PDA

View Full Version : O sensei and 'correct ukemi'


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


NagaBaba
05-14-2009, 01:54 PM
PAG. O Sensei certainly expected correct attacks and also correct ukemi from his deshi, or he did not call on them very often.
The quote is from Peter A Goldsbury.
As this is first time in my short life I've learned that O sensei expected some particular form of ukemi, I'd like to know more about it.

Anybody believes that O sensei could do the techniques only with particular behavior of uke?Me, I don't believe such thing.

Ron Tisdale
05-14-2009, 02:14 PM
Hmmm...I don't think that is what Peter said at all...

I think there is an aikido journal article about a deshi from the old days that later went with Tomiki...his name begins with an o I believe. The article stresses how angrey Ueshiba Sensei was with the way he attacked. But Ueshiba still threw him...and it was widely considered one of his best demos.

Best,
Ron

Dan Rubin
05-14-2009, 03:07 PM
Ron

You're referring to Hideo Ohba. The account of his ukemi for O Sensei at a demonstration in Manchuria can be found here:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=408

Dan

Ron Tisdale
05-14-2009, 03:25 PM
Yes Dan, absolutely. Thank you!
Best,
Ron

Russ Q
05-14-2009, 03:27 PM
Hey S,

So, are you saying that uke should, in the context of regular training, be able to attack any way they want (speed, force, type of strike etc) and that, at a certain level, a senior should be able to deal with it no matter what? If so, are you saying that doing kata, in the context of regular training, is an incorrect, or at least, less than optimal way to train?

Curious,

Russ

Pat Togher
05-14-2009, 06:46 PM
Hmmm...I don't think that is what Peter said at all...

I think there is an aikido journal article about a deshi from the old days that later went with Tomiki...his name begins with an o I believe. The article stresses how angrey Ueshiba Sensei was with the way he attacked. But Ueshiba still threw him...and it was widely considered one of his best demos.

Best,
Ron

Hmm. I was reading about Ohba sensei earlier this week. Ueshiba sensei can't have been to ticked off at him. He awarded Ohba sensei a godan in Aikido in 1942 (errr. was it still aikibudo then?), anyway after the Manchuko demo, and rokudan the following year. Dates are according to his Wikipedia bio.

Love this part "He is quoted as saying Ueshiba was a little stiff but he knew then he was in the presence of a true master. "

Pat

Ron Tisdale
05-15-2009, 07:05 AM
According to the article he was pretty livid at the time. But hey, I've been ticked off at people who the next day were still my best friends. It happens ;)

Best,
Ron (still eagerly awaiting Peter's response...)

MM
05-15-2009, 07:53 AM
Best,
Ron (still eagerly awaiting Peter's response...)

Hi Ron,

I think Peter means exactly what he said. I remember reading posts and/or articles about it. That when Ueshiba wanted an uke, you had to know what attack he wanted or he didn't call on you again. But I can't find any of the posts/articles again.

MM
05-15-2009, 08:19 AM
Hi Ron,

I think Peter means exactly what he said. I remember reading posts and/or articles about it. That when Ueshiba wanted an uke, you had to know what attack he wanted or he didn't call on you again. But I can't find any of the posts/articles again.

Edit time ran out:

Found this:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=183743&highlight=ueshiba+deshi+attack#post183743


I myself have heard from Ueshiba's deshi that taking ukemi for O Sensei was of crucial importance. Skill in (1) reading his intentions as to what kind of attack he wanted and (2) understanding and exploiting the openings he gave became a yardstick for the deshi themselves (individually, once again) to measure their own proficiency.

Ron Tisdale
05-15-2009, 08:36 AM
Hi Mark,

I was referring to the "slant" that Mr. S. put on his interpretation of Peter's words.

Anybody believes that O sensei could do the techniques only with particular behavior of uke?Me, I don't believe such thing.

This allows the imputation that Peter said such a thing. I do not think he *did* say such a thing, nor do I think that it is implied by what Peter *did* say.

I think the story about Ohba Sensei shows that point of view (the opposite of what Mr. S implied) particularly well.

Best,
Ron

Charles Hill
05-15-2009, 08:52 AM
Anybody believes that O sensei could do the techniques only with particular behavior of uke?

Sorry but this shows that you don't understand the method of transmission in Japanese aikido. It is very clear (in Japan, at least) that during a class there are two lessons being taught. One is for all those watching, this is how we move our hands and feet, etc. The other is for the person taking ukemi, this is how it FEELS.

Prof. Goldsbury can certainly explain what he meant if he wishes, but I wonder if it might not fall on deaf ears if you don't understand the distinction in the first place. The idea is that O'Sensei expected correct ukemi because he was transmitting something directly to that person, not because he was interested in showing whether he could do a technique or not to the peanut gallery.

Peter Goldsbury
05-15-2009, 09:25 AM
Hello Mark, Ron,

Well, I have had the benefit of talking at length to those like Tamura and Tada Shihans, who were senior deshi of Morihei Ueshiba and took ukemi very often, and also to present shihans in the Hombu who regularly take ukemi for the present Doshu. The point here is that, in their estimation, the ukemi had to match the waza as exactly as possible, in the sense that O Sensei's / Doshu's practice was / is a living textbook of the art. So there is a need for immense sensitivity here, of interpreting as closely as possible the signals transmitted through movements, actions, even subtle, unexpressed intentions.

This is what I meant, when I stated in another thread that ukemi was the ura-gawa of waza. I think this aspect is completely divorced from any idea of tanking, or the intensity of the attack you make. If you think of the various waza, like 1-kyo, 3-kyo, shiho-nage, kote-gaeshi, there is an 'ideal form' of both waza and ukemi (the ukemi has to be 'correct': has to match the waza, otherwise either uke or tori would be injured). Aikido 3D is a clear, but unsubtle, example of such an ideal form, which is probably taught to beginners in every aikido dojo on the planet.

I have also had the benefit of spending many hours discussion with Ellis Amdur. You might remember his Aikido Journal blogs, which will soon appear, transformed, in his next book. Takeda, Sagawa and Ueshiba all taught their art by means of executing waza, which required their deshi to take ukemi. This method of teaching was a reversal of the standard koryu method. Why?

After Szczepan's initial post, I trawled thougth Stan Pranin's Aikido Masters for evidence about Ueshiba's early teaching methods. Junior recruits had to do chores and watch training before being allowed to do anything. I cannot remember the source, but I have read that deshi were also required to spend a lengthy period taking ukemi before being allowed to do any waza themselves. Why would this be necessary, if not to teach the sensitivity required to match the waza with the 'correct' response?

If you add the 'body memory / sensitivity', gained from ukemi to the power gained from personal training, you have a very potent combination. Opinions are mixed about Sokaku Takeda's visit to Ayabe in the early 1920s. One version has it that Takeda was invited, and spent all his time teaching Ueshiba 'aiki' skills, in order that Ueshiba could handle the young seamen who came from Maizuru to train in Ayabe. The other version has it that Takeda came unannounced and that Ueshiba was a dutiful deshi, but there was very little technical input.

Consider such a scenario. Both Takeda and Ueshiba allowed their deshi to attack them at any time, but it was also pretty well built into the equation that they would not be defeated. Takeda seems to have interpreted this convention much more strictly than Ueshiba--and I wonder, really, how strongly Morihei Ueshiba used to attack Sokaku Takeda. He obviously did, but the results were rarely recorded. Similarly, if you are a deshi and Master Ueshiba says, 'You can attack me any time', when do you, a relatively raw deshi, actually do this? When he is taking his bath, having dinner, or taking tea (the attack and defence being Araki-ryu style)?

When the deshi accompanied O Sensei on his trips to Shingu, or Kyushu, or Osaka, I do not think that making unprovoked attacks, in a railway carriage, for example, was in the forefront of their minds. Similarly with demonstrations in front of the Imperial family and the Court. In the dojo, they had to be focused on--yes--attacking correctly and taking correct ukemi. However, given the Daito-ryu / Aiki-budo dojo culture of 'stealing' knowledge, the deshi had to learn by experience. 'Unprovoked attacks' at 'any time' were really a tatemae.

Note that in all these cases, ukemi involved being thrown or being pinned. However, ukemi really means 'receiving (with the) body' and this entails neither being thrown nor being pinned. This is something that Mark will understand, I think, from his training with Dan Harden. My own (very private) view, which I am still working on, is that the concept of ukemi is as wide as that of waza (which does NOT mean 'technique').

Best wishes,

PAG

EDIT. Charles has ably summed up what I stated at greater length.

Hi Ron,

I think Peter means exactly what he said. I remember reading posts and/or articles about it. That when Ueshiba wanted an uke, you had to know what attack he wanted or he didn't call on you again. But I can't find any of the posts/articles again.

Ron Tisdale
05-15-2009, 10:13 AM
Thanks Peter!

I am eagerly awaiting any conclusions you come to from your ... additional? training.

Best,
Ron

Janet Rosen
05-15-2009, 11:05 AM
Peter, many thanks for your insight.

MM
05-15-2009, 11:59 AM
Hello Mark, Ron,


Hello Peter. Thank you for the reply. As usual, you brought up some very interesting points. :)


I have also had the benefit of spending many hours discussion with Ellis Amdur. You might remember his Aikido Journal blogs, which will soon appear, transformed, in his next book. Takeda, Sagawa and Ueshiba all taught their art by means of executing waza, which required their deshi to take ukemi. This method of teaching was a reversal of the standard koryu method. Why?


Ah, well, then, let me play Devil's Advocate. :)

What if there really wasn't a reversal at all?

http://www.koryu.com/library/tnishioka1.html


Uchidachi must have the spirit of a nurturing parent. Uchidachi leads shidachi by providing a true attack; this allows shidachi to learn correct body displacement, combative distancing, proper spirit, and the perception of opportunity.

The senior leads the junior to progressively get better. The senior guides and the junior learns.

If we look at Takeda and Ueshiba's model as one of aiki, we find that in the very initial encounter of the training paradigm that they have set up, they are, in fact, uchidachi. They are the "losing" side. With aiki, the encounter is dealt with internally, so the outside physical appearance is not what one would normally see. With that in mind, we have to look at what is going on in the training itself -- the internal aspects. Ueshiba is coming from a "losing" side in that he is being attacked and must deal with the situation. Using aiki, his "ukemi" model is to appropriately match and then for him, change/redirect/alter/whatever that energy. The junior, or "uke" then finds himself in a very different position than one that he started in. Ueshiba guides him along the internal path of aiki.

As with koryu (I'm guessing), the training provides a situation where the junior must progressively get better by the guidance of the senior.

As with Ueshiba (at least in the pre-war training), those juniors such as Shirata, Shioda, etc, were being provided with a situation where they must progressively get better. Aiki, an internal quality, must be built such that the junior changes his "ukemi" model from one of rolling and falling to that of *not* rolling and falling.

Anyway, some thoughts I've been mulling over after being provided some interesting ideas on the matter. :)


After Szczepan's initial post, I trawled thougth Stan Pranin's Aikido Masters for evidence about Ueshiba's early teaching methods. Junior recruits had to do chores and watch training before being allowed to do anything. I cannot remember the source, but I have read that deshi were also required to spend a lengthy period taking ukemi before being allowed to do any waza themselves.


I seem to remember reading that, but, like you, I can't recall where. Ah, found one of the references. It's from Aikido, The Way of Harmony by Stevens and Shirata. Link to google books is here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=wbk9AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA16&lpg=PA16&dq=ueshiba+kobukan+chores&source=bl&ots=3Gp0Ovme9r&sig=I5yFbOpNRoR60jJtsS0kI5H7g9M&hl=en&ei=C5MNSuuZG5DFtgfE7ISaCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3

NagaBaba
05-15-2009, 12:44 PM
Hey S,

So, are you saying that uke should, in the context of regular training, be able to attack any way they want (speed, force, type of strike etc) and that, at a certain level, a senior should be able to deal with it no matter what? If so, are you saying that doing kata, in the context of regular training, is an incorrect, or at least, less than optimal way to train?

Curious,

Russ
Hi Russ,
Yes, a senior should be able to deal with it no matter what, of course respecting aikido ideas as expressed by O sensei. This is a key process for development of aikido today.

I believe there is no kata in aikido. If somebody does kind of kata, it is counterproductive and a nonsense in the context of O sensei teaching..

NagaBaba
05-15-2009, 12:55 PM
Sorry but this shows that you don't understand the method of transmission in Japanese aikido. It is very clear (in Japan, at least) that during a class there are two lessons being taught. One is for all those watching, this is how we move our hands and feet, etc. The other is for the person taking ukemi, this is how it FEELS.

Prof. Goldsbury can certainly explain what he meant if he wishes, but I wonder if it might not fall on deaf ears if you don't understand the distinction in the first place. The idea is that O'Sensei expected correct ukemi because he was transmitting something directly to that person, not because he was interested in showing whether he could do a technique or not to the peanut gallery.
Hi Charles,
It is a nice theory, but today everybody agree that O sensei didn't teach, and even wasn't interested at all if anybody can learn something from him. It works against the idea that he wanted to pass some knowledge to his students.

The fact that somebody wants to FEEL a technique from him and adjusts his own ukemi for that goal, doesn't prove at all that that requirement comes from O sensei himself.You are trying to inverse a logic here, sorry.

Pat Togher
05-15-2009, 01:05 PM
According to the article he was pretty livid at the time. But hey, I've been ticked off at people who the next day were still my best friends. It happens ;)

Best,
Ron (still eagerly awaiting Peter's response...)

True enough :)
Being ambushed by one of your own deshi at a demo could get your hackles up, I imagine. I expect that having another well respected martial artist come up to you right afterwards saying what a great demo it was, could go a long way towards soothing those ruffled feathers ....

Pat

Pat Togher
05-15-2009, 01:12 PM
...
Consider such a scenario. Both Takeda and Ueshiba allowed their deshi to attack them at any time, but it was also pretty well built into the equation that they would not be defeated. Takeda seems to have interpreted this convention much more strictly than Ueshiba--and I wonder, really, how strongly Morihei Ueshiba used to attack Sokaku Takeda. He obviously did, but the results were rarely recorded. Similarly, if you are a deshi and Master Ueshiba says, 'You can attack me any time', when do you, a relatively raw deshi, actually do this? When he is taking his bath, having dinner, or taking tea (the attack and defence being Araki-ryu style)?

When the deshi accompanied O Sensei on his trips to Shingu, or Kyushu, or Osaka, I do not think that making unprovoked attacks, in a railway carriage, for example, was in the forefront of their minds.
...
'Unprovoked attacks' at 'any time' were really a tatemae.



Peter,
I thought there was just such an incident recorded in Gozo Shioda's interview in Aikido Masters. I don't have the book handy, so this is a somewhat hazy recollection.

I believe while travelling by train, Shioda sensei was wondering if he dared give Ueshiba sensei a whack while he appeared to be asleep. Ueshiba's eyes popped open and he said something like "A kami just warned me that Shioda was going to try to hit me".

So maybe not at the forefront of the deshi's minds, but the thought at least occurred to one of them.

Pat

Pat Togher
05-15-2009, 01:18 PM
Hi Russ,
I believe there is no kata in aikido. If somebody does kind of kata, it is counterproductive and a nonsense in the context of O sensei teaching..

My experience is Aikido is limited, so allow me to ask:

Does not most aikido training consist of prearranged attack and defense?

There is randori in Aikido of course, but it doesn't seem that that is the primary means of training, from what I've seen.

Pat

NagaBaba
05-15-2009, 01:31 PM
Hello Mark, Ron,

Well, I have had the benefit of talking at length to those like Tamura and Tada Shihans, who were senior deshi of Morihei Ueshiba and took ukemi very often, and also to present shihans in the Hombu who regularly take ukemi for the present Doshu. The point here is that, in their estimation, the ukemi had to match the waza as exactly as possible, in the sense that O Sensei's / Doshu's practice was / is a living textbook of the art. So there is a need for immense sensitivity here, of interpreting as closely as possible the signals transmitted through movements, actions, even subtle, unexpressed intentions. .

I understand that they wanted to learn something from him and it was the only way to learn by feeling, as O sensei didn't explain techniques from technical point of view.
However I don't believe it was intention of O sensei to teach his students all these subtilities after IIWW.At that point of time he wasn't interested in physical aspect of practice anymore.


This is what I meant, when I stated in another thread that ukemi was the ura-gawa of waza. I think this aspect is completely divorced from any idea of tanking, or the intensity of the attack you make. If you think of the various waza, like 1-kyo, 3-kyo, shiho-nage, kote-gaeshi, there is an 'ideal form' of both waza and ukemi (the ukemi has to be 'correct': has to match the waza, otherwise either uke or tori would be injured). Aikido 3D is a clear, but unsubtle, example of such an ideal form, which is probably taught to beginners in every aikido dojo on the planet..

I think you are trying here to develop kata-like practice (aka 'ideal form' of both waza and ukemi). This is a very clear contradiction to the idea of controlling an attacker from the moment when idea of attack is raised in his head.You still make clear difference between nage and uke. This makes impossible the spontanous execution of the techniques even after 50 years of intensive practice. If you don't go through this rather primary dualism, you will never be able to FEEL the unity of the World and communicate with Kami.


After Szczepan's initial post, I trawled thougth Stan Pranin's Aikido Masters for evidence about Ueshiba's early teaching methods. Junior recruits had to do chores and watch training before being allowed to do anything. I cannot remember the source, but I have read that deshi were also required to spend a lengthy period taking ukemi before being allowed to do any waza themselves. Why would this be necessary, if not to teach the sensitivity required to match the waza with the 'correct' response?..

It was a very simple filter to reject casual students, and keep only serious ones. You are still not able to provide a single prove that O sensei taught ukemi('correct' or even ANY ukemi) to his students.
I don't believe S. Takeda taught ukemi to his students neither LOL

If I remember well from the conversations with O sensei students, nobody taught even how to roll forward or backward at the time.
Some of them consider today's ukemi teaching as a important pedagogical mistake.

In general I think you are looking at the problem from the point of view of students of O sensei.
Try this:
Put yourself at his place for the moment - and think if the way how the students receive your techniques has the smallest importance for you.

NagaBaba
05-15-2009, 01:42 PM
My experience is Aikido is limited, so allow me to ask:

Does not most aikido training consist of prearranged attack and defense?

There is randori in Aikido of course, but it doesn't seem that that is the primary means of training, from what I've seen.

Pat
Hello Pat,
When you start to learn play music, let's say piano, the teacher ask you to play DO RE MI FA SOL LA SI DO. Many times. Then you have to do many other very technical exercises (i.e. passages). But what is the real goal of all this preparation? Will you play DO RE MI FA SOL LA SI DO all the rest of you life?
Yes some ppl will do the prearranged attack and defense for the rest of their life.

But you Pat, you will play MUSIC. Simply don't take the appearance for the real stuff :D

Ron Tisdale
05-15-2009, 01:43 PM
Does not most aikido training consist of prearranged attack and defense?

Oh NO! Don't get Mr. S. started on the great kata debate!

If I remember correctly, I absolutely hated him for a full day after that! It was some time ago on e-budo, but I still remember it....fondly :eek:

B,
R :D

Pat Togher
05-15-2009, 01:59 PM
Oh NO! Don't get Mr. S. started on the great kata debate!

If I remember correctly, I absolutely hated him for a full day after that! It was some time ago on e-budo, but I still remember it....fondly :eek:

B,
R :D

Sorry Ron! :D
Right then, back to ukemi! ;)

Pat

Pat Togher
05-15-2009, 02:02 PM
Hello Pat,
When you start to learn play music, let's say piano, the teacher ask you to play DO RE MI FA SOL LA SI DO. Many times. Then you have to do many other very technical exercises (i.e. passages). But what is the real goal of all this preparation? Will you play DO RE MI FA SOL LA SI DO all the rest of you life?
Yes some ppl will do the prearranged attack and defense for the rest of their life.

But you Pat, you will play MUSIC. Simply don't take the appearance for the real stuff :D

Lol.
Thank you Szczepan.

I was just making a comparison to my (also limited) training in Judo and somewhat more extensive training in Tae Kwon Do.

Pat

Charles Hill
05-15-2009, 05:05 PM
Hi Charles,
It is a nice theory, but today everybody agree that O sensei didn't teach, and even wasn't interested at all if anybody can learn something from him. It works against the idea that he wanted to pass some knowledge to his students.

The fact that somebody wants to FEEL a technique from him and adjusts his own ukemi for that goal, doesn't prove at all that that requirement comes from O sensei himself.You are trying to inverse a logic here, sorry.

Hi Szczepan,

Thanks for the feedback. I think I have failed in explaining what I believe is supposed to be happening in the transmission of an art from a Japanese teacher to a Japanese student.

Let me try this. For anyone interested in how this transmission is supposed to go, I highly recommend reading up on the psychology of "tatemae/honne" and "omote/ura". Then read all of Dr. Goldsbury's essays with these ideas in mind, especially the seemingly innocuous ones that don't even address Aikido directly (I personally enjoyed the stories of Hiroshima City Police committee and the car/bicycle accident.)

Then when you hear from a deshi of the founder "O'Sensei was beyond technique." "I didn't understand a word he said." "O'Sensei mainly taught about spiritual matters." "O'Sensei didn't teach." you then might be able to catch the wink.

Charles Hill
05-15-2009, 05:16 PM
Too much verbiage from me, I know, but let me add two more things.

When examining O'Sensei's "transmission" I find keeping in mind two things very helpful.

1. Fujita Shihan has said that after the war, Morihei Ueshiba didn't have uchideshi.

2. Before the war, Morihei Ueshiba's deshi were all young, unmarried and from wealthy families. If they had been born in England, they would have matriculated at Oxford and would have spent their time worrying about getting "rusticated" for one offense or another. :)

Peter Goldsbury
05-15-2009, 08:01 PM
Szczepan,

In your first post in this thread (with the quote), you misinterpreted what I stated, as others have pointed out, and you still persist in the misinterpretation. So, from my standpoint, the discussion cannot really begin.

Best wishes, as usual.

PAG

DH
05-15-2009, 10:39 PM
Then when you hear from a deshi of the founder "O'Sensei was beyond technique." "I didn't understand a word he said." "O'Sensei mainly taught about spiritual matters." "O'Sensei didn't teach." you then might be able to catch the wink.
Charles
Most of us here really don't need a lesson on "tatemae/hone," nor the appellation that we just don't "get it." Yes we do; in context, with the appropriate nuance, and for many of us here with personal experience in both gendai and Koryu arts. Understanding it and dealing with it- does not mean we have to a) take pride in understanding it b) accept it as a good thing with our approval c) try to sell it as anything more than what it is.I'm NOT saying your are either.

Yes...many of us also caught the wink…at so many of the obfuscations about what they told us through the Eighties and nineties, till Stanley put them on the spot with contrary evidence.
About the deshi's actual training time with Ueshiba-which also proved highly suspect.
About their ever really being taught in detail or obversly the fact that they when they said they didn't get it their techniques proved their words to be true.
The "wink" during all the obfuscations and what some consider outright lies about Daito ryu -that came by way of the Hombu. Including a Shihan telling me it no longer existed.
I gave up investing in what they "say" interesting or not, and instead look for corroboration at every turn. It's why I appreciated Stanley's method of research.

All you are really forwarding is that we shouldn't be sure anyone knows anything about anyone or anything, accept of course --any- individual and --their- teacher; they'e different.

So you fellows can debate
Whether or not they really attacked
Whether or not they really even spent much training with him at all
Whether or not who was really being the actual Uke
Whether or not Ueshiba actually taught at the hombu during the tenure of many of the later deshi
Whether or not he trained in Daito ryu a little bit, a lotta bit or even ever met "Some guy" called Takeda at all.
I think I have failed in explaining what I believe is supposed to be happening in the transmission of an art from a Japanese teacher to a Japanese student.
There is no such thing as a fixed Japanese transmission model, not even in a single art. Not all kata methods are the same, nor are the omote / ura models all the same and for certain not the way aiki arts are taught compared to koryu.

But that said you can go back to the debate
Whether or not Ukemi is anything more than a pre-conditioned response- and the possibility that without it much of which is -Aikido as technique- will simply not work
Whether designing an "ukemi model by indoctrination" by forcing newbies to watch and learn how they were expected to receive, has any real merit in a martial art, or it just makes the model work in isolation.

And whether or not all of those explanations and detailed treatises on "the wisdom of fitting-in to a defense offered" from a teacher has ever really been "wise" at all; on any day, by any standard.

It's all good, it's all fascinating. As far as I am concerned --they- did a fairly good job of teaching both outsiders and insiders to never believe what they say at face value. Further, that by implication we would be fools for doing so. Oddly enough, the realization of having to "steal it" seems to fit the profile of being lied to about it in the first place. Makes Tatemae / hone …fit Omote and Ura quite well.
Me, I just like being honest and see people teaching and telling people where its going…with details. And oddly enough I was taught that and have seen that by teachers in the Japanese arts-both in Aikido and Koryu who hated the Japanese model…
or maybe they were just "winking" when they said that.
Cheers
Dan

Ellis Amdur
05-15-2009, 11:11 PM
I'm going to do my best to quote the story as Terry told it:
For a couple years, I was everywhere Tohei was. And he just loved to take me around with him. He had this schtick. He'd be in front of all these Japanese, they'd all been through the war, and he'd start in, "With the power of aikido, even a giant gaijin is helpless. Look at this man. He's a monster, isn't he. And now, I . . ." and then he'd throw me around and all would be well in the land of Wa. So one time, we were doing this demo in front these little old ladies, it was, I don't know, the "Little Old Ladies Knitting Society," or something, Tohei would demonstrate everywhere, and he started in, "Look at this gaijin, this huge gaijin. Go ahead, hit me with all your might, gaijin-san, it will have no effect against the power of aikido!" And I was thinking, "I love you, Tohei sensei, so I got to give you might best," and I came steaming in like an eighteen wheeler highballin' down Route 5 with a load of angle iron in the back of the truck and a load of meth between my eyes <OK, Terry didn't exactly say that part, but it demanded to be writtent and I hit him right between the eyes with a shomen uchi. And Tohei sensei stiffened like a poleaxed steer and fell flat out on his back. Unconscious. And there was dead silence. And I was standing there wringing my hands thinking, 'Oh s**t, I just killed my sensei.' and after the longest time, his eyes opened, he gets right to his feet and he yells at me, "You idiot, you did it wrong! Hit me again."

dps
05-16-2009, 01:34 AM
'Oh s**t, I just killed my sensei.

That is so funny.:D

David

Peter Goldsbury
05-16-2009, 01:55 AM
Ah, well, then, let me play Devil's Advocate. :)

What if there really wasn't a reversal at all?

http://www.koryu.com/library/tnishioka1.html



Hello Mark,

I think your Devil's advocacy needs to be somewhat stronger. :)

The point I am making is much simpler than the point you are answering by citing Nishioka on rei (with which I agree).

Takeda taught Daito-ryu kata (or waza, if you like) and charged so much per waza. I do not think he was the kind of teacher who would expose himself to danger by reversing roles and taking ukemi from his own students. Ueshiba, also, did not do this, but for different reasons. Of course, Ueshiba also expected his students to become better, but he expected them to show this in the skill with which they attacked--and also the skill with which they dealt with the reversal of roles--to put it in your terms.

Best wishes,

PAG

Charles Hill
05-16-2009, 03:18 AM
Most of us here really don't need a lesson on "tatemae/hone," nor the appellation that we just don't "get it."

Hi Dan,

Please note that my post started with "Hi Szczepan". Please note that the "lesson" (in quotes to emphasize that this is your word) includes the appellation "for anyone interested" and "supposed." Then please indicate how I communicated that "you (plural)" don't get it. (Also not sure what "it" means.)

Then perhaps I can understand your post enough to respond with something interesting. Otherwise your post comes off as strawmannish.

Charles

MM
05-16-2009, 07:15 AM
Hello Mark,

I think your Devil's advocacy needs to be somewhat stronger. :)


LOL! I was never very good at being Devil's Advocate.


The point I am making is much simpler than the point you are answering by citing Nishioka on rei (with which I agree).

Takeda taught Daito-ryu kata (or waza, if you like) and charged so much per waza. I do not think he was the kind of teacher who would expose himself to danger by reversing roles and taking ukemi from his own students. Ueshiba, also, did not do this, but for different reasons. Of course, Ueshiba also expected his students to become better, but he expected them to show this in the skill with which they attacked--and also the skill with which they dealt with the reversal of roles--to put it in your terms.

Best wishes,

PAG

On Takeda ... Do you think it mattered to him which role he actually assumed? IF the aiki skills are true body skills that are built within, then, would it matter if one was uke or tori? Even being tori, Takeda had the skills to make the technique go whichever way he wanted -- for most people. So, I find that it wouldn't have been much of a danger for Takeda to take ukemi from his students. If anything, I think that were the roles reversed, Takeda's students might find themselves in a worse position - having to deal with an attack from a "monster" of a budo man and not being able to handle it.

It's been my experience that people that have very good internal skills are going to do a specific technique no matter what I want to do. :) Or, no matter who is uke or tori at the beginning. From that, I can't see Takeda really worrying about "danger" when training students.

As a teaching model compared to koryu methods ... I find myself contemplating the issue.

DH
05-16-2009, 07:35 AM
Hi Dan,

Please note that my post started with "Hi Szczepan". Please note that the "lesson" (in quotes to emphasize that this is your word) includes the appellation "for anyone interested" and "supposed." Then please indicate how I communicated that "you (plural)" don't get it. (Also not sure what "it" means.)

Then perhaps I can understand your post enough to respond with something interesting. Otherwise your post comes off as strawmannish.

Charles

Hi Charles
I hope I didn't come across as adversarial in any way. That was not my intent.
From "Hi Szczepan" you made a segue in the next paragraph to "anyone interested" which led to telling us how transmission is supposed to go, which then led to the implication that we are not capable of understanding what his deshi meant with certain comments.
If I was too strong please understand I wasn't trying to hang you with your comments, just responding that we hear far too much about the vagaries and grayness of Japanese comments in person and in print as to negate almost the entirety of the experience. I don't think that always holds up to scrutiny. The comments you quoted do not stand in isolation. They stand in context with thousands of pages of interviews and then they themselves in person being asked. Not to mention his later deshi being felt up-close in person.
There are enough comments, personal stories, testimonies what have you, to put the proverbial flesh on the bone in regards to Ueshiba and his training, this to include much video witness as well.
My comments were directed to the point-or should I say hypothesis- that so much is supposedly vague.
If it were indeed as vague as some would have us believe it would leave us with nothing to talk about as we could challenge everything said by everyone, and I would even challenge the witness of video footage that the vast majority of Aikidoka do not understand just what Ueshiba is doing in that footage. And if I were so inclined I could do so without being vague in any way.
Also the comment about "Japanese transmission" was a stretch. I think you over reached in trying to combine all of the transmission models into a single experience. That became particularly strident as a comment in a debate which unclouded Ueshiba and Takeda's model juxtaposed to the more traditional model of teacher as Uke.
I will have to review when I have more time-I am about to train all day, but I struggle to see a straw man anywhere on the horizon.;)

Cheers
Dan

Peter Goldsbury
05-16-2009, 07:53 AM
On Takeda ... Do you think it mattered to him which role he actually assumed?
PAG. Absolutely. He was seriously paranoid. I do not think he was either a 'typical' son, or a 'typical' father--even given the harsh standards of samurai parenting at the time. If he were alive nowadays, especially in countries like the UK, with supposedly advanced social services, he would undoubtedly have been 'at risk' as a child and probably 'taken into care'. As a father, he would probably have been arrested for willful neglect, or for actually maltreating his son.

At least, this is my reading of the available evidence. I think that you are assuming he was a 'normal' person, ruled by the same kind of rational thinking that you yourself employ.

IF the aiki skills are true body skills that are built within, then, would it matter if one was uke or tori? ... From that, I can't see Takeda really worrying about "danger" when training students.
PAG. But he always worried about danger. He was armed all the time. When out visiting, he had people taste his food before he would touch it. When dealing with people like Takeda, or even M Ueshiba, we need to take a serious mental leap.

For example, are you sure that Takeda or Ueshiba thought about 'aiki skills as true body skills built from within' in quite the same way as you are doing? If I were to play Devils Advocate, I think I would argue that neither Takeda nor Ueshiba had any need to teach kata or waza on your scenario. They could simply teach exercises for building aiki skills, much like Minoru Akuzawa does now.

Best wishes, as always.

PAG

DH
05-16-2009, 08:10 AM
PAG. Absolutely. He was seriously paranoid. I do not think he was either a 'typical' son, or a 'typical' father--even given the harsh standards of samurai parenting at the time. If he were alive nowadays, especially in countries like the UK, with supposedly advanced social services, he would undoubtedly have been 'at risk' as a child and probably 'taken into care'. As a father, he would probably have been arrested for willful neglect, or for actually maltreating his son.

At least, this is my reading of the available evidence. I think that you are assuming he was a 'normal' person, ruled by the same kind of rational thinking that you yourself employ.

PAG. But he always worried about danger. He was armed all the time. When out visiting, he had people taste his food before he would touch it. When dealing with people like Takeda, or even M Ueshiba, we need to take a serious mental leap.

For example, are you sure that Takeda or Ueshiba thought about 'aiki skills as true body skills built from within' in quite the same way as you are doing? If I were to play Devils Advocate, I think I would argue that neither Takeda nor Ueshiba had any need to teach kata or waza on your scenario. They could simply teach exercises for building aiki skills, much like Minoru Akuzawa does now.

Best wishes, as always.

PAG
I think examining the psychology of these men is interesting but not salient to their skills. Also, since we are discussing vagaries and gray areas, Ueshiba did solo training so did Sagawa. and Sagawa stated flatly that Takeda TOLD him not to talk about, nor to reveal the essence of the art but to a few students. Which he went on to clarify that he did not do till later in his career. Then noted that his students improved. Worthy of note is that Takeda had close students and students of very high stations in Japanese society. All of which seems to negate the idea that a)he was as paranoid as we were led to believe b) he did in fact reveal and attempt to make equals in teaching Sagawa, Horikawa, Ueshiba, and Hisa "the goods."
Be that as it may, I will agree with Mark to the extent that just last week I played with high ranked teachers in Aikido in a manner they hadn't seen me do yet. You can ask them if it mattered which role I took at all.

Waza
An interesting diversion is to discuss why aiki waza is so bizzare, so singular, justaposed to koryu jujutsu. Why it wasn't repeated, why his students tried to record it. I think there is a reason. And it is also the reason most of it doesn't work in the hands of the vast majority who try them.

Solo training
The fact that Ark and I both teach people solo exercises that condition the body that leads to aiki, and do so openly is not germane, other than to point out that they still exist and we...are capable of doing so.
Cheers
Dan

Peter Goldsbury
05-16-2009, 08:53 AM
OK. Why did both Takeda and Ueshiba always use kata / waza as a teaching tool, if they did not really need to?

PAG

Ellis Amdur
05-16-2009, 10:49 AM
BTW - I have heard of at least two accounts of Takeda having his technique stopped, albeit when elderly. Sorry, I cannot remember where I read these, but I recall Sagawa claiming he had to take over with someone whom Takeda couldn't throw and there is an account in one of Tohei's writing (I think that Chris Li mentioned this) where Yukawa Tsutomu stated or is described as stopping Takeda cold. And Inoue Noriaki seems to claim that he begrudgingly when through the motions of "falling" for Takeda in public demos, something he did just to keep the "wa" going. Just for the record, so to speak.

As for the initial question, there is a real difference between "could" take ukemi and "would" take ukemi.
Let's take Ueshiba first. He did waza to show his "principals." As I write <ahem> elsewhere (almost finished with the cover and we have a printer - so stop asking . .. ), Ueshiba was initially furious with Ohba because he had to resort to "old school" DR to handle him - and was molified when the charismatic, dignified, atttractive and altogether wonderful female head of Jikishin Kage-ryu naginata praised his embu. Ohba had his altogether over-enthusiastic butt saved by another kind of aiki altogether. Man, you can just see a middle -aged Ueshiba puffing up and preening while Ohba is quietly sitting there, thinking, "Lady, you just saved my life. Keep talking, keep talking, tell the man how big and strong and powerful you think he is!"
Whether Ueshiba could throw everyone, under any conditions, I'll leave to that wonderful non-existent tome, "The Lives of the Sword Saints," but he absolutely could not throw anyone so they would look like Tamura or Tada flying away in graceful curves.
Per Dobson, when Ueshiba was very old he would "work out" with Terry, throwing him around and then "take ukemi" for him, creaking down to the floor. It was a joke for the onlookers as well, on a par with his claims that the big awkward gaijin had grabbed his beard during each and every demo.
I also wonder with his grandiosity if he "forgot" that everyone didn't fall in graceful arcs at a gesture, and was shocked when an "unskilled" uke didn't follow the track of his desires.
There is no account of Takeda "taking ukemi" for a student. Dan and Mark, I agree, in my <ahem> book, about ukemi from the perspective you are talking about, and that's a worthwhile topic. But as the question of the thread was about ukemi manifested as part of the aikido/Daito-ryu kata, where ukemi is the "taking-falls-for" the other, the psychology is relevant, in that Takeda never allowed himself to be thrown - and in koryu jujutsu, the teacher will do that. And Takeda never allowed himself to be locked up - and in the kata, the jujutsu teacher will allowed himself to be put in a position where he is helpless. Takeda would never allow himself to be vulnerable - not only in fact - but in others' eyes.
Where this is relevant is that it affected the whole course of the development of the aiki arts - how they are taught, etc. If Takeda had the character of Dan Harden, for example, who openly shows how to do this and that, and tinkers together in a laboratory of mutual aiki-discovery in which he is happy when one of his students gets "it" and immediately tries to load him up with more info, then Daito-ryu as well as aikido would have developed in very different ways. They - it, actually, would have been small groups. Few people really want "aiki." Note the small number of people actually training in Aunkai in Japan, and the number of people who, from what I heard, did NOT come back for a 2nd/3rd grueling round of shikko and mabu during Ark's recent trip to the US.

Both UEshiba and Takeda presented themselves as supermen, through aiki, and in the eyes of onlookers, this would have been diminished if they "took falls." Why teach that way at all? Ueshiba used people the way physicists used chalk and board to describe the universe with equations. And kept himself at the head of his class, starting his own "program" so he didn't have to deal with faculty with more tenure.
Takeda demonstrated to his demons and angels that he was unconquerable yet another day. And as the real danger came from other people, it is very hard to conceive of Takeda Sokaku allowing - if that is what it took - anyone to thread his arms through the backs of his knees and cramp him up in a demeaning posture of a punk <using that word in it's old-school prison sense, something quite relevant to the psychology of the paranoid person>.

Best
Ellis

Charles Hill
05-16-2009, 05:28 PM
From "Hi Szczepan" you made a segue in the next paragraph to "anyone interested" which led to telling us how transmission is supposed to go, which then led to the implication that we are not capable of understanding what his deshi meant with certain comments.

I got it! You misunderstood my post because I was not clear on what I mean by "supposed." I don't mean "supposed to" as in this is reality and some people get it or not. I mean "supposed" as in if you asked the people who believe they got some transmission from O'Sensei and they were to tell you their true thinking, this is the answer I believe they will give you.

It seems to me that you believe that wrapped in this Takeda-Ueshiba-down to whomever thing is an "Emperor's new clothes" kind of thing, right? And truth be told, I basically believe that you are right.

In keeping with this metaphor, you are the boy pointing at the emperor saying ,"But look, he's naked! It's obvious." You say that the psychology of those involved is not salient to their skills, but I think it would be helpful for you to realize it is salient to you being able to convince others that it is not salient to the skills.

Charles

Misogi-no-Gyo
05-17-2009, 02:23 AM
I understand that they wanted to learn something from him and it was the only way to learn by feeling, as O sensei didn't explain techniques from technical point of view.

Greetings and apologies for my extended absence from the boards. My own experience tells me that this is not entirely correct. Abe Sensei mentioned quite often how O-Sensei would specifically provide him with instructions in this subject or that. It brings up the point of what "student" means and just who one's "teacher" actually is. Reflecting on thirty years of training I can say that I am a student of the martial arts without reservation. I might even be so presumptuous as to say I am a student of this teacher or that teacher... Of course, putting aside for the moment how diligent and loyal I might actually be, it is the individual Teacher's decision whom they actually view as their own student, and to whom they view themselves as their Teacher.

However I don't believe it was intention of O sensei to teach his students all these subtilities after IIWW.At that point of time he wasn't interested in physical aspect of practice anymore.

Again, I must disagree based upon what I have been told. Abe Sensei, being a personal student of the Founder after 1952, mentioned very specific instances of where O-Sensei was very interested in the physicality of movement, the methodology of progress (Misogi-no-Gyo & Kotodama-no-Gyo) and the specific mechanisms of spiritual growth and both Aikido's dependency on
and its integration within both the visualizations and conception of waza through Chinkon Kishin-no-Gyo, specifically.

My own sense tells me that while many students claim O-Sensei as their teacher, he in fact made no such declarations, public, silent or otherwise about 99 % of those same individuals as it related to his intention to transmission directly his art. I asked Abe Sensei about this specific thing and he did give me a list of very specific individuals who, in his mind at least were recipients of said transmission to some extent or another. I have my own opinions about the details of this based upon what I was told, but since it flies in the face of what a popular and supposed "historical expert" who refuses to debate his ill-founded conclusions and those who often quote him (in this very thread, in fact) as some sort of prophet and his works as some sort of prophet of biblical texts, I will keep them to myself for the time being. Too bad for those who find it much easier to accept the printed words of someone else rather than do their own research and challenge even the currently-held opinions and theories.

I think you are trying here to develop kata-like practice (aka 'ideal form' of both waza and ukemi). This is a very clear contradiction to the idea of controlling an attacker from the moment when idea of attack is raised in his head.You still make clear difference between nage and uke. This makes impossible the spontanous execution of the techniques even after 50 years of intensive practice. If you don't go through this rather primary dualism, you will never be able to FEEL the unity of the World and communicate with Kami.

Hmmmm... two points come to mind

First - on the level of "doing" aikido, while already a misunderstanding of the art form, but certainly the highest level most will ever reach, if you are trying to control an attacker from the moment the "idea" of attack comes into their head, as opposed to being at a place where you can keep the person from even having that idea, than dualism in terms of having to deal with conflict is all you will ever know.

Second - None of this has anything to do with feeling unity as there is no feeling when there is unity. When there is unity (everything all at once) there is no you, no kami nor any communication possible between two seemingly disparate things that cannot coexist when existence itself does not come into being in such a state of no state.

It was a very simple filter to reject casual students, and keep only serious ones. You are still not able to provide a single prove that O sensei taught ukemi('correct' or even ANY ukemi) to his students.
I don't believe S. Takeda taught ukemi to his students neither LOL

This may be only peripheral to the discussion, or perhaps there is no discussion here at all, but there are actual films of O-Sensei taking ukemi. One can only guess as to what his purpose was in taking ukemi in the first place. One might surmise that he was demonstrating something to either the nage (at the time) anyone present watching, along with anyone who via the films would be looking to dissect ad nauseum... O-Sensei was intimately aware of both microphones and cameras, the latter to which he most assuredly played knowing very well what would be left as a model for perpetuity.

In any case, coming from a dojo where ukemi was not only stressed as a methodology of both growth and progress, the learning of proper ukemi has a realistic function relating to limiting the level of injury one might sustain at any given time on the mat.... This may not have been something stressed via his Daito-Ryu experiences. However, as he changed his art form to reflect a broader scope of goals, perhaps even limiting the injury of one's training partner, as new and radical of an idea this may have seemed at the time (please read any amount of sarcasm here as makes you feel comfortable, or not, as you need) may have held some level of importance in his Dojo. I would be curious to know what the old-time, senior deshi of Iwama and Shingu might have to say about such a notion as this...

Okay, back to my corner now.

Best to all who seek the way...

.

DH
05-17-2009, 09:17 AM
....>snip<... but since it flies in the face of what a popular and supposed "historical expert" who refuses to debate his ill-founded conclusions and those who often quote him (in this very thread, in fact) as some sort of prophet and his works as some sort of prophet of biblical texts, I will keep them to myself for the time being. Too bad for those who find it much easier to accept the printed words of someone else rather than do their own research and challenge even the currently-held opinions and theories..
Hello Shaun
I have not read anything, anywhere, that sets Stanley up as a prophet. I take it you were just trying to accent the strength of your argument.
Actually I can remember balanced views of his research and also critiques of his interview and follow up-or more pointedly the lack thereof. The one thing He was credited for was that fact that he sought corroborating evidence and testimony. He checked out Student A's story with Student B and C. And that process proved enlightening when it stood against certain stories.
Another benefit to Stanley's process is that it blew up a lot of the anecdotal stories offered by single students who trained with one or two teachers-like you're own.;
...Again, I must disagree based upon what I have been told. Abe Sensei, being a personal student of the Founder after 1952....
.....I asked Abe Sensei about this specific thing
.....I have my own opinions about the details of this based upon what I was told...he did give me a list of very specific individuals who, in his mind at least were recipients of said transmission to some extent or another.
While we all appreciate everyone's loyalty to their teacher ,at a point it is foolish to let the experience of a single man training in 1952 define the art or the method spanning decades. It is equally false to let the experiences of a single man -say in 1938- be the defining voice as well.

Now let's add to that-that until Stanley showed up- everyone had buried their DR scrolls and were singing the Japanese "Go along- get along" song which had previously brought us a completely false idea of the origins of the art. Add to that the wonderful stories of O'sensei dodging bullets. Add to that the phases he himself went through. Add to that your VERY correct idea about just who was a real student and who was just passing through. Correct though it may be, do you really want to assign Abe, a single teacher, as the arbitor of who was who in 52'? I sure as hell don't.
Have you considered how many Sensei told how many of their students all the stories of their opinions and experiences with Ueshiba. Please tell me you are not this innocent! I have seen and heard of accounts of the feverishly devoted student, fiercely defending their own teachers version of Ueshiba's history -in the face of- the written evidence presented by Stanley.

Anecdotes are fun, and there are poignant stories worth preserving, but only a very foolish man would make a prophet of his own teacher and training experience without wondering how it pans out within a training / /teaching model lasting over forty years and several phases of a teachers growth.
I think most would agree that it was BECAUSE of Stan's research that we were privileged to see Ueshiba in a fuller light, spanning his career, if not most of his life. Something which we would have never seen. Was it ever meant to be a complete story? Stanley never said so. But as a record it helps to shape and /or place the anecdotes, fond memories, outright fabrications, romantic notions, assorted cold hard facts, and singular experiences in certain eras or phases of their training with Ueshiba in perspective.

I think Stan deserves some credit for that.;) And also the criticism he has gotten for not following up on some question or other after he received some bombshell answer in an interview. I remember (as so many others do) reading along with interest about some staggering piece of news from the interviewee, and then.... reading Stanley asking about how long a trip it was to go train. I wanted to reach across the pages and strangle him. You know..like you find in all good writing.

FWIW, I have included a copy of my post below which stands in stark contrast to your notion of me painting Stanley as a prophet. It is a balanced view of the issues I just discussed above. Of the ides of single teachers of certain eras talking B.S. or being a stellar voice and us not having the means to counter or verify it. Or we can add your model in of students of single teachers talking about their (research) with their limited exposure to just certain teachers.
In closing have you ever once considered that teachers tell different stories to different people for different reasons, and how smart it is -were you interested in the teacher-to hear contrary views that a single student is unable to obtain?
Stories from your teacher are interesting, but as I said in the quote below, I gave up investing in what they "say" interesting or not, and instead look for corroboration at every turn.
Cheers
Dan

Yes...many of us also caught the wink…at so many of the obfuscations about what they told us through the Eighties and nineties, till Stanley put them on the spot with contrary evidence.
About the deshi's actual training time with Ueshiba-which also proved highly suspect.
About them ever really being taught in detail or obversly- the fact that they when they said they didn't get it their techniques proved their words to be true.
The "wink" during all the obfuscations and what some consider outright lies about Daito ryu -that came by way of the Hombu. Including a Shihan telling me it no longer existed.
I gave up investing in what they "say" interesting or not, and instead look for corroboration at every turn. It's why I appreciated Stanley's method of research.

TomW
05-17-2009, 01:46 PM
Hello Shaun
I have not read anything, anywhere, that sets Stanley up as a prophet. I take it you were just trying to accent the strength of your argument.
<snip>
Cheers
Dan

Dan-

I got the impression Mr. Ravens was talking about Stevens. Mark Murray posted a link to The Way of Harmony at the bottom of his post #15.

I'm sure few in this thread would dispute, with any tenacity, Mr. Ravens' assessment of Stevens' writing, though no less embellishing than Stevens' himself. For the record, I believe Mark was referencing Shirata Sensei, not Stevens.

Charles Hill
05-17-2009, 04:03 PM
I thought Shaun was refering to Stanley Pranin too.

John Stevens didn't even come to mind because; one, he has made no public claims about who did and didn't get "transmission " and two, I know of no "refusal to debate."

Who are you talking about Shaun?

DH
05-17-2009, 07:58 PM
No big deal either way. If Shaun meant Stevens most would probably agree with him-but certainly not all. If he meant Stanley, most would probably disagree with him, but not all.
In my small way I tried to present one view of the issues of anecdotal V corroborated "versions" of history.
In either case, maybe we can all benefit from the exchange.
Cheers
Dan

mathewjgano
05-17-2009, 10:14 PM
...there is no feeling when there is unity. When there is unity (everything all at once) there is no you, no kami nor any communication possible between two seemingly disparate things that cannot coexist when existence itself does not come into being in such a state of no state.
Hi Shaun, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Are you saying there is no feeling/sensing the other because in a complete unity there is no other? ...that, insofaras X is in union with Y "they" are no longer X and Y, but rather some new singularity, Z?
Would you mind also elaborating on what you mean by "no feeling"?
Take care,
Matt

MM
05-17-2009, 10:31 PM
OK. Why did both Takeda and Ueshiba always use kata / waza as a teaching tool, if they did not really need to?

PAG

Hi Peter.

If I was a very cynical person, I'd probably answer that they used kata/waza/techniques as a diversion to cover for the secret "aiki" stuff. Or Takeda did it just to make money.

But, I'm not that cynical. I'll address my reply to all rather than single you out. I'm not sure I can handle a debate at your level. :)

I think that the jujutsu level stuff that both Takeda and Ueshiba taught could be used as competent self defense techniques. As many on these forums have posted throughout the years, it isn't "aikido" that failed, but the person.

However, as many have experienced, "aikido" doesn't work against someone who is skilled in aiki (the internal body skills). Plus, there are many articles about competent jujutsu/judo people being handled like children by Takeda and Ueshiba. It was either Tohei or Tomiki who trained by kicking beams in a house then going back to Judo and faring very well. Didn't help when meeting Ueshiba. Another article about Tomiki being manhandled and thrown all over the place.

Maybe Takeda and Ueshiba taught the techniques because it gave them something worthwhile to give to their students without divulging the secrets of the art.

And then Ueshiba went a different route from Takeda's Daito ryu. He became the avatar of the kami, the bridge between heaven and earth, etc. But, the simple fact was that being the avatar or the bridge without other people is useless. I think Ueshiba needed people to fulfill his mission, or whatever you want to call it. The problem is that untrained people could get hurt. So, maybe he trained them to the point where he could use them safely and allow him to be that avatar or bridge.

Back to the question, we find that old school jujutsu people couldn't compare to Takeda. Judo people couldn't compare to Ueshiba. How many techniques or kata did all these people know? How many techniques or kata did the kendo people know when they came to learn from Ueshiba?

Doesn't it make you wonder why all these people from all the various backgrounds full of kata and techniques couldn't compare to Takeda or Ueshiba?

Or why each school of Daito ryu has different techniques? Why each school of aikido has different techniques?

If the core skills, if the secrets of the art, if what made Takeda and Ueshiba stand out were in the techniques/kata/waza, then why could most who knew all these myriads of techniques not compare to them?

As a parallel, why is it that Mifune looks and moves differently than all other judo people when they all knew the same kata/techniques?

Could there be a possibility that there really is something "hidden" in a Japanese martial art? That what was shown and taught to most was not the "full" art? And could it be possible that there is a specific internal body skill, aiki, that wasn't taught to many? If there is that possibility, then isn't it also likely that all the techniques taught to the masses did not have that secret?

It is an interesting question that you asked. While I can only point to articles and interviews as research material, they are, after all, secondhand information. Why did Takeda and Ueshiba teach techniques?

philippe willaume
05-18-2009, 05:51 AM
Hi Peter.

IfCould there be a possibility that there really is something "hidden" in a Japanese martial art? That what was shown and taught to most was not the "full" art? And could it be possible that there is a specific internal body skill, aiki, that wasn't taught to many? If there is that possibility, then isn't it also likely that all the techniques taught to the masses did not have that secret?

It is an interesting question that you asked. While I can only point to articles and interviews as research material, they are, after all, secondhand information. Why did Takeda and Ueshiba teach techniques?

Because techniques are only the expression of your strategy and your tactics
What makes you a good horseman is not the number of way to use the reins, it is your ability to recognise situations and use the appropriate reins effect.

I am not sure there is secrets as in the medieval “vergorgen ringen” that you are not supposed to show in public.
Techniques are only defined by their range of applicability and I think the “what to use when so that you still have options” is what is not shown in most JMA.

If you take medieval fencing, wrestling, they do present techniques as well but they tell you as well which one you should use as an opening gambit inLike the breaking of the guards, or a Zornhau, streichen, or deflections from the krump if he attacks you in the zu fechten
Or the 3 wrestling from which “many wrestling, murder strike and bone breaker comes from”
And if you can not get the 1st wrestling, you can usually get the 2nd and if you can not get either you will have the 3rd.

As well they do make a difference between the getting in to proper range to fence (or fencing over extended); ie zu fechten
and the fencing from proper range; ie fechten
It is the same for wrestling, you have "zu lauffen ringen", the running wrestling when people rush you or at leastr a step to get you.
"ringen"wrestling from clinching, jabbing range and "auf ston" when a clinch is mutually neutralizing.

Last but not least, they do explain quite clearly the notion of relative timing with the notion of vor (before) nach (after) and indess (in the instant) at the movement.
All that represent a state more that representation of time.
To be in the “before” you strike needs to hit him before his counter can reach you and to stop it he must parry. I.e. he can void/dodge, you do not have the Vor.

So in the manual you do have the fundamentals strategy/tactics, how put that in action according to the initial situation/ context and techniques which can be chained together so that you stay true to the fundamental principles.

I think in most JMA that part is left to the individual or more realistically orally transmitted.

Peter Goldsbury
05-18-2009, 10:45 AM
Hello Mark,

My question was basically a response to Dan's post #37. (Dan is preaching to the converted here, by the way.)

The fact remains, however, that despite the accomplishments of both men in Aiki skills, what they showed, even to their closest students, was waza--in Takeda's case, hundreds. Budo Renshu (compiled in 1933), by comparison, contains about 160, with an introduction dealing with possible attacks and how to deal with them. So it seems to me that Ueshiba, at least, combined aiki skills with waza and used waza also when dealing with people like Tomiki and Shioda.

Best,

PAG

DH
05-18-2009, 11:04 AM
Hello Peter
Yes I understand that I am preaching to the converted, but that doesn't really help. I am trying to further the discussion and hoping someone would at least consider addressingt my points in post #37 and others here; namely why the aiki waza are so bizzare (juxtaposed to koryu jujustu) in their approach, and application, and why they are so?
Then we can perhaps move on to the need or use for them in the first place, and also why the "expression" of perhaps a singular core skill -looked so different- due to their respective personalities.
It might help to tie up some excellent points you, Ellis, Mark and I are rasing collectively. :)
Cheers
Dan

Pat Togher
05-18-2009, 11:46 AM
Hello Mark,

My question was basically a response to Dan's post #37. (Dan is preaching to the converted here, by the way.)

The fact remains, however, that despite the accomplishments of both men in Aiki skills, what they showed, even to their closest students, was waza--in Takeda's case, hundreds. Budo Renshu (compiled in 1933), by comparison, contains about 160, with an introduction dealing with possible attacks and how to deal with them. So it seems to me that Ueshiba, at least, combined aiki skills with waza and used waza also when dealing with people like Tomiki and Shioda.

Best,

PAG

This is a fascinating thread.

Peter,
I'd like to pose a question if I may.
If Shioda and Tomiki "got" aiki skills from Ueshiba sensei (and they certainly appear to have), is there some particular treason why they would not have codified any special aiki training tools for their students? It seems very odd to me, especially in the case of Tomiki, who appears to have been very open about teaching methods. Why wouldn't Tomiki have codified these aiki exercise methods and passed them on - either directly in his own aikido style or at the Kodokan - if he felt they were critical to the correct execution of the art?

Alternately (or in addition), a question for Dan:
Do the solo excercises from Tomiki aikido have any particular aiki benefits that are not readily apparent? They appear, at least to my untrained eyes, to be relatively standard exercises for warming up and establishing correct movement patterns.

Pat

Fred Little
05-18-2009, 11:49 AM
why the aiki waza are so bizzare (juxtaposed to koryu jujustu) in their approach, and application, and why they are so?

Mind you, it's only a conjecture, but here goes:

1) Starting at the beginning, let me posit that the exercises used to develop "the body skills" are pretty bizarre in their approach compared to normal calisthenics.

2) It then seems relatively natural that "aiki waza" intended to refine the application of those skills would be pretty bizarre in their approach and application in comparison to koryu jujutsu.

Best,

FL

DH
05-19-2009, 10:55 AM
Hi guys
The way we train here is more in line with -I suspect- the way-Takeda taught to concrentate on the body first. This results in a body that cannot be taken down without great effort- sacrificing your body. I think it is the reason that he produced some incredibly powerful men and Ueshiba-by comparison never did.
I think Takeda taught what he knew, Ueshiba knew more than he taught
I think the goal was to tell your inner sutdents to concentrate on their bodies. The end result should be powerfully evident on contact The body is to be trained to be supported by giving a negative with a supported positive, in many directions at once, rotationally, front and back, up and down, over and under. For us there is simply no way, or any need for us to give two negatives or two positives and throw ourselves. It ceases to have any meaning to do so. I would have to actually concentrate and make myself fall apart inside in order to fall down like that. What is revealed when training your body this way is THEIR center. And we find they are the ones who are ever increasingly revealing their centers to us. On contact their centera are open and can be manipulated. Since all of this is and can be incorporated into daily training its seems axiomatic to all that is aiki and all that is aikido.

Naturally I think it is a better way to train, it doesn’t involve just the exercises or simple standing, or breath power only, it is a combination of all of that in movement. In my view it moves far closer to Ueshiba's goals of having the ability to cancel out real aggression than most of what I have seen these days. Of course it will alter the training model for most dojo not to take ukemi that way. I know of several aikido teachers who have said "That's it! I don't care what anyone says" and are bringing this training into the requirements of their dojo training from now on. I think it is going to make them and their students very capable players across the board against any art in a far shorter time frame-as I have always said it would. Again, it is worth stating it is also healing and healthy for the body, well into old age and continues to build in power when most people are starting to fall apart.
Again, it IS ukemi -just of a different order.
Cheers
Dan

C. David Henderson
05-19-2009, 01:41 PM
Waza
An interesting diversion is to discuss why aiki waza is so bizzare, so singular, justaposed to koryu jujutsu. Why it wasn't repeated, why his students tried to record it. I think there is a reason. And it is also the reason most of it doesn't work in the hands of the vast majority who try them.

Solo training
The fact that Ark and I both teach people solo exercises that condition the body that leads to aiki, and do so openly is not germane, other than to point out that they still exist and we...are capable of doing so.
Cheers
Dan

Hi Dan.

I took it that this was the portion of post #37 to which you were referring. I could venture a guess about what you might say in response to the question posed, but I'd rather ask, if I may, what you think.

Regards,
cdh

C. David Henderson
05-19-2009, 01:44 PM
Looks like I may have stopped reading too soon.

Marc Abrams
05-19-2009, 02:00 PM
Hi guys
The way we train here is more in line with -I suspect- the way-Takeda taught to concrentate on the body first. This results in a body that cannot be taken down without great effort- sacrificing your body. I think it is the reason that he produced some incredibly powerful men and Ueshiba-by comparison never did.
I think Takeda taught what he knew, Ueshiba knew more than he taught
I think the goal was to tell your inner sutdents to concentrate on their bodies. The end result should be powerfully evident on contact The body is to be trained to be supported by giving a negative with a supported positive, in many directions at once, rotationally, front and back, up and down, over and under. For us there is simply no way, or any need for us to give two negatives or two positives and throw ourselves. It ceases to have any meaning to do so. I would have to actually concentrate and make myself fall apart inside in order to fall down like that. What is revealed when training your body this way is THEIR center. And we find they are the ones who are ever increasingly revealing their centers to us. On contact their centera are open and can be manipulated. Since all of this is and can be incorporated into daily training its seems axiomatic to all that is aiki and all that is aikido.

Naturally I think it is a better way to train, it doesn't involve just the exercises or simple standing, or breath power only, it is a combination of all of that in movement. In my view it moves far closer to Ueshiba's goals of having the ability to cancel out real aggression than most of what I have seen these days. Of course it will alter the training model for most dojo not to take ukemi that way. I know of several aikido teachers who have said "That's it! I don't care what anyone says" and are bringing this training into the requirements of their dojo training from now on. I think it is going to make them and their students very capable players across the board against any art in a far shorter time frame-as I have always said it would. Again, it is worth stating it is also healing and healthy for the body, well into old age and continues to build in power when most people are starting to fall apart.
Again, it IS ukemi -just of a different order.
Cheers
Dan

I have just spent the last five days with Ushiro Sensei (Shindoryu). One of the powerful things (one of many) that I came away with was what Dan mentioned about one's energy being able to be utilized simultaneously in many directions. With Ushiro Sensei, it is like a 360 degree force field that he can utilize to disperse your attack and also to make his own attack "unreadable." His system centers on the use of Kata (solo training) to develop the body skills that Dan talks about. His utilization of kata is very much like what Dan describes in his approach to training and is far removed from the "kata shell" that exists in many other training paradigms. Each movement in a kata has different levels of "tests" against attacks so as to verify one's progress.

I personally do view Aikido waza as a form of kata. Within each "waza" is a set of body movements, based upon certain principles. These "waza" have different levels and component parts can be tested to verify one's progress. I also view ukemi as a kata and use it accordingly, to help raise the level of my own development.

I greatly appreciate the efforts of those (Dan included) who are actively exploring different ways of addressing the development of Aiki skills. I look forward to having an opportunity to experience Dan's training paradigm. I can say that Ushiro Sensei has a paradigm that works as well and it exists within a traditional approach. I can vouch for the success of this teaching paradigm because I have worked with Sensei's senior students and can attest to the development of Aiki skills in their execution of their art.

Marc Abrams

Misogi-no-Gyo
05-19-2009, 09:58 PM
Hi Shaun, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Are you saying there is no feeling/sensing the other because in a complete unity there is no other? ...that, insofaras X is in union with Y "they" are no longer X and Y, but rather some new singularity, Z?
Would you mind also elaborating on what you mean by "no feeling"?
Take care,
Matt

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the questions. I would have to say that while you ask some great questions, the answers would be best left to a new thread. If you care to start one - see I am lazy after my workout at the gym - then I will try to get around to addressing your points by the weekend.

Best in training...

.

Misogi-no-Gyo
05-19-2009, 10:12 PM
Dan-

I got the impression Mr. Ravens was talking about Stevens. Mark Murray posted a link to The Way of Harmony at the bottom of his post #15.

I'm sure few in this thread would dispute, with any tenacity, Mr. Ravens' assessment of Stevens' writing, though no less embellishing than Stevens' himself. For the record, I believe Mark was referencing Shirata Sensei, not Stevens.

I thought Shaun was refering to Stanley Pranin too.

John Stevens didn't even come to mind because; one, he has made no public claims about who did and didn't get "transmission " and two, I know of no "refusal to debate."

Who are you talking about Shaun?

No big deal either way. If Shaun meant Stevens most would probably agree with him-but certainly not all. If he meant Stanley, most would probably disagree with him, but not all.
In my small way I tried to present one view of the issues of anecdotal V corroborated "versions" of history.
In either case, maybe we can all benefit from the exchange.
Cheers
Dan

All Interesting theories everyone... Really!

Of course, its important to say that corroborated versions aren't necessarily 100% correct. They may, for various reasons even be entirely wrong. Alas, anecdotal accounts, as unaccepted as they may be by whoever seems to find objection with the correlating conclusions aren't necessarily 100% wrong. They may even be absolutely correct.

As for who I may have been speaking of, wouldn't it be interesting if it had been about the current favorite flavors here on Aiki-Web, or wherever? You know, people like Dan, Akuzawa or even... (gasp) Mike S. ...? Think about it.

Best in training...

.

Misogi-no-Gyo
05-19-2009, 11:08 PM
Hi guys
The way we train here is more in line with -I suspect- the way-Takeda taught to concrentate on the body first. This results in a body that cannot be taken down without great effort- sacrificing your body. I think it is the reason that he produced some incredibly powerful men and Ueshiba-by comparison never did.
I think Takeda taught what he knew, Ueshiba knew more than he taught

I think the goal was to tell your inner students to concentrate on their bodies. The end result should be powerfully evident on contact The body is to be trained to be supported by giving a negative with a supported positive, in many directions at once, rotationally, front and back, up and down, over and under.

Hi Dan,

I am sincerely thankful for your above points. Perhaps you mentioned them previously and I simply missed the opportunity to make my following points. In any case, it is wonderful for you to make my point for me so clearly for all Aikidoka to consider for themselves. I will start by mentioning one aspect of martial arts that was instilled in me early on in my own journey, that being that all martial arts are the same in that they begin and end with "Rei" (a bow) Of course what happens in-between those two bows may look and be entirely unique to the either individual or art form.

Here are your words, followed by my clarifications...

I think it is the reason that he produced some incredibly powerful men and Ueshiba-by comparison never did.
Power, whatever that may be has many various definitions. "Gan-Sa-Tan-Riki" is one of many gokui relating to Aikido, and many martial arts, I would suspect. On the surface it talks about levels of power. Just below the surface it offers a road map for seekers of higher-level martial arts. At some point beyond that it becomes a gauge by which one can measure his or her one's own progress or understanding by reflecting back the exact nature of the essence of the person. So what we have is a simple equation that says that Takeda Sensei was very good at producing men of power in terms of how you define it. Similarly, Ueshiba Sensei was very good at producing men of power in terms of how he defined it. These two different "faces" of what power may be defined as are, well... different by their very nature. As most people would agree that Aikido and Daito-Ryu are not the same art, it would make logical sense to conclude that there is something different between one and the other - more so than simply the number of or variation in which the way a particular technique is executed. What you have pointed to in making your assertion about what Takeda Sensei and Ueshiba Sensei were able to produce is that the power within Daito-Ryu, is a different one from that of Aikido. They are different "powers" because the goal of each art and what each art aims to produce is, yes... different.

I think Takeda taught what he knew, Ueshiba knew more than he taught.
As I meditated on your point, it became crystal clear to me that:
This couldn't possibly be substantiated as anything more than opinion at best.
Would presume that you knew that each teacher wanted the same result.
It is not ever possible to teach all that one knows or even get close.
as things generally turn out, is probably the exact opposite of what actually happened... of course, that is about as much opinion as your original statement, and not my opinion at all, as it turns out.


So, in conclusion, while our (two different) Arts are completely different at their core, in intended result, in execution of techniques and in training to produce those very differences, I bow to you. Budo wa, Budo desu.

Best in training...

.

Charles Hill
05-20-2009, 04:00 AM
All Interesting theories everyone... Really!

Of course, its important to say that corroborated versions aren't necessarily 100% correct. They may, for various reasons even be entirely wrong. Alas, anecdotal accounts, as unaccepted as they may be by whoever seems to find objection with the correlating conclusions aren't necessarily 100% wrong. They may even be absolutely correct.

As for who I may have been speaking of, wouldn't it be interesting if it had been about the current favorite flavors here on Aiki-Web, or wherever? You know, people like Dan, Akuzawa or even... (gasp) Mike S. ...? Think about it.

I am certainly curious to see what kind (if any?) reactions you are going to get from this, but I thought it was great answer. Even better than if you had answered who, thanks. I'm certainly glad you have decided to become active here again Shaun.

Charles

jss
05-20-2009, 06:23 AM
So, in conclusion, while our (two different) Arts are completely different at their core, in intended result, in execution of techniques and in training to produce those very differences, I bow to you. Budo wa, Budo desu.
I don't see how you can claim the above without denying Daito ryu was a major influence on aikido. Care to elaborate?

Too bad for those who find it much easier to accept the printed words of someone else rather than do their own research and challenge even the currently-held opinions and theories.As for who I may have been speaking of, wouldn't it be interesting if it had been about the current favorite flavors here on Aiki-Web, or wherever? You know, people like Dan, Akuzawa or even... (gasp) Mike S. ...? Think about it.
Ironically, plenty of people quoting these 'current favorite flavors' are the ones that went to train with them. How's that in doing research?

MM
05-20-2009, 07:53 AM
I think Takeda taught what he knew, Ueshiba knew more than he taught.

As I meditated on your point, it became crystal clear to me that:
A. This couldn't possibly be substantiated as anything more than opinion at best.


I find it hard to believe that you would hold to this position? Perhaps it is just like option "D" that you posted. Something you thought to just throw out there that isn't your opinion, but somewhere, somehow, it could be true?

Going by articles and interviews, we see quite a few things that Takeda supposedly did that Ueshiba didn't show. For example, having someone grab a napkin or paper or whatever and throwing them. (I believe Sagawa has done this.) Having someone grab his (Takeda) neck and throwing them. Using his feet. (Kodo on film doing this). Where is Ueshiba doing these things? One of the few things that are common are some (not all) of the push tests.

In the realm of techniques, it's not hard to research the various schools of Daito ryu and see each using different techniques. The Takumakai supposedly catalogued both Takeda's techniques and Ueshiba's techniques. Looking at the whole, all the Daito ryu schools certainly seem to have quite a bit more techniques than Aikido.

Takeda also taught sword. Ueshiba ... well, we know how that's been talked about.

Fan? Takeda, yes. Ueshiba?

When I read your post and your point "A", it threw me for a loop. I really didn't understand how you could come to this "crystal clear" point in light of a lot of articles and interviews out there.

Speaking of Ueshiba knowing more than he taught. There are interviews talking about how Ueshiba stopped people in their tracks. I'm told it's a Daito ryu thing. But, I can't find any of Ueshiba's students doing this. And it's sort of an unspoken thing that Ueshiba pared down the Daito ryu syllabus when he created aikido.

Perhaps Takeda never taught *all* that he knew. That's certainly a valid theory. However, in light of what Takeda *did* teach to others, it isn't hard to see that Ueshiba knew more than he taught.

stan baker
05-20-2009, 08:10 AM
Hi Shaun
I think you are missing the main point, the power of Daito Ryu and Aikido are the same. Aiki

One can manifest AIKI in different ways or waza, that is the difference.

stan

MM
05-20-2009, 08:30 AM
Has anyone wondered why, when Ueshiba was teaching Daito ryu, Shioda, Tomiki, Shirata, Mochizuki, etc were considered the "greats" of aikido. But after WWII, we still consider them the "greats"? Why it's said that Tomiki held out his hand to judoka and they couldn't throw him? Why Shioda is taped doing what he does with power? Etc.

http://ejmas.com/jcs/jcsart_narimatsu_0101.htm


Asked how he got started in aikido, Ueshiba Sensei told Mr. Nonaka that he began training in aikijujutsu after moving to Hokkaido in 1912. His instructor was Sokaku Takeda, who usually didn't trust people, but he liked the young Ueshiba and so let him cook and do other chores for him. In return, Ueshiba learned jujutsu. As he grew older, Ueshiba Sensei began paying more attention to the aiki than the jujutsu, and that was the start of what became aikido.

That's a very interesting paragraph. Ueshiba started concentrating more on aiki in his later years. That certainly could (theory) explain a few things.

1. Why he trimmed the Daito ryu techniques.
2. Why the later students weren't really taught as the pre-war students were. (which brings up another point on just how do you train aiki? But that's another thread.)
3. Why it can be said he knew more than he taught.
4. Why he never cared about teaching sword, yet said things like, this is how you do that with aiki.
5. Why, what he was doing, was ukemi in a pure sense.

DH
05-20-2009, 08:37 AM
Hello Shaun
I'd like to say that although we clearly have differences in view. I have always enjoy your writing. We may debate your excellent points, without arriving at any consensus among the readership, but I suspect there is an awareness that is growing through such debates. I think your referencing my input as one of the "current favorite flavors"-I guess we might as well add "flavor of the month" is an attempt to reduce our arguments, and possibly negate the value of what we are demonstrating. This is a rather normal, even a typical response, to change. It usually lasts right up to the moment of change. Fortunately, the value of our argument is greatly supported by the value of the work and the ever increasing numbers of aikido teachers and students all following your suggestion "of doing their own research." The only difference being they more or less have ended up dissagreeing with your rather parochial view of aikido

Power
Your response to the use of the word power is a rather typical misunderstanding of the concept. The pedestrian view of power among martial artists is of resistance and conflict with muscle and dominance. In that regard one might say this is anathema of Ueshiba's goals. However, the Asian version of Power has nothing to do with such a narrow view. Power is about control. Control that arises: not from resisting a force against you with muscle, but rather by changing it. Whether this change arises from absorbing, redirecting, or letting it arrive directly back at the sender becomes the choice of the adept. But the key here is that the adept must clearly be able to demonstrate that level of skill. That level of skill is incredibly soft and developed. It is NOT, nor ever will be… moving oneself all over the place to avoid force. There is a higher level of skill involved here. And it comes from a method of training the body- tempering it- to achieve that level of power, then training to use that power with an unusual type of skill, that is different and divergent from the arts that use muscle and direct resistance with muscle driven power. These things are known and are hundreds of years old. Unfortunately, due to the way the arts are disseminated, they remain "news" to some people who spent decades in the supposedly soft arts.
Ukemi
It is for this reason that I see Ueshiba's use of his body as Nage... as ukemi. They are one and the same. His body conditioning-not his waza- would have to be voluntarily surrendered and broken in order to fall for his student. But nowhere have we seen both Uke and Nage demonstrating the same level of body skill in motion in Aikido or Daito ryu. Were the uke to being doing so- his receiving of power would not look the way it looks, time after time, for decades. The trained body does not receive power that way. That the aiki arts ask for-and get- the responses theydo from their followers on feeling a teachers power is a separate discussion. What remains clear is that it is wholey unecessary and undeeded to forward the arts core skills and power. It is also less healthy in the long run for the body. Wheras the conditioning we are discussing actually builds the body and increased its power as it ages.

You wrote:

Sadly, this remains a popular view. Yet, I think it is completely false. I think it is this view, that is holding back so many from the beauty of aikido. Aiki is the core and single unifying skill not only between Daito ryu and aikido, but with the higher level Chinese arts as well. I must say it continues to seem strange for people to be at odds regarding the work that the founder himself demonstrated over, and over, and over. Further that there is any need to discuss it yet again. It is both clear and clearly impossible to ignore that the founder in fact demonstrated the use of power in ways that were rather blunt and involved the use of the appearance of direct resistance to force; in people pushing on him and him demonstrating the type of power we have been discussing for years now and our currently demonstrating ourselves. Sadly, many people have and continue to misunderstood both his message and his example.

There is no difference in the core skills of these arts- just the expression. We all have our world view colored by personal experience. I find it refreshing that I was talking to a friend of mine (who is a teacher of Daito ryu) and we were discussing one of the attributes of Aiki when he said when we are connected, if I move in anyway he is controlled. And three years ago I was talking to a Taiji master level teacher who used the exact same example. But it remains the ability, not the knowledge, that defines and defends the argument and the one presenting that argument.

Then and now
As to the teaching and my comment that "Takeda taught what he knew, and Ueshiba knew more than he taught"
These skills are so profound, that they are immediately known. In his time Takeda demonstrated these unusual skills to and on renowned martial artists of his day and was appropriately credited for the unusual nature of them. So were others that he taught, Namely Sagawa, Horikawa, Hisa and -the subject of the debate- Ueshiba. The main point being that you seem to believe that Ueshiba demonstrated skills and abilities that were different from Takeda. I clearly disagree with this view. In keeping with the thread I would like to address this in light of Peter and Ellis's comments on the psychology of the men being relevant to the skills. The power previously discussed; to absorb and redirect and change force, once attained may be "expressed" in any number of ways. But the skills have at their heart the same source, the tempering of the body. For this reason I think it is a mistake to discuss their personalities directly with the skills. Haing the skills is one discussion, what you choose to do with them-another.
Some attempt to state that Ueshiba alone made a drastic "change" from the Budo of the day in his expression of power. They make these statements neglecting the fact that Takeda had made that shift before him, maybe even FOR him. Setting aside their own path of violence, even the teaching of violence lets arrive at the end of both Takeda and Ueshiba's days. At the end of his Days Takeda claimed his art (wildly different in expression and intent from much of Koryu Jujutsu of the day) was for defense only, and for not harming. It's aiki, which stood out, was the source of the acknowledgement of the arts incredible "power." I see nothing different in both the public displays, and in the written words of Ueshiba. It is aiki that remains the source of control and the stopping of violence. It is clearly an unusual skill among the thousands who attempt it.

Of those attempting it, they are immediately known. Aiki is a defining skill that once attained will cause anyone to stand out. Your argument that Ueshiba made many men with it-I think is a hollow one. There is no one in the later generations of Aikido that I am aware of, who was ever acknowledged to be the likes of Hisa, Kodo, Sagawa, Ueshiba or Shioda. Do you know of someone of that skill level? Speaking of the later and current generation- the current greats? As we continue to meet and show teachers in the art, and to have these discussions over dinner and drinks the debate over the veracity of these methods to create aiki continues to arrive in our favor-not yours. In the fullness of time this may affect the current Aikido greats abilities to continue to impress those same teachers and students. It is my personal experience Shaun, that what I am discussing with you here has been judged to be the source of aiki of every teacher I have met who has felt it. I have yet to meet the man or women in aikido who does not want to train this way once they feel it. It is their view that it is the source of their art.
In closing, I will bow to you as well, with respect. As in Ghandis example; I have no intention of making enemies of either you or these teachers the men and women of aikido. I seek to change their minds and show them a better way to achieve what was the source of their art.
I am sure that you, like me, practice with joy and laughter, may you continue to do so.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
05-20-2009, 08:53 AM
The fact remains, however, that despite the accomplishments of both men in Aiki skills, what they showed, even to their closest students, was waza--in Takeda's case, hundreds. Budo Renshu (compiled in 1933), by comparison, contains about 160, with an introduction dealing with possible attacks and how to deal with them. So it seems to me that Ueshiba, at least, combined aiki skills with waza and used waza also when dealing with people like Tomiki and Shioda.
In the last few years, it has become more and more apparent that in earlier times the basic ki/kokyu skills were present in Aikido, Judo, Karate, ju-jutsu schools of various sorts, koryu of various sorts, iaido, kendo, etc. Not to mention just about every Chinese martial art that I've encountered and read about. I.e., these skills weren't relegated to 3 or 4 people in the old days. If you have these skills and your opponent also has these skills (in a roughly equal level), the determining factor shifts to the skill in the martial art. I'd say things go sort of like this, all else being equal:

1. Both combatants ignorant of ki/kokyu skills, the better martial techniques win.

2. Both combatants with equal martial skill, the person with ki/kokyu skills wins.

3. Both combatants with martial training and equal ki/kokyu abilities, the better martial-technician wins.

In other words, waza/techniques are not some minor factor in a martial art. Ki/kokyu skills are prominent if few others know them. If everyone knows them you really need to have superior technique/waza. Considering how widely spread these skills are in Asia, the clamp-down on not showing everyone seems to have an effect mainly on low-level practitioners. ;)

My 2 cents.

Mike Sigman

DH
05-20-2009, 09:04 AM
Which ties in with a response to a question to a Daito ryu Shihan.
Q. "Person to person who wins?"
A. "The one with aiki."
Q. "If they both have aiki?"
A. "The one with the better aiki, or the one with better skill in use." (who arrives first or follows and changes better)

I disagree in the modern era about fighting with it.
External to internal- I think very well trained MMA grappler /knockout power headhunters can equal a lot of playing fields, by standing outside and delivering the mail, or setting up "the fog" by repeated strikes to the head and body and kicking... before entering.
Once grappling; internal and short power can become devestating.
I just think since people are going to spend all that time training why not do both? Build both skills.
None of which is directly related to the thread. If we are talking about aiki waza it remains about control..hmm..wait. Who said "90% of aikido is atemi?" hmm...
Cheers
Dan

oisin bourke
05-20-2009, 09:08 AM
RE: Shaun's comments about Daito Ryu:

As someone who learned Aikido for a few years and is currently practicing Daito Ryu, I am constantly struck by how potentially "humane" the application of the art can be on an aggressor when compared to some Aikido I have experienced.

One feature of Daito Ryu is "robbing the opponent of their power", where you disperse their strength, rendering them less of a threat but without throwing or hitting in a damaging manner.

For sure, there are brutal parts to the art as well, but waza can be applied in a manner perfectly in accordance with "the spirit of loving protection."

Mike Sigman
05-20-2009, 09:14 AM
I was only trying to make the point that waza/technique was not taught as some superficial time-killer for that that don't have ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills. Waza is very important. The old saying goes something like "martial-technique-skills without internal strength is not sufficient; internal-strength skills without skill in techniques is no good, either".

FWIW

Mike

DH
05-20-2009, 09:14 AM
As someone who learned Aikido for a few years and is currently practicing Daito Ryu, I am constantly struck by how potentially "humane" the application of the art can be on an aggressor, compared to some Aikido I have experienced. One feature of Daito Ryu is "robbing the opponent of their power" where you disperse their strength, rendering them less of a threat but without throwing or hitting in a damaging manner.

For sure, there are brutal parts to the art as well, but waza can be applied in a manner perfectly in accordance with "the spirit of loving protection."
Absolutely true and hardly ever acknowledged, accepted, thought about or discussed. And as I noted several times. "What does that say about Takeda's statements about it being a defensive art?"
Or of Sagawa's logo about peace on his wall, and Ueshiba's statements?
They are...like the core of their various arts skills...
One and the same-just different expressions of it.


I was only trying to make the point that waza/technique was not taught as some superficial time-killer for that that don't have ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills. Waza is very important. The old saying goes something like "martial-technique-skills without internal strength is not sufficient; internal-strength skills without skill in techniques is no good, either".

FWIW

Mike

Agreed, and nice saying. One can debate all day whether the old expressions of waza are still sufficient or they need to be updated with newer methods of fighting. I think people on both sides of that debate have been surprised at the result.
Then again the training model of ukemi can be explored in that regard, to produce drastically different fighters with completely different pre-conditioned response levels to force. I am sure that just now, many guys training this way are examining much different ways to deal with a lock or throw attempt other than falling down to avoid them.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
05-20-2009, 09:41 AM
Agreed, and nice saying. One can debate all day whether the old expressions of waza are still sufficient or they need to be updated with newer methods of fighting. If you're talking about restricted fighting with rules, which is what MMA, etc., are all about, I think it's an artificial distinction, not a "newer method of fighting". Don't forget that there were sport modes of some arts back in the old days, too. Shuai Jiao (which was undoubtedly a precursor to Sumo and ju-jutsu) has had a sport/competition branch for centuries.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

DH
05-20-2009, 09:52 AM
Yes but I am on the "tradional side" of things against newer ways of fighting. I know-several BJJ and MMA guys who have been quite surpirised at what some tradional methods, from several sources; Chinese and Japanese, can deliver in the right hands. Particularly when anything goes. That said, nothing is imperical, its still very much about the man, not the art.

MMA
FWIW, It's a mistake to limit MMA discussions to MMAsport-not my interest at all. MMA as a study -has introgued and involved tradional guys from way back-and was the precurser to the modern MMA sport stuff. They are not the same.
Cheers
Dan.

Aikibu
05-20-2009, 01:15 PM
Y
FWIW, It's a mistake to limit MMA discussions to MMAsport-not my interest at all. MMA as a study -has introgued and involved tradional guys from way back-and was the precurser to the modern MMA sport stuff. They are not the same.
Cheers
Dan.

Agreed...Most really good Martial Artists did not limit themselves to thier Kata and in fact tried to improve upon what they were taught.

Which is why I look forward to seeing you in August and I am sure if Shoji Nishio Shihan were still alive he may have ended up incorporating Aunkai (sorry Spelling escapes me) Kata or more Aiki exercises...IOW "Kokyu Power" in Aikido separates the men from the boys...Whenever I feel someone with such skills it makes me realize how much more I have to learn and experiance. Even up to the point he retired from active teaching Nishio Shihan was always looking for ways to make Aikido better and a more complete (hence effective) Budo.

We are all MMA. :)

William Hazen

Misogi-no-Gyo
05-20-2009, 10:37 PM
Hello Shaun
I'd like to say that although we clearly have differences in view. I have always enjoy your writing. We may debate your excellent points, without arriving at any consensus among the readership, but I suspect there is an awareness that is growing through such debates.
Hi Dan,

Thanks for your reply. I, too enjoy reading your posts. I agree with you that engaging in debate for lack of a better word is a good way to expose ourselves to others' opinions as well as both expose our own opinions to the scrutiny of others along with helping to expand others' opinions who happen to resonate with what it is that we are sharing.
I think your referencing my input as one of the "current favorite flavors"-I guess we might as well add "flavor of the month" is an attempt to reduce our arguments, and possibly negate the value of what we are demonstrating. This is a rather normal, even a typical response, to change. It usually lasts right up to the moment of change.
I haven't completed reading your reply nor had a chance to read all of the other responses. However, I wanted to take a moment to respond to this part of your reply. As I read it, it immediately dawned upon me how you and others might have misread my intentions with regards to the term "favorite flavor." I specifically did not use the term "flavor of the month" as in my mind it would have denoted some sort of invalidation of your training methods, training philosophy or more importantly the results of your training on my part. As I have said to you both on the board and privately, that just isn't how I feel. I want to step up and clearly state, as I have before, that I am in full support of people seeking all forms of martial arts techniques, martial arts forms, martial art power and the like from any and every valid source. I personally have not had the pleasure to train with you, nor Akuzawa Sensei, nor Mike S. I am positive that I would enjoy each and every experience, training session, meeting each of you and your students along with learning more than a few things to assist me on my path from each and every one of you. I don't want to be pigeonholed by saying I meant exactly this or that when using that expression , but I wanted to state what I did not mean. As most people on these boards know, I tend to use colorful language at times. For me, favorite flavor merely pointed to how much people of late are enjoying getting to know you whether that be through posts, internet interactions, personal interactions or training with you. Although I have made it a point of late to do as little of it as possible, I try to be very clear when I am intentionally dissing someone. My previous post was not an instance of that on any level.
Fortunately, the value of our argument is greatly supported by the value of the work and the ever increasing numbers of aikido teachers and students all following your suggestion "of doing their own research." The only difference being they more or less have ended up dissagreeing with your rather parochial view of aikido
Of course, I agree from a martial standing the technical benefits of your training philosophy and regimen and would expect to hear nothing less than glowing accolades from those fortunate to have the experience. However, I adamantly disagree with people outside of an art saying that they are absolutely sure that what they believe the art of Aikido is, is what Aikido is. This is never more true when it comes from Aikidoka who need to look outside of the art to find what they can not seem to discover from within the art, itself. I am not speaking of someone such as Ledyard Sensei who seeks these experiences from a place within himself which would allow him to absorb what i he seeks and deflect what is extraneous to our art, but rather of someone who has no idea what he or she is looking for in the first place and are truly open to a trance-like "possession" if you will by powers that they neither understand at their root, nor how they are separate and different from what they have been unable to find right in their own Dojo. I am not invalidating those powers. I would say that understanding and mastering these things is beneficial on almost every level to ones martial training.

I make it a point to make the distinction not because there isn't something worthy outside of any one of our arts that should be experienced. We all know that there is. However, the perspective from which outside influences are shared are in reality the polar opposite of what lies at the heart of Aikido - The "way of Aiki." From all that I have read in all of your words (you, as the collective of yourself, Akuzawa, Mike S....etc.) and from all of what I have read in the words of those who have come to train with each of you, even from what I have had the chance to discuss privately with several of those same people is that the simple thing that you are each describing comes from a perspective which is not the Way of Aiki, but rather the "Use of Aiki." The use of Aiki is a wonderful, subtle path and passion in its own right. However, it is not the art of the Founder, O-Sensei, Ueshiba Morihei. Anyone who looks at Aikido from the perspective that Aikido is the mastery of the use of Aiki will never really be training in the art of the Founder, because they are not really seeking the art of the Founder. This is merelya rudimentary study of physical waza. Sure, waza relates to the way of Aiki as they are the tools we use to set out to master the way of Aiki. However, mastering the production of the tools is not mastering the use of the tools. You may call this distinction parochial, and that is of course your right and stated perspective. I, However, see this as people looking up to find the ground and down to find the sky all while complaining that they aren't getting the proper directions because those to whom they went for direction mislead or misdirected them in the first place. As you well know, you can't really force people to see what is right in front of them, so how are we going to force them to see what is all around them? Well, all we have is time, right?

I want to have a chance to digest the most recent replies before I choose to comment. I may decide that I have nothing additional to add that would move the thread forward. More than likely this is already off-topic to the idea of O-Sensei and correct ukemi in the way that the original poster wanted it addressed. I am happy at the chance for discourse, but there is no real sense in repeating oneself over and over. Is that redundant? Did I already ask that...?

Best in training to all...

.

Misogi-no-Gyo
05-21-2009, 12:24 AM
I don't see how you can claim the above without denying Daito ryu was a major influence on aikido. Care to elaborate?
Daito-Ryo was a major influence on the Founder of Aikido. Obviously it was the source for the training syllabus, too. However, what is at the heart of the discussion has nothing to do with denying any contributory sources, but more about what separates the two arts and how declaring that just because they share a common ancestry that the very nature of the two arts are quite distinct and polar opposites from the start.

Ironically, plenty of people quoting these 'current favorite flavors' are the ones that went to train with them. How's that in doing research?
I would not call this research at all when it comes to clearing up the confusion that is the current state of Aikido. Going to the source of an invalid argument about what is Aikido does little other than to reinforce the nature of the confusion.

Here is a rather long, but personal anecdote to illustrate my point - that being that going to the source of confusion does little to alleviate confusion. I find it quite ironic all these years later given how much of a corollary, albeit a metaphoric one there is between what occurred to me then and what is, in my opinion, occurring in our art now. I hope that someone sees this correlation or at the very least one person finds a story about autofocus cameras interesting on its own merits.

My first introduction in the mysteries of Japan and its wonderful people came through my relationship with a certain Japanese company that made autofocus cameras for which I did subcontractor work. There were two specific models on which I worked, one being the next generation of the other. The repair manuals we were given were considered bibles. The Japanese technicians who wrote them were actually dispatched to train me on how to tear down and rebuild each model. These individuals were presented as gods by their company and were treated as such by all other repair technicians.

At some point in my tenure I discovered a mistake in the manual, one that was important enough to forward it up the chain of command to the parties responsible - the all seeing all knowing, repair-bible writing technician-gods, themselves. See, in actuality, no one would have ever found the mistake because it wasn't an obvious one like 2+2=5. The manual simply stated as fact that two things (the method to set the focus between a set of lens pairs making up the primary lens group on each of these two models) was the same. I had decided to dismantle the lens group which was typically not done as the parts were replaced as a whole. However because of a back-order of lenses lasting months and months, I decided to expedite customer repairs and build the part from scratch. In doing so I discovered that two things that I was told were the same, were documented as being the same and interchanged as if they were the same, were (so sorry to have to report) not the same at all...

I quickly realized that all practicing technicians were using the documented method to calibrate the lenses before sending them back to the customer. However these two things which by all accounts were supposed to be the same were in fact not the same at all. How unfortunate it was that these cameras would eventually all come back, only to be re-repaired at no cost. You see, It really didn't matter how many people said these two things were the same. It also didn't matter how many people in practice operated as if they were the same. The simple fact is, they were and always had been different all along.

Being that I was at the time the world-wide leading repair technician in terms of the sheer number of completed repairs of these two models, I just wouldn't let it go. I continued to make a stink about it until the company was forced to send one of the repair bible toting "technician-gods" out to our shop.

He came all the way over from Japan to tell me to my face how wrong I was. He pointed at the repair bible he had written. He told me that everyone did it this way and that to do it any other way was wrong. I let him go on and on about how he wrote the manual and was the very engineer who actually designed the camera. I then smiled and said okay. I then proceeded to do it exactly as he had instructed. I then proceeded to show him that doing it that way produced an out of focus image each and every time because the two lens groups were in practical fact - different.

This was because, in spite of what he thought, what he said or what he did, that no matter who or how many people agreed with him and that no matter what materials he read out loud or pointed to to show me how right he, they and it all were, he was, wrong, plain and simple. I worked for three or four other Japanese camera companies repairing their cameras. Wouldn't you know it, I found most all the lead engineers just about the same. One could say it was part of the Japanese cultural enigma. One might also have other, less polite names for this, too...

Years later I found myself working for another Japanese camera company. I had (temporarily) been assigned to replace a Japanese QC inspector who had fallen ill. I did the quality control inspection of all cameras that had been repaired under warranty both by outside subcontractors, such as I had been, and by the in-house Japanese repair technicians who worked at the manufacturing plant along side of me. Upon settling in, I found that there was a minefield of politics when it came to rejecting a repair done by one of the in-house Japanese technicians. I was told that if there was any problem upon inspecting their repair that I was to politely put the unit back on the technicians desk for them to review my findings after which they would return it to me for re-inspection. The point of all of this is that of course they would re-repair the problem I had found and then give it back to me with a note indicating that they couldn't find anything wrong with the unit. This was so that their re-do percentage rate would remain under the required 6%, typically more than half even the best outside repair technicians who averaged a 12% to 20% re-do rate - a point they would more than casually throw into the faces of many of their non-Japanese counterparts. I found it appalling that they used an accepted method of faking these statistics, while requiring me to track the exact count of the repair-state of every single unit in terms of if it passed or failed inspection. I mean an outside subcontractor company's contract could be terminated at will based upon these statistics, resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars and more, but in-house technicians were never reprimanded, retrained nor (gasp) terminated no matter what their actual abilities or inabilities were.

Well, having maintained a world-class repair technician status (with a record-setting 2% re-do rate after the unit was 1year back in the field) I chose to make a stink about this hypocracy. Needless to say, the company found some reason to let me go rather than implement an actual accounting method I had devised which would facilitate the training and development of their core, know-it-all, Japanese technicians... You know, the same ones who would be dispatched to all of the outside subcontractors stations to train the "non-Japanese" technicians ...repair-bible in hand, of course. You do the math.

Best in training to all...

.

Peter Goldsbury
05-21-2009, 04:03 AM
Hello Shaun,

お久し振りです。

[/b]
Here is a rather long, but personal anecdote to illustrate my point - that being that going to the source of confusion does little to alleviate confusion. I find it quite ironic all these years later given how much of a corollary, albeit a metaphoric one there is between what occurred to me then and what is, in my opinion, occurring in our art now. I hope that someone sees this correlation or at the very least one person finds a story about autofocus cameras interesting on its own merits.

My first introduction in the mysteries of Japan and its wonderful people came through my relationship with a certain Japanese company that made autofocus cameras for which I did subcontractor work. There were two specific models on which I worked, one being the next generation of the other. The repair manuals we were given were considered bibles. The Japanese technicians who wrote them were actually dispatched to train me on how to tear down and rebuild each model. These individuals were presented as gods by their company and were treated as such by all other repair technicians.

At some point in my tenure I discovered a mistake in the manual, one that was important enough to forward it up the chain of command to the parties responsible - the all seeing all knowing, repair-bible writing technician-gods, themselves. See, in actuality, no one would have ever found the mistake because it wasn't an obvious one like 2+2=5. The manual simply stated as fact that two things (the method to set the focus between a set of lens pairs making up the primary lens group on each of these two models) was the same. I had decided to dismantle the lens group which was typically not done as the parts were replaced as a whole. However because of a back-order of lenses lasting months and months, I decided to expedite customer repairs and build the part from scratch. In doing so I discovered that two things that I was told were the same, were documented as being the same and interchanged as if they were the same, were (so sorry to have to report) not the same at all...

I quickly realized that all practicing technicians were using the documented method to calibrate the lenses before sending them back to the customer. However these two things which by all accounts were supposed to be the same were in fact not the same at all. How unfortunate it was that these cameras would eventually all come back, only to be re-repaired at no cost. You see, It really didn't matter how many people said these two things were the same. It also didn't matter how many people in practice operated as if they were the same. The simple fact is, they were and always had been different all along.

Being that I was at the time the world-wide leading repair technician in terms of the sheer number of completed repairs of these two models, I just wouldn't let it go. I continued to make a stink about it until the company was forced to send one of the repair bible toting "technician-gods" out to our shop.

He came all the way over from Japan to tell me to my face how wrong I was. He pointed at the repair bible he had written. He told me that everyone did it this way and that to do it any other way was wrong. I let him go on and on about how he wrote the manual and was the very engineer who actually designed the camera. I then smiled and said okay. I then proceeded to do it exactly as he had instructed. I then proceeded to show him that doing it that way produced an out of focus image each and every time because the two lens groups were in practical fact - different.

This was because, in spite of what he thought, what he said or what he did, that no matter who or how many people agreed with him and that no matter what materials he read out loud or pointed to to show me how right he, they and it all were, he was, wrong, plain and simple. I worked for three or four other Japanese camera companies repairing their cameras. Wouldn't you know it, I found most all the lead engineers just about the same. One could say it was part of the Japanese cultural enigma. One might also have other, less polite names for this, too...

Years later I found myself working for another Japanese camera company. I had (temporarily) been assigned to replace a Japanese QC inspector who had fallen ill. I did the quality control inspection of all cameras that had been repaired under warranty both by outside subcontractors, such as I had been, and by the in-house Japanese repair technicians who worked at the manufacturing plant along side of me. Upon settling in, I found that there was a minefield of politics when it came to rejecting a repair done by one of the in-house Japanese technicians. I was told that if there was any problem upon inspecting their repair that I was to politely put the unit back on the technicians desk for them to review my findings after which they would return it to me for re-inspection. The point of all of this is that of course they would re-repair the problem I had found and then give it back to me with a note indicating that they couldn't find anything wrong with the unit. This was so that their re-do percentage rate would remain under the required 6%, typically more than half even the best outside repair technicians who averaged a 12% to 20% re-do rate - a point they would more than casually throw into the faces of many of their non-Japanese counterparts. I found it appalling that they used an accepted method of faking these statistics, while requiring me to track the exact count of the repair-state of every single unit in terms of if it passed or failed inspection. I mean an outside subcontractor company's contract could be terminated at will based upon these statistics, resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars and more, but in-house technicians were never reprimanded, retrained nor (gasp) terminated no matter what their actual abilities or inabilities were.

Well, having maintained a world-class repair technician status (with a record-setting 2% re-do rate after the unit was 1year back in the field) I chose to make a stink about this hypocracy. Needless to say, the company found some reason to let me go rather than implement an actual accounting method I had devised which would facilitate the training and development of their core, know-it-all, Japanese technicians... You know, the same ones who would be dispatched to all of the outside subcontractors stations to train the "non-Japanese" technicians ...repair-bible in hand, of course. You do the math.

:) :D :) :D

Try Japanese banks, or the Immigration Office, or Japanese coaches teaching foreigners Japanese baseball, or even Japanese professors of English teaching Japanese students English.

Best wishes,

PAG

stan baker
05-21-2009, 06:48 AM
Hi Shaun,
I think it is actually the opposite, Dan is teaching in quite detail how to develope aiki . or we can say the way of aiki. He is also teaching how to use aiki but that is secondary, one has to develope aiki before you can use it.After thirty years of aikido practice we need to get back to the roots.

stan

MM
05-21-2009, 07:20 AM
Here is a rather long, but personal anecdote to illustrate my point - that being that going to the source of confusion does little to alleviate confusion. I find it quite ironic all these years later given how much of a corollary, albeit a metaphoric one there is between what occurred to me then and what is, in my opinion, occurring in our art now. I hope that someone sees this correlation or at the very least one person finds a story about autofocus cameras interesting on its own merits.


After reading that, i found myself smiling. Rereading it, I found myself laughing. What a beautifully illustrative anecdote. I have to thank you for posting that. I don't think I could have come up with anything nearly as wonderful.

I find that I can see correlations:

1. The two cameras: Ueshiba and his son, Kisshomaru.

2. The two cameras and how they work: Ueshiba's aikido and post WWII aikido.

3. The subcontractor (you) looking at the cameras as correlative to the worldwide non-Japanese students of aikido.

4. The mistake as correlative to the missing aiki skills in aikido.

5. The "all seeing all knowing, repair-bible writing technician-gods" as correlative to the current Japanese shihans.

6. And the difference in the repair of the lenses showing blurry (common repair bible) and clear (done correctly) as correlative of common aikido being blurry while aikido with aiki as clear.

I just found it so apt to the current situation. :) A small subset of people (in the aikido world) have found a flaw in the current model and can clearly see the differences and are trying to show the bible-readers just what changes were made between the older and newer models.

jss
05-21-2009, 08:41 AM
Daito-Ryo was a major influence on the Founder of Aikido. Obviously it was the source for the training syllabus, too. However, what is at the heart of the discussion has nothing to do with denying any contributory sources, but more about what separates the two arts and how declaring that just because they share a common ancestry that the very nature of the two arts are quite distinct and polar opposites from the start.
Could you then explain (or point to me a post, website, whatever) what the very nature is of Daito ryu and of aikido and how these natures are polar opposites? Because I can't see how two arts can share so many techniques, but use these to achieve totally opposite goals.
Come to think of it, I'm probably misunderstanding you because of a difference in perspective: to me, two martial arts can never have totally opposite natures, since there's no escaping the fact that both are martial arts.

I would not call this research at all when it comes to clearing up the confusion that is the current state of Aikido. Going to the source of an invalid argument about what is Aikido does little other than to reinforce the nature of the confusion.
Going to the source of an argument and exploring that source, seems to me the best way to explore the validity of an argument. Unless one lacks a critical mind of one's own and is just looking for a guru with magical skills, of course.;)

Here is a rather long, but personal anecdote to illustrate my point - that being that going to the source of confusion does little to alleviate confusion.
Based on that anecdote, I'd say you're point is that going to the source of confusion does little to alleviate confusion, if and only if the source of the confusion is a mistake and the people who made that mistake are unwilling to accept they have made that mistake.
Which nicely ties up this post, because here I end up with the same question as in the beginning: what's the difference in nature between Aikido and Daito ryu? (If you already did so, my apalogies and please point me to where you did.)

DH
05-21-2009, 08:57 AM
what you are each describing comes from a perspective which is not the Way of Aiki, but rather the "Use of Aiki." The use of Aiki is a wonderful, subtle path and passion in its own right. However, it is not the art of the Founder, O-Sensei, Ueshiba Morihei. Anyone who looks at Aikido from the perspective that Aikido is the mastery of the use of Aiki will never really be training in the art of the Founder, because they are not really seeking the art of the Founder.
Shaun
Again thank you for your thoughtful reply. I also appreciate your willingness to state people are not doing the way of aiki, but I think it serves little use without addressing and explaining under what terms and conditions you see others as not being able to understand or experience the way of the founder. Not without notice, it ties in perfectly with an understanding of what ukemi truly is and what one must do to create one model and what one must give up to create the other popular view.

I do find your view of a single way to be at odds with the founder himself. He was noted on many occasions telling all manner of outsiders that "they got it" while yelling at the deshi (the next generation of teachers) that they were NOT doing his aikido. I also find it curious for you to claim to know just what the founder's goals were and are, and who might be on the "outside looking in," while you yourself go on to propose there is a state of confusion in the art and thus are determining people don't get it. Clearly, there is no definitive model being offered.
I wonder at what point you feel free to negate my own training "in" the art, my experiences in Daito ryu, and the fact that I am currently teaching teachers in Aikido dojos. Teachers who have their own views for training for decades in the art. Are you sure you are not overstressing your case to freely dismiss the views, judgments and opinions of many teachers up to 6th dan currently training this way? Teachers who consider this the way of aiki of the founder and that it is greatly affecting their art? That seems very narrow minded of anyone who would claim to grasp the idea of there even being a way. I might suggest to you that the very nature of Ueshiba expressing there was a way was in stating there was never "A" way. While I appreciate your recognition of George Ledyard, I am fairly certain I know a few men who deserve equal recognition for their own understanding of the way of the founder and they most certainly disagree with your view.
Sadly, I feel there is little definition or reason behind the argument you have presented for me to address. Your reasoning is contradicted by many teachers who have done the research you yourself have advocated- yet admittedly have not done, their own conclusions as members and teachers of the art and then with the life and words of the founder himself.

I would suggest one must be able to exhibit- and by way of exhibiting-I mean "have" and understand the type of aiki the founder was showing and discussing in order to move forward and then discuss how the "the use of it" is foundational and supportive of understanding the way of it. Without "it" -the way of the founder, and any claims to understand the way, cease to have meaning. It is worthy of note that without the "use of aiki" -as you coined it- his mission and his voice would have had little impact or meaning on the world of Budo and chances are very good we would not even be discussing him. Further, that the vast majority of Aikido are still seeking it.

Aiki as a way-and narrowing the lenz.
Are you practicing to be an avatar of the gods? Do you know what that means and how to practice to supposedly attain it?
Are you a scholar of the kotodama?
Did you train long enough to understanf the essense of an art that Ueshiba admitted opened his eyes to true budo, and never once rejected?
If not perhaps you yourself are not pursuing his path. Then again, as I noted above he declared on several occasion that others outside of the art who were clearly not doing these things, or practicing aikido "got the way of aiki."
So maybe his own message was a bit clouded and ill-defined. One thing remained clear - his admonition "To make your own aikido, your own path." Were one interested in a parochial view -that- seems inescapable.

Personally, I might suggest that the way of aiki, has as its center, a dualism, a challenge as it were.
1. First one must hold aiki in balance in their own body. The ability to sustain the union of in / yo in order to understand the power within before it is made manifest without.
2. One must then walk that walk, in its fullness. Have and contain that much power potential and be able to actually use it before it is going to affect you and offer and sort of substantial realizations, in order for you to….
3. Choose….You must first have the ability to cause violence and be that substantial, in order to have your choice of nonviolence have any real meaning.That walk, that path is a lengthy one, and has a very real spiritual component. It is an interesting duality; to be able, and then to remain open and, and in the face of difficulty to keep giving and remain transparent for others seeking.
4. This ties in with the dualism of Ukemi. For Ueshiba and anyone who trains like he did it is a different dilema then what we see today.

One might rightly discuss and rebut just who are the ones who truly know in part, and can thus affect few, and who are seeing a clearer picture of the way of
As noted- Ueshiba looked at the training of the deshi (who are now the leaders) and stated flatly what they were doing was not his aikido. I wonder why and how his opinion would have changed were he to awaken today and walk the earth and see what has become of his aikido? What-if anything- would change his opinion? Numbers?

To give a nod to the thread subject-knowing what it is and how to train it leads to truly knowing how to begin to practice the way. This leads to a deeper understanding the ukemi model. It helps to understand the role of ukemi, what Ueshiba's body was feeling, and what he needed to let go of, when he chose to fall down, since he was never going to be taken down. On the surface Shaun, it looks like the same dualism of everyone else taking ukemi- but it was distinctly different for him, and for very substantial reasons- all encompassing the use of aiki, now as the way of aiki.
Good luck in your training and walk along your own path
Cheers
Dan

Misogi-no-Gyo
05-21-2009, 08:58 AM
Hi Mark,

Thank you for your comments and perspective.

I find it hard to believe that you would hold to this position? Perhaps it is just like option "D" that you posted. Something you thought to just throw out there that isn't your opinion, but somewhere, somehow, it could be true?Sorry, not in this case...

Going by articles and interviews, we see quite a few things that Takeda supposedly did that Ueshiba didn't show. For example, having someone grab a napkin or paper or whatever and throwing them. (I believe Sagawa has done this.) Having someone grab his (Takeda) neck and throwing them. Using his feet. (Kodo on film doing this). Where is Ueshiba doing these things? One of the few things that are common are some (not all) of the push tests.Sorry to have to repeat myself from about a dozen or so other posts here on Aikiweb, alone, but this simply isn't the case. Repeating the idea that just because "you" haven't seen these things and/or that you don't know anyone else who has seen these things doesn't mean there aren't Aikidoka who can and are doing them and teaching the skills one would need to eventually be able to do them, too. I have personally seen them, felt them and don't find them to be anything outside of what a particular teacher might choose to share with any number of their senior students.

In the realm of techniques, it's not hard to research the various schools of Daito ryu and see each using different techniques. The Takumakai supposedly catalogued both Takeda's techniques and Ueshiba's techniques. Looking at the whole, all the Daito ryu schools certainly seem to have quite a bit more techniques than Aikido.Quite true. However, there are no techniques in Aikido, and I am not speaking of that in the way that Dan might in that with proper Aiki one doesn't really need techniques at all. Simply speaking the way of aiki has nothing to do with the use (application) of the principles of Aiki... in my opinion, I guess I should note...

Takeda also taught sword. Ueshiba ... well, we know how that's been talked about.Hmmm, there are lots of experts, certified in all sorts of things who are consistently outdone by so-called unqualified outsiders, or what have you. In any case, not having had the chance to face off with him, I am not saying anything about O-Sensei's sword skills, Are you???

Fan? Takeda, yes. Ueshiba?Huh...? I guess I am a fan of both :straightf

When I read your post and your point "A", it threw me for a loop. I really didn't understand how you could come to this "crystal clear" point in light of a lot of articles and interviews out there.Let it be written, let it be true? Sorry, having read countless articles and documents, many with forced conclusions based upon misunderstanding, personal agendas and the like. Others, well meaning are lengthy diatribes put forth by overly-educated types who are simply hopeful to have an ever-expanding audience based upon the authoritative nature of their very well-written thesis. I find it easy to do so when there is overwhelmingly obvious information out there that is unfortunately most-often overlooked due to the inherently obvious nature of these very facts. I feel quite confident in saying that I am not the only one who sees these things, that there are quite a few senior people that do see these things and train and teach from such a perspective. Just because they don't publicly come out and write about it and just because it doesn't jibe with the currently held viewpoints of you, other senior practitioners or anyone from outside the art, once again does not make them wrong or these facts not any less true.

Speaking of Ueshiba knowing more than he taught. There are interviews talking about how Ueshiba stopped people in their tracks. I'm told it's a Daito ryu thing. But, I can't find any of Ueshiba's students doing this. And it's sort of an unspoken thing that Ueshiba pared down the Daito ryu syllabus when he created aikido.Please see my previous point (#2), above.

Perhaps Takeda never taught *all* that he knew. That's certainly a valid theory. However, in light of what Takeda *did* teach to others, it isn't hard to see that Ueshiba knew more than he taught....all I can say is WOW and ask you to please re-read my previous post over and over again with an open mind.

Best in training to all...

.

Misogi-no-Gyo
05-21-2009, 09:03 AM
Hi Shaun
I think you are missing the main point, the power of Daito Ryu and Aikido are the same. Aiki

One can manifest AIKI in different ways or waza, that is the difference.

stan

Hi Stan,

Thanks for your comments and perspective. Actually you have illustrated one of my points very clearly - the idea that two people can look right at the same thing and come to two very different conclusions. Who is right? Well, that would be whichever one writes the book, of course...

Best in training to all...

.

MM
05-21-2009, 09:09 AM
Could you then explain (or point to me a post, website, whatever) what the very nature is of Daito ryu and of aikido and how these natures are polar opposites? Because I can't see how two arts can share so many techniques, but use these to achieve totally opposite goals.


I hope that you don't mind if I chime in here? I don't want to usurp Shaun Raven's reply, should he choose to do so, but I'd like to make a distinction here about my views of DR and Aikido.

Pre-war, Ueshiba taught DR. Little, if anything, was different. So, I won't focus on that part of Ueshiba's life at all. It's same-same as far as I'm concerned.

It's after he broke from DR that becomes interesting. I usually call that post war, but I think it really started before the war. For simplicity, I say post WWII.

I think Ueshiba's art of Aikido really can be seen, or thought of, as distinctly different than Daito ryu. And, it can be seen, or thought of, as very, very similar to DR.

Similar first. Techniques are similar, although I'd have to say DR has more. Aiki is similar, although I'd argue Ueshiba never taught all he knew in that area. The outlook of the art is defensive in nature is shared between DR and Aikido. The manner in which Ueshiba and other DR greats show their skill is similar (think push tests, etc.)

Different. The core area where they diverge is how the application of aiki is used. DR takes, IMO, aiki and applies it in techniques to capture center on contact, then quickly finish the encounter. Quite a bit of uke's landing at the feet of nage/tori and locks/blows/etc. Ueshiba changed that to a pass through model. Instead of dealing with quite a bit of jujutsu level techniques, he pared things down so that he could concentrate on ukemi. No, not rolling and falling. His version of ukemi, IMO, was pure aiki. I think that is where Ueshiba diverged from DR in a unique manner. Ueshiba was concentrating on ukemi purely as a way to be the avatar of the kami. That was his "correct" usage of ukemi. Taking all the incoming attacks/energy and changing it in his body so that he could use it in a manner that suited his spirituality. I think he may have gotten a natural high from aiki ukemi. :) (aiki ukemi is sort of redundant. I just use it to emphasize the point.)

You can't be a bridge between heaven and earth, be an avatar of the kami, if you're just dispatching uke at your feet quickly and decisively. In that manner, I think DR and Aikido are polar opposites. The former captures in and down decisively while the latter appropriately redirects and sends forth.

That doesn't mean DR doesn't do that (pass through/redirect uke outwards/etc). I'm sure there are aspects where it does. It just means DR doesn't focus solely upon that aspect in the spiritual manner that Ueshiba worked.

jss
05-21-2009, 09:55 AM
I hope that you don't mind if I chime in here?
Not if you do so with such an interesting post, I don't! ;)

I think that is where Ueshiba diverged from DR in a unique manner. Ueshiba was concentrating on ukemi purely as a way to be the avatar of the kami. That was his "correct" usage of ukemi. Taking all the incoming attacks/energy and changing it in his body so that he could use it in a manner that suited his spirituality.
So you'd define Ueshiba's ukemi as "taking all the incoming attacks/energy and changing it in his body through the use of aiki", right? And you just might be able to do so in the role of uke/aite and in the role of tori/nage?
And because of Uehsiba's spiritual goals we get to:
You can't be a bridge between heaven and earth, be an avatar of the kami, if you're just dispatching uke at your feet quickly and decisively. In that manner, I think DR and Aikido are polar opposites. The former captures in and down decisively while the latter appropriately redirects and sends forth..
I can agree with that, but to me this doesn't imply what Shaun said, i.e. that "the very nature of the two arts are quite distinct and polar opposites from the start." Ueshiba changed the goal from martial to spiritual and his art evolved to express that. One might say that the end goal (spiritual instead of martial) defines the very nature of an art, but that's only what it looks like in theory, in practice it doesn't work that way.

MM
05-21-2009, 09:58 AM
Hi Mark,

Thank you for your comments and perspective.


Hi Shaun. Thanks for a civilized debate. :)


Sorry, not in this case...

Sorry to have to repeat myself from about a dozen or so other posts here on Aikiweb, alone, but this simply isn't the case. Repeating the idea that just because "you" haven't seen these things and/or that you don't know anyone else who has seen these things doesn't mean there aren't Aikidoka who can and are doing them and teaching the skills one would need to eventually be able to do them, too. I have personally seen them, felt them and don't find them to be anything outside of what a particular teacher might choose to share with any number of their senior students.


I find this quite refreshing to hear that there are aikido teachers showing and teaching how to throw ukes when they grab one side of a napkin/paper/etc, how to do techniques on uke when he grabs your feet, how to sit with feet crossed and receive a push on the head without being pushed over, how to freeze a person, etc.

I'm sure quite a lot of people would be interested in hearing more about these aikido teachers. I know I would.


Quite true. However, there are no techniques in Aikido, and I am not speaking of that in the way that Dan might in that with proper Aiki one doesn't really need techniques at all. Simply speaking the way of aiki has nothing to do with the use (application) of the principles of Aiki... in my opinion, I guess I should note...

Hmmm, there are lots of experts, certified in all sorts of things who are consistently outdone by so-called unqualified outsiders, or what have you. In any case, not having had the chance to face off with him, I am not saying anything about O-Sensei's sword skills, Are you???

Huh...? I guess I am a fan of both :straightf


Let me see if I can be clearer. In the realm of techniques, Takeda taught way more than Ueshiba. Researching and viewing Daito ryu schools shows this.

In the realm of teaching a sword art, Takeda taught one. Ueshiba didn't. So, no, that isn't saying anything about their skills. It merely states that Takeda taught what he knew. Ueshiba didn't. It's well known that many schools in Daito ryu also teach Ona ha Itto ryu, something they received from Takeda. Ueshiba ... never passed down any sword art. He taught some things with weapons, but nothing as detailed as what Takeda taught.

In the realm of teaching other weapon techniques, Takeda taught the use of the shuriken, the umbrella, and the fan. Ueshiba didn't. Watch Okamoto videos. I can't find any evidence of Ueshiba teaching these things in his Aikido.

What I'm pointing to is more than just articles and interviews. They are one small part of it. While my research isn't exhaustive, it also isn't something small.

What Takeda taught in Daito ryu is a lot more than what Ueshiba ever taught in his Aikido. (Please don't take that as being bad. I'm not making that point at all.) It's just a very, very hard thing to contradict the statement:

Takeda taught what he knew while Ueshiba knew more than he taught.

thisisnotreal
05-21-2009, 10:20 AM
Greetings!
Just wanted to say thank you to those participants in this thread.
I cannot write in the same way as these well written posts.

Here are some random thoughts-

Dan, your last post blows me away.
Thank you kindly for your thoughts.

Shaun,
Thank you for your thoughts.
Very interesting.

Are there ways and ways and ways?
Is there a way here? Is there *a* truth?

Is the use of Aiki the proper use of the human body? Bringing into service a created thing.
The following comes to my mind:
Psalm 139:14 declares, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." The context of this verse is the incredible nature of our physical bodies.

It the way of Aiki a religion of the naturepowers ?
Is one using nature (use of aiki), and the other worshipping the created (way of aiki/Dao)? Here we launch into the micro/macrocosmic nature of within and without.. etc. been there. Am I correct that the 'more' that you highlight has to do with the transformational nature of these 'mind-body' practices?

It seems with every iteration of these things/posts/conversations we go closer and closer to it. But there always lies a limit beyond which a man fears to say. I find this most curious, but somehow understand it intuitively. Always a boundary and a limit, here.

Is knowledge proprietary? Is it sealed, for access by means of effort of a few? Or is it open to all?

With gratitude and sincerity to all involved,
Josh

MM
05-21-2009, 01:09 PM
So you'd define Ueshiba's ukemi as "taking all the incoming attacks/energy and changing it in his body through the use of aiki", right? And you just might be able to do so in the role of uke/aite and in the role of tori/nage?


I'm being overly simplistic, but yes. Ukemi in a more "aiki" sense is seen in this way. It's why I think that Ueshiba was really "uke" when he had his students attack him. Ueshiba used aiki to appropriately match the incoming attack.

It is ukemi, but not seen just as rolling and falling. It's also why I use the example of Ueshiba's push tests. IMO, he's showing aiki both statically and dynamically. If you can't do the static, how can you use aiki in a dynamic manner? This is "correct ukemi" to me.

Which brings up the question of why did Ueshiba want specific attacks and ukemi from his deshi? What drove that?

thisisnotreal
05-21-2009, 02:09 PM
If you can't do the static, how can you use aiki in a dynamic manner? This is "correct ukemi" to me.

Which brings up the question of why did Ueshiba want specific attacks and ukemi from his deshi? What drove that?

Hi Mark,
Ok, but is this too obvious to be right:

He wanted 'root' examples...with clear lines, which sprout to finer and finer subdivisions. Like a tree.
In simple words: Picked extreme cases that generate many possibilities. These samples/examples are the 'cardinal directions'. The foundations he chose...because they are compatible with the manifestion of aiki he wanted to emphasize.

What do you think?

Josh
P.s. Sorry; I think i owe you a couple of answers on other threads.

pps. You have a way with words, my friend. I thought you phrased the delineations between DR and Aikido well. I could not have put it so succinctly. I really hope that Shaun and others will address it, because I think there are a lot of unique perspectives assembled here.

Misogi-no-Gyo
05-21-2009, 07:02 PM
Josh
P.s. Sorry; I think i owe you a couple of answers on other threads.

pps. You have a way with words, my friend. I thought you phrased the delineations between DR and Aikido well. I could not have put it so succinctly. I really hope that Shaun and others will address it, because I think there are a lot of unique perspectives assembled here.

Hi Josh,

Thank you for your contributions and perspective. I will most certainly pan around my mind in search of some nugget or another. Should I find one worth sharing that I believe might make a difference and assist people in seeing my overall point (which I feel has been and still is being missed) I will add it in short order.

I did want to add that upon meditating on particular posts written by two or three people I keep catching the shadow of a corner of a point that I find very both interesting and important as it flashes on by. I have only been responding to other points up till now and need to wait until the words come to me that help to move the essence of what these people have been saying forward in a way that will enhance our movement as a whole. When I say our movement, I mean all of us, regardless of art form, school or perspective. I see it as a possible "unified" theory of collective martial forwardness.

While Dan and I may never agree about the most basic of points regarding that the differences between Aikido and DR are more important than the similarities, not that it is unimportant in any way to understand how they are similar, posting it in a public forum is merely our chance to debate our opposing opinions and let others watch and participate as they see fit. While that is all well and good, it probably serves us in somewhat of a limited fashion. However, the point Dan highlighted earlier in the thread is paramount to our movement that I want to repeat it here. That is that regardless of who holds what opinion, as a whole it is more important that at least we are holding discussions, civilly debating our personally-held points and cross training in open environments and via sincere invitations to come together and share rather than how it was in most dojos throughout the 70's, 80's and 90's. I am sure it is still as it was in many dojos today. Perhaps we can all agree that the ease of obtaining information and the ability to not only read the thoughts of senior practitioners on websites such as this one, but actually email these individuals directly through the internet has served our community well.

Best in training to all...

.

oisin bourke
05-21-2009, 07:50 PM
Well put Sir!

MM
05-21-2009, 10:14 PM
That is that regardless of who holds what opinion, as a whole it is more important that at least we are holding discussions, civilly debating our personally-held points and cross training in open environments and via sincere invitations to come together and share rather than how it was in most dojos throughout the 70's, 80's and 90's. I am sure it is still as it was in many dojos today. Perhaps we can all agree that the ease of obtaining information and the ability to not only read the thoughts of senior practitioners on websites such as this one, but actually email these individuals directly through the internet has served our community well.

Best in training to all...

.

Very eloquently stated and well worth quoting as an "I second this" type post. :)

Ron Tisdale
05-22-2009, 07:16 AM
That is that regardless of who holds what opinion, as a whole it is more important that at least we are holding discussions, civilly debating our personally-held points and cross training in open environments and via sincere invitations to come together and share rather than how it was in most dojos throughout the 70's, 80's and 90's. I am sure it is still as it was in many dojos today. Perhaps we can all agree that the ease of obtaining information and the ability to not only read the thoughts of senior practitioners on websites such as this one, but actually email these individuals directly through the internet has served our community well.

Thank you Shaun, that's me thirding...

I think it important to note that Shaun was one of the first to reach out specifically to me and invite me to meet one of his teachers, an experience that will always stand out in my aikido life. For him, these are not empty words.

Mark, I have been thinking about the role reversal of shite/uke that you spoke of above. I didn't quite get it at first...but the longer I mull it over, the more sense it makes, especially after training for an hour last night with a rather strong fellow. I'll continue to work that thought...it may resonate even more as I continue to struggle.

Best,
Ron

MM
05-22-2009, 08:37 AM
Mark, I have been thinking about the role reversal of shite/uke that you spoke of above. I didn't quite get it at first...but the longer I mull it over, the more sense it makes, especially after training for an hour last night with a rather strong fellow. I'll continue to work that thought...it may resonate even more as I continue to struggle.

Best,
Ron

Hi Ron,
Just to give you something more to think about ...

Thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15054

I asked about the definition of taisabaki. Kent Enfield posted some very interesting information.

Well, sabaku doesn't mean "move". It means something more along the lines of "handle/deal with/manipulate", so while it does mean things like "step to the left with your left foot", that's not *all* it means.

Though they often get glossed over at lower levels, and I've not seen any indications of a purposeful curriculum for teaching body skills directly, at higher levels, there seems to be lots of attention to small details that affect how one moves and generates power: tension in the legs, alignment of the hips and spine, etc. It wouldn't surprise me at all for kendo people to visit someone who moves well to see if they could learn how to improve their own movement.

Now, if Ueshiba was moving out of the way of uke's attack and then blending with uke as most of aikido currently works, then why didn't the kendo people come to Ueshiba to learn ashi sabaki? How to move out of the way? Or could tai sabaki be used here to mean more of a body manipulation in a sense of correct alignment of hips, spine, upper body, etc and generating power within that internal working environment.

From a personal viewpoint, I work on correct alignment of my hips and spine when I'm doing push test exercises. It really is body manipulation, specifically correct alignment. As I note in my vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr17-NgGdSs

And if I try to do anything dynamically, I still have to keep correct body manipulation/alignment.

DH
05-22-2009, 08:47 AM
However, the point Dan highlighted earlier in the thread is paramount to our movement that I want to repeat it here. That is that regardless of who holds what opinion, as a whole it is more important that at least we are holding discussions, civilly debating our personally-held points and cross training in open environments and via sincere invitations to come together and share rather than how it was in most dojos throughout the 70's, 80's and 90's.
I'm glad you got that and agree, Shaun.

I am happy to discuss these things-but there is no need to be abrasive and rude while doing so-particuarly since it seems everytime people meet and train together it is a positive-even fun- exchange. It makes internet bickering seem so hollow...even ridiculous.

The style wars are waining, but there is new information out there that is far more challenging to practitioners, some even say definitive and finite about the qualifiers for claiming to be a teacher of Asian arts. Although most want to validate themselves and think it' about "sharing" of equal information. It really isn't. You are either training some version of this-or you're not. I think in very short order- this training -or should I say the results of it in your body-is going to be a "requirement" to be considered acceptable as a legit teacher. And there will be plenty of students training in it to keep every Japanese sensei both aware of it...and on their toes. I know of a few cases where high level teachers of students (who are training this way) started training in it themselves-because the students are surpassing them.
How did they know?

Let's go back to Ukemi as a model.
WIth the student taking ukemi...on contact those teachers eyes popped and they -not the student- said "Your different, what happened?"
Why?
Because it was obvious the student didn't need to take ukemi. The teacher was no longer "good enough" to do anything to the student. And the students ukemi...absorbing the teachers efforts... meant the teachers was getting sucked-in and compromise for their efforts and it was they..who were going to get thrown for trying.
Ukemi with a body trained this way is not the same, as ukemi in normal budo people. In my personal experience going way back...contrary to the internet. There -is- no argument about it....in person.

As for today being an improvement over the dojos in the 70,80, 90's, Shaun? That remains to be seen. As more and more aikido teachers and students start training internal/ aiki -things are going to start to change more rapidly. Were we to be talking in 2020 I think the discussion will no longer be about style and secrets, it will be more like...remember when most people weren't practicing internal power /aiki back in the day....
In time all of the current senior Japanese teachers are going to be facing a very different American student base smiling back at them. Aikido as omote and Ura and the decision for no more Non-Japanese Shihan as Peter noted as a strong possibility... may take on a whole new face. Just as was seen in Ueshiba with his teacher....we may no longer care or need what they know.
Have a great weekend
Dan

Allen Beebe
05-22-2009, 09:18 AM
Hi Ron,
Just to give you something more to think about ...

Thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15054

I asked about the definition of taisabaki. Kent Enfield posted some very interesting information.

Now, if Ueshiba was moving out of the way of uke's attack and then blending with uke as most of aikido currently works, then why didn't the kendo people come to Ueshiba to learn ashi sabaki? How to move out of the way? Or could tai sabaki be used here to mean more of a body manipulation in a sense of correct alignment of hips, spine, upper body, etc and generating power within that internal working environment.

From a personal viewpoint, I work on correct alignment of my hips and spine when I'm doing push test exercises. It really is body manipulation, specifically correct alignment. As I note in my vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr17-NgGdSs

And if I try to do anything dynamically, I still have to keep correct body manipulation/alignment.

Hi Guys,

I've posted this before, but it seems relevant.

After training Kendo one day a group of us went out to eat and Robert Stroud (7th Dan Kyoshi I believe) told me the following story because he knew I trained/taught Aikido:

A similarly gathered bunch of Kendoka were all eating and drinking and someone asked Nakakura Kiyoshi* why he was such a powerful/successful Kendoka even into his 90's. His answer took everyone by surprise, "It is because of my Aikido training."**

Obviously Nakakura Kiyoshi didn't mean it is because he learned Daito ryu/Aikido Waza . . . he didn't do that in Kendo. If one looks at video of his matches his ashi sabaki isn't that unusual. So I'm guessing he learned something *more* that made the difference that allowed him to perform and compete successfully into his later years.

Best,
Allen

*Nakakura Kiyoshi is a legendary Kendoka that was one of the famous "Three Crows" who, at one time, was going to be the inheritor of Aikido from Ueshiba Morihei. My teacher, Shirata Rinjiro, studied Kendo with him while they both were at the Kobukan.

**Unfortunately this is all a paraphrase since I didn't right the story down, nor was I there to here it first hand. But I think the significance remains just the same.

Ron Tisdale
05-22-2009, 10:38 AM
Hi Allen,

Yes, the significanse definately remains...

Best,
Ron

thisisnotreal
05-22-2009, 01:48 PM
Hi Shaun,
Thank you for your message.
I have very little factual contribution; but I can share some of my thoughts.

I have been over this thread earnestly trying to understand your missed point. I do not think I understand.

I think we are talking about the differences about DR and Aikido.
I think *it* is not simply expressed.
For what it is worth; I think *it*, and very relevant on-topic ideas about proper ukemi, may have been discussed, at length, and done well here:
http://65.102.221.210/forums/showthread.php?t=14772&page=3
I think the answer has something to do with what you discuss as Gan-Sa-Tan-Riki. I do not understand the term. Am I even in the right ball park?
As, I think, you pointed out in the linked thread; this does not have only to do only with .. actual aiki physical skills, which are subject to one-upmanship. But is the something more ... which isn't known; and the *it* that is missed. And the difference between DR and Aikido. And fundamental to a difference in ‘proper ukemi'. And I do not think you are talking about anti-aiki as proper ukemi. But something on a different order. Q: Is it not a concrete physical skill? I think I have asked the wrong question.
That is what it all seems to me. But that's mostly my spidey-sense talking/tingling.

Sincerely, and All the Best,
Josh

Allen Beebe
05-22-2009, 02:07 PM
OK, I'm going to try to relate this to this thread (kinda sorta) but I won't be surprised or offended if this post or its answers need to be relocated.

Ueshiba sensei received (Ukeru) a Menkyo in Shinkake ryu from Takeda sensei. This would only be appropriate (correct) [Get the connection? Ueshiba and 'correct ukemi'? Groan . . . sorry.] if Takeda was qualified to present such a license. It is clear that Takeda spent a significant amount of time studying Jikishinkage Ryu (which consequently implies that he found that he had something to learn studying Jikishinkae Ryu and only left after he ascertained that he had learned what there was to learn. He later boasted that he could {in the end} best Kenkichi Sakakibara in matches 2 out of 3 times.) and I'm guessing that this is where he took authority from. It is my understanding that Takeda studied more than one form of Itto ryu, but that that occurred earlier in his life.

So my question is: Why is it that Daito Ryu seems to want to "Hang its hat" on Ono Ha Itto Ryu? Why not Jikishinkage Ryu? Or perhaps "Takeda ha Shinkage Ryu" or some other moniker unique to Takeda Sokaku? Not that I have anything against Ono Ha Itto Ryu. I'm just asking, "Why them to the exclusion of others? And, "Is there proof that this exclusive wedding of Ono Ha Itto Ryu with Daito Ryu came directly from Takeda Sokaku?"

Also, while it is pretty well understood that Takeda sensei was a formidable "weapons guy" before he made his "bread and butter" teaching Jujutsu, do we know that he passed on what he learned weapons wise to any individual or individuals? Does any one student or group of students stand out as great weapons guys in the same manner that a group of his students seem to stand out as great (Aiki) Jujutsu guys?

I'm certain it could be said that the time for great weapons guys had/has passed, but the same could be argued for (aiki) jujutsu guys and still there seem to remain standouts in both fields . . .

Anybody have insight into this?

Thanks,
Allen

Fred Little
05-22-2009, 02:16 PM
So my question is: Why is it that Daito Ryu seems to want to "Hang its hat" on Ono Ha Itto Ryu? Why not Jikishinkage Ryu? Or perhaps "Takeda ha Shinkage Ryu" or some other moniker unique to Takeda Sokaku? Not that I have anything against Ono Ha Itto Ryu. I'm just asking, "Why them to the exclusion of others? And, "Is there proof that this exclusive wedding of Ono Ha Itto Ryu with Daito Ryu came directly from Takeda Sokaku?"

Takuma Hisa Discusses One Aspect of This Here (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=497&highlight=ono+ha+itto+ryu)

Tokimune Takeda extends the connection back further in this interview. (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=461&highlight=ono+ha+itto+ryu)

I think the more specific answer to your question would be: because Ono Ha Itto Ryu was the sword art that Tokimune's students were encouraged to study.

Best,

FL

Allen Beebe
05-22-2009, 02:51 PM
Takuma Hisa Discusses One Aspect of This Here (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=497&highlight=ono+ha+itto+ryu)

Tokimune Takeda extends the connection back further in this interview. (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=461&highlight=ono+ha+itto+ryu)

I think the more specific answer to your question would be: because Ono Ha Itto Ryu was the sword art that Tokimune's students were encouraged to study.

Best,

FL

Thanks Fred,

I'll look into to the links. As far as the specific answer goes, I suspected that might be the case. But then there is always stuff one hasn't heard or learned yet, hence the question.

Thanks,
Allen

Ron Tisdale
05-22-2009, 03:00 PM
Well there was one statement earlier in the thread (sorry Dan) that Takeda Sensei taught what he knew...

Yet where are the great sword guys? I know he went to jujutsu because "the time of the sword is over"...but did he really teach what he knew...in that regard.

I'm probably just repeating Allen's question a little less tactfully...but I'm not particularly famous for my tact anyways, soooo... :D
Best,
Ron :eek:

Rabih Shanshiry
05-28-2009, 09:10 AM
You are still not able to provide a single prove that O sensei taught ukemi('correct' or even ANY ukemi) to his students.

Hi Szczepan,

How did you define "a single proof?" Would you accept the narration of an uchideshi that O'Sensei taught ukemi?

In "Principles of Aikido," Saotome Sensei relates Ueshiba showing an older student kokyu tanden ho and "gently teaching him to fall."

...rab

Josh Reyer
05-28-2009, 11:50 PM
Yet where are the great sword guys? I know he went to jujutsu because "the time of the sword is over"...but did he really teach what he knew...in that regard.
Ron, don't look now, but you've picked up what I like to call "Dan-llipses". :D

MM
05-29-2009, 07:15 AM
Well there was one statement earlier in the thread (sorry Dan) that Takeda Sensei taught what he knew...

Yet where are the great sword guys? I know he went to jujutsu because "the time of the sword is over"...but did he really teach what he knew...in that regard.

I'm probably just repeating Allen's question a little less tactfully...but I'm not particularly famous for my tact anyways, soooo... :D
Best,
Ron :eek:

Hi Ron,
I'll ask you some questions to get you thinking -- and because I'm a bit lazy in that I don't want to dig for all the stuff right now. What was said by other people of Ueshiba's sword work? Why? Just where did he learn sword? Wasn't there some mention that Ueshiba was good with a sword in either hand? Does that relate to what was said about someone else?

The short answer -- Ueshiba was good with a sword because of what Takeda taught him. Now, who under Ueshiba was good with a sword because of what Ueshiba taught him/her?

Ron Tisdale
05-29-2009, 08:45 AM
Ron, don't look now, but you've picked up what I like to call "Dan-llipses". :D

Mea...culpa. :D :D :D

Best,
Ron (I shall endeavor to improve)

Mike Sigman
05-29-2009, 08:52 AM
Mea...culpa. :D :D :D

Best,
Ron (I shall endeavor to improve)

If people made me stop writing with all those little dot things.... why I couldn't even write! ;)

Mike

DH
05-29-2009, 09:37 AM
Ron, don't look now, but you've picked up what I like to call "Dan-llipses". :D
Gulp
Hey...it takes me that long to pause and think.
I think... I fight that way too.:D
Sorry
Dan

DH
05-29-2009, 10:14 AM
Hi Ron,
I'll ask you some questions to get you thinking -- and because I'm a bit lazy in that I don't want to dig for all the stuff right now. What was said by other people of Ueshiba's sword work? Why? Just where did he learn sword? Wasn't there some mention that Ueshiba was good with a sword in either hand? Does that relate to what was said about someone else?

The short answer -- Ueshiba was good with a sword because of what Takeda taught him. Now, who under Ueshiba was good with a sword because of what Ueshiba taught him/her?
And Sagawa with a jo or sword or spear and Kodo and Ueshiba too. Interesting was the mention of both Takeda and Ueshiba using a sword single handed and the suggestion both might have been left handed in a coutry with no left handed people;)
Anyway, my argument is a bit narrow by choice. No one taught everyone everything. I meant it in a somewhat looser vien. I think it is fair to say Takeda and his methods made Budo greats who were acknowledged as giants in the arts. Ueshiba made no giants who are equal to the stunning power of those men. Shioda was a later anomaly, a product of DR, out and about performing known kodokai body tricks he became famous for-straight out of the box.

And as for teaching what they knew. Here is another quandry. I recently talked with a someone in Japan in a branch of DR who stated that his teacher went to Tokimune to learn. Tokimune showed him- solo exercises, telling him they were the source of his aiki. When the teacher brought them back to his dojo- no one wanted to do them, they wanted to do techniques. When he later asked Tokimune about that, Tokimune said "No one here wants to do them either. I've shown some people, but they would rather do techniques too."
Then we have another well known teacher out and about who "had these things in his art" Who clearly knows about them, and can talk about them, but who clearly has never spent time really training them. His body and lack of internal skill make it obvious that he never spent enough time on them. Fortunately, he is meeting a new class of educated seminar attendees, who are making it known to him that "He needs work."
So where can we fairly say "Bad teacher," when the teacher tried. In some cased maybe we should be quoting a "Georgia Rule"
For a smart person (student), you're really good at stupid.

What can be said; some show, some don't show, some don't even know. Some are then shown, and they go right back to doing what they know and feel comfortable with. Best to focus on our own work and people who are interested in learning this work.
Cheers
Dan

Ron Tisdale
05-29-2009, 10:47 AM
Mark and Dan, great posts, now I understand.

Best,
Ron

Misogi-no-Gyo
05-29-2009, 04:30 PM
What was said by other people of Ueshiba's sword work? Why? Just where did he learn sword? Wasn't there some mention that Ueshiba was good with a sword in either hand? Does that relate to what was said about someone else?

The short answer -- Ueshiba was good with a sword because of what Takeda taught him. Now, who under Ueshiba was good with a sword because of what Ueshiba taught him/her?

Umm... WHAT????

To me, this "answer one's own question" as a way of making an authoritative statement simply smacks of "bush-era" logic, whereby, umm... no actual evidence or even logic is cited or used at all, 'cept the one that makes sense to the person making the claim in the first place. I mean, it sounds good to everyone who agrees with the premise up front, but when examined it appears to have so many holes in it that crediting its ability to hold water as compared to say, Swiss cheese, would be a challenge at best.

Perhaps before posting to a website known for its' unabashed Aikido leanings, unabashed, Takeda-thumping, Daito-Ryu members, in an effort to make themselves appear more "fair and balanced, should openly acknowledge that one of the main reasons anyone outside of Japan trains in, or even knows about Daito-Ryu is because of the world-wide popularity of Aikido. Perhaps they should be forced to take a blood-oath, just to keep that old-school feeling, acknowledging that fact when applying for membership. This way that fact could be left out of each post so that we will all know they mean aikido... the bastardized, mother-less version of their own-art. Or more simply, that "modern-day" nemesis brought about by that - no first name, no Sensei title, nor any honorary mention that he is the founder of an art form, needed, shifty-eyed "Ueshiba" guy who is well documented to have
had no original ideas
had no real sword (or other weapon) abilities
just limited the syllabus of the real art from which is came.
just changed the art's name so he didn't have to pay his "under-acknowledged" teacher
if he really knew anything, never shared what he knew
didn't really have a systematized method
blathered on and on and on and on... about useless, spiritual, umm... blatherings
...etc, etc, etc, etc...

Like them, I could really go on and on here, but I will take a pass, instead. I do this out of hopes that someday, it will be more readily acknowledged by them that regardless of any ability, lineage, or weather they be a proponent of gendai or koryu school of budo, that simply speaking... how history comes forward has more to do with popularity than anything else. People tend to try and forget those they don't like and tend to share from the heart about those they do like.

Now I am not going to make any backhanded character references about Sokaku Takeda Shihan - see, I didn't meet him directly - but I will speak of my own impression (FWIW) of how he might have been based upon the stories I have heard/read. That is to say, he wasn't liked at all - even by his own students. Even the pictures of him seem to be off-putting at best, an image I might go as far to state he, himself cultivated and desired others to have of him. Accordingly I won't make any definitive statements about O-Sensei - having not met him either - except to say that people talk of him having created a budo of love and compassion and that and he liked to smile and laugh a lot. He did this all while he was a life-long martial artist which might attest to his ability to foster a balanced life at least from an outsider's perspective.

So who is more apt to be remembered fondly long-term and how does this apply to our own training, on a personal level, today? Well, "I" really can't say. You can do the math. However, employing a higher level of logic may speak better towards the validity of any results worthy of any public mention or comment, at least in this forum that is, than has been exemplified so far by our friends and partners of other martial arts, here visiting these forums.

Of course, my post is mostly tongue-in-cheek in nature. It most certainly does try to represent any one non-aikido person to any real depth. As I and others have noted, attitudes and practices have marched markedly forward in the last decade. So with that... old-school Shaun goes back into the dojo for further meditation. New-improved, gendai Shaun is off to the gym - its legs and core day... and to further reflect on his actions and how they may or may not be remembered, even as soon as tomorrow...

Best in training to all...

.

Misogi-no-Gyo
05-29-2009, 04:36 PM
If people made me stop writing with all those little dot things.... why I couldn't even write! ;)

Mike

Gulp
Hey...it takes me that long to pause and think.
I think... I fight that way too.
Sorry

...without them, I couldn't think or write... and it is because of them that I don't fight...

FWIW

Best in training to all...

thisisnotreal
05-29-2009, 05:03 PM
...without them, I couldn't think or write... and it is because of them that I don't fight...

FWIW

Best in training to all...

Neither could James T. Kirk.
And that....means a lot to me.

Josh

MM
05-29-2009, 07:35 PM
Umm... WHAT????

To me, this "answer one's own question" as a way of making an authoritative statement simply smacks of "bush-era" logic, whereby, umm... no actual evidence or even logic is cited or used at all, 'cept the one that makes sense to the person making the claim in the first place. I mean, it sounds good to everyone who agrees with the premise up front, but when examined it appears to have so many holes in it that crediting its ability to hold water as compared to say, Swiss cheese, would be a challenge at best.


Well, I guess if you can come up with any research or evidence, I would certainly look at it. Or if you could detail the holes, considering you see that many. I'm sure that others would be interested, too.


Perhaps before posting to a website known for its' unabashed Aikido leanings, unabashed, Takeda-thumping, Daito-Ryu members, in an effort to make themselves appear more "fair and balanced, should openly acknowledge that one of the main reasons anyone outside of Japan trains in, or even knows about Daito-Ryu is because of the world-wide popularity of Aikido. Perhaps they should be forced to take a blood-oath, just to keep that old-school feeling, acknowledging that fact when applying for membership. This way that fact could be left out of each post so that we will all know they mean aikido... the bastardized, mother-less version of their own-art. Or more simply, that "modern-day" nemesis brought about by that - no first name, no Sensei title, nor any honorary mention that he is the founder of an art form, needed, shifty-eyed "Ueshiba" guy who is well documented to have
had no original ideas
had no real sword (or other weapon) abilities
just limited the syllabus of the real art from which is came.
just changed the art's name so he didn't have to pay his "under-acknowledged" teacher
if he really knew anything, never shared what he knew
didn't really have a systematized method
blathered on and on and on and on... about useless, spiritual, umm... blatherings
...etc, etc, etc, etc...



I'm not really sure where this came from. Personally, I really admire Ueshiba and what he did. I think he took what he had learned in a completely new direction. I think he knew a whole lot more than he "taught". I love aikido.

But, the fact remains that Daito ryu was Ueshiba's main and largest martial influence. That Ueshiba can still be seen to be doing Daito ryu techniques even into his old age. That he trimmed Daito ryu techniques (as I said before, that isn't a bad thing). Those are facts.

What has been debated is Daito ryu aiki. But, anyone doing research has found there really is no debate to that. It doesn't detract from Ueshiba, his abiliies, or what he accomplished at all. Ueshiba still stands among the preeminent Budo men of his era. He is that because of his martial abilities *and* his spiritual nature. His martial abilities were Daito ryu aiki at the core. Most would say his spiritual nature was from Omoto kyo and Deguchi.

Ueshiba stood out. Kendo men wanted to train with him. Kano respected him. All of his students respected him. Yet, none of them stated that it was his spiritual nature. No, that doesn't diminish that aspect of him, but it is without a doubt his martial abilities, the Daito ryu aiki, that gave him a base to spread his message of his Aikido.

Mike Sigman
05-29-2009, 08:00 PM
I'm not really sure where this came from. Well, I dunno. Given the number of "Ueshiba had nothing because he got it all from Takeda" posts I've seen some people focus on, the "I don't know where this came from" argument seems a bit disingenuous.

I could make the argument that the Aikido techniques I've seen in Aikido simply represent variations of widely known Chinese techniques because that's true. However, I could not only say that of a lot of Japanese m.a. techniques, I could also say the same bascially trivializing comments about most modern-day Chinese m.a. techniques. Why don't we drop the anti-Ueshiba stuff and just appreciate it for what it is, what it does, what its body-technology is, and so forth. There's really no need for this "Ueshiba was a poor take-off on Takeda" stuff. If we're talking about Ueshiba's techniques (like the "ukemi" mentioned in the header) let's examine it.

If we're going to say that Ueshiba's technique (and Takeda's) came from somewhere else, let's be fair and trivialize all equally. Most of all, let's be even-handed in our analyses. ;)

Best.

Mike

oisin bourke
05-29-2009, 08:32 PM
Ueshiba stood out. Kendo men wanted to train with him. Kano respected him. All of his students respected him. Yet, none of them stated that it was his spiritual nature. No, that doesn't diminish that aspect of him, but it is without a doubt his martial abilities, the Daito ryu aiki, that gave him a base to spread his message of his Aikido.

Shoji Nishio stated that he trained under Uesh because he found his morality superior to Mifune Kyuzo's (the great Judo player).

The article is over on Aikido Journal somewhere.


And as for teaching what they knew. Here is another quandry. I recently talked with a someone in Japan in a branch of DR who stated that his teacher went to Tokimune to learn. Tokimune showed him- solo exercises, telling him they were the source of his aiki. When the teacher brought them back to his dojo- no one wanted to do them, they wanted to do techniques. When he later asked Tokimune about that, Tokimune said "No one here wants to do them either. I've shown some people, but they would rather do techniques too."
Then we have another well known teacher out and about who "had these things in his art" Who clearly knows about them, and can talk about them, but who clearly has never spent time really training them. His body and lack of internal skill make it obvious that he never spent enough time on them. Fortunately, he is meeting a new class of educated seminar attendees, who are making it known to him that "He needs work."
So where can we fairly say "Bad teacher," when the teacher tried. In some cased maybe we should be quoting a "Georgia Rule"
For a smart person (student), you're really good at stupid.

What can be said; some show, some don't show, some don't even know. Some are then shown, and they go right back to doing what they know and feel comfortable with. Best to focus on our own work and people who are interested in learning this work.
Cheers
Dan

I don't know which DR teacher you are referring to, but Sano, a Shihan under Tokimune, demonstrates excercises for developing Aiki (which he says were shown to him by Tokimune) on one of the videos published by the Abashiri group about ten years ago. Very interesting stuff.

MM
05-30-2009, 06:56 AM
Well, I dunno. Given the number of "Ueshiba had nothing because he got it all from Takeda" posts I've seen some people focus on, the "I don't know where this came from" argument seems a bit disingenuous.


I think if anyone rereads any of the posts, they'll find that we've said that aikido is great, a preeminent martial art, etc, etc, etc. No one has ever said, "had no original ideas", in fact the opposite was posted. Ueshiba did something unique in the budo world at that time. No one has said, "had no real sword (or other weapon) abilities". In fact, the opposite was said. It's a known fact that Ueshiba did trim the Daito ryu syllabus and that he never really systematically taught techniques. It's also documented that many of his students didn't understand him when he talked about the spiritual side of things. But, what have some of us posted? Hey, those things he was saying kind of make sense when training aiki. No one ever talked about Ueshiba naming the art "aikido" to skip out on paying someone. In fact, Ueshiba never really named his art, now did he? He accepted that name, but it came from somewhere else.

Disingenuous? Not really. Just like before when the world hardly knew that there even was a Daito ryu because it was covered up, it's now starting to be known that what powered Ueshiba's martial abilities was Daito ryu aiki. Still, that doesn't detract from what Ueshiba did, nor his spiritual message.

MM
05-30-2009, 07:23 AM
Shoji Nishio stated that he trained under Uesh because he found his morality superior to Mifune Kyuzo's (the great Judo player).

The article is over on Aikido Journal somewhere.


Thanks for the pointer. The article is here:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=524

It deals with a coat stolen from Tohei and some thieves breaking into Mifune's house.

Here's Stan's article going over the essence of what happened in relation to aikido principles:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=695

Personally, I took Nishio's words in more of a budo sense, but rereading it, I can see where one could view it in terms of a spiritual sense.

Mark

oisin bourke
05-30-2009, 07:45 AM
Reciprocally, I hadn't interpreted it in the in terms of "bu" before. I'll have to reread it myself.

Ellis Amdur
05-30-2009, 11:11 AM
Mark Murray wrote:Just like before when the world hardly knew that there even was a Daito ryu because it was covered up,

Mark, agreed with everything else you write, but you and others who write about a conspiracy, a cover up, are absolutely wrong. Cut it out! Jeez. Just because it wasn't talked about in some aikido dojo in x-town, American, doesn't mean there's a cover-up. There's just no interest that far from the center.
When I went to Japan in 1976, I asked about Daito-ryu (I'd read about it in ALL the forwards of all the the aikido books I'd read - sure, there were some not so nice things written about Takeda, but the gist was there) and I was told where to find it, who taught it, etc. It was common knowledge. That aikido people weren't interested in it is quite understandable, really. Have you ever seen a DR demo in Japan? They don't demo the "aiki" stuff - they mostly do a rather stiff, mannered, often lumpish jujutsu. From what is presented publicly, there has been little to tempt an aikidoka - because the DR people have been covering up their own stuff! They weren't showing anything interesting. If they had, I would have joined in a heartbeat. I didn't know it existed - not from what they were presenting.

BTW - Takeda Sokaku never spoke about or gave credit to the jujutsu-ryu that Daito-ryu came from;) (Ahem - release in July, due to hold up on design and finding an inexpensive enough printing company). Well, to be fair, he may not have known - OR - he simply felt that he'd made enough changes that he would call it by its own name - which, like Ueshiba, he decided upon.

Sometimes these discussions remind me of a family get-together where an aunt with a strident voice is heard over the various discussions, "Well, Arnold, your son does have a beautiful punin (face), but you know that comes from our side of the family. Just because he has your last name doesn't mean you can take credit for those fantastic genes. With what you've got going on in your family tree, he's lucky he tends to our side."

E. Amdur

Aikibu
05-30-2009, 01:05 PM
Personally, I took Nishio's words in more of a budo sense, but rereading it, I can see where one could view it in terms of a spiritual sense.

Mark

To Nishio Shihan... Budo and Spirit were two parts of a whole Martial Artist. :)

William Hazen

DH
06-02-2009, 11:17 AM
Mark, agreed with everything else you write, but you and others who write about a conspiracy, a cover up, are absolutely wrong. Cut it out! Jeez. Just because it wasn't talked about in some aikido dojo in x-town, American, doesn't mean there's a cover-up. …..When I went to Japan in 1976, I asked about Daito-ryu (I'd read about it in ALL the forwards of all the the aikido books I'd read - sure, there were some not so nice things written about Takeda, but the gist was there) and I was told where to find it, who taught it, etc. It was common knowledge.
Hello Ellis
Interesting post.
I remain unclear where you might have read about a conspiracy happening in Japan? To my knowledge and awareness, on this subject in printed form in English and on the internet I have only seen it referenced specifically in regard to mediums and people outside of Japan. Even Tokimune's in-house newsletter differentiated that-wherein he discusses how the art was being downplayed…abroad. Indirectly referencing the aikikai and foreign authors.
That said, I also found it curious you dismissed the anecdotal offering as you did in being gliipant about who cares "what some teacher said in X-town USA." Again, if memory serves, those quotes have come from Americans talking with visiting Japanese Aikido teachers, including Shihan.
It is a bit unsettling to see you dismiss anecdotal evidence and then segua to your anectodotal evidence.
"When I went to Japan in 1976, I asked about Daito-ryu .....I was told where to find it, who taught it, etc. It was common knowledge"
I'm sure you agree your anecdotes with teachers in Japan are no more, no less credible than the experience of other men outside of Japan, so I think we are talking about two different experiences on either sides of the world. So, you my friend, have once again made the case that for -some folks- there indeed had been two different answers given the DR connection "from back in the day"; one in Japan and one for foreign consumption. I know because in 1980's I was actively looking for it, only to be told it no longer existed by?….a Japanese Aikido Shihan. Curiously this situation (about disinformation) you yourself have acknowledged in regards to other topics in the past. I think it proves true here as well.
I still firmly believe that situation and the subsequent growth in awareness and clarity of the DR connection was due to Stan's efforts to an English speaking world. I know I was grateful when I first called Stan in Japan, only to find out that the visiting Japanese teacher was either lying to our faces or was ignorant of your anecdotal experiences of; "being told where to find it, who taught it," and that; "It was common knowledge" known everywhere in Japan! We sure as hell didn't.
Have some pity on us poor non-Japanese speaking guys training in aikido before the internet. There were limiting sources for information back then! ;)
Perhaps you can see my point? I think it's something worth considering.

BTW - Takeda Sokaku never spoke about or gave credit to the jujutsu-ryu that Daito-ryu came from;) (Ahem - release in July, due to hold up on design and finding an inexpensive enough printing company). Well, to be fair, he may not have known - OR - he simply felt that he'd made enough changes that he would call it by its own name - which, like Ueshiba, he decided upon.
History
It's fair to say that most everyone involved in the MA, particularly with Koryu, has been obsessed with the history as much as real skill. It's fair to say, that it's usually among the first questions asked from most anyone-even about Aikido and Ueshiba. I make no judgments of it, but it seems to be always out there for discussion. This of course bears witness in your own need for discovery caring about Ueshiba's power being connected to DR, to the point that you yourself chose to pursue the connection and then pursue it further to even suggest a new speculative and provocative alternate history of Takeda's own claims about the origin of DR. Were it proved true it would basically state he was lying or downplaying its origins or is own involvement in disseminating that information. Was this mention, an intentional corollary to Ueshiba? I bring that up since it appears-I'm guessing here- that your intent is to let each of these men stand on their own two feet and be done with it! Well, okay. It's certainly a new approach.

I appreciate the joke about genealogy and another aunt story, but in my reading of things I see no intent to disparage Ueshiba to lift another. In fact, it seems the recent years here have boosted an awareness of just how good he was all the more.
As far as his skill, what's the inverse to the aunt story?
To watch Ueshiba and to sit idly by and say. "What an amazing man! What interesting and totally individual movement, the likes of which has never been seen or heard of before on the earth." ..like everyone else has been doing for years. And then to deny knowing what you are looking at and how to train to actually get it? I chose a different route. To speak up about it. For better or worse. Hey, I never said I was perfect!
So, I discuss Ueshiba in concert with DR only in regards to where he got his physical skills-not his spiritual leanings or where he went with it-there I tend to clearly differentiate and have noted differences I happen to like, so I think there is a strong balance of view regarding where it came from and where he went with it.
Case in point:
It might be worth noting I have taken great pains to discuss and offer opinion on just how the DR training and its end goals was modified to arrive at the aikido type ukemi seen so often in aikido. And more pointedly that although Takeda changed and modified the more typically seen koryu model…it was not exactly in ways typically thought. In many ways he was still uke just not in the way most see it or understand it.
Not without merit I will note you remain the only person to have seen it too and capable of conversing on that topic in these pages.
This of course does not address Ueshiba's spiritual massage, nor do I intend to other than to say in many ways I remain a fan of what he at least tried to accomplish in creating Aikido and taking his art in a different direction.

Cheers
Dan

DH
06-02-2009, 11:35 AM
Well, I dunno. Given the number of "Ueshiba had nothing because he got it all from Takeda" posts I've seen some people focus on, the "I don't know where this came from" argument seems a bit disingenuous.

"Ueshiba had nothing?" This is nonsense and never happened here that I have seen. You are confusing the questions:
1. It has only ever been a debate of where he got it and how he did it.
2. Not if he had it.
As for Ueshiba and accuracy
Mike. You-are at the top of the list for continually trying to first claim he got it from some mysterious common knowldge in Asian arts idea, then morhing to Koryu and amalgum of his supposed training idea, then later agreed to the possibility he "added" things on top of his DR training to explain his power. You did it over and over. All without knowing anything about what you were talking about by way of DR and what that might have produced IN HIM in the first place. At one point going so fare as stating there MUST have been more, and looking for Chinese and Omoto influenced solo training. Back then the level of discourse reminded me of BKF and his comment that "Ueshiba must have studied bagua in China" theories because he saw something in his moves-he- recognized.
Of course it was tough for you to talk about what might have been added when you didn't know what was there to begin with, even to denying / challenging that there was anything substantive regarding internals in DR to even have gotten! All of which you later apologized for (including several other apologies for not including Koryu) in these very pages.
No harm no foul, I applaud the honesty and the research mentalitiy behind it, but at the end of the day, none of this has been any surprise to me and a few others. I have been advocating for it from the beginning. All cited in several hundred posts.
You might choose to say others are downplaying Ueshiba's power, but it doesnlt hold up. I think you are making too strong a statement. And to aim it at Mark is a bit much.
If you really want to go there...Mark has produced quite a bit of Aikido video links showing where Ueshiba's power was being demonstrated and placing it here for discussion-Far more than any one single person I have ever seen. All with the intention to prove Ueshiba's power and forward the discussions it seems you were once so intent on having in the first place. He also contributed to the discussion of Ueshiba taking Ukemi as Nage in a way you have not.

On review, I think you are the only one (or one of the few) to have placed DR videos on aikiweb to discuss them.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
06-02-2009, 12:27 PM
Mike. You-are at the top of the list for continually trying to first claim he got it from some mysterious common knowldge in Asian arts idea, then morhing to Koryu and amalgum of his supposed training idea, then later agreed to the possibility he "added" things on top of his DR training to explain his power. You did it over and over. Actually, that's not true. What I offered was the idea that while Ueshiba *may* have gotten some of the higher-level training from Takeda, some of it *may* have been from other sources, so it's hard to pinpoint, despite your many posts attributing all of Ueshiba's skills to Takeda.

The one thing I've said time and time again if that you need to cite your sources when you attribute comments to me because you have made too many incorrect attributions in the past. Please remember to cite when you say I've said something. Saying "all cited in several hundred posts" is sort of a joke, BTW.

More closely to the thread topic, my point is sort of in line with Ellis' comment noting that Takeda didn't attribute his skills to the people that taught him and it would seem a little odd if someone kept popping up on a DR forum insisting that Takeda would have had nothing if it hadn't been for so-and-so's training. The point is that these constant harking-backs to Takeda are sort of bizarre and they've gone on for years now.

Why not just leave it that these skills are found throughout Asia, as a generality, and then discuss some of the different emphases Ueshiba did without constantly dragging Takeda's name into it? Just a thought.

Now back to the thread.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
06-02-2009, 12:57 PM
Actually, that's not true. What I offered was the idea that while Ueshiba *may* have gotten some of the higher-level training from Takeda, some of it *may* have been from other sources, so it's hard to pinpoint, despite your many posts attributing all of Ueshiba's skills to Takeda.
No, actually I am correct, and its all there if someone goes back more than a few years to watch the changing of your position in writing.. If you are trying to state that your position has not changed-go right ahead.
I don't really care enough to go pull your post again. When people have pulled your posts in the past, you arrive at a different conclusion to them everytime, and point the confusion to others. I am content to just watch you revise your views as long as the information is correct. I have revised my own in the past several times. On my part in regards to the Chinese arts. It's not a negative in my view, its a positive, a part of learning. I'll be the first to admit it.

More closely to the thread topic, my point is sort of in line with Ellis' comment noting that Takeda didn't attribute his skills to the people that taught him and it would seem a little odd if someone kept popping up on a DR forum insisting that Takeda would have had nothing if it hadn't been for so-and-so's training. The point is that these constant harking-backs to Takeda are sort of bizarre and they've gone on for years now.
Again, history and lineage is stridently important to the majority of people in budo-always has been. Read any book, look at any interview. Many have written books about lineage and connections beetween diverse Koryu and their influences down through the ages and the affect it had on the later arts. Some have publications pending about that very thing, and are even relying on interest IN THAT VERY IDEA for success. I think its interesting, and since some like to continually point out the common skills shared by all Asian arts, then that in itself draws interest to "connections."
On the whole I can agree with your point, Mike, I just think you are making too strong a statement as it applies here.

Why not just leave it that these skills are found throughout Asia, as a generality, and then discuss some of the different emphases Ueshiba did without constantly dragging Takeda's name into it? Just a thought.
These skills are not all the same, only the very basic ones are the same. From there, the way to train them is different, and their use is markedly different. Even between schools of ICMA and schools of JMA.
That's all I am going to say on that. It's not what the threads about.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
06-02-2009, 02:54 PM
No, actually I am correct, and its all there if someone goes back more than a few years to watch the changing of your position in writing.. If you are trying to state that your position has not changed-go right ahead. Dan, this is about the fourth or fifth time. *Anytime* you definitively attribute that I said something, please put the citation. In the past, my position has never been any more than that *some* of Ueshiba's stuff may have come from sources other than Takeda. The only shift I've made is that actually "aiki" (apparently "aiki" as you use it is slightly different from the traditional usage, so I'm using it in the traditional sense) seems more certainly to have come from Takeda himself simply for the reason that I can see one of Takeda's students using it (and bear in mind, that's not definitive in itself). I still leave it open because I don't know (and you don't know) if the supplemental training methodologies came from Takeda or not. There is still a strong possibility that some of the supplemental training came from another discipline (for Ueshiba's Aikido). Given that Ueshiba uses such strong Shintoism in his supplemental practice methods, it's a reasonable and open question about whether he got some of the supplemental training practices through Omoto Kyo.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

stan baker
06-02-2009, 08:45 PM
Hi Mike,
why not investigate the obvious the connection between aikido and daito ryu, the other stuff is not that critical pertaining to his martial skill. Check out somebody with high level aiki .

stan

Mike Sigman
06-02-2009, 08:54 PM
Check out somebody with high level aiki .
So, Ueshiba didn't have "high level aiki"? Who should Aikido people model themselves after, Stan? Perhaps someone you admire?

Best.

Mike Sigman

stan baker
06-02-2009, 11:00 PM
Hi Mike,
I mean somebody right now.

stan

DH
06-03-2009, 07:36 AM
Dan, this is about the fourth or fifth time. *Anytime* you definitively attribute that I said something, please put the citation. In the past, my position has never been any more than that *some* of Ueshiba's stuff may have come from sources other than Takeda. The only shift I've made is that actually "aiki" (apparently "aiki" as you use it is slightly different from the traditional usage, so I'm using it in the traditional sense) seems more certainly to have come from Takeda himself simply for the reason that I can see one of Takeda's students using it (and bear in mind, that's not definitive in itself). I still leave it open because I don't know (and you don't know) if the supplemental training methodologies came from Takeda or not. There is still a strong possibility that some of the supplemental training came from another discipline (for Ueshiba's Aikido). Given that Ueshiba uses such strong Shintoism in his supplemental practice methods, it's a reasonable and open question about whether he got some of the supplemental training practices through Omoto Kyo.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Mike
I do not go back and find your posts because you negated true efforts at any conversation between us in the past. Look, you are stating that you didn't change your views. I say you did. That's it. People can look it up, lets drop it, we both have better things to do.

Aiki
You ...are telling me...what aiki is in the traditional Japanese sense? That's interesting.
Define it____________________.
I'll bet good money that you can't. Not that I am being adversarial, that's not it at all. It's just that neither you- nor anyone else- is ever going to get people in the traditional arts --particularly in DR- to agree on what aiki is.

Ueshiba
But once again here your statements Like "There is still a strong possibility that some of the supplemental training came from another discipline." is meaningless. More unsupported speculation. There is an even stronger possibility he didn't need to!
Again, less it escapes your attention, there are men in DR who are NOT surprised in watching Ueshiba, can see what he is doing, knew how to do what he was doing, and how to train it. So it can be argued with much more credibility that he needn't have gone any where else ...ever.

This is too much verbiage. It's water under the bridge, I brought it up because too many times you go after people like you did here, for bringing up DR in conjunction with Ueshiba, all while you yourself continually bring up these "Common Asian elements," and possible, yet still imaginary, and unprovable "additives" from other sources. What's good for the goose is good for the Gander, Mike. You know little about his training in DR Aiki, and outside of that, nothing at all that is provable. All you offer is speculation.
I would suggest you try to "actually" remain open (perhaps to the idea that he got what he got inside of DR and chose to use it in a different way) instead of just paying lip service to the idea of remaining truly open. Or at least try to be a little more circumspect in your comments to others when you yourself have, and are, doing so much arguing…all from unsupported speculation. Then we won't have to keep going down this old and well traveled road.

For the thread
Ukemi
This is a more interesting discussion; both in why and how the aiki lines changed the way the arts were taught, in their ukemi model, and what it did for the players in developing and weirdly -not-developing their bodies. And going back to Ellis's idea of letting the men involved stand on their own two feet; Ukemi is the source of where Ueshiba changed everything.
It started with the Ukemi model, not the aiki.
What was in his mind and vision to fashion it to look the way it did?
What were his goals in establishing it this way?
What was he doing in receiving the way he did?
Did his son continue in that vein....or, did he actually change it again and reverse the roles in a different and more complete way?
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
06-03-2009, 08:43 AM
I do not go back and find your posts because you negated true efforts at any conversation between us in the past. Let's leave it simple, Dan.... when you attribute comments to me and can't back them up (as has happened in the past and you've simply stopped posting until the coast was clear), you don't lay the blame on me with some malarkey about "negating true efforts". I've asked you very simple questions, etc., in the past that you simply dropped... i.e., the breakdown in communications has often seemed to come when you're asked direct questions about how something works, in order to see what you really know/understand. My asking questions to you is one thing; you posting unsupported and incorrect attributions while using my name is something quite different. It seems other people remember clearly that this problem of you stating what I say or believe is not a new one, so I don't feel like prolonging the discussion any further.
Aiki
You ...are telling me...what aiki is in the traditional Japanese sense? That's interesting.
Define it____________________. I'd forgotten how special you are. Sorry. What I have done in the past three or four times is post a good general definition of "Aiki" from Inaba Minoru:

However, even if you grasp timing, if you don't focus your power or energy you cannot do anything. In the human body the area to focus power is the lower abdomen (kafuku tanden).

Power focused here is defensive power; power going out is offensive power.

How can you put forth offensive power? The first thing you have to do is to focus the power in your center. Offensive power will naturally flow if you focus your power in the center. That is forceful power (iryoku). It is a condition of focused energy that becomes center energy. In budo, people use the terms "bui" or "iryoku", don't they? Most important in martial arts is "iwoharu," showing this powerfully focused energy. It's not good to pretend that you have energy (karaibari). Try to use the energy in the lower abdomen. You can call this energy focused "ki" energy. If you don't have center energy, you are bluffing. Really, you have to develop this energy. The energy will flow naturally if you can focus it in the lower abdomen. If you understand this point, you will understand how to develop your body and mind and how you should train.

If you forget this essential point, you'll think only about winning, and you won't have the power to keep centered. This power won't be released and you will be destroyed.

You do exercises to straighten up your back muscles and relax your shoulders. Drop your focus to your lower abdomen. If you do that, you'll find your center point and you will produce center energy. If your center is not developed, you won't have ki energy available to project through your fingers.

If you take excess energy from the upper body and train the lower body as in sumo wrestling, and if you train the energy of the lower abdomen, you will develop your center energy. You use that power wherever necessary.

Even though you focus the energy in your lower abdomen, you will not be able to move the energy to the area where you need it right away. You have to think about how you are going to move it. You have to think about two things, gathering and filling up the power, and then moving the power to where the opponent will attack. Also if you have a weapon, you have to project energy through the weapon. If you understand this point, you'll know how to train and what you need to develop. At the same moment you meet your opponent, you focus on your abdomen (hara) and project your ki where you need it. The result will be that you will shut down your opponent's power. I understand that as the power of "aiki."


I'll bet good money that you can't. I just posted that interview again so there you go. In terms of you paying money that's owed, you don't have a good reputation for paying up, so I won't add to your burden. Not that I am being adversarial, that's not it at all. It's just that neither you- nor anyone else- is ever going to get people in the traditional arts --particularly in DR- to agree on what aiki is. Inaba's definition is good enough and follows the general *traditional* meaning, including when the same phenomenon is called "Hua Jin" by Chinese. This is too much verbiage. It's water under the bridge, I brought it up because too many times you go after people like you did here, for bringing up DR in conjunction with Ueshiba, all while you yourself continually bring up these "Common Asian elements," and possible, yet still imaginary, and unprovable "additives" from other sources. What's good for the goose is good for the Gander, Mike. You know little about his training in DR Aiki, and outside of that, nothing at all that is provable. All you offer is speculation.
I would suggest you try to "actually" remain open (perhaps to the idea that he got what he got inside of DR and chose to use it in a different way) instead of just paying lip service to the idea of remaining truly open. Or at least try to be a little more circumspect in your comments to others when you yourself have, and are, doing so much arguing…all from unsupported speculation. Then we won't have to keep going down this old and well traveled road. Why not just take the clue that the repeated diminishment of Ueshiba and the selling of Takeda is unnecessary, particularly in light of the regularity you and your followers bring it up? Enough said? Why not just make technical points based on your own understanding and leave statements about other people out of the discussions? And of course, don't feel that I am in any way suggesting that you or your followers quit talking about you yourself; that is, of course, up to you guys. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

oisin bourke
06-03-2009, 09:44 AM
Mark Murray wrote:

W That aikido people weren't interested in it is quite understandable, really. Have you ever seen a DR demo in Japan? They don't demo the "aiki" stuff - they mostly do a rather stiff, mannered, often lumpish jujutsu. From what is presented publicly, there has been little to tempt an aikidoka - because the DR people have been covering up their own stuff! They weren't showing anything interesting. If they had, I would have joined in a heartbeat. I didn't know it existed - not from what they were presenting.

E. Amdur

I wasn't in Japan in The 1970's (I was busy being born:) ). However, there is ample filmed and photographed footage of Horikawa performing Aiki techniques in schools, community centers etc all around Hokkaido throughout the late 60's/70's. He even appeared on TV!

Dunno what the situation in Tokyo was then, but DR in Hokkaido has been sorely overlooked IMHO.

thisisnotreal
06-03-2009, 10:06 AM
Hi Mike,
I already so totally regret writing this, but I will post it..


about "negating true efforts".

Mike -- you see me trying. And twisting in the wind. And you will not offer. I do not know Dan, but even animals can sense kindness. In words, in action and intent.
Men just trying their best. And sometimes it isn't good enough. But the works stand on their own and will be measured, tried and tested.


..in order to see what you really know/understand.

We all do that. At some point young Mike Sigman did the same. Now you are one of our Seniors, and one of the best here on these pages. You owe no man anything. None of use owe anyone anything. Life is short. Do we give of ourselves? Or take? Either way. There is no third choice. Yes I am asking, knowing well what the answer likely is. Hoping for a change of heart.

Reputation, Ego, Knowledge. Baggage. We *are* what we *are* and we stand alone. The true value is not in the knowledge but in how we choose to wield it. You know all this.


What I have done in the past three or four times is post a good general definition of "Aiki" from Inaba Minoru

Aye, but they are not your words. You agree with them, but you go no further. It is a good quote, and an instructive one, to be sure. But isn't there so much more that can be said...?


Why not just take the clue that the repeated diminishment of Ueshiba and the selling of Takeda is unnecessary, particularly in light of the regularity you and your followers bring it up?

I think the questions of origins are important to indicate that O Sensei did not have sole exclusive rights to this, nor are they necessarily inextricably intertwined with the philosophy.


Why not just make technical points based on your own understanding ..

That would be wonderful if everyone did that. But spidey-sense says that ain't going to happen. No matter how much we each, individually want it to. People, in general, are reluctant to give away perceived power. I do not think it is a case of pearls before swine so much as identification with a role, and the utter paucity of the printed word in conveying meaning. It is hard. And likely to fail. But is the ‘hand up' you spoke of worth trying? It is hard to say. You already know what I think. And hope.


And of course, don't feel that I am in any way suggesting that you or your followers quit talking about you yourself; that is, of course, up to you guys.

Mike, this is a function of the kindness mentioned earlier. It is not too much more than that, as far as I can tell.

I am sorry that this is completely off topic of the thread.
Josh

DH
06-03-2009, 10:06 AM
Why not just take the clue that the repeated diminishment of Ueshiba and the selling of Takeda is unnecessary, particularly in light of the regularity you and your followers bring it up? Enough said? Why not just make technical points based on your own understanding and leave statements about other people out of the discussions?
Regards,
Mike Sigman
Interesting reply.
I think your replies in this thread alone demonstrate what I am talking about.
Where does misquoting me, misquoting others by intent and trying to make it inflammatory, diminishing people and casting aspersions on them and reading in all manner of ugly innuendo add up to positive and condusive communication or any attempt at trying? Case in point:
No one is diminishing Ueshiba anywhere and several examples were cited. You created that in your own head and run with it. Mark has done more in posting links to prove the skills being demonstrated by Ueshiba than anyone in recent memory and then defended t
I never said how special -I- was and instead pointed out clearly that no one will agree on what aiki is. Here it is again if it helps you to read and think instead of "reading-in" all manner of negative personal attributes wherever you can invent them.
You ...are telling me...what aiki is in the traditional Japanese sense? That's interesting.
Define it____________________.
I'll bet good money that you can't. Not that I am being adversarial, that's not it at all. It's just that neither you- nor anyone else- is ever going to get people in the traditional arts --particularly in DR- to agree on what aiki is."
I think my intent is clear-so is your’s.

Sorry that I have not satisfied you when I have refused to answer your questions about how to's and what I know during your many fishing expeditions for information. I never found a need to. I am content to that you occasionally correct your erroneous assumptions about what you thought -you-knew about various Japanese arts. Why not take your own advice save everyone some trouble. Instead of misquoting others and being nasty- stick to the subject. You might once again learn something that you didn't know

Dan

DH
06-03-2009, 10:14 AM
I wasn't in Japan in The 1970's (I was busy being born:) ). However, there is ample filmed and photographed footage of Horikawa performing Aiki techniques in schools, community centers etc all around Hokkaido throughout the late 60's/70's. He even appeared on TV!

Dunno what the situation in Tokyo was then, but DR in Hokkaido has been sorely overlooked IMHO.
Hello Oisin
True enough. We might consider what schools of any type cared or wanted their art to be known; either outside of their district, or outside of Japan, much less in any printed medium- by choice.
I remember Stan talking of making introductions, planning, making the trip up to Hokkaido and being turned away, other times not getting much by way of forth coming answers. It's not all negative, its just a choice. I know of one teacher who was furious that a discussion with Stan turned into an interview, he didn't want to be known or quoted at all. So it goes.

In any event, Ellis pointed out clearly that the possibility existed for two different experiences dependant on where you were, and when.
Cheers
Dan

oisin bourke
06-03-2009, 10:36 AM
Thanks for your reply Dan.

I didn't mean to imply that DR was (or is) particularly accessible in Japan (even now), and, FWIW, I agree with Ellis's points RE a lot of the jujutsu. I've seen guys who move like bears with arthritis.

I actually attended a workshop with Ellis years ago and found his jujustu beautiful.

I merely wanted to point out that at least one notable exponent was apparently quite happily showing "Aiki" stuff in public back "in the day."

Have you come across the Feb 2008 edition of Hiden?

thisisnotreal
06-03-2009, 09:49 PM
What was in his mind and vision to fashion it to look the way it did?
What were his goals in establishing it this way?

A peaceful world.
The reconciliation of all beings. By building yourself up and choosing peace you yourself could bring peace to both parties.
And save the other from violating the way, himself and you, all at the same time.
By building yourself up, technically, and by ceaselessly polishing the jewel of aiki, this could be done.
And it would be in line with the will of Heaven.
He talked about becoming companion to the kami.
And following the natural order of Heaven.

Didn`t he?

Listen (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NWxbDSpgG0&feature=related) while reading.


The vast Universe!
The Way of Aiki to become
The light of all mankind
Opening all the world.

Put the active principle (yo) into the right hand
Turn the left into the passive (in)
And so guide the adversary.

By means of the way
Call out the misguided enemy
Advance and persuade him with words of instruction
Through the Sword of Love.

With "Eiiii" cut him down!
That enemy that lurks within
Instruct him with "yah"
Guide him with "Toh".

A person who
In any situation
Perceives the truth with resignation
Would never need to draw his sword in haste.

Pour your spirit and heart
Into daily technical training
To approach the many through a single principle
This is "The Way of the Fighting Man".

Always and always
Pour yourself into technical training
To face the multitude as if it were one
Is the Way of the Shugo-sha.

First master the techniques of Aiki
The way of the Gods
Then no enemy will ever attack.

The form and beauty that is the world of Heaven and Earth
Has become one family.

Though we may honor it
We can never praise enough
The godly technique of the Way of Aiki
The godly technique of the small gate.

The purification techniques (misogi-waza)
I have learned from God and Revelation
Aiki is built by the god(s).

Masakatsu and Agatsu
By Aiki with the spirit of the Godly Parent
Save and invigorate
Your own body and soul.

The Way of the Gods!
Give in to the life of the Universe of
Heaven and Earth
Thus draw nearer and nearer
To a spirit who serves the Godhead.

The Way of our Gods!
The clear and those red and white
The Way of Aiki is one of the divine techniques
To which only a narrow gate does lead.

Mobilize all (your) powers through Aiki
Build a beautiful world
And a secure peace

Even the most powerful human being
has a limited sphere of strength.
Draw him outside of that sphere
and into your own, and his strength will dissipate.

"You must realize this!
Aiki cannot be captured with the brush
Nor can it be expressed with the mouth
And so it is that one must proceed
to realization."

Blend with (ki-musubi) the
Universe of Heaven and Earth (tenchi)
Stand in the center (of all)
In your heart take up the stance
Of "The Way of the Mountain Echo." (Yamabiko)

Blend the ki within the self (ki-musubi)
Stand erect in the very center
Polish the spirit
mind (kokoro)
"The Way of the Mountain Echo".

In the self-mind standing always
In the very center of it I do live
The stance (kamae) of Love is
"The Way of the Mountain Echo.

Aiki!
The root of the power of love
A love that must grow ever broader.

This world is built up
Of living-life (iki-inochi) of the breath of life (iki-inichi) and the
saving power of the Universal (iki-inochi)
All spinning and flourishing
The jewel-like Aiki of the Spirit (tama-no-aiki).

Left and Right
Cut or parry
Discard all thought of them
The human spirit must rush instantly in!

Aiki!
A way so difficult to analyse
(But one needs only to) follow
The natural rotations of the
Heavens.

Aiki is the power of harmony between all things
Polish it ceaselessly
You people of the Way.

The honored techniques of Ki
May manifest the spirit of the Great Snake
Or that of Bees
To make such spirits (tama) appear
Is the Way of Takemusu.

The precious techniques of Ki!
They, the spirits (tama) does subdue and pacify
IN these techniques of misogi purification
Please direct us, Oh gods of Heaven and Earth!

In these teachings listen most
To the rhythm of the strike and thrust
To train in the basics (omote)
Is to practice the very secrets of the art.



What was he doing in receiving the way he did?

He maintained a state of aiki in his body.
He initiated ki-no musubi, blending with ki of attacker.
He drew strength into himself and out of the enemy.
Forming a union.
And brought peace to all encounters
With a spirit of loving protection.

Mike Sigman
06-03-2009, 10:16 PM
Sorry that I have not satisfied you when I have refused to answer your questions about how to's and what I know during your many fishing expeditions for information. Dan, why don't you get off the ego trip? :D I've put plenty of information on the internet over the years and you've obviously researched it and benefitted from it, based on your own posts about things I've written (I've never even bothered to Google anything you've written in the past).

I think we've gotten past the phase where you can rationalize that what you know is from any koryu to the extent that you *must* keep it secret, as you've tried to indicate in the past. If you want to honestly share things, start putting more information and less self-hype on various forums. About the only thing I'm interested in hearing from you is *how* you attempt to describe things, not *what* you know. The question of *how* people describe these things has been a question I've asked people for decades... long before you came on the scene. ;)

Incidentally, Inaba's description is pretty good. The question is why there are such diverse methods of describing these things, particularly in Japan. Ueshiba's descriptions I discussed in posts before, and noted the contrast with how Tohei *can* describe things. Inaba was pretty clear and Kuroda's description is classical "heaven-earth-man" but in a western science mode. On this forum I've left quite a number of posts with lengthy descriptions and diagrams. So far I haven't seen any information from you that puts you in a league where I would be "fishing" for anything you know. Besides, you were the one trying to access the QiJin forum posts, not me trying to find out anything from you. If you want to get on QiJin legitimately you need to give some indication that you know enough broad-spectrum information to be there. So far, as I've said in the past, all I see is that you have some knowledge about jin skills.

In terms of the descriptions by Ueshiba and the focus on Ukemi as being a definitive point in Ueshiba's training, I've never yet been convinced. Ueshiba was so cryptic in things he said that although I can see a general indication of traditional Chinese-like discussion, I've personally never seen anything that made me sure that his meaning about ukemi was what some people attibute to him. Maybe, maybe not. I'm in neutral about it.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
06-04-2009, 10:00 AM
It's interesting to see your dynamic. In your posts, you accuse someone of X behavior and then display that behavior in the body of the post. Here relating to ego. Where does insulting me-an occasional pastime of yours- have anything to do with this thread? You are a very peculiar man.
I'd be happy to acknowledge you as a source had you written or offered anything that affected my training in anyway. Research is a good thing so I don't shy away from it.
The one thing I have, is many visitors coming here. These people; student and teachers alike have both felt and reported back that my senior people-are people with power and aiki. People who have trained here from 7, to fifteen years. It's all rather transparent. I could go check with them to see if they had ever heard of you back then, but I happen to know it would be a waste of time-since I was the one who taught them and not one of us had ever heard of you. You meant nothing to me or them during all those years of training, you mean nothing to them or me now.

Get over yourself, Mike. The little you have written has been of the most basic type, and while it has helped awareness of the topic for many beginners, it was of no good use at all to certain of us who saw it for what it was.

Ukemi
The reason you don't see the things about Ueshiba mistakenly attribute it to a focus on Ukemi is that you do not know the subject. Its not even a discussion about that. Its a discussionabout from whence it came and what differentiated it from what and why. I would expect you to remain neutral about it, since its not a topic you can engage in.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
06-04-2009, 10:27 AM
The one thing I have, is many visitors coming here. These people; student and teachers alike have both felt and reported back that my senior people-are people with power and aiki. People who have trained here from 7, to fifteen years. Yes, and some of them have talked to me. The little you have written has been of the most basic type, and while it has helped awareness of the topic for many beginners, it was of no good use at all to certain of us who saw it for what it was. That seems to go against some of your students who say most of your insights have been in very recent years, but regardless, let's just say all the posts you've made about what you can do and how long you've done things are in question.... does that move the debate forward? No. Neither does the discussion about how much Ueshiba owed to Takeda. I'm all for people just making their case factually and getting away from the personality or the "here's what I can do" or "here's how many newbies I've impressed". That's part of why a lot of this stuff was lost in Aikido and other arts... people jumped too quickly in trying to create their own little fiefdoms. I have little use for it.

In terms of basic information, let's see a little bit from you in a few posts. Put it in writing. It might help you and others if you have to articulate things. Cady once said something about how she would handle me by "reaching through" me, or something of similar wording. I tried to ask her later to articulate it better, but she never responded. She doesn't "reach through" me if she's trying to affect my forces.... what is she really doing to someone? In other words, I encourage people to try and more clearly articulate what is really happening because they need to understand the mechanics before they can move onto other stuff. If you're stuck with a "feel this" and "feel that" level, then you're going to miss out on a lot of stuff. Hence my encouragement that people voice things more clearly.
The reason you don't see the things about Ueshiba mistakenly attribute it to a focus on Ukemi is that you do not know the subject. Its not even a discussion about that. Its a discussionabout from whence it came and what differentiated it from what and why. I would expect you to remain neutral about it, since its not a topic you can engage in. Thank you for your teaching, O Dan. :rolleyes:

Mike

akiy
06-04-2009, 10:51 AM
Yet another thread turned into a personal discussion.

Thread closed.

-- Jun