Sunday, October 23, 2011

Shu Ha Ri

Continuing from my earlier post...

The meaning of Shu Ha Ri can easily be confused when one examines it's 3 different character on it's own instead of in context to each other. The most common misinterpretation is that Shu Ha Ri divides keiko into three distinct parts or periods.

This way of thinking advocates a student to experiment and think up of 'different' or his own interpretation of techniques and principles and even training methods. It is construed that after a certain time in shu, he now has the ability to foster Ha in his training and finally end up with a new Ri...

What Sensei explained is a bit different.

Shu Ha Ri is to completely train in the path of your teacher. To train in a way that everything is the first and the last. If you continue training the path of Shu this way, you automatically enter the state of Ha. And down the road of mastery, Ri is realized whether you try or not. You might be convinced that what you are doing is exactly what your teacher has taught you, but others will see that your Aikido is different while retaining the similar foundations.

In a way it may jive with Osensei's comment that all techniques come spontaneously and cannot be repeated. That is the way of Aiki. But in Shu Ha Ri, it is not the pursuit of 'unlimited techniques' that concerns us. In Shu Ha Ri lies the foundation that becomes the base for the essence of Aikido to latch on to.

Needless to say, if your final intent is to grow apples, then the seed being planted must be an apple seed.

Aiki Camp 2011

Just came back and I've much to think about, and practice. This time around I didn't bother taking any videos at all. It's pretty useless in an Aiki context anyway. There were a lot of things I wanted to write down, but basically couldn't keep up with the flow of information coming in. So I'll try to put down what I can...


When asked, Osensei answered that Aikido comprises 2 elements -  heat and light

If it's just light then we'll be doing meditation only. If it's just heat, then we'll get stuck fighting. But in budo, martial and spiritual cannot be separated. The greatest power is love. While it may sound like a Whitney song, that doesn't mean it's not true. A true force of good cannot be destroyed. And the truth is, nothing is created evil.

Our purpose in aikido is to find the light in our hearts. The light originating from the Source. The reason behind our creation, to reflect His will in our actions. To think we are significant when we should picture the universe in our minds. It's vastness and our relative significance... In size we would be smaller than an electron. In impact, we would't be approaching zero. Yet mankind continuously believe that the universe revolves around us.

Thus we approach aikido the same way. To do unto others instead of just following the course of nature.

Aiki sukomi for ryo kata was a new thing I learned today. The grip we usually use is for pulling mostly. Now using sukomi, it would be easier to control the opponent.

Atari. Tai atari. Equalize the energy of the movement. There is no retreat or hesitation or doubt.

To progress to awase, use spirit atari. The body allow loosening.

Tai awase. Body shaping. But also fill the shape as a 2nd method. Then put the power in the connection as the third method. But loosen the other parts of the arm. The 3rd method eludes me at this point in time. But I think it's similar in the Hino videos where he clenched and unclenches his arm.

2nd session 

Atari - there is no direction.
I'm only cutting and that's why uke's energy stops.
So if I continue to project forward spirit atari, guiding his energy or pulling his energy might be hard. (still possible I think)
Instead the feeling of acceptance is atari. Accept not just receiving. Accept is acTive. You 'switch on' atari before a confrontation. This way you manifest a connection to uke. As he contacts with you, atari powers the blending of energy. Of unifying the opposing force, becoming unity with the other. Then tying this unity up before 'doing' something is musubi. At awase level, it is still possible for uke to escape.

During musubi I frequently lose contact with uke's center. Connection center to center is still required at musubi level. Without continuous atari, awase and musubi is not possible.

Musubi with his energy... Feels like eka moves the contact point where atari contacts. He doesn't move you just that point. Also, possibly and easier method is to start with atari, awase at contact and realizing the musubi point. Before doing higher level musubi exercises, originate the movement for musubi contact with your center and affect his center.

most times we go straight to skin or try to move the contact point. But imagine anchoring his center with yours and only then move the musubi contact point.

A mistake to avoid is during static exercise to wait. Or after musubi is achieved to think. T do this naturally is to train until feeling musubi contact point becomes natural. And 2nd to move or guide or listen to contact point movement becomes automatic.

One exercise to pass through a first person into the 2nd person requires feeling him through another. A physical movement will never result in anything in that situation. If it's just transfer then perhaps momentum and spiraling can help but not passing through. That's just mind power.

In loosening and absorbing... Atari never stops. Relaxation is very important too. Center and chushin power is needed to establish power line. Then to let the movement realize itself.