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Edward
12-05-2001, 09:09 AM
I know this thread might cause some controversy, so please forgive me.

In my short experience in Aikido, I have come to believe that, apart from styles with competition, all Aikido styles are essentially the same, with differences so minor and so trivial. Inside Aikikai itself, I have met teachers whose rigidity of style and power exceeds that of Yoshinkan, others whose insisting on weapons practice exceeds that of Iwama-Ryu, and again others who teach such a soft Aikido which is closer to Tai-Chi, or even to dancing, than to Aikido itself. Still all these teachers are affiliated to Aikikai. At my dojo, there are 7 Senseis, and each has his own personal style.

Now I see that there are so many styles with so many different names, which are well organized and have international federations, associations, different grading systems, wear or do not wear hakamas, have colored belts or only white and black, call the same techniques different names…etc. The list is very long.

Regularly, we hear about a new style which separates from an already quite recent one, and again they open associations, federations…etc. But their Aikido is still very, well, Aikido.


In Japanese culture, loyalty to one’s master is very important. In the past, when the Lord died, his son replaced him. All the Samurais would swear allegiance to the new Lord, no matter whether he was as good as his father or not. This applies to martial arts as well.

My question is: Are all these new styles necessary? If one teacher has a slightly different style, would it not be more honorable for him to stay loyal to his school, while continuing to teach his slightly different style, rather than separating? Aren’t these separations driven mostly by financial reasons or ambition, ego…etc? Is Aikido benefiting from this separation phenomenon?

Please forgive this long dissertation. I hope to hear your opinion. Please be gentle :-)

Yours in Aiki,
Edward

[Censored]
12-05-2001, 01:09 PM
My question is: Are all these new styles necessary? If one teacher has a slightly different style, would it not be more honorable for him to stay loyal to his school, while continuing to teach his slightly different style, rather than separating?

Want to avoid embarassing your teacher? Replace:

"I've corrected some of your mistakes!"

with:

"I've created a new style!"

Understand? ;)

PeterR
12-05-2001, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by Edward
In my short experience in Aikido, I have come to believe that,apart from styles with competition,all Aikido styles are essentially the same, with differences so minor and so trivial.
grunt
In Japanese culture, loyalty to one’s master is very important. In the past, when the Lord died, his son replaced him. All the Samurais would swear allegiance to the new Lord, no matter whether he was as good as his father or not. This applies to martial arts as well.

Read some history.

mj
12-05-2001, 05:45 PM
Not very gentle.

Edward
12-05-2001, 07:09 PM
I hope I am not misunderstood by anyone. I do not mean any disrespect to any of the existing schools of Aikido. I would like just to hear your opinion on whether we have already enough styles or not? Do you approve this phenomenon so particular to Aikido?

Peter: I mean that Osensei, and Daito-Ruy before him, having forbidden competition, teachers who wanted to include competition had no other choice than to separate. I am not criticising here. But I see other teachers separating without major reasons, what do you think about that?

Regarding reading history, well, I know what you mean and you're right, but Man is not perfect, and we at Aikido pretend to be people of higher ethics and morality. I am just trying to see if this only exists in Aikido books or not only in there. Do we live up to the reputation (or illusion) we create ourselves?

I said that my question is controversial, I apologize for it. But it is important.

mj
12-05-2001, 07:18 PM
/Mark jumps in before anyone/

"... Do we live up to the reputation (or illusion) we create ourselves? ..."

Awesome. Absolutely awesome :)

Ikkyo is probably the best place to start.
Well, for me, anyway.

Edward
12-05-2001, 07:23 PM
Originally posted by mj
[B
Awesome. Absolutely awesome :)

[/B]

Glad to be able at least to amuse you :-)

Edward
12-05-2001, 07:27 PM
Originally posted by [Censored]
"I've corrected some of your mistakes!"[/I]

with:

"I've created a new style!"

Understand? ;)

There is no right and wrong in Aikido. Each advanced student, according to his height, weight, speed, reflexes, and experience may modify his technique accordingly. Consequently, each of us has his own style ;-)
Coming soon, Edward-Ryu Aikido...

Niadh
12-05-2001, 08:28 PM
Originally posted by Edward

My question is: Are all these new styles necessary? If one teacher has a slightly different style, would it not be more honorable for him to stay loyal to his school, while continuing to teach his slightly different style, rather than separating? Aren’t these separations driven mostly by financial reasons or ambition, ego…etc? Is Aikido benefiting from this separation phenomenon?


Yours in Aiki,
Edward
Edward,
Necessary, that depends on why the new style. The djo that I attend, my sensei stayed with his sensei for 15+ years, but found he was growing differently in Aikido than his sensei. This is not to say better or anything else, just in a direction far enough from him that sensei felt he needed to make a distinction. Not being Privy to the conversation between him a Muryama Sensei, I can't tell if it was mutually amenable or not. I suspect the split was supported by Muryama Sensei. Because we are each individual, we will each get something different out of everything we do. I find this particularly apparent in Aikido. As you stated, 7 Senseis, 7 styles of teaching.
Some seperations are driven by the previuosly dead horse contreversy, some possibly by greed, and some by thoughts that have progressed far enough from each other that one or both parties felt the need for a split. As for the greed part, when sensei split from Ko-Ki-Kai style, the mat fees went DOWN. Obviously that was not the reason. Granted he may ( i do not know on this) have saved himself association fees and therefore makes a higher percentage now, but he passed a savings on, whether such is the case or not.
I agree that most aikido is relatively the same, but each persons ways are different, that is why I so enjoy practicing at other dojos. The affiliation, to me, simply gives me some idea of what I might expect.
Niadh

Chocolateuke
12-05-2001, 09:42 PM
right on Niahd I like to think of different aikido affiliations as expressions of aikido. aikido is an art and is very personal do you think we would be happy if all music was based on woody guthrie? heck no thats why we have all different music catagories ( BTW woody guthrie isnt the best example.) same with aikido it wasnt really greed ego but more like evolution. aikido is evolving and hopfully always will and still keep the core center. think a lion has cubs the cubs have larger claws than that of the majoraty and starts a new speicies of lions but they still have claws and the core characteristics.

wildaikido
12-05-2001, 09:53 PM
If it still bears the name aikido then who cares about those couple of words that appear before it, if you like the sensei stay, if its not your cup of tea then move on, that's my nice an simple philosophy, and believe me there are some places I have moved on from, not many aikido but there are some 'karate' places I could tell you about, another time maybe :)

But I agree with you Edward it is all Aikido.

Thalib
12-06-2001, 04:41 AM
It's mostly, if not, all politics.

Edward
12-06-2001, 11:02 AM
Well, by the current pace, we will have one school per each Aikidoka very soon. Wouldn't that be great? :)

[Censored]
12-06-2001, 12:13 PM
Do you approve this phenomenon so particular to Aikido?

It is not at all particular to Aikido. Look at karate, for example.

There is no right and wrong in Aikido. Each advanced student, according to his height, weight, speed, reflexes, and experience may modify his technique accordingly. Consequently, each of us has his own style ;-)

Sure. For example, after the initial 2 weeks of practice, you have developed your own unique style of Aikido. And that style sucks. But it is not right or wrong, as long as you keep your Aikido out of the real world and vice versa.

HillBilly
12-06-2001, 12:58 PM
hey i agree to a point yu are right it is fairly similar as in there is no big significant changes to moves in my opinion but like you i have only been studiing akido a short while but i have cium to understand there a few differences myself i train under a sensi who practises Iwama-Ryu.i can see one difference tho that i consider to be important i cant recall but one of the stlys does not teach the ukemi only break falls.supposidy becasue somone broke their neck doing a back ukemi and so akdio branched off soem dojos attempting to stay with the old stly and others trying to adapt so it caouldnt happen altho i dont really belive this that is what is rumourd.can i jsut say how lucky you are to have 6 sensis was it? u should definatly make the most of there teachings.

HillBilly

Edward
12-06-2001, 07:39 PM
Originally posted by [Censored]
Sure. For example, after the initial 2 weeks of practice, you have developed your own unique style of Aikido. And that style sucks. But it is not right or wrong, as long as you keep your Aikido out of the real world and vice versa.

Maybe you're only sarcastic, but you just confirmed my opinion. This is actually what happens. Someone practices 2 weeks with Osensei, and then thinks his Aikido is different and opens an "independent" school.

ranZ
12-07-2001, 03:46 AM
The only constant thing is change,
necessary or not it is bound to happen.

in teaching and learning, it all comes back to the person.

[Censored]
12-07-2001, 12:10 PM
This is actually what happens. Someone practices 2 weeks with Osensei, and then thinks his Aikido is different and opens an "independent" school.

If there is no right and wrong in Aikido, how can you object to these independent schools?

If one teacher has a slightly different style, would it not be more honorable for him to stay loyal to his school, while continuing to teach his slightly different style, rather than separating?

No, it would not. But I would like to hear why you think so.

Aren’t these separations driven mostly by financial reasons or ambition, ego…etc?

That is an oversimplification.

Is Aikido benefiting from this separation phenomenon?

It's really not a problem.

Edward
12-08-2001, 10:28 AM
Hi Chris,

I think I will give up defending my point of view. Maybe I am too idealistic. This cause is hopeless. The proof: So many socalled schools which I am sure will keep on multiplying. May I just remind you of 2 qualities essential in Budo: Humility and Loyalty. I guess the lack of these qualities is behind this phenomenon. But as I said, I am probably too idealistic....

Peter Goldsbury
12-08-2001, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by Edward
Hi Chris,

I think I will give up defending my point of view. Maybe I am too idealistic. This cause is hopeless. The proof: So many socalled schools which I am sure will keep on multiplying. May I just remind you of 2 qualities essential in Budo: Humility and Loyalty. I guess the lack of these qualities is behind this phenomenon. But as I said, I am probably too idealistic....

Edward,

I think it would be inaccurate to characterise all those who break away and form new groups as lacking in humility and loyalty. The problem sometimes is that there is a conflict beween loyalty to the art, as this is honestly perceived, and loyalty to the teacher. I think, for example, that Kenji Tomiki's loyalty to Morihei Ueshiba cannot be doubted, but he also had some convictions about aikido, valid convictions, which the Founder did not share.

Morihei Ueshiba and his successors in the Aikikai did not choose to 'copyright' aikido as a kind of trademark, unlike the leaders of traditional ryuha, such as Shibukawa-ryu (which is practised in this part of Japan). In the sumo world, for example, a successful rekishi can open his own stable, under his own name, and practise and teach hs own 'brand' of sumo, but the stable is still bound with ties of loyalty to his old stable: his stable is still in the same ichimon.

Personally, I do not think that when Morihei Ueshiba established the Aikikai, he had a clear image of the future form of the organisation. Kisshomaru had a clearer image, but even he did not envision such a rapid postwar expansion of aikido. In fact, if we think of the history of bujutsu and budo in Japan, an organisation such as the Aikikai is rare among martial arts which do not rely on competition.

There is a built-in conservatism in the 'ideology' of a martial art like aikido. Form precedes function and the essential tendency to break away from the form: the 'ha' in 'shu-ha-ri', occurs after a lengthy period of training and also usually occurs within the organisational framework of the particular art.

The art also rests on the principle of volutariness and the consent of those who practise it. Because aikido is fundamentally about human relationships, there is also a built-in tendency to change and develop. If this were not so, the art would ossify and become progressively arthritic.

Just a few thoughts on a sunny Sunday morning!

Best regards,

Edward
12-09-2001, 05:31 AM
Dr. Goldsbury,

Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts and for the quality and instructive post.

If I understand well your comments, one of the positive aspects of this ramification of styles is the development and evolution of techniques.

I fully agree with you in this respect. Luckily, Aikido dojos are usually open to any visitors coming from different styles, and are not very stingy with information.

However, my convictions regarding the subject of this post are very firm.

Once a Sensei from Scandinavia told me the following: "We are smarter than them (the Japanese), they spend all their life devoted to one master, but we go to learn from any master we choose and learn whatever we think is useful for us".

At that time, I was shocked by these words. I do not believe in learning from only one sensei, in the countrary, we should try to learn from as many as possible. However, I firmly believe that our loyalty should be to one Sensei, the one who introduced us to the art, the one whom we consider "our" Sensei.

I would very much like to know your opinion about this matter.

Many thanks and best regards,
Edward

[Censored]
12-10-2001, 12:59 PM
I think I will give up defending my point of view.

Don't "give up". Clarify your understanding, and if your premise or conclusion is faulty, accept the necessary changes.

The proof: So many socalled schools which I am sure will keep on multiplying. May I just remind you of 2 qualities essential in Budo: Humility and Loyalty. I guess the lack of these qualities is behind this phenomenon.

Budo is for ending fights, humility and loyalty are NOT essential.

But, let's pretend for the sake of this discussion, that these qualities are essential. What EXACTLY is your objection to the proliferation of schools and styles? Is this activity necessarily disloyal and lacking in humility? How?

Edward
12-10-2001, 11:41 PM
Actually, I believe that the sense of loyalty is something very personal. I cannot convince you by arguments to become or not to become loyal. It has to do a lot with the cultural background. In my Mediterranean region, we fortunately share this with the Far-Eastern countries. I think it is an attitude not only in MA, but in every aspect of life, mainly relationship with parents, priests, and teachers (school or university). I believe that in Asia it comes from Confucianism. In the west, loyalty is an empty word. It conveys even a negative meaning. Loyalty is associated with weakness and hypocrisy. In the west, young people are in bad terms with their parents, they never care for them (the state does), there is no respect for teachers (I even read often in newspapers that in the US students shoot at their teachers and other students), there is no hierarchy except for money.
In the East, young people stay with their parents untill an advanced age, sometimes they never leave the parental home, they have a moral and social obligation to take care of the parents when they are old, teachers have strong moral authority, even if most of the time they are penniless... etc.
An Arab thinker said over 1000 years ago, I am indebted for life to any one who teaches me even one word, exact translation even meaning "I would become the slave of such person".
Now what is your attitude towards your teacher? Do you think he has an obligation to teach against the fees that you pay him? Or do you consider that the knowledge he is giving you cannot be valued in terms of money? And that no matter what you do, you cannot repay him?
As for the proliferation of schools, I see that it is not justifiable in as long as these schools are not offering any significant technical novelty. It also goes back to the loyalty problem. I cannot respect a Sensei if he's not loyal to his own teacher, or if he respects a teacher who was not loyal to his own teacher. And so forth.

Anyhow, I think this is just a side-effect from the commercialization of Aikido, and is now unavoidable with the increasing numbers of Aikidokas and the impossibility of controlling their moral and ethical convictions, things that were very important in the past.

Peter Goldsbury
12-11-2001, 03:36 AM
Originally posted by Edward
Dr. Goldsbury,

Once a Sensei from Scandinavia told me the following: "We are smarter than them (the Japanese), they spend all their life devoted to one master, but we go to learn from any master we choose and learn whatever we think is useful for us".

At that time, I was shocked by these words. I do not believe in learning from only one sensei, in the countrary, we should try to learn from as many as possible. However, I firmly believe that our loyalty should be to one Sensei, the one who introduced us to the art, the one whom we consider "our" Sensei.

I would very much like to know your opinion about this matter.

Many thanks and best regards,
Edward

Edward,

When I opened this thread and read your last post, I saw that there was not much need to give my opinion. You have said more or less what I would have said.

However, I have a couple of comments.
(a) Even in Japan, loyalty is also subject to the winds of change. One of my students is writing his research thesis on Sakamoto Ryoma. Sakamoto was a typical lower-ranked samurai in the late Tokugawa period, but he changed his loyalties very often, uncomfortably often for his close friends and associates. Or rather, he tested his personal loyalties by reference to a larger concept, that of Japan as a whole (very rare at the time). Sakamoto was instrumental in bringing about the end of the Tokugawa bakufu in 1868.

(b) My experience has been that aikidoists in the US, UK and Holland balance their loyalties with a certain sense of a mutual obligation between student and teacher which is vaguely contractual. I have never found this in Japan.

(c) My understanding about the Aikikai in Sweden is that they had some problems with their resident Japanese instructor and that this had led to a reluctance to keep all their eggs in one basket.

Best regards,

[Censored]
12-12-2001, 02:52 PM
Actually, I believe that the sense of loyalty is something very personal. I cannot convince you by arguments to become or not to become loyal.

You don't need to convince me, I am only wondering exactly what the word means to you in this context.

...I believe that in Asia it comes from Confucianism. In the west, loyalty is an empty word. It conveys even a negative meaning. Loyalty is associated with weakness and hypocrisy. In the west...

There are many "Easterners" who reject Confucian thinking to some degree, regardless of its cultural permeation. You put quite a bit of spin on your comparison of loyalty in the east and west, and it is not fair or accurate. I am not offended by it personally, but you may suffer by such a limited understanding.

An Arab thinker said over 1000 years ago, I am indebted for life to any one who teaches me even one word, exact translation even meaning "I would become the slave of such person".

Poetic license. Or are you your teacher's slave? Or are you advocating a return to slavery? This is what many of us in the west could consider a "cult mentality".

Now what is your attitude towards your teacher? Do you think he has an obligation to teach against the fees that you pay him?

Personally, no. Unless I pay first with that understanding, in which case withholding information might fairly be considered theft, fraud, or dishonesty.

Or do you consider that the knowledge he is giving you cannot be valued in terms of money? And that no matter what you do, you cannot repay him?

That model works well, for a perfect teacher and a worthless student. In any other case, you can expect mutual growth. Neither one can repay the other, and neither becomes a slave to the other, literally or figuratively.

As for the proliferation of schools, I see that it is not justifiable in as long as these schools are not offering any significant technical novelty.

How significant is significant? In combat, the difference between life and death may easily be less than an inch.

It also goes back to the loyalty problem. I cannot respect a Sensei if he's not loyal to his own teacher, or if he respects a teacher who was not loyal to his own teacher. And so forth.

Was Ueshiba loyal to Takeda Sokaku? To Onisaburo Deguchi? Not by your definition, I think.

Anyhow, I think this is just a side-effect from the commercialization of Aikido, and is now unavoidable with the increasing numbers of Aikidokas and the impossibility of controlling their moral and ethical convictions, things that were very important in the past.

They were no more important in the past then they are now.

Edward
12-12-2001, 08:25 PM
<You don't need to convince me, I am only wondering exactly what the word means to you in this context. >

We should respect each other's opinions no matter how different from ours they might be.

<There are many "Easterners" who reject Confucian thinking to some degree, regardless of its cultural permeation. You put quite a bit of spin on your comparison of loyalty in the east and west, and it is not fair or accurate. I am not offended by it personally, but you may suffer by such a limited understanding. >

Only those born in the west. I used to share your opinion before I came to live in Thailand 6 years ago. I have travelled all over Eastern-Asia ever since. Asian society is very conservative compared to the west, and people who do not believe in the system are considered outsiders, and they cannot survive. Needless to say that they are a very tiny minority. As for my "limited understanding", I advise you to stay away from such provocative wording. This is a public forum and you will give an ugly impression about yourself.

<Poetic license. Or are you your teacher's slave? Or are you advocating a return to slavery? This is what many of us in the west could consider a "cult mentality". >

You guessed it right. Poetic licence. No other comments .


<Personally, no. Unless I pay first with that understanding, in which case withholding information might fairly be considered theft, fraud, or dishonesty. >

I'm sure your Sensei would like to hear your opinion about this matter.

<That model works well, for a perfect teacher and a worthless student. In any other case, you can expect mutual growth. Neither one can repay the other, and neither becomes a slave to the other, literally or figuratively.>

So you mean that all the Shihans who are our role models are or were worthless students. Are you an outstanding student? Or maybe your teacher is just mediocre? Are you mistaking respect and loyalty for slavery?

<How significant is significant? In combat, the difference between life and death may easily be less than an inch. >

You make me laugh with your combat stuff. Do you see too many Seagal movies? I have been practicing MA for over 17 years now, and I was never involved in a fight. The recent poll on Aikiweb shows that I am not alone. In a state of law, you fight means you go to jail.

<Was Ueshiba loyal to Takeda Sokaku? To Onisaburo Deguchi? Not by your definition, I think.>

I said:"As for the proliferation of schools, I see that it is not justifiable in as long as these schools are not offering any significant technical novelty." Now if Aikido is not a significant novelty, what is? Did you see the most recent book from Daito-Ruy? The title is something like " the origin of Aikido". It's like saying, "hey, I'm the president's father, or wife".


<They were no more important in the past then they are now.>

They were very important in the past, as they should be now. Osensei required 2 introductions in order to accept anyone in his dojos. Gozo Shioda like all others had to do that. Takeda used to teach to strictly chosen students. Even now, the original Daito-Ryu hombu dojo in Tokyo will not accept you if you have practiced any MA in the past.
You should be very thankful to the recent decadence in MA, because with your way of thinking, you would only get the chance to practice Kung Fu.

Jim23
12-12-2001, 08:59 PM
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury


Form precedes function ...
I was taught that form follows function – my own view has always been that they go hand in hand.

Function following form??? Hmmm.

Jim23

Peter Goldsbury
12-12-2001, 09:39 PM
Originally posted by Jim23

I was taught that form follows function my own view has always been that they go hand in hand.

Function following form??? Hmmm.

Jim23

I distinguish between the order of being and the order of knowledge. It is true that form and function are two aspects of the same thing, the same technique. However, this is not always obvious, especially to a beginner.

In my own case, I had three different teachers during my first six years of training, each of whom did the basic techniques somewhat differently. In addition, my teachers always stressed the importance of correct form right from the very beginning. Grasping the functionality of the forms, why they were correct, what the underlying principles were, was a more gradual process.

This is what I meant in my earlier post.

Yours sincerely,

Chuck Clark
12-13-2001, 09:26 AM
It seems to me that principle does not change. Form can change and still demonstrate principle. Everyone must, at some point, develop their own style.

Regards,

Thalib
12-13-2001, 09:48 AM
Techniques or forms are like shells, without the principles within them, they are empty and easily cracked. Do not be blinded by techniques.

We all will develop our own style, our own techniques, our own forms. This is caused by our posture and physical abilities. As long as we stay true to the principles within those techniques, it wouldn't matter.

Our sensei always reminds us that we have to be who we are. To do the technique like how it was shown might not always be possible. This is caused by physiological differences. I am very happy with Aikido, at least the way it is taught in my dojo.

As for different schools or the splitting of schools go... politics... politics... politics... oh, and... politics.

Learn in depth of one principle, and you will be able to develop infinite techniques.

[Censored]
12-13-2001, 01:59 PM
In the west, young people are in bad terms with their parents, they never care for them (the state does), there is no respect for teachers (I even read often in newspapers that in the US students shoot at their teachers and other students), there is no hierarchy except for money.
...
As for my "limited understanding" [of Western loyalty], I advise you to stay away from such provocative wording. This is a public forum and you will give an ugly impression about yourself.

I will take my chances, as you have. :)

<Personally, no. Unless I pay first with that understanding, in which case withholding information might fairly be considered theft, fraud, or dishonesty. >

I'm sure your Sensei would like to hear your opinion about this matter.

I am not known for holding my tongue, inside or outside of class. Surprised?

<That model works well, for a perfect teacher and a worthless student. In any other case, you can expect mutual growth. Neither one can repay the other, and neither becomes a slave to the other, literally or figuratively.>

So you mean that all the Shihans who are our role models are or were worthless students. Are you an outstanding student? Or maybe your teacher is just mediocre? Are you mistaking respect and loyalty for slavery?

My teachers have made mistakes. I have made some of these mistakes apparent. It does not upset me, and it does not upset them, because there is a sincere and mutual desire for improvement. I don't know why this upsets you, maybe it has something to do with wacky Confucian ideals.

As an aside, what do you think Confucius would say about women teaching martial arts? Or even practicing martial arts beside men? Do you agree with him?

<How significant is significant? In combat, the difference between life and death may easily be less than an inch. >

You make me laugh with your combat stuff. Do you see too many Seagal movies?

One, you mean? ;) Actually, I thought Exit Wounds was really funny. Anyway, the inch comment is quite literally true, and it can be proven easily.

I have been practicing MA for over 17 years now, and I was never involved in a fight. The recent poll on Aikiweb shows that I am not alone. In a state of law, you fight means you go to jail.

Do you know how many people are killed in fights each year? If not, go look it up. None of THOSE people are in jail. They might wish they were, though.

<Was Ueshiba loyal to Takeda Sokaku? To Onisaburo Deguchi? Not by your definition, I think.>

I said:"As for the proliferation of schools, I see that it is not justifiable in as long as these schools are not offering any significant technical novelty." Now if Aikido is not a significant novelty, what is?

If Ueshiba had put Takeda's interests before his own, who would be practicing Aikido today? Takeda is the teacher, Ueshiba is the student, and Confucius say "that is wrong behavior".

You should be very thankful to the recent decadence in MA, because with your way of thinking, you would only get the chance to practice Kung Fu.

Horrors! :)

If not for the recent decadence in MA, we would not be having this discussion, because you would already know better.

Your move. ;)

Edward
12-13-2001, 11:40 PM
Well, Chris,

I suspect you have been sent to me by Osensei to test my faith in Aikido :)

Cheers,
Edward

Mona
12-14-2001, 04:02 PM
The answer to this whole thread was, I believe, already given by O Sensei himself:

"Though there are many paths at the foot of the mountain, all those who reach the top see the same moon."

Each of us favors a style that suits him/her best, but we must all remember it's the end that counts.

:)

Mona

Mares
12-15-2001, 07:14 AM
Originally posted by Mona

Each of us favors a style that suits him/her best, but we must all remember it's the end that counts.

:)

Mona

I wouldn't agree with that statement. Is it not the journey that develops your character? Whilst the end or the goal helps to encourage the undertaking of the journey, I believe it is the journey that is more important.

Just as s loose analogy, studying for exams. If two people say get 80% on an exam, one student studied hard did all the necessary problems etc, and the other cheats and discovers the answers through various means, which student is better off? Is it the end that counts or the journey?

Mona
12-15-2001, 01:07 PM
Originally posted by Mares


I wouldn't agree with that statement. Is it not the journey that develops your character? Whilst the end or the goal helps to encourage the undertaking of the journey, I believe it is the journey that is more important.

Just as s loose analogy, studying for exams. If two people say get 80% on an exam, one student studied hard did all the necessary problems etc, and the other cheats and discovers the answers through various means, which student is better off? Is it the end that counts or the journey?

I never said the journey was not important. I never even mentioned the journey. What I meant was: it doesn't matter what path YOU CHOOSE AT THE BEGINNING, since the end in the same. Annd this is applicable only in the context of this forum, i.e. in Aikido, or any budo for that matter. That analogy that you made was totally irrelevant. It would have only been relevant if I said something like:

"The end justifies the means."

Make sure you read carefully between the lines and in the right context before jumping to conclusions. :rolleyes:

Mona

Edward
12-15-2001, 10:52 PM
Originally posted by Mona


Make sure you read carefully between the lines and in the right context before jumping to conclusions.



Hi Mona,

I agree that Mares misunderstood the meaning of your post. But your reply is not exactly very much in the spirit of Aikido.

Cheers,
Edward

Mona
12-16-2001, 06:29 AM
Originally posted by Edward

I agree that Mares misunderstood the meaning of your post. But your reply is not exactly very much in the spirit of Aikido.


Wasn't being agressive (unlike SOME!), just slightly sarcastic. ;)

Cheers,

Mona

deepsoup
12-16-2001, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by Mares

I wouldn't agree with that statement. Is it not the journey that develops your character? Whilst the end or the goal helps to encourage the undertaking of the journey, I believe it is the journey that is more important.


<applause>
Bang on!

All ways up the mountain are not the same, just ask a mountaineer. (You know, the guys who sometimes risk their lives toiling up the steep side of the mountain while there are tourists pushing prams up the other side.)

If two people take different paths up a mountain, yes they arrive at the same summit, (assuming they both make it - some paths are more dangerous than others) but they aren't quite the same two people who set out.

Arriving at the summit of a mountain, or looking up at the moon are subjective experiences. We all experience the world through the filters of our previous experience and our personality. So two people, who may be observing the same satellite, are not necessarily looking at the same Moon.

Now a journey, especially an arduous one, changes the person who undertakes it. So when you set out to go somewhere, depending on which route you take, it is a different person who arrives there.


Mona retorts:
I never said the journey was not important. I never even mentioned the journey. What I meant was: it doesn't matter what path YOU CHOOSE AT THE BEGINNING, since the end in the same. Annd this is applicable only in the context of this forum, i.e. in Aikido, or any budo for that matter.

Surely which path you choose to follow determines, more than anything else, which way your journey takes you.

Maybe you'll say I'm taking the 'mountain' analagy too literally. Perhaps arriving at the summit of the mountain is a metaphor for achieving total enlightenment. Since that involves a total destruction of the ego, you might argue, it is not possible to experience the Moon subjectively, as the metaphorical mountaineer is at one with the Universe (including both the mountain and the moon) and has no ego with which to colour the experience. He simply is!

Good point. But if that total enlightenment is really the destination we're all journeying towards, how many of us, sitting around playing with our computers, are going to arrive there?

If you acknowledge that you're unlikely to arrive at you destination, or even get more than a few miles along the road in your lifetime, does it still not matter which way you choose to go? I think it does.

Sean
x

PeterR
12-16-2001, 02:15 PM
Originally posted by deepsoup
Good point. But if that total enlightenment is really the destination we're all journeying towards, how many of us, sitting around playing with our computers, are going to arrive there?
My turn to <applause>.

It may be the destination but the tao at the very basic is - if you think you are you're not. One of the most interesting concepts is the idea that you can never be absolutely sure of the destination itself. The closer you get the better your understanding of where you are going becomes but even so it is still subject to change.

That is true for me and observable even within my personal limited experience. Ask yourself - is the reason you do Budo now the same as when you started?

Mares
12-16-2001, 07:35 PM
Originally posted by Mona


I never said the journey was not important. I never even mentioned the journey. What I meant was: it doesn't matter what path YOU CHOOSE AT THE BEGINNING, since the end in the same. Annd this is applicable only in the context of this forum, i.e. in Aikido, or any budo for that matter. That analogy that you made was totally irrelevant. It would have only been relevant if I said something like:

"The end justifies the means."

Make sure you read carefully between the lines and in the right context before jumping to conclusions. :rolleyes:

Mona

Dear Mona

I didn't appreciate the 'tone' of your response, but none the less I still don't agree with what you say.

But you did say "It's the end that counts" to me it imply's that the journey is less important than the end/destination, and that I don't agree with. You reinforced this in your most recent post by saying 'it doesn't matter what path YOU CHOOSE AT THE BEGINNING, since the end in(is) the same'. Again i read between the lines and I understood it mean that the end is more important than the journey or path you take. I believe the journey/path is more important. In today's modern world the vast majority of people are so busy and caught up in this modern society that they continually rush to get to the destination and they forget that perhaps the journey contains more experiences and knowledge than being at the destination itslef. But that is my humble opinion and I am just a beginner in this game.

Jon Hicks
12-17-2001, 01:15 AM
So the question here is between the end and the journey. I never knew there was an end.

Sorry, just my two cents.

Jon

mj
12-17-2001, 03:54 AM
Ahhh.....

But don't most people think that the path they took is the best one? :rolleyes:

Mares
12-17-2001, 04:53 AM
Originally posted by Jon Hicks
So the question here is between the end and the journey. I never knew there was an end.

Sorry, just my two cents.

Jon

That's actually quite an interesting point. I believe you set your mind to reach an end. And that is what drives you to undertake and continue along the path. However as you travel along the path your end/goals change. What I hope to gain from doing aikido has changed over time. What i want from aikido now is different to what I wanted from it when i started. Maybe I took the right fork in the road instead of the left and now my destination has changed, or perhaps my Sensei guided me to take the right fork in the road.

JJF
12-17-2001, 06:29 AM
Originally posted by mj
But don't most people think that the path they took is the best one? :rolleyes: I think that's one of those 'half full or half empty glass' kind of things. Being pessimistic by nature I usually expect that every body else has chosen a better path than I have. (which explains my slow progress much better than the fact that I'm kind of lazy ;))

Edward
12-17-2001, 06:49 AM
Originally posted by Mona
The answer to this whole thread was, I believe, already given by O Sensei himself:

"Though there are many paths at the foot of the mountain, all those who reach the top see the same moon."

Each of us favors a style that suits him/her best, but we must all remember it's the end that counts.

:)

Mona

Guys, no matter what Mona said, it was to comment on Osensei's words. And Osensei was not speaking about Aikido. He meant Budo practice in general, which according to him, should have as purpose to reach harmony with Ki and the universal order of the universe. So if you really seek this ultimate target, it doesn't matter whether you seek it through Zen, Yoga, MA or any other practice, as long as this harmony is what you seek. Once you have accomplished this purpose, if it's ever possible to realize, the view is the same, as is universal truth and harmony with Ki.

Hope I didn't confuse you even more ;)

Aikilove
12-17-2001, 07:30 AM
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury
(c) My understanding about the Aikikai in Sweden is that they had some problems with their resident Japanese instructor and that this had led to a reluctance to keep all their eggs in one basket.

Dear Goldsbury sama.
In the light of your uptaking about Aikikai in Sweden, I would like to compile a brief historical version of what happend in Sweden and the development of Aikido therein.
1961 A couple of judoka finds a book about aikido and tries to mimik the techniques. (therefore Sweden Aikido this year celebrates 40 years, with the distinguished visit of Doshu Ueshiba.)
63 Jan Beime ask Nasahiro Nakazono in France for a Japanese Sensei. Nakazono in turn ask Hombu, who finds and apoint the 24 year old Toshikazu Ichimura Sensei as swedish head instructor. Ichimura was a student of Shoji Nishio since 1957. Ichimura settled in the capitol Stockholm
69 Judo clubb of Gothenburg ask Ichimura for another Japanese sensei. In August the same year Takeij Tomita arrive. The then 27 year old Tomita Sensei had been a student of Nishio since 62 and later Saito Sensei. Specially Saito Senseis teachings shines through Tomita then.
70 Tomita moves to Stockholm.
There was little or none interaction between Tomitas and Ichimuras students. The swedish aikidoka finds the Japanese way of teaching (at least these two senseis) too severe and harsh, and turbulence within starts to grow.
83 Eeringly coincidently, within a week apart, top students under both Tomita and Ichimura, totaly unaware of the others doing the same, each sends a letter to their respective Japanese Sensei, describing their unease with them. In Ichimuras case, his students complain about his "violent behaviour" etc, and in Tomitas case him wanting to break free and start his own Takemusu Aiki among other things, to his students disagreement. Alot of students separates from both senseis.
86 The letter, turbulence and the financial situation finaly makes Ichimura to go back to Japan. Now Hombu Dojo is put in a unique situation, since Sweden now officialy is without an, from Hombu Dojo apointed, head instructor. In Sweden however there is no worries, since there is since long well established colaborations with senseis such as Sugano, Nishio and Kobayashi, to name a few. Hombu Dojo didn't think so easy of it however and 1988 they suddenly declared that NO Japanese instructurs was to give exams and seminars on Swedish grounds until there had been a agreenment with the swedish organization. And so, same year two represantatives from Sweden went to Hombu Dojo and an agreement, unique in the world then, was made, saying that any intructors from Japan or from elsewere was allowed to instruct and hold exam in Sweden, providing of curse that they already was granted that right from Hombu Dojo.
Today Swedens Aikikai branch, by far the biggest, has with the blessing of Hombu Dojo, an Aikikai grading commitee, that by itself can apoint dan grades up to 4th grade.

Moreover there is an Iwama ryu branch lead by Shihan Ulf Evenås 7th dan second biggest after Aikikai and a Ki Aikido branch affiliated with Toheis Ki Society.

Takeij Tomita Sensei's still lives in Stockholm. He has since long started his own organization - Takemusu Aiki, which now stretches out apart from Sweden to UK and other Europeen states and he hold the rank of 8th dan (within his organization, 7th dan Aikikai) and he is a wonder to see and feel in action.

Everything written is from my own readings and learnings of the history of Swedish aikido. This is a very shortened version and if there is anything wrong I beg for forgivness. ;)

Edward
12-17-2001, 10:17 AM
I found this quote of Koichi Tohei Sensei on the website of creature_of_the_id (Thanks Kev!).

I think it is worthwhile reading: "The martial arts begin and end with courtesy, not in form alone, but in heart and mind as well. Respect the teacher who taught you and do not cease to be grateful especially to the founder of aikido who showed the way. He who neglects this should not be surprised if his students make light of him."

Cheers,
Edward

tedehara
12-17-2001, 01:02 PM
Originally posted by Edward
I found this quote of Koichi Tohei Sensei on the website of creature_of_the_id (Thanks Kev!).

I think it is worthwhile reading: "The martial arts begin and end with courtesy, not in form alone, but in heart and mind as well. Respect the teacher who taught you and do not cease to be grateful especially to the founder of aikido who showed the way. He who neglects this should not be surprised if his students make light of him."

Cheers,
Edward

I hear much gnashing of teeth. Since I am a member of the style Tohei started, let me give some possible arguements that others might give.

WHAT??? ARE YOU NUTS???
You're quoting someone who would split Aikido in two, to start his own style. Not the best example!

Actually, I believe that Koichi Tohei didn't really have a choice in leaving Aikikai. He wouldn't have developed at least 85% of his curriculum if he didn't have full control of the organization.

I was looking at recent scholarship in early Christianity and comparing that to Aikido. In both cases there was a wide variety of groups immediately after the founder of the movement had died(?). Social or religious movements can't be tied up into a neat package. Everyone has their own way of doing things. :cool:

Creature_of_the_id
12-17-2001, 04:20 PM
Originally posted by Edward
I found this quote of Koichi Tohei Sensei on the website of creature_of_the_id (Thanks Kev!).

??? what someone actually looked at my website??
I forgot I had one ot be honest, it has been so long since I updated it.
thanks for the reminder. and I am glad you got something from it.

Kev

Edward
12-17-2001, 07:55 PM
Originally posted by tedehara


I hear much gnashing of teeth. Since I am a member of the style Tohei started, let me give some possible arguements that others might give.

WHAT??? ARE YOU NUTS???
You're quoting someone who would split Aikido in two, to start his own style. Not the best example!

Actually, I believe that Koichi Tohei didn't really have a choice in leaving Aikikai. He wouldn't have developed at least 85% of his curriculum if he didn't have full control of the organization.

I was looking at recent scholarship in early Christianity and comparing that to Aikido. In both cases there was a wide variety of groups immediately after the founder of the movement had died(?). Social or religious movements can't be tied up into a neat package. Everyone has their own way of doing things. :cool:

We all know how Tohei Sensei separated from Aikikai, and it was really a very unfortunate matter. I am sure that there was no way to avoid it. Great Senseis such as Tohei and Shioda commend respect whether they separated or not, and they should be role models to every Aikidoka. Their morality and ethics was exceptional and their gratefulness to Osensei never stopped. If you re-read well my posts with this in mind, you will understand better my position.

Cheers,
Edward

Jon Hicks
12-17-2001, 09:16 PM
From my experience in Japan, which is limited, the average Aikidoka goes to a dojo like an American goes to a softball league. Some leages are serious, some are relaxed. Not everyone goes to win the championship. Most just enjoy the game. Of course people like to be promoted, and all seek the black belt. But if you ask the average Japanese Aikidoka if they want to be an Aikido teacher, they will say that it is not their goal. I think most just enjoy the game.
I guess my point is, I love to practice Aikido. I do it every chance I get. I sought a good teacher and I committed myself to him to teach me. I didn`t know anything about Ryuha. I just knew Akido, and that`s what I do 4 days a week.There is nothing wrong with trying different teachers. And I believe that the best teachers don`t have to tell you they are teachers.
Aikido means something different to everyone.

By the way, who`s your favorite player?

Thanks for listening,

Jon

:do:

Erik
12-17-2001, 10:56 PM
Originally posted by Jon Hicks
From my experience in Japan, which is limited, the average Aikidoka goes to a dojo like an American goes to a softball league. Some leages are serious, some are relaxed. Not everyone goes to win the championship. Most just enjoy the game. Of course people like to be promoted, and all seek the black belt. But if you ask the average Japanese Aikidoka if they want to be an Aikido teacher, they will say that it is not their goal. I think most just enjoy the game.


I bet most of them don't look to their sensei as role models on how to live their lives either.

Jon Hicks
12-17-2001, 11:28 PM
Not to be taken the wrong way, but do you look to your teacher as a role model?
I think that the Japanese that I train with do look up to our teacher. As far as giving advice for life and such, I don`t think that they feel the urge or whatever.
I don`t know a lot about Aikido history, but I think I have heard that O`sensei use to give lectures about life and Aikido. From what I have experienced in Japan, I have never heard any lectures concerning such topics.Again , my experience is quite limited. Mostly it`s technical knowledge. I think that the average western Aikidoka finds the philosophy to be more appealing than the actual execution of techniques. I wonder why that is? It would make a great paper.

Jon :)

Peter Goldsbury
12-18-2001, 12:06 AM
Originally posted by Aikilove


Dear Goldsbury sama.
In the light of your uptaking about Aikikai in Sweden, I would like to compile a brief historical version of what happend in Sweden and the development of Aikido therein.

There was little or none interaction between Tomitas and Ichimuras students. The swedish aikidoka finds the Japanese way of teaching (at least these two senseis) too severe and harsh, and turbulence within starts to grow.
83 Eeringly coincidently, within a week apart, top students under both Tomita and Ichimura, totaly unaware of the others doing the same, each sends a letter to their respective Japanese Sensei, describing their unease with them. In Ichimuras case, his students complain about his "violent behaviour" etc, and in Tomitas case him wanting to break free and start his own Takemusu Aiki among other things, to his students disagreement. Alot of students separates from both senseis.
86 The letter, turbulence and the financial situation finaly makes Ichimura to go back to Japan. Now Hombu Dojo is put in a unique situation, since Sweden now officialy is without an, from Hombu Dojo apointed, head instructor. In Sweden however there is no worries, since there is since long well established colaborations with senseis such as Sugano, Nishio and Kobayashi, to name a few. Hombu Dojo didn't think so easy of it however and 1988 they suddenly declared that NO Japanese instructurs was to give exams and seminars on Swedish grounds until there had been a agreenment with the Swedish organization. And so, same year two represantatives from Sweden went to Hombu Dojo and an agreement, unique in the world then, was made, saying that any intructors from Japan or from elsewere was allowed to instruct and hold exam in Sweden, providing of curse that they already was granted that right from Hombu Dojo.[/list]

Today Swedens Aikikai branch, by far the biggest, has with the blessing of Hombu Dojo, an Aikikai grading commitee, that by itself can apoint dan grades up to 4th grade.



Mr Blomquist,

Thank you for your account of the changing fortunes of the Aikikai in Sweden. I have a very clear memory of a meeting held in France in the late 1970s, where the two Japanese instructors from Sweden (who did not communicate with each other at all) were separated by the chairman of the Aikikai organisation. I found this astonishing. Later, I myself was involved in some of the later correspondence with the Aikikai Hombu, when the situation was 'frozen'.

I think that the present situation in Sweden is a major success story and is a model for other national organisations to follow. I think, however, that the good result is due to the fact that Swedish aikidoka themselves took the initiative and devised a formula which was good for Sweden.

Best regards,

Erik
12-18-2001, 01:31 AM
Originally posted by Jon Hicks
Not to be taken the wrong way, but do you look to your teacher as a role model?

The answer is no, with an exclusion of sorts.

The exclusion is that certain sensei have personal characteristics which I've admired and considered valuable. So, in that context they could be considered role models. Certainly, if I ever run a dojo their influence will have been felt and on a technical basis I've been influenced by a number of people. So in a certain way, yes, they are role models.

But, it pretty much stops there. I sort of see it like I see going to a Catholic priest for marital advice. They take a vow of celibacy and never marry, yet, somehow they are experts on the subject of marriage????? WTF!

Aikilove
12-18-2001, 06:58 AM
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury


Mr Blomquist,

Thank you for your account of the changing fortunes of the Aikikai in Sweden.My pleasure, though there may be historical faults in my review.:)I have a very clear memory of a meeting held in France in the late 1970s, where the two Japanese instructors from Sweden (who did not communicate with each other at all) were separated by the chairman of the Aikikai organisation. I found this astonishing. Later, I myself was involved in some of the later correspondence with the Aikikai Hombu, when the situation was 'frozen'.I find this very interesting (the senseis was seperated!? why?) and would like to hear more about this event. If you find it too off topic you could drop me a mail.I think that the present situation in Sweden is a major success story and is a model for other national organisations to follow. I think, however, that the good result is due to the fact that Swedish aikidoka themselves took the initiative and devised a formula which was good for Sweden.I agree! Hombu Dojo and IAF seem to find the Swedish way a good one, and IAF are going to have its annual congress, for the first time off Nihon grounds! in Stockholm, no less! Guess who's going to be there? :D Are you?

Cheers!

Peter Goldsbury
12-19-2001, 01:01 AM
Originally posted by Aikilove

(1) I find this very interesting (the senseis was seperated!? why?) and would like to hear more about this event. If you find it too off topic you could drop me a mail.

(2) I agree! Hombu Dojo and IAF seem to find the Swedish way a good one, and IAF are going to have its annual congress, for the first time off Nihon grounds! in Stockholm, no less! Guess who's going to be there? :D Are you?

Cheers!

Mr Blomquist,

Here are a few further comments (I have numbered the relevant paragraphs of your post).

(1) The meeting was of an organisation called the EAF (European Aikido Federation) and it took place in Cannes. Your chairman was Sven Gyllsjo (I think the spelling is right) and I spent much time talking with him about the problems you were having in Sweden.

I was completely stunned at the level of latent animosity and mutual dislike anong the Japanese. I think at the time Mr Ichimura and Mr Tomita were not even on speaking terms and Sven sat between them to prevent any possible argument or mutual insults.

In fact, the seeds of subsequent European conflicts, about which you may have heard, were sown at this meeting.

Since then I have been present at other meetings where high-ranking Japanese instructors have insulted each other in a manner I found completely at variance with all I had learned about aikido. Of course, impoliteness and insults are not the exclusive province of the Japanese or of Japanese aikidoka, but what shocked me was these these people were aikido SHIHANS, beacons along the WAY, whose principal purpose (as I thought) was to be a role model to their students.

These experiences led me to question why I was doing aikido and not to expect too much from the teacher, especially in terms of character, or even morality.

(2) The IAF will have a meeting of its management committee. Yes, I shall be there. As you suggest, such meetings are rare outside Japan and I am trying to set some new precedents. Of course, there will be an aikido seminar running parallel with the meeting.

Best wishes,

Aikilove
12-19-2001, 08:36 AM
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury


Mr Blomquist,

Here are a few further comments (I have numbered the relevant paragraphs of your post).

(1) The meeting was of an organisation called the EAF (European Aikido Federation) and it took place in Cannes. Your chairman was Sven Gyllsjo (I think the spelling is right) and I spent much time talking with him about the problems you were having in Sweden.With the keyboard you have, it's the right spelling. The Swedish one would be Sven Gyllsjö. :DI was completely stunned at the level of latent animosity and mutual dislike anong the Japanese. I think at the time Mr Ichimura and Mr Tomita were not even on speaking terms and Sven sat between them to prevent any possible argument or mutual insults.:o Yes, stunning indeed! I wonder why they behaved like that? They simply didn't have much at all to do with each other in Sweden. Formally Ichimura was the head Sensei in Sweden back then, so I wonder if that was what bothered them. What was your role in all of this?In fact, the seeds of subsequent European conflicts, about which you may have heard, were sown at this meeting.

Since then I have been present at other meetings where high-ranking Japanese instructors have insulted each other in a manner I found completely at variance with all I had learned about aikido. Of course, impoliteness and insults are not the exclusive province of the Japanese or of Japanese aikidoka, but what shocked me was these these people were aikido SHIHANS, beacons along the WAY, whose principal purpose (as I thought) was to be a role model to their students.

These experiences led me to question why I was doing aikido and not to expect too much from the teacher, especially in terms of character, or even morality.I hear you loud and clear Goldsbury sama! Fortunately there are Shihans who indeed behave as the beacons they are looked upon.
(2) The IAF will have a meeting of its management committee. Yes, I shall be there. As you suggest, such meetings are rare outside Japan and I am trying to set some new precedents. Of course, there will be an aikido seminar running parallel with the meeting. Ahh yes! The seminars! :p That's not to be missed! Can you give me some previous hints on which sensei's going to be there (and train!!)? A rare opportunity for a Swedish aikidoka as myself. I guess I'll see you on the mat in Stockholm! Can't wait to pull of a nikkyo on you!! :D

Greetings,

Peter Goldsbury
12-19-2001, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by Aikilove
Yes, stunning indeed! I wonder why they behaved like that? They simply didn't have much at all to do with each other in Sweden. Formally Ichimura was the head Sensei in Sweden back then, so I wonder if that was what bothered them. What was your role in all of this?

PAG. I represented the British Aikido Federation at the meeting. I was a surprised bystander and asked awkward questions at the meeting.

I hear you loud and clear Goldsbury sama! Fortunately there are Shihans who indeed behave as the beacons they are looked upon.

PAG. Absolutely, and this probably needs to be emphasised, in view of the 'negative' content of my previous post.

Ahh yes! The seminars! :p That's not to be missed! Can you give me some previous hints on which sensei's going to be there (and train!!)?

PAG. Well, the training schedule has not been decided yet, but the meeting is likely to be attended by Shihans: Hiroshi Isoyama, Masatake Fujita, Nobuyoshi Tamura, Yoshimitsu Yamada, Katsuaki Asai, Masatomi Ikeda.

A rare opportunity for a Swedish aikidoka as myself. I guess I'll see you on the mat in Stockholm! Can't wait to pull of a nikkyo on you!! :D

Greetings, [/B]

Finally, for those of you who are wondering at the connection between this thread and Sweden, the aikido section of the Swedish Budo Federation is a good example of how different groups with affiliations / attachments to a widge of range of teachers and interpretatios of aikido can work together in comparative harmony and friendship.

Best regards,

Aikilove
12-22-2001, 12:06 PM
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury


Finally, for those of you who are wondering at the connection between this thread and Sweden, the aikido section of the Swedish Budo Federation is a good example of how different groups with affiliations / attachments to a widge of range of teachers and interpretatios of aikido can work together in comparative harmony and friendship.

Best regards,

Indeed! :D Again, I hope to see you there.

Happy X-mas!

Johan Tibell
12-26-2001, 12:40 PM
I've heard several different stories behind the "split" between Ichimura Sensei and Tomita Sensei. I recall my sensei mentioning the subject during lunch after a seminar but I can't remember more than bits and pieces of it right now. He was there when Tomita started here in Sweden if I remember correctly. I think the fact that Tomita Sensei was affiliate with Saito Sensei could have had something to do with it but I have to check my sources before I say anything for certain so don't hold any of the above against me! :)

Best Regards,

Johan Tibell
Aikido Dojo Gamlestaden

mle
12-28-2001, 08:05 PM
Edward, you have the patience of a saint.. to stick with all this opinionating and some rather uninformed, at that.. and some very informed as well (you know yourselves.. )

I have about 10 yrs experience in MA, started in Aikido MAF, ended up in Ki breakaway Seidokan. Practiced Kung Fu, kickboxing, kenjutsu and whatever else my sempai had to teach me in between. Now I do an older form from newer roots, my teacher's teacher was a Marine who learned from many and distilled a deep and fascinating art.
I do have a shodan in aikido.. to pay back my instructors.. to let them know I listened.

I always felt split between the Aikikai and the Ki Society and it seemed to me like a simple difference in teaching methods.

In any discipline, from biology and linguistics to nuclear science, there are camps and splits.

One can cross camps and listen, or one can "take religion" and close one's mind and heart to all other information.
Some people are better suited to one or the other behavior.

If you find something that speaks to you, by all means, devote yourself. But do not expect that all others must go that way.
Thus lies the path of the Inquisition, of World War II, of many evils.

Be generous.
Explore.
Be gracious and curious.
Edward, I commend you for being curious, for being courteous, for questioning.

You are far more likely to find your own truth than to merely accept what you are fed.

My opinion is that Aikido is more a philosophy than a mere set of techniques used to teach it.

It suffers from being treated, inside and out, like a religion, however, there are so many religious overtones on a set of varying techniques that one may decide which one wants.
It makes a great way of life.
And yes, it is all aikido.

That is.. it is all budo.

Also a way of life, and less exclusive; containing many of the principles Ueshiba borrowed from. It all came from somewhere. Look to older sources and see. Aikido is very young.

And the instructors now are blind men who felt their part of the elephant and describe it as best they can. Why not try to train with all of them and see all of it?

mle

Peter Goldsbury
12-29-2001, 07:37 AM
Originally posted by mle
Edward, you have the patience of a saint.. to stick with all this opinionating and some rather uninformed, at that.. and some very informed as well (you know yourselves.. )

mle

But surely, this is what happens in discussion forums such as this. Everyone is free to give an opinion, whether informed or not, and to be persuaded or unpersuaded, as we wish. Personally I have found the whole thread very informative and stimulating. And I have also got to know Edward, from his posts in this and other threads, so that when we finally meet, as I hope we will, we can train together and also have much to talk about.

Happy New Year!

deepsoup
12-29-2001, 08:17 AM
Originally posted by mle

I always felt split between the Aikikai and the Ki Society and it seemed to me like a simple difference in teaching methods.
Ironic, then, if you go right back to the beginning of this thread, you'll see that Edward started it with the words:

I have come to believe that, apart from styles with competition, all Aikido styles are essentially the same
(My italics) Which would imply that the author himself doesn't include the Ki Society in those styles of aikido which are 'essentially the same'.


Sean
x

guest1234
12-29-2001, 08:20 AM
I am undoubtedly what Emily considers uninformed. But I think when someone starts or joins threads with comments that those who broke from the Aikikai lacked proper loyality and humility,or those who don't bow are abandoning what Aikido is about, well, they should be ready for the comments other have in response. :rolleyes:

Personally, I think members of this forum have responded much more gently to Edward than they did a few months ago to Louis, and there is a similar undertone in both posts. And I'm glad to see that more gentle approach, by the way. Just like saying you shouldn't be surprised if what you say reflects on your sensei, you shouldn't also be surprised if what you say and how you say it reflects on you, yourself.

PeterR
12-29-2001, 08:21 AM
Hi Sean ;)

Happy New Year

otto
12-30-2001, 01:27 AM
Originally posted by mle
One can cross camps and listen, or one can "take religion" and close one's mind and heart to all other information.
Some people are better suited to one or the other behavior.
mle

Beautiful , can i use that phrase in the future?....

Originally posted by mle
If you find something that speaks to you, by all means, devote yourself. But do not expect that all others must go that way.
Thus lies the path of the Inquisition, of World War II, of many evils.

Be generous.
Explore.
Be gracious and curious.

hummmmm....totally off topic here
but mle just made me recall some of my father's words on why we men need women....he said something like this "women are pacifiers , ecualizers...and they have the precious ability to end conflicts , to cease quarrels , to bring harmony.."...well he went then on describing some of the other more obvious abilities :).

that may be exagerated , absurd or even false ;) most of the time , but certainly Emily gave life to those words in mi view...

Great post...
sorry about the nonsense people , and excuse my broken english

the best of life for all of you on this coming new year....

Feliz Año Nuevo amigos.

Ottoniel David

tedehara
12-30-2001, 01:29 AM
Originally posted by mle

I always felt split between the Aikikai and the Ki Society and it seemed to me like a simple difference in teaching methods.
Can't say I'd agree to that. There are just too many areas where both organizations seem to go in opposite directions.

What some people don't realize is that the Ki Society is not a static style. As time goes on, the difference between Aikikai and the Ki Society will become even greater.

For those of you who don't consider aikido as a religion, I'd have to agree...sort of ;) .
If you mean aikido is a structured philosophy with a theology and like Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism or even Shinto, then of course it isn't a religion.

However, the word religion derives from a Latin root word, religio, meaning "to be connected to." This is also the origin of the word "relate". It's this relationship or connection to life that could also be an interpetation of the word religion. In this case, aikido could be considered a religion, or a way a person relates to life. Of course, things like work, raising a family and other activities would also be considered a "religion" using this broader definition.

Finally, here's another way of looking at all of this:
from ki-info group 8/7/01


Kashiwaya Sensei (http://www.aikiweb.com/interviews/kashiwaya1200.html) once said something to the effect that at first you practice your sensei's aikido, then you practice your own aikido, and finally you just practice aikido (the universal aikido).

Edward
12-30-2001, 04:42 AM
Emily,

Thanks for your post.

Dr. Goldsbury,

It would be an honour for me to meet you and practice together at the next opportunity.

Deepsoup,

I don't think my personal opinion matters that much, but for your information, I do consider Ki society, Yoshinkan and Takemusu as being true Aikido styles and I would happily and proudly practice at dojos affiliated to the above styles during my travels. (I haven't had the chance yet to practice at any Ki society dojo, but hopefully soon).

Colleen,

What you say is unfortunately true.

It is a pity though that the internationalization of Aikido would become one of the major causes of its degradation. Late Doshu seemed to have been aware of this fact as he mentioned it in his book "The spirit of Aikido", but he had good faith in human nature. Let's hope he was not over-optimistic.

Happy New Year 2002 to all!

Cheers,
Edward

PeterR
12-30-2001, 06:18 AM
Originally posted by Edward

Deepsoup,

I don't think my personal opinion matters that much, but for your information, I do consider Ki society, Yoshinkan and Takemusu as being true Aikido styles and I would happily and proudly practice at dojos affiliated to the above styles during my travels. (I haven't had the chance yet to practice at any Ki society dojo, but hopefully soon).

I think what our man Deep was alluding to was your exclusion of styles which include competition. That would of course include three major styles of Aikido; Ki Society, Yoshinkan and Shodokan. What in your mind is true Aikido?

I just recieved a private post in response to this post part of which says If you didn't read it, I'd suggest having a look at Jun's interview with Koichi Kashiwaya (http://www.aikiweb.com/interviews/kashiwaya1200.html). Coming from a senior instructor outside of Shodokan, what Mr Kashwaya has to say about competition is very refreshing. I agree - much of his explanation mirrors what Shodokan competition is all about.

Edward
12-30-2001, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by PeterR

I think what our man Deep was alluding to was your exclusion of styles which include competition. That would of course include three major styles of Aikido; Ki Society, Yoshinkan and Shodokan. What in your mind is true Aikido?

I just recieved a private post in response to this post part of which says If you didn't read it, I'd suggest having a look at Jun's interview with Koichi Kashiwaya (http://www.aikiweb.com/interviews/kashiwaya1200.html). Coming from a senior instructor outside of Shodokan, what Mr Kashwaya has to say about competition is very refreshing. I agree - much of his explanation mirrors what Shodokan competition is all about.

In my opinion, true Aikido is the one which follows the teachings of Osensei faithfully. This includes Takemusu which is Osensei style at his last days, Yoshinkan which was Osensei's style when he was young and energetic, Ki society which was founded by Osensei's undoubtedly most brilliant and faithful student. Ki society did not introduce any substantial change to Osensei's Aikido from the technical side, but rather from the spiritual and ki development side. As for competition at Ki society, as a matter of fact, Osensei never mentioned this kind of competition, so we will never really know his opinion about it.

As for Shodokan, we all know the historical facts and the conflict between Osensei and Mr. Tomiki regarding competition. Many sources speak about a verbally violent confrontation between the two which ended their relationship. In this respect Shodokan is not true Aikido, and anyhow we all know that at Shodokan Dr. Kano is reverred much more than Osensei, and Mr. Tomiki never considered himself as a true student of Osensei. I personally think that it has a strong relation to judo.

This does not in any way mean that Shodokan is better or worse than any other style, but just based on the above, you would agree with me that the use of the name Aikido is somehow misleading, which explains why at some dojos in Japan, the style is called Aiki-Judo.

This is my personal opinion, you might agree or disagree with it.

By the way, I am not aware of any competition at Yoshinkan. They are strongly against it as far as I know.

Cheers,
Edward

Edward
12-30-2001, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by ca
I am undoubtedly what Emily considers uninformed. But I think when someone starts or joins threads with comments that those who broke from the Aikikai lacked proper loyality and humility,or those who don't bow are abandoning what Aikido is about, well, they should be ready for the comments other have in response. :rolleyes:

Personally, I think members of this forum have responded much more gently to Edward than they did a few months ago to Louis, and there is a similar undertone in both posts. And I'm glad to see that more gentle approach, by the way. Just like saying you shouldn't be surprised if what you say reflects on your sensei, you shouldn't also be surprised if what you say and how you say it reflects on you, yourself.

Colleen,

In all my posts, I try to express as faithfully as possible the ethics and principles of Aikido, as I understand them from the writings of Osensei, late Doshu kisshomaru, and the many Uchi-Deshis who studied directly from Osensei. I cannot help not to feel disgusted when I know that these values are no longer appreciated and valued by a considerable part of this forum's members. Fortunately, I do not see this in the actual dojos I visit, which leads me to believe that Aikiweb forum active members do not actually represent the opinion of the Aikido community.

I find it really pathetic that I should receive any strong replies when I am only repeating the words that I read in books and articles and interviews by the founder and his closest disciples. As if the principles of Aikido require now to be defended by beginners such as myself.

I reiterate my position: There is no merit in supporting the Sensei when he's right, that's very easy. The real merit is in supporting the Sensei when he's wrong. If you think Aikikai is wrong in some aspect, it's very easy to break away and claim that you are the true Aikido (and start collecting the money, coincidentally!), the real merit is in staying in the founder's organization and trying to fix what you consider as being the problems from within and thus make your organization and your MA stronger.

Yes, vanity and arrogance and profit are behind the separation from the main stream. And my position is incorruptible.

Cheers,
Edward

tedehara
12-30-2001, 01:33 PM
Edward - When you post a message to the internet, you could get a reply from anywhere in the world. Some of these people are outright crazy. Other answers are shaped by different enviornments and teachings. Most of them are going to be strong opinions. After all, the people wouldn't have taken the time to reply unless they didn't feel strongly about it. And you, as a reader, probably wouldn't be interested in a conversation where everyone simply agrees with each other.

You also have a right to express your opinion, don't let anyone try and intimidate you from that. Not everyone will agree with you, perhaps everyone will disagree with you. Yet if you are true to yourself and your beliefs, that shouldn't matter. :)

Thanks for starting an interesting thread.

Colleen - I always thought my aikido experiences were weird until I began reading your posts. Perhaps someday, we can practice together and you can teach me your Hebrew greeting. :eek:

Peter Goldsbury - Make sure your boy gets Sakamoto Ryoma right. Hate ta have da family show what we've learnt since the Satsuma Clan. :mad:

Just another sunny Sunday morning in Chicago. :D

Erik
12-30-2001, 03:37 PM
Originally posted by PeterR
I think what our man Deep was alluding to was your exclusion of styles which include competition. That would of course include three major styles of Aikido; Ki Society, Yoshinkan and Shodokan. What in your mind is true Aikido?


You know something, there are times I feel for you Shodokan types. It must suck to get this over and over and over again.

And, all over a training tool.

Jim23
12-30-2001, 04:06 PM
I agree, sometimes this all seems so petty.

Train hard, eat right, die anyway.

Jim23

guest1234
12-30-2001, 06:21 PM
Colleen - I always thought my aikido experiences were weird until I began reading your posts. Perhaps someday, we can practice together and you can teach me your Hebrew greeting. :eek:



Yeah, one use for my life, it makes others feel normal:D

The Hebrew phrase reminded me very much of the Arabic one I learned while in Saudi...similarity in all the differences...I look forward to the chance to train:)

deepsoup
12-30-2001, 06:52 PM
Originally posted by Erik

You know something, there are times I feel for you Shodokan types. It must suck to get this over and over and over again.


Hi Erik,

I appreciate the sentiment. :)

Sometimes its dull to go over and around the same old debate. But other times its kind of fun (at least its always easy to troll up an argument when I'm feeling a bit combative.)

Speaking for myself, while I've certainly learned a thing or two, I really only read and post on forums like this for fun. I only take it seriously in the dojo, and there's no debate in there about whether its aikido or not.

Regards
Sean

ps: Jim23 wrote:
Train hard, eat right, die anyway.
True wisdom, LOL. :D

PeterR
12-30-2001, 07:19 PM
Well I must say my loins were girded for battle but thankfully I was called away for a really good meal and great company. Funny how that can mellow you.

I may be Shodokan but both in Japan and the real world I have trained in several Aikikai dojos including those holding the distinction of either having shihan rank or being able to claim studying under Ueshiba M. Not once have I been unwelcome or seen the level of disrespect shown by Edward to someone of Kenji Tomiki's stature. Most noteable in my memory was a seminer and personal discussion with Chiba sensei in the US and the Shihan of the Osaka Aikikai - both of whom disagree with Kenji Tomiki's view - but paid me a lot of personal attention and respect for which I am grateful.

As for Shodokan, we all know the historical facts and the conflict between Osensei and Mr. Tomiki regarding competition. Many sources speak about a verbally violent confrontation between the two which ended their relationship. In this respect Shodokan is not true Aikido, and anyhow we all know that at Shodokan Dr. Kano is reverred much more than Osensei, and Mr. Tomiki never considered himself as a true student of Osensei. I personally think that it has a strong relation to judo.

Well Edward - I don't think you have any clear idea of the facts. Please tell me when this violent confrontation was and then explain why after their relationship ended there was continual contact. I assume this confrontation did not occur in the last moments before Ueshiba's death. Personally I don't know that Kano is more revered than Ueshiba M. At Shodokan Honbu, where I studied fro several years, there are pictures of Tomiki, Ueshiba and Ohba, none of Kano. Where is it stated that Tomiki never considered himself a student of Ueshiba M. - certainly not in any tradition or writting I have been exposed to and that includes discussion with people of much higher Aikikai rank than you possess including those of Shihan rank.

The discussion between Ueshiba M. and Tomiki K. have been discussed elsewhere, also what the role of shiai is and what Ueshiba meant when he talked about competition.

This does not in any way mean that Shodokan is better or worse than any other style, but just based on the above, you would agree with me that the use of the name Aikido is somehow misleading, which explains why at some dojos in Japan, the style is called Aiki-Judo.

Well I never heard that but I haven't been everywhere, how much time and where did you train in Japan.

This is my personal opinion, you might agree or disagree with it.I have no problem with personal opinion but I do with your tendency to talk in absolutes.

By the way, I am not aware of any competition at Yoshinkan. They are strongly against it as far as I know.

There seems to be a lot of things you are not aware of although as was explained to me by one of the instructors of Yoshinakan Honbu the competition is mainly limited, but not restricted, to Police groups.

I find it really pathetic that I should receive any strong replies when I am only repeating the words that I read in books and articles and interviews by the founder and his closest disciples. As if the principles of Aikido require now to be defended by beginners such as myself.

Besides the way you choose to distort and repeat them, you pick and choose which uchi-deshi to consider when dismissing the first hachidan and arguably the deshi longest associated with Ueshiba M. as not a "true student". I repeat my first comments on this thread "grunt" and "read some history". Some excellent articles can be found at http://www.aikidojournal.com

L. Camejo
12-31-2001, 10:32 AM
Hi all,

Thank you so much Peter. You just helped me avoid having to do exactly what you just did.

I had just collected my Aikido texts to go into battle on that last Edward post, but happily I also got distracted and delayed.

Speaking in absolutes about Aikido can be a dangerous thing, especially to the misinformed. Not to mention on a style that is pretty much misunderstood in the wider Aikido community.

I hope one day we all can evolve beyond arguments and judgements based on style, affiliation and methods and realise that Aikido encompasses and includes all things and will continuously change and evolve as it is forged in the minds and bodies of those who practice it.

Being a pretty wise man, I think M. Ueshiba knew this and didn't close his mind to ANY particular manifestation of the art/way that he had founded.

The philosophy of Aikido tends to provoke thought and as such, is subject to interpretation. We must therefore be careful not to lay judgement on things without understanding the true nature of the thing.

Sorry about the rambling.

My 2 Yen.
Arigato Gozaimashita
L.C.:ai::ki:

Chuck Clark
12-31-2001, 02:09 PM
Peter,

Thanks from this direction also. It must really feel good to be part of the "ONE TRUE WAY" (TM).

After over 48 years of pretty solid budo training, I have encountered many "true believers" that have it all figured out (usually after a short time of training).

Oh well...

Mina san, Akemashita Omedeto Gozaimasu!

To all of us, Happy New Year!

Regards,

PeterR
12-31-2001, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by Chuck Clark
It must really feel good to be part of the "ONE TRUE WAY" (TM).
Who me?? :D

Best wishes to you and yours for the New Year also. Always glad to see you posting.

Peter Goldsbury
12-31-2001, 05:59 PM
As someone who has contributed here and elsewhere to the general question of Tomiki Sensei's relationship with the Founder and the question of competition, I must express my agreement with Peter R's last post. I have talked long and often with two of the people from the Aikikai who were involved in the matter, the late Doshu and Okumura Shigenbou Shihan. There was clearly a disagreement, and one which imvolved the Founder himself. But the mutual respect, of all parties involved, is beyond question.

‚ ‚¯‚Ü‚µ‚Ä‚¨‚ß‚Ä‚Æ‚¤‚²‚´‚¢‚Ü‚·B¡”N‚à‚æ‚낵‚­‚¨Šè‚¢’v‚µ‚Ü‚·B

That last bit of Japanese was for you, Peter R., in view of your coming relocation to Japan. Have you found a dojo yet where you can practise in Himeji? I attended a demonstration of kobudo in Miyajima recently and there were one or two demonstrations by Shibukawa-ryu jujutsu people. Shibujawa-ryu is still practised in Okayama Prefecture, as I understand, so you might like to consider this.

Best regards to all,

Chuck Clark
12-31-2001, 08:10 PM
Peter,

You have never given me the feeling that you thought you had a lock on "THE ONE TRUE WAY".

When is the big move happening? As I've said before, I'm a bit jealous.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Edward... a bit of free advice on this edge of the new year (and it's worth every bit of what it cost you!)

Take in as much info from as many different directions as you can. Get as much "first hand experience" with those who have gone before you from all of those directions. Listen to your own heart and respect others' right to have viewpoints that differ from yours. We all have much to learn from each other.

And now, I'm off to the dojo for Toshikoshi geiko.

Regards,

PeterR
01-01-2002, 06:31 AM
Dear Peter G. and Chuck;

Move back to Japan is still on track although slightly delayed. Must say that the delay has only managed to increase my level of enthusiasm. At the moment January is doubtful, February is probable, March is possible - wish I could be more certain.

Peter G:
I still have not found a dojo to practice but do want to explore a Koryu and I thank you for your suggestion. I will be sitting down with my Shihan and asking his advice and direction and it is good that I have some possiblities to present. I have already been in contact with another Koryu and they were very nice but ask for permission and a letter of introduction. My work may be far from my home dojo but still close enough that I will get a full days training in on the weekend.

I'll see your Japanese once I get back from Holidays - my father's computer can't handle the fonts.

Chuck:
Hence the smiley - I know what you meant but thank you anyway.

Chuck.Gordon
01-04-2002, 10:54 AM
As for Shodokan, we all know the historical facts and the conflict between Osensei and Mr. Tomiki regarding competition.

Eh? We ALL _know_ said facts? I do not have irrefutable proof of any of that. I know what Tomiki's folks say and what _some_ Aikikai folks say differ, but generally, I have to base my _beliefs_ on what I've seen and experienced.

Over the years, I've trained with lots of judo and Aikikai folks or all flavors (ASU, USAF E/W/MW, etc) as well as Ki Society and some offshoots. And, I've trained with folks from Tomiki ryu (mainline), the Fugakukai and Jiyushinkai. And ya know what? I haven't seen anything from the Tomiki folks that resembled judo. What I've seen, felt and done in the Tomiki-derived styles was aikido.

As for the competition, you do know that Ki Society has added in recent years, a competetive element (the Taigi competitions) and, IIRC, the Yoshinkan is considering or has maybe already approved some form of competition.

more than Osensei, and Mr. Tomiki never considered himself as a true student of Osensei. I personally think that it has a strong relation to judo.

Did Tomiki ever so state? References, pls?

I know some Aikikai folks have a burr in their saddle about Tomiki, but there are some who have a similar burr about Yosh folks, about Ki Society, about Iwama folks, and some USAF East folks get hinky about USAF Midwest, etc etc etc. It's all pretty silly.

As if the principles of Aikido require now to be defended by beginners such as myself.

The _principles_ of aikido need no defense. What needs defending is statement of absolutes and unreferenced pseudo-fact.

Chuck

And yes, it's ALL aikido. And yes, splits (and mergers) will continue as long as politics are involved, human nature is unchanged and the sun rises in the east.

bcole23
01-04-2002, 01:13 PM
"This is the west, not the east, and the sun may rise where you come from, but this is where it sets."

;)
Shanghai Noon

Edward
01-05-2002, 12:06 AM
Originally posted by LOEP
[B
And yes, it's ALL aikido. And yes, splits (and mergers) will continue as long as politics are involved, human nature is unchanged and the sun rises in the east. [/B]

I have been accused of distorting the facts and talking in absolutes and being uninformed or misinformed ...etc. etc. There are no history books about Aikido and all our information goes back to articles and interviews of people contemporary to Osensei. Some of the above people have even modified their stories in subsequent interviews. The information is conflicting depending on to which side the author belongs. Every person who contributed to this thread has certain convictions and believes in certain facts that are difficult to prove or biased or distorted. The point of view of PeterR for example, eventhough I respect it, is not at all free of such distortions of which he accuses me. Ultimately, every one believes what he wants to believe and no one will be willing to change positions. And that's fine.

Catholic and protestant chirches are both Christian but many hundreds thousands of people have found their death through the centuries because of this split. Being a Catholic, I believe my chirch is right, and all protestants would believe the opposite. Who can tell who's right and who's wrong?

Your final statement sums up the matter very well. I do hope that more mergers than splits would happen though.

Cheers,
Edward

Peter Goldsbury
01-05-2002, 06:23 AM
Hullo Edward,

Happy New Year!

I think one of the issues in your earlier post was the relation of Tomiki Kenji Sensei to the Founder. Perhaps total objectivity is hard to achieve, but the exchanges I have had with Peter R. over a lengthy period have led me to (a) go back and re-evaluate the sources of my knowledge of Tomiki Sensei's relationship with the Founder and (b) get to know Peter R. as a living, breathing, committed aikidoka, such than when he finally does come back to Japan, we can at some point meet, train together and talk (probably at some length).

Incidentally, do you talk about aikido history with your own teacher? Fukakusa Shihan is the 1st Vice-Chairman of the IAF and I hope he will come to Sweden in August this year for the 2002 IAF Directing Committee Meeting. Even more, I hope he will bring some students with him to participate in the training courses to be organised alongside the meeting. Any chance that we can meet?

Anyway, all good wishes to you and yours for2002.

guest1234
01-05-2002, 06:33 AM
I am curious why you would necesarily want more mergers than splits...:confused:

I think differences are not only OK, but add interest and beauty, enhance rather than detract. I think the ugliness exists only when there is intolerance for a view other than ones own.

There are many different spiritual paths in the world, and I am glad for that: I think more find their way through that, through diversity. I would much rather everyone find happiness in their own way than all just follow mine. Especially since I don't know that I am always on the surest path, just the one that feels right to me (for me) at the time.

I feel the same about Aikido. It is more important that each finds a way to be comfortable, than we all agree on which way that is, as long as we all take joy in and respect each others differences. I don't want Aikido, or anything else in my life, to be carved in stone. When something stops changing its spirit leaves. But there could be something I am missing in the importance of uniformity.

Karl Kuhn
01-05-2002, 11:41 AM
Peter (R),

Well said, as usual. Your approach to the never ending stream of "validity" questions is a great model for the Shodokan community. Most of whom will just roll their eyes and stay clear of conversation. Which is too bad because it is pretty obvious that the "message" is not getting out there and if it is, it gets twisted. Happy new year, btw, all the best to you and your family.

Anyone else that is interested,

I think where Tomiki is indebt to and involved in the lineage of Kano is in the educational theory of modern budo. It is not that he sought to merge judo and aikido on a technical/mechanical level (all though in the end they are pretty much the same, no?), it is more that the work he did in developing the training methodolgy (stepped learning, kata training, randori, the list goes on) are a continuation of Kano's budo as educational tool.

I agree with what someone else has stated, that the work of Tomiki and his lineage is aikido, no two ways about it. The tie to Kano and judo is one of educational design.

Peace,

Karl

PeterR
01-05-2002, 12:27 PM
Hi Karl;

I actually disagree - the message is getting out there. One only has to look at the number of non-Shodokan folks, some quite senior, that are quick to show their understanding on the electronic forums. That by the way does not imply an agreement with Kenji Tomiki's theories.

Of course it helps to have people like Nariyama and Shishida doing what they do. The translations of the articles that recently appeared in AikiNews on Tomiki and Shodokan Aikido (http://www.AikidoJournal.com) certainly helped (thank you S. Pranin) now all we need is the translation of the "Book" to become available. One of my great discoveries this summer was how the book was being used as a text book by an Aikikai Shihan for his high school students.

Edward: We all have our biases based on our experiences and inclinations and in a discussion presenting our arguments as best we can is part of the process. Just as I have done, please correct me where I have made an incorrect statement or strayed too far.

Greg Jennings
01-05-2002, 10:35 PM
Originally posted by PeterR
Edward: We all have our biases based on our experiences and inclinations and in a discussion presenting our arguments as best we can is part of the process. Just as I have done, please correct me where I have made an incorrect statement or strayed too far.

Edward,

Let me add that to my knowledge PeterR has never proclaimed from a position of ignorance. This in several years of posting on Aikido-L.

In addition to being a serious student of aikido, he's a serious academic researcher with the concommitant analytical skills.

FWIW,

Chocolateuke
01-05-2002, 11:53 PM
erm.. it seems that the true spirit of aikido isnt staying in the thread cause there are no smiles on the post! (jk) anyways Yoshinkan has Compition in the police training? did this accure before or after Gozo Shioda died? for all I knew he was agianst compition as much as O-sensei was. as for "True Aikido" I really hate that expression because it's like religion "true religion" has created to many wars. Aikido is Aikido and it will evolve because things times and people change. aikido is a personal thing like art in fact it is an art ( as well as a life styal.) To me thoes who say their aikido is more true than anothers aikido is saying that mine is better than yours. I practace Yoshinkan and Shizenkai. Both are expressions of Aikido and I have been in Aikai dojos before and find a lot of similarites. well I gotta go to bed.

Karl Kuhn
01-06-2002, 12:31 AM
Peter R,

Ok, you're right, the message is getting out there in many ways and there are many to be commended for this, including your own bad typing self ;^) It is worth noting that while the level of dialogue on a number of forums/bulletin boards has greatly improved, there is still a great deal to be done to more effectively communicate the Shodokan methodology and legacy. I think I might be saying THAT for a while ...hehe.

And I completely agree that the "book" needs to appear soon. Kari (ya'll met, no?)and I did a final edit last summer and I was completely unprepared by how jaw droppingly brilliant the bulk of it is.

As a matter of fact, I'm gonna fire off an e-mail and see what's what.

Peace,

Karl

deepsoup
01-06-2002, 06:19 AM
Originally posted by Karl Kuhn
And I completely agree that the "book" needs to appear soon. Kari (ya'll met, no?)and I did a final edit last summer and I was completely unprepared by how jaw droppingly brilliant the bulk of it is.

As a matter of fact, I'm gonna fire off an e-mail and see what's what.


Speaking as someone who's itching to get his hands on an english-language copy of "the book", any chance you could post again if there's any news ?

Originally posted by Chocolateuke
anyways Yoshinkan has Compition in the police training? did this accure before or after Gozo Shioda died?

I dont know, but I've found a clue:
Stanley Pranin wrote an editorial (http://www.aikidojournal.com/articles/_article.asp?ArticleID=768) in the Aikido Journal (http://www.aikidojournal.com) in 1994, in which he mentions forms of competition in various different styles including Yoshinkan.
So it seems likely that some element of competition was already in place at the Yoshinkan by 1994, which was the year that Gozo Shioda died (on July 17th).

Sean
x

Chocolateuke
01-06-2002, 10:16 AM
wow didnt know thx soup. although it was compition maybe stanly is right it was so aikidoka would train harder ( although yoshinkan from what I hear of other people is known for its hard training) me myself I train harder than I ever had without compition thx very much but I guess if it is used in a "friendly form" then I guess its alright if it doesnt get out of hand. well thx for the infromation.

PeterR
01-06-2002, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by Greg Jennings
Let me add that to my knowledge PeterR has never proclaimed from a position of ignorance.
But he has been wrong and he has modified his views.

Greg Jennings
01-06-2002, 04:50 PM
Originally posted by PeterR

But he has been wrong and he has modified his views.

Of course.

I was really trying to find a polite way to say that I've never known you to "talk out of your a**".

Regards,

Edward
01-07-2002, 12:25 AM
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury
Hullo Edward,

Happy New Year!

I think one of the issues in your earlier post was the relation of Tomiki Kenji Sensei to the Founder. Perhaps total objectivity is hard to achieve, but the exchanges I have had with Peter R. over a lengthy period have led me to (a) go back and re-evaluate the sources of my knowledge of Tomiki Sensei's relationship with the Founder and (b) get to know Peter R. as a living, breathing, committed aikidoka, such than when he finally does come back to Japan, we can at some point meet, train together and talk (probably at some length).

Incidentally, do you talk about aikido history with your own teacher? Fukakusa Shihan is the 1st Vice-Chairman of the IAF and I hope he will come to Sweden in August this year for the 2002 IAF Directing Committee Meeting. Even more, I hope he will bring some students with him to participate in the training courses to be organised alongside the meeting. Any chance that we can meet?

Anyway, all good wishes to you and yours for2002.

Hello Dr. Goldsbury,

Happy New Year!

It is definitely impossible to be totally objective on the subject. My impression, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that there was definitely a big problem between Osensei and Pr. Tomiki regarding the introduction of shiai to Aikido. I can't imagine that Osensei could take lightly the modification of such a central principle of Aikido. I have no doubt that mutual respect was kept as is expected from persons of their calibre. Perhaps the fact that Pr. Tomiki delayed public competition untill the death of Osensei played a big part in the saveguarding of the relationship. Your feedback on this subject would be very valuable.


As for Fukakusa Shihan, we usually have post-training beer once or twice a week, and we do discuss these matters very often. I do also discuss Aikido history with the other 4 Japanese instructors in Bangkok, all holding ranks of 5 and 6 dan. I also read any Aikido material I can lay hands on.

Fukakusa Shihan told me recently about the Stokholm meeting. I don't know if he plans to take along a few students, but if he does, I will not hesitate in joining the group.

Hope to see you there.

Best regards,
Edward

Edward
01-07-2002, 12:36 AM
Originally posted by ca
I am curious why you would necesarily want more mergers than splits...:confused:

I think differences are not only OK, but add interest and beauty, enhance rather than detract. I think the ugliness exists only when there is intolerance for a view other than ones own.

There are many different spiritual paths in the world, and I am glad for that: I think more find their way through that, through diversity. I would much rather everyone find happiness in their own way than all just follow mine. Especially since I don't know that I am always on the surest path, just the one that feels right to me (for me) at the time.

I feel the same about Aikido. It is more important that each finds a way to be comfortable, than we all agree on which way that is, as long as we all take joy in and respect each others differences. I don't want Aikido, or anything else in my life, to be carved in stone. When something stops changing its spirit leaves. But there could be something I am missing in the importance of uniformity.

I didn't say that it's necessary. I just feel that merger sounds better that split and conveys a more positive impression. Splits are associated with fighting or problems, mergers with agreement and understanding.

I agree with you that differences are good, as long as they follow Aikido principles. Osensei himself said something in the meaning that it is impossible for 2 people to have the same Aikido, as each will develop his own Aikido differently according to his own physical and psychological profile.

Cheers,
Edward

Edward
01-07-2002, 01:22 AM
Originally posted by PeterR


Edward: We all have our biases based on our experiences and inclinations and in a discussion presenting our arguments as best we can is part of the process. Just as I have done, please correct me where I have made an incorrect statement or strayed too far.

Peter,

We both agree that there is no absolute truth in this matter, and agreeing to disagree is the most civilized way to deal with it. I know we will never change our positions regarding this touchy subject, and I don't expect any one to do.

I would like you to know that I never meant any disrespect to Pr. Tomiki in the concerned post and I apologize if I gave this impression inadvertly. As for the Aiki-Judo name, a visiting Japanese instructor once told me this. I myself have never trained with Shodokan, but have read several books about it. It is a fact that the word Judo is repeated so many times. Perhaps this is due to Pr. Tomiki Judo background, to his will along with Dr. Kano's philosophy, to preserve Japanese martial arts by converting them into sports, and replacing budo value with the more international value which is sportsmanship. Pr. Tomiki himself said that he wanted in his system to use Aikido techniques but following the judo principles.

I don't agree with this philosophy but this is something we will surely disagree on.

However, I am sure that were Dr. Kano alive now, he would have been disappointed with what Judo has become, which is very different from the Judo Dr. Kano practiced and intended to spread, at least in the majority of the dojos in the world with rare exceptions.

Finally, I am sure you were very well received at Aikikai dojos, the same way I was well received at dojos of other styles where I have practiced. You would be very welcome to practice with us if you ever come to Bangkok, and I myself will try to practice at a Shodokan dojo at the first opportunity.

Cheers,
Edward

guest1234
01-07-2002, 01:31 AM
Originally posted by Edward


I didn't say that it's necessary. I just feel that merger sounds better that split and conveys a more positive impression. Splits are associated with fighting or problems, mergers with agreement and understanding.

Cheers,
Edward

I think I am starting to understand you. I would never have associated a negative side to split, to me it is a sign of growth and change, as in leaving home once you are grown. The only time a split means trouble (to me) is when one side refuses to let the other leave, fearing loss of control.

Edward
01-07-2002, 01:39 AM
Originally posted by ca


I think I am starting to understand you. I would never have associated a negative side to split, to me it is a sign of growth and change, as in leaving home once you are grown. The only time a split means trouble (to me) is when one side refuses to let the other leave, fearing loss of control.

You know, Colleen, it's a cultural thing. We Orientals leave the parental home very reluctantly, and even after marriage, prefer to live close to our parents in case the parental home is not big enough to accomodate the whole family. :)

PeterR
01-07-2002, 07:51 AM
Originally posted by Edward
Perhaps the fact that Pr. Tomiki delayed public competition untill the death of Osensei played a big part in the saveguarding of the relationship.
In 1970 there was the first The First All Japan Students Aikido Tournament however in the Kanto area there were interuniversity (public) competitions long before that.

The first introduction of competitive Aikido to the Kansai area universities occured in 1969 at the invitation of the Aikikai Kansai Hombu Shihan Hirokazu Kobayashi although a dojo was established in Osaka since 1963.

It was with the inclusion of both Kansai and Kanto areas that allowed the All Japan designation - this was an important moment in that Shodokan Aikido became a truely national entity.

Its possible the death of Ueshiba M. had something to do with the timing, but I really don't think so.

Edward
01-07-2002, 10:41 AM
Originally posted by deepsoup


Stanley Pranin wrote an editorial (http://www.aikidojournal.com/articles/_article.asp?ArticleID=768) in the Aikido Journal (http://www.aikidojournal.com) in 1994, in which he mentions forms of competition in various different styles including Yoshinkan.
So it seems likely that some element of competition was already in place at the Yoshinkan by 1994, which was the year that Gozo Shioda died (on July 17th).

Sean
x

Excellent article!

According to Stanley Pranin, Yoshinkan "competition" is similar in every respect to that of Ki Society. If that is true, it is a Kata competition and does not involve confrontation of 2 players.

I was very surprised when Peter R. mentioned competition at Yoshinkan, because I know that Shioda Sensei was categorically against it, as he mentions it in several publications.

I would be grateful if Peter or others would clarify this point. Is there any competition element that has been recently introduced other than the one mentioned by Stanley Pranin?

Cheers,
Edward

PeterR
01-07-2002, 11:25 AM
Every Tomiki Competition contains Enbu events - always have. Both Ki society and Yoshinkan introduced Enbu events but not the one on one matches. The same article mentions another style of Aikido which includes these one on one matches but outside the article I know nothing about this group.

All the arguments against competition I have heard can make no distinction between Enbu and shiai. Pair against pair is no different than one against one. There is only one argument for shiai that does not apply to Enbu and that is testing your technique against a well trained opponent - that of course is the purpose of shiai.

Generally those who take part in shiai are very aware of their limitations.

Anyhow - the only reason I go on here was the "true student" statement. I recommend the truely exellent thread where Peter G. contributed greatly. From that I take it that Ueshiba M. never condemed shiai but kyou-sou. Kyou-sou can be found in shiai, in embu, in any and every dojo (including Edward's I am sure) and in every endeavor where more than one person is involved. It seems to be at work here. The trick is to overcome it.

Home > AikiWeb Forums > AikiWeb: Language > "Competition"

Edward
01-07-2002, 12:12 PM
Originally posted by PeterR

There is only one argument for shiai that does not apply to Enbu and that is testing your technique against a well trained opponent - that of course is the purpose of shiai.
Generally those who take part in shiai are very aware of their limitations.


Their limitations in shiai, that is. I believe shiai follows certain rules, of which I don't know much honestly. But just by the existence of rules, you are creating a controlled environment which is different from a real life or death situation where there are no rules.

In my personal opinion, there is no relationship between the two. Being the champion of the world in boxing does not necessarily mean that you will do well when attacked with a knife or kicked in the groin. In the countrary, it might give you a false self-confidence which could endanger your life.

I myself prefer to think that aikido does not work against serious attacks. I believe this is good to avoid this self-confidence and get involved in unnecessary harm situations.

Sorry that I went far from the subject.

Cheers,
Edward

PeterR
01-07-2002, 12:43 PM
True if shiai is all you train for - you will limit your Aikido. The bulk of Shodokan training is of course not geared towards shiai and in fact looks similar to many other Aikido dojos.

However, one of the central tenents of Tomiki's theories is that the lessons learnt in shiai are applicable to all your Aikido. You find out very quickly what techniqes work for you, how to improve the basic principles of taisabaki, kuzushi and ma ai, not to mention that most ellusive of all timing. Since your opponent can counter and resist, all sorts of possiblities are open.

I myself prefer to think that aikido does not work against serious attacks.

Perhaps this is where we truely differ. Whether Aikido will work or not is entirely dependent on the training methods. I do know that within the Shodokan system the ability to apply techniques under pressure is learnt well in the crucible of shiai.

I believe this is good to avoid this self-confidence and get involved in unnecessary harm situations.

No argument there. I have seen levels of untested self confidence in dojos that would make you cringe. Those who do shiai are well aware of the difference between the mat and the street.

By the way I would put good money on a competitive boxer surviving a street confrontation. These guys are tough, know how to give and take serious damage, and have enough grey cells left to toss any rules of fair play out the window.

deepsoup
01-07-2002, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by Edward

Their limitations in shiai, that is. I believe shiai follows certain rules, of which I don't know much honestly. But just by the existence of rules, you are creating a controlled environment which is different from a real life or death situation where there are no rules.

Shiai is simply a training tool, it gives us a means to test our abilities and often provides a good incentive to train harder.
Of course there are rules, it would be a poor tool for training if you couldn't participate without getting injured.

As Peter says, those of us who participate do indeed tend to know our limitations. There are a lot of aikidoka whose experience of randori consists of throwing multiple attackers around with ease. Those of us who participate in shiai and 'competitive' randori also have a lot of experience of a single attacker who we find extremely difficult to throw. It can be very sobering for the over-confident!

(Tanto-randori also teaches a certain respect for an attacker armed with a knife, its very rare to emerge from a tanto-randori contest without having been fatally stabbed at least once!)

If your point is that shiai doesn't accurately simulate actual 'life or death' conflict, then of course you are correct, it doesn't. As Mr Pranin points out, no form of martial arts competition does that. Nor does any form of dojo training, for that matter, competitive or otherwise.

Apart from anything else, martial arts contests of all kinds are usually fair, and I forget who said it, but "In the real world, a fair fight is the result of bad planning."

Sean
x

Edward
01-07-2002, 10:05 PM
Originally posted by PeterR
True if shiai is all you train for - you will limit your Aikido. The bulk of Shodokan training is of course not geared towards shiai and in fact looks similar to many other Aikido dojos.

However, one of the central tenents of Tomiki's theories is that the lessons learnt in shiai are applicable to all your Aikido. You find out very quickly what techniqes work for you, how to improve the basic principles of taisabaki, kuzushi and ma ai, not to mention that most ellusive of all timing. Since your opponent can counter and resist, all sorts of possiblities are open.

I myself prefer to think that aikido does not work against serious attacks.

Perhaps this is where we truely differ. Whether Aikido will work or not is entirely dependent on the training methods. I do know that within the Shodokan system the ability to apply techniques under pressure is learnt well in the crucible of shiai.

I believe this is good to avoid this self-confidence and get involved in unnecessary harm situations.

No argument there. I have seen levels of untested self confidence in dojos that would make you cringe. Those who do shiai are well aware of the difference between the mat and the street.

By the way I would put good money on a competitive boxer surviving a street confrontation. These guys are tough, know how to give and take serious damage, and have enough grey cells left to toss any rules of fair play out the window.

Well, I have to agree with you that shiai used as a training tool could be very useful for improving your technique under pressure situations.

At our dojo, one of the Thai teachers does occasionally some sort of freestyle (jyuwaza) where Nage is attacked by one or several Uke. The attack should be as serious as possible in the limit of safety, and Uke can resist at will and apply counters also. It ends up often in grappling. It's not the sort of randori where Uke are falling on all sides.

Even though every aikidoka will know how good (or bad mostly) he did, there are no declared winners and loosers, and partners are chosen by the sensei mostly of matching ranks.

As for whether Aikido works or not, I am sure that it works very well for high ranks no matter the training method. I just like to believe that it does not work for me in order to avoid conflict caused by over self confidence or the desire to test one's fighting abilities.


Cheers,
edward

Peter Goldsbury
01-08-2002, 05:49 AM
Peter R.,

A few comments.

Originally posted by PeterR


Anyhow - the only reason I go on here was the "true student" statement. I recommend the truely exellent thread where Peter G. contributed greatly. From that I take it that Ueshiba M. never condemed shiai but kyou-sou. Kyou-sou can be found in shiai, in embu, in any and every dojo (including Edward's I am sure) and in every endeavor where more than one person is involved. It seems to be at work here. The trick is to overcome it.

Home > AikiWeb Forums > AikiWeb: Language > "Competition"

Peter R.,

I am not sure about this and I wonder whether my posts in the other forum might have not been misuderstood. The most accessible written text of the Founder's own thoughts about competition is in Aikido Journal, Number 117, Page 21. The text is a translation by Sonoko Tanaka of a passage which appears on Pages 50 of Takemusu Aiki, by Hideo Takahashi.

Just so that there is no shadow of doubt about what the Founder actually stated, I quote the Japanese text and Sonoko Tanaka's translation.

ƒXƒ|[ƒc‚Ƃ́A—V‹Z‚Å‚ ‚èA—V‹Y‚Å‚ ‚éB°‚Ì‚Ê‚¯‚½—V‹Z‚Å‚ ‚éB鮁i“÷‘́j‚Ì‚Ý‚Ì‹£‘ˆ‚È‚Ì‚Å ‚ ‚èA°‚Ì‹£‚¢‚Å‚í‚È‚¢B

Sports are games and pastimes that do not involve the spirit. They are competitions only between physical bodies and not between souls. Thus, they are competitionsmerely for the sake of pleasure.

“ú–{‚Ì•“¹‚Ƃ́A‚·‚ׂĂð˜a‡‚³‚¹ŽçŒì‚·‚¤A‚»‚µ‚Ä‚±‚̐¢‚ð‰h‚¦‚³‚¹‚鈤‚ÌŽÀs‚Ì‹£‘ˆ ‚Ì‚Ì‚Å‚ ‚éB

The Japanese martial arts are a competition in in how we can express and realise love that unites and protects everything in harmony and helps this world to prosper.

¢‚Ì’†‚ðŽç‚é‚Æ‚±‚ë‚Ì“¹‚́A—썰‚ðŽç‚èA鮂̐¢‚àŽç‚èA°é®’²‡‚̂ƂꂽƒAƒEƒ€‚̌ċz ‚ð‚à‚Á‚āA‚·‚ׂĂ̐¶¬‰»ˆç‚Ì“¹‚ð‚ÎŽ»‚­Žç‚èA‰h‚¦‚Ì“¹‚ðˆ¤ˆç‚·‚낱‚Æ‚Ì‹£‘ˆ‚Å‚ ‚éB ‚±‚Ì‹£‘ˆ‚±‚»ƒiƒMƒiƒ~“ñ‘¸‚ð‚µ‚Ä‚Ì‘å_‚Ì‚²Šˆ–ô‚ðŽÀÝ‚ɁA¡“ú‚̐¢‚ð‘n‚Á‚½‚±‚Æ“¯ˆê‚É ‚È‚Ì‚Å‚ ‚éB

The Way that preserves the world is a competition to protect the spirit and also the physical world. It is a competition to completely guard the Way of birth and growth of all nature, and to lovingly cultivate the Way of flourishing of all, through the breath of A-UM (breathing out and in) in which the spirit and physical body are balanced and in harmony. This competition was exactly the same activity as the creation of today's world engaged in by the Great God through the two deities of Izanagi and Izanami.

The terms used by Morihei Ueshibain the sbove passage are kyousou ‹£‘ˆ and kisoi ‹£‚¢, whether in regard to competition in sport, or the higher form referred to later in the passage. Shiai ŽŽ‡ is not mentioned once.

The word is, however, mentioned by Kisshomaru Ueshiba in Aikido Ichiro, his autobiography, in a lengthy section devoted to Tomiki Sensei (pp.184 - 188). This section is too long to quote or translate, but Kisshomaru discusses the occasions when Tomiki Sensei visited O Sensei in Iwama after the war and showed him the aiki-taiso exercises he had developped as a POW in Siberia. The Founder's reaction was, ‚»‚̂悤‚È‚à‚Ì‚ðu‡‹Cv‚Ə̂³‚ê‚Ă͍¢‚é@@"If you call this sort of thing 'aiki; it will be a problem".

He goes on to explain that Tomiki Sensei later came to believe that competition ‹£‘ˆ‰»(kyousouka) was necessary as an educational tool. Kisshomaru does not quote Morihei Ueshiba's actual words, but does state that his own opinion and that of his father were the same. He also repeated this a number of times to me in private conversation. Whether it was called ‹£‘ˆ or ŽŽ‡, it was not part of aikido. Tomiki Sensei eventually established an aikido club at Waseda, his own university, as part of the sports association. Kisshomaru Ueshiba was also a student of Waseda when his father retired to Iwama in 1942 and several years later formed a separate aikido club in the culture circle. The former was kyousou related; the latter was not. The latter was club run by Hiroshi Tada till recently.

Such is my information. it is reliable in the sense that the written word has been confirmed by Kisshomaru himself. It is not, of ocurse, free from bias and you would need to talk to reliable sources in Osaka about the involvement of the Founder himself with Tomiki Sensei's club.

Apologies for the extreme length of this post.

Best regards,

PeterR
01-08-2002, 07:37 AM
Thanks as always Peter.

As I understand it Ueshiba M. had little to do with Tomiki's Waseda club but I will ask next chance I get.

What interests me is what the aiki-taiso actually is. My understanding was a series of exercises including unsuko and tegatana dousa - nothing competitive at all. Another question for me to ask.

deepsoup
01-08-2002, 11:41 AM
Originally posted by PeterR
What interests me is what the aiki-taiso actually is. My understanding was a series of exercises including unsuko and tegatana dousa - nothing competitive at all. Another question for me to ask.

I was curious about that too, as I dont really see how the unsuko and tegatana dousa ('tandoku undo', I believe, for the non-Shodokan 'Tomiki' stylists) relate to the idea of 'competitive' aikido. They're more to do with a systematic method of teaching basic movements.

Did the founder have some objection to these excercises which did not relate to his feelings about 'sport' budo?

Sean
x

Karl Kuhn
01-08-2002, 06:10 PM
Interesting points.

I would not find it at all hard to believe that Ueshiba M. would look at the taiso excersises (which I understand as unsuko and tegatana dousa, also) and wonder where the aiki was.

For those who have not seen them, they are solo excercises with no blending into the attack or knocking anyone down ;^)

Peter G, thanks for taking the time and posting the translations.

Cheers,

Karl

Peter Goldsbury
01-08-2002, 11:00 PM
Originally posted by PeterR
Thanks as always Peter.

As I understand it Ueshiba M. had little to do with Tomiki's Waseda club but I will ask next chance I get.

What interests me is what the aiki-taiso actually is. My understanding was a series of exercises including unsuko and tegatana dousa - nothing competitive at all. Another question for me to ask.

Peter R.,

Yes. I, too, can see nothing remotely competitive about aiki-taiso and perhaps Morihei Ueshiba's reaction partly involved the name: they are not competitive, but, apparently, were not 'aiki' either, even though they had probably helped to keep Tomiki Sensei alive during the three years he spent in Siberia. I would imagine this latter point explained why Tomiki Sensei thought they were so important.

I have had occasion to talk about such an experience with Okumura Shigenobu Sensei, who is probably the only living member of the Aikikai who took part in the discussions between Tomiki Sensei and Morihei / Kisshomaru Ueshiba. Okumura Sensei first learned aikido in Manchuria from Tomiki Sensei and also spent several years in a Soviet prison camp. He also developed a training schedule to help his own survival.

My own feeling, and it is just an impression, from reading all the texts and the interviews, is that Tomiki Sensei's commitment to ‹£‘ˆ or ŽŽ‡ (I use the Japanese because I do not think 'competition' really covers either term) developed over a lengthy period and his own teaching at Waseda was a major factor. It is clear that Morihei Ueshiba never developed a teaching methodology, either at the Kobukan or in Iwama from 1942 onwards. This was left to his disciples, including disciples like Tomiki Sensei. O Sensei was clearly a brilliant budoka, but I think (1) the distinction between practice / training / teaching and (2) the creation of a methodology which can be used effectively regardless of who uses it, were lost to him.

One way, of safeguarding the reputation of all parties, would be to say that O Sensei was above it all, and that it was a dispute between Tomiki Sensei and Kisshomaru Doshu. As I said, you would need to talk to the people who knew Tomiki Sensei very well, but I have my doubts about this (from talking to Kisshomaru Doshu and Okumura Sensei).

I think to say that Tomiki Sensei disagreed with the Founder concerning teaching methodology implies no disrespect to Tomiki Sensei. And he was not the first disciple to part company with the Founder over a substantial matter. Noriaki Inoue did the same in 1935 after the 2nd Omoto Incident.

Best regards,

Kami
01-09-2002, 02:20 AM
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury
And he was not the first disciple to part company with the Founder over a substantial matter. Noriaki Inoue did the same in 1935 after the 2nd Omoto Incident.
Best regards,

KAMI : Dear Goldsbury Sama,

It's interesting but there's not much talk about the separation between Inoue Sensei and Ueshiba Morihei O. People talk about Ueshiba/Tomiki, Aikikai/Tohei but never about Inoue/Ueshiba.
Inoue Sensei was one of the best students of O-Sensei and his nephew. Many people considered him the most probable heir to the founder. He was also, like Ueshiba, an Omoto believer.
I've read that the main reasons for the parting between those great men was Ueshiba's unauthorized use of imperial symbols at the time he called his art KobuBudo and his attitude towards Onisaburo Deguchi after the 2nd Omoto Incident. Inoue accused O-Sensei of treason against their common religious master, since Ueshiba kept a distance from the Omoto leader and continued to teach military personnel, the same people who have imprisioned and tortured Deguchi.
Can you tell us anything about Inoue and Ueshiba and the reasons for the parting?
Best

Abasan
01-09-2002, 03:49 AM
Inoue Sensei was one of the best students of O-Sensei and his nephew. Many people considered him the most probable heir to the founder.

I thought Inoue Sensei was OSensei's son in law... not his nephew. Isn't he a kendo master now?

PeterR
01-09-2002, 07:16 AM
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury
I, too, can see nothing remotely competitive about aiki-taiso and perhaps Morihei Ueshiba's reaction partly involved the name: they are not competitive, but, apparently, were not 'aiki' either
Also my feeling - they are not referred to as aiki-taiso anymore. No idea when that changed.

The Shodokan system has a series of exercises which are done at the start of and during each and every session. Many do not have an aiki feel to them, others such as the nana hon kuzushi do. However, what was pointed out to me several times last summer is that it is with these exercies, not the accumulation of waza, that your Aikido improves.

bcole23
01-09-2002, 01:14 PM
nana hon kuzushi?
is that Žµ–|•ö‚µH ‚Vth level flip?

PeterR
01-09-2002, 01:33 PM
What???
Originally posted by bcole23
nana hon kuzushi?
is that Žµ–|•ö‚µH ‚Vth level flip?

My computer has some trouble with certain fonts.

Kami
01-10-2002, 05:14 AM
Originally posted by Abasan
I thought Inoue Sensei was OSensei's son in law... not his nephew. Isn't he a kendo master now?

KAMI : No. You're probably thinking about KIYOSHI NAKAKURA, O-Sensei's adopted son, who married Ueshiba's daughter. He was also a Kendo Master, under famous "sword saint" HAKUDO NAKAYAMA. Later he abandoned Aikido and Ueshiba's daughter and returned to his true love, Kendo. I believe he's now dead.
NORIAKI INOUE Sensei was O-Sensei's nephew and, as I said before, he parted ways rather acrimoniously with Ueshiba and continued, for some time, calling his art AIKIBUDO. Later, he changed its name to Shinwa Taido and later still to Shin'ei Taido. Although Inoue is also dead(a few years ago), I believe his art is still taught in Japan and elsewhere.
I really wish someone - not just Goldsbury Sama - send further information on this remarkable man. Mainstream Aikido almost never talks about him. Stanley Pranin - some time ago - made a tape with him and his art, Shin'ei Taido.
Waiting for further comments

MaylandL
01-24-2002, 09:40 AM
This has certainty a hotly debated thread. I am glad to see so many people who are passionate about the practice of aikido and I commend Edward for starting the thread.

I've been doing martial arts for over 15 years (different styles, karate, kung fu, ju jitsu) I finally stumbled across aikido and after that demonstration I was hooked. I practice aikikai but have had the pleasure of experiencing yoseikan, yoshinkan and in the very near future, tomiki. I know there are many others but I'm afraid that there wont be enough hours in the day to experience all of them

Ultimately, I chose a martial art and "style" I felt was most suitable for me and that I liked.

As idealistic as it may be, my hope is that we can all appreciate an individuals' (be it aikidoka, yudansha or shihan) commitment, skill and expertise in aikido, regardless of the "style" or school or "political" persuasion.

My hope is that O Sensei would be pleased with the legacy that he has passed on and that he created something that has lasted. I would hope that he would be pleased with how others how interpreted his ideals and philosophies and extended the possibilities of the practice of aikido.

With a risk of sounding presumptous, but I hope that O Sensei would be like the proud father when he sees his sons and daughters achieve or even exceed their potential.

Yours in aiki

Niadh
10-09-2003, 06:05 PM
[QUOTE="Niadh Feathers (Niadh)"]Edward,

The djo that I attend, my sensei stayed with his sensei for 15+ years, but found he was growing differently in Aikido than his sensei.

As has been pointed out to me, I was unsure how much (+) over 15 years.

Sorry Sensei, change that to 25+

Niadh

Chuck.Gordon
10-10-2003, 11:28 AM
I've been doing martial arts for over 15 years (different styles, karate, kung fu, ju jitsu)
(Emily here)

Not so long, myself.

Began in 89. One year of Aikikai. Started over in early 90s. Ki derivative, Seidokan. Followed that to my shodan in that style. Also studied Wing Tsun, backyard grunge kenjutsu, Yanagi Ryu, judo and kickboxing.

My study continues in this quilt, mostly jujutsu, and I continue not to focus on the end result but the possiblities therein. I hope.
Ultimately, I chose a martial art and "style" I felt was most suitable for me and that I liked.
Ultimately this is all what we must do.

We must pass no judgement on those who choose anything other than ourselves. We must only learn.
My hope is that O Sensei would be pleased with the legacy that he has passed on and that he created something that has lasted. I would hope that he would be pleased with how others how interpreted his ideals and philosophies and extended the possibilities of the practice of aikido.
And it's a presumptous b@stard who thinks otherwise.
With a risk of sounding presumptous, but I hope that O Sensei would be like the proud father when he sees his sons and daughters achieve or even exceed their potential.
Whether we know our potential or not.

The point is that we DON'T know.

The end result of any innovation is unknown. The minute we decide it is finite is the minute it dies.

I responded because Ubaldo was on this thread, Great Whatever rest him, and because we'd still like to have a bit of Oolong tea with Mayland.

mle (&cg)

philipsmith
10-15-2003, 09:10 AM
Very interesting thread.

I think a lot depends on the definition of loyalty; is to the man himself or to an ideal?

I have heard it said that in order to remain "loyal" to Aikido you should as a student encourage diversity because that way the art will grow and evolve rather than stagnate or die. If the instructor does not accept that point of view then it is inevitable that instructor and student will part.

However I believe an instructor should encourage students to find their own path, all he can do is give you a basis for your own understanding of the art; not make you a clone or copy of himself.