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Gwion
10-18-2006, 12:28 PM
While I have no experience with any Tohei lineage (Ki Society/ Shinshin Toitsu), or with Tomiki/Shodokan, I can envisage an approach that begins with a competitive element (so prevalent in modern society) in a limited range of techniques and perhaps finding ways to obviate the competitive drive by that means itself in demonstrating that he who gives up direct confrontation first actually wins. This may be a study in homeopathy where a little touch of the fever may in fact be a cure for the disease that causes it. It runs the risk of a allowing the competitive (force versus force) element a longer period of dominance in practice if not managed very closely.

By no means will I presume to criticize Tohei's approach either, having no experience in it. I can hoewever see an approach from the opposite end of the spectrum as Tomiki. Founding training in development ki musubi and bodily sensitivity as preliminary to study in expression of aiki through technique. This would keep the competitive (force versus force) element almost entirely at bay. It would run the risk of frustrating the competitive urge, rather than sublimating it, or in losing martial connection in a contemplative kind of absorption.

I do not know if these speculations are true to the arc of their curricula or not. I could imagine on my sense of the whole spectrum of aikido teaching that I have experienced that it may be. If so, I find no problem with either of them from that standpoint of being "true" aikido. (As if it were my place to say).

I find my preference in the middle ground of the "traditional" because both tendencies to depart from the center -- the quietist and the activist can be simultaneously quelled. But that is a preference and may not answer to all needs.

The images of aikido are both curved and perpendicular -- circle and cross (juji). Movement inward (iirmi) on perpendicular track (cross) in response to a rotary force (tenkan) defines a spiral. Like a spiral, aikido is always dynamic, asymmetric, constantly changing in orientation, position and extension -- but eternal and inalterable in its fundamental form.

Which is my two cents.

Dude, get over your false sense of modesty. You ARE presuming to judge Tomiki and Ki Society. It's like saying, "I don't mean to criticize, but you suck" Why mention them at all if you have no experience of them?

I'll do you a favor and presume to judge:

Aikikai has basically preserved the external form of Aikido, and to some extent, the spirit of it. However, the passing of Aikido lineage through Osensei's child Kisshomaru and grandson Moriteru, was a bad call in my opinion. With all due respect, neither of these guys' Aikido has ever been pointed to as even close to Osensei, or even Tohei or Tomiki. They are beaurocratic figureheads of the Aikikai organization, not top form Aikidoka.

Tohei sensei on the other hand was granted 10th dan by Osensei and he ended up being the ONLY Osensei approved 10th Dan. (tons of 10th Dans after tohei left, but these seemed more like political promotions)
Why the big split? politics. I can't help but wonder whether Kisshomaru was jealous of Tohei's favoured ranking and position within Aikikai as given to him by Osensei. I have no evidence, but all I know is, the top ranked Aikidoka in the world was 'pushed out' as head instructor, which was fine, because he just made his own Aikido school.

But the result? Now there are some fantastic Aikidoka on both sides of the fence, but there is not a whole lot of reintegration of the two schools, but a lot of mutual critique and criticism based on ignorance and the all pervasive, 'fear of the unknown'. Resulting in the comments by Mr. Eric Mead

:circle: :square: :triangle:

Alfonso
10-18-2006, 02:38 PM
Dude, get over your false sense of modesty. You ARE presuming to judge Tomiki and Ki Society. It's like saying, "I don't mean to criticize, but you suck" Why mention them at all if you have no experience of them?

I'll do you a favor and presume to judge:

Aikikai has basically preserved the external form of Aikido, and to some extent, the spirit of it. However, the passing of Aikido lineage through Osensei's child Kisshomaru and grandson Moriteru, was a bad call in my opinion. With all due respect, neither of these guys' Aikido has ever been pointed to as even close to Osensei, or even Tohei or Tomiki. They are beaurocratic figureheads of the Aikikai organization, not top form Aikidoka.

Tohei sensei on the other hand was granted 10th dan by Osensei and he ended up being the ONLY Osensei approved 10th Dan. (tons of 10th Dans after tohei left, but these seemed more like political promotions)
Why the big split? politics. I can't help but wonder whether Kisshomaru was jealous of Tohei's favoured ranking and position within Aikikai as given to him by Osensei. I have no evidence, but all I know is, the top ranked Aikidoka in the world was 'pushed out' as head instructor, which was fine, because he just made his own Aikido school.

But the result? Now there are some fantastic Aikidoka on both sides of the fence, but there is not a whole lot of reintegration of the two schools, but a lot of mutual critique and criticism based on ignorance and the all pervasive, 'fear of the unknown'. Resulting in the comments by Mr. Eric Mead

:circle: :square: :triangle:

I'm curiuos to know if you've personally verified the "weak/poor" Aikido of the different Doshu ? Or are you just repeating something you heard somewhere?

Erick Mead
10-18-2006, 04:39 PM
Dude, get over your false sense of modesty. Oh..., you have NO idea ... :eek:
You ARE presuming to judge Tomiki and Ki Society. It's like saying, "I don't mean to criticize, but you suck" Why mention them at all if you have no experience of them? I am fairly sure I spoke of "my preference" that "may not answer to all needs" -- not of any judgment of inherent merit or demerit.

Why speak of the moon if I have not visited?

I would do a disservice not to flag the areas where I am speculating from those in which I have sound experience to make a conclusion. That does not mean that interpolation of the gaps in knowledge is not useful, nor that it is necessarily incorrect.

I observe, and I analyze, and I speak; it is my curse, really. (And my stock in trade, for that matter ...)
I'll do you a favor and presume to judge: Please, I like favors. They're ... shiny.

Aikikai has basically preserved the external form of Aikido, and to some extent, the spirit of it.

[DELETE -- ad hominem argument] My analysis is as good (or poor) as my observations, which may be good or poor. But I note you have not addressed either of them. "My Shihan is WAY badder than your Shihan" pretty much defines my idea of lame and impolite conversation. My concern was hardly put in such terms nor with any such intent.
But the result? Now there are some fantastic Aikidoka on both sides of the fence ...I do not doubt that. I did not say or suggest anything to the contrary.
... , but there is not a whole lot of reintegration of the two schools, but a lot of mutual critique and criticism based on ignorance and the all pervasive, 'fear of the unknown'. Resulting in the comments by Mr. Eric Mead He who fears criticism, generally perceives it, however, whether it it is there or not. It certainly was not on my part. I may fear many things, but the unknown is hardly among them. :p My arc of experience is the product of chance and happenstance, merely, as with all those with whom I have actually had the pleasure of training. It was hardly the result of choice or avoidance.

And "Erick" is spelled with a "ck" -- just so you know, (I'm used to it.) :D

Gwion
10-18-2006, 08:53 PM
Dear Alfonso and Eric,

I've seen videos of them doing randori and such, and they seem pretty uncoordinated and shaky (just search the names on youtube)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3OIKnG1L5k

here, take a look at Osensei, and Tohei sensei (and even Shioda sensei) and compare them to any video of Ueshiba's kids. They don't even hold a candle to Osensei or Tohei Sensei. It's not just a 'he's better' argument, it's rational acknowledgement that being a great martial artist's son does not automatically make you great. Osensei himself said something to the effect of 'this budo is not inherited' or the like, this was a powerful statement as at the time most schools of jujitsu and what not were passed down through family generations.

Anyway, I'm basically setting the record straight regarding the implied accusations you made about tohei sensei and the ki society being, whatever it is you claim they were being. It was Osensei's will that Tohei sensei head the Aikikai. Tohei, being a nice guy, decided to leave when more conservative mindsets and political forces amassed to give him guff.

So my point Eric, is: Tohei sensei IS the 'middle ground' of Aikido. What is currently called the Aikikai is not even close to being as great as it could have been, and it is NOT what Osensei envisioned.

aikidjoe
10-18-2006, 09:49 PM
"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."

-O'Sensei

This bickering about who is better than who is pointless and destructive.

kironin
10-18-2006, 11:07 PM
"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."

-O'Sensei

This bickering about who is better than who is pointless and destructive.


Exactly!

My friends include Yoshinkan, Tomiki, AAA, Aikikai, etc. teachers and sniping at each other woukd be such a huge waste of time. We more in common than not.
These are my Aikido brothers.
After all most people I encounter think I mean some form of karate. The most common question is.
"is that like Tae Kwon Do ?"

As for this threads question. huh? For anything that someone loves you can be sure to find someone that hates it. Why tickle even two brain cells together about it. It's inevitable the more common something is to find someone who hates it.

Everyone find a path you enjoy and to hell with what anyone else thinks. Love it with a passion.
:ki:

jason jordan
10-19-2006, 05:35 AM
Can't we all just get along!!!!!!!!

Gwion
10-19-2006, 09:13 AM
"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."

-O'Sensei

This bickering about who is better than who is pointless and destructive.

Exactly.
Thanks for the support Joseph.

ian
10-19-2006, 09:20 AM
However, the passing of Aikido lineage through Osensei's child Kisshomaru and grandson Moriteru, was a bad call in my opinion. With all due respect, neither of these guys' Aikido has ever been pointed to as even close to Osensei, or even Tohei or Tomiki. They are beaurocratic figureheads of the Aikikai organization, not top form Aikidoka.


I'm sure they can both kick my arse, but I would tend to agree. However, I'm not sure trying to point to what is 'true aikido' is useful. As Ueshiba said, aikido cannot be understood with words. I think people have to discover it for themselves and their teachers can only point the way. Some teachers are better for some students - but the worst student is the one who is blind and understands only one way of doing things. Yes, there is bullshit in the martial arts. Basically its up to our own judgement on what we feel is effective (as its us that will suffer the consequences!).

Its pointless saying 'my instructor is fantastic' or 'my style is the best', if you yourself are crap. We just have to be the best we can be; whether that means exploring other styles, of even other martial arts. The relationship to Budo and martial development must be the real test.... and we will argue over that for ever! ;)

MikeLogan
10-19-2006, 09:46 AM
Exactly.
Thanks for the support Joseph.
Nice Try, but it is painfully obvious that Joseph's quote was not to the strict benefit of your argument, if any benefit at all.
The quoted material in your initial post was to the point of observation, acceptance, and declaration of personal preference. Your following reply contained nothing but ideas directly disdained and rejected by Joseph Montange's quoted material.

Calm Down, Tomorrow is Friday, you can have a cookie then.

Gwion
10-19-2006, 10:17 AM
I'm sure they can both kick my arse, but I would tend to agree. However, I'm not sure trying to point to what is 'true aikido' is useful. As Ueshiba said, aikido cannot be understood with words. I think people have to discover it for themselves and their teachers can only point the way. Some teachers are better for some students - but the worst student is the one who is blind and understands only one way of doing things. Yes, there is bullshit in the martial arts. Basically its up to our own judgement on what we feel is effective (as its us that will suffer the consequences!).

Its pointless saying 'my instructor is fantastic' or 'my style is the best', if you yourself are crap. We just have to be the best we can be; whether that means exploring other styles, of even other martial arts. The relationship to Budo and martial development must be the real test.... and we will argue over that for ever! ;)

I agree, I was just clearing Tohei sensei's good name from Eric the Mead's "Aikikai is the middle ground" misinformation campaign. I personally think all the Aikido styles should get over their hangups and start hanging out and doing more intrastyle seminars and what not. I like 'em all, I just dislike it when Ki Society is misperceived as something it isn't.

Gwion
10-19-2006, 10:23 AM
Nice Try, but it is painfully obvious that Joseph's quote was not to the strict benefit of your argument, if any benefit at all.
The quoted material in your initial post was to the point of observation, acceptance, and declaration of personal preference. Your following reply contained nothing but ideas directly disdained and rejected by Joseph Montange's quoted material.

Calm Down, Tomorrow is Friday, you can have a cookie then.

1)I'm sorry my post caused you pain.
2) I think Joseph can speak for himself.
3) I am calm, are you?
4) Tomorrow IS friday, the one thing you got right.
5) Thanks for the patronizing "cookie". Could you explain to me how that isn't smug and condescending. Or are you unapologetic?

da2el.ni4na
10-19-2006, 10:33 AM
Something of a tangent:
There are these 3 clips of Tohei sensei on Youtube at the moment, and in one of them he shows striking a bokken corectly and incorrectly. (7:30 in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfpTU6ZiaK4)
There is also an Aikikai video (not on Youtube) featuring Kisshomaru doshu, with Shibata, Seki, Moriteru, Endo, Suganuma, and Chiba senseis as ukes. In one part Chiba sensei is thrusting at Kisshomaru with jo, and Kisshomaru doshu strikes the jo with bokken in such a way that Chiba sensei drops to his knees.
I just thought is was interesting you could see them do something so similar in light of this thread.

Gwion
10-19-2006, 10:37 AM
Something of a tangent:
There are these 3 clips of Tohei sensei on Youtube at the moment, and in one of them he shows striking a bokken corectly and incorrectly. (7:30 in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfpTU6ZiaK4)
There is also an Aikikai video (not on Youtube) featuring Kisshomaru doshu, with Shibata, Seki, Moriteru, Endo, Suganuma, and Chiba senseis as ukes. In one part Chiba sensei is thrusting at Kisshomaru with jo, and Kisshomaru doshu strikes the jo with bokken in such a way that Chiba sensei drops to his knees.
I just thought is was interesting you could see them do something so similar in light of this thread.

that's awesome, I never found those vids before! Thanks Daniel.

Guilty Spark
10-19-2006, 11:44 AM
So where does Gozo Shioda Sensei fit in on the pecking order?

MikeLogan
10-19-2006, 01:03 PM
1)I'm sorry my post caused you pain. No, you're not.2) I think Joseph can speak for himself. No, you don't. Exactly. Thanks for the support Joseph. He did not address you, he simply stated, and you claimed it to be in support of your reasoning. You put your words in his mouth.3) I am calm, are you? Quite, but not quiet.4) Tomorrow IS friday, the one thing you got right. Actually come tomorrow, that will be the only thing that would be incorrect, so one might reason that it being incorrect in the future, we will act as though it were incorrect in the present.
5) Thanks for the patronizing "cookie". Could you explain to me how that isn't smug and condescending. Or are you unapologetic? Quite unapologetic, here, have another cookie. Or shall I be downright rude, and offer you a kookie? Nah, you've got plenty of them to train with...

I think I'm having a bit of that cathartic aggression Erick might have been referring too. Look closer and maybe you'll gain some sort of benefit from your tantrums.

Gwion
10-19-2006, 01:24 PM
So where does Gozo Shioda Sensei fit in on the pecking order?
read what I wrote, I put him in there

Gwion
10-19-2006, 01:25 PM
No, you're not. No, you don't. He did not address you, he simply stated, and you claimed it to be in support of your reasoning. You put your words in his mouth. Quite, but not quiet. Actually come tomorrow, that will be the only thing that would be incorrect, so one might reason that it being incorrect in the future, we will act as though it were incorrect in the present.
Quite unapologetic, here, have another cookie. Or shall I be downright rude, and offer you a kookie? Nah, you've got plenty of them to train with...

I think I'm having a bit of that cathartic aggression Erick might have been referring too. Look closer and maybe you'll gain some sort of benefit from your tantrums.

U R A Douche

odudog
10-19-2006, 01:27 PM
...Aikikai has basically preserved the external form of Aikido, and to some extent, the spirit of it. However, the passing of Aikido lineage through Osensei's child Kisshomaru and grandson Moriteru, was a bad call in my opinion. With all due respect, neither of these guys' Aikido has ever been pointed to as even close to Osensei, or even Tohei or Tomiki. They are beaurocratic figureheads of the Aikikai organization, not top form Aikidoka.

Tohei sensei on the other hand was granted 10th dan by Osensei and he ended up being the ONLY Osensei approved 10th Dan. (tons of 10th Dans after tohei left, but these seemed more like political promotions)
Why the big split? politics. I can't help but wonder whether Kisshomaru was jealous of Tohei's favoured ranking and position within Aikikai as given to him by Osensei. I have no evidence, but all I know is, the top ranked Aikidoka in the world was 'pushed out' as head instructor, which was fine, because he just made his own Aikido school....

Kisshomaru was pointed in charge of the Aikikai when he was in High School if my memory serves me correctly so he was in charge for a very long time. He was put in this position by O'Sensei. Aikido follows the iemoto system of transmission so Tohei would never have been in charge, this also explains why there is no rank for Kisshomaru or Moriteru and the same for Waka-Sensei. Tohei Sensei was in charge of the technical instruction only.

The things that Tohei Sensei wanted to introduce to Aikido was not learned from O'Sensei but from the Tempukai, hence the dissatisfaction of this idea from Kisshomaru and the other high ranking Sensei.

akiy
10-19-2006, 01:31 PM
Hi folks,

Please stop the personal attacks. They are not welcome here on AikiWeb.

Thank you,

-- Jun

MikeLogan
10-19-2006, 01:46 PM
Wow, that is unmitigated, irrevocable logic, and in only 4 syllables. I got nothing, Thread Over, you win.

Larry Cuvin
10-19-2006, 01:47 PM
Not very Aiki.

Gwion
10-19-2006, 02:14 PM
Wow, that is unmitigated, irrevocable logic, and in only 4 syllables. I got nothing, Thread Over, you win.

Thanks Mike. Glad you can see things my way.

I think if you're a little more open and kind to new posters, and try not to be so snide and condescending with your posts, you'll find yourself in a lot more friendly dialogue and a lot less of what just happened.

take it to heart.

--WW

Erick Mead
10-19-2006, 02:36 PM
I agree, I was just clearing Tohei sensei's good name from Eric the Mead's ... For the record -- his name is more than secure from the likes of me -- couldn't touch him with several dozen ten-foot poles ... :)

Tomas Grana
10-19-2006, 02:50 PM
I second Jun's post. This is one of the most un-aiki threads I've ever read on Aikiweb. Right from the title, too. There should be no "vs" in Aikido, especially between aikidoka/aikidoists. As one of my favourite dojo rules goes: "leave your shoes and your egos off the mat".

Gwion
10-19-2006, 02:54 PM
I second Jun's post. This is one of the most un-aiki threads I've ever read on Aikiweb. Right from the title, too. There should be no "vs" in Aikido, especially between aikidoka/aikidoists. As one of my favourite dojo rules goes: "leave your shoes and your egos off the mat".

Actually, Jun is the one who titled it "K. Tohei vs Aikikai"

ww

MikeLogan
10-19-2006, 02:56 PM
Which does not excuse our behaviour, nor our monosyllabic rebuttals

Gwion
10-19-2006, 03:03 PM
Kisshomaru was pointed in charge of the Aikikai when he was in High School if my memory serves me correctly so he was in charge for a very long time. He was put in this position by O'Sensei. Aikido follows the iemoto system of transmission so Tohei would never have been in charge, this also explains why there is no rank for Kisshomaru or Moriteru and the same for Waka-Sensei. Tohei Sensei was in charge of the technical instruction only.

The things that Tohei Sensei wanted to introduce to Aikido was not learned from O'Sensei but from the Tempukai, hence the dissatisfaction of this idea from Kisshomaru and the other high ranking Sensei.

Here's a nice interview with Tohei Sensei about it all. If someone can find one with Kisshomaru Sensei, we can get to the bottom of this issue:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=93

Gwion
10-19-2006, 03:23 PM
Which does not excuse our behaviour, nor our monosyllabic rebuttals

way to be a man and apologize for your behaviour Mike. Good on you.


hey everybody, isn't this a message board? lighten up.
--ww

aikidjoe
10-19-2006, 04:47 PM
I thought Mike made an interesting point that was overlooked by the entertaining bickering. So I'll emphasize it:

Kisshomaru was pointed in charge of the Aikikai when he was in High School if my memory serves me correctly so he was in charge for a very long time. He was put in this position by O'Sensei. Aikido follows the iemoto system of transmission so Tohei would never have been in charge, this also explains why there is no rank for Kisshomaru or Moriteru and the same for Waka-Sensei. Tohei Sensei was in charge of the technical instruction only.

The things that Tohei Sensei wanted to introduce to Aikido was not learned from O'Sensei but from the Tempukai, hence the dissatisfaction of this idea from Kisshomaru and the other high ranking Sensei.

Arguing that "because Tohei is more skilled means he should be the leader of the Aikikai" doesn't necessarily hold. The Aikikai is an organization, and the leader of an organization should a) have good, if not excellent, management skills, b) be knowledgeable about the organization. I'm not saying Tohei was a bad at management, I have absolutely no idea, but Kisshomaru did spread Aikido globally quite effectively, and was certainly knowledgeable, and skilled, in Aikido.

No Aikidoka/Aikidoist has ever been the same as O'Sensei. Nor will there ever be. Nor will there be anyone like Tohei, Saito, Yamaguchi, etc.

Gwion
10-19-2006, 08:37 PM
I thought Mike made an interesting point that was overlooked by the entertaining bickering. So I'll emphasize it:



Arguing that "because Tohei is more skilled means he should be the leader of the Aikikai" doesn't necessarily hold. The Aikikai is an organization, and the leader of an organization should a) have good, if not excellent, management skills, b) be knowledgeable about the organization. I'm not saying Tohei was a bad at management, I have absolutely no idea, but Kisshomaru did spread Aikido globally quite effectively, and was certainly knowledgeable, and skilled, in Aikido.

No Aikidoka/Aikidoist has ever been the same as O'Sensei. Nor will there ever be. Nor will there be anyone like Tohei, Saito, Yamaguchi, etc.


Actually, we both have misinformation, until someone can scrounge up Kisshomaru's side of the story, this is probably the closest we can come to the truth:

"Kisshomaru originally intended to maintain a certain distance from aikido. He said, "My father and people like Mr. Tohei have come into this world to do aikido. Although I have been born into this family and its attendant roles, I would much prefer a house on a hill from which I can to go to work in the morning and return in the evening." He had hoped to take a more administrative role as a general director of the organization, rather than be a center of the teachings. When Ueshiba Sensei passed away, Mr. Nao Sonoda came up with a proposal to make Kisshomaru the general director and me the Second Doshu. However, Ueshiba Sensei [on his deathbed] had asked me to do what I could for Kisshomaru, so I made every effort to see that he assumed a role that put him as the center of both the teachings and the administration, which is how it eventually worked out."--Koichi Tohei July 11, 1995

and later:
"Mr. Sonoda suggested many times that I should become Doshu, but I was determined to keep my promise. To allow Kisshomaru to assume a stable role I pushed the idea that he should be both Doshu and managing director. He expressed his gratitude for my efforts then, but about a year later, his attitude changed. It was right about that time that he went to the United States and started taking my picture off the dojo walls there.

Separation from the Aikikai

Around what year was that?

About three years after Ueshiba Sensei passed away, in 1971 or 1972. Before then nearly every American dojo had displayed photographs of both me and the founder, but Kisshomaru started having mine taken down and replaced with his own.

It seems that you enjoyed a good relationship during the time immediately following O-Sensei’s death. Why did that relationship deteriorate later on?

In 1971, I proposed that we specifically teach the concept of ki within the Aikikai. I felt that simply going through the motions of practicing techniques back and forth on a surface level wouldn’t result in aikido, because aikido involves ki. I suggested to Mr. Osawa that we create a class on ki and have people learn that as a basis for their aikido. He rejected the idea on behalf of the Aikikai, saying that the aikido of the Aikikai is the aikido of Kisshomaru, and Kisshomaru’s teachings should therefore form the nucleus of the training. I realized there was no room for me to teach in that environment and asked if it would be okay for me to pursue my suggestion outside of the dojo. That would be fine, they said, so I went out and created a class that focused not on aikido techniques but on teaching about ki.

I think that my teaching of ki has contributed much to the growth of aikido. Simple back and forth practice of aikido techniques is okay for students and other young people, but older people with less stamina tend to drop out after a while. My talks on ki were well received by various types of people, including groups of higher level business executives―managers and presidents and people like that. However, both Mr. Osawa and Kisshomaru viewed what I was doing as something removed from aikido.

In the United States they understood aikido in terms of expressions like "a matter of mind." In Japan, however, aikido was just called aikido, so I thought it necessary to establish the concept of ki in Japan as well.

Mr. Osawa was a very good man and he listened to what I had to say. At that time, however, he was making efforts to support Kisshomaru and tried to prevent people from participating in my training.

They refused to let me teach about ki within the Aikikai, but said I was free to do whatever I liked on the outside. With that understanding I started my class at the Olympic Center. It proved very popular and within three months a hundred students had enrolled. Mr. Osawa was surprised when he heard about that and came to me to ask if I would be interested in doing such a class within the Aikikai! I was pretty irritated and said I thought it was a little late for that.

None of the people coming to my class on ki knew anything about aikido and they weren’t really interested in pursuing it, since that’s not what they had come to learn. That wouldn’t have happened if I had been able to create a class on ki within the Aikikai to begin with. Given the position he was in, I know Mr. Osawa had to refuse me, but I think he always felt bad about it. When the General Headquarters of the Ki no Kenkyukai (Ki Society) was constructed in Tochigi Prefecture in 1990, Mr. Osawa contacted me privately and also made a small contribution."

So I stand corrected. Tohei Sensei stepped DECLINED the offer to become Doshu. Though I think he would have stayed at Aikikai if Kisshomaru had not changed his feelings about Tohei. Again, I wish I had an interview with Kisshomaru to compare notes.

Fred Little
10-19-2006, 09:45 PM
Actually, we both have misinformation, until someone can scrounge up Kisshomaru's side of the story, this is probably the closest we can come to the truth:

(SNIP)

So I stand corrected. Tohei Sensei stepped DECLINED the offer to become Doshu. Though I think he would have stayed at Aikikai if Kisshomaru had not changed his feelings about Tohei. Again, I wish I had an interview with Kisshomaru to compare notes.

I'd be more interested in a couple of sympathetic interviews with their wives.

Fred Little

raul rodrigo
10-19-2006, 11:51 PM
I
Arguing that "because Tohei is more skilled means he should be the leader of the Aikikai" doesn't necessarily hold. The Aikikai is an organization, and the leader of an organization should a) have good, if not excellent, management skills, b) be knowledgeable about the organization.

Tohei's skills in aikido are beyond dispute. But his track record as leader of an organization is a bit murky. The five Japanese shihan who left Hombu and followed himImaizumi, Toyoda, the two Maruyamas, and Shiohiraall left him in turn, some only a few years later. Some returned to the Aikikai, like Toyoda. Others set up their own schools. An American student of Tohei, Roy Suenaka, who also left the Aikikai with him and then broke away, wrote a book wherein he describes the internal problems of the Ki no Kenkyukai in the mid 1970s. He said he regrets that Tohei, who he idolized, did not exercise better leadership.

Just a thought in response to the idea that the best aikidoka is necessarily the best leader for the job.


R

hapkidoike
10-20-2006, 12:28 AM
I second Jun's post. This is one of the most un-aiki threads I've ever read on Aikiweb. Right from the title, too. There should be no "vs" in Aikido, especially between aikidoka/aikidoists. As one of my favourite dojo rules goes: "leave your shoes and your egos off the mat".

What the hell makes something aiki or un-aiki? Can you give us a clear set of necessary and sufficient conditions for what makes something aiki? Anyway threads are not good or bad (if good and bad have something to do with being aiki I don't know but it stands to reason that they are some sort of value judgement), they just are.

Gwion
10-20-2006, 01:11 AM
What the hell makes something aiki or un-aiki? Can you give us a clear set of necessary and sufficient conditions for what makes something aiki? Anyway threads are not good or bad (if good and bad have something to do with being aiki I don't know but it stands to reason that they are some sort of value judgement), they just are.

I second that. I'd say the Ki is meeting pretty well on this thread.
Of course, Japanese people butcher the meaning of English words all the time too.

stelios
10-20-2006, 01:37 AM
A lot of people argued back in the late 60s (and many still do) that the only one most capable of continuing O-Sensei's work was no other than Koichi. He inherited the most out of his teacher AND was capable enough to travel the globe to spread the message. Yet, name it politics, name it Japanese family lineage coultoure, name it as you wish, Kissomaru was granted the crown. We might never ever reach to know why Koichi really split away from them but we can guess one thing or two.
At the end of the day, though, both Kissomaru and Koichi did a lot to establish an Aikido coultoure in many places around the world. Both names should be treated with equal respect and should be visiond only through their work in spreading Aikido around. Whether they were/are technically more or less capable from one another should be left aside as well as with the politics on the respective matter.

Ecosamurai
10-20-2006, 06:37 AM
The five Japanese shihan who left Hombu and followed himImaizumi, Toyoda, the two Maruyamas, and Shiohiraall left him in turn, some only a few years later. Some returned to the Aikikai, like Toyoda. Others set up their own schools. An American student of Tohei, Roy Suenaka, who also left the Aikikai with him and then broke away, wrote a book wherein he describes the internal problems of the Ki no Kenkyukai in the mid 1970s. He said he regrets that Tohei, who he idolized, did not exercise better leadership.

Some of those you've mentioned left circa1990. Maruyama Koretoshi for example did so. Much of this was due to the financial management of the Ki No Kenkiyukai. It was at this time that the Ki Soc HQ dojo was being built:

http://www.ki-society.com/english/renew/mail_001.html

At considerable expense, the way that this was managed as far as I'm aware was what caused so many to leave at that time.

Of course all I've just said is unofficial because I am not a member of the Ki Society nor was I there at the time, so I hesitate to spread rumour over fact but I think that it is pertinent to mention that in the context of the discussion here.

As regards Tohei vs Aikikai. Tohei Sensei received a 10th Dan certificate with the number 1 on it, it was supposedly issued as the only judan formally issued by the aikikai to a living aikidoka, to the best of my knowledge it remains the only one issued to a living aikidoka by the aikikai. Prior to this though Hikitsuchi Sensei received a judan certificate from O Sensei, this certificate was unknown until many years later when Stan Pranin of aikidojournal.com discovered its existence.

Who was the better aikidoka Kisshomaru or Tohei? I would probably say Tohei, O Sensei certainly looked for a successor other than Kisshomaru many times. He adopted his son in law as his designated heir until he and O Sensei's daughter divorced. At one point Tomiki Sensei was considered as a successor (I believe marriage to O Senseis daugther was even briefly considered to be 'a good match' at one point). It was only in the years after the war that Kisshomaru took an active interest in aikido. His efforts to grow and expand aikido worldwide cannot be underestimated in any way.
If Tohei was the best aikidoka at the time of O Sensei's death then Kisshomaru was certainly the best placed to inherit the leadership and make the most of it.

Tohei's aikido was never really the same as O Sensei's, O Sensei even went so far as to say things such as (paraphrasing) "Don't learn from Tohei, aikido is mine" (see aikido journal interview with Tohei Sensei for more info). Tohei himself says that he kept few of the techniques he learned from his teacher.

I don't doubt that the aikido practiced by Kisshomaru was more like the aikido O Sensei wished to see spread, but there is no denying Tohei Sensei's ability. Its a lasting shame that these two men in these two roles could not work out their differences but all that was more than 30 years ago now, there's nothing to be done about it.

With regards to the removal of pictures of ether Tohei Sensei or O Sensei in various dojo after the split occurred I believe that in many ways by asking for these things to be done Tohei was deliberately distancing himself from the aikikai as was only proper, if he was going to go on alone he needed to be respecful of the aikikai and not tread on their toes, as such names of some techniques were changed and other such things (i.e. aikikai iriminage is irimi tenkan kokyunage etc), taigi were created and introduced, and it was asked that pictures of O Sensei were taken down and replaced with pictures of Tohei Sensei, this last act clearly deliniated Tohei's organisation from the Ueshiba family, however it upset many people, one of whom was Roy Suenaka (mentioned earlier), in his book he described this as being what made up his mind to leave the Ki Society. As regards the other difficulties in beginning the Ki No Kenkyukai which caused others to leave, remember that it takes funds to build infrastructure and administer it, the aikikai already had a building in which to practice as well as an administrative body to run it, Tohei had none of these things, only himself.

Just my view on things, make of it what you will. My own experience is that aikikai people are very generally speaking less aware of ki aikido than ki aikido people are of aikikai, I hope that some of what I've written here will help with that. I myself as a ki aikido student take every opportunity to practice with people from the aikikai whenever I can (as I do Iwama, Yoshinkan and so on). It saddens me that often the response I get from some people in the aikikai is that what I do is not 'proper aikido' because its not under the aikikai umbrella when clearly O Sensei and his son Kisshomaru (who encouraged the awarding of both 9th and 10th Dan to Tohei Sensei) believed that it was most definitely 'proper aikido' but that it simply wasn't quite the aikido they wanted to leave to future generations, or spread to the rest of the world (it was Tohei's aikido after all, not really O Sensei's).

Best

Mike

crbateman
10-20-2006, 07:16 AM
Although there really does not exist an organizational framework from which one can take the best, most positive and beneficial aspects and teachings of BOTH schools of thought (not to mention those of Shioda, Tomiki, et al.), the student who wishes to take ownership of his own Aikido should strive to achieve a measure of this through experiencing as many perspectives as he can on his own initiative. While the heart seeks out ONE master, the mind can open itself to limitless possibilities, as long as the proper respect can be given to all who would share their knowledge. Ideally, like the attack of an aggressive uke, the negative energy and disharmony of the politics can be avoided or deflected, all the while with a smile on ones face.

odudog
10-20-2006, 08:18 AM
Osensei did try to find a successor for Aikido for Kisshomaru wanted nothing to do with it at first. He wanted to be a regular salary-man. The present Doshu had the same reservations as well as I witnessed on a recent video interview. Maybe Waka-Sensei also feels the same. Any kid trying to follow into the same profession as their famous father feels an extremely heavy burden to be just as good if not better. Most of the offspring are good but fall a little short of the dad for the dad was the original. Just ask the offspring of Walter Payton, Tony Dorsett, Howie Long, Martin Sheen, George H. Bush {although his offspring is a utter complete joke}, and the list goes on and on.

Tom Fish
10-20-2006, 02:07 PM
I also read Roy Sun.'s book as it detailed his personal feelings of the split between Tohei and the Aikikai. It was a distraction from the purpose of spreading Aikido throughout the world. Whatever the whole story was, it should show us all that just showing each other a little respect, even when our opinions differ, will allow us access to a lot of diverse knowledge. This exposure is why I read these forums. I am mostly a "lurker" though because I realize that others are here to entertain themselves by attacking others. Please don't turn this forum into Bullshido.com.
Best Regards

Ron Tisdale
10-20-2006, 02:26 PM
Don't worry...Jun won't let that happen. He'll bounce the M***er first.. :)

Best,
Ron (hope this doesn't get ME bounced...)

raul rodrigo
10-20-2006, 06:58 PM
This is what Gaku Homma (who is close to a couple of the shihan who left with Tohei) wrote on the reason why Toyoda sensei left Ki Society: "When Toyoda Sensei first came to the United States, I think the last thing on his mind was building his own organization. He came as an innocent, young martial artist who worked tirelessly and loyally for what he believed. Falling victim to leaders who did not appreciate his efforts, he was forced to sever relationships for his own survival. I can completely understand his feeling of not being able to go backwards, of feeling he had to forge ahead on his own. Later on I can remember him telling me that one day he would build a large organization and return to Hombu (Aikikai Headquarters)."

Will this get me bounced, Ron?

R

Charles Hill
10-20-2006, 07:13 PM
Just a suggestion that any public statement made by a Japanese person, especially a martial arts teacher must be understood in a context of Japanese culture. I highly recommend anyone to first read Peter Goldsbury's writings both here and at aikidojournal.com and then look at the various interviews and such. Especially useful would be an understanding of uchi/soto and honne/tatemae.

Charles

Gwion
10-20-2006, 08:39 PM
Just a suggestion that any public statement made by a Japanese person, especially a martial arts teacher must be understood in a context of Japanese culture. I highly recommend anyone to first read Peter Goldsbury's writings both here and at aikidojournal.com and then look at the various interviews and such. Especially useful would be an understanding of uchi/soto and honne/tatemae.

Charles

Charles, as a guy who lived in japan for 4 years, I don't really agree with your statement. Especially when Tohei spent so much time abroad and dealing with westerners, and since he was giving the interview with westerners, you can pretty much take what he said at face value. Don't let japanese people fool you into thinking their culture is all that different from ours. It's all smoke and mirrors for the exact same politics, spite, grudges, hopes, desires, and loves.

NagaBaba
10-20-2006, 09:14 PM
Something of a tangent:
There are these 3 clips of Tohei sensei on Youtube at the moment, and in one of them he shows striking a bokken corectly and incorrectly. (7:30 in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfpTU6ZiaK4)


:hypno: :hypno: :hypno:
I can't believe it, oh my, it can't be true....... :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: what is that? :rolleyes:

gdandscompserv
10-21-2006, 08:59 AM
NagaBaba,
Perhaps this site (http://smiley.onegreatguy.net/) will help you express yourself more clearly. :D

tedehara
10-21-2006, 04:09 PM
This is what Gaku Homma (who is close to a couple of the shihan who left with Tohei) wrote on the reason why Toyoda sensei left Ki Society: "When Toyoda Sensei first came to the United States, I think the last thing on his mind was building his own organization. He came as an innocent, young martial artist who worked tirelessly and loyally for what he believed. Falling victim to leaders who did not appreciate his efforts, he was forced to sever relationships for his own survival. I can completely understand his feeling of not being able to go backwards, of feeling he had to forge ahead on his own. Later on I can remember him telling me that one day he would build a large organization and return to Hombu (Aikikai Headquarters)."

Will this get me bounced, Ron?

RToyoda Sensei did not leave the Ki Society. The Ki Society left Toyoda Sensei. Gaku Homma is misinformed.

It was Toyoda's ouster that promoted my sensei to chief instructor and created the Chicago Ki Society. Apparently Toyoda Sensei did not mention anything to anyone. For weeks after the the word came from Ki Society headquarters, my sensei was fielding calls from Toyoda's students that had one main question, "Are we still members of the Ki Society?" Of course the answer was, "No".

raul rodrigo
10-21-2006, 07:01 PM
Toyoda was ousted? On what grounds, if I might ask? The inherent problems with breakups of this sort is the "he said, he said" phenomenon. ("I quit!" "No, you're fired!") The same event can be spun in different ways and because of Japanese reticence, its hard to determine what actually happened.

tedehara
10-21-2006, 09:48 PM
I don't think anyone on this side of the Pacific knows all the reasons. Those orders came directly from Japan. Toyoda Sensei had been in running arguments with Japan for several years over everything. People were complaining directly to Japan about him. It was not a happy time. This was the impression I got, not only from the Ki Society, but also from members who later rejoined Aikikai.

There is no Japanese reticence in Chicago. Those people were there and they're all singing the same song.

raul rodrigo
10-21-2006, 10:30 PM
Thanks for that information. Its good to get another perspective from with Ki Society. What I have read is largely the account of Homma (writing in separate pieces) about Shuji Maruyama and Toyoda leaving (or being ousted from) Ki Society, and Roy Suenaka explaining in Complete Aikido why he left Tohei. Would you have any more information about the reasons for the departure of Koretoshi Maruyama, Shiohira, and Imaizumi? They have been reticent, not having been raised in Chicago.


R

tedehara
10-21-2006, 10:42 PM
The only reason I know about Toyoda Sensei is because he was based in Chicago. I have no idea about the others.

Charles Hill
10-21-2006, 11:49 PM
Hi Wayne,

As someone who has lived in Japan since 1993 and is fluent enough to have worked as a translator, I`m gonna have to disagree with you. What I read in the interview are the words of a very bitter man. Of course, this is just my opinion. Again I will recommend Prof. Goldsbury's writings.

BTW a number of years ago, there was a funnyt article in ATM about Toyoda Sensei in which he detailed his version of getting kicked out. He taught classes in Hawaii and I think in Texas and was told that this was against Ki Society International bylaws. He laughed about this because he was the one who wrote the International bylaws as he was a recent law school graduate when Tohei Sensei broke away.

Charles

Mark Uttech
10-22-2006, 05:32 AM
Thanks for bringing up the ATM article; I remember it, and it is a good story to know, because it describes the "Pandora's Box" phenomenon perfectly.

In gassho,
Mark

kironin
10-26-2006, 03:01 AM
Hi Wayne,
BTW a number of years ago, there was a funnyt article in ATM about Toyoda Sensei in which he detailed his version of getting kicked out. He taught classes in Hawaii and I think in Texas and was told that this was against Ki Society International bylaws. He laughed about this because he was the one who wrote the International bylaws as he was a recent law school graduate when Tohei Sensei broke away.

Charles


Much the same story he repeated many times and told to me wih a straight face while I was eating dinner with him in Texas. However I know different from many sources and its not hard to tell when somone is blowing smoke up your back end.

Toyoda's leaving did not just involve problems with KNK HQ and it certainly was not because he violated his own bylaws. The story is complicated and it's pretty much ancient history at this point. I certain that those left that I know are not interested in dredging it back up.

However Gaku Homma proves once again he loves telling a good yarn more than the truth.

kironin
10-26-2006, 04:03 AM
and Roy Suenaka explaining in Complete Aikido why he left Tohei. Would you have any more information about the reasons for the departure of Koretoshi Maruyama, Shiohira, and Imaizumi? They have been reticent, not having been raised in Chicago.


Suenaka left pretty early and what he wrote in his book is a very distorted picture through his own lens which he was entitled to do since it was his book but it doesn't make it reality. take it with a big block of salt.

Shiohira was never really with the program and pretty much doing his own thing from day one. so when taigi were introduced as a change he was never totally on board with it. He's doing his own thing, which the last time I took a class from him was great stuff.

Imaizumi wanted to make major changes and totally reorganize the US Ki Society in the mid 1980's an because that was turned down along with some other issues concerning territorial disputes that complicate the story he resigned and went back to Japan for a while. Then came back to New York and started his own thing which probably reflects more the direction he would have liked things to go in KNK. I am not sure all the extra Itto Ryu Kenjutsu et al and MSR jodo etc. would have fit into the KNK, but it's great that he is working on that.

probably Koretoshi Maruyama Sensei is the one example where there is a strong case for being poorly treated. He was very much loved outside of Japan as a great teacher and a humble man. He was not a yes man. He was president of the Ki Society and the official successor to Tohei Sensei who was supposedly retired. The irony of repeating history in Shinichi Tohei now officially playing the role of head of the Ki Society ten years later is pretty thick.

and you left out Rod Kobayashi, Seidokan founder.
and several others.

The thing that is lost in this though, that several these teachers have gone on to form interesting organizations reflecting their own interpretation. Granted, some of it questionable, but some of it quite wonderful. Practiving with them has certainly always been interesting for me.

Another thing that gets lost, is that there are still many very talented teachers in the Ki Society with decades of experience training with Tohei Sensei. Some just don't have the high profile. But they do exhibit powerful aikido and deep knowledge to share. One of my favorites has been training fifty years.

====

it was rare and lucky for the Aikikai in the 1950's and 1960's to have had the synergy of both a great charismatic teacher with high talent in Koichi Tohei Sensei who could travel abroad and a great administrator in Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei working together for the same goals for over 20 years.

change is inevitable
time moves on

crbateman
10-26-2006, 04:30 AM
Good points, Craig. Folks like to bring up all the departures from KNK over the years, when much the same has happened within Aikikai. When people have fundamental differences with an organization to which they belong, there are really only four options from which to choose: 1) Hang around griping and try to undermine the status quo (very bad show). 2) Hold back your personal feelings and let the organization do as it sees fit. 3) Go elsewhere and join another group more to your liking. 4) Start your own organization. Of these, only the first should be considered dishonorable. There are far more examples of those who have made wiser choices and opted for one of the other three solutions. They should not be looked down upon, as they have followed their hearts. This is how change happens, and as you say, change is inevitable. What is NOT inevitable is that everyone respects the rights of individuals to choose their own paths. So much the pity. It's easy to get along with people who feel exactly as you do. The real skill is in harmonizing with and accepting those who don't.

Fred Little
10-26-2006, 03:45 PM
I am not sure all the extra Itto Ryu Kenjutsu et al and MSR jodo etc. would have fit into the KNK, but it's great that he is working on that.

Did you mean SMR jo?

SMR = Shindo Muso Ryu Jo

MSR - Muso Shinden Ryu Iai

Straight or hybridized for use within an aikido curriculum?

I ask because I don't know.

FL

kironin
10-27-2006, 02:06 AM
yeah SMR jodo I believe though it may be a mix of things.

easy for me to mistype it as MSR since I do MSR Iai

from what I have experienced at their seminars, It is pretty separate from the aikido curriculum. The Jodo and kenjutsu are not hybridized into the aikido like some styles have done. Except I think they still they still do Ki Society's Jo kata #1 & #2 and bokken kata #1 and #2 on their kyu syllabus. The Aikido curriculum is pretty much straight from Tohei Sensei's Ki-Aikido playbook circa 1980's though Imaizumi Sensei has always retained a larger set of named techniques. At shodan, they simply add 15 Itto ryu kumidachi. More paired kata are required to be performed at nidan and so on.

I have to admit it's alway fun for me to play with their senior guys as stylistically we are on the exact same page. That may have something to do with my original teacher having done at least his first four dan ranks under Imaizumi Sensei. Not unusual for Imaizumi Sensei go through twenty techniques or more in a couple of hours. He checks them off as he goes and might even give you a handout listing what he did. Very organized. :) I like his explicit naming system. I think there there is some truth to the judo idea that giving every technique an explicit name aids retention.

Mato-san
11-08-2006, 09:08 AM
I will throw my 2 yen into the topic..... my opinion, I am entitled to it, is from what I see.....with Aikikai...it is more circular (very powerful and centred) Tohei aikido is powerful too, the skip, hop jump is good for creating distance and blending in a different kind of way, both have great attributes I believe. I am on the fence. But can appreciate both styles and Aikido in general.

Diana Frese
12-10-2010, 04:30 PM
I'm a newbie to posting on forums, but in the spirit of the
Thanksgiving thread. which was the first I actually had the
courage to join in on, I'm grateful to all these teachers. When I
taught a small group at the local YMCA years ago I was asked,
"What do you teach?" I answered, "Whatever they'll learn."
I was thankful to have several ways of approaching the
techniques and did my best to find a way the particular
student could understand. Years ago I saw both Sensei
Tohei and Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba and each was a great
inspiration. My own teachers followed Second Doshu when the division occurred but later they
gave credit to Tohei Sensei too, especially for teaching
beginners....probably they meant the concept of Ki. His personality
and teaching methods contributed greatly to the introduction of
Aikido over here in the US. Second Doshu I remember had
a beautiful spirit and seem to truly believe in spreading Aikido,
offering it to the world. His Aikido was beautiful too.

danj
12-10-2010, 07:19 PM
I think what the Aikikai of today do so well is allow their respective Shihan to pursue the development of aikido in a mostly independent way. Contrast this to something like the Ki Society which is mostly the work of a single Shihan and is much more prescriptive

Thus is the Aikikai there is an expectation that freedoms emerge over time and with 3 generations to doshu to follow its maybe more palatable to stay with the wider organisation
In the latter environment (e.g. like Ki Society) I think it was/is more difficult for emerging Shihan to put their own personality into the art with its has a much more prescriptive practice, and thus must follow the 'culture of leaving' to form ones own organisation to do so.

Its pretty broad brush strokes of course...

dan

Shany
12-12-2010, 03:04 AM
Ueshiba's sons and grandsons follows the way.
Ueshiba and friends followed their heart & spirit.

Randall Lim
12-12-2010, 11:28 PM
:ai: Exactly!

My friends include Yoshinkan, Tomiki, AAA, Aikikai, etc. teachers and sniping at each other woukd be such a huge waste of time. We more in common than not.
These are my Aikido brothers.
After all most people I encounter think I mean some form of karate. The most common question is.
"is that like Tae Kwon Do ?"

As for this threads question. huh? For anything that someone loves you can be sure to find someone that hates it. Why tickle even two brain cells together about it. It's inevitable the more common something is to find someone who hates it.

Everyone find a path you enjoy and to hell with what anyone else thinks. Love it with a passion.
:ki:

Sadly, there is no Aikido organisation in the world that brings all ryus together in unity.:(

PhillyKiAikido
12-13-2010, 11:30 AM
:ai:

Sadly, there is no Aikido organisation in the world that brings all ryus together in unity.:(

One Aikido organization? I doubt it and don't think it necessary.

Students from different schools hang out and learn from each other? I've seen more and more.

People pass, Aikido stays.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-13-2010, 11:40 AM
Sadly, there is no Aikido organisation in the world that brings all ryus together in unity.:(
I've heard something about a guy named Frodo Baggins...:D