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#173098 - 08/18/05 09:24 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: eyrie]
KiDoHae Offline
Former Moderator

Registered: 06/29/04
Posts: 999
Hmmmmm....

I had not intended to return to Mohammed Ali but "floating" is more about imagery, as much as technical interpretation. Each of us seems to need one, the other, and some both. Ali is best known for his own description of himself - to "Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee." Floating evokes a sense of effortless, even grace. Translating it to a mechanical action, with the same visualization, will require more word-smithing than your's truly can muster at the moment.

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#173099 - 08/18/05 09:47 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: wer]
glad2bhere Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 663
Loc: Lindenhurst, Illinois USA
".....If I "float" someone in Aikido it means my center of mass is lower than his and just as he is at the top of his trajectory so he's going neither up nor down I apply a force upward in the direction he had been travelling...."

Dear Wer:

With the fervent prayer that I can stay with this discussion, are you familiar with the training flights astronauts take in which the large plane in which they are riding performs an aerial maneuver such that the astronauts become weightless? Is this the sort of "flow" you are alluding to in your post? Are you espousing targeting the optimal point in time and space, or are you suggesting that one "accompany" their antagonist TO that point and then exploit it to accomplish the technique? Thoughts?

Best Wishes,

Bruce

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#173100 - 08/18/05 10:56 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: KiDoHae]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Ah....imagery of words to evoke meaning....

Such is the nature of language. Sometimes language conciseness can evoke as much imagery. (Anyone studied Shakespeare?)

Quote:


Floating evokes a sense of effortless, even grace.




Quote:

...an aerial maneuver such that the astronauts become weightless?




"Floating" = weightless is probably a more apt description. Unfortunately, as we are bound by the laws of gravity, at some point the person must succumb to such law.

Quote:


Are you espousing targeting the optimal point in time and space, or are you suggesting that one "accompany" their antagonist TO that point and then exploit it to accomplish the technique?




If I can answer this for wer (excuse the boldness). The answer is YES to both, but exploiting the law of gravity at that point in time and space, in such a way that it would seem "effortless" on our part.

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#173101 - 08/18/05 11:03 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: eyrie]
wer Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 31
Loc: Massachusetts
Quote:

It's not meant to be explained in terms of Archimedian displacement. It was a red herring on my part.



Yup, I caught that red herring (but you shoulda seen the one that got away!) but decided to go ahead anyway since I was pretty sure I could explain "floating" with real physics. If you agree that my proposed situation is what you mean by "floating", I consider my description sufficient since I could write out the equations governing the motion.

Sinking, though. Now that's harder to explain, which is why I left it as an exercise for the reader. But since the alternative is that I do useful work this evening, I'm going to take a stab at it.

"Sinking" is planting your weight. But how, exactly, does one do that? My tai chi teacher says you do so by "rooting," picturing your feet as connected to the ground and feeling the chi flowing through the ground and your feet. But he's also a kenpo man, and so demonstrated and clearly explained that the physical situation during this "rooting" is that you bend your knees more than they had been and drop your center of mass lower than usual or, more to the point, lower than that of your opponent. If you are both standing, this would entail flexing the knees and "dropping the hips" (which just seems to be tucking in the tailbone while bending those knees and keeping an upright posture). Your weight would be centered on your feet in a very stable stance, not up on your toes or rocked back on your heels, and your posture would be very upright as if you had a pole going straight from the top of your head down your spine into the ground (standard good Aikido posture).

How about if you're grappling? One example of "dropping" might be if you are in his guard (he's on the bottom) and you move so the vector that is perpendicular to the ground and goes down through your center of mass goes directly through his center of mass on the way to the ground. And, your center of mass is placed as close to his as possible. In this way, you add your weight to his in the the most effective way.

Both of these are easily quantifiable descriptions of what "sinking" is. Do these situations cover your idea of "sinking," or are there others we should consider? And do you think there's something quantifiable that I've left out of the descriptions? Finally, do you think we CAN describe "sinking" in terms of pure physics with no visualization or discussion of chi?

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#173102 - 08/18/05 11:08 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: glad2bhere]
wer Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 31
Loc: Massachusetts
Quote:

".....If I "float" someone in Aikido it means my center of mass is lower than his and just as he is at the top of his trajectory so he's going neither up nor down I apply a force upward in the direction he had been travelling...."

Dear Wer:

With the fervent prayer that I can stay with this discussion, are you familiar with the training flights astronauts take in which the large plane in which they are riding performs an aerial maneuver such that the astronauts become weightless? Is this the sort of "flow" you are alluding to in your post? Are you espousing targeting the optimal point in time and space, or are you suggesting that one "accompany" their antagonist TO that point and then exploit it to accomplish the technique? Thoughts?

Best Wishes,

Bruce



eyrie beat me to it. Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. Does that agree with your views?

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#173103 - 08/19/05 08:25 AM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: wer]
glad2bhere Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 663
Loc: Lindenhurst, Illinois USA
".....Does that agree with your views?...."

Yes, it does, but not, perhaps the way you might think. In the Hapkido arts this skill MAY develop at higher levels but it is not something that we pursue or focus on specifically. For instance, during a recent series of seminars in Australia, Dojunim Kim (Yong Sul Kwan) demonstrated a very high level of "aiki" work which many times seemed to border on the incredulous. While I deeply respect his skill level, for myself I do not aspire to such skills. At the yu sool level of Hapkido I focus on polishing my use of simple Newtonian physics to accomplish a successful technique. At the hapkiyusool level I see to facilitate my techniques by impacting or exploit the use of my antagonists neuro-muscular system. I am not saying what you are describing is not a fair goal or that I would resist the development of such skill. What I think I am sensing is that the actual returns on being able to accomplish such skill may not justify the time and effort necessary to take my practice to that level. Hope this came out right.

Best Wishes,

Bruce

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#173104 - 08/19/05 07:20 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: glad2bhere]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
It seems like you are drawing a distinction between "aiki" and a high level of skill. Whilst most people would feel like you do, that such a level of skill is not something that they would aspire to, it is nonetheless implied specifically in most "aikido" and from what I gather, explicitly taught as a set curriculum in the parent art Daito-ryu (aiki-no-waza).

It also appears that you are drawing a distinction between what you focus on at the "do" level and "jitsu" (yusool) level, albeit from a structural physical perspective.

Whilst I generally agree that this is a sound approach to understanding the technical principles, as one should if approaching the art from a "jitsu" perspective, but I believe that the "do" expression completes the "circle" - as it were.

I've said this before in other threads, I think you need a balance of both "do" and "jitsu" to be a more complete MAist.

Can I ask what was so incredulous about Dojonim Kim's "aiki" work? What is it about his level of expression makes you draw that distinction?

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#173105 - 08/19/05 09:42 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: eyrie]
glad2bhere Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 663
Loc: Lindenhurst, Illinois USA
Dear Eyrie:

".....Can I ask what was so incredulous about Dojonim Kim's "aiki" work? What is it about his level of expression makes you draw that distinction?...."

{Here Bruce is observed to enter a minefield. }

For my part I have always drawn a distinction between physical attributes and those qualities of execution which transcend common practice. Had it been I on the mat performing for the attendees I could have done a few of the things that Dojunim Kim did, but would have worked much, much harder. But there was something else. True, all of his technique was in response to a committed attack, which would satisfy my original definition of "aiki". However, beyond that there were techniques which he accomplished that directly related to exploiting that "teetering" point mentioned earlier that allowed him to hold and lead his attacker in a way I am still working to understand. In those instances what he was doing was plainly beyond my skill level.

I think I also need to point out that my conclusions about the nature of "aiki" vis "kiai" is not a function of Dojunim Kims work. Rather I continue to pursue this as part and parcel of my own personal study. Having spent years in Hapkido watching people make much of what I have discerned to be little more than high quality "yawara" it was an eye-opener to find an individual, a native Korean, who has taken it upon himself to press the evolution of the Hapkido arts to a higher level. However, there is a mountain of material at the yawara level that one could pursue and make a career of as has my teacher, Myung Kwang Sik. Add to this yet another layer of technical proficiency with hapkiyusool and the challenge can be all but overwhelming. In the kwan to which I belong I would like to begin to teach some of the material Dojunim Kim has shared, but it would require a separate portion of the curriculum off by itself to do it justice. But, if there were any place to make practical use of all the great information that has been exchanged on this thread THAT would be the place to do it. FWIW.

Best Wishes,

Bruce

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#173106 - 09/02/05 01:02 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: wer]
wer Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 31
Loc: Massachusetts
The more I think about it and read O'Sensei's writing (the thread's petering out, but that's not stopping me!), the more I think it's that cultivation of sensitivity to uke's intent that makes it aiki. Or at least, that makes it aiki not ju.

Anyone else?

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#173107 - 09/02/05 08:13 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: wer]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Please, don't let this thread petering out stop you.

One of the best imagery I can think of is like bamboo swaying in the breeze, as opposed to bamboo bending from the weight of snow on it's leaves.

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