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#176115 - 08/15/05 11:03 AM Re: Muteiko - Principle of non-resistance [Re: shihan_chris]
aikikiai Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 61
Quote:

Does anybody on this forum know personaly, any of Ueshiba's students? I think that it would be an honor to train with them and learn from them. I hope that I one day get the oppurtunity.




Too late for most of them already. My sensei was uchi deshi to Ueshiba sensei in 1930. Ueshiba sensei died in 1969. If one were 20 years old at that time, he would be almost 60 now. And how much experience would he have had by 20?

Another direct student of Morihei Ueshiba was Murai sensei at the old yoseikan hombu. Although Mochizuki Minoru's direct student, Murai sensei alsot trained with Morihei Ueshiba and could do some spectacular and irresistible aiki nage. He is now about 90 years old.

So if you want to know some of these guys, you'd better find them fast and learn from them while you can.

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#176116 - 08/15/05 11:05 AM Re: Muteiko - Principle of non-resistance [Re: glad2bhere]
aikikiai Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 61
Quote:

In fact I will go so far as to say that such a discussion can ONLY be pursued objectively in this manner. Where I think we get into problems is with the use of esoterica such as "projecting Ki". I am not saying "Ki" does not exist. What I am saying is that within the context of an objective discussion the use of a term which cannot be measured, reproduced at will, or adequately defined cannot be part of the discussion. For instance, one COULD define the "empty jacket" experience in terms of timing, speed, vectors, mass and so forth. We might give it a clever title such as "empty jacket" but the thing itself COULD be defined and reproduced.




Well, I don't know. What or who would reproduce it? A robot?

No, art can never be made science. Its only purpose is for artists to explore it, for the enrichment of their own lives.

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#176117 - 08/15/05 11:09 AM Re: Muteiko - Principle of non-resistance [Re: glad2bhere]
aikikiai Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 61
Quote:

while one can become an "empty jacket" there must still be a "jacket" for the attacker to have as a focal point against which to work his tactic. The trick as I see it is to provide only minimal cues to the attacker by which they can gauge force, vectors, leverage and so forth while exploiting the imperfections in their attack to one's own advantage.




The "jacket" that is there to be empty is the original self, standing upright. It's just human dignity and correctness from within. It's our right not to be cowed down by bullies. Any more than that and it does become resistance.

The question is, "What is that minimum?" Can it be even less than that? Can it become completely invisible, so that no attack ever occurs?

This is the material that I cover in my Zero Degree method of teaching. Moshe Feldenkrais also worked extensively with this idea in judo.

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#176118 - 08/15/05 11:54 AM Re: Muteiko - Principle of non-resistance [Re: aikikiai]
glad2bhere Offline
Enthusiast

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

".....Well, I don't know. What or who would reproduce it? A robot?

".....No, art can never be made science. Its only purpose is for artists to explore it, for the enrichment of their own lives. ....."

Please don't misunderstand me, I am not making a case for turning an art into a science. My point is only that we may be better served by discussing things in terms of measurable and repeatable terms rather than esoteric or exotic language.

My wife is fond of wine and we often have a laugh reading some of the descriptions of a wine that has a "subtle nutty flavor" or "a hint of fruit at the back of the palate". While this is all very descriptive, were I a winery owner I would be very much concerned with pH, sugar content, tannins and spectrometer readings. My sense is that if we are to speak meaningfully about non-resistance we need to be considering relative foot/lbs or pull vs push, co-incidental angles, vectors and tangents. I see this as much more productive than "melding" or "being in the flow". Thoughts?

Best Wishes,

Bruce

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#176119 - 08/15/05 12:51 PM Re: Muteiko - Principle of non-resistance [Re: glad2bhere]
aikikiai Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 61
Quote:

Please don't misunderstand me, I am not making a case for turning an art into a science. My point is only that we may be better served by discussing things in terms of measurable and repeatable terms rather than esoteric or exotic language.




Indeed, that language can be worse than science since very few people even know what the words mean. Most aikido people cannot really accurately define "aiki" for instance.

Quote:

were I a winery owner I would be very much concerned with pH, sugar content, tannins and spectrometer readings. My sense is that if we are to speak meaningfully about non-resistance we need to be considering relative foot/lbs or pull vs push, co-incidental angles, vectors and tangents. I see this as much more productive than "melding" or "being in the flow". Thoughts?




I agree with you very much, but again, we're talking about an entirely human art, based on relationships (aiki and kiai) between people. Since our bodies are not equipped with meters for determining foot/lbs of force and such, only a robot could be made to reproduce exactly any equation of forces in physical movement. When it comes to art, I just don't think it can be captured.

If you do want to talk about forces and perceptions (kinesthesia (sp?)), I'd say read some of Moshe Feldenkrais' books such as Body and Mature Behavior or The Potent Self. An engineer by background, Feldenkrais was a direct student of Jigoro Kano, who sent high-level teachers to polish him up in France. He further reduced the esoterica with detailed analyses of the processes of decision and movement in the human mind/body. Where Kano broke movement down into small chunks (like falling techniques, tai sabaki, etc.), Feldenkrais took those small chunks and broke them down to microscopic levels for exploring just how we perceive our motivations, options and limitations, just how we order our bodies to do something and how lack of perception leads to difficulty and injury.

All I think we can do to make our efforts more scientific is to develop ever finer distinctions of the amount of effort we are using and the amount of resistance we can feel. If we eliminate all unnecessary effort from our movement and technique, we will begin to glimpse how little effort really is needed. As long as we, ourselves, do not accurately realize how much effort we are using, we are not even at the level of "perceiving" the opponent at all.

But finally, the way to do this is not with numbers or even the names of forces, but with our own feeling. And when we can relate our feelings to the opponent's feelings, we are starting to understand aiki and kiai.

I once took art classes from a rather famous teacher who was infamous for his temper and colorful personality. After some time, I thought I'd gained a bit of respect from him and when I saw him sitting on the steps of a campus building, I approached and sat beside him. He seemed okay with this and we chatted very idly about the weather and the squirrels gathering nuts. So then I thought I could get him to address some pithy points.

I said, "Professor, what is the responsibility of the artist?"

He looked a me weirdly, then looked away for a second, then said, "Hey! It's Caroline!" and he jumped up and ran, calling, "Hey! Caroline!!"

So I never asked him that kind of question again.

Best wishes.

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#176120 - 08/15/05 07:48 PM Re: Muteiko - Principle of non-resistance [Re: aikikiai]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Great posts by everyone.

Firstly, to Neko456:

Quote:


I question have you ever used your art in a real fight? Or against another unwilling person? I know purist find this almost insulting but, still have you ever?





I think "real fight" needs to be clarified.

In aiki training (at least the way I learnt it, not necessarily how I was taught it), uke must really attack (however, you want to define "attack"). The interesting thing is that it is exactly the same in the jujitsu I do.

Most MA systems are predicated on "civil self-defense". i.e. the responses are predicated on someone trying to hurt you or kill you.

Standing your ground and trading punches, to me, is not a "real fight".

The point that was so eloquently raised by aikikiai is this:
It is not uke that is "non-resisting", but rather nage not resisting (in actuality, not interfering or interrupting) uke's attack.

In reality, it is mis-timing the interruption of the attack by nage, that provides uke with the opportunity to be able to resist and counter.

My personal feeling is that the (pure) art/science debate is moot. Every MA system is personal expression (art) based on physical laws of nature (science). Some physical laws (currently) defy explanation and scientific proof, but they nonetheless "exist" as theoretical postulates on observable phenomena.

Even though we cannot discount the synergistic effect of both working in concert, it may be prudent to keep the discussion on the objective (or at least observable phenomena) for the time being.

And let's see where this leads us.

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#176121 - 08/16/05 09:23 AM Re: Muteiko - Principle of non-resistance [Re: eyrie]
glad2bhere Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 663
Loc: Lindenhurst, Illinois USA
As much as I would like to stay with the discussion I am afraid I need to draw a line somewhere and that line is between me and such places a defining a "real fight". As a veteran of countless discussions (usually originated by an MMA proponent) I have seen too many dialogues devolve into semantics chief among which is defining a "fight". For the record I continue to hold that what passes for "fighting" in most discussions is what I would term "challenges". An actual fight occurs when individuals no longer care about the well-being of themselves or their adversary to the point that severe injury or death becomes a real or acceptable alternative.

Now, if you are hearing some small irritation in the tenor of my post it may be because we are talking about "(non-)resistance" and I have come to believe that actions in a real fight represent the opposite extreme. A person committed to dominating his adversary to the point that he will inflict even death while accepting or enduring any injury or discomfort himself is a far cry from the typical drunken bar-fight or parking-lot confrontation.

Getting back to the idea of non-resistance, let me also say that I am one of the few who hold that an accomplished Aikido person could very well use his skills in such a case. I believe that there would need to be three caveats however. One would be that unlike the use by police to restrain the individual, the Aikido person would need to hold self-preservation as the foremost priority. Secondly, again using the police for a comparison, the Aikido person would need to have an open-ended time frame as opposed to having to subdue a person within a given moment. Lastly, I believe the Aikido person would be allowed to use those portions of his training that would produce damage as opposed to simply redirecting energy.

Again, IMO I say that an Aikido person COULD successfully use their skills in such a situation with some modification. As always, your mileage may vary.

Best Wishes,

Bruce

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