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RonRagusa
12-14-2008, 08:34 AM
...Fact is Osensei continued to evolve Aikido his whole life, ...How did he do that? By competing. He improved on techniques that didn't work in combat.

Citations please. From all I've been able to garner most of Ueshiba's challanges were of the "grab me here, push me there see I don't move but watch me throw you" variety. I'm not saying you're wrong Clarence but I'd like you to cite some specific instances where Ueshiba honed his Aikido technique in actual combat.

Ron

jennifer paige smith
12-14-2008, 09:14 AM
References? Not sure what you mean. I simply personally believe that Doshu Ueshiba would be the most likely to have the info I seek. Nothing more.

Those would be the references to your personal take on evolution.Nothing more.

jennifer paige smith
12-14-2008, 09:19 AM
Care to explain this? Wouldn't revolutionize mean to take it to an entirely different direction or add something that has never been thought of before?

Sure, I'll give it shot.

It would mean continuing to train with an observation that big nature is of greater power than my little self. In my case that gives rise to perspectives that are a lot more native than colonial; which is revolutionary to my experience and to my take on the art.

jennifer paige smith
12-14-2008, 09:28 AM
You have been cynical with me about this point before, Jen ;)

Somewhere on the internet, Clarence says that aikido must be this way or it will die. Somewhere in each hombu dojo, there's probably someone saying that aikido must be that way or it will die. All the mats are getting dusty ;)

Geeze Joe, Yeah,yeah,yeah...I read what has been written.blah,blah,blah you've said it before..See now that's me being cynical:D .

But the above statement wasn't [I]about you or directed toward you. I was joining with your thought and adding a visual. I can see how you might have made the mistake. Please read it again with what I'm telling you in mind.

Kevin Leavitt
12-14-2008, 09:33 AM
Ron,

I with your comments on effectiveness. It is all realitive.

BJJers tend to practice a in a method that pressure test grappling. We do it in such a way that you gain a fair amount of effective compentence in a short time. As such those that are concerned with those aspects of the spectrum are well served by it.

Aikido on the other hand, breaks down the problem/study with a different type of methodology that is designed to develop other attributes of the spectrum of martial movement. It may or may not be the best choice for someone for someone on a short, focused timeline.

There are tradeoffs with both methods I think concerning effectiveness.

There is alot of overlap in the methodologies, and frankly it is interesting to me exactly how much more closer they are related than they are not!

Going back to the topic at hand concerning evolution of aikido.

Again, we have to define and agree that aikido moved away from it's original intent.

I think that it IS reasonable to assume that aikido in many dojos may have gotten a little "dead". This especially can happen if folks simply practice it and don't continue to re-interpret and look at it critically.

I think aikidoka can learn much from the methodologies being employed and implemented in the MMA movement. Arts like Systema, BJJ, and others are doing somethings right, and there are many of us out there that are bringing things into our personal aikido that I believe are improving it.

these are good things. In fact, O'Sensei himself, would have been called an MMAer based on how he viewed and synthesized aikido.

Evolution or change though? Hmmmm, a tough one.

My perspective is that the basic foundational underpinnings, values, philosophy is still the same and will be for the next 100 years. As such, we should concentrate and focus on developing those things and attributes that best encourage growth along the foundations of aikido.

As such, the methods of practice that have been handed down to us through Aikikai and our various organizations are probably where the center of mass should be focused.

If we start changing the art wholely based on the perspective and criteria that judo, bjj, MMA, or other arts...then we run the risk of losing the lessons and methodolgy that imparts the Philosophy of Aikido.

Then we will be looking at each other trying to figure out why we are doing BJJ wearing a hakama when we could do it much better without one!

C. David Henderson
12-14-2008, 09:35 AM
Hi Kevin,

I think you're right. This discussion has a different flavor from past discussions about martial effectiveness, etc., but martial effectiveness seems to be the obvious benchmark for 'evolution'. And seen in that context, it's not clear martial arts as most of us practice them are subject to the kinds of pressures that make "evolution" a good analogy.

"Good shiho nage -- now I will live to throw another day."

I went back to the OP. Much of what is said there could have been in a post entitled -- How can we make Aikido more effective? For example:

"Should we as Aikidoka sit back and stagnate our methodology. Or should we evolve Aikido, arming ourselves with the best knowledge possible to move Aikido to the next stage of progression? Should the Aikikai organization and it's many practitioners advocate for a different methodology of practice to test our skills? Should Aikido take on a different form?"

The OP also uses, however, what I would describe as social Darwinism to frame the debate -- i.e., that Aikido must adapt ("improve") or it will "die."

The whole idea that martial traditions survive based on their "effectiveness" makes sense of combat arts and, to some extent, sport-oriented art forms.

But so long as people are interested in, say, traditional Japanese archery or spear techniques, there is the chance those arts will continue to be taught. They certainly don't survive because their practitioners believe in -- much less would try to demonstrate -- the superior martial effectiveness of the bow, the spear, or what-have-you in a modern context, be it battlefield or barroom.

What may make a martial art popular, meanwhile, may include a whole host of attractions.

Let me concede for the sake of discussion, for example, that one of the real attractions of MMA does resolve around its perceived martial effectiveness and superiority over other arts in a ring setting. And those perceptions are pretty rational and subject to falsification, at least in the context of MMA contests.

That doesn't say, by the way, that it is or is not a really good way to train for other purposes, such as self-defense; it's just my take on where claims that MMA is "effective" are pretty hard for a reasonable person to deny.

But the popularity of MMA -- which I do not begrude it -- does have to do with the "popularizing" of MMA as well as the "evolution" or "refinement" of its methodologies, concepts, techniques, and training.

Professional wrestling is popular too, and also unlikely to die out soon. Which would I rather be able to use in a fight? Well, that's a different question than "which would I rather watch on TV," even though in this case my answer to both questions is the same.

But while it's easy to invoke with respect to martial arts the red-clawed image of classical Darwinism -- survival of the fittest -- and then infer that the "survival" of the arts reflects whether it's adherents can kick ass on all comers -- I can't find any reason to conclude that is paramount to whether an art, for better or worse, becomes wide-spread and popular.

It's like the day, which seems likely to occur this Century, that Chinese overtakes English as the lingua franca of the modern world. It won't be because the English language, while once a superior tool for speaking, changed and became a poorer language than, say, Manderin. Or that some revolution in Manderin grammar made it better than English.

It will be because so many people are speaking that language, it becomes the dominant language.

So, I guess I'd rather talk about all those complicated questions in martial effectiveness without looking over my shoulder for the shadow of HMS the Beagle.

Regards,

DH

jennifer paige smith
12-14-2008, 09:40 AM
Sure, I'll give it shot.

It would mean continuing to train with an observation that big nature is of greater power than my little self. In my case that gives rise to perspectives that are a lot more native than colonial; which is revolutionary to my experience and to my take on the art.

One more thought. In a time of great pressure to 'make aikido better' and a time when ego's in aikido have gone off the scale, it is revolutionary,in my experience ,to continue in the simple training of self-correction, rather than pushing to evolve, change, better, or adding 'better techniques' to aikido. Although those things may occur of their own accord through shugyo.
It might be easy to assume, at this point, that I am against any innovations in the art. But I am of the belief that innovations arise naturally( takemusu) and that the way we communicate our art, the way we handle our dojo's, and the way we en-culturate in aikido needs to come from our own selves, whatever nation,tribe,nationality that might be. My dojo is hardly traditional japanese.But I'm not Japanese and could never hope to be in this lifetime. To wish to be so would be a sin of sorts. Because I'd be negating that which nature intended for me. Which is for Jen to be Jen. And Jen is from California. In case you can't tell.

Joe McParland
12-14-2008, 10:15 AM
But the above statement wasn't about you or directed toward you. I was joining with your thought and adding a visual. I can see how you might have made the mistake. Please read it again with what I'm telling you in mind.

Ha! I need more practice :D

Kevin Leavitt
12-14-2008, 10:24 AM
Good post David. You certainly said what I wanted to say much better!

DO arts are such as aikido, judo, iaido, kyudo, and others are methodologies that use a martial framework to teach and enhance the way or philosophy of the practice. Each have developed a context of practice that accomplishes those goals.

Interesting enough....the governing bodies of Judo are once again changing the rules of judo. Why? I think it is basically to encourage good judo and to return to the foundation, not to evolve it into Jiujitsu and wrestling that has had an impact in competition.

Will it have it's desired goal or will it continue to isolate it from the mainstream more?

Hard to say, I think that depends on your perspective.

What I like about my judo practice is that it has provided me a very in depth study into the art of kuzushi and throwing that I don't believe I'd get in any other methodology.

Why is that? Because Judo has stuck to it's primary didactic and core curriculum and have changed the rules over time to ensure that it continues to be the focus.

Judged against the modern perspective of effectiveness from a BJJ or MMA perspective and Judo is a dying art that is moving away from effectiveness.

Judged against the criteria that makes judo good for what judo is good for...I'd say they are making the right choice.

As far as trends go what does this mean for the future of judo vice MMA/BJJ?

Hard to say again, but it may be that people want more of what MMA has to offer vice what Judo has to offer and you may see a time when BJJ or more specifically "sport jiujitsu" becomes an olympic sport and judo takes a back seat to it simply because more folks want to be measured in this respect vice the judo rules.

It could be that aikido loses students and there is actually a decline away from aikido with more folks going into MMA.

Based on the numbers in our dojo here in Virginia though, I don't believe we have seen a decline in the past 5 years. Aikido is such a small player anyway, in comparison to say Judo...much, much smaller! That I don't think the trends impact us to greatly anyway.

We have a very distinct client based and attract folks that are looking for Aikido.

It is for this reason that if we attempted to change to be more popular that I think we would be in trouble as we would no longer be doing our core competency well, and we would be doing a terrible job at the MMA stuff and it would backfire big time!

Buck
12-14-2008, 10:52 AM
Buck,

I'm saying that if you pursue the metaphor of evolution with respect to something like a martial art....

David

David,
I am a little embrassed for missing that. Good post allots of layers of thought and insight to it. Kudos. I think my greatest fault in my posting habits are sometimes being like a pit bull and biting and locking on at one spot and not letting go. I've destroyed all my chew toys. :)

Buck
12-14-2008, 11:24 AM
Kevin said, Going back to the topic at hand concerning evolution of aikido.

Again, we have to define and agree that aikido moved away from it's original intent.

I know some people feel it is has. They say that Aikido today is a result not of O'Sensei, but his uchi deshi. If that is the case the original Aikido of O'Sensei is lost forever. In line with that then, when Aikido is changed by the uchi deshi's, uchi deshi that Aikido is lost and replace by another and so along the chain. Now Aikido is subject to a speciation of evolution. I guess it is the way we (as individuals) look at things. What ever model we choose to follow, what ever way we look at Aikido be it evolution or not will lead us (individual) to the ends we (the individual) intended to pick.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-14-2008, 12:05 PM
So, you're saying for Aikido to remain 'pure' (whatever that means), Aikido should revert back to students sitting outside the Sensei's Dojo for weeks, waiting for the Sensei to invite them in, then engage in servitude for years ?
Nope, I mean changing the japanese cultural trappings for american ones will only affect the external aspects of the art, not the art itself. Evolution needs to happen in the core (like in living things at DNA level) not in the surface

I dont't know about all that "hippy" stuff, but I believe I can embrace Budo and show my respect to the Founder in my own American way and go on about my training. I do want to compete, to see if my technique is viable or not and improve it.

The European way is acceptable, isn't it?

And about competition/sparring... no big deal (well, only for some), there is a lot of aikido clubs with competitive sparring and some where hard spontaneous exchange of techniques is not unusual. I don't see this as evolution, only different training methods, but still the same art.

???Judo went mainstream and became an Olympic event.
Then judo's ground grappling got stagnated, striking ended in kata only practise and the Seiryoku Zenyo-Jita Kyoei is mostly forgotten.

You're telling me UFC/MMA has gotten worse? Obviously you didn't follow the UFC from the beginning, which started out with black belts in various Karates and boxers and Judo got in the mix.
...


Sorry, I remember the other UFC, the almost no rules, no time limits, barecknuckle fights. The one where Royce owned everybody.

Today is a heavily regulated sport, way safer and friendly for the practitioner.

Imo, if Aikido is not a MA, it shouldn't be called one. If it is, then it should go ahead and be one.

Well, imho aikido is a MA. However it has evolved in some (for some a lot, for others not) places, due the 60's - 70's social environment, and became a different thing.

I noticed later:
Imo, for example, to intercept an attack with an attack, instead acting in defense would be an improvement.
Then find an aikido club where techniques are trained in the "old school" form not in the american post-hippy kumbaya singing "evolved" form.

Kevin Leavitt
12-14-2008, 01:27 PM
Come train with me, I am always on the offense, I avoid the defense and believe in always attack, always win. That is the aikido I was taught and the aikido I practice. Retrograde operations only occur when you cannot attack and they are only temporary measures to get you back to a position of dominance.

Anyway, not everyone in aikido is about the hippie fruity stuff! Actually I am on a philosophical level, just not in martial practice.

Kevin Leavitt
12-14-2008, 01:35 PM
Kevin said,

I know some people feel it is has. They say that Aikido today is a result not of O'Sensei, but his uchi deshi. If that is the case the original Aikido of O'Sensei is lost forever. In line with that then, when Aikido is changed by the uchi deshi's, uchi deshi that Aikido is lost and replace by another and so along the chain. Now Aikido is subject to a speciation of evolution. I guess it is the way we (as individuals) look at things. What ever model we choose to follow, what ever way we look at Aikido be it evolution or not will lead us (individual) to the ends we (the individual) intended to pick.

We certainly have these discussions as well with my dojo mates. I think we do need to look critically at this issue and constantly re-evaluate what we are learning and if it is reaching our desired goals. Many of my sensei and instructors within my organization go to other practices, tai chi, BJJ, koryu, and Bujitsu with Akuzawa and look at them for new insights and understandings. We then synthesize those things back into our practice of aikido.

BJJ and Judo have had a profound impact on my understanding of aikido and aiki in general, and I can tell you that I probably won't practice aikido exactly the same as maybe I was taught as I may use different teaching techniques from time to time to teach aiki principles.

There are some aikido methods that I have employed in teaching BJJ that I think aikido does a better job of transmitting.

Semantics maybe, but I don't see what I would do as evolutionary as we are not changing the core measures and principles of aikido.

good discussion.

mathewjgano
12-14-2008, 05:49 PM
Come train with me, I am always on the offense, I avoid the defense and believe in always attack, always win. That is the aikido I was taught and the aikido I practice. Retrograde operations only occur when you cannot attack and they are only temporary measures to get you back to a position of dominance.

Anyway, not everyone in aikido is about the hippie fruity stuff! Actually I am on a philosophical level, just not in martial practice.

Hi Kevin!
It probably has a lot to do with semantics, but it's interesting to me how often "defense" takes on a negative connotation to people. In my opinion, there is only action and inaction; and offense or defense simply imply who's giving and who's receiving the attack. My view is that I can be defensive AND proactive/progressive in my approach to dealing with an attack...and even that this is usually the best way to prevent conflict in general. Defensive driving is a good example of what I'm trying to describe.
I was also curious what you mean by being on a philosophical level, though not in martial practice. My view is that people tend in one direction or the other (i.e. philosphical or physical), but cannot escape either. In my view, philosophy and physicality are just an extention of the mind-body dichotomy, and as such, are inseperable from each other. How the physical aspect of training evolves is through our philosophy, which is in turn shaped by our perception, which is based upon our physical interaction with the world around us, and so on and so forth.
Take care,
Matthew
ps-and not all us hippie fruity types are afraid to get physical. Even the softest peach has a pit that can break teeth...if you'll forgive the attempt at poetry.

GeneC
12-14-2008, 09:35 PM
Clarence, if you're so confident and believe it is right, then why not simply get to it?

But I am, my man, I am.

GeneC
12-14-2008, 09:42 PM
Citations please. From all I've been able to garner most of Ueshiba's challanges were of the "grab me here, push me there see I don't move but watch me throw you" variety. I'm not saying you're wrong Clarence but I'd like you to cite some specific instances where Ueshiba honed his Aikido technique in actual combat.Ron

Ok, I didn't say "in actual combat", as the combat of Aikido is with swords, right? I said "in competition".

But it was Shoji Nishio that said Osensei improved Aikido because in competition with a Judoka, the Judoka threw him. I can't find the actual vid right now, but when I do I promise to show it.

Ok, here's some:
http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=E0exZ_V1k9k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH0-IyJPsyc

RonRagusa
12-14-2008, 09:56 PM
Sorry Clarence, I misinterpreted the last sentence of your post to which I was referring. Thanks for the vids.

Ron

GeneC
12-14-2008, 10:02 PM
Those would be the references to your personal take on evolution.Nothing more.

So you said:"However I observe that there is more to see in the references that are being used. "

And I said I wasnt' sure what you meant and you say the above.

Ok, I have to ask what more is there to see?

I'm sorry, I'm just not following you. I'm seeing that terms are being tossed around that really don't apply and I can't seem to get anyone to differentiate biological evolution and the "Industrial Revolution" evolution- two completely different concepts.

Some folks wants to try and apply the evolution of Aikido to the concept of biological evolution, which is a change in the DNA, over maybe thousands or millions of years, to improve a species to adapt to survive and that just doesn't apply.

The other evolution, the kind I'm talking about is the concept of simply changing (improving) a technique because it gets you hurt in competition (or combat) or just doesn't work. The folks that do get this are saying that Aikido is perfect and doesn't need changing. To that I say anything manmade is NOT perfect and always has room for improvement. The some say it's the person that evolves, not the art. To that I say, yes we do evolve as people practitioners (hopefully), but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking specifically about the evolution of Aikido (because that's what this thread is about).

GeneC
12-14-2008, 10:08 PM
Sure, I'll give it shot.

It would mean continuing to train with an observation that big nature is of greater power than my little self. In my case that gives rise to perspectives that are a lot more native than colonial; which is revolutionary to my experience and to my take on the art.

But that's not revolutonary( see, here we go with this terminology thing), that's the heart and soul of Aikido.
Btw, what does that "more native than colonial" mean?

GeneC
12-14-2008, 10:17 PM
And that would be a bad thing because...?

I'm sorry, I'm under the impression that the purpose of a business is to succeed and grow and expand and succeed.

RonRagusa
12-14-2008, 10:20 PM
Again, we have to define and agree that aikido moved away from it's original intent.
Not only that, we would also have to examine whether Ueshiba's legacy evolved from his original intent in developing Aikido as a distinct art. Why did Ueshiba develop Aikido in the first place? We really have to answer that in order to define the original intent of Aikido and have a point to move away from.

Ron

GeneC
12-14-2008, 10:28 PM
Kevin said,

I know some people feel it is has. They say that Aikido today is a result not of O'Sensei, but his uchi deshi. If that is the case the original Aikido of O'Sensei is lost forever. In line with that then, when Aikido is changed by the uchi deshi's, uchi deshi that Aikido is lost and replace by another and so along the chain. Now Aikido is subject to a speciation of evolution. I guess it is the way we (as individuals) look at things. What ever model we choose to follow, what ever way we look at Aikido be it evolution or not will lead us (individual) to the ends we (the individual) intended to pick.

My point is that it's each individual's responsibility to try and take Aikido beyond what Osensei ( or his students ) did. This is also Aikido evolving.

RonRagusa
12-14-2008, 10:29 PM
I'm sorry, I'm under the impression that the purpose of a business is to succeed and grow and expand and succeed.

Hi Clarence -

You're quite right in that. However two things come to mind: first, not all Aikido dojos are run as businesses and second, the location of the dojo doesn't imply anything about the quality of instruction being offered. Good Aikido will be found where it is being taught, the venue is irrelevant.

Ron

RonRagusa
12-14-2008, 10:35 PM
My point is that it's each individual's responsibility to try and take Aikido beyond what Osensei ( or his students ) did. This is also Aikido evolving.

I would say that individuals have a choice. An individual, may choose to innovate and move beyond his instructor or choose to preserve the instructors form and way of teaching, acting as an archivist. This way, Aikido continues to evolve but the path of evolution is preserved.

Ron

GeneC
12-14-2008, 10:44 PM
Nope, I mean changing the japanese cultural trappings for american ones will only affect the external aspects of the art, not the art itself. Evolution needs to happen in the core (like in living things at DNA level) not in the surface

So what's wrong with that? These are Americans teaching Americans, right? Imo, it now Americn Aikido and while still acknowledging it roots, imo, it should be all American and it still can evolve. Btw the DNA evolution, different concept.

Then judo's ground grappling got stagnated, striking ended in kata only practise and the Seiryoku Zenyo-Jita Kyoei is mostly forgotten.

But the Olympics didn't do that, the very nature of Ju-do did. Judo evolved.

Sorry, I remember the other UFC, the almost no rules, no time limits, barecknuckle fights. The one where Royce owned everybody.Today is a heavily regulated sport, way safer and friendly for the practitioner.

Nope that was later on in UFC. That's what I was saying, it has evolved into a major sport.

Well, imho aikido is a MA. However it has evolved in some (for some a lot, for others not) places, due the 60's - 70's social environment, and became a different thing.

Well, believe it or not, someone in this thread said that MA was for when one lost their weapon! The very concept of martial = weapon. Aikido is directly a sword MA.
AFA the 60's- 70's thing, in our civilized world, evolving usually means to become more civil, but one thing I remember, an evolvement , that I use daily, from the 70's, is the bio-rythm. I've found I can calm down and relax ALOT faster with it, so it is an evolvement.

Imo, for a MA to evolve, it simply needs to be improved in some small way that increases it's effectiveness and/or ensures it's survival.

observer
12-14-2008, 11:24 PM
Well, believe it or not, someone in this thread said that MA was for when one lost their weapon! The very concept of martial = weapon. Aikido is directly a sword MA.
I am sorry. By saying "On a battle field people use martial arts in case they lose a weapon, so that they can retrieve their weapon and be able to continue the fight." I didn't play any words' game - so, please do not use my clear statement to form a false conclusion. In that context "martial arts" means an empty hand fighting skill (ju-jitsu, daito-ryu, ..).

Joe McParland
12-14-2008, 11:40 PM
But I am, my man, I am.

Cool, Clarence. I'll wish you luck in finding, creating, and spreading whatever is your aikido. Whether you succeed or fail, you've only got this time to find out

What I've found nice in the American tradition is that there really aren't too many groups who will actively shun you for not seeing things their way. There are still ways to train in aikido proper (particularly if you are not looking for rank and recognition from within their organizations), there are other martial arts to learn that add perspective to your own art, and there are groups with whom you can train who will welcome what you bring to the table.

I think one of the greatest aspects of traditional martial arts training is that you're learning to stand on your own, both physically and mentally. There may be many reasons why some do not promote (and sometimes actively oppose!) this aspect, but two biggies I find are these:

(1) Those who believe there is something to be preserved and transmitted purely---the high priests, so to speak

(2) Those who are trying to protect their territories, trademarks, and revenue streams---the merchants.

[I suppose there are also (3) those who would protect their egos, which infuse the other two...]

I don't know if there has been anything like a pure mind-to-mind transmission of O-Sensei's understanding, let alone physical skill. After all, look at all of the first and second generation students who founded their own independent organizations.

So, who's to tell you that you're wrong? Do what's right for you. When, given all of your circumstances, you do what is right for you and move forward, everything---the whole universe---evolves.

Buck
12-15-2008, 12:17 AM
Semantics maybe, but I don't see what I would do as evolutionary as we are not changing the core measures and principles of aikido.

good discussion.

As I said before I don't think principles (physics etc. used/ as you put it core...) of Aikido apply to evolution. Just as light doesn't apply to evolution. I think in your case you are using the same physics etc. as Aikido. Where it be BJJ, or Tai chi. The difference is in application. So essentially you are just relearning what you already know from a different teaching model or package. There may be less stress here or more stress there, on this or that all within the limitations of physics. What differs among all these arts is the philosophy and application.

But I can see where a person may say, BJJ is on the evolutionary scale below Aikido. Why, because Aikido attempts in philosophy to something very difficult, and that is to not do harm like BJJ is allowed. We might say MMA is even below BJJ, I don't have to explain that. We can also say Aikido has not evolved because it doesn't update's itself to the modern world where MMA fighters are plenty. And so on.

I guess iamb, what is evolved or evolving or needs to evolve is based on what people are looking for. Like you said there is an unknown to how you would evolve the core stuff. I think many people also have a tough time with that. this is because we all are looking in the martial arts that isn't universal to all. But, instead unique to each person training, and the end the reach. If we look a person to see if any evolution has taken place- as a result of what ever the art they take- putting them on the evolution chart. We do this so we can see what took place in regard to the variables, speciations etc. I think it would be very interesting to know.

I would think it could be done is a very short time in any martial artist to see things happening as a result of the evolution process. Guys like you, Kevin, would be a great obervation on martial arts speciation- fusing in so many different arts together. You might be a new species, an Ominous preplexus. :D Or simply just using a combo tool you feel you need to solve the same problem so many of us who train in the arts are also trying to solve. With that said the following comes to mind, sliced bread, building a better mouse trap, reinventing the wheel, or evolving to a higher state of mind-snobbery :D. In the world of evolution someone comes out on top (includes a high population), then its ends up the same way of all over populated species. I prefer the String theory, it has a happier ending. Yea, it is a good discussion. :)

Buck
12-15-2008, 06:57 AM
I guess it is our approach to solving a problem we all as martial arts try to answer. I think we all understand that at some level. Some feel their methods and approach to the problem are evolved, or maybe we all think that way. But, with evolution there is extinction . Here is where I think people really get concerned. No one wants their art to die, they want to increase their own kind competing with others for territory etc. when this happen their numbers increase and increase. this is something they want, but in the back of their minds they feel the cold hand of extinction creeping up. In this case they seek out other arts etc. to survive to meet the needs of staying alive.

C. David Henderson
12-15-2008, 09:52 AM
Clarence,

With all due respect, let me ask you -- has anyone's communications with you in this thread led you to change any of your views? Is your intent to have the last word? That's becoming my impression, sadly.

Also, and again with all due respect, your various uses of the word "evolution" tend, in my view, to support the idea that you really don't have much background with the concept of "evolution." I'm not bragging when I say that I do -- at least enough to know that some of the poster's whose views you've rejected know more about the concept than your posts suggest that you do.

I like your discussion in one of these last posts about evolution in terms of making technique better. That's the goal of training for most if not all of us. You can call it "evolution" if you want. But calling it that doesn't contribute more to my understanding of your point that we should be working to surpass our teachers in our practices. And your simple underlying observation stands on its own without the ideological baggage your understanding of evolution seems to carry with it.

In your other statements in this thread, you presuppose "evolution" as a fundamental principle of how everything changes "in nature."

The bottom line, for me, is I think you conflate "evoultion" with a belief in progress, particularly with the idea of the United States as a progressive society. You are welcome to that belief, even if I find it parochial. But it's just that --a belief drapped in pseudo-scientific clothing.

When you make broad statements like "I reread the entire thread and there is nothing evolutionary or revolutionary in it," and, at the same time, you've failed to show that you genuinely understand what the concept really means, it makes it hard for me as an individual reader to get through my frustration at the way you choose to communicate and I fear I may be missing your other points.

Same as when you call O'Sensei a rich man and a hypocrite. If that's your point of view, fine, but (A) I think you meant to use it to upset people because you felt on the defensive, and (b) your post suggests an odd understanding of his biolography and life. In this site we are spoiled by easy access to Professor Goldsbury's articles on Ueshiba's life. You might find they add detail to what you already know.

Bottom line, my friend, I'd much prefer to engage in an exchange of ideas with you in which neither of us pretend we know everything than in a series of debating posts that seem to have little purpose but to establish that you are always right.

Please forgive my bluntness. It is, whether well done or not, a plea for more open minded communication.

Sincerely,

DH

Demetrio Cereijo
12-15-2008, 10:39 AM
I think there is some confusion between how evolution works and what creationism and intelligent design are.

For me, these are not interchangeable terms and as discussing about semantics in a foreign language is not my cup of tea, I think it will be more productive more yonkyo practise and more locoplata drilling, at least for me.

It's me who has to "evolve", the arts are tools for my change. I don't need the tools to be changed to fit in my personal box.

jennifer paige smith
12-15-2008, 11:12 AM
So you said:"However I observe that there is more to see in the references that are being used. "

And I said I wasnt' sure what you meant and you say the above.

Ok, I have to ask what more is there to see?

I'm sorry, I'm just not following you. I'm seeing that terms are being tossed around that really don't apply and I can't seem to get anyone to differentiate biological evolution and the "Industrial Revolution" evolution- two completely different concepts.

Some folks wants to try and apply the evolution of Aikido to the concept of biological evolution, which is a change in the DNA, over maybe thousands or millions of years, to improve a species to adapt to survive and that just doesn't apply.

The other evolution, the kind I'm talking about is the concept of simply changing (improving) a technique because it gets you hurt in competition (or combat) or just doesn't work. The folks that do get this are saying that Aikido is perfect and doesn't need changing. To that I say anything manmade is NOT perfect and always has room for improvement. The some say it's the person that evolves, not the art. To that I say, yes we do evolve as people practitioners (hopefully), but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking specifically about the evolution of Aikido (because that's what this thread is about).

In my opinion, at the level you're discussing, aikido is it's practitioners.But where I stepped in this conversation was at the point where you mis-defined Revolution by omission of its many applicable meanings and then asserted it had no place in the art. So I suggested that you look deeper at the word revolution.

At the level I'm discussing, aikido is a product of nature, which is perfect. So before we go thinking that an exotic invasive Kudzo vine is superior to it's native neighbor plants and therefore humans should intervene in nature even further we should notice it was put by mankind where it didn't belong and where it would never have been in the first place. That thing, Kudzo was your example of an evolutionary change as superior, is just as it is and should've been left where it was. In balance with it's own environment. If we'd observed it in it's own nature for a bit longer we would've figured that out before it 'ate the south'; I hope. So I asked you to look deeper at the concept of evolution.
Much like anything new, like aikido for you, it is good to check it out a lot longer than we think before we go changing it for the better. I'm still checking it out. It still seems new.
Finally, it is my viewpoint that our next greatest evolution as humans and aikidoka will involve patience and observation for the pace of nature. Which is both ura and omote.

Woof-woof!

Joe McParland
12-15-2008, 11:39 AM
What Clarence thinks or says, what I think or say, whether Clarence succeeds or not according to his standard, and whether Clarence succeeds or not according to my standard, are for the most part mutually independent.

You can misunderstand everything and then still reach the right conclusion. You can have perfect information and still reach the wrong conclusion. Doing things the right way, regardless of intent, can still produce harm. Doing things the wrong way, regardless of intent, can still produce benefit.

Before taking a step, we can wait for perfect conditions, but they may never come. We can wait until everybody is free from delusion, but I may be the person holding everyone up! What's a person to do?

A current focus of my own aikido practice is not getting entangled in the aforementioned crap, keeping mind and body integrated and free. If that is the part that survives another generation, I'm probably okay with that, regardless of the form it takes. :)

Erick Mead
12-15-2008, 11:45 AM
At the level I'm discussing, aikido is a product of nature, which is perfect. I don't know that I would agree with the latter statement. There is a quote I love on the nature of imperfection -- who said it I do not know -- but : "There is a crack in the world -- and that's how the light gets in."

So before we go thinking that an exotic invasive Kudzo vine is superior to it's native neighbor plants and therefore humans should intervene in nature even further we should notice it was put by mankind where it didn't belong and where it would never have been in the first place. I only lately found out that kudzu is apparently edible. Someone should have told Southerners this -- we could have resolved our kudzu problems YEARS ago ...

Toby Threadgill
12-15-2008, 12:09 PM
Hello,

Interesting thread.

Something that seems to be missed is that aikido from a purely technical point of view is just another style of jujutsu. Every technique and every physical principle in aikido can be found in numerous schools of classical jujutsu, not just Daito ryu.

So the question is, what defines aikido?

Technique?

Pedagogy?

Philosophy?

Before you can debate the evolution of aikido I'd suggest you define what actually constitutes aikido. Without common ground to base this discussion on, you are debating apples and oranges.

Respectfully,

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

jennifer paige smith
12-15-2008, 12:17 PM
I don't know that I would agree with the latter statement. There is a quote I love on the nature of imperfection -- who said it I do not know -- but : "There is a crack in the world -- and that's how the light gets in."

When I wrote that statement I wondered whether I should go further at the moment to include imperfection as one of nature's 'perfections'. Now I'm glad I didn't because you said it so well.

I only lately found out that kudzu is apparently edible. Someone should have told Southerners this -- we could have resolved our kudzu problems YEARS ago ...

It is legume after all.

Erick Mead
12-15-2008, 12:18 PM
It is legume, after all. Ah.. Kudzu. The Demon Pea.

jennifer paige smith
12-15-2008, 12:27 PM
Ah.. Kudzu. The Demon Pea.

Kudzu,kudzu, the musical fruit........

Erick Mead
12-15-2008, 12:59 PM
Something that seems to be missed is that aikido from a purely technical point of view is just another style of jujutsu. Every technique and every physical principle in aikido can be found in numerous schools of classical jujutsu, not just Daito ryu.

So the question is, what defines aikido?

Technique?

Pedagogy?

Philosophy?

Before you can debate the evolution of aikido I'd suggest you define what actually constitutes aikido. Without common ground to base this discussion on, you are debating apples and oranges.Essentially, you are asking what distinguishes Aikido from DTR. A useful challenge. I have my thoughts on the nature of the physics and perceptual training, but little to compare from the standpoint of DTR to contrast those aspects so I am hesitant to make too-sweeping judgments

I would approach it from an unsystematic perspective and work backwards. What distinguishes the evolution of the various DTR strains from Aikido? If the question is evolution, the answer is differential fitness and reproduction, in this sense of the expansion in numbers of practitioners. The expansion of Aikido well outside of Japanese culture occurred in ways both similar to and in ways distinct from, the similar experience of Judo. Judo was advanced in a rationalist technical sport paradigm. That found fertile ground to grow in around the world.

Aikido took a different road, more feeling and concept of ethic and praxis welded together, without the aspect of sport, and it has also done quite well, from an evolutionary fitness perspective. DTR on the other hand is proceeding to introduce itself largely from the broader perspective where knowledge of Aikido has made it more passably familiar than "Daitah- whut?" That said, Aikido still seems to me more than merely a popularized DTR, and that seems to agree with many who have commented on the differences, here and in other places.

DTR remains almost wholly a pure bujutsu art, which for the purists is part of its appeal. Death and killing things have inherently limited popular appeal outside the professions requiring their familiarity. They may and often do become tiresome even for many of those. A samurai's career, after all, usually ended in one of two places, a grave or a monastery. (OK -- or in politics, but that is far more like the former than the latter.) Most people are interested in avoiding both, at least as long as possible.

What does this say about Aikido? I don't quite know except that's what has happened, and that Aikido's structure is fairly open and inviting of evolution (and therefore failed mutation, a valid and recurrent DTR criticism).

On the other hand, from what I have learned of it, the more closed nature of the traditional DTR ryu is more disciplined, more coherent in the sense of intentionally organized, but also less evolutionary in the same sense, and so, less liable of failing in some of the more embarrassing ways, by the same token.

It is early days yet to see what the arc of expansion will be for DTR -- which may say little for its eventual evolution, or its fitness, which at the beginning, at least, seem loosely connected to the evolution of aikido -- at least, that is, we keep seeming to talk to one another about the issue.

Cousins always seem to quibble over the grandfather's patrimony, don't they? I hope both sides will continue to avoid those parochial tendencies that remain strong in both of them. I hope your efforts toward that end will continue here and elsewhere because they each have much to remind one another of.

Kevin Leavitt
12-15-2008, 05:48 PM
Hi Kevin!
It probably has a lot to do with semantics, but it's interesting to me how often "defense" takes on a negative connotation to people. In my opinion, there is only action and inaction; and offense or defense simply imply who's giving and who's receiving the attack. My view is that I can be defensive AND proactive/progressive in my approach to dealing with an attack...and even that this is usually the best way to prevent conflict in general. Defensive driving is a good example of what I'm trying to describe.
I was also curious what you mean by being on a philosophical level, though not in martial practice. My view is that people tend in one direction or the other (i.e. philosphical or physical), but cannot escape either. In my view, philosophy and physicality are just an extention of the mind-body dichotomy, and as such, are inseperable from each other. How the physical aspect of training evolves is through our philosophy, which is in turn shaped by our perception, which is based upon our physical interaction with the world around us, and so on and so forth.
Take care,
Matthew
ps-and not all us hippie fruity types are afraid to get physical. Even the softest peach has a pit that can break teeth...if you'll forgive the attempt at poetry.

Hi Matthew!

Semantics...yes. Based on your definition, I would agree with you. To me (as it appears to you as well), you have simply Stimulus and Response. I between it you have Choice. It may be a narrow gap or a wide gap between Stimulus and Response. With a narrow gap you'd have not as many choices, but you probablly still have some.

The only issue I have with defense is when you adopt it as a complete strategy or paradigm. To me, defense only mentality does not resolve the situation, physically or philosophically, it only protects you temporarily. You still need to take some short of action to resolve the situation. It may be to attack or render you opponent physically disabled. Or it may be to enter into some sort of "peace talk" that negoitiates an understaning or resolution.

I think for many the paradigm of aikido is that it is a defensive martial art. I don't think it is. I think it is a martial art of harmony which means we complete actions or have complete resolution as a goal. That can vary depending on the situation.

I just don't think defense describes well what we really do. Hopefully we are much more skillful than that!

However as you state it may be semantics, but I think choice of words is very important so I don't care for the word Defensive or Defense.

On the second part of your question.

The phrase walk softly and carry a big stick comes to mind. Maybe not the best analogy, but I think it is a decent one.

I believe we should live our lives in such as way as to be compassionate and careing and we should practice our training that way.

However, we must make sure we are clear on what we are practicing...a martial art whose purpose is to cause harm and death possibly. A serious responsibility and one we must be careful not to decieve ourselves that it is anything but that at the root level of practice.

You are correct I think, you cannot escape either. That is the paradox of our training. both extremes are unhealthy I think. One side of the equation reframes the practice into something other than a martial art in which in a perfect world no one gets hurt. the other extreme walks down the street looking at everyone as a mugger or attacker always on guard.

moderation is the key.

I think though in actual physical practice we should be true to that practice and execute it as the base level of what it is. A strike is simply a strike, an attack is an attack, and we should deal with them as such. Nothing more, nothing less. void of emotion in the moment. (Mushin)

That said, we do need to consider the compassion of our actions to make sure we do indeed respond with an appropriate and skillful response. I think that happens before the moment of attack (in between that is) Stimuls and Response...Choice is in between.

So, therein is the paradox. And so, therfore yes, macroscopically, I agree, you can't really separate them when you look at it holistically!

Again though, I think it important to not overthink or over complicate the physical practice of aikido with reframing or revision by the introduction of philosophy or spirituality.

Anyway, I hope that explains my position! Thanks!

Kevin Leavitt
12-15-2008, 05:58 PM
Buck wrote:

But I can see where a person may say, BJJ is on the evolutionary scale below Aikido. Why, because Aikido attempts in philosophy to something very difficult, and that is to not do harm like BJJ is allowed. We might say MMA is even below BJJ, I don't have to explain that. We can also say Aikido has not evolved because it doesn't update's itself to the modern world where MMA fighters are plenty. And so on.

As you know I don't necessarily see things the same way on BJJ/AIKIDO/MMA was you do. Won't rehash that here. However, if you do indeed believe that the distinct difference betweeen aikido and BJJ is based on the allowing or disallowing of harm...

well then I'd say there are alot of hippocritical folks practicing aikido out there as I have learned more how to not hurt folks (In real life, not in the dojo) in BJJ than in aikido. So I'd say in that respect then BJJ might be more authentic or honest.

So you have to be careful about the categorical conclusions you draw based on your paradigm about what something is and what it is not!

Don't have much time right now, but will try to discuss more later!

GeneC
12-15-2008, 06:06 PM
I am sorry. By saying "On a battle field people use martial arts in case they lose a weapon, so that they can retrieve their weapon and be able to continue the fight." I didn't play any words' game - so, please do not use my clear statement to form a false conclusion. In that context "martial arts" means an empty hand fighting skill (ju-jitsu, daito-ryu, ..).

Sorry, too late, I already did( altho I had no intention to single you out or mention any names), as it's not clear, nor is it clear to me what it has to do with this thread.
Imo, that statement begs for an expoundment. If it read "the empty hand portion of martial arts", it'd be much more clear, as it's well known that martial arts are weapons arts, especially in Aikido.

These vids explain this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPfXkxF9C-E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH0-IyJPsyc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9PTMSwr1h0

Notice in the vids , he says that in order for Aikido to be developed( to evolve), it must maintain martial effectiveness. He's also saying that Aikido is devolving, because it's being practiced martially ineffective. So, how does one know if a technique is martially effective, if not by 'combat-like' competition? So, imo, Aikido techniques that come out as a result of 'combat-like' competiton would be an example of Aikido evolving. Speaking of that practicing with a wooden ken/jo was an evolution.

Kevin Leavitt
12-15-2008, 06:14 PM
Buck,

Based on your hierachry of MMA BJJ and Aikido on a spectrum of evolution....

That is like saying that Anglianism, is more evolved than Catholism, that is more evolved than Paganism.

They are all different practices on the same theme essentially. Now A Catholic may disagree at a certain level of technicality that Catholism has anything remotely to do with Paganism, but they are all religions with practices.

Merry Christmas!

Erick Mead
12-15-2008, 06:31 PM
Buck wrote:

As you know I don't necessarily see things the same way on BJJ/AIKIDO/MMA was you do. Won't rehash that here. However, if you do indeed believe that the distinct difference betweeen aikido and BJJ is based on the allowing or disallowing of harm...

well then I'd say there are alot of hippocritical folks practicing aikido out there as I have learned more how to not hurt folks (In real life, not in the dojo) in BJJ than in aikido. So I'd say in that respect then BJJ might be more authentic or honest.

So you have to be careful about the categorical conclusions you draw based on your paradigm about what something is and what it is not! From my perspective Aikido does not spend as much time or attention in teaching "how not to hurt," because the paradigm of the art is cooperative and not intended to reach certain levels or aspects of "unrestrained" action seen in BJJ. That is also a false dichotomy because as you know it is precisely certain restraints in the practice of BJJ that allows other things to be less restrained. The approach to restraint is very different in each art.

On the other hand, I do acknowledge a tendency in some aikido training to so allow the image of nonviolent restraint in training to obscure the violent reality in which Aikido actually subsists. To the extent that some people become unaware or operate under some illusions that the things they learn cannot truly be damaging if done poorly or without restraint.

Kevin Leavitt
12-15-2008, 06:32 PM
Buck Wrote:

I guess iamb, what is evolved or evolving or needs to evolve is based on what people are looking for. Like you said there is an unknown to how you would evolve the core stuff. I think many people also have a tough time with that. this is because we all are looking in the martial arts that isn't universal to all. But, instead unique to each person training, and the end the reach. If we look a person to see if any evolution has taken place- as a result of what ever the art they take- putting them on the evolution chart. We do this so we can see what took place in regard to the variables, speciations etc. I think it would be very interesting to know.


Couple of comment here.

One I don't think martial arts or practices can be all things to all persons. I think this is salient to the conversation of evolution as at it's core O'Sensei was pretty clear on what he codified as the core principles and values of the art.

In that respect, we are free to interepret and explore in our practice however we want. We may bring in a BJJ instructor for a seminar, or a DRAJ instructor, or a Tai Chi instructor. this does not mean we are evolving, but simply looking at the study in a different way to help us interpret and improve our understanding of the Core Princpals. Evolution to me implies that we are changing the core of our practice, that is values, philosophies, measures.

Which ones would you propose need to be changed if any?

Is it possible to learn aikido principles solely from a BJJ practice? I think you can. At what point to you cross the line and say you are no longer practicing aikido, but BJJ?

Actually BJJ and Judo are a better analogy because they are so close in practice. How do you know when you have crossed the line in practice?

The answer I think is when the practitioner forms an affinity with a particular practice and say "I do Aikido".

But back to all things to all people. I think instructors need to stay focused on the core of their practice and not be concerned with trends and opinions. I think if you are trained and mentored successfully and properly in your chosen art, then it is an easy thing to do. I think when you are not sure of yourself, your practice, and don't really know what it is that you are doing, then you tend to want to change things at the core.

That is not to say that we should shut our eyes things external to our practice and that we should not be open to adopting new training methodologies and experimentation...I think that is very important. However, is it evolution or simply a re-interpretation?

Erick Mead
12-15-2008, 06:37 PM
Buck,

Based on your hierachry of MMA BJJ and Aikido on a spectrum of evolution....

That is like saying that Anglianism, is more evolved than Catholism, that is more evolved than Paganism.

They are all different practices on the same theme essentially. Now A Catholic may disagree at a certain level of technicality that Catholism has anything remotely to do with Paganism, but they are all religions with practices.

Merry Christmas!Since we baptized most of the trappings of Christmas -- which were mostly pagan to begin with, I would tend to say that the Church has adopted pagan elements whenever they were suitable and good and rejected those that were not. Of course, I wouldn't say that is evolution exactly. Assimilation, maybe. (obligatory quote :"Resistance is useless.")

I think the issue of competition is like that in aikido. I see it as not suitable for the art, both in formal terms (the Founder disapproved) and in reasoned terms. I see evidence that competition defeats some important elements of what I see aikido accomplishing

Kevin Leavitt
12-15-2008, 06:40 PM
From my perspective Aikido does not spend as much time or attention in teaching "how not to hurt," because the paradigm of the art is cooperative and not intended to reach certain levels or aspects of "unrestrained" action seen in BJJ. That is also a false dichotomy because as you know it is precisely certain restraints in the practice of BJJ that allows other things to be less restrained. The approach to restraint is very different in each art.

On the other hand, I do acknowledge a tendency in some aikido training to so allow the image of nonviolent restraint in training to obscure the violent reality in which Aikido actually subsists. To the extent that some people become unaware or operate under some illusions that the things they learn cannot truly be damaging if done poorly or without restraint.

Overall I think I agree with you Erik. However, I am not really sure I understand what you mean by "unrestrained" action.

Techniques and use of force is exactly the same in both. What differs I think is the degree of aliveness in Randori. Is this the what you are referring to? The difference I see is Aikido is about 90% kata based to teach and instill correctness in learning "AikI" (a secondary goal and endstate). Whereas BJJ is about 40% Kata based to teach and instill correctness in empty handed grappling effectiveness (secondary goal and endstate). Aiki in BJJ would be a means to the end where in aikido it is the endstate in and of itself.

The difference I think between DO and SU. Results ironically may end up being the same actually, but in practice two methodologies approach the same primary endstate, which I believe to be personal happiness and mastery in a different way. Of course YMMV.

But, yes, overall I agree.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-15-2008, 06:46 PM
Actually BJJ and Judo are a better analogy because they are so close in practice. How do you know when you have crossed the line in practice?
When you spend more time buttscooting than slamming your partner on the mat.
:)

I think when you are not sure of yourself, your practice, and don't really know what it is that you are doing, then you tend to want to change things at the core.

Without knowing what the core is, I might say.

Erick Mead
12-15-2008, 06:47 PM
Notice in the vids , he says that in order for Aikido to be developed( to evolve), it must maintain martial effectiveness. He's also saying that Aikido is devolving, because it's being practiced martially ineffective. So, how does one know if a technique is martially effective, if not by 'combat-like' competition? So, imo, Aikido techniques that come out as a result of 'combat-like' competiton would be an example of Aikido evolving. Speaking of that practicing with a wooden ken/jo was an evolution.Nishio was not speaking of a competitive notion of aikido. There is a very stark difference between being mindful of winning the point and being mindful of killing the opponent. The latter is martial; the former is not.

Martial training -- in the sense of being mindful of killing, explicitly, (whether you are seeking to do it or not) may be practiced and honed fast or slow, and with or without a partner, depending on the art in question. Competition is part of the modern measurement fetish.

We keep score in fixed intervals where our ancestors would play ball games that ran from village to village all day til daylight left and everybody was too drunk or tired to remember a score. More often the game's results were "fixed" based on some local traditon being reenacted. My wife's ancestors in Gubbio to this day race three saints up a mountain and the same one wins every time. They liked it so much they now race the same three saints in Jessop PA, (with the same result.) Sant' Ubaldo always wins.

We modern folk want toughminded, numerical zero-sum results -- not mindful, (dare I say, joyful) incremental, continuous work on the essentially infinite and intractable problem that is war and violence. As I see it, aikido is meant to raise a different frame of mind about that problem and its practice.

Kevin Leavitt
12-15-2008, 07:04 PM
Hello,

Interesting thread.

Something that seems to be missed is that aikido from a purely technical point of view is just another style of jujutsu. Every technique and every physical principle in aikido can be found in numerous schools of classical jujutsu, not just Daito ryu.

So the question is, what defines aikido?

Technique?

Pedagogy?

Philosophy?

Before you can debate the evolution of aikido I'd suggest you define what actually constitutes aikido. Without common ground to base this discussion on, you are debating apples and oranges.

Respectfully,

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

Hi Toby,

I agree.

It might be difficult to define and discuss, as you know. I think Erick took a pretty decent stab at it for sure.

Looking at the etiology of aikido, judo, and BJJ as arts I have some experience with look at them simply as methodologies on the same theme of course.

Each of the founders had a certain perspective or value he placed on aspects they thought were important to communicate to others.

Kano devised his methodology to concentrate on the aspects that he felt were important.

O'Sensei did the same.

Maeda, spread Judo/Jiu-Jistu throughout the world and in one area two guys Carlos and Helio Gracie developed and codified there on methodology.

I think all of them pretty much profess the whole mind, body, and spirit thing right? So at the core, are they really different and unique at all? What do they evolve to if they are already aligned to these things?

I mean evolutionary might be that we discover that through the study of these arts that we can reduce carbon emissions and stop global warming and that becomes the single compelling reason to practice, and then we may see another methodology that extracts those practices that address that evolutionary discovery. Extreme and ridicuouls I know, but that is what evolutionary is about. A fish learning to breath air and walk on land! Not figuring out that not only can you do the American Crawl to swim, but also the backstroke! That is a variation on the same theme of swimming!

I think simply what define and separates arts are people and their afinitity and identity to a certain group that calls itself "X".

I think this should also be one of the "big" or "great" discoveries that O'Sensei wanted us to learn. As another thread is discussing, the secret to Martial Arts is that there is no secret AND there are no differences. The similiarities we are so closely related that they are really the same and Unifying in nature.

The differences I believe are superficial, patches on the GI, Hakama, no Hakama, black belts, Iaido Obi....O'sensei's picture at the front or Kano's?

The more I study, the more I see that is the same...not different!

So, hard to say what the difference really is...other than cultural an d customary in nature.

I know we all want to feel special in what we do, but these arts in and of themselve ain't so special really!

GeneC
12-15-2008, 07:09 PM
In my opinion, at the level you're discussing, aikido is it's practitioners.But where I stepped in this conversation was at the point where you mis-defined Revolution by omission of its many applicable meanings and then asserted it had no place in the art. So I suggested that you look deeper at the word revolution.....Woof-woof!

I'm sorry for the mis-understanding-I understand what you said, I just dis-agree with it.

I disagree that in the context of evolution of Aikido that "Aikido is it's practitioners". Aikido is it'sown entity. If no one practiced Aikido, it'd still be Aikido, still be as sound and effective as the day it was born. In fact, without 'practitioners' to devolve it, it might just evolve on it's own.

I disagree with your use of the term revolution- imo, it only means 3 things: 1.) political- overthrowing a incumbant regime. 2.) the action of a celestial body spinning on it's axis and/or going round in orbit or elliptical course 3.) a sudden, radical, or complete change. I just don't see Aikido doing any of the above( well maybe alittle spinning and orbiting) and if it's doing something else, maybe that's another term.

I disagree that Aikido is a product of Nature, per se. Imo, it's a product of a man who studied Nature, so it not perfect and has room for improvement ( evolving). Osensei spent the rest of his life evolving it and then, imo, left it to us to continue that.

I used the Kudzu because someone asked me for an example of something in Nature that has evolved superior, but emphasized that Natural evolution did not apply to the evolution of Aikido and was moot. AFA, what makes the Kudzu superior is the way it consumes other plants and has nothing to do with the way it got introduced into the United States or how edible it is.

And then, with your last statement about the next evolution, well that wouldn't be an evolution, as that has been the goal of Aikido since it's inception.

Folks like Shoji Nishio Sensei, who was a Uchidesi of Osensei and practiced it for many many years said that in order for Aikido to evolve, it must be martially effective and that I agree with. I may be new to Aikido, but I'm not new to MA nor Budo nor Zen nor Tao, etc. I have a pretty good grasp on concepts- physical, martial or otherwise (except those darn formulas). I'm pragmatic and believe no matter how complex, it should be able to be stated simply in a sentence. Pant, pant!!

Kevin Leavitt
12-15-2008, 07:35 PM
Sorry, too late, I already did( altho I had no intention to single you out or mention any names), as it's not clear, nor is it clear to me what it has to do with this thread.
Imo, that statement begs for an expoundment. If it read "the empty hand portion of martial arts", it'd be much more clear, as it's well known that martial arts are weapons arts, especially in Aikido.

These vids explain this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPfXkxF9C-E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH0-IyJPsyc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9PTMSwr1h0

Notice in the vids , he says that in order for Aikido to be developed( to evolve), it must maintain martial effectiveness. He's also saying that Aikido is devolving, because it's being practiced martially ineffective. So, how does one know if a technique is martially effective, if not by 'combat-like' competition? So, imo, Aikido techniques that come out as a result of 'combat-like' competiton would be an example of Aikido evolving. Speaking of that practicing with a wooden ken/jo was an evolution.

Well again, we'd have to agree on a criteria of what martially effective means before we could really have a meaningful discussion of this topic.

I have my opinions and criteria and it is multi-faceted.

As a soldier, I find the methodolgy of aikido to be a very, very poor methodology for teaching martial effectiveness for the current modern battlefield. As it relates directly to the physicality of application on the battlefield.

There are simply much better ways of training that are more direct that transfer core skills.

As a weapons based art aikido really is a waste of time. Yes, our heritage is based on weapons arts, but the practice we use are designed to teach the principles of aiki, not the actual use of these weapons. Weapons use is not a primary focus and we actually do it very poorly VERY POORLY!

So what part of martial effectiveness does aikido attempt to maintain really?

I actually have a hard time when someone like him says that in order to remain a martial art it must be practiced as we practice it with the sword.

IMM, if that is the case, then practice it correctly tactically, not some theorectical, principle focused practice.

In fact, sword based arts lost there martial relevancy quite a while ago I believe!

So, you can put lip stick on a pig, but you still have a pig! (Hmmm, where have I heard that lately).

What we need to do is make sure we have the same criteria for effectiveness before we start practice or discussion on this subject.

This does not mean that aikido is a waste of time and there is a reason I still practice it. Martial effectiveness on a physical nature is definitely NOT the most compelling reason directly.

I think shihan and instructors need to really spend time making sure their students completely understand this. I think words are cheap and thrown around too casually in the arts.

If you come to me and say you want to practice martially effectively...I might stand up, run at you, take you down and climb on top of you and start pounding on you from the mount.

So we really need to define what you really mean by that before we go much further as it can mean different things to different people.

Kevin Leavitt
12-15-2008, 07:48 PM
Clarence wrote:

Folks like Shoji Nishio Sensei, who was a Uchidesi of Osensei and practiced it for many many years said that in order for Aikido to evolve, it must be martially effective and that I agree with. I may be new to Aikido, but I'm not new to MA nor Budo nor Zen nor Tao, etc.

You are more than certainly entitled to your opinions. However, as you state, you are new to aikido. So your asumptions about aikido and where it has been and where it is going is based on what?

Limited experience? Assumptions? You tube?

Or interpersonal discussions with others in the art that have been in it for a while? Shihan? Sensei's?

Experiences with other schools, sects, segments?

Do you really feel qualified to form the opinions concerning your experiences with aikido?

It would really help me to understand your position if you would spell out your criteria for martial efffectiveness and how that relates to aikido.

On another topic. Are you sure you are using the term Evolve correctly?

Kudzu I don't believe has evolved. It found environmental conditions perfect for spreading in the southeast U.S. No change necessary for the Kudzu...it simply went on being Kudzu!

Evovle would imply that kudzu developed a fur coat that allowed it to live in Canada.

A revolution in respect to kudzu would be finding out that it was an alternative source to oil that we could tap into that would shift the economic market away from oil.

GeneC
12-15-2008, 08:18 PM
Clarence,With all due respect, let me ask you -- has anyone's communications with you in this thread led you to change any of your views? Is your intent to have the last word? That's becoming my impression, sadly.

Please, call me Gene. Now, speaking of respect, would it be disrepsectful if I ignore you? Didn't you post here and ask me a question for an answer? I assure, my intent is not to have that last word. I thought this was a place for us to sit around and discuss ideas. I'm sorry if you've become tired and negative (to think ill of me so). Relax and get some rest and don't let this trouble you. Fact is, if someone actually explained this evolution to me that'd be an improvemnt on my own thinking of this,I WOULD change my mind, but I really doubt that happening. The more I research I do on this, the more most all the "old folks" agree that the evolution of Aikdio is to make it more martially effectve.

Also, and again with all due respect, your various uses of the word "evolution" tend, in my view, to support the idea that you really don't have much background with the concept of "evolution." I'm not bragging when I say that I do -- at least enough to know that some of the poster's whose views you've rejected know more about the concept than your posts suggest that you do.

And that is your opinion and you have every right to it, I just disagree with it. I've only had one use and definition of evolution- adapting to an improvement to survive.

I like your discussion in one of these last posts about evolution in terms of making technique better. That's the goal of training for most if not all of us. You can call it "evolution" if you want. But calling it that doesn't contribute more to my understanding of your point that we should be working to surpass our teachers in our practices. And your simple underlying observation stands on its own without the ideological baggage your understanding of evolution seems to carry with it.

Wow, that was a mouthfull. I'm sorry you can't undersatnd the concept of taking something farther than your teacher andf I'dhave toask about that "underlying baggage" you're talking about. That concerns me.

In your other statements in this thread, you presuppose "evolution" as a fundamental principle of how everything changes "in nature."

But it's true! I didn't make it up. Folks much smarter than me dicovered that. Don't kill the messenger.

The bottom line, for me, is I think you conflate "evoultion" with a belief in progress, particularly with the idea of the United States as a progressive society. You are welcome to that belief, even if I find it parochial. But it's just that --a belief drapped in pseudo-scientific clothing.

Now David, don't think you're gonna scare me with those fancy words. I'd suggest looking up the term evolution (like I did), the whole concept is about improvement. AFA the statement about the US( that an example of a paradigm shift is how the US is shifting from a Democratic -Republic to Socialism), I believe it was an example of a pardigm shift (which was being improperly used). Now, it's very interesting that you find it " adhering to a religious doctrine". I won't even touch the last part.

When you make broad statements like "I reread the entire thread and there is nothing evolutionary or revolutionary in it," and, at the same time, you've failed to show that you genuinely understand what the concept really means, it makes it hard for me as an individual reader to get through my frustration at the way you choose to communicate and I fear I may be missing your other points.

Well, that is exactly what's happening here, so let me clear this up- quite simply, my definiiton of evolution is "adapting to improve to survive". Revolutionary is "a radical or sudden change" implying something that was not thought of before. If you can find that in this thread, please point it out, 'cause I couldn't find it (which is why I said that).

Same as when you call O'Sensei a rich man and a hypocrite. If that's your point of view, fine, but (A) I think you meant to use it to upset people because you felt on the defensive, and (b) your post suggests an odd understanding of his biolography and life. In this site we are spoiled by easy access to Professor Goldsbury's articles on Ueshiba's life. You might find they add detail to what you already know.

Ok, then I'll provide links to the articles I read that lead me to my real opinion of a man and his place in life. Btw, here they are:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=53

http://aikidoonline.com/Archives/2000/may/feat_0500_dosh1.html

According to those, he was born into a wealthy family and grew up with another wealthy family, then went to be Lord in Northern Japan and then was the personal aid to one of the the richest persons/orgs in Japan and then went on to open several dojos in Tokyo. Anyone who has a dojo can tell you how much money it takes to obtain and maintain that, as well a profitable merchant business. So yes, when I learn that a man who has money, wealth, fame, power and many buildings tell me that I don't need them, imo,he's being hypocritical. Sorry if that offends you, but I call it the way I see it. Maybe you have a problem with someone else being blunt, funny how you call that something else (negative).

Bottom line, my friend, I'd much prefer to engage in an exchange of ideas with you in which neither of us pretend we know everything than in a series of debating posts that seem to have little purpose but to establish that you are always right.Please forgive my bluntness. It is, whether well done or not, a plea for more open minded communication.Sincerely,DH

Again, I'm sorry you see it so negative, but that's not my intention. AFA I'm concerned, I've been communicating quite openly, but I've feel I've run into alot of closed minds. Tell ya what, I've forgive your bluntness if you'll forgive mine. If anyone can show me the evolution of Aikido ( the simple adapting to improving to survive), I'm wide open to it.

jennifer paige smith
12-15-2008, 08:26 PM
I'm sorry for the mis-understanding-I understand what you said, I just dis-agree with it.

Thanks for finally coming clean.

GeneC
12-15-2008, 08:43 PM
You are more than certainly entitled to your opinions. However.....,
It would really help me to understand your position if you would spell out your criteria for martial efffectiveness and how that relates to aikido.

Ok, simply, (like Bruce Lee and Shoji Sensei, et al said) improve a technique (or strategy) that make it more martially effective. Like you said, I haven't been in Aikido long enough ( so, is that how you judge folks, by how long they been doing this?) to know exactly what that is (but I'll train every day with that in mind), but in my limited experience it'd be things like no technique that'd put you directly in harms way (like a punch or kick or takedown, etc); Always lead with your dominant side; intercept an attack with an attack, rather than block, then counter; rather than go in circles, go in staight lines exclusively, etc. Some folks here have alot more experience in Aikdido and I thought that that was the purpose of this thread- to talk about it.

Evovle would imply that kudzu developed a fur coat that allowed it to live in Canada.

Well, there ya go.

A revolution in respect to kudzu would be finding out that it was an alternative source to oil that we could tap into that would shift the economic market away from oil.

Exactly, or it's the most perfect food plant and solves hunger in the world.

Buck
12-15-2008, 10:03 PM
Buck wrote:

As you know I don't necessarily see things the same way on BJJ/AIKIDO/MMA was you do. Won't rehash that here. However, if you do indeed believe that the distinct difference betweeen aikido and BJJ is based on the allowing or disallowing of harm...

well then I'd say there are alot of hippocritical folks practicing aikido out there as I have learned more how to not hurt folks (In real life, not in the dojo) in BJJ than in aikido. So I'd say in that respect then BJJ might be more authentic or honest.

So you have to be careful about the categorical conclusions you draw based on your paradigm about what something is and what it is not!

Don't have much time right now, but will try to discuss more later!

One I don't think martial arts or practices can be all things to all persons. I think this is salient to the conversation of evolution as at it's core O'Sensei was pretty clear on what he codified as the core principles and values of the art.

In that respect, we are free to interepret and explore in our practice however we want. We may bring in a BJJ instructor for a seminar, or a DRAJ instructor, or a Tai Chi instructor. this does not mean we are evolving, but simply looking at the study in a different way to help us interpret and improve our understanding of the Core Princpals. Evolution to me implies that we are changing the core of our practice, that is values, philosophies, measures.

Which ones would you propose need to be changed if any?

Is it possible to learn aikido principles solely from a BJJ practice? I think you can. At what point to you cross the line and say you are no longer practicing aikido, but BJJ?

Actually BJJ and Judo are a better analogy because they are so close in practice. How do you know when you have crossed the line in practice?

The answer I think is when the practitioner forms an affinity with a particular practice and say "I do Aikido".

But back to all things to all people. I think instructors need to stay focused on the core of their practice and not be concerned with trends and opinions. I think if you are trained and mentored successfully and properly in your chosen art, then it is an easy thing to do. I think when you are not sure of yourself, your practice, and don't really know what it is that you are doing, then you tend to want to change things at the core.

That is not to say that we should shut our eyes things external to our practice and that we should not be open to adopting new training methodologies and experimentation...I think that is very important. However, is it evolution or simply a re-interpretation?


yea, I personally don't look at martial arts by way of evolution. It then goes to reason that I don't think one is more evolved then the over the other. In my post I said that all arts share the same principles/ physics. The rub is in, the when, where and how, the physics are applied. The difference of each art is the philosophy technical, spiritual, group, etc.

I wanted to point out that it is the perspective of evolution that leads us to that conclusion of one art being better then another, the idea of possible extinction/survival, and to seek out other arts to intergrate into, art that have the same principles. The perspective of evolution than is always fighting for survival and avoid dying-out, and having a requirement that the art must evolved. From there we come back to evaluating an art over others, sorting out which is evolved and which isn't; all the arts are really no different form each other as they share the same principles/physics. It is just how they are done etc.

So, then in this way there is no line to cross, the principles are the same. What is being explored is the physics. I think it is the individual intelligence, experience etc. that really should be looked at. Be it a violin string or banjo string, or harp string, vocal chords, or a rubber string strung tight between two fingers, all these strings work the same. They all give off the same sound of a vibration when hit ( one doesn't sound like a trumpet and the other like an ticking clock) having being made of differing materials it is the musician that makes these strings beautiful to listen to or unbearable eventhough each person hears the sound differently.

You mention a core, language then from another art, to discribe a use of physics. But that so called core is present in all arts. Some people recognize it in their art, as other don't recognize it present in their own art (considering it isn't a sucky made up art). Then there are those who seek the core else where because they don't see it in their own art, or they can't fill in the missing parts and need to be given it from another perspective. Therefore, I agree it is interpretation, and add the depth of interpretation as well. And to what degree does an art have "core." And the skill that come out understanding and applying the "core"- I term as physics.

Per our other past discussions, just not to sound wishy-washy, I still take the stand that Aikido is a complete art in the sense it has all the "core" info, nothing is left out. What is incomplete or lacking ( i guess you can add unevolved) is the individual, and not the art. :)

Kevin Leavitt
12-15-2008, 10:10 PM
How long you have been studying aikido matters only in realitive postion of experience as it relates to the topic of aikido, has nothing to do with "mine is bigger than yours" or "I am smarter than you".

It is one thing to read about brain surgery on the internet and discuss it, it is another thing to have actually done it for a few years. It is nice to know the experience base of the person you are talking with and where they are getting their information or from what they are forming their opinions from...that is all.

Thanks for taking the time to list some things you consider important.

Here is the catch though. If you concentrate on simply being effective in those areas, you might practice runnning away as a primary defense as it is a technique that allows you to stay out of harms way. So running fast and far might be a worthwhile martial practice.

I think the problem is we form an idea about what situations we might be in and that we indeed have choices that we may or may not have. For example, avoiding punches. Well that one is easy, you simply keep enough distance from you and your opponent (out of punching range). What if you can't?

Well now you are in punching range and he is launching effective bombs on you..what do you do? Join the fetal fight club? Take a bunch of punches then run? Go to the clinch?

If this is our primary concern in aikido, that is, to be effective in these types of situations, I'd say aikido is fairly inefficient to help you be successful in this situation.

Same with avoiding knifes, guns, rear chokes, and etc, etc.

Are these the reasons you feel aikido should evolve because it is not able to effectively answer the mail in these areas as good as some other practices?

Kevin Leavitt
12-15-2008, 10:20 PM
Buck wrote:

Per our other past discussions, just not to sound wishy-washy, I still take the stand that Aikido is a complete art in the sense it has all the "core" info, nothing is left out. What is incomplete or lacking ( i guess you can add unevolved) is the individual, and not the art.

I'd might say it has the potential to be complete in respect to the study of the goals of aikido.

I think the experience of "Completeness" is somewhat individual.

For me to understand Ai Ki, has required a fair amount of study outside of the primary art of aikido in BJJ and Judo, as well as some time spent doing Yoga and working with other Aiki related practices.

This is no hit on aikido. I think it is more about finding instructors and experiences that help you learn.

If aikido was "complete" in every regard then I would not have gotten my ass handed to me by a MMAer a few years back with 4 months of martial arts experience.

No martial art is complete in reality.

I think aikido is complete in the sense that it has the Potential to teach aiki very well given the standard practices within the art as generally practiced.

Aikibu
12-15-2008, 11:02 PM
Clarence wrote:
It would really help me to understand your position if you would spell out your criteria for martial efffectiveness and how that relates to aikido.



Hey Kevin,

Since Clarence brought up the founder of our Aikido Shoji Nishio Shihan and I have been practicing it for about 20 years now I'll take a stab (tsuki :) ) at this.

Nishio Shihan believed that in order for Aikido to remain relevent as a Martial Art it must be technically effective against other Martial Arts or it would eventually die out as a Budo.

Martial Effectiveness is a simple criteria really IMO... Can a skilled Aikidoka using the principles of Aikido as expressed by Shoji Nishio Shihan defend themselves sucessfully against another experianced Martial Artist?

The answer to that question is yes more often than not.

As I have mentioned on another thread ones Tai-Jutsu vastly improves if one incorporates Weapons work into thier practice. I was skeptical of this when I started since there were'nt too many armed Samurai running around Malibu but after years of cross training with Martial Artists from a host of different disciplines all I can say is You can tell the differance between an Aikidoka who practices with weapons from one who does not as soon as you step on the mat in most cases... just by the way they carry themselves... thier posture.... and the ease in which they enter/irimi during randori or the execution of technique.

In my experiance Aikido has more to fear from the passing on of bad ideals and qwack philosophy which dilute the practice of Aikido as they are passed on. We must somehow cease the proliferation of Pony Tailed Aiki-Bunnies who cannot walk the way they talk. I am sure that this form of Aikido will die out as a Martial Art over time and will perhaps evolve into some form of rigorous yoga with a partner.

There are branches on the Aikido Tree who do strive to be a complete Budo and evolve and I would like to hope that I am a part of that continued legacy there are others whose sword cuts true and we can only hope they pass on thier passion to a new generation. :)

William Hazen

mathewjgano
12-15-2008, 11:39 PM
If no one practiced Aikido, it'd still be Aikido, still be as sound and effective as the day it was born. In fact, without 'practitioners' to devolve it, it might just evolve on it's own.
You think it can evolve on its own...without people? How could it possibly do that?

I disagree with your use of the term revolution- imo, it only means 3 things: ... 3.) a sudden, radical, or complete change. I just don't see Aikido doing any of the above( well maybe alittle spinning and orbiting) and if it's doing something else, maybe that's another term.
I appologize if I'm being pedantic, but I think "sudden change" is a very relative phrase (and thus open to some interpretation).

I disagree that Aikido is a product of Nature, per se. Imo, it's a product of a man who studied Nature, so it not perfect and has room for improvement ( evolving).

I don't subscribe to the notion that "improvement" is a necessary componant of evolution:
"any process of formation or growth; development: the evolution of a language; the evolution of the airplane," (Dicitonary.com).
My view is that evolution essentially denotes change, and whether or not you can say something is an improvement depends largely upon interpretation and context.

Voitokas
12-15-2008, 11:52 PM
In my experience Aikido has more to fear from the passing on of bad ideals and qwack philosophy which dilute the practice of Aikido as they are passed on. We must somehow cease the proliferation of Pony Tailed Aiki-Bunnies who cannot walk the way they talk. I am sure that this form of Aikido will die out as a Martial Art over time and will perhaps evolve into some form of rigorous yoga with a partner. Hey now, no knocking the rigourous yoga - that stuff's hard!:freaky: I would disagree that different ideals, styles and philosophies dilute the practise of aikido. Rather, I would argue the opposite: the 'pony-tailed aiki-bunnies' (my wife has a pony tail; what's your point?) can learn their way, you can learn yours, and I can learn mine, and I don't see how any of us is diminished. Someone practising a different aikido from mine doesn't hurt my aikido - there is almost always something I can learn from them. So any person's aikido is surely richer for there being a vast variety of styles, philosophies, and ideas out there to inform their experience.

Aikibu
12-16-2008, 12:09 AM
Hey now, no knocking the rigourous yoga - that stuff's hard!:freaky: I would disagree that different ideals, styles and philosophies dilute the practise of aikido. Rather, I would argue the opposite: the 'pony-tailed aiki-bunnies' (my wife has a pony tail; what's your point?) can learn their way, you can learn yours, and I can learn mine, and I don't see how any of us is diminished. Someone practising a different aikido from mine doesn't hurt my aikido - there is almost always something I can learn from them. So any person's aikido is surely richer for there being a vast variety of styles, philosophies, and ideas out there to inform their experience.

With all due respect I completely agree however I am not sure if Aikido can survive without it being rooted in Martial Technique. I am not against pony tailed Aiki-Bunnys at all as long as they can use what they have learned to actually protect themselves. This (I would have to also agree) is the main criticism of Aikido's "effectiveness" as a Budo.

Perhaps O'Sensei meant for Aikido to evolve out of it's Martial Roots into something "non-violent" I don't think so and I know Shoji Nishio did not feel that way either. :)

William Hazen

observer
12-16-2008, 02:14 AM
He's also saying that Aikido is devolving, because it's being practiced martially ineffective.
I do not think so. Aikido is a martial art, because (again, my point of view) its goal is to kill an opponent in blink of an eye. The idea "not to hurt" means "first, to intimidate" as a peaceful solution to a conflict.

'Act of Killing' is a scary phrase, and it is not used to encourage people to practice martial art today. In my opinion, it doesn't make any sense to talk about improving aikido (an evolution), because I do belive that by using every aikido technique one is able to kill their opponent. Aikidokas without that feeling do not practice martial art at all.

C. David Henderson
12-16-2008, 08:31 AM
Ah, Gene, QED

Erick Mead
12-16-2008, 08:33 AM
... that is what evolutionary is about. A fish learning to breath air and walk on land! Not figuring out that not only can you do the American Crawl to swim, but also the backstroke! That is a variation on the same theme of swimming!

I think simply what define and separates arts are people and their afinitity and identity to a certain group that calls itself "X". OOOoooh!!. Big Man -- with your flashy new-fangled strokes, and "Oh, "speed is everything!" nonsense. There is NOTHING -- I tell you -- NOTHING with the proven pedigree and sublime artistry of the venerated dog-paddle. The rest is the Devil's work. A pox on you, sir.

;) :D

Erick Mead
12-16-2008, 08:42 AM
I used the Kudzu because someone asked me for an example of something in Nature that has evolved superior, but emphasized that Natural evolution did not apply to the evolution of Aikido and was moot. AFA, what makes the Kudzu superior is the way it consumes other plants and has nothing to do with the way it got introduced into the United States or how edible it is. But the elements of "superiority" you perceive in kudzu are not directly products of its evolution. Where it evolved it has constraints that make it grow not nearly so fast, and things that naturally know to eat it about as fast as it grows. Those elements are not evident where it evolved. Here is it is pest ( albeit edible, but the native fauna (deer, mainly) don't know to eat it (though they can be taught in the case of cattle). The result you point out comes from the fact of the transplantation -- not any further evolution.

Maybe that is how some people see Aikido, I don't know: "We are Aikido; we will envelop and consume you." I am sure we have a Borg cube around here -- somewhere ...

Demetrio Cereijo
12-16-2008, 09:29 AM
Maybe that is how some people see Aikido, I don't know: "We are Aikido; we will envelop and consume you." I am sure we have a Borg cube around here -- somewhere ...

Resistance (pun intended) is futile?

GeneC
12-16-2008, 09:36 AM
Cool, Clarence. I'll wish you luck in finding, creating, and spreading whatever is your aikido. Whether you succeed or fail, you've only got this time to find out

There may be many reasons why some do not promote (and sometimes actively oppose!) this aspect, but two biggies I find are these:

(1) Those who believe there is something to be preserved and transmitted purely---the high priests, so to speak

(2) Those who are trying to protect their territories, trademarks, and revenue streams---the merchants.

[I suppose there are also (3) those who would protect their egos, which infuse the other two...]

So, who's to tell you that you're wrong? Do what's right for you. When, given all of your circumstances, you do what is right for you and move forward, everything---the whole universe---evolves.

Well thanks Joe, I really apreciate the encouraging words. You are absolutely right.
I just happen to believe that it's every Aikidoka's responsibility to try and take Aikido farther than their Senseis did. To me, that'd be the evolution of Aikido.

GeneC
12-16-2008, 09:53 AM
But the elements of "superiority" you perceive in kudzu are not directly products of its evolution. ...

How do you know that's that case, for sure? I believe it is. Btw, it's been in Florida (where I's born and raised) for over 100 yrs and was originally used as a foraging plant for livestock. Those folks at Uof F (Gators) do one good thing (Gatorade), but then bungle several others (Kudzu, love bugs, NCAA Championship, etc).

GeneC
12-16-2008, 10:32 AM
Hey Kevin,Since Clarence brought up the founder of our Aikido Shoji Nishio Shihan and I have been practicing it for about 20 years now I'll take a stab (tsuki :) ) at this.William Hazen

Yes, thankyou, you're affirming what I'm saying, which is for Aikido to evolve (you even said it yourself), it must remain Martially effective, which means it must be a viable MA with/against weapons.
Nishio Sensei believed 99% of Aikidoka was practicing Aikido wrong. Do you believe that? Also, did he advocate competition?
I see competition as Aikido evolving.
Here's a video I saw over on another thread...

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

... where the Sensei reacts to a knife being tsuki'ed at him, by turning his back to the assailant! Now, I'm no expert, but I know I wouldn't turn my back on a knife.
I'm a Safety Officer for the IDPA (Intl Defensive Pistol Assoc.) and we do FoF (force on force) practice(Concealed carry defensive pistol evolved) by using those soft pellet, pellet guns and rubber knives with chalk.

In our 'knife fights', anywhere they mark a chalk mark on you , you're cut. So we practice with the goal of not getting any chalk marks on us and I can tell you, it's VERY difficult. Almost impossible( which is why, we've discovered, by actual practice, that a knife can get to you from 21ft, before you can get your gun out) and requires INSTANT reaction ( almost anticipatory) and imo, reaching for/towards/around/in the vacinity of the knife is a no no. First priority is to get away from the knife, get some distance between the two of you and then assess the situation (like drawing your gun, or picking up a weapon). We've found that even if you manage to grab their wrist (which most times an attempted grab almost always grabbed the knife or slid off onto the knife or at least got your hand cut!), they were able to rotate their hand and cut most all tendons in the wrist/arm, incapacitatiing that hand/arm. Then, as soon as they get their hand free, they're already "entered", so they can just go for the Jugulars. No knife wielder I know of will thrust and hold it there for you to grab, they'll come in doing the 8 directional cut, which is how it should be practiced, imo.

Btw, the 'gun fights' revealed interesting results. Most gunfights were like you see on Cops or Amazing Videos, etc , where both are running around madly flailing their guns, shooting blindly, wildly, almost behind them, not aiming at all. That's how folks manage to shoot dozens of rounds and noone gets hit. Now, the one who, like the real wild West, takes a step to the side ( to get out off the line of fire) takes aim and then shoots almost always gets a incapacitating hit (two to in the torso and one in the head or better yet, to the cranium 'til they drop).

GeneC
12-16-2008, 11:03 AM
yea, I personally don't look at martial arts by way of evolution. It then goes to reason that I don't think one is more evolved then the over the other. In my post I said that all arts share the same principles/ physics.

I have to disagree, MA is no different than anything else in this Universe (and everything is evolving or devolving, but nothing remains unchanged), whether we can see it or not. Some MA advocate blocking an attack and then countering, while more evolved MA say to intercept an attack with an attack, clearly more evolved( and superior) than the other. Some MA advocate immediately grabbing at a knife, while others say to get away from it and assess, clearly MA evolving.

Aikibu
12-16-2008, 11:41 AM
Yes, thankyou, you're affirming what I'm saying, which is for Aikido to evolve (you even said it yourself), it must remain Martially effective, which means it must be a viable MA with/against weapons.
Nishio Sensei believed 99% of Aikidoka was practicing Aikido wrong. Do you believe that? Also, did he advocate competition? I see competition as Aikido evolving.

I don't think he said he saw everyone else's Aikido as "wrong" just not martially effective and what he meant was most of the basic Hombu/Iwama methods of executing certain techniques left you wide open to getting your butt handed to you starting with Irimi. After a few years of practice I saw why he incorporated the sword. Everything is different and it seems to be much better when we follow the practice Philosophy of "Aikido is the Sword" Just start with the basic stance 'The stance of no stance" and hand position which in ours is palm up not palm down.

I don't think we'll evolve to competition it's too dangerous for many different reasons. However Nishio Shihan did feel that if you were going to step on the mat to practice you did it with a "sincere" heart and practiced as hard as you could.

"Sincere Heart through Austure Practice"

Are you in Law Enforcement Clarence?

William Hazen

mathewjgano
12-16-2008, 01:47 PM
I'm home sick and doped up, so please forgive any gibberish that may follow:crazy: :D .
...everything is evolving or devolving...but nothing remains unchanged.

"From a scientific perspective, devolution does not exist," (citation in wikipedia). As for how things change and how beneficial it is, it depends entirely upon context.
That said, like you I would prefer Aikido remain mechanically powerful; physically effective "against" (for lack of a better word) all approaches. I don't think it's necessarily a step backward when people ignore the martial base from which this very idealistic art came from though. I think "energy play" can facilitate martial awareness, though i agree it's dangerous when people think they're more powerful than they are. I've seen plenty of fighters get surprised and lucky they didn't get more hurt.
When it comes to martial effectiveness i personally consider coordination to be paramount. I don't just mean manual dexterity, but include the ability to perceive as well as the ability to comprehend those perceptions. It takes mental and physical coordination to track the whole body of your attacker at the same time, let alone to track the context surrounding it (or the subtext motivating it), and then to deal with it all effectively. If we're going to talk about martial effectiveness, that's where I think we need to begin. To me, that general idea encompasses all the particulars. When learning to use a weapon you're really learning coordination with it, regardless of whether or not it's man-made or nature-made (fisticuffs are a nature-made weapons:uch: ). When learning aikido we're learning to coordinate every bit of ourselves and our environment into the equation, so that a small 85lbs-when-wet person can deal with people who are bigger and already carry a naturally greater inertia behind all their movements.
Anyhow, more or less off the top of my head, there's my layman's two bits for ya.
Take care,
Matt

GeneC
12-16-2008, 02:01 PM
OhI don't think he said he saw everyone else's Aikido as "wrong" just not martially effective and what he meant was most of the basic Hombu/Iwama methods of executing certain techniques left you wide open to getting your butt handed to you starting with Irimi. After a few years of practice I saw why he incorporated the sword. Everything is different and it seems to be much better when we follow the practice Philosophy of "Aikido is the Sword" Just start with the basic stance 'The stance of no stance" and hand position which in ours is palm up not palm down.

I don't think we'll evolve to competition it's too dangerous for many different reasons. However Nishio Shihan did feel that if you were going to step on the mat to practice you did it with a "sincere" heart and practiced as hard as you could.

"Sincere Heart through Austure Practice"

Are you in Law Enforcement Clarence?
Oh come now, isn't that the same thing? If it's not martially viable, meaning in a (sword) fight, you'd get dead, then( as a MA) it's wrong. Same as his practice doctrine- practice as real as possible. Isn't that the same as competition? What's that you say? Aikido is too dangerous for competition? Hmmmm.....We have a saying in the gun world- IN a fight you'll fall back on your level of training. Another is perfect practice produces perfect performance, meaning you can practice for hours and hours, but if it's the wrong stuff, it's not helping at all (in fact, it's hurting you).

Btw, no I'm not LE, I'm just a patriotic American exercising my God given 2nd Amendment right and a life long MA practitioner( working on evolving myself). Since studying JKD, I'm driven to participate in evolving MA. For the rest of my life, Aikido (and the gun) is my MA, but if I's ever gonna supplement Aikido with another MA( which I don't see happening, 'cause my OCD will put me in Aikido full time), it'd probably be Krav maga.

GeneC
12-16-2008, 02:08 PM
"From a scientific perspective, devolution does not exist," (citation in wikipedia). As for how things change and how beneficial it is, it depends entirely upon context.
Take care,Matt

Well that's debatable, some folks believe humans are devolving, but I agree with all.

mathewjgano
12-16-2008, 02:18 PM
Well that's debatable, some folks believe humans are devolving, but I agree with all.

Yeah, I suppose most things are pretty debatable. I've enjoyed reading this thread by the way. Lots of good food for thought.
Take care, Gene (and all!). I'm off to nap time now.
Matt

Erick Mead
12-16-2008, 02:25 PM
When it comes to martial effectiveness i personally consider coordination to be paramount. I don't just mean manual dexterity, but include the ability to perceive as well as the ability to comprehend those perceptions. It takes mental and physical coordination to track the whole body of your attacker at the same time, let alone to track the context surrounding it (or the subtext motivating it), and then to deal with it all effectively. If we're going to talk about martial effectiveness, that's where I think we need to begin. To me, that general idea encompasses all the particulars. When learning to use a weapon you're really learning coordination with it, regardless of whether or not it's man-made or nature-made... I agree. Until the sword has become as much a part of you as your own arm in use, one has not begun to use the sword properly. Then one can learn to do useful things -- not until.

Aikido is just learning to make the partner's body an extension of my own, bilocating my perception of the physical action between the two centers like we do with stereo vision. Learning to craft this switch of perception is key, like those "magic eye" pictures are to binocular sight -- but kinesthetically -- with two (or more) bodily centers in play. What Aikido, in particular, strives to accomplish, in my opinion is developing this stereo kinesthetic experience of unified perception.

Problem is, most people use their OWN limbs like they were foreign objects, so they have to get over that hurdle first. Ideally, the progression might be seen to go from kokyu undo to integrate the individual body experience -- to weapons, subjectively unifying the perceived body with an external object -- to taijutsu waza which re simply paired kate, learning progressively to unify subjective experience with another, reactive body in a formally structured setting -- to jiyu waza, learning to unify subjectively with another body in an unstructured setting -- to randori, learning to do so with more than one body at a time.

No one has patience for such a strict, linear progression. So, instead, it typically progresses (in every mainline tradition I have experience with) in iterated cycles of the above, repeated over time in varying sequences. YMMV.

Erick Mead
12-16-2008, 02:34 PM
How do you know that's that case, for sure? I believe it is. Btw, it's been in Florida (where I's born and raised) for over 100 yrs and was originally used as a foraging plant for livestock. Those folks at Uof F (Gators) do one good thing (Gatorade), but then bungle several others (Kudzu, love bugs, NCAA Championship, etc). Go Gators! SEC Rules!

Not directly a result of its evolution -- the genotype has not changed and the phenotype is simply the result of removed constraints in its present environment. There is an argument to make about aikido and transplantation that follows from your observation, perhaps, but not as regards its evolution, but rather in its development in a novel environment. Kudzu has not evolved differently in Florida or Georgia (or at all, for that matter), its environment has simply changed by being transplanted, and the appearance and behavior of the plant seem different because certain original constraints are not present. That is not the same thing.

Japan is many things as developmental environments go, but "unconstrained" is NOT among them. :D

C. David Henderson
12-16-2008, 02:40 PM
Master Pangloss from Votaire's Candide, expresses well the beguiling tautology that can typify casual arguments about "adaptation" and "evolution:"

"It is demonstrable," said Pangloss, "that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for as all things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end. Observe, for instance, the nose is formed for spectacles, therefore we wear spectacles. The legs are visibly designed for stockings, accordingly we wear stockings. Stones were made to be hewn and to construct castles, therefore My Lord has a magnificent castle; for the greatest baron in the province ought to be the best lodged. Swine were intended to be eaten, therefore we eat pork all the year round: and they, who assert that everything is right, do not express themselves correctly; they should say that everything is best."

Now, I understand my hakama so much better.

DH

Kevin Leavitt
12-16-2008, 07:17 PM
Would you all be willing to change the phrase "Martially Effectiveness" for "Martially Relevant"? or "Martially Applicable"?

I think it is possible to train correctly in the methodology of Aikido and be doing things principally correct with relevantly correctnesss.

To me effectiveness enters other factors such as speed, strength, timing, suprise, stealth etc. Things that may not be factored into training.

I don't really agree with the comparison of Aikido needs to be martially effective as compared to other arts. Each art has criteria and assumptions that can be a challenge to use as a test of effectiveness. the concept is just way to universal.

I mean if that were true, then aikido could be tested in the UFC and judged solely on that criteria.

However, I think we can demonstrate "Martially Correctness", "Martial Relevancy" when practicing with no issues what so ever.

Aikibu
12-16-2008, 07:37 PM
Oh come now, isn't that the same thing? If it's not martially viable, meaning in a (sword) fight, you'd get dead, then( as a MA) it's wrong. Same as his practice doctrine- practice as real as possible. Isn't that the same as competition? What's that you say? Aikido is too dangerous for competition? Hmmmm.....We have a saying in the gun world- IN a fight you'll fall back on your level of training. Another is perfect practice produces perfect performance, meaning you can practice for hours and hours, but if it's the wrong stuff, it's not helping at all (in fact, it's hurting you). Well I humbly submit that I've spent quite a bit more time training with guns, more guns, and even more guns and conducting live fires than most...Though I have not participated in the pop up shoot back target range.
Competition has rules which can build bad habits in Aikido. Aikido does have Randori and I do agree with some there is not enough of it. Overall there is something positive to be said about competition in the context of Aikido...What most Aikido lacks however is not competition per se but focused hard training that tests the mettle of both Nage and Uke. I admit we are all old dogs in my Dojo and need to get up the next day. :) There is a tendency to want to take it "easy" chit chat a bit too much and only really focus on the dinner after practice. LOL :D I have fought against these tendencies in our own Dojo for years...

Btw, no I'm not LE, I'm just a patriotic American exercising my God given 2nd Amendment right and a life long MA practitioner( working on evolving myself). Since studying JKD, I'm driven to participate in evolving MA. For the rest of my life, Aikido (and the gun) is my MA, but if I's ever gonna supplement Aikido with another MA( which I don't see happening, 'cause my OCD will put me in Aikido full time), it'd probably be Krav maga.

Well God Bless you son. Please keep in mind there are allot of LE, Vets, and Active Duty Military folks who have "been there and done that " here on the boards With all due respect...Be mindful and stay humble. :)

Aikibu
12-16-2008, 07:46 PM
Would you all be willing to change the phrase "Martially Effectiveness" for "Martially Relevant"? or "Martially Applicable"?

I think it is possible to train correctly in the methodology of Aikido and be doing things principally correct with relevantly correctnesss.

To me effectiveness enters other factors such as speed, strength, timing, suprise, stealth etc. Things that may not be factored into training.

I don't really agree with the comparison of Aikido needs to be martially effective as compared to other arts. Each art has criteria and assumptions that can be a challenge to use as a test of effectiveness. the concept is just way to universal.

I mean if that were true, then aikido could be tested in the UFC and judged solely on that criteria.

However, I think we can demonstrate "Martially Correctness", "Martial Relevancy" when practicing with no issues what so ever.

I respectfully disagree Kevin...For Aikido to remain relevent it must work and I think your anology "use" of the UFC is a narrowly focused litmus test at best.

Folks don't factor 'effectiveness" into training for many reasons most of them due to the fact they don't have your perspective of life and death.

William Hazen

RonRagusa
12-16-2008, 10:24 PM
I respectfully disagree Kevin...For Aikido to remain relevent it must work and I think your anology "use" of the UFC is a narrowly focused litmus test at best.

William, could you please explain why you feel the UFC is narrowly focused at best? And what would you consider a broader based litmus test?

Do you feel that the repertoire of techniques available to the Aikido practitioner is sufficiently encompassing to allow Aikido to stand on its own as a fighting system?

Ron

Voitokas
12-16-2008, 11:33 PM
Do you feel that the repertoire of techniques available to the Aikido practitioner is sufficiently encompassing to allow Aikido to stand on its own as a fighting system?:confused: Not to be disingenuous, but what's a 'fighting system'? And is aikido supposed to be one? I'm not trying to bait here - I had just had a different understanding of both of those things...

Aikibu
12-16-2008, 11:56 PM
William, could you please explain why you feel the UFC is narrowly focused at best? And what would you consider a broader based litmus test?

I'll use an anology. One can be a pretty darn good football player in school and be really good at a particular position. Your skills are tested at every level you play. There are thousands just like you but only a few with the talent, luck, and focus make it to play the NFL. Most anyone else who plays in the NFL( ohhh about 99.5% of all football players) would get thier clocks cleaned. Does this mean you're a bad football player?

Do you feel that the repertoire of techniques available to the Aikido practitioner is sufficiently encompassing to allow Aikido to stand on its own as a fighting system?
Ron

Yes Ron Aikido can basically stand on its own When it is practiced as a Martial Art
Any repertoire of techniques in most any Martial Art is sufficient enough when properly applied to achieve the desired result. In my mind it comes down to what you put into your practice you get out of it. Aikido included. With most Aikido you have to fight through the noise of diluted psycho-babble that has tacked itself on over the years to emphasize the philosphy of Aikido over the practice of Aikido. Nishio Shihan saw the danger in this which is why he took a more Martial view. I cross train allot and manage to hold my own with what I know. Aikido in it's essence was born out of Daito Ryu. Nishio integrated Iaido, Kenjitsu, and Jodori in an effort to keep Aikido close to it's Martial Roots. He's not the only one.. Tomiki, Shioda, Sundamori, and other direct students of O'Sensei have this view. In fact I have heard it said more than once that O'Sensei considered Nishio Shihan's practice the future of Aikido and expressed this to him personally.

There are those that "like I've said before" believe the future of Aikido lies in the application of it's philosophy over it's practicum. there are those who believe the opposite is true. Nishio Shihan believed (so to speak) that one can walk softly and carry a big sword and if you practice hard enough not only will you master the sword you will also master yourself and your opponent achieve harmony and thus have no need to fight aka Yurusu Budo...The Budo of "Acceptance."

William Hazen

GeneC
12-17-2008, 10:01 AM
I agree. Until the sword has become as much a part of you as your own arm in use, one has not begun to use the sword properly. Then one can learn to do useful things -- not until.

Aikido is just learning to make the partner's body an extension of my own, bilocating my perception of the physical action between the two centers like we do with stereo vision. Learning to craft this switch of perception is key, like those "magic eye" pictures are to binocular sight -- but kinesthetically -- with two (or more) bodily centers in play. What Aikido, in particular, strives to accomplish, in my opinion is developing this stereo kinesthetic experience of unified perception.

Problem is, most people use their OWN limbs like they were foreign objects, so they have to get over that hurdle first. Ideally, the progression might be seen to go from kokyu undo to integrate the individual body experience -- to weapons, subjectively unifying the perceived body with an external object -- to taijutsu waza which re simply paired kate, learning progressively to unify subjective experience with another, reactive body in a formally structured setting -- to jiyu waza, learning to unify subjectively with another body in an unstructured setting -- to randori, learning to do so with more than one body at a time.

No one has patience for such a strict, linear progression. So, instead, it typically progresses (in every mainline tradition I have experience with) in iterated cycles of the above, repeated over time in varying sequences. YMMV.

Then to me, that'd be a evolvement of Aikido (in the context that Aikido has devolved). Why don't folks start out learning Aikdo with a ken in their hand?

What I gathered from Nishio Sensei Videos was that most of the 'grabbing of the wrist' (where most Aikido moves start from in practice), was your opponent trying to prevent you from drawing your sword.

Btw, I have and am practicing the Hissatstu and intend on incorporating that into my Aikido, since it is a CWP (Concealed Weapons Permit) item.

GeneC
12-17-2008, 10:15 AM
Well God Bless you son. Please keep in mind there are allot of LE, Vets, and Active Duty Military folks who have "been there and done that " here on the boards With all due respect...Be mindful and stay humble. :)

I try my best, sir. I feel like I'm honoring those "been there, done that" folks by offering a different perspective( and if there are those folks, I sure wish they'd get in here and share their knowledge), 'cause imo, the worst thing in the world is for someone to waste ALOT of time practicing wrong, thinking thier practice will help them, when in reality, it'll get them hurt bad or killed. If anyone feels like I've been disrespectful, please let me know, as that's certainly not my intention.

Semper Fi
Gene

GeneC
12-17-2008, 10:25 AM
I'll use an anology. One can be a pretty darn good football player in school and be really good at a particular position. Your skills are tested at every level you play. There are thousands just like you but only a few with the talent, luck, and focus make it to play the NFL. Most anyone else who plays in the NFL( ohhh about 99.5% of all football players) would get thier clocks cleaned. Does this mean you're a bad football player?

Possibly, but not so much bad as just not good anough to be Pro or MVP( so I guess it depends on where you are in line{folks who're better might consider all those behind them worse players}). Another way of looking at that is the old saying" cream rises to the top". Same with UFC/MMA. Also, there's ALOT of great fighters in alot of dojos around the world, but it takes alot more than just talent( but you do have to be a great fighter, not just real good) to get in the Octagon.You have to have sponsers and alot of money and be able to travel around the world, etc

RonRagusa
12-17-2008, 03:23 PM
:confused: Not to be disingenuous, but what's a 'fighting system'?

A collection of related strategies and tactics designed to provide one or more individuals with the tools necessary to engage in combat.

And is aikido supposed to be one?

I can't say whether or not it's supposed to be one but Aikido can be a fighting system. It can also be much more as evidenced by the varied opinions expressed on these boards, and elsewhere, regarding its applicability. In my 30+ years of study Aikido has presented itself to me in a variety of useful guises.

Ron

RonRagusa
12-17-2008, 03:28 PM
Nishio Shihan believed (so to speak) that one can walk softly and carry a big sword and if you practice hard enough not only will you master the sword you will also master yourself and your opponent achieve harmony and thus have no need to fight aka Yurusu Budo...The Budo of "Acceptance."

William Hazen

Nice.

Ron

Voitokas
12-17-2008, 04:35 PM
... as evidenced by the varied opinions expressed on these boards, and elsewhere, regarding its applicability...:D You can say that again!
A collection of related strategies and tactics...Put that way, I do see the relevance - thank you!:) It's funny, I'm never surprised to find martial applicability in the principles of what we practise; in entering, redefining the shape of engagement, taking balance, etc.; but I really almost never consider the martial applicability of specific techniques. Weird, huh? I think that's why I had never defined aikido in my own mind as a fighting style... but now that I think of it like that, I suppose that it is. Although, as you say, that's not all that aikido is. I guess as we practise, we mostly look for what we want to find (although that's not always what we do find!) - what I am looking for in my practise changes all the time, certainly. I can't wait to see what I've found after 30 years of practising! -J

George S. Ledyard
12-17-2008, 05:15 PM
I think you completely misunderstood the goal of aikido; have you ever read Peter Goldsbury articles in Columns forum?
Aikido has nothing to do with bjj, MMA or UFC :D Only very superficial observers would want to transplant the methodology of sports into aikido practice. In the same way - only very beginner and inexperienced aikidoka would want to mix elements of judo, bjj, MT..etc with aikido.

You may like it or no, but Founder meant aikido as misogi, and aikido techniques are tools to achieve this goal. What systema or bjj have to do with misogi? - nothing at all. These arts have simply different goals, so in reality their techniques will develop bad conditioning in the body and mind of aikidoka. Not for nothing Founder got very angry when his uchideshi used judo techniques instead aikido techniques during a class.

One must have very deep knowledge of human nature and did tons of ikkyo when we talk about modification of tools that transform body and mind. We are not here on the level of building speed of entry for a technique, or power of throw. These proprieties are only byproducts of internal transformation, not primary goals. Of course, you can limit your aikido practice to improve its physical elements only, but then you can’t use word of ‘evolution’ – it will be simply pretentious LOL.

Hi Szczepan,
Another of those occasions on which I totally agree with you... amazing, eh? Hope you are having a good holiday season up there.
- George

GeneC
12-17-2008, 06:49 PM
Would you all be willing to change the phrase "Martially Effectiveness" for "Martially Relevant"? or "Martially Applicable"?.....

I don't think so, as they mean different things. Imo, in order for a MA to be a MA, it must be martially effective, meaning capable of defeating enemies and factors such as speed, strength, timing,etc should be factored in. Aikido ( or any other MA) should be able to be challenged by any other MA and actually be able to defeat an opponent. If it can't then it's not martially effective, but still be martially relevant, but not martially applicable( something you could and would apply to fighting). This is all assuming one wishes to win. On the other hand, a dance that mimics Aikido techniques would be martially relevant ('cause it resembles a MA) , but not martially applicable and certainly not martially effective.

Kevin Leavitt
12-17-2008, 07:10 PM
George's post pretty much sums it up for my perspective.

Since we are pulling out the "been there, done that" card, I'll sign up for the "Me too" club and up you for the "going there, and doing it" club as well! :)

William Hazen wrote:

I respectfully disagree Kevin...For Aikido to remain relevent it must work and I think your anology "use" of the UFC is a narrowly focused litmus test at best.

Folks don't factor 'effectiveness" into training for many reasons most of them due to the fact they don't have your perspective of life and death

Agree that the UFC is limited and has some constraints that are imposed. the constraints imposed are STILL within the functional framework of martial arts. When you start talking martial effectiveness, I DO think that you have to be able to address you effectiveness against even this limited model. I mean, if you can't defend yourself in the clinch, mount, or guard, what make you think that you have any real abilities and will some how be able to overcome these aspect when you ADD even MORE parameters such as weapons, multiple opponents etc.

So, it is limited, it is a game, but again, I think it is a good one to measure a certain level of martial competence that must be addressed when you start talking the type of effectiveness that is being defined here by Clarence.

Same would go for Judo as well. I get my but smoked by decent Judoka all the time. Sure it is a game with rules, but I have found that if I cannot throw and pin a judoka under those constraints, how well can I really expect to do an ippon when you remove the constraints?

So I think "relevancy" is more appropriate and steers us to a more accurate perspective.

My opinion and pespective came at studying as my base study (as you know) Modern Army Combatives, which frankly I feel has a pretty good methodolgy for training for the modern battlefield. AKA "Martial Effectiveness"

Even within MACP we take great measures to make sure folks understand that hand to hand is not a big factor in measure Martial Effectiveness but a Means to an End in the overall development as a warrior.

For my empty hand concerns on effectiveness it began with an understanding of the clinch and ground fighting as being the beginning of the development of the base structure.

So, you look at "who does this best"? BJJ

Developing my BJJ game it became apparent that I needed to also do a better job at take downs and throws. Who does this best?

Judo and Greco Roman guys...so I spend time with them.

Being an aikidoka long before I got into this MMA/MACP stuff I really began to look seriously at why I needed to study aikido and what was there in the art that was worthwile to study.

Well, what I found was that my BJJ and Judo was going so well because of the understanding that I was gaining from posture, structure and correct movement. The more I looked into it, the more I found that there was great value in continuing my study in this area. So I found that it was worthwile to seek out really good aikido practicioners that focused on "AikI".

Is there one school or one person that offers a BLEND of all these things? If there is I have not found them yet!

I think Akuzawa Sensei is really trying hard it appears in Japan, but only time will tell. Recommend spending time with Ark if you can!

Anyway, I think it is important to stay focused on core compentencies. Aikido or aikido like methodologies are designed, I believe, to impart skills of a certain type...."aiki".

I think when you focus on "effectiveness" as your primary goal then you introduce other elements that retard development of aiki, and you move away from the core competencies of aikido.

As a guy that is concerned with "effectiveness" I think I am doing a good job of adopting a MMA philosophy and that my own personal practice follows much of what Clarence is saying aikido needs to move to.

I think when and if I do open my own shingle that I will teach a combination of things to offer a well rounded, diverse practice.

However, when training students, I think you have to develop classes and sessions that isolate certain practices of study in order to explore them indepth.

We do this all the time in the Army all the time conducting dry fires, rehearsals, and finally live fires.

that said, the enemy is time. How much time do you have to focus and to train?

I think in order to learn the concepts of Aiki, it is a very distinct and focused practice that takes alot of time. I have learned (and learning) through spending time with guys like Toby Threadgill, Mike Sigman, and Ark, that it takes a great deal of work!

It also takes a great deal of time and effort to learn how to fight as well, working the clinch, groundwork, and takedowns, Striking, and kicking!

The practices I believe are somewhat distinct, and while complementary you are working two different aspects that must be trained somewhat separately and synthesized over time through sparring, hard non-compliant training, and competition.

It takes a lot of time! I train about 6 days a week, most of the time 2 sessions a day between Judo, BJJ, Aikido, Striking/Kicks, as well as working in some solo body work when I can.

What I have grown to appreciate is that there are programs and instructors out there that have isolated out areas of concentration...such as aiki based, internal arts, that concentrate on developing and refining in those areas.

The concern I have towards the premise of evolution to gain back effectiveness means that there are tradeoffs. I think you have to be very careful when you look at changing methodology.

It may not be that aikido is complete in meeting your objectives of effectiveness. It certainly is not for me. However, the more I have trained and gained an understanding of methodology and the importance of it, the more I gain an appreciation for the preservation of methodology and staying focused on the endstates of the way.

I think it is important that we consider martial relevancy otherwise you are not really gaining much. I also agree that there are many out there that don't get martial relevancy probably because they have recieved narrow, bad, or misguided training.

I also agree that it is good to explore and push the boundaries of our training and keep an open mind. the conclusion should not be drawn though that we should change our base methodology simply because we are not effective. I don't believe it has anything to do with effectiveness.

In learning aiki, I am doing somethings personally that may not be done traditionally within an aikido class. I am using the heck out of one of those big fitness balls to gain a good sense of core. Ark taught us how to punch the bag differently, I think this is a wonderful practice to gain an understanding of core or internal feel/connection.

I think these things are good examples of how we can explore things in ways that are not traditionally seen in the dojo. However, these things while relevant are not focused on effectiveness.

Anyway, good discussion Ranger Hazen! RLTW!

Kevin Leavitt
12-17-2008, 07:26 PM
I don't think so, as they mean different things. Imo, in order for a MA to be a MA, it must be martially effective, meaning capable of defeating enemies and factors such as speed, strength, timing,etc should be factored in. Aikido ( or any other MA) should be able to be challenged by any other MA and actually be able to defeat an opponent. If it can't then it's not martially effective, but still be martially relevant, but not martially applicable( something you could and would apply to fighting). This is all assuming one wishes to win. On the other hand, a dance that mimics Aikido techniques would be martially relevant ('cause it resembles a MA) , but not martially applicable and certainly not martially effective.

Clarence,

I probably already beat this to death in my post I just did...

I'd say based on this that Aikido is a huge waste of time if this is the overriding concern.

the whole paradox of the problem is that you constantly run into a battle of one upsmanship! If the sole goal is simply the measure of defeating the opponent then you simply will keep introducing bigger, better, and faster weapons into the equation. You also mentally and spiritually set yourself up for alot of pain, suffering and anguish as you eventually succumb to old age and death.

A stick beats empty hand, a gun beats stick. young guy beats old guy....

Okay so then you are going to impose constraints on the effectiveness such as it must be empty hand. both must have equal knowledge of the impending fight, etc. etc. Well then, that is when I start bringing in the UFC model as a measure. Which then gets thrown out because folks will say "it is not real..it has rules"

Sigh!

So it always comes back to "effective under what constraints?"

There in lay the problem. Effectiveness becomes an emotional based concept that we all seem to think we have an understanding of, yet we can never agree on what it really means when it comes to "martial arts".

And then we ask...what is the point of studying empty handed martial arts anyway????

GeneC
12-17-2008, 09:21 PM
Here's a radio interview of Osensei in his later years. Notice how he says that he's never been beaten and could carry 1200lbs. Not to mention the rice cake thing. Sounds like a very competitive individual who engaged in competiton frequently.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-Sugag-Ncs

mathewjgano
12-17-2008, 10:05 PM
Here's a radio interview of Osensei in his later years. Notice how he says that he's never been beaten and could carry 1200lbs. Not to mention the rice cake thing. Sounds like a very competitive individual who engaged in competiton frequently.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-Sugag-Ncs

If I'm remembering right, I've read that as a young man he was very competitive and that his competitive attitude shifted over time toward the masakatsu agatsu concept. Assuming those aren't exagerations or misinterpretations, I think it was his intensity and focus which allowed him to do those amazing things more than any sense of external competition, though that certainly can drive a person very far all on its own.
On the other hand, I play many "competitive" sports and at first glance would probably be described as a pretty competitive person because I try very hard when I'm playing them. It might just be semantics, but I wouldn't describe myself as very competitive...most of the time.

GeneC
12-17-2008, 10:25 PM
Clarence,

I probably already beat this to death in my post I just did...

Calm down Kevin, if you'd like to discuss this, then I'd be happy to but first I must ask that you get rid of your predispositions and presumptions and open your mind.

So it always comes back to "effective under what constraints?"....and then we ask...what is the point of studying empty handed martial arts anyway????

I'm gonna leave that, as we'll explore this and see if we can answer these.

Ok, I'd like to discuss your post to Mr Hazen. Btw George's post was simply agreeing with Mr Janczuk, which I find a pretty condescending post. For someone to profess that only a newby idiot would consider sports, I find proof that Osensei was very competive and engaged in competition to test his techniques, the precursor to sports.He then says "only a a very beginner , inexperienced Aikidoka would want to mix BJJ, etc to Aikido." He then professes that Aikido is about Misogi. Misogi? The Shinto ritual of cleansing? You can agree with that if you want, but my point is let's be clear exactly what we're talking about.

But then, you go to great effort to convince Mr Hazen why the UFC would be a good platform to test the Martial relevance and to me, are verbally trying to discern the terms you introduced: Martial relevance, applicabilty and effectiveness.

Then you address me in a post, which I was simply responding to your suggestion of replacing "Martial effectiveness" with "relevance" and "applicability" with my own perception of the concepts.

So then your response to me is you beat it to death to Mr Hazen and that Aikido is a huge waste of time and then go on to tell me how you're not understanding me ( or worse, mis-understanding me).

So I think at this point, being that apparently you're in the Army and I was in the Marine Corps for 8 yrs, let's use Military combat as the model. Imo, martially effective means that in combat, whatever techniques you use, whether it be man to man empty hand or with weapons, your 'fighting system' will most likely enable you to defeat your opponent. Martially relavent could be throwing rocks at your enemy or slapping them, as it IS fighting, but not very effective and so, not very applicable, which is directy related to it's effectiveness ( assuming you're choosing to win the conflict).

So does that answer the above questions?

GeneC
12-17-2008, 10:34 PM
If I'm remembering right, I've read that as a young man he was very competitive and that his competitive attitude shifted over time toward the masakatsu agatsu concept. Assuming those aren't exagerations or misinterpretations, I think it was his intensity and focus which allowed him to do those amazing things more than any sense of external competition, though that certainly can drive a person very far all on its own.
On the other hand, I play many "competitive" sports and at first glance would probably be described as a pretty competitive person because I try very hard when I'm playing them. It might just be semantics, but I wouldn't describe myself as very competitive...most of the time.

Yet, here he is, well into his 80's and could talk about anything he wanted to, but instead of talking about Shinto or Omoto or Masakatsu agatsu, he talked about how he's never been beaten and could carry 1200lbs, Wonder why he'd choose that if that wasn't the most important thing to him even at that age, Not to mention the rice cake deal. AFA competitive, it's not semantics. A truly competitive person is simply one that will find/instigate/engage in a competition in virtually everything they do. Whatever they do, they feel the need to be the best, as in better than everyone else doing the same thing.

jennifer paige smith
12-17-2008, 11:33 PM
A truly competitive person is simply one that will find/instigate/engage in a competition in virtually everything they do. Whatever they do, they feel the need to be the best, as in better than everyone else doing the same thing.

Definitely a training point worth reflecting upon.

Kevin Leavitt
12-17-2008, 11:53 PM
Could be he was bring up the fact that he was strong and could fight to let everyone know that he had transcended the physicality and yet still was happy and vibrant.

GeneC
12-18-2008, 12:00 AM
Definitely a training point worth reflecting upon.

"The principle of shodo-o-seisu helps one have a deeper understanding of O'Sensei's teaching of masakatsu agatsu or "true victory is victory over oneself." If you calmly maintain control over yourself, you will not only find a way to control the opponent but will also be able to control the situation before drastic action is necessary. There will be no need to consider winning or losing, since there will be no contest. Both sides will be winners — the would-be attacker who didn't need to attack and the would-be defender who didn't need to defend. "

Truly Aikido evolving.

Joe McParland
12-18-2008, 12:07 AM
Timely release on AikidoJournal.com (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=251)

These days there is more diversity. Some people do it for health, others for the philosophical or spiritual aspects—all of these are good.

The important issue today, however, is that if you think of aikido as a tree, it has to be made very clear who is going to take the role of the leaves and branches and who is going to take the role of the roots and trunk. As long as there are people taking the roles of roots and trunk then the tree remains solid and healthy, and branches and leaves will appear. Then there’s nothing to worry about. People should keep this in mind and avoid insisting that aikido shouldn’t be the way it is now. Leaves are leaves and branches are branches, and these are fine in and of themselves. They’re parts of the tree. The question is who is going to take responsibility for maintaining the roots and the trunk?

In principle I think there is no old or new in budo. We have the word “kobudo,” which literally means “old budo.” It’s logical opposite would be “shinbudo,” or “new budo,” but we don’t actually use such a word in Japanese, do we? The modern trend is for new budo to become sport-oriented. It’s probably okay to call these sports “new forms of budo,” but in the traditional way of thinking sports really don’t qualify as budo.

It’s very difficult to say to what extent these things are to be considered budo. But to my way of thinking, there is no doubt that budo is what forms the roots of aikido. The branches and leaves grow out of that. All the other elements—aikido as “an art of living,” as a means to better health, as calisthenics or a physical aesthetic pursuit—all of these stem from a common root, which is budo. That they do so is perfectly fine, but the point is that they’re not the root themselves. O-Sensei always stressed that “Aikido is budo” and “Budo is aikido’s source of power.” If we forget this then aikido will mutate into something else—a so-called “art of living” or something more akin to yoga.


The beginning of Stanley Pranin's interview has Chiba Shihan talking about his quest for budo after having his judo ass handed to him (lexicon from this thread, not the interview ;) ) by a shodan kendo fellow in a kendo-based competition...

mathewjgano
12-18-2008, 12:15 AM
Yet, here he is, well into his 80's and could talk about anything he wanted to, but instead of talking about Shinto or Omoto or Masakatsu agatsu, he talked about how he's never been beaten and could carry 1200lbs, Wonder why he'd choose that if that wasn't the most important thing to him even at that age, Not to mention the rice cake deal.
I don't think his talking about that means it was the most important thing to him at that age. Considering how much time he spent breaking mochi hammers and how much time he spent studying Shinto, I think the Shinto was probably more important to him.

AFA competitive, it's not semantics. A truly competitive person is simply one that will find/instigate/engage in a competition in virtually everything they do. Whatever they do, they feel the need to be the best, as in better than everyone else doing the same thing.
I get what a competitive person is. My remarks about semantics had to do with how people might describe the personal example I gave; how people might describe a non-competitive person taking part in "competitive" activities.

mathewjgano
12-18-2008, 12:29 AM
"The principle of shodo-o-seisu helps one have a deeper understanding of O'Sensei's teaching of masakatsu agatsu or "true victory is victory over oneself." If you calmly maintain control over yourself, you will not only find a way to control the opponent but will also be able to control the situation before drastic action is necessary. There will be no need to consider winning or losing, since there will be no contest. Both sides will be winners — the would-be attacker who didn't need to attack and the would-be defender who didn't need to defend. "

Truly Aikido evolving.
But isn't this already a part of Aikido?

...I think I'm confused by what you mean by evolving, sorry.

Erick Mead
12-18-2008, 08:44 AM
AFA competitive, it's not semantics. A truly competitive person is simply one that will find/instigate/engage in a competition in virtually everything they do. Whatever they do, they feel the need to be the best, as in better than everyone else doing the same thing.And as such, this illustrates a compulsion -- showing the person has not mastered himself so as to allow someone else to win -- to get to something more important than winning in the immediate sense. Always looking for the "win," is a very sure way to simply die in true bujutsu. Among other things showing that it is not a truly martial attitude -- it is trivially predictable.

In true bujutsu, and also in its enlarged sense as budo, the objective is larger than the immediate engagement and planned, or allowably contingent, losses have strategic purposes in achieving larger goals. A chess game is won by carefully losing pawns and handing tempting pieces to the opponent that he "wins" -- the battle, but not the war. This is what Aikido training is for -- in small and large scales of budo, and in dimensions beyond physical confrontation.

Joe McParland
12-18-2008, 09:31 AM
In true bujutsu, and also in its enlarged sense as budo, the objective is larger than the immediate engagement and planned, or allowably contingent, losses have strategic purposes in achieving larger goals. A chess game is won by carefully losing pawns and handing tempting pieces to the opponent that he "wins" -- the battle, but not the war. This is what Aikido training is for -- in small and large scales of budo, and in dimensions beyond physical confrontation.

Any notion of an aikido that has a need to win or an adversary (other than yourself, of course) who needs to be defeated---even if incorporating notions such as sutemi---can still be considered philosophically suspect.

Erick Mead
12-18-2008, 09:53 AM
For someone to profess that only a newby idiot would consider sports, I find proof that Osensei was very competive and engaged in competition to test his techniques, the precursor to sports. The radio interview you yourself cited made clear that O Sensei's competitive days and of carrying 1200 pounds and pounding the mochi were in his youth, well before the war, and long before his revelation of aikido. When he speaks of "household treasure" (I can't quite make out his spoken words in this portion as the audio is terrible) the proverbial term for "household treasure" in Japanese is takara 宝, which is an image of precious jade under the roof or in the house -- something you preserve, polish and defend -- not something you go out and win. Other words for "treasure" use the same kanji in the compound or have the same connotation, of something of value possessed in a protected or concealed way, [e.g. -- hizou 秘蔵] rather than the display of competition.

He then professes that Aikido is about Misogi. Misogi? The Shinto ritual of cleansing? You can agree with that if you want, ... The OId Man said it -- not Szczepan.

Martially relavent could be throwing rocks at your enemy or slapping them, as it IS fighting, but not very effective and so, not very applicable, which is directy related to it's effectiveness ( assuming you're choosing to win the conflict). As opposed to choosing to end the conflict -- which are not at all the same things. Winning doesn't necessarily end the conflict. Destroying the enemy doesn't end the conflict -- it typically enlarges it -- ask the Hatfields and McCoys. Ending conflict as a category is Aikido, (and true budo of every stripe) -- winning a incident of conflict is not, as such.

C. David Henderson
12-18-2008, 10:57 AM
[QUOTE=Joe McParland;221324]Timely release on AikidoJournal.com (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=251)
QUOTE]

Joe, Thanks for posting this.

DH

GeneC
12-18-2008, 11:17 AM
..I think I'm confused by what you mean by evolving, sorry.

Very simple- adapting to improve to survive.

jennifer paige smith
12-18-2008, 11:17 AM
Truly Aikido evolving.

Or remaining itself, as the case may be.

GeneC
12-18-2008, 11:33 AM
Timely release on AikidoJournal.com (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=251)The beginning of Stanley Pranin's interview has Chiba Shihan talking about his quest for budo after having his judo ass handed to him (lexicon from this thread, not the interview ;) ) by a shodan kendo fellow in a kendo-based competition...

Sorry, I don't see a point here except that Chiba Shihan felt Judo martially ineffective when a Kendo expert beat him with a weapon. Imo, this is rightly so. While Judo is a great sport, it's martially ineffective. Part of my point in continuing this discussion is to be honest and accurate, particularly when discussing the martial effectiveness of a MA. From what I can gather the "older generation" ( meaning the first generation uchidesi of Osensei) mostly agree that Aikido should be martially effective and has 'devolved' away from that.

GeneC
12-18-2008, 11:46 AM
And as such, this illustrates a compulsion -- showing the person has not mastered himself so as to allow someone else to win -- to get to something more important than winning in the immediate sense. Always looking for the "win," is a very sure way to simply die in true bujutsu. Among other things showing that it is not a truly martial attitude -- it is trivially predictable.

In true bujutsu, and also in its enlarged sense as budo, the objective is larger than the immediate engagement and planned, or allowably contingent, losses have strategic purposes in achieving larger goals. A chess game is won by carefully losing pawns and handing tempting pieces to the opponent that he "wins" -- the battle, but not the war. This is what Aikido training is for -- in small and large scales of budo, and in dimensions beyond physical confrontation.

I'm just observing the Osensei was a very competitive individual and engaged in competition all his life, so much so that even in his 80's he boasted of never been beaten (so I guess he never mastered himself), which to me means Aikido was meant to be a competitive MA. Also, the plain truth is, in a confrontation with skilled opponent, if you don't take them out, they're gonna kill you., so all that chess business flies right out the window.

C. David Henderson
12-18-2008, 11:59 AM
I don't buy your description of Ueshiba as an elderly man. Your data is way too thin and your characterization way too predominate.

But, hey, it's your dime.

GeneC
12-18-2008, 12:08 PM
The radio interview you yourself cited made clear that O Sensei's competitive days and of carrying 1200 pounds and pounding the mochi were in his youth, well before the war, and long before his revelation of aikido.

Well it's not just the radio incident, but I will always take the fact that even in his 80's, when he could use that little amount of time in that radio interview to talk about anything he wanted( he was very accustomed to public speaking), he chose to talk about never been beaten and about his physical prowess.but the rice cake deal and several Uchidesi said there was always competitions.

The OId Man said it -- not Szczepan.


You may like it or no, but Founder meant aikido as misogi, and aikido techniques are tools to achieve this goal. What systema or bjj have to do with misogi? - nothing at all. These arts have simply different goals, so in reality their techniques will develop bad conditioning in the body and mind of aikidoka. Not for nothing Founder got very angry when his uchideshi used judo techniques instead aikido techniques during a class.

That's the first place I saw it.

As opposed to choosing to end the conflict -- which are not at all the same things. Winning doesn't necessarily end the conflict. Destroying the enemy doesn't end the conflict -- it typically enlarges it -- ask the Hatfields and McCoys. Ending conflict as a category is Aikido, (and true budo of every stripe) -- winning a incident of conflict is not, as such.

Sure it does..when confronted wth a skilled fighter, either you beat him down or he beats you down( and maybe kills you or maybe just leaves you a quadriplegic), it's that simple.
So to keep this topic related, the point is Aikido is either Martially effective ( to be called a MA) or it isn't and imo, needs to evolve to be( again, if it's going to be a MA). Otherwise it's just an 'art of spiritual realization'.

C. David Henderson
12-18-2008, 12:11 PM
Sorry, I don't see a point here except that Chiba Shihan felt Judo martially ineffective when a Kendo expert beat him with a weapon.

Quote:
Chiba Shihan wrote:
These days there is more diversity. Some people do it for health, others for the philosophical or spiritual aspects—all of these are good. ....

In principle I think there is no old or new in budo. We have the word "kobudo," which literally means "old budo." It's logical opposite would be "shinbudo," or "new budo," but we don't actually use such a word in Japanese, do we? The modern trend is for new budo to become sport-oriented. It's probably okay to call these sports "new forms of budo," but in the traditional way of thinking sports really don't qualify as budo. ....

????

GeneC
12-18-2008, 12:19 PM
I don't buy your description of Ueshiba as an elderly man. Your data is way too thin and your characterization way too predominate.But, hey, it's your dime.

Sorry Dave, but what description? My data? So you don't believe that was Osensei talking on that radio interview? Hmmm...

Aikibu
12-18-2008, 12:20 PM
Ahhhh Chiba Shihan...Another clear voice in the wilderness of interpretation. :)

Thanks for the posts Mr. Henderson. Chiba Shihan says it far better than most (especially me LOL)

William Hazen

GeneC
12-18-2008, 12:28 PM
Quote:
Chiba Shihan wrote:
These days there is more diversity. Some people do it for health, others for the philosophical or spiritual aspectsÍÂll of these are good. ....In principle I think there is no old or new in budo. We have the word "kobudo," which literally means "old budo." It's logical opposite would be "shinbudo," or "new budo," but we don't actually use such a word in Japanese, do we? The modern trend is for new budo to become sport-oriented. It's probably okay to call these sports "new forms of budo," but in the traditional way of thinking sports really don't qualify as budo. ....????

So now we're talking about why folks do it today...for what reason? To show that Aikdo has devolved from being Martially effective and 'expanded' to be a fitness/spiritual program. And whether there's a Japanese word for a concept means what? I'm not Japanese, I'm American and I have words to describe this, but my point here is, Oensei was very competitive and competed frequently to test and evolve his techniques that would become Aikido. Imo, it's our responsibility to continue that tradition and so further evolve Aikidio. Competition really has nothing to do with Budo. Competition's for testing a technique to ensure that it's martially effective. The Budo comes in on the spiritual side of Aikido.

C. David Henderson
12-18-2008, 12:29 PM
Sorry Dave, but what description? My data? So you don't believe that was Osensei talking on that radio interview? Hmmm...

1. Your description -- Ueshiba was, even as an elderly man, first and foremost a competitive person, as opposed to someone who had mastered that aspect of themselves and was trying to impart a different message, one suggested by several other posters. That description.

2. Your data. You say, for example, this thread is the first place you've ever run into the idea of Aikido as misogi practice, even though it is one of O'sensei's more famous notions.

3. Your conclusion. Straw men burn easy, don't they. So what?

C. David Henderson
12-18-2008, 12:36 PM
So now we're talking about why folks do it today...for what reason? To show that Aikdo has devolved from being Martially effective and 'expanded' to be a fitness/spiritual program. And whether there's a Japanese word for a concept means what? I'm not Japanese, I'm American and I have words to describe this, but my point here is, Oensei was very competitive and competed frequently to test and evolve his techniques that would become Aikido. Imo, it's our responsibility to continue that tradition and so further evolve Aikidio. Competition really has nothing to do with Budo. Competition's for testing a technique to ensure that it's martially effective. The Budo comes in on the spiritual side of Aikido.

Does Aikdo evolve?

Gene says, yes.

Chiba Shihan, former uchideshi to Ueshiba O'Sensei and one of the pre-eminant Aikido instructors alive today says, "In principle I think there is no old or new in budo."

What is the role of competition?

Gene seems to say -- it's essential to test one's budo.

Chiba Shihan, whose testing of himself in martial situations is close to legendary, says, "The modern trend is for new budo to become sport-oriented. It's probably okay to call these sports "new forms of budo," but in the traditional way of thinking sports really don't qualify as budo."

People are free to believe what ever they want.

People are free to rely on whatever evidence they choose.

I think Chiba Shihan's opinions are highly relevant, and I am surprised you still maintain you are confused as to why.

GeneC
12-18-2008, 12:41 PM
Chib Shihan also said this:
"It¡Çs very difficult to say to what extent these things are to be considered budo. But to my way of thinking, there is no doubt that budo is what forms the roots of aikido. The branches and leaves grow out of that. All the other elements—aikido as ¡Èan art of living,¡É as a means to better health, as calisthenics or a physical aesthetic pursuit—all of these stem from a common root, which is budo. That they do so is perfectly fine, but the point is that they¡Çre not the root themselves. O-Sensei always stressed that ¡ÈAikido is budo¡É and ¡ÈBudo is aikido¡Çs source of power.¡É If we forget this then aikido will mutate into something else—a so-called ¡Èart of living¡É or something more akin to yoga."

RonRagusa
12-18-2008, 12:41 PM
Martial effectiveness is not a characteristic of any martial art. It's a measure of the capability of the practitioner of a given art. When you divorce the art from those that employ it you render the question of martial effectiveness meaningless.

Ron

C. David Henderson
12-18-2008, 12:49 PM
Gene,

I approach Aikido as budo. As budo it also is misogi. I also study Yoga. I don't confuse the two. If attacked, I don't think I'll drop into downward dog.

There are parts of what Chiba says that do agree with your position; do you acknowledge that he seems to disagree with parts of what you have been saying?

GeneC
12-18-2008, 12:54 PM
1. Your description -- Ueshiba was, even as an elderly man, first and foremost a competitive person, as opposed to someone who had mastered that aspect of themselves and was trying to impart a different message, one suggested by several other posters. That description.

2. Your data. You say, for example, this thread is the first place you've ever run into the idea of Aikido as misogi practice, even though it is one of O'sensei's more famous notions.

3. Your conclusion. Straw men burn easy, don't they. So what?

So nothing better to contribute than to attempt to attack me personally?
1.) I didn't tell Osensei, in his 80's, to say that he'd never been beaten(in competition)and was able to carry 1200lbs and had a rippled body, rather than that he'd competed as a young man , but now he's moved on to more spiritual self realization. Why didn't he say that? Hmmm. maybe 'cause that's not what he felt was important. One thing, we'll never know for sure, but IN MY Opinion, that is significant.

2.) What difference does it make where I first heard of Misogi, it's still a Shinto practice of ritual cleansing, usually before speaking to the spirits of the dead. My point is that it had no bearing on anything we're talking about here and I don't beleive that's what Aikido is, either.

3.) That's not my conclusion and you may not project it to me.

So, instead of engaging in personal attack, why don't we just agree to dis-agree.

C. David Henderson
12-18-2008, 01:13 PM
So nothing better to contribute than to attempt to attack me personally?
1.) I didn't tell Osensei, in his 80's, to say that he'd never been beaten(in competition)and was able to carry 1200lbs and had a rippled body, rather than that he'd competed as a young man , but now he's moved on to more spiritual self realization. Why didn't he say that? Hmmm. maybe 'cause that's not what he felt was important. One thing, we'll never know for sure, but IN MY Opinion, that is significant.

2.) What difference does it make where I first heard of Misogi, it's still a Shinto practice of ritual cleansing, usually before speaking to the spirits of the dead. My point is that it had no bearing on anything we're talking about here and I don't beleive that's what Aikido is, either.

3.) That's not my conclusion and you may not project it to me.

So, instead of engaging in personal attack, why don't we just agree to dis-agree.

OK, Gene, let's do this in order.

First, I mean to challenge your opinion because I don't think its sound. I don't mean to insult you. If you felt insulted, rather than challenged, I apologize that I hurt your feelings.

Second, thin data, to me, is your clinging to a single radio interview and your idiosyncratic interpretation of what it says about the complex and interesting person who was being interviewed. I wouldn't base those kinds of conclusions on that interview, because they are at odds with a great deal else that Ueshiba said and wrote in his later years.

Third, it matters where you heard of misogi because it says something about your depth of knowledge on this particular subject.

Fourth, by "your conclusion," I meant your mischaracterization of what I said -- i.e., the straw man position -- well isn't that O'Sensei's voice? You repeat this argument here.

Fifth, if I were to attack you personally, I would be talking about you as a person, not the views you are expressing.

Erick Mead
12-18-2008, 01:39 PM
I'm just observing the Osensei was a very competitive individual and engaged in competition all his life, so much so that even in his 80's he boasted of never been beaten (so I guess he never mastered himself), which to me means Aikido was meant to be a competitive MA. Also, the plain truth is, in a confrontation with skilled opponent, if you don't take them out, they're gonna kill you., so all that chess business flies right out the window.Really, you need to put his point in his own context, and unless you think he was also being competitive about athe All-Japan Octogenarian Androgeny Beauty Pageant in boasting of his soft, shapely body like a woman under his clothes, but perhaps I may have gotten it wrong. Anyone can see what he meant if they watch the video, so let's leave that.

In point of fact in true budo, whether I live or die makes not one whit of difference to my victory if my objective is the protection of someone else from that attack -- so long as I accomplish that goal. Victory is not "winning" in that narrow sense and is not even synonymous with personal survival in armed conflict where true budo exists -- and this is true of the deep martial traditions -- East and West. Even apart from the many tales of stalwart samurai, the film Braveheart illustrates the greatness of ignominious death to work a final victory, and, perhaps, there is another even more significant one that might be mentioned ...

mathewjgano
12-18-2008, 03:19 PM
Very simple- adapting to improve to survive.

Well I guess I do understand what you mean by evolution then. I don't think shodo-o-seisu would be an adaptation because I think it's already present in Aikido today. Clearly there is variation (those proverbial branches and leaves, Chiba spoke of), but Aikido as I understand it is deals with this concept plenty.

GeneC
12-18-2008, 04:24 PM
First, I mean to challenge your opinion because I don't think its sound. I don't mean to insult you. If you felt insulted, rather than challenged, I apologize that I hurt your feelings.

Apology accepted. You didn't hurt my feelings (I'm a big boy), it's more a reflection on you. I'd be disappointed to think that's how you are.

Second, thin data, to me, is your clinging to a single radio interview and your idiosyncratic interpretation of what it says about the complex and interesting person who was being interviewed. I wouldn't base those kinds of conclusions on that interview, because they are at odds with a great deal else that Ueshiba said and wrote in his later years.

Well, it's just not that radio interview (like I said), there's the rice cake deal and several of his uchidesi's said he was always like that. Nishio Shihan said he changed a technique after a Judoka threw him (in a competition). You won't accept the empirical evidence that Osensei was competitive and advocated competition to ensure Aikdo techniques were martially effective and that competiton has a place in Aikido and'd be an evolvement, but I do and you won't change my mind.

Third, it matters where you heard of misogi because it says something about your depth of knowledge on this particular subject.

Dave, this is one of those things that's subjective and not rocket science. I understand it, I just disagree with it.

Fourth, by "your conclusion," I meant your mischaracterization of what I said -- i.e., the straw man position -- well isn't that O'Sensei's voice? You repeat this argument here.

Well, to me a "straw man" position is, in the gun world, a person buys a gun for someone else , who couldn't get it on their own. That is a legal term - a "Straw man " purchase, so obviously you're using the term differently.

Fifth, if I were to attack you personally, I would be talking about you as a person, not the views you are expressing.

So are you taking back your apology? My views and expressions ARE me,especially in this medium.

Listen, we're going nowhere with this, so why don't we cease and desist and agree to disagree and drop it?

GeneC
12-18-2008, 06:27 PM
Really, you need to put his point in his own context, and unless you think he was also being competitive about athe All-Japan Octogenarian Androgeny Beauty Pageant in boasting of his soft, shapely body like a woman under his clothes, but perhaps I may have gotten it wrong. Anyone can see what he meant if they watch the video, so let's leave that.

OK,so if we can't reason, we just brush it off with a blanket statement and sweep it under the rug? Uhhh, nope.

I believe I am putting the interview in it's proper perspective. I don't know about anyone else, but here is a man in his 80's , one of the most respected men in his Country, after spending his life talking to folks about everything and definitely with the mind to get his point across, with yet another opportunity to spread his message about Shinto, Omoto, Aikido, Oneness, Misogi, masakatsu agatsu or anything else, but he chose one thing and clearly emphasized that he remained unbeaten in all his years (in a clearly competitive and egotistical manner{ so maybe he wasn't omnipotent in intergalactic oneness afterall}, if I might add)

In point of fact in true budo, whether I live or die makes not one whit of difference to my victory if my objective is the protection of someone else from that attack -- so long as I accomplish that goal. Victory is not "winning" in that narrow sense and is not even synonymous with personal survival in armed conflict where true budo exists ......

You can't deny the simple fact that if your MA isn't martially effective, all that "true Budo" stuff don't mean squat if you're dead. Btw, if you get killed trying to protect someone else, while sounding quite noble, they'll most likely get killed too( not to mention, what if you find yourself in a situation where you're not protecting someone else). Everybody's just as dead and the bad guy wins. Ever hear the old saying,"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions"

C. David Henderson
12-18-2008, 07:09 PM
Gene,

If you identify with your opinions, does it threaten your identity to change your opinions?

By the way, I did not apologize for challenging your thinking, so I could hardly take back such an apology.

Still, you haven't bothered to answer a question I asked -- do you acknowledge that the Chiba quote conflicts with some of your views, but are relevant to this discussion? Just curious.

GeneC
12-18-2008, 07:28 PM
Well I guess I do understand what you mean by evolution then. I don't think shodo-o-seisu would be an adaptation because I think it's already present in Aikido today. Clearly there is variation (those proverbial branches and leaves, Chiba spoke of), but Aikido as I understand it is deals with this concept plenty.

Shodo-o-seisu? Like this: http://www.expertvillage.com/video/118146_mune-tsuki-shodo-o-seisu.htm

Well, in the context of evolvement, he says Aikido is a defensive MA. Imo, that conflicts with Budo (the way of war is to defeat your enemy). The best defense is a good offense. Making Aikido a offense oriented MA would be evolutionary. Instead of recieving and re-directing the first move, intercepting the first move with and attack, or even making the first move(like a pre-emptive strike), would be an evolvement. However, my main point is getting folks to THINK about Aikido, the MA in a evolutionary context. I really believe it's our duty. At this point just moving Aikido in the direction of making it martially effective again would be evolutionary. I undersatnd that there is (and should be) variations of Aikido.That is Aikido evolving and it may also mean campaigning to increase the popularity of Aikido, having thriving dojos that aren't in the backrooms of karate schools and rec centers. Some have said that that's OK, but I just don't believe that that was Osensei's intention for Aikido.

GeneC
12-18-2008, 08:17 PM
Gene,If you identify with your opinions, does it threaten your identity to change your opinions?
By the way, I did not apologize for challenging your thinking, so I could hardly take back such an apology.Still, you haven't bothered to answer a question I asked -- do you acknowledge that the Chiba quote conflicts with some of your views, but are relevant to this discussion? Just curious.

So you just won't cease and desist *sigh* ok....

I don't just identify with my opinions, my opinions identify me. You won't get anywhere trying to psychoanalyze me, I'm quite comfortable with myself. I won't change my opinions because I believe in them with all my heart.
Now, I do disagree with Chiba's quote for several reasons: one is that that's his opinion and is based on his experience. My experience is different. Another is that that's his opinion,which he has a right to and I have a right to mine. Another is just because he said it doesn't make it true. His perception of Budo is not the omnipotent concept of budo, which is quite simply "the way of war". he certainly didn't have the monopoly on "the way of war". He didn't invent it or have a copyright on it. He even says, "In his way of thinking" blah, blah blah, his Japanese language doesn't have a word for "new budo". Not my problem, that means nothing to me. American English has a word for that- "New Budo". My problem with "his way of thinking" is that he's trying to project Budo into sports. Who does that? Who says we have to do that? War is war and sports is sports. Budo is the "way of war" , you mean the Japanese can't come up with a word or phrase to mean "the way of sports"? Again, not my problem. American has such words. Nobody I know is trying to make a sports oriented Aikido a "new Budo". I've not even said anything about a"sports Aikido" or a "new Budo" , I've just said that competiton in Aikido is a good thing to make sure that the techniques are martially effective, in order for Aikido actually be a MA., in my opinion.
Now, if you make a disparaging statement and it has the word"you" at the front of it, that is a personal attack. My challenge to you is to rephrase your offensive statements without using the word "you". if you can't( or won't), I win.

Falc
12-18-2008, 08:59 PM
Mr. Couch,

I've just now arrived at this discussion, but it seems you have a marked nack for missing the point entirely -- a nack I'm beginning to think you nurture intentionally.

What Chiba-sensei was saying is that there is room for branches to sprout out from Aikido, more "flowery" expressions of it, but only so long as we continue to remember that they are branches, offshoots, not the root/base thing itself... and that it is crucial that there still be people following the original trunk of the tree. If the trunk should disappear, the branches would fall to the ground, being attached to nothing anymore.

Think of it as a rare and desirable animal. Many want to breed to it, for the gifts it bestows, and that' s all good, but there still must be some who will breed that animal pure, so that hybrids can be made from it. If not, if one tries to keep on hybridizing off of the hybrids rather than returning to the source, what is left will quickly become weak, impotent, and have no obvious or pointed connection to that which caused it to be so great in the first place.

This isn't a matter of Old or New Budo. It is Budo. Offshoots will occur, and are fine now, but don't mistake those branches for the tree itself.

Peace & Creation for us all,

JT

RonRagusa
12-18-2008, 09:20 PM
If the trunk should disappear, the branches would fall to the ground, being attached to nothing anymore.

And if all the branches disappear the trunk will wither and die from lack of nourishment.

Aikido, like the tree, is an integrated organism wherein all the parts contribute to the well-being of the whole.

Ron

mathewjgano
12-18-2008, 09:24 PM
Shodo-o-seisu? Like this: http://www.expertvillage.com/video/118146_mune-tsuki-shodo-o-seisu.htm

Well...he says Aikido is a defensive MA. Imo, that conflicts with Budo (the way of war is to defeat your enemy). The best defense is a good offense.

I know this is a popular sentiment. I've grown up my whole short life with folks who share this exact opinion and exercised it regularly, but I think sometimes the best offense is a good defense. And in my opinion, the way of war depends on what one seeks to gain. If they want more war, that's what their way of war is: to propogate war. If they want to defeat their enemy, that's their way of war. My way of war is about finding peace and that doesn't necessarily mean defeating my attacker by "conventional" means (e.g. my fisticuffs of steel;) ), though it certainly might include them.

At this point just moving Aikido in the direction of making it martially effective again would be evolutionary.
See, but I do think it's martially effective. I'm not saying there aren't new ways of looking at it, but I'm a small guy and Aikido has made it easier for me to handle my big friends, most of whom grew up scrapping...something I would imagine might fit with your litmus test. I'm not saying I'm a good fighter, I'm saying that for as little as I've trained, and as sparsely as I've trained (all in Aikido), I am moderately effective at "besting" by buddies. Hardly the be-all end-all of tests ("street fighters" can suck at fighting too), but the best I have at my disposal and better than your average person, who has very little need of fighting skills...statistically speaking; as I recall.

but I just don't believe that that was Osensei's intention for Aikido.
O Sensei's intention for Aikido, from what I can tell, was for something akin to personal perfection and purity. Without getting into what that could exactly mean, I think it should suffice to say that O Sensei had very lofty goals and one componant of that set of goals was the profound physical potency that comes from training in aiki.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-18-2008, 09:27 PM
Well, I put the last lengthy posts of Mr. Couch in my ATETD* and surprisingly the result was:


http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg216/shane_m_j/blackwater.jpg

So Gene, make us (and yourself) a favor.
Empty your cup and relax a bit. You're only starting to scratch the surface of what is Aikido. Stop acting like a know-it-all-noob and listen to people with more experience and knowledge about the issue at hand than you have.

Please. Thanks. Merry Cristmas.

*American To English Translation Device.

raul rodrigo
12-18-2008, 10:11 PM
I'm with Demetrio.

raul rodrigo
12-18-2008, 11:52 PM
Clarence, it seems to me at least that you are terrifically incurious whenever you run into contrary information. When you were told you were taking a Chiba quote out of context, you didn't say, "Really, how?" Instead, you bring up Moriteru as a potential embodiment of what you are looking for, but when told that in fact Moriteru is even more conservative, you drop the whole thing altogether and say that you aren't really interested, because nothing will change your mind. When someone brought up the idea of aikido as misogi, which is in fact central to Osensei's own conception of his aikido, you didn't reply, "I am interested, tell me more." You cherry pick bits of things that conform to what you want to see/believe, and then when people try to get you to see the larger picture, you just reiterate your original formulation as if that alone is refutation enough. You assume that your military experience gives you a privileged point of view about the reality of combat, only to find out that there are in fact ex military and current military men on Aikiweb. This isn't a formula for a fruitful exchange. You are right in saying that we seem to be going around and around, but I think you should take a breath and take some responsibility for this state of affairs.

Carsten Möllering
12-19-2008, 02:30 AM
Shodo-o-seisu? Like this: http://www.expertvillage.com/video/118146_mune-tsuki-shodo-o-seisu.htmPlease excuse me, I only could see but not heare the explanations.
Do you realy think this to be something new or different from Aikido?

Instead of recieving and re-directing the first move, intercepting the first move with and attack, or even making the first move(like a pre-emptive strike), would be an evolvement.
This was one of the first things I learnt: Aikido isn't to react, but to act. This is pointed out often in our practice:
Nage creates the situation. Not uke.

Recieving and re-directing just makes it easier for beginners to learn the basic movements.

just moving Aikido in the direction of making it martially effective again would be evolutionary.Well our practice emphasizes the martial aspect of Aikido.

... having thriving dojos that aren't in the backrooms of karate schools and rec centers.Oh, the situation here in Europe is different: In France, where one of our shihan comes from, Aikido ist taught in schools and every Aikido teacher - not only in school but also in a dojo has to be state approved.

Here in Germany we have got another system, but Aikido also is very popular here.

All together it seems things are different here.

Carsten

Erick Mead
12-19-2008, 09:20 AM
And if all the branches disappear the trunk will wither and die from lack of nourishment.

Aikido, like the tree, is an integrated organism wherein all the parts contribute to the well-being of the whole.

RonI suggest not-so metaphor -- but the image of the principle of ki in operation which is to say, in-yo ho. The principle of jouri 条理 expounded by Miura Baien as the process of ki in development follows the image of the branching division typical of the tree. 条 is a combination of radicals for 'winter' and 'tree' where branching is naturally revealed. There is unceasing and recurrent division, both revealed and hidden developments that are of the same type (branches and roots), and necessarily develop in tandem, and progressive differentiation, but unceasing unity -- all in one coherent whole.

For those who routinely play with jiyu-waza this kind of constantly branching and flow should feel very familiar.

C. David Henderson
12-19-2008, 09:44 AM
Fractal development, on many levels.

Aikibu
12-19-2008, 09:50 AM
Martial effectiveness is not a characteristic of any martial art. It's a measure of the capability of the practitioner of a given art. When you divorce the art from those that employ it you render the question of martial effectiveness meaningless.

Ron

Hey!!! I think I said that too!!! Sort of...:)

You know this conversation about the evolution of Aikido pops up a few times a year usually at dinner...Fowler Sensei and we Senior Students just smile and listen and I answer the queries much the same way I did here....

Then during the next class I may playfully toss the "seeker" across the mat a few times and say the same thing to them that was said to me...

Theres no better time to evolve like the present! One technique at a time LOL....:D

In essence There are some on this board who may have been chosen by a higher spirit/power to take Aikido "to the next level".... The rest of us will just have to be content with "evolving ourselves"..:)

William Hazen

phitruong
12-19-2008, 09:56 AM
I suggest not-so metaphor -- but the image of the principle of ki in operation which is to say, in-yo ho.



"in-yo ho"? sounded like a hip-hop rap group! are you saying that aikido evolves into hip-hop rap? wonder if we can get "aikido with the stars" program. :D

my group name will be "ai-ki do" :)

Tony Wagstaffe
12-19-2008, 10:02 AM
Fractal development, on many levels.

Seems to me THAT'S how aikido WILL evolve?...........

Tony

GeneC
12-19-2008, 10:21 AM
Mr. Couch,

I've just now arrived at this discussion, but it seems you have a marked nack for missing the point entirely -- a nack I'm beginning to think you nurture intentionally.

What Chiba-sensei was saying is that there is room for branches to sprout out from Aikido, more "flowery" expressions of it, but only so long as we continue to remember that they are branches, offshoots, not the root/base thing itself... and that it is crucial that there still be people following the original trunk of the tree. If the trunk should disappear, the branches would fall to the ground, being attached to nothing anymore.

Think of it as a rare and desirable animal. Many want to breed to it, for the gifts it bestows, and that' s all good, but there still must be some who will breed that animal pure, so that hybrids can be made from it. If not, if one tries to keep on hybridizing off of the hybrids rather than returning to the source, what is left will quickly become weak, impotent, and have no obvious or pointed connection to that which caused it to be so great in the first place.

This isn't a matter of Old or New Budo. It is Budo. Offshoots will occur, and are fine now, but don't mistake those branches for the tree itself.

Peace & Creation for us all,

JT

Mr Taylor, I understand well what all Mr Chiba said ( and here I am dealing with your mis-preception of me) You assume, because I didn't mention the limbs and leaves vs the trunk and roots portion of his words, that I missed that point. Well I didn't, but the fact is that Mr Henderson was talking about a different point( old Budo vs new Budo), so that's what we talked about.
Now, if you'd like to discuss that portion, I'd be happy to, as I agree that this isn't even an issue of old Budo or new Budo, but trying to convince Mr Henderson of that may be futile.
AFA that tree analogy, the problem I have with this analogy is that it opens up room for folks' ago to get in the way of seeing the overall picture. For instance, how many folks, after reading that analogy, secretly yearns or even feel like or think of themselves as being the trunk or the roots? How many feel like it's more noble or important to be the trunk or the roots? Go ahead, don't be shy, raise your hands. Even you yourself , Mr Taylor said that without the trunk or roots , the limbs would simply fall to the ground. No offense, but that's a pretty arrogant idea.

The only purpose of that tree is to grow limbs and branches, so it can grow leaves to it can grow and thrive for ONE PURPOSE and ONE PURPOSE ONLY--to grow a flower and then a fruit and then a seed, to make another tree. That's it, that's it's only purpose. So to me, the seed is the most important part of that tree,'cause after that seed drops, the roots, trunk, limbs, branches, leaves and all can die happy, 'cause it's fulfilled it's God given natural inctinctual purpose- to produce another tree. Also, in context of this topic, when the tree evolves, it in the seeding process, another reason to be the seed. Consider me the seed.

Then again, maybe that analogy is not a good analogy at all, showing the flaw in another man's perception/opinion

GeneC
12-19-2008, 10:30 AM
I'm with Demetrio.

Hmm, Im sorry that y'all feel that way. Maybe if you two could get together and contribute something beneficial, we can move on. Otherwise I'd suggest skipping this thread. I;m jsut discussing ideas and conceptswith folks. Not really trying to come across as anything other than a person with ideas and opinions.

GeneC
12-19-2008, 11:34 AM
Ok, so here we go- you post to me and I post to you. That's how it goes with this medium.

Clarence, it seems to me at least that you are terrifically incurious whenever you run into contrary information. When you were told you were taking a Chiba quote out of context, you didn't say, "Really, how?" Instead, you bring up Moriteru as a potential embodiment of what you are looking for, but when told that in fact Moriteru is even more conservative, you drop the whole thing altogether and say that you aren't really interested, because nothing will change your mind.

Wow, I'm not sure that the chronological sequence is correct , much less the facts. Sorry I don't respond the way you think I should. Didn't know that was expected of me. Talking baout taking things out of context and spinning facts.

When someone brought up the idea of aikido as misogi, which is in fact central to Osensei's own conception of his aikido, you didn't reply, "I am interested, tell me more." You cherry pick bits of things that conform to what you want to see/believe, and then when people try to get you to see the larger picture, you just reiterate your original formulation as if that alone is refutation enough.

Fact is , I'm not interested in learning more about Misogi at this time (I'm a Christian, Misogi is Shinto), that's why I didn't ask. I understand the concept of spiritual cleansing and how Aikido is geared to help with that, but I also know that is an individual journey that each of us are on, so YMMV.

You assume that your military experience gives you a privileged point of view about the reality of combat, only to find out that there are in fact ex military and current military men on Aikiweb..

And the point is? Ok, so there's other ex and current military. Then why aren't they talking about the reality of a vicious fight? I'm not assuming anything. I'm seeing alot of folks missing key points about Budo and fighting, key points that could mean the difference of life or death, that refutes some of this "feel good, no problems, new age Budo" that seems to be "flowing". I'm simply offering my insights and I'm not insisting on anyone taking it or not.

Again, if you have that much of a problem with me, just ignore me, it's OK.

GeneC
12-19-2008, 12:02 PM
Martial effectiveness is not a characteristic of any martial art. It's a measure of the capability of the practitioner of a given art.

Characteristic- distinguishing trait, quality or porperty.

Yes, I believe a distinguishing trait, quality or property of a MA should be it's martial effectiveness, in order for it to BE a MA. No matter how good a practitioner practices and excutes offering his back to a knife wielding opponent, if his MA teaches him to do that, it it not a martially effective MA, and perhaps not a MA at all, but simply an art of some kind. Either way, the results can be fatal.

When you divorce the art from those that employ it you render the question of martial effectiveness meaningless.Ron

Noone is suggesting divorcing anything form anything (except you) and that has nothing to do with anything. The practitioner practices what he's taught, the Sensei who's teaching the techniques has the responsibility to make sure the techniques are martially effective. Again, the simple truth here is if the MA is not martially effective, then in the event it has to be employed in a fatal encounter, it's most likely to be fatal for the practitioner and IMO, shouldn't be called a martial art at all.

RonRagusa
12-19-2008, 12:23 PM
...the Sensei who's teaching the techniques has the responsibility to make sure the techniques are martially effective.

Hypothetical: Practitioner A executes technique against practitioner B and is successful. Practitioner A executes same technique against practitioner C and is unsuccessful.

Question: Is the technique martially effective or not?

Ron

Erick Mead
12-19-2008, 02:33 PM
Hypothetical: Practitioner A executes technique against practitioner B and is successful. Practitioner A executes same technique against practitioner C and is unsuccessful.

Question: Is the technique martially effective or not?

RonThe relevant text is: "Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all."

As I see it, Aikido is never allied to the principle of "better than" but rather "in tune with" and therefore "readier than." It radically allows and accepts the contingencies that must inevitably come. No matter the theoretical disparities that may exist, the principles of Aikido make one readier to play in one move in a sudden void, rather than trying to eliminate ALL Voids by attempting to construct an indefeasible plan of action to a preordained goal by a set path.

Aikido, the Founder said is, about "divine technique." One need not take that religiously to understand that it is meant to teach us, in the words of someone else, to think as God does, not as men do. Where the accidents, the places between, the lowly and insignificant things actually turn reality more than the easily seen and seemingly mighty things of the world.

RonRagusa
12-19-2008, 04:04 PM
The relevant text is: "Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all."

As I see it, Aikido is never allied to the principle of "better than" but rather "in tune with" and therefore "readier than." It radically allows and accepts the contingencies that must inevitably come. No matter the theoretical disparities that may exist, the principles of Aikido make one readier to play in one move in a sudden void, rather than trying to eliminate ALL Voids by attempting to construct an indefeasible plan of action to a preordained goal by a set path.

Aikido, the Founder said is, about "divine technique." One need not take that religiously to understand that it is meant to teach us, in the words of someone else, to think as God does, not as men do. Where the accidents, the places between, the lowly and insignificant things actually turn reality more than the easily seen and seemingly mighty things of the world.

Thanks Erick... I think. :confused::)

Clarence insisted "the Sensei who's teaching the techniques has the responsibility to make sure the techniques are martially effective." I'm trying to eclicit a response from him that explains how he determines whether a technique is martially effective or not when the outcome of an encounter can assume any number of forms. My point is that martial arts cannot be proven martially effective in any sense of the word since martial effectiveness is a variable not a constant. In short, the Sensei cannot "make sure the techniques are martially effective."

Ron

Erick Mead
12-19-2008, 04:32 PM
... My point is that martial arts cannot be proven martially effective in any sense of the word since martial effectiveness is a variable not a constant. Variable/Contingent -- I think we are talking the same thing.

Clarence insisted "the Sensei who's teaching the techniques has the responsibility to make sure the techniques are martially effective." And so he has, but that is not the student's to judge -- for several reasons, not the least of which is that he does not generally understand the point of most of the lessons until much later in his training. It is true of me, it is true of those who have taught me. Trust cannot be substituted.

In short, the Sensei cannot "make sure the techniques are martially effective."And could not even do so when there is a real prospect of life or death encounters. The film Gladiator, excellent in many, many other respects, actually exemplified this problem. The things that made a man an exeedingly good killer in actual battle, were not that effective toward the larger goal of the much larger conflict that existed outside of the immediate engagement in the arena stage. That was a strategic matter that required a change of tactics to more showy, less efficient means of killing. The reverse is more typically true of aikido in our time in that training tends to be more showy and larger -- and thus revealing details of action obscured in the sudden and brutal reality, but it, too, is also directed to a larger goal beyond the immediate encounter.

True budo is always simplicity itself -- and very, very hard work to achieve small bits of it.

GeneC
12-19-2008, 05:45 PM
Hypothetical: Practitioner A executes technique against practitioner B and is successful. Practitioner A executes same technique against practitioner C and is unsuccessful.

Question: Is the technique martially effective or not?

Ron

How do you know Part.B is trying? or Part C? This is why a contest will ensure both are trying their best, but certainly two contests won't give one a conclusion. But how about 50 contests and unbeaten? Beaten only twice? 5 times? What if he does 10 contests and loses 5, 6, 7, all of them- something's wrong with his technique, it'd be safe to say his MA is not martially effective. What would you be comfortable with?

How many experiments in science to reach a conclusion? What is the criteria in science for a conclusion?

This does make it more signifcant for Osensei, in his 80's to say he's unbeaten.

GeneC
12-19-2008, 05:51 PM
The relevant text is: "Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all."

As I see it, Aikido is never allied to the principle of "better than" but rather "in tune with" and therefore "readier than." It radically allows and accepts the contingencies that must inevitably come. No matter the theoretical disparities that may exist, the principles of Aikido make one readier to play in one move in a sudden void, rather than trying to eliminate ALL Voids by attempting to construct an indefeasible plan of action to a preordained goal by a set path.

Aikido, the Founder said is, about "divine technique." One need not take that religiously to understand that it is meant to teach us, in the words of someone else, to think as God does, not as men do. Where the accidents, the places between, the lowly and insignificant things actually turn reality more than the easily seen and seemingly mighty things of the world.

Still, all that there boils down to can your MA defeat that 6'2" 240lb MMA monster punk on steriods or that hardened felon on Crank/PCP who stands before you that wants to take you out? Are you comfortable with your MA to fight anybody, anytime, anywhere?

GeneC
12-19-2008, 06:12 PM
Clarence insisted "the Sensei who's teaching the techniques has the responsibility to make sure the techniques are martially effective." I'm trying to eclicit a response from him that explains how he determines whether a technique is martially effective or not when the outcome of an encounter can assume any number of forms. My point is that martial arts cannot be proven martially effective in any sense of the word since martial effectiveness is a variable not a constant. In short, the Sensei cannot "make sure the techniques are martially effective."Ron

You don't have to elicit a response, just ask. This is very simple for anyone who has any experience in Budo or combat or any MA- any technique or principle that is sound in fighting. and can be proven in competition (or combat). I don't know about other branches, but the Marines uses past battles to develope a fighting sytem that's martially effective. Quite simply, say in boxing, standing there with your hands down at your side is not martially effective, whereas, standing there with your hands up and elbows close to your body is more martially effective. So, more specifically, in Aikido, let's see what Nishio Shihan has to say:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH0-IyJPsyc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mt4ts-rOpyM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9PTMSwr1h0

Notice in each of these, he emphasizes how these techniques as being practiced and taught are martially ineffective and even eluded to Osensei changing some techniques because they were martially ineffective.

Kevin Leavitt
12-19-2008, 06:28 PM
Clarence wrote:

And the point is? Ok, so there's other ex and current military. Then why aren't they talking about the reality of a vicious fight? I'm not assuming anything. I'm seeing alot of folks missing key points about Budo and fighting, key points that could mean the difference of life or death, that refutes some of this "feel good, no problems, new age Budo" that seems to be "flowing". I'm simply offering my insights and I'm not insisting on anyone taking it or not.

Okay...I am current military, Ranger Infantry Officer type, what do you want to "discuss". I typed a pretty long post outlining my perspective on "martial methodologies" and why it I felt it was important to work within "frameworks" of methodology and possibly perserve those frameworks or best practices as such.

I also "discussed" why it was important to UNDERSTAND those martial methodologies what what the essentially the "Terminal Learning Objectives" (TLO) are to use a "Military Term" and to work within the constraints of those methodolgies to gain the lessons they have to teach.

I also "discussed" the time constraints that folks have in training and that it takes great deal of time to train properly to achieve a well rounded "martial warrior".

and a few other things as well.

All of which you essentially ignored I assume since you didn't respond to it.

So, I didn't see much since of re-hashing the same thing that I already offered up...from my "Military" perspective.

If you have questions or want to sincerely explore this or you really want to know what I think about this subject, feel free to ask. After 7 years and about 3000 post on aikiweb...it is apparent that I am willing to talk about "stuff".

Right now though, I am going to go prepare for the Reflexive Fire and CQB class I have to teach down at Quantico next month so that is what I am going to do with my time right now! :)

I'll probaby check back in later though!

Kevin Leavitt
12-19-2008, 06:31 PM
Thanks Erick... I think. :confused::)

Clarence insisted "the Sensei who's teaching the techniques has the responsibility to make sure the techniques are martially effective." I'm trying to eclicit a response from him that explains how he determines whether a technique is martially effective or not when the outcome of an encounter can assume any number of forms. My point is that martial arts cannot be proven martially effective in any sense of the word since martial effectiveness is a variable not a constant. In short, the Sensei cannot "make sure the techniques are martially effective."

Ron

Yeah I tried that too Ron, only place we have gotten is that "whatever" needs to be proven martially efffective against other martial arts, but not in the UFC!

Kevin Leavitt
12-19-2008, 06:35 PM
Still, all that there boils down to can your MA defeat that 6'2" 240lb MMA monster punk on steriods or that hardened felon on Crank/PCP who stands before you that wants to take you out? Are you comfortable with your MA to fight anybody, anytime, anywhere?

Who knows? Can you defeat such a person? How about you and I get together and throw on a couple of Blauer suits, sign a waiver and see who comes out on top!

Then again what does that really prove in the end?

Would that mean that if I could consistently beat you down that you would adopt to my way of training...which involves Aikido not really evolving as you say it needs to?

Demetrio Cereijo
12-19-2008, 07:28 PM
Hmm, Im sorry that y'all feel that way. Maybe if you two could get together and contribute something beneficial, we can move on. Otherwise I'd suggest skipping this thread. I;m jsut discussing ideas and conceptswith folks. Not really trying to come across as anything other than a person with ideas and opinions.

Well...

Let's see if you find the following beneficial enough.

Fact is , I'm not interested in learning more about Misogi at this time (I'm a Christian, Misogi is Shinto), that's why I didn't ask. I understand the concept of spiritual cleansing and how Aikido is geared to help with that, but I also know that is an individual journey that each of us are on, so YMMV.

Misogi (and related ascetic practises) seem to be fundamental for the developement of power, both physical an psychological, required for aikido to be martially effective. Disregard this kind of ascetic training if you feel it not compatible with Christianity, and subtstitute it with pumping iron at the gym, but don't complaint if later you find your aikido lacking enough firepower.

Ok, so there's other ex and current military. Then why aren't they talking about the reality of a vicious fight?

I suppose the ones who have real experience in vicious fighting: the ones who have been there, done that for real don't find enjoyable writing about tis kind of things in internet forums as it happens to the civilians who also have been there, done that but are not psychopaths themselves nor the readers. You want gore? Not here. Look for other kind of forum.

Got the point?

Quite simply, say in boxing, standing there with your hands down at your side is not martially effective, whereas, standing there with your hands up and elbows close to your body is more martially effective.

And this is suicidal outside boxing....

When you manage to understand the doctrine behind, and the strategy and tactical parameters aikido has been designed for, you can start to understand the how's and why's of aikido techniques and training methods. Not before.

GeneC
12-19-2008, 08:07 PM
Okay...I am current military, Ranger Infantry Officer type, what do you want to "discuss".
I'll probaby check back in later though!

Whaddaya mean what do I want to discuss? I want to discuss what would be involved in evloving Aikido.

You got in about in the middle and talked about Ghandi.

Then I want to define some terms and you say:"I don't worry too much about defining what something is or isn't. Aikido and all martial arts are only concepts and methodologies, they can really "be anything".What we have is ourselves and our understanding of self."know they self, and unto they self be true".

Then you misunderstood and thought I said to take the violence out of Aikido, to wit you responded by quoting John Stevens "to present such a strong front that noone'd dare attack you."

Then we were in agreement for awhile

then you said: "Is it evolvement, revolution, or simply a paradiqm shift?more aptly put, a rennaissance, or a re-discovery of what was once known, but forgotten over the years.The UFC and emergence of MMA is probably the most recent example of a paradiqm shift.

then this:"semantics, but I would not say there is violence in aikido as much as what we practice recognizes and is concerned with violence. To me for violence to be actually present requires actual acts of harm to be present. To me competition can occur on many levels and it is in aikido and Yoga even! Who hasn't been in a yoga class and you look around to see how well your warrior pose is to someone elses! That is competition! I do think aikido is meant to be a paradox in this respect."

Which I responded by disagreeing.

Then we have a disgreement about the first UFC bouts...you say Royce Gracie was in the first one, I say he camelater , after a bunch of karateka,boxers, Grecco Roman wrestlers and "pit' fighters.

Then you use a whole bunch of wordsto say we need to define "martial effectiveness".

Then you use a whole bunch of other words to say:" Going back to the topic at hand concerning evolution of aikido.Again, we have to define and agree that aikido moved away from it's original intent. "

Then you use a whole bunch of other words to say:"It could be that aikido loses students and there is actually a decline away from aikido with more folks going into MMA."

Then you say: "Come train with me, I am always on the offense, I avoid the defense and believe in always attack, always win."

Then you say: "Semantics maybe, but I don't see what I would do as evolutionary as we are not changing the core measures and principles of aikido.good discussion"

Then you use a whole bunch of words to say:"Again though, I think it important to not overthink or over complicate the physical practice of aikido with reframing or revision by the introduction of philosophy or spirituality."

Then you say this: "As you know I don't necessarily see things the same way on BJJ/AIKIDO/MMA was you do. Won't rehash that here. However, if you do indeed believe that the distinct difference betweeen aikido and BJJ is based on the allowing or disallowing of harm..."

The you use alot of words to ask this: "That is not to say that we should shut our eyes things external to our practice and that we should not be open to adopting new training methodologies and experimentation...I think that is very important. However, is it evolution or simply a re-interpretation?"

Then you used alot of words to say: "So what part of martial effectiveness does aikido attempt to maintain really?I actually have a hard time when someone like him says that in order to remain a martial art it must be practiced as we practice it with the sword.
IMM, if that is the case, then practice it correctly tactically, not some theorectical, principle focused practice. In fact, sword based arts lost there martial relevancy quite a while ago I believe!"

To which I disagree.

Then you asked me: "You are more than certainly entitled to your opinions. However....., It would really help me to understand your position if you would spell out your criteria for martial efffectiveness and how that relates to aikido. "

To which I replied: ", simply, (like Bruce Lee and Shoji Sensei, et al said) improve a technique (or strategy) that make it more martially effective. Like you said, I haven't been in Aikido long enough ( so, is that how you judge folks, by how long they been doing this?) to know exactly what that is (but I'll train every day with that in mind), but in my limited experience it'd be things like no technique that'd put you directly in harms way (like a punch or kick or takedown, etc); Always lead with your dominant side; intercept an attack with an attack, rather than block, then counter; rather than go in circles, go in staight lines exclusively, etc. Some folks here have alot more experience in Aikdido and I thought that that was the purpose of this thread- to talk about it."

To which you responded:"If this is our primary concern in aikido, that is, to be effective in these types of situations, I'd say aikido is fairly inefficient to help you be successful in this situation.Same with avoiding knifes, guns, rear chokes, and etc, etc.Are these the reasons you feel aikido should evolve because it is not able to effectively answer the mail in these areas as good as some other practices? "

Then you say: "No martial art is complete in reality."

The you ask this: "Would you all be willing to change the phrase "Martially Effectiveness" for "Martially Relevant"? or "Martially Applicable"?"

To which I disagreed.

Then you used alot of words to say: "As a guy that is concerned with "effectiveness" I think I am doing a good job of adopting a MMA philosophy and that my own personal practice follows much of what Clarence is saying aikido needs to move to."

The you say this: "And then we ask...what is the point of studying empty handed martial arts anyway????"

The say this:"Could be he was bring up the fact that he was strong and could fight to let everyone know that he had transcended the physicality and yet still was happy and vibrant."

Kevin Leavitt
12-19-2008, 08:20 PM
I was referring from the conversation from about post #303 on.

You still have not materially answered anything directly I have written, you simply move on and continue with the same theme of your discussion.

Much of what you quoted was taken out of context of conversations that occurred much longer than you have been here on aikiweb.

You STILL Contend that Royce Gracie came later on? Really? He won the first UFC which was conceived of and ran l by his brother Rorian and Art Davies.

Here is a very direct question:

What is it specifically that needs to evolve in aikido?

OR

What does aikido need to evolve into?

Kevin Leavitt
12-19-2008, 08:38 PM
Reading through the threads over the last couple of minutes it appears that maybe your concern is that you simply have a very limited exposure to aikido or maybe competent instruction.

You talk about hands down at the sides, and turning your back to some one to name two just on this page.

You also offer videos of sensei or Others that you seem to think are doing good aikido...which from the videos I have seen I have no issue with.

OR,

You may not quite understand martial methodology or training methodolgies.

It took me several years to figure this one out until I had a larger exposure to some good martial artist and a sound basis as a training officer in a large combat training center for the Army.

Aikido may not fit the bill for your objectives. As I stated it does not completely fit mine, but serves as a integral methodology over an overall combined integrated training strategy.

Bad aikido certainly does not fit my objectives and there is plenty of that going on out there I am sure.

The objectives of aikido are fairly well established by most Shihan. Again, I have the fortune I suppose of studying under a Shihan that was an Ucshideshi of O'Sensei (although not directly these days) and maybe you have not had these experiences.

Another specific and direct question:

What do you think about the aikido performed in this video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp1WNUThJ9E

I hope that you will specifically identify the exactly model of evolvement in something other than "effective against other martial arts".

It is simply too vague and open ended for me to really discuss in any productive manner.

C. David Henderson
12-20-2008, 08:36 AM
Kevin,

I've always liked that video very much, thanks for posting it.

I've decided to give Gene what he wants though -- the last word.

I can't figure out if Gene is low-hanging-fruit or a train-wreck of a debater (maybe a produce train wreck in an orchard?). But his pattern of saying anything and everything to defend each and every position he's taken indicates to me an incapacity to engage in dialogue. Literally. It's an issue of comunicative competence.

That requires both a communication receiving device as well as a sending device. Really, the receiving device is all you need for communication to occur when someone else is speaking.

They are really cool, those receiving devices. They allow you to absorb information and ideas. They allow you to engage in a competition of ideas, not just voices. And as Gene contends competition is a really, really, really good thing -- keeps us on our toes and all, you know -- you'd think he'd care enough about the quality of his ideas to put them to the test.

But he can't. That's my conclusion. Not won't; not doesn't choose to; can't. Can't even see, I suspect, the many acts of kindness that strangers have extended to him, waiting for him to catch the hint and listen.

I'm sorry Gene. Goodbye.

C. David Henderson
12-20-2008, 10:10 AM
Seems to me THAT'S how aikido WILL evolve?...........

Tony

Hi Tony.

I don't know. But it does seem that the idea is to see how the way something in being replicated on one level -- say, individual practice, or different schools -- is reflected in the structure of the whole. And I just watched a really cool show on fractals, and probably want to see how looking at things that way changes my perspective.

It also seems at an incohate level (that would be a statement about my own level of clarity), to connect with some of what Kevin has been saying about different martial arts allowing different set pieces to study -- Judo and unbalancing, for example.

The principles that animate the particular art will tend to be reflected in the overall structure of the art, just as the way a tree grows results in a replication of patterning in the branching of limbs (which a guy on the show assured me was subject to being analyzed in terms of fractals).

But to go back to Chiba Shihan's tree analogy, each branch needs to contain the patterning of Aikido's fundamental principles. That at least is my reading. And that, when you look beneath the apparent diversity, the deeper patterns still should be there.

But I should probably put this thought on the shelf and go practice.

Regards,

David

GeneC
12-20-2008, 10:40 AM
It is simply too vague and open ended for me to really discuss in any productive manner.

Well I don't see why that'd be. This isn't that difficult a concept.

I didn't start this thread. I came onto Aikiweb and saw this thread. I think it's a good thread, very significant and warrants discussion, so I started discussing. What I found is some folks don't even want to talk about it, other folks thinks Aikido is perfect and don't need evolving, still some think Aikdio does need to be evolved , but doesn't know how to express it, to everything one can imagine about the concept of evolution. My position hasn't changed since I started posting- Aikido has room for evolvement and there are many facets to it's evolvment. I don't believe I need anything answered, that's something y'all projected. Far as I know, this medium goes like this, Someone posts an idea and then folks gives their ideas/experience/anecdotes/opinion about the subject, but generally folks discuss it. Now there may be some differing opinions, but hopefully they present their sides and then agree to dis-agree and go on.
So where are we here? Why are we having so much trouble with a seemingly simple concept? My position is this: Since Aikido is manmade, it is flawed and has room to evolve- from it basic techniques all the way up to expanding it's popularity.
Kevin, you have spent the most words to say stuff I can't understand. I thought the goal of communication is for folks to understand what you're saying. The measure of intelligence is not the big words or complex concepts, but being able to convey them in simple terms.
I think Gen. MacArthur said, "It is fatal to enter into any war without the will to win it." And " In war, you win or lose, live or die- and the difference is just an eyelash." and " There is no substitute for victory." I figured anyone with military/ cqb experience would respond to the results of FoF with the knife, etc. Or at least the concept of 'martially effective'.
But it seems like the first thing some folks want to do, when they reach an impasse, is question a person's personal integrity. Why? Why not just ask or discuss the topic or leave it and go do something else?

raul rodrigo
12-20-2008, 10:46 AM
In my country, there is a proverb. Translated into English, it runs: "It is impossible to awaken someone who is only pretending to be asleep." I think of it often when I run into someone who claims to want to discuss ideas but can only hear his own voice.

RonRagusa
12-20-2008, 11:17 AM
What if he does 10 contests and loses 5, 6, 7, all of them- something's wrong with his technique, it'd be safe to say his MA is not martially effective.

No it would not. Especially when some else using the same style comes along and wins all 10 contests.

The point is that no amount of contests will ever prove the martial effectiveness of a technique. Techniques, like hammers, are tools and in and of themselves neither effective or not. The Sensei cannot prove the martial effectiveness of a technique, only display his own effectiveness as a martial artist employing the technique.

Ron

Aikibu
12-20-2008, 11:27 AM
No it would not. Especially when some else using the same style comes along and wins all 10 contests.

The point is that no amount of contests will ever prove the martial effectiveness of a technique. Techniques, like hammers, are tools and in and of themselves neither effective or not. The Sensei cannot prove the martial effectiveness of a technique, only display his own effectiveness as a martial artist employing the technique.

Ron

And you would think this is obvious...Great Post Ron.:)

William Hazen

observer
12-20-2008, 12:17 PM
My position is this: Since Aikido is manmade, it is flawed and has room to evolve- from it basic techniques all the way up to expanding it's popularity.
Obviously, I only express my opinion. I think, you agree, that Mona Lisa doesn't have room to evolve. Same with aikido. It was created by an artist and we can admire, or hate it. Mostly, people study and enjoy it. Some folks think that they are able to use it effectively against a threat, but others have doubts. Some teachers find aikido inspirational in the development of new idea. Others, take it for face value. I think, that you are looking for a tool to suit your expectations, and aikido definitely doesn't fit. However, for me, aikido has everything that I need, and we both have the same needs, I presume. You want to understand how it works before learning the art of aikido. It took me a while, and I tried to explain it to you, but you didn't get it. I did not expect for you to accept my point of view, but I was waiting to discuss it in details. Instead, you were responding to many theoretical concepts about Martial Art and aikido in particular. I agree, that it does make sense to raise aikido popularity, to keep the art alive, but if we change it, we will have nothing. Think about it.

Joe McParland
12-20-2008, 12:28 PM
No it would not. Especially when some else using the same style comes along and wins all 10 contests.

The point is that no amount of contests will ever prove the martial effectiveness of a technique. Techniques, like hammers, are tools and in and of themselves neither effective or not. The Sensei cannot prove the martial effectiveness of a technique, only display his own effectiveness as a martial artist employing the technique.


There is a middle ground here.

There are two main variables: the System and the Student. Teaching methodology comes into play, of course, but let's just conveniently put that under System for now.

When I was in the Army back in 1990, the self-defense curriculum including something we called "The Betsy:" using a rock and a big overhead swing to crack your opponent on the helmet. I understand that, today, TRADOC has removed The Betsey from the core curriculum and is even advocating some kind of BJJ-ish system? [I presume Kevin can clarify any details.]

An individual who cannot develop a martial attitude or cannot develop martial skills, either through lack of effort or lack of ability ("LOE" or "LOA," if memory serves), will not succeed in just about any System. But, if your entire System was "The Betsy" and you didn't have a rock nearby, the average practitioner is screwed.

It takes a bit of a leap for the Student to not be trapped by the forms of any System. For instance, even though The Betsy is no longer taught explicitly in the Army's system, if there's a rock nearby, an open-minded, improvising soldier will still grab it and whack you on your kevlar with it.

But, just because every Army soldier is now wearing the back beret, it doesn't make them a Ranger. Not every Ranger makes a good Green Beret, and vice versa---since certainly not every Green Beret fits so well in the regular infantry. Why does the US have separate Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, ..., and within them different levels of differentiation?

The Systems themselves are forms as much as are the individual techniques of the System. And, historically, is it not true that whenever a System appears, a Counter-System will eventually be developed? And isn't it the end-state of most martial teachings not to be trapped by form?

Budo is formless. Systems are formed expressions created from budo and pointing to budo. The techniques of Systems are the same. We can create form on a whim and adapt our favorite System---call that evolution if you want---but budo itself is beyond evolution.

Finally, it's easy, from a fractal perspective, for the branch to believe it is the trunk, calling what is below it as the roots and what is above it leaves and branches---and to some extent that makes sense. But, if you find yourself rooted in Form rather than the Formless (budo), you're lost.

Aikibu
12-20-2008, 01:02 PM
But, if you find yourself rooted in Form rather than the Formless (budo), you're lost.

True enough I "suppose". :) However perhaps you should contemplate that one cannot know Budo unless one expresses a "form" of Budo and that maybe that is the meaning of "hiding in plain sight."

Being rooted in "form" Bu is a natural stage of progression on the journey Do

Bashing (or not bashing for that matter) someone over the head with a rock is no more Budo than never practicing a Budo "form" at all if one is not aware they are on the "path". However it can still be an expression of Budo that much is true. This would not make the person Budoka unless they became aware of it in the moment they expressed it.

The only illusion here (for lack of a better metaphor) is believing your form is the only path up the mountain.

So IMHO Clarence's questioning of form is a natural stage of his development towards realizing Budo. :)

Our "role" is to help him along his journey.:)

William Hazen

Joe McParland
12-20-2008, 02:37 PM
However perhaps you should contemplate that one cannot know Budo unless one expresses a "form" of Budo and that maybe that is the meaning of "hiding in plain sight."


Ha! Yeah, maybe. Alas, I made a bit of an error---well, a big error---with "budo is formless" bit. "Budo" itself as a concept is also just form ;) Lots of arguments have roots in different understandings about what budo is. Insomuch as a budoka is someone who embodies the principles of budo---and is bound in some way by thoughts such as "this is budo," "that is not budo," "I have to do this because I'm a budoka," or "I must not do that because I'm a budoka"---then that someone is still stuck in form.

But, if you need a form to point you back toward no-form, then budo's as good a path as any, I suppose! ;)


Our "role" is to help him along his journey.:)


Ha! Well, I'll give that a "maybe," too. :)

Some genuinely good folks are getting themselves bent out of shape trying to make others understand some tightly-held points of view. [And, no, I certainly don't exempt myself from that. :D ] In this sense, the players are not different---they're just carrying different flags, speaking different languages, or whatever.

If Gene said, "I think 2+2=5," would it really matter? To what lengths would I go to convince him he's wrong, since clearly "2+2=6"! :p

Joe McParland
12-20-2008, 02:40 PM
As a side note: It is interesting, though: The different threads' discussions are giving different cross-sections of what may be our same root questions. It seems we have to track all of them to keep up with the one discussion! What is Aikido? What is Hidden? Evolution of MA? ... Wow! :D

GeneC
12-20-2008, 02:49 PM
Seems to me you're more interested in continuing this negative personal attack rather than contributing something positive to the thread. i find it amazing you can even focus when your mind is so clouded by the sarcasm.

Well...

Let's see if you find the following beneficial enough.Misogi (and related ascetic practises) seem to be fundamental for the developement of power, both physical an psychological, required for aikido to be martially effective. Disregard this kind of ascetic training if you feel it not compatible with Christianity, and subtstitute it with pumping iron at the gym, but don't complaint if later you find your aikido lacking enough firepower.

And you'tre telling me there's no other concept other than Misogi that accomplishes he same result? I believe there is. The concept of exercising self discipline and intense focus was not invented by the Japanese nor does it have to be a religious experience.

I suppose the ones who have real experience in vicious fighting: the ones who have been there, done that for real don't find enjoyable writing about tis kind of things in internet forums as it happens to the civilians who also have been there, done that but are not psychopaths themselves nor the readers. You want gore? Not here. Look for other kind of forum.Got the point?

Yes, I do, but perhaps you don't, as I never was talking about gore stories ( I have my own) or anything of the sort. I meant what I said when I said that they could relate their experience as it applies to this thread, i.e. the principles of martial arts.

GeneC
12-20-2008, 03:39 PM
I'd like to say right here that I certainly don't intend to be sarcastic, as I find that to be a negative, dysfunctional trait and I personally have made it my personal goal to help stamp out dysfunctionalism, as well as evolving Aikido. I'm amazed that supposed 'enlightened' folks still resort to this when at an empasse with their communicational skills.

I was referring from the conversation from about post #303 on.You still have not materially answered anything directly I have written, you simply move on and continue with the same theme of your discussion.

Now Kevin, that's just not true. Oh, I get it, if I don't directly respond to everything you say, then I'm surely an idiot, 'cause you da man, right and only a fool would ignore you. Well, to tell you the truth, I took that winded response to be rhetorical and that's why I didn't respond to it. For instance, you spent ALL those words (you like to 'orate', don't you? I'm tempted to ask your troops if you're one of those 'looeys' that like the sound of their own voices{ now don't go gettting yer panties in a wad, I mean that effectionately}) simply to say we need to clarify the term "martial effecetiveness". In fact ,in the very next post (#304), you toyed with the idea to start focusing on me personally.

Much of what you quoted was taken out of context of conversations that occurred much longer than you have been here on aikiweb.

Now Kevin, are you sure you're not exaggerating just to make a point? Now why would a fellow need to do that?

You STILL Contend that Royce Gracie came later on? Really? He won the first UFC which was conceived of and ran l by his brother Rorian and Art

Still on about this( and you say I have to be right about everything?)? All I know is I have "The best hits of the UFC, Vol I, II, and III and the first one goes way back to the beginning of the UFC and the Gracies ain't in it. What is in it is a bunch of karateka getting their clocks cleaned by some hard hitting boxers.

Here is a very direct question:

What is it specifically that needs to evolve in aikido?

OR

What does aikido need to evolve into?

Ok, now I have answered those questions numerous times(maybe it you that's not listening/paying attrention). So once again, in the context that evolove means to"adapt to improve to survive". In my opinion, that'd be to ensure that every principle is martially sound and effective as it can be and cannot be improved on further; As well as every technique, so in order to do that, competition would have to be a part of Aikido ( and/or combat). Then, for Aikido to futher evolve, many more Dojos need to open and be filled to capacity. In order to do that a huge nationwide marketing campaign thatd make a Aikido the coolest thing since sliced bread, with a national logo, a new and exciting and popular movie star with a series of hit movies that have kids running to sign up and practice Aikdo. The'd be Aikido branching out and incorporating with T'ai ch'i to appeal to the seniors and BJJ for the older kids and TKD for the youngsters and Tae Bo for the 'housewives' and definitly pick-up after-school care.

Now, I know this way, way out there, but in keeping with this thread, these are my ideas. Hey, H.G wells wrote of "armored land vehicles" 50 years before tanks and Jules Verne about underwater craft many years before sub-marines, Buck rodgers about space travel, etc., so anything's possible.

mathewjgano
12-20-2008, 05:41 PM
How do you know Part.B is trying? or Part C? This is why a contest will ensure both are trying their best...

And while we're at it, let's make those competitions really motivational and kill the loser...that would ensure they're REALLY doing their best, right?
I've been in many competitions. Not everyone was doing their best; which brings me back to my earlier point: only a concept of besting yourself (masakatsu agatsu) can consistently promote people doing their best.

Aikibu
12-20-2008, 05:44 PM
Ha! Yeah, maybe. Alas, I made a bit of an error---well, a big error---with "budo is formless" bit. "Budo" itself as a concept is also just form ;) Lots of arguments have roots in different understandings about what budo is. Insomuch as a budoka is someone who embodies the principles of budo---and is bound in some way by thoughts such as "this is budo," "that is not budo," "I have to do this because I'm a budoka," or "I must not do that because I'm a budoka"---then that someone is still stuck in form. This sounds like the mind of a 3 Kyu student to me. :)

But, if you need a form to point you back toward no-form, then budo's as good a path as any, I suppose! ;) In short the quickest route to "no form" "Chop wood ...Carry water" or as my Roshi famously put it... "Make Love... Drive Freeway" or My Sensei..."Accept and Enter."

Some genuinely good folks are getting themselves bent out of shape trying to make others understand some tightly-held points of view. [And, no, I certainly don't exempt myself from that. :D ] In this sense, the players are not different---they're just carrying different flags, speaking different languages, or whatever. Yup.

If Gene said, "I think 2+2=5," would it really matter? To what lengths would I go to convince him he's wrong, since clearly "2+2=6"! :p

Well I can show you the path but you must discover and experiance the real truth for yourself would be my answer to this common beginner "conundrum". And most importantly... if you don't practice as much as you can with determined focus You'll never reach the summit. :)

William

As side note for those of you who caught Malcom Gladwell on Charlie Rose last night talking about the nature of extraodinaraly successful people (which was the subject of his new book The Outliers) and Charlie's other guest Colvin Geoff Editor of Fortune who wrote the book "Talent is Overrated" One clear theme emerged...
The main measure of extraodinary abliltiy is.... focused determined practice over a period of at least ten+ years and this ability can be developed at any time in a person's life if they are willing to put in the time and effort :)

mathewjgano
12-20-2008, 06:00 PM
...most importantly... if you don't practice as much as you can with determined focus You'll never reach the summit. :)


Why can't I just take a pill or watch it done on a screen like Mr. Jetson! :D
...I gotta get back on the mat.:o

Joe McParland
12-20-2008, 07:39 PM
This sounds like the mind of a 3 Kyu student to me. :)


Ranking minds is a tenuous business ;)

Honestly, I've seen high ranking folks tangled in their organizations, cultural trappings, and their other day-to-day affairs as often as I've seen them simply "not present" in their teaching. Granted, though, I've not seen too many samurai-wannabes outside of the "pro tour" or uchi-deshi scenes, but I tend to not find myself in those circles anyway :)

As for those folks who really really cling so tightly to the idea of being a budoka / samurai, or being some kind of ultimate fighter, or anything else, they might have the absolutely quickest way to the top of the mountain: Falling off of it! ... well, assuming it doesn't kill them, of course. ;)


My Sensei..."Accept and Enter."


I think I've seen you post "accept and enter" before---I do like that. Consider it stolen ;)

Demetrio Cereijo
12-20-2008, 09:22 PM
Seems to me you're more interested in continuing this negative personal attack rather than contributing something positive to the thread. i find it amazing you can even focus when your mind is so clouded by the sarcasm.

Personal attack? Sarcasm?

It seems you have no clue about what those thing are. You're on, possibly, the safest ma related forum in that regard. We don't do that kind of things here.

If I wanted to attack you personally I could have pointed to your previously statements about your OCD and bipolar disorder, I could have questioned about you serving in the USMC, or about your Boxing, Karate, Muai Thai, MMA, Jits training (when, where, how can I contact them to confirm you training ...), or contacting Imbuido Sensei (who is a regular poster here, who surely enjoy your posts) to confirm if you're an student of her.... You know, things like that and with abundant doses of sarcasm.

But I have not done that, so your complaints don't make sense, like (respectfully imho, of course) most of your posts.

And you'tre telling me there's no other concept other than Misogi that accomplishes he same result?
I'm telling you that discarding misogi because you're Christian; probably an heretic one, under my Roman Catholic -which is the one an only true one- point of view* is like someone saying he's not going to swim in the sea because is Muslim.

I believe there is. The concept of exercising self discipline and intense focus was not invented by the Japanese nor does it have to be a religious experience.

Well, you can believe what you want but name one method which produce the same results as the obtained by misogi (and related practises) practitioneers.

Btw, spirituality and religion are not the same things.

Yes, I do,

Video or it didn't happened.

OTOH & FWIW,
Hey, H.G wells wrote of "armored land vehicles" 50 years before tanks and Jules Verne about underwater craft many years before sub-marines, Buck rodgers about space travel, etc., so anything's possible.
DaVinci worked on "armoured land vehicles" hundred of years before Wells, Verne about submarines 6 years after the first mechanical powered french submarine was built and Münchhausen (big pun intended) went to the Moon waaaay before this Buck Rodgers you're talking about (Verne "sent" people to the moon 50 years before Rogers was born).

In short: You're a troll and what is worse, a bad, illiterate and style lacking one.

*Don't take that in all seriousness guys, it's Christmas time, :)

GeneC
12-20-2008, 10:14 PM
And while we're at it, let's make those competitions really motivational and kill the loser...that would ensure they're REALLY doing their best, right?Wrong!
I've been in many competitions. Not everyone was doing their best; which brings me back to my earlier point: only a concept of besting yourself (masakatsu agatsu) can consistently promote people doing their best.
So how is that better? How do you know you're doing better? How do you know if your technique is martially effective? How do you know you're not practicing bad habits?
I've been in competitons too and I feel good that all my opponents were doing their best(most don't want to lose, humans are naturally competitive). I guarantee if records follows competitors, folks'll do the best they can do.

Kevin Leavitt
12-20-2008, 10:59 PM
Joe,

your post, 423, is pretty much on the money. We (the Army) teach a grappling based system now for a couple of different reasons. However, you actually covered it pretty well I think with concern to using a Rock. Low skill and availability and common sense make it something not really worth "teaching".

Using a Rock in that matter is more about the attitude and willingness to fight than the amount of skill necessary to fight...which is a big reason we train the way we do today.

It is not so much about "effectiveness", but instilling the willingess to close with and destroy the enemy".

The willingness is really a big part of budo. In the civilian world, you can replace willingness to destroy, with courage to face if you were so philosophically focused in a particular way.

Joe McParland
12-20-2008, 11:27 PM
Thanks, Kevin. Some people believe it's important that I say something lucid here every once in a while---at least to keep people guessing. I think I've met my quota for a bit ;)

Kevin Leavitt
12-20-2008, 11:35 PM
Well, at this point, Gene is all I can say is good luck in your evolution of aikido. I hope as a new student that you have lots of followers.

You might want to go back and watch UFC1 and 2 and a few others.

Here is a link to IMDB showing the fighters for UFC 1 which Royce Gracie won. I confirmed it actually matches the DVD that I have at the house so maybe you have a different version or something I haven't seen.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0487977/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfZWQBT7WQ4

The you tube video above also shows Royce Defeating Ken Shamrock as well.

What I find interesting is not so much proven you wrong, but that the fact that you won't even acknowledge this small bit of info as an "oops" maybe I was wrong.

This kinda shows me that you seem to be pretty much a one sided, I am right no matter what facts are presented, kinda guy. Not a good start here on aikiweb if you are really concerned with building a community and seeking knowledge. Doesn't do much for your credibility either.

Anyway, I am really focusing about discussing what you see aikido evolving into, yet you really offer very little to us to discuss concretely, imo.

as best I can tell you want it to evolve into some kind of ultimate fighting system.

At 49 and recovering from a heart attack do you really think it is something that you can practice in that respect?

I am having enough issues trying to understand form, function, and learning how to deal with proprioception within the framework of BJJ and Aikido much less evolve it into something else. I am also of late having some personal success from the basic methodology of aikido, so thanks, I'll continue to practice it in the manner I am currently practicing it.

Gene wrote:

For instance, you spent ALL those words (you like to 'orate', don't you? I'm tempted to ask your troops if you're one of those 'looeys' that like the sound of their own voices{ now don't go gettting yer panties in a wad, I mean that effectionately}) simply to say we need to clarify the term "martial effecetiveness". In fact ,in the very next post (#304), you toyed with the idea to start focusing on me personally.

You can ask anyone that knows me anything you want to. I am not too concerned as I am quite comfortable with myself as a soldier and a leader. I tend to lead by example and tend to put my money where my mouth is.

As such, I'd be happy to train with you at any place at anytime you'd like and we can define effectiveness and evolvement. Where are you located? Not looking for a beat down or anything like that, just think that sometimes it is best to physically work through these types of discussions vice talk past one another.

A lot of the evolvement you talk about is not so much about the art, but I think the person. I am evolving constantly. I am not practicing or defining aikido the same way I did 15 years ago. I understand it through various practices, Judo and BJJ. and I use competition as a tool to measure myself by and to help improve.

The methodology of aikido though, is a good one if trained properly. It instills good habits and correct responses, alignment, balance, breath, and proprioception.

That said, it appears that there really is not much else I can say.

If you are ever interested in getting together, find yourself in Northern VA, please let me know, and I will be happy to get togeter with you and train. It sounds like from your background that you have lots of ideas and concepts that might contribute much to my further understanding of martial effectiveness.

I do think you need to work on your online delivery and construct of your arguments though, it will go a long way in getting folks to discuss concepts and ideas with you in a more rational and intelligent manner.

I do like to talk on here about things, but I tend to try and leave the personal attacks out of it and to not denegrate to "panties in a wad" kinda of discussion here as it is not really what we are about here on aikiweb. Bullshido might be a better place to discuss in this manner...I go over there from time to time, but haven't much in the past couple of years as it was very difficult to find any critical discussions of value there.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-21-2008, 06:35 AM
I do like to talk on here about things, but I tend to try and leave the personal attacks out of it and to not denegrate to "panties in a wad" kinda of discussion here as it is not really what we are about here on aikiweb.
Seconded.

Bullshido might be a better place to discuss in this manner...
Well, maybe he should start posting there (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/). I still go there from time to time and I'm sure he will enjoy the way things are discussed in that site.

GeneC
12-21-2008, 10:47 AM
Joe,your post, 423, is pretty much on the money. .. .

I don't know what money, but certainly not my money. In a sentence, what is his point? I'm wondering if that's even possible.
For someone to question why the US has different branches of military( it easy, Army are foot solders, Air Force in the air, Navy in the Oceans and seas, Coast Guard guards US shores and the Marines does all of the above{they invented the amphibious assault} and then go on to 'analyze' a concept using a inappropriate mathmatical geometric term? Highly suspect.

GeneC
12-21-2008, 12:12 PM
Well, at this point, Gene is all I can say is good luck in your evolution of aikido. I hope as a new student that you have lots of followers.

Kevin , I wish I could accept your wish as genuine, but judging from the following, I'm pretty sure it's not. AllI I wanted to do here is try to participate on this site ( what the owner intended) and talk about the topic-"The evolution of Aikido", but folks seem to want to talk about everything else but that. Rather than folks "play along" and offer their own ideas (even if it was 'what if'' ) they'd rather lay in wait for some other poor sucker (which I guess in this case, is me) to come along and offer mine, then pounce and ambush and pick them apart. Pretty cowardly and pack mentality, if ya ask me.

You might want to go back and watch UFC...What I find interesting is not so much proven you wrong, but that the fact that you won't even acknowledge this small bit of info as an "oops" maybe I was wrong.

But the thing is ,You didn't prove me wrong. I was right IN THE CONTEXT that I layed out the history of MMA- it did in fact start out with all MA stepping up and testing their MA, only to discover the flaws the hard way and the more "martially effective" MA consistantly winning and the UFC DID evolve to a superior MA. That was my whole point. The sad fact here how important it is for you to be right about something. Well, to show you how big I am, I'll concede that the single fact that a Gracy was in the 1st UFC, I was mistaken about that.

Anyway, I am really focusing about discussing what you see aikido evolving into, yet you really offer very little to us to discuss concretely, imo.

Ok, but why dissect my offer? Why not come up with your own ideas? Why aren't you saying, "Wow Gene, that's some pretty imaginative ideas, but here's my ideas..."?

..as best I can tell you want it to evolve into some kind of ultimate fighting system.

Well, you're putting the cart before the horse. More like, as a result of Aikido being ulimately evolved, it is the ultimate fighting system, too fierce to be in the UFC, as it is a sword based and total killing system( but the very Budo concept of it prevents an Aikidoka from producing harm, much less killing )MA.

At 49 and recovering from a heart attack do you really think it is something that you can practice in that respect

Now kevin, is that a genuine concern of yours or a disparaging remark to my core. For your info, after many ultra-sounds and xrays and MRI's and EKG's, there is no damage to my heart or arteries, so other than HBPand stress( which I'm taking meds), I'm healthy as a horse. I'm contining my practice and working out (alot more cardio) every day, except for that I had knee surgery this last week (torn miniscus), but I expect full recovery and even better than before( I was in alot of pain and couldn't sieza).Hard to believe that just a couple of years ago ,I was working out hard , 6 days a week in MMA (6 rds of kickboxing, 1 hrs BJJ grappling and then go run stadium stairs and sprints). I hurt my knee in a water skiing accident (I'm from Florida) about 4 yrs ago, but it's "come to a head", just now.

I'm having tough issues trying to understand form, function, and learning how to deal with proprioception within the framework of BJJ and Aikido much less evolve it into something else. I am also of late having some personal success from the basic methodology of aikido, so thanks, I'll continue to practice it in the manner I am currently practicing it.

See, I have never said (nor implied) anyone has to adopt my ideas, they were for intertainment purposes only, this is something folks have presumed. Btw, what is "proprioception"?(I don't know, folks have been just tossing inappropriate terms out left and right). Oh, ok, Merriam-Webster says it's the " the reception of stimuli produced within the organism"( like the synapsis in the brain), so it's a biological term, so let's see if it fits. You're saying, "learning how to deal with the reception of stimuli within the organism of the framework of BJJ and Aikido, much less evolve it into something else". Nop , sorry I just don't see the advantage of using that word.

Ask anyone who knows me anything you want to. I am not too concerned as I am quite comfortable with myself as a soldier and a leader. I tend to lead by example and tend to put my money where my mouth is.

Sigh, you read what you want to, huh? I said I was tempted to (but that feeling passed).My point is, is it possible to state your points in a single sentence or do you feel like it takes several pargraphs to explain your point? You do use a whole lot of words to say very little.

A such I'd be happy to train with you at any place at anytime you'd like and we can define effectiveness and evolvement. Where are you located? Not looking for a beat down or anything like that, just think that sometimes it is best to physically work through these types of discussions vice talk past one another.
Well, you know , unless we were at the same level, it'd be
pretty boring for one of us, but my point is we should be able to discuss this, or any concept with civility and ease and it actually be pleasant, or not and we agree to disagree and move on. Not trying to find flaws in the messenger.

A lot of the evolvement you talk about is not so much about the art, but I think the person. I am evolving constantly. I am not practicing or defining aikido the same way I did 15 years ago. I understand it through various practices, Judo and BJJ. and I use competition as a tool to measure myself by and to help improve.

And I happen to disagree with that. I believe that competition is a great way ( the next best thing to combat) to directly test your techniques as well, so I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

The methodology of Aikido though, is a good one if trained properly. It instills good habits and correct responses, alignment, balance, breath, and proprioception.

Uhh, isn't the "methodology" the study of the methods? Anyway, yes ,but the that all depends on if (and that's a big if) it's being trained (martially)correctly. Do you see the difference between properly and correctly?

That said, it appears that there really is not much else I can say.

But yet you go on with 3 more long paragraphs. You have critiques of me, I suggest you learn to reduce you point into a single sentence or paragraph. and realize that apparently you can dish it out but can't take it. I'm quite capable of civilly discussing any topic or concept here, but folks (including you) got testy with me, rather than contribute to the thread. If other folks'd play nice here, there wouldn't be an issue.

GeneC
12-21-2008, 01:03 PM
Personal attack? Sarcasm?

It seems you have no clue about what those thing are.
In short: You're a troll and what is worse, a bad, illiterate and style lacking one.

??? Come on DC, your post #389 was you starting on me( with blatant sarcasm). You even misquoted me, saying I said that(legally- libelous). Now this(probably the worst). I'm not a troll, I'm sincerely trying to discuss this topic and I use the utmost respect and articulation, but other folks got personal with me first. I challenge anyone to show where I attacked someone else first. But even before that, your posts were flippant. Is this the best you can do? Is it not possible for you to present your own ideas, instead of attacking me for mine?
Btw, I talked to my Sensei just the other night at our Dojo Christmas dinner and she didn't say anything about this. In fact, she said to not worry about anything ( and I asked her directly about me being obnoxious). Maybe she's seeing a few folks getting out of line and seeing me reacting to bad posts( which I probably shouldn't do anyway). I'm mad at myself for letting things folks say to me, get to me (my Dr. warned about this.).

Joe McParland
12-21-2008, 04:16 PM
I'm mad at myself for letting things folks say to me, get to me (my Dr. warned about this.).

This thread is 18 pages long so far; someone must have thrown in a Masakatsu Agatsu (http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclopedia?entryID=458) by now, no?

What good is a physically powerful man if he is so easily drawn into awkward situations and so driven to prove or to be seen as right? To such a person, everything is a fight! Every word uttered is an insult or accusation! Every glance is a threat! There is no fudoshin, let alone shoshin, mushin, or zanshin. A fighter who cannot see the value of correcting such a blatant martial deficiency in himself is truly an idiot!

So many people randomly encounter aikido and do not appreciate the treasure they've stumbled upon. To any such person: WAKE UP!!!

Voitokas
12-21-2008, 04:47 PM
I just don't see the advantage of using that word.I'll weigh in in defense of proprioception as an appropriate and relevantly specific word in the conversation. It's not the synapses in the brain but rather the edges of physical perception, i.e. the nerve endings in our skin, or in the antennae of a cockroach (did you know they can feel the air moving ahead of your hand if you come up from behind them? I wish I could do that!), or at those neat dents in the exoskeleton of an insect. Indeed (like with those dents), proprioception is not just your nerves telling your brain that something's near or touching you; it's also your nerves telling your brain where your limbs are and whether you are balanced or not.
It is sometimes annoying when uncommon and very specific words are imported from an unfamiliar field of study (neuroethology, in this case, not a field that most of us read in every day), but often their very specificity is what makes them such valuable tools! Also, I find that learning new terms for a concept that I didn't know had a word of its own helps me find new ways to think about the concept. :)

GeneC
12-21-2008, 06:19 PM
This thread is 18 pages long so far; someone must have thrown in a Masakatsu Agatsu (http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclopedia?entryID=458) by now, no?

Yep 3 or 4 pages ago. So, what's your thoughts on the evolvement of Aikido?

GeneC
12-21-2008, 06:34 PM
I'll weigh in in defense of ....:)

Yes but what are your ideas on evolving Aikido?

mathewjgano
12-21-2008, 06:52 PM
Wrong!
:D Yeah, I would agree, but if we're discussing external motivation sources, I think that would ensure a greater degree of effort. Still, a bit of a hyperbole, i agree.

So how is [masakatsu agatsu] better?
Well from my perspective as a teacher it's better because it's an intrinsic approach toward motivation. Extrinsic motivation is a fine thing and is proven effective, but it doesn't apply to every situation and carries with it some pitfalls. In my experience, where competition is used as the primary means of motivation there is often a knee-jerk response mechanism in which the individual tends to compete where competition isn't appropriate. Ultimately I think this comes down to a matter of personal taste, I have no problem with a balance of the two (humans are cooperative animals also), but I personally prefer the non-competitive method as the primary source of motivation...and O Sensei seemed to also, per what I've read and been told.

How do you know you're doing better? How do you know if your technique is martially effective? How do you know you're not practicing bad habits?
You can have bad habits in competition too though. Efficacy tendancies for me are a matter of specialization and generalization. Every martial art has its various emphases that they specialize in. To get a really good sense of how they interact with each other you have to cross-train and experience the different ways people move (the benefit of mixing up training partners in my opinion...something I didn't experience much of in my brief stint with two other arts).

I've been in competitons too and I feel good that all my opponents were doing their best(most don't want to lose, humans are naturally competitive). I guarantee if records follows competitors, folks'll do the best they can do.
While I would say generally my opponants did their best, I would say it's more accurate that they tried their best to win and that that actually caused some of them to compromise their overall performance. It's a subtle shift in attention, and one which doesn't always make a difference, but my sense is that "winning" is ultimately an arbitrary goal when viewed next to simply doing your very best all the time. Personally, when I've focused on winning, I've performed worse than when I focused on doing my best.

Kevin Leavitt
12-21-2008, 07:03 PM
Gene wrote:

Ok, but why dissect my offer? Why not come up with your own ideas? Why aren't you saying, "Wow Gene, that's some pretty imaginative ideas, but here's my ideas..."?

I am happy to discuss your ideas. Please outline your concepts on how you feel aikido needs to evolve.

These days, within the spectrum of aikido, I am getting the most out of slow, more "Ki Society" oriented training and exercises than I am anything else.

That said, there certainly is a "range" of movement and dynamism that should be trained. To include sword and jo, which is very important.

Speaking of Sword and Jo. Proprioception is a very important concept when it comes to weapons. Being able to "touch" blades/bokken or jo's and "feel" where uke's center is and then respond to the slightest of movement is very important.

Frankly, I think this is a big part of the message the O'Sensei tried to impart. You train and train to the point that you fine tune your senses to the point that you respond to lighter and lighter touch, until there is no touch and you can get ahead of uke and actually turn the corner to proactiveness vice reactiveness...stopping an attack before it starts.

On a practical level, the understanding of proprioception and touch is very important. I find that the more I understand it and I develop a greater sensitivity, the better my BJJ becomes as I can get one step ahead of my opponent, which is where I want to be.

On sincerity, please understand that my comments are meant to be vvery sincere and not meant to be sarcastic in anyway. I would be concerned about health and age when undertaken an art, especially one that you want to test effectiveness which requires alot of altheticism and stress.

I am also sincere about getting together and working with you or anyone. I love training in martial arts, and love getting together with folks that are critically concerned and thinking about various paradigms....provided that you/they have an open mind and are training in a positive manner and not negative in approach.

Kevin Leavitt
12-21-2008, 07:23 PM
Matthew wrote:

You can have bad habits in competition too though. Efficacy tendancies for me are a matter of specialization and generalization. Every martial art has its various emphases that they specialize in. To get a really good sense of how they interact with each other you have to cross-train and experience the different ways people move (the benefit of mixing up training partners in my opinion...something I didn't experience much of in my brief stint with two other arts

Yea competition can be a double edged sword for sure. It becomes very apparent when you study judo, at least it did for me. I am certainly NOT proficient in martial arts from a Judo context and I am constantly reminded of the things I can't do in Judo as I work to develop my Judo game.

That said, what I have found is that within the constraints of the rules of judo, I am learning a great deal about how to attack cleanly and move very decisively.

In Judo ne waza you have to be very quick and decisive in order to win on the ground.

BJJ on the other hand, is pretty darn good at ne waza, but the method of competition rewards the ground game differently so you have a different timing and strategy vice judo.

I think competition forces you do develop some good things, you learn how to deal with timing, competitiveness, and non-compliance. For me, I have also gained an appreciation for how rules and paradigms impact your training and how easy it is to get myopic in your training.

Competition, just like belt testing forces you to improve and concentrate on weaknesses.

Alll good things I think.

I posted a few months back a video of a BJJ competition I did a few years ago where the guy beat me, but if you watch it from an Aikido standpoint, I was very successful and demonstrated a decent amount of martial competence by breaking away from the fight and standing while my opponent was on the ground.

I will have to find that link and post it again, as I think it was a decent example of how competition impacts your strategy.

mathewjgano
12-21-2008, 07:26 PM
Gene, I think my sense of Aikido evolution has more to do with applying the core principles of Aikido to new contexts; adding new science to understanding what has already been proven to work pretty well. The reason many of us feel the core of Aikido is sufficient is that those principles are based on many years of kinesthetic study...combat tested, etc. I know you would argue there has been a devolution of efficacy (I'd say some forms have evolved to lose martial effectivness, perhaps in favor of meditative effectiveness), but I believe the efficacy is still present in many forms of Aikido, so that is the Aikido I tend to speak in regards of.

Joe McParland
12-21-2008, 07:30 PM
Yep 3 or 4 pages ago. So, what's your thoughts on the evolvement of Aikido?

Why don't you just ask us, "Should a ghost's fart smell more like roses or tulips?"

You've invented something in your head that you call "aikido" and you've insisted to everyone that it must evolve.

I agree.

Whatever that thing is that you call "aikido" must evolve to match the founder's notion of aikido.

That is my thought about the evolution of aikido. Feel free to ask questions if you don't understand, and I will try to answer.

mathewjgano
12-21-2008, 08:38 PM
I think competition forces you do develop some good things, you learn how to deal with timing, competitiveness, and non-compliance. For me, I have also gained an appreciation for how rules and paradigms impact your training and how easy it is to get myopic in your training.

Competition, just like belt testing forces you to improve and concentrate on weaknesses.

Alll good things I think.

I posted a few months back a video of a BJJ competition I did a few years ago where the guy beat me, but if you watch it from an Aikido standpoint, I was very successful and demonstrated a decent amount of martial competence by breaking away from the fight and standing while my opponent was on the ground.

I will have to find that link and post it again, as I think it was a decent example of how competition impacts your strategy.
Hey Kevin,
I remember that vid! I liked it. I think you make good points about the specialties of the different arts. They all use the same basic physics and biology, but in differing proportions. Each one might "speak" better to different individuals, but experiencing some variety can really help create a depth of understanding. Using a couple different vantages is how our eyes see depth and I think it's the same with how we sense "martial" interaction as well. To continue the analogy, we may not need two eyes to get a sufficient understanding of what's around us, but it sure does help considerably. Part of my idea for the evolution of Aikido involves the sharing of ideas like this so that when we do practice something like Ikkyo, we have a more complete engagement. For example, simply being aware that a BJJ person might do x y or z to counter a technique can make our action more powerful because internally we adjust accordingly...that's the way it seems to me at any rate.
While I think a person can train their mind to be calm in any situation (without necessarily having to be in those situation previously), I think competitive environments serve to familiarize a person with forms of aggression; and that that familiarity can prepare a person to remain centered in the face of greater aggression, such as on "da street."
In the education field these days everyone is discussing the nature of high-stakes tests (i.e. which are not entirely unlike competition or testing for a belt). Like everything there are trade-offs. My relatively short experience with Shodokan reinforced the idea that the pitfalls of competition don't necessarily pop up, particularly when you have a strong dojo community to keep people from getting too hot-headed...or whatever other problems might arise.

Aikibu
12-21-2008, 09:10 PM
It took me a few days to remember where I read this and find it again but I feel if some folks here read it it my help clarify a few things about the evolution of Aikido and The Martial Arts.
It's one of the best interviews ever on the subject of evolution in Budo...

http://www.shindai.com/articles/takamura.htm

Those of you who know and practice with Toby Threadgill Sensei are truely blessed. :)

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
12-21-2008, 10:30 PM
Yes, I agree William, those that practice with Toby Threadgill Sensei are truely blessed! Even more so I am impressed that they have the patience and discipline to practice such a comprehensive system of study of TSYR.

Having spent a weekend with Toby recently, it was quite impressive to see the understanding he has of martial arts in general. I typically shy away from Koryu stuff for a number of reasons. One, being the amount of time it takes to dedicate yourself to such a system. Two, relevancy in the modern world. Three, much of Koryu I have seen in the past is suspect to be honest. Not so, I believe with Toby.

Relevancy does not mean that I don't find it important to study a Koryu. In fact, the weekend I spent with Toby left a great impression of the importance that we have people such as him preserve it! It just is not something I have the time or patience to pursue.

Part of my the reason I am adamant that it is more about the person evolving vice the methodology was reinforced from my time with Toby.

Now, pay attention to what I am saying....here as I think it is important to look closely at what I am saying. The core values and focus of aikido is fine and evolvement would imply that we need to move onto a practice that focuses on things such as winning competitions and defeating other martial arts as a primary concern. Primary focus. that would imply that we could sacrifice correctness for "what works" or "high percentage" and marginalize principle.

That is not acceptable or right in my mind.

However, there is alot of room out there for interpretation AND there is alot I think can be done much better within the parameters of the framework we have.

Toby did not seem to have any issues with Aikido and our core framework when I worked with him. It was very apparent though that we as aikidoka can learn alot from a Koryu guy like Toby that has preserved what might be the roots of our practice.

Here is an excerpt from the website you provided that I think is important to consider.

Another reason for learning only a part of a bujutsu system is simply time. We are not warriors 24 hours a day now. The modern world only affords us so much time to train so we practice what is realistic to learn. To learn a bujutsu completely would be a full-time job. Very few people have time or wish to make sacrifices of this magnitude for bujutsu. It is better to learn one aspect of a bujutsu well than learn all of them poorly. Also, we are free to learn what most appeals to us. Some learn the sword, some learn jujutsu, and some learn naginata (halberd). This is good in that it gives future generations freedom of choice and opportunity.

Some people think that learning only jujutsu without studying a complete bujutsu is not good. I regard that as the view of a dilettante. It is better to learn something well than to learn it poorly or to learn it to impress others because it is exclusive or difficult. Learning to impress someone else and not for yourself or for the teachers who came before you is not a proper motivation. The best martial artists are driven to train because of a love for the arts, a love for their teachers now and in the past, rather than themselves.

Aikido as it is presented in whatever form or style you practice it, brings the roots of koryu to the masses. Can it be done better? Absolutely! By competent instructors that truely understand the system and have an understanding of the martialility within it.

Can we explore aiki in various ways? Absolutely! I think the best lessons are learned through critical thinking, challenging the status quo, and exposing ourselves to other methodologies and paradigms and re-working ourselves as we find our shortfalls.

Do we need to shift or evolve the core foundations, values, or philsophy of aikido to accomplish this? that is evolve it?

No, not at all!

observer
12-21-2008, 10:36 PM
It's one of the best interviews ever on the subject of evolution in Budo...
Ironically William, I do not see a bit of it in this thread. Maybe, just maybe, let's start again.

Kevin Leavitt
12-21-2008, 10:45 PM
Another Excerpt from the website:

http://www.shindai.com/articles/takamura.htm

The term “martial art” is thrown around a lot without any idea of its meaning. “Martial” means “war” or “conflict.” In a martial arts dojo we train for conflict. Without physical and psychological conflict there is no “martial” in martial art. Fear, to be overcome, must be confronted and experienced. Fear must become part of your life experience. Appreciation of fear and the appropriate reaction when confronting fear is the sign of a mature martial artist. Are not your dojo mates and teacher the ones that you should ultimately trust when learning to confront your fears? In a real dojo, they are.

Remember that most people who call themselves martial artists are nothing of the sort. Most dojos are not martial arts dojos either. They are glorified social clubs thriving in an environment of emotional stimulation which is heightened by a false or extremely limited perception of danger. When real danger shows itself in such a dojo, the participants run for cover. In a real dojo the participants run towards the conflict.

I think this is an important point to consider.

If your definition of evolvement is the above...then fine...we simply have a semantic issue.

I personally don't see this as evolvement, but really training aikido the right way.

Buck
12-21-2008, 10:49 PM
Part of the original statements made is that Aikido is stagnate/ die and needs to move forward to evolve. Honestly, all martial arts from sumo to MMA (which I consider a sport) can't evolve. All martial arts (key word art identifying something that has lost it's usefulness/practicality, thereby, becoming an art.)

Philosophy vs. technique what is to evolve? If technique is what to be evolved then if you look at MMA it is de-evolution. Why? Because the Romans, Spartans, etc. for example, thousands of years ago had it. Well minus the art, they where all martial. Nothing new has been invented just the times and environment has changed when it comes to that type of fighting. No new techniques.

If you look at Philosophy, something more powerful than technique the major thingy that drives and shapes technique, and its development, research etc. we can say philosophy is what we really want to look at in terms of evolution. To evolve a martial art we then must evolve the philosophy and the thinking; we art talking about martial arts.

I have yet to see a martial art on the scale of Aikido that is so evolved where it matters- in its philosophy. I guess that is the difference in Aikido where the I.Q.s that approach and do Aikido are more evolved then say those in other martial sports. It is easier to go to the extreme and smash in someone's face with a fist when you have the chance then to control someone with maximum brutal unabridged violence than not.

Really, then, it is a question of sophistication of a martial art when evolution is discussed. An art like Aikido has evolved from feudal combat arts to a modern art that is as sophisticated and evolved as the times. It has benchmarks of evolution, and simply not variation.

To wrap it up, martial arts, all martial arts, are archaic. Focus on the word martial, its meaning and context over the centuries. As societies evolve so does its martial fighting ways, with the advancement of technology currently we have much more advance methods of killing each other then in a odd sided ring beating each other until a ref steps in to stop it, or the safety motion is used, the tap. Martial arts like Aikido, and MMA are rapidly losing ground to the evolution of technology for martial applications. The role martial arts, say a modern one like Krav Maga for example, has today is very small on the battle field where technology is so predominate and relied on. And how much of a role do they play in self-defense in the mist of the need for, the power of firearms, society and its laws? Not much at all.

Really what is being discussed is the evolution of martial art that have become archic, and of little use in society. We are looking back at the evolutionary tree and debating its evolution when it already has evolved. Therefore, we has humans who do these art must focus on the efforts to keep evolving the philosophy of the arts from brutal violent combat thinking to that which will fit and coinside with modern society and not de-elvolve to fuedalism thinking.

GeneC
12-21-2008, 10:56 PM
:D Yeah, I would agree, but if we're discussing external motivation sources, I think that would ensure a greater degree of effort. Still, a bit of a hyperbole, i agree.

I believe that simply having each competitor's record follow them with their journey will ensure they do their best ( like I said before, it's human nature to compete and win. Nobody wants to lose, but if they have to, they want their opponent to earn the win).

Well from my perspective as a teacher it's better because it's an intrinsic approach toward motivation. Extrinsic motivation is a fine thing and is proven effective, but it doesn't apply to every situation and carries with it some pitfalls. In my experience, where competition is used as the primary means of motivation there is often a knee-jerk response mechanism in which the individual tends to compete where competition isn't appropriate. Ultimately I think this comes down to a matter of personal taste, I have no problem with a balance of the two (humans are cooperative animals also), but I personally prefer the non-competitive method as the primary source of motivation...and O Sensei seemed to also, per what I've read and been told.

Agreed. Teaching/classes should not include competition, but competition should be separate activity, preferably where all area dojos are involved( testing and grading, as well as public PR). I'd expect upper grades would be more apt to compete. I know as soon as I felt like I's proficient at a technique, I'd like to test it to make sure it's(we're) martially effective.

You can have bad habits in competition too though. Efficacy tendancies for me are a matter of specialization and generalization. Every martial art has its various emphases that they specialize in. To get a really good sense of how they interact with each other you have to cross-train and experience the different ways people move (the benefit of mixing up training partners in my opinion...something I didn't experience much of in my brief stint with two other arts).

Agreed, but I think that'd show itself quickly in competition. what better way to "mix it up" than at a competiton that included other dojos.

While I would say generally my opponants did their best, I would say it's more accurate that they tried their best to win and that that actually caused some of them to compromise their overall performance. It's a subtle shift in attention, and one which doesn't always make a difference, but my sense is that "winning" is ultimately an arbitrary goal when viewed next to simply doing your very best all the time. Personally, when I've focused on winning, I've performed worse than when I focused on doing my best.

Then I'd think that's all the more reason to focus on doing your best all the time and the win will more likely come.

Kevin Leavitt
12-21-2008, 11:13 PM
The interesting thing about technology is that we (the modern Army) honestly thought that technology had obsoleted the need or relevancy for martial arts.

Industrialization and Modern Warfare seemingly made the infantryman on the battlefield obsolete. We "fought" the Cold War for what about 40 years or so with two ideologies dividing the world and posturing with technology that can reach out an touch people in a very impersonal manner without ever having to face our enemy...it is all very clean, tidy, and sterile....and we talk about that which isn't clean and sterile as "collateral damage".

Our low tech enemies figured out how to fight us "in between the gaps" anyway. To the point that we are right back where we started, up close, interpersonal, and engaging with the infantryman or foot soldier as the primary frontline defender.

that frontline defender is being asked to do things more than simply killing, they are building, reconstructing, teaching, bringing supplies, and helping...all with the goal of building trust and confidence and hoping to teach people how to fish for themselves and support (insert political objective here).

Anyway,

We feel in the Army today, that empty handed martial arts ARE a vital and relevant part of the overall development of a warrior. True, we are not so concerned with developing well trained pikeman, or naginataka as those weapon systems are obsolete.

Technology DID change how we approach actual employment of firepower.

No longer is the "British Square" the doctrinal way of fighting on the battlefield today. One machine gun would prove that wrong.

At the core though is a person...a warrior....the definition of which must include the willingness to close with and destroy the enemy.

How do you develop such a person? How do you instill the basic traits necessary to exude confidence, skill, and understanding?

I think the assumption was made by many that Empty hand martial arts were irrelevant on the modern battlefield due to advancements of technology.

We are learning that at the root level though that we were wrong.

Kevin Leavitt
12-21-2008, 11:15 PM
Buck wrote:

If you look at Philosophy, something more powerful than technique the major thingy that drives and shapes technique, and its development, research etc. we can say philosophy is what we really want to look at in terms of evolution. To evolve a martial art we then must evolve the philosophy and the thinking; we art talking about martial arts.

Can you explain a little more on what exactly you feel needs to evolve concerning philosophy? Not saying you are necessarily wrong, I just don't understand what you mean by this.

Voitokas
12-22-2008, 01:24 AM
Yes but what are your ideas on evolving Aikido?Goodness! I don't think that I've even come close to understanding all that aikido has to offer me, much less to judge where it might have room to evolve. I'm not avoiding your question - I'm just not in a place yet where I can speak to the evolution of aikido because it I can't even see its horizons.
As far as competition goes, I'm not sure that it really means anything. I'm a good boxer and an excellent wrestler - could I beat a lot of my senpai in the ring? Sure! But that says nothing about my journey of learning. I can't confine myself to "aikido" in a competition, so it would be a competition of aikido + other background, and any victories I had in competition would not say anything about my development. Aikido and competition are so far apart in my mind that introducing one to the other just seems... irrelevant, more than anything. :(

Carsten Möllering
12-22-2008, 02:46 AM
Agreed. Teaching/classes should not include competition, but competition should be separate activity, preferably where all area dojos are involved( testing and grading, as well as public PR).
So why don't you do a style which integrates competition like shodokan ("Tomiki") aikido?

I'd expect upper grades would be more apt to compete. I know as soon as I felt like I's proficient at a technique, I'd like to test it to make sure it's(we're) martially effective.

So why don't you do sparring with people of other martial arts?

So why don't you take part in crossover seminars?

It's all there. Just do it.

Yes but what are your ideas on evolving Aikido?
As I said before: It's not about evolving Aikido. It's about evolving your Aikido.

Carsten

Demetrio Cereijo
12-22-2008, 05:03 AM
Is this the best you can do?No, I was at 15%. A ban from this site would be a big price to pay for kicking your e-butt so I restrained myself. However, I pointed you to a place where we can go nhb if you want.

Is it not possible for you to present your own ideas instead of attacking me for mine?
Yes it is, but talking to brick walls is not my cup of tea. Hitting them with a big hammer is more fun and productive for strengh developement, cardio and stress relieving.

If you stop acting like a brick wall I'll put the hammer back in the toolbox so we can discuss your ideas and mine like gentlemen. You choose.

Anyway,

Adding sport methods (sparring, aliveness, et c.) to aikido training, can be beneficial (at least it is for me) for the practitioneers interested in aikido as budo. I suggest to read the Threadgill Sensei "Psycho-Chemical Stress Conditioning in Budo" articles (Part I (http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=559) - Part II (http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=593)) where the issue is much better explained.

However, about the approach you're talking about:

Then, for Aikido to futher evolve, many more Dojos need to open and be filled to capacity. In order to do that a huge nationwide marketing campaign thatd make a Aikido the coolest thing since sliced bread, with a national logo, a new and exciting and popular movie star with a series of hit movies that have kids running to sign up and practice Aikdo. The'd be Aikido branching out and incorporating with T'ai ch'i to appeal to the seniors and BJJ for the older kids and TKD for the youngsters and Tae Bo for the 'housewives' and definitly pick-up after-school care.

Err... No thanks. We don't need Aiki-McDojos here.

C. David Henderson
12-22-2008, 10:07 AM
Adding sport methods (sparring, aliveness, et c.) to aikido training, can be beneficial (at least it is for me) for the practitioneers interested in aikido as budo. I suggest to read the Threadgill Sensei "Psycho-Chemical Stress Conditioning in Budo" articles (Part I (http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=559) - Part II (http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=593)) where the issue is much better explained.



Hi Demetrio,

Felice Navidad

Those are very interesting articles, and go to the heart of an important issue for this thread.

I also would not dispute that sports-methods can be at the core of or an adjunct to effective training.

To me, the idea of bringing one's whole being to a martial interaction (real or staged) provides a different model for training of a different flavor.

Thanks for your post.

Regards,

David

GeneC
12-22-2008, 10:22 AM
Gene, I think my sense of Aikido evolution has more to do with applying the core principles of Aikido to new contexts....

I understand what you're saying- so, if your core principles are perfect and are not capable of improving upon them, then one should look at the other facets of Aikido and see if they can be improved upon. Aikido has many facets and until they all are beyond improvement, Aikido can evolve.

GeneC
12-22-2008, 10:38 AM
No, I was at 15%. A ban from this site would be a big price to pay for kicking your e-butt so I restrained myself. However, I pointed you to a place where we can go nhb if you want.Err... No thanks. We don't need Aiki-McDojos here.

Well you just remember you started it, so you're the one who needs to cease and desist. Apparently you can't handle someone who has an opposing view as your own. I'm just glad you don't speak for the entire Aikido community. Btw, newsflash, it's just not a community any more, it's an enterprise.Yep, it's a bonafide business. "Aiki-Mcdojos", as you call it, is exacly what it needs, with Mcdojo commercials and logos and jingles and action figures and happy meal toys. Right now there's so much inner fighting and "ego jousting", they couldn't muster an AIki-McBig Mac.

Erick Mead
12-22-2008, 10:40 AM
Still, all that there boils down to can your MA defeat that 6'2" 240lb MMA monster punk on steriods or that hardened felon on Crank/PCP who stands before you that wants to take you out? Are you comfortable with your MA to fight anybody, anytime, anywhere?Not generally against howitzers, Uzis, hand grenades, M-60, aerial bombardment and a host of other possibilities of grievously unfair advantage. Not generally comfortable fighting, period. Should anyone be? Unfair advantage is the name of the game. Half of budo is the preparation -- of those unfair advantages. The other half is a matter of instantaneous will, not calculated effort or result. The best budo seems merely a idle gesture, with all the utterly natural, unwasted will behind it of scratching an sudden itch.

If you want guaranteed outcomes, then budo, like every other endeavor involving conflict, is not for you. It is not seeking to be the inevitable superior in all possible contests that impels the practitioner, but to create the willingness to engage -- no matter the disparity, nor the likely outcome.

A fight with a preordained outcome is no fight -- it is a drill. "The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, .. but time and chance happeneth to them all ..." Luck is the best ally. Readiness to see it when it appears is the best budo.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-22-2008, 10:54 AM
Well you just remember you started it, so you're the one who needs to cease and desist. Apparently you can't handle someone who has an opposing view as your own. I'm just glad you don't speak for the entire Aikido community. Btw, newsflash, it's just not a community any more, it's an enterprise.Yep, it's a bonafide business. "Aiki-Mcdojos", as you call it, is exacly what it needs, with Mcdojo commercials and logos and jingles and action figures and happy meal toys. Right now there's so much inner fighting and "ego jousting", they couldn't muster an AIki-McBig Mac.

Want one of these (http://brotherprice.com/ebayphoto/team%20america%20fuck%20yeah.jpg) for your keikogi?

Disclaimer: Click the link at your own peril. Not for the faint-hearted.

GeneC
12-22-2008, 11:04 AM
It took me a few days to remember where I read this and find it again but I feel if some folks here read it it my help clarify a few things about the evolution of Aikido and The Martial Arts.
It's one of the best interviews ever on the subject of evolution in Budo...

http://www.shindai.com/articles/takamura.htm

Those of you who know and practice with Toby Threadgill Sensei are truely blessed. :)

William Hazen

You're kidding right? That is the most brutal format I've ever seen. To me, evolution would be to shorten the narrative. it's a LOOONG winded interview. The problem I have with interviews is I have to wade thru a BUUUNCH of personal 'stuff' to find one nugget of something of value that applies to me. If you find that there's something of interest in there, please don't hesitate to share that with us. Otherwise, I'll reasd the Reader's Digest version. Imo, intelligence is directly related to being able to state a point in one sentence, using simple terms.

C. David Henderson
12-22-2008, 11:05 AM
The interesting thing about technology is that we (the modern Army) honestly thought that technology had obsoleted the need or relevancy for martial arts.

Industrialization and Modern Warfare seemingly made the infantryman on the battlefield obsolete. We "fought" the Cold War for what about 40 years or so with two ideologies dividing the world and posturing with technology that can reach out an touch people in a very impersonal manner without ever having to face our enemy...it is all very clean, tidy, and sterile....and we talk about that which isn't clean and sterile as "collateral damage".

Our low tech enemies figured out how to fight us "in between the gaps" anyway. To the point that we are right back where we started, up close, interpersonal, and engaging with the infantryman or foot soldier as the primary frontline defender.

that frontline defender is being asked to do things more than simply killing, they are building, reconstructing, teaching, bringing supplies, and helping...all with the goal of building trust and confidence and hoping to teach people how to fish for themselves and support (insert political objective here).

Anyway,

We feel in the Army today, that empty handed martial arts ARE a vital and relevant part of the overall development of a warrior. True, we are not so concerned with developing well trained pikeman, or naginataka as those weapon systems are obsolete.

Technology DID change how we approach actual employment of firepower.

No longer is the "British Square" the doctrinal way of fighting on the battlefield today. One machine gun would prove that wrong.

At the core though is a person...a warrior....the definition of which must include the willingness to close with and destroy the enemy.

How do you develop such a person? How do you instill the basic traits necessary to exude confidence, skill, and understanding?

I think the assumption was made by many that Empty hand martial arts were irrelevant on the modern battlefield due to advancements of technology.

We are learning that at the root level though that we were wrong.

Hi Kevin,

Your thoughts reminded me of a thought I had the other day. I think the military perspective creates both a need for and a rough metric of "martial effectiveness" on a group level, in which questions about the "martial effectiveness" -- or relevance, or need -- of a particular skill set or technology makes sense, even when the same question asked at the individual level becomes more problematic.

Your description reminds me of the controversy in Europe and America during the 19th Century over whether cavalry was best armed with heavy straight-edged swords as shock weapons, or lighter curved blades for melee fighting.

As I'm sure you know, different troops tended to be armed with one or the other, and were more effective in some situations than in others because in part of the way they were armed. (Reminds me of a similar recent post about Rangers and Green Berets....)

And both types of weapons were adopted from time to time as pattern weapons by, for example, the British Army.

But the question, "which is superior, the point or the edge," also is a favorite debate for European style fencing, much the same as, "which is better, striking or grappling" around here.

The orthodox view, which I found reflected in my son's fencing text the other day, is that the point is superior.

The orthodox rationale is that point-weapons and techniques emerged as the dominant set of techniques from the Renaissance onward in European dueling. Survival of the fittest kind of argument, in short. I think this argument can be challenged at the level of both the individual and as a more general statement.

As a statement about the individual fencer, this kind of claim strikes me as prone to all the same kinds of fallacies that come up when "martial effectiveness" gets discussed around here (not a criticism of anyone, by the way -- more of a pre-occupational hazard).

For example, during the mid-19th Century, reputedly on of the best swordsmen in Europe was Sir Richard Francis Burton (also a famous explorer, soldier, adventurer, spy, rake, linguist, ethnographer, member of the Royal Geographic Society, diplomat ... ).

Burton, as it happens, was very good with the saber. I would not have cared to bet on the chances of someone dueling against him simply based on whether they were armed with a "superior" thrusting sword.

Even at a group level, moreover, it is easy to misread/overread the perceived lessons of history. I recall reading a post by Toby Threadgill, I think on a sword forum, where he related that when European swordsmen arrived in Japan, the samurai "adapted" relatively quickly and effectively to this new adversary.

I do think its unquestionable that warfare has "evolved" since the day of the British square, and become much more deadly as well as expensive. At the level of the individual warrior, I find it very meaningful that your description of the kinds of attributes to be nurtured and developed endures.

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Regards,

David

GeneC
12-22-2008, 11:09 AM
....MA can't evolve...

If it can be improved, it can evolve.

GeneC
12-22-2008, 11:16 AM
I think this is an important point to consider....Martial Art= misnomer....I personally don't see this as evolvement, but really training aikido the right way.

Sure, Martial = war or fighting , but what about "art"? Is MA (Aikido) an art or a science?

Joe McParland
12-22-2008, 11:18 AM
I suggest to read the Threadgill Sensei "Psycho-Chemical Stress Conditioning in Budo" articles (Part I (http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=559) - Part II (http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=593)) where the issue is much better explained.

From military training forward, I do not question the need to train for the situations that we may encounter, which includes full stress from the individual level right through the "fog of war" at the command levels.

However, I liken the use of sport to accomplish this in aikido to the teaching of super-efficient striking in karate to teach the way of not fighting: Until you deeply understand and integrate what you are practicing, you are prone to act in a way contrary to your art's intent.

I suspect that a fully "evolved" aikidoka can maintain his mind under competitive situations as well as in any other situation. This to say that he can deliver a spontaneous, appropriate, "clean" attack or response---where "clean" implies an action unencumbered by any thought rooted in the competition or in anything else for that matter. But why begin training in the duality of competition and then hope to break from it?

Without the "clean" mind (from training infused with an understanding of masakatsu agatsu), the spontaneous and appropriate martial resposne (takemusu) is hampered.

My ideal for training is that one can both attack and defend purely, without any intent at all. Someone cuts with the sword without rising hate or fury, and without rising fear of hurting your training partner---he simply cuts, fully present in the act. The other person simply defends, without holding thoughts of love, protection, choice, or any other---he simply responds, fully present in the act. Within the encounter, there is no notion of winning or losing, let alone scoring a point.

This can be trained, and Threadgill's PCS can be induced, without introducing competition, which still seems entirely contrary to the philosophical underpinnings of aikido.

GeneC
12-22-2008, 11:24 AM
The interesting thing about technology is that we (the modern Army) honestly thought that technology had obsoleted the need or relevancy for martial arts

No offense, but the Marines never forgot that fact( every Marine is a riflemen and the basic square root of war is HtH). The more things change, the more thay stay the same. America's history of war will reveal our follies. Those who fail to heed history is doomed to repeat it.

Aikibu
12-22-2008, 11:25 AM
My ideal for training is that one can both attack and defend purely, without any intent at all. Someone cuts with the sword without rising hate or fury, and without rising fear of hurting your training partner---he simply cuts, fully present in the act. The other person simply defends, without holding thoughts of love, protection, choice, or any other---he simply responds, fully present in the act. Within the encounter, there is no notion of winning or losing, let alone scoring a point.

Great Post Joe. Thanks for your insight and clarity.:)

William Hazen

C. David Henderson
12-22-2008, 11:30 AM
Great Post Joe. Thanks for your insight and clarity.:)

William Hazen

Seconded.

David H

raul rodrigo
12-22-2008, 11:35 AM
JOE:

If there is no "thought of winning or losing," then what place is there for the idea of competition as the way to improve one's aikido? What in the end do we compete against? Each other? Chiba likes to say that in practice we do not try to destroy uke, it is the ego that we are trying to extinguish--ours and uke's.

GeneC
12-22-2008, 11:35 AM
...realism can be trained....

Maybe it can, but I'd think maybe in a different venue. For instance, In Marine Corps bootcamp, one of the things they did was, I walked into a room, there is a table and a chair and an M16 laying on the table. I was told to sit down and dis-assemble the M16. As soon as I sat down, the lights went out and they lit a whole pack of firecrackers at each end of the table and started yelling at me to hurry. Well the first time I couldn't even hardly move, but I (we) quicky learned to ignore the commotion and use the light from the firecrackers to dis-assemble and re-assemble the weapon.

GeneC
12-22-2008, 11:40 AM
....Do we need to shift or evolve the core foundations, values, or philsophy of aikido to accomplish this? that is evolve it? No, not at all!

If any facet of Aikido can be improved, then it has room to evolve.

Ron Tisdale
12-22-2008, 11:42 AM
Still, all that there boils down to can your MA defeat that 6'2" 240lb MMA monster punk on steriods or that hardened felon on Crank/PCP who stands before you that wants to take you out? Are you comfortable with your MA to fight anybody, anytime, anywhere?

Uh, you are kidding, right?

If I worked in law enforcement, maybe the 2nd one would be a priority. In today's US and many other places, neither of those scenarios is valid for most of us. The odd thing can happen, and your best bet there is:

a) carry and be able to deploy and use a weapon
b) evade, and escape

I won't mention avoid the situation since it's obvious.

You can gain a lot from mixing it up with MMA and other variations on the sparring theme/meme. Nothing wrong with that, done safely. But I fail to understand any call for living life in a state of paranoia. It just doesn't make sense to me for 95% of the people doing MMA, Kung Fu, or Aikido. Even MMA has weight classes...so...while you can likely learn to overcome in say, 90% of the people in your weight class, the bigger, well trained or determined opponant is still ... just that.

Best,
Ron (don't bring a knife to a gun fight) ;)

GeneC
12-22-2008, 11:53 AM
Another reason for learning only a part of a bujutsu system is simply time. We are not warriors 24 hours a day now.

I know alot of practitioners of the MA of Gun-do who'd disagree with that. They believe that you should always be on alert(i.e. we ARE warriors 24/7). We use a color code system of awareness: code white is total oblivion, code yellow is partially on the alert, code orange is more on alert and code red is imminent danger. We believe we should be in code yellow all the time and that's at home, armed, with a alarm system and a dog. When we walk out the door, we're in code yellow/orange, depending where we are. Code red is when we're being confronted. Unfortunately, most folks walk around in code white. In addition to that is mindset: our frame of mind at all times and is about being aware of our surroundings and recognize potential problems. Basically it's " be friendly to everyone, but have a plan to kill them".

C. David Henderson
12-22-2008, 11:58 AM
Really what is being discussed is the evolution of martial art that have become archic, and of little use in society. We are looking back at the evolutionary tree and debating its evolution when it already has evolved. Therefore, we has humans who do these art must focus on the efforts to keep evolving the philosophy of the arts from brutal violent combat thinking to that which will fit and coinside with modern society and not de-elvolve to fuedalism thinking.

Interesting post, Buck. Do you think there was some "pre-adaptation" in Japanese martial traditions to incorporate Japanese aesthetic and religious elements during the time those traditions still were battlefield traditions?

For example, the popular image, I believe, is that the Samurai found zazen an attractive practice (due, perhaps, to both its "effectiveness" and its "popularization" as a type of Buddhism in feudal Japan); in turn, the practice of zazen influenced their martial philosphy.

So, the branching occurred when martial traditions that were "pre-adapted" to incorporate spiritual and philosophical traditions became less useful on the battlefield?

There is room for some irony in this kind of chronology, because the evolutionary "branching" occurred after the evolutionary pressure of "do or die" on the battlefield lessened.

Sport or budo; both are aesthetic elaborations that occureed as martial traditions discovered new rationale for their continued existence -- e.g., education and self improvement.

Thanks for the post.

David

GeneC
12-22-2008, 12:40 PM
[quotye=GeneC]Still, all that there boils down to can your MA defeat that 1.) 6'2" 240lb MMA monster punk on steriods or 2.) that hardened felon on Crank/PCP who stands before you that wants to take you out? Are you comfortable with your MA to fight anybody, anytime, anywhere?[/quote]

Uh, you are kidding, right?Best,
Ron (don't bring a knife to a gun fight) ;)

Nope, Not kidding at all. Fact is, 99% of the time, if you ever had to use your MA on the street , it'd be up against "1" or "2". My point is , if you're not completely confidant your MA would handle ANY siutation, it's not comlplete and has room to evolve.

Ron Tisdale
12-22-2008, 01:04 PM
I've had some encounters on "the street", and it's never been one or two. :D From what I understand, most attacks are sneak attacks, and not by anyone especially well built or trained. That's been my experience.

Sorry Charlie...

Best,
Ron

GeneC
12-22-2008, 01:22 PM
Really what is being discussed is the evolution of martial art that have become archic, and of little use in society. We are looking back at the evolutionary tree and debating its evolution when it already has evolved. Therefore, we has humans who do these art must focus on the efforts to keep evolving the philosophy of the arts from brutal violent combat thinking to that which will fit and coinside with modern society and not de-elvolve to fuedalism thinking.

I have to respectfully disagree-As long as humans fight (and they always will) no MA is archaic( especially if the weapon is lost/malfunctions/breaks/becomes ineffective), unless it has stopped evolving (or devolved) and lost it's martial effectiveness. Also, it's assumed Aikido is empty hand, which it isn't ( nor is most MA). True the tree has evolved, but it's not finished evolving. Imo, the next step is to be able to survive in pollution. Imo, the philosophy is the one thing that won't evolve, while the techniques, "methodology"/strategy and MA'ka will.

GeneC
12-22-2008, 01:29 PM
I've had some encounters on "the street", and it's never been one or two. :D From what I understand, most attacks are sneak attacks, and not by anyone especially well built or trained. That's been my experience. Sorry Charlie...Best,Ron

Well that's just one person's experience. One has only to study many encounters and see what the statistics are, but my point is, is your MA able to handle any situation? If so, then I guess it's ok, bit if not, it has room to evolve.

http://www.libraryindex.com/pages/193/Firearms-Crime.html

Erick Mead
12-22-2008, 01:38 PM
You're kidding right? That is the most brutal format I've ever seen. To me, evolution would be to shorten the narrative. it's a LOOONG winded interview. The problem I have with interviews is I have to wade thru a BUUUNCH of personal 'stuff' to find one nugget of something of value that applies to me. Most gems look like dirty pebbles out of the ground. Titanium is the lightest-toughest-strongest stuff around -- it is extracted from sands. Try sifting that for the good stuff. Takes a trained eye to know what one is looking at. Anybody can see a shiny sparkly that has already been cut and polished -- but then you have to pay for those -- and no cash is any good in this market -- the coin of the realm is payment in kind...

Joe McParland
12-22-2008, 05:33 PM
If there is no "thought of winning or losing," then what place is there for the idea of competition as the way to improve one's aikido? What in the end do we compete against? Each other? Chiba likes to say that in practice we do not try to destroy uke, it is the ego that we are trying to extinguish--ours and uke's.

The expedient aikido-based response to your question would be to swiftly swing a bokken at your head with a wild kiai as soon as you asked the question. I suspect your thought about the thought of winning or losing would dissipate instantly as you (hopefully) stepped aside and tossed me on my ass ;)

There would be no question about why I was attacking. There would be no wondering which technique you should use. And there would be no room for thoughts about thinking, let alone thoughts about competition points or anything else. That to me is aikido. :)

Now, I'm not married to the idea "no competition." I suspect that competition can be used as a "skillful means" (to borrow from a different lexicon) to drive some students toward this level of practice; however, I believe it is very treacherous to aikido's philosophical objectives.

It I'm sure that most of us have seen that it can be difficult enough for aikido practice to transcend even the initial "uke"-"nage" duality in what we may consider forms practice, but at least in this model we press students to excel in both the "winner" and the "loser" roles---and for good reasons, of course, that do not glorify "losing." For instance, we are developing sensitivity, we are releasing mental and physical resistance, we are developing physical skill, etc. Only a very confused student would be left with the idea that we are taking turns winning and losing, or---worse---training to lose.

Competition introduces a much more potent duality. It is self-reinforcing and it is very divisive. It creates external goals when we are looking for internal drive. The winners feed on winning, and the losers develop aversion. When competition is on the mind, we see winners and we see losers. This is very much not aikido, at least in my own limited understanding.

In this sense, I very much agree with Chiba Shihan's statement, and I appreciate anyone who will vigorously practice with me so that I can understand all of this better for myself. :)

Kevin Leavitt
12-22-2008, 05:38 PM
Maybe it can, but I'd think maybe in a different venue. For instance, In Marine Corps bootcamp, one of the things they did was, I walked into a room, there is a table and a chair and an M16 laying on the table. I was told to sit down and dis-assemble the M16. As soon as I sat down, the lights went out and they lit a whole pack of firecrackers at each end of the table and started yelling at me to hurry. Well the first time I couldn't even hardly move, but I (we) quicky learned to ignore the commotion and use the light from the firecrackers to dis-assemble and re-assemble the weapon.

I assume they showed you how to assemble it properly and made sure you clearly understood the Task, Condition, and the Standard prior to doing this correct?

Aikido methodology works much the same way. albeit many schools and don't pressure test there students for various reasons.

Kevin Leavitt
12-22-2008, 05:49 PM
Joe wrote:

Competition introduces a much more potent duality. It is self-reinforcing and it is very divisive. It creates external goals when we are looking for internal drive. The winners feed on winning, and the losers develop aversion. When competition is on the mind, we see winners and we see losers. This is very much not aikido, at least in my own limited understanding.

You would think that would be the case, but I have found it to be the exact opposite. In order to get better, you have to work with others both better than you and not as good as you. In BJJ we find that the competition keeps us honest and humble. It also forges us to work closely together.

The only time it matters is when you walk into the ring for the 5 minutes and face a new opponent and you must look at him and then they say "hajime" and it becomes a fight. Winning is important in that instance, but afterward you shake hands, watch the video tape and start training all over again.

I have found the competitoin aspect to not be damaging to the philosophy.

What it does affect is the methodology we train in Aikido to some degree as it requires us to practice in a very deliberate manner in order to learn aiki.

GeneC
12-22-2008, 06:45 PM
Most gems look like dirty pebbles out of the ground....

Yes, that's all zenzy and fuzzy , but on the other hand, the simplest truth needs no decoration. A single word of truth is larger than a thousand worthless words. The more the words, the smaller the point.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-22-2008, 06:48 PM
Now, I'm not married to the idea "no competition." I suspect that competition can be used as a "skillful means" (to borrow from a different lexicon) ....

Wondering.... are you into Zen?, if so, what's your opinion about Yamaoka Tesshu's Tachigiri No Seigan:

"The disciples of Yamaoka made a vow to engage in the following progressive training:

1st stage- Two day commitment to engage in 200 contests per day, alone, and without stopping against 20 opponents who are permitted to rest and attack in rotation. Prior to committing to the 1 st stage, the disciple had to carry out the training for 1000 days without fail.

2nd stage - Three day commitment - same as above.

3rd stage - 7 day commitment - same as above.

4th stage - 1000 days training without stopping, from 4 am to 8 pm each day, competing against 100 opponents per day."

Source: An Introduction for a Round Table Talk about Zen and Aikido Training, by T. K. Chiba, 8th dan (http://www.aikidoonline.com/index2.asp?location=/Archives/2000/oct/feat_1000_tkc.html)

GeneC
12-22-2008, 06:54 PM
I assume they showed you how to assemble it properly and made sure you clearly understood the Task, Condition, and the Standard prior to doing this correct?

Aikido methodology works much the same way. albeit many schools and don't pressure test there students for various reasons.

Well we took 'em apart and reassembled a few times and they asked if anybody thought they had it, but no, we didn't discuss "task, condition or standard", per se. We just had to know how to field strip them real good( I guess the point was a dirty gun gets you dead). The point in question here was how to train to instil keeping a cool head under pressure. That was just an example.

GeneC
12-22-2008, 07:02 PM
Wondering.... are you into Zen?, if so, what's your opinion about Yamaoka Tesshu's Tachigiri No Seigan:

"The disciples of Yamaoka made a vow to engage in the following progressive training:

1st stage- Two day commitment to engage in 200 contests per day, alone, and without stopping against 20 opponents who are permitted to rest and attack in rotation. Prior to committing to the 1 st stage, the disciple had to carry out the training for 1000 days without fail.

2nd stage - Three day commitment - same as above.

3rd stage - 7 day commitment - same as above.

4th stage - 1000 days training without stopping, from 4 am to 8 pm each day, competing against 100 opponents per day."

Source: An Introduction for a Round Table Talk about Zen and Aikido Training, by T. K. Chiba, 8th dan (http://www.aikidoonline.com/index2.asp?location=/Archives/2000/oct/feat_1000_tkc.html)

Now I'd have to see that to believe it. I wonder if he had any students left.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-22-2008, 07:11 PM
The post wasn't directed at you, Gene.

Why aren't you working on your "evolved" McAikido (want fries with your hakama?) and let the people discuss about martial arts.

BTW, I still waiting for you at BS forums... You're not backing from a good fight, isn't it, marine?

GeneC
12-22-2008, 07:17 PM
If there is no "thought of winning or losing," then what place is there for the idea of competition as the way to improve one's aikido? What in the end do we compete against? Each other?

Of course there's going to be that thinking, but the goal is what I call the "truth in thought" - meaning to clear the mind and prepare it for the battle ahead.

Chiba likes to say that in practice we do not try to destroy uke, it is the ego that we are trying to extinguish--ours and uke's.

Sure, obviously Aikido is destructive( so there's no denying that), but they just didn't want Uke's getting hurt (or Aikido'd die), so they picked that.

GeneC
12-22-2008, 07:21 PM
The post wasn't directed at you, Gene.

Why aren't you working on your "evolved" McAikido (want fries with your hakama?) and let the people discuss about martial arts.

BTW, I still waiting for you at BS forums... You're not backing from a good fight, isn't it, marine?

I don't do "BS"( I thought this was the BS forum with you), but if you're challenging me, sure I'm always open to a good challenge, when and where? Btw, all posts are open to the public, if you want privacy, that's what PM is for.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-22-2008, 07:29 PM
I don't do "BS", but if you're challenging me, sure I'm always open to a good challenge, when and where?

http://www.bullshido.net/forums/
PM me here when you're ready.

Btw, all posts are open to the public, if you want privacy, that's what PM is for.
I'm not looking for privacy, I'm looking for a decent signal to noise ratio, so what is needed is you not trolling this forum, not me PM'ing Mr Parland.

Joe McParland
12-22-2008, 07:55 PM
You would think that would be the case, but I have found it to be the exact opposite. In order to get better, you have to work with others both better than you and not as good as you. In BJJ we find that the competition keeps us honest and humble. It also forges us to work closely together.

The only time it matters is when you walk into the ring for the 5 minutes and face a new opponent and you must look at him and then they say "hajime" and it becomes a fight. Winning is important in that instance, but afterward you shake hands, watch the video tape and start training all over again.

I have found the competitoin aspect to not be damaging to the philosophy.

What it does affect is the methodology we train in Aikido to some degree as it requires us to practice in a very deliberate manner in order to learn aiki.

I appreciate this point of view very much, and pretty much concur with everything. My issue, though, is exactly with that five minutes between the hajime and the yame.

Philosophically speaking---not necessarily to be confused with practically speaking ;)---when I settle in, ready to begin this match, I am looking at an opponent, an adversary, an opponent. I'm looking at someone I must defeat, and I see that he will try to defeat me. The intensity of the encounter---all of the adrenaline and such---I suspect, amplify this aspect of the bout in the mind. (Here, I'm thinking about Threadgill's two-part essay.)

Again philosophically speaking (as I understand aikido philosophy, fwiw), I should not train my mind either to see an adversary or to assume his intent. Yes, I can see clearly someone swinging a bokken at my head; but, I can also do this without deciding that this is someone I must defeat. I want to train to deal with that without bringing other assumptions to the encounter. Consider: I do not know this is a bad guy. He may be attacking someone behind me who's trying to kill me. He may have stumbled and this looks like an attack. Who knows? Seeing blanks and filling them in will pre-condition and interfere with a natural, spontaneous response.

In the Army, however, I understood that the drill sergeants wanted to up my aggression, desensitize me to killing (silhouette targets pop-up rather than people with faces, for instance), instill immediate action and adherence to chain of command, build unit cohesion, and so forth. I loved the obstacle courses, the team confidence courses, the road marches, and all. Platoon vs platoon, company vs company, and other rivalries were fun and certainly had their purposes, which I understood and appreciated. I just see a philosophical difference between the sport / military point of view and the aikido point of view.

I'll reiterate, though, that I believe using competition to enhance aikido is possible, but I suspect it's very unlikely to produce the correct result. I don't believe I've met very many instructors whom I'd trust to pull it off.

Naturally, though, all of this assumes that my understanding is correct---in the sense of more aligned with the founder's point of view. I recognize that this may not be true, so I welcome the discussion :)

Joe McParland
12-22-2008, 08:00 PM
http://www.bullshido.net/forums/
PM me here when you're ready.

Gong Sao!!! :D

Let me know if you fellows do land over there. I'm "Ordinary Joe" on Bullshido, but I don't check in very often unless someone lets me know there's an event ;)

Demetrio Cereijo
12-22-2008, 08:04 PM
Gong Sao!!! :D

Let me know if you fellows do land over there. I'm "Ordinary Joe" on Bullshido, but I don't check in very often unless someone lets me know there's an event ;)

LOL!

I'm DCS over there.