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aikishrine
05-05-2009, 02:13 PM
I was wondering what people think about this question, and if you think that the only real Aikido was done by O'SENSEI, or if you think that we truly are doing Aikido today.

David Maidment
05-05-2009, 02:50 PM
A good question, but then you also have to ask whether what O-Sensei taught/practiced when he was younger was Aikido.

As he was constantly refining the art, was it only 'Aikido' when he died? And if he lived for another decade, would what we now consider to be his final state of Aikido not be classed as 'real Aikido'?

It's a pot of worms not worth worrying about, in my mind :p

Maarten De Queecker
05-05-2009, 05:13 PM
I was wondering what people think about this question, and if you think that the only real Aikido was done by O'SENSEI, or if you think that we truly are doing Aikido today.

I'm going to have to say "no". As I see it, martial arts are in constant development by anyone who practices it. People adding new insights and variants to techniques is what keeps aikido (or any martial art) interesting; if it were to grow stale, that would mean that it is perfect but as far as I know, no such art exists.

There is no such thing as "real" aikido. We all follow the aikido of our teachers but in time we all add our own views to techniques and discover new ways of executing techniques because no human body is unique.

lbb
05-05-2009, 05:38 PM
Yes. It's dead. Move along, now, nothing to see.

IOW, what David said. If it is dead, ain't nothin' you can do about it; you can copy/learn from what's there but you can't resurrect the dead. Look at what's in front of you and judge it on its own merits as either worth doing or not.

AsimHanif
05-06-2009, 01:53 AM
I would say Ueshiba Sensei's own, unique aikido departed with him.

mickeygelum
05-06-2009, 07:51 AM
I am of the opinion that Ueshiba's Aikido/Aikibudo died with him. The concepts and principles that he transmitted to others did not, hence, the varied perspectives. The observations, perspectives and character of those that surrounded him, influenced what we have today.
I am also of the opinion that Aikido/Aikibudo is the most misunderstood martial art that exists. This misunderstanding is a result of individual perspective.

Just my thoughts.

Train well,

Mickey

Aikibu
05-06-2009, 09:06 AM
Yup and Christianity died with Christ...right?!?!?

I guess there's an argument there somewhere. :)

Until I personally resolve it I think I'll continue to practice. :)

William Hazen

AsimHanif
05-06-2009, 09:34 AM
Wow William...why'd you have to go there:-) Now I'll be pondering (for the umpteenth time) did the practice (dao) that Jesus Christ profess/inbody leave with Him as well.
!?!

dps
05-06-2009, 09:38 AM
Yup and Christianity died with Christ...right?!?!?

No one lives or practices the concepts or principles today the way O'Sensei did.

No one lives or practices the concepts or principles today the way Christ did.

David

Mark Uttech
05-06-2009, 10:04 AM
Onegaishimasu. In the wake of Christ was the Holy Spirit. In the wake of O Sensei was the spirit of Aikido.

In gassho

Mark

Aikibu
05-06-2009, 10:28 AM
This topic could go to 50 pages!!! :D

William Hazen

mickeygelum
05-06-2009, 11:02 AM
See what you started...:D

mickeygelum
05-06-2009, 11:11 AM
No one lives or practices the concepts or principles today the way O'Sensei did.

I am no authority, but,I am sure the current Doshu might disagree..:disgust:


No one lives or practices the concepts or principles today the way Christ did.

How would you know? :confused:

L. Camejo
05-07-2009, 03:28 AM
Can someone define "real" Aikido for me?

If Aiki-Do is supposed to be "The Way/Path of Aiki", we know that Aiki existed long before Ueshiba M. and still exists after he has moved on (e.g. as expressed in Daito Ryu).

So ones answer will be determined by whether ones concept of Aiki - Do is limited to Ueshiba M.'s personal expression of it or whether one is truly interested in understanding Aiki as a concept unto itself that Ueshiba himself said he "discovered."

Just a thought.

Best to you.

LC

Walter Martindale
05-07-2009, 03:32 AM
I am no authority, but,I am sure the current Doshu might disagree..:disgust:

How would you know? :confused:

Hmm. Chinese restaurant, October 2003, Doshu, our shihan, bunch of Canadians. Q&A session.
Hmm. Not going to go there... Doshu has lived Aikido for his lifetime. He is not Oo Sensei (is that Hepburn romaji? Don't know how to put a bar over the 'O') but he does think deeply about Aikido... O-Sensei grew up in an entirely different world from what we live in now. When O Sensei was born, the telephone was a new invention, nobody had flown, and if you wanted to go from one end of (say) Japan to the other, it was a very long march... Now, well... We are all products of our environment.
W

Cyrijl
05-07-2009, 07:55 AM
I have yet to see any other martial art rely so much on its founder and have so many practitioners that doubt themselves. This idea that Ueshiba "aikido" (whatever that means) was the only real or true or (insert description) aikido seems a little ridiculous.

Even though I don't practice aikido anymore, I'd assume form the very fact that Ueshiba taught others that he wanted the art to continue. Since he also seems like a rather intelligent person, he would have known the art would change and evolve.

So many of these topics seem to revolve around this idea of 'original intent.' Even if your aikido looked and behaved exactly like Ueshiba's, you would still lack the life experience and social culture which gave him the understanding. For all of the great feats he may or may have not accomplished, he was someone who imparted what he knew to others so they could carry on.

mickeygelum
05-07-2009, 11:02 AM
Hmm. Chinese restaurant, October 2003, Doshu, our shihan, bunch of Canadians. Q&A session.
Hmm. Not going to go there... Doshu has lived Aikido for his lifetime. He is not Oo Sensei (is that Hepburn romaji? Don't know how to put a bar over the 'O') but he does think deeply about Aikido... O-Sensei grew up in an entirely different world from what we live in now. When O Sensei was born, the telephone was a new invention, nobody had flown, and if you wanted to go from one end of (say) Japan to the other, it was a very long march... Now, well... We are all products of our environment.
W


Really..:eek:

Mickey

Joe McParland
05-07-2009, 11:23 AM
I have yet to see any other martial art rely so much on its founder and have so many practitioners that doubt themselves. This idea that Ueshiba "aikido" (whatever that means) was the only real or true or (insert description) aikido seems a little ridiculous.

Even though I don't practice aikido anymore, I'd assume form the very fact that Ueshiba taught others that he wanted the art to continue. Since he also seems like a rather intelligent person, he would have known the art would change and evolve.

So many of these topics seem to revolve around this idea of 'original intent.' Even if your aikido looked and behaved exactly like Ueshiba's, you would still lack the life experience and social culture which gave him the understanding. For all of the great feats he may or may have not accomplished, he was someone who imparted what he knew to others so they could carry on.

There is one argument that states:

(1) It was O-Sensei's circumstances---plus whatever else---that led to his realizations (aka, "original intent").

(2) It it was O-Sensei's circumstances that shaped how he expressed and communicated those realizations.

(3) The realizations themselves are independent of those circumstances and can be transmitted without them.

Of course, there is another argument that says I am full of shit :D

Ron Tisdale
05-07-2009, 12:07 PM
LOL Joe, that was funny!
B,
R

Cyrijl
05-07-2009, 01:06 PM
Joe, I don't really get your point. And then I reread my post and thought maybe my point wasn't clear.

I think wondering "if" all the time in regards to what should be and should not be aikido, especially in relation to Ueshiba is a waste of time.

You basically get out of aikido part of what you put in. If we found out tomorrow what Ueshiba did some horrible deed, we wouldn't just reject everything he had ever done. So, for that, I think there is way too much hand wringing worrying about intentions we can never know.

lbb
05-09-2009, 08:32 PM
You basically get out of aikido part of what you put in. If we found out tomorrow what Ueshiba did some horrible deed, we wouldn't just reject everything he had ever done.

Well, some people would, but that's called "being neurotic".

I think you're right -- aikido has this bizarre and IMO unhealthy fundamentalist streak a mile wide. I'm just waiting for all the male aikidoka to decide that they need to that wispy O-Sensei facial hair to be doing real aikido.

Arashi Kumomura
05-10-2009, 04:40 AM
I'm just waiting for all the male aikidoka to decide that they need to that wispy O-Sensei facial hair to be doing real aikido.
Haha!

I think O-Sensei's philosophies of Aikido have not been passed on to the vast majority of modern practitioners. The form, the technique, and the understanding may be comparable, but his notions were sophisticated and spiritual and though his attitude and spirit may have a residual impact on how we practice, I think it's more deference than replication reflected in most of our forms of Aikido today.

So, the phisical side of Aikido: I don't think so.
The mental/spiritual side: maybe.

O-Sensei was a wise, charismatic man (so I've read) and I think learning more about him helps us learn more about Aikido. He wasn't preaching a religion (or anything so solid), so I'm not sure that it would be fair to say that Aikido died with him.

To ultimately answer the question, I don't think true Aikido died with O-Sensei, but people who practice the full essence (the mental, physical, and spiritual sides) of what O-Sensei believed Aikido to be are very rare.
:D

Buck
05-10-2009, 10:34 AM
... aikido has this bizarre and IMO unhealthy fundamentalist streak a mile wide. I'm just waiting for all the male aikidoka to decide that they need to that wispy O-Sensei facial hair to be doing real aikido.

WOW! That is a strongly prejudicial, insensitive and mean spirited thing to say about men, it is insultive to me. It doesn't have anything to do with the discussion. Maybe it does, as it shows maybe Aikido did die with him. :(

Talk about a bizarre unhealthy fundamentalist streak or should I say stereotype that seems to be alive and well. Don't you agree Mary. :eek:

Buck
05-10-2009, 10:46 AM
I have pointed to this in many threads talking about original Aikido, and finding the origins of Aikido. I don't think it is dead, just purposely shoved under the rug and lost in the face of egos and gaining fame of others (the old pay-off in being samurai and samurai culture - to gain fame as being the champion - that still underpins Japanese martial arts).

dps
05-10-2009, 11:14 AM
. I'm just waiting for all the male aikidoka to decide that they need to that wispy O-Sensei facial hair to be doing real aikido.

You have to be over sixty and have gray hair. I've got six years to go. :)

David

dps
05-10-2009, 11:17 AM
I have pointed to this in many threads talking about original Aikido, and finding the origins of Aikido. I don't think it is dead, just purposely shoved under the rug and lost in the face of egos and gaining fame of others (the old pay-off in being samurai and samurai culture - to gain fame as being the champion - that still underpins Japanese martial arts).

WOW! That is a strongly prejudicial, insensitive and mean spirited thing to say about Japanese. Talk about a bizarre stereotype that seems to be alive and well. Don't you agree Philip.

David :)

mathewjgano
05-10-2009, 07:02 PM
WOW! That is a strongly prejudicial, insensitive and mean spirited thing to say about men, it is insultive to me. It doesn't have anything to do with the discussion. Maybe it does, as it shows maybe Aikido did die with him. :(

Talk about a bizarre unhealthy fundamentalist streak or should I say stereotype that seems to be alive and well. Don't you agree Mary. :eek:

I'm thinking if she agreed she wouldn't have said it in the first place. I don't think it was about men per se. It was about people who, like you've pointed out, take superficial qualities and make them central to the practice itself...and since women can't grow beards (well, for the most part:p ), the subject had to be, "men."
As for Aikido ceasing to exist after O Sensei's death: I think it is alive and well. It may or may not be in as concentrated a form, but it's there for each of us to discover through practice if we take the opportunity to do so. I think Aikido is a generic term and while we usually mean Ueshiba Ryu here on Aikiweb, there are non-Ueshiba traditions called Aikido if I'm not mistaken (e.g. Nihon Goshin Ryu?). So I would guess that Aikido refers to a way based on aiki, which is a well-developed concept in and of itself. The thing the concept refers to exists regardless of how well the current people alive are practicing it. So to my mind the question isn't, "did it die?" It's, "how well is it being practiced today?" And it's a great point that's already been made which describes the fact that very few people today dedicate their lives in a similar way as O Sensei did. O Sensei practiced in a way most Aikidoka (i.e. aikido-ist, whatever) will never approach. Is that Aikido? In my mind, yes, but it's "same same, but different."
...The Aikido World According to Gano.evileyes :p :D
P.S. Happy mom's day to the moms out there!

lbb
05-10-2009, 07:35 PM
WOW! That is a strongly prejudicial, insensitive and mean spirited thing to say about men, it is insultive to me.

Oh really? How so?

Buck
05-10-2009, 10:04 PM
I have pointed to this in many threads talking about original Aikido, and finding the origins of Aikido. I don't think it is dead, just purposely shoved under the rug and lost in the face of egos and gaining fame of others (the old pay-off in being samurai and samurai culture - to gain fame as being the champion - that still underpins Japanese martial arts).

WOW! That is a strongly prejudicial, insensitive and mean spirited thing to say about Japanese. Talk about a bizarre stereotype that seems to be alive and well. Don't you agree Philip.

David :)

I am not being anti-Japanese or xenophobic, or negative toward the Japanese. If you read about Japanese culture and history and how the samurai culture influenced modern Japan, if you have ever watch Japanese anime, and other stuff, you should see clearly what I am talking about. Knowing this stuff and how in relates, accurately answers the topic question in the proper context.

Buck
05-10-2009, 10:10 PM
As for Aikido ceasing to exist after O Sensei's death: I think it is alive and well.

Matt, you explained that very well. I do enjoy reading your posts and you have good insight, and lots for me to think about. :)

Buck
05-10-2009, 10:59 PM
Oh really? How so?

Why the focus on men being so.... You said, I think you're right -- aikido has this bizarre and IMO unhealthy fundamentalist streak a mile wide. I'm just waiting for all the male aikidoka to decide that they need to that wispy O-Sensei facial hair to be doing real aikido.

Why choose that type of example, that type of analogy, that connotation, that connection to. The last part is pretty insulting. So unhealthy fundamentalist men then are the ones responsible for the unhealthy fundamentalist streak that is a mile wide, as you see it? Is your reasoning based on the fact that more men choose to practice Aikido than women, that men generally stay longer in aikido then women too? Why mention men in the first place, unless...! It is pretty clear to me it is a personal prejudice against men in Aikido. Men that you stereotype here very negatively and who for some reason are responsible for a predominately unhealthy fundamentalist Aikido as you see it. Something that is not the way you want it. Is Aikido too fundamental, too male? Something you wish to subvert, and say replace it with something more healthy and liberal say your pro-feminist ideals? Established in your words are underpinnings of prejudicial slighting all Aikido men.

The criticism reflects there is a double standard here, a reverse double standard. That in its self is pretty self-slighting. What? I can’t be offended by such slights and offending references that would be equal or greater in offensive to women, if said about women? Say Betty Crocker, Aunt Jemima or Martha Stewart was used instead of O’Sensei. Or if not women, say color or race. Would it not be racist if you stated instead of all men, but “all black men” and used a well known stereotype of black men to replace O’Sensei? And instead of facial hair you referenced a facial feature or characteristic of the African-American race, say the shape of the nose, or design of the lips. Just because the details are different, the framework remains the same.

Please reconsider what you said and how you said it. PLS. provide me the same respect that you as a female on this board is awarded.

lbb
05-11-2009, 07:18 AM
Why the focus on men being so.... You said, I think you're right -- aikido has this bizarre and IMO unhealthy fundamentalist streak a mile wide. I'm just waiting for all the male aikidoka to decide that they need to that wispy O-Sensei facial hair to be doing real aikido.

You missed the point, Philip. Reread Matthew's comment above. If, after that, you still feel the need to feel insulted, I'm sorry but I can't oblige you, because there isn't anything in what I said to be insulted about.

Cyrijl
05-11-2009, 07:47 AM
Back to the topic for a second:

Helio Gracie gets (and deserves) as great deal of reverence for his contribution to martial arts. And while you have a great deal of disagreement in the bjj community regarding the sportification of bjj it ususally has more to do with current direction than with Helio's bjj or Helio's vision.

At any rate, it usualy does not end up as serious as the discussions around Ueshiba.

Joe McParland
05-11-2009, 04:34 PM
Joe, I don't really get your point. And then I reread my post and thought maybe my point wasn't clear.

I think wondering "if" all the time in regards to what should be and should not be aikido, especially in relation to Ueshiba is a waste of time.

You basically get out of aikido part of what you put in. If we found out tomorrow what Ueshiba did some horrible deed, we wouldn't just reject everything he had ever done. So, for that, I think there is way too much hand wringing worrying about intentions we can never know.

[Sorry---I haven't been checking in as much as I'd like to...]

To the mystically inclined, I suspect Aikido is both an expression of their understanding as well as a path (or entry, or gate, or whatever) to find that understanding.

To these same folks, the understanding transcends culture, time, and so forth. This is to say that it is not locked-in to some old Japanese dude's WWII-era circumstances; you can find his understanding today, and you don't have to live like he did to find it.

It is unfortunate---from one point of view---that there does not seem to be a certified "you got it"-type transmission from O-Sensei to any of his students, though. That does leave things open-ended.

From another point of view, though, it's quite fortunate: There's nothing so dissatisfying as understanding. Satisfaction with your understanding often leads to no more learning, while continuous questioning of your understanding often leads to growth.

lbb
05-11-2009, 07:41 PM
It is unfortunate---from one point of view---that there does not seem to be a certified "you got it"-type transmission from O-Sensei to any of his students, though. That does leave things open-ended.

From another point of view, though, it's quite fortunate: There's nothing so dissatisfying as understanding. Satisfaction with your understanding often leads to no more learning, while continuous questioning of your understanding often leads to growth.

...and satisfaction that you do understand usually leads to not realizing why you still feel that there's something missing, and then to externalizing the reason why. If you feel that you get it (for any value of "it"), but you still feel something missing, it's easy to conclude that the fault is outside yourself, with the "it" in question -- so then you charge off looking for some other "it".

I remember a conversation I had once with a manager who told me, in a very confessional manner, that she hadn't really figured out "what I want to do with my life", and she was tremendously troubled by that. As I told her at the time, you never figure it out, at least not on the level she was looking for. Some people deliberately choose to live very simple lives: they devote themselves to one thing, and that's what they do, day in day out for their whole lives. The wise ones do so realizing that their one thing is not, and never will be, all that there is, that there will always be answers beyond it, and worthwhile things that they are giving up in order to devote themselves to this one thing. The wise ones know the tradeoffs and accept them willingly, and so can be content with a life spent in meditation, or on an island playing drums, or in any focused life. It seems to me that any "way" involves abnegation to at least some degree, and understanding and embracing that is critical to following any "way". I see value in that. I really don't see a whole lot of value in trying to endlessly interpret what someone said and extrapolate from it -- that's how you get from "thou shalt not boil a calf in its mother's milk" to "cheese is not allowed to touch the plate that has had meat on it".

Dan O'Day
05-11-2009, 10:41 PM
Aikido die with O'Sensei?

Nope. Many of my thoughts on the matter have already been posted here.

But I was wondering...someone brought it up...what is the deal with the continual honoring of O'Sensei? His picture is on every shomen and he is spoken of regularly as the...I don't know, the ultimate master?

While of course I have great respect for his abilities and his teachings I never knew the man. And like millions and millions of great men and women over the eons, I never met them either.

I wonder if it serves a useful purpose to discuss a person at such length after their death? Once in awhile, of course seems fine. Or to help one grieve the loss of someone close who has passed.

But to foster and perpetuate a reverance for one who today's younger generation never knew and never even lived during said person's lifetime...I don't know what purpose it serves.

Today is now. I am now. My aikido and everything else in my life is now.

What is not now? Memories? I suppose.

I don't think I want a freeway or a bridge named after me. I would guess O'Sensei wouldn't want that either but then how would I know? I never knew him.

Why do we so revere folks who are gone? Why not revere so folks who are here?

Did Aikido die with O'Sensei?

Quiet Hank, my most revered friend in the right now, says the only reason he thinks he's going to die is based on being told he was born.

The shomen...maybe a better picture would be that of the chief instructor's teacher and if that person had passed then maybe a rotating photo of every dojo member or maybe nothing but the calligraphy or a cool photo of a mountain stream or whatever.

Did Aikido die with O'Sensei? I never knew the man but from what I've heard O'Sensei died with aikido. And maybe that's a legacy we can all share. Equally. And with reverance.

aikishrine
05-12-2009, 12:04 AM
Aikido die with O'Sensei?

Nope. Many of my thoughts on the matter have already been posted here.

But I was wondering...someone brought it up...what is the deal with the continual honoring of O'Sensei? His picture is on every shomen and he is spoken of regularly as the...I don't know, the ultimate master?

While of course I have great respect for his abilities and his teachings I never knew the man. And like millions and millions of great men and women over the eons, I never met them either.

I wonder if it serves a useful purpose to discuss a person at such length after their death? Once in awhile, of course seems fine. Or to help one grieve the loss of someone close who has passed.

But to foster and perpetuate a reverance for one who today's younger generation never knew and never even lived during said person's lifetime...I don't know what purpose it serves.

Today is now. I am now. My aikido and everything else in my life is now.

What is not now? Memories? I suppose.

I don't think I want a freeway or a bridge named after me. I would guess O'Sensei wouldn't want that either but then how would I know? I never knew him.

Why do we so revere folks who are gone? Why not revere so folks who are here?

Did Aikido die with O'Sensei?

Quiet Hank, my most revered friend in the right now, says the only reason he thinks he's going to die is based on being told he was born.

The shomen...maybe a better picture would be that of the chief instructor's teacher and if that person had passed then maybe a rotating photo of every dojo member or maybe nothing but the calligraphy or a cool photo of a mountain stream or whatever.

Did Aikido die with O'Sensei? I never knew the man but from what I've heard O'Sensei died with aikido. And maybe that's a legacy we can all share. Equally. And with reverance.

I am not saying that Aikido is a religion or that O'SENSEI was a religious figure, but by your post you might as well place Jesus or Buddha or Muhammad, in the same light. They are gone so why do we revere them. Also Elvis is gone and he is highly revered as well:D

Joe McParland
05-12-2009, 12:11 AM
If it does not matter if there is a picture or not, then let there be a picture... which, of course applies to anything in life, not just pictures of dead folks.

The single-minded study of doctrine and the single-minded pursuit of simplicity: are these things the same or different?

Abnegation... When you finally dispell all doctrines and dogmas, what do you do with the policy of abnegation itself?

I've heard that all "paths" are round-trips. Some aikido students work to perfect form, others the formless; some follow hard styles, others soft styles; some study the esoteric, some the exoteric. Some would say that the concern with the questions and the pursuit itself are the surest indicators that the student us still lost right where he is. So, if you're lost, choose the path that works for you. :)

lbb
05-12-2009, 08:28 AM
Abnegation... When you finally dispell all doctrines and dogmas, what do you do with the policy of abnegation itself?

There is no "policy of abnegation" outside of doctrine or dogma. There is abnegation as a necessary practice, giving something up in order to get something else. There's a difference.

Dan O'Day
05-12-2009, 10:42 PM
Howdy Joe, I've never been big on the "this or that" postion.

You know...the, "if it ain't this, it must be that" type of deal.

If one states,"Capitalism kills", does that mean they are a communist or a socialist or some other "ist"?

Maybe that person is simply saying, "Capitalism kills".

Abnegation...had to look that one up. To negate, the Webster's book reads. Especially in self denial, it goes on to say.

So your question regarding the dispelling of dogma and doctrine and then what does one do with the abnegation...whoa...Lots of presumptions, there.

Lots and lots. Zoned 40 units to the acre those lots are. Pack 'em right next to each other. No yards for the kids to run in, no windows to see the sky and the moving clouds 'cause the window of the building which looks just like yours and is a few feet away shows a view of pretty much what you see when you aren't looking out the window.

Nope. Never been a fan of the this or that. The yin and yang, the circle, the square, pentagram, the triangle...none of those closed up spaces. Maybe all of 'em trying to say one thing while resoundingly unable to say a thing at all except for, "This or That".

Of course I may have misinterpreted what you wrote.

But regarding doctrine...dogma...don't care much for it. It's all stuff designed to disempower people so that they may be subjugated by others.

Now mentorship...guidance...helping one access their own power to find their own way...whole 'nother ballgame. And the mentor or guide becoming mentored and guided by the whole process...yep...that's when we're rockin and we're way out beyond Thisorthatland.

Joe McParland
05-12-2009, 11:05 PM
There is no "policy of abnegation" outside of doctrine or dogma. There is abnegation as a necessary practice, giving something up in order to get something else. There's a difference.

The belief that abnegation is necessary practice is a doctrine of one (type of) path.

Joe McParland
05-12-2009, 11:09 PM
Dan-

Your beliefs are this-es and your preferences are that-s.

Janet Rosen
05-13-2009, 12:05 AM
Interesting thread.
I don't mind having a picture of OSensei up there and I don't revere him or ascribe anything supernatural to him; he is the founder of the art in which I train so it seems quite appropriate to have his picture on the wall. Any other significance is, well, in each of our heads and not implicit in the presence of the picture.
I was thinking about aikido as a living art since last night's class and may as well post relevent parts from my blog post :

There was a dojo in San Francisco, now gone, where I trained for a couple of months some years ago. It was not a good fit.The thing that really got me was that they had fossilized the art exactly where the black belt who had started the dojo left it. They were going to emulate forever exactly what he had laid down. So it didn't feel like a dojo to me, it felt like one of those houses where the kid moved away or died and the room was going to be left JUST SO forever. Their aikido was a museum piece.

When I was briefly able to train in Suio Ryu Iai Kenpo, one thing that impressed me was finding out that the current Soke (15th in the lineage) continues to puzzle over and explore the kata and periodically makes some revisions to them. This art is over 400 years old and continues to be a living art, thanks to the integrity of its headmaster.

This has been on my mind since last night's aikido class. Our instructor demonstrated some changes in how Sensei wished to see us do a basic shihonage. It was fun to play with and I left class appreciating a couple of things:

One was that there was a solid reason behind the change; that is, (as I understand it) an application of energy and of weighting that Sensei felt better exemplified the art and made it work more effectively. Another is that underlying the change is a continuing exploration on her part, and that in the process we the students were part of the feedback loop, that how we embody her teaching is closely observed and is part of the process.

This is aikido as a living art.

My 2 cents.

Dan O'Day
05-13-2009, 10:26 AM
Dan-

Your beliefs are this-es and your preferences are that-s.

Okey Dokey. I guess that sums it up.

Our discussion, that is.

lbb
05-13-2009, 10:29 AM
The belief that abnegation is necessary practice is a doctrine of one (type of) path.

Please read what I wrote and speak to that, Joe. I didn't say that abnegation is a necessary practice; however, it is a fact -- not a belief, not dogma, not doctrine -- that you can't have some things without giving up other things. Many people nowadays want to believe that that's not true, but not liking the truth doesn't make it false.

Ron Tisdale
05-13-2009, 10:49 AM
Hi Mary,

:D Nice post.

B,
R

Joe McParland
05-13-2009, 11:20 AM
Respectfully, Mary, I spoke to your point.

Cling to and want for nothing and you will have nothing either to gain or to lose.

Keith Larman
05-13-2009, 11:24 AM
From the movie I had on in the workshop last night... Blazing Saddles

"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."

Is everyone offended yet? Good. Now that *that's* out of the way...

Go train in whatever it is that you do. What you do is what you do. The rest is semantics. And even if you do care to try to answer the question, it seems to me each person's context within which the question is asked is so varied that it makes each answer wholly irrelevant to anyone else.

Now for those into epistemological trivia, a truly genius website worthy of intense study (http://www.headofapin.net/)...

And on that note I need to make a decision. More intense navel gazing or go get some work done... Hmmm... What is that? Lint? Hmmm... Hmmmm. hmmmzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.......

:crazy: edit: Why, "yes", I was forced to read St. Thomas Aquinas in my undergraduate days. Can you tell?

Joe McParland
05-13-2009, 11:40 AM
Janet, I like your post, and I too prefer something of a more alive practice. When I was in the Army, though, we were trained via perfection of form. Wisdom, skills, and so forth can be found on either path. Moreover, each path has its trappings, especially if one is prone to "this & that" / "right & wrong" thinking; such a person may develop the thought that only this path is right, and that path in particular is wrong.

Not an accusation, BTW - just shamelessly using your post as a launch to clarify my earlier comments :-)

mathewjgano
05-13-2009, 12:37 PM
From the movie I had on in the workshop last night... Blazing Saddles

"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."

Is everyone offended yet? Good. Now that *that's* out of the way...

Keith, I already like you from your past posts, but now you're assured a spot in my personal pantheon under the classification, Righteous Hombre. It's a rare honor only topped by folks who quote Kung Fu Panda (until a cooler movie comes out of course).:cool:

What is that? Lint?
All I can say is I'm glad my navel isn't normally under water or I'd have gone the way of Narcissus years ago.
And on that note, back to work.

Janet Rosen
05-13-2009, 12:51 PM
Janet, I like your post, and I too prefer something of a more alive practice. When I was in the Army, though, we were trained via perfection of form. Wisdom, skills, and so forth can be found on either path. Moreover, each path has its trappings, especially if one is prone to "this & that" / "right & wrong" thinking; such a person may develop the thought that only this path is right, and that path in particular is wrong.

Not an accusation, BTW - just shamelessly using your post as a launch to clarify my earlier comments :-)

No offense taken, Joe. So let me clarify my thoughts: As a student learning kata I expect to work on mastering a form, not changing it. But as I master the most gross movements, the joy of working on kata is focusing on the nuances and how things change - push vs pull, when and how weight shifts, when timing and rhythm changes - things that won't change the form but will change my performance of it. And I also think that the mark of an exceptional teacher and those responsible for the transmission of an art is to continue to observe critically, explore, refine, and if need be, change.

Ron Tisdale
05-13-2009, 02:14 PM
skidush!

Usually said while performing a really strong nikajo...

B,
R :D

lbb
05-13-2009, 04:09 PM
Respectfully, Mary, I spoke to your point.

I don't think you did. I had said:

There is no "policy of abnegation" outside of doctrine or dogma. There is abnegation as a necessary practice, giving something up in order to get something else. There's a difference.

...and you replied:

The belief that abnegation is necessary practice is a doctrine of one (type of) path.

Do you not see the difference between "abnegation as necessary practice", meaning "abnegation undertaken because it is necessary for some goal" (as opposed to abnegation undertaken for its own sake, or for the sake of some doctrine or dogma), and "abnegation is necessary practice"?

Cling to and want for nothing and you will have nothing either to gain or to lose.

That's nice, but a bit of a non sequitur here, no?

Joe McParland
05-13-2009, 04:13 PM
No offense taken, Joe. So let me clarify my thoughts: As a student learning kata I expect to work on mastering a form, not changing it. But as I master the most gross movements, the joy of working on kata is focusing on the nuances and how things change - push vs pull, when and how weight shifts, when timing and rhythm changes - things that won't change the form but will change my performance of it. And I also think that the mark of an exceptional teacher and those responsible for the transmission of an art is to continue to observe critically, explore, refine, and if need be, change.

Well said :)

Joe McParland
05-13-2009, 05:21 PM
Mary-

What will you have to give up to hear my response the way you want it?

This is a central point, not a non sequitor :)

Dan O'Day
05-13-2009, 08:56 PM
I am not saying that Aikido is a religion or that O'SENSEI was a religious figure, but by your post you might as well place Jesus or Buddha or Muhammad, in the same light. They are gone so why do we revere them. Also Elvis is gone and he is highly revered as well:D

Yes, indeedy. With regard to the religious folks, as you mentioned, I think it's very dangerous to revere them such that they are put on pedestals.

Putting anyone on a pedestal is dangerous. When someone is believed to be better than the rest of us it allows and actually fosters the abdication of individual power, individual beauty and individual possibility.

It's just tweaky to me. It's never seemed right or smart or whatever to me. Anybody and everybody is as great and wondrous as anyone who has ever lived, be they Jesus, Mohammed or my Uncle Kenny.

But man are we brought up in a way of thinking which is locked into tunnel vision perception. Sometimes folks sum it all up by saying, "Eh, it's just semantics. Forget about it..."

Semantics are powerful. Why would members of the the human race use the all inclusive term of "race" to divide themselves into exclusive groups via the use of the very same term?

Or how the use of a color to describe a person may elicit loads and loads of preconditioned and judgemental data, whether one is aware of it or not?

Anyway...I know you didn't initiate what I have commented on except for mentioning the religious guys. I missed your post earlier and wanted to reply and have been influenced by some later posts.

And in summation...Did Aikido die with O'Sensei? I'm changing my earlier answer to "I don't know".

aikishrine
05-14-2009, 03:48 AM
I believe that what O'SENSEI wanted for Aikido passed away with him. I truly appreciate all your feedback, and hope that you keep it coming. Now even though i think his idea of Aikido is gone, i dont believe that it is unattainable to some degree again, at least in some manner. However it is a personal journey that will get us there. As far as revering him, i dont think that that is such a bad thing, after all there are worse examples of people to follow. Both alive and dead. IMHO

lbb
05-14-2009, 07:49 AM
Mary-

What will you have to give up to hear my response the way you want it?

This is a central point, not a non sequitor :)

You keep talking to me as if you're the wise Jedi master bestowing the pearls of your wisdom on my obdurately ignorant head. Permit me to say that I reach mutual understanding better when I feel that I'm not being treated as an ignorant inferior, particularly when the person addressing me isn't persistently mischaracterizing what I've said and refusing to acknowledge my clarifications.

aikishrine
05-14-2009, 09:14 AM
Mary and Joe please forgive me for saying this, but i think it is time you two get a room;)

Peter Goldsbury
05-14-2009, 09:19 AM
Hello,

Please forgive me for saying this, but I really do not understand the intended humor here.

PAG

Mary and Joe please forgive me for saying this, but i think it is time you two get a room;)

philippe willaume
05-14-2009, 10:55 AM
...and since women can't grow beards (well, for the most part:p ), the subject had to be, "men."!

it is because they do not train hard enough .
phil

Keith Larman
05-14-2009, 11:23 AM
Keith, I already like you from your past posts, but now you're assured a spot in my personal pantheon under the classification, Righteous Hombre. It's a rare honor only topped by folks who quote Kung Fu Panda (until a cooler movie comes out of course).:cool:

Ah, well, thank you. Very cool. Remember, there is no charge for awesomeness... or attractiveness. :D

I only wish I could be as obscure and deep sounding as Joe. But those weren't the sorts of drugs I took back in my day, so I guess I'm doomed to a life of something other than bumper sticker verities... And yes, Kung Fu Panda can fill the void! As can Blazing Saddles... Mongo just pawn in game of life...

Mongo go wrap handle now.

Keith Larman
05-14-2009, 11:28 AM
Allow me to propose a Gedanken (just to prove that I too can pull obscure words out of my, um, back pocket). Since threads attempting to define Aikido in the first place tend to ramble on nearly infinitely with no apparent resolution possible, how then should we assume we could ever resolve whether it is alive or dead?

Please, discuss among yourselves because I'm backing out of the room giggling quietly... I'll check back in a few weeks to see how you're all doin'...

:p

Joe McParland
05-14-2009, 01:10 PM
You keep talking to me as if you're the wise Jedi master bestowing the pearls of your wisdom on my obdurately ignorant head. Permit me to say that I reach mutual understanding better when I feel that I'm not being treated as an ignorant inferior, particularly when the person addressing me isn't persistently mischaracterizing what I've said and refusing to acknowledge my clarifications.

That is the answer to the entire puzzle, but do you recognize it?

People communicate in different ways, understand in different ways, prefer different things, and react in different ways.

Your reaction to the way I chose to communicate is not unlike the reaction of an earlier fellow with an adverse reaction to a photo of O-Sensei at the front of the dojo. It's gut-level stuff causing a reaction. Sensibly speaking, though, the picture is just a picture and my words are just words; we all know this, yes? Why be affected at all?

The different paths generally address this point, each in their own way. Which path does one choose? The one that best suits him given his circumstances, I suppose. It's often the case, though, that many paths lead to the realization that the path itself was just a tool to bring you home.

(Some styles of) Aikido can have harsh encounters that simply come, whether the nage enjoys it this way or not. Students perfect forms on their way to being free of form. We learn what it is to have our "ki led" and what it is to "remain centered." We learn to bypass instinctual reaction in favor of spontaneous, appropriate response. "Integration of mind and body" leans toward an understanding that mind and body are not actually separate at all; the lessons we learn through our bodies affect what we may think of as pure thought as well, which is exposed in adversarial conversation or confrontations.

So, is there value in studying the O-Sensei's doka, trying to find his understanding or original intent? That is a path that is appealing to some. Is there value in avoiding such study? That is a path that is appealing to some.

If one stands on one path and mocks those on another, though, it does show very clearly his understanding of neither path. This is like idiots arguing over which tastes better, Poison #1 or Poison #2.

Now, it is my experience that when I use so many words to make a point, those intent on arguing simply have more material to cling to. Consider this my good-faith effort to state my understanding.

Mary and Joe please forgive me for saying this, but i think it is time you two get a room;)


Please forgive me for saying this, but I really do not understand the intended humor here.


Well, I laughed :p It was a clever distraction that pointed to the tension... Or maybe he meant a dokusan room? ;)


I only wish I could be as obscure and deep sounding as Joe. But those weren't the sorts of drugs I took back in my day, so I guess I'm doomed to a life of something other than bumper sticker verities...

For over a year, the decaying high-horse on the side of the path continues to swell then blow gas out its ass! That is amazing...

lbb
05-14-2009, 01:25 PM
That is the answer to the entire puzzle, but do you recognize it?

I recognized that you misunderstood what I wrote as a result of less than careful reading. As part of your misunderstanding, you said some things that could easily be taken as somewhat judgmental. Having had your error pointed out to you, rather than simply saying, "Oh, yeah, my misunderstanding," you've chosen to start a discussion of communications styles instead, and have continued to make statements ("...but do you recognize it?") implying that I'm the dummy who just doesn't get it. Please feel free to enjoy your tangent, but I don't think communications styles have anything to do with what I was talking about or your misunderstanding of it.

Joe McParland
05-14-2009, 01:30 PM
I recognized that you misunderstood what I wrote as a result of less than careful reading. As part of your misunderstanding, you said some things that could easily be taken as somewhat judgmental. Having had your error pointed out to you, rather than simply saying, "Oh, yeah, my misunderstanding," you've chosen to start a discussion of communications styles instead, and have continued to make statements ("...but do you recognize it?") implying that I'm the dummy who just doesn't get it. Please feel free to enjoy your tangent, but I don't think communications styles have anything to do with what I was talking about or your misunderstanding of it.

Oh, yeah, my misunderstanding. :)

Keith Larman
05-14-2009, 04:24 PM
For over a year, the decaying high-horse on the side of the path continues to swell then blow gas out its ass! That is amazing...

Wow, profound, dude. Another great addition to your body of work here.

Joe McParland
05-14-2009, 05:02 PM
Wow, profound, dude. Another great addition to your body of work here.

Too bad it's not yet available in Braille.

Don't worry, though: there's still hope that someday you'll be able to respect other people on different paths too.

... which puts us back on topic, again.

Keith Larman
05-14-2009, 05:06 PM
Don't worry, though: there's still hope that someday you'll be able to respect other people on different paths too.



My exact sentiments for you as well.

akiy
05-14-2009, 05:42 PM
This thread has degenerated into personal discussions.

Thread closed.

-- Jun