Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Spiritual

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-19-2005, 07:47 AM   #26
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: The tower of Babel

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote:
Me, I am Swedish, but I am still sure that there are lots of folks in the world who understand the norse myths, or an Ingmar Bergman movie, better than I do.

On the other hand, Swedish sinologist Bernhard Karlgren got so good at the Chinese language, he could teach the Chinese scholars a thing or two about it.
I think we're going off on a tangential discussion when some people essentially say "Westerners can understand anything Japanese (or Chinese) can". I agree. IF someone is available to teach you those things. However, we're not talking about language, Buddhism the religion, etc. We're talking about a narrow field of knowledge that is not readily shown to anyone, especially foreigners. Whether some westerner *could* understand it is beside the point. IF they understand it, they can demonstrate it... it's that simple. They can do the jo trick, release sudden great power, be very strong despite small size, etc. And this is aside from the normal details of Aikido, karate, Taiji, Bagua, Shaolin, etc. Heck, even I can understand how to do these things and I'm not Japanese or Chinese... but I had to spend about 20 years looking, asking questions, practicing, studying, seeking out new teachers, and so on. If the implication from someone is that they don't need to do all these things, I'm not arguing, by the way... I simply say "congratulations" and I look forward to seeing your demonstration sometime.

Insofar as statements like "Bernhard Karlgren got so good at the Chinese language, he could teach the Chinese scholars a thing or two about it", the literalist in me forces me to ask, "did he teach them ALL a thing or two?". Some of them? A few of them? I know several western sinologists who learned the old characters, etc., and claimed that they were better at it than the Chinese, but it turns out in reality that they're better than the average joe, at best, and don't have enough command of the the idiom and culture to grasp many things. The Chinese have well-known experts on the old writings among themselves, I've heard, but the discussion of sinology is not the point of this discussion, IAIK.

The closest to a real genius level sinologist (AND someone who also was qualified to reasearch the old Japanese writings) who ALSO had a command of English idiom that I know of was William C.C. Hu. He also had a good grasp of Asian martial arts, since he practiced (and taught) a number of them. However, some of his translations suffer (I was just re-reading one the other night) because he was unaware of some of the politics and chicanery within various subsets of the arts.... one simply cannot be an expert at everything, can one?
Quote:
We are aikido students, so we know: Wherever you are, whoever you are, to learn something you must study it.
True. And you must first find the information. We're talking about the information that Tohei and others had to go and deliberately seek out.... none of them just "knew it" because they were Japanese, Swedish, Chinese, etc. Insofar as someone re-discovering it on their own, I wish them well and a fond adieu. These things are not that simple, even though I thought so at one time, too.
Quote:
Another thing: China and Japan are two different countries and cultures, even though they use the same "alphabet". A Japanese understanding of the Chinese classics is not necessarily the same as a Chinese understanding of them.
??? So? We're talking about a narrow spectrum of information. Think of it as the "secret" Quadratic Equation, for instance.... knowing it has nothing to do with your nationality. However, if you discuss the Quadratic Equation and you use Chinese terminology and references (qi, etc., are from China, not from Bulgaria) and Chinese phrases that are used to obscurely describe the Quadratic Equation, someone can rightfully assume that you got the ideas from a Chinese source, ne c'est pas?
Quote:
As an historian of ideas, I have also been taught that there is a context to be considered. For example, the Chinese classics were certainly read differently in the days of their appearance, than in any other era thereafter.
There is no absolute in culture. What a book means, is something that is born in the meeting with its reader. There is seldom a definite right or wrong reading of it.
To me, an admitted literalist in many things, your last sentence tells me that you don't believe there is a certain way to repair an automobile engine or to solve a mathematical equation because there is no such thing as a wrong way to do those things. I disagree. Are you also of the belief that it is impossible to do any Aikido technique incorrectly, because relativism precludes any such thing as "wrong Aikido"?

Insofar as translating the old alphabets and idioms, I'm well aware of the problem and I've mentioned it before. The problem is further compounded, as I've also mentioned before, by the fact that martial idiom further confuses the writings... your Mr. Karlgren would be absolutely helpless, even though he is a "sinologist", in translating Chinese martial literature.

However, the information doesn't just reside in the "classics", something a few of you are attempting to hang your hats on, it also is known by various people. My only mention of classical statements was that the phrases Ueshiba used are well-known, traditional references, albeit obscure ones. I can think of two English-language books, off hand, that contain the same references here and there; I could probably think of a few more if I sat down, perused my library, etc., but I don't like going off on a tangent just because some people are more comfortable discussing an area where they can argue. I.e.,.... I was just contributing some information, not offering to argue. If anyone is more comfortable with their current view of Aikido, I encourage them to simply continue and to ignore anyone who suggests there is more to it. As I noted, though, ultimately to ignore the possibility that some current "experts" don't know some basics (as mentioned and demonstrated by O-Sensei and some uchideshi), is an untenable position. It will only come back to haunt in the future when people look back and say, "Oh.... he obviously didn't know." (I mention that because I have never forgotten hearing a very credible Chinese martial artist say exactly those words about someone while referring to what they used to teach)
Quote:
So, what Chinese classics to go to, for words on (pinyin spelling qi)? Pretty much anyone of the Confucian classics, I'd say. It's scattered all over, more or less. I Ching (pinyin Yi jing) contains the fundamentals of ancient Chinese cosmology (yin and yang and their dynamics). The most lengthy treatments of are found in texts on Chinese medicine, where the Yellow Emperor's Classic (Huang Ti Nei Ching) is the nestor.
I would suggest that you're missing the point of what I was saying.
Quote:
Me, I favor the perspective of philosophical taoism, such as in Tao Te Ching (pinyin Dao De Jing). is only mentioned a couple of times in it, but its cosmology is sweet. Other taoist texts elaborated more on the subject of , especially within the so called religious taoism, the guys who tried to live forever.

Tao Te Ching, with its message of non-interference and calmness in the turmoil of life, has a lot to say to the aikido student - especially in widening the concept of the way, .
Well, I'm certainly not trying to assaily your personal beliefs, so I encourage you to think as you please. However, the things I was talking about are substantive and outside of any necessity for religious or philosophical devotion.

All the Best.

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2005, 08:38 AM   #27
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

I don't know anyone who doesn't think there is more to aikido than what they know, shihan or otherwise. Also, I don't know anyone in aikido who doesn't think we should develop ki and kokyu skills, by the way. The differences of opinion, is what is most usefull and what is the best way to do achieve it. For instance, at what point in development should one primarily focus on such things and when should it be more of a secondary concern given many conditions (like your level, the ability and availablility of a qualified teacher, your training partner's levels, your personal goals for what you are trying to achieve, and your various teachers goals for teaching you).

Quote:
We're talking about the information that Tohei and others had to go and deliberately seek out.... none of them just "knew it" because they were Japanese, Swedish, Chinese, etc. Insofar as someone re-discovering it on their own, I wish them well and a fond adieu.
?? If the way to develop those skills is specific like the "certain way to repair an automobile engine or to solve a mathematical equation" and human bodies haven't changed much, I'm still not persuaded by that line of though. I made a point about Zen Masters rediscovering Zen. They didn't "just know it" without seeking it either and I'm sure it was also a non-trivial endeavor. How could one even compare those discovering how to develop ki and kokyu skills to becoming a Zen master (and trivialize one enough to dismiss it) unless you've done both?! Lastly, if discovering how to develop ki and kokyu skills is so complex that it cannot be re-discovered, I suppose I wonder how anyone initially discovered it.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 05-19-2005 at 08:42 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2005, 08:45 AM   #28
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
What would be interesting now, is to take some of the doka, or some relevent parts of the kojiki, and look at various translations, to see what can be pieced together in terms of using the breath, the mind leading the ki, etc.Ellis Amdur did a contemporary reading of one of Ueshiba Sensei's speaches at aikido journal...I wonder if that text would make a good start.

Don, would you know of a particular text that exists in Japanese and english that might be readily available, and that we might suggest as a good starting place?

Jun, would you happen to have Takemusu Aiki in Japanese?

Ellis, would you be willing to look at that text with the ideas Mike has presented? I know you have a pretty strong background in Chinese arts as well...which I certainly don't have.

The article in question can be found here: http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=744 Aikido is three peaches.
I realize that the discussion is evolving and I'm not sure I want to go too deeply into this because I'm engaged in a protracted and interesting discussion on another mailing list. The original question was whether there were any things written down that codified the contents of Aikido. Some people want to argue this area because it is an avenue through which they can argue that "anything is Aikido", etc., and therefore what they do is legitimately Aikido, and so on. I simply wanted to point out that there were indeed some "codified" ideas.

Insofar as what Ellis wrote, Ron, I think you're needlessly opening a can of worms. The discussion might be interesting and even enlightening, but ultimately the functional "how-to" information contained in those sorts of writings is extremely limited.

Let me take one paragraph from Ellis' article and comment:

In Ueshiba's first statements, he defines aikido as the Way of union and harmony of Heaven, Earth, and Humanity. Note that very significant trinity, which later, one footnote suggests, come into fruition in a circle. He gives many definitions of aikido, but I see a trinity here as well: as a purification rite, as a procedure to make kotodama possible, and a means of protection of all of creation.

The idea of the harmony of Heaven, Earth, and Man is a basic idea in Chinese philosophy that you cannot escape in any reasonable tome, whether it has to do with martial arts or not. That's one level. On a functional "ki and kokyu" level, they take this basic idea and assign it to some specific physical practices. I.e., one facet of breath-mind-body exercise is called "heaven" and the other main aspect is "earth" and you "mix them" in "Man" to get a certain result. That is, Ueshiba was quoting the standard "Earth, Heaven, and Man" apothegm, but he used it in context with other standard references in a way that makes clear (because that combination is not used in any other usage than the martial) he is referring to the basic way of developing power through ki exercises. Additionally, he is not using an innovative way of developing this very basic idea; he is using the literal formulations that are common in Chinese writings, as well. Let me emphasize that these sayings are basic, not sophisticated, BTW.

Ueshiba also, as Ellis notes, makes Japanese-centered references to Yin and Yang ideas, etc., but these generally refer to the very important idea of "natural harmony" of the universe. The general (and trust me, this is quite commonly found) idea is that the rest of the earth is "natural" because they already or still have their natural ki. Man does not. Either he lost it through eveolution (one view) or he has not yet gained it (Ueshiba subscribes to this idea, apparently, and he ascribes the reason for man's lack due to his "sins"). Just as a quick example of ki in animals, look at the strength of wild animals in comparison to their size; look at how a horse can quiver his flanks at will (this is, believe it or not, a good example of ki, but I digress..).

Anyway, I think it's fairly clear that the vagueness and generality of Ueshiba's writings can be misleading. Look at the differences on a basic level between what Ellis and I see from just a small portion. When I look at O-Sensei's writings, I see him over and over use basic Chinese ideas (mixed with a lot of Shinto, "purification", etc., of course) to essentially espouse the greatness of true Aikido practice that utilizes the learning of ki and kokyu skills because that is the way in which to become "natural" and "harmonize" with the rest of the universe. I think to mistakenly assume the New Age idea (which Ellis does not, I hasten to add) that he was talking about the philosophical idea of "peace, love, and harmony" is totally missing the point. The way you "harmonize", in the traditional sense, is to learn these ki and kokyu things alongside a martial system that utilizes blending with the opponent's forces (another common idea in a number of other arts, experienced practitioner already know)... AND you couple those things with the correct religious practices. Leaving out the religious parts, it boils down to "develop your natural ki skills through certain practices and your Aikido practice and then use those skills to handle life in all its aspects". That's the essence of what O-Sensei was saying, I would suggest. People who want to think otherwise are free to do so and not feel "intimidated".

While a brief discussion of some of the classical and traditional references is perhaps enlightening, as I said, it doesn't really help people achieve physical progress. Let me point out a selected bit of Tohei's interview in Aikido Journal:

On one occasion the prince pointed at Ueshiba Sensei and said, "Try to lift up that old man." Four strong sailors tried their best to lift him but they couldn't do it.
Sensei said of that time, "All the many divine spirits of Heaven and Earth entered my body and I became as immovable as a heavy rock." Everybody took him literally and believed it. I heard him say that kind of thing hundreds of times.
For my part, I have never had divine beings enter my body. I've never put much stock in that kind of illogical explanation. .....

In reality that sort of thing has nothing to do with any gods or spirits. It's just a matter of having a low center of gravity. I know this and it's what I teach all my students. It wouldn't mean anything if only certain special people could do it. Things like that have to be accessible to everyone if they're to have any meaning.


As Tohei indicates, to dwell on what the "divine spirits of Heaven" really means is not so important as to know that that particular demonstration has to do with keeping a low center of gravity. That's the important discussion. Where I think Tohei falls short is that telling someone to "keep a low center of gravity" does not really tell you exactly how to do that trick, even though it is a technically correct statement. You have to be shown how to do the trick and you have to realize that the whole topic of ki and kokyu is far more complex than just a few "force path" tricks and "relaxing" to the point that you "awaken your ki". I.e., vagaries, whether in O-Sensei's writings or in Tohei's clearer statements, will not give you much substantive progress. So I'm somewhat opposed to dwelling too much on translating the purposely vague.

Regards,

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2005, 08:58 AM   #29
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I made a point about Zen Masters rediscovering Zen. They didn't "just know it" without seeking it either and I'm sure it was also a non-trivial endeavor. How could one even compare those discovering how to develop ki and kokyu skills to becoming a Zen master (and trivialize one enough to dismiss it) unless you've done both?! Lastly, if discovering how to develop ki and kokyu skills is so complex that it cannot be re-discovered, I suppose I wonder how anyone initially discovered it.
I'm not sure why you're comparing "spiritual enlightenment" of sorts with the physical skills of ki and kokyu. There's a complex relationship that I could discuss, but it's not germane at this level. For the moment, rest assured that learning how to acquire ki and kokyu skills is, as Tohei indicated, in the physical realm.

Insofar as your contention, without having shown any indication of expertise to support it, that someone can rediscover a subject that is complex in its whole (i.e., you can certainly "rediscover" a thing here and there, but you couldn't possibly rediscover a whole subject that was developed over many generations), I suggest that you pursue it that way and let us know how it works out. I'll be interested in the results. As I've noted, I have no desire to get into another useless argument that devolves every time to the personal level. Instead of insisting on something through repeated assertions, as you continue to do, why don't you tell us some of the basic information that you've "rediscovered" and how it works on a physical level? Perhaps another thread along those lines?

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2005, 09:11 AM   #30
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

That may be so for you....but others might enjoy the discussion. There is also the fact that many have clues to how to do these kinds of things in their practice already...and any tips from the writings could provide some additional clues, that in and of themselves might not mean much, but in the context of our current practice might mean a lot.

I myself don't think I'm very strong in this area physically or intellectually, and I'm willing to spend some time discussing these things. I have also had some recent experiences on the mat which tell me there are people in aikido who do use kokyu and aiki as has been discussed in our recent threads, and I'm willing to put in the mat time to develop (as best I can at my poor level) them as much as possible.

So let us have our little conversations... Even if they are not of much use to you.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2005, 09:19 AM   #31
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
So let us have our little conversations... Even if they are not of much use to you.
I just meant that I don't want to appear impolite by not joining you too much along those lines, since I'm engaged in some other discussions that involve time and research. I also tried to lay out the practical reasons why, even though interesting, there may not be a lot practical application to an analysis of O-Sensei's comments (vis a vis Tohei's observation).

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2005, 09:21 AM   #32
akiy
 
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 5,851
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Jun, would you happen to have Takemusu Aiki in Japanese?
Yes, I actually bought Takahashi's "Takemusu Aiki" in Japanese the last time I was over in Japan a couple of months ago. I haven't cracked it open, though.

-- Jun, running to a meeting

Please help support AikiWeb -- become an AikiWeb Contributing Member!
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2005, 01:00 PM   #33
Stefan Stenudd
 
Stefan Stenudd's Avatar
Dojo: Enighet Malmo Sweden
Location: Malmo
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 530
Sweden
Offline
Re: The tower of Babel

Dear Mike,

I believe that there is a slight misunderstanding. In the reply of mine you quote, I discuss not only your views, but those of others as well. You seem to think that all I said was in regard to your posting on the subject.
I am sorry for being so unclear.

A few details:
Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
However, we're not talking about language, Buddhism the religion, etc.
Well, we are talking about religion, or at least metaphysical concepts - among other things. At least I am, and I believe them to be comparable to esoteric aikido theory, to some extent.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
IF they understand it, they can demonstrate it... it's that simple. They can do the jo trick, release sudden great power, be very strong despite small size, etc..
That's one kind of understanding. There are other kinds. For example, there are people who can do, but cannot explain at all. And there are those who understand the theory, but still need practice to accomplish it. I guess it's a question of how the word "understanding" is defined.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
If the implication from someone is that they don't need to do all these things..
I never implied such a thing. Quite the contrary. Everyone must study/practice. There is no shortcut.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Insofar as statements like "Bernhard Karlgren got so good at the Chinese language, he could teach the Chinese scholars a thing or two about it", the literalist in me forces me to ask, "did he teach them ALL a thing or two?". Some of them? A few of them?
I dare say that in the field of sinology, he is still highly respected - also in China. No "average joe, at best". Well, have a look:
http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...rd+karlgren%22

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
These things are not that simple, even though I thought so at one time, too.
I never thought so. I never said so.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
To me, an admitted literalist in many things, your last sentence tells me that you don't believe there is a certain way to repair an automobile engine or to solve a mathematical equation because there is no such thing as a wrong way to do those things.
I talk about culture, not natural science. Art and not technology. Belief and not proven fact.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Are you also of the belief that it is impossible to do any Aikido technique incorrectly, because relativism precludes any such thing as "wrong Aikido"?
Well, I have practiced for many shihan, and what they do certainly seems flawless - but they're all different. Clearly, there are many ways to do ikkyo and shihonage and the rest. What is "right" and what is "wrong" in aikido? Big question.
I think that the answer is something like: When you do in your aikido accomplish what you set out to do with it, then it's right. But it probabaly still needs improvement
Some people do aikido for self defense, so it should "work on the streets", some do it for relaxation, so they should be relaxed after it, some do it like purification or healing, so they should feel purified and healed, some do it like dancing, so they should enjoy the tango - and so on.
Right or wrong in aikido? They do exist, but they are countless.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
However, the information doesn't just reside in the "classics"
I never said so. But there is valuable information in the classics.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I was just contributing some information, not offering to argue.
Feel free not to.

Best,

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2005, 01:16 PM   #34
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

Quote:
learning how to acquire ki and kokyu skills is, as Tohei indicated, in the physical realm
No argument there!

Quote:
I'm not sure why you're comparing "spiritual enlightenment" of sorts with the physical skills of ki and kokyu.
I guess I don't understand why you think that Zen is a complex enough subject in comparison, or why you don't think it was rediscovered. History would seem to indicate otherwise. In my opinion, the realms you mention (physical verse spiritual) do not really matter since they both have the 'mental' approach required for discovery/rediscovery _in common_. About your issue of this idea of being rediscovered "as a whole", certainly a lot of the surface level stuff was there as a major help the new Zen master get started, but couldn't we say the same for martial arts people trying to discover more efficient ways of doing things? Isn't there a lot of other helping information? O-sensei had the kotodama, and specifically tells us that this was his inspiration. Remember the whole "aikido is on spirit, 4 souls, 3 orgins, and 8 powers" quote. You can find that information in Gleason sensei's book, and I'm sure you can find his references from there.

Quote:
Insofar as your contention, without having shown any indication of expertise to support it, that someone can rediscover a subject that is complex in its whole (i.e., you can certainly "rediscover" a thing here and there, but you couldn't possibly rediscover a whole subject that was developed over many generations),
For the record, I was only challenging one of your ideas (which we do on forums). This comment of yours "without having shown any indidation to expertise to support it" seems a bit inconsistent with the idea of not trying to argue on a personal level, but I'll address it without escalation. I suppose the first thing to point out is that this is a forum not and encyclopedia. And the second point that springs to my mind would be: Exactly what certification do I need to make that contention? I really don't need to be a Zen master to have learned that there was a period in time when no one recieved retransmission from a Zen Master, I basically need the reading skills developed by the time I was in 4th grade for that. (I can probably find my 4th grade report card if you want; I'm sure I passed "reading".) Making the logical conclusion that there are Zen masters alive today shows that very complex things can be rediscovered - and I don't have to be a Zen master or have the skills of O-sensei to draw that conclusion either. Now to trivialize the rediscovery of something as complex as Zen enough to dismiss it, that seems to be horse of a different color...

Quote:
I suggest that you pursue it that way and let us know how it works out.
Honestly, I will certainly pursue it through every avenue I think is valuable and I'll do it without putting down everyone else's approach - OR even eluding to it. That will help keep me from starting useless arguments that devolve to the personal level.

Quote:
As I've noted, I have no desire to get into another useless argument that devolves every time to the personal level.
That is well understood and I agree. I'm certainly not taking it personally. If you just wanted to state your opinions and have them "unchallenged" by simply stating you would like to avoid argument, that would be an unrealitic expectation in an internet forum and suggest that you consider writing a book. If that is not the case, then there is no need to take anything I write personally either. You can just accept or ignore the feedback on the perception of your words.

I would let a lot more stuff go on some of these ones, except that I feel for anyone who might be reading these threads years later if no one bothered to jump in and say "I don't agree with that and here is why."

Rob
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2005, 01:23 PM   #35
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: The tower of Babel

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote:
I believe that there is a slight misunderstanding. In the reply of mine you quote, I discuss not only your views, but those of others as well. You seem to think that all I said was in regard to your posting on the subject.
I am sorry for being so unclear.
Not at all, Stefan. Perhaps the misunderstanding was mine.
Quote:
Well, we are talking about religion, or at least metaphysical concepts - among other things. At least I am, and I believe them to be comparable to esoteric aikido theory, to some extent.
I am talking about the physical art of Aikido. The "esoteric", as shown by some recent posts, tends to be often a matter of interpretation and I doubt we can resolve any subjective issues meaningfully.
Quote:
That's one kind of understanding. There are other kinds. For example, there are people who can do, but cannot explain at all. And there are those who understand the theory, but still need practice to accomplish it. I guess it's a question of how the word "understanding" is defined.
Well, it's a simple disagreement between us, then. My position is that if someone really understands something, they can do it to some appreciable degree. The rest is mere speculation, IMO, but opinions vary.
Quote:
I dare say that in the field of sinology, he is still highly respected - also in China. No "average joe, at best". Well, have a look:
http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...rd+karlgren%22
I don't question that he was a noted Sinologist, but it appears he was mainly a linguist, which is not the complete spectrum of Sinology. Since this tangent needlessly deviates from the thread without resolving anything, I'll let it go, if you don't mind.
Quote:
Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
To me, an admitted literalist in many things, your last sentence tells me that you don't believe there is a certain way to repair an automobile engine or to solve a mathematical equation because there is no such thing as a wrong way to do those things.
I talk about culture, not natural science. Art and not technology. Belief and not proven fact.
Ah, but my position and the position of many well-known Asian experts nowadays is that ki and kokyu are well within the domain of natural science, Stefan.
Quote:
re: Relativism wrote:
Well, I have practiced for many shihan, and what they do certainly seems flawless - but they're all different. Clearly, there are many ways to do ikkyo and shihonage and the rest. What is "right" and what is "wrong" in aikido? Big question.
I think that the answer is something like: When you do in your aikido accomplish what you set out to do with it, then it's right. But it probabaly still needs improvement
Some people do aikido for self defense, so it should "work on the streets", some do it for relaxation, so they should be relaxed after it, some do it like purification or healing, so they should feel purified and healed, some do it like dancing, so they should enjoy the tango - and so on.
Right or wrong in aikido? They do exist, but they are countless.
In that case, it was pointless for O-Sensei to ever correct anyone.... or even teach anyone.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2005, 01:34 PM   #36
Stefan Stenudd
 
Stefan Stenudd's Avatar
Dojo: Enighet Malmo Sweden
Location: Malmo
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 530
Sweden
Offline
Re: The tower of Babel

Dear Mike,

I thank you for your very clever and clear reply to my reply
Now, I think I see your points.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Ah, but my position and the position of many well-known Asian experts nowadays is that ki and kokyu are well within the domain of natural science, Stefan.
You got me there, especially since I would like to agree with that position

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2005, 01:36 PM   #37
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I guess I don't understand why you think that Zen is a complex enough subject in comparison, or why you don't think it was rediscovered.
Rob, in case you misunderstand me, you're using "Zen" as a strawman and I see no reason to bite. You're not an expert in Zen and I'm not. Your assertion that it was not transmitted (while not being able to meaningfully discuss either Zen or this portion of Aikido meaningfully) would be a great topic on a Zen discussion list, but Zen is not a physical and mental regimen that produces, power, etc., so I'll leave it to you. If you want to discuss the subject and argue your points without grasping at analogies, please do so. Discuss how Ki and Kokyu MUST be able to be rediscovered and say why, if that is your contention. I've already told you my position and my reasons AND I have accurately described basic methods that apply to these trainings. See if you can debate the issues and your contentions within the issue itself and let's see how the discussion goes.

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2005, 02:56 PM   #38
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

Grasping at analogies? We _are_ dealing with unknowns here, right?! That is a pretty common thing to do when you are dealing with unknowns in my world. I'm an engineer and I solve new problems. I do it based on my past experiences and those of others.

I simply don't agree that it's a straw-man argument and I went into each element of why I didn't see the analogy as a distortion of the topic at hand. If the thing I bring up for analogy is exactly the same thing then it's not really an analogy is it? I guess the question is what the heck is the point of analogies at all if nothing less than exact can be used meaningfully?! Typically, when you disagree with an analogy you state why you think it fails. You seem to think it fails for a reason I don't agree with. That's okay by me, we don't have to agree.

To me, given the telegraph example and my own personal experience, I conclude that at least some fairly complex things can be discovered independently. And, again, to me; given the Zen master analogy (which I learned at the Zen Mountain Monastery), I conclude that complex things can be rediscovered, especially given surface level information available to help. Mental and physical versus mental and spiritual, well, my opinion is that developing a method to discover/rediscover exists primarily in the mental world. I've been wrong before. I'm just not convinced I'm wrong now, and you don't have to try to convince me either, that's entirely up to you.

Using your logic, which is just fine with me. I would say that my comments about kotodama inspiration for discovering/rediscovering were well within the specific context of the thread - more so than most of the other things mentioned so far - but that's just my opinion. What I said regarding the basic elements of aikido thread in the Spiritual forum was: "I'm open to the idea that some of the ki developing methodology were originally Chinese. I'm equally open to the idea that all of these ideas are manifestations of kotodama. I'm open to the idea that the original study of kotodama didn't have to necessarily be Japanese and that they maybe just preserved that particular understanding better, and that the Chinese just preserved their understanding of how to manifest those ideas better given their culture. I certainly don't know any of it for sure and neither does anyone else. That perspective helps keep me truly open-minded, and avoid mental materialism." I never read that you had some ideas based on your experiences but were open to others - which is fine with me. However, I do take it as a given that you must be open to disagreement if you are posting on an Internet forum.

If you want to discuss fair arguing tactics, I think we need to agree that the whole "you can't prove it is" and "you can't prove it isn't" NEVER MEANS ONE SIDE IS RIGHT. I'm not sure why you never seem to agree with that, but it's a fairly logical conclusion. You didn't prove anything and neither did I. If you want to state your opinion based on what you do think you know, then fine. If I want to state my opinion based on what I think I know - that's fine too. Otherwise, I get the impression that I can just say something absurd like:"Prior to 100 hundred years ago, China had no influence on martial arts at all." and then mention that I don't want to argue, so please don't start disagreeing with me unless you are a Chinese martial artist over 100 years old. You might want to say - but I have met people who trained with Chinese martial artists, and it had to come from somewhere, and I can say well you're not qualified to discuss this... I don't know, maybe I'm taking it too far.

As far as me working all of my things out and arguing from that perspective. All I can say, is I'm working on it, and for now, I'll do the best with what I have. I am actually doing it within the context of actually actively studying aikido and discussing things with Gleason sensei, Saotome sensei, Ikeda sensei, and Suganuma sensei whenever the opportunity arises. I didn't have the impression that you were actually "within" the topic itself...

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 05-19-2005 at 03:00 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2005, 04:08 PM   #39
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
Grasping at analogies? We _are_ dealing with unknowns here, right?!
Not that I'm aware of. I know, can demonstrate, have demonstrated, have trained, etc., with the things I'm talking about. I do have bona fides that can be vouched for by recognized experts who deal with ki/qi things. These are not "unknowns" to me.

You publicly display credentials as an expert in Aikido and you represent that you are qualified to teach... AND you charge money for the product you publicly claim credentials for. And that's not a "personal" remark about your character, etc.... it's a comment about something you publicly advertise. We're talking about an essential, according to Ueshiba, aspect of Aikido. How can you argue that it's an "unknown" and still argue that you teach Aikido? The assumption is that this topic is not an "unknown" to you if you're publicly declaring that you are teaching the art. I.e., this relates to statements made by you, not by me.

It's extraneous for you to claim that discussing Zen is the same thing as discussing Aikido because that is simply assertion on your part and not something you've established a priori; nor is it a tangent that is needed in order to discuss ki and kokyu, etc. If you want to discuss these basic elements of Aikido (and a number of other arts), then let's do so without rancor and without asserting extraneous points like Zen is equivalent to Aikido or that all opinions are valid. If that's what you want to assert, then let's just let it rest.

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2005, 05:18 PM   #40
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

What O-sensei knew is an unknown. As a matter of fact, when he was on his death bed he was telling people that he still had more to learn about ikkyo. So, I'm feeling confident about my position on the subject and my students are well aware that I'm a student teacher. I have more than enough to help the new ones get started and they are all welcome and encouraged to go out and find better help.

I suppose I could go around claiming I understand what O-sensei knew about aikido, but that would be arrogant, and a bit silly. Maybe if I studied more tai chi... But then, I could never be certain that what I knew was really to the same depth or even in the same context that he knew it. Maybe I would only know how to really move well when I'm standing in one spot and couldn't handle multiple attacks like he could - just for a possible example.

I agree that it _would_ also be wrong for me to claim that discussing Zen is the same thing as discussing Aikido, but I didn't do that. I discussed rediscovering a complex thing which was brought up on this thread.

Mike, I saw your resistance to the "the aikido nikkyo" on your tape. Maybe I misheard you on the tape. Who was the bona fide that taught you that was "_the_ aikido nikkyo"? I have great reservations about your understanding of aikido based on your tape and/or your wording. As I recall the guy trying was "a very good shodan" and well I have third kyus who can resist _the_ nikyo crush from very good shodans.

But I don't mean to argue, just to discuss.

Rob
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2005, 10:20 PM   #41
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

Mike,

Again, I don't mean to insult you personally, it's just that at first I thought maybe you meant somethings other than what you actually said, but then I remembered that you are a "literalist". So, about "all opinions being valid," I just don't consider you to be the best judge of which ones are valid, especially now that I'm no longer sure that you are reading the words I am writing.

I've been laughing all night about "You publicly display credentials as an expert in Aikido and you represent that you are qualified to teach... AND you charge money for the product you publicly claim credentials for." Really?! Where exactly is that publicly displayed?! Sandan is considered a beginner rank in my circles - which I actually have publicly mentioned both on and off of aikiweb MANY times. Also, I actually do not take any money from the students for teaching aikido. Given that I also did not "claim that discussing Zen is the same thing as discussing Aikido" either, what am I to conclude about your power of observation, deduction, and/or accurate expression? So, please excuse me if I don't take your word for what someone else meant...

Rob
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2005, 03:02 AM   #42
Rupert Atkinson
 
Rupert Atkinson's Avatar
Dojo: Wherever I am.
Location: South Korea, Yongin
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 790
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

Seems to be a bit of a big discussion going on here - let me give my take on the original question.

I think the thing that makes Aikido Aikido are the forms: the postures, movements, and techniques. Aikido has no greater claim to ki or spirituality than other arts except that some people tend to target those items more specifically for development in Aikido - but we cannot claim such as solely our own. The various arts are all targeting the same martial ideas - it is just that some concentrate on certain ideas to the detriment of other ideas.

The problem with Aikido is that while we are all riding in rather a small boat together we, its various adherents, are not unified in major areas - training method, ki, philosophy (religion), competition, or sometimes even technique. The only way to really nail it down is to go back to the source - Ueshiba - He is Aikido.

  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2005, 07:38 AM   #43
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote:
The problem with Aikido is that while we are all riding in rather a small boat together we, its various adherents, are not unified in major areas - training method, ki, philosophy (religion), competition, or sometimes even technique. The only way to really nail it down is to go back to the source - Ueshiba - He is Aikido.
Well, the initial idea of the thread was along the lines of the common discussion in some members of the Aikido community that "anything is Aikido", "Aikido is what you want it to be", etc. The question suggested that if there is nothing set down in writing, etc., then no one has the right to say that someone else's Aikido was not Aikido and they have a free ticket to practice anything they want and still call it Aikido. At least that's the way I read it, having seen that point made many times in the past. Note that it's only a small (but still too large; they block progress while misleading beginners) but vocal segment of the Aikido population that tries to sell this idea, BTW. Generally what's happening is not uncommon in martial arts, but it usually boils down to a change in a martial art wrought by people who were never experts in the art and therefore never had the right to "make changes" or to insist on anything to do with the art.

The answer is that O-Sensei did put in writing a number of things, but specifically those writings refer to ki development... except he was deliberately and traditionally vague to the uninitiated. However, it doesn't take anyone a great deal of knowledge to see immediately what O-Sensei meant, so the delicate question is why the western experts and translators missed the references to ki development... O-Sensei is not the only Japanese to know or have known those references. Some of our resident Japanese-culture-language experts need to get out the shovels and go to work.

In a general way, developing ki and kokyu skills can be thought of as developing 2 different muscles that wind up working together in your body. There's a few different ways to approach developing those 2 muscles, but the choices are limited, just as you're limited in the number of ways you can strengthen your biceps muscle. O-Sensei, Tohei, and a number of others have basically pointed out developing those 2 "muscles"; O-Sensei says the development of those 2 muscles is the "blade of Aiki"... so it's of paramount importance, not something that should be put on the back burner just because one's peer-group is as lacking as anyone else... seeking comfort in the herd is not the way to go.

Given that you can't develop those 2 muscles by just wishing them to develop, you're constrained to only a couple of approaches and they turn out to be essentially working on the same basic principles. O-Sensei used the standard wordings that are referred to as "mixing the power of heaven and the power of earth in man", which is a reference to the basic approach to ki development. More than that he mentions the general training concepts that standardly accompany this sort of training, leaving no doubt that he was referring to a specific set of knowledge from Chinese sources.

In talking to Stefan yesterday, I was trying to think of some definitive "classical" work that he was asking for, but the problem is that some of the phrases in O-Sensei's writings can be found in so many sources that it becomes a matter of context, not just quote. However, I did a quick search last night and came up with probably the best original source for the 2 essential terms in O-Sensei's writings, The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine (Huang Ti Nei Ching), which may have been written as long as 4,000 years ago (this raises another question in regard to India, but I'll let it pass). In the opening section, the Emperor tells the court physician:

"I have heard that in ancient times there were the so-called Spiritual Beings:

They stood between Heaven and Earth, connecting the Universe;

They understood and were able to control both Yin and Yang, the two fundamental principles of nature;

The inhaled the vital essence of life;

They remained unmoving in their spirit;

Their muscles and flesh were as one;

This is the Tao, the Way you are looking for."


This is the earliest source I can think of which references the idea of mixing heaven and earth in man. Like many Chinese traditional concepts, it permeates the basic rationale of a number of fields, but most particularly the study of qi, qigongs, and martial arts. It is a mainstay. When you add some of the other allusions that are very specific to martial arts and martial qigongs, as O-Sensei did, it becomes inescapable... O-Sensei had access to basic knowledge of Shaolin-derived martial qigongs. The question in my mind is not *whether* he had access to this sort of Chinese material (that's too obvious), it's *WHERE* and *WHEN* did he get that knowledge since it is so grudgingly relayed to foreigners by the Chinese (those ultimate of xenophobes).

Regardless, it is as Rupert says... Ueshiba is the ultimate source and he considered the ki and kokyu skills to be the mainstay of Aikido as he meant it.... not a casual add-on. And as I've remarked in the past, it is my experience that it can be almost impossible for someone to go back and change the way they move in a martial art to this way of power that involves extensive training to accomplish. If you're doing it using "normal strength", it is a rare person who can alter their martial art to this way of movement. Tohei discusses the difficulties in learning to do things "relaxed" and how O-Sensei did it in front of his students but few caught on and changed to that way of movement.

FWIW

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2005, 09:09 AM   #44
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

FYI: Chapter III - The Spiritual Writings of Aikido
http://www.aikiweb.com/spiritual/boylan2.html

As previously stated, I don't know if the kotodama information came first, and I'm not sure that anyone else knows either.

I'm suprised that there was writing 4000 years ago. It's confusing to me since there is a well known "oral tradition" of the New Testiment which would have happened about 2000 years ago. But I'm no expert on China.

Rob
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2005, 09:20 AM   #45
RonRagusa
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 679
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Well, the initial idea of the thread was along the lines of the common discussion in some members of the Aikido community that "anything is Aikido", "Aikido is what you want it to be", etc. The question suggested that if there is nothing set down in writing, etc., then no one has the right to say that someone else's Aikido was not Aikido and they have a free ticket to practice anything they want and still call it Aikido. At least that's the way I read it,...
The initial idea of this thread was to pose a series of questions to the board and elicit replies regarding the nature of the basic principles of Aikido in so far as they relate to the questions posed. The questions themselves contain no suggestions or implications.

As I have followed the development of the thread I have noticed that the basic principles of Aikido as elucidated in the posts vary from practitioner to practitioner. I found most interesting Mike Sigman's observation that O-Sensei kept his explanations deliberately vague and metaphorical in nature. I wonder if O-Sensei did this so that those who followed him would be forced to interpret Aikido in their own way rather than just regurgitate what they had been taught.

From "The Art Of Peace" by John Stevens:

"The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other reason than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment."
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2005, 10:14 AM   #46
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

There has been a tendency to spiritualize and mysticize a lot of Asian philosophy, medicine, martial-arts, etc., while overlooking the fact that the flowery language and unclear literature (read "classical style of writing") was actually referring to things derived from pragmatic and substantive issues. Most of the writings I read that interpret "spiritually" simply follow that trend which is misleading and usually just downright wrong in its conclusions.

Take, for instance, the acupuncture theory and meridians which focus on the "ki" in the body. As everyone already knows, this system was borrowed from the Chinese... but how did the Chinese discover this thing called a "universal force" (by so many westerners) and learn the "meridians" and all that obscure stuff that goes with it?

Ki/qi and strength are inextricably intertwined; ki is a paradigm that explains how strength (and by extension, "health") work. Better yet, the obverse is true... ki is about the health of the body and strength is an aspect of health. Regardless of your perspective, the earliest records relating to ki/qi in China relate to "channels", not the finer-tuned and more complex "meridians" of later times. The "channels" are a study of how strength moves best in the body. For instance, it is easier to push something to your front with your palm, having the elbow down or slightly turned outward; it is easier to pull something toward you with that same hand if, as you draw your hand inward, the fingers close and the arm twists so that the elbow turns down and inward. The convention of strength flow, in this simple example, is that forces going outward go along the outside of the arm; forces pulling inward come along the inside of the arm. Hence you will see musculo-tendon "channels" for ki going away from the body on the outside of an arm or leg and forces coming inward going along the inside of an arm or leg. The precursors to the acupuncture meridians, the musculo-tendon "channels", gradually became more complex as more and more was added to the knowledge of how things work.... but in a practical sense, not a mystical or "spiritual" sense.

The truly interesting thing about the quote from the Yellow Emperor classic is that it indicates the study of ki/qi, etc., has been around a VERY long time. Let me repeat the translation from the previous post and then comment:

"I have heard that in ancient times there were the so-called Spiritual Beings:

They stood between Heaven and Earth, connecting the Universe;

They understood and were able to control both Yin and Yang, the two fundamental principles of nature;

The inhaled the vital essence of life;

They remained unmoving in their spirit;

Their muscles and flesh were as one;

This is the Tao, the Way you are looking for."


Here would be my personal explanation of what is most probably being said:

Of course, there are religious connotations due to the translator's perspectives using the term "spiritual", but maybe it's best just to look at it as a myth explaining a topic. In that myth, there were gods that stood between heaven and earth and who knew how to control some kind of basic forces, if you consider the world in terms of all things being part of a dichotomy. These gods "inhaled ki" while staying relaxed and emptying their minds. Their muscles and fascia systems were as one (via a divine power of the body within the mind). This is the Way to do things.

Of course, I'm verging on being flippant, but given that the words in the original translation pretty precisely describe how a qigong is done, I can't see any other translation or need for that particular story which mentions the specifics that it does, frankly. In a cause and effect world, a myth that has the exact requirements of a qigong in it would be highly suspect as a coincidental myth that mentions those criteria.

Incidentally, this particular Way (the one from which Taoism arose) meshes so very nicely within the Buddhist tenets that it's no wonder that the qigong practices were a mainstay of Buddhist temples in India and China.

Anyway, the point in mentioning that was to point out the "muscles and flesh were as one". Other, but later, Chinese documents refer more specifically to muscles and "connective tissue", "fascia", or similar translations. The idea of the "flesh" and "muscles" combining function is paramount to full-blown qi development and is done via breathing exercises.

Jumping ahead to today, we're suddenly beginning to find out that there is some relationship to fascia layers and acupunture points. Other studies are indicating current flows, "magnetic feelings" and other activities in the fascia. There are a great number of relationships between the muscle and fascia and mental functions that are blatantly mentioned in current qi-related literature and demonstrations. So the point I've been trying to make is that to read the flowery and abstruse descriptions of "classical" comments and to reflexively attribute "spirituality" and mysticism to the initiating thoughts in the words is to usually miss the real idea. (Incidentally, I can give some references for reading material on a number of the ideas, if anyone is interested... although I've previously recommended some of them).

Having said all that, I take a look at Peter Boylan's exposition, which I reproduce in part:

For Ueshiba, the practice of Aikido, like the practice of any art for a member of Oomoto-kyo, was a means of promoting the Divine within oneself, and ultimately a means for achieving unification with the Divine.

Many of Ueshiba's doka were lessons of strategy and technique. Others were lessons about the mystical and spiritual side of Aikido, and how Aikido relates to God and the Divine. The examples below show how Ueshiba viewed the connection between his religion and Aikido.

The Divine Will
Permeating body and soul
is the blade of Aiki:
Polish it, make it shine
throughout this world of ours!
(Ueshiba 1993, 41)

This doka makes it quite explicit that Aikido is an activity that is intimately connected with religion.

Aiki-[its mysteries]
can never be encompassed
by the brush or by the mouth.
Do not rely on words to grasp it,
attain enlightenment through practice!
(Ueshiba 1993, 41)

Though Ueshiba was hardly a Buddhist, still the idea of enlightenment, or sudden, individual understanding about the true nature of things, is such a common idea in Japan after a millennium and a half of exposure to Buddhism that it can be seen here when Ueshiba describes attaining true understanding through Aikido.

Protecting the Way
of gods and buddhas
in this world of ours:
The techniques of Aiki
are the law of kusanagi.
(Ueshiba 1993, 45)



Taking into account my pre-ramble, perhaps you can see my perspective of where a lot of current thought on Ueshiba's writings is simply misdirected because the root understanding of ki/qi and qigongs was kept secret and few of today's practitioners understand the relationships and classical concepts that Ueshiba was referring to. In turn, those classical concepts are turning out to have been based on a far more practical body-technology that we have previously credited.

FWIW
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2005, 10:52 AM   #47
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

It kind of becomes a Chicken or the Egg thing. I guess I just have trouble with the idea that manifestations of these princples could have come before the philosophical underpinnings. Did China have their own verision of kotodama? Would it really be considered Chinese? They have a word for "air" which probably came before the English word for "air" but I don't think of "air" as Chinese or Mesopotamean either...

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 05-20-2005 at 10:57 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2005, 10:54 AM   #48
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
Did China have their own verision of kotodama? Would it really be considered Chinese?
Yes.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2005, 11:00 AM   #49
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

Well, there you have it. It makes you wonder then, who owns "sunlight"?

Rob
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2005, 11:09 AM   #50
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

My reply was too short, I think. The "sounds" and "vibrations" thing originates in India (think of the mantras at certain tones and of things like "OM", which also happens to be a ki/qi/prana developing device). The Chinese developed their own versions along the same theory-lines, etc., which most probably came to China via India. Given how many of these things have been laughed off and then later turned out to have a basis in fact, it makes one wonder if some more research shouldn't be done on the relationship of certain vibrations with the mind/fascia/body thing.

FWIW

Mike
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Aikido in Amsterdam, Terry Lax style... tiyler_durden General 11 11-03-2008 08:31 AM
Aikido: Its Spirit and Technique TAnderson General 0 02-27-2007 07:50 AM
Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido Mike Sigman General 240 08-12-2005 06:22 PM
Proposta organização do Aikido Portugal kimusubi0 Portuguese 0 05-03-2004 03:26 AM
Propostarganização do Aikido em Portugal kimusubi0 French 0 05-01-2004 02:30 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:30 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate