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MM
09-11-2008, 07:40 AM
There is a very interesting post at Aikido Journal by one Giacomo Merello

http://www.aikidojournal.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12000


Kondo Sensei says that Takeda Sokaku and Tokimune had the same system, of teaching only to very few people the real techniques, and teach "fake", or maybe better "basic" techniques only to all the others... Tokimune taught the real ones only to Suzuki Sensei and to Kondo Sensei, and this is why he gave kyoju dairi onlu to them and not the others.

But of course these are reasonings that wouldn't convince me before... what REALLY convinced me is that Kondo Sensei simply can do to me what nobody from the Seishinkai/Daitokai ever could do!

Yes, he converted me, by showing me the difference between real techniques and fake ones... and as crazy as it seems, it is true! I know it seems like religious propaganda (in Italy some people says the same to me), and that is why I invite everyone that can spend time and money to travel to Tokyo or to come to Italy next october should do so and experience it first hand.

If you were shocked, can you guess how much WAS I?????

Giacomo


Shocking? If true, yeah, I'd say so. Kondo is supposedly stating (taking Giacomo's word on it) that Tokimune did *not* teach everyone the "real" techniques. In fact, it's worse, to some he taught "fake" techniques. Worse yet, only Suzuki and Kondo were taught the real stuff. So, everyone else got fake or just basic stuff.

Beyond that, all the students of those teachers that aren't Suzuki and Kondo also were taught fake or just basic stuff.

Here's the kicker. What assurances are there that Kondo isn't doing the exact same thing?

This is getting ridiculous. Or maybe this is just becoming known. The signs are all there if you look. Sagawa stating he didn't teach it until late in life. The Aikikai Hombu teaching omote and not ura outside of Japan. Tohei saying it shouldn't take longer than 5 years but where are his students that are progressing like that? Tomiki, Shioda all were taught in a short amount of time, but where are their students to rival them?

All of these people were *taught* and became great. They didn't get some golden cloud to pass over them and shine silver rays of budo enlightenment down upon them. And now, bit by bit, it's coming out that some didn't teach the "real" stuff to anyone but a select few. Maybe not to anyone ... who really knows now that most are gone.

Josh Reyer
09-11-2008, 08:17 AM
Shocking? If true, yeah, I'd say so. Kondo is supposedly stating (taking Giacomo's word on it) that Tokimune did *not* teach everyone the "real" techniques. In fact, it's worse, to some he taught "fake" techniques. Worse yet, only Suzuki and Kondo were taught the real stuff. So, everyone else got fake or just basic stuff.


What we have is a non-native English speaker reporting in English a conversation he had with another non-native English speaker, a conversation which we do not know was in English (in which case we have two non-native English speakers conversing) or in Japanese (in which case we have one non-native Japanese speaker). Further, our original non-native English speaker does not seem entirely sure on how he is relating the conversation, nor do we have any real clue about the context of this conversation.

It seems to me that we have to take what Giacomo said with huge, huge grains of salt, and admit that we have next to no idea what Kondo really said, let alone what he meant.

Aside from that, though, of course the topic of "how much who teaches to whom and when" is certainly interesting and worth kicking around.

phitruong
09-11-2008, 09:00 AM
personally, I could careless whether those folks got the stuffs and taught or not taught to other folks. Ancient history. I would rather focus on the now and the will be. Today we have folks who have deeper understanding of aiki and willing to teach. I would rather focus on them. It would be interesting to get Ark, Mike, Dan and Howard together in one place sharing their approaches, like the aikiweb friendship seminars. I would love to be a fly on the wall at such meeting. I would volunteer to be uke or crash-test-dummy whatever to be able to pick their brains. :)

Walker
09-11-2008, 11:29 AM
I dunno guys...

If we got taught the real techniques we would have to register our entire bodies as deadly weapons!

It's a secret killin' art y'know. My teacher used it in 'Nam. Gotta kill someone to join.

:cool:

DH
09-11-2008, 11:31 AM
What sort of response are you expecting?
It speaks for itself. I suspect Kondo will give the same assurances that Tokimune gave. ;)

It's a pointless debate.
IMO watching the seishinkai video's and then Kondo's made it obvious. This point alone was discussed years ago. Why wasn't - what was soooo obvious to viewers - obvious to those in the seishinkai at the time? Including Giacomo? You could see it all over the place.

So, while Giacomo's comments are valid and all too true. Sadly, instead of making a good case, it makes a startling point, and paints a very, ugly, picture.

There are teachers in other branches in the U.S. who are widely panned as "The teachers who don't teach." It's fairly well known who they are and at least one of them is rapidly losing support among teachers in Budo, while yet another teacher of yet another branch-(which is known that most of the people in his style can't do much either)is out there teaching. So people are wondering and hoping that he can and will -actually teach.

I agree that the whole thing is rather ugly. You're left with trying to decifer if it's being kept to the vest, or they just suck at teaching, and as is noted above , most arrive at a point they just throw up their hands and walk away. I have seen whole dojo's quit in disgust. It is yet another reason why several Koryu teachers I know look down on Daito ryu as totally screwed! They wouldn't trust enough to recommend teachers in it-as they have personally seen what the teachers have done and are currently doing, and that the art is all over the place-not only in style and syllabus but in quality of teaching.

I get the dubious pleasure of getting a whole bunch of e-mails from those in the art inclduding teachers for finally saying somethings about it that are true-while a few others publicly chastize me for that very same thing.

Phitruong writes:
personally, I could careless whether those folks got the stuffs and taught or not taught to other folks. Ancient history. I would rather focus on the now and the will be.

l don't think 1993-97 is ancient history. Nor is it to those who just left the art last year, or those considering training in it now.
I'd seriously consider that if you do not have significant power and sensitivity and can handle most anything with ease after 5 years
Quit, and go find a teacher who can teach aiki.

Dan

Stephen Kotev
09-11-2008, 12:31 PM
I'd seriously consider that if you do not have significant power and sensitivity and can handle most anything with ease after 5 years
Quit, and go find a teacher who can teach aiki.

Dan

Hey Dan,

I normally lurk but your statement has me curious. Could you detail your estimate a bit further? Is the expectation of 'competency' in 5 years based off of daily training in internal solo exercises and 3-4 times a week partner practice or some other model?

Thanks,
Stephen Kotev

DH
09-11-2008, 12:34 PM
Daily training in solo work. Twice week with a group that:
1. Knows what the hell they're doing
2. Has a track record of others you can feel
3. Is willing to teach you

Stephen Kotev
09-11-2008, 01:18 PM
Daily training in solo work. Twice week with a group that:
1. Knows what the hell they're doing
2. Has a track record of others you can feel
3. Is willing to teach you

Dan,

Thanks. I am assuming that under number one would be the expectation that group work would integrate "aliveness" into their partner training and have a sparing component too. Correct?

How long would the bi-weekly training be? Three hours each time?

How do weapons fit into this paradigm or is that left for a separate category?

Best,
Stephen

Toby Threadgill
09-11-2008, 03:39 PM
Hi,

You know...I'm not sure what I think of stories like this and I cannot speak to its veracity given the numerous unknowns that could be present. However, something I am compelled to comment on is the general topic of teaching and responsibility to both ones students and the greater ryu. If someone in a position of authority publicly states that students are being systematicly misled, that begs some difficult questions that deserve answers.

Takamura sensei impressed upon me the that it was his duty to the legacy entrusted to him, to pass his knowledge forward both responsibly and ACCURATELY. When you pass false knowledge forward, you confuse and dilute the real knowledge severely, compromising the quality of that knowledge while risking the veracity and reputation of the legacy you represent. Now, those in other arts obviously get to administrate their organizations however they want but intentional obfuscation of the TSYR mokuroku to its students would be a violation of the kisshomon I took that demands I only act in the best interest of the tradition entrusted to me. I can therefore not imagine doing such a thing. We are not living in the Edo period. The traditions we represent are not in danger of being stolen or compromised in battle by our enemies. In fact the traditions we hold dear are in threat of being lost. To purposely engage in behavior that further compromises the health or vitality of what we represent just doesn't make sense to me. What is the motivation for such destructive behavior? The answers to such a question are not positive ones.

I am commanded to pass ALL our knowledge forward in a way that is responsible and honest. I hold nothing back from any of my students. Obviously, we do have proprietary teachings but these are not intended to "keep secrets" but simply act as a mechanism to identify actual students of TSYR.

TSYR has a historical link to a popular modern budo tradition, Wado ryu. This link provides us unique access to a huge pool of experienced budoka that otherwise would have no interest in koryu. It is one reason TSYR is healthy and growing in size. This relationship however doesn't guarantee us our survival. It does not grant us the luxury of arrogance or irresponsibility. Like most endeavors, if mismanaged TSYR can be lost.

My kisshomon says selfish desires must never adversely impact or compromise the Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin Kai. When I pick a successor that mantra will be at the top of my list.

Respectfully,

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

DH
09-11-2008, 07:21 PM
Well, having been one who has been pointing to such goings on for years, and getting publicly kicked in the teeth for saying so-its refreshing to see people finally either getting it, or finally coming forward and saying "enough is enough."
On several fronts the teaching model has rightfully been held in question by many honorable men who have trained in the art. They have felt betrayed and were not taught. More and more men have talked- one to another- and realized there was a commonality of view, a realization of a common experience they held and shared.

If you talk with those in and out of the art you will hear some verifyable and fascinating, and other times, quite ugly, information about some VERY famous teachers in the art. Others, while being, great people- are terrible teachers who really do not have a capable and talented student base. Some in the art- who support the art- recognize that a serious revamping of the teaching model should at least be discussed. I have talked with those in the art in three different branches who are looking past the current generation of teachers and thinking that-in many respects in the coming years- Daito ryu is F....ed!!
Many, not some, not a few...many... guys know of teachers involved in the art who hold the teachings close-to-the vest and do not really teach. Unfortunately most-due to their positions- cannot and will not openly talk about it.

The very idea that Tokimune could do what he did is an embarrassment to all concerned. It's insulting to the core of every budo man I know and have spoken with. This to include some very famous and well known teachers from all walks. The defining difference for others-is reading, and then personally knowing other teachers have done the same thing.

Anyone involved in the Tokimune / Kondo debacle who thinks they are walking away from this with their head held high...is just kidding themselves and proving one of two things

1. How ignorant and out of touch they are with the international budo community
2. Or just as arrogant and misguided as they are presumed to be.

Toby, is -most probably like many I know ....saying more with what he is NOT saying that what he is openly saying.

I would encourage people to be very careful with who they associate with and more importantly, check behind the scenes NOT WITH THOSE IN THE ART.

Personally, I think the recent invitation of Toby to Sorrentino's dojo was a smart move. Howard would be a good choice as well.

DH
09-11-2008, 07:48 PM
Shocking? If true, yeah, I'd say so. Kondo is supposedly stating (taking Giacomo's word on it) that Tokimune did *not* teach everyone the "real" techniques. In fact, it's worse, to some he taught "fake" techniques.

It's worse than that. Kondo stated it himself in an interview in AJ ...BEFORE he came to the U.S. on his first tour. That Takeda told Tokimune to only teach true technique to one student (gee where have we heard that before? Sagawa said Takeda told him the exact same thing!!), and that Tokimune told Kondo to do the same thing.
Lovely!
The inside joke was-and this was an active, inside, joke in two branches of DR...
"Who would be dumb enough to line up to train after reading this?"
Then he said it again in another interview.
Then as I said, couple it with Sagawa stating the same thing, and that it came from Takeda.

So forget Giacomo. Read Kondo's own words and see his own doings and then check around behind the scenes. I'm not commenting good or bad either way, just check around. Its worth doing so after such public statements by teachers in the art. As Toby said-"Its shocking" and very much goes against a tacit trust in Budo between teacher and student.

MM
09-11-2008, 08:46 PM
It's worse than that. Kondo stated it himself in an interview in AJ ...BEFORE he came to the U.S. on his first tour. That Takeda told Tokimune to only teach true technique to one student (gee where have we heard that before? Sagawa said Takeda told him the exact same thing!!), and that Tokimune told Kondo to do the same thing.
Lovely!
The inside joke was-and this was an active, inside, joke in two branches of DR...
"Who would be dumb enough to line up to train after reading this?"
Then he said it again in another interview.
Then as I said, couple it with Sagawa stating the same thing, and that it came from Takeda.

So forget Giacomo. Read Kondo's own words and see his own doings and then check around behind the scenes. I'm not commenting good or bad either way, just check around. Its worth doing so after such public statements by teachers in the art. As Toby said-"Its shocking" and very much goes against a tacit trust in Budo between teacher and student.

I think it's more sweeping than Daito ryu. You never really want to believe it, but there are pointers that the aikido world did the same thing. As Americans, we tend to believe the best in people. You work hard, you get somewhere. I think that nature was taken advantage of but proof is hard to come by sometimes. Little bits and pieces are there ... maybe one day to show the big picture, maybe not. Still ... it has to make you wonder.

gdandscompserv
09-11-2008, 10:47 PM
Maybe they just figured no-one would believe them.

Aikibu
09-11-2008, 11:15 PM
I think it's more sweeping than Daito ryu. You never really want to believe it, but there are pointers that the aikido world did the same thing. As Americans, we tend to believe the best in people. You work hard, you get somewhere. I think that nature was taken advantage of but proof is hard to come by sometimes. Little bits and pieces are there ... maybe one day to show the big picture, maybe not. Still ... it has to make you wonder.

Come on Mark We're Gaijin What did you expect??? Why would someone want to transmit Aiki to everybody they taught??? This is one area I do give major props to folks like Dan.

William

Rennis Buchner
09-12-2008, 12:42 AM
The issue is more "sweeping" in that it is, in many ryu, the traditional way things have always been done. In my own ryu, the oldest makimono (scroll) we have, written by the founder, makes it very clear that a certain teachings are to be passed to one person only per generation. At least in our ryu, the rest that everyone gets to train in is still perfectly usable, but the last piece of the puzzle to fully connect everything was traditionally for one person only. In our case that teaching was almost entirely lost until a certain menkyo kaiden recently managed to piece it (or the majority of it at least) back together after decades of research and luckily he has decided that times have changed and he should teach it more openly to those who are truly interesting in continuing the tradition. Another ryu I know of made a change in the current generation as well. Supposedly the current head thought that the techniques previously taught only to menkyo level students were just too important and he changed the system so that now they are among the first things all students study. Others aren't so lucky and you can be sure a lot has been lost in many arts, whether through secrecy, misdirection, misunderstanding or just plain old not "getting it".

I would imagine that in the case of Takeda Sokaku and such they would say by only giving all the goods to one or two trusted people, they are just continuing what is standard tradition in many other ryu. Fair enough in some ways. In the case of my ryu, that formerly secret bit was just a sort of new way to look at what we are already doing, so withholding that info doesn't radically change anything you have learned up to that point. However in the case of Daito-ryu it seems that the "missing piece" is more like the engine to the car you have spent building, so perhaps there is much more to complain about.

Regardless, the "tradition of secrecy" does have a long history. Whether this is something good or bad greatly depends on your point of view. One can argue that 300 hundred plus years ago there might have been some very good reasons for doing such a thing, and that tradition is being carried on today. You can also argue just as strongly that times have completely and utterly changed and the rational for such a tradition doesn't or shouldn't apply anymore. Again, depends on your point of view. Personally I don't have much of a problem with the idea of certain information being withheld for certain people with certain levels of trust and commitment, provided that all the training previous to getting that information is building towards something and not useless. I would however draw the line at telling students they are training in something when actually they are just doing "busy work" to keep them occupied and the end result of that training is... well... not much.

So in the end....? Well there is a good reason why it is often said that if you want to learn an art in Japan, you have to steal it.

Random thoughts,
Rennis Buchner

DH
09-13-2008, 08:04 PM
Rennis
I think there is a confusion between the typical picking of one guy to receive menkyo -with the often typically small added material that conveys- with what we are are discussing in DR. In many koryu the menkoy was a pick of the head or the finish not a whole other body of knowledge.
And never that I have heard of was it..."Hey, Billy over here was the only one taught the real stuff. You guys have been doing stuff that isn't the real deal, you can see it here...ther...see only he knows how to really do it."

In koryu as I know it , men are taught linearly and directly and only a select few get to the top. But its outlined and there is direct, real, waza taught. not fake waza or withholding of aiki and a different training model for a select few.
Its a different thing altogether then what you are talking about.

In this case of Tokimune / Kondo you have dozens of men-you can watch them or talk to guy's who felt them who were doing waza one way, and Kondo's was different. It obvious.
How betrayed are you going to be, after receiving scroll after scroll, shihan status, representing the soke in public, demonstrating waza and being in charge of teachingothers-as an aside what in theee hell does that mean? (here folks watch some crap I set this rube up to do) and then being secretary and affair director and investing half a life- only to find you and all your dojo mates have been used?
Amazing. Then reading where Sagawa stated he never really taught till very late in life and that ..surprise!! his students were then getting power. And that Takeda told him not to teach.
I don't know what you say to that.

Toby Threadgill
09-13-2008, 08:14 PM
Mr Rennis Buchner touches on a topic I believe its important to expand upon concerning proprietary teachings and secrecy. There are different types of proprietary knowledge and different reasons for maintaining proprietary teachings in koryu.

One reason for uchiden is obviously related to maintaining a technical advantage over other martial systems that could pose a tactical threat. I think we can all acknowledge that tactical secrecy no longer holds the compelling importance it once did. I certainly don't stay awake at night worrying that my family or friends might perish if those nasty old Maniwa Nen ryu guys figured out our tactical secrets and came looking for us.

Another and still valid reason for uchiden relates to what I call secret handshakes. We view our tradition and its teachings as a sacred trust. Generations of teachers and students before us dedicated great effort and hardship to passing forward the tradition we maintain. As a result, we protect our greater curriculum, group identity and internal hierarchy by keeping certain teachings outside the view of those not initiated into the group. These teachings can be as diverse as specific kata, a unique application of tactics or even a prayer spoken in a certain style or rhythm.

(As hard as it is to fathom, the use of our uchiden in TSYR has already demonstrated its value in this arena. A dojo in Mexico came to our attention a couple of years ago with an impressive website, pictures and all, claiming a long teaching relationship with Takamura sensei. Frankly we were stumped but open minded as to who these guys were. A couple of e-mail exchanges and one question about our uchiden exposed these guys as frauds trying to capitalize on Takamura sensei's reputation.)

Another reason for uchiden relates to maintaining a proper teaching methodology. It is human nature for a student to want to access information faster than is necessarily most productive. If you allow a beginning student access to advanced knowledge too soon he will inevitably become distracted and focus his attention on these "new" teachings before he has properly internalized his basics. By holding certain teachings back you can maintain a methodical teaching progression that insures the student learns in the most efficient and integrated way. It must be reiterated that this is very different from the controversial methods mentioned by Dan Harden and others involved in this thread.

So.....Uchiden has a very important and beneficial function in koryu, even today. It helps maintain group identity. It acts as a tool to protect the school and its reputation from compromise. Plus, it's a tool that reinforces an efficient budo pedagogy.

Uchiden in TSYR was envisioned with the best interest of the school in mind. However, if uchiden is employed in the best interest of one member, even if its the headmaster, I believe a student has legitimate reason to question whether such implementation is beneficial or detrimental to the schools overall health.

False teachings to formal initiates of a school is a totally different subject and one I can't rationalize to have any positive purpose in this day and age. Like Dan, I believe it's a betrayal of trust that cannot be beneficial to the ovarall good of any budo tradition.

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

Wagnerphysed
09-13-2008, 09:46 PM
I've heard it time and again from the usual suspects. Those from the outside who seem to indicate that there is no way that anyone can expect to get the goods from a teacher who has commented on what his teacher has said.

It's worse than that. Kondo stated it himself in an interview in AJ ...BEFORE he came to the U.S. on his first tour. That Takeda told Tokimune to only teach true technique to one student (gee where have we heard that before? Sagawa said Takeda told him the exact same thing!!), and that Tokimune told Kondo to do the same thing.
Lovely!
The inside joke was-and this was an active, inside, joke in two branches of DR...
"Who would be dumb enough to line up to train after reading this?"
Then he said it again in another interview.
Then as I said, couple it with Sagawa stating the same thing, and that it came from Takeda.

So forget Giacomo. Read Kondo's own words and see his own doings and then check around behind the scenes. I'm not commenting good or bad either way, just check around. Its worth doing so after such public statements by teachers in the art. As Toby said-"Its shocking" and very much goes against a tacit trust in Budo between teacher and student.

I'm going off the assumption that what Dan is saying is that there is no way Kondo Sensei would teach the real techniques. To those who share this point of view...

I have been training under Kondo Sensei, and the US Sempai who have returned from nearly a decade of training in his dojo, for nearly ten years myself. In that time, I have regretfully only been to Japan twice.

On the first trip, I and my group foolishly stayed in Shinjuku; it was comforting to stay in a region that catered to foreigners, but it was difficult to get to Shimbukan dojo. Thankfully, Derek Steel Sempai acted as our guide...an initial indication of what we could expect from those involved in the mainline of Daito-ryu. On this first trip to Japan, Kondo Sensei walked us through the first kajo in mainline Daito-ryu, the Ikkajo and taught us the from to develop DR Aiki. We must have been very frustrating to work with because we clearly were not able to reproduce what he was teaching us. However, he continued to work with us for the next 6 hours that day and the rest of our nine days at his dojo. In addition, he taught us the correct movement, kata and waza for the first thirty techniques that make up the Ikkajo series. The movements that make up the techniques are complicated and intricate and require a great deal of practice to understand, more time than we had in Japan. Further, Kondo Sensei watched over us as is customary for a caring teacher and mentor. This is not to say that there was not a certain level of tough love that went into the instruction and practice...we experienced moments of enlightenment that only come when your body is deprived of oxygen, energy, and you have worked so hard on Idori techniques that your knees are deprived of skin. Outside of practice, Kondo Sensei fed us between practices, taught us about Japanese culture, told/taught us about Daito-ryu, and set us up with sight seeing opportunities as well as helping us to procure tickets to a Sumo Basho at a point that it should have been sold out. Derek Steel Sempai continued to act as our tour guide outside of the dojo.

On our second trip to Japan we stayed in Shinkoiwa and Kondo Sensei was just as gracious a host as on the first, if not more so. Being closer to the dojo, we were more available for instruction and training. From an instructional standpoint..., well, lets just say Kondo Sensei was even more thorough at showing us the true techniques of Daito-ryu Ikkajo and Nikajo. The truth of the matter is is that we were better at learning on this second trip and we were also more a part of the ryu than on the first trip. Nothing was ever held back. The only limiting factor was our ability to pick up all of the intricacies and nuances contained within the techniques...those that are only obtainable through practice. Outside of the dojo, Kondo Sensei took us antiquing, to dinner, and even invited us into his house.

Daito-ryu does not require kepan. Despite this, I clearly feel my obligation and responsibility to the ryu and my teachers. This includes John Goss Sensei whose efforts brought mainline Daito-ryu to Maryland and the United States and who held the first seminar featuring Kondo Sensei, the one and only Seminar with Kondo Sensei that Dan Harden attended.

Goss Sensei still heads the Maryland study group and still provides instruction in Daito-ryu in Belair MD. This marks more than ten years of Daito-ryu practice for Goss Sensei despite his 7th dan and obligations to Makata-ha Korrindo Aikido.

Back in the States, our group has been consistantly supported by Derek Steel Sempai and Scott Vogley Sempai as well as Kondo Sensei during his trips here for seminars. The training has been good, the instruction has been good, and my own martial ability has benefit immensely from the support. So don't forget Giacomo. Forget Dan. He's an outsider who does not practice Daito-ryu and has no frame of reference to make such sweeping commentaries on the art other than his misguided interpretations of interviews and articles.

Let me be clear as someone who knows, Kondo Sensei has been nothing but sincere in his interest to teach true Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu and I find it offensive that anyone would suggest otherwise. This is especially offensive from someone whose only experience with the man is a single seminar.

Yeah, I know what you are going to say Dan,...I'm to close too see the truth. However, the reality is, you're too far away to see the truth.

Mark, if I am hijacking your thread, then I apologize. You seem like a genuine person. Giacomo, you know exactly what I am talking about. Dan, I'm sorry, but you have no clue.:freaky:

Sincerely,
Brian S Wagner
Mainline Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu
Jikishinkageryu-Heiho
"Sweep aside the demons from within and all will fear the majesty of your sword!"

Rennis Buchner
09-13-2008, 10:51 PM
In koryu as I know it , men are taught linearly and directly and only a select few get to the top. But its outlined and there is direct, real, waza taught. not fake waza or withholding of aiki and a different training model for a select few.
Its a different thing altogether then what you are talking about.

No confusion at all. I completely realize that the situation regarding "aiki" is different from the koryu "norm" (hence my comment about building the car and never getting the engine). My point was only that I think someone like Sokaku Takeda, etc could (and I suspect probably did) rationalize the whole "only giving one person the real deal" as simply being "traditional" and the "correct way to do things" from their point of view.

Whether it is extreme or a betrayal of students' trust is a whole other topic, although again, having met a few ultra-conservatives over here, I suspect that in their eyes they wouldn't see much betrayal of trust either. They'd probably just think something like "What betrayal? The one guy who proved himself worthy got it. The others never proved themselves worthy, their problem not mine." The reasons could be anything from a sense of upholding the tradition passed down to them all the way to paranoia (something which Sokaku Takeda had in spades by most accounts), greed, selfishness, lack of teaching ability, or whatever, but regardless it is still easy of such a person to use, and probably believe in, tradition as a justification for it and think they are doing the right thing.

My personal feelings on the issue are more along the lines of "Is the method of transmission in the best interest of the ryu?". And it would seem that in the "aiki" realm of things that is the main issue in question (to put it lightly). I happen to agree that there is no real justification for false teaching to formal students and feel that such behavior reflects badly on both yourself and the ryu (or general art if we want to bring this back to aikido) you represent. If you claim to teach an art, you should be teaching that art. Pretty simple in my opinion.

Again, my ONLY point was that in Japan there is more than enough precedent for what Sokaku Takeda, etc did, regarding only giving the "goods" to one person and screw the rest and in their own eyes they probably felt they did nothing wrong. I am by no means trying to justify what they did as "right" or "fair" or anything else. My personal feelings are that such a model of transmission probably isn't in the best interest of your ryu, but regardless, it definitely is not something unheard of.

More random thoughts,
Rennis

DH
09-13-2008, 11:54 PM
Brain
That was a whole lot of writing about a topic no one was addressing. No one is talking about what Kondo is teaching. I could care less.

MM
09-14-2008, 07:16 AM
Mark, if I am hijacking your thread, then I apologize. You seem like a genuine person.

Sincerely,
Brian S Wagner
Mainline Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu
Jikishinkageryu-Heiho
"Sweep aside the demons from within and all will fear the majesty of your sword!"

Hi Brian,
I don't know Kondo and haven't ever trained with him or with any of his students. As far as I can remember. So, I won't speak to what Kondo does or doesn't know.

However, I will ask you to try viewing something in neutrality. What if Tokimune did follow his father's footsteps and didn't teach the real stuff to everyone? For theory's sake, how do we know who Tokimune taught the real stuff to? So, just for the con side, how would you know if Kondo really didn't get taught the true stuff? Now, on the pro side, how would you know if Kondo got taught the true stuff?

IMO, you would almost have to work with other Daito ryu groups to see exactly what they can do. If not, then you only have your own school to judge by. And if Tokimune never taught true stuff to everyone, then it would be kind of hard to judge. We have precedent in that Sokaku Takeda was known for going to a lot of other schools to learn or teach. Can you imagine if the Daito ryu schools got together and worked together (at least here in America)? IF it's true that certain people didn't get taught the true stuff, why should we, as Americans, hold that back from other people learning the *same* art? Even if it is another school?

Now, I will take things just one step further. Something that I think might cause ripples. What if ... hypothetically speaking of course, but Takeda was known for not really teaching the real stuff to everyone ... and Tokimune wasn't around his father all that often as far as my research can tell (I could be wrong here) ... what if Takeda didn't teach Tokimune the real stuff? So, we take things a step back and we have to ask, just who did Takeda teach the real stuff to?

I think the only people we know for sure ... positively for sure, are going to be Ueshiba and Sagawa. Both turned the world upside down with their power and both were supposedly groomed as replacements for Takeda. Other than that, IMO, we need to take a magnifying glass and a fine tooth comb to everyone else. It's the only way to be sure.

Just some thoughts of mine,
Mark

Wagnerphysed
09-14-2008, 07:25 AM
Dan, you were talking about Kondo Sensei, that's why I quoted you.

Mark, who says I have no experience with other Daito-ryu groups? What experience do you have with any Daito-ryu groups?

Neutrality is a convenience best left to the Swiss.


Brian S Wagner
Mainline Daito-ryu
Jikishinkageryu Heiho

MM
09-14-2008, 07:49 AM
Dan, you were talking about Kondo Sensei, that's why I quoted you.

Mark, who says I have no experience with other Daito-ryu groups? What experience do you have with any Daito-ryu groups?

Neutrality is a convenience best left to the Swiss.

Brian S Wagner
Mainline Daito-ryu
Jikishinkageryu Heiho

Brian,

I don't see anywhere where anyone said anything about your experiences. Certainly not me. Please, don't take my post as specific, but rather general in an overall view. As for me, it's been posted here on Aikiweb that I hosted Howard for a small seminar.

And, if you'd be so kind as to allow me to visit and train, I would certainly take you up on that. It would give me another experience in Daito ryu -- something that I look forward to as Daito ryu is the parent art of Aikido.

Mark

Shany
09-14-2008, 08:29 AM
So if we're not learning "secret" techniques or not even going to learn them what secret do you think ueshiba took with him to his grave than ?

Lee Salzman
09-14-2008, 01:59 PM
So if we're not learning "secret" techniques or not even going to learn them what secret do you think ueshiba took with him to his grave than ?

Questions like that are best left rhetorical. In the end, does going around to people practicing diligently in their art already and saying the following do any good - "You don't know what the 'real' aiki is and will never learn it from there"? It basically either serves to piss people off, or cause total despondency while people run around like decapitated chickens searching for 'real' 'aiki'.

I'm not even sure it's productive at all to call a skill set 'aiki', let alone to call it the 'real' 'aiki'. It accomplishes hard feelings, but doesn't help anyone out. Better to call it what it is, a method of improving martial ability, and pitch the method by discussing it on its own merits - not just claims of what people who might know it can do - rather than worrying about which dead luminaries were practicing what and not passing what on. If people see value in what is presented then, then if what they are doing is inadequate, I'm sure they'd be willing to adapt or move on.

Aikibu
09-14-2008, 03:09 PM
OOOP's I apologize to Mark and those who may have misinterpreted my Gaijin comment.

What I really meant was....Well I think Threadgill Sensei put it best.

On another note It's VERY refreshing to see real DR Folks commenting on real DR.

William Hazen

jennifer paige smith
09-14-2008, 03:42 PM
So if we're not learning "secret" techniques or not even going to learn them what secret do you think ueshiba took with him to his grave than ?

That it isn't a secret.

Wagnerphysed
09-14-2008, 04:38 PM
Mark, here is the statement you made that I was responding to. Maybe I just confused your use of pronouns?

IMO, you would almost have to work with other Daito ryu groups to see exactly what they can do. If not, then you only have your own school to judge by.

As far as training goes, come by anytime. Chris and I train in Baltimore MD...more like Rosedale, MD. We rent space from the head teacher of Baltimore Brazilian JiuJuitsu. He's a great guy and a good grappler as well.

You can PM me for more details if you're serious.

MM
09-15-2008, 10:49 AM
Mark, here is the statement you made that I was responding to. Maybe I just confused your use of pronouns?

As far as training goes, come by anytime. Chris and I train in Baltimore MD...more like Rosedale, MD. We rent space from the head teacher of Baltimore Brazilian JiuJuitsu. He's a great guy and a good grappler as well.

You can PM me for more details if you're serious.

Sorry, I meant "you" in the plural sense. English sometimes isn't clear. :) Wasn't referring to you directly.

Not sure when I'll be in the area, but thanks ahead of time. Baltimore isn't too far away and I have other people in the area that I can visit.

DH
09-15-2008, 12:24 PM
Mark
I cannot encourage you and all the guys in the area enough to go visit the Daito ryu guys in Baltimore and train with them. Just like I recommended training with Kiyama, Goldberg, Okomoto and Howard.
I'd encourage Jim S, dojo to call them up and have them come to the dojo and do a demo or go to them.
Ask them to demonstrate aiki. Those that can, come back and write about your experiences, and comparisons with Mike, Ark, Rob, Me, Howard, and now Toby with Dsito ryu's mainline group in Baltimore.

It's never enough to read about people. Go visit and test. Ask them to demonstrate aik or internal power and the things discussed here. Aikiweb has been pivitol in that an ever growing populace have gone to train with a wide diversity of Aikido and Daito ryu top teachers who claim to teach *aiki* that master class skills that so many are pusuing. Now ther search is including Koryu teachers.
Having been given a venue to discuss and compare, much information has now been passed around to either vet or write-off people who either have no power, or do but can't or won't teach it, particulalry those who think they do and clearly don't.

I would futher encourage that where you can go test the Master level teachers of the local teachers. Go feel them and what they purport to be able to do.
As it was in the old days, men vetted teachers and their methods, in private discussions and then in the early magazine days.There were some truly colorful guys who got tested by some of our early legends in the art and then wrote about. Other stories remained couched in various versions-such a Wang chu shins famous visit to Draegers house, and all the reultant hubbub with Chiba etc. Informed people are the best people to talk with.

For the guys who have met and tested some substantial teachers from all walks who say they know "aiki" I encourage them to go and feel "aiki' from one branch of an art defined by that very name. One that is a direct link to Takeda through his own son. Then share how that experience compared with the version of aikido that came through Ueshiba's son.
I think we have all benefited from the dozens of twenty to forty year *aiki* budo men who have gotten out to train and test to find aiki power where and in whom it may reside.
It's the budo thing to do.
It's a long way from those early word of mouth days, but the method still hold true.

W^2
09-16-2008, 02:56 PM
There are a lot of perspectives regarding the topic of this thread which haven't been discussed: The cultural perspectives of the west vs. east, the responsibilities of a Soke vs. the responsibilities of a student, and finally, imposing a dichotomy on an issue and rationalizing it without exploring other perspectives.

The so-called 'western' mindset views teaching much differently than the so-called 'eastern' mindset. In the west we expect to have everything given to us by the teacher -- we unconsciously believe that this is the teachers responsibility to fulfill. However, the student has the responsibility to learn, and no amount of teaching will change this varying ability of a masters students to respond to the teachings of a ryu.

A master looks for one student who is capable of living up to the responsibility of Soke, and passes on the knowledge of the ryu to ensure its survival. This may be done in secret to protect the traditions of the ryu, hence explaining why some have been admonished to hide their knowledge until they have passed it on.

As a side note, there are things which we learn as martial artists that can't be written about; they are beyond technique. There are also things which can't be taught. This is the responsibility of the student.

Many are shown the same technique, and many do not understand it, but a fraction do. It isn't that different from the statistics regarding what percentage of students achieve a dan rank, where applicable, and those that continue to deeper levels of training. This is the responsibility of the student.

Best,

Ward

Shany
09-16-2008, 04:04 PM
"Real" techniques are born every time you practice takemusu. It's up you to polish them just like you polish your spirit when you are training.

DH
09-16-2008, 10:38 PM
IMO, you would almost have to work with other Daito ryu groups to see exactly what they can do. If not, then you only have your own school to judge by.
I think you would have to do more than that. I think you have to feel their head teachers. So go do so. If you ask around you are going to be able to talk with guys you know -try right here-some of significant rank if that matters to you, who have trained with some, and others all of the top dogs in all the branches of DR, and you will hear some interesting stories.

Interestingly enough they're like aikido in that they are on a self admitted looong training curve to get what they call "high level skills" that take a long time to get.
So, go test their highest level guys, see just what they can deliver- and if your interested in that stuff-ask yourself if what you felt-is worth the trip.
Come back and share your experiences like other folks have about Howard.
In the end, I don't think you're going to find anything at all to make you change or alter what you are doing in anyway, but the only way to really know...is to go.

DH
10-01-2008, 08:37 AM
From an interview with Kondo
And a repson I made at Aikido Journal where severl students tried to defend / explain whatever, once again, this behaviour
Quote:
Art of Deception

Tokimune Takeda included in his lessons Aiki-Kempo, the Kendo kata, Ono-Hatto-Ryu and other techniques that had no relationship to Daito-Ryu-Jujutsu in order to avoid teaching Daito-Ryu techniques. With something that is as basic as the Ikkajo series, he would modify the techniques so most students would never understand them. When he taught Ono-Hatto-Ryu--which involves cutting from a middle position to a high position and cutting through the person's entire body by putting all the power into the tip of the sword--he would explain it differently from Daito-Ryu techniques. I had a question about this difference, and until that point, no one had asked him, I said, "Sensei, the things you are saying about the sword and Daito-Ryu techniques are different."

He was waiting for someone to question him. Tokimune would teach each person based on the level of the questions he asked. I learned at a higher level because of the questions I always asked. As a result of questioning him, he awarded me a kyoju dairi teaching certification in 1974, when I was 29.

The Daitokan Dojo in Hokkaido would hold a yearly training event for all Daito-Ryu Dojo in Japan. I would teach one group, and Tokimune would teach the other. The night before, I would ask him if I could teach the correct way of doing the techniques instead of not letting them know the right way. Tokimune would say, "No, teach it so they will not know or understand the right way of the techniques."

-- Katsuyuki Kondo

Interesting isn't it?
There are some great men and teachers in this art. And there are some teachers with serous issues –who I am delighted to say, are getting increasingly well known.

I can not properly do justice and express some of the outrage, and at other times hilarious humor, some teachers –both koryu and gendai- have expressed at reading some of these more recently revealed comments of Kondo’s and Tokimune’s-and other teachers in Daito ryu. Most had never heard such outrageous arrogance and utter lack of concern for students -who trusted them- stated in such an off-handed manner. Add to this the backdrop- that after screwing them for decades- to now somehow blame it - ON THEM-and then "publicly"...publicly no less...let the budo world know they were played for fools.
I’ll let these students here try to keep defending and explaining away these statements to all of us- who supposedly don’t understand Koryu, Daito ryu or teaching models and need it explained to us. The fact that these...students feel a need to "explain it" to some of the teachers I know who are disgusted by it, has led to some hilarious phone calls and letters. If I had to make a choice, I am happy to be associated with those in Budo who look down their noses at this stuff. It smells.

You might want to review that these statements help explain what happened to the poor guys who trained with Tokimune for decades. Why the Seishinkai looked and felt the way they did and why Kondo felt so different. Then review how these guys defended (for years and years now) why Kondo WAS indeed trained different, and thus deserved his post, then came on to flip flop and defend how both Kondo and the seishinkai were all given the same training. Then flip flop again to say..."Well it actually was different, but really all the same because Kondo asked- he was taught the same, different stuff, the same...just all differently!!
Then, flip flop again to try to explain Kondo and Tokimune’s blatant and obvious statements away, as something none of us are capable of understanding.
I don’t really care, other than to have anyone interested in joining please take care and review all the public statements. Then do what you want.

Two things are a great step forward.
a) That teachers, in the art have made their opinions and actions publicly known in books, interviews and in person
b) That students who would defend it have identified themselves and made themselves and their opinions well known to potential students who might form a relationship with them and their teachers. Ask yourself if you really need to have those statements “explained” to you too?
No other work need be done, nothing more need be said.

I continue to encourage people to dig around. You need to find out and do your own work and research about these people and this art. Start with some of the most well known and highest ranked people they can think of in Budo-outside of Daito ryu. You don’t have to go very far. You might get some opinions about where to go and where not to go.
Then, if you’re still interested I strongly encourage you to go feel them, and more importantly their students of five…ten…and fifteen years. Then ask around about some alternate training. It's the best way to figure out who you're going to be trusting with "your" time.

If they begin with.. "See this isn't really how it sounds It's different now and what he meant to really think to say that you misunderstood because you’re not capable of understanding is….." Keep walking.

DH
10-02-2008, 07:46 PM
I found this to be interesting and on point, and very familiar.

In the 40 or so years that I have been doing CMA, I have seen many approaches to teaching and learning traditional Chinese martial arts. The more I see, the more I appreciate the very traditional manner in which I was taught. Every highly skilled teacher I have had has taught the same way - and i believe with good reason. My first teacher, Henry Leung, taught me his family style of proto Wing Chun. I learned from him every night in the basement of his restaurant. The first month consisited of nothing but stance work and very basic hand movements. Sifu Leung would correct me regularly throughout the night, but mostlly it was solitary work to get stance strength w/ quality of strength (springy yet strong), alignment, and mechanics (song kua, center in the area below the groin, relaxed shoulder, hip and akle joints etc). Sifu Leung would only add a movement or a concept if he felt I demonstrated sufficient grasp of what he taught me up to that point. Progress was slow, methodical, and painful. Sometimes other new students would come, and soon be doing applications. I felt like I was missing out, and asked Sifu about it. He told me "never mind them. Don't pay it any attention. You do your work". That was not terribly stisfying, but I did as he said. Later I relized that although the other students had learned lots of techniques, their skills existed from the shoulders on out - they did not have the foundation skills. Why did Sifu Leung teach them this way? Basically, he was giving them what they wanted (demanded in a sense). He, like most teachers, separated students (in his mind and teaching) into students and customers. The customers would come and go, and would not have either the intellectual capability or patience to do the real work. They would leave happy with what they got (basically a bag of tricks) and were not even aware that there was another world of depth and skill to be learned - the real art, the real kung fu.

This process was repeated with most of my teachers. When I learned from Master Zhang Jun Feng and his wife Xu Baomei, it was the same. Master and Mrs. Zhang would have me training skill (liangong) while others were working on applications. Again, I would ask, and be told (generally in somewhat hushed tones) "just work on what you are doing. You can learn that any time. This is more important now".

dbotari
10-03-2008, 08:43 AM
I found this to be interesting and on point, and very familiar.

Dan,

The quote you posted... Who is that attributed to? I found it very insightful and it resonated with me. I'd like to read/know more.

Thanks,

Dan

DH
10-03-2008, 11:03 AM
Hi Dan

http://emptyflower.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1951&sid=208b13647f59bb61e55b91906e11ea4c

You might want to note that many of the answers in response don't ever really reach the level of any measure of a response of "shared experience" type answer. I think many of the responders in the thread...reflect the same answers so many others who spent all that time "learning technique" would give. Therefore they really don't know how to answer a guy who spent that time period learning real martial power.

I am not advocating what the guy learned was real or not, I don't know the guy. I just found his experiences interesting and relevant to the discussion here.