Sunday, August 15, 2010
Thinking too much!
I've just been thinking... and then it all falls apart! Its funny when there's so many theories out there floating about, that different people attach themselves to different views. It can be anything, from the theory of gravity right through to evolution. If there's one school of thought, there will be at least another with a totally different way of thinking. Each debunking each other. This here is an interesting read amongst the many that have seen publication and those that have not.
Before it gets out of hand, and I know it will the way I write, the main thing I'm trying to get across here is to feel-act. Feel and it becomes instinctive/intuitive. From there act. Doing this with Kihon is definitely harder to ki no nagare, nevertheless it has to be taught at least for the senior kyu grades and especially for yudanshas.
I've been caught in the trap so often, its embarrassing. Thinking is not a bad thing, but thinking through a technique ... its like trying to think up of art. You can't do it. Sensei always uses art as an analogy too. For us to appreciate things like creativity and imagination, the right brain has to be dominant. Analytical logical sense for the engineers and mathematicians out there, we use the left brain more. People who use both sides of the brains and are not dominated by anyside are rare, most who do get it are people who train themselves and are gifted in some way. They create neural pathways that connect each side of the brain more than is ordinary.
Its been said that Aiki training develops this incredible pathways. Certainly having experienced the body and mind coordination alone, one would think that it helps develop a lot of mental focus. Not only that, in Aiki, imagination and intuition is developed further than is ordinarily expected of someone. Just because its not a subject at school does not mean that you can't train these skills.
Thus, the root of the problem lies in how we think Aikido should be learned. We approach it from either a physical skill or something like a class lecture. If we think hard enough we'll get it or if we work at it for countless of hours we'll get it. I believe, whilst in someways working hard and thinking hard would bring some amount of progress, the only way forwards really is to change our paradigm of learning.
Seldom is one taught to feel. Its almost a girlish thing this understanding of feelings, especially for the big boys and macho man. We seek to develop ourselves and defend ourselves and thus we could careless about feeling. If I have the biggest stick I'll win, or if I can build a titanium outer shell, no one will ever hurt me. So with those 2 ways of thinking, how could we possibly put ourselves in a compromising situation? To let our feelings out in the open, to explore others? Yet we are trying to learn the skill of leading someone, not only through the physical sense but through the visceral sense. How can we learn to touch that if don't understand it in ourselves?
I've said it time and time again, if you just want to learn to manipulate the body, I can recommend a variety of silat that does that better than what we'll learn in Aikido. Heck, even Judo would give you better body skills to bring someone down. Yet people still say they are interested in Aiki and that's why they stick to Aikido. However, they are trying to learn Aikido through wholly physical means. I suppose what I've been trying to get at this last 2 paragraphs is that, we have to relearn how to learn Aikido. Thinking is not a viable option. Feeling is probably a more acceptable method.
In the last class, instead of doing the regular ki tests we so love, we explored again with feeling. Feeling as uke, the flaccidity, the tension and the extension of nage. Negotiating those feelings intuitively i.e. responding in a natural way through each feeling. Nage too feels the correctness of the moment and feels uke as he responds naturally. Learning to take up that feeling and lead uke the way he wants to be lead, the way you want him to be lead. (You can't lead someone against their will, the only way is to make your will similar to theirs)
Please study again the class video that I'll upload soon and compare. You can't see feelings here, but at the very least you can see the form.