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The_Free_Spirit
08-16-2000, 05:12 AM
A friend of mine just came back from a ki-aikido competition cum world camp. Among the stuff she brought back, there was a booklet containing an introduction by Tohei-sensei.

I don't have the booklet with me at this moment. However, I remember distinctly that there were two paragraphs commenting that O-sensei prohibited compeitions in this past, but his ideas are "useless" now. (Yes ... the word "useless" was printed in the booklet!)

Throughout the rest of the conversation I had with her, it turned out that Tohei-sensei insulted O-sensei another time by claiming that the wrist lock technique (kotogaishi) does not work, and he devised a new technique that work.

I was not there in Japan, so I just related these events as best as I could gather from my friend. But the part about "useless" is definitely true. I personally saw it in Tohei-sensei's introductory speech in the booklet.

These statements may have been put in the wrong context. Can someone from ki-aikido please care to explain what is going on?

It is well-known that Tohei-sensei used to be one of O-sensei's student. I personally feel that it is not appropriate for him to pass such comments on his own mentor, not to mention that O-sensei is the founder of Aikido.

For that matter, what is the point of us bowing down to the founder at that start and end of every training sessions, but do not give him the due respect? Even if an Aikidoka manages to surpass the skills of O-sensei one day (this is a big IF!!!), he or she should still show proper respect to O-sensei. After all, his or her foundation skills came from wazas created by O-sensei. Passing comments that O-sensei's ideas are useless or that his techniques do not work are definitely signs of disrespect.

In this sense, I strongly feel that the wordings in the booklet should be more sensitive, even if they have been put out of context.

Interestingly enough, Tohei-sensei apparently also thinks that Zen masters are wrong in their concepts about that the one point is a physical point in the body, and that Indian meditation techniques are wrong, or at least inferior to his medition techniques.

Modern medical science is also wrong in giving too much medicine and surgery, so a sick person should get someone else to pass ki into his or her body. I think he called this technique kiatsu or something like that. However, it is also known that Tohei-sensei uses a wheelchair. Can anyone care to explain why kiatsu does not work for himself?

Keith_S
08-16-2000, 05:46 AM
I think that this is probably simply a case of some of the intended meaning being lost in the translation and not too much should be read into it.

I don't think Koichi Tohei would have got where he is today if he went about being disrepectfull to his former teachers and that is certainly not the impression I get of him reading his books.

As for Kotegeishi, that could well be another debate entirely, but it can't do any harm to set people thinking about if it "works" and if not then why not, ect.

chillzATL
08-16-2000, 07:23 AM
No disrespect to Tohei sensei, as he was a great man in many respects. He was always very strong in his opinions. I do not doubt that those were his words. At one point, not long after O'sensei passed, he ordered that O'sensei's picture be removed from his dojos and replaced with his own. I don't think that is the case now, although I don't know for sure, but you can form your own opinions.

Victor
08-16-2000, 07:43 AM
The_Free_Spirit wrote:
Interestingly enough, Tohei-sensei apparently also thinks that Zen masters are wrong in their concepts about that the one point is a physical point in the body, and that Indian meditation techniques are wrong, or at least inferior to his medition techniques.

You have to believe in something - you choose what you like yourself.

Someone said that there are many hells and you always think that the believer of another religion/religious sect/non-believer will go to hell - to your hell. The same he is thinking about you...

Erik
08-16-2000, 10:58 AM
I can only imagine that O'Sensei was wrong about a lot of stuff. Probably a lot more than most people because he was put in a place where he talked a lot. Inevitably when you do such you are both right and wrong more often.

I've also heard rumors to the effect that sometimes O'Sensei had bad days. That somedays his ukes just didn't fall the way he wanted them to. Gasp! Could he have put his hakama on one leg at a time?

Sensei are human and screw up. And they are wrong about a lot of things. In fairness I've heard a lot of good things from my instructors. Things I value greatly but when the topic doth shift from Aikido I've found them to be just as full of it as anyone else.

I'd also think it would be much more disrespectful to your teacher if you found a better way and didn't pass it on to your students. Times change. Look at weightlifting and professional athletes. Years back no one did it, now everyone does it. Methinks a lot of people were wrong on that one and didn't the guy who ran the patent office once say something to the effect that everything was patented?

Having said all this, I seem to recollect stumbling on some of the same things. Methinks that Tohei sometimes lacked tact. There's a way to say something is wrong and then there's a way to say it's wrong. I've been very, very guilty on this one. Maybe I'll learn to get it right one of these days.

[Edited by Erik on August 16, 2000 at 06:06pm]

JohnnyBA
08-16-2000, 11:14 AM
Tohei Sensei did, in fact, order that O'Sensei's picture be removed from all his affiliate dojos. In 1974, both the Doshu and Tohei were invited to Hawaii for a demonstration. Although Tohei Sensei was still officially the chief instructor at the Hombu dojo, the Doshu was paid more attention and Tohei Sensei was overlooked. Tohei Sensei, in response, left the Aikikai. He then ordered O'Sensei's picture to be removed, most likely because of the "bad blood" between him and the Doshu and not because he did not respect O'Sensei or did not believe his techniques were correct. When one of his students refused to remove O'Sensei's picture from his dojo's wall, Tohei said this: "But now, I'm your sensei. He is no longer your sensei. He is dead." It seems that Tohei Sensei's insults towards O'Sensei have stemmed from "organizational disagreements" (and also some disagreement on waza - Tohei Sensei stresses more Ki than O'Sensei). I hope this information helps.

Nick
08-16-2000, 04:04 PM
Also, I read in an interview that Tohei-sensei said that he "only retained about thirty percent of O'sensei's teachings."

But than, words are subjective, and everyone has their opinions. I still have great respect for him, as he was my sensei's sensei, and brought Aikido in some form to many people...

-Nick

Suru
08-16-2000, 04:34 PM
O'Sensei discovered, and had the generousity to present, a path which has doubtless helped many people better their lives. To insult O'Sensei is to insult aikido. To insult aikido means it's time to find another path through another means. There is no such thing as a perfect person in my opinion. Some people just seem to me to be more enlightened (free-spirited, happy) than others. Aikido has done much to better my life, and--honestly--I don't know where I'd be right now without it. Therefore, I have nothing but gratitude for Morihei Ueshiba, and I'd rather spend my time enjoying aikido than trying to find kinks in the armor of a samurai I never even met.
--Drew

Nick
08-16-2000, 05:51 PM
Oy... well said, Drew.

However, what about those who have met him?

Please also note that this is simply curiousity... my respect for O'Sensei is beyond question, I doubt I'd still be alive with it (I was in a bad way when I first came into the dojo).

-Nick

kironin
08-16-2000, 06:58 PM
Well, I wasn't at the world camp and I haven't seen the booklet you are talking
about, but I have yet to train in a Ki Society dojo in the US that was anything
but respectful of O sensei and the dojo I started in had a picture of O sensei prominently displayed along with a picture of Tohei Sensei. My dojo has a
picture of O sensei (gasp!).

I would really need to see the context to comment further on the use of the term "useless". I have read other statements by Tohei Sensei on this topic that justified the taigi competition that don't make this interpretation sound correct. As related in Aikido Journal, there was enough poor behavior in 1970's on both sides. I am sure that if we each go digging in each other's organization's
literature we could fine plenty to get upset about if we wanted.

As for the name change of the technique
kotegaeshi to koteoroshi, and that's all it really is - just a name change. Something that Tohei sensei is perfectly entitled to do as founder of the Ki Society. I certainly don't see how this is insulting O sensei. ( After all Tohei and K. Ueshiba devised a lot of the names in the first place and they are different than Shioda and Tomiki's naming systems.) Tohei Sensei wants to emphasize certain things in this technique and has been doing so for decades, and feels this label better conveys what he is trying to teach to native Japanese speakers. Of course, to those of us outside of Japan for which Japanese is not our native language, it's just changing a label.

It does differ from some of the ways I see some Aikikai teach kotegaeshi, but there is a lot of variation in technique out there, some variations are more robust than others with a lot of it having to do with the assumptions implicit in that style's ukemi. All I can say is that Tohei's method has served me well cross-style and proved to a robust method of applying the technique.

So let me be clear, there is no knew technique. Just a new label. I think to interpret this as an insult is to put this as you say in the wrong context. The eternal problem of getting your information from secondhand memory.


>>>"Interestingly enough, Tohei-sensei apparently also thinks that Zen masters are wrong in their concepts about that the one point is a physical point in the body, and that Indian meditation techniques are wrong, or at least inferior to his medition techniques."<<<

It might interest you to know that one of Tohei Sensei's senior students in the US is head of the Zen Center in San Francisco. Also the one-point is a mental concept concerned with focus and center of your action rather than center of gravity (implied by the requirement that it is a physical point of the body.)
It was my understanding that "Zen masters" whoever they are don't use such a concept. So this may be a bit of comparing apples and oranges.


>>>"Modern medical science is also wrong in giving too much medicine and surgery, so a sick person should get someone else to pass ki into his or her body. I think he called this technique kiatsu or something like that. However, it is also known that Tohei-sensei uses a wheelchair. Can anyone care to explain why kiatsu does not work for himself?"<<<

Last time I looked at his Kiatsu book, Tohei Sensei who is now over 80 made no claim that kiatsu is a fountain of youth,
and I can't recall modern medicine making that claim either. He is past the life expectancy of a Japanese man of his generation so he's doing good to still
be waking up in the morning and getting
around as far as I am concerned.

It's not clear what the point being made is, but if it's that doctors rely too much on drugs, machines and surgery, then it's a constant complaint made within the medical community. All I can say is that I recieved kiatsu and also given kiatsu and that it's therapeutic uses as well as good meditative training for one applying the kiatsu. I personally think this healing dimension by Tohei Sensei is a fine addition to furthering O'sensei's goals for aikido, the art of peace. In expressing caring for your fellow students and people in general.

First time I've tried Jun's system,
I hope this method of quoting is clear,
I didn't feel like copying embedded html code all over.

-Craig

kironin
08-16-2000, 07:31 PM
JohnnyBA wrote:
Tohei Sensei did, in fact, order that O'Sensei's picture be removed from all his affiliate dojos. In 1974, both the Doshu and Tohei were invited to Hawaii for a demonstration. Although Tohei Sensei was still officially the chief instructor at the Hombu dojo, the Doshu was paid more attention and Tohei Sensei was overlooked. Tohei Sensei, in response, left the Aikikai.
... I hope this information helps.

The problem with brief summaries like this is they are so brief as to be false.

The rift between the current Doshu's father and Tohei sensei started in 1971
over teaching ki classes. Tohei Sensei had definite ideas of how to teach aikido and he was the head instructor at Hombu as appointed by O Sensei. The family issues between them probably didn't help either. By all accounts, there is plenty of blame to lay on both sides. Of course Tohei's side of the story is quite a bit different and some of others are no longer with us to give their accounts. The rest of us are just retelling hearsay.

Most of the senior Hawaiian sensei stayed with the him after the split. They were after all his students when he started aikido in Hawaii in the 1950's.

Whatever actually transpired in Hawaii in 1974 was likely more symptom than a cause. Given the conditions at Hombu for Tohei Sensei, it was probably best that he left. To do otherwise would have forced him to be other than the dynamic, charismatic and innovative teacher that he was when he helped spread aikido after WWII outside of Japan.

-Craig

Nick
08-16-2000, 07:36 PM
Don't know how many more times I can plug this book, but Aikido Kyohan (Suenaka, Watson) offers some excellent insight into all the politics and things that caused the split and extra politics...

Plus, it shows the reader a good exposure to Suenaka-ha Tetsugaku-ho Aikido.

Plugging once more,

-Nick

The_Free_Spirit
08-17-2000, 04:09 AM
I think there are some fundamentally important issues in this discussion.

First, one should never, never pass such arrogant comments on his mentor, even if his skills surpasses that of his mentor. This is true for all disciplines, including aikido. There must always be some respect at all times. Furthermore, aikido is not merely a set of exercise to be performed in a dojo. One should instill discipline and humility.

In this context, O-sensei is to Aikido just as Kano is to Judo, Funabashi is to Karate, Jesus Christ is to Christianity, Muhammad is to Islam, Buddha is to Buddhism ... See what I mean? To hear any aikidoka criticising that O-sensei is wrong is just as good as having a Christian criticising that Jesus is wrong.

Okay ... O-sensei is not God and he made some human errors. But still, we should not go around passing comments that he is wrong or useless. Note that I am not arguing whether O-sensei is right or wrong, useful or useless ... this is another issue altogether. But I think that we, as students of aikido, should never go about insulting the founder.

Even if it is true that O-sensei makes some mistake, I think that we can show the corrections without having to point out his errors, or pass un-called statements that O-sensei is wrong. Einstein corrected Newtonian mechanics with his theory of relativity, but I don't remember him criticising that Newton is wrong.

Secondly, the underlying principle of Aikido is to harmonise with nature, to live our lives in peace and harmony. All techniques are meant to harmonise with our opponents in such a way that we do not cause them injuries, but they are not in a position to injure us. In fact, the higher levels of Aikido practise is to resolve a conflict before it actually occurs.

Using this philosophy, I find it very difficult to understand how outright criticisms of O-sensei (along with other experts in their own fields) is conducive to creating a harmonious and peaceful environment. This is almost like trying to start a fight.

When I post my last article, I admit that I am quite upset. I apologise if my wordings are too strong. Nevertheless, the intention is not to start any bad blood or conflict. Rather, I am pointing out some behaviours which I seriously deemed to be unacceptable for any serious practitioner of aikido.

Greg Jennings
08-17-2000, 05:53 AM
Who gives a rip? Less talk, more train.

Cas Long
08-17-2000, 07:28 AM
Greg,

I agree! I think that this Forum is far better used for the discussion of training-based issues, rather than "who is saying what about who".

We merely spread accusations further by
using them in Forums such as this one.

There are as many views on Aikido-related matters than people training, which is only natural.

Training, not conjecture, makes us stronger!

Aiki1
08-17-2000, 08:27 AM
Cas Long wrote:
Greg,

I agree! I think that this Forum is far better used for the discussion of training-based issues, rather than "who is saying what about who".

Some people who are passionate about Aikido are going to have discussions about various aspects of experience in relation to it - others are always welcome to ignore those discussions. :)

There are many many reasons for what happened after O Sensei's death, and everyone contributed. There were many events that led to the split, and many strong personalities around at the time, many ideological and personal differences and conflicts. To me, it was too bad but inevitable - the way Doshu and Tohei approached things was very very different.

Cas Long
08-17-2000, 09:21 AM
Larry,

Let me put this to you:
How many hours should one spend training & researching, & how many hours
discussing the personal differences between Practitioners & which side would O'Sensei have agreed with?

I found the tone in your first paragraph
a little strong... with the inference that I am not passionate. I merely want to better myself through training, rather concerning myself with incidents that I was never physically witness to.

Everyone is allowed their opinion, but there are less strong ways of disagreeing! This is an example of training teaching us moderation: on the Tatami, one moderates a response based upon the strength of the attack, may I suggest that you have been "heavy-handed"?

Aiki1
08-17-2000, 04:00 PM
Cas Long wrote:
Larry,

Let me put this to you:
How many hours should one spend training & researching, & how many hours
discussing the personal differences between Practitioners & which side would O'Sensei have agreed with?

As many or as little as any one particular person feels like doing so. :) I wrote my doctoral thesis in Psychology on Aikido - should I not have done so because to you it was "spending too much time researching and not enough time training?" I don't think so. ;)

I found the tone in your first paragraph
a little strong... with the inference that I am not passionate. I merely want to better myself through training, rather concerning myself with incidents that I was never physically witness to.

Perhaps you should read it again, or not take things so personally - I never said anything about you, I phrased my reply very carefully - I said -some people- and it had a smiley face at the end - that's an indication of intent as much as anything else. Also, however you relate to Aikido is great - for you - but why criticize others for being different, which is what you have done, and keep doing?

Everyone is allowed their opinion, but there are less strong ways of disagreeing! This is an example of training teaching us moderation: on the Tatami, one moderates a response based upon the strength of the attack, may I suggest that you have been "heavy-handed"?

You may certainly suggest that - and I can certainly suggest that you might be way over-reacting as well. ;)

kironin
08-17-2000, 04:30 PM
The_Free_Spirit wrote:

...Using this philosophy, I find it very difficult to understand how outright criticisms of O-sensei (along with other experts in their own fields) is conducive to creating a harmonious and peaceful environment. This is almost like trying to start a fight.

When I post my last article, I admit that I am quite upset. I apologise if my wordings are too strong. Nevertheless, the intention is not to start any bad blood or conflict. Rather, I am pointing out some behaviours which I seriously deemed to be unacceptable for any serious practitioner of aikido.


I think you need to take a deep calming breath and practice the Buddha's principle of detachment for a few days.
Maybe then you can better examine your own actions in making these posts and publically passing judgement on senior aikidoka you have never met. Learning to create some harmony within yourself first when encountering others in the outside world with a different take on things is necessary if you want to be a part of creating a peaceful environment.

Morehei Ueshiba Sensei was a great martial artist, a devout religious man,
and many other things, but he was a man. Tohei Sensei, Tomiki Sensei, Shioda Sensei and others were all men who met Ueshiba Sensei before WWII and they saw great value in what he had to offer so that they became his students. These men knew him not as O sensei, but as Ueshiba Sensei and they knew him for many years. In Tohei Sensei's case, this relationship lasted for 30 years until Ueshiba Sensei's death in 1969. He knew him as man as well as a teacher. His opinions are his own based on over 60 years of study in aikido. He is not likely to view Ueshiba Sensei's opinions and statements with the kind of religious reverence you would wish. He may even feel that he knows where those statements are inaccurately reported by others.

You are perfectly entitled to disagree with his opinions but I think Greg is correct in saying that you would be better off to spend more time focused on the training itself. Learn harmony from the training. Respect the man but show respect there first in the daily training.

Craig

JohnnyBA
08-17-2000, 05:13 PM
Cas Long wrote:
Larry,

Let me put this to you:
How many hours should one spend training & researching, & how many hours
discussing the personal differences between Practitioners & which side would O'Sensei have agreed with?

I found the tone in your first paragraph
a little strong... with the inference that I am not passionate. I merely want to better myself through training, rather concerning myself with incidents that I was never physically witness to.


I think you may be taking this discussion a little bit too seriously. If you think more time should be spent on training, then go train. No one is forcing you to read these posts. Please don't take this as an attack or as a negative statement. It just seems that there is no limit to the number of posts on this site and there is no reason to tell people that they should be focusing on one topic instead of another.

So lighten up, man. If everyone wants to talk about the history and timeline of aikido, I'm not about to tell anyone to stop. If you want, I may have the chance to meet and train with Abe Sensei next summer (I'm going to be spending a month with Matsuoka Sensei this winter!), and since he was a close friend of O'Sensei's and actually taught him calligraphy, how about I ask him what happened and then we can drop the whole thing?? ;)

Cas Long
08-17-2000, 05:29 PM
[QUOTE]Cas Long wrote:
Larry,

Let me put this to you:
How many hours should one spend training & researching, & how many hours
discussing the personal differences between Practitioners & which side would O'Sensei have agreed with?

Aiki1 wrote:

As many or as little as any one particular person feels like doing so. :) I wrote my doctoral thesis in Psychology on Aikido - should I not have done so because to you it was "spending too much time researching and not enough time training?" I don't think so. ;)





Aiki1 wrote:

Also, however you relate to Aikido is great - for you - but why criticize others for being different, which is what you have done, and keep doing?




Larry,

I think it may be you that has mis-read.:)

My point was: How many hours should one spend training & researching, not training or researching. If you are training & researching, as your Doctoral thesis indicates, then we are in complete agreement. ;)
I would have liked you to address this part of my post: 'how many hours (should we spend) discussing the personal differences between Practitioners.'

I'm sorry if my post sounded like criticism, I merely was trying to sound out people's opinions about what is important to them in Aikido. :)

Nick
08-17-2000, 06:26 PM
no, the post name is fine... it's the thread itself that has gotten out of hand... amazing how we all come here as members of the Art of Harmony and with unwavering respect for Ueshiba-O'sensei, and yet you defy his philosophy through methods of petty squabbling.

At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite: isn't this kind of behavior what we train to guard against?

-Nick

Aiki1
08-18-2000, 12:21 AM
Nick wrote:
no, the post name is fine... it's the thread itself that has gotten out of hand... amazing how we all come here as members of the Art of Harmony and with unwavering respect for Ueshiba-O'sensei, and yet you defy his philosophy through methods of petty squabbling.

At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite: isn't this kind of behavior what we train to guard against?

-Nick

Not me. I train to be able to deal with it consciously, not turn away from it.

;)

(Note smiley face, showing positive intent, and serious message as well...)

Aiki1
08-18-2000, 12:26 AM
Cas Long wrote:
[QUOTE]

I would have liked you to address this part of my post: 'how many hours (should we spend) discussing the personal differences between Practitioners.'

I'm sorry if my post sounded like criticism, I merely was trying to sound out people's opinions about what is important to them in Aikido. :)


I would probably say that it would depend on several things - as a person who has his own dojo, and I'm independant, I have to be aware of the differences amoung styles, approaches, attitudes, etc... I have people of different style and perspective coming through all the time, it behooves me to be aware of all this stuff. Someone else it might not...

:)

Erik
08-18-2000, 01:14 AM
Nick wrote:
no, the post name is fine... it's the thread itself that has gotten out of hand... amazing how we all come here as members of the Art of Harmony and with unwavering respect for Ueshiba-O'sensei, and yet you defy his philosophy through methods of petty squabbling.

At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite: isn't this kind of behavior what we train to guard against?

-Nick

Welcome to the real world.

It is really funny when you think about it isn't it. You'd think there was something really big at stake like a lot of money or something.

For the record, there is nothing wrong with disagreement. Vigorous discussion is one way to test an idea and sometimes if someone isn't emotional they aren't really involved. Aikidoists can get so damn PC that I sometimes wonder if they are even alive or think for themselves.

It's ok to be passionate.

Chuck Clark
08-18-2000, 04:57 AM
Amen!

(and that's a "passionate" amen!!!)

Sid
08-18-2000, 01:02 PM
Yeah, Suenaka does explain it well. Id recommend the book to all.

Sid

scubaman57
08-18-2000, 04:25 PM
Tohei Sensei is an interesting person in his own right. If you search the web there is a tremendous interview with him explaining "where he is comming from" in his seemingly radical ideas about aikido. My sensei has trained with him and many others before he split and has nothing but good things to say about his teachings. Although we are Aikikai, clearly she has been greatly and appreciatively influenced by Tohei. Also Thom Crums book talks a little about Tohei's decision process and it was alot more than a single unrehearsed explosion in front of Doshu as it is often explained as. Tohei has done alot for Aikido in general and it is worth looking at his ideas no matter how un aiki they might seem at the surface. Anyway.. my 2 cents worth. Scubaman57.

Nick
08-18-2000, 07:03 PM
Erik wrote:

For the record, there is nothing wrong with disagreement. Vigorous discussion is one way to test an idea and sometimes if someone isn't emotional they aren't really involved. Aikidoists can get so damn PC that I sometimes wonder if they are even alive or think for themselves.

It's ok to be passionate.

I agree, arguing can be a great pastime- in fact, one that I do enjoy engaging in :). However, I am against the pointless bickering that was starting to plague this thread (NO YOU LOOK AT _YOUR_ post etc)...

I'm sorry, but I put up with enough dumb bickering at school, I like to come here to have a good argument, and I get a bit passionate (which is ok ;)) when all I hear is nitpicking at other's (off topic) downfalls...

sorry if this sounds hypocritical because I'm bickering now... I've had a loooong week...

Sorry for rambling,

-Nick
\

The_Free_Spirit
08-23-2000, 05:53 AM
Sure ... training is important. However, to train aikido without understanding its philosophy is to put the cart before the horse.

A person may be a deadly fighter after years of training, but what is his values if he is not developed in character and spirit? In that case, what is the difference between him and a wild, ferocious tiger? Both are equally capable of fighting.

To let a person learn a deadly art without refining his spirit is as good as giving a machine gun to a bandit. That is why O-sensei changed the art from aiki-jujitsu to aikido. Incidentally, people are supposed to realise at least some aspects of the philosophy after years of training in aikido.

One can probably read up some books by John Stevens on the philosophy of aikido. An alternative book is "The spirit of aikido" by the late Doshu, Kissamaru-sensei, written just before his death.

The focus of attention in this discussion should be on the actions, and not the persons behind the actions. Outright criticisms of the founder, regardless if it is done by Tohei or any other Tom, Dick or Harry, are just not acceptable. If anybody miss this point, he probably miss the entire discussion altogether.

Whether Tohei splits from aikikai or not, whether Tohei has bad blood with aikikai or not, whether the culprit is Tohei or some other fellow, whether O-sensei is a god or not, are not the issues here.

For clarity sake, these actions (especially when directed to people outside the field of aikido) are deemed to be very aggressive. There are little differences in their spirit as compared to making attempts to start a fight, especially with outright proclamations that others' concepts are wrong when they are not even provoking oneself in the first place. Again, this is going directly against the Budo spirit, or aikido spirit for that matter.

By the way, I used to train with Tohei-sensei until I broke away. My reasons are similar to Suenaka-san ... he deviates too much from O-sensei. But these are personal reasons that should not interfere with the discussion here.

Finally, may the Budo spirit be with you!

guest1234
08-23-2000, 09:25 AM
i guess i'm a little confused, Free Spirit...
if you have studied under Tohei Sensei (and how lucky for you to study under someone who was chosen by O Sensei to be his chief instructor), then why would you ask others, most of whom do no personally know him, to comment on him? isn't that the same form of disrespect you are saying he should not show? I have spent varying amounts of time in different dojos having roots in Yoshinkai/Aikikai, Iwama,Nihon Goshin, ASU (with a touch of Shin Budo Kai), and pure ASU---each with its own fondness for and reverence for their shihan and style. Closemindedness, on anyone's part, just reflects poorly on the individual, and to some extent on his sensei---luckily, i do not see too much of it. and by having so many different influences, i definately have learned the value of learning different ways, and that no one way is THE right way, or even O Sensei's way, i think they all are.
finally, before giving up this very nice soap box, when i was in medical school a common point in lectures was "you will only remember 20% of what you are taught here" (next time you see your family doc, ask him how often he uses the knowledge of how many ATPs are released at the end of the Krebs Cycle)...so if Tohei Sensei really uses 30% of what he was taught, he's ahead of most of us.

Magma
08-23-2000, 09:45 AM
As aikidoka, I don't think we should do anything that brings disrespect on our teachers, our art, and especially not on O'sensei. We are what the rest of the world sees first, and what will attract them to learn more about aikido.

I wish there weren't so many politics involved in the aikido world, but that is the way it is. I'll continue to come in to train because I know the quality of instruction that I am getting is worth it. Isn't that what it really comes down to? If Tohei Sensei is a great instructor, then learn what you can from him if you have the opportunity to train with him.

There is a quote I think by Teddy Roosevelt about the critic standing on the sideline, questioning the true hero in the thick of conflict, living in it. That to that person (in the field) goes the honor. If someone has this quote, please add it to this list, otherwise I'll look for it myself and add it later. It is worth remembering.

One question, though. The Free Spirit said that Tohei Sensei retains 30% of O'sensei's teachings, which CA understood to mean "remembers." When I read TFS's original post, I thought she (I think 'she', sorry if it's 'he') intended it as Tohei Sensei "kept" 30% of O'sensei's teachings and "changed" the other 70%. Could we get a clarification?

Yo-Jimbo
08-23-2000, 01:53 PM
No ones word is above scrutiny. I'm not saying that I've found something wrong with O-sensei or his teachings. I should dream to be as great a MAN as he. Still, he's just mortal and everyone who has every told me about him was just mortal. He was as about as in touch (in my opinion) with god as possible and yet that doesn't mean that memorizing or discrediting his words or actions will make one any wiser. Or maybe it will...

tedehara
08-23-2000, 04:44 PM
Magma wrote:

One question, though. The Free Spirit said that Tohei Sensei retains 30% of O'sensei's teachings, which CA understood to mean "remembers." When I read TFS's original post, I thought she (I think 'she', sorry if it's 'he') intended it as Tohei Sensei "kept" 30% of O'sensei's teachings and "changed" the other 70%. Could we get a clarification?

This quote is from the "Interview with Koichi Tohei" at JoonRhee.Com
http://www.aikido2000.com/default.asp

Koichi Tohei said:

The one essential thing I learned from Ueshiba Sensei was how to relax. He was always relaxed in the face of conflict, which is why his Aikido was so strong. He would do this himself, but he encouraged his young students to hold with as much strength as possible. In Aikido if you are not relaxed you cannot throw a person. It seemed a mystery to us that Ueshiba Sensei could always throw, could always get out of a hold. He would lead your Ki, and could always throw his opponent in the direction he was already going. I began to make rapid progress after I started copying what he did, and paid less attention to what he said. I ended up only keeping about 30% of the techniques I learned from Ueshiba Sensei, changing or dropping the rest. What I really learned from him was not technique, but the true secret of Aikido, non-dissension; not to resist your opponent's strength but to use it.


Magma wrote:

There is a quote I think by Teddy Roosevelt about the critic standing on the sideline, questioning the true hero in the thick of conflict, living in it. That to that person (in the field) goes the honor. If someone has this quote, please add it to this list, otherwise I'll look for it myself and add it later. It is worth remembering.


I don't think this is the exact Theodore Roosevelt quote you were thinking of, but it reflects the same feeling.


"Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much . . . in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." .


This Theodore Roosevelt quote also reflects the same thought.


"The only people who never make a mistake are the people who never do anything." .


Ted Ehara

ze'ev erlich
09-09-2000, 09:46 AM
you are right.

no one should talk publicly like that.

it is surely a bad example.

could you please help further to make this subject more known by publishing the booklet over the internet or some other way?

could you possibly send me a copy?

aikikan@usa.net

now lets keep the spirit of aikido and not let it get us angry.

we just have to learn and not to repeat bad things that other sensei do.


enjoy aikido
yours
Ze'ev

Matburn
09-15-2000, 03:03 AM
Well said, Cas. Ki Society people: I don't care who said what about whom. These old sqabbles go back decades. We can train together despite them; just show me how that koteoroshi goes, ok?