Aikido and the fundamental forces of the Universe

sanningakeAikido, like many an art form has been subjected to much scrutiny through combat effectiveness, ancient writings, opinion and more recently the sciences. Using the prism of western sciences it has been both praised or reviled. Many an attempt has been made by the Aiki/scientific community to successfully explain Aiki in this manner. There are the tawdry explanations of the workings of the body through the tools of Newtonian physics, where the idea that through the falling apple’s momentum, mass and force might explain the subtlies of Kuzushi, balance and the internal working of the body. This inevitably leads to the success in explaining the lesser baser martial arts but is doomed to failure in something as highly evolved as Aikido. My own humble efforts in this regard to look at power generation and unbalancing, under the scrutiny of the international aikido community has certainly experienced this mixed response, including public castigation at seminars and in retrospect rightly so.
Thus the sages of our art (indeed my own teacher has writing on the subject) look for and demonstrate the ultimate truth and beauty that is to be found in Quantum physics (arguably the highest of the sciences through its scrutiny of the fundamentals of the universe. Here, without spin, the commonalities of the art exist within the wave-particle duality can emerge, alive, like a cat out of the box, with clear confirmation of the arts ultimate truths. Whilst for myself and many a humble tyro this sartorial truth can only likely be experienced as you approach, nay pass, the level of O’Sensei, which I am told is unlikely. Working the numbers though and given the population of the earth is now 5x that of when O’Sensei was alive there must be at least 5 people with the skills.

Aspiring to be at one with the Universe, the truth then is likely to be found in the foundations of the Universe itself revealed through the fundamental forces of the universe that exist and propagate forward and backward in time, revealed to us through Schrodinger, Maxwell and others. We see evidence of this in the creation stories of many religions, the five elements of the universe and the six harmonies. Whilst Einstein suggests our understanding is relative, still we wonder how long is a piece of string as it extends through time and the dimensions as we seek these truths.

antarctic-danIt is said that everything you need to know about an art is revealed in the very first lesson and so for me to it was revealed, had I the eyes to see, in the duality of beginning study of Aikido whilst embarking on the beginning of my scientific career culminating in the *cough* Menkyo of a physics PhD. Thus somewhat unexpectedly, and more than 20yrs on I find my self re-examining my career to discover that that my masters degree in which I studied vibrations of crystals to protect us from harm had me almost on the path. Then the the wave propagation equations, investigated through the purity of the ancient and glacial icesheets of the Antarctic, with my Hakama wearing companions of the natural world, reveal to me now the importance of the fundamental forces of the universe and their transcendence of time in the practice of Aikido. While many of these secrets are yielded only through the secret language of mathematics, which like most secrets are not secret but only accessible through many years of study I arrive at the insights below. Albeit the lab bench is bit less austere than the birch whippings of a Zen temple…
The fundamental forces of the universe, not unlike the 5 elements of the Chinese arts and the 6 harmonies reveal many teachings for those that can truly see. They reside in and are central to each part of the universe and person, whereby we are all truly standing on the floating bridge between heaven and earth able to draw and call on these forces not only at will but at all times and thus manifest them in our daily lives from the time of our very birth.

Aiki = Gamma, del F ??

Aiki = Gamma, del F ??

The ‘force of gravity’, used in many an analysis of the Aikido arts, whilst presumed to be the strongest of all forces it is in fact one of the weakest, a misdirection for the aspirant. Thus typical to such misanalysis it is often applied externally and like the weaker external martial arts it is easy to miss the ultimate teaching contained therein. You see gravity applies to each and every atom of everything so whilst the force that pulls us toward the earth is seen as the ultimately manifestation, it is actually a path to the ultimate union with Ki that Tohei successfully transmitted to the West. Here the various nuclear forces of attraction exist between all parts of the body, holding it together without the necessity of the structure of bone, muscle and that much misunderstood fascisa. It also acts as an attractant and with this this Nage may use the power of gravity to draw Uke into their centre and capture it and become one at the tanden in a very physical sense. It’s governed by the gravitational constant and the mass of bodies through an inverse square law such that the closer the dynamic the stronger the attraction. It is I suspect the reason why there is apparent collision in the practice of the art and where ignorance of how to manipulate the equation leads to the inability to turnoff the attraction and complete a successful throw as Uke and Nage become locked by the forces (often mistaken as wrestling) and thus must resort to the brutality of the physical to separate from this power.

It is well known that we are all mostly space, but our visual perception is governed by the forces of electrostatics that bend and occlude the waves of light. Some of my studies occasion me to investigate visual perception, here the physiology of the eye can be manipulated and drawn to focus on detail, rather than movement, thus allowing Nage to ‘disappear, though again it is but a surface description to hide in plain sight the true mechanism at work beneath. You see these wave equations propagate both forwards and backwards in time (the wave equations are 4 dimensional and if you can manipulate matrix you can manipulate the perception of reality) and like a tachyon it is possible to not only travel faster than light but to transcend its limitations entirely and dodge that bullet before it appears. The substantive challenge is that the electrostatic forces of the body that fill the gaps between the electrons and nucleus create our perceptive reality. However understanding that these all emit waves of their own, we arrive at the conclusion that we are no more dense than the Uke who doesn’t know when he should be falling and the masters of aikido that have gone before us. All are filled within of the same empty space that exists between Uke and Nage. Thus clearly there is truly no physical confrontation it exists not physically, nor in space nor in time, nor in the vacuum that is our minds, and so when the enemy attacks I am truly no longer before him but standing behind him.

This leads only then to the nuclear interactions, both strong and weak that exist between all things, the weak can simply be discarded, like the voices of our masters and the strong willed community do with aplomb and a focus on the strong leads us to the understanding of the Buddha to just sit and gather these these forces to our tanden, where the numerics are clear, more is the ultimate truth and so beyond abdominal fat the necessity to give up the scurrilous practice of Ukemi and the basest practices of the savages. Just leave the physical practice of the art and look beyond to thus concentrate on the concentration of growing the strong nuclear interaction through growth of the Hara itself.

 

A happy new year to all, may you find the ultimate truths in these writings or discard them as some Gregorian conspiracy.

 

Addendum: This was posted April the 1st and unfortunately was a little too convincing, please see an explanation here A fools descent into aiki-madness

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Japan In Brisbane

Brisbane Budo kai kan Open day

 

This Sunday the 8th  starting at 11:00am, there will be an open day at the Brisbane Budokai kan-  most of the Martial arts groups that use this centre in Merrivale Street South Brisbane will be putting on demonstrations, so it’s an ideal time to learn about what other styles and schools are doing

 

Also of interest to any Budoka is the other Japanese cultural activities that are presented during the Open Day

 

-the event will be opened by the resident Shakuhachi player, master Shigeru Yomei Nakajima

 

-there will be a static display of flower arranging, 

 

-There will be the chance to have a go at Shodo with demonstrations and hands on activities of traditional Japanese calligraphy under the guidance of Sensei Yumiko Kigoshi, sensei will also demonstrate Sumi E – the Japanese art of ink and brush painting in a separate session- so if you wish to learn how to paint like a classical japans Samuir here is a great chance! 

 

Chado – “way of tea”- is the name of the Japanese tea ceremony and there will be a demonstration of this graceful art- also there will be tasting and the opportunity to be a “guest” at the ceremony ( limited places ) 

 

Anyone who Knows Susan or I, will know we also do a traditional sword school – and our school Komei Juku will be demonstrating Traditional Iaijutsu – Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu at around 12:20 this is one of the few times a year we do demonstrations so it will be a bit of an event in our calendar.

 

Other Martial arts on the Day will be Aikijutsu demonstrating their open hand techniques, the Kyokushin Karate will be also be demonstrating their art- there will be Aikijutsu weapons that will feature this schools use of the Bo ( of interested to most other Aikidoka)- and finally Battojutsu and Tamashagiri – another style of sword combat arts and also some display cutting of bamboo. 

 

This is a great opportunity to find out about other arts you may be interested in and ask questions in a more informal manner rather than the more traditional class setting – all the demonstrated arts are taught at the centre martial and cultural

For more information please check the Budo Kai Kan website

 

http://www.brisbanemartialarts.com/Special-Events.html

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Budo Kai Kan 

Open Day Program 2013

 

 www.brisbanemartialarts.com

 

 

 

 

 

11.00 

Shakuhachi

 

11.30 

 

Tea Ceremony

 

12.00 

 

Aiki Jutsu Open Hand

 

12.20 

 

Komei Juku Iaijutsu

 

12.40

 

Kyokushin Karate

 

1.00

 

Shodo

 

1.30

 

Aiki Jutsu Weapons

 

1.50

 

Sumi e

 

2.20

 

Battojutsu / Tameshigiri

 

The program is an ideal only; obviously on the day there will need to be a degree of flexibility, but things will run more smoothly if all groups make a sincere effort to stay within their allotted times.Image

Andrew Sunter Sensei, Guest classes Thursday April 25th (ANZAC Day)

Location for Sunter sensei Thursday 25th 6:30pm at the showgrounds

Find us at the showgrounds

see http://www.aikidorepublic.com/dojo-alternate-location for a map

Aikido Brisbane - Musings and news on Aikido in Brisbane and round the traps

UPDATE: We will be at the Mt. Gravatt Showgrounds for this event – from 6:30pm. See http://www.aikidorepublic.com/dojo-alternate-location

 

 

On ANZAC day, Thursday April 25th we will have good friend and senior aikido instructor Andrew Sunter Sensei as guest of the dojo (see brief bio ) to teach two classes. Sunter sensei is one of Aikido Yuishinkai’s most senior instructors and a regular at the republic. He will teach on the emerging topic of internal strength in Aikido Yuishinkai has shared the internal strength journey, right from that first visit to Okajima Sensei’s dojo, through the biomechanics and the more recent experiences. He has a great heart and vision for Aikido Yuishinkai as a practice and framework for the exploration of ‘Aikido without Boundaries’.

Andrew will be teaching a distillation of the most recent Bill Gleason Shihan seminar as a followup to some internal strength training we did together

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Solo training in Aikido

Solo training in AikidoSolo training is not a new idea in aikido, when you think of all the taiso at the start of class and the weapons kata there is plenty of it. But what is relatively new (well what’s old is new anyway) is the idea of purpose behind solo training.

“Your aikido will only improve when your concept of aikido improves”
Kenjiro Yoshigasaki
Founder Ki Society Internationale

Any new idea is helpful and the idea of a purpose for solo training as new concept is something that can enrich our aikido practice. Aikido is often included in the list of internal martial arts, particularly those from China. These arts are by and large solo arts and at the interface between these arts the advantages and disadvantages of paired practice of aikido is laid bare somewhat. Local aikidoka doing these solo arts have had some terrific development in their aikido as a result, though it takes some time to integrate and in the short term has led to awkward aiki at times and some disruption to the dojo pedagogy.
So along comes the internal strength movement in the aikido circles, clearly its a new concept , or at least new packaging on elements that are already in our art. The premesis is that we need to understand our own bodys, how they move and generate and recieve power before we can hope to apply that in two person practice. And indeed it would seem to be the case, though only through paired practice can this be learnt and expressed. In this then we see that aikido kata are examples of aiki rather than the definitive set of ‘aiki’

” they see the kata as the art itself instead of a sophisticated teaching tool that is only a surface reflection of an arts core concepts” Yukiyoshi Takumura, Soke Takumara-ha Shindo Yoshin Kai http://www.advdojo.org/shuhari.html

Books like Ellis Amdurs “Hidden in Plain Sight” and “Transparent Power” on the life of a Ueshiba contempory, namely Yukiyoshi Sagawa point the way to solo training as being valuable and an integral part of the founders aiki abilities.

So where does that leave AIkido Yuishinkai?  Through the window of a recent  internal strength seminar and interaction with others in this movement in and outside our school does it become clear that we have this method built into our art.
Maruyama Sensei has been teaching for years through his 10 basic forms and his tanden ball exercises much that we see in the internal strength movement, its just that we didn’t recognise it. Here are Okajima sensei’s (Maruyama Sensei’s successor) exercises we saw in Japan almost a decade ago and more recently in Australia at his first international seminar. Catherine Schnell sensei captured these then and the review of them continues to shed light..

Here we see exercises reminiscent of the wave in Systema, the centring exercises that are a precursor for reeling and winding in many of the chinese martial arts and strongly reminiscence of the exercises in the Dan Harden bodywork seminars (from what we can gather), the universal exercises of Mike Sigman’s method. Through the various testing methedologies for movement and partner feedback we see the Ki Society methods now as a tool, rather than egoic practice to reinforce the status quo or worse a tangent to the etherial adn intangaable (at least in this moment of time anyway). We see shades of theopening and closing of the creases that Bill Gleeson Shihan often  talks about

Further sharing this through the Yuishinkai community Mike Haft Sensei from the UK shares with stunning clarity here are the ‘rites of spring exercises he has been doing for 10years, through the Hikitsuki Sensei that O’Sensei reportly practiced for more than an hour every day.

Mike writes

The first exercise of the Rites of Spring is Shinkokyu which is almost identical to Okajima Sensei’s first exerecise he demonstrates in the video, the difference being that there are four claps when hands are held aloft in the Rites of Spring. Also I don’t think there’s so much leaning forwards in the RoS as Okajima Sensei does.
The third exercise in the RoS is Furu Tama which is very similar to Okajima Sensei’s third exercise, but not quite the same.

O Sensei’s stuff is clearly shinto and shingon buddhism influenced, but I’d bet that if Okajima Sensei’s exercises are DR derived then they contain some overlap. Apparently O Sensei would do practise the RoS daily from anything like several minutes to several hours.

Recentky Stan Pranin shared O’Sensei’s warmup exercises…where you can see some of these in action

http://store.aikidojournal.com/morito-suganuma-o-senseis-warmups-alive-and-well/

So what its taken to get to this point, here at the beginning of the importance of solo practice. This slow learner, by way of the scientific method, likes to know the what and how, rather than just do and copy. The former being the pedagogy of western science and the latter the observational basis that is eastern science. Everything has advantages and disadvantages. But whats most important is here is something new (thats not new) , something to chew on and reinvigirate/reinterpret everything that Maruyama Sensei has been teaching for years but with now an understanding of the purpose and a critical eye that can help cut to some core emelments of the practice.

Aikido has more to do with Gathering and less to do with Throwing away

“Aikido has more to do with Gathering and less to do with Throwing away”

That was a facebook update quote from Chicko Sensei, from the Fudoshin dojo in Noosa a few months back. Over the years we have had occasion to practice at sensei’s dojo and he was kind enough to visit us as well, he are some written up

See Takeda Satoshi Seminar report 2010 and Chicko Sensei visits the Republic

 

More recently good friend of the dojo Craig Boyd, “Big Rock” sensei caught up with good friend of the dojo Chicko Sensei for practice. He was kind enough to pass on these impressions

Aikido @ Noosa- Road trip

Sensei Thom Hansen and myself went to train with Sensei Chico Xerri at his Noosa dojo  on Saturday – If any seniors student has considered doing this and hasn’t been as yet, then I guess ,  if it makes you feel better I’m happy to tell you it was just OK ………. and you best stop reading now.

 

This was my second visit to train with Sensei Chico at his Dojo, The class ( like my first) was extremely enlightening and he and his students always make you feel most welcome and are always ready to help you grasp the lesson being taught rather than just getting bogged down in the technical aspects of the technique, and for good reason. Sensei runs  his lessons at a frantic pace so no time to have worry about anything except what he was teaching, and there was so much there,  so the lessons he was imparting are just starting to come into focus now 2 days later..

  1. Yokomen- lesson 1 enter blend  and cut the hand ( nicely demoed with a bokken) – no collision just a new option for blending, he wasn’t to hung up on what technique you do from this, he showed about 4, he was imparting a philosophy of ” do what feels right at the time” with this entry
  2. Yokomen- lesson 2- enter deeply , stepping deeply and past the attack to avoid the strike , and move to an in close position past Uke’s centre line, then put uke back on your line and execute techniques- a good way to develop this was to do sankyo on the non attacking hand- there was a great technique I will be demonstrating to a few either fortunate or unfortunate people from this position it ends with a leg lock!- this position also lead into a “no technique” technique of pure Irimi – awesome stuff!
  3.  Ryotemochi– we explored a now reoccurring theme of every art I train or have dabbled in, of getting Uke off line by you just moving your centre and breaking their balance, from there a throw was easily executed once you cut their centre or project through it- Sensei managed to make this look easy and moved probably no more than and inch or 2 – sadly I had to move the width of a Tatami to be able to get the lead and the feeling anywhere near to make it effective.

 

 I’m sure there was way more to it than that, and now I’m wondering was lesson 1 just explanation for lesson 2????  But it was a fast paced class that had a lot of training and a lot of aikido lessons, so if Sensei Thom Hanson wants to remind me of the ones I missed or forgot please let me know. I will defiantly be heading up to Noosa on a Saturday morning again though, to train.

 

Cheers

 

Craig Boyd