New Schedule and Location for 2016

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Parallel evolution

When I'm filtering around the interwebs looking for things of interest, I prefer to look for the commonalities between different approaches rather than the differences.  For instance, I figure that if I look at how an aikido guy does a particular thing and how a karate guy does a similar thing then the truth might likely be somewhere in the middle.
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What is even more interesting to me is when I see suggestions of parallel evolution.  That is, separate practitioners from different cultures that hardly intersect - when those guys come to a similar practice or conclusion, there's probably something there!
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Here is one of my current practices as an example of parallel evolution.  Sure, there was probably some interaction between Chinese and Indian cultures, but these two groups appear to me to have come to a very similar point.




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Patrick Parker
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A prefabular aiki allegory

Aikido is not aiki.  In fact, it is just a primer that we might be able to use to achieve a distant goal.  But a good primer is nothing to sneeze at.
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If we were to set sail for a distant land, the journey and the boat and the weather conditions and the sea serpents - all those day-to-day things are not the same as arriving in the distant land.
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Aikido is similar.  There is this distant ideal that is both natural and alien at the same time.  It is winsome in its naturalness, but it is seen so distantly and dimly that it is alien, and we have a hard time figuring out how to get from here to there.  We need a vehicle.  In aikido, the techniques and the principles and the day-to-day interaction with our partners  - that's our vehicle.  You might even say that all of the aikido that we do - all the techniques and ukemi and randori - is just a primer intended to get you to the point that you can do takemusu aiki (free-flowing, spontaneously generative aiki).
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Some people set sail and enjoy the boat ride so much that they lose sight of the distant land.  The journey and the boat gives them all that they need.  They enjoy working the primer and even though it's intended to get them to distant aiki-land, they get some secondary benefits from it so they just sail around in it forever. That's okay I guess. 
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But what if we do manage to stay the course and actually make it past the sea serpent at the edge of the map to the distant land, do we still need the boat?  Let's set it adrift and frolic in the infinite meadows and grottoes of the distant land.  Surely we could afford to ditch the primer and just enjoy the marvels of takemusu aiki.
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Or maybe, if we want anyone else to make the journey and come live with us in the distant land, we could give the boat to them.  They will have to do all the sailing and get past the sea serpents and etc., but the boat that brought us home might help them too.




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Patrick Parker
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Without this, they drop like they're shot


In my previous post I posed a question. Does aikido possess a technique or skill that would allow the aikidoka to reliably make a violent opponent stop their misdeeds immediately without necessarily causing them grievous injury?  I think I've left y'all in suspense long enough so I'll let you in on what I was thinking.
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Kuzushi is what I was thinking of.  The ability to rob someone of their balance.  Balance has been called the Mother Attribute, because without balance you cannot apply speed or power.
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So, kuzushi is not only a facilitator of technique, but it is also a great equalizer, and if it can be developed both skillfully and reliably, then it could potentially become the entirety of the art.  If you have the opponent's balance, you don't need anything else.
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To see more of what I've written on kuzushi, see this.


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____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com