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Old 04-06-2013, 06:48 AM   #1
graham christian
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keep One Point

Just read on another thread talk about Tohei and one point. So I thought hey, why not? So this thread is just to explore 1)what people actually got from that principle
2) What methology they were given regards to it.
3) What information they were taught about it.
4) What effect it actually had on their performance.
5) Plus any other useful attributes as a result of that particular discipline.

Now along with this I must say that o.k. there are four principles in mind and body co-ordination in that methology but each could be talked about in the same way, separately, as to their particular benefits and this is about one point.

Secondly it erks me no end that Tohei is always equated with those four almost exclusively to the exclusion of his numerous other sets of principles but mainly to the exclusion of his five principles of Aikido. These five plus the previous four had to be in unison in the action of Aikido but maybe that's even in itself another topic.

So it will be interesting to see what actually did or do people learn from it or get taught about it.

Peace.G.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:59 AM   #2
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: keep One Point

HI Graham:

Your intro to this thread sounds a little confrontational to begin with. Would it be a sharing of ideas or another argument?

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Old 04-06-2013, 02:55 PM   #3
graham christian
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Re: keep One Point

Hi Mary.
Didn't think it was confrontational and definitely it is aimed at sharing experiences. It is maybe challenging in as much as not much is discussed about single principles and how each individual found that one thing and benefits it led to.

My added bit about what erks me may come across as confrontational but nonetheless it is a valid point for I have never seen the five points of Aikido discussed or even mentioned by anyone apart from myself and don't see how you can discuss Tohei's way without so doing. Anyway I do say that's for a different thread therefor not this one.

Now me, I could quite enthusiastically talk on and on about what I found to do with the discipline of keeping one point, how I was taught it, the way we used it, effects it had compared to when not concentrating on it, the changes that happened the more and more I got able to keep it, right up to my current view on what it actually does. But once again that also could be considered confrontational or boasty which from my view is a shame for I would like to hear others views and how they used it and stages thereof and results etc.

So I chose to wait and see if others just got on and discussed or explained one point strictly from their own personal usage and results and methologies taught about it.

So no it's not confrontational but it is a bit real. It is a bit "o.k. if you have done Ki Aikido like you say then then share with us what exactly you were taught about one point, what exactly it is you did, what you found, effect it had bodily, mentally, spiritually or Ki wise, feelings etc." Rather than the usual vague commentary as to no one told us much about it or Tohei was good but the methology was lacking type comments. So it's to forget all that 'expertise' commentary and a chance to get real and share personal experience.

You never know I might find most were taught different to me even in the official Ki Federation, I may on the other hand be surprised by peoples personal experiences but it rules out "I trained with someone doing it and they couldn't blah, blah, blah, type experiences".

So as in the op it's about if you do or did it then what did you do?

Here's a starter: We were taught from day one you create it. You create a point, right at the point of centre or dantien just below the navel but you have to create it. So there, right at the beginning that starting point may be different to many. Only through sharing or hearing others will I know.

Then and along with that we were informed as to what to allow this creted point to do, it's function. Now as a beginner we don't ask and it doesn't even matter to us if this one point is the same as centre for all we are interested in is what does it do and how do we use it and what happens when we do.

So there's a starter. That's a beginning, an introduction to my first experience with this principle from the view of what we were told to do, to practice.

Now, along with that we were told to let the force or energy or even strength of the attackers hold, grip, to go to the one point. This we found somehow made the arms and wrists relax and not 'fight against' at thos connection points which was strange and kind of freeing to both the mind and body. Along with that we were told to give our own energy back from one point. So the beginnings of receiving and giving are born.

I found at the time it was hard to do as it took lots of concentration but magical when done as it wasn't what I was used to or the mind was used to either and definitely the mind and the body were both pleasantly surprised because it seemed almost opposite to what all previous martial arts had taught or even what I or any of my friends had done when play fighting or wrestling since kids.

So anyway as I said it's not to outdo anothers way or methology and in the same token it's not a promotion of Ki style Aikido. It's just sharing.

Peace.G.
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:41 PM   #4
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: keep One Point

Our lineage is Tohei to Maruyama. (Shuji) When we were with Maruyama the 4 principles of Kokikai where teaching points.

We don't focus on them now...Ron's approach is different.

Having correct feeling is essential to our practice...having one point is another way to say that.

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Old 04-09-2013, 01:26 PM   #5
Dan Richards
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Re: keep One Point

Hi Graham, I was introduced early in my training - probably '90 or so - to the Ki Aikido 4 principles. The only one that really gave me any definitive reference that I found useful was "weight underside." "Extend ki" did a bit.

The two that almost did nothing for me were "relax completely" and "keep one point." I find people being told to "relax" is actually counterproductive.

Now, I'd done other reading and investigating as well, and had an idea of the dantien. And in that - all throughout my studies - I've been aware that there was something going on that wasn't apparent in the outer form. And that, in fact, the outer form was not the art.

But the problem with this "keep one point" is - where is the point? What is it relative to? Is it static? Does it move? What size is it? What constitutes a "point?"

In my own findings, I've actually had better success transferring the concept of the dantien not by going just below the navel, but by coming up from the pelvic girdle. The "disk" idea I came up with has given people I've worked with an actual moving part that they can feel and experience. And we work from up from there, rather than down or in from a space that really doesn't move enough for people to grasp.

Another problem I have with the explanation of "one point" is its relative position within a 360-degree, 3-dimensional sphere. And then adding the 4th dimensional space of "time" through movement, and the concept can fizzle quickly into something that's theoretical, but not understandable or transferable - and, in fact, adds more confusion.

Additionally, it seems that the idea of an individual person having a discrete center is not what Ueshiba was getting at. In fact, his concept of "center" was the harmonious center of the event between two complementary forces.

I did get some of the "feel" and "texture" and application of attention from what I learned through Ki Aikido training in the dojo. But interestingly, after I'd picked up on some of that and knew what to look and feel for, I actually got a much richer dose of it through training Tai Chi Chuan with a good teacher.

Just some of my experiences. Thanks for starting the topic.

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Old 04-09-2013, 01:40 PM   #6
Dan Richards
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Re: keep One Point

To add something; I was training with a teacher who would regularly do ki testing. It was interesting that the women seemed to naturally pick up on it. That also clued me in early to the benefits of training with women. At one point we were standing, and the teacher said, "Let's try this. Just put your arms out in front of you, and say and feel, 'I don't give a shit.'" Everyone, surprisingly, made it through the ki testing stronger than they had previously. It also proved to be a big permission slip in terms of "getting it" and not trying to do something. The experiential observation and feedback that we've already "got it" is something I still use in my own training and training with others.

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Old 04-09-2013, 10:54 PM   #7
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Re: keep One Point

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote: View Post
But the problem with this "keep one point" is - where is the point? What is it relative to? Is it static? Does it move? What size is it? What constitutes a "point?"
Shift your view of one point away from the spatial dimensions to the dimension of time. Now consider the idea of one point in terms of the temporal relationship of mind and body.

Ron

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Old 04-10-2013, 11:00 AM   #8
Cliff Judge
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Re: keep One Point

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Shift your view of one point away from the spatial dimensions to the dimension of time. Now consider the idea of one point in terms of the temporal relationship of mind and body.

Ron
Thanks, Ron....I was very much ready to receive this gokui. I shall be pondering this for weeks to come.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:39 AM   #9
Dan Richards
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Re: keep One Point

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Shift your view of one point away from the spatial dimensions to the dimension of time. Now consider the idea of one point in terms of the temporal relationship of mind and body.
Time is a spatial dimension.

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Old 04-10-2013, 03:54 PM   #10
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: keep One Point

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote: View Post
Time is a spatial dimension.
When you have all the answers it is hard to be in the question.

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Old 04-10-2013, 04:41 PM   #11
Dan Richards
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Re: keep One Point

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
When you have all the answers it is hard to be in the question.
I wasn't contributing an answer, Mary, I was qualifying a "dimension." Time is not outside of spatial dimensions - it's one of them. We can not move outside of spatial dimensions and into the dimension of time, unless we want to go back to Newtonian physics (aka classical mechanics), and disregard the very physics that created these computers and allows us to communicate this way. modern physics - which has been around for a good hundred years, also interestingly enough, agrees with Eastern mysticism with regards to space/time. Time is referred to as the "4th dimension" and it is a spatial dimension.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-dimensional_space

You mentioned you moved on from the 4 principles, and into some else. How was your experience of "keep one point" useful, or not, as a learning tool? And if you're moved on, what have you found has been an improvement?

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Old 04-10-2013, 05:16 PM   #12
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Re: keep One Point

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote: View Post
Time is not outside of spatial dimensions - it's one of them.
"In physics, spacetime (also space--time, space time or space--time continuum) is any mathematical model that combines space and time into a single continuum. Spacetime is usually interpreted with space as existing in three dimensions and time playing the role of a fourth dimension that is of a different sort from the spatial dimensions." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime

As long as you continue to envision one point as space-bound:

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote:
But the problem with this "keep one point" is - where is the point? What is it relative to? Is it static? Does it move? What size is it? What constitutes a "point?"
the meaning of the phrase "keep one point" will elude you. All of your questions regarding "keep one point" are centered around spatial characteristics. All I'm asking is that you put aside trying to figure out what one point is and consider "keep one point" from the point of view of how the phrase relates to the temporal relationship between mind and body.

Ron

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Old 04-10-2013, 05:19 PM   #13
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Re: keep One Point

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I shall be pondering this for weeks to come.
Thanks Cliff. You should be in for a few interesting weeks. Enjoy the journey.

Ron

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Old 04-11-2013, 01:12 AM   #14
Michael Varin
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Re: keep One Point

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote:
I shall be pondering this for weeks to come.
Thanks Cliff. You should be in for a few interesting weeks. Enjoy the journey. Ron
I want to thank you for this as well.

This is something that I often think about, but not with enough clarity.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:17 AM   #15
Lee Salzman
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Re: keep One Point

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
"In physics, spacetime (also space--time, space time or space--time continuum) is any mathematical model that combines space and time into a single continuum. Spacetime is usually interpreted with space as existing in three dimensions and time playing the role of a fourth dimension that is of a different sort from the spatial dimensions." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime

As long as you continue to envision one point as space-bound:

the meaning of the phrase "keep one point" will elude you. All of your questions regarding "keep one point" are centered around spatial characteristics. All I'm asking is that you put aside trying to figure out what one point is and consider "keep one point" from the point of view of how the phrase relates to the temporal relationship between mind and body.

Ron
So now you have me wondering if what you mean by "keep one point" meshes with some concepts from, umm, stuff outside of Aikido I have encountered elsewhere.

The concept, from bird's eye view (and perhaps the bird has cataracts): say I want to make a circle, I must forget that I am making a circle. At each moment, at each point (in space and time), I am just trying to make the best linear forces I can. I do not scatter myself to a bunch of different directions or where I want to go or where I was. Rather, "here" I am, and I try to be the best "here" I can be. But, woops, no clinging to that moment, by the time I recognize that moment, forces that I have exerted have put me somewhere else. The next moment has come, and I am somewhere else, and the relationship of me to that circle I somehow happened to be making has now changed. I must then be "here" again, and "here" has changed, so the linear forces I am dealing with must necessarily have changed. Any conscious analysis/clinging to something/thoughts will just totally screw it up. Reality doesn't take breaks while you stop to think, so you can't stop to think.

It's basically a feedback loop between awareness/observance of the goal and the moment-to-moment optimization/course correction that effects that goal. It's a state of mind that is recognized, isolated, and trained to deeper levels.

Another simple example where this state can be readily observed: when boxing, at the exact moment you launch a strike, if you only focus on striking, that is the exact moment when you are the most delightfully punchable. You must simultaneously be reacting to the possibility of getting hit even as you go to hit the other. Just another manifestation of the simultaneous mixture of awareness and action...

But, that's another thing from another art. But is it a cognate of "keep one point", false or otherwise?

Last edited by Lee Salzman : 04-11-2013 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:55 AM   #16
phitruong
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Re: keep One Point

i got a physics degree, but you guys' physics went beyond me. i think i'd just go back into my aikido blackhole and suck.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:43 AM   #17
PeterR
 
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Re: keep One Point

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
i got a physics degree, but you guys' physics went beyond me. i think i'd just go back into my aikido blackhole and suck.
And in the end it is all "pointless"

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:59 AM   #18
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Re: keep One Point

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
The concept, from bird's eye view (and perhaps the bird has cataracts): say I want to make a circle, I must forget that I am making a circle. At each moment, at each point (in space and time), I am just trying to make the best linear forces I can. I do not scatter myself to a bunch of different directions or where I want to go or where I was. Rather, "here" I am, and I try to be the best "here" I can be. But, woops, no clinging to that moment, by the time I recognize that moment, forces that I have exerted have put me somewhere else. The next moment has come, and I am somewhere else, and the relationship of me to that circle I somehow happened to be making has now changed. I must then be "here" again, and "here" has changed, so the linear forces I am dealing with must necessarily have changed. Any conscious analysis/clinging to something/thoughts will just totally screw it up. Reality doesn't take breaks while you stop to think, so you can't stop to think.
Nice example. To really bring it home, try making the circle while thinking about last night's dinner or all the appointments you have coming up next week. Keeping one point, to borrow an analogy from baseball, is nothing more than keeping your eye on the ball.

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
It's basically a feedback loop between awareness/observance of the goal and the moment-to-moment optimization/course correction that effects that goal.
The more you can reduce the time interval between perception and action the more closely mind and body are coordinated. And while you can never reduce the interval to zero, it can approach zero without limit.

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
It's a state of mind that is recognized, isolated, and trained to deeper levels.
It's a little more complex than a state of mind since the body is involved as well. Call it a state of mind/body. And you're right when you state that it can be "recognized, isolated, and trained to deeper levels."

Ron

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Old 04-11-2013, 02:11 PM   #19
Lee Salzman
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Re: keep One Point

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Nice example. To really bring it home, try making the circle while thinking about last night's dinner or all the appointments you have coming up next week. Keeping one point, to borrow an analogy from baseball, is nothing more than keeping your eye on the ball.

The more you can reduce the time interval between perception and action the more closely mind and body are coordinated. And while you can never reduce the interval to zero, it can approach zero without limit.

It's a little more complex than a state of mind since the body is involved as well. Call it a state of mind/body. And you're right when you state that it can be "recognized, isolated, and trained to deeper levels."

Ron
Yeah, just to be clear and make sure I don't unwittingly steer conversation into a certain philosophical gutter, what I was analogizing was indeed an elaboration of what is at base a body state, then gradually progresses more and more towards working with the mind. It wasn't meant to imply a "no mind" thing - you could sit on your butt and meditate for 3 lifetimes and you will never get that state - just like you won't learn to play violin by taking up Zen. There are basic body mechanics that are learned first, like how to actually express those linear forces that lead to that circle, since the way the untrained body will do it is just decades of bad movement habits. But after you've passed that state, symbolic reasoning/visualization/etc. imposes a cap on performance that must be removed to go farther. Moving in a circle is tough.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:34 PM   #20
graham christian
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Re: keep One Point

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Our lineage is Tohei to Maruyama. (Shuji) When we were with Maruyama the 4 principles of Kokikai where teaching points.

We don't focus on them now...Ron's approach is different.

Having correct feeling is essential to our practice...having one point is another way to say that.
Hi Mary. Thanks for the reply. I agree that keeping one principle in mind ie: correct feeling, is an example of 'keeping a one point' (of focus), however it is different in respect that even it stems from the principle of one point itself. Very literally a point.

Focusing on one thing is great. Focusing on space, focusing on energy, focusing on centre, focusing on various feelings individually etc. all good. For me and as I explain to others that once two or more principles are then 'seen' or used together naturally then the persons view becomes of course more expansive but more importantly the different aspects can then become seen as one whole so back once again to oneness or one point.

I even say that a person may look at all the things they have to do let's say they are confronted with having to face changing something they consider is 'all too much' or too overwhelming for them. This may be even something as simple as clearing out a room so that a new carpet can be layed. All those different actions necessary. Yet if you calmly space it all out into steps, all sequenced out then yit becomes just one 'cycle', one sequence of actions. Back to one again. At that point all seems easy. Another example of the power of one.

Just some added thoughts of mine.

Peace.G.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:04 PM   #21
graham christian
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Re: keep One Point

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote: View Post
Hi Graham, I was introduced early in my training - probably '90 or so - to the Ki Aikido 4 principles. The only one that really gave me any definitive reference that I found useful was "weight underside." "Extend ki" did a bit.

The two that almost did nothing for me were "relax completely" and "keep one point." I find people being told to "relax" is actually counterproductive.

Now, I'd done other reading and investigating as well, and had an idea of the dantien. And in that - all throughout my studies - I've been aware that there was something going on that wasn't apparent in the outer form. And that, in fact, the outer form was not the art.

But the problem with this "keep one point" is - where is the point? What is it relative to? Is it static? Does it move? What size is it? What constitutes a "point?"

In my own findings, I've actually had better success transferring the concept of the dantien not by going just below the navel, but by coming up from the pelvic girdle. The "disk" idea I came up with has given people I've worked with an actual moving part that they can feel and experience. And we work from up from there, rather than down or in from a space that really doesn't move enough for people to grasp.

Another problem I have with the explanation of "one point" is its relative position within a 360-degree, 3-dimensional sphere. And then adding the 4th dimensional space of "time" through movement, and the concept can fizzle quickly into something that's theoretical, but not understandable or transferable - and, in fact, adds more confusion.

Additionally, it seems that the idea of an individual person having a discrete center is not what Ueshiba was getting at. In fact, his concept of "center" was the harmonious center of the event between two complementary forces.

I did get some of the "feel" and "texture" and application of attention from what I learned through Ki Aikido training in the dojo. But interestingly, after I'd picked up on some of that and knew what to look and feel for, I actually got a much richer dose of it through training Tai Chi Chuan with a good teacher.

Just some of my experiences. Thanks for starting the topic.
Hi Dan. Thanks for your reply.

Once again shows me not very good teaching of one point given to you in my opinion. Obviously thus left you with too many unanswered questions as you point out.

Interesting you got more from weight underside so that's all good.

The explanation or explanations you have been given regarding one point seem to me 'lacking' so no wonder 'confusing'.

Interesting you mention Tai Chi as well. Some practitioners of that which I met considered me as a 'cousin' and we did nothing but admire the similarities of our views. Most if not all were surprised by my reality on what they were doing despite not being a practitioner of their art. I believe their are more similarities than differences in the two arts.

Peace.G.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:11 PM   #22
graham christian
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Re: keep One Point

As I suspected not much seems to have been taught regarding one point in the same way I was taught.

Thus having not been taught properly we are left with lot's of 'false' views on the efficacy of the principle made from conclusions of personal experiences which didn't give the practitioner much reality. Interesting.

Thanks for the replies.

Peace.G.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:20 PM   #23
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: keep One Point

I disagree with your "false" notion. Aikido reveals itself to us as we train. There is no one way to rightness. Talk is cheap...mat time matters.

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Old 04-17-2013, 08:38 PM   #24
graham christian
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Re: keep One Point

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I disagree with your "false" notion. Aikido reveals itself to us as we train. There is no one way to rightness. Talk is cheap...mat time matters.
Really? Which part of my 'false' do you disagree with?

Holding or keeping a point has specific results. As no one has said what this is yet have given their honest conclusions based on what they did experience then I can say those conclusions are not based on the reality of one point. Pretty straightforward I would say.

This in no way invalidates the pluses gained from the methods they do use as it's not about rightness. It's about what reality do you have on one point, as a point.

Peace.G.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:51 PM   #25
graham christian
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Keep One Point, Explained.

Following my last post I will now share with you some specifics regarding 'one point' according to me.

I will explain it from all different angles. From simple mechanics, from a spiritual view, from a mental view and from an action view and in life view.

So first lets start from centre. One point is not centre. That's the first misunderstanding to clear up. We create a point at centre and use it as if using centre when first learning about one point.

Thus we practice keeping the creation of a point at centre whilst doing technique. We find when our attention or mind goes elsewhere and thus we stop creating the point in the here and now that the technique fails. That is standard basic practice. We find when doing such that ki flows outwards better and when we 'lose' one point then ki flow stops. All this because of a created point aligned with centre.

This leads the mind to many questions but at first they are irrelevant for the fact of just a point having so much difference in both the inner feeling and outer expression and efficacy is fascinating enough to get along with.

Due to the continued disciplined practice of this we notice ki extends more, attention goes out more, awareness of around you increases whilst in action. We notice the body relaxes more and gets enlivened and thus experiences the difference between ki flowing through it compared to what we were previously used to. Then we notice we are more aware of the effect of gravityas if harmonizing with gravity itself and thus develops weight underside.

All because of one point.

The Mind:
Mentally what is happening? Well when you create a point and keep it it stills the mind. Thus you become aware of stillness but more importantly you rule out 'thinking' and other mental phenomena and distractions. One point handles the mind. By stilling the mind you can then allow ki to flow from centre undisturbed or interfered with.

Spiritually:
What's happening spiritually? Well spiritually you are creating the point which stills the mind. Spiritually you are thus extending through the mental clouds and revealing or opening up to your innate kindness. The first step of bringing heaven to earth.

Mechanics and physics:
What is happening for real? Well in reality we have to visit the world of energy motion and physics to understand. To understand what happens when you hold a point with specific attributes stable so we visit basic physics from the view of electrical flow. Very basic.

For electricity to flow you get two terminals, two stable points. They thus have space between them and actually a stable base too. With no stable base or with no space between the terminals or indeed if the terminals are not kept still then there is no flow.

So now to the interesting bit. Ki flows out to the universe from one point all well and good but ki flows to one point from centre. So here are the two stable points....centre and one point.

Now as previously stated in past communications I said one point is created and in fact as taught outside of the body by centre. Thus the space. I have also pointed out how it is therefor movable, you can create a point anywhere for ki to flow to but you must create it stabley or else no flow.

These are the basic mechanics.

So later in training we get more comfortable putting one point at a certain location and thus having our ki flow to that location, now of course being more aware of centre. Centre is always centre by the way and as such always at that fixed location.

So, before you think this is going awol let me introduce you to when you actually do this in life and indeed when you do this in martial arts for those of you who practice part of this principle under a different name and so would be unaware it's actually a facet of one point which they are practicing.

In life where do you put, create stable points which your energy and indeed thereafter your actions and motions flow towards? Well, when you set a firm target to be achieved. That is a stable point. A goal, a firm decision. All stable points.

In martial arts or internals you use and develop a certain thing which you all agree, well those who do it anyway, is useful or intrinsic or even vital and that is intention. When you intend something you are creating a stable point which thus creates the flow. Simple. You are using the principle of one point and experiencing the mechanics of so doing.

Thus intention stills the mind for it is creating a point.

A good intention stills the universe.

Peace.G.
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