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Jonathan
01-16-2002, 05:02 PM
I've often wondered about the amazing feats attributed to O-sensei. How was he able to transcend the physical laws governing our world? I heard one story, for instance, where O-sensei climbed atop a huddle of men and kiaied loudly. They all fell to the floor and were immobilized until O-sensei clambered off the huddle. Many claimed that they were held by the neck or pinned even though they were not in physical contact with O-sensei. How was this possible? Clearly this feat was not a matter of merely supreme physical technique. The only power I know of that supercedes the natural laws of our existence is that which is spiritual. I wonder what the nature of O-sensei's spiritual power was. Many primitive cultures wouldn't hesitate to attribute his power to occultic or demonic forces. Others would suggest a more innocuous origin of his power. Whatever the case, I think that there is enough anecdotal support for suggesting that O-sensei's power was not entirely his own. That is, it didn't originate entirely from within him. What do the rest of you think? (Hope this question doesn't sound too bizarre)

I can't help thinking of Faust when I consider this question.

Arianah
01-16-2002, 06:18 PM
Hi there!

The question isn't too bizarre. Actually there is another thread very related to this that you might want to check out:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1307

I think that though people can do amazing things, and O'Sensei was truly an amazing man, that one must hold some skepticism. O'Sensei's students revered him, and perhaps stories that have been passed along by them have been exaggerated (or maybe even fabricated--that would be sad, but you never know.) Though I believe that there are endless possibilities, the likelihood of one man mastering so much skill as is related in some of the stories about O'Sensei is pretty slim. I say this with no disrespect, but it is human nature to make someone you respect sound even better than he or she actually is. Don't get me wrong; I'm not a pure skeptic. Actually, I buy into a lot more than I probably should.

About O'Sensei's kiai, I've heard (don't remember where--most likely on this board) that when he was practicing, people within a mile could hear his kiai. And noise can paralyze temporarily . . . hmm . . .

Arianah

Ghost Fox
01-17-2002, 08:30 AM
A warrior is a living shrine (avatar) of the divine,
one who serves the grand purpose.

O'Sensei never attributed his great martial and spiritual power to himself. He said he was a conduit for the kami to flow through him.

Ancient Kemetic (Egyptian) texts talk about cutting-off one's head and replacing it with the head of a god. This was symbolized by putting own an animal head. This is why you see so many of the gods in the ancient Kemetic pantheon with the heads of animals. The animal heads were metaphors of various divine attributes. Similar to today where you have expression like one being hawkish or stubborn as a bull.

Cutting-off one's head is a metaphor for the detachment or worldly things spoken of in Buddhist dogma. One must not let one's own desire, one's ego-shell, rule over ones action. This is a very difficult concept for those raised under a western paradigm where the individual is king, where segragative (dualistic) logic dominates and holistic (synchronic) thinking is seen as new age propaganda. I speak of this because one cannot gain access to divine power without separation one's True Self from one's persona.

People like O'Sensei, Mother Teresa, the prophets and the saints where able to accomplish great things not because of there own personal power, but because they sacrificed themselves to the greater good, to the Divine. If one aligns one's will to that of the Divine Will, nothing in heaven or earth is beyond your power, but if one is aligned to the Divine one seeks to control nothing of desire nothing. One must become dead to the world and born again.

Lesser effects are possible through pure psychic potential (ki development) and hedge magick where through mental and auric induction one can cause changes to occur in the material plane. Although, I feel that one should develop ones own personal ki as much as possible, it has limits and no moral constraints. As one develops one's personal ki he should subscribe to a philosophy, similar to that in aikido, and strive to align one's personal ki to the Universal Ki.

I hope I haven't gone too far off the topic, and I think in a round about way it answers your query.

Peace and Blessings (Used the Force Luke.:D )

:triangle: :circle: :square:

Jonathan
01-17-2002, 04:55 PM
Thanks for your replies to my question. I, too, am not disposed to taking a thing at face value, Arianah. I certainly don't assume that every story I've heard about O-sensei is true. However, there are some amazing instances concerning him that are shared by fairly credible sources: eye-witnesses, actual particpants, or legitimate biographers. I know that stories sometimes balloon into mythology, but I am not willing because this is true to assume that all of O-sensei's amazing feats are bunk.

As well, I think it is myopic of anyone to suggest that all extraordinary skills attributed to O-sensei can be reduced to mere physics. There is too much that is unknown to say this unequivocally -- or even confidently. Besides, I have video footage of him doing things that exceed the bounds of physics.

Anyway, I am not in need of a heroic role model and I'm not in search of a missing spiritual dimension to my life (thanks all the same, Ghostfox). I just wondered about what the possibilities might be regarding the unusual man we call O-sensei.

Arianah
01-17-2002, 07:02 PM
Disclaimer: I'm not expressing this as truth; I'm expressing it as purely my own opinion, but it seems that you are looking for opinions, so here goes . . .

I believe that there are two levels to every person: the physical, logical, conscious level that we experience from and within ourselves and everyone around us, and the spiritual level--another level of consciousness (or whatever one wants to call it) that all people are capable of reaching at one point with dedicated focus on it (I also believe in reincarnation so one has a lot of time to find the ability to tap into this spiritual level.) Most have not reached this level, when the mind has absolute control over the body etc., so when we witness someone who has, we deem them (depending on time period/culture) demons, witches, saviors, masters, gods, etc. O'Sensei might have had the ability to tap into his spiritual level (to some extent), and thus perform some great feats that we may believe impossible or unbelievable.

I could have just uncovered the secret meaning of life! Or what I just said could be a bunch of horse crap (most likely the latter :) ) Either way, I apologize immensely for making you sit through and read this. :D

Arianah

shihonage
01-17-2002, 07:18 PM
In order to summon your ultimate, all-defeating, Earth-shattering spiritual powers, pronounce after me the following words:

Klaatu
Berata
Nik... Damn.
Nickel ?
Necktie ?

Thalib
01-17-2002, 07:38 PM
Klaatu
Verakta
Ni... ghurhhrm

There... I said it... sort of...

Erik
01-17-2002, 08:06 PM
A warrior is a living shrine (avatar) of the divine,
one who serves the grand purpose.

http://www.ultraman2000.com/ultraman_9.jpg

Arianah
01-17-2002, 09:03 PM
ha, ha, ha . . . :rolleyes:
Why do I get the feeling I'm being ridiculed? (or is that just too perceptive of me for belief? :) )
Oh well--bound to happen sooner or later.:D

Arianah

Edward
01-17-2002, 09:33 PM
According to the Uchi-Deshi, Osensei was an exceptional man, but NORMAL. He was obsessed with Aikido and wanted to practice day and night. None of them witnessed any of the exploits that we read every where. The problem is that he himself believed that he had supernatural powers.

However, I think repeating this stuff does to his memory more damage than good.

Cheers,
Edward

Chocolateuke
01-17-2002, 09:49 PM
I really dont want to get into a flame war over impossible feats because Ive seen to many flame wars on the net and wanna live with spiritural and intellecual and netectuall hamony ( if there is such thing):).

Anyhow sure I see exactly how all the things that is claimed that O-Sensei is fraud. but he did one really incredible thing he founded Aikido:) ... but some things you learn at the dojo are "immpossible" to the untrained ( like for me spelling. you learn the unbendble arm. Ive had highschool varsity football players try to bend by arm and I can barely bench 110 pounds. Im a weakling and they cant bend my arm no matter how much bulk they have. thats incredble! also you learn how to do the unlifitble body, thats to do with centerness but you can be 85 pounds and incredbly centered and a body builder cant lift you! the point is that some of the Mystisim is really very rational, and logic. think chemistry back then your teacher would mix white liquid with another different white liquid and it would turn yellow! or he would take a copper string and mix it with silver nitrate and crystles would grow! a lot of science to the untrained is also unbelieveble. in my opnion spirtual and science studys studied together because they contemplate each other so well. the average person dosent think so but science getting very closly related to Religion.

darin
01-18-2002, 11:44 AM
Just a few months ago I saw a program on Japanese TV about ki power. Two Japanese kempo masters and a Chinese tai chi master demonstrated their ability to control people by using ki. To me it looked more like hypnotism or some kind of mind control. Maybe Ueshiba used similar techniques... It was quite amazing what these guys could do.

Sid
01-18-2002, 12:40 PM
hmm - you state that "According to the Uchi-Deshi, Osensei was an exceptional man, but NORMAL.". In complete aikido, Suenaka sensei states explicitly that he was woken by a vibration caused by O-sensei performing kotodama meditation.

Sid

Abasan
01-19-2002, 12:22 PM
Sueneka Sensei also said that Osensei could read his mind when he contemplated on hitting Osensei at the beach.

Still, for those that won't believe, it's not for us to tell otherwise.

As far as being normal and having supernatural powers, I believe that is entirely possible. Over the centuries, there have been many documented incidences where mothers have lifted cars to rescue their baby; people falling from multistorey buildings unscathed; etc etc. Yogi's who could hold their breath for hours, Chi Kung masters who could be beaten by steel rods without harm, psychics, esp etc etc.

If you train hard in something all your life, I'm pretty sure you can learn to do some of these things.

Erik
01-19-2002, 12:39 PM
Originally posted by Arianah
ha, ha, ha . . . :rolleyes:
Why do I get the feeling I'm being ridiculed? (or is that just too perceptive of me for belief? :) )
Oh well--bound to happen sooner or later.:D

Arianah

By me!

Not possible! ;)

Arianah
01-19-2002, 05:41 PM
Erik, it was nice to see the old Ultra 7 man pictures though. I had forgotten all about that show (though it was way before my time). I've seen a couple of episodes that one of my friends had a few years ago. What a great show . . . cough, cough. :)

Arianah

Chris Li
01-19-2002, 11:50 PM
Originally posted by Edward
According to the Uchi-Deshi, Osensei was an exceptional man, but NORMAL. He was obsessed with Aikido and wanted to practice day and night. None of them witnessed any of the exploits that we read every where. The problem is that he himself believed that he had supernatural powers.

However, I think repeating this stuff does to his memory more damage than good.

Cheers,
Edward

In "Aikido Ichiro" there's a section where a few of the pre-war uchideshi talk about their experiences with M. Ueshiba's psychic powers. Sounded to me like they, at least, believed it, so I suppose it would depend on which uchi-deshi you talked to. Gozo Shioda himself claimed to have witnessed M. Ueshiba dodging bullets. Now, I don't particularly believe in the super-human powers that have sometimes been attributed to him, but it's clear to me that at least some of his long time personal students did.

Best,

Chris

Edward
01-20-2002, 05:00 AM
Originally posted by Chris Li


In "Aikido Ichiro" there's a section where a few of the pre-war uchideshi talk about their experiences with M. Ueshiba's psychic powers. Sounded to me like they, at least, believed it, so I suppose it would depend on which uchi-deshi you talked to. Gozo Shioda himself claimed to have witnessed M. Ueshiba dodging bullets. Now, I don't particularly believe in the super-human powers that have sometimes been attributed to him, but it's clear to me that at least some of his long time personal students did.

Best,

Chris

I think the latest generation of Uchi deshi, notably the "American" shihans (since most ended up in the USA) did not believe much in Osensei's supernatural powers. Saito Sensei as well.

Cheers,
Edward

Chris Li
01-20-2002, 06:20 AM
Originally posted by Edward


I think the latest generation of Uchi deshi, notably the "American" shihans (since most ended up in the USA) did not believe much in Osensei's supernatural powers. Saito Sensei as well.

Cheers,
Edward

Technically speaking, there were no uchi-deshi after the war, including Morihiro Saito (this according to K. Ueshiba). Checking back in "Aikido Ichiro", I see that the two people who cited M. Ueshiba's "psychic powers" were Mochizuki and Kamada, two big names at the Kobukan. Add in Gozo Shioda and you have three of the major uchi-deshi giving out stories of personally witnessing super-human type powers.

Believe it or not, as you like. Me, I don't credit the events to supernatural powers, but it's clear to me that at least some of M. Ueshiba's uchi-deshi certainly did.

Best,

Chris

Jonathan
01-20-2002, 01:30 PM
So, are men like Mochizuki and Shioda sensei somehow more gullible than those of us more distant from the events these men call supernatural? Are they unreliable eye-witnesses, or just foolishly predisposed by their uchi-deshi relationship to O-sensei to view his martial feats as supernatural? Doesn't their own high degree of martial skill make them better able to distinguish excellent technique from something beyond? Hmmm....

Erik
01-20-2002, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by Jonathan
So, are men like Mochizuki and Shioda sensei somehow more gullible than those of us more distant from the events these men call supernatural? Are they unreliable eye-witnesses, or just foolishly predisposed by their uchi-deshi relationship to O-sensei to view his martial feats as supernatural? Doesn't their own high degree of martial skill make them better able to distinguish excellent technique from something beyond? Hmmm....

Check out how often scientists get fooled and scientists are held, theoretically, to a much higher standard than folks in the martial arts. Very often, it's those who are the closest that get fooled the worst and it's usually because they are also the one's who most want to believe.

So, to my way of thinking, in regards to O'Sensei having super-powers I think they are highly unreliable observers.

Chris Li
01-20-2002, 03:51 PM
Originally posted by Erik


Check out how often scientists get fooled and scientists are held, theoretically, to a much higher standard than folks in the martial arts. Very often, it's those who are the closest that get fooled the worst and it's usually because they are also the one's who most want to believe.

So, to my way of thinking, in regards to O'Sensei having super-powers I think they are highly unreliable observers.

Without knowing those people personally I find it hard to make a judgement. Also, I might well disagree with their interpretation of the events in question.

In any case, my citing of Kamada, Mochizuki, and Shioda was in response to the assertion:

"According to the Uchi-Deshi, Osensei was an exceptional man, but NORMAL. .... None of them witnessed any of the exploits that we read every where."

Which seems to me to be clearly mistaken in light of (at the very least) the statements of those three people.

Best,

Chris

Edward
01-20-2002, 09:09 PM
I have to confess that I don't have much information about the above mentioned Senseis. What I can confirm, is the interviews with Osensei's Uchi Deshi of the post war period, who don't seem to believe much in super-natural powers, but rather in the exceptional martial abilities of Osensei and his dedication to training even at old age.

cheers,
Edward

Edward
01-20-2002, 09:15 PM
By the way, try reading the 1st paragraph from this interview with Koichi Tohei Sensei.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/articles/_article.asp?ArticleID=861

Also Kenji Tomiki Sensei avoided the question in a very diplomatic way ;)

http://www.aikidojournal.com/articles/_article.asp?ArticleID=204

I must add that the stories that I read myself seem to be like duels when someone was deliberately shooting at Osensei. In this case, I doubt it that opponents really shot to kill, as this would be a crime, and then this would be against Samurai ethics to shoot an unarmed man in a duel. Probably the opponents did not aim very accurately.

The fact that Osensei was constantly moving probably made their task even more difficult.

Put in this way, there would be nothing super-natural about Osensei except his courage and his bravery.

Fortunately, Osensei was never hit, because then Aikido would have never been created. :(

Cheers,
Edward

Chris Li
01-20-2002, 10:05 PM
Originally posted by Edward
By the way, try reading the 1st paragraph from this interview with Koichi Tohei Sensei.


I notice that Koichi Tohei says that he has never had anything to do with supernatural powers, even though he claimed to have cured appendicitis through laying on of hands in a seperate interview.

Further, the incident with the tree that he ridicules is recounted in Gozo Shioda's "Aikido Jinsei", but that was some years before Koichi Tohei even began Aikido, so there's no way he'd have first-hand knowledge of the event.

The Tomiki article talks a litte about religion, but nothing that I noticed about supernatural powers.

I any case, I think that my point is clear - for better or worse, certainly some of the uchi-deshi believed in M. Ueshiba's supernatural powers and made clear public statements to that effect.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
01-20-2002, 10:09 PM
Originally posted by Edward
I have to confess that I don't have much information about the above mentioned Senseis. What I can confirm, is the interviews with Osensei's Uchi Deshi of the post war period, who don't seem to believe much in super-natural powers, but rather in the exceptional martial abilities of Osensei and his dedication to training even at old age.

cheers,
Edward

As I said before, technically speaking there were no uchi-deshi in the post-war period. Anyway that doesn't affect my point. Some of the uchi-deshi believed in M. Ueshiba's supernatural powers and some didn't. Your statement was that none of them believed.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
01-20-2002, 10:31 PM
By the way, anybody who's interested in a related posting on post-war uchi-deshi should check out Peter Goldsbury's posting at http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=9202

You have to scroll about a third of the way down to get to the posting in question.

Best,

Chris

Edward
01-20-2002, 11:11 PM
So you mean that Senseis Saito, Kohei, Tamura, Chiba, Kurita...etc were never Uch-Deshi?

That's a very revolutionary information and would change Aikido history if proven true. Are you sure about it? I read Dr. Goldsbury's post and didn't find it convincing. Uchi_Deshi are the live-in students who perform various duties including carrying the bag of the founder and serving as his punching bags, so to speak. I don't believe that all the present day Shihans who were Uchi-Deshi to Osensei are all a bunch of LIARS.

As for the mentioned pre-war Uchi Deshi believing in Osensei powers, no one is disputing this with you, so you don't have to repeat it about 4 times ;)

Cheers,
Edward

Chris Li
01-21-2002, 12:49 AM
Originally posted by Edward

So you mean that Senseis Saito, Kohei, Tamura, Chiba, Kurita...etc were never Uch-Deshi?


Yup.



That's a very revolutionary information and would change Aikido history if proven true. Are you sure about it? I read Dr. Goldsbury's post and didn't find it convincing. Uchi_Deshi are the live-in students who perform various duties including carrying the bag of the founder and serving as his punching bags, so to speak. I don't believe that all the present day Shihans who were Uchi-Deshi to Osensei are all a bunch of LIARS.


It depends how you define "uchi-deshi". To be an uchi-deshi pre-war was a little like being a traditional European apprentice, and involved a lot more then carrying some bags. Today you can be an "uchi-deshi" for a month at Iwama if you like. The nature of the postition is, of course, vastly different. The post-war guys, with some exceptions (like Morihiro Saito) didn't even have all that much direct contact with M. Ueshiba. Most of the guys that you listed were taught mainly by K. Ueshiba (and later, buy K. Tohei).

Sure, there were people who lived in the dojo - I've lived in dojo myself, but that doesn't make me an uchi-deshi.

So, what was unconvincing about the post? The sources, Arikawa and K. Ueshiba, are just about as authoratative as you can get without a seance...

Best,

Chris

Edward
01-21-2002, 02:00 AM
Originally posted by Chris Li


It depends how you define "uchi-deshi". To be an uchi-deshi pre-war was a little like being a traditional European apprentice, and involved a lot more then carrying some bags.

The post-war guys, with some exceptions (like Morihiro Saito) didn't even have all that much direct contact with M. Ueshiba. Most of the guys that you listed were taught mainly by K. Ueshiba (and later, buy K. Tohei).



You're right that it depends on how you define uchi deshi. About the rest, maybe you will change your mind when you read Aikido Online magazine interview with Kurita Sensei.
Here is an excerpt but please read the entire interview at www.aikidoonline.com

Cheers,
Edward


"What was your life like as an uchideshi?

I was the lowest in rank, and we were often sent to accompany O-Sensei to his dojo at Iwama. We would go out there and work in the garden, chop wood and do lots of chores. O-Sensei was growing daikon radish, carrots and other vegetables.

In Iwama we would have a special morning bokken class with O-Sensei that was closed to the public. Often it was only three or four people–Saito Sensei, often Chiba Sensei, and a few others. In the evening there was a taijitsu class, but there weren’t many people at that class, either. O-Sensei would teach all the classes, or Saito Sensei would teach when he couldn’t teach. But there wasn’t a sense that any of us were really teachers–we were all just disciples of O-Sensei. We were all ambassadors for O-Sensei’s art. That is the way it is in traditional Japanese budo."

Chris Li
01-21-2002, 02:38 AM
Originally posted by Edward


You're right that it depends on how you define uchi deshi. About the rest, maybe you will change your mind when you read Aikido Online magazine interview with Kurita Sensei.
Here is an excerpt but please read the entire interview at www.aikidoonline.com


Actually, I've read that article before. I'm not sure what it would change my mind about...

As I said, the post-war deal was quite a bit different than the pre-war one. If someone wants to call it by the same name that's fine, but it doesn't make it the same thing.

For the record, my first instructor said that he was an uchi-deshi too, but I don't hold it against him :).

Best,

Chris

Peter Goldsbury
01-21-2002, 08:46 AM
Originally posted by Edward


So you mean that Senseis Saito, Kohei, Tamura, Chiba, Kurita...etc were never Uch-Deshi?

That's a very revolutionary information and would change Aikido history if proven true. Are you sure about it? I read Dr. Goldsbury's post and didn't find it convincing. Uchi_Deshi are the live-in students who perform various duties including carrying the bag of the founder and serving as his punching bags, so to speak. I don't believe that all the present day Shihans who were Uchi-Deshi to Osensei are all a bunch of LIARS.

Cheers,
Edward

Edward,

I do not want to make an issue of this, but your post suggests that either "all the presentday Shihans who were Uchi-Deshi" or myself are liars. I think you define the issue too sharply.

Kisshomaru Doshu told me himself that O Sensei had no postwar uchideshi. I know very well that many postwar students of O Sensei claimed to be his uchideshi (including some of my own teachers), but this is not what Doshu told me. And if you consider the differences between the prewar Kobukan and the postwar Hombu, I think you can see the reason for Doshu's statement to me. The postwar students simply did not have the constant 24-hours-a-day contact with the Founder that students like Rinjiro Shirata had in the Kobukan. Thus, the postwar students like Chiba and Yamada were deshi of Kisshomaru, rather than of the Founder himself.

In fact, Arikawa Sensei tried to soften Kisshomaru Doshu's strict idea of what constituted being an uchideshi of the Founder. He stated that Tamura Sensei was an 'uchideshi' in all but name, as were Morihiro Saito and Masatake Fujita. I myself do not think that the "presentday shihans who were uchideshi to O Sensei were all a bunch of liars'. I think they used the term more loosely than Doshu did.

Thus Saito Morihiro Sensei had a very close relationship with the Founder, probably closer than many of the prewar Kobukan students. But he was not an 'uchideshi' as Kisshomaru Doshu understood the term. I think the issue is one of strict defnition, rather than a judgement obout a relationship with the Founder.

Yours sincerely,

Edward
01-21-2002, 08:55 AM
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury




I do not want to make an issue of this, but your post suggests that either "all the presentday Shihans who were Uchi-Deshi" or myself are liars. I think you define the issue too sharply.



Dr. Goldsbury,

Sorry but I didn't mean it to be understood this way. Of course I respect your opinion very much, but please forgive me for wanting to know more.

It is definitely a surprising issue for me.

I think the only person who could have cleared the matter is Osensei himself. Unfortunately he's not around. However, the only living witness now is Saito Sensei and I recall that in one interview he talked about the "American" Shihans as Uchi Deshi.

So this matter is very confusing :(

On the other hand, I personally think that the last generation of "disciples" of Osensei, and their students, played the most important role in the dissemination of Aikido worldwide.

By the way, according to your post, is Tamura Sensei considered an Uchi Deshi or not, since the phrase is a little unclear to me.

Best regards,
Edward

Chris Li
01-21-2002, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury

In fact, Arikawa Sensei tried to soften Kisshomaru Doshu's strict idea of what constituted being an uchideshi of the Founder. He stated that Tamura Sensei was an 'uchideshi' in all but name, as were Morihiro Saito and Masatake Fujita. I myself do not think that the "presentday shihans who were uchideshi to O Sensei were all a bunch of liars'. I think they used the term more loosely than Doshu did.

That's basically the key point. Today you can spend a month at Iwama as an "uchi-deshi", but that doesn't mean that you're doing the same thing that Shirata and Shioda did.

According to Gozo Shioda, in "Aikido Jinsei", uchi-deshi training at the Kobukan trained from 5:00 in the morning until 9:00 at night. At that time M. Ueshiba was actively teaching, so there was extensive contact him pretty much all day every day.

Post-war M. Ueshiba was in Tokyo (where most of the post-war teachers were raised) at most one-third of the time, and much of that time he wasn't actively teaching. When he was teaching his classes would often consist of long lectures about the meaning of the universe - if they were lucky he might also teach some technique. A very sharp contrast to the amount of actual contact and training time compared to the pre-war days. This isn't to say that the post-war folks weren't good - they certainly were (and are), but it seems to me that they were mostly students of K. Ueshiba with some sprinkling of instruction from his father rather then the kind of direct students that were around in the pre-war days.

Best,

Chris

Edward
01-22-2002, 11:16 PM
Actually I talked to Shihan and asked him his opinion, since this story is still confusing me.

He laughed at the whole matter and asked me why do we worry about such insignificant things instead of training. He said that Uchi-Deshi is a live-in student in opposition to live-out student, that's all. We shouldn't give this term more importance than it has.

He thinks that since there is no competition in Aikido, we are compensating our need for it by word-competition... :)

I hope he will forgive me for posting this in a public forum, and I do hope he doesn't find out, otherwise, next time he will call me to be Uke,..... :(

Cheers,
Edward

Peter Goldsbury
01-23-2002, 06:13 AM
Hello Edward,

Originally posted by Edward
Actually I talked to Shihan and asked him his opinion, since this story is still confusing me.

PAG. I think part of the problem is that books like 'Aikido Kaiso Ueshiba Morihei Den', 'Aikido Ichiro', 'Aikido Shintai', 'Aikido Jinsei', which do give more detail about the postwar history of aikido in Japan, have not been translated into English. John Stevens does not go into much detail and I was never aware of the apparent discrepancies between the various stories I had heard until I came here, learned Japanese, read the books, and talked to lots of people.

Before I came here, all my information about aikido and the Hombu was based on Westbrook & Ratti, Tohei Koichi's earlier books, Kisshomaru Ueshiba's 'Aikido' (in English) and the 5 volumes of Saito Morihiro's 'Traditional Aikido'. And, of course, on what my teachers told me, but there was a context to what they said, which I now understand much better because I live here.

For example, from talking to my earlier teachers, I had the impression that the Founder accepted a number of 'uchi-deshi' to send them abroad to teach aikido. Not quite true. (1) There were a number of deshi at the Aikikai Hombu, who were live-in students and were therefore 'uchi' in the sense given by your teacher (Mr Fukakusa?), who have never resided abroad. (2) The deshi were accepted by the Founder, in the sense that he had the final say in the matter, but on the recommendation of Kisshomaru. (3) The question of living abroad arose quite some time after their acceptance and they actually volunteered to go and teach abroad.

==========

He laughed at the whole matter and asked me why do we worry about such insignificant things instead of training. He said that Uchi-Deshi is a live-in student in opposition to live-out student, that's all. We shouldn't give this term more importance than it has.

PAG. Yes. It was a very good answer, but who do you / does he mean by "we"? Nevertheless, it still conflicts with Kisshomaru Doshu's statement that the only uchi-deshi of the Founder were his prewar students and that he (Kisshomaru) had no uchi-deshi. I interpreted Doshu to mean,as Chris Li suggested, that the closest 'uchi-deshi' relationships between the Founder and his live-in students existed at the Kobukan before the War. After the War, times had changed. For one thing there were two centres of aikido: Iwama and Tokyo, and Kisshomaru and the deshi shuttled between the two places. For another, the task of building the organisation, including accepting deshi, whether 'uchi' or 'soto', had passed to Kisshomaru. But Kisshomaru was also being humble, in not claiming to have the same intensive master-student relationship with students that his father had.

==========

He thinks that since there is no competition in Aikido, we are compensating our need for it by word-competition... :)

PAG. As your teacher said, the term 'uchi-deshi' should not be given "more importance than it has". And I know exactly what it means, in context. So should I have withheld this information? Of course not. This is a bulletin board, for the free exchange of information and opinions, not a dojo.

For me, one of the most shocking, and disheartening, experiences in Japan was to hear aikido shihans, role models who should have known better, squabbling over who was an uchi-deshi and who was a kayoi-deshi (a commuting student) and claiming smuggly that "X was not an uchi-deshi". They sounded like young siblings fighting over their parents' affection.

I am not sure I agree about competition, but in any case we are not the only ones who "compensate by word-competition".

==========

I hope he will forgive me for posting this in a public forum, and I do hope he doesn't find out, otherwise, next time he will call me to be Uke,..... :(

PAG. I assume you are joking.

Cheers,
Edward

Best regards,

Kami
01-23-2002, 07:20 AM
Dear Goldsbury Sama,

I guess I was one of the first persons to raise this problem 3 or 4 years ago.
To discuss this (or any other) matter, we must first clearly state what we mean by uchideshi (internal student).
Traditionally, uchideshi lived with a master as almost a son, being supported, fed and hosted by the master and training dayly with him (and just with him). If you lived outside your master's house and trained occasionally, you were not an uchideshi.
The pre-war students went or were sent to the master's dojo, to live there exclusively as disciples and to train only with him.
After the war, some people lived in the Hombu Dojo, training with Kisshomaru, Tohei, Shirata, Tamura et al. They weren't, in that sense, Kisshomaru's Uchideshi, because they didn't train EXCLUSIVELY with him and weren't a part of his household. Were they better or worse than Pre-War students? I really don't know. I believe no one created their own styles. OTOH, some believe that their experience was larger, since they trained with many masters. Who knows?
The undeniable fact is that, from after the war onwards, the name UCHIDESHI changed its meanings from a total disciple to a more elusive relation. Today, we have people who PAY to train for a time at a dojo (not always with the master, but many times with a sempai, and both the master and the people pretend they are uchideshi, when, in reality, they are more intensive students).
So, I don't believe Edward and you are really diverging. I think it's just a misunderstanding of the term (each one is talking about different things) and the intention of the Shihan and Kisshomaru Doshu, when they talked about uchidechi. But it's curious that the same people that proclaim now that this discussion is futile ARE the same people that originally pretended to be O-Sensei's DIRECT STUDENTS and UCHIDESHI, using a loose interpretation of the word.
Best

Edward
01-23-2002, 10:41 AM
Originally posted by Kami

So, I don't believe Edward and you are really diverging. I think it's just a misunderstanding of the term (each one is talking about different things) and the intention of the Shihan and Kisshomaru Doshu, when they talked about uchidechi.

There is no misunderstanding on terms between Dr. Goldsbury and me, but rather between Kisshomaru Doshu and the "Uchi-Deshi" ;) . I am not in a position to agree or disagree with someone of Dr. Goldsbury's stature and knowledge in the subject. I am trying to get from him as much information as possible since this subject is quite interesting for me.

As for the comments of my teacher, they were said to me jokingly after a training session and should not be misunderstood or taken seriously.

To return to the subject, I always thought that uchi-deshi meant live-in student, but the new information for me is that this term involved a personal relationship with the teacher as explained by Dr. Goldsbury, Kami, and Chris. In this case, any person who claims to have been something which he was not is very serious matter to me. There is a big controversy going on in England about a similar matter.

I am honestly quite disappointed to know something like this.

Cheers,
Edward

Peter Goldsbury
01-23-2002, 06:53 PM
Ubaldo,

Actually my last post was in partial response to Edward's question, quoted below, but I spent too much time on his later post.

Originally posted by Edward


Dr. Goldsbury,

By the way, according to your post, is Tamura Sensei considered an Uchi Deshi or not, since the phrase is a little unclear to me.



Nobuyoshi Tamura entered the Hombu in 1953 and stayed till 1964 when he went to France. If there is a real difference between prewar and postwar uchi-deshi (as Kisshomaru Doshu thought), then he was not. However, it was Arikawa Sensei who told me in conversation that Tamura Sensei was an uchi-deshi "in all but name". I think, as you say, that the main diffference between prewar and postwar uchi-deshi is that the latter were attached to the Ueshiba household, with its two branches, rather than to one person.

Does it matter? No, not really, except to aikido historians. But I am struck by the similarities between discussions about uchi-deshi, especially by some of our Japanese senseis, and the squabbles that took place among the disciples in the early church about who was closest to Jesus. But soon, there will be no uchi-deshi at all, of any description.

Edward,

I was pleasantly surprised to receive an e-mail message from you via this bulletin board. If you sendme your private e-mail address, I will reply to you privately.

Best regards,

guest1234
01-23-2002, 07:05 PM
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury


Does it matter? No, not really, except to aikido historians. But I am struck by the similarities between discussions about uchi-deshi, especially by some of our Japanese senseis, and the squabbles that took place among the disciples in the early church about who was closest to Jesus.


Now that one is easy (for Gnostics at least), Mary...;)

Chris Li
01-23-2002, 11:47 PM
Originally posted by Edward
I am honestly quite disappointed to know something like this.

It gets worse :).

Most of the foreign "shihan" were not actually supposed to be using the title, it seems, check out http://www.aikidojournal.com/articles/_article.asp?ArticleID=1105

A pertinent quote:

-----------------

In fact, however, there are currently no teachers-Japanese or non-Japanese-authorized under the International Regulations to use the title shihan. Not a single one.

-----------------

Of course, the situation has altered somewhat since that interview.

Best,

Chris

Edward
01-24-2002, 01:35 AM
Originally posted by Chris Li


It gets worse :).

Most of the foreign "shihan" were not actually supposed to be using the title, it seems, check out http://www.aikidojournal.com/articles/_article.asp?ArticleID=1105

A pertinent quote:

-----------------

In fact, however, there are currently no teachers-Japanese or non-Japanese-authorized under the International Regulations to use the title shihan. Not a single one.

-----------------

Of course, the situation has altered somewhat since that interview.

Best,

Chris

I always thought that any person becomes Shihan automatically by getting 6th Dan. Now if I understand it well, one can be 7 or 8 Dan but not necessarily Shihan. Is that correct?

Cheers,
Edward

Chris Li
01-24-2002, 02:12 AM
Originally posted by Edward


I always thought that any person becomes Shihan automatically by getting 6th Dan. Now if I understand it well, one can be 7 or 8 Dan but not necessarily Shihan. Is that correct?

Cheers,
Edward

Yes, it's a separate certification.

Best,

Chris

Peter Goldsbury
01-24-2002, 07:35 AM
Originally posted by ca


Now that one is easy (for Gnostics at least), Mary...;)

Very nice post, Colleen. But which one?

Ghost Fox
01-25-2002, 07:27 AM
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury


Very nice post, Colleen. But which one?


Mary Magdalene.

Erik
01-31-2002, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by shihonage
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Nickel ?
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shihonage
01-31-2002, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by Erik


I found some help for you.


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