Kajo #23

We presented in Kajo # 21 Bansen Tanaka’s drawing found in his book Shinzui Aikido (The Essence of Aikido). The kanji in the top right says "the energy (ki) of emptiness." The emptiness is not nothingness, the emptiness is what does not exist yet, the energy that precedes being. Words are powerless to name it.
The kanji on the bottom right says "the thickness of a sheet of paper."

The kanji in the circle mean vertically "not being" and "being". This can be translated as: the harmonious transformation of non-being to being is operated by the spiral born from the energy of the vacuum, it turns and finds its place in the thickness of a sheet of paper.

Next to the first drawing Bansen Tanaka uses a second drawing which seems, at first glance, a simple illustration of an imbalance, but which is actually a wonderful key for whom reads it with the information provided by the kajos:

So here we are, back to our starting point at kajo #2 :

 The universe and the human body are the same thing. If one does not know this, aiki can’t be understood For aiki is derived from the movement of the whole universe.
— Morihei Ueshiba, Takemusu Aiki - Volume III – Editions du Cénacle de France.

The laws of Aikido are the laws of the universe. The difference is that we know now what to put under these laws, we know that the thickness of the sheet of paper is 23 °, we know that this angle is chosen by the vacuum to give birth in the eight directions to the techniques of Takemusu Aiki, and we showed what this practically implies for Aikido.

But this is only the first level of reading Bansen Tanaka’s drawing, this is just the obvious. The second level of reading that design, beyond that observation, is that it also provides with the method to keep the opponent out of his circle.
This method consists in "trusting the divinity", as stated by Ueshiba, ie to let the vacuum work. And this is not just a word for we know now, at the end of this study on the kajos, how the vacuum works: it develops as a spiral, using the four souls, from the 23 ° angle, as we have shown.

We can finally achieve the following archetype, where we removed the green spiral and corrected the erroneous maai, such as they had been previously presented:

Among all the diagrams we have used so far, this is the last only that we should remember in fine. All the other figures were usefull to approach the truth. They were false or incomplete but necessary to gradually understand laws that are difficult to visualize at first. They were necessary for those who read me, but also and especially for me who eventually understands this: unless grace intervenes, the truth is a mistake that has been corrected.

Bansen TANAKA’s small drawing is a gem.
Aikido is all in these two sketches. They are so concise that they should appear alongside Earth’s message sent in 1972 by Pioneer 10 in our galaxy.

A big thank to this great man, student of Morihei Ueshiba as early as 1936, close to the Founder he received in his house in Osaka along the years for long periods of time.

A big thank you to Tadashi Abe, also a direct student of O'Sensei, but a bit later, in the immediate post-war period. It was him who has left to posterity a record of the kajos, persisting to teach them in the 1950ies in France, at a time when this knowledge was disappearing under the onslaught of modernity.

Without him this study on kajos would certainly have not never emerged.

I thank Morihiro SAITO, of course, my Iwama master.
His dedication to Aikido was exemplary throughout his life.
If he never spoke directly about kajos to me, for years he patiently and faithfully gave me all the technical necessary elements to understand.

I thank my friend Peter CHASSANG, Tadashi ABE's student.
Our discussions on Aikido, the last thirty years, his vision, his enthusiasm, and his ever consistent teaching, have been a source of knowledge and motivation, and helped me to stand on the long road which leads to the wonders of Aiki.

I also thank my friend Alain Grason.
Our training and our discussions in recent years have opened avenues which, from hanmi and hito e mi, led to the publication of kajos.

I owe in the end a friendly wink to that old ammonite who crossed many millions of years to help me understand Aikido. It is with her that I started these articles (see Kajo # 1) and it is with her that I close them. Life is a long chain. And I can not resist quoting once again Pythagoras’ words:

 You will know, as much as possible for a mortal, that nature is in every thing identical to itself.

Of course, nothing is finished with this 23rd kajo. So far we have only studied tai jutsu Aikido, and even very briefly. The same work is to be done for the aiki ken and the aiki jo. For those who wish to look in that direction, I just give a hint with these two words: * Happo giri *, the cut in eight directions.

By the way, do you know what kajo means?

Crossing lines ...

We can not say that the path is not marked.

All we need is to open your eyes and wear off the glasses of prejudices.

I thank all those who have followed me so far, saying again those that I have not convinced and think that I could invent any of this, that they grant me with too much merit.
Nobody can invent such a wonderful system. One can only watch it, with a heart filled with gratitude, and thank Heaven for allowing to do so.
In this respect, the only true appreciation is to put it in practice.

Philippe Voarino, Antibes, 03 August 2012.

What is Traditional Aikido?

Aikido is not a sport, it is a martial art which laws (takemusu) are in harmony with the laws of the universe. Studying them allows the practitioner to understand his place in the universe. Aikido was born in Iwama, O sensei achieved in that village the synthesis of tai jutsu, aiki ken and aiki jo.

Where to practice Traditional Aikido?

The International Takemusu Aikido Federation (ITAF) brings to the practitioner the structure he needs in order to work as close as possible to the reality O sensei MU defined. The official national representations are the guarantee of a teaching faithful to the Founder's.

The weapons of Aikido, aiki ken and aiki jo

In modern Aikido, weapons are hardly taught, if taught at all. In O sensei's Aikido, on the contrary, aiki ken, aiki jo and tai jutsu are unified and form together a riai, a family of harmonious techniques stemming from one unique principle. Each techniques helps understand all the others.

Aikido, a martial art or an art of peace?

Peace is a balance between a human being and the world around him. The true martial art's goal is not to become stronger than one's opponent but to find in that opponent a way to realize harmony. There is no enemy anymore as such, but an opportunity offered to reach unified ki.

Copyright TAI (Takemusu Aikido Intercontinental)