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Old 08-27-2014, 02:26 PM   #276
dps
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I've spoken to several folks who have - hence the question.

Best,

Chris
But you have not, nothing like first hand experience.

dps
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:49 PM   #277
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Erick - everybody's got a resume, it doesn't mean anything as to whether the model being presented is valid or not, that was my point.
Quite right.


Quote:
Further, he's not proposing this as a hypothesis, he states flatly that his model is a superior conceptual framework. That means that it must be (a) correct (and I can already see places in his Japanese where he is mistaken) and (b) capable of producing superior results. All I'm saying is, where are the results?
Superior depends on your purpose and your need. I don't mean to supplant anything that is working for anybody -- I just look at things and can easily say what's been done conceptually hasn't proved to work consistently very well in passing the essential nature of the art along. Not for the Founder, nor for any of his students. Dan says he is bringing it back from some other lineage or source (I am unclear what, but that hardly matters either -- it seems to work. Huzzah!) The reason for conceptual failure seems (to me) to be that nobody ever bothered to SERIOUSLY ask the question: "What is the essential nature of this art ?"

If there's one thing we lawyers are good at, it is asking careful questions.

And the question of the "essential nature" of something is a question in what used to be called "natural philosophy." Now we call it science. The sciences of human physiology and theoretical AND practical mechanics got us into space, and to the moon -- a few times. It got the Russians and the Chinese into space, too. So, no real cultural transmission problems there.

Gee, Wally, why not try THAT thing ?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:57 PM   #278
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
But you have not, nothing like first hand experience.

dps
I don't disagree with that. In any case, I'll simply state that in my opinion Erick is way off track - and that model just won't (in my experience) take you where you want to go if you're interested in the kind of things that model is supposed to be explaining.

With that, I'll step out.

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-27-2014, 05:32 PM   #279
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I don't disagree with that. In any case, I'll simply state that in my opinion Erick is way off track - and that model just won't (in my experience) take you where you want to go if you're interested in the kind of things that model is supposed to be explaining.
With that, I'll step out.
You can if you like. I am more interested in "what experience" you have had in "that model" to show that it won't take you where you want to go ___________ (where, exactly? what "kinds of things"?).

This is of a piece with your earlier post -- where you keep using indicative language (verbal pointing) rather than demonstrative language explaining it or describing.

Quote:
... to show that they know what they're talking about. They showed it and people have testified to it and they've also all shown that they can pass it on to some degree. You've done none of that.
Three "its, " one "that," and a "what" ...

Pronouns are indicative, like pointing -- not demonstrative or descriptive -- they are "pro" nouns, used "for" the thing they refer to -- in other words they assume you already know what they refer to.
Point at the night sky and say "Look at THAT!" Is "that" the Moon? Or the Dogstar ? Or Orion's Belt? A bird, a plane or Superman ?

- The thread topic is about demonstrating aiki and demonstrating aikido. We seem to be at loggerheads not just about what it means to demonstrate but what we mean to demonstrate. And this condition has been going on now for - well, over 8 years now since I started looking and discussing structure and dynamics seriously on this forum. Your response was the same response given then.

Theory is absolutely essential to discriminate what we mean to examine and attempt to repeat or improve -- from what we do not. There is too much else going on, internally, externally, subjectively and objectively that must be discriminated from what is critical.

The world unmediated by word and concept is a formless, cacophonous blur. The chain of transmission cannot rely on wordless, non-conceptual demonstration without conceptual knowledge and description. It hasn't done too well on the various traditional, ad hoc or idiosyncratic attempts at such description and concept either, and after almost 80 years and numerous efforts.

Pointing or showing is not demonstrating anything -- because there is far too much background needing to be ignored to pick out the thing meant to be pointed out. Without out guidance on what is important and what is not, even an actual physical encounter demonstrating the thing you mean to communicate -- does not do that unless you already have some idea what to pay attention to. Chicken, meet egg.

Ueshiba famously was asked by a photographer who liked the look of a move -- to do "that thing" again. He obliged several more times and after repeated requests -- never appeared (to the photographer) to do the same thing twice -- and yet he was. The photographer neither knew what he was asking for, nor what he was being shown when he saw it. He mistake was in seeing the merely the incidental as being the essential -- and this is a powerful and seductive kind of error in understanding.

If I say to my students "do this," and show them something, some regularly seem to do everything BUT "that." If I take and freeze them mid-engagement -- pose them like department store dummies and, say "Hold yourself this way. Now shift your support on this tangent, stretch here, settle there, turning to face this way." And they are surprised at what happens. Then I explain why what they were doing wasn't what I was doing.

I have come to a point that I can explain and improve what I and my students do -- and in these very terms. Ordinary mechanical principles they used to teach in high schools. Some straightforward physiology, and their interactions that simply have unexpected applications. No PhD or doctorate required.

(Not even a masters degree -- in engineering...)


Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:16 PM   #280
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Talking Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
As an issue of ordering... I think we are starting to get into some transmission comments and away from the demonstration comments...

As a broad brush answer... Obviously, we are all still trying to figure out what's going on. For the most part, the current aikido people have trained within a tradition and curriculum for some number of years. Arguably, the system has not produced another O Sensei. Arguably, the system has not produced another Tohei, Shioda, etc. This may not be bad, but it is different. I find it interesting that some of our heavy weights are migrating away from "traditional" instruction and demonstration in an effort to illustrate and communicate what they are doing.

Is it really fair to commit to 30 years of instruction in order to practice aikido to a level of competence? We have some small number of individuals who understand and do aikido to an advanced level; do we want to constrain their instruction? Do you think they have 30 years to invest in your training to make sure you pick up what they are putting down? There's learning and there's training. I'm not sure if we aren't confusing "learning" aikido for "training" aikido. When I played baseball I learned how to throw, and run and field and hit. I then practiced those core skills for some number of years. Sure, I picked up tricks over the years, but guess what I always did?

At some point, we evaluate our training. Am I better than I was last year? 5 years ago? 10 years ago? Comparatively, we can evaluate our progress against our sister dojos? Why did friend A progress faster than I did - we've been training just as long? Why can Karate friend B eat my lunch? She's been training for less time than I have? In the beginning, we'll find excuses - better instruction, more time, easier drive, more money, different values. Eventually, you either see beyond that or you don't.
So is your reference to Tohei and Shioda intended to imply a prewar/ post-war distinction? If so, are there any Shihan commonly referred as post-war that would qualify as meeting this threshold? Saotome sensei? Also, we have someone in our dojo who had regularly trained with the JKD crew (those who trained directly with Bruce and a few of their of their students) and I have never ever heard that just because it has not produced another Bruce Lee that they are somehow on the wrong path or at least that the path must be lacking something. I am sure there many other examples in other martial arts as well. Perhaps your experience is different?

Train Hard,
Jason
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:47 PM   #281
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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...we have someone in our dojo who had regularly trained with the JKD crew (those who trained directly with Bruce and a few of their of their students) and I have never ever heard that just because it has not produced another Bruce Lee that they are somehow on the wrong path or at least that the path must be lacking something. I am sure there many other examples in other martial arts as well. Perhaps your experience is different?
Well, Rocky Marciano comes to mind. 49 fights, 49 wins, 43 KOs, 0 losses, draws. I'm pretty sure boxing has never produced another heavyweight of Marciano's caliber. Does that imply all other heavyweights since have somehow taken the wrong path or that the path is lacking?

IMO the whole "Aikido hasn't produced another..." argument is a red herring employed in order to popularize whatever the agenda DuJour happens to be. Enough already, Aikido doesn't produce anyone; it's people that produce Aikido.

Ron

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Old 08-27-2014, 09:02 PM   #282
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Wink Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Well, Rocky Marciano comes to mind. 49 fights, 49 wins, 43 KOs, 0 losses, draws. I'm pretty sure boxing has never produced another heavyweight of Marciano's caliber. Does that imply all other heavyweights since have somehow taken the wrong path or that the path is lacking?

IMO the whole "Aikido hasn't produced another..." argument is a red herring employed in order to popularize whatever the agenda DuJour happens to be. Enough already, Aikido doesn't produce anyone; it's people that produce Aikido.

Ron
Ron,

Exactly my point!

Train Hard,
Jason
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:47 PM   #283
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Well, Rocky Marciano comes to mind. 49 fights, 49 wins, 43 KOs, 0 losses, draws. I'm pretty sure boxing has never produced another heavyweight of Marciano's caliber. Does that imply all other heavyweights since have somehow taken the wrong path or that the path is lacking?

IMO the whole "Aikido hasn't produced another..." argument is a red herring employed in order to popularize whatever the agenda DuJour happens to be. Enough already, Aikido doesn't produce anyone; it's people that produce Aikido.

Ron
I was going to step out, but this is a slightly different topic so I'll step back in for just a bit.

This is a false argument becuse it's an unreliable metric.

Boxers are fighting against each other - records reflect not only one's own skill, but also the skills of one's opponents. Training has become more uniform and it should be expected that there will be a smaller disparity between competitors - this is the overall pattern in other sports as well.

On the other hand, if you look at athletic performance in things like track and field you will see steady improvements over the last hundred years as training methods and sports science has progressed (as one would expect - at the very least, one would expect that performance would not show an average decline). Here's a study that reflects that:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18723588

Quote:
Overall, the relative improvement of athletic performance was higher in women than in men, being nearly doubled across the different specialities. The biggest increases were observed for javelin throw and shot put, in both men and women, respectively. Conversely, the improvement in race time was directly related to the race distance. We also observed a consistent significant linear model of WRs progression in time, although the improvement has substantially stopped or reached a plateau in several specialities.
Performance has nearly doubled on average, and hasn't declined anywhere (on average, of course). Can you say the same in Aikido, for which there is a similar timeline?

In any case, my personal observation, from training with many first generation students of Morihei Ueshiba down to the fourth or fifth generation today (sometimes more) supports the case for a general decline in skills. Not a few of the first and second generation folks have expressed the same sentiments to me - Mitsugi Saotome recently expressed a similar sentiment in an open room, FWIW.

Of course, my personal obeservations are not scientific, so folks will have to decide for themselves. If you think that things are great the way they are then that's great and you should enjoy it.

"Or perhaps, even if they hit that wall they are unaware of it and just continue on doing the same thing."
-Kanshu Sunadomari


And with that....I'll step out again.

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-28-2014, 04:17 AM   #284
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Performance has nearly doubled on average, and hasn't declined anywhere (on average, of course). Can you say the same in Aikido, for which there is a similar timeline?
How can you measure performance in Aikido and compare it among different groups of aikidoists?
Let alone that people have their own view what it means to increase in Aikido.

For example in modern Karate, kata are performed more athletic and powerful than in the past, and from a physical point of view you could say that performance has improved. But when you consider it more closely, it is only at first glance, the real skills have worsened.
In Aikido there are things you could compare, for example how far you can throw your uke, ore you could compare the beauty and precision of the action, but I can't imagine that you want to go into this direction.

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Not a few of the first and second generation folks have expressed the same sentiments to me - Mitsugi Saotome recently expressed a similar sentiment in an open room, FWIW.
But they are the ones who have, to a certain extend, the responsibility for this development.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:36 AM   #285
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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So is your reference to Tohei and Shioda intended to imply a prewar/ post-war distinction? If so, are there any Shihan commonly referred as post-war that would qualify as meeting this threshold? Saotome sensei? Also, we have someone in our dojo who had regularly trained with the JKD crew (those who trained directly with Bruce and a few of their of their students) and I have never ever heard that just because it has not produced another Bruce Lee that they are somehow on the wrong path or at least that the path must be lacking something. I am sure there many other examples in other martial arts as well. Perhaps your experience is different?

Train Hard,
Jason
Mostly, I was illustrating a period of time where it seems the conditions were met where several people were successful in elevating their skill to an exceptional level. Most likely, this was a combination of commitment, instruction, training, and personal ability. Many aikido people have declared that the conditions to produce such persons is not re-create-able (not a word, but you get my meaning). I think there is merit in the argument that surrounds the time table of O Sensei leaving regular teaching to his son (and others), but that is another discussion. Personally, I think Saotome Sensei represents proof that we can learn exceptional aiki skills if we know where and how to look. This still does not address the larger issue of diminishing exception coming out of aikido.

I think we have an obligation to provide the best environment we can to maximize the potential for excellence. To Ron's point, when the first response I hear is "well, we don't train that way anymore," that makes me dubious. Boxing is different now than when Rocky boxed. We need to understand all the conditions that contributed to excellence. If you are arguing the process (for example), to continue the analogy of Rocky Marciano you would need to declare that those who boxed in the gym with Rocky under the same coaches and conditions are also great, as an extension of Rocky's skill that was crafted by his training process.

Aikido people draw ethos from their lineage all the time. So-and-so sensei carried bags for O Sensei, he must be great. So-and-so sensei saw O Sensei one time, he must be great. Don't contradict so-and-so sensei, he trained for a long weekend in Japan one time when O Sensei visited the dojo. Excellence by proximity.

You can carry the analogy better if you look at MMA, where successful fighters who are now retired are coaching fighters. Someone who fights out of BJ Penn's gym has some expectation of success because BJ was a good fighter. Or the Gracies. Leave room for personal excellence, but understand the process is important. At some point, we need to regularly tune-up the process. Maybe things got sloppy. Maybe we forgot a kata or two. Maybe what we thought was it is not it. I don't think its unhealthy to be critical during these periods of evaluation. You don't test for a black belt and perform kata like a 6th kyu. There was some expectation of critical evaluation and refinement. Just cuz I survived to my yondan and don't have to test doesn't mean I get to stop refining my aikido.

Ikeda Sensei does what he calls internal power. Saotome sensei, too. They both feel it is in aikido and have both put attention to being more diligent in showing it. Saotome Sensei was in Florida a few weeks ago and taught a class - no technigue, just aiki. In this regards, you see an exceptional individual who has seen that 30 years of waza did not teach aiki and he is now paying more attention to what will teach aiki. Sensei has every right to say, "this is my aikido, figure it out." But he doesn't. He is still looking for how he can get this stuff into our heads before he is gone, and I love him for it. He is brave enough to change the process so I can figure things out. He has a bunch of students who like the process and got their rank from the process and have no interest in changing the process. Sensei knows it. Ask George sensei how many times his does a Looney Tunes face-slap and say, "Sensei, why didn't you show this 20 years ago?"**Shameless plug - come see George Ledyard in Atlanta December 5-7!!**

Demonstrating aiki should be something all of us can do. We should all be able to grab a good martial artist, drag them onto the mat and say, "don't kick the $hi! out of me, but feel this..." and it should work. Demonstrating aikido is more difficult. We should be able to then say, "okay, now try to kick the $hi! out of me and feel what our waza feels like..." Neither dialog should contain things like, "like most people who don't train aikido, you're attacking wrong," or "here is where you fall down." or "I can hit you, but you can't hit back," or "well, I'd kill you if I was really doing this."

Last edited by jonreading : 08-28-2014 at 07:40 AM.

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Old 08-28-2014, 08:00 AM   #286
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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IHTBF. Take a trip to Florida and visit the Big Green Drum dojo an feel what Eric is talking about.

dps
I have. The Pensacola people are good friends and this is running dangerously close to requiring people to address things better left private. BGD has its own version of aikido. Erick is working on his own version of aikido. I cannot say whether his methodology will ever cross into what I call aiki training, but I respect that he is looking and I respect the people he is working with. It is not what Dan does and if he arrives to that place it will be via a path that is not Dan's design. I say God-speed and over the next 20 years I plan to tease Erick about taking the hard way up the mountain.

Second, I would argue that aiki training is not relegated to the "warm up exercises." In fact, I would advocate that aiki training is the entirety of our training, broken up by paired training to validate our movement. FWIW.

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Old 08-28-2014, 09:04 PM   #287
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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... I plan to tease Erick about taking the hard way up the mountain.
So you say I been up lots of them hills, and folks get lost REAL easy in them hollers ...

And as I lplay the fool twiddling my wrenches on my outlandish contraption back at the base of the foothills, and you call down to tell me to hurry up and follow the trail --- remember this -- I am a helicopter pilot, man -- and I ain't taking them damn mosquito-laden trails again unless I know for a fact that I can't ever get this thing into full flight and get up there the way God meant unfallen humanity to travel ....

And for what it's worth -- it hovers now. So, see you up there.

"An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."
― Benjamin Franklin,

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:37 PM   #288
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Erick,
I have to say you have a great attitude. Best of luck to you on your journey!
Sincerely,
Tristan
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:22 AM   #289
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

And good luck to those who are trying to ascend in hot air balloons.

dps
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:14 AM   #290
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
It depends on how one describes Aiki and how one describes Aikido.
...
I define aiki as the quality of Aikido that makes it different from other martial arts.
What about other budō then which also have aiki? Or arts like nō, e.g.? Some of them not only have it, but even call it "aiki", like in Daitō ryū or Kashima shin ryū. Are you aware, that Ueshiba taught female dancers aiki?
In which way do you distinguish between the aiki that makes aikidō different from other martial arts and the aiki that is explicetly contained other (martial) arts?

---

I practice with people of Daitō ryū Roppokai and with students of Inaba Minoru sensei. They have something they call "aiki" in their teaching and practice.
I practice with people who practcie Tenshin shōden katori shintō ryū. Sugino Yoshio sensei was one of the first students of Ueshiba Morihei who was allowed to open an official shibu dōjō. There is a strong connection between the aiki of Ueshiba and the in-yo-ho of katori. Although nobody says so openly, I think it to be the same.


Quote:
I don't see any separation of the two...
I think, nobody does. Isn't it natural that when you practice aikidō you are of the opinion that there is aiki contained in your practice?

It is only when you develop, grow, when you meet other, new teachers, practice with other, new partners, see videos on the internet or read books or forum-posts, things like that. It is only then, that you may come to realize that they have something, that there is something you have not. Or at at least you become curious, what they are talking about. And maybe (!) you change your direction, maybe (!) you move on into new territory you didn't kow before. And only then you may (!) say, that what you did before, lacked aiki.
Only because you know better now.

---

When I met Endō Seishiro sensei I simply had no idea, what he was doing. After 13 jears of intense practice with - I still think - very good teachers - I did not understand, what it was that was moving me, throwing me. But it felt great: Very soft, no pain, very, very strong. I had found aiki. And I wanted to have that. - So changed my course and began to leran aikidō "again". There where other teachers then who widened my horizon further. Ariga Kaname sensei, Jorma Lyly sensei, Dan Harden, who opened my eyes for the underlying structure. And there is my direct teacher who carefully guides me through this process. I still move on.
On everyday over the last twenty years I was deeply convinced that aiki would be part of my aikidō.
At the same time, my understanding of what aiki is and my ability to do what I understood aiki at a time, changed. Mostly gradually, little steps. But after 13 years the change was fundamentally deep.
So in retrospect I say: There was no aiki in my aikidō for the first 13 years. It was only form, outward movement. Would you have asked me back then I would have been sure to have and do aiki.


Quote:
... looking for it in another place.
This is similar: I think most aikidōka are very loyal to their art. I think it to be typical for us, that we mostly understand "looking ... in another place" as something "not good". We are committed to our teacher, our line of tradition, our budō. At least this is my experience. In aikidō there is no keppan needed.

It is only when you come to realize that the basis of aikidō is much more broad, then you where aware of. When you read the texts of Ueshiba Morihei, when you listen to student of him, when you learn more about his research and about his learning, then maybe the horizon widens and certain limitations open up. And maybe you are able - or you even have to - change the viewing direction. And you may see, that what you thought to be "outside" or "another place" belongs to your own ground. A place you didn't know until then, but now you realize, that Ueshiba reclaimed that land, that "othter place" for his budō. And that what you harvest today, still has it's root in that land, that is not another place, but your own land.

---

When I listened to Endō sensei it struck me, that he used Daoist terms and thoughts to teach. Although he himself is practicing zen buddhism. Anyway,while trying to understand his teachings I got more an more involved into a new research about Daoism. (I had worked on Daoism for years then but from my perspective as christian theologist, not as aikidōka.) There where also other hints pointing to China. HIPS of Ellis was one of them. The Daoist roots of Ōmotokyō was one of them. So I began to dig deeper. Until finally - the direction reversed: Digging deeper and deeper into Daoism, I realized that I began to "understand" the texts of Ueshiba. Chris' translations helped a lot! Because thay make this connection much more clear, then former translations. And something really strange happened: Researching into the connection between Ueshiba and Daoist internal alchemy I found a book about nei gong, that hat exactly those exercises I knew from my first day of aikidō. Also these exercises connecte to the teaching of Endō sensei. And after I met Dan, I realized that what he showed us was also "the same".
Great! I went to my teacher, feeling like Columbus, having discovered not only a but the new world. He grinned, said something like: "fine" and something like "finally". ... And began to give me some small maps of this "new" world, which he had gotten from Sugino sensei, Yamaguchi sensei, Endo sensei, ... .
Our place is much bigger, than most of us realize.
When I later asked Endō sensei very carefully wether there might be some relations to Chinese stuff in his aikidō, he looked at me as if I was stupid: "Sure! - That was it what you wanted to ask???" And then he added: "And the same is true for o sensei. He was very clear about that!"


Quote:
For me aikido is different that other arts because there is no contest. It is all about conquering the self though training.
What about other budō that also do not have contests? Your statement is true for a whole lot of Japanese budō. And conquering the self even seems an underlying aspect of nearly every Japanese art.

Quote:
If we could let go of the idea that one way is the way ...
How can there be different ways? In other budō, especially in koryū - and other traditional arts - there is only one way. In kata-based learning it downright the essential characteristic, that there is only one way. And only one way to go this one way correct.
In which way is aikidō different? Why is it different? And since when?

If there are different ways, what is the meaning of "kihon" then? In our practice it is even called "kihon no kata".

And about "wich aikidō" do we talk? That of Hirai o sensei? That oft Yoshigasaki dōshu? That of Shioda kanchō? Tohei sensei promised in his famous letter not to use the name aikidō for his art. Tomiki sensei was asked not to use the name for his. ...

Do we talk about different ways to climb the same Mountain? Or are we simply climbing different mountains? In Germany we have two big "Feldberg". They are often mixed up ...

Quote:
There are so many people that don't post on Aikiweb any more. ...
Yes. Really sad. Aikiweb had a really great time, being a platform for the training of aiki. And it is thanks to aikiweb, that people literally from all over the world, could connect, could find together in real life and practice. And it was a treasure chest for people searching for aiki, investigating, searching. Like me. It has been very, very interesting to read the uncounted posts and absorb all those informations. Aikiweb has changed a lot of lifes by enabling access to this way of practice.
For me it was a very sad moment, when this was ended.
I myself have been lucky enough to be able to connect to this stream early enough. But I regret that Aikiweb has lost it's status as a meeting point of those who are interested in aiki. I know of so many people who never registered, but read, read, read ...

I am fully aware, that your statement was meant the other way round. You talking about a "messiah", "religion", "being rude" and things like that show how deeply affected you are. Which is obvious not only since this last post. And I am really sorry for that!
On the other side: I also often felt hurt. And I had to accept, that Aikiweb didn't want to stay this wonderful place where I could learn, meet people exchange experiences and ideas of aiki - the way I understand it.
So, I think all this is not that simple black and white ...

Quote:
... who really cares?
Everyone of us, I think. We have to, I think. Aren't we all working on aiki, our way of aiki? Isn't that essential for our lifes? Isn't this where we all agree: That aiki / aikidō is important to us, crucial?
That doesn't mean that it is good to fight or that we have to fight. It's no excuse. Just an explanation, I think.
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Old 08-30-2014, 11:31 PM   #291
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
What about other budō then which also have aiki? Or arts like nō, e.g.? Some of them not only have it, but even call it "aiki", like in Daitō ryū or Kashima shin ryū.
In which way do you distinguish between the aiki that makes aikidō different from other martial arts and the aiki that is explicitly contained other (martial) arts?
Sorry - cut most off - too long to repost ...
---------------------

I came across the following many years ago and, working as a language teacher, or when rebuilding engines, or playing guitar, or in fact - doing almost anything that requires thinking, the essence of it rebounds back on me almost daily. It really is true.

He who knows not and knows not he knows not, he is a fool; shun him.
He who knows not yet knows he knows not, he is simple; teach him.
He who knows yet knows not that he knows, he is asleep; awaken him.
He who knows and knows that he knows, he is wise; follow him.

However, the first problem with this - in martial arts - is that many of those that think they are #4 (wise) are in fact #1 (the fool). And this, despite multiple years of training. Training time is most certainly not the solution we seek (yet look at the grading syllabus vis a vis time). The second problem with this is that many of the students of these pseudo#4s really believe them. And if you think about it, this is why aiki and even some of the more basic skills remains so elusive. There really are a lot of blind people in martial arts. But it does no good to point fingers - just look at yourself.

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Old 08-31-2014, 03:59 AM   #292
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Not sure in which category I fall ...

... but I know that I didn't mean to point fingers: Every question in my text was meant honest. None of them was meant just rhetorical.

Really: I didn't mean to point or be agressive or whatever. I hoped to get some answers, making me learn something. And even if I don't share her view, I might better understand her perspective.

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 08-31-2014 at 04:03 AM.
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:34 AM   #293
PeterR
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

I don't think he was pointing at any one person.

I always liked the old adage.

90% of all men think they are above average drivers (also not pointing any fingers).

One thing I have noticed is that if you shout loud enough someone will follow and just as certainly you will get some negative reaction. Neither of which is necessarily informed - goes with the territory.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:39 AM   #294
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Putting on my black shoes I have my center,
Washing the dishes...oh, there is my center,
Hearing I may meet my son who I have not seen for 35 years... my center flees....
Ah, now my center is back, wavering slightly now and then....

This training gives me a reference for the rest of my life...after receiving this news I prayed and wrote and called a friend. Then Ron and I went down to the dojo to practice a little to get back in our bodies. Demonstrating aiki, demonstrating akido...like I said I don't care. I am just grateful it works for me.

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Old 08-31-2014, 08:37 AM   #295
RonRagusa
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Hey Mir... remember... all those years ago...? It's only noise.

R.

Last edited by RonRagusa : 08-31-2014 at 08:48 AM.

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Old 08-31-2014, 07:01 PM   #296
Lee Salzman
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Putting on my black shoes I have my center,
Washing the dishes...oh, there is my center,
Hearing I may meet my son who I have not seen for 35 years... my center flees....
Ah, now my center is back, wavering slightly now and then....

This training gives me a reference for the rest of my life...after receiving this news I prayed and wrote and called a friend. Then Ron and I went down to the dojo to practice a little to get back in our bodies. Demonstrating aiki, demonstrating akido...like I said I don't care. I am just grateful it works for me.
If we permit that aiki can be anything anyone wants, then of course it works, as there is no criteria for failure. So do we open the door for aiki to be the act of putting on your shoes or washing the dishes? Why then is aikido an art that is firmly attached to wrist locks, elbow pins, and koshi throws? If you abandon those things, then what is left as a defining unique martial characteristic? Tying my shoelaces? So if I do standard jujitsu but tie my shoes with the correct philosophy, I am suddenly doing aikido, or aiki?

I think a minimum standard of rigor is required, that whatever you hold aiki is, it must be explicable and defensible, if not in writing, then at least in person. Otherwise, then yep, as noted, it all becomes fruitless noise. It doesn't have to be scientific rigor, but still, at least relatable so someone can even understand what you're getting at. That still allows for different hypotheses to the nature of aiki, but if you can't explain, then you're just a speedbump in a dialogue. So I will apply your criteria you yourself posed: 1)
Quote:
I define aiki as the quality of Aikido that makes it different from other martial arts. It is the part that allows for connection and development of power to defend oneself.
2)
Quote:
For me aikido is different that other arts because there is no contest. It is all about conquering the self though training.
Now just as an example, I disagree that finding your center or connecting centers makes that aiki, as many martial arts (and many non-martial ones), really just about anything where part of the goal is to not fall over, have the notion of a body center and keeping it. Even ki and qi as part of expressing a center are so pervasive in just about all asian arts they don't even really merit interest in picking one art or another. It doesn't even fit your own criteria earlier of what makes aikido special.

In fact, having a center by itself creates conflict, because then suddenly you open the possibility of the power of your center being directed into the other center. At best this is a collision, where the stronger center wins, or at worst it is opening you up to being exploited by someone who can react quicker or anticipate you. Push when pulled, pull when pushed - basic judo, so not unique or special to aikido, eh?

So then you can have all sorts of strategies of moving your center off the line of attack, not being where their power is, basic evasion that is in pretty much any art where part of the goal is to not get hit or thrown, up to and including gradeschool dodgeball. And at the philosophical level, the whole "the best way to win a fight is not to get in one" idea is in just about every mode of self-defense in existence. So, these too, can't be what makes aikido unique or special.

Would I even cross the street to learn what aiki is if I was already doing another martial art, if it was just those, and I'd have already been doing just under other names and without the overlying philosophy? Probably not.

I would contend that aiki is a technology, a learned skill, that is not about building a center, but is about hiding it in plain sight, such that the center can be cutting right through someone, straight on, and it can't be found because it is... hidden. Incoming power can likewise seek out that center, and the center need not move out of the way, intercept, or blend with that power to avoid it because that center is, again... hidden. Completely invisible, transparent power. There is no contest, no collision, no fighting, because one center never encounters the other. You never show it, not even as your power rocketing through someone. That is profound. I would and have crossed the street to learn that.

This power can be used to dominate people, to hurt them, and generally do very nasty things, and this actually creates a philosophical dilemma that gives aikido, for me, as an expression of aiki, a reason to exist. You have a choice to use that power in a responsible way that does not cut people down or break them apart. But using power responsibility and having/building good character is also a theme in just about every martial art in existence, so that doesn't really make aikido special either.

Hence my 2c: aiki is a technology for hiding the center in the application of power, is separate from aikido, and without it you can't make the choice that leads to aikido's peculiar utilization of it.

Last edited by Lee Salzman : 08-31-2014 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:19 PM   #297
Cliff Judge
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post

This power can be used to dominate people, to hurt them, and generally do very nasty things,
This power? This....Aiki power?
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:07 AM   #298
Lee Salzman
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
This power? This....Aiki power?
Power that can't be easily felt, can't be easily resisted. So for the same amount of measurable force output, you get a lot more noticeable results. The source of the power and where it is going into you are not straightforward to someone who is not trained to utilize it themselves. No conflict from them with your own expression of force. This acts as a force multiplier. So as far as giving one the ability to control someone or hurt them, that is power as far as martial arts are concerned.

If you don't want to call that aiki, I guess not everyone will be convinced on terminology grounds. The hands-on phenomenon is not very arguable, though, once felt, whatever you might wish to refer to it as. As far as I've been able to discern, it plugs in well as an engine for aikido movement because it takes the resolution of conflict as the basic goal and programs the body to move without causing conflicts as it moves through another person.

Last edited by Lee Salzman : 09-01-2014 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:33 AM   #299
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Power that can't be easily felt, can't be easily resisted. So for the same amount of measurable force output, you get a lot more noticeable results. The source of the power and where it is going into you are not straightforward to someone who is not trained to utilize it themselves. No conflict from them with your own expression of force. This acts as a force multiplier. So as far as giving one the ability to control someone or hurt them, that is power as far as martial arts are concerned.

If you don't want to call that aiki, I guess not everyone will be convinced on terminology grounds. The hands-on phenomenon is not very arguable, though, once felt, whatever you might wish to refer to it as. As far as I've been able to discern, it plugs in well as an engine for aikido movement because it takes the resolution of conflict as the basic goal and programs the body to move without causing conflicts as it moves through another person.
I call it that -- so did Ueshiba. Juuji -- he called the art that at one point : "Juujido" -- the application of 90 degree interaction -- the line where the incoming force has zero magnitude -- and so no resistance whatsoever.

The intersection of a linear force and 90 degree component results in a rotation, and in an object not free to rotate -- a moment (rotational potential), which is stored in bending or torsional stress.

In rotational ( i.e. cyclical) action or potential, it becomes both physical and temporal in application -- when 90 degrees out of phase, the maxima of the 90 degree phase acts at the zero point of the originating phase, where there is literally no energy available to counter the alteration of the resultign peak action. When this occurs, the system displays harmonic resonance, and the peak of cyclic action shifts from that anticipated by the originating phase. This is true of actual rotations -- or oscillations. The body also has a natural resonance at ~5 Hz (e.g. --furitama) and a first harmonic at ~10 Hz (e.g. -- tekubifuri), which can blow self-protective reflex circuits (muscle spindles, and golgi tendon organs) in the body.) Ark's shuddering collapses of people are obvious examples of this -- and it has active application (though more subtle) in a various kokyu nage --which we use,

In stress mechanics, the torsional shear has a spiral line of simultaneous tension and of compression at right angles to one another. Compression -- a push -- may be resisted,not by pushing back (this merely increases the compressive stress and adds to rotational potential (and can be used in its own way for catastrophic buckling). The "push" can be relieved and dissipated by creating an extension in the right angle (tension) spiral line, which both orients the push onto the corresponding normal (perpendicular line)-- the compressional spiral --and balances and neutralizes the push with a stored torque in the frame of the body. If you inhale while receiving the stored torque, you also diminish the felt torque, by stiffening the structure, but its absolute value remains the same.

Many seem to disagree with this set of principles derived from my observations and training, and the attribution of the concrete images of these principles related by the Founder. But - all of these things are true. All of them I find application for training.

They allow me to make objectively articulated observations, to demonstrate appropriate corrections, and to make immediate and lasting improvements to a student's persistent errors, and allow self-correcting observational knowledge. They frame an ideal of action and interaction that while objective and technical in origins is also intuitively comprehensible -- and applicable -- once the rudiments of the image of the concrete action concept and the practical action are seen together and understood together.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 09-01-2014 at 09:42 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:03 PM   #300
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

juji does not refer to physical axes but to the cross formed of heaven - earth and kan - li.
It has got nothing to with 90degree angles.

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 09-01-2014 at 01:07 PM.
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