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Kaabigang Dueg Blog Tools Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 08-11-2006 03:37 PM
The Virtuous Carabao
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 18 (Private: 1)
Comments: 48
Views: 232,750

In General Nishio Sensei's Preface to his book Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #8 New 07-15-2007 10:00 AM
I think this preface written by Nishio Sensei, has a lot of points worth pondering.

A number of people have suggested over the years that I publish a book. So far I have always refrained from doing so for several reasons. First, I have always considered myself simply another follower on the path, in a position neither to serve as a model for others nor to assert my views on budo technique.

However, having grown older, and having already mourned the passing of such teachers as Seigo Yamaguchi, who held my highest respect from the very beginning of my aikido career, and Morihiro Saito, who worked so tirelessly to transmit the Founder's aikido in its purest possible form, I began to consider what will happen to aikido from this point on.

Aikido is a "budo," a "martial way," and therefore inextricably rooted in "jujutsu" or "martial technique." Yet when I look at the aikido world today, I see very little "budo-ness" being expressed in technique, and I wonder if people haven't begun to forget these important roots. While people often say things like, "Aikido is sword technique…" and "throws and pins are actually strikes….," there is rarely any explanation of such ideas. There are even some who claim that aikido has no need for things like striking and weapons techniques. In many settings these days, aikido is becoming little more than a kind of health exercise pursued by the elderly and women and children.

It was in light of these considerations that Aiki News Editor Stanley Pranin once again approached me to publish a book, and I finally agreed with the caveat that I would simply be expressing my own thoughts on training.

I often tell people who come to train with me my view that the value of a budo is determined through comparison with other budo; even if you're superficially mastered techniques like ikkyo and nikyo, these are pointless unless you can make them work in the context of other budo. Judo, kendo and karate all have their own stong points and we must study these too. Budo techniques are not permanent and unchanging; if other things change, then naturally budo change in response. What does not change, of course, is the spirit of aikido as it was taught to us by the Founder.

As the goal of my training I have always strived to realize even one of the Founder's teachings. He taught, for example, about a certain universality inherent in aikido: With a sword this technique becomes a sword technique; with a jo it becomes a jo technique; it can become all things." He also said, "the conflict is finished even before first contact is made." Such teachings are the kinds of things I have strived to study in the course of my daily training.

The result, while still imperfect and incomplete, is that I am now able to express my everyday empty-handed aikido training using the sword (ken) and staff (jo).

Before starting aikido I had dabbled in both karate and judo. When I later heard it said that "aikido is the sword," I took up studying swordsmanship as well. My subsequent practice has confirmed that idea, to the extent that I now doubt it is possible to understand aikido fully without some understanding of swordsmanship.

The sword in Japan has an undeniably bloody history. The sword of aikido, however, steps back from that use of the Japanese sword as an implement of death and attempts instead to restore it to its true, original nature: namely, as an ideal tool for rectifying that which is wrong in the world, for cutting a path by which humanity can live, and for perfecting the self.

Nowadays, I strive to use my aiki sword and jo to control my opponent from the moment just before contact would have been made between our weapons, attempting from there to embody forms in which cutting is superseded by mutual coexistence. In this sense, I consider aikido a morally principled "Yurusu Budo," that is, a "budo of acceptance," and a manifestation of what the Founder meant when he said that "aikido is a path of loving and protecting, generating and forming, and bearing and cultivating everything in the universe." Before the Founder passed away thirty-four years ago he told us, "This old man has brought [aikido] this far; all of you must take it from here." In light of these words, I think it is insufficient—unforgivable, in fact—for us to simply maintain the status quo.

I don't think budo is something that can really be understood by reading books or watching videos; true comprehension can only come through actual experience. Accordingly, putting it all into words here will undoubtedly make for difficult reading. Nonetheless, I offer this publication in hopes that subsequent generations of aikidoists may find it of some small use, both as a genuine view of budo and as a pointer toward some of the worthwhile forms that aikido training might take.
Views: 6858 | Comments: 10

RSS Feed 10 Responses to "Nishio Sensei's Preface to his book"
#10 07-27-2007 02:03 AM
CitoMaramba Says:
It's back on the catalog! Get it while you can! http://www.aikidojournal.com/catalog...ails?code=nish Stan Pranin owes me for advertising the book
#9 07-26-2007 03:52 AM
Drew Mailman Says:
Sounds delicious. I'll have to order a copy when Aikido Journal gets more of them.
#8 07-26-2007 03:43 AM
CitoMaramba Says:
To complement it, I also bought "Aikido Toho Iai" by Dr. Michael Russ. Dr. Russ is a German student of Nishio Sensei and his book shows the complete kata of Aikido Toho Iaido plus the empty handed techniques each kata represents.
#7 07-26-2007 03:42 AM
CitoMaramba Says:
The book is fantastic. It shows a lot of techniques, and shows each technique (eg nikkyo) performed empty-handed, ken vs ken, and jo vs ken. It is also bi-lingual (Japanese / English) and has a lot of photos. The format reminds me of Saito Sensei's "Traditional Aikido Series"
#6 07-25-2007 10:30 PM
Drew Mailman Says:
How's the book? Does he talk about technique much? Or is it mostly his thoughts on Aikido?
#5 07-25-2007 01:28 PM
CitoMaramba Says:
The title of the book is "Yuruso Budo". I just got my copy a week ago. I see it's no longer on sale on the Aikido Journal website.. they must go very quickly...
#4 07-25-2007 07:07 AM
Drew Mailman Says:
What book is this from? EDIT : Never mind, I found the title of the book... But it doesn't seem to be available anymore...
#3 07-24-2007 09:29 AM
Since we both believe the same thing was implicit, I'm pleased that we are expressing it explicitly.Because it doesn't go without saying, and it is often forgotten that wellness and protection go together. Thanks to you,too!
#2 07-23-2007 10:02 AM
CitoMaramba Says:
Yes, I believe they are included.. I think Nishio Sensei's point is that Aikido should be
"more than a kind of health exercise pursued by the elderly and women and children."
but also posses martial integrity.Women, children and the elderly can benefit from Nishio Sensei's method. Nishio Sensei was still practicing until his death at age 78. He wrote this a year before he died. I'm certain he meant to include the elderly, women and children as well. Thanks!
#1 07-22-2007 11:46 AM
"The sword of aikido, however, steps back from that use of the Japanese sword as an implement of death and attempts instead to restore it to its true, original nature: namely, as an ideal tool for rectifying that which is wrong in the world, for cutting a path by which humanity can live, and for perfecting the self." Women,children, and the elderly included.

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