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phitruong
02-25-2012, 10:00 PM
If your "demonstration of principles" allows someone to lop off your head, your principles are unsound.

Katherine

what if he wants to demonstrate the principle of getting your head lop off, would that still be unsound? and would it happens in the wood with nobody around, would it still makes no sound? :D

graham christian
02-25-2012, 10:20 PM
Actually, I had a couple of points. Rather than let you put words in my mouth, why don't I just tell you what they are?

* First, the claim that "all" Japanese martial artists of a given era have sword knowledge is not nearly as obvious as you seem to think.
* Second, even if they do have (or are willing to claim) "knowledge," that doesn't mean they have any degree of competence whatsoever.
* So exactly what is the point of bringing this large collection of martial artists with "sword knowledge" into the thread? That randomly waving sticks around is okay because lots of people do it?

I'm also having trouble with this whole notion that aikido principles are so unique among the martial arts that, when demonstrating them with a bokken, apparent incompetence can actually hide total mastery. You may believe that, but that's not what any of the teachers in my lineage claim, and it's certainly not what I've felt in their classes.

Yes, I'm completely ignoring the whole "using bokken to demonstrate principles" line of argument. Balance is balance. Openings are openings. If your "demonstration of principles" allows someone to lop off your head, your principles are unsound.

Katherine

The point of bringing anything into a thread is usually for illustration purposes. I don't even remember the precise point and it's not of much significance anyway.

My using it to demonstrate principles has nothing to do with with someone lopping heads off. You imply leaving openings etc. as if you have seen me demo suburi or some such which you haven't.

Using bokken to demonstrate principles is not a line of argument it's a fact of how I teach. You not being used to it or having experienced it is not my problem. Now as I have said many times before if you don't understand then ask. My way of teaching is obviously different to some here but that doesn't mean they have to assume anything.

I can tell how good a person is with a sword quite well purely by the use of their tegatana in standard practice. I can perform simple tests for such, no bokken needed. Aikido sword is merely Aikido in my view.

Secondly, as and when I teach anyone it for real then they must first be able to face and handle a bokken empty handed.

Therefore I could quite easily watch videos of actual suburi practice and 90% of the time say they are merely waving sticks around. But I don't as it is a waste of time saying such things, has no value. Also, I understand their way of learning is 'the norm' in their particular style.

My zen approach is not new and my view of spiritual principles is not new either but unfortunately not common either.

Further discussion would have to be by pm or another thread.

Regards.G.

graham christian
02-25-2012, 10:27 PM
what if he wants to demonstrate the principle of getting your head lop off, would that still be unsound? and would it happens in the wood with nobody around, would it still makes no sound? :D

Very funny, I like it. Why would I need a tsuba when I am already standing behind you? And when I'm holding your own sword with you is your tsuba protecting your wrist or mine?

G.

kewms
02-26-2012, 12:16 AM
Using bokken to demonstrate principles is not a line of argument it's a fact of how I teach. You not being used to it or having experienced it is not my problem.

I've experienced it quite frequently. That's why I find your videos so hard to understand: they have very little resemblance to the aikido sword that I have seen and strive to emulate.

My own teacher has posted quite a bit of video. For your enjoyment:
http://www.youtube.com/user/gledyard/featured

Katherine

graham christian
02-26-2012, 04:07 AM
I've experienced it quite frequently. That's why I find your videos so hard to understand: they have very little resemblance to the aikido sword that I have seen and strive to emulate.

My own teacher has posted quite a bit of video. For your enjoyment:
http://www.youtube.com/user/gledyard/featured

Katherine

Thank you for sharing.

Watched the 'sword intensive' video. Nice. Good explanations. No different to what I teach basically.

Good to see.

Regards.G.

Fred Little
02-26-2012, 08:47 AM
I won't spoil the experience of reading the following by summarizing, but I do believe that those who make it to the end will find it rewarding:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/opinion/sunday/when-truisms-are-true.html

ChrisMoses
02-27-2012, 11:20 AM
You imply leaving openings etc. as if you have seen me demo suburi or some such which you haven't.

[snip]

Therefore I could quite easily watch videos of actual suburi practice and 90% of the time say they are merely waving sticks around. But I don't as it is a waste of time saying such things, has no value. Also, I understand their way of learning is 'the norm' in their particular style.



"You keep using that word. I donna think it means whata you think it means..."

Suburi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suburi)

I did want to make two quick general points (not to you Graham, you keep on keepin' on man).

As others have pointed out, it should not be assumed to be universal or a given, particularly wrt Aikido in the 50's and 60's, that a Japanese martial artist would be competent or even truly familiar with JSA. I will concede that Kendo was traditionally taught in the public schools, however in 1945 that was banned for a time, and even when it was brought back, some would argue that it had changed to me more "sporty" and less martial. (There's a good article here. (http://ejmas.com/jcs/jcsart_svinth_1202.htm) It's good to keep in mind that Kendo (and other budo taught in the public shools) were basically PE. While I personally played various sports, like soccer, growing up, I would not consider myself a soccer player simply because I had participated in that activity in PE classes. The head of my first Aikido school (Kurita Minouru) specifically mentioned that he had to make specific effort to learn swordsmanship. This was despite the fact that he frequently stayed with OSensei in Iwama and studied at Aikido hombu regularly as an uchideshi. He actually spoke of "sneaking off" to study with "a certain sword teacher" (later confirmed to be Nishio Sensei) in order to learn swordsmanship. It was clearly implied that this was a bit frowned upon even. The modern historical story of Aikido seems pretty clearly in agreement with a fairly minimal role for real swordsmanship in Aikido.

WRT tsuba, echoing what others have said, let the tool suit your practice. I don't use bokken much anymore, I mostly use shinken, but I still prefer bokken without tsuba. Aesthetically I think they look nicer and I like the way they feel. Depending on the practice however, I keep a rawhide tsuba in my bag in case I need one, some of the paired stuff we do in Icho-ryu is a lot safer with gloves and a tsuba. I think it's patently absurd to think that using/not using a tsuba is some sort of litmus for laziness. To me this kind of statement implies a general lack of real understanding about Japanese swordsmanship and bokken use in general.

DH
02-27-2012, 12:37 PM
"You keep using that word. I donna think it means whata you think it means..."

Suburi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suburi)

I did want to make two quick general points (not to you Graham, you keep on keepin' on man).

As others have pointed out, it should not be assumed to be universal or a given, particularly wrt Aikido in the 50's and 60's, that a Japanese martial artist would be competent or even truly familiar with JSA. I will concede that Kendo was traditionally taught in the public schools, however in 1945 that was banned for a time, and even when it was brought back, some would argue that it had changed to me more "sporty" and less martial. (There's a good article here. (http://ejmas.com/jcs/jcsart_svinth_1202.htm) It's good to keep in mind that Kendo (and other budo taught in the public shools) were basically PE. While I personally played various sports, like soccer, growing up, I would not consider myself a soccer player simply because I had participated in that activity in PE classes. The head of my first Aikido school (Kurita Minouru) specifically mentioned that he had to make specific effort to learn swordsmanship. This was despite the fact that he frequently stayed with OSensei in Iwama and studied at Aikido hombu regularly as an uchideshi. He actually spoke of "sneaking off" to study with "a certain sword teacher" (later confirmed to be Nishio Sensei) in order to learn swordsmanship. It was clearly implied that this was a bit frowned upon even. The modern historical story of Aikido seems pretty clearly in agreement with a fairly minimal role for real swordsmanship in Aikido.

WRT tsuba, echoing what others have said, let the tool suit your practice. I don't use bokken much anymore, I mostly use shinken, but I still prefer bokken without tsuba. Aesthetically I think they look nicer and I like the way they feel. Depending on the practice however, I keep a rawhide tsuba in my bag in case I need one, some of the paired stuff we do in Icho-ryu is a lot safer with gloves and a tsuba. I think it's patently absurd to think that using/not using a tsuba is some sort of litmus for laziness. To me this kind of statement implies a general lack of real understanding about Japanese swordsmanship and bokken use in general.
+1
Technical discussions and video can be valuable and revealing; both for knowledge and actual skill. Over time they firmly establish the 0-10 scale of who we are talking to.
Dan

Marc Abrams
02-27-2012, 02:22 PM
+1
Technical discussions and video can be valuable and revealing; both for knowledge and actual skill. Over time they firmly establish the 0-10 scale of who we are talking to.
Dan

Dan:

Had you ever considered a scale with negative numbers? ;)

Marc Abrams

graham christian
02-27-2012, 07:16 PM
Hi Christian.
Nice to read a different view. You did make me think of football (soccer) and how it is a national sport over here, much like kendo was in japan.

Funny thing is that 90% of boys and men over here know lots about football, play it in schools as part of the curriculum, many play for fun in Sunday leagues and five a sides way after such schooldays and millions support a team.

The most popular talk show on the radio in london is dedicated to football and everyone who phones in is an 'expert'.

So they all, especially supporters, consider themselves 'experts' on the game.

Now those who are really good at historical things and data are considered 'anaraks' a bit like 'geeks'

Now the anoraks and geeks love discussing and debating minor things like 'shin pads' with passion and 'he saids' etc. while the supporters just want to talk about the football, with passion.

Meanwhile there are then the practitioners of the sport both amateur and professional. Now along with them there are the coaches and managers and sports psychologists etc.

Now a professional or even an amateur may in interviews say such things as at such an age or after meeting so and so I decided to go and learn more about my trade and improve my skill level. Usually it's more like 'I decided to take it more seriously' . Now this doesn't mean they didn't know football but it meant they wanted personally to get even more into it.

Meanwhile, the teams all train their own particular ways, the clubs all do things their own particular ways, the players all devise their own particular ways of training along with their personal coaches as well as joint training.

Now do I ever hear players insulting the way other players train? Do I ever hear managers or coaches insulting such things? Would the governing body even allow such things? No....... If and when it does happen it is big news and the insulter suffers the consequences.

Once again it's only the anoraks and geeks who get into such things.

Football clubs even have their own philosophies as to how the game should be played but does this take it away from being football? No, of course it doesn't. Because football like all things is defined by it's actions and not mixed with the actions of other sports. Only coaches borrow different training techniques from other sports to use.

So we have big clubs and small clubs, rich clubs and poor clubs, but what is a good club? Players can tell you, the clubs they felt welcome at, had fun at, and did well at. Anoraks couldn't tell one from the other and so their reasoning is based on false criteria.

Now rugby is different, it's more a grappling sport. Football would no longer be football if it started doing that. Of course there are some folk who play both, I did, but funny how I never related the two.

Another thing I noticed is the best managers, currently Alex Ferguson and the next possible England Manager, Harry Rednapp, and an all time folk hero of the past Brian Clough all keep telling people the secret of their success but no one seems to listen. Just go play, you know what to do. That's it.

These managers just controlled the players temperaments and behaviour that's all. So apart from that be free to express yourself your way and don't listen to the negative anoraks. When opposition supporters put you down it's because they are scared of you. They know you are good. When your own supporters do, then it's time to worry.

No ones come up with a mixed ball sport yet, maybe if they did they would consider it superior.

Too many chiefs methinks and yet the indians have the best views.

If you're used to being a football fan over here then you are used to all the banter and put downs from other fans and you are used to the mad logic used in response and you are used to that whole mad mental world involved. The game of making the other wrong. Childsplay.

I'll just carry on as you say, promoting Aikido in all it's forms and also promoting the words of Ueshiba and the spiritual context as well. It's all good.

Regards.G.

ChrisMoses
02-27-2012, 07:40 PM
In the States, we have a term, "armchair Quaterback".

graham christian
02-27-2012, 07:46 PM
In the States, we have a term, "armchair Quaterback".

I wonder what it is in Japan?

Gorgeous George
02-27-2012, 10:15 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2mlD5xcikQ

akiy
02-28-2012, 11:16 AM
I think the topic in this thread has run its course.

Thread closed.

-- Jun