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Chikai Aikidoka
05-07-2006, 04:12 AM
What about to say should not be taking out of context as being a bias toward one style or other. Please take it w/ :ai: :ki:

I got into an arguement with someone who implied that Aikikai IS the authority on Aikido and that "all other federations are not recognized by Aikikai Honbu dojo"

I asked him more or less what is Aikido?
Is it the one that O'sensei taught pre WWII?
Or Is it the one that O'sensei taught post WWII?
Or Is it the one that O'sensei taught at Iwama?
Or Is it the one that O'sensei taught to his different diciples at diff. times?
Or aren't all of them Aikido?

I furher added that a lot of those O'senesei disciples that established their own schools where either ushi dashis of O'sensei or long time students of his.

To my surprise, he's been doing Aikido for more than 3 years and yet I sensed that he think only those dojos who are recognized (as in registered I think) by Aikikai are the right Aikido schools.

How do I politically correctly put it to him that althought they're diff. schools of style but at the end it's a 1 Aikido with the same principles w/ diff. flavors??

P.S. Our sensei traces our Aikido lineage to Ki-society and Aikikai and currently under the advisory of a Yoshinkan school. What I see in our training seems Aikikai. :confused: & :cool: about it :D

Jorge Garcia
05-07-2006, 09:11 AM
I think you have a point. The Aikikai is the parent organization of Aikido and represents the last developments in the art of Aikido as taught by the Ueshiba family. The others are not only reflections of what the Founder taught at different times but they are also representations of what those individual leaders discovered and developed themselves.
O Sensei said that Aikido had no set form - that it was a "study of the spirit." My own teacher has said to me that Aikido has no form. If that is the case, then the styles are not what this is about. That's why many styles are allowed within the Aikikai.
Aikido is about principles and when those universal principles are in play, you have Aikido, whatever the style.

Aikido organizations are not really about styles. Like all organizations, they may have a product to promote and indeed, one that distinguishes them from other groups, but they are really about jurisdiction and authority. The battle of organizations is one to gain power through greater jurisdiction. The great names the organizations promote are to establish authority thus helping them in the quest for organizational "life" or jurisdiction. That is not to say that all are equal or as efficient and fair as they could be. That is a matter of organizational integrity and ethics but when push comes to shove, the organizations are about jurisdiction and establishing authority by means of gaining legitimacy and respect in the eyes of the public. (Size and an early point of origin are helps in the quest for legitimacy.) As that (legitimacy in the eyes of potential and actual constituents ) rises and falls, so does the fate of an organization. The Aikikai certainly has an advantage there but all the other organizations have to play the same game because they are playing in the same arena.
Best wishes,

Hanna B
05-07-2006, 01:11 PM
The Aikikai is the parent organization of Aikido and represents the last developments in the art of Aikido as taught by the Ueshiba family. The others are not only reflections of what the Founder taught at different times but they are also representations of what those individual leaders discovered and developed themselves.
IMHO this is not correct. Take a look at Nisho sensei. His aikido is a product of his being taught by osensei but also by his iaido, karate etcetera. His aikido is a very special line of aikido - within the Aikikai. I am sure there are many lines of aikido outside of the Aikikai, that technically are more mainstream than Nishio sensei.

Jorge Garcia
05-07-2006, 02:09 PM
My statement was,
"The Aikikai is the parent organization of Aikido and represents the last developments in the art of Aikido as taught by the Ueshiba family."

I was making a statement as to the official teaching of the Aikikai as espoused or taught by the Doshu as the representative of the Ueshiba family. Lots of Senseis within the Aikikai who teach under the Doshu have a different style including my own teacher. Those aren't the last developments of the Ueshiba family. Those are the last developments of Nishio Sensei or Saito sensei or whoever.The only official teaching of the Aikikai Foundation is represented in Doshu. Last time I checked, Doshu wasn't doing Nishio style nor are Nishio's books being sold by the Aikikai Hombu dojo.
Thanks for your comment anyway. I know you were trying to help.

Hanna B
05-07-2006, 02:15 PM
Thank you for your comment Jorge. I know you are trying to help the thread starter here.

Jorge Garcia
05-07-2006, 03:56 PM
Thanks Hanna,
The point is anyway that I don't think that only the Aikikai does the only true or correct Aikido.
Best wishes,

Lan Powers
05-07-2006, 07:19 PM
Personally, the differences between the different players...how they move, what they each emphasize, the ways they each get from point "A" to "B" are what keeps this whole art so interesting.
Much richer, for the differences.
Lan

Hanna B
05-07-2006, 11:21 PM
Thank you, Jorge.

Hanna B
05-07-2006, 11:35 PM
got into an arguement with someone who implied that Aikikai IS the authority on Aikido and that "all other federations are not recognized by Aikikai Honbu dojo"

(snip)

To my surprise, he's been doing Aikido for more than 3 years and yet I sensed that he think only those dojos who are recognized (as in registered I think) by Aikikai are the right Aikido schools.

How do I politically correctly put it to him that althought they're diff. schools of style but at the end it's a 1 Aikido with the same principles w/ diff. flavors??
Well, if your teacher's lineage goes back to Ueshiba, it is aikido... Of course non-Aikikai dojos are not recognised by the Aikikai. Non-Yoshinkan dojos are not recognised by the Yoshinkan, etc. What is within the Aikikai and what is not, is a matter of politics more than anything else. I am not sure what you should tell this individual, though. Maybe his teacher is saying this stuff, to make his students feel very proud to belong to the only "real" dojo in the area or similar. If so, I do not suppose there is anything you can say to make him change his mind. What he is saying is basically "my school is better than your school", "my daddy is stronger than your daddy" and that kind of arguments is a dead end street.

Chikai Aikidoka
05-08-2006, 01:52 AM
I definitly agree with u Hanna that the argument I had touches on the issue of pride and on "my school is better than your school", "my daddy is stronger than your daddy". And that's the issue I was trying to argue with him about; they all are schools of Aikido as long as, IMHO, the core principles and concepts are intacts. They r diff. ways to get to the summit; I c these ways are close to each others. Hey ... rn't waving at each others in this forum while we're doing Aikido each in his/her training path?

But has Aikikai, Yoshinkan, Iwama, Yoseikan, etc. ever nullified the teaching of each others and claimed that it was not Aikido that the other side practiced? I wouldn't think so. Right?!

P.S. ur daddy might be stronger than mine, but mine carries a licensed concealed 0.45 ... watch out ... Just kidding :-D

Amir Krause
05-08-2006, 04:07 AM
Well, if your teacher's lineage goes back to Ueshiba, it is aikido

Unless you practice Korindo Aikido or some other Aikido M.A. that does not relate itself to Ueshiba.

Maumote Chami

I doubt you could educate him. Too many people take their sensei words as fact, without ever checking them. They forget the Sensei is only human himself and may have never bothered to really study some aspects for which he did not care. Such aspects could be the history of the M.A., the nature of the various organizations, etc.

Amie

Hanna B
05-08-2006, 05:01 AM
Amir, I am ignorant what Korindo aikido regards - I just did som googling. As far as I can see, Korindo aikido does have roots in Ueshiba's art, and it seems it is sometimes referred to as aikido and sometimes not. If it does have aikido roots and works in similar ways (basical principles etc), then nobody can say it is incorrect to call it aikido - no? The web pages I found were very clear in pointing out differences, but that kind of thing is difficult to judge for someone who, like me, has not seen the art.

At the same time, if the pracitioners and the head of the art does not want it to be called aikido, then it is not aikido... I recently watched a jiujitsu class, in a small system with only five dojos in total. I was almost chocked to see that the techniques were even called ikkyo and sankyo - they were simply doing aikido without high falls wearing coloured belts (which nobody does around here) claiming that "aikido is a art for personal growth and harmony with the universe, we are doing self defence". I can imagine one or two aikido teachers not agreing with their view on what aikido is, but who cares. Based on the techiniques it was most definately aikido, but they call it jiujitsu, which is a namn that no lineage has exclusive right to... well okay. Then it isn't aikido, I guess. They probably had some judo mixed in with that aikido-so-called-jiujitsu, too.

Jorge Garcia
05-08-2006, 07:22 AM
I definitly agree with u Hanna that the argument I had touches on the issue of pride and on "my school is better than your school", "my daddy is stronger than your daddy". And that's the issue I was trying to argue with him about; they all are schools of Aikido as long as, IMHO, the core principles and concepts are intacts. They r diff. ways to get to the summit; I c these ways are close to each others. Hey ... rn't waving at each others in this forum while we're doing Aikido each in his/her training path?

But has Aikikai, Yoshinkan, Iwama, Yoseikan, etc. ever nullified the teaching of each others and claimed that it was not Aikido that the other side practiced? I wouldn't think so. Right?!

P.S. ur daddy might be stronger than mine, but mine carries a licensed concealed 0.45 ... watch out ... Just kidding :-D


I think almost everyone I have met at one time or another has had an attitude like that. It is human nature to believe we are attached to the best and to look a little down on our neighbor thus lifting ourselves up. It has to do with a desire to build our self identity.
It's a disease of the fallen soul and a part of even the best of us. The most we can do is to catch ourselves when we do it and to try and be as charitable as possible. A Sensei once told me that he was strictly taught by his Shihan never to criticize other instructors but when his Shihan was drunk, all he did was to criticize other instructors. Thankfully, when he was sober, he never did but deep in there, the criticism lived. The alcohol weakened his resolve not to criticize so it was revealed at those times. In a way, it is admirable that he would hold it back but revealing to know that it was still there.
Best,

Ron Tisdale
05-08-2006, 07:48 AM
[quoteOf course non-Aikikai dojos are not recognised by the Aikikai. Non-Yoshinkan dojos are not recognised by the Yoshinkan, etc.[/quote]

Hi, may I ask what you mean by "recognise"? The Yoshinkan was started with Ueshiba Sensei's permission and blessing, and to this day, the head of the Yoshinkan attends the All Japan Aikido Demonstration given by the Aikikai, and he sits at the head table.

As far as I know, there is no "recognition" of rank between the two organinzations...perhaps that is what you meant.

Best,
Ron

Mark Freeman
05-08-2006, 08:05 AM
I belong to a federation that is not affiliated to the Aikikai. It's not something that normally enters my consciousness.
I practice with a teacher who has learnt from a number of O'Sensei's direct students, as far as I'm concerned, the quality of your teacher and his/her teaching is far more important than the name of the organisation or the 'validity' that is given or not by a 'governing body'.
I have no negative thoughts regarding any other aikido 'group' as long as they uphold the spirit of O'Sensei's teaching.

regards,
Mark

Hanna B
05-08-2006, 08:20 AM
As far as I know, there is no "recognition" of rank between the two organinzations...perhaps that is what you meant.
I was unclear, but you last assumption fits well with what I meant. Maybe Yoshinkan has another terminology, but when a national aikido organisation - or another organisation - "belongs" to Aikikai, and have their dan ranks through the Aikikai, it is pronounced in the way that they have "recognition" from the Aikikai hombu. The thread starter said that his friend said "all other federations are not recognized by Aikikai Honbu dojo" and well, in a way it is true but it still means nothing. That is what I wanted to say. Assuming that other aikido styles should need "recognition" from the Aikikai is to see the Aikikai as the center of the aikido universe - which I am sure you do not. ;)

The Yoshinkan was started with Ueshiba Sensei's permission and blessing, and to this day, the head of the Yoshinkan attends the All Japan Aikido Demonstration given by the Aikikai, and he sits at the head table.

Well, Chikai Aikidoka - if your friend continues his talk, maybe this is something to tell him! I would not spend too much energy on it, though. Chances are he will never be convinced. If it does come from his teacher... be sure he never will, because people in general just can not face that their teachers are wrong about things, and if so it is probably better the less you talk about the matter. We believe and obey authority - we are created that way. It is so easy for people from a big organisations or styles to look down on smaller ones - the opposite is also quite possible but less common, and generally looks slightly different.

Hanna B
05-08-2006, 08:37 AM
I had a friend in the US who has moved about quite a lot, and on one occasion the only available dojo that he thought was good was an independent dojo. As I understand the story the main teacher of this dojo somehow got caught inbetween when Tohei split the Aikikai back around 1970, and ended up independent. My friend was slightly reluctant to take gradings in this dojo, since he wanted Aikikai ranks. As I told you he moves a lot, and everywhere in the world aikido people know what an Aikikai rank is (at least in theory. In reality it varies a lot but that is another issue). A rank from an independent dojo could be anything from a rank given by an excellent teacher to some bogus, and unless you know about the teacher you do not know what the rank means.

When my friend eventually transferred to an Aikikai dojo, there was no problem with his kyu ranks - he could continue from the rank he had been given by the independent teacher, probably because this independent teacher is wellknown and respected and also my friend had trained quite many years compared to his rank. My friend took his shodan in the Aikikai dojo, and values his Aikikai shodan a lot more than he would have a shodan from this independent teacher - but had he truly been this independent teacher's student, I am sure he would have felt otherwise. Everyone involved must admit that my friend's time was better spent in this independent teacher's dojo than in some Aikikai dojo with less outstanding teacher. Obviously, no one really cared about "Aikikai" or "not Aikikai" for any other reason than the ranks.

David Yap
05-09-2006, 12:33 AM
Hi Maumote Chami,

How do I politically correctly put it to him that although they're diff. schools of style but at the end it's a 1 Aikido with the same principles w/ diff. flavors??

Aikido is already a complex art to study for anyone who do not have any prior MA training. To get into the politics of the various aikido organizations only intense its complexity. IMO, it is a study by itself. You need to go into the history and evolution of aikido and its respective organizations. The politics of the major organizations and the politics within these organizations and their affiliates is a never ending subject considering all (human) factors that created the politics. Sadly but realistically, rankings are tools of such politics.

We always look at Aikido as a MA created by M Ueshiba. Then, it is also argued that the term "Aikido" is also used as a classification/label by the DAI NIHON BUTOKUKAI to cover all similar MA - e.g. Korindo Aikido. Interview with Minoru Hirai sensei (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=87) Generally, the aikido we refer to and train in is the aikido of M Ueshiba and the major organizations of this lineage are:

Controlled and managed by his direct descendants - Aikikai
Of his direct students -
Yoshinkan Aikido - Gozo Shioda
Shin shin Toitsu Aikido - Koichi Tohei
Tomiki Aikido - Kenji Tomiki
Aiki Manseido - Kanshu Sunadomari
Yoseikan - Minoru Mochizuki
Tendoryu Aikido - Kenji Shimizu
and the latest addition - Shin shin Aiki Shuren-Kai - Hirohito Saito (trained as child with O Sensei)

As for the ART, you are right about, "..but at the end it's a 1 Aikido". There are different paths to go up a mountain but the view is the same at the top. I agree with Lan -
..get from point "A" to "B" are what keeps this whole art so interesting
To enjoy the journey, we must remain a student and forget about the ranks and hakama.

As for your friend - do you need to correct him? IMO, no. Just ask him to do his own research rather than listening to his teacher. That 25% of the teaching may not be 100% right :D

Best training

David Y

Chris Li
05-09-2006, 01:20 AM
But has Aikikai, Yoshinkan, Iwama, Yoseikan, etc. ever nullified the teaching of each others and claimed that it was not Aikido that the other side practiced? I wouldn't think so. Right?!

Well, Moriteru Ueshiba stated outright in "Best Aikido" that "styles that practiced compeition" (ie Shodokan) were not Aikido.

Of course, people have to make up their own minds as to whether they agree with that viewpoint or not.

I know that the "many roads up the same mountain" view is politically correct, but in all fairness, since some things are obviously not Aikido there must be some point at which something becomes "not Aikido", even in spite of some past connection to Morihei Ueshiba. The exact location of that point I leave as an exercise to the reader :).

Best,

Chris

villrg0a
05-09-2006, 01:58 AM
IMHO there is only one Aikido. Tell him that it is the manner in which they are taught that makes the difference. Some concentrates on variations, some on basics. Others on flowing, others on static. Others on self-defense, others for exercise, etc., etc. Depending on your affiliation, the method of teaching and focus on training varies.

Yann Golanski
05-09-2006, 02:02 AM
Well, Moriteru Ueshiba stated outright in "Best Aikido" that "styles that practiced compeition" (ie Shodokan) were not Aikido.

Odd that his father, the guy who started Aikido did not mind at all that there was a style with competition in it. Ueshiba was very competitive himself in his younger years. He seemed to have mellowed down in his old age.

Anyway, the people who understand, understand prefectly.

Hanna B
05-09-2006, 02:13 AM
Odd that his father, the guy who started Aikido did not mind at all that there was a style with competition in it.

You know that for sure? I have read otherwise, do not remember where though.

David Yap
05-09-2006, 02:43 AM
Hi all,

There is always something about coincidences - coincidentally, these two just crop up in the Aikido Journal blogs while we were on this subject:

Interview with Doshu & Moriteru Ueshiba (http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1965) and
Aikido - Hierarchy versus Rhizome (http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1964)

Read on

David Y

Yann Golanski
05-09-2006, 03:52 AM
You know that for sure? I have read otherwise, do not remember where though.

Which bit?

The first one was from Tomiki himself who said that Ueshiba never asked him to leave the Aikikai nor asked him to stop teaching randori. Shodokan home page reference (http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/name.html)

The second one comes from Ueshiba's attitude in his youth. He did not mind other "testing" his Aikido and that is a competitive attitude.

So, yeah I do know for sure.

Hanna B
05-09-2006, 03:57 AM
The first one was from Tomiki himself who said that Ueshiba never asked him to leave the Aikikai nor asked him to stop teaching randori. Shodokan home page reference (http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/name.html)
What I remember is an interview with an Aikikai shihan (don't remember who) where he told how osensei would be irritated when people mentioned Tomiki's name, and complain about how he introduced competition in aikido. It could be an "urban myth", I do not know.

PeterR
05-09-2006, 04:03 AM
Yann

I think you mean the grandfather and I think it would be putting it mildly to say that kaiso had misgivings about the inclusion of a competitive element into the training.

Still Tomiki was a member of the Aikikai and only set up a separate organization several years after Ueshiba M. died when things started to become difficult.

SeiserL
05-09-2006, 07:54 AM
While I tend to see 1 Aikido from Osensei being taught with different emphasis by different organizations, I find it a waste of time and energy to attempt to talk someone out of their politics. Its just another form of competition. Let people believe what they want from their own training, education, and experience. Its not right/wrong, good/bad, its just different and thats okay. Not everyone has to agree with me.

David Yap
05-09-2006, 10:28 AM
While I tend to see 1 Aikido from Osensei being taught with different emphasis by different organizations, I find it a waste of time and energy to attempt to talk someone out of their politics. Its just another form of competition. Let people believe what they want from their own training, education, and experience. Its not right/wrong, good/bad, its just different and thats okay. Not everyone has to agree with me.

I do. :)

For me, I don't bother with politics. My prime objective at a selected dojo is to be trained and to be educated and this depends very much on the integrity and competence of the instructor(s) to deliver these emphasis that I am buying into. E.g. if an instructor emphasize on SD then he should teach techniques inlaid with the principles of SD; anything short of these principles is misleading as far as I am concerned.

phil farmer
05-09-2006, 12:25 PM
I have read this thread and am reminded that this argument/discussion has been going on for years. Yoseikan is one of the oldest branches of the aiki tree. Minoru Mochizuki did indeed leave O Sensei to create his own style. That style, Yoseikan, has always been considered a part of aiki. And, there has been randori for years, to test the skills of each practitioner. Mochizuki Sensei was a fierce competitor in his youth and early adulthood, as demonstrated by the story about him in Prannin's book about his two judo competitions in one day. Mochizuki Sensei was disturbed by the practice of martial arts for sheer sport and castigated judo for becoming, in his words godo, the way of strength and force not judo.

A student of O Sensei from the 50's was Hiroo Mochizuki, son of Minoru. He later was sent to France, in 1963 to teach, among other things aiki. Over the years, he developed Yoseikan Budo and it does have competition. Hiroo Sensei's belief is that his father's art should probably never have been called aiki but instead a soft jiujitsu. As aiki styles go Yoseikan is a very hard form, closer to aikijutsu or daito ryu than what we see practiced in aikikai and other dojo today. But in spite of all of this, Yoseikan does not forget its roots and always pays honor to the impact O Sensei had and still has on Yoseikan.

I was honored to attend a clinic with Kato Sensei in Houston Texas and he was very kind with regard to the Mochizuki family and Yoseikan Budo. Perhaps we should seek out our commonalities and interact based on those.

Phil Farmer

Chris Li
05-09-2006, 12:28 PM
Which bit?

The first one was from Tomiki himself who said that Ueshiba never asked him to leave the Aikikai nor asked him to stop teaching randori. Shodokan home page reference (http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/name.html)

The second one comes from Ueshiba's attitude in his youth. He did not mind other "testing" his Aikido and that is a competitive attitude.

So, yeah I do know for sure.

As Peter said, you mean Morihei the grandfather, not Kisshomaru the father. Kisshomaru, of course, is on record publicly as to his opposition to the inclusion of competition in Aikido. Further, in "Take Musu Aiki" Morihei speaks a number of times of competition (both in the sense of being competitive and in the sense of holding competitive matches) as being "strictly forbidden" in Aikido (his words).

True, Morihei didn't mind "testing" his skills in his youth, but the leap from there to an endorsement of competitive matches (which is what Moriteru was talking about in "Best Aikido") is rather large.

Best,

Chris

David Yap
05-10-2006, 11:00 PM
Hi all,

Kisshomaru, of course, is on record publicly as to his opposition to the inclusion of competition in Aikido. Further, in "Take Musu Aiki" Morihei speaks a number of times of competition (both in the sense of being competitive and in the sense of holding competitive matches) as being "strictly forbidden" in Aikido (his words).

Chris, this is not a direct reply to your post, just borrowing your quote.

If we care to research into the backgrounds of the great martial artists of the last century we would note some of these great and enlightened masters who advocate non-violence and non-competition were those who could walk the talk. These guys at their prime were competitive fighters and from these experience they concluded their versions of "true budo". The fact that we know they were at their prime is from the records that they were accepting challenges from others and M Ueshiba was amongst these greats.

All if not, most of the first generation shihan and current shihan have had made that transition - coming from competitive martial art/martial sport such as kendo, judo or karate. For some, karate is not even consider a martial art (budo) but a civil fighting art. The point I am trying to make is that our present aikido techniques are developed from such challenges - it is a fighting art to begin with. This draws some of us to aikido (the art). Some of us may be drawn by its philosophical appeal (the do) and even that (if I may speak for myself) most in these group of ppl have prior competition experience in other MA before aikido.

It is often said that we "fight" (depending ourselves) we train. Yet I see the words "Self-defense" in flyers and advertisement put up by aikido dojo (Aikikai included). In these dojo that purport to teach/emphasize self-defense, some instructors have no competitive experience let alone in a real fight. They proceed to teach beginners flowing aikido - "this is what you do when someone grabs you here or here..."

Without the experience of competition, how can we stop aikido from being watered down as a martial art as it is passed down from generation to generation? Perhaps, years to come, our future generations may go to temples to learn aikido instead of dojo to train aikido.

Just my thoughts.

Best training

David Y

Chris Li
05-10-2006, 11:27 PM
Without the experience of competition, how can we stop aikido from being watered down as a martial art as it is passed down from generation to generation? Perhaps, years to come, our future generations may go to temples to learn aikido instead of dojo to train aikido.

Actually, the word "dojo" comes from a word for a temple originally - it was later adopted by martial artists.

Ironically, many of the people who are against competition use exactly the same argument - that competition leads to watering down of the martial arts as they are passed from generation to generation. Gichin Funakoshi argued from that perspective, and so do a number of prominent Judo instructors who ended up disillusioned with what competition did to the art,

Kisshomaru discusses this point quite fairly, I think, when expressing his opinions on the subject in "Aikido Ichiro". In the end, I don't think that either approach can really offer a guarantee - you make your choice, do the best that you can, and hope that things turn out OK.

Best,

Chris

David Yap
05-11-2006, 01:11 AM
Hi Chris,
Actually, the word "dojo" comes from a word for a temple originally - it was later adopted by martial artists.
Probably Taoist.

Ironically, many of the people who are against competition use exactly the same argument - that competition leads to watering down of the martial arts as they are passed from generation to generation. Gichin Funakoshi argued from that perspective, and so do a number of prominent Judo instructors who ended up disillusioned with what competition did to the art,
Competitions do not kill the art, the rules of competitions do. Competitions are transitional - things that we do in our youth. Funakoshi also said that karate-do is a lifelong study. Personally I have made the transition from competition (kumite & kata) back to traditional. It was this pursue that took me to aikido. At one point, I was disillusioned with aikido and I concentrated just on traditional karate. Studying the oyo of the traditional kata I saw the similarities with aikido movements and I realized the weakness was not in the art but with the people purporting to teach the art. Sadly, there are more serious injuries in aikido than I have seen in karate and most of such injuries were dished out by incompetent instructors - an unilateral act of violence perhaps due to lack of competition.

I read that J Kano sensei also realized the pros and cons of competitions. Aside from randori, he also drew up sets of kata for the purpose of solo practice and to preserve the martial techniques. Are these kata still practised in Kodokan and in all judo institutions?

snip..In the end, I don't think that either approach can really offer a guarantee - you make your choice, do the best that you can, and hope that things turn out OK.

This I agree. Morihei Ueshiba didn't emphasize on the concept of Shu-Ha-Ri to transmit his art. For him, aikido is ever evolving. But for us the students, the path has to start from one point. The differences (or some may see it as a competition itself) between the various aikido schools and even between the aikikai shihan are because they started us on the path at different points. Somewhere on this path is a stretch that is marked "Competition"; it is either one passed through this stretch or take a detour. The detour may cost us the extra time and effort and like you said, there is no guarantee that we will arrive.

Best regards

David Y

Yann Golanski
05-11-2006, 01:12 AM
Competition is the only way to safely test your skills. Competition leads to a water down of techniques to make them safe so that both practitioners can go home happy. This leads to less effective techniques and "rule playing" instead of real training.

Those I think are the two views on competition. We are not going to decide which is best -- both points are in fact valid and too general to be of any use. What saddens me is that people who practice a martial art sometime called "the way of harmony" show such disregard for the opinion of others. That comment applies on either side of the divide.

Personally, I use competition as a way to train in and improve my Aikido. If I want a nice gold medal, I can get one for 20 pences and it's made of chocolate.... Hum... chocolate.

On a final note, Aikido (whatever the style) gives you an edge in self defense/fighting. So does a knife, a gun or Buba the giant psychopathic red neck who would die for you.

Chris Li
05-11-2006, 01:34 AM
Hi Chris,

Probably Taoist.

Buddhist, actually, Taoism never made it big in Japan.

Best,

Chris

David Yap
05-11-2006, 01:48 AM
Somewhere on this path is a stretch that is marked "Competition"; it is either one passed through this stretch or take a detour. The detour may cost us the extra time and effort and like you said, there is no guarantee that we will arrive.

Oops! I forgot to add that for some of us who choose to pass the "Competition" stretch of the path - some took too long to pass and some didn't move on at all.

Chikai Aikidoka
05-11-2006, 04:13 AM
Different styles, IMHO, come from the different MA style background of O'sensei's diciples. Don't you think so?

Since a lot of those disciples picked up Aikido after they were masters in something else, I would also think and assume that their approach to teaching, to training, to testing, to experimenting and to application would be different say from those who started Aikido without any prior other MA.

Should we follow some sort of similar paths (eg, juijitsu->aikijutsu->aikido, or juijitsu->judo->aikido)? And I don't mean we have to get experts and be masters in those MA before we go to Aikido, but rather feel and try their main principles and then head straight to Aikido.

Hanna B
05-11-2006, 04:27 AM
Different styles, IMHO, come from the different MA style background of O'sensei's diciples. Don't you think so?
To a certain extent... but that is making things too easy.Btw, what do you mean by "style" here. Style from a techincal point of view, in which case there are many different styles within the Aikikai, or style meaning organisation?

maikerus
05-12-2006, 08:33 PM
How do I politically correctly put it to him that althought they're diff. schools of style but at the end it's a 1 Aikido with the same principles w/ diff. flavors??

One interesting thing I've noticed when training with different teachers within the same style and training in different styles is that if you can look at what is the *same* as opposed to what is different then that leads to a greater understanding of what "Aikido" is (at least for me).

My advice would be to suggest that he look at the Aikido's being shown in different styles and focus on the similarties.

Hard to do because some things are really different...but the essence and the priniciples are the same.

Weirdest thing was working with an Aikikai person and discussing our different perceptions on techniques. Many times we used the same principle to describe why we were doing something, but the application of that principle was completely different.

--Michael

Eugene Leslie
01-05-2010, 07:26 PM
Very informative thread!
I'm an Aikido beginner. Forgive any terminology faux-pas I may make in this post, and please correct my terminology so I may improve.

I was referred to this thread by Amir Krause whom I thank for such.
I had asked about the different "styles". I'm now better informed of the fact that there are really no "styles" but evolutions and offshoots.

While I tend to see 1 Aikido from Osensei being taught with different emphasis by different organizations, I find it a waste of time and energy to attempt to talk someone out of their politics. Its just another form of competition. Let people believe what they want from their own training, education, and experience. Its not right/wrong, good/bad, its just different and thats okay. Not everyone has to agree with me.

As harmonious Aikidoka, is this not how one should approach the issue? I agree.

Jorge Garcia spoke of jurisdiction and authority; that's so true in today's internet information overload age and the motives of less-than-stellar-characters and dojos. It helps me make sense of this world of "fast-food" type TKD franchises and pay for rank testing MAs regardess of real skill.

the quality of your teacher and his/her teaching is far more important than the name of the organisation or the 'validity' that is given or not by a 'governing body'.
I have no negative thoughts regarding any other aikido 'group' as long as they uphold the spirit of O'Sensei's teaching.

Again. Thank-you for the insight. I Agree.
The spirit of Osensei's teachings are very important to me and what drew me to Aikido.
On the other hand, the fact that an instructor is affiliated with an accredited organization with a traceable pedigree gives a new, green practitioner like myself confidence in an art as deep (I don't pretend to know how deep) as Aikido which at first appears "soft" and unpracticle. But the examples of men such as on this site are inspiring; inner development.
I have taken other MAs in my quest and lack of spiritual content and rivalries between dojo's really turned me off.
Which brings about another newfound insight, thanks to these posts, into the competitiveness within Aikido circles which this thread respectfully digressed into.
It's a two edged sword to be sure because of the origins of Aikido in Budo and the martial spirit; It was born in the fire of competition and war; but perhaps Osensei (and the samurai who died over the centuries to perfect it all) did the competing for us and the world truly is evolving toward peace and the harnessing of aggression and ourselves. If Osensei said no competition in Aikido then I'll go with that and it makes perfect sense when one considers his vision. My experience with MAs competitions has been that it was a game of tag and it was the rules that one was actually competing against.

I think almost everyone I have met at one time or another has had an attitude like that. It is human nature to believe we are attached to the best and to look a little down on our neighbor thus lifting ourselves up. It has to do with a desire to build our self identity.
It's a disease of the fallen soul and a part of even the best of us. The most we can do is to catch ourselves when we do it and to try and be as charitable as possible. A Sensei once told me that he was strictly taught by his Shihan never to criticize other instructors but when his Shihan was drunk, all he did was to criticize other instructors. Thankfully, when he was sober, he never did but deep in there, the criticism lived. The alcohol weakened his resolve not to criticize so it was revealed at those times. In a way, it is admirable that he would hold it back but revealing to know that it was still there.

That's great stuff, thanks. Makes me ponder "sincerity" which I think Aiki practioners have moreso than other MAs.
It also makes me meditate on the "dropping of ego" and "cleaning house spiritually" as eastern cultures are wont to do as opposed to the popular western view of ego being the main ingredient to success.
There are advantages to "I'm the best because I belong to......." and that's when it comes to team competition and war...it's a case of belonging to the best squad of the best platoon of the best company, etc. Gung-ho confidence. Food for thought for myself. When is pride o.k.? Hmmmm.

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."

Jorge Garcia's signature....great stuff but I've been told otherwise by others on this site. Namely that I should concentrate on the simple techniques and the concepts will come later..I guess there's a case for both but I personally sifted through other MAs and eventually found Aikido because of the philosophy behind it.

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)

Just Great! Now I'm compelled to learn about St. Bonaventure because this quote is just awesome. ;)

Andrew Macdonald
01-12-2010, 07:53 PM
this is a very interesting arument and one i have come across about what is real and what is not

strangley i don;t see many other styles having this sort of debate, karate, taiji, etc seem to be happy and celebrate the differences rather than tryingt o say that theirs is real and no one else's

or maybe it is just the people i know

OwlMatt
01-13-2010, 10:25 AM
I got into an arguement with someone who implied that Aikikai IS the authority on Aikido and that "all other federations are not recognized by Aikikai Honbu dojo"

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Yoshinkan aikido recognized by, or at least on good terms with, Aikikai Hombu?

Chikai Aikidoka
01-14-2010, 01:09 AM
long time reader but seldom a contributor.... but I've just noticed that my original post got resurrected after 4 years!

Reading my OP I noticed how much my Aikido changed in term of attitude and in term of practice (for better or worth :confused: ??).

Since my OP, I'm now:
1. practicing under an affiliated Aikikai dojo/instructor.
2. I love watching the Yoshinkan members (at the same dojo) & I try so to grasp those nice emphasis of angles, position, kamae, kihon dosa, etc.
3. I'm getting more & more addicted to Iwama (Saito's) bokken and jo suburis, kihon waza vs. ki no nagare, etc.
4. I keep exploring and trying to understand the Aiki discussion of IS/IT and it's roots (CMA, Daito, etc.)
5. ... and I was just intrigued and now trying to decipher Tomiki's and Yoseikan Budo's ashi sabaki kata and how they would apply to different waza's sabaki.

:hypno: + :drool: + :D

Gorgeous George
03-22-2010, 10:10 AM
'The Way of the Warrior has been misunderstood as a means to kill and destroy others. Those who seek competition are making a grave mistake. To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst sin a human being can commit.'

- Morihei Ueshiba

There's also a quote which i can't quite recall about competition being the cause of wars etc.
Having read it, i was bewildered when i went to a Shodokan website and it said that O'Sensei never disagreed with competition...

I think if i wanted to test my aikido, i'd go out looking for a fight - that would surely be a true test: no rules, no referee - a true 'life or death' situation, where the adrenalin has a chance to get going, and you don't know what the other person can do to you...?

Chris Li
03-22-2010, 10:55 AM
There's also a quote which i can't quite recall about competition being the cause of wars etc.
Having read it, i was bewildered when i went to a Shodokan website and it said that O'Sensei never disagreed with competition...

There were some claims for a while that it was only Kisshomaru (the son) who actually disagreed with competition.

This was mainly based upon some speculations on the difference between "kyoso" (as in being competitive) and "shiai" (as in a competitive match), the argument being that the founder was opposed to "kyoso" but not necessarily "shiai".

Of course, this bit of historical revision falls apart if you check "Take Musu Aiki", where the founder specifically refers to "shiai" as being "strictly forbidden" in Aikido.

Best,

Chris

L. Camejo
03-22-2010, 02:42 PM
There were some claims for a while that it was only Kisshomaru (the son) who actually disagreed with competition.

This was mainly based upon some speculations on the difference between "kyoso" (as in being competitive) and "shiai" (as in a competitive match), the argument being that the founder was opposed to "kyoso" but not necessarily "shiai".

Of course, this bit of historical revision falls apart if you check "Take Musu Aiki", where the founder specifically refers to "shiai" as being "strictly forbidden" in Aikido.For the information of all I have attached the link to an earlier discussion of the statement in question. Some very valuable evidence was given by Peter Goldsbury on this matter. See the entire thread here - http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-998.html

Goldsbury Sensei's statement is below:

1. The word which O Sensei uses for 'competition' is KYOU-SOU. The first character is composed of the Radials 117 (standing) and the character (344 in Nelson's dictionary) for 'ani' (brother). The second character is also read as 'araso' and the meaning of the compound is basically 'rivalry'.

The word SHI-ai has the sense of two teams meeting for a game or match and is not used by O Sensei.

2. Where does O Sensei discuss competition in Aikido? I have seen no evidence for any general declaration made by O Sensei against competition. There is a reference to sports understood by O Sensei in a western sense on Page 50 of Hideo Takahashi's book, "Takemusu Aiki", which records lectures given by the Founder. A translation of O Sensei's ideas is given on Page 21 of Issue 117 of Aikido Journal. There O Sensei does talk about competition as applied to aikido, always using the Chinese character I explained above. His views are clearly old-fashioned and he makes statements about Japan and western sports which are no longer true.

3. The reference to Tomiki Sensei and competition appears on pp.184-188 of "Aikido Ichiro", by Kisshomaru Ueshiba. Doshu explains that Tomiki Sensei became a professor at Waseda University in 1954 but often came to visit the Founder in Iwama and Tokyo. Tomiki Sensei was a POW in Siberia and developed a system of aiki-taiso, probably to stay alive, and explained his system to O Sensei. In Kisshomaru Doshu's words,

"On seeing this (sc. Tomiki Sensei's system), my father said,

"If you call this sort of thing "Aiki", it will cause problems."

Kisshomaru Doshu then goes on to discuss what happened afterwards. I muself have had lengthy conversations with Kisshomaru Doshu and with Okumura Shigenobu Sensei (9th dan), who first learned aikido at the hands of Tomiki Sensei and was later deputed to negotiate over whether Tomiki Sensei should use 'aikido' for his art. Okumura Sensei was clearly torn between loyalty to his sensei and loyalty to the Founder.

Best regrds to all,

Peter Goldsbury

It has been indicated that the person who actually disagreed with competition was Kisshomaru Ueshiba. It is interesting that the only source quoted by Goldsbury Sensei above that indicates a "conflict" or direct opposition between Tomiki and Morihei Ueshiba regarding competition was Kisshomaru's account of their meeting.

Are there any other first hand accounts to support Kisshomaru's statement?

Also, IIRC the so-called aiki-taiso was a series of fundamental movements and exercises developed by Tomiki during his time as a P.O.W. While this is done by Shodokan practitioners today at the beginning of class, the "aiki-taiso" (which we actually refer to as "taiso") does not represent the main body of Tomiki's Aikido curriculum.

Just some thoughts.

Best
LC

Chris Li
03-22-2010, 02:51 PM
For the information of all I have attached the link to an earlier discussion of the statement in question. Some very valuable evidence was given by Peter Goldsbury on this matter. See the entire thread here - http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-998.html

The kanji for "shiai" are used specifically by the founder in "Take Musu Aiki" - I posted the page numbers at some point, but I don't have them on hand right now.

It seems that Morihei Ueshiba had one view of competition and Kenji Tomiki had another - why not leave it at that?

Best,

Chris

L. Camejo
03-22-2010, 05:09 PM
The kanji for "shiai" are used specifically by the founder in "Take Musu Aiki" Are they? Or are they the kanji chosen by the author or transcriber?

It seems that Morihei Ueshiba had one view of competition and Kenji Tomiki had another - why not leave it at that?
I totally agree with this. But there is a difference between two men agreeing to disagree on a 1 to 1 personal basis and the other option of that disagreement becoming official policy that determines what is or is not Aikido.

Best
LC

Chris Li
03-22-2010, 06:04 PM
Are they? Or are they the kanji chosen by the author or transcriber?

I totally agree with this. But there is a difference between two men agreeing to disagree on a 1 to 1 personal basis and the other option of that disagreement becoming official policy that determines what is or is not Aikido.

Best
LC

The kanji were transcribed by Hideo Takahashi - but given the context as I recall it I would think that the chances that "shiai" was somehow inserted instead of "kyoso" are fairly small.

It's only a problem of "official policy" if you accept that the Ueshiba family has the power to define Shodokan Aikido. Isn't one of the major reasons for cutting a branch that you can write your own definition? That's generally what happens in Japanese arts anyway - "Billy-ryu" branches into "Billy-bob-ryu" with a new and wonderful set of concepts.

Best,

Chris

Boris Spassky
03-22-2010, 06:48 PM
Great thread!

I am one of those guys who comes from an "independent" dojo but that does not bother me one bit.

My Sensei trained with Hirata Sensei (uchi deshi to Tohei Sensei) and Tohei Sensei himself, beginning in the 1960's but is unaffiliated.

He is getting older (79) and I am just happy to have had the time with him, he is a wonderful teacher, friend, and someone whom I truly respect.

I can appreciate and respect the different styles here but am just as happy training in our small independent school with a Sensei that noone has ever heard of...LOL

Zenshin

L. Camejo
03-23-2010, 11:55 AM
It's only a problem of "official policy" if you accept that the Ueshiba family has the power to define Shodokan Aikido. Isn't one of the major reasons for cutting a branch that you can write your own definition? That's generally what happens in Japanese arts anyway - "Billy-ryu" branches into "Billy-bob-ryu" with a new and wonderful set of concepts.Not exactly. The problem starts when it becomes part of anyone's policy (official or otherwise). The result is that you have a very large section of people who practice "Aikido - The Way of Harmony" who want nothing to do with certain groups because what they do is "not Aikido" because their training includes competition for example. This is regardless of what can be learnt on both sides through openness and sharing.

The result is that this policy engenders division instead of unification. Since this thread is about different styles, 1 Aikido I think it is very apt that we are chatting about a perception of an event that may be responsible for ensuring that there is more than 1 Aikido. Not that I have any issue with that.

The great thing is that among individual martial artists, regardless of style, where there is honesty in skill and ability there is often openness of interaction (testing keeps one realistic of ones abilities), which promotes getting together and openly sharing, even unification in some instances. This serves to counteract those who wish to remain separate because of some "decree", as the need to develop oneself through training and sharing with different groups overrides the need to stay cloistered within a safe and predetermined paradigm.

Just some thoughts.

LC

Chris Li
03-24-2010, 01:54 AM
Not exactly. The problem starts when it becomes part of anyone's policy (official or otherwise). The result is that you have a very large section of people who practice "Aikido - The Way of Harmony" who want nothing to do with certain groups because what they do is "not Aikido" because their training includes competition for example. This is regardless of what can be learnt on both sides through openness and sharing.

Well, no art is ever going to be everything to everyone and include all and any methods of training. I think that it is reasonable for leaders of an art to define their vision of what the art does and doesn't encompass, just as it is reasonable for people with different ideas to branch off on their own. But if you branch off on your own with different ideas then it seems kind of odd to want to be included under the old definition. Doesn't that belittle Tomiki's contributions? I would think that you should be proud to be classed separately.

Best,

Chris

L. Camejo
03-24-2010, 06:54 AM
But if you branch off on your own with different ideas then it seems kind of odd to want to be included under the old definition. Doesn't that belittle Tomiki's contributions? I would think that you should be proud to be classed separately.Afaik Tomiki developed his competitive method and saw it as part of the Aikikai training system initially - it was even taught to Aikikai dojo in Japan before and since the official separation if I am correct. He did not intend to go off and create his own style at first. This happened because of politics imho.

This is not about me. I love Tomiki's approach and cross train and share ideas with instructors from all styles and systems, promoting harmony and understanding between styles and systems. My only point was that those in the Aikikai who hold onto Ueshiba M.'s statement about competition (and use it as an excuse to exclude other groups and encourage division) are among those who are actually opposing his vision of Aikido as a force of harmony.

If the diverse practitioners of Aikido who hold lineage to Ueshiba M. cannot harmonize with each other, how could they hope to manifest even a small part of Ueshiba M.'s vision for Aikido as a means to unite all of humanity?

I'll say again however, this is not the case with all people. There are some who do not let that misunderstanding between Ueshiba M. and Tomiki or anyone else get in the way of some very good training and learning from different perspectives.

In the spirit of harmony

LC

Gorgeous George
03-24-2010, 12:41 PM
My only point was that those in the Aikikai who hold onto Ueshiba M.'s statement about competition (and use it as an excuse to exclude other groups and encourage division) are among those who are actually opposing his vision of Aikido as a force of harmony.

If the diverse practitioners of Aikido who hold lineage to Ueshiba M. cannot harmonize with each other, how could they hope to manifest even a small part of Ueshiba M.'s vision for Aikido as a means to unite all of humanity?

I thought that the reason why such a group as Shodokan Aikido was not part of the Aikikai was on the grounds that its philosophy (that of competition) was at odds with that of the Aikikai?
I'm sure they're all for inclusion, and harmony etc., but certain things - i'm sure you'll readily agree - they will obviously be unable to accept.

I don't know much about the issue, but i would be shocked if there were those in the Aikikai who use O'Sensei's teachings merely as an excuse to maintain power/division, rather than actually because they believe in them and are devoting their lives to them.

I read that one reason why Jigaro Kano liked Aikido so much was because it was reminiscent of the old martial arts - e.g., it did not have competition; and i would have thought that O'Sensei would have introduced competition himself, had he thought much of it.
I was under the impression that (again) one reason why he didn't, was because he saw aikido as a Budo, meaning that there was no place for competition in it.

Respectfully

- GG

Budd
03-24-2010, 02:06 PM
I thought that the reason why such a group as Shodokan Aikido was not part of the Aikikai was on the grounds that its philosophy (that of competition) was at odds with that of the Aikikai?
I'm sure they're all for inclusion, and harmony etc., but certain things - i'm sure you'll readily agree - they will obviously be unable to accept.

I don't know much about the issue, but i would be shocked if there were those in the Aikikai who use O'Sensei's teachings merely as an excuse to maintain power/division, rather than actually because they believe in them and are devoting their lives to them.

I read that one reason why Jigaro Kano liked Aikido so much was because it was reminiscent of the old martial arts - e.g., it did not have competition; and i would have thought that O'Sensei would have introduced competition himself, had he thought much of it.
I was under the impression that (again) one reason why he didn't, was because he saw aikido as a Budo, meaning that there was no place for competition in it.

Respectfully

- GG

I was actually going to go line by line and address a number of these things, but I just can't bring myself to. I would simply ask the following:

1) If you are going to reference Budo as not having competition . . does that mean Kendo is not Budo?

2) What is the difference between a mainline tradition in Japanese martial arts and a new tradition created under the blessings of the founder/chief instructor . . versus a new martial system that doesn't try acknowledge its roots? Can you think of examples of each?

3) To be considered aikido - must you belong to the Aikikai? If so, why? If not, why not?

4) What makes you think that ANY organization does not have people that are in it with a major objective of maintaining their power and position? Seriously? Or am I just too cynical?

Larry, I'm recently arrived just across the CA/US border from you (sorta) and hope to get to work out with you at some point and see where our training in aikido/jujutsu may overlap, as well as celebrate whatever differences we might find.

Best Regards,

Budd

Gorgeous George
03-24-2010, 02:52 PM
I was actually going to go line by line and address a number of these things, but I just can't bring myself to. I would simply ask the following:

1) If you are going to reference Budo as not having competition . . does that mean Kendo is not Budo?

2) What is the difference between a mainline tradition in Japanese martial arts and a new tradition created under the blessings of the founder/chief instructor . . versus a new martial system that doesn't try acknowledge its roots? Can you think of examples of each?

3) To be considered aikido - must you belong to the Aikikai? If so, why? If not, why not?

4) What makes you think that ANY organization does not have people that are in it with a major objective of maintaining their power and position? Seriously? Or am I just too cynical?

1. That's a good point. What i meant was that i was under the impression that O'Sensei saw his Budo as not having competition in it - by definition; bound up with his spiritual/religious beliefs as it was, he saw aikido as being a means of simultaneously practising martial arts, and cultivating your character (unless i'm mistaken - which i may be):

'Iron is full of impurities that weaken it; through forging, it becomes steel and is transformed into a razor-sharp sword. Human beings develop in the same fashion.'

If you do not forge it in the correct way, you will not transform it into a 'razor-sharp sword', to continue the analogy.

'As soon as you concern yourself with the “good” and “bad” of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you'

- Morihei Ueshiba

3. That's a very good question: what is aikido? I guess that as it is defined as 'the way of harmony', then would competing with somebody be an example of being in harmony - or conflict?
Perhaps there is aikido - the techniques; and there is aikido - 'the way'...?
I guess if asked how i see it, i would say - to me - it is the latter: i am a philosopher, and i found the philosophical dimensions expressed in aikido to be profound.

I don't know if i'd view competition as a good or bad way to spend my time practicing aikido, to be honest...i've never thought about it.

4. I don't think you're being cynical, necessarily; but rather than saying 'there are people in the Aikikai who have an agenda contrary to the interests of aikido' etc., there should actually be some grounds/an argument/evidence for saying it.
It's a possibility this is the case, but what is the statement based on?

My own experience of people in the hierarchies of aikido organisations is that they are quite selfless, and certainly not 'in it for the money'.
I know nothing of the Aikikai's business dealings however, and whether they are a Walmart-style operation, or what have you...

Respectfully, as ever

- GG

Budd
03-25-2010, 09:50 AM
1. <snip>

So are you basing your definition of "his" Budo based on what the Aikikai teaches? Snippets of what Ueshiba said? Observations from those who where there of what he did? You see any potential conflicts? Who decides who's right and how the "right" way to do things gets applied?


3. That's a very good question: what is aikido? I guess that as it is defined as 'the way of harmony', then would competing with somebody be an example of being in harmony - or conflict?

Interesting - Harmony? Just the way of harmony? Not with ki as in life energy or ki as in spirit of the universe? Ki already seems to have multiple definitions whether it's kami, heaven & earth, the physical universe, the spirit world, actual defineable bodyskills . . since aikido is a physical art that (depending on who you train with) may claim emotional, mental and spiritual components . . which takes precedence in a Budo that manifests as a physical practice around combatives?

In addition, there's the whole notion of harmony . . is that being happy and passing a rock around a circle. . or . . fitting in appropriately (wow, that can be loaded and full of context) . .or . . not opposing force with force (darn, that's sounding like judo . . ) . .or . . choices, choices . . who gets to make that call?


I don't know if i'd view competition as a good or bad way to spend my time practicing aikido, to be honest...i've never thought about it.

Yet, you've posted a lot of words around something you have never thought about.

4. I don't think you're being cynical, necessarily; but rather than saying 'there are people in the Aikikai who have an agenda contrary to the interests of aikido' etc., there should actually be some grounds/an argument/evidence for saying it.
It's a possibility this is the case, but what is the statement based on?


Ah, but there's the rub . . I didn't say that 'there are people in the Aikikai who have an agenda contrary to the interests of aikido' (which I find interesting that you quoted, like I wrote it) . . I asked, "What makes you think that ANY organization does not have people that are in it with a major objective of maintaining their power and position?"

The statement is based on experiences with human nature - regardless of activity or organization is that there are plenty that behave in questionable or even detestible ways whose motivations, when questioned, would likely (and no doubt, to them, legitimately, in many cases) be around noble aims . . good intentions, etc . . ;)

and just my direct experience I've seen it in . .
(churches, martial arts, military, government, corporate world, etc)

Yup, I'll just make an admittedly blanket statement without firsthand knowledge and say that in all likelihood this happens in the hierarchies of aikido, too.


My own experience of people in the hierarchies of aikido organisations is that they are quite selfless, and certainly not 'in it for the money'.
I know nothing of the Aikikai's business dealings however, and whether they are a Walmart-style operation, or what have you...

Well, that's good, then - but I never wrote 'in it for the money' . .although . . nah, I know (and of) too many people killing themselves trying to make a decent living through the martial arts to demean what they do by making more blanket statements . . but I'd suggest you do a little more processing between what I write versus what you think I write, fair?


Respectfully, as ever

- GG

Cool, back atcha.

Gorgeous George
03-25-2010, 09:20 PM
So are you basing your definition of "his" Budo based on what the Aikikai teaches? Snippets of what Ueshiba said? Observations from those who where there of what he did? You see any potential conflicts? Who decides who's right and how the "right" way to do things gets applied?

Interesting - Harmony? Just the way of harmony? Not with ki as in life energy or ki as in spirit of the universe? Ki already seems to have multiple definitions whether it's kami, heaven & earth, the physical universe, the spirit world, actual defineable bodyskills . . since aikido is a physical art that (depending on who you train with) may claim emotional, mental and spiritual components . . which takes precedence in a Budo that manifests as a physical practice around combatives?

In addition, there's the whole notion of harmony . . is that being happy and passing a rock around a circle. . or . . fitting in appropriately (wow, that can be loaded and full of context) . .or . . not opposing force with force (darn, that's sounding like judo . . ) . .or . . choices, choices . . who gets to make that call?

Yet, you've posted a lot of words around something you have never thought about.

Ah, but there's the rub . . I didn't say that 'there are people in the Aikikai who have an agenda contrary to the interests of aikido' (which I find interesting that you quoted, like I wrote it) . . I asked, "What makes you think that ANY organization does not have people that are in it with a major objective of maintaining their power and position?"

The statement is based on experiences with human nature - regardless of activity or organization is that there are plenty that behave in questionable or even detestible ways whose motivations, when questioned, would likely (and no doubt, to them, legitimately, in many cases) be around noble aims . . good intentions, etc . . ;)

and just my direct experience I've seen it in . .
(churches, martial arts, military, government, corporate world, etc)

Yup, I'll just make an admittedly blanket statement without firsthand knowledge and say that in all likelihood this happens in the hierarchies of aikido, too.

Well, that's good, then - but I never wrote 'in it for the money' . .although . . nah, I know (and of) too many people killing themselves trying to make a decent living through the martial arts to demean what they do by making more blanket statements . . but I'd suggest you do a little more processing between what I write versus what you think I write, fair?

Cool, back atcha.

Yeah: based upon O'Sensei having said words to the effect of 'i don't believe in competition' i have based my understanding of what he defined his Budo as, on what he said - as well as his practice of it too: having no competition in it as he practiced it at the Aikikai (and everywhere else) - which i believe he founded/taught at...
That seems very unambiguous to me.

Who defines aikido? The person who creates it, i would say is the person who defines it: the components (ai, ki, and do) already had definitions in the Japanese language (i would imagine), and so these were combined, as their meanings corresponded to the defintion of what he wished to give a name to (viz., aikido)...

'The way of harmony' - indeed. From this definition is not excluded '...with ki as in life energy or ki as in spirit of the universe'.
My answer was not restrictive - quite the contrary, in fact.

The notion of harmony? I would say that those who are experts in the definition/application of words would be best placed to answer questions regarding the application of words to events, objects, etc.

'Yet, you've posted a lot of words around something you have never thought about.'

I think you misunderstand: i have not posted a lot of words, and nor do i accept that they were about this; rather, they were concerning the attitude of another person towards competition.

I didn't quote somebody as if it was attributable to you. I think you misunderstood.

You can generalise, and say 'Yup, I'll just make an admittedly blanket statement without firsthand knowledge and say that in all likelihood this happens in the hierarchies of aikido, too.', but that doesn't advance this position at all: we're still in the dark as to what the reality is.
It's possible, but 'in all likelihood' allows for the possibility that it is not the case that this happens...

'there are plenty that behave in questionable or even detestible ways' - but then: there are plenty that don't.

'but I never wrote 'in it for the money' '

I think you misunderstand: i was not saying that you said these exact words; i was replying to your assertion that within the Aikikai there are those 'that are in it with a major objective of maintaining their power and position' - 'in it for the money' is not necessarily literal, but is a shorthand expressing this.

Regards

- GG

Budd
03-26-2010, 11:17 AM
Yeah: based upon O'Sensei having said words to the effect of 'i don't believe in competition' i have based my understanding of what he defined his Budo as, on what he said - as well as his practice of it too: having no competition in it as he practiced it at the Aikikai (and everywhere else) - which i believe he founded/taught at...
That seems very unambiguous to me.

Yet, there's ongoing debate on what exactly he meant by 'competition' and it's unambiguous to you? There's ongoing debate regarding the translations into English that you are quoting and it's unambiguous to you? Are you ignoring the debates, unaware of them or just choosing the side you like best and sticking with that? His practice of aikido certainly included shiai . . perhaps not in the form of arranged matches for sport events, but more a form of "come on then, if you're hard enough" -- how do you think he got all those rough and tumble judoka to stick with aikido (the same ones that later complained about listening to the old man go on for hours)?

Who defines aikido? The person who creates it, i would say is the person who defines it: the components (ai, ki, and do) already had definitions in the Japanese language (i would imagine), and so these were combined, as their meanings corresponded to the defintion of what he wished to give a name to (viz., aikido)...

Uh huh . . are you aware of how the name came about? Are you saying that Ueshiba both defined explicitly and named aikido? Are there any gaps you're aware of between what he did, what he taught and what is now practiced as mainstream aikido? Is it possible that some of the ongoing debates that I reference above might be related to some of those "gaps" as perceived by others . . does it all still seem unambiguous to you?

'The way of harmony' - indeed. From this definition is not excluded '...with ki as in life energy or ki as in spirit of the universe'.
My answer was not restrictive - quite the contrary, in fact.

Yet, unless I'm continuing to misunderstand - you're trying to restrict what aikido includes based on what I'm pointing out to be a rather limited perspective.

The notion of harmony? I would say that those who are experts in the definition/application of words would be best placed to answer questions regarding the application of words to events, objects, etc.

And do you just accept what they say or define? What if there's conflicting statements or definitions? How do you reconcile them or do you accept that there's . . conflicting definitions?

'Yet, you've posted a lot of words around something you have never thought about.'

I think you misunderstand: i have not posted a lot of words, and nor do i accept that they were about this; rather, they were concerning the attitude of another person towards competition.

I didn't quote somebody as if it was attributable to you. I think you misunderstood.

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one . .

You can generalise, and say 'Yup, I'll just make an admittedly blanket statement without firsthand knowledge and say that in all likelihood this happens in the hierarchies of aikido, too.', but that doesn't advance this position at all: we're still in the dark as to what the reality is.
It's possible, but 'in all likelihood' allows for the possibility that it is not the case that this happens...

Uh huh, anything's possible . . I think you're going to stay in the dark about the reality at this rate . .

'there are plenty that behave in questionable or even detestible ways' - but then: there are plenty that don't.

Now you're just being contradictory . . yes, you are . . yes, you are

'but I never wrote 'in it for the money' '

I think you misunderstand: i was not saying that you said these exact words; i was replying to your assertion that within the Aikikai there are those 'that are in it with a major objective of maintaining their power and position' - 'in it for the money' is not necessarily literal, but is a shorthand expressing this.

Regards

- GG

No, I understood that part . . I was just highlighting the irony of what you were doing with what I wrote - which is changing the words, which inherently changes the meaning . . and then applying your own definition based on a limited viewpoint to it . . hmmm . . kinda of what I've been saying all along ;)

L. Camejo
03-26-2010, 09:40 PM
I thought that the reason why such a group as Shodokan Aikido was not part of the Aikikai was on the grounds that its philosophy (that of competition) was at odds with that of the Aikikai?Competition is not the only or even primary thing that defines Shodokan Aikido, so it is not our philosophy per se, more like a training and testing tool imho.
I'm sure they're all for inclusion, and harmony etc., but certain things - i'm sure you'll readily agree - they will obviously be unable to accept.Actually they are not all for harmony, inclusion etc. To be blunt I've heard about Shodokan people being disallowed from even entering dojo of certain sensei because of the question being discussed here. I also have some personal experiences along similar lines. But once again I will say, this is not the case in some cases so it is not a condemnation of the Aikikai in any form, only a group of sensei who use the competition statement to promote a non-inclusive agenda.

I don't know much about the issue, but i would be shocked if there were those in the Aikikai who use O'Sensei's teachings merely as an excuse to maintain power/division, rather than actually because they believe in them and are devoting their lives to them.Interesting that you say that - in other words if they choose to focus on the very small part of Ueshiba M.'s ideas that may encourage division instead of the vast amount of ideas he put forward that encouraged global unity. Don't you find that interesting?

I was under the impression that (again) one reason why he didn't, was because he saw aikido as a Budo, meaning that there was no place for competition in it.Budd's statement about Kendoka and Judoka sums up my feelings on this. Competition and Budo are not mutually exclusive. In fact, since a major element of Budo deals with honest self evaluation (which is hard to deny when dealing with a resistant partner) so that one can achieve personal development through training, I'd say that without it you are missing a good yardstick to measure your progress along the "Way". It is not the only way to measure progress of course, but it does provide an objective basis imho.

Larry, I'm recently arrived just across the CA/US border from you (sorta) and hope to get to work out with you at some point and see where our training in aikido/jujutsu may overlap, as well as celebrate whatever differences we might find.Hi Budd. You are most welcome. My dojo is always open and I am always willing to celebrate the differences I find. This is how we broaden our reality and perception. Of course whenever I am south of the border I may do the same. PM me if needed.

Best
LC

danj
03-27-2010, 02:24 AM
Nice articles and really beg the question where to from here?
I've been training long enough to see the ebb and flow of a few organisations and some number of dojo with it. It seems that keeping links to Japan alive is something challenging to preserve and develop, but what to do if its severed or never existed in the first place? That finding teachers with something to teach is a diminishing pool of talent the longer you practice. That at some point nearly everyone wants to be king.

Rhizome seems to be a good organic solution that exists informerly. Its interestingly today that more that a few organisations profess this kind of thinking but maybe is a front end for the usual hierachy.

One solution might be to go the way of the ninja. Take the dan grades at hombu up to 15-dan, then offer any aiki ryuha soke a generous belt and certificate (under some conditions) and have a worldwide group aikihug ;)

best,
dan

Hi all,

There is always something about coincidences - coincidentally, these two just crop up in the Aikido Journal blogs while we were on this subject:

Interview with Doshu & Moriteru Ueshiba (http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1965) and
Aikido - Hierarchy versus Rhizome (http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1964)

Read on

David Y

Randall Lim
11-07-2010, 11:32 PM
I recently watched a jiujitsu class, in a small system with only five dojos in total. I was almost chocked to see that the techniques were even called ikkyo and sankyo - they were simply doing aikido without high falls wearing coloured belts (which nobody does around here) claiming that "aikido is a art for personal growth and harmony with the universe, we are doing self defence". I can imagine one or two aikido teachers not agreing with their view on what aikido is, but who cares. Based on the techiniques it was most definately aikido, but they call it jiujitsu, which is a namn that no lineage has exclusive right to... well okay. Then it isn't aikido, I guess. They probably had some judo mixed in with that aikido-so-called-jiujitsu, too.

There is also Aiki-jujitsu. Many styles/ryus of it though . In fact, O'Sensei had his background in Daitoryu Aiki-jujitsu (School of The Big East).

Randall Lim
11-08-2010, 12:20 AM
I think you have a point. The Aikikai is the parent organization of Aikido and represents the last developments in the art of Aikido as taught by the Ueshiba family. The others are not only reflections of what the Founder taught at different times but they are also representations of what those individual leaders discovered and developed themselves.
O Sensei said that Aikido had no set form - that it was a "study of the spirit." My own teacher has said to me that Aikido has no form. If that is the case, then the styles are not what this is about. That's why many styles are allowed within the Aikikai.
Aikido is about principles and when those universal principles are in play, you have Aikido, whatever the style.

Aikido organizations are not really about styles. Like all organizations, they may have a product to promote and indeed, one that distinguishes them from other groups, but they are really about jurisdiction and authority. The battle of organizations is one to gain power through greater jurisdiction. The great names the organizations promote are to establish authority thus helping them in the quest for organizational "life" or jurisdiction. That is not to say that all are equal or as efficient and fair as they could be. That is a matter of organizational integrity and ethics but when push comes to shove, the organizations are about jurisdiction and establishing authority by means of gaining legitimacy and respect in the eyes of the public. (Size and an early point of origin are helps in the quest for legitimacy.) As that (legitimacy in the eyes of potential and actual constituents ) rises and falls, so does the fate of an organization. The Aikikai certainly has an advantage there but all the other organizations have to play the same game because they are playing in the same arena.
Best wishes,

It has been my dream to see Aikido being united all over the world (Creating situations where any Aikidoka can cross-train at any Aikido dojo anywhere in the world without feeling guilty of "betraying" one club over another, or without feeling the pressure of choosing only one club over another).

It seems that this will never be practically possible. :sorry:

Chris Li
11-08-2010, 12:36 AM
It has been my dream to see Aikido being united all over the world (Creating situations where any Aikidoka can cross-train at any Aikido dojo anywhere in the world without feeling guilty of "betraying" one club over another, or without feeling the pressure of choosing only one club over another).

It seems that this will never be practically possible. :sorry:

If you think that you're feeling pressure then your probably right :) .

On the other hand, I think that the "pressure" most people feel is primarily their own responsibility. Mind over matter - I don't mind, so it doesn't matter.

Best,

Chris

Carsten Möllering
11-08-2010, 12:40 AM
It has been my dream to see Aikido being united all over the world

What do you mean by "united"?
What we call aikido today has its roots in the same ryu or better teh same kaiso.
But different lines of tradition have given what is called aikido different shapes depending on the teachers (shihan) they follow.
Saito sensei, Yamaguchi sensei, Shioda sensei, Nishio sensei, Mochizuki sensei, Tohei sensei ... and a lot of other names.

So what does "united" mean:
Doing ikkyo the same way?
Being organised in just one Organization?
(How should it be structured: Like a western federation or like a japaneze ryu?)

If you mean
Creating situations where any Aikidoka can cross-train at any Aikido dojo anywhere in the world without feeling guilty of "betraying" one club over another, or without feeling the pressure of choosing only one club over another.
then be aware that this form of unity exists. In my surrounding this is truly possible. And is done by a lot of practioners.

Amir Krause
11-08-2010, 04:17 AM
Wow - this thread has also been revived, and for the second time this year :confused: . You did notice it started at 2006 prior to writing a message :hypno:

It has been my dream to see Aikido being united all over the world (Creating situations where any Aikidoka can cross-train at any Aikido dojo anywhere in the world without feeling guilty of "betraying" one club over another, or without feeling the pressure of choosing only one club over another).

It seems that this will never be practically possible. :sorry:

And where exactly is the problem with realizing this dream?
Who ever is forcing you to feel guilty?

Nobody else controls your feelings, and you can go and train anywhere you wish the teacher is willing to accept you, regardless of "style". So, you can :)

Amir

P.S.
What do you mean by "united"?
What we call aikido today has its roots in the same ryu or better teh same kaiso.
But different lines of tradition have given what is called aikido different shapes depending on the teachers (shihan) they follow.
Saito sensei, Yamaguchi sensei, Shioda sensei, Nishio sensei, Mochizuki sensei, Tohei sensei ... and a lot of other names.

This is true for most Aikido styles, which have originated from Ueshiba, not to all (e.g. Korindo, founded by Hirai sensei,and not connected to Daito-ryu). As I have already commentd at the first page of this thread.

Carsten Möllering
11-08-2010, 05:06 AM
This is true for most Aikido styles, which have originated from Ueshiba, not to all (e.g. Korindo, founded by Hirai sensei,and not connected to Daito-ryu). True. You are right. Please accept my excuses.

But the more there is no formal unification possible or necessary, I think.

Randall Lim
11-08-2010, 06:27 AM
If you think that you're feeling pressure then your probably right :) .

On the other hand, I think that the "pressure" most people feel is primarily their own responsibility. Mind over matter - I don't mind, so it doesn't matter.

Best,

Chris

I don't mind cross-training at two or more unaffiliated clubs on a regular basis. I am not concerned with belt colour, rank or grading. I just want to train. But the trouble is: these unaffiliated clubs would really mind my "dual-membership".

Randall Lim
11-08-2010, 06:37 AM
What do you mean by "united"?
So what does "united" mean:
Doing ikkyo the same way?
Being organised in just one Organization?
(How should it be structured: Like a western federation or like a japaneze ryu?)

United in warm fellowship with all clubs joining one umbrella organisation which takes care of the interests of any Aikido club. A situation in which any Aikido club warmly welcomes any Aikidoka from any other Aikido club to train with them regularly without demanding loyalty.

Randall Lim
11-08-2010, 06:52 AM
But the more there is no formal unification possible or necessary, I think.

Sad but true...:sorry:

sakumeikan
11-09-2010, 09:46 AM
United in warm fellowship with all clubs joining one umbrella organisation which takes care of the interests of any Aikido club. A situation in which any Aikido club warmly welcomes any Aikidoka from any other Aikido club to train with them regularly without demanding loyalty.

I like this idea of being open and willing to train in any style or in any group.Unfortunately I think that some instructors are not open minded to this concept.Their egos get in the way and in some cases they want to remain big fish in a little pond.Not only that they by their actions tend to prevent their students from seeking info from others.In fact I myself have been refused opportunities to train with other groups [different organisations] in my own area.I have little chance of fraternising with junior students when the leaders of these dojo maintain a closed shop . Years of aikido in the U.K have convinced me that the idea of a united Aikido multi group of different organisations based on mutual respect is by and large a pipe dream.I am afraid that O Sensei did not take into consideration the frailties of human nature. Still we can only live and hope---
Please note , I welcome the opportunity to practise with any /all people who are sincere.

Dave O'Brien
11-09-2010, 10:17 AM
It is my understanding that O' Sensei did not create a style he created the foundations for Aikido. Once a student had gained a good understanding of these foundato
ions it is for him/her to then develop their own Aikido. We are all individuals. Therefore, our own Aikido is individual. However, it does not mean to say that we do not have great influences upon our learning and practice of Aikido, as one day your students will have of you. Stay true to the foundation of O' Sensei's legacy then Aikido has a heritage that will continue. Your development of those foundations gives you your Aikido.

y have of you

Randall Lim
11-10-2010, 02:43 AM
I like this idea of being open and willing to train in any style or in any group.Unfortunately I think that some instructors are not open minded to this concept.Their egos get in the way and in some cases they want to remain big fish in a little pond.Not only that they by their actions tend to prevent their students from seeking info from others.In fact I myself have been refused opportunities to train with other groups [different organisations] in my own area.I have little chance of fraternising with junior students when the leaders of these dojo maintain a closed shop . Years of aikido in the U.K have convinced me that the idea of a united Aikido multi group of different organisations based on mutual respect is by and large a pipe dream.I am afraid that O Sensei did not take into consideration the frailties of human nature. Still we can only live and hope---
Please note , I welcome the opportunity to practise with any /all people who are sincere.

There is a Dojo just a mere 10-minute walk from my home. I hope to suppliment my current weekly training at my own club (which is a good 30-minute drive) with regular training at this nearby Dojo, but cannot simply because it is run by a non-affiliated club.

I am not concerned about rank, grading or differences in styles (willing to wear my white belt all over again), but I am still not welcomed.

Amir Krause
11-10-2010, 07:21 AM
There is a Dojo just a mere 10-minute walk from my home. I hope to suppliment my current weekly training at my own club (which is a good 30-minute drive) with regular training at this nearby Dojo, but cannot simply because it is run by a non-affiliated club.

I am not concerned about rank, grading or differences in styles (willing to wear my white belt all over again), but I am still not welcomed.

How is that connected with unification? This is an issue of teachers methodology and not of

Different teachers teach in different manners, for most of them, a student saying "but in XXX dojo they do it the other way" would create an interuption they are not willing to accept, be XXX in the same organization or in another one. Some of those teachers would not know to explain the reasons for the way taught by them, others, are afraid to admit another variation might be better, and others would not be willing to find a disruption in class becausse some students are trying the other varyiation and have problems.

Some teachers also believe it is not in the best interest of their student to learn the same technique with varying emphasis at the same time. They consider it to confuse te student and hamper is progress. Such a teacher may refuse to have his student consistently learn a very similar M.A. in another place

Some teachers would consider such a state as putting them in a continous popularity contest with another teacher, and thus hampering their methodological considerations (the students should practice the same techniques for the nth time, but then he will think of my lessons as boring compared to ...)

A good teacher invests in his studens. Some may wish to feel they are the ones responsile for his progress rather then share the fame.

Lots of reasons, all of which have to do with humans, not with organizations.

Amir

Chris Li
11-10-2010, 09:48 AM
There is a Dojo just a mere 10-minute walk from my home. I hope to suppliment my current weekly training at my own club (which is a good 30-minute drive) with regular training at this nearby Dojo, but cannot simply because it is run by a non-affiliated club.

I am not concerned about rank, grading or differences in styles (willing to wear my white belt all over again), but I am still not welcomed.

Well, there's no Aikikai rule against training anywhere in particular, affiliated or not. If it's a non-Aikikai dojo that is causing the problem then it's really their problem isn't it?

Best,

Chris

Randall Lim
11-11-2010, 12:24 AM
Well, there's no Aikikai rule against training anywhere in particular, affiliated or not. If it's a non-Aikikai dojo that is causing the problem then it's really their problem isn't it?

Best,

Chris

It is affiliated. :sorry:

Randall Lim
11-11-2010, 12:32 AM
How is that connected with unification? This is an issue of teachers methodology and not of

Different teachers teach in different manners, for most of them, a student saying "but in XXX dojo they do it the other way" would create an interuption they are not willing to accept, be XXX in the same organization or in another one. Some of those teachers would not know to explain the reasons for the way taught by them, others, are afraid to admit another variation might be better, and others would not be willing to find a disruption in class becausse some students are trying the other varyiation and have problems.

Some teachers also believe it is not in the best interest of their student to learn the same technique with varying emphasis at the same time. They consider it to confuse te student and hamper is progress. Such a teacher may refuse to have his student consistently learn a very similar M.A. in another place

Some teachers would consider such a state as putting them in a continous popularity contest with another teacher, and thus hampering their methodological considerations (the students should practice the same techniques for the nth time, but then he will think of my lessons as boring compared to ...)

A good teacher invests in his studens. Some may wish to feel they are the ones responsile for his progress rather then share the fame.

Lots of reasons, all of which have to do with humans, not with organizations.

Amir

When I say unification, i do not mean every Aikido club standardising their styles or methods.

What I simply mean is to have situations where by any Aikidoka from any club is welcomed to train regularly at any other unaffiliated clubs.

Chris Li
11-11-2010, 12:42 AM
It is affiliated. :sorry:

Didn't you say it wasn't?

There is a Dojo just a mere 10-minute walk from my home. I hope to suppliment my current weekly training at my own club (which is a good 30-minute drive) with regular training at this nearby Dojo, but cannot simply because it is run by a non-affiliated club.

If everybody's Aikikai then what's the problem?

Best,

Chris

Carsten Möllering
11-11-2010, 02:53 AM
When I say unification, i do not mean every Aikido club standardising their styles or methods. [But this is a main issue of unification besides grading standards.

What I simply mean is to have situations where by any Aikidoka from any club is welcomed to train regularly at any other unaffiliated clubs.
This is not an issue of unification but of respect.

But:

There are different ways of teaching and of doing technique. And depending on my experiences it only makes sense to mix up different ways of understandig aikido after some years of intense training.
I.e. when one the one hand being sure with ones own aikido and on the other hand being able to adopt to a different approach.
And this is not about styles or organizations but about lines of tradition: Yamguchi and Saito and Ueshiba Kisshomaru are all aikikai but different "approaches".

George S. Ledyard
11-11-2010, 07:47 PM
My statement was,
"The Aikikai is the parent organization of Aikido and represents the last developments in the art of Aikido as taught by the Ueshiba family."

I was making a statement as to the official teaching of the Aikikai as espoused or taught by the Doshu as the representative of the Ueshiba family. Lots of Senseis within the Aikikai who teach under the Doshu have a different style including my own teacher. Those aren't the last developments of the Ueshiba family. Those are the last developments of Nishio Sensei or Saito sensei or whoever.The only official teaching of the Aikikai Foundation is represented in Doshu. Last time I checked, Doshu wasn't doing Nishio style nor are Nishio's books being sold by the Aikikai Hombu dojo.
Thanks for your comment anyway. I know you were trying to help.

Well, if you believe, as the folks at the Aikikai seem to, that Aikido is the Ueshiba family art, then this is a potential line of reasoning. I think it ignores that many of us have the impression that what is happening at Hombu is not the latest "development" of the art but is rather a lack of development or a subtraction of what was once there in favor of a simpler and more easily taught variation. The young deshi get nothing like the training my teacher was given,rather they seem to be trained to do and teach a certain curriculum.

I happen to think that the art was O-Sensei's art and that he transmitted various parts and different understandings to a number of people, which would include his family. Then, since his death in 1969, these people have taken their Aikido in various directions. The Aikikai seems to have opted for mass instruction of standardized techniques. Other teachers worked out their own methodologies or forms of the art. I definitely do not see the Aikikai as representing any kind of pinnacle or model for the art. In my opinion the best and most interesting Aikido is being done elsewhere. This would even be true when talking about the senior Hombu Dojo instructors who see to have a "party line" instruction when teaching at headquarters and another, far more interesting and individual take on the art when teaching at their own private dojos.

If we keep buying into this idea that Aikido proceeds outwards from the "source" which is Japan and Hombu Dojo, then we as the senior foreigners, students of the art trained directly by the uchi deshi, with every bit as many years of experience as some of the Japanese teachers now actively instructing at headquarters, will never really be treated seriously by our fellow Aikido practitioners.

When foreign Shihan are invited to teach at Hombu Dojo, I will perhaps start to invest in a Hombu leadership role. But right now, we don't participate and no one at headquarters seem to question that. I do not look to them for direction at all. What I am doing and trying to develop simply isn't even being taught there, that I have seen. I could be wrong. I haven't been there in many years. But I see the videos of the Embus and talk to folks who do pass through to train and I have heard anything that would contradict this view.

Randall Lim
11-12-2010, 06:18 AM
Didn't you say it wasn't?

Chris

I mean, it is affiliated to the Aikikai, but not to my club. My club is not affiliated to the Aikikai.

Chicko Xerri
11-13-2010, 02:38 AM
My Aikido is the Best. Why? Because it makes me so so happy, Generally.
Yours is also the best for me. Why? Because I can see it.

Amir Krause
11-14-2010, 07:20 AM
This is not an issue of unification but of respect.


I concur
You could have been learning two seperate M.A. and still have this same problem. Or have two sensei of the same organization disagree to your learning at both Dojos. It is not an issue of unified organization. Only a matter of respect.


But:

There are different ways of teaching and of doing technique. And depending on my experiences it only makes sense to mix up different ways of understandig aikido after some years of intense training.
I.e. when one the one hand being sure with ones own aikido and on the other hand being able to adopt to a different approach.
And this is not about styles or organizations but about lines of tradition: Yamguchi and Saito and Ueshiba Kisshomaru are all aikikai but different "approaches".
This is the legitimate reason for such disagreement, compounded by students insisting on asking at one class questions on things done at the other.

Amir

Randall Lim
02-06-2011, 04:56 AM
I belong to a federation that is not affiliated to the Aikikai. It's not something that normally enters my consciousness.
I practice with a teacher who has learnt from a number of O'Sensei's direct students, as far as I'm concerned, the quality of your teacher and his/her teaching is far more important than the name of the organisation or the 'validity' that is given or not by a 'governing body'.
I have no negative thoughts regarding any other aikido 'group' as long as they uphold the spirit of O'Sensei's teaching.

regards,
Mark

Fully agreed!!

Randall Lim
02-06-2011, 05:09 AM
Hi Maumote Chami,

Aikido is already a complex art to study for anyone who do not have any prior MA training. To get into the politics of the various aikido organizations only intense its complexity. IMO, it is a study by itself. You need to go into the history and evolution of aikido and its respective organizations. The politics of the major organizations and the politics within these organizations and their affiliates is a never ending subject considering all (human) factors that created the politics. Sadly but realistically, rankings are tools of such politics.

We always look at Aikido as a MA created by M Ueshiba. Then, it is also argued that the term "Aikido" is also used as a classification/label by the DAI NIHON BUTOKUKAI to cover all similar MA - e.g. Korindo Aikido. Interview with Minoru Hirai sensei (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=87) Generally, the aikido we refer to and train in is the aikido of M Ueshiba and the major organizations of this lineage are:

Controlled and managed by his direct descendants - Aikikai
Of his direct students -
Yoshinkan Aikido - Gozo Shioda
Shin shin Toitsu Aikido - Koichi Tohei
Tomiki Aikido - Kenji Tomiki
Aiki Manseido - Kanshu Sunadomari
Yoseikan - Minoru Mochizuki
Tendoryu Aikido - Kenji Shimizu
and the latest addition - Shin shin Aiki Shuren-Kai - Hirohito Saito (trained as child with O Sensei)

As for the ART, you are right about, "..but at the end it's a 1 Aikido". There are different paths to go up a mountain but the view is the same at the top. I agree with Lan -

To enjoy the journey, we must remain a student and forget about the ranks and hakama.

As for your friend - do you need to correct him? IMO, no. Just ask him to do his own research rather than listening to his teacher. That 25% of the teaching may not be 100% right :D

Best training

David Y

Comprehensive list of lineages!!

Randall Lim
02-06-2011, 05:13 AM
Well, Moriteru Ueshiba stated outright in "Best Aikido" that "styles that practiced compeition" (ie Shodokan) were not Aikido.

Of course, people have to make up their own minds as to whether they agree with that viewpoint or not.

I know that the "many roads up the same mountain" view is politically correct, but in all fairness, since some things are obviously not Aikido there must be some point at which something becomes "not Aikido", even in spite of some past connection to Morihei Ueshiba. The exact location of that point I leave as an exercise to the reader :).

Best,

Chris

If I do not see or feel any Aiki in an "Aikido" technique, do I still consider it Aikido?? For example, if I execute Kotegaeshi or Shiho Nage without Aiki, do I still call them Aikido??

Randall Lim
02-06-2011, 05:21 AM
IMHO there is only one Aikido. Tell him that it is the manner in which they are taught that makes the difference. Some concentrates on variations, some on basics. Others on flowing, others on static. Others on self-defense, others for exercise, etc., etc. Depending on your affiliation, the method of teaching and focus on training varies.

Many Aikido Techniques can be executed without Aiki. Do you still call them Aikido?? Most Tai Chi moves use Aiki. Can we call Tai Chi a kind of Aikido??

Chicko Xerri
02-07-2011, 02:53 AM
("When your Heart is True, your technique is correct.")

RobertHouse
06-17-2011, 08:28 PM
While studying at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo I remember seeing many styles from the various teachers there. Yamaguchi Sensei's class was quite different from Arikawa Sensei's class to the extent that a new student would surely question whether they are of the same "style". Granted things may have changed as my 7 years in Tokyo ended 14 years ago. I had my favorite Instructors but went to all classes to get something from the variety of "styles" that existed under one roof.

Following that train of thought... I always enjoyed going to any other style dojo that I could get an invitation to just to experience the differences. I was invited to Shirata Sensei, Saito Sensei, Kobayashi Yasuo Sensei, Tomiki dojos, Yoshinkan dojos and others. Unfortunately, at every dojo I went to, some student would say something along the lines of "our style is right and your style is wrong".

A point to notice is that the students saying this were usually junior students and the senior students did not express that - at least outwardly.

My best advise would be to ignore those who put down someone with a different style and gravitate to those who rejoice in our differences.

Thanks for listening.