like a journal on how to put the pieces together to be like him?

In that manner, Ueshiba's writing of breath isn't tied completely to breathing. It's something else. IMO, but I could be wrong.
No he definitely doesn't speak like a training manual. On the other hand, he's very repetitive on certain themes - throwing out constant references to the same basic training concepts. Saying, in a way, that these are the things that got me here.

Yes, I think that you're right and the ties extend much further - the challenge for me, at least, is to get to the Universe without wandering off into Outer Space. That is, to avoid having a profound idea that is mostly a figment of my imagination, with no idea how to actually get there.

In a vast over-generalization, western approaches tend to value the idea, and then work back to the practice, while eastern approaches tend to value the practice, and then work back to the idea.

For Ueshiba, IMO, the deeper practices grew out of his technical training methodology (he says this, at one point) - even though they weren't limited to them (and not just Ueshiba - you see this in many arts). The deeper, intent based training, is a major link between the two, if you ask me.

Just what I'm thinking these days...

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-17-2012, 10:35 AM   #14
Lee Salzman
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Breathing, the act of taking in air and then expelling it. That is a physical act which every person does.

Ueshiba's "iki" and "kokyu" are translated as "breath".

Chris, even in your blog, you look at it like breathing. "Still don't know how to breath"

It's not breathing. Why do you think Sagawa said breathing isn't important?

Ueshiba used spiritual terms for nearly everything. Kami, universe, bridge, Izanagi, etc. Why on Earth would we take Ueshiba literally in the midst of all his symbolic talks? Ueshiba's talk of breath isn't equivalent to breathing.

Breath Power? Anyone know how someone can generate power by exhaling? Inhaling? Doesn't that seem silly? He isn't talking about a training exercise in these talks. He's talking about a fundamental way of being by the changes from IP/aiki training.

I think we should start concentrating on just exactly how Ueshiba was manifesting in/yo, yin/yang, that it was different enough to call it something other than the symbolic terms/phrases he already used.

IMO,
Mark
The details in my mind are foggy, and you may remember some specifics perhaps from some past discussions of it, but didn't he, in essence, replace his usage of the term elbow power with breath power conspicuously in many cases, that it was sort of his whatever take on it? I mean, if we view them both, however you want to look at them, as a form of circulating/spreading/conserving/whatever, is saying it is breath power really that far off?
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:39 AM   #15
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Appropriate Intention, Posture, Breath, Continuing Intention is the key...

Chuck Clark
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:01 AM   #16
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Good article Chris.

The upward spiral (fire and water -- ka+mi) and the downward spiral (water and fire -- i+ki) are -- mechanically speaking -- the spirals of torsional shear lines of (ex)tension (breath of heaven - yo) and compression (breath of earth - in), and which lie at right angles to one another) (aiki-ju) -- forming a complex action that we call "shear stress."

If you consider this post, and the deeply misunderstood concept of "spherical rotation" taught by Kisshomaru Doshu, you have a way to understand both unified body mechanics ("unbendable") and loose chain-like body mechanics ("softened joints") -- in one well-studied and consistent mechanical concept that coherently tracks the teaching of O Sensei.

Observe that the combined figure in that post, shown here, has two prominent central crossings, one lower and to the front, and the other higher and to the rear:



These shear lines are the stresses that occur when you twist (rotate under torsion) a sphere. A sphere is just a minimalist, idealized body. These crossings correlate to the hara (lower front) and the upper cross (upper rear). (The image unfortunately shows them not at right angles because of my limited graphics capabilities -- but you get the point even if it needs to be more geometrically accurate).

The contraction of exhaling rounds the body toward its minimalist shape (topologically, a single sphere in the limit -- and thus, a circular figure). Inhaling expands the body to its more articulated form with outspread limbs ( an X -- in the limit of expansion in all directions) with a major crossing at the hara. This makes the diagonals of the square -- similar to Leonardo's Vitruvian Man.

The control of bodily unity and its natural discontinuities at joints controls the transitions. Winding and unwinding the body is like forming and untwisting balloon animals (i.e. -- the joints can act like the twisted necks of the chains of balloon spheres, free to rotation at the connection -- and they can just as easily unwind back into a single unitary spherical structure where the joints are not free to rotate "bend". The body can thus unify into a monolithic structure -- or fold and collapse again at need by the inverse action -- and all on the exact same principle of action. Both the unifying and articulating actions are aspects of torsional buckling.

"Softening the joints" = chain-like behavior/iki (articulated for "usage" in the article). "Unbendable" joints = unified body action (the "body"in the article, made unitary).

To complicate matters one can overdrive a twist past the "articulated" body stage and make it spontaneously kink and then "reunify" again in a different way (like overtwisting a chain or a rope into kinked loops that then contract the whole thing -- Try it.) The structure then acts sort of like the chain of free spheres again -- but now is only free to rotate in one direction, and to collapse int on itself in the other dimension, which it tends to do spontaneously and cannot reverse.

Applied to an opponent, Sankyo, for instance, is simply a canonical example of buckling uke's articulated structure into a unitary structure by winding him along the fire spiral - upward (extension). Nikyo is the canonical example of winding him into a unitary structure along the water spiral -- downward (compression).

FWIW.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 04-17-2012 at 11:06 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:40 PM   #17
DH
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Nonsense
It is full speed ...in the wrong direction and has nothing to do with attaining real skill. No one pursuing this will arrive at usable skills.
Dan
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:58 PM   #18
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Edit:
No one pursuing that model has ever arrived at usable skills and in the history of mankind on the earth......ever will.

These discussions, are sadly bringing in more disinformation, that has plagued aikido for generations. The latest contributions have nothing to do with Ueshiab and what he was talking about. Its just more confused...guesswork, that fails....over and over and over again.

Intention is not key...and it never was, I have yet to meet anyone in the art who truly understands the simplist model of intent or Yi....not intention....and how that created in/ yo. The very thing that Ueshiba defined as the starting point-well in keeping with the Chinese arts.

Chris's efforts are profound, but only as long as they are kept out of the hands of most of the teachers of aikido...who are only going to continue to muddy the waters with their misinformed ideas, which they can't pull off in person, standing next to someone who truy understands what Ueshiba was actually talking about.

Do we want pats on the back and validation....or do we really want to move ahead? Do you want to just be applauded for your efforts, or do you want to get serious and change the art and make it profound?

If you are going to listen and read things from any old Joe....than at least ask yourself who you are talking with. This stuff is extra-ordinary. It is truly profound and anyone who understands his material will stand head and shoulders above the average..........Shihan.
Yes, that's. right. Not the average person, the average Shihan.
Are you....that person?
If not, who are you reading...are they?

I think we have a lot of work ahead of us to really take ownership of the art that Ueshiba was trying to get across. We need to begin by asking who we are listening to.
Dan
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:49 AM   #19
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
No he definitely doesn't speak like a training manual. On the other hand, he's very repetitive on certain themes - throwing out constant references to the same basic training concepts. Saying, in a way, that these are the things that got me here.

Yes, I think that you're right and the ties extend much further - the challenge for me, at least, is to get to the Universe without wandering off into Outer Space. That is, to avoid having a profound idea that is mostly a figment of my imagination, with no idea how to actually get there.

In a vast over-generalization, western approaches tend to value the idea, and then work back to the practice, while eastern approaches tend to value the practice, and then work back to the idea.

For Ueshiba, IMO, the deeper practices grew out of his technical training methodology (he says this, at one point) - even though they weren't limited to them (and not just Ueshiba - you see this in many arts). The deeper, intent based training, is a major link between the two, if you ask me.

Just what I'm thinking these days...

Best,

Chris
Spot on Chris. It is also fascinating to see the many solo training regimens, from India to China to Okinawa Karate to Koryu to Daito ryu to Ueshiba...that all stress the same themes. It's truly profound to be allowed to see some of these private training methods that are consistent in their goals for what they were working. But yet.......talk to those doing them.....They have no idea why they are doing them and what they were for.

Intent is everything. It is no small point that they named entire arts mind intent, intent method, intent boxing. However, it would appear at this point that the actual study and use of intent to maintain opposing forces in producing power and aiki, remains out of reach for the vast majority of folks in the arts. All of these things have to be approached methodically and consistently to produce that "Magic" feel we all sought after in the first place. I guess the good news is that it can be done, and it can be had and you no longer have to join a system and sweat it out to hopefully....maybe....someday....get it. Now you can be taught if you know the right places to go.
Dan
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:21 PM   #20
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

isn't it possible that ueshiba was just a tortured soul looking for serenity and found that training gave him relief and he figured it might give others the same?

life can be incredibly simple ... if we let it.

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Old 04-19-2012, 01:55 AM   #21
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Quote:
Jim Redel wrote: View Post
isn't it possible that ueshiba was just a tortured soul looking for serenity and found that training gave him relief and he figured it might give others the same?

life can be incredibly simple ... if we let it.
Anything's possible, but what's your point? If that's true (I'm not giving an opinion one way or the other), than what would it change in a discussion of the training methodology that he he himself laid down?

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-19-2012, 08:11 AM   #22
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Anything's possible, but what's your point? If that's true (I'm not giving an opinion one way or the other), than what would it change in a discussion of the training methodology that he he himself laid down?

Best,

Chris
Excellent question Chris, the point to simply be aware that we humans seem to have a genetic predisposition to overly complicate things. I believe the founder's basic message is "Train hard, train joyfully and the world is a little better place." Breathing and intent and spirals and stress and the Doshu said and he said and she said and all the rest ... ok - but mostly "Train hard, train joyfully and the world is a little better place."

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Old 04-19-2012, 09:01 AM   #23
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Quote:
Jim Redel wrote: View Post
... ok - but mostly "Train hard, train joyfully and the world is a little better place."
Reminds me of a scene in the Life of Brian.

"But ... "
ahhemm, coughing slightly and cautious putting the hand up .... hhhmmm
"ahem sensei, sir, ...what exactly ... ahhm ... shall we ... train?"

Most things are uncomplicated if you know how to or what to. We now may get the chance to get to know what and how.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:30 AM   #24
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Quote:
Jim Redel wrote: View Post
Excellent question Chris, the point to simply be aware that we humans seem to have a genetic predisposition to overly complicate things. I believe the founder's basic message is "Train hard, train joyfully and the world is a little better place." Breathing and intent and spirals and stress and the Doshu said and he said and she said and all the rest ... ok - but mostly "Train hard, train joyfully and the world is a little better place."
Then why learn anything? Better to let everybody think they're doing just great and go home happy?

That message must have gotten obscured while Ueshiba was yelling at everybody

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-19-2012, 11:14 AM   #25
Lee Salzman
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 405
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Re: Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun

Quote:
Jim Redel wrote: View Post
Excellent question Chris, the point to simply be aware that we humans seem to have a genetic predisposition to overly complicate things. I believe the founder's basic message is "Train hard, train joyfully and the world is a little better place." Breathing and intent and spirals and stress and the Doshu said and he said and she said and all the rest ... ok - but mostly "Train hard, train joyfully and the world is a little better place."
Wouldn't this taken to its logical conclusion mean we should rather take the time we would have spent training or talking about training and go join the Peace Corps, go around giving free hugs, or whatever? I am firmly in the "aikido is not about free hugs" camp, FWIW.
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