I haven't posted on Aikiweb in years. In fact, I'm having trouble just keeping up with my own web page!
But as the author of "Six Precepts" I thought I should leave a bit of insight for those that might find this thread in the archives. (someone just recently let me know this exists)
The secret is, there really are secrets.
A secret is something that no one will tell you. Not always because they are trying to be mean but because they may be trying to tell you in a way you don't understand (e.g., by showing you but not telling you). Another version of a Secret is the "unwritten/unspoken" stuff that they assume you already know.
Here are a few more secrets to consider:
Good athletes don't always make great teachers; sometimes the best teachers are those that are not yet masters.
Just because you are really good at a sport doesn't mean you are just as capable of teaching what you do. The people that excel often have the greatest of intention to try to help you along. They say "do what I do" only because they have no other way to express themselves (e.g., language barriers). They love you dearly, have an open heart, want to see your success, but they can't give what they haven't got. What is missing in most classes is a way to talk about what we do as Aikidoka.
Some classes will not talk at all and let you flounder endlessly/needlessly.
It is folly to think everyone is a great athlete. You are taking your abilities for granted to think so. Many that are interested in Aikido can barely walk and chew gum. These people have great desire to learn, but their body awareness is not highly developed. Taking the time to describe in words and then offer a drill that focuses on something as simple as tucking your hip in a forward CAM doesn't seem like much, but for some it is the equivalent of magic and will save them years of frustration. For the ‘expert', the talk of the CAM won't help you physically, as your body already knows it, but it will help the expert in that it reminds them others don't, and now you can have the conversation.
Thank you Michael for the greatest of praise in your commentary above because in the middle of your overall negative critique you revealed the greatest truth and reason the book was made.
"I have actually used ideas from this book to help some of the people I work with, who have been slow to learn, grasp some basic mechanics."
There are secrets (stuff people won't tell you in the way you need to hear it), what doesn't exist is Magic.
It is almost an absolute truth that everyone wants to believe in magic. That somehow we can take a pill or get knighted and suddenly all of our problems go away, that we no longer have to put in the work and allow ourselves to grow into the person we desire to become. For some it is the belief that some force outside of our selves is responsible for all of our failings/successes. Others want to use Ki like a Jedi Knight. (I do!)
And just like the Fountain of Youth, none of that exists.
"Six precepts" deals strictly with mechanics. We aren't talking about Ki, spirituality, or ethics. I did my best to remove as much opinion as I could. (It is impossible to not reveal yourself in every action you take).
What you are going to find is an open dialogue of one person's view of how the mechanics work. I'm not even going to claim it is how it all works together. Those books are already written by others that can play Aikido far better than me. This book was intended to highlight some of the pieces so that you might get there quicker. These are the discussions I wish someone had with me, that I didn't have to come up with myself.
So if you're thinking that Secrets = Magic, "Six Precepts" is not for you
This book (and any other media) is not for everyone.
There are many that will reject "six precepts" for a lot of reasons. That's life, there's no way to please everyone. If you are confident you know what you're doing, and can explain what you do in graphic detail, then "Six Precepts" is not for you. Preach your own version, but do us a favor, write your version down! We want to hear from you!
I understand why someone won't write their version down. It takes A LOT of time, money, and you have to bear your soul for others to critique. In short, it's a PITA. You write the book for two reasons. Selflessly, you do it for the small percentage of people that take the time to email you a "thank you" knowing that at least twice as many have benefited. Those persons have made it worth it. Selfishly, you do it to put yourself out there so others can critique and help you grow. I've received a lot of great advice since the book came out.
Any book (media) makes great fodder to open the discussion. Delve into what you agree with and what you don't, but do it in detail. Keep the focus on the book and avoid having to take the critique directly/personally.
"Six Precepts" is a very different perspective on Aikido and sports theory. It truly is one of a kind, unlike any other Aiki(do) book I've ever seen. It is not a coffee table book, it is a conversation piece.
(It's not a secret) 5:
A couple of very personable Aikidoka out of Miami area do a great podcast where they dive into all things related to martial arts. Caution, there are periods of adult language when they vamp, but the interviews are excellent and generally family friendly. There's a lot of personality there and I hope someday to play Aikido with them. They had read "Six Precepts" and honored me greatly with a positive review and through some email correspondence it lead to them asking for a quick interview. The interview is tucked away on the end of the fourth episode. Their library of pod casts is at http://www.podcastgarden.com/podcast/martialthoughts
for those of you without iTunes access. Their main site is "Martial Thoughts" (http://thinkingmartial.blogspot.com/)
I suggest you listen to the interview and decide for yourself if "Six Precepts" is for you. "Six Precepts" is written in a conversational tone, and you can get a quick glimpse into what to expect from the book.
Last secret for today:
Never ask for advice on AikiWeb, it is a recipe for disaster. Use AikiWeb to research others perspectives. There are many that should author a book, but won't ever, but are at least publishing smaller snippets that can help you get outside your box. I strongly suggest you ignore the nay-sayers that will flame what they say. Instead, and most importantly…
Ask your Sensei the questions that you have and how they feel about what you've encountered. Even this section of this thread should be subject to that rule. No one on this blog is invested in you the way your Sensei is. If your mind must explore outside of the dojo, be sure to discuss what you come in contact with the experts in your dojo. There's no place like home!