Saturday 19 April 2014
The path of peace. I will show you here the spiritual reality of peace and it's part in Aikido and especially Ueshiba's Aikido.
It's not a saying or indeterminate thing for spiritually it is very real and it is the achievement of this peace that many in things like yoga and meditations talk about. So it's not just an idea or philosophy it's an actual attainable thing but in Aikido Ueshiba was demonstrating it's effect, it's efficacy, it's power for he followed such a path.
Koshi. Different to centre I have talked about Koshi before and it is the base of 'power' centred from the back of the hips physically but spiritually that is the door to Koshi....the void.
Unless you are standing in the void you cannot do true Aikido said Ueshiba. So how does this develope in practicing Aikido? Well, practiced properly and that is without the view of opposing but as a shin no budo then the emphasis is on being relaxed at all times....ki always going out continuously....thus no pulling everything in and resisting. So that is where you start. Then you learn about centre and if in Ki Aikido one point as well. But the thing is you learn about overriding the body and mind resistive reactions and thus energetic relaxation. Now in Ki Aikido this leads to what they call weight underside which is a phenomenon of this relaxation and no doubt in other styles maybe how the down feeling to earth gets more real. ANYWAY....this is the next phase in the process of discovering Koshi. Koshi starts to manifest. Awareness of the void begins...the nothing.
So back to Aikido. There is the top half and the bottom half. The top half let's say is centre upwards so it includes the arms etc. and all those parts you generally accept as part and parcel of doing techniques. Then there is the bottom half and that is thus hips and legs and feet. Now actually there is the upper 'sphere' and the lower 'sphere.' The upper space and the lower space. The kokyu space and the koshi space.
The lower space....the void...koshi. When you sit down you are sitting and relaxing in koshi. When you go to bed....that nice soft mattress..ahhhhhh...you sink into koshi. These are all analogies given to show the basic concept. Yet in Aikido not much is noticed until later in training about the effect of lower body MOTION and it's import rather that trying to do it with hands and force and insistance. Each has a separate function and eventually koshi or the void has an extremely important function. No tricks, no secret internal chinese whatever.....koshi...the void. Attained through continuous energetic relaxation and non resistance.
So what does all this have to do with The Path of Peace?
Well, when you really allow yourself to let go of things and thoughts and thus relax (for relaxation is no more in itself than letting go) you will experience eventually this void...this nothing.....and yet with it you will experience a tremendous peace. Yes a TREMENDOUS peace.
So if your not standing in the void.....if your not therefore standing in this tremendous peace the you are not doing shin no budo...Ueshiba's Aikido.
Thus we begin to understand the path of peace for from peace you are addressing the 'opponent' or whatever. Not from anger, not from fear, not from challenge.....no....but from peace.
Thus if you do Aikido in order to do to another or best another or beat another or even to defend self then you are not coming from peace. You are not following the path.
Now many talk of Ueshiba's 'power' even though even on film when older he explains how he no longer has any 'muscle' and says his body is more like a womans body. The power of peace. Peace in action. An energy...a quality...with dynamic effect whic others can only equate as some kind of physical thing and thus they will never learn.
Now in my AIKIDO I have talked about the sword of kindness and have also mentioned other tools or 'weapons'. There is the jo or staff and yet there is also the spear. Thus I have the spear of peace.
The spear reaches through...it pierces....that what a spear does...it pierces. Thus it reaches through and then what? Well have you ever heard of leading the partners Ki? Well that's what you do with the spear. You reach through to and then you lead. You reach through from peace and you lead them to peace. You sit them on the chair, the floor you lay them of the bed, you return them to koshi...to the void to peace. This is the path of AIKIDO.
I remember when one of my students wanted to experience me using koshi and so he could try to learn to improve his. However he then started using his koshi and in such a way as it may cause me a new problem to harmonize with. I found it very amusing for he was definitely learning but sudeenly backed off and asked me what I did. I was surprised and said I didn't know for to me I was just being very light. So I got him to attack right through me and in myself all I would do was actually give him my koshi...in fact to give it ti his. He bounced back in shock and explained that to him it felt like he had hit a brick wall like he had run smack into a solid brick wall. Yet to me all was so light it felt quite the opposite. From that point on I understood why so many misunderstood what they had been told or even felt from ueshiba and then translated it as hard and strong and physical. Alas.
Then when watching Ueshiba 'sit'in koshi ie:just relax and bend his knees as if sitting on a stool meanwhile lightly holding a persons hand on his lap yet the person became stuck and couldn't escape....drawn in....all made sense. Peace...koshi...capacity. It receives all...infinitely. Meanwhile gives out Ki wise infinitely too. No secrets.....no tricks....just Aikido.....a spiritual discipline and a path of peace.
Meanwhile along with the Way......the WAY of love and harmony. The path and the way.
Now someone told me recently....so I don't know how true this is....that the dove gives off this peace energy and thus no animals or eagles or other birds attack doves. Funny how it is a symbol of peace don't you think? A certain energy and that is peace...war cannot happen in it's presence.
Wednesday 16 April 2014
Non Opposition....no opposition. No enemy. I always say there is no Against in Aikido. But what does that mean? Is it literal? Well it certainly is and should be taken literally for it is the expression of certain truths of Aikido.
So let me introduce you to this concept with some reality. It means YOU must not oppose. You must not go against anything. A discipline for I guarantee 99% of people reading this think it is quite normal to be be against many things. Let me remind you there is no agaunst in Aikido.
Let's give you some maths for a certain reality and a perspective to do with you are your worst enemy....masakatsu and agatsu. Let's take a nice innocent emotion called dislike. Ha, ha. When you dislike something you have set yourself up against it. So many organize their lives based on what they dislike.....thus they imprison themselves. So....this fella decides after a number of disaters he dislikes women. He gathers all kinds of data to back up his dislike and thus has a mind full of reasons describing women in a derogatory fashion. He is against women. So thereafter he just has flings here and there and basically lies and cheats women etc. This leads to more and nore misery all around and excuses and justifications and playing the victim.....
Phew....what a mess. Well he went against didn't he? So what do we have here mathematically? Him ONE vesus women BILLIONS. He who attacks has already lost.
Being against makes you your own enemy.
Now many may wonder what else they could do for they are sure they dislike things. Thus they justify protesting and complaining and getting negative about things and call it reasonable and normal and even necessary and responsible. Alas.....so far from the truth.....so far from masakatsu and agatsu.......so far from a better future.....so far from true self. So far from Aikido.
So what to do? Well such is the true discipline....such is the way....such is the meaning of learning and study and 'bun'. To become enlightened as to a better way of being.
Goodness....centre of centre.
Monday 14 April 2014
Musashi....some say the greatest Samurai who ever lived. Some say. Yet with this idea it is widely stated how he was undefeated. Wow, a hero....a legend....a story to set off the wild imagination and ego trips. He was indeed defeated many times.
Each time he was really in trouble his saving grace was a zen monk. Each time he had been too out of order then this zen monk was sent out to capture him and brng him for punishment. No problem. Simple to the monk.
Now another story. Once apon a time in Japan the shogun sent his samurai to rid the area of monks. It was politics and power struggle as usual but the samurai got a shock. The monks came out from their monastary and met them in battle and defeated them. Not only that they did it with sticks against swords in the main. Thereafter thousands of samurai were sent to complete the task and layed seige and eventually starved and overwhelmed them.
Isn't it strange how a spiritual person in the case of the zen monk and a group of them in the case of the monastery could so easily defeat such aggressive and so called 'martial' behaviour? So called budo?
Contrary to popular belief the Japanese monks were far superior to the samurai for they understood the spiritual basics of such 'combatitive' arts. The sohei were indeed warrior monks.
Yet what do we learn from this? Well firstly that without applying spiritual principles then you are misssing what you really seek.
Secondly and even more important is to look at what caused the demise of such spiritual warriors. Well, back to masakatsu and agatsu I'm afraid. There is no escape. Ego. Not spiritual enough is the answer. Thus we learn the WAY is not for personal tricks and proof of superiority and power and domination. The way is humble and in humility undefeatable and immovable.
True martial is humility. Peace.G.
Tuesday 8 April 2014
Remaining old school as far as Aikido is concerned while at the same time beung considered new school by the general 'experts' in the field of Aikido It's time I gave my view on the scene as I see it and broke it down in a way not done up to now as far as I know.
Already historically being taught by a teacher who was affected by the political divide in England when Tohei split from the rest then I suppose like him I am more of a rebel. To put that into perspective the scene as he describes it back then was basically one where like it or not a way of teaching Aikido came along which emphasized Ki developement and basically emphasized the spiritual, ethical, non resistive, harmonious, shin no budo Aikido rather than what was extant and being taught at the time. Ha, ha, we couldn't all have a Hikitsuchi for even he couldn't be everywhere at the time. So that's that anyway and so we move on.
So, it always makes me smile when I read interviews where the 'great teachers boast how they didn't understand Ueshiba and yet there they are as 'experts' telling you what Aikido is. So we have those who didn't understand carrying on developing a style not based on understanding and winding up as experts and leaders. No wonder they confuse it with chinese stuff and daito ryu and don't see the chasm of difference. It's a fascinating scene actually.
To understand this scene I will present it in a way and keep the subject as the scene of Aikido but hopefully you can expand on this and see how in life this applies too. I was doing some Kiatsu today and then it struck me. Healing. Something I do as a matter of course and always considered it natural for any true person on the path and it suddenly struck me how most in Aikido have no idea just how powerful a healing tool Ki is let alone any idea of how to apply it or even where to learn how to do so. It's alien to most and then I see Ki atsu promoted as some kind of stretching idea....woah....what a crazy scene.
Well it all comes down to heart and soul and spirit basically. True Budo is love. Aikido of O'Sensei is based on this. So let's look at that to start with.
Love. Heart. Scenes of the heart....parts of life to do with heart....wow! So many books written and stories all about lost love, broken hearts, jealousy...revenge...pain and suffering. Ring a bell? Now seeing most believe this suffering to be normal and thus looking at things from their views based on dislikes and concerns and worries and thinking that's normal and even responsible then we begin to see how these 'no ;ove' views which are considered normal get an urge to complain and control and insist and develope things which are not too bright and further and further from the truth or wisdom. Thus we get heartless Aikido...no shin no budo.....but 'traditional budo' or so they think. Keeping it real....or so they think. Trying to fit Ueshiba's words into what they do like trying desperately to make square pegs jam into those round holes.
No heart. Still looking for power and domination and control in the name of AIKIDO.
Shame. No heart. Believing some internal tricks can lead to this superior way. Shame. Still into superiority. No heart. No shin no budo....no Aikido. Still looking from the view of 'strong effective powerful technique' Shame. No heart. No AIKIDO. sTILL ON ABOUT BUILDING 'special physical structure' Shame. No understanding...no heart. "When I was 75 years old and had no more physical strength only then did I learn true Aikido" said O'Sensei. "There are many people in the world who understand aikido who have never heard of the word yet in Aikido there are very few who understand" said O'Sensei. Some like Peter Shapiro Sensei still repeat these things as a reminder but unfortunately only love can hear.....only Aikido can hear.....only no mind can hear.
Then we come to soul as I call it. You true conscience. Heart is love.....soul is goodness. Your innate goodness. Replaced in most by a mind based on right and wrong. A neat trick. For then a person can make up rules and decide what's right and wrong and not have to take goodness into account. Thus they do themselves in...the society in, the world in. All in the name of Right. Shame. No soul. No center. No shin no budo. No AIKIDO. No balance....true balance....goodness and love.
By acting against basic goodness do we thus act against true self....thus we are our own enemy...no one else. Love supports goodness and goodness give power to love and yin works with yang and it's that simple. Aikido is indeed beneficent, divine, a way. That means based on love and goodness. Dominating another is not good...no soul. Intellect itself can be very soulless and heartless and thus we see it is very different from wisdom for wisdom is of the heart and soul. Todays economics is very intellectual...alas. War is of Jaki and yet is actually a 'reasoned intellectual agreed upon activity'....alas. No wisdom. No heart and soul. No Aikido. Aikido is big....all embrasive.....the world and it's huge intellect is small minded. Yet still small minded to itself is superior and yet being so small minded need great force and harsh rules to dominate and be right because it is so far from nature, from heart and soul, from wisdom, from Aikido. Aikido is big.....more words of the founder.
Spirit....Ki....Kindness....the sword. The discipline needed to face the truth. To cut through the fog. To cut through the small self. Agatsu. Shin no budo. Aikido.
Ki restores, corrects, heals, brings harmony, non resists, is immovable. More shin no budo. More AIKIDO. True kindness. Excalibur indeed. True budo. Yet in life nowadays the sword of Jaki is the sword of choice......the sword of the 'HARD DECISIONS'. Insanity in action.....no heart, no soul, no kindness. The upside down world of fear based heartless logic and 'reason'. The world of physical Aikido. The world of nonsense. The world of blame others and guilt. Unenlightened. Divide, rule, win, prove, crave, image......JAKI. Negative, small.
To learn about the true spiral one must first come out of the downward spiral they are inadvertently already in.
Aikido is healing.
Monday 7 April 2014
STRUCTURE: PRINCIPLES: 1)Relax Completely weight underside..Extend Ki
2)Respect your partners Ki.
3)Lead partners Ki.
4)Keep one point.
5)Take your partner's place.
6)Perform with confidence.
Old school structure which took great discipline to accomplish coutesy of Tohei Sensei and taught to us by Mike Muspratt Sensei.
Thes are a discipline and this is a basic write up of how we practiced and used them and the discipline involved.
The discipline for example when I taught from this view for those who had the basics of technique down pat etc. was to hold the partner and have them them try to do a technique. When it didn't work I would say why. The thing is the discipline was that I would point out which principle was out...missing. Simple. No excuses, no other reasons like the way they are being held or whatever. Nothing mattered except keeping in those principles and thus discovering beyond those principles. The fact whic is still a mind blowing fact really is that when the principles were in then the technique worked no matter who was holding. Thus it was and is a very workable and disciplined method.
Each principle thus practiced leads to realizations and self development all along the lines of harmony and oneness.
Relax completely weight underside leads to the dicovery for those persistant enough and disciplined enough of Koshi and this in turn leads to reality on the void.
Respect your partner's Ki leads to actually 'seeing' beyond your eyes as to what exactly the 'opponents Ki is doing. So any excuse about a person being too physical or tight or whatever is down to lack of understanding this principle.
It's NEVER the partner's fault. Full stop.
Keeping one point actually leads to so much it's hard to put it down here in this little write up.
Lead your partners Ki then becomes a skill which takes being able to 'see it' know it, blend with it, be at one with it, join with it, know the ways of Ki movement and mechanics and principles thereof and...and...
Lot's to learn and discover......shin shin toitsu method as taught to me and by me. Great stuff and yet only the discipline of no excuses makes it work. No leading body, no tightness, no trying to override the opponent, no thinking, no 'mind leads ki nonsense'. The principles rule out so much and that's another plus.
Yes a specific discipline...very useful.
Not forgetting 'take your partners place'. Well this ranges from empathy, being with, staying with,(ma ai, de ai) to co existence and finally oneness. Yes each principle is an arrow. Not many carry on following those pointers unfortunately.
In fact I would call this a good method of intermediate teaching now in retrospect. Call me a bit pessimistic but I believe for most even that way is very advanced teaching compared to what they are used to.
Such is my view and experience anyway.
So this was a little glimpse into the shin shin toitsu taught to a few hundred below the radar in a little area of England. A small window into unknown history ha, ha.
Thursday 3 April 2014
I'm afraid this is a cultural glitch, a cultural ego thing and as such most are blind to it and like to believe it's all advancement and even advancement in the martial field. Sometimes I even call such things an 'americanism'. Something those folks culturally tend to do with things and of course then see their creation as superior or an improvement.
The same goes for the sport of football, a worldwide popular sport which Americans were left behind on, left out of, missed. Thus when they get into it they change the words describing it, even call it a different name. The same happened with martial arts. Thus the true essence of it is lost in a new phenomenon dressed up as 'addresssing basics and improving on' when really it's just a fun sport to do or a hyped up entertainment show and that's about it really.
This goes even further in my opinion and traces back to mans ego and misunderstanding of what a self discipline martial art is all about in the first place. All martial arts are disciplines with a challenge and they are paths to be mastered and that basically is their challenge. Simple. A path from beginning to mastery. That concept is so simple and true that most can't get the reality of it even if they think they can. It's so true that it is a truth of life and even applies to virtually anything and everything.
In any field of study you can learn and progress to a point of mastery if you so desire but nonetheless that path is extant and there. Your choice. So here's the thing: when it comes to such study and discipline there comes about times of hardship and points of misunderstandings and failures along the way, ALONG THE PATH, and those who run away are the ones who start believing the answers lie elsewhere and thus start mixing and matching and actually losing their way in the false idea of progression. Mixed martial arts? Huh! More like Mish Mash Arts or Monkey Mind Arts.
So when the same happens Aikido wise then along will come someone offering what's missing to those who are a bit stuck or feel something is missing and they'll all jump on it and think they are progressing and improving the art and taking to what was shown by the master. Same old delusion. Same old con. Same old ego. So now in certain parts we have bagua and such internal stuff dressed up as these missing ingredients and promoted as Aikido....why? because they have gone off the path and started mixing and matching and calling it progress....same old 'americanism'...same old ego aspect...same old 'running away from truth.'