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dps
10-18-2010, 11:13 AM
Doka of the Day - October 18, 2010

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.

- Morihei Ueshiba

What is the meaning of this Doka and specifically omote?

David

Randall Lim
10-22-2010, 08:00 PM
Doka of the Day - October 18, 2010

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.

- Morihei Ueshiba

What is the meaning of this Doka and specifically omote?

David

I believe it means not to chase after techniques. Not to acccumulate a wide variety of techniques superficially, but to master and keep on practising basic techniques like Shihonage, Kotegaeshi, Ikkyu & Iriminage.

Practice these basic techniques intently, making sure you get the ki-projection, connection , contact feeling, kokyu & hip-power right.

Omote means direct & basic. Simply: Master your basics.

I have come across black belts who can execute a wide variety of techniques, but I see no ki, connection or centredness.

Mark Uttech
10-23-2010, 08:52 AM
Onegaishimasu. Saito Shihan once taught that omote is "going forward". That helps this doka make sense to me...

In gassho,

Mark

dps
10-23-2010, 08:25 PM
Onegaishimasu. Saito Shihan once taught that omote is "going forward". That helps this doka make sense to me...

In gassho,

Mark

"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."

Hello Mark,

How does that help you make sense of the Doka?

David

Mark Uttech
10-24-2010, 04:27 AM
Onegaishimasu, it helps by telling me to:
1) don't quit
2) keep going

In gassho,

Mark

Robert Calton
10-24-2010, 08:45 AM
Onegaishimasu, :), I've definitely got a bit of resonance with this. As a white belt, and when I'm practicing the waza with my sensei, sometimes he will sink down into a stance, or apply some resistance which makes my "technique" ineffective. I've got to figure out what's going on - usually this comes back to something in "the basics." What's interesting still, is seeing this done with high-ranking people.

What this doka means to me is what people have already said: in everything you do, don't forget the basics of establishing kuzushi,
ki projection, blending, and all that good stuff we all love that might get lost in the translation of the physical aspect of the technique. Just going through the techniques will work in getting uke to the ground for sure, but if there's not that extra little internalized attention to the basics, you'll be missing something, everything. This can, as with any of the dokas, be applied to things outside of the dojo.

Peace and love! :D

Dan Rubin
10-24-2010, 01:25 PM
Omote and ura do not mean only "front" and "rear." They also mean "seen" and "hidden." I think that whoever translated this doka included the Japanese word omote to make clear what was meant by "basics." It's not just kihon, it's whatever can be seen, what's obvious, what's external. For example, "the rhythm of the strike and thrust."

Carl Thompson
10-24-2010, 09:25 PM
Omote and ura do not mean only "front" and "rear." They also mean "seen" and "hidden." I think that whoever translated this doka included the Japanese word omote to make clear what was meant by "basics." It's not just kihon, it's whatever can be seen, what's obvious, what's external. For example, "the rhythm of the strike and thrust."
According to this Japanese version of Doka, the word omote was used by the Founder.

教には打突拍子さとく聞け極意の稽古表なりけり

Kyo ni wa da-top'pyou-shi satoku kike gokui no keiko-omote narikeri.

However, it seems to refer to the omote (front/outer appearance) of keiko (practice), not explicitly kihon (the basics). Perhaps by just saying "the outer appearance of practice" it was feared that those doing only ki-no-nagare or trying to copy Osensei's embu would think they were doing enough? "Secrets" (himitsu) is actually "essence" (gokui) here but it seems like a valid way of interpreting it.

Carl

Peter Goldsbury
10-25-2010, 01:48 AM
Here are two more English versions of the same doka.

The Japanese reading given by John Stevens is different from that given by Carl Thompson:

Oshie ni wa uchitsuki hyoshi satoku kike gokui no keiko omote narikeri.

Stevens' translation:
Learn to sense the
rhythms of attacking
thrusts and cuts.
The secrets of training
lie right on the surface.

Another translation can be found in Budo Renshu:
When you instruct
Emphasize the strike and the thrust
For all the secret teachings
Are to be found in simple basics

FYI

niall
10-25-2010, 10:05 AM
This discussion has become very interesting.

Perhaps the many meanings of omote and ura have been discussed in the forums before. Just to add an additional aside I was told by a Daito Ryu teacher that in Daito Ryu (at least at the time O Sensei studied it) omote and ura had completely different meanings. Omote meant doing the (direct) technique and ura meant doing a kaeshi waza.

Carl Thompson
10-25-2010, 09:30 PM
All the different possibilities for translation highlight the importance of getting to know the intentions of the original speaker as closely as possible. No easy task, since the Founder has passed away but this kind of discussion helps.

Btw: as those who are familiar with kanji will know, there is the on-yomi (Chinese reading) and the kun-yomi (Japanese reading) for different characters. The readings I used from the original Japanese were the on-yomi for “teaching” and “strike and thrust” but the kun-yomi probably fits the Doka-form better (there is an extra syllable in o-shi-e). I imagine Stevens checked with a few experts.

niall
10-25-2010, 10:28 PM
Here's another (simpler) version:

From our teachings:
Listen well for the chance to strike
Omote is the ultimate keiko

dps
10-26-2010, 04:05 AM
Stevens' translation:
Learn to sense the
rhythms of attacking
thrusts and cuts.
The secrets of training
lie right on the surface.


Are they uke's attacking and thrusts we are to sense?

dps

dps
10-26-2010, 04:13 AM
Another translation can be found in Budo Renshu:
When you instruct
Emphasize the strike and the thrust
For all the secret teachings
Are to be found in simple basics

FYI

Since the Budo Renshu is before WWII and O'Sensei did not break down his teaching into Ikkyo, nikkyo, etc, what are the basics, the way to strike and thrust?

dps

niall
10-26-2010, 05:17 AM
In any poem there is ambiguity, often deliberate. There are several points here that are open to interpretation as Carl pointed out. I don't think the Budo Renshu translation is very accurate. Oshie here - if it is oshie - I like Carl's rhythm and I can imagine O Sensei saying Kyou ni wa...! - is definitely not about teaching. It's the handed down teachings. And John Stevens' translation is nice but quite free.

Strike and thrust is one verb (strike/thrust) not two

Rhythm can also mean chance

Secrets was already mentioned as a free translation of essence (or ultimate)

The rhythm/beat/chance of the strike can be yours or the uke's. I take it as tori's because this is all about omote. And O Sensei's aikido was saki no saki (which was in another thread). As Mark said: going forward.

But that's just my interpretation. In the end you have to make your own.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-26-2010, 06:35 AM
Well, I think before translating and interpreting what O Sensei wrote we should have the original manuscript.

guest1234567
10-26-2010, 07:52 AM
Well, I think before translating and interpreting what O Sensei wrote we should have the original manuscript.

And even then I would never assure any translation, for that I think you must have known O'Sensei and his thoughts and know very well the original japanese for that epoch

Carl Thompson
10-26-2010, 08:27 AM
Well, I think before translating and interpreting what O Sensei wrote we should have the original manuscript.
I doubt anyone changed the Founder's words in the original Japanese. The problem is how to interpret them, even in that original Japanese, let alone into a foreign language.

For example here is one website in Japanese discussing the meaning of the Doka including this one
http://sasaki-aiki.com/article3_94.php
合気道の形と「わざ」は秘儀であり、表と裏があるが、極意の稽古は表であると教えられている。楽な裏に逃げないで、表をしっかり修行せよとの教えである。

Roughly: The shape of Aikido (and its techniques) is the secret sanctum, there is omote (the outer form) and ura (the inner form) but the essence of practice is taught as the omote. Don't flee to the comfortable ura, the teachings are granted through strict practice of the omote.

Of course this hasty translation of the interpretation is also only an interpretation, coloured heavily by my own language ability and understanding of the subject matter.
In any poem there is ambiguity, often deliberate. There are several points here that are open to interpretation as Carl pointed out. I don't think the Budo Renshu translation is very accurate. Oshie here - if it is oshie - I like Carl's rhythm and I can imagine O Sensei saying Kyou ni wa...! - is definitely not about teaching. It's the handed down teachings. And John Stevens' translation is nice but quite free.
I didn't have the "official" reading to hand when I wrote out the Romanisation and chose kyo because oshie would normally be written 教え (distinguished by the okurigana) but as I understand it, it could just be the single kanji 教 in something like an old poem. I mainly just wanted to show that the word omote was there in the original and kihon wasn't. However, I gather that there is a distinct beat to Doka and there seems to be a bias for kun-yomi and as I said, Stevens probably checked.
The rhythm/beat/chance of the strike can be yours or the uke's. I take it as tori's because this is all about omote. And O Sensei's aikido was saki no saki (which was in another thread). As Mark said: going forward.
I recall the thread and my own comment
This reminded me of an old interview with Osensei:
http://www.aiki-shuren-dojo.com/pdf/Go%20no%20sen.pdf
Carl
Osensei said his aikido was a state of continuous victory. To me, sen-no-sen and suchlike imply an opponent one is competing with.

Kind regards

Carl

Demetrio Cereijo
10-26-2010, 10:08 AM
I doubt anyone changed the Founder's words in the original Japanese.
People sometimes make mistakes when transcribing texts,

The problem is how to interpret them, even in that original Japanese, let alone into a foreign language.
We should accept there will be always some kind of bias.

ChrisHein
10-26-2010, 11:11 AM
How you come to understand these things is personal. If it helps you take a new look at something you previously took for granted, then the doka has done its job. So it's not necessary to understand exactly what Ueshiba meant, only that it brings new or deeper understanding to you and your training.

I generally dislike John Stevens translations, but this is the one I like best of those translated thus far.

Stevens' translation:
Learn to sense the
rhythms of attacking
thrusts and cuts.
The secrets of training
lie right on the surface.


For me it says: All the secrets are right in front of you, Aiki is in the rhythm and timing of the attack (theirs or yours).

jonreading
10-26-2010, 12:37 PM
Stevens' translation:
Learn to sense the
rhythms of attacking
thrusts and cuts.
The secrets of training
lie right on the surface.

Another translation can be found in Budo Renshu:
When you instruct
Emphasize the strike and the thrust
For all the secret teachings
Are to be found in simple basics


I think there is some old school translation interpretation here... In looking at older arts and texts, and considering many of these doka to precede what we know as the aikido curriculum, I find two points of issue:
1. I believe there is a distinction between kihon and omote, but these concepts are similar in application in regards to aikido. In older arts I have heard foundational techniques referred to as omote (public) in the sense of basic and direct technique. These same arts reserve ura to describe the inner teachings of the art (that which is not seen by outsiders).
2. I believe there is a distinction between waza and kata, but these concepts are similar in application in regards to aikido. I think the controlled learning environment which constrains uke's response is more appropriately called kata. I think the spontaneous application of technique (waza) happens less.

We do not find "technique" (waza) as part of the translation, but rather "basics" (kata?). We also get a reference to omote that corresponds to an seen/unseen interpretation. This sounds like old-school language.

I believe this doka refers to the refinement of basic kata as the [instructional] source for advanced aikido. More specifically, the evolution of timing (rhythm) matures the application of kata.

The use of omote is to identify basic principles (kata?) as the source of aikido, both beginning and advanced. I think a point of note is the confirmation that the secrets of aikido should not be occlusive or hidden in instruction.

I think we also are looking at understanding kata to embody core principles of training, not represent actual technique (kyo v. kajo).

There is a lot of classical language that probably is better interpreted by by someone familiar with koryu arts.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-26-2010, 01:23 PM
Another translation can be found in Budo Renshu:
When you instruct
Emphasize the strike and the thrust
For all the secret teachings
Are to be found in simple basics


Aikido is 90% atemi.

guest1234567
10-27-2010, 02:09 AM
Aikido is 90% atemi.

Please read Epistemic Viciousness in the Martial Arts by
Gillian Russell in How do armbar?;)

Demetrio Cereijo
10-27-2010, 02:53 AM
Please read Epistemic Viciousness in the Martial Arts by Gillian Russell in How do armbar?;)

Why there when you can read it here (http://www.opencourtbooks.com/books_n/martial_arts.htm)?

And, most important, how your suggestion relates to the issue at hand?

guest1234567
10-27-2010, 05:39 AM
Why there when you can read it here (http://www.opencourtbooks.com/books_n/martial_arts.htm)?

And, most important, how your suggestion relates to the issue at hand?

Your believing Aikido is 90% atemi

Demetrio Cereijo
10-27-2010, 07:34 AM
Your believing Aikido is 90% atemi

Do you mean my intepretation of one of the translations given by Prof. Goldsbury is a product of epistemic viciousness on my part?

If so, how so? Because you say so or is there a reasoning that makes you call me vicious? More or less vicious than the other posters who made their own interpretations?

You're pushing your luck, Carina. Prudence is a virtue, show a bit of it and choose yor battles wisely. Don't make me go to "the other place" and be nasty, because I can (and you are aware of it) and there shall be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

.

guest1234567
10-27-2010, 07:45 AM
Do you mean my intepretation of one of the translations given by Prof. Goldsbury is a product of epistemic viciousness on my part?

If so, how so? Because you say so or is there a reasoning that makes you call me vicious? More or less vicious than the other posters who made their own interpretations?

You're pushing your luck, Carina. Prudence is a virtue, show a bit of it and choose yor battles wisely. Don't make me go to "the other place" and be nasty, because I can (and you are aware of it) and there shall be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

.

First of all Demetrio I'don't want a battle and you know that. You know I admire your knowledge very much, and I'm never cynic
But it this is your interpretation for the translations from Prof Goldsbury , I didn't understand that

Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
Another translation can be found in Budo Renshu:
When you instruct
Emphasize the strike and the thrust
For all the secret teachings
Are to be found in simple basics
You
Aikido is 90% atemi.

Sorry, maybe I must read more and write less

grondahl
10-27-2010, 09:26 AM
Carina, I think that Demetrio is refering to another quote from Ueshiba (or was it Shioda) stating that aikido is 90% atemi.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-27-2010, 11:05 AM
Carina, I think that Demetrio is refering to another quote from Ueshiba (or was it Shioda) stating that aikido is 90% atemi.

And with that quote, attibuted to O Sensei, is how I understand the doka in Bieri's translation.

Anyway, there are also:

"...but my teacher Morihei Ueshiba sensei always had stated that in real fighting occasions 70% of aikido is atemi, and 30% is throwing" Shioda G.

"Atemi accounts for 99% of aikido." was a remark once uttered by the Founder" Saito M.

So I think my interpretation of the doka is as valid as any other until we follow a serious exegetical process of Founder's writings that ends in a clear demonstration of my "epistemic viciousness".

If you (and I mean Carina) disagree with my interpretation, I'm open to reasoning and debate, of course. But if you reasoning consists in "because I (or my senpai/sensei/shihan/doshu or channeled founder) say so, circular reasoning and assorted cultish behaviour, don't expect to be taken seriously or expect to be considered a troll and treated accordingly. Not here, but where your self e-image of "enlightened shodan" is mostly displayed so it's going to hurt more.

If you are looking for an old school masakatsu agatsu katsu hayabi, I'll deliver.

phitruong
10-27-2010, 12:00 PM
"...but my teacher Morihei Ueshiba sensei always had stated that in real fighting occasions 70% of aikido is atemi, and 30% is throwing" Shioda G.

"Atemi accounts for 99% of aikido." was a remark once uttered by the Founder" Saito M.



so if i take the average, then it would be "atemi is 84.5% of aikido", right? or we could round it down to 80% which would fall into the 80/20 rule that applied to most things. can we all agree to that number? :D

personally, i think these doka were the way that Ueshiba attempted at bad poetry that is not even rhythm, and to leave them as a joke/mind-game so that generations later, folks still debate on it. he probably laughed his bones in his grave off thinking "what a bunch of suckers!" :)

Demetrio Cereijo
10-27-2010, 12:12 PM
so if i take the average, then it would be "atemi is 84.5% of aikido", right? or we could round it down to 80% which would fall into the 80/20 rule that applied to most things. can we all agree to that number? :D
Sure, of course.

personally, i think these doka were the way that Ueshiba attempted at bad poetry that is not even rhythm, and to leave them as a joke/mind-game so that generations later, folks still debate on it. he probably laughed his bones in his grave off thinking "what a bunch of suckers!" :)
This guy must have the IHTBF. :D

jonreading
10-27-2010, 12:17 PM
"Epistemic Viciousness in the Martial Arts" by Gillian Russell

I am not sure how to take this essay. While I understand the general points the author asserts, the author relies heavily on fictitious situations built to substantiate her claims, and situational analogy to enhance her ethos. All this and she concludes the essay under the supposition that her position is correct... Interesting read if nothing else...

I guess after reading this essay the position here is that the claim "Aikido is 90% atemi" is unverified as fact and possibly false because its origination is subject to epistemic viciousness by its consumer(s). I am correctly reading this essay?

While I am not familiar with the term, it is fair game to assert that consumers of information should be wary about the nature of the information they consume. I would not exclude martial arts from that statement and I appreciate the article for that position. I also appreciate the author's position to advocate verifying information sources, something that is uncommon here in the US (check Wikipedia, its a fact).

I am not sure if I would agree that the statement Demetrio made is false or rationalized under the guise of epistemic viciousness. Whether the percentage figure is correct, several leading shihan, including {if memory serves] O'Sensei, Saito Sensei, Shioda Sensei, and Kuriowa Sensei have made similar comments emphasizing the role of atemi in aikido. Throw in the verbal comments from contemporary aikido leaders and you have quite a few people who believe in the heavy role atemi plays in aikido. Heck there is a post right now on Aikiweb from Ledyard Sensei emphasizing the role of atemi in aikido. I will point out however that while this comment is common, fewer quotes exist that advocate we have to use atemi in our training (it's the thought that counts?)

The question is does this interpretation fit the doka in the thread? While I believe its a stretch, I can see the doka places an emphasis on striking and I don't think Demetrio's claim is any more or less relevant than mine of others posted here.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-27-2010, 12:35 PM
"Epistemic Viciousness in the Martial Arts" by Gillian Russell

I am not sure how to take this essay.
As a draft of an essay written for popular audience. Entertaining but not deep.

guest1234567
10-27-2010, 12:50 PM
And with that quote, attibuted to O Sensei, is how I understand the doka in Bieri's translation.

If you (and I mean Carina) disagree with my interpretation, I'm open to reasoning and debate, of course. But if you reasoning consists in "because I (or my senpai/sensei/shihan/doshu or channeled founder) say so, circular reasoning and assorted cultish behaviour, don't expect to be taken seriously or expect to be considered a troll and treated accordingly. Not here, but where your self e-image of "enlightened shodan" is mostly displayed so it's going to hurt more.

If you are looking for an old school masakatsu agatsu katsu hayabi, I'll deliver.

Ok Demetrio, I Carina didn't understand you, you put examples from Shioda an Saito, but for me Carina Aikido is not 90% atemi and not cause senpai/sensei/shihan/doshu or channeled founder say so.. I did not understand your interpretation from Prof Goldsbury translation
I'm not a troll, that you must know by now, even in a forum where all writer were anonymous I answered with my real name.
And I'm very sorry the things I wrote you that maybe hurt you in the past, my only excuse is that I was new in the forum and couldn't distinguish the true from the false.
I don't think from me as an enlighted shodan, on the contrary, I know I' just starting to learn.
If you don't like my blog, don't read it, once I wanted to close it and many people sent me mails not do it.
And Demetrio I hoped we could be kind of friends , but now I realize you cannot forgive what ever I did to you, it was a bad idea to come back to aikifroum and aikiweb, I like to answer when I know and can help, but don't worry I will not disturb you any more.

What did you say with victory, self-victory, the day of swift victory.?.
See I only went to secondary school, I don't can latin, either japanese, So in this environment I' m nothing compared with you.

Take care

Demetrio Cereijo
10-27-2010, 01:06 PM
Please accept my apologies, Carina. I was having a bad day IRL.

OTOH, I don`t dislike your blog. I don't reccomend it as a source of knowledge about budo for I find it lacking (as I don't recomend mine for the same motive), but we should discuss this issue where it belongs: in aikiforum, not here.

Aikiforum and Aikiweb are two different leagues. Try to understand it.

guest1234567
10-27-2010, 01:16 PM
What a relief :) my day was not better, my car broken at least 250€ and in the office better not mentione.
I don't like to contradict you in aikiforum, that why I will not say anything . Ok I understand that they are two different leagues
I just answered one guy who copied my publication from today, that it was not mine, to put the real source .

I hope your evening will be better, if I had my car I would go to the beach, maybe you can do something like that:)

guest1234567
10-27-2010, 02:52 PM
This does not fit in this thread, but I will not begin a new one so
I like this doka translated by John Stevens very much but don't understand the last words:
Sincerity!
Cultivate yourself
sincerely and thus realize
the profound truth that
manifest and hidden are one.

Dan Rubin
10-27-2010, 03:42 PM
manifest: clear or obvious to the eye or mind

guest1234567
10-27-2010, 04:07 PM
manifest: clear or obvious to the eye or mind

why hidden?
and now the translation from Seiseki Abe:
It is sincerity!
First cultivate sincerity with all your heart
So realize this truth
The World of Reality and the World of Appearance are One

the last words why the world fo appearance?

Demetrio Cereijo
10-27-2010, 05:18 PM
"The true martial art which Morihei was trying to discover became more and more evident as he furthered his research and training over the years. Since human beings have eternal life in the triangle of the three worlds -the world of appearances, the hidden world and the divine world - judgements of rightness or wrongness in the phenomenal world that accompany human existence should not be made only to provide historical explanations of justice wherein the three worlds are discriminated. Rather, judgements should be based on the idea of the unity of the three worlds so that virtue and evil become self-evident. Viewed in this manner, the armed struggles which have been recorded for the last several thousand years up to the present reveal the above truth even more vividly as the world population increases and human exchange becomes more frequent and complex." Kanemoto Sunadomari.

(bold mine)

I think we're entering into Omoto kyo doctrine here.

dps
10-27-2010, 07:58 PM
Since human beings have eternal life in the triangle of the three worlds -the world of appearances, the hidden world and the divine world -
(bold mine)
.

Body, Mind and Spirit?

David

guest1234567
10-28-2010, 02:01 AM
Thanks Demetrio, that shows us how wide seeing and wise became O'Sensei in his researches and training

Josh Reyer
10-28-2010, 02:44 AM
教には打突拍子さとく聞け極意の稽古表なりけり

There is no extra syllable with "oshie".

Oshie ni wa (5) - In the teachings
Uchitsuki hyoushi (7) Striking-thrusting rhythm
Satoku kike (5) Listen well (satoku has the sense of "cleverly, keenly)
Gokui no keiko (7) Practice of secrets/ultimate meaning
Omote nari keri (7) Is the surface (basic, first learned techniques)

My translation would be, "In the teachings, mark well the rhythm of striking and thrusting; the practice of the innermost secrets is the basic techniques."

Seems pretty straightforward to me. Understanding the rhythm of attacks is important, and the basic techniques contain all the gokui of aikido.

Carl Thompson
10-28-2010, 06:37 PM
Thanks to Josh for confirming the meter and readings.

I also like your explanation very much.

教には打突拍子さとく聞け極意の稽古表なりけり
There is no extra syllable with "oshie".

I know you don't mean that kyo-u (2) and o-shi-e (3) are the same length so presumably you are highlighting that 教 is read here as oshie without the need for okurigana.

Carl

Josh Reyer
10-28-2010, 08:38 PM
I know you don't mean that kyo-u (2) and o-shi-e (3) are the same length so presumably you are highlighting that 教 is read here as oshie without the need for okurigana.


No, I just misread your post. I think I read your use of the word "extra" as "extraneous", thus the reason for using "kyou" in your transliteration of the poem. Rereading, I see I got that very wrong, so my apologies.

I do believe that 教 is here read "oshie", particularly because of the meter. Okurigana are not needed. In fact, in Microsoft's input editor, if you put in "oshie" and select "henkan", you can in fact get just the kanji, without okurigana. Things are a much more standardized now, but particularly in pre-war literature, there can be quite some variation in okurigana use, and in some cases, like this one, kanji alone were used without okurigana.