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Old 08-28-2005, 05:43 PM   #1
Mashu
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Circle Triangle Square origins

What inspired O'Sensei to use those shapes to describe things in Aikido? Their use appears in several other cultures like ancient Greece where the circle triangle and square appear in Plato's Timaeus. Do Asian religions and philosophy often use these?
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Old 08-28-2005, 10:35 PM   #2
O-Ren
 
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Re: Circle Triangle Square origins

As to what inspired O'Sensei I dont know, if it is a take on Omoto-kyo? posable. I do have a book from John Stevens, called Abundant Peace, found it on ebay. Thoses shapes or simbles are the three sources, witch is part of an elaborat system called kotodama, the science of "sound-spirit". This is the same ideia as the big bang therory, where the universe is said to have originated from an incomprehensibly dense point, termed Su. Suextended circularly into the sounds u-u-u-yu-mu and also expanded vertically into the sounds a-o-u-e-i. I know? me too. This cosmology was further detailed by Morihei as " one source, four spirits, three elements, and eight powers" (ichirei-shikon-sangen-hachiriki). "One source" is the single point su, andtheother elements can be diagramed as follows:
FOUR SPIRITS
1. Kusu-mitama
: heaven,wisdom,light,principle
2. Ara-mitama: fire,valor,progress,completion
3.
nigi-mitama: water,fidelity,harmony,propriety
4. Sachi-mitama
: earth,love,compassion,cherishing
THREE SOURCES
1. Iku-musubi: harmonization,vapor,fluidity: represented by a triangle.
2.
Taru-musubi: inhalation,liquid,unification: represented by a circle.
3. Tamatsume-musubi
: exhalation,solid,solidity: represented by a spuare.
EIGHT POWERS
1. Movement
2. Calm
3. Solidification
4. Release
5. Extension
6. Retraction
7. Unification
8. Division
And there you go, all laid out for you nice and neat and easy to understand, ya right.
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Old 08-28-2005, 10:43 PM   #3
O-Ren
 
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Re: Circle Triangle Square origins

Sorry about all the bold print, I used it to cancel the itlic. Smart aint I.
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Old 08-29-2005, 12:38 PM   #4
Mashu
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Re: Circle Triangle Square origins

Quote:
And there you go, all laid out for you nice and neat and easy to understand, ya right.
Whenever I read that stuff I'm reminded of something one of my high school teachers would say after our lesson was over; "Clear as mud but it covers it." I'm still hoping someone will give some leads on some sources a bit farther upstream than O'Sensei and Omotokyo.
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Old 08-29-2005, 01:00 PM   #5
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Re: Circle Triangle Square origins

the triangle, circle and square are used quite frequently in all of the eastern traditions (particularly hinduism, buddhism, taoism and shinto), particularly in their esoteric schools. and as you pointed out, they appear to be fairly universal.

a good a place as any to start is in john stevens-sensei's philosophy of aikido , which discusses not only the eastern but western usages, and secrets of aikido where he explains them in the sense of origins and use in aikido. another good book is william gleason-sensei's the spiritual foundations of aikido which discusses them a bit more in terms of esoteric shintoism. also check out saotome-sensei's aikido and the harmony of nature.

hope this helps...
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Old 08-29-2005, 01:24 PM   #6
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Circle Triangle Square origins

or you could go for the basic approach:

square -- balance

Trangle -- focus

Circle -- harmony

And just leave it at that

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 08-29-2005, 04:08 PM   #7
Mashu
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Re: Circle Triangle Square origins

Thanks Jeff. I will have a look in those books.

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
or you could go for the basic approach:
square -- balance
Trangle -- focus
Circle -- harmony
And just leave it at that
Best,
Ron
"Well where's the pleasure in that?" - Inspector Praline (J. Cleese)

Thanks for your replies,

Matthew

Last edited by Mashu : 08-29-2005 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 08-29-2005, 06:53 PM   #8
guest89893
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Re: Circle Triangle Square origins

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
or you could go for the basic approach:

square -- balance

Triangle -- focus

Circle -- harmony

And just leave it at that

Best,
Ron
Hey Ron what about,

Triangle -- the angle of response
Circle -- blending with the attack
Square -- controlling with technique
or is that going to take us back to that clear as mud thing , again?
Best Regards,
Gene
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Old 08-30-2005, 08:07 AM   #9
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Circle Triangle Square origins

Nope, it's all good! Stevens Sensei often uses exactly what you have for the practical side.

Triangle -- irimi
Circle -- awase, tenkan, kaiten
Square -- osae, pinning

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 08-30-2005, 08:53 AM   #10
Yann Golanski
 
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Freaky! Re: Circle Triangle Square origins

is the most powerful combination of moves on the playstation game: Aiki-waki. Are you guys ignorant or what?.... sheeeeeeeeesh

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-30-2005, 10:51 AM   #11
jeff.
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Re: Circle Triangle Square origins

yann... that was genius. seriously.
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Old 08-30-2005, 11:48 AM   #12
Don_Modesto
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Re: Circle Triangle Square origins

Quote:
Matthew Zsebik wrote:
What inspired O'Sensei to use those shapes to describe things in Aikido?
Those or anything else.

Quote:
Their use appears in several other cultures like ancient Greece where the circle triangle and square appear in Plato's Timaeus. Do Asian religions and philosophy often use these?
Those and anything else.

Basically the discourse-style is very promiscuous. Any one thing can become anything else. This is why science uses the term "mysticism" as a term of derision. I happen to think this misses the point, but a lot of people take the map for the territory and turn the mystic heuristics into things.

Kannon, Goddess of Compassion becomes the ferocious God Fudoo. Shinto becomes Buddhism. A mountain in Japan becomes the mountain in India where Buddha preached becomes a mountain in Buddhist heaven.

Circle Triangle Square are "elemental" shapes and quite suggestive of association--no-brainers in the mystic pantheon of mnemonics and meditative devices. (Fred, step in here if I over-step myself.)

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
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Old 08-30-2005, 03:56 PM   #13
odudog
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Re: Circle Triangle Square origins

The symbols mean the following for me:
circle - movement
square - balance
triangle - protection

My dojo teaches something else for these symbols, but then again, I'm creating my own family style of Aikido as I go along.
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Old 08-30-2005, 10:56 PM   #14
guest89893
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Re: Circle Triangle Square origins

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Nope, it's all good! Stevens Sensei often uses exactly what you have for the practical side.

Triangle -- irimi
Circle -- awase, tenkan, kaiten
Square -- osae, pinning

Best,
Ron
Ron,
Cool!
Separate to the Shinto & Buddhist connection (although not sure it can be separated really in relation to Asian Martial Arts). But the symbols are used in other martial arts - to no ones surprise here I'm sure. Not to mention dancing, visual art, and mathematics, engineering well you get the picture.
As Don Modesto wrote these are elemental shapes. Elemental and very important shapes -> wheel, -> house, thinner and you have a spear or arrow, well you get the idea.
Cheers,
Gene
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