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MM
01-25-2010, 10:25 AM
There are some aspects of Ueshiba that seem to have disappeared in the aikido world.

1. One hand up, pointing upwards with one hand down, pointing downwards. (No reference thread)

In various videos of Ueshiba, one can see him in a very distinct pose. He has one hand up and one hand down. It is a distinct pose shared with the Daito ryu world as pictures of Hisa and Takeda have shown. Ueshiba can be seen in this pose throughout his life, even in his eighties.

If pictures capture Takeda, Hisa, and Ueshiba in this pose, then perhaps one can find some relevance to it. I would imagine some important relevance. And yet, in modern aikido, it has disappeared.

Why? What happened? Where did this aspect of Ueshiba's training go?

2. Push tests.
Reference Thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14991

In many accounts, Ueshiba was tested through push tests. Whether standing, in seiza, or sitting, people could not push him over. This is also a distinct feature of the Daito ryu world as video of Kodo Horikawa has shown. Ueshiba was videotaped in his later years doing this kind of demonstration.

If Horikawa and Ueshiba demonstrate this, then there is some relevance here. I would imagine something important is being shown. And yet, in modern aikido, it has either disappeared or been so watered down it isn't viable. Some schools derived from Tohei have "Ki tests" that emulate pushing, but so far, I've yet to see anyone actually push on people as was done with Ueshiba or Horikawa.

Why? What happened? Where did this aspect of Ueshiba's training go?

3. Weapons.
Reference thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15054

Ueshiba gave out scrolls of weapons proficiency. He studied weapons throughout his life, in one manner or another. IMO, he did a similar thing that Takeda did. He studied when he could, where he could and then took the portions he deemed valuable. (Really, this is an MMA approach.) He made his own way with weapons. He used a sword in either hand, just like Takeda. His jo whirled and swirled unlike anything else. In that, I can find no Daito ryu correlation.

Weapons, though, "seem" to have propagated into the modern aikido world. I put quotes around "seem" because most kendo people do not study aikido for its "taisabaki". Top kendo people do not credit modern aikido people for their skills. Somewhere, something changed.

Why? What happened? Where did this aspect of Ueshiba's training go?

4. Timeframe.
Reference thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14753

Why did it take so few years for the "Aikido Greats" to get very good? Why did all of their years of experience fail them when they initially met Ueshiba or Takeda? Why did they find something completely different than the world that they had trained in? If their vaunted martial skills were of any value, why follow Ueshiba when someone of that caliber should have been found in their own system/school? Their skills failed them completely. High level men were manhandled with ease.

Then, when they converted to the training of Daito ryu aiki, the skill set was built in a relatively short amount of time. Yet, the world looks upon modern aikido and laughs.

Why? What happened? Where did this aspect of Ueshiba's training go?

5. Testing.
Reference thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15035

All manner of men tested Ueshiba. Highly ranked men from kendo, sumo, karate, judo, etc tested Ueshiba. "Competition" for Ueshiba seems to have only meant the type used in Olympics, UFC, etc. IMO, "competition" never meant one couldn't handle a challenger. The type of "competition" that spurs one to do better was not looked down upon. Ueshiba was no pacifist.

Karate, sumo, and judo had very competent men within their systems. Some of these men tested Ueshiba and came away knowing they weren't as good as Ueshiba. Even Shioda accepted challengers in some manner. But, the modern aikido world is fairly insular. It is a school within itself.

Why? What happened? Where did this aspect of Ueshiba's training go?

chillzATL
01-25-2010, 12:46 PM
Mark,

1. Would need a pic, can't recall exactly what you're describing.

2. I recall vids of Tohei in more recent years doing more Ueshiba like push demos. In our particular style (Ki society related off-shoot), we do them to the chest, hips, shoulders, etc, with varying degrees of force. All with the intention of allowing you to feel and ground that force and you're expected to be able to remain stable while taking more and more force as you advance.

3. I think he considered weapons a part of HIS Aikido and not exactly something that everyone needed in order to do Aikido, so he didn't really pass them on. My feeling is that they were something he used more as an extension or expression of what he was able to do rather than integral to building his ability.

4. frequency and intensity maybe? If you agree with much of what Ellis Amdur suggests in HIPS, that many of the students who got "it", did so by taking ukemi from him often, then it's likely that it's just a matter of frequency and intensity. Kind of like attending Gasshuku. It's almost impossible to improve in that week because of the intensity and amount of constant training involved. Imagine having that day in, day out, for years from the best of the best.

Of course there's also the possiblity of them learning things from him that simply haven't been passed on or things that they learned and weren't really aware that they learned it. Things they did, as a result of being around him, that they didn't see as training and didn't do once they were away from him. Maybe that's why the few who seemed to have it never seemed to get more of it once he was gone?

5. I think this is just a by-product of society these days. You don't really get challengers much anymore and I think most people are comfortable with what their Aikido is within the context of their own training. They don't feel the need to test it. Often those that do are still comfortable doing so within the dojo.

mickeygelum
01-25-2010, 01:47 PM
Hey Mark,

Out the fricking window with the baby and bathwater!:eek:

Peace, love and yada-yada have replaced the martial attitude , so EVERYONE can be partake in Aikido, AikiBudo or whatever.

Funny thing, Tuhan and I have this discussion all the time, while "comparing" mechanics and concepts, as opposed to wrote techniques.

" Do not apply your crappy standards, to my skill ", remember that?

Train well,

Mickey

Eugene Leslie
01-25-2010, 05:35 PM
Mr. Murray:

I'm just a lowly layman practitioner of modern day Aikido.
I read your questions as well as most of the Aikiweb links you provided.
You search for truths to be perfectly round. They're not.
I like Mr. Gelum's answers to your questions.
The men you keep mentioning were the last of the real Samurai and
I'm sure there were Samurai in centuries past, hardened by REAL fighting who could kick all their a**es with weapons involved.
I'm sure there are monks in the high mountains who can perform demonstrations of Ki to outmatch those of the characters mentioned.
Since there are more stars in the heavens then grains of sand on the earth and our lives are a wisp of smoke in comparison to eternal time, I would kindly suggest that you refrain from troubling yourself about the why's and discover yourself through the legacy these men have handed down.
You can even consider the use of firearms to be a martial art: then I guess Wyatt Earp to be the master butt-kicker.

Tim Griffiths
01-25-2010, 07:55 PM
1. As in http://www.westlord.com/wallpaper/osensei-021/? I associate this pose with an older Ueshiba who no longer planted people into the mat at the end of iriminage/kokyunage.

2. I grew up with the Ki Soc style "ki tests" which are grouped into different types, and in our dojo looked very similar to the recordings of O-sensei (pushing with the whole body weight, shoving etc). I've seen them done in a very weak fashion as well though.

3. I'm not sure exactly what you're saying here (I thought I did, then re-read it and the link a few times). Maybe this has more to do with the development of Kendo over the last 50 years?

4. These guys had been studying their own arts for a long time. When you're used to the way of studying a martial art, and committed to learning intensively from a good teacher, you can progress very rapidly.
(Anecdote time: I was training in a dojo in London and a new guy joined who was a trained dancer. First technique, he sat and watched the sensei demonstrate it, then got up and did it. Perfectly. Sensei showed a more advanced version, he did it. Next class, and next week, he could reproduce every technique from every class he'd attended, at a level that put most of the class to shame. Of course, his ukemi was less good, and he didn't always understand what he was doing, but his training gave him a massive head start on both learning a physical movement and the feel of the aiki between uke and tori).

5. How many people here, how many aikidoists in the world, are full time teachers (and I don't mean unemployed apart from teaching twice a week at the YMCA), voraciously studying both from other aikido sensei and other martial arts teachers? I probably know less than 10 people I'd say that about, but they relish challenges (at the least, someone is going to learn something - hopefully it will be them!). That's where its gone - don't look for it in a McDojo.
As an aside, the influences on someone looking to augment their aikido are very different to those Ueshiba had - BJJ, JKD, Krav Maga... I can't help thinking that a 'modern Ueshiba' would get sniffed at by the aikido community for not doing "real" aikido(TM).

iron horse
01-25-2010, 08:09 PM
Great questions. Nobody is looking for the answers.

Erick Mead
01-25-2010, 08:30 PM
There are some aspects of Ueshiba that seem to have disappeared in the aikido world.

1. One hand up, pointing upwards with one hand down, pointing downwards. (No reference thread) ... And yet, in modern aikido, it has disappeared.

Why? What happened? Where did this aspect of Ueshiba's training go?Check. Got it.

2. Push tests.
Reference Thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14991

In many accounts, Ueshiba was tested through push tests. Whether standing, in seiza, or sitting, people could not push him over. Debatable -- buuut.... -- Kokyu tanden ho -- how is this NOT a "push test"? I call it "check" -- and any disputes are stylistic.

3. Weapons.
Reference thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15054
Weapons, though, "seem" to have propagated into the modern aikido world. I put quotes around "seem" because most kendo people do not study aikido for its "taisabaki". Top kendo people do not credit modern aikido people for their skills. Kendo? Boxing with glorified hashi ? :p

But, weapons? Roger. Check. Got it. :)

4. Timeframe.
Reference thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14753

Why did it take so few years for the "Aikido Greats" to get very good? Because they had nothing better to do? Literally, we have COMPLETELY lost the sense of the infinite distractions we are heir to, that our forebears could not possibly imagine. And .. ummmm.. post-war JAPAN?? -- not a big place for, um, idle pastimes...or idle anything, for that matter. :yuck:

5. Testing.
Reference thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15035

All manner of men tested Ueshiba. "Competition" for Ueshiba seems to have only meant the type used in Olympics, UFC, etc. IMO, "competition" never meant one couldn't handle a challenger. The type of "competition" that spurs one to do better was not looked down upon. Ueshiba was no pacifist. Laws on mutual combat and excessive or unreasonable force are not terribly friendly in this regard -- and subject to curious after-the-fact recasting -- by losers -- and with the rules that modern laws typically require -- well, do the math...

Carsten Möllering
01-26-2010, 04:05 AM
I'll try a short response.

1. One hand up, pointing upwards with one hand down, pointing downwards. Christian Tissier does this pose sometimes. His Teacher Yamaguchi also did it.
It can be a very good position of zanshin. But if you force it, it will hinder your technique. It will often be the result of doing a technique totally relaxed.
In our Training we deliberately try not to use it!

2. Push tests.
The atari movements of Endo have something of those push tests. And we do some other things which remind me of the push-tests of Ueshiba.
We are not doing ki-Tests like ki aikido. It's different.

3. Weapons.
My teacher is the German shibucho of the Sugino dojo.
Christian Tissier teaches the derivate of Kashima shin ryu he learns from Inaba Sensei. Who also teaches in Germay.
There is a lot of koryu weapons touching our aikido.

5. Testing.Tissier himself was activ in kickboxing, which is very popular in France. And trains with karateka of the national team.

Well: We often mix up with people of other arts or sports. We have seminars or we train together and have people of other arts or sports in our regular training.

No insular existence at all.

asiawide
01-26-2010, 05:24 AM
Push test : I think many top aikido teachers do push-test too like Sugawara sensei.

Nicholas Eschenbruch
01-26-2010, 05:31 AM
Mark,
You seem to have put great care into your exposition, yet your intention remains unclear to me. Why did you put these points, and not others (O-Sensei's spiritual practices for example)?

Are your hypotheses rethorical, or are you interested in a "historical" discussion/ refusal/ confirmation?

Are you interested in how others train? Or are you trying to tell us these are the most important areas, and we should train that way? What about your own training? Are these aspects absent from it?

And, the most confusing bit, how do you know "the aikido world"? Mine may be lacking in many ways, but it is certainly not insular.

Would you mind clarifying?

MM
01-26-2010, 08:20 AM
Mark,

1. Would need a pic, can't recall exactly what you're describing.

2. I recall vids of Tohei in more recent years doing more Ueshiba like push demos. In our particular style (Ki society related off-shoot), we do them to the chest, hips, shoulders, etc, with varying degrees of force. All with the intention of allowing you to feel and ground that force and you're expected to be able to remain stable while taking more and more force as you advance.

3. I think he considered weapons a part of HIS Aikido and not exactly something that everyone needed in order to do Aikido, so he didn't really pass them on. My feeling is that they were something he used more as an extension or expression of what he was able to do rather than integral to building his ability.

4. frequency and intensity maybe? If you agree with much of what Ellis Amdur suggests in HIPS, that many of the students who got "it", did so by taking ukemi from him often, then it's likely that it's just a matter of frequency and intensity. Kind of like attending Gasshuku. It's almost impossible to improve in that week because of the intensity and amount of constant training involved. Imagine having that day in, day out, for years from the best of the best.

Of course there's also the possiblity of them learning things from him that simply haven't been passed on or things that they learned and weren't really aware that they learned it. Things they did, as a result of being around him, that they didn't see as training and didn't do once they were away from him. Maybe that's why the few who seemed to have it never seemed to get more of it once he was gone?

5. I think this is just a by-product of society these days. You don't really get challengers much anymore and I think most people are comfortable with what their Aikido is within the context of their own training. They don't feel the need to test it. Often those that do are still comfortable doing so within the dojo.

Hello,

1. See Tim Griffiths' post. He found a picture.

2. There's quite a bit of variation in push tests.

Compare the light pushes here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gECo8H_mmPc

with a stronger push here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVCZf53XIE0

Compare those with how long Tohei trained and could withstand pushes.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkVy569CAnI
Starting around 0:40.

In 10 years, shouldn't one be able to withstand pushes such as Tohei could? As Ueshiba could?

3. If Takeda and Ueshiba considered weapons worth training, why don't we have similar skilled people? After 20 to 40 years of training (well more than Ueshiba had when he was considered very good), there's really just two possibilities: Ueshiba was an exception or no one is training the way Ueshiba trained. Now, considering Takeda created a few men of exceptional martial abilities and that those men went on to create students of exceptional martial abilities, it would seem the former is a stretch to believe. The latter seems more likely.

Which leads us back to aikido's weapons work. If the training that Ueshiba received from Takeda to make him a great martial artist is missing, then that quality would also be missing from the weapons. Where do you find weapons training that shows using both hands? What quality of skill is needed to accomplish that? Who in aikido trains in this manner (where either hand is used)?

4. Actually, I believe the opposite. I don't think any number of years training as uke will ever get you to the skill level of Ueshiba. IMO, no amount of frequency or intensity as uke will gain you the skills.

And just how much hands on time did Ueshiba have with Takeda? Overall, not really that much. Shioda, Tomiki, Shirata, etc?

5. Ueshiba taught men of all walks of life. He was tested by them, not just formally, but informally also. Does anyone think that when Tomiki met Ueshiba, if Ueshiba couldn't throw Tomiki 60 different ways by grasping his hand that Tomiki would have studied with Ueshiba? If Tenryu could have pushed Ueshiba over, do you think Tenryu would have studied with Ueshiba? When Ueshiba gave the demonstration in Manchuria and Ohba attacked earnestly, do you think anyone would have looked highly upon Ueshiba if he had done poorly? Why did very high ranking kendo people think highly of Ueshiba? Did they just swoon at his reputation or did they physically test his mettle in some manner?

At the end of the day, people from karate, judo, and kendo thought very highly of Ueshiba's martial skill. Compare that with today ... where people from judo, karate, and kendo laugh at aikido. Let alone the MMA world ...

MM
01-26-2010, 08:24 AM
Hey Mark,

Out the fricking window with the baby and bathwater!:eek:

Peace, love and yada-yada have replaced the martial attitude , so EVERYONE can be partake in Aikido, AikiBudo or whatever.

Funny thing, Tuhan and I have this discussion all the time, while "comparing" mechanics and concepts, as opposed to wrote techniques.

" Do not apply your crappy standards, to my skill ", remember that?

Train well,

Mickey

Hi Mickey,

Just wondering where some of Ueshiba's training went. Think about it. Ever see pics or vids of Tomiki in the pose I mentioned in #1? Shioda? So, why not? What happened? Or did they at some point? They're gone, so we can't ask them. But maybe some people might remember.

Or for example, my #2 point. Push tests. There's a video of Dr. Lee (Tomiki lineage) showing an exercise where two people are at arm's length. Each one has their right hand out, crossing and touching at the wrist. The information given is that one person steps forward and the other person steps backwards. But, what if that exercise was a push-out type exercise where the person "stepping backwards" wasn't supposed to move unless actually forced to move? So, in essence, there could have been an actual push test exercise to build the skill to withstand pushes. Anyone remember the creation of that exercise?

Perhaps things were altered, changed, modified. But, who remembers?

MM
01-26-2010, 08:50 AM
1. As in http://www.westlord.com/wallpaper/osensei-021/? I associate this pose with an older Ueshiba who no longer planted people into the mat at the end of iriminage/kokyunage.

2. I grew up with the Ki Soc style "ki tests" which are grouped into different types, and in our dojo looked very similar to the recordings of O-sensei (pushing with the whole body weight, shoving etc). I've seen them done in a very weak fashion as well though.

3. I'm not sure exactly what you're saying here (I thought I did, then re-read it and the link a few times). Maybe this has more to do with the development of Kendo over the last 50 years?

4. These guys had been studying their own arts for a long time. When you're used to the way of studying a martial art, and committed to learning intensively from a good teacher, you can progress very rapidly.
(Anecdote time: I was training in a dojo in London and a new guy joined who was a trained dancer. First technique, he sat and watched the sensei demonstrate it, then got up and did it. Perfectly. Sensei showed a more advanced version, he did it. Next class, and next week, he could reproduce every technique from every class he'd attended, at a level that put most of the class to shame. Of course, his ukemi was less good, and he didn't always understand what he was doing, but his training gave him a massive head start on both learning a physical movement and the feel of the aiki between uke and tori).

5. How many people here, how many aikidoists in the world, are full time teachers (and I don't mean unemployed apart from teaching twice a week at the YMCA), voraciously studying both from other aikido sensei and other martial arts teachers? I probably know less than 10 people I'd say that about, but they relish challenges (at the least, someone is going to learn something - hopefully it will be them!). That's where its gone - don't look for it in a McDojo.
As an aside, the influences on someone looking to augment their aikido are very different to those Ueshiba had - BJJ, JKD, Krav Maga... I can't help thinking that a 'modern Ueshiba' would get sniffed at by the aikido community for not doing "real" aikido(TM).

Hello,

1. Yes, that's the pose. I've seen Ueshiba in that pose from his early years through to his later years. My question is in regards to where it went? I find very little info on Ueshiba's students in relation to this pose. One would think that if Ueshiba is seen doing a technique in this manner throughout his life, then his students would copy it in some form. Where did it go? Takeda and Hisa are photographed in this pose. If it was purely a Daito ryu "thing", then why is Ueshiba still doing it in his eighties? What is the significance of it? Which students have done this? If none, why not?

2. Yes, a weak fashion. Why is that? As I noted with a Youtube video in a previous post, Tohei doesn't accept a weak push. Ueshiba didn't. Horikawa didn't. Why do we accept that a weak push is okay ... after 20-40 years of training? Beyond that, how many schools actually have push tests, besides the Ki Society? Where did that training go? It was something Ueshiba did all his life.

3. I don't know of many schools, aikido or otherwise, that use the sword in either hand. Ueshiba is on video doing kata that way. There are accounts of both Takeda and Ueshiba training that way. I don't know and haven't heard of any modern high ranking kendo people training with an aikido person to learn their "taisabaki". Yet, somewhere, somehow, all of that happened with Ueshiba. There was a manner of training ... where did it go?

Perhaps, you're right in some way. Maybe the development of kendo over the last 50 years has created a split where top kendo people wouldn't train with an aikido person to learn "taisabaki". It's a possibility. The martial arts world has changed over the years.

4. Yes, that's the main point. A lot of people had been studying jujutsu, judo, kenjutsu, kendo, etc for a long time. Yet when they met Ueshiba, all that training didn't help them one little bit. Yet, somehow that training helped them to learn what Ueshiba was doing?

If that's true, then all those judo people who had years and years of experience should have learned from Mifune in a very short period of time. Yet, there are few judo people as skilled as Mifune.

Or closer to home ... all of the post war students of Ueshiba that had martial backgrounds, why didn't they become as skilled as Tomiki, Shioda, Shirata, etc? As Stan Pranin points out, none of them reallly studied all that long with Ueshiba. Timeframes are similar. Tohei mentions building his body strength up to rival his judo peers but that didn't help him with Ueshiba. What did Tohei do? Went to the Tempukai to learn ... His previous Judo training didn't help him.

It's a common theory that previous martial training helped, but so far, history doesn't support it all that well. A simpler answer is that there is a specific training paradigm to build the skill set that Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, etc had. One that was, as Ueshiba knew, "the secret of aiki".

5. I'm not very good a putting ideas into words. See my previous post to Jason Casteel for a better description of "testing". Aikido isn't looked upon very highly in the martial arts world of today. But, Takeda, Ueshiba, Shioda, Tomiki, etc blazed paths across many martial arts. They were tested (again, not meaning formal challenges) by all manner of men. But, today, even most McDojo Karate schools laugh at aikido. What happened?

MM
01-26-2010, 09:37 AM
I'll try a short response.

Christian Tissier does this pose sometimes. His Teacher Yamaguchi also did it.
It can be a very good position of zanshin. But if you force it, it will hinder your technique. It will often be the result of doing a technique totally relaxed.
In our Training we deliberately try not to use it!

The atari movements of Endo have something of those push tests. And we do some other things which remind me of the push-tests of Ueshiba.
We are not doing ki-Tests like ki aikido. It's different.

My teacher is the German shibucho of the Sugino dojo.
Christian Tissier teaches the derivate of Kashima shin ryu he learns from Inaba Sensei. Who also teaches in Germay.
There is a lot of koryu weapons touching our aikido.

Tissier himself was activ in kickboxing, which is very popular in France. And trains with karateka of the national team.

Well: We often mix up with people of other arts or sports. We have seminars or we train together and have people of other arts or sports in our regular training.

No insular existence at all.

Thanks for the reply.

I've seen video of Christian Tissier but never him in that pose. Do you know why he does that? Or why Yamaguchi did it? Zanshin only? More to it?

Can you say any more about your push tests? What kind do you do? It's interesting to hear that other schools are doing them.

It's why I asked the questions. It seems that parts and pieces of Ueshiba were divided among his students. It seems that no one got all of his training.

I know some schools did branch out somewhat and incorporated other martial arts into their studies. Nishio and Mochizuki come to mind. And I don't downplay any of that. But, Ueshiba training in karate was ... well, very little if any. Naginata, again, little if any. Kendo. Etc. Yet, Ueshiba was viewed as very good by quite a few high ranking people in those arts. And they didn't just go by his reputation. They met him. Tested him (not formal challenges). What is the difference?

MM
01-26-2010, 10:00 AM
Mark,
You seem to have put great care into your exposition, yet your intention remains unclear to me. Why did you put these points, and not others (O-Sensei's spiritual practices for example)?

Are your hypotheses rethorical, or are you interested in a "historical" discussion/ refusal/ confirmation?

Are you interested in how others train? Or are you trying to tell us these are the most important areas, and we should train that way? What about your own training? Are these aspects absent from it?

And, the most confusing bit, how do you know "the aikido world"? Mine may be lacking in many ways, but it is certainly not insular.

Would you mind clarifying?

Hello,

I don't really like getting into the "spiritual" aspect of Ueshiba and aikido at this point. At least with "aiki", IHTBF (It has to be felt) is somewhat possible. When you get into the spiritual, IHTBE (It has to be experienced ... directly) is the rule. And that's not exactly something one can do easily. More directly, who among us can get someone else to experience being one with the kami the way Ueshiba did?

If there's thousands of people at Aikiweb, I would think that some of them have knowledge outside of "known" areas. As Carsten Möllering noted, Tissier does train with that pose. I never knew that. So, to me, the question was worth the time writing it. Hopefully others who have seen or trained in that manner will post. Maybe they'll know why they do that kind of training.

Tohei and the Ki Society have push tests, yet those are hard to find in Tomiki or Shioda derived schools. Why? Ueshiba was known for having people push on him. What happened?

I'm all for a discussion. It isn't about these being the "most important" or telling people how to train. It's about comparison of what Ueshiba did or trained with the rest of the aikido world. Consider that Ueshiba had people push on him throughout his life. I would think that's something worth looking at. If your school doesn't do that, why not?

For example, say Shioda didn't train his students that way. That would be the disconnect so why did Shioda do it differently? Or let's say Shioda did but his top students didn't. Why? Somewhere there is a disconnect and a reason for it.

My own training?
1. In some aspect, yes.
2. Yes.
3. Working towards this, yes.
4. Definitely. No more 20+year techniques for me.
5. Not yet. My training changed just a few short years ago. Give me somewhere between 5-10 total and then yes.

Keith Larman
01-26-2010, 10:01 AM
Hello,

1. Yes, that's the pose. I've seen Ueshiba in that pose from his early years through to his later years. My question is in regards to where it went?

Tenchinage. I was taught he liked to hold that pose at the end to emphasize the heaven/earth aspect.

2. Yes, a weak fashion. Why is that? As I noted with a Youtube video in a previous post, Tohei doesn't accept a weak push. Ueshiba didn't. Horikawa didn't. Why do we accept that a weak push is okay ... after 20-40 years of training? Beyond that, how many schools actually have push tests, besides the Ki Society? Where did that training go? It was something Ueshiba did all his life.

Well, since we're an offshoot of ki society I suppose we're covered in your reply, but we push/pull test *everything* in Seidokan. During aikitaiso, techniques, even sword and jo work. And the expectation is that a student should rather quickly develop a stronger, more solid structure as they learn. So a weak push is all that a newb can handle so it is relevant there (test up to failure). But it is expected that an experienced student should be able to handle stronger and stronger pushes.

3. I don't know of many schools, aikido or otherwise, that use the sword in either hand. Ueshiba is on video doing kata that way. There are accounts of both Takeda and Ueshiba training that way. I don't know and haven't heard of any modern high ranking kendo people training with an aikido person to learn their "taisabaki". Yet, somewhere, somehow, all of that happened with Ueshiba. There was a manner of training ... where did it go?

Depends on where you get your "swordsmanship". Virtually no koryu train "left handed" in the sword. Swords (not bokken) are actually asymmetrical in mounting. In other words, there is an "outside" and "inside" of the sword and the tsuka (handle) is built with the idea that the right hand is near the fuchi, left hand at the kashira. The mounts on the saya work only on the left side of the body due to the placement of the kurigata. Hence it is drawn and kept on the left side. Also, there was (and is) a tremendous cultural bias against "lefties". But then... Once you study traditional swordsmanship you'll find that it is *not* a one-handed weapon. Even the "single-hand" draw/cut is accomplished with both arms/hands being part of the movement. And the cutting is done from the hara using the entire body.

So I would have an issue with you comparing Takeda or Ueshiba's *bokken* work with sword work. They ain't the same. And the fact that most swordsmanship is done with a certain holding configuration in fact completely irrelevant to the idea of doing it on "one side only" since all the movements require both arms, hands and full body integration.

5. I'm not very good a putting ideas into words. See my previous post to Jason Casteel for a better description of "testing". Aikido isn't looked upon very highly in the martial arts world of today. But, Takeda, Ueshiba, Shioda, Tomiki, etc blazed paths across many martial arts. They were tested (again, not meaning formal challenges) by all manner of men. But, today, even most McDojo Karate schools laugh at aikido. What happened?

Lots of crappy Aikido. Shrug. Lots of crappy karate out there too. And judo. And everything else. Something getting popular doesn't necessarily bode well. However, it is a mistake to assume that an overall lowering of the mean due to a larger population of mediocre practitioners somehow precludes there being people still out at high levels. Just fewer.

MM
01-26-2010, 10:54 AM
Tenchinage. I was taught he liked to hold that pose at the end to emphasize the heaven/earth aspect.


Hi Keith,
Thanks for the reply. I could see tenchinage and that pose easily. But, what about kotegaeshi and that pose?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7Cfpay1X2c
Around 1:18-1:21


Well, since we're an offshoot of ki society I suppose we're covered in your reply, but we push/pull test *everything* in Seidokan. During aikitaiso, techniques, even sword and jo work. And the expectation is that a student should rather quickly develop a stronger, more solid structure as they learn. So a weak push is all that a newb can handle so it is relevant there (test up to failure). But it is expected that an experienced student should be able to handle stronger and stronger pushes.


I agree wholeheartedly with you about the training. New people start with relatively weak pushes and you build up from there. How strong do you go? Push with everything you have? When we train, we run the whole range right now. If it's something new we're working on, we use a weak push. If it's something we've been doing and are getting better at, we ramp things up. At times, we push with aiki and that's when things get interesting. :)


Depends on where you get your "swordsmanship". Virtually no koryu train "left handed" in the sword. Swords (not bokken) are actually asymmetrical in mounting. In other words, there is an "outside" and "inside" of the sword and the tsuka (handle) is built with the idea that the right hand is near the fuchi, left hand at the kashira. The mounts on the saya work only on the left side of the body due to the placement of the kurigata. Hence it is drawn and kept on the left side. Also, there was (and is) a tremendous cultural bias against "lefties". But then... Once you study traditional swordsmanship you'll find that it is *not* a one-handed weapon. Even the "single-hand" draw/cut is accomplished with both arms/hands being part of the movement. And the cutting is done from the hara using the entire body.

So I would have an issue with you comparing Takeda or Ueshiba's *bokken* work with sword work. They ain't the same. And the fact that most swordsmanship is done with a certain holding configuration in fact completely irrelevant to the idea of doing it on "one side only" since all the movements require both arms, hands and full body integration.


Points noted and taken. Let me adjust/edit my questions to pertain to bokken work for two-handed use. Why do you think Ueshiba trained that way, though? And I see you used virtually no koryu ... do you know of any koryu that do? I'd expect that they wouldn't train fully that way, but rather have aspects of either hand use.


Lots of crappy Aikido. Shrug. Lots of crappy karate out there too. And judo. And everything else. Something getting popular doesn't necessarily bode well. However, it is a mistake to assume that an overall lowering of the mean due to a larger population of mediocre practitioners somehow precludes there being people still out at high levels. Just fewer.

True. And through the years, things changing so much could make it harder for someone of the skill level of Shioda, Shirata, etc to shine through. And some could want to stay hidden.

Nicholas Eschenbruch
01-26-2010, 11:34 AM
Mark,
Thanks for your reply, that makes it easier for me to engage with your post. I guess I was a little sceptical at some stuff there I perceived as sweeping generalisations.

As for hands up and down, I may misunderstand you but I thought that was the standard form of tenshinage?

As for push exercises, we do them a lot in all sorts of ways. I have come to think of aikido as one continuous push test... All my teachers invite people to try and push them. And these exercises do come up as elements of "conversion stories" of people from other MA to aikido every now and then. :) (Yes, that does happen). I know that similar practices are definitely present within at least four other lineages of Aikido in Europe.

Timeframe: I am all with you there. It is my observation that for those who get really good, though it may be framed in a long training history, it happens as a radical transformation within a limited number of years. However, I still see that happen today. (Though nobody became O-Sensei yet, admittedly, and it has not happened to me yet.)

Testing: to be honest, I am highly sceptical of most of these stories, because I dont really believe "no holds barred" testing, apart from a few spontaneous situations, happened, and everything else ultimately comes down to push tests again, where a specific situation of some sort is arranged.

Ultimately, there is so much myth-making around O-Sensei and so little evidence, that I personally would rather not base my training on what I believe I can reconstruct what O-Sensei did, except in the broadest way. I do not mean to say one should not aim high though.

Weapons: I have too little expertise to say whether O Sensei was so much better than his students or people living now. And no time to gain that experience at the moment, unfortunately ☹

Spirituality: I see your point, I guess I asked because I find it remarkable that it is now believed by many that O-Sensei 's internal bodywork can somehow be isolated from its creator, time and place, put in a systematic framework and practiced by all who have the stamina to do it, while it is impossible to do the same with his spiritual "technologies", and those can thus be disregarded as hermetic. So the body is a human universal and the mind is not? But anyway...

As for how others regard aikido – as Keith Larman said, there is crappy aikido, crappy Karate, crappy anything out there. I am confident my practice either gives me what I need already, or I will go and get it somewhere else, so I am not too concerned about that.

Long post, but so was yours ☺

Carsten Möllering
01-26-2010, 11:41 AM
You will find the pose two times here. Watch 0:20 and 0:45. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOw1V3lovHM)
Carsten

jxa127
01-26-2010, 11:47 AM
Mark,

Have you read Ellis Amdur's Hidden in Plain Sight yet? If not, you really should. Your questions and Ellis's book complement one another very well.

I've got to say, this stuff is somewhat confusing. I trained for nine years at an Aikido Association of America dojo, where I got very good training based on a Ki Society mindset. Toyoda shihan was a disciple of Tohei's. So we did push tests and incorporated the four principles of mind-body unification:

1. Keep One Point
2. Relax Completely
3. Keep Weight Underside
4. Extend Ki

Now I'm at a dojo using Ellis Amdur's curriculum combined with specific internal strength training.

It's not a drastic change in principle, but in practice it makes a difference -- and that's a difference that gets to some of your questions.

For my own part, I interpreted the principles so that I would tend to float up above uke and use my mass to power through technique -- something that doesn't work well with good attackers. When I wasn't doing that, I would rely on timing (or my size) to provide kuzushi.

In other words, I thought I was doing what the founder taught (to Tohei, who taught it to Toyoda, who taught it to my instructor), but I wasn't really doing that at all. I'll take responsibility for my own failings, by the way. But, magnify my experience by a couple of million aikido students and teachers, it's not so hard to understand how things have changed. If the "old man," his son, and the founder's closest students have passed on and can't check our progress, then how can we even know we're doing the right thing?

Ellis, in his book, seems to say that unless, or until we can do what Ueshiba M. did, then we're really not at his level. It seems that your questions are along that same line.

Keith Larman
01-26-2010, 12:30 PM
Hi Keith,
Thanks for the reply. I could see tenchinage and that pose easily. But, what about kotegaeshi and that pose?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7Cfpay1X2c
Around 1:18-1:21

Well, any time you're trying to develop a strong, connected body things like that will happen. Sometimes it gets exaggerated, however, and I think also we tend to look for what we *want* to see. Hard to say what exactly is happening there in that one snippet. And keep in mind there was all the time before that where he isn't in that exact pose. But I will say you can see as things ramp up his arms become more extended and connected to each other to create a more powerful upper body to handle the incoming forces and movements. Or am I missing something?

Points noted and taken. Let me adjust/edit my questions to pertain to bokken work for two-handed use. Why do you think Ueshiba trained that way, though? And I see you used virtually no koryu ... do you know of any koryu that do? I'd expect that they wouldn't train fully that way, but rather have aspects of either hand use.

Well, the problem here is that no one can speak authoritatively about all koryu because koryu by its very nature has a *lot* of things that are private. As an example, Toby Threadgill is a remarkably open and generous teacher in his seminars. However, it is understood that much of what he is teaching at the seminars is more or less "outer" stuff. The more detailed and in depth aspects are for members of the ryu only. And for all I know there are things only taught to the subsequent future menkyo holders. So no one can speak authoritatively about this stuff because so much is hidden.

That said the important distinction to make is whether you're training with a bokken to learn something about aiki and/or the bokken *or* if you're training with a bokken as a "substitute" for a live blade for reasons of training safety. If you are doing the latter holding a blade one-handed isn't a great idea if you're in a full-on contact conflict (or with a bokken). You won't be holding it long because not only can someone swing with more strength using two hands but they are also dramatically faster given the ability to "lever" between the hands. Watch T. Kuroda do his sword work. Or Toby -- the guy is not only fast but smoooooth. The blade move extremely quickly in both hands and you give up a lot going to a single hand grip. If you want a one-handed sword, well, that's what your wakizashi or tanto is for. There are the nito schools but again, katana in the right hand, wakizashi generally in the left. That's how they're worn, that's how they're drawn. And while "that's how they're worn" seems like a silly reason for a lot of stuff, the fact is that experienced swordsmen really don't argue about the which hand goes in front because it is one of those incredibly irrelevant things. Do it long enough and you realize it is a two-handed weapon and which hand is forward not an issue.

Now if the question is training with a bokken *as* a bokken, well, you do what you do. I don't personally know of any koryu that do much of anything left handed single grip with a full sized bokken. It is entirely possible, but I don't know of it.

But if we're talking about exercises, training, ki development, etc. then yes, I can think of instances where we've trained that way. But that is very different from classical swordsmanship which brings me back full circle -- what's the point of the question in the first place? Most koryu that have a sword component work very hard on good swordsmanship. And things tend to stay relatively consistent on proper sword grip and usage for learning it as a bladed weapon and not as a wooden club.

To me comparisons here make little sense. If the training with the bokken is ki development then you do whatever you do. If the goal is learning to use the sword, well, the weapon itself imposes some parameters on what you're going to do. So I'm a bit lost on why this is an issue or being brought up.

If you find some legit people doing "left handed" swordsmanship (which I suppose means someone drawing it from their right side), by all means I'd love to see it. Or one-handed katana usage. Like I said, some schools have "two" sword techniques (nito), but that's pretty much a different animal entirely. And the katana (the full-length sword) is always (as far as I've seen) in the right hand.

But again... I'm not sure what this has to do with aikido, training, or anything else. I don't see the connection.

MM
01-26-2010, 12:31 PM
You will find the pose two times here. Watch 0:20 and 0:45. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOw1V3lovHM)
Carsten

Thanks!

MM
01-26-2010, 12:51 PM
That said the important distinction to make is whether you're training with a bokken to learn something about aiki and/or the bokken *or* if you're training with a bokken as a "substitute" for a live blade for reasons of training safety.

(snip)

But if we're talking about exercises, training, ki development, etc. then yes, I can think of instances where we've trained that way. But that is very different from classical swordsmanship which brings me back full circle -- what's the point of the question in the first place?


In certain instances of kata, Ueshiba switches the bokken to a single grip in his left hand. Supposedly, Takeda did the same. Both Takeda and Ueshiba studied aiki and koryu. If what they're doing is aiki, it's a matter of what kind of body skill they're developing. If it came from koryu somewhere ... well, wouldn't that be interesting?

Now, skip forward to the students of Ueshiba developing weapons work. Some studied koryu, some took what Ueshiba gave them, etc. But, how many passed down that single, left handed use of the bokken?


But again... I'm not sure what this has to do with aikido, training, or anything else. I don't see the connection.

Using a bokken in just the left hand in the Japanese martial world is uncommon. Yet we have at least two who did it. It's uncommon enough that someone should have asked why it was being done, where it came from, etc. As many have noted, there are no left handed swordsmen. But, we have left handed bokken usage. Strange.

Even stranger is that this element seems to have faded from the aikido world. Why? In your training, why did you do that? Where did you learn to use the bokken in the left hand?

Somewhere there is a connection on why Ueshiba and Takeda trained that way. Was it purely aiki training or a remnant of a koryu? Or both? Why has it mostly disappeared from modern aikido training?

Keith Larman
01-26-2010, 01:08 PM
Well, I think you are maybe overthinking this. I suppose what you'd want to do is find a koryu that does this sort of single handed hold and switches hands in kata with a bokken. Again, the question would be whether the idea is the development of "aiki" (as a term for internal skills) or whether this was some sort of swordsmanship thing.

So first you'd need to find this sort of thing in koryu if you're going to make a connection to that.

If it was something that Takeda developed since he was pretty renouned for "doing his own thing", then it isn't exactly inconceivable that Ueshiba picked it up from him. Maybe it was part of their means of developing "aiki" but if you want to link it to koryu... You need to find it there as well. I've not seen it.

I'll also add that most sogo bujutsu (in my limited experience) tend to have common threads linking their empty hand arts to their sword (and other weapon) work. They tend to want to have their empty hand stuff working like their sword stuff and vice versa. Consistency across the range is key. So I could see aspects trained in either hand to illustrate the empty hand. As an example, I've seen one handed things done holding a bokken but usually presented in the context of someone grabbing your tsuka (to ideally prevent you from using it). You throw them from there. And in some of my training we'll switch hands/sides to work both sides. Then put the swords down and do a similar art on both sides to illustrate the connection between empty and and with the sword. I've also seen nikyo taught holding a bokken to illustrate the way the "ki" flows in the application of the technique. And so on.

The point here, however, is that this doesn't mean one would *ever* want to hold a sword in one hand or use it left-handed. It was just a part of an overall "big picture" in the training methodology. Tennis players spend a lot of time returning balls shot at them from tennis ball machines. They'll never play one in a real game, however...

But I'll admit to being a bit lost in what you're trying to get at. What is the importance as you see it of training single handed with a katana length bokken and doing it in both hands? Is it the only way to develop certain sensitivities and skills? Or is it one way of many?

chillzATL
01-26-2010, 01:10 PM
Hello,

1. See Tim Griffiths' post. He found a picture.

2. There's quite a bit of variation in push tests.

Compare the light pushes here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gECo8H_mmPc

with a stronger push here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVCZf53XIE0

Compare those with how long Tohei trained and could withstand pushes.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkVy569CAnI
Starting around 0:40.

In 10 years, shouldn't one be able to withstand pushes such as Tohei could? As Ueshiba could?

3. If Takeda and Ueshiba considered weapons worth training, why don't we have similar skilled people? After 20 to 40 years of training (well more than Ueshiba had when he was considered very good), there's really just two possibilities: Ueshiba was an exception or no one is training the way Ueshiba trained. Now, considering Takeda created a few men of exceptional martial abilities and that those men went on to create students of exceptional martial abilities, it would seem the former is a stretch to believe. The latter seems more likely.

Which leads us back to aikido's weapons work. If the training that Ueshiba received from Takeda to make him a great martial artist is missing, then that quality would also be missing from the weapons. Where do you find weapons training that shows using both hands? What quality of skill is needed to accomplish that? Who in aikido trains in this manner (where either hand is used)?

4. Actually, I believe the opposite. I don't think any number of years training as uke will ever get you to the skill level of Ueshiba. IMO, no amount of frequency or intensity as uke will gain you the skills.

And just how much hands on time did Ueshiba have with Takeda? Overall, not really that much. Shioda, Tomiki, Shirata, etc?

5. Ueshiba taught men of all walks of life. He was tested by them, not just formally, but informally also. Does anyone think that when Tomiki met Ueshiba, if Ueshiba couldn't throw Tomiki 60 different ways by grasping his hand that Tomiki would have studied with Ueshiba? If Tenryu could have pushed Ueshiba over, do you think Tenryu would have studied with Ueshiba? When Ueshiba gave the demonstration in Manchuria and Ohba attacked earnestly, do you think anyone would have looked highly upon Ueshiba if he had done poorly? Why did very high ranking kendo people think highly of Ueshiba? Did they just swoon at his reputation or did they physically test his mettle in some manner?

At the end of the day, people from karate, judo, and kendo thought very highly of Ueshiba's martial skill. Compare that with today ... where people from judo, karate, and kendo laugh at aikido. Let alone the MMA world ...

1. no clue on that one

2. I think most people just don't get the value in it AND/OR don't have anyone who can explain what it's all about, what they should feel or what they should be doing with what they feel.

It's something I plan to ask our sensei at summer camp this year. He trained with O'sensei and Tohei sensei and was one of Tohei's shihan when he split. He's also studied just about everything under the sun. I recall years ago at summer camp, we had gone down to the lake to do some misogi and he had us doing some push hands and such. He would come along and demo posture and things and have you push on him, really dig into him, and he was like a rock. I don't recall anyone else having that! Having had a chance to feel some of what people are doing today I'm looking forward to asking him lots of questions.

As someone else said, a lot of the principles in IS are similar to what I'm used to, but the practice is quite different. I'm interested to see how much of that difference is our failing for not paying better attention or if that's just a limitation of the Tohei's methods in general.

3. Again, I can't say the either Takeda or Ueshiba felt that weapons were integral to what they were teaching. Nobody, in either DR or Aikido seems to have gotten any consistant weapons training from either Takeda or Ueshiba. Heck, Ueshiba supposed even banned weapons practice at hombu for a period. Would have have done that if he thought it were all that important to what he was doing?

Maybe it's just one of those things that they both left out there for those who wanted it to find themselves? If not then honestly I think both had serious faillings as teachers. Despite the teaching system being what it was in those days, how could you feel something was all that important and not at least impart that message, if not actual instruction, with any real consistency?

4. This is really the big mystery in all of aikido. I mean we see that some people got SOME of what he had, even if it was only a sliver. How is it that they got that sliver, but never really developed it beyond that? You'd have to think they knew they had something more than just technique and if they were shown specific exercises to develop it, they would have stuck with it and became powerhouses like Ueshiba himself and not just faint shadows.

Oh and as for frequency and intensity I didn't mean that just from an ukemi standpoint. Those guys trained ALL the time. THey were getting probably 8+ hours of time with Ueshiba alone each day, much less what they were doing together after he left.

5. Well I think people just don't care. They're content to do Aikido for Aikido's sake and aren't particularly concerned with its efficacy. Some people feel that since O'sensei was tested and we're doing his Aikido, then what we're doing has been tested and that's good enough. Early on in my training I was content with the fact that my sensei's Aikido had been tested many many times and at the time that was good enough for me. He had the background to tell me if what I was doing was good enough. Beyond that it was up to me to train at a certain level to ensure that. When the time came and it was tested, it did work for me. Now, I'm not fool enough to believe that those experiences are universal, but I also know where I am in this world and where I am not. Too many people these days feel that MMA is the hallmark for what is effective and what isn't and I don't agree. Not everyone who paints seeks to be Rembrandt, but that doesn't cheapen what they're doing. As long as you're honest with yourself about your goals, it doesn't really matter. Now, the people who aren't honest with themselves, that's an entirely different story..

donhebert
01-26-2010, 01:36 PM
Hi Mark,

Thanks for raising some interesting questions.

Most everyone seems to agree that O'Sensei had developed a considerable amount of internal power that manifested in his Aikido. Furthermore, it sounds plausible that he learned how to get there from his studies in Daito ryu. However, it may be that the reason that this sort of training was not handed down to future Aikidoists was because Ueshiba himself did not encourage it in a practical way. I recall a story from somewhere that O'Sensei once came upon a group of his students who trying to make the techniques work martially and were struggling with one another. He became annoyed saying that he had spent a lifetime studying these things so they didn't have to start there. O'sensei was, evidently, interested in something else. My own sense is that he was deeply exploring how this training could connect his essence to the greater universe from whence he was born and back to which he must die. It is possible that his interest in Internal Power dropped away in this pursuit along with a lot of things. In any case, most of his direct students couldn't understand what the dickens he was talking about when he lectured and he certainly didn't develop a clear method for his students to follow for increasing internal power.

I don't mean to dismiss anyone's interest in pursuing this direction. There is nothing in it that I can see that is contrary to Aikido practice - Indeed it can only enrich it. I just raise the possibility that internal training wasn't central to O'Sensei's spiritual quest and therefore only remains in today's Aikido in vestiges.

Best regards,
Don Hebert

Keith Larman
01-26-2010, 02:37 PM
I should also toss something else out... Mark, in rereading your posts I get the feeling you are looking to see if there is a connection with these things (as in aiki as IS) back into koryu arts. I think there is little doubt that aspects of IS go way back. Of what I've seen from Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin Ryu via Toby Threadgill seems to have a strong underlying component of much the same stuff. And to add the observation that there have always been "exceptional" martial artists throughout history. I would think there have long been those who've keyed into aspects of these things in various ways and to various extents. I am not at all surprised to see bits and pieces of the Sumo stomp done as a solo exercise. A lot of movements I've seen Toby do on more than one occasion are quite reminiscent of some really subtle grounding, connection, frame sort of body training. And yes, these are things people can "sorta" do without even remotely "getting" the deeper subtle things. Which leaves a guy like me, not part of the ryu, wondering how much more there really is there that I'll never learn. (As an aside I keep trying to figure out a way to arrange my life so I could devote the time to be able to commit with a clear conscience to training with his group out here -- but life is a bitch some times). Anyway, the point being that I don't think it is terribly controversial to say that aspects of IS existed and exists today in some Koryu. How it is taught, understood, and passed along is a completely different question, however.

As another example, well, T. Kuroda and some of his work is just so obviously well grounded and powerful in my eyes. I can't believe anyone would think he doesn't have a lot of this stuff. And by all accounts his students are exceptional as well, so he doesn't seem to have much trouble passing it along.

But... Aikido is a big world. Exactly what made it blossom and grow with K Ueshiba also in part precipitated the split of Tohei and others. Heck, our group subsequently split off from Tohei after a decade or two to focus on "ki development" even though our sensei was the Chief Lecturer of Ki Development and the Chief Instructor of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido of the Ki Society Western USA. So not everyone was as focused on the same aspects of the very large thing Aikido became. Or maybe more accurately the weighting of the multiple priorities within aikido varies quite a bit. I guess my point is that speaking of Aikido as one art strikes me as incredibly oversimplified. There are aiki-bunnies and fire-breathing dragons out there in the world of Aikido. And quite frankly each group has its own "raison d'etre". More power to 'em all!

Chris Covington
01-26-2010, 04:03 PM
Re: left handed and katate swordsmanship.

Every Sat. morning while waiting my turn to practice Jikishinkage-ryu I am lucky enough to watch some very good Yagyu Shinkage-ryu. An unusual feature of some of their kata is switching the grip on the sword to a left handed grip. At a certain point the left hand is next to the tsuba and the right hand is down by the kashira. This allows for some very interesting maai. I've never heard of it being done for any IS developmental reasons.

Many ryu also have one handed cuts within the kata. I think Yagyu calls theirs oni-tachi (devil sword or something like that). There are a number of clever uses of the left hand in Jikishinkage-ryu creating one handed cuts (although not seen in the kata they are there). Katate jodan is also popular in kendo for jodan players as it gives them good maai.

In modern kendo gyaku nito is the most popular, that is the daito in the left hand and the shoto in the right hand. As I understand it it is much easier to learn for many kendoka because it becomes a mix of katate jodan and kodachi kata. Yagyu has sei and gyaku nito in Tengusho (?). Daito-ryu nito is interesting.

I really don't have much time to go into the topic more fully but I believe that Sokaku sensei's nito came from Sakakibara sensei's influence. My theory is that Sakakibara encouraged nito training because it drew crowds to his gekken shows. If memory serves me another one of Sakakibara's student a Mr. Okumura founded a school called Okumura Nito-ryu. Nito kendo was much more popular pre-war than it is today.

None of the arts I know about use left hand, single handed or nito to develop any IS. They are all heiho. That doesn't mean certain skills are not developed by training this way but I don't think it is the goal. I'd be interested in hearing more about nito and katate in aikido.

Best regards,

Keith Larman
01-26-2010, 05:00 PM
Re: left handed and katate swordsmanship.

Every Sat. morning while waiting my turn to practice Jikishinkage-ryu I am lucky enough to watch some very good Yagyu Shinkage-ryu. An unusual feature of some of their kata is switching the grip on the sword to a left handed grip. At a certain point the left hand is next to the tsuba and the right hand is down by the kashira. This allows for some very interesting maai. I've never heard of it being done for any IS developmental reasons.

Thanks for that, Chris, very interesting. I'd love to see that someday.

I should clarify where I'm coming from after having read back through everything again. I was reading Mark's threads with a view of things as being symmetrical. So in my mind I was thinking in terms of training with a relatively balanced and symmetrical development of skills in swordsmanship (implying development of IS as well in the process). Obviously in most styles there are some cuts and kata done one-handed (after all, most iai kata start with a draw/cut sequence one-handed), but there's not a focus on doing things symmetrically from side to side which would be what you'd expect if the kata is intended (in part) as a means of developing symmetrical IS skills. There are times when you to do certain movements one-handed (including the thrusts behind you like in shiho giri). And there are some kata that have reverse-handed handling, but my understanding is that they are still considered "reversed" from the norm. In other words, there is still a "correct" way to hold the sword. Hands are reversed due to "special circumstances" so it's not like the sword is used equally with both grips (which is what you'd expect if the idea was to develop IS skills using these methods).

I think Mark's point was that Ueshiba tended to switch hand to hand rather frequently and developed both sides with his bokken. While I can certainly believe that may have been due to his desire to develop his aiki skills symmetrically, I don't think the "training on both sides as a means of developing IS" would have come from reversed grip/one handed cuts in swordsmanship in general as those are more special case scenarios.

But I was also channeling other discussions I've been in over the years about "why can't I do my iai the way I want since I'm left-handed".

mickeygelum
01-27-2010, 09:48 AM
Hello Mark,

There's a video of Dr. Lee (Tomiki lineage) showing an exercise where two people are at arm's length. Each one has their right hand out, crossing and touching at the wrist.

That is a flow drill, Shotei to be specific, not a "push test". It is comparable to "Tapi-Tapi" in the aspect of tactile sensitivity, except full body. That was the beginner version, there is much more than what was demonstrated in the video you are referencing.

Ever see pics or vids of Tomiki in the pose I mentioned in #1? Shioda? So, why not? What happened? Or did they at some point? They're gone, so we can't ask them.

I have video of Ueshiba and Tomiki in those transitions, not really a pose or a posture, persay. Oddly enough, it is the center and centerline that are being targeted and employed. Believe it or not, those motions are weapons transitons and employment. I read in another thread that the centerline and balance disruption or taking is unimportant in relation to weapons. So, I guess might provide an indication "why" training is not at a high standard elsewhere.

Perhaps things were altered, changed, modified. But, who remembers?

There are many who know, and there are those that fraudulently purport to have been given the knowledge. Those individuals have altered Aikido/Aikibudo by adapting their systems to accommodate their shortcomings. Such is life.

Train well,

Mickey

Dieter Haffner
01-27-2010, 12:01 PM
Concerning: One hand up, pointing upwards with one hand down, pointing downwards.

Tamura sensei does an exercise during warmup where he points one hand up and the other one down while focusing on his breading. I wish I knew what he was doing internally, but he does not explain that mutch (or I am just not able to understand his teachings). So with the little experience I have with Chinees internal arts, I try to open my body bit by bit from the ground up. The hand positions will keep me focused on opening my entire body to the sky and also to the ground.

Shimamoto sensei performs tenchi nage in a simular way, although he calls it the heaven and heaven technique (heaven in Holland and heaven in New-Zealand). He opens his body and you get sucked in. I also believe I have seen him finnish kotegaeshi nage with a simular stance as the one mentioned in the video of Ueshiba.

But again, these are just my observations and I dont really know how and why they are doing it. And as long as I dont get any answers that are more plausible to me, I'll stick to these. :)

L. Camejo
01-27-2010, 05:24 PM
The information given is that one person steps forward and the other person steps backwards. But, what if that exercise was a push-out type exercise where the person "stepping backwards" wasn't supposed to move unless actually forced to move? So, in essence, there could have been an actual push test exercise to build the skill to withstand pushes. Anyone remember the creation of that exercise?

Perhaps things were altered, changed, modified. But, who remembers?Actually, the exercise you describe here does exist in Shodokan Aikido, it is called Shotei Awase and is part of the kihon kozo to be practiced at every class. This exercise is designed to develop pushing power by channeling the force of the push from the ground through the body into each hand (specifically the shotei region of the hand). Ones partner provides enough resistance to ensure that you must move him by floating his weight upwards and stepping through him. The arms are held relatively straight so all power must come from movement of the whole body. As ones level of knowledge increases ones partner provides resistance by relaxing his body in the correct manner and timing to avoid his weight being floated (becoming heavier in a sense) and thereby become harder to push.

We have another pushing exercise called Hiriki no Yosei which involves turning and pushing a partner who is providing resistance to your movement as well.

The exercise you saw in the Loi book was Tegatana Awase and it is a precursor to Shotei Awase as far as our basic exercises go.

Just a little tidbit.

Best

LC

PeterR
01-27-2010, 10:36 PM
The exercise you saw in the Loi book was Tegatana Awase and it is a precursor to Shotei Awase as far as our basic exercises go.
Just to clarify - precursor as in the order of exercises.

Tegatana Awase - is designed to improve distancing and sensitivity to your partner/opponents movement.

Shotei Awase - is the pushing exercise.

A couple of comments about the latter for those who know. I actually have people do that to a wall when they first learn it since a wall shouldn't move. When doing it another human being proper alignment becomes even more crucial and the exercise can degenerate into something else if both people don't understand what is being worked for. This is a very simple exercise on the face of it but very complex deeper down.

jss
01-28-2010, 01:44 AM
Concerning: One hand up, pointing upwards with one hand down, pointing downwards.

Tamura sensei does an exercise during warmup where he points one hand up and the other one down while focusing on his breading. I wish I knew what he was doing internally, but he does not explain that mutch (or I am just not able to understand his teachings).
Tamura likes to do the Ba Duan Jin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baduanjin_qigong) or Eight Section Brocade Qi Gong (http://www.egreenway.com/taichichuan/esb.htm) as a 'warmup'. The one hand up, one hand down is 'Separating Heaven and Earth'. The basic idea of that one is to generate contradictory tension up/down between the hands 'to stretch the suit' (http://aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=150580&highlight=suit+pressure+stretch#post150580).

Disclaimer: don't know the quality of information I linked to, one is wikipedia, the other a lengthy article. So just two places to start for those interested.

L. Camejo
01-28-2010, 03:12 AM
Just to clarify - precursor as in the order of exercises.Thanks for the clarification Peter. Good to see you around. :)

I actually have people do that to a wall when they first learn it since a wall shouldn't move. When doing it another human being proper alignment becomes even more crucial and the exercise can degenerate into something else if both people don't understand what is being worked for. This is a very simple exercise on the face of it but very complex deeper down.Well said.

LC

Alec Corper
01-28-2010, 07:14 AM
Hello mark,
I find your list interesting. If we go one step back there is another question. O Sensei "stole" parts of other arts to "create" Aikido. We now do Aikido and are exhorted to do O Sensei's aikido (whatever that was!) but that would mean cross training, theft, and ultimately abandoning your teacher to create your own art. Further a look into "Transparent Power" depicts an approach to training that is perhaps closer to Ueshiba ryu than the PR image we have inherited.

MM
02-12-2010, 02:02 PM
Just thought I'd add some posts by Dan, Ellis and Peter. They are relevant in what Ueshiba trained ...


Externally that may be true, but mores the point you can capture uke's center quite well without the aid of a lock. I think that should be a requirement of all aikido.
Secondly, I think absorbing and cancelling lock attempts and then reversing them (with aiki-not waza reversals) should be taught along side doing them. Learn to do and to undo; to throw and to not be thrown, to lock and to be unlockable, to hit and kick and to absorb the same punishment. It gives a different, more wholistic view, a more complete package.
Cheers
Dan


Amdur isolates three important aspects of the kata that Takeda taught. The first aspect was their reliance on sophisticated grabbing skills. As Amdur puts it, "One learns how to grip while simultaneously directing that power in a manner that locks up the opponent." Ueshiba Morihei, also, was known for his extremely powerful grip. The second aspect is how to neutralize such locking and release the grip (te-hodoki), not merely the joint, but the locking up of the skeleton, such that the attacker cannot exert any force on what appears to be still a grip. The third aspect is the set of subtle techniques related to pushing or pulling on the body of a standing or sitting person. Sagawa spends much time discussing the technique known as aiki-age and it is this technique that he appears to have mastered at the age of seventeen.

DH
02-16-2010, 07:48 AM
It may be that the reason that this sort of training was not handed down to future Aikidoists was because Ueshiba himself did not encourage it in a practical way. I recall a story from somewhere that O'Sensei once came upon a group of his students who trying to make the techniques work martially and were struggling with one another. He became annoyed saying that he had spent a lifetime studying these things so they didn't have to start there. O'sensei was, evidently, interested in something else.
Hello Don
This train of thought is more or less the standard fair expressed through many teachers in Aikido. I find it wildly inconsistent with virtually every aikido demo and every shihan and teacher I have ever felt. It is they-who are in fact still struggling with trying to make things work. It could equally be said that Ushiba was trying to free their minds. Further, I would share from my own experience that of those who train with me (who come from many different arts) and continue to grow in internal skills-they all seem to arrive at the same conclusions.
1. As their power grows they increasingly become disinterested in fixed arts of any kind. In many ways they find them stiffling and stilted. IP/Aiki is without form and therefore without style or art.
2. When I speak to them about a "feeling" that will build in them, a feeling akin to living free in the world and changing them from within, they have scoffed, later almost to a person, they come back to tell me it is happening to them.

This leads me to my own personal interest in your last comments:

My own sense is that he was deeply exploring how this training could connect his essence to the greater universe from whence he was born and back to which he must die. It is possible that his interest in Internal Power dropped away in this pursuit along with a lot of things. In any case, most of his direct students couldn't understand what the dickens he was talking about when he lectured and he certainly didn't develop a clear method for his students to follow for increasing internal power.

I don't mean to dismiss anyone's interest in pursuing this direction. There is nothing in it that I can see that is contrary to Aikido practice - Indeed it can only enrich it. I just raise the possibility that internal training wasn't central to O'Sensei's spiritual quest and therefore only remains in today's Aikido in vestiges.

It is my belief that it was his pursuit of IP/aiki (something which he NEVER stopped talking about, which was in fact THEE cause of his transformation. It was not something he ever left behind, Don. rather it was something he was racing toward. I would contend that once he realized how powerful and free one could be at every moment he recognized how that could be a powerful transformative experience for many people.

Consider that many of the early Uchi deshi were rough and tumble guys, consider what the demeanor has always been for the majority of those who enter martial arts; in many cases it boils down to resolving issues with fear or dominance. It is clear Ueshiba had these same issues, so did Takeda. I believe Ueshiba's vision was in finding a way out, I also believe that today, we wouldn't even know his name, if it were not for the power (IP/aiki) that energized his vision and gave it physical credibility.

As I continue to get out and meet more of your teachers and Shihan face to face, as well as many other teachers from different arts it is becoming increasingly obvious to all in the room what it really means to have been "released" from form and what it looks like to operate freely and with impunity, and more's the point... to have the "actual" power to resolve conflict to a peaceful conclusion.

Why was his "vision" embroiled with conflict?
Trying to tie fighting and the mundane nature of hand-to-hand, together with IP/Aiki is fundamental flaw. Ueshiba's "vision" continued to be expressed through martial arts. That alone should speak loudly to all involved. He recognized an indelible truth, written into our deepest nature, and he knew the way out. It was his choice to express his spirituality through facing conflict and resolving it, not apart from it.

Why no one understood
I have long felt the dissonance that existed between he and his students was profound. Yet it is worth noting that it appears the one student who pursued the path of IP/aiki, Tohei, was recognized and given a "finished" diploma 10th dan.
Honestly, I do not think that anyone then, or now could have understood him or truly capture his vision without IP/Aiki. Freedom from conflict, comes through IP/Aiki. Everything else is just martial arts.
Cheers
Dan

MM
02-17-2010, 08:21 AM
Another snippet of Ueshiba's training from Shioda in Shugyo:

"During training, Ueshiba sensei would often assume a one-legged stance and tell us to come at him. He was showing us that one must always assume a stable stance by moving the center of gravity freely at will."

gregstec
02-17-2010, 08:40 AM
Another snippet of Ueshiba's training from Shioda in Shugyo:

"During training, Ueshiba sensei would often assume a one-legged stance and tell us to come at him. He was showing us that one must always assume a stable stance by moving the center of gravity freely at will."

Tohie's group presented this in the early Ki society training as well...

Greg

MM
02-17-2010, 09:04 AM
Tohie's group presented this in the early Ki society training as well...

Greg

Tohei can be seen on film doing demonstrations of standing on one leg and being pushed. But, did Tohei or his group "assume a one-legged stance and tell" anyone "to come at him"? Not being snide, but interested to know if anyone actually did this. I'd never heard about Tohei's group doing that.

gregstec
02-17-2010, 09:19 AM
Tohei can be seen on film doing demonstrations of standing on one leg and being pushed. But, did Tohei or his group "assume a one-legged stance and tell" anyone "to come at him"? Not being snide, but interested to know if anyone actually did this. I'd never heard about Tohei's group doing that.

I have never trained with Tohei, but I have training with Koretoshi Maruyama (Tohei's first Chief Instructor of Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido) and yes, I have seen it done; and our group in Guam back in the 70's played around with it as well - of course, not very easy to do - but fun trying :)

DonMagee
02-17-2010, 09:26 AM
Hello,
4. Yes, that's the main point. A lot of people had been studying jujutsu, judo, kenjutsu, kendo, etc for a long time. Yet when they met Ueshiba, all that training didn't help them one little bit. Yet, somehow that training helped them to learn what Ueshiba was doing?

This may be off topic. But is there any proof that training with Ueshiba helped them in any way? Did they eventually win against Ueshiba? If not, how do you really know that training with him helped?

Lets break it down.

1) I'm a bad ass
2) I get my ass kicked by a bigger bad ass
3) I train with said bigger bad ass
4) Now we assume that training with said bad ass makes me even more bad ass?
5) ?

This seems to have the assumption that just because a guy is awesome at fighting he is awesome at teaching. And thus would improve your ability to fight. We simply assume that training with Ueshiba helped him in (in terms of fighting) ways that training in other martial arts did not.

MM
02-17-2010, 10:32 AM
I have never trained with Tohei, but I have training with Koretoshi Maruyama (Tohei's first Chief Instructor of Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido) and yes, I have seen it done; and our group in Guam back in the 70's played around with it as well - of course, not very easy to do - but fun trying :)

Thanks Greg. Always interesting to hear about history that isn't written down anywhere.

MM
02-17-2010, 10:44 AM
This may be off topic. But is there any proof that training with Ueshiba helped them in any way? Did they eventually win against Ueshiba? If not, how do you really know that training with him helped?

Lets break it down.

1) I'm a bad ass
2) I get my ass kicked by a bigger bad ass
3) I train with said bigger bad ass
4) Now we assume that training with said bad ass makes me even more bad ass?
5) ?

This seems to have the assumption that just because a guy is awesome at fighting he is awesome at teaching. And thus would improve your ability to fight. We simply assume that training with Ueshiba helped him in (in terms of fighting) ways that training in other martial arts did not.

Hi Don,

As for how his students progressed ...

There are some reports where Tomiki did things that Ueshiba could do. One is where he held out his hand and had judo people try to throw him and they couldn't.

Another is the training session with Shioda where Ueshiba tested him with bokken and empty hand. He passed in one and was not as good with the other. And don't forget the stories about Shioda going outside the dojo and testing his training in bar fights.

There is the stories about Tenryu training a short time and Ueshiba telling him he is done.

So, in one manner, yeah, Ueshiba (at least in some instances) trained some people to a decent level. Since he (Ueshiba) had already been training before his students started, I doubt that they would have surpassed him until he was old. By then, well ... as Ellis Amdur posted recently about Kuroiwa sensei ...


Kuroiwa sensei smiled -- "You can't knock your teacher over when your teacher just announces in front of an audience that you can't knock him over."

Going back on topic, Ueshiba did things in his training that don't seem to be done currently. And if they are, they are so watered down (push tests for example), that they are but a shell of the real thing. Why?

Thomas Campbell
02-17-2010, 12:09 PM
There are some aspects of Ueshiba that seem to have disappeared in the aikido world.

1. One hand up, pointing upwards with one hand down, pointing downwards. (No reference thread)

In various videos of Ueshiba, one can see him in a very distinct pose. He has one hand up and one hand down. It is a distinct pose shared with the Daito ryu world as pictures of Hisa and Takeda have shown. Ueshiba can be seen in this pose throughout his life, even in his eighties.

If pictures capture Takeda, Hisa, and Ueshiba in this pose, then perhaps one can find some relevance to it. I would imagine some important relevance. And yet, in modern aikido, it has disappeared.

Why? What happened? Where did this aspect of Ueshiba's training go?

[snip]

The photo of an older Ueshiba that Tim Grffiths posted earlier:

http://www.westlord.com/wallpaper/osensei-021/

Note Ueshiba in the 1935 Asahi News film concluding techniques at various points with (somewhat) similar hand-up and hand-down positions in the standing against standing demonstrations, and sometimes in the seated v. standing demos (Ueshiba when kneeling sometimes slaps the mat/earth with his down hand when concluding a technique):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98yRuBkUBGQ

It could be a stylistic flourish, or something relevant to the performance of the technique (or both). Zanshin has been mentioned in connection with this finishing position. Is this finishing position some kind of zanshin of the body, that is, serving to reorient Ueshiba's body after a technique?

Rebalancing of yin-yang (in-yo) in the body after a technique, or a reflection of solo training in a body well-conditioned internally? Viz. Akuzawa practicing shintaijiku:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrzLp0o0oGk&feature=related

MM
02-17-2010, 12:44 PM
The photo of an older Ueshiba that Tim Grffiths posted earlier:

http://www.westlord.com/wallpaper/osensei-021/

Note Ueshiba in the 1935 Asahi News film concluding techniques at various points with (somewhat) similar hand-up and hand-down positions in the standing against standing demonstrations, and sometimes in the seated v. standing demos (Ueshiba when kneeling sometimes slaps the mat/earth with his down hand when concluding a technique):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98yRuBkUBGQ

It could be a stylistic flourish, or something relevant to the performance of the technique (or both). Zanshin has been mentioned in connection with this finishing position. Is this finishing position some kind of zanshin of the body, that is, serving to reorient Ueshiba's body after a technique?

Rebalancing of yin-yang (in-yo) in the body after a technique, or a reflection of solo training in a body well-conditioned internally? Viz. Akuzawa practicing shintaijiku:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrzLp0o0oGk&feature=related

Hi Tom,

Hope you're doing well.

If Ueshiba was working on aiki, then we could guess that he was working on in-yo, or yin-yang, or contradictory opposites. So, his heaven-earth would be comparable to that.

I could theorize that when Ueshiba was saying things like being the bridge between heaven and earth, he was using this pose. One hand to heaven, one hand to earth, and his core body between as the bridge. Or, maybe even his upper body (chest and waist) was heaven while his lower body (hips and legs) was earth, and his hara (that central area between upper rib cage and pelvic bowl) was the bridge. Or his upper intent really was as far up as heaven, his lower intent really was at the core of Earth, and his spirit was in between being the bridge that other physical bodies came into contact with.

One could then add in that, maybe, Ueshiba was adding opening and closing to his body. Hand up opens, hand down closes.

And then, maybe, Ueshiba could have added spirals to it all so that whenever anyone touched him, they encountered his spirals that he used to effectively move people where he wanted them to go.

One could guess that perhaps that pose is the final physical outward appearance of everything that he'd already done internally as theorized above.

But, I'm just tossing out ideas here ...

donhebert
02-17-2010, 01:33 PM
Hi Dan,

Thanks for your thoughtful (and unexpected) response to my post. Your perspective certainly makes me think and is as enlivening as your training.

I think I am about to back-track on my statement:


I just raise the possibility that internal training wasn't central to O'Sensei's spiritual quest and therefore only remains in today's Aikido in vestiges.


My speculation that Ueshiba wasn't very successful in transmitting IP skills because he was being drawn into something else may be quite wrong. It could be that this knowledge got lost in transmission for a number of reasons, some of them resting with his students. Your argument that Ueshiba was able to experience transformation in his life because of IP seems to ring true. I also agree that there remains "a profound dissonance" between Ueshiba and the way Aikido is practiced today. Just to be clear though, I didn't intend to imply in my post that Aikidoists could skip over IP/Aiki simply because Ueshiba didn't spend a lot of time coaching it.

This by the way is a cool statement:


...a feeling" that will build in them, a feeling akin to living free in the world and changing them from within...


Boy, there is a lot I don't understand, but isn't his what a lot of people in Aikido are trying to find?

Thanks,

Don

MM
09-27-2010, 09:52 AM
According to the below snippet, Ueshiba had a daily training regimen (when he was learning Daito ryu under Takeda) of sword, staff, and spear.

From Black Belt 1981 Vol 19 No 9
A Dave Lowry article about O-sensei.

lessons in aikijutsu with Takeda, and by what had become daily habit since his days as a fencer: workouts with sword, staff, and spear.

Nafis Zahir
09-28-2010, 12:51 AM
Why? What happened? Where did this aspect of Ueshiba's training go?

You left out the practice of throwing or using atemi. Where did that go? You will be hard pressed to see atemi being used in most dojos these days. People don't throw them, and people don't respond to them. What a shame. It's such an important part of this art that has truly been lost.

TheAikidoka
09-28-2010, 03:45 AM
[QUOTE=Jason Casteel;251106]
3. Again, I can't say the either Takeda or Ueshiba felt that weapons were integral to what they were teaching. Nobody, in either DR or Aikido seems to have gotten any consistant weapons training from either Takeda or Ueshiba.......... (end Quote)

Morihiro saito sensei, Im quoting an interview with him as posted on AIki Journal, practiced weapons work with O`sensei nearly every morning for 20 + years, in Iwama.
Mitsuigi saotome sensei, Also studied weapons with the founder in Iwama.
I would say 20 years +, training practicaly every morning in fron of the Aiki shrine was pretty consistant weapons training.

in Budo

Andy B

Ecosamurai
09-28-2010, 03:23 PM
It could equally be said that Ushiba was trying to free their minds.....

I was recently told by someone (this is a third party repeating the comments one of Morihei Ueshiba's uchideshi made on the subject to him) that the reason both Tohei and Hikitsuchi Sensei received 10th Dan was because they had "freed themselves from the confines of their own minds". Whatever that means.

.....Yet it is worth noting that it appears the one student who pursued the path of IP/aiki, Tohei, was recognized and given a "finished" diploma 10th dan.


I think it might be worth considering what Hikitsuchi and he had in common, it was obviously something O Sensei considered important, given what I said above.

Mike

Ecosamurai
09-28-2010, 03:24 PM
Tohei can be seen on film doing demonstrations of standing on one leg and being pushed. But, did Tohei or his group "assume a one-legged stance and tell" anyone "to come at him"? Not being snide, but interested to know if anyone actually did this. I'd never heard about Tohei's group doing that.

I've seen that done :)