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statisticool
01-07-2007, 03:41 PM
We all have a idea fixed in our head about what belongs within the parameters of aikido and what does not, which really is very silly if you think about it, and very dangerous if you confine yourself to this paradigm in real life.


O'Sensei did not teach people how to do flying side kicks. I don't think that it is silly to state a fact.


...learn blood chokes, they are your best friend in realty.

Remind me to never try to sell a house to you. :)

Kevin Leavitt
01-07-2007, 03:56 PM
Justin,

Your missing the point.

BTW, I am looking for a house in arlngton right now.

statisticool
01-07-2007, 11:58 PM
We all have a idea fixed in our head about what belongs within the parameters of aikido and what does not, which really is very silly if you think about it, and very dangerous if you confine yourself to this paradigm in real life


It seems more silly and dangerous to basically say 'aikido is everything you want it to be', and change aikido to be something other than the philosophy and techniques as envisioned and practiced by O'Sensei.

He did not teach how to do flying high kicks as part of aikido, for example, so one can confidently say that learning how to do flying high kicks is not part of an aikido cirriculum.

Josh Reyer
01-08-2007, 01:52 AM
It seems more silly and dangerous to basically say 'aikido is everything you want it to be', and change aikido to be something other than the philosophy and techniques as envisioned and practiced by O'Sensei.

He did not teach how to do flying high kicks as part of aikido, for example, so one can confidently say that learning how to do flying high kicks is not part of an aikido cirriculum.

1935, Asashi News demonstration film. Ueshiba is demonstrating hanza-handachi techniques. Basically jiyuu-waza from his knees. After throwing one uke, Ueshiba "kicks" him in the face (stopping before making contact, of course).

Of course, I think many aikidoka would say that kicks to the face are not "aikido". I say kicks to the face and flying high kicks fall under "atemi", and thus may or may not be aikido, depending on the practitioner.

odudog
01-08-2007, 12:44 PM
Justin,

Your missing the point.

BTW, I am looking for a house in arlngton right now.

My parents rinky dink house in the South side of Arlington goes for $500K easily. :drool: This is the reason that my siblings and all my friends have moved further out in the subarbs/boonies. Good luck hunting Kevin!

Kevin Leavitt
01-08-2007, 03:38 PM
Justin wrote:

it seems more silly and dangerous to basically say 'aikido is everything you want it to be', and change aikido to be something other than the philosophy and techniques as envisioned and practiced by O'Sensei.

Justin, it would much easier for you to understand aikido if you actually DID aikido.

Aikido is NOT about any particular punch, kick, or strike, neither is it exclusive of any punch, kick, or strike.

To exclude these things would NOT be aikido, to focus on these things as techniques would NOT be aikido. It is a paradox. (an aikido thing, you wouldn't understand....)

Aikido is a principal based and philosophically based art designed to teach us about conflict resolution, peace, harmony and a few other things.

I have seen no where on any sensei's website that I have ever seen that identifies with Aikikai that aikido is an efficient means to teach you how to fight effectively. That is NOT to say that you cannot take what you learn in aikido and apply it in a situation.

If you truely understood training and most traditional forms of aikido, you would see eventually that is does a good job of teaching us principals that apply universally in situations, but yet, it in itself is NOT primarily concerned with fighting effectiveness. Again, a paradox that one must work out for themselves.

When aikido becomes dangerous to you is when you take what you learn in the dojo as gospel or fundamentally and attempt to use the training paradigm on the street.

Again, a paradox....

If you focus on training for the street 100% all the time you will never develop long and lasting skills. If you focus solely on developing principals you will never learn how to fight on the street.

A paradox.

Aikido is good at teaching us principals and fundamentals, and the philosophy of aikido...which are very applicable and very relevant lessons.

It is not however, the answer to everything that is!

Open your mind, get off the internet, find a dojo, and honestly seek to understand it, if you care. Otherwise you are wasting your time here as your understanding will be limited to questions, theories, and subjections.

statisticool
01-08-2007, 03:43 PM
1935, Asashi News demonstration film. Ueshiba is demonstrating hanza-handachi techniques. Basically jiyuu-waza from his knees. After throwing one uke, Ueshiba "kicks" him in the face (stopping before making contact, of course).

Of course, I think many aikidoka would say that kicks to the face are not "aikido". I say kicks to the face and flying high kicks fall under "atemi", and thus may or may not be aikido, depending on the practitioner.

I think if it was part of regular aikido teaching, and not one teacher, showing one technique, in a demo, then it would fall under the aikido cirriculum.

Else, we have a hard time saying what is part of aikido. For example, is kicking apples off the tips of swords part of taekwondo becuase it occurs in a few demos?

Ron Tisdale
01-08-2007, 03:45 PM
Well, we are talking about the founder of the art here...not just some average, backwater, 1st dan...

But hey, the entire subject is a bit silly...so why not take it as far as you can??

Also, many dojo teach a kick to the body or the face while pinning in ikkajo/ikkyo when there is a need to rachet up the force applied in a given situation.

But then, if you didn't actually TRAIN in the art, that probably wouldn't be important.

Best,
Ron

statisticool
01-08-2007, 03:56 PM
Justin, it would much easier for you to understand aikido if you actually DID aikido.


Kevin, I'm sure you maintain that Ebert and Roper need to be directors everytime they make a criticism of a movie that you disagree with.


Aikido is NOT about any particular punch, kick, or strike, neither is it exclusive of any punch, kick, or strike.


Yet we clearly do not see certain techniques taught in aikido cirriculum. And we clearly see that the Ueshibas emphasized certain things more than others.

If you're saying learning how to do a flying kick to the face is part of aikido, fine, but expect to be taught that no Ueshibas taught that, teach that, and ditto with tons of other techniques, so you're no longer learning aikido as envisioned by the founders of the art, but some MMA-ish mutt (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it isn't the genuine aikido).


If you focus on training for the street 100% all the time you will never develop long and lasting skills.


I'm wondering why you believe you won't have developed the long lasting skill of knowing how to fight in very real situations.


Open your mind, get off the internet, find a dojo, and honestly seek to understand it, if you care. Otherwise you are wasting your time here as your understanding will be limited to questions, theories, and subjections.

My mind is open, but it is not as open as yours because I don't believe all techniques are part of aikido, since the evidence tells me what is and what isn't taught in aikido classes.

statisticool
01-08-2007, 04:04 PM
For example, check out

http://aikidoonline.com/Archives/2004/03/feat_0903_doshu3.html

This is by Kisshomaru and Moriteru Ueshiba, printed originally in Best Aikido: The Fundamentals.


Are kicks used in Aikido?

No. The Founder had very powerful legs, and on occasion he demonstrated kicking techniques during a demonstration but almost none of those techniques were incorporated into modern Aikido.

As we have mentioned several times, Aikido emphasizes being centered in mind and body, with both feet on the ground, literally and figuratively. Kicks or leg sweeps temporarily ham-per that good balance and are thus avoided. Aikido techniques are not put into set pat-terns, and there is no "If that happens, do this" kind of instruction. We do not usually practice defenses against kicking attacks in Aikido, and many may view that approach as problematic, but in fact if one has a solid foundation in the basics, any kind of attack can be dealt with.


So I'm wondering, if two of the main people in aikido, direct descendents of the Founder of aikido say something that I also am saying, why do I need to get out more, according to Kevin?

Kevin Leavitt
01-08-2007, 05:21 PM
I did not or do not know any of the Ueshibas. I have trained with and I train under ASU with Saotome Sensei.

Very old 14 sec clip of Saotome using kick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkdRMZjuUBs

Read closely and look at the essensce of what the article you quote is saying. It is talking about principals. You simply cannot take a black and white and fundamental view of aikido. In fact, I believe the word they use is usually, not never.

I am not here to nit pick the minor details you seem to troll for looking for technicalities and then providing cross post using google.

I admit, you have demonstrated a profound proficiency as a shodan of the cross post Justin!

Principally, aikido must be concerned with kicks therefore they exsist within the scope of the art.

Punches, grabs, knifes, and sticks also play a part, but we don't train to be boxers, grapplers, knife fighters, or escrima students either. Atemi is atemi...it is all there.

Go to a dojo and experience it for yourself I am not saying this sarcastically. Please do go if you are truely interesting in aikido.

Anyway, my last post on this, because I obviously losing my bearing and drifting this thread into another area that it does not need to go in. Sorry.

David Orange
01-09-2007, 04:10 PM
Kevin,

You would have liked Mochizuki Sensei. He defined aikido in much the same way as you. He told this story in Aiki News # 72, September, 1986:

"There was a man named Tadashi Abe who passed away recently. I had the following encounter with him when I visited the Iwama dojo to greet O-Sensei after my return to Japan when the war ended. O-Sensei was pleased to know that I had come back safely and welcomed me warmly. I stayed there over night. That night an evil-looking man with a monk-like hairstyle came to the room where I was staying and asked permission to come in. When I gave him permission this man came in.

"My name is Tadashi Abe. Sensei, could I ask you a direct question?". I told him to ask me anything. He asked if I was really studying aiki jujutsu seriously. At that time the art was not yet called aikido. When I replied I was, he said:

"Ace you really? I have heard about you, Sensei, for a long time. I heard that you have had experience in actual fighting situations. I think it is strange that a person like you feels satisfied with an art like aiki jujutsu." When I asked why he thought so he said that Ueshiba Sensei or Mr. Morhiro Saito would not be able to stand against him in a match even for three minutes because he would defeat them with one blow.

"You're quite boastful, aren't you?", I replied. "You feel confident that you can defeat Ueshiba Sensei?", I added. He said that he thought it would be easy for him to defeat Sensei and added:

"Although I have been observing Ueshiba Sensei for a long time, I don't feel like practicing an art like aiki jujutsu. I feel confident that I can defeat him with one boxing punch. I hear that you emphasize actual fighting. Is that true?"

I replied as follows:

"I have been in many street-fights but I wouldn't include them in the category of actual fighting. I have also drawn a sword and stormed the enemy camp."

Then he asked me whether or not aikido was really useful for fighting. When I replied that aikido was very useful not only for fights but also in times of war, he said my answer didn't convince him. So I suggested that he attack me and stood there telling him to come anyway he wanted. He asked me to adopt a ready stance. I told him:

"Don't say unnecessary things. There is no way for someone to defeat his enemy if he tells him what to do. Attack me as you like!"

Abe still mumbled: "Sensei, can I really strike you? Strange... You have openings everywhere..." Then he took a stance and suddenly came straight in. I dodged the blow and kicked him with my leg. He groaned and fell. I applied a resuscitation technique and massaged him.

"How can a person like you who faints when he catches a little kick last in a fight?"

"Sensei, does aikido also have kicking techniques?"

"You fool! What do you mean by such a question? We use kicking techniques or anything else. I even used artillery. Martial arts, guns and artillery are all aikido. What do you think aikido is? Do you think it involves only the twisting of hands? It is a means of war... an act of war! aikido is a fight with real swords. We use the word 'aiki' because through it we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately. Look at Sumo. After the command is given ("Miatte! Miatte!), they stand up and go at each other in a flash. That's the same as aiki. When a person suddenly faces his enemy in an mental state free from all ideas and thoughts and is instantly able to deal with him, we call that aiki. In the old days it was called 'aiki no jutsu'. Therefore, artillery or anything else becomes aiki." "Is that so... I think I understand." "If you still don't understand, come to me again." After that he was afraid of me and bowed to me from far off. When I went to Europe he asked me to take him as well."

Aiki is without limitation.

Best wishes.

David

Rupert Atkinson
01-09-2007, 05:09 PM
Aikido is not about techniques but about principles. If you learn the principles you can apply them to any technique you like, be it Judo, Aikido, Jujutsu, Kendo, or even, Karate. If you are smart, you may learn those other arts to steal a few extra principles.

Just my opinion.

statisticool
01-09-2007, 05:26 PM
The principles the the techniques are two different things. One is philosophy, the other is what is actually physically done.

One could certainly have an argument for saying aikido is everything; kicks, guns, gouging eyes out, cutting off a limb, whatever. But one just needs to look at aikido cirriculum to see what is actually taught in aikido.

Rupert Atkinson
01-09-2007, 05:50 PM
No, the principles are the little bits within the techniques that bind them together and make them work. 'Principles' in a martial art is not about philosophy - in my definition.

Philosphy comes after twenty years of training. Then you can talk about it. But, not too much, because the students have come to train, not be lecturered to. Train first, then think, then talk. But don't stop training. When he was a student, do you think Ueshiba was after techniques and the principles hidden within, or philosophy?

As far as I understand it, his philosophy did not come from his training but elsewhere. But his skill did. Later, he merged them.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-09-2007, 06:31 PM
.. But one just needs to look at aikido cirriculum to see what is actually taught in aikido.

a) join a dojo, then lecture us, thanks.
b) what if what is actually taught as aikido is not aikido, have you thougt about this for a bit?

Alfonso
01-09-2007, 06:34 PM
I think what is taught is a framework for the priniciples to be understood

Anything goes is not the case; Anything goes using the correct principles of Aikido is more like it.

raul rodrigo
01-09-2007, 07:09 PM
Justin has a definite rhetorical style, or if you like, a predictable way of arguing. He resorts to arguments from authority, digging up quotes from here and there. Just once I'd like to see him arguing based on his actual experiences on an aikido mat. Its tough to accept such a person's view on what is and what is not orthodox aikido. One might as well accept a definition of Catholicism from an ayatollah.

The principles of aikido are not philosophy; they are the reason I am able to move someone much larger and heavier. I don't mean talk of universal love and the kami. I mean things like musubi, the center to center connection, the powerful connection to the ground, and so on. None of these are "philosophy." I speak as someone whose college degree was in philosophy. Musubi is much more real than talk of the categorical imperative and the summum bonum.

David Orange
01-09-2007, 07:49 PM
One could certainly have an argument for saying aikido is everything; kicks, guns, gouging eyes out, cutting off a limb, whatever. But one just needs to look at aikido cirriculum to see what is actually taught in aikido.

Aikido is not about armchair discussion or even about dojo ritual, but about what you really will do when your life is really on the line. When you're at the point that you may lose your life, "life" ceases to be an abstract idea and you realize that you will do whatever you must to live. Real aikido enables us to access whatever we need and respond however we need to survive and continue to live. We can't propound or teach our peaceful philosophy if we're dead, huh?

You may have read Gozo Shioda's account of finding himself trapped, during WWII, in a building. Believing that he was about to find himself in a fight for his life, he armed himself with a broken bottle. I don't remember if he had to use it, but no doubt he would have and that would have been a real master's aikido.

Best to you.

David

statisticool
01-09-2007, 10:34 PM
a) join a dojo, then lecture us, thanks.


That's lovely, but you're not really addressing the issue. One, whether enrolled in classes or not can observe what is taught in aikido classes.

One can also read the words of the Founder, his son, and his son's son to see what the people closest to aikido say about aikido.

statisticool
01-09-2007, 10:37 PM
He resorts to arguments from authority, digging up quotes from here and there.


I feel that when talking about aikido, quoting the Founder, his son, and his son's son, about aikido, is quite relevant. Of course, Raul, I referenced not just a quote, but a rather long passage that was printed in one of their books. I reason that if the Founder's son and his son put it in one of their books it is quite an important point.

You need to brush up on what an argument from authority actually is. That is saying 'X is correct because, and only because, X is an authority'. Saying 'X is correct and X is an authority' is not a fallacy. Coupled with the direct evidence of observing what is and is not taught in aikido classes, it is quite valid to say that learning how to do a flying side kick is not taught in aikido classes.

I could see why some want to dismiss their quotes, however.

miratim
01-09-2007, 11:14 PM
Justin, does your assertion include ukemi skills? Some styles practice responses to various kick attacks, and in order to practice those responses, one might assume that (basic) lessons on how to deliver those kicks might be part of aikido practice in those styles.

raul rodrigo
01-10-2007, 12:57 AM
Chiba shihan makes it a point that his students attack properly, and that includes knowing how to kick properly. As Peter Goldsbury wrote: "On another occasion we were practicing techniques from kicks aimed at the lower stomach. Mr. Chiba was very unhappy with his uke's attacks and so roles were changed and he became uke. Sensei's kick was very fast and one landed in the crotch: the uke crumpled up and we male students keenly felt the possible effects on our reproductive potential." So in a dojo run by a senior and well respected uchideshi of Morihei, kicking was taught. Between Chiba and Justin Smith, I know who i would rather believe.

raul rodrigo
01-10-2007, 01:27 AM
It is self evident that the aikido of Kisshomaru and Moriteru is not quite the aikido of their forebear. Morihei liked kiai and atemi; the younger Ueshibas did not. Morihei worked intensely with sword and jo, his son and grandson do not. Morihei had many waza that are no longer taught in Hombu. He could do the push trick and the jo trick.

So are Kisshomaru and Moriteru the final word on aikido? Only in a political sense. In a technical sense, we can look around and find many teachers, direct students of Morihei, who each have valid and powerful versions of aikido, that are not quite the same as Kisshomaru's. We have the freedom to chose what tradition—such as those of Saito, Saotome, Yamaguchi, Chiba— that we want to follow. I wonder how aware Justin is of just how varied aikido is? Or maybe he would be, if he actually spent some time learning aikido.

CNYMike
01-10-2007, 02:29 AM
.... we can look around and find many teachers, direct students of Morihei, who each have valid and powerful versions of aikido, that are not quite the same as Kisshomaru's .....

And not quite the same as O Sensei's, either. All of hhis students were different from him and different from each other. That's also true of the earlir generations -- Shirata, Sioda, Tomiki, all different from O Sensei and and different from each other.

So there's a certain amount of wiggle room, but does this mean "Aikido can have anything we want it to"? Maybe; maybe not. If its distinct identity is compromised, then maybe not. I feel very strongly thattinkering with a system is something one should be careful about.

L. Camejo
01-10-2007, 05:32 AM
If we limit the "technical curriculum" of Aikido to Ueshiba Morihei alone in this case we would still have a vast difference in the technical repertoire of the students he produced since what he taught to each of his students were somewhat different, being tailored to what he thought the student was capable of based on his evaluation of the abilities of the student and which of these would allow for quality practice in certain types of techniques.

For example, I understand in the book Budo written by Ueshiba M. there are photos of him doing ne waza (ground grappling) and from my information based on a pretty high ranking Aikikai Hombu style Sensei, this aspect of Aikido was only taught to literally a handful of students by Ueshiba M. Neither his son nor grandson have ever shown these techniques as being part of the Aikido curriculum from my understanding (though I can be wrong) and only one or two Shihan are alive today who actually know of this part of Aikido training under Ueshiba M.

I wonder if during his development of Aikido into what it is today that Ueshiba M. had a strict curriculum of techniques. We know the Daito Ryu had a list of areas of proficiency and in the earliest days (times of Ueshiba Ryu Aikijujutsu and Aikibudo) the Daito Ryu technical list would have been more prominent. But as he started making the art more of his own can anyone say for certain whether he at any time set out to create a defined and distinguished technical curriculum for what is and is not Aikido? Or did he merely state in principle what Aikido is and is not. There is evidence to support the latter approach imho.

Regards.
LC:ai::ki:

DonMagee
01-10-2007, 07:04 AM
Martial arts are ment to evolve over time. Some become useless or un-needed and are submitted to the realm of history. Some stay modern and evolve to meet changing needs. Learning how to properly fight with a broadsword in chain mail is a purely historic art. Learning MMA is a purely modern evolving art.

In the hand to hand side of martial arts, less evolution takes place, but evolution takes place none the less. For example, guns did not exist until recently, I'm sure samurai did not have gun disarms in their techniques. In the past you may of needed to worry more about a spear then a folding knife, in the future you may need to worry about plasma cutting beam weapons, or some other weird self defense device. The attack mindsets have also changed over time. Modern day attackers have a certain idea of what a fight is. This is due to the culture they grow up in. Some cultures have a history of one on one pride fights to settle your differences, other's believe in drive by shootings, or group beatings. So your martial arts training needs to evolve to deal with common attacks typical in your area. I also beleive that a higher levels, martial artists should be trained to understand and deal with highly trained attackers. Because of this I think you should also focus attention on the more popular martial arts, and learning their techniques and making sure your art is capable of teaching you to defend against them. For example, if judo was the most popular martial art in your area, learning to deal only with strikes is probably not going to help you that much if you face a trained attacker. Likewise learning to deal only with grabs and lunge punches is not going to help you much in an area filled with boxing schools.

So I guess in order to stay relevant, a martial art has to evolve. It has to change, and it needs to be open to new ideas and better ways to approach old ideas. Obviously at some point Ueshiba has to have this same mindset, otherwise he would of just stuck with his parent art. Instead he took new ideas, and what he perceived to be better approaches to old ideas and created aikido. Kano did the same with judo.

I think each one of us is tasked to do the same, even on a micro scale. This is how martial arts stay relevant.

raul rodrigo
01-10-2007, 08:50 AM
So there's a certain amount of wiggle room, but does this mean "Aikido can have anything we want it to"? Maybe; maybe not. If its distinct identity is compromised, then maybe not. I feel very strongly thattinkering with a system is something one should be careful about.

I agree. I don't think aikido can mean anything we want it to. I think there are still boundaries to what the term means and we should be vigilant about that.

What I am objecting to is the idea that aikido is only what Kisshomaru and Moriteru said/say it is. I am saying that we can broaden our net and include the various waza and teachings from the uchideshi of the Founder--without necessarily staying within the "technical/political limits" of the Aikikai.

For instance, I have gotten some very useful ideas from the Yoshinkan side and from the prewar aikibudo waza. These are things that would be outside the pale if we were to apply the Kisshomaru standard that Justin apparently insists on, yet they do have great value even to those within the Aikikai.


best,


RAUL

Larry John
01-10-2007, 11:35 AM
Kevin,

Are you finally comin' back to the States?

Kevin Leavitt
01-10-2007, 11:44 AM
Hey Larry! Yes I am! I just got of of the phone with my office in Arlington.

Right now I am looking for a house in Arlington area so I am close to the office and the Dojo. Should be there around 1 JUL. I might be at the dojo earlier this spring when I have a few TDY trips.

Can't wait to get back to train in that art that has no kicks.

Alfonso
01-10-2007, 12:45 PM
hi Raul I'm not sure that you're giving full credit to the Doshu. He had more formal swordsmanship than O Sensei had, and there's plenty of evidence of him working with jo and bokken as well.

Ron Tisdale
01-10-2007, 12:54 PM
Sure there is (evidence of jo and bokken, as well as swordsmanship). But he also led the charge in weapons work not being part of the aikikai syllibus [in general]. Raul's point (at least to me) seemed to be more inclusive of other styles and earlier versions of aikido, not 'running down the doshu'...or not giving him enough credit.

Seemed a very valid post and point to me. Others may want to narrow down the scope of aikido because it suits a particular slant they are pushing...but me, I'd rather be as broad and inclusive as possible. The different flavors of aikido have always been a blessing to me. I understand that people being what they are, different organizations will have different focuses, strengths and weaknesses. Part of life.

Best,
Ron

Kevin Leavitt
01-10-2007, 02:47 PM
I see this discussion over an article written many years by one person (yes a person) as pointless.

It is kinda like trying to get from the East Coast to the West Coast. One guy says, hey I am going to follow the route that Lewis and Clark did with the same type of boats. Another says...why would you do that when you could fly?

If the answer is, well you can't do that because Lewis and Clark discovered how to get there first, and they used boats and they said that if you are going to get to the west coast, you need to follow the river, and planes were not part of their journal entries.

Here are the original journal entries to prove that airplane are not in their curriculm.

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper/JOURNALS/lewis9.html#chpt28

Doesn't it seem kinda silly when put this way. What is the point of it?

If something is additive and helps us better facilitate things (journey or discovery), then why do we need someone that was an expert 40 years ago to tell us how to do it today? Are their not now people that have expanded on that knowledge base?

dbotari
01-10-2007, 04:04 PM
I see this discussion over an article written many years by one person (yes a person) as pointless.

It is kinda like trying to get from the East Coast to the West Coast. One guy says, hey I am going to follow the route that Lewis and Clark did with the same type of boats. Another says...why would you do that when you could fly?

If the answer is, well you can't do that because Lewis and Clark discovered how to get there first, and they used boats and they said that if you are going to get to the west coast, you need to follow the river, and planes were not part of their journal entries.


Doesn't it seem kinda silly when put this way. What is the point of it?

If something is additive and helps us better facilitate things (journey or discovery), then why do we need someone that was an expert 40 years ago to tell us how to do it today? Are their not now people that have expanded on that knowledge base?

Kevin,

If you are arguing that its the destination that is the goal, then I agree with you - use the plane. But I believe that MA is about the journey (especially DO arts), so the process or journey is important because it affords the opportunity to develop. If I took the plane I miss the journey by boat and the experiences captured therein. I will admit that the plane ride will also contain experience just not the same. So if the goal is to travel the path of these men (Lewis & Clark) you need to follow their path. If all you want to do is to get to the destination (West Coast) book your flight.

Did i make my point clearly? :confused:

Best,

Kevin Leavitt
01-10-2007, 04:23 PM
Yes, I thought of this too....it does make sense.

However, I am thinking about the argument that Justin is offering with citation to Ueshiba.

If the journey is important....then that implies, to me, that you want to discover and experience things for yourself.

Therefore, you might follow a similar route as a template or map. But along that journey you might experience some different things. It might snow, it might not, the river might flood. Indians are gone today and there are damns on the rivers. These things would mean you'd get a similar experience, but not identical.

Also, it also implies that you want to take the journey and indeed are seeking to understand the journey...hence you'd have to do a little more than read about someone elses journey.

you'd have to do a little more than observe other's journey and then tell them they are wrong because you've read Lewis's and Clark's journals and they see and did things differently, therefore, you don't know what you are talking about.

Even if you are taking the journey...it simply will not be the same even though you'd ultimately reach the same destiny, which today..would even look much different then it did when they did it! :)

statisticool
01-10-2007, 04:42 PM
Justin, does your assertion include ukemi skills? Some styles practice responses to various kick attacks, and in order to practice those responses, one might assume that (basic) lessons on how to deliver those kicks might be part of aikido practice in those styles.

My pasting what the Ueshibas wrote (hardly my assertion) stands. They apparently hold that learning to kick is not part of the main syllabus of aikido.

statisticool
01-10-2007, 04:45 PM
I wonder how aware Justin is of just how varied aikido is? Or maybe he would be, if he actually spent some time learning aikido.

Yours would be better if you took the time you spent on an attempted petty personal fued and practiced.

All I can do is point to the Founder of aikido, and to what the lights of modern aikido clearly stated, and to the observation that not all things are taught in aikido cirriculum.

statisticool
01-10-2007, 04:46 PM
So in a dojo run by a senior and well respected uchideshi of Morihei, kicking was taught. Between Chiba and Justin Smith, I know who i would rather believe.

Between Chiba and several Ueshibas (you know, the actual founders of aikido), I know who I'd rather believe.

statisticool
01-10-2007, 04:48 PM
I think there are still boundaries to what the term means and we should be vigilant about that.


OK, great. So feel free to list some of the things that you don't feel are covered in aikido cirriculum to provide some more examples.

statisticool
01-10-2007, 04:51 PM
I see this discussion over an article written many years by one person (yes a person) as pointless.


But not just any ol person; the founder's son, and his son. That is, the people on the planet who are closet to original aikido. That, to some, is hugely significant.

statisticool
01-10-2007, 04:53 PM
If the journey is important....then that implies, to me, that you want to discover and experience things for yourself.


We always, in anything we do, experience things for ourself.

So what can we add to aikido and still have it be aikido? Hitting heavy bags? A ground game comparable to BJJ? Kicking comparable to taekwondo? Knife fighting? Nunchakus? Removal of all philosophy? Where are the boundaries?

Chris Birke
01-10-2007, 05:33 PM
The boundaries vary depending on who you ask, and when you ask them. They shift constantly.

If you were to sum all of the different opinions into an average, it wouldn't serve well because some of the more important opinions are radical. You'd have to weight the different opinions before you average them, and that would only create a bias subject to another discussion, clearly.

By and large, the consensus agrees that kicking is involved in Aikido, though not a primary focus. A tenet of Aikido is a holistic and inclusive mindset with regard to techniques. Even if that is not actively demonstrated in the recorded set of techniques, those techniques exist to demonstrate the method of learning Aikido, and are not complete Aikido itself.

You would not assume a book on maths with the problems 1+5 = 6, and 3-3 = 0 is teaching only those particular solutions. Clearly such books are meant to teach the relationships of the signs, not just those particular expressions, such that one could answer future unknown problems. The same applies to Aikido.

If you want to make generalized statements about what Aikido is, you must qualify them with the method you used to restrict the definition. "Aikido as it is practiced in north America" "The Aikido of the founder" "combat Aikido."

raul rodrigo
01-10-2007, 05:45 PM
hi Raul I'm not sure that you're giving full credit to the Doshu. He had more formal swordsmanship than O Sensei had, and there's plenty of evidence of him working with jo and bokken as well.


No, Alfonso, I mean no disrespect to Doshu; there are many photos showing him in the 1950s acting as uketachi for his father in some ken kata. He did have some training with the sword. I meant that the sword and the jo were not part of his aikido teaching whereas they were a huge part of his father's teaching. Doshu had a preference regarding ken and jo; it does not necessarily have to be ours. We can take the route chosen by Morihei and other uchideshi; I think our aikido will be enriched by it.

R

raul rodrigo
01-10-2007, 06:10 PM
I think some people are struggling because of the notion that the doshu of an art is the be all and end all of its technical arsenal. But a person does not become doshu because of pure technical prowess. Its essentially political, which is an important role. Moriteru today is not the pinnacle of the Aikikai; he is its center, and he performs that function well. But his father was not the most technically proficient student of Morihei; I think we can name quite a few uchideshi who more closely approximate what Morihei could do. My own preference is to delve more deeply into the teachings of those uchideshi and their deshi (such as Saito, Chiba, Saotome, Yamaguchi, etc) while still maintaining the political affiliation with and loyalty to Aikikai Hombu. In other words, the technical parameters of aikido and its political structure are different spheres.

An analog can be found in judo. Jigoro Kano was its founder, but Kyuzo Mifune was for many years its technical pinnacle, the living exemplar of what the principle of ju was.

jeff.
01-10-2007, 08:08 PM
an important part of what justin seems to be missing regarding the ueshiba family is this: they allow several shihans to teach at hombu who do not teach their exact version of aikido. they respect the differences. and i've heard from multiple people that defenses vs kicks (and thus proper kicking) are taught there from time to time (perhaps even on a regular basis by some shihan). perhaps someone who has trained at hombu recently, or who trains their regularly could give their thoughts on this?

David Orange
01-10-2007, 08:28 PM
...the founder's son, and his son. That is, the people on the planet who are closet to original aikido.

Well, Justin, those people are not close at all to "the original aikido."

Looking back to the 1920s and 1930s, it was a very different animal.

For one thing, the people training back then were almost all very experienced martial artists. And that doesn't mean people who took lessons three or four times a week. That mean professional warriors who did not rely on firearms, but on the sword, the spear and hand-to-hand methods. And they were not typically very nice or tolerant of each other when it came to fighting methods or tactics. Like Toshishiro Obata described, these were the giant boulders at the source of the stream. They ground together with a crashing sound.

How could the modern aikido resemble that early aikido in any way? Who is practicing now? Accountants, physicists, psychologists, most of whom get offended quickly by the idea of strength, much less its appearance. Even the really rugged people who train today don't have the giant boulders to crash around with, even if they want it.

No, the aikido of Kisshomaru and Moriteru Ueshiba is a far different thing from "original aikido." Not to say that it's a bad thing, but very different. Mostly in that many things have been removed. Someone talked of the development of aikido and judo being about finding new things and evolving the arts, but in fact, it was mostly about clipping out things. In judo, this resulted in a fine art of physical education that can develop the mind and emotions as deeply as the body through all-out, full-power free-fighting that is nonetheless much safer than the arts from which it came and which could not allow such full-spirited competition.

With aikido, though, I'm not sure that the clipping really resulted in a more useful art, especially as the clipping continued through the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and into the current millieu.

In Mochizuki Sensei's dojo, every training began with practice of four main kicks and several main hand strikes, practiced first in form, then on the bag. In randori, you were apt to face a karate punch or kick, a bo, a knife, a bokken or rubber-covered sword or club; even a pistol. If you did not overtake the attack in the first instant, you would be hit, especially with the rubber sword or club. Else, you would be swept off your feet or otherwise thrown with judo. Many people said that this kind of practice was not even aikido, but Mochizuki Sensei said "No one does Ueshiba's aikido."

Many people believe that Morihei Ueshiba perfected aikido over the last several years of his life and achieved a final product that was perfect, and which he wanted everyone to do. But one fellow who promoted that claim admitted that, in a desperate situation, he would do whatever it took to kill the guy.

Real aikido cannot be a neutered cat that lies around the dojo. It is something that can stand up to tigers on its own merit. I doubt that Moriteru Sensei would refuse to kick someone on abstract principle if the refusal meant that he would lose his life.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
01-10-2007, 08:34 PM
So what can we add to aikido and still have it be aikido? Hitting heavy bags? A ground game comparable to BJJ? Kicking comparable to taekwondo? Knife fighting? Nunchakus? Removal of all philosophy? Where are the boundaries?

If the oponent kills you, it removes all your philosophy. Is the philosophy worth more than your life, itself? Maybe a true philosophy is, but truth can only be built on truth and any philosophy that ignores the truth, sets you up to be murdered.

Speaking of knife fighting, when Mochizuki Sensei was in France, he was frequently challenged and he usually took the challenge right away. But once a fellow challenged him and he said, "If I come to fight you, I'll bring a pistol."

"Why?" the fellow asked.

Mochizuki told him, "Because I've heard that you're an expert in knife-throwing and I know you'll bring your knives, so I'll bring a pistol."

"Well," the guy said, "if you bring a pistol, I'll bring a rifle."

Sensei told him, "If you bring a rifle, I'll bring artillery."

In short, he was realistic in judging risk. He wasn't going to give his attacker the advantage and his life on the line at his own disadvantage. As Yoshimitsu said, "Aiki is setting the sure conditions for success."

David

eyrie
01-10-2007, 09:38 PM
Remind me not to bring a knife to a gun fight... especially with David... :p

Thalib
01-10-2007, 10:46 PM
Come to think of it... does Aikido have a strict curriculum?

I know Yoshinkan does (personal observation), but Aikikai?

So many wide range of Shihan that teaches with different methods, which at times create political rifts among them (personal observation).

Some of them finally broke off and create their own organization.

Some of them are set aside, still affiliated with Aikikai but stays quiet and distance themselves from the organization.

Some of them get along with the organization, though they still teach their own "style".

Again, these are based on personal observation and I'm not going to name names.

Many different shihans focus on different things. For beginners it gets confusing to study under multiple shihans. As we progress, we will find the underlying principles and philosophy of those techniques. Instead of looking for differences, we now tend to look for similarities, principle and philosophy wise.

xuzen
01-11-2007, 12:00 AM
Wow, for someone who does not train in aikido, Justin sure is very opiniated on the subject at hand. Sigh... such is the power of the internet, one can surf the net, and read all about a certain subject and voila, become an 'opinion leader'.

Boon.

thinking
01-11-2007, 12:16 AM
Wow, for someone who does not train in aikido, Justin sure is very opinionated on the subject at hand. Sigh... such is the power of the Internet, one can surf the net, and read all about a certain subject and voila, become an 'opinion leader'.

Boon.

I too was thinking the same thing i cant say much for the aikido side being i just started. but i have trained in other arts :ki:

Erick Mead
01-11-2007, 09:20 AM
Fascinating. As a matter of personal opinion from my own experience, military, legal practice, and as observer of the ugliness of politics, there is no field of conflict or means of conflict that I have yet found to be outside the principles of aikido. In this I agree with David Orange's citation to Mochizuki Sensei.

I do not teach students to "do kicks" per se, as part of the curriculum of techniques my teachers gave me, because they did not. As kicks present unique openings, and are attacks that may occur, however, I was taught and do teach responses to them. It is therefore necessary to have students know the rudiments of kicking. Plus, many beginners perform techniques that are remarkably exposed to the odd knee strike, which is the least exposed of the leg strikes available. They need do to be show this from time to time to adjust their movement or posture. After having trained in responding to kicks, however, the responses are not fundamentaly different from that applicable to any other attack.

As to current Doshu or Kisshomaru Doshu's emphasis regarding kicking in training, (as opposed to recommending their use) , I doubt seriously that either Doshu ever realistically meant "Never kick." Japanese culture has an almost pathological aversion to the flat "No!" much less "Never!"

Their teaching defines the main body of the art, but I doubt seriously that even they would or have claimed that they can define the whole of an art which at its highest expression is intended to allow one to spontaneously generate responses to attack and even to create wholly new techniques in that moment. In such a context, those who work the frontiers are not not usefully told "No" or "Stop" as it would, first, be exceedingly rude to do so, and second, would be antithetical to the principles of the art.

There must however, be decent respect for the main corpus of the teaching as a sound and necessary foundation and reservoir of the principles of aikido, which it is the purpose of the Doshu to preserve and promulgate.

Ron Tisdale
01-11-2007, 11:23 AM
part of the main syllabus of aikido.

This statement (and other statements, as well as statements by some of the posters above) highlights the problem we are discussing.

On the one hand, we have people discussing a principle based art, with a wide variety of means and methods to teach those principles...all from perfectly valid sources (yoshinkan, aikikai, shodokan, independant). On the other hand, we have a dogmatic perspective, one that insists on looking at a static, rigid, set curriculum that does not exist in the aikido world.

I'll say it again...it does not exist...even within the aikikai, which ranges from the keiko of the current doshu, to the Iwama groups, to the keiko of Nishio Sensei (which does include influences from karate, and kicks). This is even without stepping out of the aikikai...

It's pretty clear when someone is not familiar with these things. It's a shame more of us don't get out and experience them.

Best,
Ron

Erick Mead
01-11-2007, 01:41 PM
Very old 14 sec clip of Saotome using kick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkdRMZjuUBs

... talking about principals. You simply cannot take a black and white and fundamental view of aikido. .... Punches, grabs, knifes, and sticks also play a part, ... The video is interesting, because in the last two usages shown the tai sabaki is identical to the final movement in the jo suburi hasso gaeshi ushiro harai, just substituting the leg for the stick.

Principles --- ain't they wunn'erful !

Ron Tisdale
01-11-2007, 02:58 PM
That's not the only time I've seen him use kicks. Ask Don Modesto about Saotome Sensei's kicks! ;)

Best,
Ron

Tim Fong
01-11-2007, 08:03 PM
If one had built the bujutsu body, then kicking would just be another application of said body.

raul rodrigo
01-11-2007, 09:04 PM
we have a dogmatic perspective, one that insists on looking at a static, rigid, set curriculum that does not exist in the aikido world. I'll say it again...it does not exist...even within the aikikai,


But when all one knows of aikido is just what he has read in books, then its easy to see where that rigidity and misunderstanding comes from.


best,


RAUL

Kevin Leavitt
01-12-2007, 04:25 AM
No, I have worked with Saotome Sensei a number of times in which he incorporated kicks into his classes. It was never to learn how to be a better kicker or to demonstrate the efficiency or lethality of kicks, only to convey the principles he was trying to teach in the class.

Justin asked a question earlier about where you draw the line concerning what you can include in aikido. BJJ, Kicks, knifes, etc. Yes you can include any and all techniques that are humanly possible. Where you draw the line is principles. The principles of aikido are based based on the philosophical beliefs first established by the founder, and generally agreed upon today by the majority of people who identify with the word or art of aikido.

Typically it centers around the concepts of peace and harmony, or the resolution of conflict, first through private victory by mastering and conquering yourself, and then by public victory, when we can take the private victories and use them to achieve balance, peace, and harmony in the world.

It strives for interdependence.

Therefore, the techniques used are much unimportant, and anything could be used to demonstrate or practice these points and to help us realize the lessons.

Ketsan
01-12-2007, 07:47 AM
Sugawara also shows kicks on his tai chi style kata
http://www.santarosaaikido.com/Aiki%20Tai-chi%20kata%203.wmv