Without gravity there would be no form. All would be a void of chaotic dark. Perhaps a soup of undifferentiated, random, sub atomic particles. No light or solidity or forms would exist. Without form, suns and planets to propagate, organic life could not exist to interact and everything we now see and do would be impossible. Life, meaning and individuated consciousness would be impossible.
Aikido techniques are not “done” by “you. They are the result of the meeting of Ten and Chi, Heaven and Earth, and all the forces therein contained. Otherwise they are merely “muscles-pushing-do,” and a farce.
Unless you relax, weight underside and gravity on top, it is not Aikido.
There is no pushing or shoving in Aikido. That comes from the idea of separation. Aikido is musubi, sensitivity and coordinated deep relaxation which good training develops.
In and all around us unseen, affecting us all the time is gravity.
The adjusting of placement alters the relationship of mass to generate interaction nuances of immense power.
Now, the meaning of the word: “chi” or “ki,” having departing from the original connotations and intended meanings, this has resulted in a search for something that does not exist. Or, the relegation of the title to things altogether different.
If a technique works well and is efficient in progressing kuzushi to resolution when conducted slowly and using no power, it will work even better when the genuine need exists to use it hard and fast.
If in training you resort to speed or strength to make an Aikido template work, you are merely struggling crudely to a template and have missed the point of Aikido as a practice. To execute both basic kihon and variables correctly, you must arrive on top of the combined mass to execute it correctly. By finding the top, you invoke gravity.
I don’t propose to enter a long dissertation about how the body-mind connection works. It is a lengthy study. This is the charge of several sciences still evolving and incomplete. Included among these are biology, embryology, psychology and several others, as well as methods deployed in the East, leaning more towards direct experience.
Nature is a staunch guardian who does not reveal her secrets either easily or gratuitously, but only when the need is sufficient, even drastic.
And so, on this basis, various methods including budo, work towards generating this need artificially. The ancient ancestors had the demands of survival in a more natural, harmonized world driving them, nature often unlocked more readily as a result.
Either way, some measure of change, adaptation, transformation and evolution is indeed possible in one life. Even in our current weakened state. And with Aikido, more so because of it.
Slow down, soften up and research the ‘soft spot,’ or sinkhole for kuzushi. In combat and many things, gravity is your greatest ally. To capture gravity you must relax and flow, like water, not resist and struggle. If it works slowly, it will work even better fast, when real necessity demands it. If you use strength and speed in training you will usually fail when attacked for real by larger and stronger persons. Using gravity, the opponents’ power, size and numbers becomes diminished, if not entirely irrelevant.
In physics, mass–energy equivalence is the concept that the mass of a body is a measure of its energy content. The mass of a body as measured on a scale is always equal to the total energy inside, divided by a constant c2 that changes the units appropriately, where E is energy, m is mass, and c is the speed of light in a vacuum, which is 299,792,458 meters per second.
“Energy equals mass times the velocity of light squared.” (E=MC2)
Questions arise and there are variables not yet discovered but alluded to in so called “Chaos Science,” such as “The Butterfly Effect.”
A vital question: What does the velocity of Light have to do with Gravity?
And why do actual trajectories measurable by more precise instruments show variables in the otherwise reasonably reliable calculations of Newton?
I mean, if you just want to bash and prove you have testosterone and live life so that you can end up in a big house where you can keep proving this, there is no need to read this. Nor if you want too play at the fantasy of being a samurai, but the closest you’ll ever come to any real risk, is a self inflicted paper cut.
For people interested in how things work and working out as much as possible by themselves, read on and feel free to question further, to disagree and preferably to research, think and notice for yourself.
The Founder of Aikido questioned everything. This was his best role modeling, so that’s what I’m humbly attempting to continue to do here, following a lifetime of questions. I don’t make the claim to having any answers. I believe that’s the responsibility of the individual and if sufficient arrive at a commonality, then its time to start taking notice and get together.
Whilst I acknowledge the self-evident and obvious fact, that despite our immense hubris, we are an embryonic, not fully formed species; in the face of the galactic immensity which places us on a spec of dust that gives us life, if we let it; it also appears clear that there is more to us than readily meets the untrained eye.
Aiki=MC what? Just kidding. Perhaps not. What is space-time fabric? The big “ki?” I don’t know.
If we listened and read carefully the hints the Founder dropped, instead of seeking to become cult followers, we would make greater progress in Aikido.
“Gravity is your best ally.” Morihei Ueshiba
If you listen to physicists speculating, you hear them say things like: “Space-time is not “out there” somewhere but everywhere including here and now, in and all around us.”
“The fabric of space time warps and is affected by distance and mass.” Einstein even speculated about “gravitational waves” although nobody has thus far been able to physically measure them. (In physics, a gravitational wave is a fluctuation in the curvature of space-time which propagates as a wave, traveling outward from the source. Predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity, the waves transport energy known as gravitational radiation.)
“There appears to be no gravity in sub atomic particles.” And thus we enter into the realm of quantum mechanics and “dimensions.”
There is even speculation about “gravitons,” (In physics theory, the graviton is said to be a hypothetical elementary particle that mediates the force of gravity in the framework of quantum field..) I doubt this one and believe we will discover the “graviton” theory to be a misunderstanding of something else.
OK, so what?
In case you may think pure science is all hokum because you mind can’t grasp the concepts, please understand that all the technology and toys that you right now find yourself dependent upon for comfort, travel, communication, cooking, sanitation, clothing and just about everything in city life; these all rely on the very laws of science being translated into a working basis to make those technologies and amenities.
Perhaps our distant ancestors were more fortunate since, not having gadgets they did not make for themselves, they had to rely on the natural TECHNOLOGY of their construction, and to make it work. They had to AWAKEN THE PURE SCIENCE WITHIN, direct perception, lucidity of mind and awakening of at least a part of the unseen 98% of existence our scientists gratuitously label “dark matter” based on their inability to see into it. The ancients preferred the label: Spirit. And some could even do what we can all learn by applying ourselves correctly. This being to see and operate in some portion of that world by awakening the faculties innate in the mechanism of ourselves, rather than inordinate dependence on external things to do it all for us.
Rather reliance upon the very construction of the body-mind mechanism we all have stewardship of in life, but mostly in current times, not only take for granted, but actively neglect and abuse through poor lifestyle habits, junk food, lack of movement, flawed goals and so on.
But wait, there is Aikido, yoga and a host of personal disciplines that do in fact activate this attunement with the great harmony of the universe, if even, in a small way practiced. And in case you may think that there is no evidence, then go talk to any native tribesman, (If you can find one who has not be shot or bombed by materialistic invaders) and listen to their stories with a mind open and clear; and, through all the cultural window-dressing, you will find variables on a singular and clear theme.
No documentation exists? Wrong again. If you can be bothered to find or develop ways to access the Vedas and other rare texts, some over ten thousand years old, despite the mistranslations, fables, myths and legends of very biased modern archeologists, there you will find references identical to, similar and varied to that of the most cutting edge physics of today. And in the land of Al Khem, ancient Egypt, mind sciences considerably developed beyond the unnatural, costly chemical and invasively destructive interferences of Freudian and other dabblers in modern psychology who choose to pathologize everything instead of understanding the creative seed potentials contained in “symptoms.” Or the Sumerian Tablets and other such artifacts now almost thoroughly decimated, that go back to the very times of our making. A best kept, ugly secret.
It’s so easy to giggle at the ancients who carried immense conversations for thousands of years of elevated civilization, whilst our violent “civilizations,” of merely a few hundred years are already falling apart, as we cling to vapid superstition, fear and greed.
But ridicule and fear yields less understanding than does investigation.
All of science points to variables upon an interplay of mass and energy in space-time, just as the universe itself displays continually. Relationship.
All animals play fight safely. They have better capabilities than we feeble creature wherewith, without assistance, to thoroughly disembowel each other, but in play never do so. In serious combat they display awesome power. If you look at the way animals play, fight, hunt and live, and harmonise the disparate, they ally themselves to and rely heavily on one force: Gravity.
It would appear that the “glue” that binds and connects us both visibly (in the result) and invisibly (in the interaction) you and I and all things alive and static, the world, the universe, the galaxies and universes; is Gravity.
But what is Gravity? Nobody has been able to answer this question in its entirety. Only in part.
Ueshiba also said: “The universe is love.”
What did he notice?
Come to think of it, mystics, avatars, awakened and wise people through the ages, over vast spans of time as we think we know it, all said the same thing, each in their own way. Of course we can dismiss them and cynically drown our brain cells in some inebriating brew. But that, and cutting our nose off to spite our own mental laziness is also not very profitable in the end.
Or we can start to take notice. What is it that sustains and nourishes our soul?
Ueshiba repeatedly stated, “Aikido is an expression of love, that great love of (Supreme Being)… the movements of Nature and the Universe..”
In case you doubt this, please refer to the Ai that precedes the Ki and Do.
Could it be that energy and mass interacting dynamically, subject to the inevitability of gravitation, in exploring the nuances of intense relationship of energetic constants and variables, and finding ways to harmonise disparity, somehow reenacts and replays a subtle essence that coruscates throughout the infinite cosmos; a highly refined distillation of something akin to Love! ?
Intangible yet all powerful, in and all around us unseen, affecting us all the time, the one universal force that simply won’t be denied!