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Aiki Liu
06-28-2007, 08:34 AM
Controversial but...
Who would be willing to say that Ueshiba`s Aikido was not the best theyd seen?

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-28-2007, 08:57 AM
I don't think that anyone here has any way of knowing directly.

We can look at historical accounts of people being impressed by his aikido, and even taking significant concrete actions (e.g. joining his dojo, supporting him financially, giving him awards, bringing him in as an instructor) as a result. But this is not conclusive proof, because any number of factors (political, personal, etc.) could have motivated those decisions.

There are a smaller number of accounts of him taking and defeating challengers who had proven themselves in other arenas; I don't know them off the top of my head, though, and I'm pretty sure no one has them on tape (leaving us at the mercy of the recollections of, say, some person who now teaches a major style of aikido -- an eminently admirable and respectable individual, but it's hard to show they're free from bias.)

jennifer paige smith
06-28-2007, 09:02 AM
Controversial but...
Who would be willing to say that Ueshiba`s Aikido was not the best theyd seen?

By 'Ueshiba' do you mean O'Sensei, Former Doshu, or present?
Domo

ramenboy
06-28-2007, 09:15 AM
didn't they say the same thing about jigoro kano? that his wasn't the best judo either...

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-28-2007, 09:16 AM
By 'Ueshiba' do you mean O'Sensei, Former Doshu, or present?
Domo

I'm guessing he means Morihei Ueshiba, given his iconic status and legends of awesomeness.

Basia Halliop
06-28-2007, 09:28 AM
How would we know one way or the other? Why does it matter so much, anyway?

Roman Kremianski
06-28-2007, 09:38 AM
I personally believe some of O-Sensei's students have outstripped him.
Just my opinion.

DonMagee
06-28-2007, 09:42 AM
It is the dream of every teacher to make students better then they are. The same is true of parenthood. If O'Sensei was the greatest, and none have reached his level or greater, then it is safe to say he was a poor teacher.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-28-2007, 09:43 AM
How would we know one way or the other? Why does it matter so much, anyway?

I can think of two reasons why people care so much -- one perhaps sensible, the other silly.

1) We're studying a system created by Ueshiba-sensei. If he was lousy, the system is probably also lousy; if he knew what was up, there's a chance our system has some good methods in it.

2) Some people, when their own ability is questioned, mumble something about how they're "still a beginner" and promptly say, "But O-sensei was unbeatable." I consider this to be essentially a blame-shift.


It is the dream of every teacher to make students better then they are. The same is true of parenthood. If O'Sensei was the greatest, and none have reached his level or greater, then it is safe to say he was a poor teacher.

Hear, hear.

Roman Kremianski
06-28-2007, 09:44 AM
If O'Sensei was the greatest, and none have reached his level or greater, then it is safe to say he was a poor teacher.

Well said!

Aiki Liu
06-28-2007, 09:45 AM
How would we know one way or the other? Why does it matter so much, anyway?

errrr...... cos you may have seen Ueshibas aikido and someone elses to compare it to? this being an aikido forum and all??
It matters cos this is an aikido forum to discuss aikido issues and im interested in peoples opinions....

Basia Halliop
06-28-2007, 10:09 AM
errrr...... cos you may have seen Ueshibas aikido and someone elses to compare it to?

I say 'how would we know' because all we seem to have to go on is a very few very short grainy videos that were done as demonstrations, and half of those are when he's pretty elderly. Mostly we have to rely on hearsay.

Joseph Madden
06-28-2007, 10:15 AM
:hypno: Is O-Sensei's aikido the best? It all depends on your perspective. Too many aikidoka join a cult of personality wherein one persons aikido is infinitely better the the next. I've seen aikidoka whose flow was something I admired and even aspired to. Then I've seen others whose external power was something to behold. What of internal power. Can it be truly measured? We all owe O-Sensei a level of gratitude that cannot be measured. The same holds true for Takeda. Without daito-ryu, there would be no aikido. Getting hung up on who is the best and who is the worst keeps us from seeking enlightenment in all corners. We can learn from them all.What we choose to do with those lessons can make our aikido better or worse.

Aiki Liu
06-28-2007, 10:20 AM
I say 'how would we know' because I've never seen a video of him under the age of about seventy, and even those are short and grainy. Perhaps there are earlier videos out there somewhere? But movies were pretty rare before that, and I would have thought people would be showing them off if there was earlier footage. Mostly we can only rely on hearsay.

hmmmm, fair do`s. I suppose the reason I ask is because many people seem to be intimating that if you dont do "Ueshiba" aikido then youre not doing aikido. I have heard many tales of his prowess but the video footage was less than impressive. Of course all that was, as you say, taken when he was into his 70s. I just wonder if someone did a very different style of aikido to Ueshibas, would anyone be brave enough to say, that is the best aikido theyve seen, including the founders?
Due to the general evolution of aikido as a fighting system, Id feel safe to say that, in this day and age, several people around have better "aikido" than the founders.

Aiki Liu
06-28-2007, 10:27 AM
:hypno: Is O-Sensei's aikido the best? It all depends on your perspective. Too many aikidoka join a cult of personality wherein one persons aikido is infinitely better the the next. I've seen aikidoka whose flow was something I admired and even aspired to. Then I've seen others whose external power was something to behold. What of internal power. Can it be truly measured? We all owe O-Sensei a level of gratitude that cannot be measured. The same holds true for Takeda. Without daito-ryu, there would be no aikido. Getting hung up on who is the best and who is the worst keeps us from seeking enlightenment in all corners. We can learn from them all.What we choose to do with those lessons can make our aikido better or worse.

please explain what you mean by "flow" and "internal power" in this context.
cheers

Basia Halliop
06-28-2007, 10:31 AM
OK, I forgot, there is some footage of him in the 1930s, when he's in his fifties. But it still seems like very little to go on, at least for me.

I say 'why' because I don't understand why some people seem to go almost to the point of religion about O'Sensei. Isn't it enough that he invented and popularized something we very much respect and enjoy without having to believe that he's some kind of demi-god that no mortal human could ever surpass? (That's what I thought you were referring to when you said it was a controversial question.)

To me that isn't even particularly respectful, in a weird kind of way. I respect ordinary humans who have to work hard for what they get and are less than perfect.

Aiki Liu
06-28-2007, 10:35 AM
OK, I forgot, there is some footage of him in the 1930s, when he's in his fifties. But it still seems like very little to go on, at least for me.

I say 'why' because I don't understand why some people seem to go almost to the point of religion about O'Sensei. Isn't it enough that he invented and popularized something we very much respect and enjoy without having to believe that he's some kind of demi-god that no mortal human could ever surpass? (That's what I thought you were referring to when you said it was a controversial question.)

To me that isn't even particularly respectful, in a weird kind of way. I respect ordinary humans who have to work hard for what they get and are less than perfect.

Right question, wrong guy! Im asking this question precisely because I find the religious hero worship of Ueshiba odd to say the least, a serious hindrance to Aikido to tell the truth.....to many people focus on Aikido that was useful 5o years ago, in my opinion

Roman Kremianski
06-28-2007, 10:40 AM
Basia, the earliest video I've seen of O-Sensei was in his 50's also...I can't seem to find it now though, do you know where it is on YouTube?

To be honest, even when he was in his 50's his Aikido wasn't anything radically different. He might have been faster, but he still had the same cooperative ukes, same attacks. It's not like his students hit him harder because he wasn't as old. His challenge matches were also conveniently not taped, so no one will ever know the whole picture.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-28-2007, 11:01 AM
Basia, the earliest video I've seen of O-Sensei was in his 50's also...I can't seem to find it now though, do you know where it is on YouTube?

http://aikido.magnify.net/item/S5SHCS8VN29SMYJP

Anyway, I continue to believe that a respectful "I don't know" is the best answer to this question.

As for the implicit question of, "OMG DOES AIKIDO WORK?", people should go see if THEIR aikido works, rather than wondering about whether or not they can invent stories about their martial ancestors that might support them thinking they themselves are good.

If someone talks to me about how hardcore Kimura was, and shows me videos of him winning matches, and then they say they do judo too...I'll think, "Okay, this person might be good." If that person then spars with me and throws me a lot, then I'll know they're pretty good. And if someone asks me if judo is good, I can say, "Well, I've met one person who said they did judo, and they were pretty good."

Aiki Liu
06-28-2007, 11:06 AM
http://aikido.magnify.net/item/S5SHCS8VN29SMYJP

Anyway, I continue to believe that a respectful "I don't know" is the best answer to this question.

As for the implicit question of, "OMG DOES AIKIDO WORK?", people should go see if THEIR aikido works, rather than wondering about whether or not they can invent stories about their martial ancestors that might support them thinking they themselves are good.

If someone talks to me about how hardcore Kimura was, and shows me videos of him winning matches, and then they say they do judo too...I'll think, "Okay, this person might be good." If that person then spars with me and throws me a lot, then I'll know they're pretty good. And if someone asks me if judo is good, I can say, "Well, I've met one person who said they did judo, and they were pretty good."

Who asked, implicitly or explicitly , OMG DOES AIKIDO WORK>? I certainly didnt...
And what does this last paragraph have to do with my question?

justin
06-28-2007, 11:08 AM
It is the dream of every teacher to make students better then they are. The same is true of parenthood. If O'Sensei was the greatest, and none have reached his level or greater, then it is safe to say he was a poor teacher.

i like that answer a lot very well put

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-28-2007, 11:13 AM
Who asked, implicitly or explicitly , OMG DOES AIKIDO WORK>? I certainly didnt...
And what does this last paragraph have to do with my question?

Sorry, I may have been mixing threads with the "Ueshiba on YouTube" one. :) My mind, it is not well-organized.

Although it is somewhat relevant -- for a lot of people, when they think about aikido's effectiveness in the small dark hours of the night, one of the first things that comes to mind is, "Well, O'Sensei was REALLY good, wasn't he?" The search for a hero figure.

The last paragraph was a critique of this method of thinking as needlessly indirect. If judoka everywhere discovered that somehow Kano, Mifune, Kimura, and the like were all frauds and couldn't fight worth a darn (this would require a truly bizarre revolution in what we know about them), they'd probably scratch their heads and think, "Gee, that's funny, because my judo seems to work pretty well."

I don't get the impression that was the question you asked; but it is I think a significant factor to consider when discussing O'sensei with other aikidoka. You're asking our opinion of someone whom most of us have, at one time or another at least, viewed as exemplifying the level of skill we aspire to.

JAMJTX
06-28-2007, 11:46 AM
Like (probably) most Aikido students today, I never trained with or even met O-Sensei. I only know stories that were passed down and saw some old film clips of him. This is not enough to compare him to others who I have seen.

Even poor Aikido can look good and good Aikido can look fake (especially on video). I've seen some people who look good, but then felt thier technique and it was kind of weak. I've also seen some techniques that looked like they wouldn't work and was surprised when I hit the mat.

In regards to Aikido, I wouldn't want to say that someone was "the best I ever saw". I do know who the best are whose technique I ever felt. But there are also a number of equal reputation that I never have and likely never will get to feel.

I do think that if Ueshiba were not great, not only in technique, but as a teacher, Aikido would have failed and if it still existed would only be a minor school. He never would have been able to produce students like Tohei, Shioda, etc.

Dewey
06-28-2007, 11:56 AM
I personally believe some of O-Sensei's students have outstripped him.
Just my opinion.

It is the dream of every teacher to make students better then they are. The same is true of parenthood. If O'Sensei was the greatest, and none have reached his level or greater, then it is safe to say he was a poor teacher.

As for the implicit question of, "OMG DOES AIKIDO WORK?", people should go see if THEIR aikido works, rather than wondering about whether or not they can invent stories about their martial ancestors that might support them thinking they themselves are good.

From what little I understand and have internalized from my study of Aikido, it is that unless I make Aikido "mine"....it's then just some bizarre retro dance style that I'm learning with little practical application or meaning...no matter how much I choose to philosophize or spiritualize about it, or engage in hagiographical obsessions about O'Sensei.

If my Aikido sucks, it's usually because it's my fault (provided I have a qualified & experienced instructor). As such, my understanding of Aikido's modus operandi is to constantly & relentlessly strive for self-improvement...self-mastery. Mastery of: form, technique, application, awareness, patience, etc.

charyuop
06-28-2007, 12:08 PM
Theorically the 10th Dan is not given because it belongs only to O Sensei. Tho, not formally, a couple of Uchi Deshi of O Sensei were given the 10th Dan, even tho on the records they remained 8th or 9th.
One of those was Shioda gozo Sensei, which in my opinion is one of the few that developed his Aikido to O Sensei's level. Now saying which one is better is something hard to do.

DonMagee
06-28-2007, 01:00 PM
From what little I understand and have internalized from my study of Aikido, it is that unless I make Aikido "mine"....it's then just some bizarre retro dance style that I'm learning with little practical application or meaning...no matter how much I choose to philosophize or spiritualize about it, or engage in hagiographical obsessions about O'Sensei.

If my Aikido sucks, it's usually because it's my fault (provided I have a qualified & experienced instructor). As such, my understanding of Aikido's modus operandi is to constantly & relentlessly strive for self-improvement...self-mastery. Mastery of: form, technique, application, awareness, patience, etc.

Not everyone can be great, even with a great teacher. Some people are just not built mentally or physically to succeed in some things. However, a great teacher should produce at least a few great students, hopefully they will go on to surpass the teacher and their students will grow to surpass them.

I'll never be a professional level body builder, even with the greatest coaches in the world. My buddy john will never be a math genius, it doesn't matter if he got private lessons at MIT. But the best body building coaches do produce champions of ever increasing quality, and MIT does produce masters in their fields.

Ron Tisdale
06-28-2007, 01:13 PM
Theorically the 10th Dan is not given because it belongs only to O Sensei. Tho, not formally, a couple of Uchi Deshi of O Sensei were given the 10th Dan, even tho on the records they remained 8th or 9th.
One of those was Shioda gozo Sensei, which in my opinion is one of the few that developed his Aikido to O Sensei's level. Now saying which one is better is something hard to do.

Actually, you may want to research that a bit. Shioda Sensei got his 10th dan from an umbrella organization I believe, not from the founder or the founder's family or organization. I believe the organization in question only gave the 10th dan after Kancho's death.

But don't quote me...I've probably gotten some part of this wrong. But that's ok, cause Chris Li will be along any minute now... :D

Best,
Ron (Or Peter G., or ...or...or...)

Joseph Madden
06-28-2007, 01:55 PM
By flow I meant aikidoka who had beautiful looking basics with/without a partner. Their connection as shite/uke. As far as internal power is concerned, how much of it is internal and how much is merely external( muscle vs.spirit).

Basia Halliop
06-28-2007, 02:06 PM
[qoute]By flow I meant aikidoka who had beautiful looking basics with/without a partner. Their connection as shite/uke. As far as internal power is concerned, how much of it is internal and how much is merely external( muscle vs.spirit).[/quote]

Kind of shows why there is never going to be consensus on who's is 'the best' :). We are all using entirely different scales for comparison, and aiming for different goals.

Basia Halliop
06-28-2007, 02:09 PM
so no one will ever know the whole picture.

Well, technically there are people still alive who knew him and trained with him. Now whether or not we know those people well enough to just take their word for it, they may themselves be convinced of their opinions, and have more informed opinions on the matter than we can.

Dewey
06-28-2007, 02:13 PM
Not everyone can be great, even with a great teacher. Some people are just not built mentally or physically to succeed in some things. However, a great teacher should produce at least a few great students, hopefully they will go on to surpass the teacher and their students will grow to surpass them.

That goes without saying!:)

gdandscompserv
06-28-2007, 02:14 PM
no Ueshiba, no aikido.

Roman Kremianski
06-28-2007, 02:18 PM
Well, technically there are people still alive who knew him and trained with him.

They knew him and trained with him when he was young and in his prime, supposedly accepting challenge matches? Or are you talking about his students?

I don't think anyone who knew O-Sensei as the young, adventurous guy they write about in books would be alive today. :confused:

Basia Halliop
06-28-2007, 02:31 PM
No, you're right, I was talking about his students. Even if they didn't know him when he was young they at least knew him a lot better than any of us here.

aikilouis
06-28-2007, 02:42 PM
Ueshiba Morihei never was a young prodige of martial arts. He started training with Takeda Sokaku at age 32.

Dewey
06-28-2007, 02:52 PM
Controversial but...
Who would be willing to say that Ueshiba`s Aikido was not the best theyd seen?

Back to the original question:

I suppose I'd be confused as to why Kano would send some of his top students (e.g. Tomiki and Mochizuki) to study under Ueshiba if he wasn't "top shelf" material...leaving aside the famous, but most likely apocryphal Kano quote concerning Aikido: "this is my ideal Budo" (or words to that effect)?

Some may counter by saying that Kano sent out his students to study under various jujutsu schools in order to incorporate their techniques into the Kodokan syllabus, and Aikido was no different or more deserving...which is certainly true. However, why would top Judo men like Tomiki or K. Abbe remain students of Ueshiba for years if he "wasn't that good."

Opinions are always subjective, though, and open to debate. Unfortunately, for the vast majority of Aikidoka and skeptics alike, we only have a few poor-quality films to judge by and the sometimes questionable memoirs of uchi-deshi.

Basia Halliop
06-28-2007, 03:03 PM
Well, I think it's actually kind of a jump to go from 'was/is his the best aikido of anyone at all' to 'he wasn't great' or even further, 'he wasn't that good.' The possibility that others could have surpassed him (I don't know whether they did or not, but it's at least plausible) wouldn't necessarily have to mean he wasn't pretty darn great himself.

ChrisHein
06-28-2007, 04:02 PM
Who knows why people say the things they did, or did the things they did. Maybe Tomiki was looking for a father figure, there could be a million reasons why someone would train with Ueshiba besides him being the best Aikidoka ever.

You can (at this point in time) only go by what you see. Personally I don't think his Ki no nagari techniques or Jiyu waza are any better then any of the other top flight Aikido practitioners of today.

Going beyond what you can see, is just conjecture, and going by what others have said, is hearsay.

Aristeia
06-28-2007, 04:14 PM
It's intersting to see how many people are reacting to the suggestion that some people have developed their Aikido beyond Ueshibas by talking about how Ueshiba must have been good in his day. That's not the issue right? The issue is since Ueshiba has anyone taken Aikido further to the point where they are better exponents of the art than Ueshiba was.

We should all hope the answer is yes. The art will be in one of two places, growth or decline. If Ueshiba was the pinnacle of the art and each successive generation of students is less accomplished as we get further from the source - the art is in decline. If it is in growth then you would expect certain individuals in each generation to supercede their teachers. If it really is being grown properly, coached properly there should be people on this forum, maybe even on this thread who are today better than Ueshiba was.

Aiki Liu
06-28-2007, 05:09 PM
no Ueshiba, no aikido.

No Marquis of Queensbury, no boxing
.........but Muhhammed Ali would still have boxed his ears off....

DH
06-28-2007, 05:55 PM
Someone said you can only go be what you see-then they nullified all the other experts in their field as heresy.
Interesting.
A. I think one would have to have experienced and knowing eyes to see what they should have been seeing all along.
b. There were far too many experienced witnesses who did not "start out" as friends or converts who later spoke of Ueshibas' strength and skills.
Having some guys on a list downplay Kano,Tomiki, Tenry, and Shirata as hearsay is really rather sad.
Maybe...just maybe, they are the ones who were in fact experts in their fields and knew in fact just what they were talking about. And the modern guys are the ones who are clueless.
Just maybe.

Aiki Liu
06-28-2007, 06:52 PM
Having some guys on a list downplay Kano,Tomiki, Tenry, and Shirata as hearsay is really rather sad.
Maybe...just maybe, they are the ones who were in fact experts in their fields and knew in fact just what they were talking about. And the modern guys are the ones who are clueless.
Just maybe.

Why should we take this as read? I think in terms of judging someones Aikido one guy with experiences opinion is just as valid as the next. I dont think someone is "clueless" because they dont think Ueshiba`s Aikido is the best theyve ever seen....

Chris Li
06-28-2007, 06:57 PM
Actually, you may want to research that a bit. Shioda Sensei got his 10th dan from an umbrella organization I believe, not from the founder or the founder's family or organization. I believe the organization in question only gave the 10th dan after Kancho's death.

But don't quote me...I've probably gotten some part of this wrong. But that's ok, cause Chris Li will be along any minute now... :D

Best,
Ron (Or Peter G., or ...or...or...)

I will not!

Well, OK - IIRC, both Mochizuki and Shioda received 10th dans from the Kokusai Budoin (IMAF). Mochizuki received a kind of informal approval for this from the Ueshiba family, but I don't know about Shioda.

Morihei promoted a couple of people (Abe and Hikitsuchi come to mind) to 10th dan directly. Koichi Tohei was promoted to 10th dan by the Aikikai shortly after Morihei died, but apparently the promotion was sanctioned by Morihei. I'm sure there are others that I don't recall at the moment...

Best,

Chris

DH
06-28-2007, 07:24 PM
I think in terms of judging someones Aikido, one guy with experiences opinion is just as valid as the next. ....

Yes , I know.....I know. The internet has made that all too clear.

Just the other day we sent a guy with a lamborgini to the best place to get it fixed- a motorcyce shop.
Afterall, one mechanics experience and opinion is as good as the next.

Aiki Liu
06-28-2007, 07:34 PM
Yes , I know.....I know. The internet has made that all too clear.

Just the other day we sent a guy with a lamborgini to the best place to get it fixed- a motorcyce shop.
Afterall, one mechanics experience and opinion is as good as the next.

Your hilarous analagy is invalid. How is Aikidoka commenting on Aikido like a motorcycle expert commenting on a car? As far as Im aware, commenting on Aikido would fall fairly well into the spectrum of expertise of an Aikidoka (the clues in the title).
Secondly an opinion is subjective so clearly one mans is as valid as the next. If you say you like the music of Mozart but arent a classically trained pianist, is your opinion invalid?
Or are you only allowed an opinion when you get your Shihan status?

wxyzabc
06-28-2007, 09:28 PM
mmm I think O sensei`s aikido was amazing..after all he dedicated his life to it...and aikido does transcend technique as well eh...but true maybe he wasn`t "perfect"...but who is???

anyway here in Japan there are some truly exceptional practioners....some not known at all outside of Japan..and I think they like it that way....true leaders to a small pocket of followers usually in the middle of nowhere : )

Lee

ChrisHein
06-28-2007, 11:50 PM
Elitism is a great way to keep everyone ignorant!

Make a small group of people. Tell them that only they can understand what you do (making them feel special, and not wanting to upset the cart). Then when anyone outside of the circle questions you, refer them to others in the circle. If they question you further, simply tell them that "it is beyond them" and only if they train with you or one of your elite group could they understand. Once they are on the inside they will likely do the same.

It's a fun little exercise in ego, but it doesn't get us anywhere. Better just to look at something and form a general opinion about it, then go out and find different examples and sources from different places to test your theory.

For me Ueshiba was good, but not better than anyone else around today. That opinion doesn't take anything away from him. He still made a neat system that is practiced all around the world today. That's a pretty great accomplishment, even if he couldn't shoot magic ki balls from his finger tips or wasen’t the best Aikidoka to ever walk the earth.

eyrie
06-29-2007, 12:13 AM
How is Aikidoka commenting on Aikido like a motorcycle expert commenting on a car? What's the difference? I think that is precisely Dan's point. :D

It's like asking a divorce lawyer for advice in a criminal proceeding in which you are facing the death penalty on murder charges. They're all lawyers right? So one lawyer's opinion is as good as the other, right?

jennifer paige smith
06-29-2007, 08:18 AM
I'm guessing he means Morihei Ueshiba, given his iconic status and legends of awesomeness.

Cheeky monkey in danger of breaking basic etiquettes. Best to be a little more formal, just in case.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-29-2007, 08:35 AM
Cheeky monkey in danger of breaking basic etiquettes. Best to be a little more formal, just in case.

Fair enough. But to clarify, my intent was to mock the outlandish stories of O'sensei, not the man himself.

philippe willaume
06-29-2007, 08:41 AM
No Marquis of Queensbury, no boxing
.........but Muhhammed Ali would still have boxed his ears off....

well not quite, there would still be Mendoza.

jennifer paige smith
06-29-2007, 08:53 AM
It is the dream of every teacher to make students better then they are. The same is true of parenthood. If O'Sensei was the greatest, and none have reached his level or greater, then it is safe to say he was a poor teacher.

Sometimes in parenting, the qualities that we recognize to be loveable, we see in our grandchildren first, more than our children. This is a generational function that needs to be considered. I feel I am an amazing person and student due to the teachings of my aikido 'grandfather', O'Sensei. It is my wish to communicate at least a part of the whole that I have been taught.

jennifer paige smith
06-29-2007, 09:13 AM
Fair enough. But to clarify, my intent was to mock the outlandish stories of O'sensei, not the man himself.

Please provide the evidence that they didn't happen.

ChrisHein
06-29-2007, 10:45 AM
James Wilson wrote: View Post
How is Aikidoka commenting on Aikido like a motorcycle expert commenting on a car?

What's the difference? I think that is precisely Dan's point. :D

It's like asking a divorce lawyer for advice in a criminal proceeding in which you are facing the death penalty on murder charges. They're all lawyers right? So one lawyer's opinion is as good as the other, right?

No, asking an Aikidoka to comment on aikido is like asking a car expert to look at a car. Asking a Judoka to comment on Aikido is like asking a divorce lawyer to look at a criminal case (both martial artists, but not art specific-or- boh lawyers but not law specific).

What James Wilson is saying is correct.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-29-2007, 11:22 AM
Please provide the evidence that they didn't happen.

The burden of proof is on the proposer of the claim.

I don't mock the stories because I can prove they didn't happen. I mock them because 1) they contradict the current state of knowledge and 2) there is no proof to show they did happen.

I make fun of creationists for the same reason.

If you insist, though, let me phrase it this way: the proof or evidence that they didn't happen is the sum of current knowledge about human capabilities. If I claimed, "I held a ball out from a building once, and it shot straight up into orbit", our current knowledge of physics (which includes gravity) would function as strong evidence against my claim.

aikidoc
06-29-2007, 02:25 PM
Better how? In terms of refinement of his movement patterns and looking smooth. I think that is obvious-several of his students are more refined and smooth. Many are more smooth than Tohei was in his early days. However, what many, including my sensei, seem to be in awe of was O'Sensei's ki. He did things that they have spent their lives trying to figure out and some still are working on it.

I do think there are smoother looking aikidoka and some with incredible ki. However, its a moot point since there is no real way of measuring O'Sensei against his students and their ki. I do think he was very powerful and probably scared the crap out of some of his students with his power.

ChrisHein
06-29-2007, 04:57 PM
I remember going to a river with a friend of mine when I was a kid. The river was huge, and fast. I remember our parents telling us that swimming in it was dangerous. I remember fast currents and treacherous looking rocks. I remember thinking it looked like the kind of stuff people go white water rafting on.

Recently I had the opportunity to revisit the river, with the same friend. We both recounted how fast and awesome the river was on the way there. However when we got there, we were both shocked at how tame and peaceful the river was. It was not only smaller then I remember, but calm.

We both thought that someone must have damned up the river, or it was a drought year. However after asking some locals, we found out that the river to all their recollection had been exactly as it is now. They actually laughed when we said that we remember fast currents.

Moral of the story is: memory of greatness doesn't always make it so.

Roman Kremianski
06-29-2007, 08:29 PM
Please provide the evidence that they didn't happen.

Doesn't the absence of evidence serve as evidence?

xuzen
06-29-2007, 08:32 PM
Controversial but...
Who would be willing to say that Ueshiba`s Aikido was not the best theyd seen?

Of course he is not the best. This is so passe, you noob. Everyone in the INT3RW3B knows that my sensei is da best and by association I am da B3ST of da B3ST. By the way, my sensei's hakama is bigger than your sensei's hakama LOL.

Boon

Roman Kremianski
06-29-2007, 08:59 PM
By the way, my sensei's hakama is bigger than your sensei's hakama LOL.

The bigger the magic pants, the bigger the power!!

So big in fact, that it "blends" with uke on it's own and trips the bastard up.

Charles Hill
06-29-2007, 11:38 PM
The burden of proof is on the proposer of the claim.

Hi Paul,

The "proof" is on the videos that we can buy from AikiNews. Reason might lead us to the point that we can think that those deshi pushing on the outstretched bokken are part of some kind of scam or they are not (or perhaps they are victims of a scam.) The interesting point is that most of those guys doing the pushing are alive and make up the core of the "elite" of teachers around the world. Many/most of those posting here are connected in some way to someone who is on video pushing against a bokken held out at an angle by an 80 year old man. A number of posters are members of an organization started by a man who claims to have witnessed Morihei Ueshiba shot at twice by a firing squad. This individual also claims to have seen a man fall UP a flight of stairs due to Ueshiba's kiai.

For someone to dismiss the stories means they likely have to do to the question of their teacher/teacher's teacher being full of dodo. That is an interesting question, in my opinion.

Also, for the thread at large, the question of whether M. Ueshiba was really a teacher (meaning a person who took responsibility for whether his/her students are learning or not)? I have big doubts, but the evidence is all around for everyone to look at.

Charles

Aiki Liu
06-30-2007, 09:00 AM
Of course he is not the best. This is so passe, you noob. Everyone in the INT3RW3B knows that my sensei is da best and by association I am da B3ST of da B3ST. By the way, my sensei's hakama is bigger than your sensei's hakama LOL.

Boon

Whats the point of this post? If youre trying to be sarcastic and insinuate that my choice of topic is inappropriate then firstly Id ask what is an appropriate choice of topic for posting on the aikido forum if not asking whether the founder of aikido`s aikido was the best aikido youve ever seen? And secondly Id ask you to be funnier next time.
If youre not trying to be sarcastic then you have issues.
Either way, please try to contribute to the post next time.
PS Neither I or my Sensei wear hakama, Im shodokan....

Aiki Liu
06-30-2007, 09:43 AM
well not quite, there would still be Mendoza.

Mendoza? Sorry, who is he?

Aiki Liu
06-30-2007, 09:45 AM
No, asking an Aikidoka to comment on aikido is like asking a car expert to look at a car. Asking a Judoka to comment on Aikido is like asking a divorce lawyer to look at a criminal case (both martial artists, but not art specific-or- boh lawyers but not law specific).

What James Wilson is saying is correct.

Cheers mate, glad someone understood!

Aiki Liu
06-30-2007, 09:49 AM
Hi Paul,

A number of posters are members of an organization started by a man who claims to have witnessed Morihei Ueshiba shot at twice by a firing squad. This individual also claims to have seen a man fall UP a flight of stairs due to Ueshiba's kiai.
For someone to dismiss the stories means they likely have to do to the question of their teacher/teacher's teacher being full of dodo.
Charles

Charles, do you actually believe these stories?

jennifer paige smith
06-30-2007, 09:59 AM
Doesn't the absence of evidence serve as evidence?

A good exercise would be to talk to (and train with) the living students of O'Sensei. If you don't believe them and the experiences they express from their lives with O'Sensei, tell them. If you believe them to be dillusional or liars, let em know. If you would like to try out your 'martial arts' on them, let it rip. Do some good scientific investigating, roll up your sleeves, and take it on. Kato Shihan may be a good place to start, he's pretty available.
Seems like this would clear up opinions and ideas. Give you some relative ground to speak from, as it were.
Let me know how it goes.

Until then, call liars liars. Just be sure you know that they are lying, first.

jennifer paige smith
06-30-2007, 10:07 AM
Charles, do you actually believe these stories?

Another question might be," Why wouldn't Charles believe his teacher?".

Thanks for the funny joke, Xu. It kept the thread light.

Aiki Liu
06-30-2007, 10:11 AM
Another question might be," Why wouldn't Charles believe his teacher?".

Thanks for the funny joke, Xu. It kept the thread light.

If his teacher is telling stories about a man who can dodge bullets and push people up stairs with sounds then the obvious answer is that he shouldnt believe his teacher because he tells fictional stories.
And as for the second comment you are either deliberately trying to antagonise or are easily amused.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-30-2007, 10:15 AM
Doesn't the absence of evidence serve as evidence?

No.

Actually, I technically agree with Jennifer here. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. If you think about it, the following two statements:

"There's no proof that it DIDN'T happen, so it did."

and

"There's no proof that it did happen, so it didn't."

are of a kind. They are both ex nihilo arguments, arguing something with no good evidence to support it. It is not appropriate to say, "We have not seen any clear evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence, so they don't exist." Rather, we should say, "We have not seen any clear evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence, so we don't know if they exist or not."

It would be wrong of me to say that there is evidence that Ueshiba-sensei did NOT do those things; rather, I can emphatically say, "We have no idea if he did." I can speculate that, "If he did do that, it would contradict a great deal of what we know about the world." Put another way, it becomes a matter of faith.

The "proof" is on the videos that we can buy from AikiNews.

Okay, then! Here's equal proof that you can knock someone over by yelling at them!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=rm5WtE-2dPg

Those O'sensei videos present a phenomenon; honestly, "They're consciously or unconsciously failing to really push" is no worse a theory than "He's developed the ability to resist hundreds of pounds of force applied at the end of a lever with his arm."

Let me put it another way, related to this thread: have any of O'sensei's martial descendants learned how to do these kinds of "magic-waza"? I know there are stories. However, it's expected (if a little eerie) to exaggerate events in order to match one's grandiose conception of a particular remarkable individual.

If these abilities can be learned, why are they not demonstrated openly today under more scientific conditions? For example, using random testers. Here's the above group performing a more scientific test:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=_1ykNZ7rAcw

(Of course, my hunch is that if ANYONE had these abilities, it was O'sensei. But that's not something I can back up; it's just a hunch.)

A number of posters are members of an organization started by a man who claims to have witnessed Morihei Ueshiba shot at twice by a firing squad. This individual also claims to have seen a man fall UP a flight of stairs due to Ueshiba's kiai.

For someone to dismiss the stories means they likely have to do to the question of their teacher/teacher's teacher

You make it sound a little harsher perhaps than it needs to be. They might be jesting a bit -- telling "the one that got away" tall tales -- without meaning per se to deceive the listener. Often, great figures are treated more as exemplars than actual humans; arguably, this serves a purpose. You can pump yourself up by thinking, "This is hard, but I hear Musashi swung a sword a million times with one arm once!" or something, and if it works, hey, it works!

jennifer paige smith
06-30-2007, 10:18 AM
I remember going to a river with a friend of mine when I was a kid. The river was huge, and fast. I remember our parents telling us that swimming in it was dangerous. I remember fast currents and treacherous looking rocks. I remember thinking it looked like the kind of stuff people go white water rafting on.

Recently I had the opportunity to revisit the river, with the same friend. We both recounted how fast and awesome the river was on the way there. However when we got there, we were both shocked at how tame and peaceful the river was. It was not only smaller then I remember, but calm.

We both thought that someone must have damned up the river, or it was a drought year. However after asking some locals, we found out that the river to all their recollection had been exactly as it is now. They actually laughed when we said that we remember fast currents.

Moral of the story is: memory of greatness doesn't always make it so.

Moral of the story, maintain shoshin.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-30-2007, 10:19 AM
Actually, since I've already used the Yellow Bamboo recently, here's another example. If seeing something strange is "proof" that something mystical is at work, here's proof you can ki-blast people into breakfalls.

Kiai Master Ryukerin
http://youtube.com/watch?v=gEDaCIDvj6I

There's plenty of footage of this person yelling and gesturing and people flying through the air. There are multiple explanations, but two main categories:
1) He's got magic powers
2) He's doing a show with the help of accomplices

Anyway, the second part (where he actually tries it on a random, non-cooperative subject) suggests that (1) is not the correct explanation.

(Sidenote: I find it REALLY funny that the students in the first part are wearing padded gloves.)

Aiki Liu
06-30-2007, 10:45 AM
Yes, easily amused. Where is your center?

Again, the proof is upon you to prove that these things did not or cannot happen. It will take more than a verbal argument with me to achieve that, especially since I have experienced phenomena very similar to the ones outlined in O'Sensei's life.

Have you ever heard of a woman who single-handedly pulled a 2 ton car off of her child after the car has flipped? How does the phenomena of time slowing down to a fraction of usual perception so that you can move in time when faced with a life saving moment fit into your experience? How does that happen, according to you?

Where is my center(sic)???? Well, by definition Id imagine its in the middle of me...
No, the proof is on you. Guns have been fired at many people - they died. Science and medicine are quite clear on that point. If I claim I can turn mud into gold, its up to me to prove it, not everyone else to disprove it.
What phenomena have you experienced that are similar to dodging bullets and pushing people up stairs with a noise?
Those events do not happen. According to me, or according to anyone. They are exaggerated accounts or fiction.

Mato-san
06-30-2007, 10:52 AM
To the poster... does his way (do) have a label? I believe his Ai-Ki-do was a way..... ment to be explored... not put into "competition"....which usually states "best/worst"...
it is just a way..(do) a nice path to explore.
I am sure if were alive today he could educate you on real, best and hardcore budo!

Aiki Liu
06-30-2007, 10:56 AM
To the poster... does his way (do) have a label? I believe his Ai-Ki-do was a way..... ment to be explored... not put into "competition"....which usually states "best/worst"...
it is just a way..(do) a nice path to explore.
I am sure if were alive today he could educate you on real, best and hardcore budo!

Shodokan Aikido. There has to be a best/worst. I chose the style of Aikido because I believed it to be the best (ie suited my purpose for learning it). Id imagine the majority of people here do Aikido because they find it fits "best" for them....I dont think thats competitive, just common sense. "best" "worse" doesnt always indicate competition

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-30-2007, 11:11 AM
I should clarify - Jennifer and company are free to believe that O'sensei had magic powers. (There's nothing wrong with personally choosing to believe something without evidence; that's faith, and it can be a very good thing indeed. Though also dangerous.)

I only draw the line when they start claiming that their beliefs are substantiated by evidence, without presenting anything that might qualify as evidence.

"The lights turn on because when I flip the switch, a little purple monster scampers up inside the wall and uses her magic to make the bulb glow."
"That's a pretty interesting idea. Do you have any evidence?"
"Well, DUH. Everytime I flip the switch, the bulb glows! I even put video of it on YouTube, under 'Proof of Tiny Purple Monsters'."

jennifer paige smith
06-30-2007, 11:32 AM
I should clarify - Jennifer and company are free to believe that O'sensei had magic powers. (There's nothing wrong with personally choosing to believe something without evidence; that's faith, and it can be a very good thing indeed. Though also dangerous.)

I only draw the line when they start claiming that their beliefs are substantiated by evidence, without presenting anything that might qualify as evidence.

"The lights turn on because when I flip the switch, a little purple monster scampers up inside the wall and uses her magic to make the bulb glow."
"That's a pretty interesting idea. Do you have any evidence?"
"Well, DUH. Everytime I flip the switch, the bulb glows! I even put video of it on YouTube, under 'Proof of Tiny Purple Monsters'."

My life is my evidence.
Someday, it may be yours too.
Until then, lets be friends.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-30-2007, 11:55 AM
As long as you don't present your belief in O'sensei's superhuman powers as anything but your personal non-scientific belief, I don't see any cause for conflict. At worst, I might think you're a little silly.

jennifer paige smith
06-30-2007, 12:36 PM
As long as you don't present your belief in O'sensei's superhuman powers as anything but your personal non-scientific belief, I don't see any cause for conflict. At worst, I might think you're a little silly.

I don't operate in a sibling society where the convictions of youth are considered equal to a lifetime of experience. But I am definitely silly and you do carry on a fairly good conversation. So thanks.

aikilouis
06-30-2007, 01:23 PM
The extraordinary events of O Sensei's life described with the words "superhuman, supernatural, magic" could also be explained as the manifestation of extreme skills he developed through long training. They are based on an incredible level of control of his body and perceptive abilities, not unlike those demonstrated by yogi for example.

When people say something like "we attacked him all at once, and the next moment he was somewhere else", they mostly express the fact that they don't find any explanation to what happened before them. The rational explanation exists, but their perceptions have been fooled, the same way a sleight of hand artist does with a card trick.

When O Sensei described his mystical experiences, he explained them from his own point of view : "[I felt as if] my body was covered in gold" (for example). This is how he felt, and he didn't claim to escape the laws of nature, quite the contrary. He used to say the key of his invincibility was to attune himself to the Great Nature.

Now, regarding the question of knowing if someone surpassed O Sensei, I'd say that it is as meaningless as knowing if Mozart was surpassed by Beethoven or Wagner. After a certain level in mastery, the scale stops. You can't go further north than the North Pole.

I believe Takeda Sokaku and O Sensei had reached the North Pole, and probably several others in other martial traditions.

ChrisHein
06-30-2007, 02:35 PM
Paul Sanderson-Cimino,
you've really had some great posts, thanks for your input!

Rupert Atkinson
06-30-2007, 03:06 PM
Back to the start: Controversial but...
Who would be willing to say that Ueshiba`s Aikido was not the best theyd seen?

Living in Asia for 15 years I heard all kinds of stuff after training. A recent thing is to say the above. Basically, with the rise in popularity of Daito-ryu and other similar arts, some people are now saying that such and such a student of Sokaku (or other) was better than Ueshiba, or, such and such has managed to pass on the 'tradition' (= skill) to one or two students, so, he must be better than Ueshiba etc. It may be true, I do no know, but the people I heard such from always had a drum to bang - their own school's. I have met some poeple who can do interesting things, but nothing that really makes me think it's magic or something.

Basically, I have learned that if someone can do it, then everything is learnable, and you have to learn it. You won't be taught it, even if your teacher knows it. Typically he doesn't know how he learned what he knows so can't teach it you. You have to watch, feel, and find our own way.

And I wonder, what was the origin of the original question? Just curiosity, or a laced question? Curiosity is the only way to progress.

Roman Kremianski
06-30-2007, 06:14 PM
A good exercise would be to talk to (and train with) the living students of O'Sensei. If you don't believe them and the experiences they express from their lives with O'Sensei, tell them. If you believe them to be dillusional or liars, let em know. If you would like to try out your 'martial arts' on them, let it rip. Do some good scientific investigating, roll up your sleeves, and take it on. Kato Shihan may be a good place to start, he's pretty available.
Seems like this would clear up opinions and ideas. Give you some relative ground to speak from, as it were.
Let me know how it goes.

Until then, call liars liars. Just be sure you know that they are lying, first.

Aw c'mon, why are you giving me the "The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence" lecture? :( I'm not talking about some faint idea of there being nuclear weapons hidden in Iraq, I'm talking about outrageous folklore stories.

I have no interest in fighting some Aikido instructors. Who I am interested in rolling with are people who make ridicules claims such as the stuff discussed (and joked about) in this thread. I *know* there is no evidence to suggest these stories *didn't happen*, but do we really need to be so principled about it? Doging bullets, throwing people 50 feet through the air with ki, taking out 6 marines at once, or whatever bs that has been mentioned in this thread doesn't really need evidence.

I'm not a very big guy. I'm 5"10, 130lbs. I would be more then happy to experience any of these phenomenons that apparently everyone's great grandpa or teacher has seen. And I would of course be more then humbled to be able to put them to the test. You want me to fight Kato Shihan? Why? Has he ever sprouted any bullshit about his skill level? Obviously not.

Sorry if this all seems harsh or negative, but I believe us Aikidoka have to be our own worst critics. The absence of competition in Aikido is sometimes a double edged sword. It makes Aikido the unique thing it is, but on the other hand it makes people believe some crazy stuff.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-30-2007, 06:42 PM
Paul Sanderson-Cimino,
you've really had some great posts, thanks for your input!

Well, thank you, that's very flattering.

The absence of competition in Aikido is sometimes a double edged sword. It makes Aikido the unique thing it is, but on the other hand it makes people believe some crazy stuff.

Nomination for thread-win!

I suppose it depends on the definition of competition -- I'm not sure that Shodokan-style shiai is what aikido necessarily needs -- but some sort of "alive training" is probably a good next step for aikido. My hunch has long been that the old school people did this type of training all the time, but we're just imitating their kata.

But yes. The lack of alive training in aikido does, I think, generate all kinds of wacky neuroses. The sheer groundedness and sanity that a bit of live training provides is astounding.

Roman Kremianski
06-30-2007, 06:52 PM
Hi bud, relieved to see someone shares my thoughts!

On a slightly different topic, an interesting vid of "alive" training if you hadn't seen already:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVbS0xHCerw

Joseph Madden
06-30-2007, 07:21 PM
It's funny Roman, but sometimes in our own dojo we talk about the mysterious powers of ki (usually when someone breakfalls before they've been broken), or how people can dodge bullets. These stories are perpetuated from the highest levels of Aikido of all schools. Maybe some of them are true and by true I mean as true as an embellishment can be. Within all myths there can be a shred of something extraordinary. Some of the founding fathers of Aikido are reputed to have done these things. Keeps people in the dojo, even if they don't believe it. But then again....If you read Kancho's book "Aikido Shugyo", he states that any real fight is 70% atemi (I personally believe its higher). He often started many of his first "fights" with atemi. In Yoshinkai we are taught atemi and believe me there have been times when I've had a lip bloodied or forehead punched because I wasn't fast enough with my blocking. I've also hyper extended someone elses elbows and blackened eyes (although I would discourage such behaviour as normal and such occurences are accidental in our dojo). Just the other day a fellow student was wondering if any of this would really work. In Shioda's and O-Sensei's time you just went down to the local tavern and picked a fight. In a modern city like my own Toronto I wouldn't recommend it unless you want to be shot. We sadly no longer live in a world where a fight could be honourable.

Dewey
06-30-2007, 08:12 PM
I should clarify - Jennifer and company are free to believe that O'sensei had magic powers. (There's nothing wrong with personally choosing to believe something without evidence; that's faith, and it can be a very good thing indeed. Though also dangerous.)

I only draw the line when they start claiming that their beliefs are substantiated by evidence, without presenting anything that might qualify as evidence.

I suppose a little "hero worship" isn't bad, provided it remains rooted in reality. A very traditional & time-honored literary method of establishing one's credentials is to "expound" upon the qualifications of your teacher. All cultures of whatever generation share this phenonemon (e.g. look how us modern Americans idealize the Founding Fathers). The better your teacher looks...the better you look for having studied under him. Personally, I take with a grain of salt all of the (literally) in-credible stories about O'Sensei. There is no doubt that he was a highly skilled, talented martial artist who inspired greatness in his students. However, I choose to leave it at that....


I suppose it depends on the definition of competition -- I'm not sure that Shodokan-style shiai is what aikido necessarily needs -- but some sort of "alive training" is probably a good next step for aikido. My hunch has long been that the old school people did this type of training all the time, but we're just imitating their kata.

But yes. The lack of alive training in aikido does, I think, generate all kinds of wacky neuroses. The sheer groundedness and sanity that a bit of live training provides is astounding.

Exactly! However, in my opinion, it's more a matter of recovering & rediscovering what Aikido is as it was conceived, rather than simply injecting the current MMA training philosophy into it. Competition (friendly or otherwise) is not what is needed.

Roman Kremianski
06-30-2007, 08:13 PM
To be honest with you Joseph, I'm really tired of the topic and don't think I will be writing anything new, so I'll just leave it at that.

Go out and experiment. Train in different styles. Try a striking style. Try to wrestle and grapple. Try to spar with a friend who can be honest with you. Believe in your abilities, but do not mistake the word "believe" for "blind religious faith".

And most of all, don't let anybody simplify anything for you. Martial arts can't be simplified I'm afraid.

"Budo cannot be learned from other people. It has to be exercised by oneself.""

- Morihei Ueshiba

DH
06-30-2007, 08:37 PM
Aikido is as it was conceived, rather than simply injecting the current MMA training philosophy into it. Competition (friendly or otherwise) is not what is needed

And yet....
Here we have dozens, if not hundreds, of the classic men in budo- who founded schools, whom thousands follow- all with.....
1.MMA backgrounds
2.Competitions
3.Real fighting backgounds including fatal violence
The very things many modern budoka? Despise.
The ugly truth is most Budo men would not be worth following at all were it -not- for the experiences of MMA training and ugly, violent, enounters.

The age of real Budo has long been over. The means to get there MMA, real fighting, and stressful competion, subject to open dersision from those who earstwhile admire the budo men who did those very things.
Founders of
Katori,Kashima,Takenouchi, Sho sho, Judo, Kito ryu, Sosuishitsu, Araki, Daito, Shindo Muso, Muso shinden, Tenshin shin yo, Yagyu, Judo and....Aikido
All experienced fighters.
All Mixed martial artists.
With many of us"followers" having...little worth following into the next generation. Just more words.
It is very common, very pedestian, to denounce a background. To dismiss ugliness of everything that gave some things, or some people, substance. Then re-write the past.

Then you have Budo men of substance who could do substantial things with skills modern hobbyists have no clue or hope of understanding in any real way. Who now deride the stories and written accounts of many witnesses in order to substantiate the limits of their own understanding.
Ho hum

DH
06-30-2007, 08:58 PM
Edit time ran out
Perhaps there is more to hope for in Aikido then what you now see or know or have the ability to see in both Ueshiba's Skills and his vision..

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-30-2007, 09:00 PM
On a slightly different topic, an interesting vid of "alive" training if you hadn't seen already:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVbS0xHCerw

Thanks for the link! That's really interesting. I was going to protest that his student isn't getting any throws or submissions in ... but then again, assuming he's not a professional fighter, it's not unreasonable to think he wouldn't be able to pull much with DeLucia.

I noticed he seemed to be using mostly "body throws", like iriminage or various judo-esque methods.

Roman Kremianski
06-30-2007, 09:17 PM
I believe it's just an example against a typical boxer. The uke doesn't go for any shoots or throws himself, instead he gives Jason a chance to do techniques from jabs and crosses. (Which don't go to well)

It's martial arts on a totally different plain.

I noticed he seemed to be using mostly "body throws", like iriminage or various judo-esque methods.

Probably because Aikido done on a struggling opponent looks like Judo...

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-30-2007, 09:36 PM
Probably because Aikido done on a struggling opponent looks like Judo...

ACK! NOES!11

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
06-30-2007, 09:41 PM
Probably because Aikido done on a struggling opponent looks like Judo...

Perhaps a more optimistic answer would be that entering in deeply is the best strike defense. Whereas grips lead to higher-distance throws? Maybe? Maybe? We can hope?

Or possibly, it's evidence for what Chris Hein and others have been arguing -- that the distinctive aikido techniques are most sensible when trying to retain a weapon.

Tony Wagstaffe
07-01-2007, 08:20 AM
How can we really know.... Has anyone ever seen Ueshiba Sensei in real live combat? All the things that you hear about from his direct students are all heresay and it seems that they all swear by him so thats all you have!
Demonstrations are exactly that..... no more!

jennifer paige smith
07-01-2007, 09:17 AM
Aw c'mon, why are you giving me the "The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence" lecture? :( I'm not talking about some faint idea of there being nuclear weapons hidden in Iraq, I'm talking about outrageous folklore stories.

I have no interest in fighting some Aikido instructors. Who I am interested in rolling with are people who make ridicules claims such as the stuff discussed (and joked about) in this thread. I *know* there is no evidence to suggest these stories *didn't happen*, but do we really need to be so principled about it? Doging bullets, throwing people 50 feet through the air with ki, taking out 6 marines at once, or whatever bs that has been mentioned in this thread doesn't really need evidence.

I'm not a very big guy. I'm 5"10, 130lbs. I would be more then happy to experience any of these phenomenons that apparently everyone's great grandpa or teacher has seen. And I would of course be more then humbled to be able to put them to the test. You want me to fight Kato Shihan? Why? Has he ever sprouted any bullshit about his skill level? Obviously not.

Sorry if this all seems harsh or negative, but I believe us Aikidoka have to be our own worst critics. The absence of competition in Aikido is sometimes a double edged sword. It makes Aikido the unique thing it is, but on the other hand it makes people believe some crazy stuff.

This is what I wrote.
A good exercise would be to talk to (and train with) the living students of O'Sensei. If you don't believe them and the experiences they express from their lives with O'Sensei, tell them. If you believe them to be dillusional or liars, let em know. If you would like to try out your 'martial arts' on them, let it rip. Do some good scientific investigating, roll up your sleeves, and take it on. Kato Shihan may be a good place to start, he's pretty available.
Seems like this would clear up opinions and ideas. Give you some relative ground to speak from, as it were.
Let me know how it goes.

Until then, call liars liars. Just be sure you know that they are lying, first.

The rest is simply too disrespectful on too many levels to respond.

Dewey
07-01-2007, 03:29 PM
And yet....
Here we have dozens, if not hundreds, of the classic men in budo- who founded schools, whom thousands follow- all with.....
1.MMA backgrounds
2.Competitions
3.Real fighting backgounds including fatal violence
The very things many modern budoka? Despise.
The ugly truth is most Budo men would not be worth following at all were it -not- for the experiences of MMA training and ugly, violent, enounters.

The age of real Budo has long been over. The means to get there MMA, real fighting, and stressful competion, subject to open dersision from those who earstwhile admire the budo men who did those very things.
Founders of
Katori,Kashima,Takenouchi, Sho sho, Judo, Kito ryu, Sosuishitsu, Araki, Daito, Shindo Muso, Muso shinden, Tenshin shin yo, Yagyu, Judo and....Aikido
All experienced fighters.
All Mixed martial artists.
With many of us"followers" having...little worth following into the next generation. Just more words.
It is very common, very pedestian, to denounce a background. To dismiss ugliness of everything that gave some things, or some people, substance. Then re-write the past.

Then you have Budo men of substance who could do substantial things with skills modern hobbyists have no clue or hope of understanding in any real way. Who now deride the stories and written accounts of many witnesses in order to substantiate the limits of their own understanding.
Ho hum

True enough. I had in mind commercialized MMA like the UFC and such...where showmanship is as important as athletic prowness and fighting skill (sometimes more so...$$$). Many of the greatest martial artists of history could be classified under the broad definition of "MMA practitioner." O'Sensei himself could be considered as such, with his broad background in various styles of jujutsu, as well as sword and staff arts.

Roman Kremianski
07-01-2007, 05:28 PM
The rest is simply too disrespectful on too many levels to respond.

What exactly did I say so that was so disrespectful?

L. Camejo
07-01-2007, 08:26 PM
Controversial but...
Who would be willing to say that Ueshiba`s Aikido was not the best theyd seen?Quite an interesting thread.

Since Ueshiba M. founded the particular Budo known as Aikido I guess he gets to set the gold standard for his own art, in which case he might probably be the best to be seen within "Aikido".

If we broadened things a bit and asked if Ueshiba's "Aiki" was the best to be seen then he'd be placed in a larger group with people like Takeda S., Sagawa Y. and other Daito Ryu adepts at least. I'm not sure how well he'd fare in this sort of company imho.

Of course, in order to debate the original question a common or working definition of "best" and "Aikido" would at least be required.

Just some thoughts.

Aiki Liu
07-01-2007, 08:45 PM
And yet....

The ugly truth is most Budo men would not be worth following at all were it -not- for the experiences of MMA training and ugly, violent, enounters.

The age of real Budo has long been over. The means to get there MMA, real fighting, and stressful competion, subject to open dersision from those who earstwhile admire the budo men who did those very things.
It is very common, very pedestian, to denounce a background. To dismiss ugliness of everything that gave some things, or some people, substance. Then re-write the past.
Then you have Budo men of substance who could do substantial things with skills modern hobbyists have no clue or hope of understanding in any real way. Who now deride the stories and written accounts of many witnesses in order to substantiate the limits of their own understanding.
Ho hum

Dan, I thought this post was insightful and then, with the last paragraph you ruined it!
The founders of any art all had to test it time and time again in real combat. This "skill" is often derided today by many aikidoka. Instead of seeing cross training, testing technique, competing and fighting as useful, they see it as contrary to the beliefs of Aikido but then hypocritically talk about how "unbeatable" their Sensei is and talk with glee about how Shioda or Ueshiba beat 10/15/30 guys in a bar fight etc.
Theres no doubt these men were fighting men and Im sure they all had rum backgrounds. When I hear stories of their fighting prowess Im sure - as with any handed down stories there is plenty of embellishment. This I dont mind, theres nothing wrong with a bit of tall tale telling, when its based on fact. When I hear stories about Ueshiba dodging bullets, thats when its gone a bit far. The fact that there are people who actually believe these stories suggests that these people probably have entirely the wrong goals for their training.

xuzen
07-01-2007, 10:10 PM
Thanks for the funny joke, Xu. It kept the thread light
So sad... only one poster see has the light-heartedness to see the humour. My career as a comedian will be short-lived indeed.

Whats the point of this post? If youre trying to be sarcastic and insinuate that my choice of topic is inappropriate then firstly Id ask what is an appropriate choice of topic for posting on the aikido forum if not asking whether the founder of aikido`s aikido was the best aikido youve ever seen? And secondly Id ask you to be funnier next time.
If youre not trying to be sarcastic then you have issues.
Either way, please try to contribute to the post next time.
PS Neither I or my Sensei wear hakama, Im shodokan....

James, there are no good or bad post. Only those that can be made fun of or not. IMO, your topic falls under the former catergory.

M. Ueshiba once said, when training in aikido, trained with a happy heart. So lighten up my Shodokan friend, it'll do your aikido and cardio-vascular health some good.

In case you are implying that I don't contribute good posts, with 800++ post to my name, I am sure not all are rubbish; I hope anyway.

Boon.

Aiki Liu
07-02-2007, 02:10 AM
So sad... only one poster see has the light-heartedness to see the humour. My career as a comedian will be short-lived indeed.

James, there are no good or bad post. Only those that can be made fun of or not. IMO, your topic falls under the former catergory.

M. Ueshiba once said, when training in aikido, trained with a happy heart. So lighten up my Shodokan friend, it'll do your aikido and cardio-vascular health some good.

In case you are implying that I don't contribute good posts, with 800++ post to my name, I am sure not all are rubbish; I hope anyway.

Boon.

If only one poster saw the humour, perhaps its an indication of something.
Every post can be made fun of - I could for instance, rip some of yours to shreds. But its not a very good contribution is it? If Ive taken the time to start a thread for discussion at least try to contribute something before making your "jokes".
And Im not training presently, Im on the internet. But both my cardio vascular health and my aikido are just fine thanks, my Yoshinkan friend.

PeterR
07-02-2007, 03:42 AM
Well I like Xu's attempts at humor.

I'm also not really sure what the point of the thread is.

Ueshiba defined his art and was able to attract some remarkable people in their own right. Some of these people had the background, confidence and experience to point out what they thought were short comings of Ueshiba M. and still consider him worthy of the student-teacher relationship.

Ohba H., a powerful judoka, decided to attack Ueshiba for real in Manchuria. He thought Ueshiba's technique was a bit stiff but said he knew then that he was in the presence of a master.

Year's later Tomiki K. critisized Ueshiba M. for becoming too soft. Another very accomplished judoka even at the point he became Ueshiba's student. He had very strong opinions concerning budo.

These are by no means the only example but I don't think they are critisizing AIkido as an art or looking to who's best or not. What they are doing is evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of a man and discussing what they can get, or have gotten, from him.

Now I've watched the videos (I never saw Ueshiba M. live) and I've felt and watched a number of people whose expression of Aikido radiated far more energy and power. All that tells me though is that video is a lousy media - it says nothing about who's Aikido was better or not.

aikishrine
07-02-2007, 07:20 AM
O'SENSEI'S AIKIDO is the only true AIKIDO!!!!!!!!!!! end of story

DonMagee
07-02-2007, 07:29 AM
O'SENSEI'S AIKIDO is the only true AIKIDO!!!!!!!!!!! end of story

Everyone else is just wannabe's and wasting their time.

happysod
07-02-2007, 08:31 AM
Everyone else is just wannabe's and wasting their time.hey! I resemble that remark...

However, so as not to be accused of unwarranted jocularity (obviously now becoming a sin on aikiweb for some reason) I will join in on this odd topic - my true answer is "who cares?"

However, If really, really pushed I would have to answer that yes his aikido must have been the best, but you could also say his aikido was also the worst. My tortured reasoning behind this is you can blame both the best and worst of any style straight back onto the founder of a system, so if you're praising the student, you're praising the teacher, equally the reverse is sadly true.

Ron Tisdale
07-02-2007, 09:41 AM
If you believe them to be dillusional or liars, let em know. If you would like to try out your 'martial arts' on them, let it rip. Do some good scientific investigating, roll up your sleeves, and take it on. Kato Shihan may be a good place to start, he's pretty available.


Hmm, I make it a point not to volunteer my teachers for "tests" by strangers.

Hey, that's just me though...

Best,
Ron

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
07-02-2007, 10:32 AM
Hmm, I make it a point not to volunteer my teachers for "tests" by strangers.

Hey, that's just me though...

Not just you!

I have other problems with the whole "If aikido doesn't work...why don't you attack so-and-so shihan and see how weak it is!" idea, as well.

If an aikidoka said "BJJ sucks", would they be told to go try that on a Gracie? Do you test judo by fighting Mifune? (And so on.) No; you use an average student of equivalent experience.

This whole "aikido is very effective...but only for shihan who have been doing it for 40 years" yarn is absurd.

Roman Kremianski
07-02-2007, 10:46 AM
I also like the "average practitioner" theory. No one is expected to fight Fedor Emelianenko. Substituting your teacher in your place because you don't believe you have the skill is no different.

(Not talking about anyone here in particular, just people who hide behind their shihan)

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
07-02-2007, 11:05 AM
That's another thing about freeform practice (or, in arts that have it, competition) that's beneficial: it emphasizes that it's not about your teacher, but you. O'sensei cannot do ikkyo for you.

aikilouis
07-02-2007, 11:07 AM
The average practitioner, in aikido as well as in most modern martial arts, is a person who joins a club, spends a few hours per week for a couple years, then quits. Only a very small minority is exposed to, taught, and able to use the principles of their art at a significant level.

DonMagee
07-02-2007, 11:11 AM
The average practitioner, in aikido as well as in most modern martial arts, is a person who joins a club, spends a few hours per week for a couple years, then quits. Only a very small minority is exposed to, taught, and able to use the principles of their art at a significant level.

I have found this to not be 100% true. If you stayed with judo, bjj, boxing, mauy thai, etc for a few years, you would be a serious threat to an untrained combatant. You would know more then enough about the "principles" of your art to apply it. In fact you would of applied those principles hundreds if not thousands of times against someone doing their best to stop you.

ChrisHein
07-02-2007, 12:03 PM
I would like to defend this thread for just a second. This has been one of the best Aikiweb threads I've read in quite some time. I think it was a good choice of topic, with all the O-sensei worshippers out there, and the haters. This thread has, for the most part, had pretty logical posts from some pretty smart people.

I have found this to not be 100% true. If you stayed with judo, bjj, boxing, mauy thai, etc for a few years, you would be a serious threat to an untrained combatant. You would know more then enough about the "principles" of your art to apply it. In fact you would of applied those principles hundreds if not thousands of times against someone doing their best to stop you.

Don,
truer words could not be said. This is the direction I would like to see Aikido take, this nonsense about only being able to use it after 40 or some crazy number of years is foolish. Mastering a technique, yes may take a very long time. To do a form that someone could call "art" may take a lifetime of dedication. But being able to skillfully use the techniques against and untrained attacker shouldn't take more then a year or two of dedicated practice (against resisting partners).

Funny thing about "master Shihan" who have been doing Aikido for 40+ years; they are old. This eliminates the realistic possibility that they are going to actually "fight" someone. This means that we can always scapegoat to our shihan, well if we are a bunch of weak cowards...

aikilouis
07-02-2007, 01:22 PM
The chief principles of aikido are based on two things that require time and dedication to develop, and that constant full opposition training cannot provide by itself : an alternative re-framing of the body (as explained by Mike Sigman for example) and the development of sensitivity and perceptive ability, that Mochizuki sensei calls aiki in this text : http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=369

This is why aikido reveals more depth as years go by. And on a side note, I would not feel comfortable if I had to fight an old "master shihan" like Mochizuki or Shioda sensei (even when they were in their 70s), because you could feel what they did had nothing to do with contests. Shinken shobu meant something to them, and this is more valuable than anything in budo.

As a hobbyist of aikido, I have no claim of proving its validity, all I could do is practice with sincerely interested people and try to transmit the enthusiasm I felt when I discovered its greatest exponents. And if O Sensei's top students (many of whom, experienced in other arts, had elements of comparison) or even people foreign to the art declared publicly that he was a master of budo, that suits me fine.

Keith R Lee
07-02-2007, 03:27 PM
I have found this to not be 100% true. If you stayed with judo, bjj, boxing, mauy thai, etc for a few years, you would be a serious threat to an untrained combatant. You would know more then enough about the "principles" of your art to apply it. In fact you would of applied those principles hundreds if not thousands of times against someone doing their best to stop you.

Agreed. If you train in a martial art/combat sport for three years and are not reasonably, martially effective at the end of that time...you're probably not doing a martial art/combat sport. You might call it one, and it might look and feel like one, but it probably isn't.

PeterR
07-02-2007, 08:06 PM
Well - I've said it before - if you choose a small set of techniques and a training method focussing on those goals - you can be very effective in a very short time.

ChrisHein
07-03-2007, 01:19 AM
Well - I've said it before - if you choose a small set of techniques and a training method focussing on those goals - you can be very effective in a very short time.

Like Aikido?

PeterR
07-03-2007, 01:36 AM
Like Aikido?

Not sure what you are asking - I've detailed my thoughts on the matter in previous threads.

Aiki Liu
07-03-2007, 01:49 AM
[QUOTE=Ian Hurst;182384]hey! I resemble that remark...

However, so as not to be accused of unwarranted jocularity (obviously now becoming a sin on aikiweb for some reason) I will join in on this odd topic - my true answer is "who cares?"

QUOTE]

If you dont care for the "odd" topic, feel free not to post

Aiki Liu
07-03-2007, 01:52 AM
O'SENSEI'S AIKIDO is the only true AIKIDO!!!!!!!!!!! end of story

Please give some more detail on your opinion. Sounds interesting but youve not given us enough to discuss.

happysod
07-03-2007, 02:55 AM
Apologies to the the other posters for this bit of off-topic, but as it was a rather public admonishment, I felt at least a similar reply was warranted.

If you dont care for the "odd" topic, feel free not to post1. If you're going to quote me, please quote me in full where I believe I fully answered your question within my admittedly limited understanding of your rather vague premise.

2. This is the second time you have felt it imperative to "police" your thread in a rather arrogant manner. Quick reality check here - once you start a thread it is no-longer yours, it belongs to the web-forum and you have neither the moral or actual authority to dictate how it develops or what is posted.

You are of course both encouraged and expected to debate points which are made, but your current methods are more likely to tick the "ignore this poster" box in many peoples minds and I'd suggest you avoid this approach.

aikishrine
07-03-2007, 03:55 AM
James there really isnt much to add to my statement, AIKIDO was developed by O'SENSEI, therefore he is the only one who truly knows what AIKIDO is. We do the techniques of AIKIDO but we really havent figured out what O'SENSEI'S true aims of AIKIDO actually are. I guess you could say that what we do really isnt AIKIDO. IMHO

xuzen
07-03-2007, 04:28 AM
...

2. This is the second time you have felt it imperative to "police" your thread in a rather arrogant manner. Quick reality check here - once you start a thread it is no-longer yours, it belongs to the web-forum and you have neither the moral or actual authority to dictate how it develops or what is posted. .

Maybe James is actually Jun Akiyama incognito, having some fun with us. Come on Jun, stop messing with us will you?

If you are not Jun, stop acting like you have a perennial shodo-tanto stuck up your little 4RS3.

If Ueshiba aikido is the Best, as some poster already mention, we would be heading towards a decline since his death.

If Ueshiba aikido is not the Best, who cares, it is what subsequent generation of his students, that include you James to strive to make it better.

When I started aikido; a nikajo is a nikajo. There were times I thought nikajo was T3H 4W3SOME; now, nikajo is a nikajo.

You a making a mountain out of a molehill.

Boon.

Aiki Liu
07-03-2007, 06:32 AM
Apologies to the the other posters for this bit of off-topic, but as it was a rather public admonishment, I felt at least a similar reply was warranted.

1. If you're going to quote me, please quote me in full where I believe I fully answered your question within my admittedly limited understanding of your rather vague premise.

2. This is the second time you have felt it imperative to "police" your thread in a rather arrogant manner. Quick reality check here - once you start a thread it is no-longer yours, it belongs to the web-forum and you have neither the moral or actual authority to dictate how it develops or what is posted.

You are of course both encouraged and expected to debate points which are made, but your current methods are more likely to tick the "ignore this poster" box in many peoples minds and I'd suggest you avoid this approach.

I did you a favour by NOT quoting you in full. You call me arrogant and yet you start your post with a "who cares who was best" but then feel that even though you have no interest in the post, everyone will have an interest in your opinion? Thats arrogance mate. The premise was deliberatley vague so those with an interest could answer the question as they felt was most appropriate rather than me defining my question to the Nth degree so as to take any fun out of the following debate.
I dont feel it imperative to "police" my thread, Id have done the same if it was someone elses - I just find there nothing more arrogant or intrusive than a poster who jumps into the middle of a thread with a "oh this thread is so beneath me" attitude......and then proceeds to give you his opinion anyway.
As for your last point, Im actively asking you not to post on this thread if you dont have an interest in the subject matter. So feel free to "ignore this poster"

Aiki Liu
07-03-2007, 06:44 AM
James there really isnt much to add to my statement, AIKIDO was developed by O'SENSEI, therefore he is the only one who truly knows what AIKIDO is. We do the techniques of AIKIDO but we really havent figured out what O'SENSEI'S true aims of AIKIDO actually are. I guess you could say that what we do really isnt AIKIDO. IMHO

So Brian, If you dont mind me asking whats is your goal in practicing AIkido - and Im not being provocative - its a genuine question. Is it to emulate Ueshiba to some extent or create your own understanding of "Aikido" or other?

Aiki Liu
07-03-2007, 06:55 AM
Maybe James is actually Jun Akiyama incognito, having some fun with us. Come on Jun, stop messing with us will you?

If you are not Jun, stop acting like you have a perennial shodo-tanto stuck up your little 4RS3.

When I started aikido; a nikajo is a nikajo. There were times I thought nikajo was T3H 4W3SOME; now, nikajo is a nikajo.

You a making a mountain out of a molehill.

Boon.

I posted a serious question up for debate. You posted a P155 T4KING respone. I gave you some grief for it. Now you accuse me of "having a perennial shodo-tanto stuck up your little 4RS3".
If you want to debate the issue, debate the issue. If you want post fruity responses, dont start moaning when you get one back.

Randathamane
07-03-2007, 05:48 PM
Define aikido...

akiy
07-03-2007, 06:16 PM
Hi folks,

Please stay away from personal attacks here on AikiWeb. As I've said before, I don't care who "started" it.

Thank you.

-- Jun

Aiki Liu
07-03-2007, 06:29 PM
Define aikido...

I deliberately didnt define aikido or best to help the debate. Please just state your opinion answering the question as you see it.

jennifer paige smith
07-07-2007, 11:19 AM
Hi folks,

Please stay away from personal attacks here on AikiWeb. As I've said before, I don't care who "started" it.

Thank you.

-- Jun

Thank You.

Dewey
07-08-2007, 02:57 PM
Perhaps at this point it might be fitting to state that filmed aiki never does justice to its reality. Aiki isn't observed, it's experienced.

The most common accusation against Aikido from "outsiders" is that it looks fake. K. Tohei himself recounted upon his first impression of Aikido that it looked "fake"...that is, until he dueled with O'Sensei. Many other prominent uchideshi said the same thing. That's why Aikido took off like a rocket in the 1930's, and again in the late 50's.

Filmed aiki is lifeless. It's flat & 2-dimensional. Matter of fact, aiki is only real in the 1st person...experiencing it firsthand (i.e. being an uke for a highly skilled Aikidoka). Anyone who actively & regularly trains in Aikido knows this. All we have left of O'Sensei's Aikido are a few, low-quality films...which make it easy to openly question his martial skill as well as the effectiveness of Aikido in general.

Example: do we doubt Musashi's swordsmanship? All we have are stories about him and his Book of Five Rings. The skeptics amongst us would openly doubt his skill, with the safety of several centuries of separation between us and his sword. The same can be said of Ueshiba...it's easy to question the effectiveness of Aikido based upon a handful of poor-quality films.

Take it for what it's worth.

Rupert Atkinson
07-08-2007, 04:05 PM
Example: do we doubt Musashi's swordsmanship? All we have are stories about him and his Book of Five Rings. The skeptics amongst us would openly doubt his skill, with the safety of several centuries of separation between us and his sword.

No, you can't doubt Musashi's skill. He put himself to the test many times and survived to tell the tale. His book is a masterpiece of philosphy and strategy that no other martial artist has even come close to equalling -- most likely because ... he had been there ... and survived. How else could he know?

Chris Li
07-08-2007, 04:36 PM
Example: do we doubt Musashi's swordsmanship? All we have are stories about him and his Book of Five Rings. The skeptics amongst us would openly doubt his skill, with the safety of several centuries of separation between us and his sword.

http://ejmas.com/jcs/jcsdraeger_musashi.htm

Best,

Chris

jennifer paige smith
07-08-2007, 07:19 PM
No, you can't doubt Musashi's skill. He put himself to the test many times and survived to tell the tale. His book is a masterpiece of philosphy and strategy that no other martial artist has even come close to equalling -- most likely because ... he had been there ... and survived. How else could he know?

The same can be said for O'Sensei based on the same premise. It is fortunate that we have more than one person to model paths for us. That way we can find ours.

Dewey
07-08-2007, 10:03 PM
http://ejmas.com/jcs/jcsdraeger_musashi.htm

Best,

Chris

I humbly stand corrected. Thanks for the informative link. However, I hope you still see the logic of my above-mentioned argument, correct? I'm not attempting to defend a ludicrous position such as that Ueshiba had supernatural powers or that he was invincible and that he was best martial artist in history. However, I think it would be fair to say that he was an exceptional martial artist.

tarik
07-09-2007, 10:31 PM
Perhaps at this point it might be fitting to state that filmed aiki never does justice to its reality. Aiki isn't observed, it's experienced.

Yes and no. With direct and specific experience, one certainly does develop eyes and a body of specific knowledge with which to reasonably fairly judge 'filmed aiki'. That said, it all starts and boils down to having hands on.

Regards,

Tarik

ChrisHein
07-10-2007, 12:51 AM
I can see Aiki, and I'm not special. I know lot's of people who can see Aiki. You can too. Ever watch a great Basketball player blend perfectly with his opponent on the court to score a point? Perfect Aiki is not hard to see.

Film doesn't dilute observable Aiki. I agree that it seldom looks as magnificent as it feels to be a part of. But this doesn't' mean you can't see Aiki.

Aikido often looks fake,when you think you are seeing a fight because it is. Aikidoka don't really pit their skills against one another (save tomiki/shodokan). One guy has the job of falling. And when that guy does his job well, he flys high and makes the other guy (who's doing the job of throwing) look great.

If what you mean by "fake" is that it's not a fight, then yes Aikido is "fake". O-sensei never (that I've seen) does a public demonstration of his skill pitted against another. Aiki is not limited to, or more useful in fighting then in any other aspect of life. So when ueshiba demonstrates Aiki, he doesn't do it in an actual fight. If an observer thinks they are suppose to be witnessing a fight, then of coarse Aikido seems fake, because a fake fight is what they are seeing.

Ueshiba had good Aiki, but his Jiyu waza was no better than any of the other good Aikidoka of today.

Amir Krause
07-10-2007, 02:08 AM
The average practitioner, in aikido as well as in most modern martial arts, is a person who joins a club, spends a few hours per week for a couple years, then quits. Only a very small minority is exposed to, taught, and able to use the principles of their art at a significant level.

I have found this to not be 100% true. If you stayed with judo, bjj, boxing, mauy thai, etc for a few years, you would be a serious threat to an untrained combatant. You would know more then enough about the "principles" of your art to apply it. In fact you would of applied those principles hundreds if not thousands of times against someone doing their best to stop you.

Well, does this mean I should feel more comfortable knowing some of the people who learned in our dojo, handled confrontation rather well after practicing for a year or two? especially since I have practiced much longer.

Or perhaps, because one of the practitioners in the dojo is a professional warrior (for the Govt.) and claims his experiences only show him how correct Aikido and other traditional M.A. are, much more so then other M.A. he has learned for a duration?

I do not think so, they did it, not me. Imagine, some people have dealt well with confrontations (sometimes against overwhelming odds) even without learning any M.A.

I can trust the teachings and my teacher are not bullshit. But in the end, if anything happens, I will have to fight, not any M.A.

Amir

DonMagee
07-10-2007, 05:51 AM
Well, does this mean I should feel more comfortable knowing some of the people who learned in our dojo, handled confrontation rather well after practicing for a year or two? especially since I have practiced much longer.

Or perhaps, because one of the practitioners in the dojo is a professional warrior (for the Govt.) and claims his experiences only show him how correct Aikido and other traditional M.A. are, much more so then other M.A. he has learned for a duration?

I do not think so, they did it, not me. Imagine, some people have dealt well with confrontations (sometimes against overwhelming odds) even without learning any M.A.

I can trust the teachings and my teacher are not bullshit. But in the end, if anything happens, I will have to fight, not any M.A.

Amir

The problem is not if the techniques are bull. The problems is if you have been trained in a way which will allow you to make these techniques work or not. Training with aliveness will allow you to know 100% what you can do and can't do. Training without aliveness will leave you with doubts, because like you said, you won't know if your aikido works until you have to use it for real. And at that point, it could very well be to late.

Roman Kremianski
07-10-2007, 07:00 AM
The problem is not if the techniques are bull. The problems is if you have been trained in a way which will allow you to make these techniques work or not. Training with aliveness will allow you to know 100% what you can do and can't do. Training without aliveness will leave you with doubts, because like you said, you won't know if your aikido works until you have to use it for real. And at that point, it could very well be to late.

Having recently started BJJ, Wrestling and Muay Thai, I will have to second this...

Several shodan I know have trained for 10 years without once using their Aikido "for real". Is this a testament to their skill, or a potential red flag for what's to come?

Budd
07-10-2007, 07:09 AM
I think it's also worth mentioning that just because you train in bjj, muay thai, judo or mma -- doesn't mean that you don't suck at it/them . . . ;) (coming from someone that also likes to train in "other stuff")

Back to aikido -- I think something also worth discussing has to do with the teacher's goals. Is the teacher trying to push you to someday be more skilled than them? Are they molding you into the perfect student to keep showing up, paying dues and maybe someday "getting it" in 20 years?

How did Ueshiba fit into that - both in his performance in aikido and/or teaching of it?

Things to think about . . .

DonMagee
07-10-2007, 07:22 AM
I think it's also worth mentioning that just because you train in bjj, muay thai, judo or mma -- doesn't mean that you don't suck at it/them . . . ;) (coming from someone that also likes to train in "other stuff")

Very very true. However, they should at least know they suck.


Back to aikido -- I think something also worth discussing has to do with the teacher's goals. Is the teacher trying to push you to someday be more skilled than them? Are they molding you into the perfect student to keep showing up, paying dues and maybe someday "getting it" in 20 years?

How did Ueshiba fit into that - both in his performance in aikido and/or teaching of it?

Things to think about . . .

This is the point I brought up at the beginning on this thread. The goal of a teacher should be to produce students that are more skilled then you are. I hope that the kids who take my classes at the college where I teach go on to be much better at what I teach then me. If at least a few of them don't, then I feel I am a poor teacher.

Roman Kremianski
07-10-2007, 07:24 AM
I think it's also worth mentioning that just because you train in bjj, muay thai, judo or mma -- doesn't mean that you don't suck at it/them

Huh? But I DO suck at them. As Don said, it's knowing HOW much I suck. I know I can't takedown a 190 pound dude because regular practice has shown me I can't.

My point being just because you can hip throw a cooperative uke larger then you, doesn't mean you'll be able to do it on even a smaller opponent who's actively resisting you.

(And you don't even need to train in wrestling or BJJ to resist someone...it's natural instinct for untrained people to get their arms around you and rough you up)

Budd
07-10-2007, 07:33 AM
Very very true. However, they should at least know they suck.

I agree, they should, but a lot of wannabes can curiously end up running their mouths on the net. Especially those that think a bjj class or two makes them automatically able to comment on aikido in an informed manner. I find this as laughable as those that talk trash about arts like bjj, but have never grappled.


This is the point I brought up at the beginning on this thread. The goal of a teacher should be to produce students that are more skilled then you are. I hope that the kids who take my classes at the college where I teach go on to be much better at what I teach then me. If at least a few of them don't, then I feel I am a poor teacher.

I think that's an extremely salient point. What separates the people that train to "belong" versus the ones that train to "get it", I think, is how much they take responsibility for themselves in "getting it", as opposed to simply having faith that they will someday (in the future) "get it". I don't object to the "lifetime budo" approach, in principle, only to the passivity that seems to accompany it, which means a sort of implicit acceptance that whatever they glean from just "showing up" is all there is to it.

Budd
07-10-2007, 07:41 AM
Huh? But I DO suck at them. As Don said, it's knowing HOW much I suck. I know I can't takedown a 190 pound dude because regular practice has shown me I can't.

That's good, keep practicing.

My point being just because you can hip throw a cooperative uke larger then you, doesn't mean you'll be able to do it on even a smaller opponent who's actively resisting you.

There's intelligent resistance and stupid resistance. Good training in any art should illustrate the difference between the two.

(And you don't even need to train in wrestling or BJJ to resist someone...it's natural instinct for untrained people to get their arms around you and rough you up)

Just so we're clear, you're saying that people should train to defend against people trying to get their arms around you to rough you up? Can't argue with that one . . .

Roman Kremianski
07-10-2007, 08:15 AM
Just so we're clear, you're saying that people should train to defend against people trying to get their arms around you to rough you up? Can't argue with that one . . .

No, I'm saying Aikidoka shouldn't say things like "I would never fight/be attacked by a wrestler" because a person doesn't need to wrestle to perform a takedown like that. (It wasn't in this thread, but I've heard that comment a lot) Fact of the matter is, I rarely see people train like that in Aikido.

There's intelligent resistance and stupid resistance. Good training in any art should illustrate the difference between the two.

I'm curious as to what stupid resistance would be? I only know one kind, and it's the "Oh shit I don't want to get thrown flat on my face" resistance...which I think the majority of people will activate once somebody grabs them.

Sure, your resistance will improve. You'll learn to relax more, drop your weight, shift your weight to control your opponent etc...but at the end of the day, that's still resistance.

Please explain? :)

Budd
07-10-2007, 08:31 AM
I think what's more germane to this thread (and to do with Ueshiba's practice of aikido and transmission thereof) . . . would be "why wouldn't people train to be able to avoid/counter getting grabbed?" (either single/double limbs or around the whole body) . . .

As for "stupid resistance", good training should highlight it. One example might be "I know what's coming in this DRILL, aha! I can resist!" Another would be, (since every drill/randori in training has context and/or assumptions) "I'm going to violate the context/assumptions in this training paradigm -- look how good I am!" . . .

Of course there's also stupid assumptions, but that's a different discussion.

As for anybody's aikido not being "the best", it might be that the above things should be fairly clear/basic if one's aikido is any good.

Roman Kremianski
07-10-2007, 08:37 AM
As for "stupid resistance", good training should highlight it. One example might be "I know what's coming in this DRILL, aha! I can resist!" Another would be, (since every drill/randori in training has context and/or assumptions) "I'm going to violate the context/assumptions in this training paradigm -- look how good I am!"

Isn't that what randori/freestyle is for?

Budd
07-10-2007, 08:51 AM
Makes sense to me. But then there's also stupid resistance in randori/freestyle, depending on the context/assumptions.

jonreading
07-10-2007, 10:35 AM
Morehei Ueshiba was an excellent martial artist. Ueshiba Sensei produced fantastic students who have expanded aikido throughout the world. Are there martial artists who are better than he? Yes. Will there be martial artists better than those who are better than he? Yes. However, Ueshiba Sensei lived through situations many martial artists may not have lived through. He did many things for the Japanese martials arts and culture that many martial artists have not done. Apples and oranges.

Rupert Atkinson
07-11-2007, 03:41 PM
http://ejmas.com/jcs/jcsdraeger_musashi.htm
Chris

The power of Musashi's words for me contain 1000 times more meaning than one little anti-negative Musashi essay, even if it was supported by Draeger / Smith. I have read it (and parts in Japanese) and you should not get lost in translation - 'Five Rings' is fine, with footnotes. There are just five scrolls, and it says so in the book. Get real. Sure, it might allude to things, but just read what the man says. Use the brain. We live complicated lives, all Musashi (and others) had was himself and his sword. We can not really understand that. There is no better book for the martial artist.

Also, there are several old European manuals floating around the internet. People like to criticise them and say they are just promoting their style or whatever, and completely fail to just get to the nitty-gritty of what the old words say. Read, understand, reflect, move on. Then read again later ...

tarik
07-11-2007, 03:50 PM
The power of Musashi's words for me contain 1000 times more meaning than one little anti-negative Musashi essay, even if it was supported by Draeger / Smith.

Wow, you and I must have read different essays, as I didn't think that the Draeger/Smith essay was negative about Musashi so much as it was negative about all the historical baggage that has made the facts of his life difficult to discern. I guess one might interpret that he didn't write the words attributed to him as negative, but I don't.

Regards,

Chris Li
07-11-2007, 04:22 PM
Wow, you and I must have read different essays, as I didn't think that the Draeger/Smith essay was negative about Musashi so much as it was negative about all the historical baggage that has made the facts of his life difficult to discern. I guess one might interpret that he didn't write the words attributed to him as negative, but I don't.

Regards,

I read it the same way. Maybe the words mean something different if the author has feet of clay :).

If it matters, I've read Musashi in Japanese - my text has the archaic Japanese along the modern transcription, and I enjoyed it very much.

Best,

Chris

tarik
07-11-2007, 04:26 PM
I read it the same way. Maybe the words mean something different if the author has feet of clay :).

If it matters, I've read Musashi in Japanese - my text has the archaic Japanese along the modern transcription, and I enjoyed it very much.


I can't read it in the Japanese, although learning Japanese is something I might make time for once I retire. :D But I do appreciate Musashi's writings, whether he wrote them or not.

Regards,

Chuck Clark
07-11-2007, 04:40 PM
A large number of the great works that we all take wisdom from and revere were most likely not written by the person that's listed as the author. The message is what is important and how we understand and put it into action in our lives. We must gain our own authority from that active message and live it instead of worrying about who wrote it... especially when there's no way of knowing for sure.