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nikonl
09-28-2001, 10:45 AM
What is the philosophy behind that Aikido shouldn't have competitions?

ian
09-28-2001, 11:15 AM
We had a similar post a while ago asking for the original words that Ueshiba used when saying aikido shouldn't be competitive - to my knowledge there was no definate answer. However there was a bit of a disagreement between Ueshiba and Tomiki when he tried to make it competitive.

A strange thing about aikido is we say that aikido enables us to deal with an agressor without hurting them, but then say competition is not allowed because the techniques are too dangerous and you could seriously hurt/kill someone.

My feeling is that aikido is really a way of improving your bodies ability to deal wih an real attack, rather than improving your sparring/wrestling ability. In real life you have to use everything you've got. What we are training is to improve our reaction, and our uke acts as a guide to make this reaction instinctive and natural.

As soon as it becomes competitive the realism can actually dissapear because, in the dojo, you are not in a life/death situation and you will back of striking uke or nage vicously if they leave themselves open.

One of the ways I teach irimi-nage is actually to teach a rear choke first. Uke soon find out that, although turning out of irimi nage (by turning their back to nage) gets them out of the throw, it is a stupid thing to do as they fall straight into a choke. This dynamic raction between uke and nage must be kept in mind at all times if we are to take advantage of the non-competitive method of simulated fighting.

Ian

akiy
09-28-2001, 12:11 PM
Originally posted by ian
We had a similar post a while ago asking for the original words that Ueshiba used when saying aikido shouldn't be competitive - to my knowledge there was no definate answer.
Here's the thread to which Ian alludes above:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=998

-- Jun

nikonl
09-28-2001, 01:12 PM
jun,it would be better if you could make this topic a permanent segment in aikiweb.com :)

TheProdigy
09-29-2001, 09:11 PM
While my knowledge of competition in Tomiki and in general is quite limited, I believe the main reason we don't have competition in aikido (that was approved by O'sensei) is that it seems to go against the philosophy of it all. As an aikidoka you are learning to master yourself and to bring yourself and your surrounding into perfect harmony. This is why we learn how to be soft in our defences as well, so as to not harm our attacker. We neutralize their attack and restore harmony.

To have competition, you now are having people out there with an eye to overcome their opponent. Also, to my knowledge, you can't compete without someone throwing a punch or kick (or themselves) at you. To attack at all with an eye to overcome your opponent seems to go against the principles.

I am not saying Tomiki is bad... for I truly don't know, nor do I have enough experience to pass judgement on any ideas.

Just my thoughts,
-Jase

AikidoNuB
10-01-2001, 05:43 AM
Hello All!

I recently started studying Fugakukai Aikido. It is a version of Tomiki-ryu, with the main difference being that there are no competitions. Fugakukai was developed in 1982 by Tsunako Miyake Shihan, Takeshi Inoue Shihan, and Karl Geis Shihan. Fugakukai uses kata and a non-competitive practiced randori as a method of applying principles learned by long repetition. The purpose of elimination competion was mainly in my oppinion to allow practice of Aikido by anyone of any age and any size or strength.

Thanks for listening

Mike Collins
10-01-2001, 01:03 PM
In my opinion, the concept of no competition in Aikido is "cute". I think Osensei set up Aikido as a non -competitive art just because he understood that he couldn't possibly eliminate competition between training partners, so he wanted to limit it as much as possible.

I've been training in this art for twelve plus years, and I still find myself in contests of strength, wills, technique- almost all the time. I would love to report that I had transcended such low behaviors, but I gotta tell the truth.

I understand that the real contest is between the part of me that wants to understand the art, and the part of me that wants to down my partner; understanding and making a change is not the same thing.

Maybe Osensei figured that establishing shiai would take our minds off of the real contest we all need to be working on, and in the process, lessen the intensity of our training in principle.

PeterR
10-01-2001, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by Mikey
In my opinion, the concept of no competition in Aikido is "cute".

Maybe Osensei figured that establishing shiai would take our minds off of the real contest we all need to be working on, and in the process, lessen the intensity of our training in principle.

Somewhere in this forum is a posting by Peter Goldsbury (pretty high up in the Aikikai world and living and training in Japan to boot) discussing the difference between Shiai and Kyou-sou. Ueshiba M. never banned Shiai - and according to the Peter he pointedly used the word Kyou-sou which has a different meaning.

The post can be found under
Home > AikiWeb Forums > AikiWeb: Language > "Competition"

akiy
10-01-2001, 05:18 PM
Originally posted by PeterR
[B]Somewhere in this forum is a posting by Peter Goldsbury (pretty high up in the Aikikai world and living and training in Japan to boot) discussing the difference between Shiai and Kyou-sou.
Yup. I posted a pointer to it above...

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=998

-- Jun

PeterR
10-01-2001, 05:31 PM
Whoops so you did - sorry Jun


I was staying clear of the thread mainly because its always same old same old.

Some are willing to think and read - some want to make a point.

deepsoup
10-03-2001, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by AikidoNuB

The purpose of elimination competion was mainly in my opinion to allow practice of Aikido by anyone of any age and any size or strength.


Like Peter, I've been staying clear of this thread. I dont think there's anything left to add to the debate about competition that hasn't already been said in this forum, and I'm pretty sure most of us are bored of hearing the same old arguments.

I have a couple of questions about Fugakukai though:

Is it just shiai which has been taken out of Fugakukai aikido, or is there no competition of any kind? (ie: are there also no kata competitions, like Shodokan embu events, or maybe like the Taigi competitions held by the Ki Society?)

Does Fugakukai judo have shiai and/or kata competition? If so, is Fugakukai judo exclusively for the young and fit, or does competition deter the older aikidoka but not the older judoka?

Just curious. :D

Sean
x

AikidoNuB
10-04-2001, 08:35 AM
Sean,

I will try and answer your questions to the best of my knowledge. As I stated I am new to Aikido so I am not well versed yet in all the terms.

1. Fugakukai Aikido has no competitions whatsoever. Even though it is an offsoot of Tomiki-ryu. Karl Geis Shihan believed that the concept of tanto randori had failed as a developmental process in teaching a true and really useful Aikido system. He felt, quote: "That tanto randori, like most sports, by it's rules and nature predicts that the strongest and most athletic person will prevail. Which he believe was not a viable idea if Aikido was to be useful and productive to all who practiced it, large, small, strong, weak. So the techniques that were based on power and/or speed would need to be modified in kata and actual practice in such a way as to make off-balance a realistic part of the technique.

2. As for Fugakukia Judo...all this is, is Kodokan Judo. In fact, you can earn points for rank promotion through competition.

I hope I have answered your questions. If not I would be happy to refer your question to sensei Nick Lowry, 6th Dan.

Thanks.. :D

deepsoup
10-04-2001, 06:34 PM
Originally posted by AikidoNuB
Sean,

I will try and answer your questions to the best of my knowledge. As I stated I am new to Aikido so I am not well versed yet in all the terms.

1. Fugakukai Aikido has no competitions whatsoever. Even though it is an offsoot of Tomiki-ryu. Karl Geis Shihan believed that the concept of tanto randori had failed as a developmental process in teaching a true and really useful Aikido system. He felt, quote: "That tanto randori, like most sports, by it's rules and nature predicts that the strongest and most athletic person will prevail. Which he believe was not a viable idea if Aikido was to be useful and productive to all who practiced it, large, small, strong, weak. So the techniques that were based on power and/or speed would need to be modified in kata and actual practice in such a way as to make off-balance a realistic part of the technique.

2. As for Fugakukia Judo...all this is, is Kodokan Judo. In fact, you can earn points for rank promotion through competition.

I hope I have answered your questions. If not I would be happy to refer your question to sensei Nick Lowry, 6th Dan.

Thanks.. :D

Thanks John,

I've read Mr Geis' views on tanto (and indeed toshu) randori as practiced in the Shodokan before. Personally I disagree, but thats just my opinion. Shall we just agree to disagree on that point, and move on peacefully? ( I've seen some quite undignified discussions between Shodokan and Fugakukai aikidoka on other forums, and I'm keen not to repeat them! )

While I disagree with Mr Geis' views on tanto-randori, I do understand where he is coming from.

However, I thought that 'off-balance' (if that's the same thing as 'kuzushi') is as important to good judo technique as it is to good aikido technique. Therefore, if I were to accept the argument that competition is bad for aikido, I would also conclude that its bad for judo.

So what I dont get (especially since I've read that Tomiki sensei regarded Judo and Aikido to be essentially the same art ) is this apparent inconsistency in the Fugakukai's attitude towards competition in the two arts.

Is it that judo is different from aikido in such a way that it is "useful and productive to all who practice it", despite the inclusion of randori competition? Or is it that, unlike in aikido, its ok for the 'strongest and most athletic person to prevail' in judo?

Could it be that shiai has come to dominate Judo so much that it isn't possible to attract students to a dojo which does not focus on competition?

Or is it that I've got the wrong end of the stick entirely? :D

Sean
x

AikidoNuB
10-09-2001, 01:58 AM
Sean,

I am not really sure why Fugakukai has competition in Judo and not Aikido, other than the fact that..."and this is just how I veiw it," Judo is considered mostly a sport as opposed to a martial art. Though it clearly has attributes to be good for both. I think it might be interesting to see Aikido as an olympic sport...lol Would be hard to keep competitors in a ring or on the mat...they'd be tossed all over the place...hehe You have a good question...just one I am unable to answer.

I do believe that sparing or randori or whatever you term it is essential in learning self-defense. But since self-defense wasn't why I took up studying Aikido...I can take it or leave it. Hope I didn't babble too much.

Take care
John

deepsoup
10-14-2001, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by AikidoNuB
Sean,

I am not really sure why Fugakukai has competition in Judo and not Aikido, other than the fact that..."and this is just how I veiw it," Judo is considered mostly a sport as opposed to a martial art. Though it clearly has attributes to be good for both. I think it might be interesting to see Aikido as an olympic sport...lol Would be hard to keep competitors in a ring or on the mat...they'd be tossed all over the place...hehe You have a good question...just one I am unable to answer.

I do believe that sparing or randori or whatever you term it is essential in learning self-defense. But since self-defense wasn't why I took up studying Aikido...I can take it or leave it. Hope I didn't babble too much.

Take care
John

Hi John and all,

Funnily enough, had the 2008 Olympics gone to Osaka rather than Beijing, Aikido was possibly going to appear as a demonstration sport. (I think it would have come down to a choice between Aikido and Kendo).

Thanks for your answer.

Sean
x

PeterR
10-14-2001, 11:29 AM
I seriously don't think that Shodokan Aikido would have superceeded kendo - but of course it would have been cool to try.

Unfortuneately the big even held this month in the Osaka Olympic stadium is not going to include me. I can't justify going and moving back to Japan in January. Money and time being precious.

Interesting Tomiki quote by the way put on the Shodokan web
site.http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/shihan/kosyo_e.html

Tomiki sensei was Morihei Ueshiba's top deishi (apprentice) and the first person to receive an 8th dan from Ueshiba sensei. In spite of this, after Ueshiba's death, Tomiki sensei was criticized for his style and type of practice by the elite members of the Aikido association from the main dojo. The association members felt that Tomiki's methods were so different that they wanted him to refrain from using the term Aikido in regards to what he was teaching. I recall Tomiki sensei's strong reaction to this order. "I have only one master and that is Ueshiba sensei. It is he, and only he, who is capable of excommunicating me."

The above war written by Tetsuro Nariyama Shihan of Shodokan Aikido.

deepsoup
10-14-2001, 12:24 PM
Originally posted by PeterR
I seriously don't think that Shodokan Aikido would have superceeded kendo - but of course it would have been cool to try.
The way I heard it, although Kendo would seem the obvious choice, its considered important that the demonstration sport shouldn't be too heavily dominated by the host nation. The success of non-japanese aikidoka in previous (and, hopefully, future) international competitions might have worked in (Shodokan) Aikido's favour.

Academic now, of course, since the games wont be going to Japan anyway. Another time, maybe.

Speaking as a former judoka though, I'm not sure how keen I'd be to see Aikido (Shodokan or otherwise) in the Olympics anyway. I'm not at all sure its been a positive thing for judo. Its a popular sport, but in many dojos its arguably ceased to be budo at all.

I recently met a BJA shodan who had never even seen let alone practiced kata.


Unfortuneately the big even held this month in the Osaka Olympic stadium is not going to include me. I can't justify going and moving back to Japan in January. Money and time being precious.

Interesting Tomiki quote by the way put on the Shodokan web
site.http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/shihan/kosyo_e.html



Commiserations on missing out on Maishima. I take it you're back in Canada for the time being then?

Do you happen to know if the tournament results will be posted on a website anywhere?

I found that quote (http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/shihan/kosyo_e.html) very interesting too, by the way. I quite often get into discussions about why our aikido is called "Shodokan" rather than "Tomiki-style", and its good to have something authorative to point people at!

Sean
x

PeterR
10-14-2001, 12:35 PM
Hi Sean

I also would not be happy that Shodokan becomes an olympic sport - right now the Honbu influence is great and shiai complements kata nicely. I would not like to see Shiai become the dominant factor. Maybe we can keep it like it is - but I find olympics scary.

Yeah I went to Japan for three months and knew half way through that I wanted to come back. I should not have left. The budo is that good. I wont be able to train every day at Honbu my work is too far away but will use the opprotunity to explore historical budo.

Seriously cool job there by the way.
Check out http://www.spring8.or.jp/ENGLISH/

andrew
10-15-2001, 09:07 AM
Originally posted by AikidoNuB
Sean,

I am not really sure why Fugakukai has competition in Judo and not Aikido, other than the fact that


I read (actually on some karate site) that Tomiki (and this may be a seriously flawed view of the situation, although I think it sounds broadly correct) divided techniques more or less into two categories, those being "Randori techniques" and "aiki techniques" and that whilst Judo was mainly Randori style techniques which are safe to use in competition, Aikido contains both classes of technique. Basically it said that the Aiki techniques- joint locks or whatever of the type that would be illegal in Judo competition- were too dangerous to be practiced competitively.

Anyhow, I expect a little criticism of at least the way I phrased that...
andrew

PeterR
10-15-2001, 09:26 AM
I really suggest going to the source which is the Shodokan web site. Several articles and diagrams from Kenji Tomiki himself.

The two most relevant to the question are the diagrams

http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/history/kyogi/kousei_e.html

http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/history/kyogi/hatten_e.html

and the article

http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/history/kyogi/jyuturi_e.html

It is clear his main division is in the distance between opponents. I have never heard a division of aiki versus non-aiki in the techniques taught at the dojo but it is a question that may be worth asking.

deepsoup
10-16-2001, 03:19 PM
Originally posted by PeterR

<some snippage>
Seriously cool job there by the way.
Check out http://www.spring8.or.jp/ENGLISH/

That certainly does look impressive. :)

Sean
x

JP3
04-07-2013, 09:24 PM
One thing I heard which may (or may not) be enlightening:

While it is true that Tomiki did add competition to aikido, it may not be that he "wanted" to do that. I heard one bit of history (historical fiction?) that stated that Tomiki was required by Waseda University to have competitions in his aikido program if they were going to have it on-campus, and take advantage of university resources.

I can't remember where I heard/read this, but if it does contain a kernel of truth, it could explain the basis for a lot of apparently anti-aikido sort of philosophical stuff which came from Tomiki during that time frame.

Anyone else have any more on this point, either way?

Chris Li
04-07-2013, 11:12 PM
One thing I heard which may (or may not) be enlightening:

While it is true that Tomiki did add competition to aikido, it may not be that he "wanted" to do that. I heard one bit of history (historical fiction?) that stated that Tomiki was required by Waseda University to have competitions in his aikido program if they were going to have it on-campus, and take advantage of university resources.

I can't remember where I heard/read this, but if it does contain a kernel of truth, it could explain the basis for a lot of apparently anti-aikido sort of philosophical stuff which came from Tomiki during that time frame.

Anyone else have any more on this point, either way?

I've read some passionate defences of competition in Aikido by Tomiki. More importantly, there is an Aikikai club on campus, and it has been there since 1960 - long before Tomiki went competitive.

Best,

Chris

ewolput
04-08-2013, 01:59 AM
Hi,
Waseda Aikido Club (Tomiki) was founded in 1958
See : http://waseda-aikido.com/history-e/
Early 1970-ties, with the introduction of tanto randori in competition, some of the older practitioners couldn't agree with this format. Some of them went independently teaching the old style.

Just a thought,
Eddy

Dan Rubin
04-08-2013, 04:20 PM
Excerpt from:

The Dawn of Tomiki Aikido
by Seiji Tanaka

First of all, I would like to explain how, where and why Tomiki Aikido started. It goes back to the month of April, 1958 when Waseda University approved our Aikido Club as an officially sanctioned sport club (called “Undo Bu” in Japanese), while no other universities recognized any Aikido clubs as such. Instead, all other Aikido clubs were called “Doko-Kai”, meaning a loosely organized club made up with people of the same interest. These unsanctioned sport clubs had neither the prestige nor the status of other sanctioned clubs such as Judo, Kendo, Karate, baseball, soccer, and other major sport clubs.

Prior to April, 1958, there was no Aikido club, even at Waseda University. Professor Kenji Tomiki was the Judo instructor and he taught Aikido to some members of the Waseda Judo Club before or after Judo practice. Obviously this arrangement had many limitations for developing truly well-trained Aikidokas.

I was very fortunate to be a freshman in this historical year of 1958. the Japanese school year begins in April, so that I could receive Professor Tomiki’s instructions from the club’s first day as a fully sanctioned sport club and benefit from his burning desire and profound vision of making Aikido the same as Judo, Kendo, and Karate.

One of the strict requirements attached to this official recognition by Waseda University was a stipulation of being able to measure and/or judge the progress and ability of Aikido students. In other words, any clubs belonging to the official Athletic Association must have competition of some fashion. This prerequisite was most welcome by Professor Tomiki, who had his dream to make Aikido as competitive and as internationally popular as Judo.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=625

Chris Li
04-09-2013, 05:22 AM
Excerpt from:

The Dawn of Tomiki Aikido
by Seiji Tanaka

First of all, I would like to explain how, where and why Tomiki Aikido started. It goes back to the month of April, 1958 when Waseda University approved our Aikido Club as an officially sanctioned sport club (called “Undo Bu” in Japanese), while no other universities recognized any Aikido clubs as such. Instead, all other Aikido clubs were called “Doko-Kai”, meaning a loosely organized club made up with people of the same interest. These unsanctioned sport clubs had neither the prestige nor the status of other sanctioned clubs such as Judo, Kendo, Karate, baseball, soccer, and other major sport clubs.

Prior to April, 1958, there was no Aikido club, even at Waseda University. Professor Kenji Tomiki was the Judo instructor and he taught Aikido to some members of the Waseda Judo Club before or after Judo practice. Obviously this arrangement had many limitations for developing truly well-trained Aikidokas.

I was very fortunate to be a freshman in this historical year of 1958. the Japanese school year begins in April, so that I could receive Professor Tomiki’s instructions from the club’s first day as a fully sanctioned sport club and benefit from his burning desire and profound vision of making Aikido the same as Judo, Kendo, and Karate.

One of the strict requirements attached to this official recognition by Waseda University was a stipulation of being able to measure and/or judge the progress and ability of Aikido students. In other words, any clubs belonging to the official Athletic Association must have competition of some fashion. This prerequisite was most welcome by Professor Tomiki, who had his dream to make Aikido as competitive and as internationally popular as Judo.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=625

Notice that the article says that Tomiki was enthusiastic about the change - which invalidates the OP's theory. Also, my original point about the Aikikai club starting from 1960 was that university facilities clearly were available for use, even without competition. Of course, with competition comes a bigger slice of the economic pie - so it comes down to money, in a sense.

Best,

Chris

Peter Goldsbury
04-09-2013, 05:28 AM
There is nothing that I disagree with in Mr Tanaka’s article, but I think it needs a context. In addition to Kenji Tomiki’s strong connection with Waseda University, there were two students at Waseda also with strong connections to aikido. One was Kisshomaru Ueshiba, who became the head of the Kobukan Dojo while a student at Waseda in 1942.

More directly relevant to Tomiki-shi is the case of Hiroshi Tada, who was a member of Waseda University karate club, which was founded well before the aikido club of which Mr Tanaka speaks. Tada Shihan was taught by Gichin Funakoshi, but entered the Aikikai Hombu in 1950, while still a student at Waseda. He appears to have had a major role in starting an aikido club at Waseda that had links with the Aikikai. This club celebrated its 50th anniversary last year and so would have been founded around 1961 or 1962. I have it from Tada Shihan directly that this club was created as a reaction to the official insistence at Waseda that any clubs in the sports association had to have some form of competition.

I never knew Tomiki Shihan, but I knew his student Okumura Shigenobu quite well. Okumura Shihan talked of Tomiki Sensei changing the style of his aikido and I suspect that this might have had something to do with his experience as a POW in Russia. Okumura Shihan was also a POW and I understand that the experience was harrowing for both of them. Even now, competition is still a very sensitive subject and one indication of this is that it is not discussed openly. I stuck my neck out once and held a meeting at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo to discuss the subject of competition. The meeting was quite strongly opposed by the Aikikai, but I stuck to my guns and the meeting took place. It was attended by Okumura and Tada Shihans and lasted three hours.

This requirement about competition might have been due to the strong position of judo and karate at Waseda. There are sports associations (tai-iku-kai) at all the major universities in Japan and I was have had a close connection with the Tai-iku-tai at Hiroshima University. Judo was and is also quite strong at Hiroshima University, so the university has a large, purpose built judo dojo. However, the university tai-iku-kai has never been able to insist on the necessity of competition for other clubs, like aikido and shorinji kempo. The Hirodai aikido club is affiliated to the tai-iku-kai, but there are two other aikido clubs at the university that are not affiliated. All the clubs can practice in the dojo and the only problem is finding a time that avoids conflict with other clubs. The tai-iku-kai probably had some prestige, but it now has the reputation of being too closely tied to tradition and interpreting the sempai-kohai relationship too rigidly. Much hazing went on in the tai-iku-kai martial arts clubs that was tacitly condoned by the university and this sometimes led to serious accidents.

Marc Abrams
04-09-2013, 07:11 AM
There is nothing that I disagree with in Mr Tanakas article, but I think it needs a context. In addition to Kenji Tomikis strong connection with Waseda University, there were two students at Waseda also with strong connections to aikido. One was Kisshomaru Ueshiba, who became the head of the Kobukan Dojo while a student at Waseda in 1942.

More directly relevant to Tomiki-shi is the case of Hiroshi Tada, who was a member of Waseda University karate club, which was founded well before the aikido club of which Mr Tanaka speaks. Tada Shihan was taught by Gichin Funakoshi, but entered the Aikikai Hombu in 1950, while still a student at Waseda. He appears to have had a major role in starting an aikido club at Waseda that had links with the Aikikai. This club celebrated its 50th anniversary last year and so would have been founded around 1961 or 1962. I have it from Tada Shihan directly that this club was created as a reaction to the official insistence at Waseda that any clubs in the sports association had to have some form of competition.

I never knew Tomiki Shihan, but I knew his student Okumura Shigenobu quite well. Okumura Shihan talked of Tomiki Sensei changing the style of his aikido and I suspect that this might have had something to do with his experience as a POW in Russia. Okumura Shihan was also a POW and I understand that the experience was harrowing for both of them. Even now, competition is still a very sensitive subject and one indication of this is that it is not discussed openly. I stuck my neck out once and held a meeting at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo to discuss the subject of competition. The meeting was quite strongly opposed by the Aikikai, but I stuck to my guns and the meeting took place. It was attended by Okumura and Tada Shihans and lasted three hours.

This requirement about competition might have been due to the strong position of judo and karate at Waseda. There are sports associations (tai-iku-kai) at all the major universities in Japan and I was have had a close connection with the Tai-iku-tai at Hiroshima University. Judo was and is also quite strong at Hiroshima University, so the university has a large, purpose built judo dojo. However, the university tai-iku-kai has never been able to insist on the necessity of competition for other clubs, like aikido and shorinji kempo. The Hirodai aikido club is affiliated to the tai-iku-kai, but there are two other aikido clubs at the university that are not affiliated. All the clubs can practice in the dojo and the only problem is finding a time that avoids conflict with other clubs. The tai-iku-kai probably had some prestige, but it now has the reputation of being too closely tied to tradition and interpreting the sempai-kohai relationship too rigidly. Much hazing went on in the tai-iku-kai martial arts clubs that was tacitly condoned by the university and this sometimes led to serious accidents.

Peter:

It was my teacher, Shizuo Imaizumi, who petitioned the Hombu Dojo to get an Aikikai Aikido Club started at Waseda University. Tada Sensei was appointed to oversee this club. Unfortunately, Imaizumi Sensei's name has been "cleansed" since he is no longer with Aikikai. I could make a direct comment on that, but it speaks for itself. Luckily, the original members of this club (those that are still alive) still communicate with one another. When we threw a 50th year of Aikido celebration for Imaizumi Sensei, I sent a letter to Tada Sensei to see if he would privately send a letter of acknowledgement to my teacher. Sadly, nothing but radio silence.

Those who try to re-write history fail in the internet age and only serve to take away from their own legitimacy through such acts.....

Marc Abrams

Dan Richards
04-09-2013, 08:04 AM
In my opinion, the concept of no competition in Aikido is "cute". I think Osensei set up Aikido as a non -competitive art just because he understood that he couldn't possibly eliminate competition between training partners, so he wanted to limit it as much as possible.


I agree, Mike, that the concept of no-competition is "cute." In some ways, aikido is an extremely competitive environment. By removing pugilism as a means of determining the overall skill and level of a practitioner, aikido actually set up something far more competitive. I'm not determining that there has to be a negative factor in all that, but zooming out a bit and examining aikido in that light, we can see that is it a world chock-full of competition.

By eschewing matches, aikido propelled the competition to the levels of politics, business, rank and file, etc.. This can be seen as early as the rift between Tohei and Aikikai. It can be seen in the establishment of territories. It can be seen in the promotion of rank. It can be seen in favoritism.

I think, in terms of growth, there are positive aspects to this kind of design. In nature, we can see trees and shrubs that are quick-growing and fast-spreading. In organizations and schools, early splits can ultimately be quite healthy in terms of proliferating the central memes that lie within the core.

One of the principle memes spread through aikido is non-resistance. It's one thing to roll it around as an intellectual concept, and quite another to embody it and live from a state that is not "of" it, but "from" it. The internalizing of not resisting resistance is exactly what would have Tohei move around the corner from Hombu, hang up his own picture, and start his own school (branch) of aikido.

And similar growth movements can be seen occurring not only with direct students of Ueshiba, but with students of his students. I'm sure there are some who've read through some of my recent posts who might find me rebellious and even out of line at times. In one aspect, that's entirely accurate. In another, I find myself prompted by an inner drive to fullfil my small contribution to the growth of aikido and aiki arts.

There is obviously a large area of aikido that truly is non-competitive, because the environment itself allows for so many individual interpretations of the core principles.

But I think it is an important aspect that long-practicing aikidoka, as well as those being newly introduced, understand the highly-competitive and dynamic nature of the aikido arena. And, again, through non-resistance, embrace the concept as essential to its overall growth and the self discovery of its practitioners.

Dan Rubin
04-09-2013, 02:12 PM
Notice that the article says that Tomiki was enthusiastic about the change....

As I noted, I posted only an excerpt from the article, the part that discussed Waseda University. In the rest of the article, Tanaka goes into great detail about the importance that Tomiki placed on competition, at one point stating that "Professor Tomiki insisted on the needs of competitions...."

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=625

JP3
06-15-2013, 07:19 PM
So... Chris....

After reading all the above, and enjoying it all, I have to say, I am sort of confused at the end.

Was what I heard/read those years ago correct, or not? Or, is it still muddy?

I only think it's important to historians, but still. It's good to know history.

Hellis
06-16-2013, 03:03 AM
Peter:

Those who try to re-write history fail in the internet age and only serve to take away from their own legitimacy through such acts.....

Marc Abrams

Marc

That is so very true.

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://aikido-stories.blogspot.co.uk/

JP3
06-16-2013, 09:58 AM
Peter, the "historians" thing was not a swipe at you, though I would consider your field of comparative mythology to be within. It was merely a comment that most folks don't really know, nor do they want to know, not really and in depth, the true and accurate history of what they practice. Some just don't care, some wish to drive an agenda.

patrick de block
06-17-2013, 12:54 PM
Hello,

I always get bored with this discussions, since years. And, to make matters clear, I'm a Tomiki Aikido practitioner, in case you want to dismiss me. And that's fine with me.

What strikes me in these discussions is how competiton is always narrowly defined as a sports event with certain rules which are overseen by judges.

'Competition in biology, ecology, and sociology, is a contest between organisms, animals, individuals, groups, etc., for territory, a niche, or a location of resources, for resources and goods, for prestige, recognition, awards, mates, or group or social status, for leadership; it is the opposite of cooperation.[1][2] It arises whenever at least two parties strive for a goal which cannot be shared or which is desired individually but not in sharing and cooperation. Competition occurs naturally between living organisms which co-exist in the same environment.[3] For example, animals compete over water supplies, food, mates, and other biological resources. Humans compete usually for food and mates, though when these needs are met deep rivalries often arise over the pursuit of wealth, prestige, and fame. Competition is also a major tenet in market economy and business is often associated with competition as most companies are in competition with at least one other firm over the same group of customers, and also competition inside a company is usually stimulated for meeting and reaching higher quality of services or products that the company produce or develop.'

This quote is from Wikipedia, so here I go, a non-exhaustive list of competition in aikido

- I have trained for ...years in Japan
- I have trained with ... (usually there follows an explanation why that teacher is the best)
- I have been ... times to Japan
- I have caried the bags of ... so many times on international events that I lost the count
- I have folded the hakama of ... countless times.
- I am a ... dan given to me by ... (...)
- I am your sempai
- Ask a simple question and you are told that you will understand when you are a senior ...
- ...

Some thoughts:

War is a competition, and I thought that aikido was advertised as a martial art.

In Tomiki Aikido you have shiai but you also have a three step program of kakari geiko, hiki tate geiko and randori to develop skill.

Young men (mostly) and the occasional women (more so) are competive, usually they grow older and become ... Anything wrong with being young and irresponsable, that's being young.

Ueshiba is famous for his displays of strength or power and he kept doing this into advanced age. (He never grew up?) Any problem with people becoming fascinated by this displays?

You can say that in competition usually people muscle their way through the technique, and that's what you are not suppossed to learn. But then, that is what 90 % or 95% of the aikido-people are doing, only it doesn't look that way since Uke's are very coöperative.

And in case you want to know, I've lost all my competitions and I am still doing aikido.

Aikeway
06-27-2013, 04:50 AM
My understanding is that Tomiki's 17 basic techniques were taken from judo to form his style of aikido. Tomiki wanted to preserve techniques that utilize a strike to create kuzushi such as shomen ate, aigamae ate,gyaku gamae ate, gedan ate, ushiro ate and also techniques which were performed at a greater distance than normal randori judo techniques. If this is correct, then what is so intrinsically different about these techniques to other judo techniques? Some of those techniques are still part of judo, such as waki-gatame. If it is necessary to have a competitive environment (either shiai or hard randori) to develop effective skills at judo techniques, how can this not be the same for aikido techniques which were once part of judo?

PeterR
06-27-2013, 05:29 AM
My understanding is that Tomiki's 17 basic techniques were taken from judo to form his style of aikido.
Not sure where you get the idea that these techniques come from Judo. In the broader sense there are no techniques in Aikido that are not found somewhere else in the realm of jujutsu but what Tomiki did do is bring back some of those techniques into Judo via the Goshin no Kata. Those were clearly derived from Aikido.

ewolput
06-27-2013, 08:07 AM
My understanding is that Tomiki's 17 basic techniques were taken from judo to form his style of aikido. Tomiki wanted to preserve techniques that utilize a strike to create kuzushi such as shomen ate, aigamae ate,gyaku gamae ate, gedan ate, ushiro ate and also techniques which were performed at a greater distance than normal randori judo techniques. If this is correct, then what is so intrinsically different about these techniques to other judo techniques? Some of those techniques are still part of judo, such as waki-gatame. If it is necessary to have a competitive environment (either shiai or hard randori) to develop effective skills at judo techniques, how can this not be the same for aikido techniques which were once part of judo?

Most of the "basic" kata techniques are aikido techniques explained from the "judo" point of view. Tomiki sensei was heavily inspired by the doctrines of Jigoro Kano. Tomiki sensei also used Kendo principles in formulating his idea of randori/shiai. Especially the idea of "the ki of kendo".

Just my thoughts,
Eddy

CorkyQ
06-27-2013, 09:56 AM
Cross-posted to http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...=&threadid=998

Whether you prefer to put your aikido to the test with other practitioners of aikido, or want to compete with other martial artists is individual choice, but as to whether Osensei really did feel a certain way about competition seems pretty clear, as well as his reasoning, in the book Aikido (Kisshomaru Ueshiba, 1958, under the direction of Morihei Ueshiba), translated by Kaz Tanahashi quotes Osensei in the back of the book under the chapter heading "Memoirs of the Master":

We ceaselessly pray that fights should not occur. For this reason we strictly prohibit matches in Aikido. (my bold)

That seems pretty clear, says he doesn't want "matches in Aikido" which I would call competition, and gives a reason, but if you want to go straight to the horse's mouth, contact Tanahashi Sensei in Berkeley. I'm sure he would, as the scholar he is, be able to tell you exactly what wording Osensei used in Japanese.

Also among the memoirs, same book, Then how can you straighten your warped mind, purify your heart, and be harmonized with the activities of all things in Nature? You should first make God's heart yours. It is a Great Love. Omnipresent in all quarters and in all times of the universe. "There is no discord in love. There is no enemy in love." A mind of discord, thinking of the existence of an enemy is no more consistent with the will of God.

Those who do not agree with this cannot be in harmony with the universe. Their budo is that of destruction. It is not constructive budo.

Therefore, to compete in techniques, winning and losing, is not true budo. True budo knows no defeat. "Never defeated" means "never fighting."

Second reason, from my interpretation. I doubt that he means you shouldn't compete because you might lose. My take is, in context with everything else he says in his memoir, is that in an aikido interaction should never end with anyone defeated.

Other than that I take from it that M. Ueshiba felt those interested in competing are not interested in what he called "true budo." Think about it. What does competition do besides make winners and losers out of practitioners? Does winning a bout make the world one family? Does winning do anything except inflate egos?

In the same memoirs: A mind to serve for the peace of all human beings in the world is needed in Aikido, and not the mind of one who wishes to be strong and fell an opponent." So, if you trust the creator of the art you study.... why would you compete? I'm not asking you - Just offering a question to ask yourself...

CorkyQ
06-27-2013, 10:38 AM
Just a fun video - but think about this - gentlemen from the west curious about aikido have brought their camera crew on a "Rendezvous with Adventure!" They see this little old man doing some amazing things with his students. Later when the old man seems to be gone, they ask one of his senior students how his martial art stands up to a little "rough and tumble" and the student (maybe at the top of your lineage?) takes the bait, wanting to show himself perhaps as well as these big Americans, how effective Aikido is at winning the "rough and tumble" so he agrees to the match (competition)...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2FQkyB6B-w (advance to 2:08)

beautiful aikido, no? lol - all in the name of proving...

Chris Li
06-27-2013, 11:17 AM
Just a fun video - but think about this - gentlemen from the west curious about aikido have brought their camera crew on a "Rendezvous with Adventure!" They see this little old man doing some amazing things with his students. Later when the old man seems to be gone, they ask one of his senior students how his martial art stands up to a little "rough and tumble" and the student (maybe at the top of your lineage?) takes the bait, wanting to show himself perhaps as well as these big Americans, how effective Aikido is at winning the "rough and tumble" so he agrees to the match (competition)...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2FQkyB6B-w (advance to 2:08)

beautiful aikido, no? lol - all in the name of proving...

I'm not sure what your point is here...is it "your Aikido will suck if you try to compete"?

If that's the case, then wouldn't it be better to address the "Aikido will suck" part rather than just avoiding situations in which your Aikido may suck?

Morihei Ueshiba, for example, was known to engage in the same kind of "matches", but maybe he did a little better... ;)

Best,

Chris

CorkyQ
06-27-2013, 12:04 PM
I'm not sure what your point is here...is it "your Aikido will suck if you try to compete"?

If that's the case, then wouldn't it be better to address the "Aikido will suck" part rather than just avoiding situations in which your Aikido may suck?

Morihei Ueshiba, for example, was known to engage in the same kind of "matches", but maybe he did a little better... ;)

Best,

Chris

Hey Chris, my point was that perhaps why the Founder "strictly" prohibited competition was that every moment wondering whether one's aikido will work (work, as in, make you victorious in an engagement) is a moment away from where Osensei saw true budo to be. Why would someone agree to a contest with someone, except to see whether one will win or lose? If Osensei really meant aikido is not about winning or losing, then it would stand to reason that winning or losing (competition) is not aikido. At least by the Founder's definition.

Maybe competition using some of the mechanics of aikido is something else...

Chris Li
06-27-2013, 12:10 PM
Hey Chris, my point was that perhaps why the Founder "strictly" prohibited competition was that every moment wondering whether one's aikido will work (work, as in, make you victorious in an engagement) is a moment away from where Osensei saw true budo to be. Why would someone agree to a contest with someone, except to see whether one will win or lose? If Osensei really meant aikido is not about winning or losing, then it would stand to reason that winning or losing (competition) is not aikido. At least by the Founder's definition.

Maybe competition using some of the mechanics of aikido is something else...

I mentioned this on another thread, but the match in the film that you mentioned was in fact sanctioned by Morihei Ueshiba himself - which runs into some problems with a "strict prohibition".

We also know that Morihei Ueshiba participated in a number of similar encounters himself, which also runs into a problems with a "strict prohibition".

Language in Japanese is rarely as black and white in meaning as it is in English - things almost always change on a case by case basis, so I think that it would be tricky to read too much into the quote that you cited.

Best,

Chris

Demetrio Cereijo
06-27-2013, 12:49 PM
I mentioned this on another thread, but the match in the film that you mentioned was in fact sanctioned by Morihei Ueshiba himself - which runs into some problems with a "strict prohibition".
Just thinking out loud: The film was made in 1958, maybe O Sensei choose to prohibit matches after this one because the amazing performance displayed by Tohei Sensei.

CorkyQ
06-27-2013, 12:57 PM
Just thinking out loud: The film was made in 1958, maybe O Sensei choose to prohibit matches after this one because the amazing performance displayed by Tohei Sensei.

ha ha ha... maybe - that's the year of the publication of the book "Aikido" too - lol

Demetrio Cereijo
06-27-2013, 01:18 PM
ha ha ha... maybe - that's the year of the publication of the book "Aikido" too - lol
I think this book is from 1962.

CorkyQ
06-27-2013, 01:22 PM
I mentioned this on another thread, but the match in the film that you mentioned was in fact sanctioned by Morihei Ueshiba himself - which runs into some problems with a "strict prohibition".

We also know that Morihei Ueshiba participated in a number of similar encounters himself, which also runs into a problems with a "strict prohibition".

Language in Japanese is rarely as black and white in meaning as it is in English - things almost always change on a case by case basis, so I think that it would be tricky to read too much into the quote that you cited.

Best,

Chris

yes, true, Chris but one (at least) of the very translators is still us, is a great scholar (translator of many languages), artist, zen master and more. I have spent a little time with him and interviewed him extensively and he stands by the translation as you and I would interpret it in normal English, that is "strict" (as in no wiggle room) and "prohibit" (as in not allowing)

So, I don't think you have to take my word for it - I think he would answer an inquiry directly... but do you think the translators dubiously translated the founder's words and translated them back to the founder illicitly for his approval in order to advance their own contrary agenda? (the contents were under M. Ueshiba's direction) or that the founder really meant "sort of prohibited under certain conditions?" or completely opposite- "strictly encouraged?" how many ways of saying that competition is okay in aikido can be mistranslated into "strictly prohibited?" I have no idea - my extemely limited knowledge of Japanese only barely helped me get around there.

CorkyQ
06-27-2013, 01:29 PM
I think this book is from 1962.

the book I hold says Translated from AIKIDO, 1958 & AIKIDO GIHO 1962 - it is a translation of both combined so the "strictly prohibited" matches part might well have been from the 1962 part - but maybe like you said it all stemmed from that televised struggle... lol...

Demetrio Cereijo
06-27-2013, 01:42 PM
Corky,

Could you explain why translations of O Sensei regarding this issue doesn't match with the training methodology as described by a direct student of the founder in

http://books.google.es/books?id=SdYDAAAAMBAJ&printsec=frontcover&hl=es#v=onepage&q=mochizuki&f=false ?

see pages 34-35

Chris Li
06-27-2013, 02:59 PM
yes, true, Chris but one (at least) of the very translators is still us, is a great scholar (translator of many languages), artist, zen master and more. I have spent a little time with him and interviewed him extensively and he stands by the translation as you and I would interpret it in normal English, that is "strict" (as in no wiggle room) and "prohibit" (as in not allowing)

So, I don't think you have to take my word for it - I think he would answer an inquiry directly... but do you think the translators dubiously translated the founder's words and translated them back to the founder illicitly for his approval in order to advance their own contrary agenda? (the contents were under M. Ueshiba's direction) or that the founder really meant "sort of prohibited under certain conditions?" or completely opposite- "strictly encouraged?" how many ways of saying that competition is okay in aikido can be mistranslated into "strictly prohibited?" I have no idea - my extemely limited knowledge of Japanese only barely helped me get around there.

I'm not questioning the translation - I've read the original, in Japanese. What I'm saying is that Morihei Ueshiba's own actions don't support that statement as a black and white prohibition against competition in all cases.

As I said, it's quite common in Japanese for people to make "absolute" statements and then perform actions that are seemingly in complete variance with those statements without batting an eye. For those reasons, it's rather tricky to support an argument of an absolute prohibition by decree, IMO.

Best,

Chris

CorkyQ
06-27-2013, 04:19 PM
For those reasons, it's rather tricky to support an argument of an absolute prohibition by decree, IMO.

Best,

Chris

That's true Chris. One time when I was a kid, two young Catholic friends of mine were over during lent when my mom offered us all lollipops. We all took them, but I could see some hesitation in the older brother. Halfway through eating it, he said, "This is a lollipop, not really candy, right?" because he had given "candy" up for lent. By some interpretations and rationalizations his lollipop was not candy...

What did the Japanese that you read mean to you? "Strict prohibition" or something else less strict or prohibitive?

And if Osensei was a hypocrite, which did you think he thought would do the best for you as an aikidoist and for aikido as an practice, based on his body of writings and teachings? If you think he was just talking out of his a$$ when he said competition in aikido is "strictly prohibited" - why do you really care whether he said it or meant it or whatever? It just mean's he was full of it... Go and test your aikido skill against anyone who will meet your challenge. If it gives you what you are looking for, what does it matter to anyone else, including Osensei? You don't owe him anything do you?

Aikeway
06-27-2013, 04:21 PM
Not sure where you get the idea that these techniques come from Judo. In the broader sense there are no techniques in Aikido that are not found somewhere else in the realm of jujutsu but what Tomiki did do is bring back some of those techniques into Judo via the Goshin no Kata. Those were clearly derived from Aikido.

Kano composed many kata in Kodokan judo from old jujitsu. One of these, Kime no kata, includes techniques that are well known in todays aikido. This suggests that the techniques of aikido are basically the same as the techniques of jujitsu..When Kano visited the dojo in Mejirodai in 1930 and saw Morihei Ueshiba do aikido, he said it was the ideal budo, i.e. judo. He understood it as part of judo because Ueshibas Daito-ryu was part of jujitsu and judo was created through the development of jujitsu. It was like finding a treasure. In those days jujitsu had almost disappeared, so Kano was very glad to see Ueshibas aikido. He sent Minoru Mochizuki and Jiro Takeda to Ueshibas dojo on his behalf and studied Ueshibas techniques in (the) Kodokan. His attitude was amazing he researched and scientifically analysed all sorts of techniques. As a result, he not only developed judo but handed down for posterity the essence of traditional jujitsu.

- Aikido Tradition and the Competitive Edge by Fumiaki Shishida and Tetsuro Nariyama

So Kano incorporated Daito ryu techniques into judo, later Tomiki added more into judo from his study of aiki-jujitsu under Ueshiba from around 1925 and then Tomiki took some of those techniques to form his style of aikido much later.

The point being is that the techniques of aikido are not significantly different to judo techniques and that as shiai or hard randori are necessary to develop effective judo techniques, so too are shiai or hard randori necessary to develop effective aikido techniques, in a modern environment.

Chris Li
06-27-2013, 04:31 PM
What did the Japanese that you read mean to you? "Strict prohibition" or something else less strict or prohibitive?

"Strict prohibition" - as I said, I'm not arguing about the translation.


And if Osensei was a hypocrite, which did you think he thought would do the best for you as an aikidoist and for aikido as an practice, based on his body of writings and teachings? If you think he was just talking out of his a$$ when he said competition in aikido is "strictly prohibited" - why do you really care whether he said it or meant it or whatever? It just mean's he was full of it... Go and test your aikido skill against anyone who will meet your challenge. If it gives you what you are looking for, what does it matter to anyone else, including Osensei? You don't owe him anything do you?

As I said, I don't think that it's such a black and white issue. You seem to be arguing for an either/or - but that's rarely the way that things work out in Japan, no matter that the statement seems to imply that it does.

Best,

Chris

CorkyQ
06-27-2013, 04:37 PM
Corky,

Could you explain why translations of O Sensei regarding this issue doesn't match with the training methodology as described by a direct student of the founder in

http://books.google.es/books?id=SdYDAAAAMBAJ&printsec=frontcover&hl=es#v=onepage&q=mochizuki&f=false ?

see pages 34-35

I can't!!

I'm not exactly sure which part of the interview you feel points out a discrepancy between Osensei's practice and purported purpose, but then I also can't vouch for whether this honorable interviewee's perception of Ueshiba's practice is accurate from an objective point of view, or if it's being reported after passing through the personal filters of the perception of a person who would not, in the article, claim that what he was doing is Ueshiba's aikido and thought things had taken the wrong turn when Osensei made it clear to him that aikido was about fostering peace!

I also never heard that Kisshomaru Ueshiba expected the interviewee to take over Aikido when Osensei died!!! He must have made quite an impression on the Founder's son! Even more than Tohei I guess! He is said in the article to be at the time the only living person to have received the menkyo-caiden from Uyeshiba - are you his student? If not, how come?

CorkyQ
06-27-2013, 04:52 PM
"Strict prohibition" - as I said, I'm not arguing about the translation.

As I said, I don't think that it's such a black and white issue. You seem to be arguing for an either/or - but that's rarely the way that things work out in Japan, no matter that the statement seems to imply that it does.

Best,

Chris

Okay, so where on the spectrum does the issue fall for you?

Chris Li
06-27-2013, 05:21 PM
Okay, so where on the spectrum does the issue fall for you?

Like anything else, competition has its pluses and its minuses. If it matters, I don't really engage in any formal competitions - but I don't have any particular argument if other people choose to (as in arguing that competition makes it not Aikido).

Best,

Chris

CorkyQ
06-27-2013, 05:40 PM
Like anything else, competition has its pluses and its minuses. If it matters, I don't really engage in any formal competitions - but I don't have any particular argument if other people choose to (as in arguing that competition makes it not Aikido).

Best,

Chris

ha ha! Touche!

graham christian
06-27-2013, 05:52 PM
the book I hold says Translated from AIKIDO, 1958 & AIKIDO GIHO 1962 - it is a translation of both combined so the "strictly prohibited" matches part might well have been from the 1962 part - but maybe like you said it all stemmed from that televised struggle... lol...

Just to say that I have often wondered why some people find that televised Tohei event with the American guy was something to ridicule or even relate in any way to competition. I myself saw one big guy trying to fight and the little guy trying not to.

When showing it to people they were amazed and interested for everyone I showed it to could see it was different in some way to what they called competing or fighting.

To put it in perspective for most all watching at the time, and listening I might add, they returned admitting they had missed the point of Aikido completely. Then it shows the Master of the art and later him allowing the big guy to test his theory which to him seemed like if he used his wrestling type or grappling skills against the little guy it would be easy. As I recall he was amazed how he couldn't quite do what he thought he should be able to. To me that was quite a demonstration.

Have you ever seen a boxer just inhibiting another from fighting while he virtually refuse to hit the opponent. It is stopped as a no contest. No competition.

I myself have been put in such positions in the past. Once when only a few years into Aikido I was set up by a shaolin style 'friend' of mine. He invited me to come and see his kung fu class and just to join in with some beginners and experience some basics. However, once there and changed he anounced who I was and called me to the centre of the room orderi ng me to bow to his chief instructor. After doing so he just shouted fight. So there I am being attacked by punches and kicks.

At the time all I knew was keep harmony, keep calm and trust in your Aikido. We were taught even back then 'no competition' and suddenly I was confronted with the reality. Anyway after a few minutes the guy stopped and looked at the teacher bemused for he didn't know what else to do. For I was no slouch and found myself parrying and moving with one focus and that was ma'ai. He gave up because he couldn't connect with me. A base level no competition, no match. It probably looked a bit ungamely too, I don't know. Anyway the teacher smiled and had us bow out. No doubt he found whatever it was he was looking for. Me. I learned a lot both pro and con in my mind. I was happy with what I did but found some weaknesses too. I found I wanted to 'end' his competition, his game, and yet found I wasn't confident enough to enter and finish it.

Much later down the line we had a guy who did kung fu and wing chun. He was training with us for a few months but still after class would say what he would do for real though. One day he said it so that the teacher couldn't miss it. The teacher called me and told the guy to use his kung fu etc. against me. Reminds me a bit of that film. He really wanted to, he wanted to knock my head off. Was this a match? To me it wasn't. To him it most certainly was, it was his big day.

The point is and the thing I discovered then was within me. The words competeion or match or even challenge no longer fitted. To me inside it was just 'do' and probably a bit of 'teach'. It didn't seem to matter what he was doing. So a new experience of what no competition meant. No rules, no referee, just do according to the principles of what I would call non competition.

This led to much musing thereafter for as I reviewed what happened over probably the next few weeks actually all I could find were plusses but I wasn't 100% happy because I now wanted to know or rather understand better what those plusses were for I couldn't explain them properly to those who witnessed it.

So even pluses give us much to learn I found.

So basically I have found the path and discipline of non competition a fascinating one myself and found it's all to do with in self and not what appears to be happening by those observing.

Of course now it's even more clear and this as you must know very well brings about a new scene as far as the observer goes for now it is observable to the outside observer (as in your vids) yet to most it thus from the outside wouldn't look real. Yet the reality of no competition in yourself is no doubt crystal clear in self I would guess.

Thus I also found that the communications of Ueshiba just made more and more sense. Wondering what he meant disappearing and being only replaced by understanding. No hidden secrets, just things to understand,

O.K. That's enough from me, I've been a good boy lately and not posted too much. :)

Peace.G.

Peter Goldsbury
06-28-2013, 07:12 AM
"Strict prohibition" - as I said, I'm not arguing about the translation.

As I said, I don't think that it's such a black and white issue. You seem to be arguing for an either/or - but that's rarely the way that things work out in Japan, no matter that the statement seems to imply that it does.

Best,

Chris

I tend to agree with Chris here -- and I have quite a few years experience of living here and seeing this for myself. I have discussed this at length elsewhere and so there is no need to repeat it here. However, there are two other translations of the text quoted in Kisshomaru Ueshiba's Aikido and some might like to compare them.

In Kisshomaru Ueshiba's book, the reference is on Page 180. The text I have, the 1973 reprint, prints the quotation as part of a paragraph. Here is the paragraph in full.

"In Aikido we control the opponent's mind before we face him. That is we draw him into ourselves. We go forward in life with this attraction of our spirit, and attempt to command a whole view of the world.
We ceaselessly pray that fights should not occur. For this reason we strictly prohibit matches in Aikido. Aikido's spirit is that of loving attack and that of peaceful reconciliation. In this aim we bind and unite the opponent with the will power of love. By love we are able to purify others."

The Japanese original can be found in Aikido Giho, on pp. 262-263. It is a combination of two paragraphs, but not all of the paragraphs have been translated into English. Here are the two paragraphs in Japanese. The part translated in Aikido is in bold type.

◯ 合気道は相手が向かわない前に、こちらでその心を自己の自由にする。自己の中に吸収してしまう。つまり精神の引力の働きが進むのです。そしてこの世界を一目に見るので す。今日ではまだほとんどの人ができません。私もできません。

◯ 一国を侵略し一人を殺すことではなく、みなそれぞれに処を得させて生かし、世界大家族としての集いとなって、一元の営みの分身分業として働けるようにするのが、合気道 の目標であり、宇宙建国の大精神であります。これが明治御大帝の大御心であったと、今日なお仰いでおります。絶えずこの祈りによって争いをさせんようにする。だから合気道 は試合を厳禁している。がその実は大なる愛の攻撃精神、和合平和への精神である。それがために自己の愛の念力をもって相手を全部からみむすぶ。愛があるから相を手浄めるこ とができるのです。

The Japanese original is taken almost verbatim from the Takemusu Aiki discourses and there is a note on p. 264 of Aikido Giho to the effect that the Doshu Memoir [道主言志録] consists of selections from notes taken of the lectures given by Morihei Ueshiba that appeared in the Byakko Shinko Kai magazine. The lectures were given from 1958 onwards.

The Japanese original of the second paragraph was also quoted by Kisshomaru Ueshiba in his biography of Morihei Ueshiba and the English translation is given below (from A Life in Aikido).

"It is foolish to invade someone else's country, killing people and achieving the illusion of victory. The objective of Aikido mirrors that of the spirit of the foundation of the universe: for all to have a place to call home, to be part of the same family, to work of children of the same creative source. Even today, I truly believe that this was what the Emperor Meiji had in mind. It is for this that we always pray, avoiding conflict at all cost. For this reason I prohibit competition in Aikido. However, the love which is part of Aikido actively seeks concord and peace. Thus, one should encompass the opponent with the energy of love; in this way you can cleanse him." (A Life in Aikido, p. 43.)

John Stevens has translated parts of Takemusu Aiki and his rendering of the paragraph is on p. 99.

"Aikido is always concerned with the spiritual side of things, not the material. Aikido is meant to bring out the best in people, to lead us along the proper path. Its basis is love. The purpose of Aikido is to help fulfill our mission to bring peace and harmony to this world. That is why there are no competitive matches in Aikido, no contests. We attack with the power of Love, and we wield weapons of harmony and peace. We bind our opponents with the power of Love. We purge our opponents of aggression."

Translation is an art as well as a science and I would consider all three translators highly competent, but there are some differences -- which is why I prefer to have the Japanese original as a point of comparison, if only to see what has been omitted. It is quite clear that Morihei Ueshiba stated that there was no place for shiai, but, of course, shiai is not the only term for 'competition' in Japanese.

Best wishes,

CorkyQ
06-28-2013, 11:09 AM
Thank you , Goldsbury Sensei for sharing your vast knowledge.

It seems to me that the real intention behind wanting to know if and why Osensei prohibited competition (even if competitions exist among aikidoka) is to find an excuse not to refrain from them. If I am wrong please tell me your reason for wanting to know, if that is not it.

Since I believe that all action arises from intention, I look for the intention in entering competition.

Theoretically, in competition, I will no longer be your cooperative uke, nor will you be mine. If you believe your regular training, with partners who want to help you perform aikido optimally, is preparing you for real life conflict (different from competition), then there is no need to prove it to yourself or others that your aikido will function as practiced when real life attackers want to destroy or control you. Competition arises generally from one of two intentions; either to prove to others that you are better than others, or to prove to yourself that you are as good as you think. If there are other intentions you believe lead to competition, please add them.

But you know what? Hang on a sec. I just changed my mind. I used to support the idea of no competitions in aikido but I think I may have actually proven myself wrong about that just now...

I just remembered about 14 or 15 years ago after class, I got into an impromptu "competition" with my teacher, Don O' Bell Sensei, in aikido almost 30 years at that point, who received a dan ranking in ki from Tohei Shihan, who was also the creator of the ACE aikido system and was a student of Roderick Kobayashi Sensei originally. For approximately 20 minutes we struggled around the mat together, me trying to throw him with all the techniques he had taught me and I had been practicing, and him trying to throw me with all the techniques he had been teaching me.

Not one throw occurred in the whole twenty minutes. Every time O' Bell Sensei or I sensed an opening or opportunity for a throw or joint lock and went to execute/employ it, the other would cease whatever energy flow the other was attempting to direct into the throw. In other words, we each instantly, involuntarily, stopped our attack in order to defend.

There is no way anyone watching from outside without prior knowledge would view what we were doing as aikido. If the two of us had been on a battlefield, we both would have been dead in the first minute, the way we were struggling with each other. It was a bit like this the way it must have looked to those standing around: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM_u-cCSPoA except, as in real life - no referee!!!

Without judging whether or not this kind of thing was sanctioned by the Founder, how does it look when compared to what Osensei demonstrated and what you practice every day? If Osensei were to see the video above, dear reader, do you really think he would congratulate each participant with a job well done, convinced they were learning what he was teaching? I can only speak for myself, but in that specific circumstance with O' Bell sensei I couldn't say I was doing aikido, only trying to do aikido.

I had actually had a few physical attacks be directed at me prior to this outside the dojo, and aikido had worked beautifully each time (though no one was hurt or thrown), but this was as close to a relentless real world physical attack as I could imagine because it looked like every fight between two people I had ever seen. Two people going at it trying to get the better of each other while a crowd watched from around a ring they made themselves... a crowd, who if we had been on a battlefield, might have chosen any moment to attack and end the life of the busy opponent of his friend with a handy rock. How can aikido be made for multiple attackers and yet I can't even handle one after 15 years of study myself?

At the end of this I had to ask myself - why couldn't I perform a single technique? More importantly, why can't my teacher throw me???

The answer revealed itself to me when I discarded the technique emulation model of my teachers (which clearly wasn't working for me) and began asking for authentic attack energy from my partners rather than cooperative ukemi, and studying what it meant to extend the same.

My discovery, which is continually proven true in our dojo, was that the intention to throw, which both my teacher and I would embody every time we saw an opportunity, was picked up as an attack by the other's limbic system triggers causing us involuntarily to change our intentions to defense and stability rather than to continue the intention to attack (throw).

Not unexpectedly, the way things would go on a micro-energetic level:


Dynamic tension between partners - what I would call connection - this is the part where no one is trying to throw the other but both are sending a flow of energy to each other's center.

One of us would provide an opening in an attempt to get the other to attack or would find an opening to use to throw the other.

Intentional attempt to throw or to use the attack of the other to throw.

Instant systemic, reflexive recognition of the attack (the aikido technique used as a way of winning), and involuntary rebalancing of the attacker and cessation of the attack energy.

Repeat (and realize that the dynamic tension is actually mutual defense, two shields up against each other until someone used a spear.)


In retrospect, this was totally illuminating for me because it showed me that intention to throw is immediately recognized by the limbic system as a threat and a threat response comes out immediately (regain balance, keep other from negatively affecting the central core) - in other words my attack stopped immediately, making the "aikido" technique attempted an attack rather than a harmonious blending of energy with that of the attack. The only way aikido techniques will "work" (as in producing a resolution in which uke's attack is fully realized and grounded - a throw or fall) with someone not attacking but defending, is by making the technique into an attack, to make the person fall whether he is attacking or not.

Had either my teacher or I consciously transcended that limbic system response and kept up the original intention of the attack, which is what Osensei apparently demanded from his students, I have no doubt either one of us would have landed on the mat from our attack. However, the limbic system response to being attacked (through an intended throw) set us back on our centers involuntarily. If you watch the video linked to above, you will see what I mean a thousand times.

Once you get an idea about how your intention to relentlessly deliver authentic attack energy to your partner's center provides him or her with everything needed for aikido to spontaneously and effortlessly manifest (though not in collusion with nage), you start to see truthfully how much your partner is usually really trying to throw you or escape from you (reflexes of their own limbic system triggers which must be transcended in order to connect in such a way that your attack not be interrupted by your own limbic system's recognition of a counter attack).

The quickest way to that transcendent state that I have yet found is to embody an intention of beneficence. The flow of energy that is generated by beneficent intention never triggers a defense response. The attack can then proceed uninterruptedly until uke is on the ground.

I have yet to be able, with an intention of winning instead of losing, to generate authentic beneficent intention. I believe it is impossible for anyone to simultaneously have beneficent intention towards someone and to want that person to lose to you.

So, here I am reversing myself. Screw what Osensei said. Grab a partner, dare him to throw you before you throw him, and go at it. Don't give up until someone wins and someone loses! Forget all that potentially mistranslated clap-trap from the Founder how aikido is not about winning or losing or felling an opponent - pretend for a minute you never read any of that stuff. It helped me a lot!

phitruong
06-28-2013, 11:31 AM
Competition arises generally from one of two intentions; either to prove to others that you are better than others, or to prove to yourself that you are as good as you think. If there are other intentions you believe lead to competition, please add them.


- for fun and profit, might even get a t-shirt (definitely no donuts and coffee)
- just to see what that like
- for the rush
- for affection from the opposite sex or same, depends on which way you go
- for stupidity from a dare

do we really need a reason? stand on earth you compete against gravity. in space, you compete against vacuum and solar radiation. life is a competition against death. of course, death always win, unless you are zombie. which remind me, what aikido techniques counter zombies, since there seemed to be lots of movie about zombies of late. :)

graham christian
06-28-2013, 11:51 AM
Then there is a factor given as a major part of Aikido by Ueshiba. Non resistance. Does not oppose or compete and cannot be competed with or opposed. Yet it is active.

So if non resistance is real then competition is actually impossible.

Peace.G.

CorkyQ
06-28-2013, 02:22 PM
Then there is a factor given as a major part of Aikido by Ueshiba. Non resistance. Does not oppose or compete and cannot be competed with or opposed. Yet it is active.

So if non resistance is real then competition is actually impossible.

Peace.G.

competition n
1. the activity of doing something with the goal of outperforming others or winning something
2. an activity in which people try to do something better than others or win something

Encarta World English Dictionary 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

I can find only truth in the statement if non resistance is real then competition is actually impossible.

The statement though illustrates the same property in this statement: if resistance is real, then competition is possible.

If the person wants to throw you on the ground (win) and you go along with him, no competition! If he wants to throw you on the ground and you resist (so you win), there is competition!

How do those ideas fit in with your aikido practice?

Chris Li
06-28-2013, 02:37 PM
If the person wants to throw you on the ground (win) and you go along with him, no competition! If he wants to throw you on the ground and you resist (so you win), there is competition!

How do those ideas fit in with your aikido practice?

Not very well, there are other ways of non-resistance (無抵抗) then "going along with him" - and you notice the Morihei Ueshiba was not the one that ended up on the ground. ;)

Best,

Chris

CorkyQ
06-28-2013, 02:46 PM
- for fun and profit, might even get a t-shirt (definitely no donuts and coffee)
- just to see what that like
- for the rush
- for affection from the opposite sex or same, depends on which way you go
- for stupidity from a dare

do we really need a reason? stand on earth you compete against gravity. in space, you compete against vacuum and solar radiation. life is a competition against death. of course, death always win, unless you are zombie. which remind me, what aikido techniques counter zombies, since there seemed to be lots of movie about zombies of late. :)

Thanks for the list Phi! But do they really add up to the intention to compete?

Clearly you are speaking about a competitive event in the first couple of examples, in which you mention things you could experience just by forfeiting immediately after the competition begins. You're not really competing by definition of the word in any of these, you are only there to get something other than winning or as a result of winning. When your motivation to get those things you listed makes you need to win first, then the motivation in entering the competition still comes down to proving to yourself and/or others that you can outperform the opponent (even if just for a t-shirt). Maybe you're competing to see what it's like or for the rush, but you would not have either of those experiences if you didn't enter it with the idea of winning or losing.

I don't see any of the things you listed as natural competition. Gravity is a natural force so gravity can not "lose." You don't compete with it, you use it to move around the world and it is not trying to immobilize you. You don't compete with "death" you move in accordance with life. If you go to space you will need to take precautions that would insure your resistance against forces in nature that will destroy your body, but deep space isn't out to "win." You would only be competing with yourself to come up with the best way to not fall victim to the forces of nature that just are...

CorkyQ
06-28-2013, 02:54 PM
Not very well, there are other ways of non-resistance (無抵抗) then "going along with him" - and you notice the Morihei Ueshiba was not the one that ended up on the ground. ;)

Best,

Chris

Except here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws2Iczref5U&list=PLDB53460E0CAC9F72 (forward to 7:00)

Yes!! so what are we missing in the idea of "non-resistance" that relates to competition?

Chris Li
06-28-2013, 03:03 PM
Except here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws2Iczref5U&list=PLDB53460E0CAC9F72 (forward to 7:00)

Yes!! so what are we missing in the idea of "non-resistance" that relates to competition?

I don't think that I'm missing anything in particular :D - but you obviously have something in mind, so why not just say it?

Best,

Chris

Aikeway
06-28-2013, 03:08 PM
The benefit of competing or having a match/challenge is that it allows you to improve your skills by testing whether they actually work, and if not, allowing you to make modifications so that they do work. Thus you become more highly skilled. The fact that some people may compete for what we may consider are wrong reasons, should not be a valid reason to prohibit competitions or challenges/matches. The remedy for students who compete for the wrong reason is to have an instructor who instils the correct values in their students.

Aikeway
06-28-2013, 03:44 PM
Sensei Ueshiba was very highly skilled at his style and correctly commands a lot of respect. Generally students with far less skills should heed the messages that he has given us. However, when other very highly skilled martial artists such as Takeda or Tomiki have a different point of view (by their actions or verbally) about engaging in matches or competitions, then we shouldn't necessarily follow everything he says simply because he is the founder of aikido. We generally don't follow his "extreme" spiritual beliefs and westerners generally don't accept his non-scientific model of the universe.

CorkyQ
06-28-2013, 04:03 PM
I don't think that I'm missing anything in particular :D - but you obviously have something in mind, so why not just say it?

Best,

Chris

If I say it we'll have something to argue about but if you say it we won't... and why argue? lol...

I hope to meet you when (if) I visit Hawaii!

:D

CorkyQ
06-28-2013, 04:22 PM
The benefit of competing or having a match/challenge is that it allows you to improve your skills by testing whether they actually work, and if not, allowing you to make modifications so that they do work. Thus you become more highly skilled. The fact that some people may compete for what we may consider are wrong reasons, should not be a valid reason to prohibit competitions or challenges/matches. The remedy for students who compete for the wrong reason is to have an instructor who instils the correct values in their students.

I totally get what you're saying Daniel, but I see that kind of stuff in training as different than competing, don't you? The way you described the benefits are more like what you get in freestyle training. You ask for challenges from your practice partners and they work with you (even if that is "against" you, right?)

But then the whole emphasis shifts, doesn't it, when the purpose of the activity is to see who is better?

Have you ever had a practice session in any sport where part of the time is spent working together as a team or as practice partners and part as scrimmaging, bouting, matching, etc.? In the situations I've been in (fencing mostly) the whole attitude shifts. Your practice partner who used to help you see your weaknesses so that you can strengthen them is now out to exploit them. This is inherent in the nature of contests.

If there is a "wrong reason" for competing (and not saying there is), might it not be because it encourages the exploitation of weakness for the sake of pride/winning? Is that what you meant by "the wrong reasons?" Or was it something else? More about "ego" maybe?

Aikeway
06-28-2013, 04:56 PM
I totally get what you're saying Daniel, but I see that kind of stuff in training as different than competing, don't you? The way you described the benefits are more like what you get in freestyle training. You ask for challenges from your practice partners and they work with you (even if that is "against" you, right?)

But then the whole emphasis shifts, doesn't it, when the purpose of the activity is to see who is better?

Have you ever had a practice session in any sport where part of the time is spent working together as a team or as practice partners and part as scrimmaging, bouting, matching, etc.? In the situations I've been in (fencing mostly) the whole attitude shifts. Your practice partner who used to help you see your weaknesses so that you can strengthen them is now out to exploit them. This is inherent in the nature of contests.

If there is a "wrong reason" for competing (and not saying there is), might it not be because it encourages the exploitation of weakness for the sake of pride/winning? Is that what you meant by "the wrong reasons?" Or was it something else? More about "ego" maybe?

I suppose I take the view that competition is a method of training, a means of improvement. Even when you are just in the dojo "training" in perhaps hard randori with a partner who is strongly opposing you, exploiting your weaknesses etc, it is still generally not quite as hard as when in an actual competition. However, it is still extremely beneficial.

Even if students enter into competitions for the "wrong" reasons e.g. ego, to win trophies etc, then there is still a reasonable chance that with more study, experience or mentoring by the instructor, they will ultimately change for the better. By then, they would have also improved their skills as well due to the competitions, so not only has their character been changed for the better but their skill level is higher.

Peter Goldsbury
06-28-2013, 06:27 PM
Thank you , Goldsbury Sensei for sharing your vast knowledge.

It seems to me that the real intention behind wanting to know if and why Osensei prohibited competition (even if competitions exist among aikidoka) is to find an excuse not to refrain from them. If I am wrong please tell me your reason for wanting to know, if that is not it.



Mr Quakenbush,

Many thanks for your response. I have been following the discussions in several threads and had a problem of whether to put the post in the Language thread or here. Since it was a response to what Christopher Li stated in Post #52 about what I would call Japanese attitudes to logic, I put it here, but it is relevant to the issues being discussed in the language thread.

If I want to find the reason why O Sensei prohibited competition I would read his discourses and since I can read Japanese, I would read them in the original. As I stated in my post, I found three different translations of the same statements forbidding competition, but was struck by what had been omitted in Kisshomaru Ueshiba’s “Memoir of the Master”, and I cannot find any explanation from Mr Tanahashi and Mr Maurer in their “Translators’Forward” at the front of the book. As it happens, Hideo Takahashi gives an explanation at the end of the Japanese edition of Takemusu Aiki about how the discourses published therein were made and Aikido Giho notes that they were selected from notes made during Morihei Uesiba’s lectures to the Byakko Shinko Kai, which is an offshoot of Omoto-kyou.

In your post, you mention the “real intention behind wanting to know if and why O Sensei prohibited competition” and I assume that by “real intention” you mean something other than the explanations given in the discourses. However, I do not entirely agree with you.

A few years ago I held a meeting with Okumura Shigenobu and Tada Hiroshi, both Hombu shihans, in order to clarify the views of Morihei Ueshiba about competition. The thread in the Language forum was begun many years before this meeting and when I contributed to the thread, I had not read all of O Sensei’s discourses published in Japanese. Since then, I rectified this omission, but was struck by Morihei Ueshiba’s rather disdainful attitude to ‘Western sports’. (His treatment of this can be found in one of Stan Pranin’s articles in the Aikido Journal forum.) The meeting was very fruitful and I learned much about O Sensei’s thinking from two of his close students.

Did I have a “real intention behind wanting to know if and why O Sensei prohibited competition”? Other than trying to clarify for myself why he forbade matches, I do not think so. Was I trying to “find an excuse not to refrain from them”? Absolutely not. I took up aikido many years ago because it was not a competitive sport and have never changed my attitude.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury

phitruong
06-28-2013, 06:32 PM
Clearly you are speaking about a competitive event in the first couple of examples, in which you mention things you could experience just by forfeiting immediately after the competition begins. You're not really competing by definition of the word in any of these, you are only there to get something other than winning or as a result of winning. When your motivation to get those things you listed makes you need to win first, then the motivation in entering the competition still comes down to proving to yourself and/or others that you can outperform the opponent (even if just for a t-shirt). Maybe you're competing to see what it's like or for the rush, but you would not have either of those experiences if you didn't enter it with the idea of winning or losing.


i had done competing in various events, physical (martial as well as non) as well as non-physical. i usually, not always, didn't give much thought on winning or losing. i just competed. sometimes i won through skill, other time i lost through luck. maybe for you, competition is about winning or losing, but not for me. i don't know you, but believe me, i know me quite well. :)

graham christian
06-29-2013, 07:51 PM
competition n
1. the activity of doing something with the goal of outperforming others or winning something
2. an activity in which people try to do something better than others or win something

Encarta World English Dictionary 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

I can find only truth in the statement if non resistance is real then competition is actually impossible.

The statement though illustrates the same property in this statement: if resistance is real, then competition is possible.

If the person wants to throw you on the ground (win) and you go along with him, no competition! If he wants to throw you on the ground and you resist (so you win), there is competition!

How do those ideas fit in with your aikido practice?

I don't think the dictionary has a word for continuous state of winning.

The second statement I would substitute possible with inevitable.

If the person wants to throw me on the ground his win is ego so he has already lost. I go along with him not his ego. Thus we both win.

If I resist I have already lost and if this prevents him doing so (putting me down) then so has he. That is competition and it's called a draw or from my Aikido perspective..a waste of time.

For me there is NO resistance in Aikido and there cannot be. The way of non resistance is the way and without that there cannot be ki flow and so cannot be Aikido.

No resistance in my Aikido is literal, no excuses or extenuating circumstances.

So the whole 'illusion' of wanting to throw someone on the ground is seen as that...misplaced illusion. When dealing with someone who does I am thus dealing with two things. 1) Their misplaced illusion. 2) The truth beyond that. So always connect to the truth and not be taken or drawn into the illusion.

So those two ideas have no place in my Aikido.

Peace.G.

graham christian
06-30-2013, 10:28 AM
Just to add on from the above we use the rule that it is impossible for resistance to stop Aikido. That's one of our golden rules.

So it is not even seen as opposite to non resistance. It is seen as something which can only be described as a replacement of Aikido. So when thwarted by any resistance the answer is you have somehow entered that game of resistance. It is for the thwarted one to recognize how and why.

To know when you used resistance and when you didn't is the self discipline and honesty needed and so applies to even when successful for being successful when using any resistance to us is failing.

Peace.G.

CorkyQ
06-30-2013, 05:33 PM
Mr Quakenbush,

Many thanks for your response. I have been following the discussions in several threads and had a problem of whether to put the post in the Language thread or here. Since it was a response to what Christopher Li stated in Post #52 about what I would call Japanese attitudes to logic, I put it here, but it is relevant to the issues being discussed in the language thread.

If I want to find the reason why O Sensei prohibited competition I would read his discourses and since I can read Japanese, I would read them in the original. As I stated in my post, I found three different translations of the same statements forbidding competition, but was struck by what had been omitted in Kisshomaru Ueshiba's "Memoir of the Master", and I cannot find any explanation from Mr Tanahashi and Mr Maurer in their "Translators'Forward" at the front of the book. As it happens, Hideo Takahashi gives an explanation at the end of the Japanese edition of Takemusu Aiki about how the discourses published therein were made and Aikido Giho notes that they were selected from notes made during Morihei Uesiba's lectures to the Byakko Shinko Kai, which is an offshoot of Omoto-kyou.

In your post, you mention the "real intention behind wanting to know if and why O Sensei prohibited competition" and I assume that by "real intention" you mean something other than the explanations given in the discourses. However, I do not entirely agree with you.

A few years ago I held a meeting with Okumura Shigenobu and Tada Hiroshi, both Hombu shihans, in order to clarify the views of Morihei Ueshiba about competition. The thread in the Language forum was begun many years before this meeting and when I contributed to the thread, I had not read all of O Sensei's discourses published in Japanese. Since then, I rectified this omission, but was struck by Morihei Ueshiba's rather disdainful attitude to Western sports'. (His treatment of this can be found in one of Stan Pranin's articles in the Aikido Journal forum.) The meeting was very fruitful and I learned much about O Sensei's thinking from two of his close students.

Did I have a "real intention behind wanting to know if and why O Sensei prohibited competition"? Other than trying to clarify for myself why he forbade matches, I do not think so. Was I trying to "find an excuse not to refrain from them"? Absolutely not. I took up aikido many years ago because it was not a competitive sport and have never changed my attitude.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury

Thanks so very much for your attention to this subject and my responses, Mr. Goldsbury.

In the zoo are signs that say "Feeding the Animals is Prohibited."

People who understand the purpose and intention of the ban don't pose the question "what's the philosophy behind it," because they understand - even if they want to feed the animals.

There are some who have no desire to feed the animals who still might ask about the reasons for the ban out of curiosity or for their edification. I imagine that this is an apt analogy to your cited inquiry.

There are others who ask because they want to feed the animals and are looking for a loop hole.

I see what you mean, Mr. Goldsbury. I was only referring to the former and latter groups.

I had approached the original question "What is the philosophy behind that Aikido shouldn't have competitions?" at the level of intention. It could be a question raised out of curiosity, but the answers given in support of non-competition generally reflect the idea competition would be detrimental because it is antithetical to the (disputable) principles of aikido (those responders get why you are not supposed to feed the animals).

Other answers argue that competition in aikido has benefits, and the inquiry into the philosophy of non-competition is ignored. These seem to me to be like those who want to feed the animals, so they might be looking for rationale (The animals have a special diet - they really mean don't throw junk food in their pens). Some will look for rationale to ignore it (They are fed on a schedule - That big bear is hungry now and a peanut is not going to ruin his appetite). Others challenge the veracity of the prohibition (they don't really mean it, they had to put up that sign for legal purposes, or, The Panda keeper is actually Chinese and the words he was quoted for the sign may or may not mean prohibited). The answers they receive may or may not change their minds about feeding the animals/(competition in aikido), but it was the desire to feed the animals that prompted their question. Those were who I was speaking to and of.

So I what I meant to convey by my declaration is those who believe that aikido is best served without the addition of competition wouldn't be asking the question. They have an answer that they feel is backed up by their own understanding of the nature of both aikido and competition.

In terms of a practical answer, only those who do not see the discrepancy in the purpose of aikido and that of competitive arts would pose the question.

Unless they are just asking out of curiosity! Then the answer can only be "Nobody knows because there has apparently never been a 100% accurate, agreed upon translation of anything Osensei ever said!"

It is clear you have studied Osensei's policies. Do you think they originated from principle or from arbitrary preferences?

When I see "strictly prohibited" or other phrases that seem pretty clear to me, I have to wonder how "off" a translation can be to render the words "strictly prohibited" from something less direct, something that would mean that somehow competition is okay, like "allowed on a specific limited basis." You would certainly know more than me ten thousand times over, and you have made it clear that perhaps it isn't as clear as it seems.

But entering the world of "philosophy behind no competitions" what seems to be most important is understanding of why aikido would be set apart from other arts that actually encourage competition.

If Osensei only prohibited aikido because he had a disdain for Western sports, doesn't it follow that his was an arbitrary command? "No competition because Osensei says so. He doesn't like Western sports so competitions are off the menu."

But then, why would Osensei feel that way about Western sports?

Could it be that he did not see aikido as competitive because the goals of his practice were different from the goals of competitive activities?

My most esteemed reader, Mr. Goldsbury, the depth of your knowledge of Morihei Ueshiba cannot even be bushed by my paltry, ground level knowlege, all born from English translations.

But is it not true that the great body of Osensei's teachings, if hefted onto a balance, would tip toward aikido being more about producing a mutually beneficial ending to conflict than one in which someone loses while the other wins?

Unless I am mistaken about Osensei, then it would stand to reason the principle for prohibiting competition must be similar to the principle which distinguishes aikido from competitive martial arts.

Sincerely,

CQ

CorkyQ
06-30-2013, 06:43 PM
i had done competing in various events, physical (martial as well as non) as well as non-physical. i usually, not always, didn't give much thought on winning or losing. i just competed. sometimes i won through skill, other time i lost through luck. maybe for you, competition is about winning or losing, but not for me. i don't know you, but believe me, i know me quite well. :)

The definition of compete includes having the goal of winning. The fact that you "didn't give much thought on winning or losing" is irrelevant to the motivations of competition because you weren't competing.

But while we're on the subject of joining competitive activities without competing...

The game "Sorry" is great because you can play it to win or you can play in such a way that advances everyone else.

The object of the game is to get all your pieces onto the board, around it, and finally to a "Home" point at the end of the line before any other player. So it is a competition.

I have played the game two ways - wanting to win or wanting to use every opportunity to help my opponents!

Playing for everyone in the game to receive the maximum benefit and least detriment from my choices in the game is one way to play. Using the game cards to advance myself to Home while trying to keep the others from succeeding is another, and the more typical way of playing.

When played for an enjoyable experience for all, using all my opportunities to advance as many of the players and working to diminish any harmful effects to others, I am not competing, am I? Even though the game is producing a winner and losers, I don't have the spirit of competition, do I? I just have interest in seeing how things turn out without trying to best anyone.

Other times I can be a cut-throat competitor sending my loved ones back to start with the callousness of a dictator.

The interesting part is that though you are forced to make choices in the game that significantly inhibit the progress of your opponents or inadvertently add to it, the random factors of the game render those effects, seemingly large at the time, to be relatively insignificant in the long run. I have never found the outcome relative to anything anyone does to anyone else in the game except in the most marginal way.

The difference in the outcome depending how the game is played can be dramatic! When people play cooperatively they appreciate the way the game decides whose game pieces all reach "Home" first. Though one may be declared the winner, everyone celebrates who had the luck of the draw.

When they play to win they feel bad losing, like if they had made other choices or not been so nice they would have won. Or if they win they can feel like they are special or smart or have superior skills that had something to do with it.

Might those spiritual effects have anything to do with a "strict prohibition" regarding competition in aikido?

Peter Goldsbury
07-02-2013, 04:26 AM
Dear Mr Quakenbush,

Many thanks for your detailed response.

With respect to your metaphor about feeding zoo animals, I have not been to a zoo for many years. I do not entirely approve of such institutions, but that is a separate discussion. The only injunctions about feeding the animals I see are the signs in Miyajima against feeding the deer that wander around the precincts of the Itsukushima Shrine. I think the logic behind these signs is quite straightforward. I would also think it depends on the animals in question, for it took Pi quite a while to work out how to feed Richard Parker to ensure their own survival.

In my international activities connected with aikido, I meet many members of sports organizations, especially judo, karate, kendo and sumo. All interpret competition in varying ways and all have a robust curiosity about aikido how it can manage as a sport without competition. Some simply decide it is not a sport at all; other define sport in a more subtle way, to allow for sports that do not have matches with referees etc. In a recent discussion I had, with a kick-boxing official, I suggested that they look at Wittgensteins discussion of games and family resemblances. Thus, I do not entirely agree, either with Morihei Ueshibas rather low opinion of western sports, or with your rather narrow view of competition (cf. your response to Phi Truongs post #73). The Japanese language has terms for a more flexible view of competition.

Personally, I think you cannot separate Ueshibas views on competition from his views on religion and this also involves Omoto theology, and so I wonder to what extent Kenji Tomiki accepted the theological way in which Ueshiba expressed his views. This assumes, of course, that he understood them and I have no evidence that he did not. Kenji Tomiki became a student of Morihei Ueshiba before Minoru Mochizuki and it is plausible to believe that he changed his training methods and his views about teaching after the war, partly as a result of his own wartime experiences.

Bernd Lehnen
07-02-2013, 07:00 AM
I don't think O Sensei prohibited every kind of competition.

Some of us claim that our art is the least competitive, the most peaceful, the most friendly or the most civilized in the world or that is has to be, because O Sensei did want it like this.

How do we know? Even if he did, he probably should have thought better. Isn't that starting a new kind of competition? Why on earth did they introduce the grading system then? What are Dan grades meant to be then? Why on earth do we have to compete for money in daily life, so that we are able to pay our grading fees?

Why can't we get everything without struggling?
Obviously, we can't get away from competitions of some sort, even in aikido.

We should not throw away our common sense too quickly.
Seems, life itself is an eternal competition.

Best,
Bernd

CorkyQ
07-02-2013, 08:28 AM
Dear Mr Quakenbush,

Many thanks for your detailed response.

With respect to your metaphor about feeding zoo animals, I have not been to a zoo for many years. I do not entirely approve of such institutions, but that is a separate discussion. The only injunctions about feeding the animals I see are the signs in Miyajima against feeding the deer that wander around the precincts of the Itsukushima Shrine. I think the logic behind these signs is quite straightforward. I would also think it depends on the animals in question, for it took Pi quite a while to work out how to feed Richard Parker -- to ensure their own survival.

In my international activities connected with aikido, I meet many members of sports organizations, especially judo, karate, kendo and sumo. All interpret competition in varying ways and all have a robust curiosity about aikido -- how it can manage as a sport' without competition. Some simply decide it is not a sport at all; other define sport' in a more subtle way, to allow for sports that do not have matches with referees etc. In a recent discussion I had, with a kick-boxing official, I suggested that they look at Wittgenstein's discussion of games and family resemblances. Thus, I do not entirely agree, either with Morihei Ueshiba's rather low opinion of western sports, or with your rather narrow view of competition (cf. your response to Phi Truong's post #73). The Japanese language has terms for a more flexible view of competition.

Personally, I think you cannot separate Ueshiba's views on competition from his views on religion and this also involves Omoto theology, and so I wonder to what extent Kenji Tomiki accepted the theological way in which Ueshiba expressed his views. This assumes, of course, that he understood them and I have no evidence that he did not. Kenji Tomiki became a student of Morihei Ueshiba before Minoru Mochizuki and it is plausible to believe that he changed his training methods and his views about teaching after the war, partly as a result of his own wartime experiences.

Thank you for your response, Mr. Goldsbury.

I have only one last question, relevant to this thread. What is the philosophy behind that Aikido shouldn't have competitions?

PeterR
07-02-2013, 09:58 AM
Personally, I think you cannot separate Ueshiba's views on competition from his views on religion and this also involves Omoto theology, and so I wonder to what extent Kenji Tomiki accepted the theological way in which Ueshiba expressed his views. This assumes, of course, that he understood them and I have no evidence that he did not. Kenji Tomiki became a student of Morihei Ueshiba before Minoru Mochizuki and it is plausible to believe that he changed his training methods and his views about teaching after the war, partly as a result of his own wartime experiences.

I have always wondered about the theology connection. Tomiki, apparently studied all the Omoto-kyo texts in an attempt to understand Ueshiba's Aikido - he certainly thought the connection was important. Relatively few of Ueshiba's students delved to that depth and even today his honbu dojo has an Omoto-kyo shine (regularly blessed). That does not mean Tomiki accepted the Omoto-kyo teachings or that there wasn't a particular connection with Ueshiba's views on competition and his religious leanings but it does make me wonder about your premise.

graham christian
07-02-2013, 10:40 AM
Dear Mr Quakenbush,

Many thanks for your detailed response.

With respect to your metaphor about feeding zoo animals, I have not been to a zoo for many years. I do not entirely approve of such institutions, but that is a separate discussion. The only injunctions about feeding the animals I see are the signs in Miyajima against feeding the deer that wander around the precincts of the Itsukushima Shrine. I think the logic behind these signs is quite straightforward. I would also think it depends on the animals in question, for it took Pi quite a while to work out how to feed Richard Parker -- to ensure their own survival.

In my international activities connected with aikido, I meet many members of sports organizations, especially judo, karate, kendo and sumo. All interpret competition in varying ways and all have a robust curiosity about aikido -- how it can manage as a ‘sport' without competition. Some simply decide it is not a sport at all; other define ‘sport' in a more subtle way, to allow for sports that do not have matches with referees etc. In a recent discussion I had, with a kick-boxing official, I suggested that they look at Wittgenstein's discussion of games and family resemblances. Thus, I do not entirely agree, either with Morihei Ueshiba's rather low opinion of western sports, or with your rather narrow view of competition (cf. your response to Phi Truong's post #73). The Japanese language has terms for a more flexible view of competition.

Personally, I think you cannot separate Ueshiba's views on competition from his views on religion and this also involves Omoto theology, and so I wonder to what extent Kenji Tomiki accepted the theological way in which Ueshiba expressed his views. This assumes, of course, that he understood them and I have no evidence that he did not. Kenji Tomiki became a student of Morihei Ueshiba before Minoru Mochizuki and it is plausible to believe that he changed his training methods and his views about teaching after the war, partly as a result of his own wartime experiences.

Re: Tomiki, as I understand it he was 'sent' to Ueshiba to learn Aikido (or aikijutsu) by Kano. Thus he was a judo man at heart. It's interesting that even Takeda said the only difference between daito ryu and judo was that judo had one on one competitions.

Meanwhile daito ryu was connected in origin to the kojiki as far as I am aware. So I think he wanted to learn in order to form his own 'mix'. Wouldn't it be interesting if he had called it Tomiki Judo.:)

Peace.G.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-02-2013, 10:50 AM
Graham,

Tomiki was introduced to Morihei Ueshiba by one of his friends from the Waseda University Judo Club called Hidetaro Nishimura who also was an Oomoto believer.

And 'everything' is connected in origin to the Kojiki.

Mary Eastland
07-02-2013, 10:57 AM
Quoting O'Sensei may serve a purpose to some. It comes down to a choice for ourselves.
This art that I practice has no room for competition with others... for me it would be a distraction from victory over myself.

graham christian
07-02-2013, 11:01 AM
Graham,

Tomiki was introduced to Morihei Ueshiba by one of his friends from the Waseda University Judo Club called Hidetaro Nishimura who also was an Oomoto believer.

And 'everything' is connected in origin to the Kojiki.

Demetrio, that may well be the physical occurrence but I give you the reason. Whatever your 'everything' means I don't know but I'm talking specifically not generally. Do you know the connection specifically?

Of course, you were not there and are not him and neither am I but such is my understanding.

Peace.G.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-02-2013, 12:00 PM
Demetrio, that may well be the physical occurrence but I give you the reason.

"Tomiki, as I understand it he was 'sent' to Ueshiba to learn Aikido (or aikijutsu) by Kano". No, he wasn't.

Whatever your 'everything' means I don't know but I'm talking specifically not generally.
The Kojiki tells us the mythological origins of Japan. Is their Genesis book, so generally 'everything' comes from it.

Do you know the connection specifically?
Between Daito-ryu and the Kojiki? Allegedly, the match between Takemikazuchi no Kami and Takeminakata no Kami.

Regards.

graham christian
07-02-2013, 01:52 PM
"Tomiki, as I understand it he was 'sent' to Ueshiba to learn Aikido (or aikijutsu) by Kano". No, he wasn't.

The Kojiki tells us the mythological origins of Japan. Is their Genesis book, so generally 'everything' comes from it.

Between Daito-ryu and the Kojiki? Allegedly, the match between Takemikazuchi no Kami and Takeminakata no Kami.

Regards.

So as I said...from the kojiki. 'Generally' is irrelevant unless you think bull fighting came from Genesis.

You don't think he was sent by Kano....well I do.

Tomiki loved that one on one match as part of judo so it's quite obvious he would see it as beneficial.

Peace.G.

Michael Douglas
07-02-2013, 02:46 PM
This is getting to be a long thread.
My ha'penneth is this ;
Ueshiba understood the fudged-up tangle that two Aikidoka enmesh themselves into if both are trying to apply Aikido to one another competitively. (CorkyQ educated himself with this as he mentioned.)
It just isn't a satisfying art to apply against itself. It all becomes wrestling, and that's not the desired appearance.
Assymetric application is the key : one attacks, one does Aikido. everything else is delusional.
I believe Ueshiba realised this ages ago and it's ONE of the reasons he forbade competition within Aikido.

( It has been tentatively touched upon that there would be some hypocrisy if one forbade competition and yet still indulged in it in various forms. Well .. duhuh! But let's all be quiet about that, eh? )

Chris Li
07-02-2013, 02:56 PM
Mochizuki volunteered to go train with Ueshiba and send monthly reports to Kano. I believe that Tomiki was, indeed, introduced by Hidetaro Nishimura from the Waseda Judo Club.

Daito-ryu claims origins in the ancient art of Tegoi - that art is mentioned in the Kojiki, which is, I believe, the extent of the "connection" (like saying that I'm "connected" with the Bible because I've been to Israel, and Israel is mentioned in the Bible). Daito-ryu as an art is not generally concerned with the Kojiki.

Best,

Chris

graham christian
07-02-2013, 03:40 PM
Mochizuki volunteered to go train with Ueshiba and send monthly reports to Kano. I believe that Tomiki was, indeed, introduced by Hidetaro Nishimura from the Waseda Judo Club.

Daito-ryu claims origins in the ancient art of Tegoi - that art is mentioned in the Kojiki, which is, I believe, the extent of the "connection" (like saying that I'm "connected" with the Bible because I've been to Israel, and Israel is mentioned in the Bible). Daito-ryu as an art is not generally concerned with the Kojiki.

Best,

Chris

The tegoi indeed. The connection is one given by the Takeda family as their heritage no? Traditional Daito Ryu thus with it's lineage from before sumo to Daito (place of origin) to system. Thus a martial art with divine origins in form so unless you know of a similar martial art practiced by 'Gods' of Judaism or even formed due to the 'gods' then the use of Bible or whatever is not relevant. Applies to some Buddhist arts though no doubt ie: shaolin.

Unless of course you trace some European martial art to it's spiritual beginnings of course.:)

Daito Ryu is also said to be proudly connected with Kojiki. Maybe it's only westerners who tend to dismiss this.

So was Hidetaru acting on behalf of Kano? Or do you just stop there at that one factor?

As I understand it Kano is even reported to have said Ueshiba's art was 'perfect judo'. I also understand he wanted some of his top students to go learn it. So volunteers or sent.....at his request although a request by such a man is more like an order.

Also into my reasoning re: Tomiki is the fact of what else Judo did and more importantly Kano did for the future of Judo. His whole aim was for the systematic style teaching and such was the way of his top students like Tomiki. Hence, just like Tohei, Tomiki formulated such an approach he felt would serve better. In fact Kano although admiring Ueshiba virtually 'laughed' at his teaching method.

Peace.G.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-02-2013, 04:06 PM
So as I said...from the kojiki. 'Generally' is irrelevant unless you think bull fighting came from Genesis.

You don't think he was sent by Kano....well I do.

Tomiki loved that one on one match as part of judo so it's quite obvious he would see it as beneficial.

Peace.G.

Yeah, whatever.

Chris Li
07-02-2013, 04:13 PM
Interestingly, those who have admitted to no interest or ability in history in the past on multiple occasions continue to cite historical sources.

The last thing that I'll say on this issue is - the sources are out there for those who are interested in the historical record.

Best,

Chris

Aikeway
07-02-2013, 04:57 PM
One thing I have noticed is a form of competition prevalent in all styles of aikido. What I'm talking about is the competition to continually have a higher kyu or dan grade than other aikido practitioners. Often this urge to have a higher grade is not matched by a commensurate increase in skill level. I believe this "obsession" to be just as unhealthy as the negative aspects of competition matches.

graham christian
07-02-2013, 05:11 PM
Interesting how some who pride themselves in historical data can't acknowledge when given some by someone not in their 'field'.

But hey, I'm used to it for sooner or later they dig up something which validates what I said before.

Think I'll start a little history thread.;)

Peace.G.

Chris Li
07-02-2013, 05:16 PM
Interesting how some who pride themselves in historical data can't acknowledge when given some by someone not in their 'field'.
.

You haven't presented any data - you've made some assertion, but presented no data.

Drawn in again, but this time I'm out for real.

Best,

Chris

graham christian
07-02-2013, 05:33 PM
You haven't presented any data - you've made some assertion, but presented no data.

Drawn in again, but this time I'm out for real.

Best,

Chris

Chris, I expect you to already know the data being a historian. In which case you know it's not my assertions.

Just say what I said about Tomiki being sent to Ueshiba is true according to ***** and then there will be nothing to be drawn into. Simples.

Otherwise you could say not as far as you know. That's fine too.

Peace.G.

ewolput
07-03-2013, 05:26 AM
http://www.archbudo.com/get_pdf.php?IDMAN=12653.pdf
In this article there is an intersting quote :
"Tomiki was unable to find a chance to break Ueshibas balance with judo techniques when sparring with Ueshiba in the summer of 1927"
Of course we don't know the rules of "sparring", but we can suppose Tomiki was allowed to attack or sparr with Ueshiba with his judo skills.
I also suppose, Kano didn't send Tomiki to challenge Ueshiba, so Tomiki took the initiative himself to challenge Ueshiba and was very impressed by Ueshiba's skills. We can assume, Tomiki spoke later with Kano about his experiences.
Around 1930 Mochizuki was sent to Ueshiba.
There is another interesting quote :
Tomiki was affected by Kanos philosophical lectures during college. In 1927, soon after his graduation from Waseda University, Tomiki began practice with Morihei Ueshiba, later the founder of aikido. Tomiki was one of the first disciples of Ueshiba and was given the first 8th dan of aiki-budo by Ueshiba in 1940. Tomiki was in- quisitive and trained as an academic so he analysed the techniques of Ueshiba using the scientific principles that Kano invented. The event of the cause was Kanos en- couragement when Tomiki visited Kano with Takasaki at Kanos office at the Kodokan in March of 1936 to extend his regards to Kano prior to Tomiki leaving for Manchukuo. According to Tomiki, the following conver- sation took place between Kano and Tomiki [17, p.8]: Kano: It is necessary for us to learn techniques that you learned from Ueshiba. But it is not easy to learn.
Tomiki: If we study those techniques using the Principles of Judo or the scientific principles of judo that Master discovered, I think that it wont be impossible.

Just some thoughts,
Eddy

PeterR
07-03-2013, 08:12 AM
As usual when these sort of threads get this long its best to put down the trump card.
http://judoinfo.com/new/alphabetical-list/categorywisey-index/48-history-of-judo-and-jujutsu/135-on-jujutsu-and-its-modernization-by-kenji-tomiki

He does a great job of putting kata/shiai into historical context - the debate raged in schools of kenjutsu long before aikido - and also I think demonstrates that much of Ueshiba's other views were not that unique either (loving protection).

Finally my favourite Tomiki quote"Those that understand, understand perfectly"

PeterR
07-03-2013, 08:41 AM
By the way - just so there is no "confusion". I chose the above site because of the ease of reading. The article itself was written in the aikido context - although it does resonate across several budo.

Keith Larman
07-03-2013, 12:17 PM
I have read with some amusement. There are those who have spent the years (excuse me, decades) studying directly in Japan sometimes with many of the very people we so casually discuss. There are also those who are professional translators who agonize over fine distinctions of meaning.

Then there are those who read tiny bits of sometimes not-so-great translations which is itself only a tiny part of the overall writings let along the unwritten history who then cherry pick only those tiniest of bits that can be twisted and contorted in to fitting a pre-existing world view. There is no arguing because evidence, knowledge, experience are not relevant to some. The only thing that matters is that they've intuited what they consider to be the greater truth. Hence only those things that confirm that truth will ring true for them. And only those things will be accepted as relevant.

All that said, I am astounded at the vast patience and polite, courteous writing of those who've spent their lifetimes studying these things like Dr. Goldsbury.

Didn't have anything else to add because quite frankly folk like Dr. Goldsbury, Mr. Rehse here, Mr. Li and others who have posted have vastly more foundation from which to speak than some of the Nidan Shihan-types posting. Which, incidentally, someone called me, well, years ago and it stung at the time. And he was right. The ensuing years (decades) have greatly mellowed my omniscience. Funny how that works.

So I'll continue to take notes and get back to reading Dr. Goldsbury's latest installment. Fantastic stuff as usual.

I guess my point is this -- there are people here speaking to some of the best authorities alive on some of these topics, often with direct, relevant, and decades long experience. And yet it appears to be easier for some to continue with their own carefully constructed world-views based on, well, not much at all except small snippets of stuff someone else translated. I suggest that those people might want to consider starting up their own art calling it whatever they wish if they feel their insights are so overwhelmingly important and relevant to the world today. But if you're going to start making claims about what Ueshiba said or meant, or what Tomiki said or meant, well, maybe you should have a little more than what you got from selective reading of just a tiny percentage of the writings of these people. And maybe it would be good to pay more attention to what others with a vastly broader background are telling you.

Then again... I'm not holding my breath... So carry on.

Hellis
07-03-2013, 12:57 PM
[QUOTE=Keith Larman;

So I'll continue to take notes and get back to reading Dr. Goldsbury's latest installment. Fantastic stuff as usual.

I guess my point is this -- there are people here speaking to some of the best authorities alive on some of these topics, often with direct, relevant, and decades long experience. And yet it appears to be easier for some to continue with their own carefully constructed world-views based on, well, not much at all except small snippets of stuff someone else translated. I suggest that those people might want to consider starting up their own art calling it whatever they wish if they feel their insights are so overwhelmingly important and relevant to the world today. But if you're going to start making claims about what Ueshiba said or meant, or what Tomiki said or meant, well, maybe you should have a little more than what you got from selective reading of just a tiny percentage of the writings of these people. And maybe it would be good to pay more attention to what others with a vastly broader background are telling you.

Then again... I'm not holding my breath... So carry on.[/QUOTE]



Keith

I totally agree with everything you say, in particular the part posted above. appreciated.

Henry Ellis
Co- author ` Positive Aikido`
http://aikido-bracknell.blogspot.com/

graham christian
07-03-2013, 01:24 PM
http://www.archbudo.com/get_pdf.php?IDMAN=12653.pdf
In this article there is an intersting quote :
"Tomiki was unable to find a chance to break Ueshiba's balance with judo techniques when sparring with Ueshiba in the summer of 1927"
Of course we don't know the rules of "sparring", but we can suppose Tomiki was allowed to attack or sparr with Ueshiba with his judo skills.
I also suppose, Kano didn't send Tomiki to challenge Ueshiba, so Tomiki took the initiative himself to challenge Ueshiba and was very impressed by Ueshiba's skills. We can assume, Tomiki spoke later with Kano about his experiences.
Around 1930 Mochizuki was sent to Ueshiba.
There is another interesting quote :
Tomiki was affected by Kano's philosophical lectures during college. In 1927, soon after his graduation from Waseda University, Tomiki began practice with Morihei Ueshiba, later the founder of aikido. Tomiki was one of the first disciples of Ueshiba and was given the first 8th dan of aiki-budo by Ueshiba in 1940. Tomiki was in- quisitive and trained as an academic so he analysed the techniques of Ueshiba using the scientific principles that Kano invented. The event of the cause was Kano's en- couragement when Tomiki visited Kano with Takasaki at Kano's office at the Kodokan in March of 1936 to extend his regards to Kano prior to Tomiki leaving for Manchukuo. According to Tomiki, the following conver- sation took place between Kano and Tomiki [17, p.8]: Kano: It is necessary for us to learn techniques that you learned from Ueshiba. But it is not easy to learn.
Tomiki: If we study those techniques using the "Principles of Judo" or the scientific principles of judo that Master discovered, I think that it won't be impossible.

Just some thoughts,
Eddy

Fits in with what I said. Kano wanting a scientific breakdown of what Ueshiba did. Takeda's son said Tomiki was sent to Ueshiba by Kano. Takeda's son also said the difference between Judo and Daito ryu was that Judo had one on one matches.

So I don't see the problem with with what I said and it was common to be sent to learn from others at the direction of the teacher. (I wonder if that is done here in the west much?)

Does this contradict those renowned historians? I don't think so. It may add or even be part of the vast amount of data they also know but it certainly shouldn't contradict.

I send plenty people to others and many times get someone to take them personally so what's the problem?

Peace.G.

PeterR
07-03-2013, 04:41 PM
I would put a bit more weight to the Stanley Pranin articles which are a bit more direct - including interviews with Tomiki himself.
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=60

His introduction of Tomiki to Ueshiba is mentioned by Nishimura here http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=394

miso
07-03-2013, 04:58 PM
There are some competing points of view here.

Peter Goldsbury
07-03-2013, 05:28 PM
I have always wondered about the theology connection. Tomiki, apparently studied all the Omoto-kyo texts in an attempt to understand Ueshiba's Aikido - he certainly thought the connection was important. Relatively few of Ueshiba's students delved to that depth and even today his honbu dojo has an Omoto-kyo shine (regularly blessed). That does not mean Tomiki accepted the Omoto-kyo teachings or that there wasn't a particular connection with Ueshiba's views on competition and his religious leanings but it does make me wonder about your premise.

Hello Peter,

I have become more convinced that Omoto is a crucial factor in understanding Ueshiba's martial thinking. What is available in English is OK as far as it goes. Kenji Tomiki had the advantage of living in the same era and of being able to talk to people like O Deguchi directly. However, I know that K Chiba, for example, did not accept Morihei Ueshiba's theology and at least one of my older aikido friends did not do so either. He and his family embraced Buddhism and he had no reason to change to Omoto merely because he was a student of M Ueshiba. R Shirata entered the Kobukan Dojo because he was already in Omoto, via his family. As I stated elsewhere, postwar Japanese deshi who entered the Aikikai Hombu will not have studied Omoto because of its connections with ultranationalism, and such study would have been discouraged after the war.

Best wishes,

PAG

PeterR
07-04-2013, 01:49 AM
Hello Peter,

I have become more convinced that Omoto is a crucial factor in understanding Ueshiba's martial thinking. What is available in English is OK as far as it goes. Kenji Tomiki had the advantage of living in the same era and of being able to talk to people like O Deguchi directly. However, I know that K Chiba, for example, did not accept Morihei Ueshiba's theology and at least one of my older aikido friends did not do so either. He and his family embraced Buddhism and he had no reason to change to Omoto merely because he was a student of M Ueshiba. R Shirata entered the Kobukan Dojo because he was already in Omoto, via his family. As I stated elsewhere, postwar Japanese deshi who entered the Aikikai Hombu will not have studied Omoto because of its connections with ultranationalism, and such study would have been discouraged after the war.

Best wishes,

PAG

Thanks for that Peter - as usual your understanding makes perfect sense to me. The above does not really answer my question concerning the connection between Ueshiba's views on competition and religion but that might be too specific and difficult to get a handle on. Cheers

Peter Goldsbury
07-05-2013, 04:46 AM
Thanks for that Peter - as usual your understanding makes perfect sense to me. The above does not really answer my question concerning the connection between Ueshiba's views on competition and religion but that might be too specific and difficult to get a handle on. Cheers

Hello again, Peter,

I think it is true that the reason why Kenji Tomiki studied the Omoto-kyo texts was to make sense of Morihei Ueshiba's explanations. You can see this in the introduction to the Budo Renshu volume (1933), which was also used for the Budo volume (1938). Budo Renshu was published a few years after Tomiki started training with Ueshiba in 1927 and he was clearly a senior member of the Kobukan by this time. (This is the impression I received from private conversations with Fumiaki Shishida.)

Deguchi started dictating Reikai Monogatari late in 1921 soon after his release on bail after the first suppression and revised his political theology after his return from Mongolia in 1924. So Morihei Ueshiba was in Ayabe during this revision and Tomiki would have had a ringside seat both for Ueshiba's practical study of jujutsu (recorded in the diaries of Admiral Takeshita) and for the creation of Ueshiba's theological cosmology.

So I think it is correct that the connection between Ueshiba's religious views and the ban on competition is not direct. The central fulcrum of connection is Ueshiba's Omoto-based theological cosmology and this relationship with his idea of bujutsu. The fundamental difference between this theologically-based bujutsu/budo and 'western' sports would be an important corollary.

Best wishes,

PAG

PeterR
07-05-2013, 04:53 AM
:D

PeterR
07-06-2013, 08:39 AM
I understand the attraction non-competition has for some people and that it becomes an important part of their Aikido but I don't believe that that particular aspect defines Aikido. Ueshiba had quite a few unusual views that are pretty much universally ignored.

graham christian
07-07-2013, 08:35 AM
Universally ignored? Mmmmm. Maybe more like not understood or even misunderstood.

Peace.G.

PeterR
07-07-2013, 09:25 AM
I was thinking about macrobiotics.

graham christian
07-07-2013, 09:33 AM
I was thinking about macrobiotics.

Something to chew on;)

Peace.G.

Fred Little
07-07-2013, 11:26 AM
I was thinking about macrobiotics.

Peter,

That's an interesting area. The late Abe Seiseki said that Morihei ate macrobiotically when he came to visit him, but not at other times.

The common link between those two is Kenzo Futaki, a disciple of the late-19th/early 20th C. neo-Shinto revivalist Bonji Katsuwara. Futaki espoused both Katsuwara's (divinely inspired) misogo-no-gyo and the brown rice-based diet later made famous by George Ohsawa as macrobiotics. Futaki's source for the brown rice diet isn't so clear to me.

All that said, the impression I always had was that while a number of people who were deeply devoted to macrobiotics had associations with Morihei (and vice versa), and while he followed a "when in Rome....: practice with regard to his diet, he wasn't himself a rigorous macrobiotic eater.

But perhaps my information is incomplete....

Best,

Fred Little

Demetrio Cereijo
07-07-2013, 12:40 PM
Hi Mr Little

The common link between those two is Kenzo Futaki, a disciple of the late-19th/early 20th C. neo-Shinto revivalist Bonji Katsuwara. Futaki espoused both Katsuwara's (divinely inspired) misogo-no-gyo and the brown rice-based diet later made famous by George Ohsawa as macrobiotics. Futaki's source for the brown rice diet isn't so clear to me.

Possibly from his contemporary, and M.D. too, Ishizuka Sagen.

OTOH, I'm reading these days your dissertation on Minakata Kumagusu, very interesting.