Again, the comment was raised as to how freeform aikido is emergent from chaos. A quick search of the web bought up the view point that aikido was to wrest “order out of chaos”. This troubled me, as I ask myself “whose order”?
For me, freeform aikido is a way of engaging with chaos, in chaos. I would like to think it can embrace mess, stumbling and confusion.
For me there is something important in being able to recognize, own and express as best I can, that this chaos is something I am part of, and is me… and you!
It is out of the mess, the “dancing leaves” * that novelty arises – creation!
* Robin Williamson The Waltz of the New Moon
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The implimentation of randori, free style attacks by two or more for practice is basically another type of chaos aikido, but the true test is when you face someone who fights in a style completely foreign to aikido. When one is thrown into a fight, with many attackers, then it is truly chaos. The problem with training in a structured training regimen is to recreate chaos that goes against everything one has formally learned and to invent new ways to adapt to this chaos. So, depending how varied formal training is willing to go, we go from structured training to chaos training because in chaos the mind is unable to grasp the complexity of the situation. Maybe that is what the founder of aikido was trying to do, take formal training and advance to the point of mock battle where the mind would instantly adapt to the circumstances, but even Ueshiba, Morihei trained in many disciplines. So tell me, was Ueshiba seeking chaos or organized structure in trying to understand the universe of man and nature that is more often chaotic than structured?
I haven’t trained at Konjiki in quite a while but I was checking in as I sometimes do and I felt compelled to write a response.
This is a very interesting point and one which I’ve been thinking about recently.
Maybe O Sensei was trying to explore chaos to find the structure, well maybe not structure as chaos has no definitive structure by definition. But I believe O Sensei would often come upon techniques through experimenting with movement that occurs whilst under multiple attack. Out of emptiness comes form as the saying goes. And it works the other way too of course. From form comes emptiness, you can apply a ‘technique’ you have learned while being attacked but you can reach a point where the movement which constitutes a ‘technique’ happens without conscious thought but by going with the energy.
I think my point is that like everything there is balance so O Sensei would probably have explored both chaos and structure to create the whole that is Aikido.
There is constant movement, constant energy. Maybe you can say that discerning a path through that energy is finding harmony in chaos. Techniques just scratch the surface. You can perfect a set of techniques but once you add the feeling of intent, listening to the energy it becomes a whole different ball game. It can take a lifetime to get there but half the fun is trying I guess. Then ultimately if you ever are faced with multiple attackers that are much more aggressive and fight orientated you can find your way out without much fuss or force and your attackers will never know what happened.
I hope you get my drift.