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Gorgeous George
01-06-2011, 02:23 PM
So I know that this has been discussed - quite heatedly - in the past, here.
And I know that there have always been people saying that there is ambiguity, on account of translation from Japanese to English, about O'Sensei's opinion.

But I got this book for Christmas:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Aikido-Philosophy-Takemusu-Aiki/dp/4770031149/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1294343973&sr=8-1

...it's the translation, and organisation of a series of lectures O'Sensei gave to a religious organisation, and while I understand the author (John Stevens) has no doubt got his own interpretation, and outlook, etc., there is a passage which is very detailed, and so, I think, near-impossible to be mistaken about:

'True budo can never be a sport. In budo we strive to refine and perfect our characters. If we can perfect our characters, we can accomplish anything; in that spirit we as human beings can protect the environment from harm.

Our country never developed Western-style competitive sports, but these days there are those among us who are glad that martial arts are becoming sports. That, however, is a gross misunderstanding of the true nature of budo. Sports are games and a form of play, They are games played by physical entities, not matters of the spirit. In other words, they involve mere competition. Budo, however, is a means to maintain and promote harmony'

(Morihei Ueshiba and John Stevens, The Heart of Aikido: The Philosophy of Takemusu Aiki (Kodansha International Ltd, 2010), p. 52)

Opinions, interpretations, insights...?

Budd
01-06-2011, 02:50 PM
Like any other translation, I'd want to get additional comments regarding the original Japanese texts. Otherwise, don't care.

guest1234567
01-06-2011, 04:09 PM
So you got the book finally. Santa was comprehensive:)
I also got a nice gift, nothing material although..
Nice post, thanks Graham

Gorgeous George
01-06-2011, 04:50 PM
So you got the book finally. Santa was comprehensive:)
I also got a nice gift, nothing material although..
Nice post, thanks Graham

Haha. I wasn't really expecting it - even though it was on my Amazon wish list; I was hoping for this, though, and got it:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Enlightenment-Through-Aikido-Kanshu-Sunadomari/dp/1556434871/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1294354054&sr=8-1

The Heart of Aikido: The Philosophy of Takemusu Aiki - is beautifully bound; I highly recommend it. It gives great insight into O'Sensei's view of what aikido is.

What did you get...?

Chris Li
01-06-2011, 05:27 PM
So I know that this has been discussed - quite heatedly - in the past, here.
And I know that there have always been people saying that there is ambiguity, on account of translation from Japanese to English, about O'Sensei's opinion.

There really is no ambiguity. I haven't read the English version yet, but in the original Japanese Kaiso states quite clearly at one point that competition (specifically, "shiai") is strictly forbidden.

Whether or not you agree with him that this is desirable is a completely different issue, of course.

Best,

Chris

niall
01-06-2011, 08:33 PM
I'd like to introduce a sidebar to this thread. Not only did O Sensei have this view of aikido and sport - even Jigoro Kano the founder of judo had a similar view about judo and sport...

I have been asked by people of various sections as to the wisdom and possibility of Judo being introduced with other games and sports at the Olympic Games. My view on the matter, at present, is rather passive. If it be the desire of other member countries I have no objection. But I do not feel inclined to take any initiative. For one thing, Judo, in reality, is not a mere sport or game. I regard it as a principle of life, art and science. In fact it is a means for personal cultural attainment. Only one of the forms of Judo training, so-called Randori or free practice, can be classed as a form of sport. Certainly, to some extent, the same may be said of boxing and fencing, but today they are practised and conducted as sports. Then, the Olympic Games are so strongly flavoured with Nationalism that it is possible to be influenced by it and to develop 'Contest Judo,' a retrograde form as Ju Jutsu was before Kodokwan Judo was founded.
Jigoro Kano, 1936

http://ejmas.com/jcs/2004jcs/jcsart_svinth_0504.htm

Chris Li
01-07-2011, 12:09 AM
I'd like to introduce a sidebar to this thread. Not only did O Sensei have this view of aikido and sport - even Jigoro Kano the founder of judo had a similar view about judo and sport...

http://ejmas.com/jcs/2004jcs/jcsart_svinth_0504.htm

And it's not only Judo - Gichin Funakoshi also held a fairly dim view of sport and competition.

Best,

Chris

guest1234567
01-07-2011, 02:03 AM
Haha. I wasn't really expecting it - even though it was on my Amazon wish list; I was hoping for this, though, and got it:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Enlightenment-Through-Aikido-Kanshu-Sunadomari/dp/1556434871/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1294354054&sr=8-1

The Heart of Aikido: The Philosophy of Takemusu Aiki - is beautifully bound; I highly recommend it. It gives great insight into O'Sensei's view of what aikido is.

What did you get...?
Ok Graham it does not fit in that thread but to replay to you..
You know the best gifts are the ones you cannot get with money.
This year my older son came for his Christmas holidays from the 19thDec to the 31st, he wanted to celebrate New Years eve with his girlfried, but both decided that he should prolong, so he bought a new ticket to return to Madrid yesterday the 6th of Jan, that was my best gift:) having my son 6 days more here, the whole family together:)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-07-2011, 11:26 AM
I don't see how else martial arts as an entity can exist without some form of competition, otherwise it becomes a mere dance and nothing else......
Life is competition .......

Chris Li
01-07-2011, 12:08 PM
I don't see how else martial arts as an entity can exist without some form of competition, otherwise it becomes a mere dance and nothing else......
Life is competition .......

True, but there is some difference between general competition (as for resources, or in battle) and sport, which is what all three of them were really talking about.

Best,

Chris

Alfonso
01-07-2011, 12:14 PM
I dont suppose this matter will be resolved any time soon; but considering that the forms of martial art which forbid sport competition used to be taught in the context of sending people off to war to kill people, the proof would be in the pudding. I suppose the more often you survive using the art, the better you are at it. Which leaves plenty of room for potential non survivors.

guest1234567
01-07-2011, 12:35 PM
I
Life is competition .......
It is not very stressful to think that life is competition, against who do you must compete? Of course it is your opinion. But I don't agree I do not compete against anybody, just enjoy every day...the same as in aikido, we do not compete in our dojo, our teacher doesn't like it and all the collegues who train with us have the same opinion..

Tony Wagstaffe
01-07-2011, 12:57 PM
It is not very stressful to think that life is competition, against who do you must compete? Of course it is your opinion. But I don't agree I do not compete against anybody, just enjoy every day...the same as in aikido, we do not compete in our dojo, our teacher doesn't like it and all the collegues who train with us have the same opinion..

Those that do not compete at all, whatever walk of life you are in, are carried by those who do......
Everything is in competition. It's in evolution as Darwin saw it and I see it to...
To me, to say that we are not, the world is not, the universe is not, is again delusional..... It's been going on since "creation" or the big bang if you like.....
Competition is reality, To say we are not in competition is a cop out......
The strongest and fittest survive..... everything dies eventually, but the strongest strain carries on....
Technology has to some extent allowed the less strong, physically weak to live, but even that is a form of competition to see who has the best?..... :straightf

Many people who have lived "competitive lives" have also lived full lives to....
to say that competition is harmful or should be forbidden is like saying oh lets not compete to find the best....?
How the world would be if we still remained as slime.......????

Gorgeous George
01-07-2011, 01:00 PM
I don't see how else martial arts as an entity can exist without some form of competition, otherwise it becomes a mere dance and nothing else......
Life is competition .......

I think the idea is that the mentality of 'Life is competition' might make sense in terms of Darwinism - Survival of the Fittest - but it is untenable when considering the human race: this mentality was what led to the Nazis nearly exterminating the Jewish people.

I believe that many prominent aikidoka, who were members of the Aikikai, fought in WWII - and survived.

Gorgeous George
01-07-2011, 01:02 PM
Those that do not compete at all, whatever walk of life you are in, are carried by those who do......
Everything is in competition. It's in evolution as Darwin saw it and I see it to...
To me, to say that we are not, the world is not, the universe is not, is again delusional..... It's been going on since "creation" or the big bang if you like.....
Competition is reality, To say we are not in competition is a cop out......
The strongest and fittest survive..... everything dies eventually, but the strongest strain carries on....
Technology has to some extent allowed the less strong, physically weak to live, but even that is a form of competition to see who has the best..... :straightf

Many people who have lived "competitive lives" have also lived full lives to....
to say that competition is harmful or should be forbidden is like saying oh lets not compete to find the best....
How the world would be if we still remained as slime.......????

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leviathan_%28book%29

Gorgeous George
01-07-2011, 01:03 PM
How the world would be if we still remained as slime.......????

'If you try to imagine, as nearly as you can, what an amount of misery, pain and suffering of every kind the sun shines upon in its course, you will admit that it would be much better if, on the earth as little as on the moon, the sun were able to call forth the phenomena of life; and if, here as there, the surface were still in a crystalline state.'

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Tony Wagstaffe
01-07-2011, 01:11 PM
True, but there is some difference between general competition (as for resources, or in battle) and sport, which is what all three of them were really talking about.

Best,

Chris

To compete in battle is to live or die.... win or lose....
To compete in "sport" shiai is to experiment and find out something within the bounds of humanitarian boundaries....
How do you know if your "technique works" in "reality" ? :straightf
We cannot if we do not have something to measure it by....
We would not have the Olympics if was not for competition....
I think this planet/world would be a very boring place if we did not have competition......:hypno: :) ;)

But many prefer woo woo instead.......

guest1234567
01-07-2011, 01:15 PM
I think it is a pity that for our children there is so much competition, they must go the the best university, finish one or two carrers, and if they can do even a master to compete with others, very stressful.. Also in technology you buy a computer today and tomorrow it is already old. Where are we going to ? I must not compete at work, I'll do my job as good as ever. So no competition at work, not in aikido, maybe a simple life, but I like it.

Chris Li
01-07-2011, 01:16 PM
T
to say that competition is harmful or should be forbidden is like saying oh lets not compete to find the best....?
How the world would be if we still remained as slime.......????

In the original Japanese, Kaiso used the word "shiai", which is really a sporting competition. A little bit different than competition in the general sense of competing to survive.

Best,

Chris

Mike Sigman
01-07-2011, 01:38 PM
I don't see how else martial arts as an entity can exist without some form of competition, otherwise it becomes a mere dance and nothing else......
Life is competition .......Well, to use an example from the real "internal martial arts" (the "neijia" styles), there is no competition for some years because you can't honestly re-train the body to use internal strength while at the same time you're using your old-style of movement to do techniques, applications, sparring, etc. I have no doubt this was the reason why Ueshiba blocked competitions... it just means that you'll never really learn internal strength.

I personally tend to focus mostly on how to do basic kokyu/jin and ki/body-breath-training for that same reason. Doing dramatic demonstrations or focusing on applications that require internal-strength basics that the students don't really have yet is counter-productive. It's a good debate, but I'll stick with Ueshiba and traditional CMA that say that competition is counterproductive for the reasons I stated.

YMMV

Mike Sigman

Chris Li
01-07-2011, 01:41 PM
To compete in battle is to live or die.... win or lose....
To compete in "sport" shiai is to experiment and find out something within the bounds of humanitarian boundaries....
How do you know if your "technique works" in "reality" ? :straightf
We cannot if we do not have something to measure it by....
We would not have the Olympics if was not for competition....
I think this planet/world would be a very boring place if we did not have competition......:hypno: :) ;)

But many prefer woo woo instead.......

Well, sports competition is hardly reality. I've seen plenty of top kendo competitors who couldn't cut their way out of a paper bag.

There are certainly advantages to sports based competitions - but there are just as clearly downsides as well. All of which is beside the point that I was making - which is that Kaiso clearly condemned sports based competition, and that even Kano and Funakoshi had some rather major reservations about it.

That doesn't mean that it's wrong, it just means that was what their opinion was.

Best,

Chris

Demetrio Cereijo
01-07-2011, 01:53 PM
Those that do not compete at all, whatever walk of life you are in, are carried by those who do......
Everything is in competition. It's in evolution as Darwin saw it and I see it to...

Social darwinism is made up sh*t based in not having a clue in biology nor in social sciences.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-07-2011, 02:03 PM
Well, sports competition is hardly reality. I've seen plenty of top kendo competitors who couldn't cut their way out of a paper bag.

There are certainly advantages to sports based competitions - but there are just as clearly downsides as well. All of which is beside the point that I was making - which is that Kaiso clearly condemned sports based competition, and that even Kano and Funakoshi had some rather major reservations about it.

That doesn't mean that it's wrong, it just means that was what their opinion was.

Best,

Chris

I have also seen top karateka who could not punch there way through a paper bag....? Iiado "experts" who cannot cut through a tatami straw mat.....?
Competition does not mean we have to compete against some "body" to measure.....
Shiai in the way Tomiki Shihan saw it was as a laboratory on the tatami to experiment and improve with our technique, not to destroy one another....:)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-07-2011, 02:05 PM
Social darwinism is made up sh*t based in not having a clue in biology nor in social sciences.

I don't .....
But you obviously have.......:straightf

Mike Sigman
01-07-2011, 02:12 PM
I'd like to introduce a sidebar to this thread. Not only did O Sensei have this view of aikido and sport - even Jigoro Kano the founder of judo had a similar view about judo and sport...
I have been asked by people of various sections as to the wisdom and possibility of Judo being introduced with other games and sports at the Olympic Games. My view on the matter, at present, is rather passive. If it be the desire of other member countries I have no objection. But I do not feel inclined to take any initiative. For one thing, Judo, in reality, is not a mere sport or game. I regard it as a principle of life, art and science. In fact it is a means for personal cultural attainment. Only one of the forms of Judo training, so-called Randori or free practice, can be classed as a form of sport. Certainly, to some extent, the same may be said of boxing and fencing, but today they are practised and conducted as sports. Then, the Olympic Games are so strongly flavoured with Nationalism that it is possible to be influenced by it and to develop 'Contest Judo,' a retrograde form as Ju Jutsu was before Kodokwan Judo was founded.
Jigoro Kano, 1936

http://ejmas.com/jcs/2004jcs/jcsart_svinth_0504.htmFrom my perspective, I'm pretty sure that Kano's comment is pretty darn close to the philosophy surrounding "Ki" that Koichi Tohei uses (it's not a unique viewpoint and has existed for a long time in Asia, from things that I've read over the years).

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Tony Wagstaffe
01-07-2011, 02:24 PM
Well, to use an example from the real "internal martial arts" (the "neijia" styles), there is no competition for some years because you can't honestly re-train the body to use internal strength while at the same time you're using your old-style of movement to do techniques, applications, sparring, etc. I have no doubt this was the reason why Ueshiba blocked competitions... it just means that you'll never really learn internal strength.

I personally tend to focus mostly on how to do basic kokyu/jin and ki/body-breath-training for that same reason. Doing dramatic demonstrations or focusing on applications that require internal-strength basics that the students don't really have yet is counter-productive. It's a good debate, but I'll stick with Ueshiba and traditional CMA that say that competition is counterproductive for the reasons I stated.

YMMV

Mike Sigman

This is the problem I think .... because one man and a few other say that competition is bad or forbidden seems a little strange and even more so when it come from those who prefer to believe in spirits, demons, ghosts, aliens, whatever you like from the imagination and so forth, as with all those who believe in woo woo.
To me it's a kind of crutch to fall back upon when people lose their physical and mental strength..... either through trauma or otherwise....
Reality for most sucks, that is why many "need" religion woo woo and all the delusion that goes with it.....
Sorry but I'm free of all that.... My only faith is in myself 'cause all the reality I have is within me, my life experience.... It's been pretty rough at times and sometimes it's been good, but I'm still here and most likely to be here for quite some time, that's if I don't get knocked over by a bus tomorrow 'cause I wasn't looking where I was going.....;)

Mike Sigman
01-07-2011, 02:42 PM
This is the problem I think .... because one man and a few other say that competition is bad or forbidden seems a little strange and even more so when it come from those who prefer to believe in spirits, demons, ghosts, aliens, whatever you like from the imagination and so forth, as with all those who believe in woo woo.
Well, this is the same misunderstanding as the "don't lift weights" admonition. Nobody says you never compete or that you never lift weights... it's while you're trying to learn this method of movement/strength that uses the hara/dantien that you don't unproductively cross-train. Of course, you already knew this since you teach Aikido. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Chris Li
01-07-2011, 02:52 PM
I have also seen top karateka who could not punch there way through a paper bag....? Iiado "experts" who cannot cut through a tatami straw mat.....?
Competition does not mean we have to compete against some "body" to measure.....
Shiai in the way Tomiki Shihan saw it was as a laboratory on the tatami to experiment and improve with our technique, not to destroy one another....:)

Once again you're mixing "competition" in the general sense and sports competition which is a specific type of training.

In either case, I'm not arguing for or against competition, sport based or otherwise - I'm just relating the opinions of Ueshiba and the others. To agree with them or not is up to everybody to decide for themselves.

Best,

Chris

Tony Wagstaffe
01-07-2011, 02:53 PM
I think it is a pity that for our children there is so much competition, they must go the the best university, finish one or two carrers, and if they can do even a master to compete with others, very stressful.. Also in technology you buy a computer today and tomorrow it is already old. Where are we going to ? I must not compete at work, I'll do my job as good as ever. So no competition at work, not in aikido, maybe a simple life, but I like it.

So what do we do Carina, what is the alternative? It would be great to live in a perfect world, but it doesn't exist.... To wrap children up in cotton wool would be even more harmful to their development, it's how we learn, by trail and error..... It's how we develop mental and physical strength.....
When we get older we don't want it as much, that's a fact of life and the reality of it all it wears us down.... Some are stronger than others by genetics, luck and undetermined fate...... To deny our children to not grow by trial and error would, in my mind, be disastrous :straightf
I think aikido is a way of relieving stress , but so is yoga or any form of physical exercise, but foremost in my mind aikido is a martial art to defend your body and mind through challenging practice which is a form of competition against yourself.....:)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-07-2011, 03:04 PM
Well, this is the same misunderstanding as the "don't lift weights" admonition. Nobody says you never compete or that you never lift weights... it's while you're trying to learn this method of movement/strength that uses the hara/dantien that you don't unproductively cross-train. Of course, you already knew this since you teach Aikido. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

I prefer to lift and pull my own weight Mike, ;) but I don't say to others don't weight train..... it works for some and not others :)
When some say to me what is the best form of exercise I say one that suits you...:straightf
It's why I like to do press ups on the backs of my wrists, but I don't force others to do it, but I say just try before condemning it..... ;)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-07-2011, 03:08 PM
Once again you're mixing "competition" in the general sense and sports competition which is a specific type of training.

In either case, I'm not arguing for or against competition, sport based or otherwise - I'm just relating the opinions of Ueshiba and the others. To agree with them or not is up to everybody to decide for themselves.

Best,

Chris

That's fine for you, but not for me, it's not enough.... I have to, for myself know it works...... not hope it works.....;) :)

Chris Li
01-07-2011, 03:11 PM
That's fine for you, but not for me, it's not enough.... I have to, for myself know it works...... not hope it works.....;) :)

Again, you're confusing things. I never said that I don't compete or that other people ought not to compete.

What I said was that Ueshiba, quite clearly, made statements against competition. Are you saying that he didn't?

Best,

Chris

Aikirk
01-07-2011, 03:14 PM
This is the problem I think .... because one man and a few other say that competition is bad or forbidden seems a little strange and even more so when it come from those who prefer to believe in spirits, demons, ghosts, aliens, whatever you like from the imagination and so forth, as with all those who believe in woo woo.
To me it's a kind of crutch to fall back upon when people lose their physical and mental strength..... either through trauma or otherwise....
Reality for most sucks, that is why many "need" religion woo woo and all the delusion that goes with it.....
Sorry but I'm free of all that.... My only faith is in myself 'cause all the reality I have is within me, my life experience.... It's been pretty rough at times and sometimes it's been good, but I'm still here and most likely to be here for quite some time, that's if I don't get knocked over by a bus tomorrow 'cause I wasn't looking where I was going.....;)

Anthony:
It seems as if you don't hold people like O'sensei and his skills in very high regard? He was indeed spriritual, and to my knowledge, he was also very spritual in his physical prime?

I might have misunderstood something, if that is the case please clarify.

In general:
It's a very touchy subject, I know. But how far from its core can a martial art develop before it is no longer the same from which it derived? In this case, O'sensei had strictly forbidden sports aikido. In doing so he clearly underlined the fact that sport had nothing to do in aikido training.
This was clearly not to be discussed and then we must conclude that non sport training is a very central element of his aikido practice and therefore most aikido practice. This is not to say that sport aikido is not good, only that it might be far from what O'sensei had in mind.
I do not agree that different training leeds to the same result and spirituality which many imply.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-07-2011, 03:16 PM
Again, you're confusing things. I never said that I don't compete or that other people ought not to compete.

What I said was that Ueshiba, quite clearly, made statements against competition. Are you saying that he didn't?

Best,

Chris

Were you there?

SteliosPapadakis
01-07-2011, 03:34 PM
What I said was that Ueshiba, quite clearly, made statements against competition. Are you saying that he didn't?


The Devil's advocate here!
In different biographies, as in Suenaka Sensei's book if i remember correctly, it is stated as historic fact that Ueshiba himself accepted numerous challenges and fought with practitioners of different martial arts, a kick boxer, a boxer etc. Ueshiba himself is said to have tested his awareness skills against a firing squad (!).
Is that not competition? (at least in the everyday form of use of the term)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-07-2011, 03:34 PM
Anthony:
It seems as if you don't hold people like O'sensei and his skills in very high regard? He was indeed spriritual, and to my knowledge, he was also very spritual in his physical prime?

I might have misunderstood something, if that is the case please clarify.

In general:
It's a very touchy subject, I know. But how far from its core can a martial art develop before it is no longer the same from which it derived? In this case, O'sensei had strictly forbidden sports aikido. In doing so he clearly underlined the fact that sport had nothing to do in aikido training.
This was clearly not to be discussed and then we must conclude that non sport training is a very central element of his aikido practice and therefore most aikido practice. This is not to say that sport aikido is not good, only that it might be far from what O'sensei had in mind.
I do not agree that different training leeds to the same result and spirituality which many imply.

Simon,
I am going by my own experience, not by somebody I do not even know, have never met , so how can I make my mind up on that one?
Have you met Mr Ueshiba? No of course not , so you go by what you are told or read, not what you have experienced...?
I not saying that Mr Ueshiba is talking all nonsense, but I don't have to believe in what he chose to believe in..... spirits, woo woo and the like.....
I do believe that he had real ability in that he trained his body and mind to a high level, through hard work sweat and tears, not by thinking about it, or by non resistant practice.. That is what it is I admire him for. :straightf
I don't bow to photo's or "worship" humans or believe in "god" but I am a humanist and expect others to do to me as I would expect to have them do to myself, that is respect live and let live.... but at least be rational. I find this to be a small commodity these days.....

Tony Wagstaffe
01-07-2011, 03:39 PM
The Devil's advocate here!
In different biographies, as in Suenaka Sensei's book if i remember correctly, it is stated as historic fact that Ueshiba himself accepted numerous challenges and fought with practitioners of different martial arts, a kick boxer, a boxer etc. Ueshiba himself is said to have tested his awareness skills against a firing squad (!).
Is that not competition? (at least in the everyday form of use of the term)

Ding dong!!

Demetrio Cereijo
01-07-2011, 03:47 PM
The Devil's advocate here!
In different biographies, as in Suenaka Sensei's book if i remember correctly, it is stated as historic fact that Ueshiba himself accepted numerous challenges and fought with practitioners of different martial arts, a kick boxer, a boxer etc. Ueshiba himself is said to have tested his awareness skills against a firing squad (!).
Is that not competition? (at least in the everyday form of use of the term)

Were you there? Was Suenaka there?

Chris Li
01-07-2011, 03:49 PM
Were you there?

No, but I can read, and he wrote it quite clearly. I can hear too, and I've heard him make the same statements in his own voice in recorded interviews.

It's all a matter of public record.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
01-07-2011, 03:50 PM
Ding dong!!

Again, the confusion of "any kind of competition" with the specific form of competition in the form of a sport.

Best,

Chris

Aikirk
01-07-2011, 03:55 PM
Simon,
I am going by my own experience, not by somebody I do not even know, have never met , so how can I make my mind up on that one?
Have you met Mr Ueshiba? No of course not , so you go by what you are told or read, not what you have experienced...?
I not saying that Mr Ueshiba is talking all nonsense, but I don't have to believe in what he chose to believe in..... spirits, woo woo and the like.....
I do believe that he had real ability in that he trained his body and mind to a high level, through hard work sweat and tears, not by thinking about it, or by non resistant practice.. That is what it is I admire him for. :straightf
I don't bow to photo's or "worship" humans or believe in "god" but I am a humanist and expect others to do to me as I would expect to have them do to myself, that is respect live and let live.... but at least be rational. I find this to be a small commodity these days.....

That is fair enough I do respect that. But I was referring to this you mentioned:

"(...)because one man and a few other say that competition is bad or forbidden seems a little strange and even more so when it come from those who prefer to believe in spirits, demons, ghosts, aliens, whatever you like from the imagination and so forth, as with all those who believe in woo woo.
To me it's a kind of crutch to fall back upon when people lose their physical and mental strength..... either through trauma or otherwise...."

O'sensei did say that competetion should be banned from aikido practice (at least until someone manages to prove the people who said this wrong). He was also VERY spritual and did believe in spirits.
By linking this together i cannot help but understand it as if you don't hold spiritual peoples (O'sensei in particular) martial ability in very high esteem?
Maybe the reason why O'senei did not aprove of competition was that he wanted people to train as if their lives were at stake and that real life has no rules?
I don't se a link between lack of competition, spirituality and and bad martial arts. Sport has its pros and cons and so do non sport training.

SteliosPapadakis
01-07-2011, 04:01 PM
Were you there? Was Suenaka there?

Me? No.
Suenaka Sensei? I think he was at least in one occasion.
:)

Me, myself, do not believe in competition in Aikido. Not at all.
But it might also be true that by finding himself in competing situations, O' Sensei might have eventually reached the point of
not finding any point in competing for anything.

Aikirk
01-07-2011, 04:16 PM
Me? No.
Suenaka Sensei? I think he was at least in one occasion.
:)

Me, myself, do not believe in competition in Aikido. Not at all.
But it might also be true that by finding himself in competing situations, O' Sensei might have eventually reached the point of
not finding any point in competing for anything.

It's all guesses, but I think you're right that O'sensei didn't see any point in competing. I believe he found a state of inner peace and freedom.

A question to those people who know more than me: Did O'sensei ever participate in any competition in one of the arts he studied?

kewms
01-07-2011, 05:04 PM
To compete in battle is to live or die.... win or lose....
To compete in "sport" shiai is to experiment and find out something within the bounds of humanitarian boundaries....
How do you know if your "technique works" in "reality" ? :straightf
We cannot if we do not have something to measure it by....
We would not have the Olympics if was not for competition....
I think this planet/world would be a very boring place if we did not have competition......:hypno: :) ;)

But many prefer woo woo instead.......

I've never seen a dojo without competition. Even the most aiki-fluffy groups have it, though they would deny it to their last breath.

But what are the stakes? In a formalized sport, winning and losing have on the one hand, very low stakes: no one is going to die. On the other hand, the stakes are very high: prestige, "face," standing among one's peers. IMO, that atmosphere is not necessarily conducive to learning: you can't learn if you aren't willing to fail.

If no one is keeping score, it's easier to try stuff that might not work.

Katherine

Demetrio Cereijo
01-07-2011, 05:18 PM
Me? No.
Suenaka Sensei? I think he was at least in one occasion.
:)


Well...
Suenaka Sensei began his aikido study upon Koichi Tohei's 1953 visit to Hawaii, and continued his study directly under Founder Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei at the Aikikai Hombu for eight years, beginning in 1961. That same year, Suenaka Sensei received an aikido menkyo kaiden (master-level proficiency) teaching certificate from O'Sensei, and became the first person to open a successful aikido dojo in Okinawa.
http://www.suenaka.com/biography.php

So we have a timeframe (1961-1969). What event are you talking about? Citation please.

sakumeikan
01-07-2011, 06:02 PM
To compete in battle is to live or die.... win or lose....
To compete in "sport" shiai is to experiment and find out something within the bounds of humanitarian boundaries....
How do you know if your "technique works" in "reality" ? :straightf
We cannot if we do not have something to measure it by....
We would not have the Olympics if was not for competition....
I think this planet/world would be a very boring place if we did not have competition......:hypno: :) ;)

But many prefer woo woo instead.......

Dear Tony,
Who are we competing against- ourselves or others? Do you feel that the strong survive?You may well be a prime specimen today but an accident or illness could take away all you power.
Would you then feel that society should allow you to suffer or pass away?As far as winning in the Olympics -Ben Johnson and others won gold medals taking drugs.Johnson was one minute a hero, lauded by all, next he was rated a cheat.
I believe that the aims of Aikido , Judo and related arts are
fundamentally about such concepts as honour, discipline , fortitude.
loyalty and the building of character.Like the alchemist of old we should try and turn base metal into gold .Polish yourself and your waza through diligent training with respect for others. Winning is ok , and we all like a winner but not someone who wins by any means . Tiger Woods may well be a top golfer , but as a husband and father I think he is zero.
Happy New Year to You,and all our readers, Joe.

Gorgeous George
01-07-2011, 06:19 PM
Dear Tony,
Who are we competing against- ourselves or others? Do you feel that the strong survive?You may well be a prime specimen today but an accident or illness could take away all you power.
Would you then feel that society should allow you to suffer or pass away?As far as winning in the Olympics -Ben Johnson and others won gold medals taking drugs.Johnson was one minute a hero, lauded by all, next he was rated a cheat.
I believe that the aims of Aikido , Judo and related arts are
fundamentally about such concepts as honour, discipline , fortitude.
loyalty and the building of character.Like the alchemist of old we should try and turn base metal into gold .Polish yourself and your waza through diligent training with respect for others. Winning is ok , and we all like a winner but not someone who wins by any means . Tiger Woods may well be a top golfer , but as a husband and father I think he is zero.
Happy New Year to You,and all our readers, Joe.

Wow: excellent.
Thanks a lot, Joe. :)

graham christian
01-07-2011, 08:28 PM
I'd like to introduce a sidebar to this thread. Not only did O Sensei have this view of aikido and sport - even Jigoro Kano the founder of judo had a similar view about judo and sport...

http://ejmas.com/jcs/2004jcs/jcsart_svinth_0504.htm

Interesting. Thank you.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-07-2011, 09:39 PM
I've never seen a dojo without competition. Even the most aiki-fluffy groups have it, though they would deny it to their last breath.

But what are the stakes? In a formalized sport, winning and losing have on the one hand, very low stakes: no one is going to die. On the other hand, the stakes are very high: prestige, "face," standing among one's peers. IMO, that atmosphere is not necessarily conducive to learning: you can't learn if you aren't willing to fail.

If no one is keeping score, it's easier to try stuff that might not work.

Katherine

There are always stakes. What you are talking about is ego maybe....all of us have that....
In battle, war, it is more beneficial to win although the cost makes it somewhat pointless. The vanquished don't have a say, they are dead, gone, sad as that is.....The survivors rise as a phoenix to reclaim what they believe to be their right, so they compete to become better. It has happened throughout human history and it's unlikely to change until we rise above it mentally? Then what would we do? Almost everything we do is a kind of competition even if it's against yourself ..... I would suspect the human race will go beyond this planet, that through necessitation because it is inherent even in the genes. Even they compete to become the strongest, we are hard wired for it.... It maybe that we will eventually meet other civilisations who knows? The odds are favourite for it I would say... Then there will be competition there I would hazard a guess.....
To deny competition is like denying your very existence.....:straightf
We strive to become better, that is competing against the odds....
Just because someone "spiritual" (whatever that means?) says it's not doesn't necessarily mean they are right.... No one is perfect.....
If that was the case would we not live forever? There are problems attached to that as well if we do not transcend this tiny speck we inhabit at present.....:straightf

Peter Goldsbury
01-07-2011, 09:41 PM
So I know that this has been discussed - quite heatedly - in the past, here.
And I know that there have always been people saying that there is ambiguity, on account of translation from Japanese to English, about O'Sensei's opinion.

But I got this book for Christmas:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Aikido-Philosophy-Takemusu-Aiki/dp/4770031149/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1294343973&sr=8-1

...it's the translation, and organisation of a series of lectures O'Sensei gave to a religious organisation, and while I understand the author (John Stevens) has no doubt got his own interpretation, and outlook, etc., there is a passage which is very detailed, and so, I think, near-impossible to be mistaken about:

'True budo can never be a sport. In budo we strive to refine and perfect our characters. If we can perfect our characters, we can accomplish anything; in that spirit we as human beings can protect the environment from harm.

Our country never developed Western-style competitive sports, but these days there are those among us who are glad that martial arts are becoming sports. That, however, is a gross misunderstanding of the true nature of budo. Sports are games and a form of play, They are games played by physical entities, not matters of the spirit. In other words, they involve mere competition. Budo, however, is a means to maintain and promote harmony'

(Morihei Ueshiba and John Stevens, The Heart of Aikido: The Philosophy of Takemusu Aiki (Kodansha International Ltd, 2010), p. 52)

Opinions, interpretations, insights...?

Hello Graham, Happy New Year!

I believe that it is always good to begin with what Morihei Ueshiba actually stated, then look at the translations. I have two points to make.

First, if you read further on in The Heart of Aikido, there is another section, on pp. 98-103, where Ueshiba recounts his wartime experiences and his so-called ‘mystical' experience, when he was called upon to build the Iwama dojo. On pp.99-100, there is an explicit reference to ‘competitive matches' in aikido. The Japanese original appears on p. 128 of Takemusu Aiki. For those who can read Japanese, Here are the relevant paragraphs:

 一国を侵略して一人を殺すことではなく、みなそれぞれに処を得させて生かし、世界大家族としての集いとなって、一元の営みの分身分業として働けるようにするのが、合気道 の目標であり、宇宙建国の大精神であります。これが明治大帝の大み心であったと、今日なお迎いでおります。
 絶えずこの祈り争いをせさんようにする。だから合気道は試合を厳禁している。がその実は大なる愛の攻撃精神、和合、平和への精神である。

The closest John Stevens gets to a translation of part of this is the following paragraph:

"The purpose of Aikido is to help us fulfill our mission to bring peace and harmony to this world. That is why there are no competitive matches in Aikido, no contests. We attack with the power of Love, and we wield the weapons of harmony and peace." (The Heart of Aikido, pp. 99-100.)

The Takamusu Aiki passage is quoted in another place. This is Kisshomaru Ueshiba's biography of Morihei Ueshiba, which was translated into English only recently. This translation is much closer than what Mr Stevens manages to achieve above. Kisshomaru does not reproduce the Takamusu Aiki passage exactly. Here is Kisshomaru's version:

 他の国を侵略して人を殺して勝ったなどと錯覚するのは愚かです。みなそれぞれ、処を得つつ生きてゆき、世界大家族としての集いとなって、一元の営みの分身分業として働け るようにするのが、合気道の目標であり、宇宙建国の大精神であります。これが明治大帝の大み心であったと、今日なお迎いでおります。
 絶えずこの祈りによって、争いをせさんようにする。だから合気道は試合を厳禁している。がその実は大いなる愛の攻撃精神、和合、平和への精神です。

Here is a translation of the above passage:

"It is foolish to invade someone else's country, killing people and achieving the illusion of victory. The objective of Aikido mirrors that of the spirit at the foundation of the universe: for all to have a place to call home, to be part of the same family, to work as children of the same creative source. Even today, I truly believe that this was what Emperor Meiji had in mind. It is for this that we always pray, avoiding conflict at all cost. For this reason, I prohibit competition in Aikido. However, the love which is part of Aikido actively seeks concord and peace." (Kisshomaru Ueshiba, A Life in Aikido, p. 43.)

Secondly, here is a closer translation of the passage that you quoted in your opening post, plus some essential context. The translation is by Sonoko Tanaka and was published by Stan Pranin. It can be found on Stan's Aikido Journal website.

"Takemusu aiki is a service we offer in order to protect the worlds in which all Universal activity occurs, that is, the three Worlds—Appearance, Subconscious and Divine—and help them to harmonize with each other and flourish. We call it "takemusu aiki" when we clarify the true meaning of God's works, purify the Great Way and dedicate ourselves to assist the Great Way to become wholesome. This is my firm belief.
Therefore, the martial arts (budo) of our country are not called sports. The purpose of martial arts is to shape and perfect ourselves. Once we build ourselves up, we have to realize everything successfully and, first of all, we, as human beings, must protect all nature.
In our country, originally, we do not have such sports as people have in Western countries. Some people are delighted to say that the Japanese martial arts have gained in popularity since they became sports. However, this is a gross misunderstanding that shows they do not know at all what the Japanese martial arts really are.
Sports are games and pastimes that do not involve the spirit. They are competitions only between physical bodies and not between souls. Thus, they are competitions merely for the sake of pleasure. The Japanese martial arts are a competition in how we can express and realize love that unites and protects everything in harmony and helps this world to prosper.
The Way that preserves this world is a competition to protect the spirit and also the physical world. It is a competition to completely guard the Way of birth and growth of all nature, and to lovingly cultivate the Way of flourishing of all, through the breath of A-UM (breathing out and in) in which the spirit and physical body are balanced in harmony. This competition was exactly the same activity of the creation of today's world engaged in by the Great God through the two deities of Izanagi and Izanami. It is the Way to daily thank the Great God for His work and thus it is a prayer. There is nothing better than a prayer. Even when we feel ill or unpleasant, we can become refreshed and get well by offering prayers. I have experienced this through my prayers. I stand on the platform of Heaven and worship God facing to the east and heavenward. I offer my gratitude in prayer standing in the center of the Earth together with everything existing between Heaven and Earth. This is the true aikido and takemusu. This is the source of harmonious interaction between the breath of fire and water."

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury

Tony Wagstaffe
01-07-2011, 09:53 PM
Dear Tony,
Who are we competing against- ourselves or others? Do you feel that the strong survive?You may well be a prime specimen today but an accident or illness could take away all you power.
Would you then feel that society should allow you to suffer or pass away?As far as winning in the Olympics -Ben Johnson and others won gold medals taking drugs.Johnson was one minute a hero, lauded by all, next he was rated a cheat.
I believe that the aims of Aikido , Judo and related arts are
fundamentally about such concepts as honour, discipline , fortitude.
loyalty and the building of character.Like the alchemist of old we should try and turn base metal into gold .Polish yourself and your waza through diligent training with respect for others. Winning is ok , and we all like a winner but not someone who wins by any means . Tiger Woods may well be a top golfer , but as a husband and father I think he is zero.
Happy New Year to You,and all our readers, Joe.

There will always be cheaters and that is looking at the negative side of things.....I would say we are competing against ourselves to better polish our "spirits". We compete, not to destroy eachother, but to help polish one another's "spirits"......:straightf
We all have frailties, but we must learn to overcome them or wither, which we will all do eventually, we have no choice in that, but best to make the best of what we have and strive to become the best you can be?
That is competition I would say.....

Tony Wagstaffe
01-07-2011, 10:11 PM
Again, you're confusing things. I never said that I don't compete or that other people ought not to compete.

What I said was that Ueshiba, quite clearly, made statements against competition. Are you saying that he didn't?

Best,

Chris

I Like my confusion as it makes sense to me......
I don't know........... I wasn't there

To find his path he competed, I'm just doing what he did not what he says.....;)

Mike Sigman
01-07-2011, 10:21 PM
in which the spirit and physical body are balanced in harmony.Peter, could I ask what word is being translated as "spirit", please?

Many thanks.

Mike Sigman

Budd
01-07-2011, 11:39 PM
Thanks, Peter . . having experienced with some of Stevens' translations in other places, I suspected there was more context than what was readily apparent on the surface. Which is one reason I caution most anyone to do some research to get information. What tends to happen is people like how something sounds in their head and just focus on the things that reinforce what they already think, feel or believe.

Regarding competition. As Mike mentioned, the traditional paradigm is to spend the correct amount of time retraining the body to carry itself appropriately over a period of time. Introducing competition too early is counterproductive to this, for hopefully obvious reasons. One of my biggest struggles in the MMA paradigm is struggling with the urge to compete and win, since at the level I'm at for rewiring how my body basically moves according to the ki/qi logic, there's enough conflicts that I often need to just invest in loss short term so that I can keep progressing in the bigger picture.

That said, this should not be taken as means to think that what passes for training in lots of aikido dojos that have no competition at all is inherently more correct or superior. Lacking the baseline bodyskills and having no competition removes the activity several more steps from martial applicability and into the realm of a "spiritual practice alone". Which may have been the old man's intent all along, since he didn't seem to care how much of what he had got transmitted to subsequent generations.

And Tony, I sympathize with the statement along the lines of doing what he "did" versus what he said. I think that's something that folks really interested in aikido as a method and puzzle need to be looking at. Where aikido really fits into the rubric or "martial arts" and what it's become, why it's different. Not necessarily because a translation says so, or the shihan in your organization says so.

Peter Goldsbury
01-08-2011, 12:39 AM
Peter, could I ask what word is being translated as "spirit", please?

Many thanks.

Mike Sigman

Hello Mike,

In what follows, the Japanese un reading of a word is contrasted with the Chinese ON reading in capitals.

The basic term used by Ueshiba is 魂 tamashi, which is always contrasted with 魄 HAKU. Both terms are also read as tama, and both mean 'soul' or 'spirit', but there is a major difference.

There are three basic Chinese characters read as tama. They are: 魂, 魄,and also 霊.

The core Japanese concept for ‘soul' appears to be 霊魂 REIKON.

The 魄 is the in (陰) part of the REIKON, that remains in this world, whereas the 魂 is the yo (陽) part that leaves it (after death).

The Japanese for the phrase you actually quoted ["spirit and physical body are balanced in harmony"] is 魂魄調和 kon-paku-cho-wa, or, harmony (chowa 調和) of the tamashi 魂 and haku 魄.


I am sure you will appreciate the Chinese provenance of all this and if I am telling you something you know already, many apologies.

Best wishes,

PAG

Chris Li
01-08-2011, 01:19 AM
I Like my confusion as it makes sense to me......
I don't know........... I wasn't there

To find his path he competed, I'm just doing what he did not what he says.....;)

Again, you're mixing the general with the specific. If you can show were he competed in sports competition (outside of his brief study of Judo) then I'd like to see it.

Best,

Chris

Tony Wagstaffe
01-08-2011, 05:17 AM
Again, you're mixing the general with the specific. If you can show were he competed in sports competition (outside of his brief study of Judo) then I'd like to see it.

Best,

Chris

Have you ever competed in Aikido? :straightf

graham christian
01-08-2011, 07:27 AM
There will always be cheaters and that is looking at the negative side of things.....I would say we are competing against ourselves to better polish our "spirits". We compete, not to destroy eachother, but to help polish one another's "spirits"......:straightf
We all have frailties, but we must learn to overcome them or wither, which we will all do eventually, we have no choice in that, but best to make the best of what we have and strive to become the best you can be?
That is competition I would say.....

Hi Tony,
This is your friendly aikibunny here. I like this answer of yours and thought it needs validating.

In this thread it has gone to a debate on competition and the use of it, the pros and cons, and I bet you think because I am an advocate of Aikido being spiritual and harmonious and the fact that I agree with what O'Sensei said that I therefore disagree with competition.

Actually it's quite the opposite. I look at it this way:
There is competition in all games and all sports and all walks of life. The differences I see are based on the TYPE of competition. This is to do with the PURPOSE of your activity. For instance if you run a shoe shop and your purpose is to be better than the other shoe shops then you are competing with them. If on the other hand your purpose is to have lots of satisfied, happy customers then you are not interested in the other shops from the view of competition yet you are now in competition with yourself. It is a challenge and there is lots to learn and accomplish on the way to a successful business. Lots of challenges to overcome.

I see in all sports there are those who use honest endeavour and discipline and continually improve and in the end, once they have 'mastered' their craft then they perform with confidence and to them it is now just an enjoyable game. The spirit of play is with us when we are born and the only enemy of it is our unwillingness to be and do the best we can as you so rightly said.

Regards. G.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-08-2011, 07:43 AM
I see in all sports there are those who use honest endeavour and discipline and continually improve and in the end, once they have 'mastered' their craft then they perform with confidence and to them it is now just an enjoyable game. The spirit of play is with us when we are born and the only enemy of it is our unwillingness to be and do the best we can as you so rightly said.

Regards. G.

Graham at least you are an aiki bunnie who has the capacity to see what I see.... :D ;)

You are correct.... through competition I have learnt many important lessons. I am older now, so I am not so competitive, I don't need to be:), but am very glad that I did what I did, otherwise I would have been thinking that had I not I would be deluding myself through my inadequacy...... does that make sense? :)

Diana Frese
01-08-2011, 10:54 AM
at my age I enjoy thinking back to times when I felt a bit
competitive and it worked. Once years ago at NYAikikai a dan ranked person I had not seen before was doing irimi nage kokyu throwing forward, we were in lines.... The throw seemed real hard, and our dojo wasn't known for being wimpy..... for some reason
I thought his particular throw was excessive.... I could be
wrong. But it brought out the competitive spirit in me.

I really don't think our dojo was wimpy, quite the contrary, but
this guy.... I wish I knew what Yamada Sensei would have
said but I wasn't in the habit of asking questions.

So when my turn to be nage came, and it was that particular person coming up as uke, I checked my timing and tried to drop my arm at the correct moment with as much heaviness as I could imagine
..... imagine a wet bath towel that weighed a couple hundred
pounds....

I hope the guy didn't remember it and hate me forever. He seemed
okay but the competitive side of me was glad I did it.

Yes the competitive feeling helped me really examine a technique
we did so very often and I hadn't thought much about. I think
the guy did me a favor, though my feeling was kinda "mad as
a wet hen" at the time.

graham christian
01-08-2011, 11:23 AM
I see in all sports there are those who use honest endeavour and discipline and continually improve and in the end, once they have 'mastered' their craft then they perform with confidence and to them it is now just an enjoyable game. The spirit of play is with us when we are born and the only enemy of it is our unwillingness to be and do the best we can as you so rightly said.

Regards. G.

Graham at least you are an aiki bunnie who has the capacity to see what I see.... :D ;)

You are correct.... through competition I have learnt many important lessons. I am older now, so I am not so competitive, I don't need to be:), but am very glad that I did what I did, otherwise I would have been thinking that had I not I would be deluding myself through my inadequacy...... does that make sense? :)

Makes perfect sense to me. When we meet opportunities and don't use them to test ourselves then we end up justifying what we would have done or why we didn't do or what we would do if.....
Thus indeed may we delude ourselves.

Regards. G.

Chris Li
01-08-2011, 11:24 AM
Have you ever competed in Aikido? :straightf

Actually, yes, but that really has nothing to do with anything.

Again, I'm not saying that sports based competition is either good or bad. The title of the thread is "Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It", and that's what I commented on - what he said.

Best,

Chris

Tony Wagstaffe
01-08-2011, 11:30 AM
Actually, yes, but that really has nothing to do with anything.

Again, I'm not saying that sports based competition is either good or bad. The title of the thread is "Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It", and that's what I commented on - what he said.

Best,

Chris

So you compete then.......;) :)

Chris Li
01-08-2011, 11:45 AM
So you compete then.......;) :)

Not in sports, but again, nothing to do with the matter at hand. I never said that competition either in sports or in the general sense was either desirable or not.

Your point is?

Best,

Chris

SteliosPapadakis
01-08-2011, 02:25 PM
What event are you talking about? Citation please.

Check out his book "Complete Aikido", Tuttle Publishing
Chance has it you might find there something interesting.
:)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-08-2011, 02:59 PM
Not in sports, but again, nothing to do with the matter at hand. I never said that competition either in sports or in the general sense was either desirable or not.

Your point is?

Best,

Chris

That no one person is right and the worship of a man that really did not "invent" martial arts, but passed on his "version" of it seems a bit weird to me I suppose...... :straightf :rolleyes:

I don't think I practice "aikido" in the way that most seem to "practice" it here, that being a "spiritual" practice whatever that "is" or as some quasi religious claptrap that so many want to aspire to.....
I don't think you "need" it to be effective in martial arts.....
I like aikido for its practicability, but as for the "ki" nuttiness I do not care for it one bit....
Maybe what I do, I should call it something else like "aijudo" or something....... Anyone got any suggestions?....:)
I see it purely as a grappling art similar to Judo.....;)

Mike Sigman
01-08-2011, 03:10 PM
Maybe what I do, I should call it something else like "aijudo" or something....... Anyone got any suggestions?....:)
I see it purely as a grappling art similar to Judo.....;)

Yeah, but you couldn't make much money teaching something without a popular name like "Aikido". "Aijudo" has a ring to it, if you go back to the idea that "ju" actually referred to "internal strength", which in turn refers to using ki/kokyu skills. But I guess you want to stay away from that, so, hmmmmmmm... how about "Ai-wrasslin'"? Would that work for you?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

guest1234567
01-08-2011, 03:23 PM
So what do we do Carina, what is the alternative? It would be great to live in a perfect world, but it doesn't exist.... To wrap children up in cotton wool would be even more harmful to their development, it's how we learn, by trail and error..... It's how we develop mental and physical strength.....
When we get older we don't want it as much, that's a fact of life and the reality of it all it wears us down.... Some are stronger than others by genetics, luck and undetermined fate...... To deny our children to not grow by trial and error would, in my mind, be disastrous :straightf
I think aikido is a way of relieving stress , but so is yoga or any form of physical exercise, but foremost in my mind aikido is a martial art to defend your body and mind through challenging practice which is a form of competition against yourself.....:)
I just saw that, sorry..
But I'm the first leaving my children study away from home so that they grow up and learn to deal with everything..
If you are talking about competition about myself in aikido, I kind of agree.
But I' don't think aikido as martial art must compete like judo, karate or taekwondo. In our dojo our teacher dislikes very much any competition at all, he always talks about humility, that we are all the same, the newbie and the nidan, nobody is better, so we do not have to compete, just train to become better for ourselves, everyone has he can.

Chris Li
01-08-2011, 03:29 PM
That no one person is right and the worship of a man that really did not "invent" martial arts, but passed on his "version" of it seems a bit weird to me I suppose...... :straightf :rolleyes:

That's fine, of course, but it really doesn't have much to to with the question of the original poster.

What's the point of trying to deny that Kaiso condemned Aikido as sport?

Best,

Chris

Eric in Denver
01-08-2011, 03:54 PM
Yeah, but you couldn't make much money teaching something without a popular name like "Aikido". "Aijudo" has a ring to it, if you go back to the idea that "ju" actually referred to "internal strength", which in turn refers to using ki/kokyu skills. But I guess you want to stay away from that, so, hmmmmmmm... how about "Ai-wrasslin'"? Would that work for you?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

I rode by a new fitness center today called "Inner Strength Fitness." I wonder if they are teaching jin paths and suit? Maybe that would be a good place to teach Ai-wrasslin. :rolleyes:

Demetrio Cereijo
01-08-2011, 05:26 PM
Chance has it you might find there something interesting.
:)
Maybe I've already read it.
:cool:

Dave Plaza
01-08-2011, 05:36 PM
Maybe what I do, I should call it something else like "aijudo" or something....... Anyone got any suggestions?....:)
I see it purely as a grappling art similar to Judo.....;)

How about Egokido?!?

No offence intended, but that's one crazy ego you have my friend...

:)

Dave

Demetrio Cereijo
01-08-2011, 05:45 PM
What tends to happen is people like how something sounds in their head and just focus on the things that reinforce what they already think, feel or believe.
IHTBF people can also fall into that.

BTW, what I see in Sonoko Tanaka translation is a mix of Yamato damashii, Kokutai no hongi and Shinto mythology under an Oomoto-kyo perspective, and also think Ueshiba could have benefitted if he had read Foucault.
:D

Gorgeous George
01-08-2011, 08:46 PM
It has happened throughout human history and it's unlikely to change until we rise above it mentally? Then what would we do?

Not live for decades on the precipice - wondering when the nuclear holocaust will occur, due to a nuclear arms race/competition, i'd say.

To paraphrase someone (I forget who...):

'Kindess and compassion are as much a part of human nature as cruelty and competition.'.

And there's also the immense quote, in someone's signature on here, from Martin Luther King:

'Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.'

The point being that primitive behaviours, regardless of what they have done or been throughout human history, are no longer tenable: we have the means to annihilate - to extinct - the human race.
If we don't change soon, not only will these endless atrocities we commit against one another continue (which is bad enough in itself), but they could well escalate, culminating in the end of mankind.

That's my interpretation, anyway. I also think that the world's in a terrible state, and so continuing on with traditional methods is preposterous, if we truly wish to make the world bearable.

Gorgeous George
01-08-2011, 08:56 PM
Hello Graham, Happy New Year!

I believe that it is always good to begin with what Morihei Ueshiba actually stated, then look at the translations. I have two points to make.

First, if you read further on in The Heart of Aikido, there is another section, on pp. 98-103, where Ueshiba recounts his wartime experiences and his so-called ‘mystical' experience, when he was called upon to build the Iwama dojo. On pp.99-100, there is an explicit reference to ‘competitive matches' in aikido. The Japanese original appears on p. 128 of Takemusu Aiki. For those who can read Japanese, Here are the relevant paragraphs:

 一国を侵略して一人を殺すことではなく、みなそれぞれに処を得させて生かし、世界大家族としての集いとなって、一元の営みの分身分業として働けるようにするのが、合気道 の目標であり、宇宙建国の大精神であります。これが明治大帝の大み心であったと、今日なお迎いでおります。
 絶えずこの祈り争いをせさんようにする。だから合気道は試合を厳禁している。がその実は大なる愛の攻撃精神、和合、平和への精神である。

The closest John Stevens gets to a translation of part of this is the following paragraph:

"The purpose of Aikido is to help us fulfill our mission to bring peace and harmony to this world. That is why there are no competitive matches in Aikido, no contests. We attack with the power of Love, and we wield the weapons of harmony and peace." (The Heart of Aikido, pp. 99-100.)

The Takamusu Aiki passage is quoted in another place. This is Kisshomaru Ueshiba's biography of Morihei Ueshiba, which was translated into English only recently. This translation is much closer than what Mr Stevens manages to achieve above. Kisshomaru does not reproduce the Takamusu Aiki passage exactly. Here is Kisshomaru's version:

 他の国を侵略して人を殺して勝ったなどと錯覚するのは愚かです。みなそれぞれ、処を得つつ生きてゆき、世界大家族としての集いとなって、一元の営みの分身分業として働け るようにするのが、合気道の目標であり、宇宙建国の大精神であります。これが明治大帝の大み心であったと、今日なお迎いでおります。
 絶えずこの祈りによって、争いをせさんようにする。だから合気道は試合を厳禁している。がその実は大いなる愛の攻撃精神、和合、平和への精神です。

Here is a translation of the above passage:

"It is foolish to invade someone else's country, killing people and achieving the illusion of victory. The objective of Aikido mirrors that of the spirit at the foundation of the universe: for all to have a place to call home, to be part of the same family, to work as children of the same creative source. Even today, I truly believe that this was what Emperor Meiji had in mind. It is for this that we always pray, avoiding conflict at all cost. For this reason, I prohibit competition in Aikido. However, the love which is part of Aikido actively seeks concord and peace." (Kisshomaru Ueshiba, A Life in Aikido, p. 43.)

Secondly, here is a closer translation of the passage that you quoted in your opening post, plus some essential context. The translation is by Sonoko Tanaka and was published by Stan Pranin. It can be found on Stan's Aikido Journal website.

"Takemusu aiki is a service we offer in order to protect the worlds in which all Universal activity occurs, that is, the three Worlds—Appearance, Subconscious and Divine—and help them to harmonize with each other and flourish. We call it "takemusu aiki" when we clarify the true meaning of God's works, purify the Great Way and dedicate ourselves to assist the Great Way to become wholesome. This is my firm belief.
Therefore, the martial arts (budo) of our country are not called sports. The purpose of martial arts is to shape and perfect ourselves. Once we build ourselves up, we have to realize everything successfully and, first of all, we, as human beings, must protect all nature.
In our country, originally, we do not have such sports as people have in Western countries. Some people are delighted to say that the Japanese martial arts have gained in popularity since they became sports. However, this is a gross misunderstanding that shows they do not know at all what the Japanese martial arts really are.
Sports are games and pastimes that do not involve the spirit. They are competitions only between physical bodies and not between souls. Thus, they are competitions merely for the sake of pleasure. The Japanese martial arts are a competition in how we can express and realize love that unites and protects everything in harmony and helps this world to prosper.
The Way that preserves this world is a competition to protect the spirit and also the physical world. It is a competition to completely guard the Way of birth and growth of all nature, and to lovingly cultivate the Way of flourishing of all, through the breath of A-UM (breathing out and in) in which the spirit and physical body are balanced in harmony. This competition was exactly the same activity of the creation of today's world engaged in by the Great God through the two deities of Izanagi and Izanami. It is the Way to daily thank the Great God for His work and thus it is a prayer. There is nothing better than a prayer. Even when we feel ill or unpleasant, we can become refreshed and get well by offering prayers. I have experienced this through my prayers. I stand on the platform of Heaven and worship God facing to the east and heavenward. I offer my gratitude in prayer standing in the center of the Earth together with everything existing between Heaven and Earth. This is the true aikido and takemusu. This is the source of harmonious interaction between the breath of fire and water."

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury

Thank you for your input, Peter - and happy new year to you, too.

I've heard that Mr Stevens is quite enthusiastic in his interest, and dedication to, O'Sensei, so I was quite cautious in ensuring that I didn't draw a false conclusion due to his influence in the translation.
But as I said: I felt that the quote was so thorough, and unambiguous, that there was no doubt.

RED
01-08-2011, 08:57 PM
I don't see how else martial arts as an entity can exist without some form of competition, otherwise it becomes a mere dance and nothing else......
Life is competition .......

I've heard the opposite comment actually. The concept that competition turns it into a dance.

Example, a very interesting article on the issue: http://www.aikidoonline.com/articles/shihankai_articles/yamada/Yamada_Competition.php

There are many who have the concept that the only true way to have competition in Budo is for one competitor to die. Anything less would be disrespectful to Budo.

Budd
01-08-2011, 09:09 PM
There are many who have the concept that the only true way to have competition in Budo is for one competitor to die. Anything less would be disrespectful to Budo.

Who says this, exactly?

RED
01-08-2011, 09:15 PM
Who says this, exactly?

I posted a link.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-08-2011, 09:26 PM
That's fine, of course, but it really doesn't have much to to with the question of the original poster.

What's the point of trying to deny that Kaiso condemned Aikido as sport?

Best,

Chris

Chris, you have your view, I have mine, it's obvious to me you are a "ki" and "o" sensei must be right "nut", so no amount of arguing the toss to whether he said it or not, really matters......
I'm naturally competitive, I prefer my style of aikido which is grounded in rationality, that being Shodokan, (Shodothug to you) I also infuse my other experience in other arts I feel are practical, and discard that which isn't, no big deal.....
I like/prefer to be rational, I don't believe in woo woo or mystical powers, I don't need a crutch, unless I break my leg......
I don't put humans on pedestals as some sort of deity to be worshipped and idolised, but there is nothing wrong in admiring a person for their accomplishments....
When we see Tohei's wrestling match with the geezer/reporter in that old newsreel, I just thought he didn't look any different to most average Shodokan players, albeit it he was being as kind as he could to him.... Didn't see any mystical "ki" there, so I know where I'm coming from, do you? :straightf

Tony Wagstaffe
01-08-2011, 09:35 PM
I've heard the opposite comment actually. The concept that competition turns it into a dance.

Example, a very interesting article on the issue: http://www.aikidoonline.com/articles/shihankai_articles/yamada/Yamada_Competition.php

There are many who have the concept that the only true way to have competition in Budo is for one competitor to die. Anything less would be disrespectful to Budo.

I have used what skills I do possess to defend myself on numerous occasions in real life.....I have been 99% successful. In all those altercations, I have never had to "kill" anyone but just managed to take away their desire to do me any more damage.....
It is not necessitous to kill anyone unless you are faced with actual impending death, then its either him/her or you....
I'd rather it be them.....:straightf

As for Yamada sensei he has his views, I have mine..... It might be that some people have a vested interest in saying the things they do in "aikido" where it may be that reality might be a bit embarrassing? I wonder?

rojanaiki
01-08-2011, 09:40 PM
Aikido is not a Sport:)

Budd
01-08-2011, 10:02 PM
I posted a link.

Ah ok . . well that kind of declaration from Yamada speaks to me more about how he wants to run his organization rather than being a reasonable definition for "care and feeding the growth" of aikido as budo. He mentioned judo and karate . . and I think he's even speaking out of turn there, given that there's several practices of those disciplines that balance the competitive/sparring aspects very cleanly with traditional kata practices that have more historical provenance in budo/bujutsu than most anything of the "modern" kata that are in aikido.

I think it notable that he didn't speak to kendo - which is a sport, a competitive endeavor, as well as maintaining a series of kata and having close relationships with more than one of koryu arts (speaking from memory, but I think Shinto-muso ryu being one, where Shimizu sensei created kata to be included into the umbrella of the Kendo organization as a jodo branch, I also think some of the iado falls in here, stemming from older systems).

Personally, I think a well-rounded budo contains aspects of competitive training - within their place. And as been mentioned earlier, there's a period by which you have to learn to "own" the practice before being thrown into competition . . but that should be up to each system to figure out the best way to train the newb appropriately to play in its space.

Chris Li
01-08-2011, 11:08 PM
Chris, you have your view, I have mine, it's obvious to me you are a "ki" and "o" sensei must be right "nut", so no amount of arguing the toss to whether he said it or not, really matters......
I'm naturally competitive, I prefer my style of aikido which is grounded in rationality, that being Shodokan, (Shodothug to you) I also infuse my other experience in other arts I feel are practical, and discard that which isn't, no big deal.....
I like/prefer to be rational, I don't believe in woo woo or mystical powers, I don't need a crutch, unless I break my leg......
I don't put humans on pedestals as some sort of deity to be worshipped and idolised, but there is nothing wrong in admiring a person for their accomplishments....
When we see Tohei's wrestling match with the geezer/reporter in that old newsreel, I just thought he didn't look any different to most average Shodokan players, albeit it he was being as kind as he could to him.... Didn't see any mystical "ki" there, so I know where I'm coming from, do you? :straightf

Obvious from what? Show me where I said that he was right or where I invoked mystical "ki" even once. You won't be able to, because I didn't.

I don't know Tony, denying something that's a matter of public record sounds pretty "woo woo" to me - and not all that rational.

Best,

Chris

SteliosPapadakis
01-09-2011, 01:25 AM
Maybe I've already read it.
:cool:

Good.
Then you know exactly what i am talking about
;)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 05:04 AM
Obvious from what? Show me where I said that he was right or where I invoked mystical "ki" even once. You won't be able to, because I didn't.

I don't know Tony, denying something that's a matter of public record sounds pretty "woo woo" to me - and not all that rational.

Best,

Chris

Read my post ........:rolleyes:

I don't care what he.......... said!!!!!
I just do what he "did" within my own parameters, that is have my technique tested for real .........

Personally I would not have started "aikido" unless I knew it was practical..... There are few who can actually do that including many of the "shihan" that give themselves that title.....
Most of the aikido I see today is a joke an an insult to the martial arts community as a whole, it's no wonder it is so ridiculed......:straightf

Dave de Vos
01-09-2011, 05:10 AM
Most of the aikido I see today is a joke an an insult to the martial arts community as a whole, it's no wonder it is so ridiculed......:straightf

Is it ridiculed that much? Most of the ridicule here comes seems to come from only a small group of posters.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 05:21 AM
Is it ridiculed that much? Most of the ridicule here comes seems to come from only a small group of posters.

That's because so many here are in denial.......

Dave de Vos
01-09-2011, 05:36 AM
That's because so many here are in denial.......

So by posting ridicule whenever they can, this minority wants to prove to the majority that most aikido is ridiculous?

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 06:04 AM
So by posting ridicule whenever they can, this minority wants to prove to the majority that most aikido is ridiculous?

You have it.....

Dave de Vos
01-09-2011, 06:31 AM
You have it.....

I am not a psychologist neither a sociologist, but I think people are not easily convinced by ridicule, especially when they are the target, which could promote hostility.

People are not easily convinced. Hostility makes it even harder.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-09-2011, 07:09 AM
Good.
Then you know exactly what i am talking about
;)

Not really. What are the historical facts proven by that book?


When we see Tohei's wrestling match with the geezer/reporter in that old newsreel, I just thought he didn't look any different to most average Shodokan players,

This doesn't put average shodokaner in a good ligh,

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 07:29 AM
I am not a psychologist neither a sociologist, but I think people are not easily convinced by ridicule, especially when they are the target, which could promote hostility.

People are not easily convinced. Hostility makes it even harder.

So does honesty.....

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 07:30 AM
Not really. What are the historical facts proven by that book?

This doesn't put average shodokaner in a good ligh,

Ssssshhhhh......:rolleyes:

Hellis
01-09-2011, 07:33 AM
So does honesty.....

Excellent answer in so few words.

Henry Ellis
http://aikidoarticles.blogspot.com/

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 07:38 AM
[QUOTE=Henry Ellis;272242]Excellent answer in so few words.

Henry Ellis
http://aikidoarticles.blogspot.com/[/QUOTE

It's called kaeshi waza in my book Henry.....;) :)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 07:53 AM
Quote:
Personally, I think a well-rounded budo contains aspects of competitive training - within their place. And as been mentioned earlier, there's a period by which you have to learn to "own" the practice before being thrown into competition . . but that should be up to each system to figure out the best way to train the newb appropriately to play in its space.

That's a good analogy...... thankyou....:)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 08:02 AM
Well, to use an example from the real "internal martial arts" (the "neijia" styles), there is no competition for some years because you can't honestly re-train the body to use internal strength while at the same time you're using your old-style of movement to do techniques, applications, sparring, etc. I have no doubt this was the reason why Ueshiba blocked competitions... it just means that you'll never really learn internal strength.

I personally tend to focus mostly on how to do basic kokyu/jin and ki/body-breath-training for that same reason. Doing dramatic demonstrations or focusing on applications that require internal-strength basics that the students don't really have yet is counter-productive. It's a good debate, but I'll stick with Ueshiba and traditional CMA that say that competition is counterproductive for the reasons I stated.

YMMV

Mike Sigman

I have internal strength...... It didn'y come from woo woo....:rolleyes:

SteliosPapadakis
01-09-2011, 08:20 AM
Not really. What are the historical facts proven by that book?

Are you implying Roy Suenaka Sensei is a liar?
:confused:

graham christian
01-09-2011, 08:58 AM
We all know he did condemn it as a sport so all the debates thereafter are to do with 'why?'

This thread has turned into one of those who agree verse those who disagree and thus has become a sport, a competition. All taking up their positions and defending them by attacking others.

There is a sport Aikido and it is called Tomiki. If anyone really wants to do it as a competition then they would do that style.

Maybe if you looked at it from the view of an art that teaches how to overcome the need for competition then you may get a glimpse of what O'Sensei meant.

I understand how people justify the competitave aspects that happen whilst doing Aikido during various techniques and randori etc. and this can do one of two things: It can make them right and thus think competition is all part of it or it can make them realize they need to improve.

I'm sure many of you have got into positions where you have found that if you keep center or if you non-resist or if you move along the Aiki lines or if you do some principle of Aiki then it works perfectly and you experience at that point no competition.

O'Sensei merely wanted you to keep that as the focus of Aikido for if you believe only in competion you will miss half of what he was trying to teach. On the other hand it is good and may I say even normal to find yourself competing but if you have this as the goal then you miss the point of Aikido.

If you think its all about competition then you are deluded, if you think it is all about not competing then you are also deluded.

Aikido is about heading towards that place of harmonious application and contains competition on that path but it is competition that needs to be overcome and thus is self developement.

Many talk about the martial aspect but I don't hear many talking about the Art aspect. When you have developed and gained the skills of something you become competent. Then you progress and and get more and more confident. In the end you can apply those skills at ease, in any situation, and it thus becomes a graceful application and now you are an artist. Now you have reached the art.

Respect to all. G.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-09-2011, 09:09 AM
Are you implying Roy Suenaka Sensei is a liar?
:confused:
I'm implying he could be wrong.

Why don't you provide the relevant paragraphs that prove your claims of Suenaka Sensei being a first hand witness of Ueshiba Morihei fighting challengers?

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 09:19 AM
Quote:
"If you think its all about competition then you are deluded, if you think it is all about not competing then you are also deluded."

So in the middle is about right......:D

Quote:
"Many talk about the martial aspect but I don't hear many talking about the Art aspect. When you have developed and gained the skills of something you become competent. Then you progress and and get more and more confident. In the end you can apply those skills at ease, in any situation, and it thus becomes a graceful application and now you are an artist. Now you have reached the art."

Better star calling myself "o" sensei then........:D

Demetrio Cereijo
01-09-2011, 09:21 AM
We all know he did condemn it as a sport so all the debates thereafter are to do with 'why?'.

Why? Because his understanding of "sport" didn't matched with his understanding of "aikido".

Mike Sigman
01-09-2011, 09:37 AM
Better start calling myself "o" sensei then........:D

Why not? You've already borrowed the name of his martial-art.

M.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 09:39 AM
Why not? You've already borrowed the name of his martial-art.

M.
I'll have to "buy" into it as well then.....;)

I'm thinking not to call it "aikido" anymore, 'cause it upsets too many bunnies.......

mickeygelum
01-09-2011, 09:55 AM
Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Who cares...he's dead.
You can not ask him his opinion. Anyone attempting to speak for him is just putting words in his mouth. He's dead, his technique was flawed and it took several notable students to really refine his idea and promote it further. Most are fluff and some are not. He's dead, he could not teach as is evident with his nonsensical ramblings that are still undecipherable today as when he uttered them. He's dead, given the customs and culture of Japan in the era he lived, formality and etiquette was priority, he was a religious fanatic, who was hypocritical. He's dead, had he lived today, he would have had his ass handed to him by oh-so-many people.

You folks are alive, why worry yourself with what may or may not have been the thought of a man who has been dead longer than some of you have been alive. Go, train become proficient and knowledgable, test your skills..so you do not end up just as dead as he is before your time!

Train hard,
Train real,
Train well,

Mickey

Flintstone
01-09-2011, 11:29 AM
I'll have to "buy" into it as well then.....;)

I'm thinking not to call it "aikido" anymore, 'cause it upsets too many bunnies.......
Oh, welcome to Flintstone Ryu!

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 12:12 PM
Oh, welcome to Flintstone Ryu!

"Randori and Shiai (Free-practice and Competition)

In 1886 the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Academy hosted a tournament between the Kodokan and the prominent Jujutsu ryu, Totsuka-ha Yoshin-ryu, to determine which "style" the Academy would adopt into their training regiment. Of the tournament's 15 matches the Kodokan won 12, drew one and lost two (Muromoto 2005). The reason why the Kodokan was so successful at this historic meeting lies in one word: Randori. Randori or free sparring trained KanoÕs judokas in as close to real life and death combat as possible.

Randori training, unlike kata training, pits you against a fully resistive, uncooperative opponent. Only through randori and shiai does one truly test the mind, body and spirit under adverse conditions. Judo competition demands that its participants execute techniques against a fully resistive opponent, when physically drained, out of breath, and gasping for air. Such an experience can never be gained through self-defense training via kata or form work alone, no matter how realistic the scenario may be".

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 12:14 PM
Who cares...he's dead.
You can not ask him his opinion. Anyone attempting to speak for him is just putting words in his mouth. He's dead, his technique was flawed and it took several notable students to really refine his idea and promote it further. Most are fluff and some are not. He's dead, he could not teach as is evident with his nonsensical ramblings that are still undecipherable today as when he uttered them. He's dead, given the customs and culture of Japan in the era he lived, formality and etiquette was priority, he was a religious fanatic, who was hypocritical. He's dead, had he lived today, he would have had his ass handed to him by oh-so-many people.

You folks are alive, why worry yourself with what may or may not have been the thought of a man who has been dead longer than some of you have been alive. Go, train become proficient and knowledgable, test your skills..so you do not end up just as dead as he is before your time!

Train hard,
Train real,
Train well,

Mickey

Ding Dong....:straightf

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 12:15 PM
Oh, welcome to Flintstone Ryu!

Yep welcome......

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 12:23 PM
How about Egokido?!?

No offence intended, but that's one crazy ego you have my friend...

:)

Dave
No just honesty which you lack......

Demetrio Cereijo
01-09-2011, 12:27 PM
In 1886 the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Academy hosted a tournament between the Kodokan and the prominent Jujutsu ryu, Totsuka-ha Yoshin-ryu, to determine which "style" the Academy would adopt into their training regiment. Of the tournament's 15 matches the Kodokan won 12, drew one and lost two (Muromoto 2005). The reason why the Kodokan was so successful at this historic meeting lies in one word: Randori.

The 1886 tournament story is most probably another made up BS.

Randori training, unlike kata training, pits you against a fully resistive, uncooperative opponent. Only through randori and shiai does one truly test the mind, body and spirit under adverse conditions. Judo competition demands that its participants execute techniques against a fully resistive opponent, when physically drained, out of breath, and gasping for air. Such an experience can never be gained through self-defense training via kata or form work alone, no matter how realistic the scenario may be".

I fully agree with this but this is totally unrelated with Ueshiba opinions on sport and budo and why he held said opinions.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 12:39 PM
The 1886 tournament story is most probably another made up BS.

I fully agree with this but this is totally unrelated with Ueshiba opinions on sport and budo and why he held said opinions.

Who really cares .....???? Only the aiki bunnies, 'cause it doesn't fit in with their comfortable delusion.......

The truth is as I've already said.......:rolleyes: :straightf

Demetrio Cereijo
01-09-2011, 12:50 PM
The truth is as I've already said.......:rolleyes: :straightf

Col. Jessep mode on:

The truth? You can't handle the truth!!!

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 12:58 PM
Col. Jessep mode on:

The truth? You can't handle the truth!!!

and you can?.....

Gorgeous George
01-09-2011, 01:50 PM
if you think it is all about not competing then you are also deluded.


By this standard, Koichi Tohei and O'Sensei were deluded...but then: they're widely acknowledged as possibly the two greatest aikidoka ever.
Hmm...

Gorgeous George
01-09-2011, 01:54 PM
"Randori and Shiai (Free-practice and Competition)

In 1886 the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Academy hosted a tournament between the Kodokan and the prominent Jujutsu ryu, Totsuka-ha Yoshin-ryu, to determine which "style" the Academy would adopt into their training regiment. Of the tournament's 15 matches the Kodokan won 12, drew one and lost two (Muromoto 2005). The reason why the Kodokan was so successful at this historic meeting lies in one word: Randori. Randori or free sparring trained KanoÕs judokas in as close to real life and death combat as possible.

Randori training, unlike kata training, pits you against a fully resistive, uncooperative opponent. Only through randori and shiai does one truly test the mind, body and spirit under adverse conditions. Judo competition demands that its participants execute techniques against a fully resistive opponent, when physically drained, out of breath, and gasping for air. Such an experience can never be gained through self-defense training via kata or form work alone, no matter how realistic the scenario may be".

...all those judoka who were unable to defeat aikidoka must have erm, forgotten to do their randori that week...

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 01:55 PM
By this standard, Koichi Tohei and O'Sensei were deluded...but then: they're widely acknowledged as possibly the two greatest aikidoka ever.
Hmm...

Quite possible.....;) :rolleyes:

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 01:57 PM
...all those judoka who were unable to defeat aikidoka must have erm, forgotten to do their randori that week...

Graham, that is what I would expect from a bunny.......:p :rolleyes:

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 01:59 PM
...all those judoka who were unable to defeat aikidoka must have erm, forgotten to do their randori that week...

You forget that all those aikidoka were judo players to start with......:rolleyes:

Gorgeous George
01-09-2011, 02:08 PM
Quite possible.....;) :rolleyes:

...yeah: I think you're missing the point I was making: namely, that aikido is about not competing, and that's how you get good at it...

Gorgeous George
01-09-2011, 02:09 PM
Graham, that is what I would expect from a bunny.......:p :rolleyes:

Cool! You win! What a great argument that is!!1!

And you berate others for their inadequate explanations?

Gorgeous George
01-09-2011, 02:11 PM
You forget that all those aikidoka were judo players to start with......:rolleyes:

QED

Damn...

Demetrio Cereijo
01-09-2011, 02:11 PM
and you can?.....

Maybe. I'll tell you when I find it.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 02:14 PM
...yeah: I think you're missing the point I was making: namely, that aikido is about not competing, and that's how you get good at it...

yeeeahh......:D

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 02:17 PM
Maybe. I'll tell you when I find it.

:) ;)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 02:18 PM
Cool! You win! What a great argument that is!!1!

And you berate others for their inadequate explanations?

aren't I.....:D

SteliosPapadakis
01-09-2011, 02:24 PM
I'm implying he could be wrong.

Why don't you provide the relevant paragraphs that prove your claims of Suenaka Sensei being a first hand witness of Ueshiba Morihei fighting challengers?

Μy claims?
I did not write the book, man.
And i do not care to tell you the truth.
I know my Aikido works, and how it works. I know it makes me feel well in class with my friends and we do not compete in anything else but how to make the class move on with friendship and devotion.
Yes, the grandfather up the wall probably condemned competition within his art. Maybe as a youngster he did not. Still i do not care.
It has saved my life 3 times so far against attacks which you could baptise as "competition" or just "unprovoked street violence".
I would never purposely compete against anyone, aikidoka or x-doka. But i readily use the art everyday, from dawn till i go to bed facing all the "attacks" one can face in his life: an angry boss, a retard driving and texting at the same time, a mugger down the road, my crying child.
I was asked to fight a Shotokan Karateka two years ago who thought aikidokas are sissies. I called the guy up and we ended up drinking lager down the pub laughing our bellies off. That competition ended up well. He probably still thinks aikidokas are sissies but that night i know i won cause no harm was done to no-one.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 02:42 PM
Μy claims?
I did not write the book, man.
And i do not care to tell you the truth.
I know my Aikido works, and how it works. I know it makes me feel well in class with my friends and we do not compete in anything else but how to make the class move on with friendship and devotion.
Yes, the grandfather up the wall probably condemned competition within his art. Maybe as a youngster he did not. Still i do not care.
It has saved my life 3 times so far against attacks which you could baptise as "competition" or just "unprovoked street violence".
I would never purposely compete against anyone, aikidoka or x-doka. But i readily use the art everyday, from dawn till i go to bed facing all the "attacks" one can face in his life: an angry boss, a retard driving and texting at the same time, a mugger down the road, my crying child.
I was asked to fight a Shotokan Karateka two years ago who thought aikidokas are sissies. I called the guy up and we ended up drinking lager down the pub laughing our bellies off. That competition ended up well. He probably still thinks aikidokas are sissies but that night i know i won cause no harm was done to no-one.

Many of my past incidents with people, have ended with better understanding too, Stelios.... not all I might add....:disgust:
Those that have come back to me and apologised for their ridiculously bad attitude were impressed with my fortitude and realised their stupidity..... now we all have respect for one another....Resolution of conflict, I would say?:) ;)

Demetrio Cereijo
01-09-2011, 02:44 PM
Μy claims?
You claimed Suenaka Sensei witnessed at least one of Ueshiba fights against a challenger.
I did not write the book, man.
I know.
And i do not care to tell you the truth.
But you cared to spread BS. That makes you a liar, isn't it?
I know my Aikido works, and how it works. I know it makes me feel well in class with my friends and we do not compete in anything else but how to make the class move on with friendship and devotion.
Yes, the grandfather up the wall probably condemned competition within his art. Maybe as a youngster he did not. Still i do not care.
So what?
It has saved my life 3 times so far against attacks which you could baptise as "competition" or just "unprovoked street violence".
Homeric feats.
I would never purposely compete against anyone, aikidoka or x-doka. But i readily use the art everyday, from dawn till i go to bed facing all the "attacks" one can face in his life: an angry boss, a retard driving and texting at the same time, a mugger down the road, my crying child.
What you do in your private life is not my business.
I was asked to fight a Shotokan Karateka two years ago who thought aikidokas are sissies. I called the guy up and we ended up drinking lager down the pub laughing our bellies off. That competition ended up well. He probably still thinks aikidokas are sissies but that night i know i won cause no harm was done to no-one.
So he kicked your rear end and you paid the beers, isn't it?:D

SteliosPapadakis
01-09-2011, 02:52 PM
But you cared to spread BS. That makes you a liar, isn't it?
So he kicked your rear end and you paid the beers, isn't it?:D

Maybe you should be careful with this sort of language, man
The forum has rules, you know

Demetrio Cereijo
01-09-2011, 03:17 PM
Maybe you should be careful with this sort of language, man
The forum has rules, you know

Yes, I know there are rules about foul language. It's a pity there are not rules about lying and stercore tauri spreading.

SteliosPapadakis
01-09-2011, 03:19 PM
Yes, I know there are rules about foul language. It's a pity there are not rules about lying and stercore tauri spreading.

:rolleyes:

Andrew Macdonald
01-09-2011, 07:29 PM
the no competition thing I think sometimes serves to stop aikido development.

I have seen many people throw around these quote when anything they don;t like happens to them. for example the uke uses too much strength, thats compteting, the uke starts to move around and tries to give a more realistic attack, thats competeting. the list goes on

Imagine if this had been said and taken to heart in other martial arts. no competeing in karate, judo etc where would we be then.

RED
01-09-2011, 08:33 PM
I think there is a lack of division between the concepts of competition, and of sport in this thread. They are not one in the same. A sporting mentality is very different from a competitive mind-set. And from any text I've read on the idea of "competition" being wrong for Aikido by the founder and some of his Uchi Deshi, it always was in reference to the concept of "sport". There are actually some instances where competition among deshi in the greater sense, outside of of sporting sense, was tolerated as youthful angst. Competition between classmates exists naturally.
I just want to be clear on whether we are speaking of sporting, or competing with peers.
I've played sports for years and I see the different between competing against another team to declare a winner, and competing with a fellow team mate to push myself to become faster or stronger.
And for that matter, there is a division between sporting effective and martially effective arts. Anyone who's ever entered a karate competition where "hits to the face" are fouls, knows that they tend to not train to guard the face in preparation for sporting events.(For the record this subject has been talked to death in other threads, so I'm not meaning to dig it back up.)

As for my opinion; no offense to the greater sporting Aikido community, I just have never viewed Aikido as a sport. I have always preferred it strictly as a discipline without sporting involved.

Aikirk
01-10-2011, 01:53 AM
the no competition thing I think sometimes serves to stop aikido development.

I have seen many people throw around these quote when anything they don;t like happens to them. for example the uke uses too much strength, thats compteting, the uke starts to move around and tries to give a more realistic attack, thats competeting. the list goes on

Imagine if this had been said and taken to heart in other martial arts. no competeing in karate, judo etc where would we be then.

Maybe we would be better? As mentioned earlier in this thread, people like Jigoro Kano who founded Judo didn't like sport! Just like the earlier karate masters didn't approve of it.

The fact that many early masters said this must mean that it might be true. At that time either it worked or the system/technique died on the battlefield.

guest1234567
01-10-2011, 02:00 AM
the no competition thing I think sometimes serves to stop aikido development.

I have seen many people throw around these quote when anything they don;t like happens to them. for example the uke uses too much strength, thats compteting, the uke starts to move around and tries to give a more realistic attack, thats competeting. the list goes on

Imagine if this had been said and taken to heart in other martial arts. no competeing in karate, judo etc where would we be then.
I don't think if there is no competition it will stop my aikido development, I must compete against myself to improve myself, I'm doing aikido for myself . And of course if uke uses to much strengh it is better to improve myself to deal with that, then I really know that my aikido works, but it is not competition at all.
And thanks Maggie, I agree with your explanation

Andrew Macdonald
01-10-2011, 02:02 AM
I think the old master of those styles were opposed to sport for very very good reasons, it takes away from the art when you stop dealing with it as a true fighting art and try to catch points off people. you play by rules which negate many of the techniques and you end up with a very de clawed version of an art.

however

these epople do compete, they sparr, they test themselves and in the placesi have trained there is far less complaining about no being fair and not allowing the technique, if you land a punch or a throw when i person wasn;t allowing yopu to then you deserved to get it

Aikirk
01-10-2011, 02:23 AM
I think the old master of those styles were opposed to sport for very very good reasons, it takes away from the art when you stop dealing with it as a true fighting art and try to catch points off people. you play by rules which negate many of the techniques and you end up with a very de clawed version of an art.

however

these epople do compete, they sparr, they test themselves and in the placesi have trained there is far less complaining about no being fair and not allowing the technique, if you land a punch or a throw when i person wasn;t allowing yopu to then you deserved to get it

I agree. But this is really not sport, it's justing testing one's skills in a semi realistic scenarium. I believe that most martial arts do this, and I would not say it was sport.
Although some of the same mechanisms apply, like the banning of certain lethal techniques and the likes.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-10-2011, 04:00 AM
the no competition thing I think sometimes serves to stop aikido development.

I have seen many people throw around these quote when anything they don;t like happens to them. for example the uke uses too much strength, thats compteting, the uke starts to move around and tries to give a more realistic attack, thats competeting. the list goes on

Imagine if this had been said and taken to heart in other martial arts. no competeing in karate, judo etc where would we be then.

Bunnies everywhere aaaarrrgghhhh...:D

Tony Wagstaffe
01-10-2011, 04:04 AM
I agree. But this is really not sport, it's justing testing one's skills in a semi realistic scenarium. I believe that most martial arts do this, and I would not say it was sport.
Although some of the same mechanisms apply, like the banning of certain lethal techniques and the likes.

Common sense dictates it.........:rolleyes:

How does one measure ability without an uncooperative partner? :hypno: :freaky:

By having someone compete against you.....;) :hypno: :rolleyes:

Ask someone to be compliant when they do not want to fall down for you , have every intention of taking your head off by pummelling it with their fists and you will know why!!!

Yeeeeesh!!!!

Demetrio Cereijo
01-10-2011, 04:13 AM
I don't think if there is no competition it will stop my aikido development, I must compete against myself to improve myself, I'm doing aikido for myself .

How do you check if you are really improving?

Tony Wagstaffe
01-10-2011, 09:45 AM
Are you speaking of the sporting sense? Or in the general competition sense? Having played sports all my life, the mindset of sporting and competition are entirely different, in my opinion.

There is a big stiff guy in my class who is convinced that Iriminage doesn't work, because frankly few people have ever done it to him earnestly. I'll often grab him first to do iriminage techniques with... to me this is competition to some day prove to him that iriminage might just work. However I find this mindset of competition to be different from sporting. Sporting in which two enter to see whom is better. That is sort of the difference between competing and sporting. Sporting is set up to declare a winner and loser...and is great fun.
But competition within a discipline has no set standard to declare a definite winner and loser, in my opinion. Me besting the stiff guy with iriminage does not mean I won and he lost....it just simply means I've progressed in my understanding of a technique. Thus it is a competition that is helpful, but is not sport, IMO of course.

It's different in football, cricket, ball sports and any other sports until it comes to martial combat sports. Whether it's got rules or not , how can you measure your ability without some form of competitive measure or match? You cannot know your ability without it.....
It only makes sense......:)

All this nonsense that you have to use the deadly technique to kill your opponent is utter rubbish......:crazy: :hypno:

Tony Wagstaffe
01-10-2011, 09:53 AM
How do you check if you are really improving?
Fine if you are doing dance or gymnastics yoga or something , but aikido is a martial art.... Martial arts were designed to be for self defence, not tiddly winks, draughts or snakes and ladders.... and for Henry....... ribbon twirling (only joking sensei!!)
If you want to get fit there are far better ways of doing it.....;)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-10-2011, 09:58 AM
Maybe you should be careful with this sort of language, man
The forum has rules, you know

Say what you want so long as you don't swear!!!! :D ;)

Hellis
01-10-2011, 10:03 AM
Fine if you are doing dance or gymnastics yoga or something , but aikido is a martial art.... Martial arts were designed to be for self defence, not tiddly winks, draughts or snakes and ladders.... and for Henry....... ribbon twirling (only joking sensei!!)

If you want to get fit there are far better ways of doing it.....;)

Ahhhhhhhhhh yes, agreed, there are better ways to exercise, to be religious, to believe in the unbelievable, there are many varied social clubs, but where else could you get to wear a hakama and a black belt and say " I am a man of budo " ;)

Henry Ellis
http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/

Demetrio Cereijo
01-10-2011, 10:11 AM
Fine if you are doing dance or gymnastics yoga or something , but aikido is a martial art.... Martial arts were designed to be for self defence, not tiddly winks, draughts or snakes and ladders.... and for Henry....... ribbon twirling (only joking sensei!!)
If you want to get fit there are far better ways of doing it.....;)

I was not adressing you but, anyway... in my case you're (mostly) preaching to the choir.

However, I don't think aikido (I mean O Sensei's aikido) is a martial art in the sense you give to the term: coherent set of techniques, tactics, strategies and principles aimed at self-defense. Of course aikido (if properly trained) can be used succesfully in self defense situations but, IMNSHO, was not especially designed by O Sensei for that.

Aikirk
01-10-2011, 10:15 AM
It's different in football, cricket, ball sports and any other sports until it comes to martial combat sports. Whether it's got rules or not , how can you measure your ability without some form of competitive measure or match? You cannot know your ability without it.....
It only makes sense......:)

All this nonsense that you have to use the deadly technique to kill your opponent is utter rubbish......:crazy: :hypno:

If we are talking soccer the manager judges the player from what they see them doing in practice as well as mathces. But sport is sport, and the goal is to win competitions. In self defense the goal is not to win competitions, but to come out on top in a situation OR avoid the fight in the first place.

If the person has got af knife for instance, sporting training might mean that you do not take the situation as serious as it should be taken, as you train knowing that there will always be a second chance. The state of mind is absolutely critical in self defense situation.

What is rubbish about atemi to the throat og eyes or kick to the crotch, if you have to? This and pressurepoint applications have nothing to do in sports and sparring. You do believe in pressure points I hope? Nerveendings being pushed against the bones causing pain and uncontrollable movement? The doctor tests your reflexes this way you know.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-10-2011, 10:38 AM
I was not adressing you but, anyway... in my case you're (mostly) preaching to the choir.

However, I don't think aikido (I mean O Sensei's aikido) is a martial art in the sense you give to the term: coherent set of techniques, tactics, strategies and principles aimed at self-defense. Of course aikido (if properly trained) can be used succesfully in self defense situations but, IMNSHO, was not especially designed by O Sensei for that.

There is a slight difference in my aikido I think.......:rolleyes:

The aikido I practice is that of Tomiki/Shodokan where we use shiai sport to measure our progress, All in kata, randori and finally shiai.....:straightf for those who want it..... :D

Most here would disagree with that and we are known as heretics, but at least we are rational heretics....:) ;) :cool:

I'm not preaching to you Demetrio as you already know.....

You tend to be a bit of a preacher yourself, If I'm not mistaken...... :straightf :rolleyes:

Demetrio Cereijo
01-10-2011, 10:48 AM
You tend to be a bit of a preacher yourself, If I'm not mistaken...... :straightf :rolleyes:
Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties. Milton, Areopagitica.
;)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-10-2011, 10:55 AM
If we are talking soccer the manager judges the player from what they see them doing in practice as well as mathces. But sport is sport, and the goal is to win competitions. In self defense the goal is not to win competitions, but to come out on top in a situation OR avoid the fight in the first place.

If the person has got af knife for instance, sporting training might mean that you do not take the situation as serious as it should be taken, as you train knowing that there will always be a second chance. The state of mind is absolutely critical in self defense situation.

What is rubbish about atemi to the throat og eyes or kick to the crotch, if you have to? This and pressurepoint applications have nothing to do in sports and sparring. You do believe in pressure points I hope? Nerveendings being pushed against the bones causing pain and uncontrollable movement? The doctor tests your reflexes this way you know.

I have managed to put people on their asses without resorting to such crude devises, :D even in real life:eek: :hypno: , but if and when they produced a blade, tanbo came in bloody useful.... Nice bloke tanbo..:)
As for the pressure points :dead: Only if you are deadly accurate...:hypno:
You have never been in a real altercation in your life mister.... that is obvious to me....:straightf

Tony Wagstaffe
01-10-2011, 10:58 AM
Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties. Milton, Areopagitica.
;)

And a philosopher too........ blimey :D :D ;)

Gorgeous George
01-10-2011, 12:14 PM
It's different in football, cricket, ball sports and any other sports until it comes to martial combat sports. Whether it's got rules or not , how can you measure your ability without some form of competitive measure or match? You cannot know your ability without it.....
It only makes sense......:)

Koichi Tohei, Gozo Shioda, etc., ad infinitum, fought in WWII...yet strangely, they didn't come back and introduce competition into their aikido.

...not that i'm suggesting facing people who want to kill you, day after day, for years (y'know: in a war?), is a better test of martial efficacy than playing a game with rules a few times a week, of course - that's what martial arts were designed for: effectiveness when playing, hahahaha.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-10-2011, 12:26 PM
Koichi Tohei, Gozo Shioda, etc., ad infinitum, fought in WWII...yet strangely, they didn't come back and introduce competition into their aikido.

...not that i'm suggesting facing people who want to kill you, day after day, for years (y'know: in a war?), is a better test of martial efficacy than playing a game with rules a few times a week, of course - that's what martial arts were designed for: effectiveness when playing, hahahaha.

Graham you wouldn't know......

Demetrio Cereijo
01-10-2011, 12:47 PM
Koichi Tohei, Gozo Shioda, etc., ad infinitum, fought in WWII...yet strangely, they didn't come back and introduce competition into their aikido.

Well, Tomiki Sensei also served, as combatives instructor in Manchukuo and, after the war, he worked as combatives instructor for USAF SAC and was heavily involved in the developement of Kodokan Goshin Jutsu kata (forms of self defense). Maybe he did know a pair of things about how to train for self defense.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-10-2011, 01:07 PM
Well, Tomiki Sensei also served, as combatives instructor in Manchukuo and, after the war, he worked as combatives instructor for USAF SAC and was heavily involved in the developement of Kodokan Goshin Jutsu kata (forms of self defense). Maybe he did know a pair of things about how to train for self defense.

And unfortunately as a prisoner of war in Siberia....
Where, its said, he came up with the tandoku undo and unsuku exercises, and trained whilst in his captivity....

Eric Winters
01-10-2011, 01:14 PM
Hello,

I do not think competition is a bad thing at all. Problems come up when you take advantage of the rules and doing so is not martially sound. If you are pressure testing your training and following good martial principles then I think that can only make your technique better. I have been training in Iwama Ryu for many years and I wish we had something along the lines like the Tomiki guys.

I don't think Ueshiba had a problem with competition only turning Aikido into a sport. I remember being around when Morihiro Saito would come to Northern California to teach and he would tells stories about how in Iwama they would take new blackbelts to a bar and get them into a fight. Ueshiba would find out and tell them that was wrong and then ask if the they won. That sort of tells me he did not have a problem with pressure testing.

Eric

Demetrio Cereijo
01-10-2011, 01:41 PM
I have been training in Iwama Ryu for many years and I wish we had something along the lines like the Tomiki guys.

What happened with?
Variety and sequence of training methods.
...
(5) Freewheeling training.

This is a "no holds barred" exercise allowing your partner to use whatever techniques he wants and you are to cope with them in a freewheeling manner.

Aikirk
01-10-2011, 02:11 PM
I have managed to put people on their asses without resorting to such crude devises, :D even in real life:eek: :hypno: , but if and when they produced a blade, tanbo came in bloody useful.... Nice bloke tanbo..:)
As for the pressure points :dead: Only if you are deadly accurate...:hypno:
You have never been in a real altercation in your life mister.... that is obvious to me....:straightf

Yes, some form of accuracy is what every art is aiming for. But clearly you haven't been studying this, as they aren't that difficult to hit, even in motion. Most people think they have to be struck with pin point accuracy with the index finger, but the underarm, fist, elbow or the likes will in most cases do the trick. If you know how to apply them well, you can nail people to the ground with a knuckle or knock them out only by adjusting the angle of attack on the place you usually hit but get no response from.

No I haven't, and I'm rather proud of it! Self defense and martial arts has a place on earth only beacuse there is a risk of being attacked. The number one priority must be to avoid confrontations. But when looking at your picture I can see that we have very different opinions on this matter.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-10-2011, 02:31 PM
Yes, some form of accuracy is what every art is aiming for. But clearly you haven't been studying this, as they aren't that difficult to hit, even in motion. Most people think they have to be struck with pin point accuracy with the index finger, but the underarm, fist, elbow or the likes will in most cases do the trick. If you know how to apply them well, you can nail people to the ground with a knuckle or knock them out only by adjusting the angle of attack on the place you usually hit but get no response from.

No I haven't, and I'm rather proud of it! Self defense and martial arts has a place on earth only beacuse there is a risk of being attacked. The number one priority must be to avoid confrontations. But when looking at your picture I can see that we have very different opinions on this matter.

As I thought..... keep on bunnying.....:)

Like your honesty though...;)

Yeah ugly bugger ain't I.....

Flintstone
01-10-2011, 02:36 PM
Variety and sequence of training methods.
...
(5) Freewheeling training.

This is a "no holds barred" exercise allowing your partner to use whatever techniques he wants and you are to cope with them in a freewheeling manner.;)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-10-2011, 02:40 PM
Hello,

I do not think competition is a bad thing at all. Problems come up when you take advantage of the rules and doing so is not martially sound. If you are pressure testing your training and following good martial principles then I think that can only make your technique better. I have been training in Iwama Ryu for many years and I wish we had something along the lines like the Tomiki guys.

I don't think Ueshiba had a problem with competition only turning Aikido into a sport. I remember being around when Morihiro Saito would come to Northern California to teach and he would tells stories about how in Iwama they would take new blackbelts to a bar and get them into a fight. Ueshiba would find out and tell them that was wrong and then ask if the they won. That sort of tells me he did not have a problem with pressure testing.

Eric

I think the Iwama stuff is what Proff Ueshiba taught and showed to those who were genuinely interested..... all the demo stuff was just for show and it got the attention of those who "thought" what they were seeing was the real deal..... I have practised some Iwama stuff and it differs very little to T/S aikido, only in that they don't do shiai in the same way as we do that's all..... Also the T/S syllabus is more condensed. Iwama style is more encyclopaedic, but good solid practice....:)

Aikirk
01-10-2011, 02:48 PM
As I thought..... keep on bunnying.....:)

Like your honesty though...;)

No more arguments i see. I don't consider myself an "aikibunny" just because I choose not to get in fights on regular basis. I would consider myself "smart" though.

In every aspect of my practice I strive to push my limits every time I train. So, my good man, I believe you are way off and I would advice you to stop guessing. ;)

Hellis
01-10-2011, 02:59 PM
It is amusing to hear the same spiel from all those that have never been in a serious hostile situation.
They seem to be at home in the " Aikido Dream " thread.

Henry Ellis
http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/

Tony Wagstaffe
01-10-2011, 02:59 PM
No more arguments i see. I don't consider myself an "aikibunny" just because I choose not to get in fights on regular basis. I would consider myself "smart" though.

In every aspect of my practice I strive to push my limits every time I train. So, my good man, I believe you are way off and I would advice you to stop guessing. ;)

I don't guess I sense......i :) ;) :rolleyes:

Tony Wagstaffe
01-10-2011, 03:03 PM
It is amusing to hear the same spiel from all those that have never been in a serious hostile situation.
They seem to be at home in the " Aikido Dream " thread.

Henry Ellis
http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/

That's allright Henry, dreaming is nice for dreamers..... I like my reality, it gives me great freedom to speak my mind........;)

You know, I know, We are lucky.....

Aikirk
01-10-2011, 03:15 PM
I don't guess I sense......i :) ;) :rolleyes:

Then you sensed wrong. ;)

Gorgeous George
01-10-2011, 03:33 PM
Well, Tomiki Sensei also served, as combatives instructor in Manchukuo and, after the war, he worked as combatives instructor for USAF SAC and was heavily involved in the developement of Kodokan Goshin Jutsu kata (forms of self defense). Maybe he did know a pair of things about how to train for self defense.

That's very interesting; but it's beside the point, and off-topic.

The point under discussion was whether playing games is essential to achieving martial effectiveness - not whether Tomiki Sensei taught self defence, thus legitimising his approach, and its effectiveness.

...but wait: doesn't the Yoshinkan headquarters train the Tokyo riot police...?

Tony Wagstaffe
01-10-2011, 03:57 PM
Then you sensed wrong. ;)

You just don't like to know you are beaten is the real truth.....;)

Aikirk
01-10-2011, 04:17 PM
You just don't like to know you are beaten is the real truth.....;)

Beaten? On the streets? I don't think I ever have been. In our discussion? Even less. The winner of an discussion is not the first one to run out of arguments, you know.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-10-2011, 07:10 PM
Beaten? On the streets? I don't think I ever have been. In our discussion? Even less. The winner of an discussion is not the first one to run out of arguments, you know.

yeeeeeesh......:hypno: :rolleyes:

Tony Wagstaffe
01-10-2011, 07:14 PM
That's very interesting; but it's beside the point, and off-topic.

The point under discussion was whether playing games is essential to achieving martial effectiveness - not whether Tomiki Sensei taught self defence, thus legitimising his approach, and its effectiveness.

...but wait: doesn't the Yoshinkan headquarters train the Tokyo riot police...?

Yes and so does the Shodokan train police personel.....

and judo and kendo and..... well .......... ecky thump? :D

Eric Winters
01-11-2011, 08:22 AM
Hello Demetrio,

I never did that exercise just the standard randori and resistance training. I suppose when I open a dojo I will have to develop my version of that type of practice.

Best,

Eric

Eric Winters
01-11-2011, 09:11 AM
Hello Tony Wagstaffe,

I train in TSYR with a Sandan in Tomiki Aikido, he has got good solid technique. Once we have some sort of understanding of what Toby Threadgill does I hope to get together with him and exchange some ideas on aikido.

Best,

Eric

Tony Wagstaffe
01-11-2011, 09:33 AM
Hello Tony Wagstaffe,

I train in TSYR with a Sandan in Tomiki Aikido, he has got good solid technique. Once we have some sort of understanding of what Toby Threadgill does I hope to get together with him and exchange some ideas on aikido.

Best,

Eric

That's marvellous, I don't know Toby Threadgill, but from what little I've heard and seen I would say that he is a most genuine and open minded teacher.....

DonMagee
01-11-2011, 09:35 AM
I take an opposite approach. I do not see competition and sports as things that remove spiritual enlightenment from martial arts, I just see them as a different path to gaining the same enlightenment.

I think many old martial art masters were just that, namely old and locked in their ways. They couldn't see that sports offer the same paths as their ways because they were not their ways.

I think man learns the most about himself when he tests himself. Training for and competing in competition is one way to approach that. As I watch my wife train for an upcoming marathon, I see her go though the same personal discoveries, hardships and awakenings that I myself encountered when training in martial arts.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-11-2011, 11:31 AM
I take an opposite approach. I do not see competition and sports as things that remove spiritual enlightenment from martial arts, I just see them as a different path to gaining the same enlightenment.

I think many old martial art masters were just that, namely old and locked in their ways. They couldn't see that sports offer the same paths as their ways because they were not their ways.

I think man learns the most about himself when he tests himself. Training for and competing in competition is one way to approach that. As I watch my wife train for an upcoming marathon, I see her go though the same personal discoveries, hardships and awakenings that I myself encountered when training in martial arts.

Nicely put Don......:)

Eric Winters
01-11-2011, 12:12 PM
I take an opposite approach. I do not see competition and sports as things that remove spiritual enlightenment from martial arts, I just see them as a different path to gaining the same enlightenment.

I think many old martial art masters were just that, namely old and locked in their ways. They couldn't see that sports offer the same paths as their ways because they were not their ways.

I think man learns the most about himself when he tests himself. Training for and competing in competition is one way to approach that. As I watch my wife train for an upcoming marathon, I see her go though the same personal discoveries, hardships and awakenings that I myself encountered when training in martial arts.

Agreed,

Eric

Demetrio Cereijo
01-11-2011, 01:17 PM
but it's beside the point, and off-topic.
I don't agree.

The point under discussion was whether playing games is essential to achieving martial effectiveness
If you call "playing games" training with the same tools combat sports/military people use or with the so called "aliveness" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=932XUCWlelQ) or in what Threadgill Sensei (a classical budo teacher) calls a psycho-chemical stress response (http://www.shinyokai.com/Essays_PCSConditioning.htm) environment then, for me and for martial effectiveness purposes, is essential*.

...but wait: doesn't the Yoshinkan headquarters train the Tokyo riot police...?
They also train in more arts.

BTW, even the Ki Aikido people have competitions (http://ki-aikido.net/TAIGI/Taigi98.html)

*unless you have the IHTBF, or so it is said.

@ Eric
I've used BJJ-MMA as a susbsitute for "freewheeling training". Not the same thing but at least is something.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-11-2011, 02:07 PM
This is beginning to be fun........

Gorgeous George
01-11-2011, 03:32 PM
I don't agree.

If you call "playing games" training with the same tools combat sports/military people use or with the so called "aliveness" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=932XUCWlelQ) or in what Threadgill Sensei (a classical budo teacher) calls a psycho-chemical stress response (http://www.shinyokai.com/Essays_PCSConditioning.htm) environment then, for me and for martial effectiveness purposes, is essential*.

They also train in more arts.

BTW, even the Ki Aikido people have competitions (http://ki-aikido.net/TAIGI/Taigi98.html)

*unless you have the IHTBF, or so it is said.

@ Eric
I've used BJJ-MMA as a susbsitute for "freewheeling training". Not the same thing but at least is something.

You don't have to agree: you can still be wrong.

I was refuting the argument that competition is essential to achieving effectiveness in aikido, by mentioning those who have fought actual wars, but not competed in their aikido training; you replied by pointing out that Tomiki Sensei taught competition, and trained soldiers for war...it's irrelevant/besides the point/off-topic - it has no effect on this fact.

Martial arts competitions: yes, they're a game - there are rules, and are practiced for fun.
I mean, i've had someone try to mug me: I didn't get a week,or a month's advance notice; I didn't get a list of rules of what the mugger wasn't allowed to do; it was me and him, alone on the street, at midnight: there was no referee, and there was no knowledge that I could stop at any time, and walk away alive - when you know that you could die, it can kind of have a psychological effect on how you approach a competition with someone.
Kind of like stagefright (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stagefright), maybe...

I was also driving down the motorway, one day, when I noticed the car in the outside lane was dragging its side along the barrier; I pointed this out to my friend - who was driving - and he applied the brakes; the car in the outside lane then swung across all three lanes of traffic, narrowly missing our car, and smashed into the barrier on the inside lane.

I kept my cool throughout all of this, which, potentially, could have led to my death, or that of others; we slowed down, and pulled over, checking that the young lady was alright, and calling her an ambulance, and the police - and all this without competing in my aikido...although I still see it as a matter of life and death, and it actually helped to save my life that day.

Have competitions if you like - but don't tell me that unless I do, aikido will be useless in real-life: I know it isn't, from first-hand experience.

Good day.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-11-2011, 03:56 PM
You don't have to agree: you can still be wrong.
Me being wrong doesn't imply you're right.

I was refuting the argument that competition is essential to achieving effectiveness in aikido, by mentioning those who have fought actual wars,
Wars that were fought using guns, airplanes, battleships, etc (and by people who were trained in military combatives) ... not with aikido techniques.

Martial arts competitions: yes, they're a game - there are rules, and are practiced for fun
And for self developement

I mean, i've had someone try to mug me: I didn't get a week,or a month's advance notice; I didn't get a list of rules of what the mugger wasn't allowed to do; it was me and him, alone on the street, at midnight: there was no referee, and there was no knowledge that I could stop at any time, and walk away alive - when you know that you could die, it can kind of have a psychological effect on how you approach a competition with someone.
Kind of like stagefright (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stagefright), maybe...
If you want to start a competition about who has been in worse situations than a mugging attempt go for it, but I've the feeling you're going to lose.

I was also driving down the motorway, one day, when I noticed the car in the outside lane was dragging its side along the barrier; I pointed this out to my friend - who was driving - and he applied the brakes; the car in the outside lane then swung across all three lanes of traffic, narrowly missing our car, and smashed into the barrier on the inside lane.

I kept my cool throughout all of this, which, potentially, could have led to my death, or that of others; we slowed down, and pulled over, checking that the young lady was alright, and calling her an ambulance, and the police - and all this without competing in my aikido...although I still see it as a matter of life and death, and it actually helped to save my life that day.
Things like this happen everyday all around the world to people who never stepped on an aikido dojo. Go figure. Correlation is not causation.

Have competitions if you like - but don't tell me that unless I do, aikido will be useless in real-life: I know it isn't, from first-hand experience.

Useful in real life is not the same than effective in self defense.

Regards.


BTW, would you mind to check Black Belt Magazine, # aug 89, pg 35 to see how was the training in aikido under O Sensei before WWII?

c walker
01-11-2011, 05:43 PM
I don't think many people would disagree that playing sports can have a very positive impact on a person. There are obviously many physical benefits as well as emotional ones, such as overcoming nerves and the fear of competing, right through to learning how to win and lose and having the class to treat them the same. There is also a good social side to playing sports especially for children. Nothing beats seeing your once shy and physically awkward child come out of there shell and positively bloom through there participation of there chosen sport.

So I am a big sports fan, but my Aikido is not a sport. My Aikido is a Budo and most definetly not a Budo Sportiff. There seems to be in my opinion a common misconception on this thread and it seems to be mainly coming from the Tomiki practitioners. And that is when they compete it in any way translates to a practical altercation outside of the dojo/arena. I understand there can be some benefits to competing it can improve conditioning, and can be a lot of fun if that's your thing. What I think is a little misguided is the notion it has any practical or tactical use when being assaulted or regretably finding yourself in a position where you can not avoid, escape or communicate your way out off.. When competing (ignoring the obvious such as rules, referees and environment) two men face each other and get into there stances there is an abundance of time and space, there is some movement mostly to and fro, backwards and forwards, one attacks one defends there is a certain rhythm to it all.

Now compere that to someone trying to physically assault you There may be no warning, there is no time, no space, no forward and backwards, just constant, violent, forward intention that doesn't stop until the attacker achieves what he was after, or you have stopped him. A real altercation looks and feels nothing like a competition because it isn't and to many people on here seem to think what your doing in competition translates to what happens outside of the arena walls.it doesn't and that's why my Aikido is not a sport.

Cheers.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-11-2011, 06:44 PM
I don't think many people would disagree that playing sports can have a very positive impact on a person. There are obviously many physical benefits as well as emotional ones, such as overcoming nerves and the fear of competing, right through to learning how to win and lose and having the class to treat them the same. There is also a good social side to playing sports especially for children. Nothing beats seeing your once shy and physically awkward child come out of there shell and positively bloom through there participation of there chosen sport.

So I am a big sports fan, but my Aikido is not a sport. My Aikido is a Budo and most definetly not a Budo Sportiff. There seems to be in my opinion a common misconception on this thread and it seems to be mainly coming from the Tomiki practitioners. And that is when they compete it in any way translates to a practical altercation outside of the dojo/arena. I understand there can be some benefits to competing it can improve conditioning, and can be a lot of fun if that's your thing. What I think is a little misguided is the notion it has any practical or tactical use when being assaulted or regretably finding yourself in a position where you can not avoid, escape or communicate your way out off.. When competing (ignoring the obvious such as rules, referees and environment) two men face each other and get into there stances there is an abundance of time and space, there is some movement mostly to and fro, backwards and forwards, one attacks one defends there is a certain rhythm to it all.

Now compere that to someone trying to physically assault you There may be no warning, there is no time, no space, no forward and backwards, just constant, violent, forward intention that doesn't stop until the attacker achieves what he was after, or you have stopped him. A real altercation looks and feels nothing like a competition because it isn't and to many people on here seem to think what your doing in competition translates to what happens outside of the arena walls.it doesn't and that's why my Aikido is not a sport.

Cheers.

What does come from competition is the adrenalin rush and keeping your calm even though the volcano wants to explode, the fact that you are going out to win as a gentleman.... it's much harder to win when there are rules to abide by..... one reason it's a little easier to fight for real when in a hostile situ..... an edge, the conditioning, I know.... it works..... :straightf

Eric Winters
01-12-2011, 12:37 AM
Demetrio,

I did BJJ for a year and had a blast but hurt my neck. I may get back into it at some point but I am having enough trouble trying to do TSYR as well as plugging those principles into my aikido.

Best,

Eric

DonMagee
01-12-2011, 09:55 AM
Now compere that to someone trying to physically assault you There may be no warning, there is no time, no space, no forward and backwards, just constant, violent, forward intention that doesn't stop until the attacker achieves what he was after, or you have stopped him. A real altercation looks and feels nothing like a competition because it isn't and to many people on here seem to think what your doing in competition translates to what happens outside of the arena walls.it doesn't and that's why my Aikido is not a sport.

Cheers.

You seem to think that aliveness training can't have these things. I'd say that kind of training is a good gauge of ability.

If you fail in a friendly round of sparing I'm going to wager you are more likely to fail on the street. If you can't punch me in the face I have even less confidence you can eye gouge.

blah blah blah, just search any of my other posts and pretend I typed it here.

c walker
01-12-2011, 10:06 AM
Hi Tony, hope you are well mate.

I would agree with you regarding the adrenalin rush you can experience when competing in sports and the obvious benefits of learning to control the effects and work with them in a positive way. Being exposed to adrenalin is in no way exclusive to sports or competition. Having a meeting with your boss, visiting the dentist, bungee jumping, singing at a karaoke bar sober (it still haunts me :) ), pressure testing or grading in Aikido can all create the same adrenalin and its effects on the body and mind.

Where I would differ slightly, is that all the above create a slow release of adrenaline over a period of time for example the run up to your competition or bungee jump etc. Although the effects on the body/mind can be unsettling it does not come close to the massive adrenaline dump that you experience when you are being assaulted or are about to be attacked. The effects on the body can be quite devastating and triggers the Fight/Flight or if really unlucky Freeze syndrome. It's a completely different feeling to the one experienced when competing in sports in my opinion.

I was also surprised to read that in your opinion it is easier to survive/win a physical assault on the street than it is to win a sport's contest. We have very different views on this and I could not disagree more with what you are saying. However, I do respect that your own personnel experiences have drawn you to this conclusion its just that mine tell me the very opposite is true.

Cheers .

Janet Rosen
01-12-2011, 10:10 AM
It may or may not be "my cup of tea" - don't know as I've never had a chance to play w/ you "thugs" :-) but I don't see anything per se objectionable with a well-defined competition as a training tool within a larger framework.

DonMagee
01-12-2011, 10:16 AM
Hi Tony, hope you are well mate.

I would agree with you regarding the adrenalin rush you can experience when competing in sports and the obvious benefits of learning to control the effects and work with them in a positive way. Being exposed to adrenalin is in no way exclusive to sports or competition. Having a meeting with your boss, visiting the dentist, bungee jumping, singing at a karaoke bar sober (it still haunts me :) ), pressure testing or grading in Aikido can all create the same adrenalin and its effects on the body and mind.

Where I would differ slightly, is that all the above create a slow release of adrenaline over a period of time for example the run up to your competition or bungee jump etc. Although the effects on the body/mind can be unsettling it does not come close to the massive adrenaline dump that you experience when you are being assaulted or are about to be attacked. The effects on the body can be quite devastating and triggers the Fight/Flight or if really unlucky Freeze syndrome. It's a completely different feeling to the one experienced when competing in sports in my opinion.

I was also surprised to read that in your opinion it is easier to survive/win a physical assault on the street than it is to win a sport's contest. We have very different views on this and I could not disagree more with what you are saying. However, I do respect that your own personnel experiences have drawn you to this conclusion its just that mine tell me the very opposite is true.

Cheers .

My first boxing sparing match and my first bjj sparing match had far greater dumps then any fight I have ever been in. Also having watched at least 400 amateur mma bouts. I'd say most of them go down about the same as any 1 on 1 fight with 2 unprepared individuals who are scared, pumped and just wanting to get out of there as soon as possible.

What I find entertaining is the suggestion that not experiencing sparing and being in a even more relaxed and comfortable place doing training that has basically 0 risk (complaint drilling) will better prepare you for the dump and for real resistance.

It might not be perfect, but at least for me sparing and competition is what actually prepared me. I had trained for years and was man handled by white belts my first day in 'that silly sport stuff'

but here I go blah blahing again.

c walker
01-12-2011, 10:25 AM
Hi Don

I am unsure why you have come to the conclusion I don't see the advantages of aliveness training (as you call it), or pressure testing your Aikido. I am all for it, and would positively encourage it.Its just that I don't call it sport or a competition. As for the eye gouges/strikes mate leave them to the self defence/modern combative guys they are not a viable option in a conflict situation unless your flat on your back being choked.

Cheers.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-12-2011, 10:49 AM
So I am a big sports fan, but my Aikido is not a sport. My Aikido is a Budo and most definetly not a Budo Sportiff.
Chris, we all know aikido is not a sport.

There seems to be in my opinion a common misconception on this thread and it seems to be mainly coming from the Tomiki practitioners. And that is when they compete it in any way translates to a practical altercation outside of the dojo/arena.
I didn't see shodothugs claiming direct translation from randori/shiai to street self defense. What they claim is the physical and mental attributes required for shiai and developed via randori (fitness, pain tolerance, thoughness, ability to improvise and react on the fly, stress management, etc) are the same attributes needed for self defense

What I think is a little misguided is the notion it (competition) has any practical or tactical use when being assaulted or regretably finding yourself in a position where you can not avoid, escape or communicate your way out off.
However I think the misguided are those who held the opposite notion.

When competing (ignoring the obvious such as rules, referees and environment) two men face each other and get into there stances there is an abundance of time and space, there is some movement mostly to and fro, backwards and forwards, one attacks one defends there is a certain rhythm to it all
This also happens a lot in real life, especially in the very common cases of intra-specific affective aggresion.

Now compere that to someone trying to physically assault you There may be no warning, there is no time, no space, no forward and backwards, just constant, violent, forward intention that doesn't stop until the attacker achieves what he was after, or you have stopped him.
This is a possibly a case of inter-specific predatory aggresion.

I don't think you can mix both cases (even when they don't always come in their pure form) like if there were the same thing.

A real altercation looks and feels nothing like a competition because it isn't and to many people on here seem to think what your doing in competition translates to what happens outside of the arena walls.it doesn't
In my experience, lots of real altercations look and feel close enough to a competition, even if they aren't exactly the same, for requiring similar instructive strategies for the overlapping aspects between both and different instructive strategies for the non overlapping aspects.

and that's why my Aikido is not a sport.
It doesn't need to be but... is your aikido a budo?

Regards.

PS.

I was also surprised to read that in your opinion it is easier to survive/win a physical assault on the street than it is to win a sport's contest.
In my experience, a street punk (even armed) is an easier opponent than someone trained in combat sports.

they (eyegouges and the like) are not a viable option in a conflict situation unless your flat on your back being choked.
You've chosen the less viable option for when you're flat on your back being choked. This says a lot.

Regards again.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-12-2011, 11:00 AM
Hi Tony, hope you are well mate.

I would agree with you regarding the adrenalin rush you can experience when competing in sports and the obvious benefits of learning to control the effects and work with them in a positive way. Being exposed to adrenalin is in no way exclusive to sports or competition. Having a meeting with your boss, visiting the dentist, bungee jumping, singing at a karaoke bar sober (it still haunts me :) ), pressure testing or grading in Aikido can all create the same adrenalin and its effects on the body and mind.

Where I would differ slightly, is that all the above create a slow release of adrenaline over a period of time for example the run up to your competition or bungee jump etc. Although the effects on the body/mind can be unsettling it does not come close to the massive adrenaline dump that you experience when you are being assaulted or are about to be attacked. The effects on the body can be quite devastating and triggers the Fight/Flight or if really unlucky Freeze syndrome. It's a completely different feeling to the one experienced when competing in sports in my opinion.

I was also surprised to read that in your opinion it is easier to survive/win a physical assault on the street than it is to win a sport's contest. We have very different views on this and I could not disagree more with what you are saying. However, I do respect that your own personnel experiences have drawn you to this conclusion its just that mine tell me the very opposite is true.

Cheers .

Actually Chris I have experienced the big dump you describe, and that has been on many an occasion, where I have had to face assault in my job...... Over the last 23 years I have been assaulted 18 times by people that were either high on alcohol or drugs or both. It it is not pretty I can assure you of that!! I have won through on "spirit" alone and have managed to conduct myself in a gentlemanly way, with only one incident where a dislocated shoulder had became apparent, due to their stupid reaction, the alcohol he had imbibed and that he didn't know that it was!
I was arrested and charged with assault. The outcome in court was that I acted within the law and was cleared of any malicious wrong doing. On all other occasions it was restraint and the fact that I was able to "dump" them on their rear ends or fronts, which usually sufficed because of winding and the need to "fight" was taken away by harsh pinning..... I am convinced that this was made possible through my training in competition and regular randori/shiai training, which is the norm in T/S aikido..... And the earlier judo training I have some experience in....
He on the other hand had to pay the court costs and the discomfort of
his wrong doing....
I do not "look" for trouble. It has a habit of finding me and is one of the drawbacks of the profession I'm in, which happens is very vulnerable to these kind of incidents.....
I might add that I have not always got away completely unscathed and have had to endure some bruising and cuts on half of those occasions......:straightf

I am well. but getting wiser..... thanks, hope you are to.......

c walker
01-12-2011, 04:55 PM
Hi Tony,

This is the first thread I have posted on other than the introduction section since I joined the forum. I may be wrong, but the reason I added my own opinion is that there seems to be a common theme being quite forcefully endorsed. This being, unless you were competing in randori/shiai your Aikido was not going to be a practical or effective martial art. I know for a fact this not to be true. I enjoyed reading your post, and I can see you have a wealth of experience to draw on. I can imagine how unpleasant and unnerving it could be, being on your own in town late at night or on a run down council estate with a group of drunk males for company, but you seem more than up to the job…. I am well mate, thank you for asking.

Hi Demetrio

Although we seem to not share the same opinion on this subject I enjoyed your post.To be honest mate I might have bitten of more than I can chew. I had to look up what intraspecific affective aggression/ inter-specific predatory aggression means :blush:

I agree with you that if two guys feel the need to duke it out for whatever reason (normally because they have not got a brain) maybe sometimes at the very beginning it can resemble a sparring match but after the first engagement it looks and feels nothing like competing/sparring in the dojo. As for my Aikido being a budo I sincerely hope it is. I practise diligently both on and off the mat but its definitely an on going process/journey (following the way and all that it entails). You have also took me out of context when I commented on eye gouges/strikes (apologise everyone for turning this bit in to caveman territory) I said
"
As for the eye gouges/strikes mate leave them to the self defence/modern combative guys they are not a viable option in a conflict situation unless your flat on your back being choked."

At no point do I mention this being my first, second or even third option. I was merely commenting that in my opinion, eye gouges are fairly redundant unless your in a compromised grappling position. Take care mate.

Cheers.

P.S. "In my experience, a street punk (even armed) is an easier opponent than someone trained in combat sports.":) ……..This tells me a lot

Demetrio Cereijo
01-12-2011, 05:46 PM
Hi Chris

I had to look up what intraspecific affective aggression/ inter-specific predatory aggression means :blush:
I made a mistake, my fault. I meant intra-specific predatory aggression. Sorry.

But I think you got the idea. There are many different kinds of aggresion and there are no a single method of self defense that gives answers to all the possibilities. As you served and worked as doorman I think further ellaboration is not needed.

I agree with you that if two guys feel the need to duke it out for whatever reason (normally because they have not got a brain) maybe sometimes at the very beginning it can resemble a sparring match but after the first engagement it looks and feels nothing like competing/sparring in the dojo
I dare to insist in this kind of situation looks and feels more like sparring/competing than contrived kata practise

As for my Aikido being a budo I sincerely hope it is
Me too. If it weren't a budo, why bother in practising it?

On the issue of what to do in compromised grapping situations, I think that trying to provide technical advice in a foreign language could be more confusing than illustrative. I'd suggest you to give ground grappling a try (under competent instruction, of course) for IHTBF.

Take care mate
Same here. Regards

P.S. "In my experience, a street punk (even armed) is an easier opponent than someone trained in combat sports.":) ……..This tells me a lot
:)

PS: I understand you follow the teachings of the late Tamura Sensei. I'd like to know what is your opinion about the kind of practise seen in this clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-VqLN0fwlA)

niall
01-15-2011, 07:56 AM
My blog post this week is about competition in aikido. I'd be glad to have comments.

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/moon-in-the-water-19051/competition-in-aikido-and-budo-4106/

Thanks.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-15-2011, 08:18 AM
My blog post this week is about competition in aikido. I'd be glad to have comments.

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/moon-in-the-water-19051/competition-in-aikido-and-budo-4106/

Thanks.

Criticism (positive, of course) is allowed?

niall
01-15-2011, 08:52 AM
Naturally.

kewms
01-15-2011, 07:43 PM
Apropos of this thread, I've been reading some of Jigoro Kano's writings. He makes an important distinction between competition for the sake of testing/developing one's art, and competition as entertainment for the masses. (He was thinking of sumo, but MMA and boxing are much the same.)

He doesn't seem to think much of martial entertainment, or the people who participate in it. Partly he seems to have seen the lifestyle as decadent and inappropriate for a warrior, and partly he seems to view the goals of professional sports as opposed to those of judo. (Remember, he saw judo as a Way for personal development, not merely a martial art.)

Might be worth digging into Ueshiba Sensei's writings to see if he drew a similar line between the two types of competition.

Katherine

Demetrio Cereijo
01-15-2011, 07:46 PM
Well, I think you have provided the readers of your entry some openings that could be exploited. For instance:

But Japanese martial arts - budo and bujutsu - are completely different. For hundreds of years people have studied budo and bujutsu without matches and competition. They are learned by studying basic movements and kata - stylized forms.

This statement lacks accuracy. There are various examples of koryu bujutsu ryu where matches are held for training purposes. As I'm not a koryu practitioner (and much less an authority in classical japanese martial arts) I can point only to a few of them:
Video:
Owari-kan ryu Sojutsu (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN2g-hD_dSw) (more info here (http://www.koryu.com/library/harmstrong1.html)), Tendo Ryu Naginatajutsu (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjscApgU7eA), Jikishinkage ryu (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dg_P3QCaA7I), Maniwa nen ryu (http://www.ina.fr/economie-et-societe/vie-sociale/video/CPD99004529/les-arts-martiaux-du-japon.fr.html) (you have to pay for it).

Plus various accounts of koryu practitioners like Ellis Amdur:
Araki-ryu, my primary study, always prided itself on its realistic, no-nonsense methods of close combat. Battle in the raw: no prettiness, no aesthetic flourishes, just gut-wrenching survival by any means necessary. Being a so-called classical martial tradition, the principal method of training was pre-arranged forms. However, we sometimes did freestyle training with oaken weapons, as close to the edge as we were willing to go. (...) One day my instructor came in with shinai (bamboo sword) and kendo masks and gloves. No chest protectors. He said that as long as we clung to form practice as our mainstay and in freestyle practice had to pull our blows, we would never know if our techniques had any integrity at all. He conceded that we ran the risk, using "safety" equipment, of covering ground already walked over by modern martial sports like kendo, but he felt we could counter this with two things: maintaining our kata training and freestyle work with wooden weapons, and making the whole body a target. In addition, by minimizing our protection, with no body or leg armor, we would not lose our flinch reactions, because bamboo weapons promised pain if not minor injury. This would keep us honest, as unlike martial sports, there would be no designated target areas for strikes. Just as in a fight to the death, the whole body was a target.
Source: http://www.koryu.com/library/eamdur2.html
I'd suggest reading his book "Old School: Essays on Japanese Martial Traditions"

Josh Reyer (I think he sometimes posts here):
The earliest records of free shiai in Shinkage-ryu go back to the Sengoku period and the 2nd soke Yagyu Munetoshi, who in one poem extols high-level students who think they really have an idea about Shinkage-ryu to do shiai with a kodachi versus a standard sized shinai. Back in those days, and in the early to mid 1700s, such shiai were done without bogu.
Source: http://e-budo.com/forum/showpost.php?p=472043&postcount=117

Koryu budo websites:
There is also the Aikuchi roppo, an advanced form of trainning using fukuro shinai. The fukuro shinai used is made with six strips of bamboo and horse leather. Aikuchi roppo is not constituted by formalized kata, but by free forms, in wich shidachi, using two swords, counter the attacks made by uchidachi
Source: http://www.nitenichiryu.jp/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=53

Scholars: Japanese sports: a history (http://books.google.es/books?id=lbOau1trIMMC), Chapters 1 & 2. Legacies of the Sword: The Kashima-Shinryu and Samurai Martial Culture (http://www.amazon.com/Legacies-Sword-Kashima-Shinryu-Samurai-Martial/dp/0824818792/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1203049644&sr=8-1) especially the part dealing with the developement of fukuro shinai (I'll give you the page numbers later as I don't have it at hand at this moment).

And this without digging much. I figure someone knowdlegeable about classical japanese martial arts could give more examples pointing the inexactitude of your statement. Inexactitude that could be used against your conclusions.

Another statement I find problematic:
O Sensei Morihei Ueshiba the founder of aikido deliberately kept it free of contests and competition.
I believe O Sensei banned (for a lack of better word) 試合.
However, I think we have to consider not only the context and his motivations to be sure what he was trying to convey and why, because he could have arrived to banning 試合 based in erroneous assumptions (unless his words have to be taken as holy scripture or if his person was preserved from even the possibility of error like the Pope when teaching ex cathedra). Maybe we are interpreting his words erroneously. Maybe we should analyze if this banning is still valid considering we are living in different times, countries and cultures. And, last but not least, consider if followind blindly the banning we are falling into the heresy (http://quotationsbook.com/quote/18953/).

I think statements like this one of O Sensei, being so open to interpretation, analisis and discussion, are not useful to support banning matches if they are done as quality controls.

Another statement I have issues with is:
He (O sensei) used a phrase, Masakatsu agatsu 正勝吾勝 winning over yourself, to emphasize this.
I think I've read something about this phrase, possibly written by Prof. Goldsbury, that points to "winning over yourself" being a poor translation of the name of a deity in the Kojiki. Maybe you should check with him to be sure.

Also:
There is another phrase in Japanese martial arts, kokkishin 克己心, that also means winning over yourself
I don't know about Japanese language but I'm not sure if "self - restraint" has the same meaning of "winning over yourself" in English (but as English is a language I barely know, probably I'm wrong). However I'm sure in Spanish "dominio de sí mismo" is not exactly the same as "victoria sobre uno mismo". Can you ellaborate?.

OTOH:
Tomiki Sensei was a judoka who was sent personally by Kano Jigoro Sensei to study aikido with O Sensei.
This is in contradiction with:

In the autumn of 1926 Kenji Tomiki was introduced to Morihei Ueshiba in Tokyo by his friend Hidetaro Nishimura (formerly Kubota) from the Waseda University Judo Club. Tomiki was immediately impressed by Ueshiba's aikido techniques. The techniques were different from judo but left a deep impression on him. After this, with his younger brother Kensaburo, Tomiki started going to Ueshiba's dojo in Gotanda every day. During the following summer holiday in 1927 Tomiki went to Ayabe, because Ueshiba had moved there, and trained with him for a month.
Source: http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/rekishi3.html

Consider also Kano didn't saw O Sensei demoing until 4 years later (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=342), then we have serious discrepancies between your statement and both Shodokan home page and Nidai Doshu.

BTW, the use of loaded words like "Most aikido practitioners have a more traditional and purist vision of aikido." and qualifiyng Tomiki line as "minor style" makes me think on you having some kind of agenda.

So, reading your entry, I feel that if someone tried to destroy the arguments you have used to support your conclusions he/she will have a very easy job. Too much suki for someone of your rank, experience and skill, methinks.

PS: bold mine.

niall
01-15-2011, 09:48 PM
Thanks Demetrio. I appreciate all your comments and the trouble you went to. There is a danger though in getting absorbed with details and missing the main points as a result. Of course the details must be accurate but please don't forget to consider the thesis. Thanks for doing it in English. Your English is excellent but you should be careful about making inferences which do not exist. In English the statements of general principle I made about budo and bujutsu do not imply that there could never be any exceptions. Minor is an accurate description of competition aikido. Traditional and purist are also accurate terms. They are not loaded. It looks as if I misunderstood the timing about Tomiki Sensei and O Sensei so thanks for that accurate information (and I'll include that in the post). But that detail is not relevant to the point that Tomiki Sensei took his judo Weltanschauung and imposed it on his aikido.

masakatsu agatsu 正勝吾勝 correct victory self victory
apparently this is a phrase or part of a phrase from Shinto and I have not heard it in a normal martial arts context other than in the words of O Sensei. I'd be interested to hear the interpretations of other people.

kokkishin 克己心 victory over self (victory with a sense of beyond)
This phrase is sometimes heard in martial arts including kendo.

niall
01-15-2011, 10:09 PM
One more point about kokkishin as I understand it.

Kokkishin 克己心 victory over self DOES contain the idea of competiton. But in the sense that you go beyond the self of yesterday.And tomorrow you will strive to go beyond the self of today.

Josh Reyer
01-16-2011, 06:29 AM
In English the statements of general principle I made about budo and bujutsu do not imply that there could never be any exceptions.
Actually, the bujutsu ryuha that did not engage in free practice were probably the exceptions. The majority of kenjutsu ryuha in the Edo period were favorably disposed to shiai, which is why they were lost; they became subsumed in the late-Edo period popularity of what is now modern kendo. Many jujutsu ryuha were similarly subsumed by judo in the Meiji period. Even among the kenjutsu ryuha that survive today, virtually all of them doing so because they were the most conservative of ryuha, you had Nen-ryu, Shinkage-ryu, Jikishinkage-ryu, and Niten Ichi-ryu actively practicing shiai, even though they placed greater importance on kata than other, now lost, ryuha. I think it's a mistake to extrapolate too much from the classical ryuha that still exist. In a sense, the conservatism that helped them survive to modern day make them poor representations of "typical" ryuha of the Edo period.

niall
01-16-2011, 08:27 AM
Thanks, Josh, that's very interesting. Free practice isn't something you would usually associate with koryu. What I actually said was 'without matches and competition' and I meant those in the normal sense we apply to gendai budo. Do you have any comments about nuances in the Japanese phrases masakatsu agatsu or kokkishin? Thanks, Niall

Demetrio Cereijo
01-16-2011, 06:15 PM
Thanks Demetrio. I appreciate all your comments and the trouble you went to. There is a danger though in getting absorbed with details and missing the main points as a result. Of course the details must be accurate but please don't forget to consider the thesis.
I didn't forget the thesis: "For hundreds of years people have studied budo and bujutsu without matches and competition. They are learned by studying basic movements and kata - stylized forms." and what this implies regarding O Sensei banning 試合

You are using exceptions (ryuha whose training was kata only based) as if they were the rule. There are also numerous accounts of matches and competitions in Edo and Meiji eras. As this should be in the "non aikido martial traditions", and not wanting to break the rules, I'll stop here.

BTW, I've checked Prof. Friday's "Legacies of the Sword", the pages I was referring to are 100-119. Would you mind to read it and tell me where he is wrong, Same for Ellis' "Old School" and Guttman & Thompson "Japanese Sports: A History". Thanks in advance.

Minor is an accurate description of competition aikido
You mean "not very important or valuable" or "small in number, quantity, or extent" or "not very serious"?

Traditional and purist are also accurate terms. They are not loaded.
No, they arne't accurate and yes, they are.loaded

But that detail is not relevant to the point that Tomiki Sensei took his judo Weltanschauung and imposed it on his aikido.
Dilthey much?

kokkishin 克己心 victory over self (victory with a sense of beyond)
This phrase is sometimes heard in martial arts including kendo.
Also means self-denial, but we are not talking about the river in Egypt, are we?

Regards.

niall
01-16-2011, 07:45 PM
Demetrio you need better dictionaries. I've made my position clear and I'm not interested in repeating myself. I noticed you used the word suki. So you see a discussion as competition. My model of discussion is an exchange of opinions so that everyone learns. But it certainly explains your aggression in forums. By the way when you say we all know that aikido is not a sport who are you speaking for? Tomiki Sensei thought it was and so might his students.

Gorgeous George
01-16-2011, 08:45 PM
...you see a discussion as competition. My model of discussion is an exchange of opinions so that everyone learns. But it certainly explains your aggression in forums.

Well said.

Budd
01-16-2011, 10:36 PM
Demetrio you need better dictionaries. I've made my position clear and I'm not interested in repeating myself. I noticed you used the word suki. So you see a discussion as competition. My model of discussion is an exchange of opinions so that everyone learns. But it certainly explains your aggression in forums. By the way when you say we all know that aikido is not a sport who are you speaking for? Tomiki Sensei thought it was and so might his students.

Tomiki thought to replicate the shiai model that judo had within an aikido framework - to attribute that to imply he thought aikido was a "sport" is rather erroneous and speaks to some ignorance around how Kano modeled judo to begin with. That they have evolved to sporting competitions, I'd argue there's persons within both "sports" that wish for older days when it was more about the shiai and less about the "competition".

Niall, both you and Graham seem to only want to focus on the sides of the discussion that support your points, while minimizing the counterpoints offered - then crying foul when someone does it back to you. If you really want to keep it to an "exchange of opinions" try taking the high road and give credence to the very valid counterpoints offered based on historical precedence ;)

niall
01-17-2011, 02:04 AM
both competition judo and competition aikido have been derived from the essence of the ancient schools of jujutsu and developed into modern, competitive sports.
Kenji Tomiki.

Well that's what he said.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-17-2011, 03:52 AM
Demetrio you need better dictionaries.
For sure. I've been using Compact and New Nelsons for Japanese and a Pocket Collins for English. Which ones you recommend?
I've made my position clear and I'm not interested in repeating myself.
No problem.
I noticed you used the word suki. So you see a discussion as competition.
It’s a budo term.
My model of discussion is an exchange of opinions so that everyone learns.
Mine is similar, but there is a slight difference between your model and mine: I provide as support of my opinions data and references everybody can check and review.
But it certainly explains your aggression in forums.
How so?
By the way when you say we all know that aikido is not a sport who are you speaking for?
For those in the know.
Tomiki Sensei thought it was and so might his students.
I’d like to read your hermeneutical work about Tomiki Sensei.

niall
01-17-2011, 08:38 AM
Demetrio, in budo first you have to learn to deal with yourself, not the 相手 aite. So my advice is 克己心 kokkishin. Good luck.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-17-2011, 12:02 PM
Demetrio, in budo first you have to learn to deal with yourself, not the 相手 aite. So my advice is 克己心 kokkishin. Good luck.

Being deeply learned and skilled, being well trained and using well spoken words; this is good luck.

Thanks for the exchange.

L. Camejo
01-17-2011, 07:48 PM
Interesting but tiresome thread. It's loaded with many wrong assumptions about Tomiki's approach (and Kano's as well), especially the blog.:eek: Honestly, too many to itemize and comment on.

At the time when Tomiki trained with Ueshiba M., O-Sensei taught Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu (later called Aiki Budo). The vast majority of religious, non-combative elements that make up "modern" "traditional" "Aikido" did not even exist in the training at that time. At that time it was a martial art - a means of combat and a form of Jujutsu. The central idea was to win (aka survive) when in a combat or self defence situation. As a result, what Tomiki and those of that time studied is not what most "traditional" Aikidoists would call or recognize as "Aikido".

Suffice it to say that if one is doing a martial art (a term that does not apply to most of the training methods used in the Aikido world today), it is critical to test your technique, strategy, tactics and concepts against every possible scenario for the sake of ones own development. Competition is not a perfect approach to this sort of testing but it does give very good feedback on core areas. It is a great tool when used in the proper training context.

Folks talk a lot about "victory over self" as a key objective. If one has ever stepped on the mat in Shodokan shiai (or even in randori practice) one would realize that without victory over the self at many levels, it is impossible to even enter shiai or resistance randori, much less last an entire bout. Shiai is designed to test victory and control over physical, emotional and spiritual self when one is placed in adverse conditions where victory is not guaranteed by prior arrangement or agreement.

I have no issue if certain Aikidoka want nothing to do with competition. That is a personal choice that is linked to their overall goals. But Ueshiba M. was kept abreast of Tomiki's research into competitive Aikido throughout much of its development and did not indicate any issue with the path that was being taken at Waseda University. Tomiki's method was even introduced to the Aikikai before Ueshiba K. took control of operations there, so I find it hard to believe that Ueshiba M. condemned the whole concept, despite well known statements to the contrary. I think the actual relationship between Tomiki and Ueshiba M. on competition was somewhat more complex than an absolute "no to shiai" else O-Sensei would not even allow the method to be taught to Aikikai students in the earlier days and later in Osaka at Hirokazu Kobayashi's Aikikai dojo.

Some have issue with the win/lose concept of competition. I dare say that if one is trained and taught correctly, this is not an issue in Aikido shiai. This is because shiai is about self development and should provide a win/win scenario when done right. If one loses a match he wins because he should be learning something about himself and how close or far away he is from "victory over self". Why one lost the match goes a long way towards where one needs to work next to move closer towards self victory.

If one wins a match, one also learns something about oneself and can analyze ones performance and work on ways of becoming even more efficient or effective in shiai and also apply the lessons learnt to situations outside of the limited competition environment.

Sadly, competition is often blamed for what are really weaknesses in the human ego. Shiai reveals critical weaknesses in our overall self so we often blame the messenger instead of addressing the weakness.

Like anything else, if the individual allows the training method to cause tunnel vision (i.e. focusing ONLY on shiai, or ONLY on kata) then one compromises the potential for learning and self development as the lessons are not applied to the wider world. Imho this applies to all martial arts and martial artists and is not limited to any particular individual, style or system. In the end what you don't train can hurt you. The real question is whether one cares or not.

Just some thoughts.
LC

Tony Wagstaffe
01-17-2011, 08:14 PM
Honest thought in my opinion Larry.......:) ;)

Nicholas Eschenbruch
01-18-2011, 01:50 AM
Great post Larry!

PeterR
01-18-2011, 03:26 AM
I didn't forget the thesis: "For hundreds of years people have studied budo and bujutsu without matches and competition. They are learned by studying basic movements and kata - stylized forms." and what this implies regarding O Sensei banning 試合

More accurately the debate about competition or not has been going on for 100s of years. Judo itself got its recognition by victory over several jujitsu ryu and it was expected in many ryu that student's would go out and test their mettle often by arrangement.

Karl Friday talks about his teacher going up against an 8th Dan aikidoka (no names were mentioned) and winning. Ueshiba faced the Kendo guy. These were matches by any definition. Personally I think Tomiki was right when he said that Aikido training was missing something. He thought the answer was Judo like randori and shiai for the young bucks. It is pretty clear that Ueshiba had a somewhat different view but I also don't think the lack of competition has saved most aikidoist from themselves.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-18-2011, 05:36 AM
Hi Peter,

I think you misunderstood my post.

Gorgeous George
01-18-2011, 05:47 AM
@Larry
@Peter

Thanks a lot, guys. There have been a few people from the Tomiki style who have been incoherent, and abusive, in the way they express themselves; you two are a credit to your style.

Regards competition/training with a resisting partner: I train aikikai, and I love it; Seishiro Endo Sensei really sums up what I want to be able to achieve in aikido.
I don't have any desire to compete, and I can't even compete when playing football anymore - that desire has been trained out of me... - but occasionally, me and my step-father will playfight.
He's very strong, having been a mechanic for all his life, and he has a fighting history even Mr Wagstaffe would accept(!); anyway, I easily avoid him pushing me over, and I even got a nikkyo on him, the other day. I just stood there, holding his hand and arm, wondering how the hell i'd done it.

So I guess that has shown me that my aikido works - in spite of my training method - and that I had the right attitude: 'no mind'.

In the wake of that, I have thought quite a bit about the possibility of doing some competition: just going to a judo club, maybe, where the other person would instigate, and make all the running, so I wouldn't have to (I don't think I could, or would like to) - not a competitive aikido class; but as fun as it was just doing some aikido in a freestyle format, I don't think I could do competition, as I think it'd require a mindset - not 'no mind', but a pre-conceived mentality.

How have you guys found competition: do you have to stifle your impulse to strike, or do illegal techniques? Do you tense up, and begin wrestling/using physical strength? Do you try and force techniques - going against 'the flow'?

I guess the issue I have with competition in aikido is that the essence of it, for me, is non-resistance, and freedom from desire: you strive to avoid conflict - but that's what a competition is...

Sincerely

- Graham :)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-18-2011, 10:53 AM
@Larry
@Peter

Thanks a lot, guys. There have been a few people from the Tomiki style who have been incoherent, and abusive, in the way they express themselves; you two are a credit to your style.

Regards competition/training with a resisting partner: I train aikikai, and I love it; Seishiro Endo Sensei really sums up what I want to be able to achieve in aikido.
I don't have any desire to compete, and I can't even compete when playing football anymore - that desire has been trained out of me... - but occasionally, me and my step-father will playfight.
He's very strong, having been a mechanic for all his life, and he has a fighting history even Mr Wagstaffe would accept(!); anyway, I easily avoid him pushing me over, and I even got a nikkyo on him, the other day. I just stood there, holding his hand and arm, wondering how the hell i'd done it.

So I guess that has shown me that my aikido works - in spite of my training method - and that I had the right attitude: 'no mind'.

In the wake of that, I have thought quite a bit about the possibility of doing some competition: just going to a judo club, maybe, where the other person would instigate, and make all the running, so I wouldn't have to (I don't think I could, or would like to) - not a competitive aikido class; but as fun as it was just doing some aikido in a freestyle format, I don't think I could do competition, as I think it'd require a mindset - not 'no mind', but a pre-conceived mentality.

How have you guys found competition: do you have to stifle your impulse to strike, or do illegal techniques? Do you tense up, and begin wrestling/using physical strength? Do you try and force techniques - going against 'the flow'?

I guess the issue I have with competition in aikido is that the essence of it, for me, is non-resistance, and freedom from desire: you strive to avoid conflict - but that's what a competition is...

Sincerely

- Graham :)
Not abusive Graham just a wee bit of pee taking..... if ya can't handle that? What can you handle? I really wonder.....
Why not pop along to a Shodokan club and try out the training, you might be quite surprised
Plenty near your way.....

You wouldn't like me abusive Graham..... I go all green.......

L. Camejo
01-19-2011, 09:05 PM
How have you guys found competition: do you have to stifle your impulse to strike, or do illegal techniques? Do you tense up, and begin wrestling/using physical strength? Do you try and force techniques - going against 'the flow'?Hi Graham,

Everything you said above are quite possible with competition training so it is important that one knows where the benefits of the training tool exist and where they stop.

As for me - the impulse to strike (as in deliver a k.o. punch or similar) is not really there since the atemi waza we are taught are designed to off-balance and throw ones partner. As a result, when I hit my partner the objective is to throw him, not to use a percussive strike to cause direct injury.

Tensing up and wrestling are some pitfalls that I have found showing up with many who do a lot of competition training. It takes a lot for humans to not tense up when in a non-compliant situation. It's a natural response to a threat.

For me, I work to stay true to the kata and kihon waza. If I do that while practicing shiai and randori then true Aikido technique appears and the wrestling and tensing is kept to a minimum or eliminated. The thing is, the more resistance randori one does, the more one learns where fear starts to set in and where tension and the need to "fight" or wrestle shows itself. In this way we can work on increasing our ability to stay relaxed under pressure as we can systematically reveal the points where abnormal tension occurs as we proceed through a bout with our partner.

As regards forcing technique, yes I have seen this happen a lot and is again a result of the fear that sets in when ones first technique does not work. The thing is, ones partner knows every technique that one can apply and will block it or counter immediately unless kuzushi is achieved and maintained throughout the technique. So executing successful waza against a skillfully resisting opponent is difficult for almost everyone. This is where combination techniques come in, where one uses the resistance and movement of ones partner as the means to effect the next technique.

Imho the only difference between shiai and non-shiai folks in this light is that those who do shiai have a much better idea of where their failure points are and have probably developed mechanisms to compensate for them or fix them, whereas the non-shiai folks will probably first discover these limitations during a serious encounter where there is little room for failure.

I guess the issue I have with competition in aikido is that the essence of it, for me, is non-resistance, and freedom from desire: you strive to avoid conflict - but that's what a competition is...To me, the ideal situation in shiai is non-resistance. If this is not achieved it becomes the exploitation of resistance to create non-resistance. If one resists by tensing up instead of relaxing he greatly limits his potential to sense his partner's subtle movements correctly and execute effective waza when suki appears.

Mushin mugamae (no mind no posture) is a central tenet of how we train, regardless if it is for shiai, self defence or personal development. The person who is focused on winning almost always creates openings for his partner to exploit (mental focus is separated to more than one simultaneous objective), so imho and ime desiring to win is contrary to actually achieving that goal. So a good competition mindset should be free of desire imho.

As regards striving to avoid conflict I see things differently. Imho I can only hope to continually evade and/or prevent something by improving my understanding of it. While shiai is not a conflict as in a life and death struggle (it is usually very friendly actually), it does give me insight into how I behave when placed in a situation where I do not always get my way. This information is priceless for me as it teaches a bit about why I should aim to avoid conflict to start with (i.e. I might become a walking pin-cushion for someone with sharp object). :)

By entering into competition I mimic many of the final elements of an actual conflict (the stage of physical engagement) and once again the knowledge gained in these tests give information that cannot otherwise be easily obtained by non-violent means. It is not a perfect model of what may happen in a combative engagement but it gives more insight than if I did not engage in such a practice.

Imho Aikidoka may have common potential weaknesses in technique, tactics, strategy etc. across training methods, styles, organizations etc. Competition and resistance training are a couple ways of testing to find out what those weaknesses may be within a controlled environment to ensure that proactive steps may be taken to fix those weaknesses.

As said earlier, there are many whose training goals have nothing to do with the martial aspects of the art and as a result, shiai will make no sense to them as it has no purpose in regards to the goals they want to achieve. There is nothing wrong with that, but this is not the only approach to Aikido that exists.

Just my thoughts.
LC

SteliosPapadakis
04-05-2011, 06:52 AM
i feel i owe an apology to everyone for something i have written...,
Somewhere, in the past previous pages on this thread, i insisted on something i had read in the past. It concerned a particular event in which O' Sensei stood in front of a firing squad and avoided their bullets in order to prove the power of (his) internal excellence...On my post i insisted that it was Roy Suenaka Sensei that describes this event as an on the spot whitness.
Lately, i had time to browse through my books and found out that Roy Suenaka Sensei does not descibe such an event in his book "Complete Aikido". Search upon search in my library revealed that the particular incident is described by John Stevens Shihan in the book "The Art of Peace".
Again, my apologies to all...

Demetrio Cereijo
04-05-2011, 06:54 AM
Hi Stelios,

Sometimes memory fail us. Don't worry.

Tony Wagstaffe
04-20-2011, 07:02 PM
Interesting article from AJ.....

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=430

L. Camejo
04-21-2011, 11:38 AM
Interesting article from AJ.....

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=430

Thanks Tony.

One of the best articles I've read in a while. :)

Best to you.

LC

Tony Wagstaffe
04-21-2011, 12:12 PM
Thanks Tony.

One of the best articles I've read in a while. :)

Best to you.

LC

And to you..... But I have to admit to being a little biased.
Tomiki Shihan is one of the least well known about, it's shame as I feel he was most likely the best teacher out of all Proff Ueshiba's Deshi...
He has made "aikido" a lot easier to understand and make practical to all those who have tried the T/S system.... I would say that Shioda comes a close second, followed by Saito....

David Orange
04-21-2011, 08:44 PM
So I know that this has been discussed - quite heatedly - in the past, here.
And I know that there have always been people saying that there is ambiguity, on account of translation from Japanese to English, about O'Sensei's opinion.

But I got this book for Christmas:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Aikido-Philosophy-Takemusu-Aiki/dp/4770031149/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1294343973&sr=8-1

...it's the translation, and organisation of a series of lectures O'Sensei gave to a religious organisation, and while I understand the author (John Stevens) has no doubt got his own interpretation, and outlook, etc., there is a passage which is very detailed, and so, I think, near-impossible to be mistaken about:

'True budo can never be a sport. In budo we strive to refine and perfect our characters. If we can perfect our characters, we can accomplish anything; in that spirit we as human beings can protect the environment from harm.

Our country never developed Western-style competitive sports, but these days there are those among us who are glad that martial arts are becoming sports. That, however, is a gross misunderstanding of the true nature of budo. Sports are games and a form of play, They are games played by physical entities, not matters of the spirit. In other words, they involve mere competition. Budo, however, is a means to maintain and promote harmony'

(Morihei Ueshiba and John Stevens, The Heart of Aikido: The Philosophy of Takemusu Aiki (Kodansha International Ltd, 2010), p. 52)

Opinions, interpretations, insights...?

I think that describes O Sensei's attitude very well. Mochizuki Sensei shared that attitude. Though he developed a system of all-out randori to ground submission if necessary, it was never a sport and there was never a score. Every encounter was pure research and the outcome was pure experience to be understood in terms of the principles of budo. Even Jigoro Kano resisted the inclusion of judo as an Olympic sport and that inclusion has degraded judo. Yoshio Sugino, a very tiny man, but incredibly formidable in judo, quit judo when weight classes were established.

There is some room for sporting elements in budo--such as old-style judo--but when the sporting element takes over, the budo is no longer there.

Best wishes.

David

Chris Li
04-21-2011, 08:55 PM
I think that describes O Sensei's attitude very well. Mochizuki Sensei shared that attitude. Though he developed a system of all-out randori to ground submission if necessary, it was never a sport and there was never a score. Every encounter was pure research and the outcome was pure experience to be understood in terms of the principles of budo. Even Jigoro Kano resisted the inclusion of judo as an Olympic sport and that inclusion has degraded judo. Yoshio Sugino, a very tiny man, but incredibly formidable in judo, quit judo when weight classes were established.

There is some room for sporting elements in budo--such as old-style judo--but when the sporting element takes over, the budo is no longer there.

Best wishes.

David

It's a translation of "Takemusu Aiki" (somewhat abridged to make it more comprehensible). And yes, in the original Japanese Ueshiba states quite clearly that competition is "forbidden".

Once again, before anybody goes nuts again, I'm not saying he's right (or wrong), just that his opinion was stated quite clearly, in his own words.

Best,

Chris

mathewjgano
04-21-2011, 09:22 PM
It's a translation of "Takemusu Aiki" (somewhat abridged to make it more comprehensible). And yes, in the original Japanese Ueshiba states quite clearly that competition is "forbidden".

Once again, before anybody goes nuts again, I'm not saying he's right (or wrong), just that his opinion was stated quite clearly, in his own words.

Best,

Chris

Hi Chris,
How do you reconcile that with the times where people did challenge each other (e.g. Tohei and Abe; Tohei and the camera man)? It seems like some forms of competition (at least, as I think of the word) were ok some of the time.
Take care,
Matt

Chris Li
04-21-2011, 09:25 PM
Hi Chris,
How do you reconcile that with the times where people did challenge each other? It seems like some forms of competition (at least, as I think of the word) were ok some of the time.
Take care,
Matt

He was talking about sporting contests (shiai), not competition as a general concept.

Best,

Chris

mathewjgano
04-21-2011, 09:26 PM
He was talking about sporting contests (shiai), not competition as a general concept.

Best,

Chris

Thanks, Chris!

David Orange
04-21-2011, 09:45 PM
Hi Chris,
How do you reconcile that with the times where people did challenge each other (e.g. Tohei and Abe; Tohei and the camera man)? It seems like some forms of competition (at least, as I think of the word) were ok some of the time.
Take care,
Matt

In addition to Chris' comment, I'd like to add that challenges among budo men tended to be rather more serious than a sporting match. No points were awarded and the underlying question was which could kill the other? Maybe the difference between budo and bujutsu is that the budo men could understand who was better without having to take it all the way to someone's literal death.

David

Tony Wagstaffe
04-21-2011, 10:30 PM
Are you anti competition guys absolutely sure of that? I wasn't there nor were most if not all on this forum, so how can we really know that....?:confused:

We seem to forget that according to scripture (and we all know what that is like don't we David), the great Tohei left the aikikai, because K Ueshiba was jealous of Tohei's influence. What's to say that Tomiki didn't do much the same..... as K was losing what was handed down to him?
Even Mochizuki's lot do competition of sorts now don't they?

Blimey what a mess.....

Chris Li
04-21-2011, 11:36 PM
Are you anti competition guys absolutely sure of that? I wasn't there nor were most if not all on this forum, so how can we really know that....?:confused:

It's out of print, but you can still find it and read it in his own words (if you read Japanese) - try:

http://ps06.aucfan.com/aucview/yahoo/r76803845/

Alternatively, there's an audio recording of a radio interview where you can here him say the very same thing in his own voice - it's even subtitled in English:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/catalog/productdetails?code=os06

Really, the "we weren't there" argument doesn't hold a lot of water, the evidence is quite clear.

And I'm not one of the "anti competition guys", all I'm saying is that it is a matter of record that Ueshiba quite clearly condemned the transformation of Aikido into a sport.

Best,

Chris

David Orange
04-22-2011, 01:19 AM
Are you anti competition guys absolutely sure of that?

Sport has nothing to do with budo, Tony. They're incompatible by nature.

I wasn't there nor were most if not all on this forum, so how can we really know that....?:confused:

I had long talks with Mochizuki Sensei as well as listening to his lengthy lectures and reading extensively in what he wrote. I also translated a book that he wrote, which was never published. You can look up some of his articles about the relation of sport to budo on aikido journal's website. Not only was Ueshiba abhorrent of the idea of sporting competition, Kano was rather conflicted about it. He definitely did not want judo to become an Olympic sport. Mochizuki's attitude was a mix of the two. He believed that there is a time and place and function for sport, especially judo. But he was clear that budo can never become sport or it will cease to exist. The essence of budo is far greater than the sum of sport, even though we can learn and grow with sport. But sport can also limit our growth and narrow our development, which is anathema to the spirit of budo.

We seem to forget that according to scripture (and we all know what that is like don't we David), the great Tohei left the aikikai, because K Ueshiba was jealous of Tohei's influence. What's to say that Tomiki didn't do much the same..... as K was losing what was handed down to him?

Toheis' problems with Kisshomaru were not related to sport. It was a matter of family familiarity breeding a lot of trouble. They were brothers-in-law, you know: Tohei married Kisshomaru's sister. He had the skill and Kisshomaru had the title. It was bound to happen.

And I don't think Tomiki's split was anything at all like that. He had his own organization a long time before Morihei Ueshiba died. It wasn't even a split, really, but more along the lines of Shioda's creation of his own aikido.

Even Mochizuki's lot do competition of sorts now don't they?

That's Minoru Mochizuki's son's group. I only know about what Minoru Mochizuki taught, and that included the fact that budo cannot be sport and that aikido is budo. He created a very broad form of randori which was more open and free than anything I've seen from shodokan: attackers came from all directions with karate, judo, sumo, jujutsu attacks, bearing bokken, clubs, staffs, knives, whatever, one after the other, and if the defender didn't throw someone with aikido in the very first move, that attacker would counter attack and it often went to submission grappling. Try that with ten attackers in a row. So it was athletic, no question about that. The aikido included every aikido technique but also every judo throw, every kind of jujutsu lock and hold and especially a broad number--maybe fifty--of sutemi waza. Most nights, we'd do a straight hour of sutemi-only randori with five or six black belts. There were usually more black belts than that in attendance, but we usually broke into smaller groups of five or six. Again, we got every kind of attack but every technique we did had to be sutemi. We did not do that for weapon attacks.

That was heavy duty practice, very serious. You had to be in a very steady state of mind because you were putting your neck on the line every time you stepped out there. And we got people from all over the world, stopping by to train on their vacations, fresh as daisies, strong and doing jujutsu for fun, while we regulars were there night after night, week after week, year round.

I don't think that kind of thing could be done the same if it involved points or winning. We developed all techniques with both the right and left side of the body, as well, which usually disappears when competition enters the picture. People find that they can do a particular technique well, especially on one side or the other and soon that's all they want to practice, and only on their "good" side. And it all deteriorates in that kind of mindset. So whatever washes out downstream, budo at the source is something pure and far superior to any sporting pursuit.

I did get shodan in judo while I was in Japan, however, through competition. I fought a Brazilian judo champion. He beat me decisively, but the kodokan declared me shodan.

Blimey what a mess.....

Not if you stick to the roots. It's very elemental there, and very powerful. Ueshiba was adamant that aikido must not become a sport.

Now, I'm not saying that Tomiki was wrong to create a sporting element, but it should always be understood that Tomiki's sporting aspect is only one facet that is possible with aikido and that aikido is much more than that and possesses a much greater nature than that.

David

Tony Wagstaffe
04-22-2011, 05:51 AM
Sport has nothing to do with budo, Tony. They're incompatible by nature.

I had long talks with Mochizuki Sensei as well as listening to his lengthy lectures and reading extensively in what he wrote. I also translated a book that he wrote, which was never published. You can look up some of his articles about the relation of sport to budo on aikido journal's website. Not only was Ueshiba abhorrent of the idea of sporting competition, Kano was rather conflicted about it. He definitely did not want judo to become an Olympic sport. Mochizuki's attitude was a mix of the two. He believed that there is a time and place and function for sport, especially judo. But he was clear that budo can never become sport or it will cease to exist. The essence of budo is far greater than the sum of sport, even though we can learn and grow with sport. But sport can also limit our growth and narrow our development, which is anathema to the spirit of budo.

Toheis' problems with Kisshomaru were not related to sport. It was a matter of family familiarity breeding a lot of trouble. They were brothers-in-law, you know: Tohei married Kisshomaru's sister. He had the skill and Kisshomaru had the title. It was bound to happen.

And I don't think Tomiki's split was anything at all like that. He had his own organization a long time before Morihei Ueshiba died. It wasn't even a split, really, but more along the lines of Shioda's creation of his own aikido.

That's Minoru Mochizuki's son's group. I only know about what Minoru Mochizuki taught, and that included the fact that budo cannot be sport and that aikido is budo. He created a very broad form of randori which was more open and free than anything I've seen from shodokan: attackers came from all directions with karate, judo, sumo, jujutsu attacks, bearing bokken, clubs, staffs, knives, whatever, one after the other, and if the defender didn't throw someone with aikido in the very first move, that attacker would counter attack and it often went to submission grappling. Try that with ten attackers in a row. So it was athletic, no question about that. The aikido included every aikido technique but also every judo throw, every kind of jujutsu lock and hold and especially a broad number--maybe fifty--of sutemi waza. Most nights, we'd do a straight hour of sutemi-only randori with five or six black belts. There were usually more black belts than that in attendance, but we usually broke into smaller groups of five or six. Again, we got every kind of attack but every technique we did had to be sutemi. We did not do that for weapon attacks.

That was heavy duty practice, very serious. You had to be in a very steady state of mind because you were putting your neck on the line every time you stepped out there. And we got people from all over the world, stopping by to train on their vacations, fresh as daisies, strong and doing jujutsu for fun, while we regulars were there night after night, week after week, year round.

I don't think that kind of thing could be done the same if it involved points or winning. We developed all techniques with both the right and left side of the body, as well, which usually disappears when competition enters the picture. People find that they can do a particular technique well, especially on one side or the other and soon that's all they want to practice, and only on their "good" side. And it all deteriorates in that kind of mindset. So whatever washes out downstream, budo at the source is something pure and far superior to any sporting pursuit.

I did get shodan in judo while I was in Japan, however, through competition. I fought a Brazilian judo champion. He beat me decisively, but the kodokan declared me shodan.

Not if you stick to the roots. It's very elemental there, and very powerful. Ueshiba was adamant that aikido must not become a sport.

Now, I'm not saying that Tomiki was wrong to create a sporting element, but it should always be understood that Tomiki's sporting aspect is only one facet that is possible with aikido and that aikido is much more than that and possesses a much greater nature than that.

David

OK David so how come Judo has spread so well and has become the dynamic "sport" that it has?
Yet aikido seems to be floundering (according to AJ's Stan Pranin)
As many clubs are experiencing a downturn in their numbers?
Yet we see judo is flourishing, much like Tae kwon do which I believe is now an Olympic sport as well. Tae kwon do does well around this area. Had one or two come to vist and train a while as they were interested in the Kansetsu waza, throwing etc etc.....For me it has always been an uphill struggle financially to keep a dojo, one of the reasons I had to close down..... :(

Gorgeous George
04-22-2011, 09:11 AM
Just because something is more popular, doesn't mean it's better.
Is football better than rugby?

I think David's point was that judo (and tae kwon do) have become diluted (the charge you ad nauseum level against aikido), and though this has made them popular, it is no longer them: it's something else that is popular, under the same name.

Chris Li
04-22-2011, 10:20 AM
Just because something is more popular, doesn't mean it's better.
Is football better than rugby?

I think David's point was that judo (and tae kwon do) have become diluted (the charge you ad nauseum level against aikido), and though this has made them popular, it is no longer them: it's something else that is popular, under the same name.

Here's an interesting article:

http://judoinfo.com/draeger.htm

Best,

Chris

David Orange
04-22-2011, 11:11 AM
OK David so how come Judo has spread so well and has become the dynamic "sport" that it has?

Tony, do you want me to go back in history and rewrite the beliefs these great masters held? We can lie and delude ourselves, but Ueshiba and Mochizuki were clear that budo will die if it becomes a sport. And they were right. And Kano really felt the same about Judo becoming an Olympic sport. Before that, the era of Sampo Toku and Kyuzo Mifune, judo was straddling a line between sport and budo but Kano understood that the sport element was degrading the budo content. That's why he created the classical budo research group, which led to his sending Mochizuki to train with Ueshiba. I understand that Tomiki went to Ueshiba independently. But Kano wanted to bring judo back from the danger of becoming total sport and reintroduce the classical samurai values and knowledge of the sword to what was becoming just another form of wrestling.

And as for something spreading far and wide, just think of WalMart, McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Mass production does not mean mass quality. And there is definitely something missing from those mass distribution complexes that is similar to what has been lost in judo on the spiritual side.

Yet aikido seems to be floundering (according to AJ's Stan Pranin)

What's wrong with that? The quality of the practice is far more important than the numbers practicing. Frankly, aikido could use some pruning. It's way bigger today than in Ueshiba's day and the quality was higher in Ueshiba's time, so maybe there's a relation.

As many clubs are experiencing a downturn in their numbers?

Again, the art does not depend on the number of people doing it badly. It depends on a fair number doing it excellently.

Yet we see judo is flourishing, much like Tae kwon do which I believe is now an Olympic sport as well. Tae kwon do does well around this area.

I'm sure you have some McDonalds around the area, as well. What if all the pubs in England were replaced by McPubbys? What would be gained or lost by that? What if all the old nomikaya in Japan were replaced by Fudruckers and TGI Fridays? What if all the ryokans and onsen were replaced by Club Meds? Aikido is not a commercial product to be modified in whatever way sells best. It's a pure art meant to be pursued by and for the benefit of real artists--not beret-wearing wannabes.

Had one or two come to vist and train a while as they were interested in the Kansetsu waza, throwing etc etc.....For me it has always been an uphill struggle financially to keep a dojo, one of the reasons I had to close down..... :(

Minoru Mochizuki was the only full-time martial artist I knew in Japan and he sometimes worked as a sort of chiropractor on the side. Tezuka was a city manager, Washizu worked for the railroad (like Saito), Kenmotsu was a farmer. Yoshida was a pharmacist. Even Kenji Ushiro owns a company and makes his living from that. The only other full-time martial artist I knew was not Japanese and he was independently wealthy, so he could do whatever he wanted.

Most of the people you will meet who are very advanced in martial arts have a stable, well-paying job that allows them to have a stable home, control their time and travel internationally at will. They spend enormous amounts of money to study under the top teachers and to maintain dojos where they teach. They usually don't make enough "profit" to sneeze at, IF they even break even.

On the other hand, you can get a TKD black belt in about three years, be 7th dan in about eight years, grind out black belts in a storefront, bill them electronically, and make $100,000.00 a year, if that's the kind of martial art you want.

What I teach, I teach for free, just to have someone to train with.

David Orange
04-22-2011, 11:15 AM
I think David's point was that judo (and tae kwon do) have become diluted (the charge you ad nauseum level against aikido), and though this has made them popular, it is no longer them: it's something else that is popular, under the same name.

Right. It's no longer the same art, but it uses the same name.

Thanks.

David

Tony Wagstaffe
04-22-2011, 01:07 PM
Tony, do you want me to go back in history and rewrite the beliefs these great masters held? We can lie and delude ourselves, but Ueshiba and Mochizuki were clear that budo will die if it becomes a sport. And they were right. And Kano really felt the same about Judo becoming an Olympic sport. Before that, the era of Sampo Toku and Kyuzo Mifune, judo was straddling a line between sport and budo but Kano understood that the sport element was degrading the budo content. That's why he created the classical budo research group, which led to his sending Mochizuki to train with Ueshiba. I understand that Tomiki went to Ueshiba independently. But Kano wanted to bring judo back from the danger of becoming total sport and reintroduce the classical samurai values and knowledge of the sword to what was becoming just another form of wrestling.

And as for something spreading far and wide, just think of WalMart, McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Mass production does not mean mass quality. And there is definitely something missing from those mass distribution complexes that is similar to what has been lost in judo on the spiritual side.

What's wrong with that? The quality of the practice is far more important than the numbers practicing. Frankly, aikido could use some pruning. It's way bigger today than in Ueshiba's day and the quality was higher in Ueshiba's time, so maybe there's a relation.

Again, the art does not depend on the number of people doing it badly. It depends on a fair number doing it excellently.

I'm sure you have some McDonalds around the area, as well. What if all the pubs in England were replaced by McPubbys? What would be gained or lost by that? What if all the old nomikaya in Japan were replaced by Fudruckers and TGI Fridays? What if all the ryokans and onsen were replaced by Club Meds? Aikido is not a commercial product to be modified in whatever way sells best. It's a pure art meant to be pursued by and for the benefit of real artists--not beret-wearing wannabes.

Minoru Mochizuki was the only full-time martial artist I knew in Japan and he sometimes worked as a sort of chiropractor on the side. Tezuka was a city manager, Washizu worked for the railroad (like Saito), Kenmotsu was a farmer. Yoshida was a pharmacist. Even Kenji Ushiro owns a company and makes his living from that. The only other full-time martial artist I knew was not Japanese and he was independently wealthy, so he could do whatever he wanted.

Most of the people you will meet who are very advanced in martial arts have a stable, well-paying job that allows them to have a stable home, control their time and travel internationally at will. They spend enormous amounts of money to study under the top teachers and to maintain dojos where they teach. They usually don't make enough "profit" to sneeze at, IF they even break even.

On the other hand, you can get a TKD black belt in about three years, be 7th dan in about eight years, grind out black belts in a storefront, bill them electronically, and make $100,000.00 a year, if that's the kind of martial art you want.

What I teach, I teach for free, just to have someone to train with.

Sounds like me then Dave..... But I am nowhere like rich, believe me I have never ever made a profit from it, mostly loss and hardly break even, and that was a rarity. I have to admit when I can get back a dojo, I hope by late summer, it won't be for the numbers, just for the joy of doing it, I have never had more than twenty members at any one time..... Like Tomiki and Draeger and all those now gone I have always balanced equally between kata and randori as it needs that balance.... I'm a great believer in loads of kihon as it's where it's all really at. The katas are like stories and makes things interesting.

I did teach professionally for about 3 - 4 years, but the late 80's early 90's recession took care of that and I had to survive where I could, but still managed to run at least one dojo..... Now I just want no more than half a dozen students and I would be as happy as Larry.... I hope I can afford to buy some more mats as the ones I had were trashed, but I won't go into that, it's a very sore point in my aikido life.... but I just keep getting up....

sakumeikan
04-22-2011, 02:08 PM
Here's an interesting article:

http://judoinfo.com/draeger.htm

Best,

Chris
Dear Chris,
Excellent article. As it happens I have an old judo training partner a 7th dan .In conversation with him recently he stated that Judo Katas which have long been neglected are now making a comeback.He is a recognised Instructor on Judo Kata and his seminars are attracting attention from the young judoka, who are/were primarily shiai guys.
My friends name is Bob Thomas 7th Dan .He writes occasionally in the judo forums.
He is resident in Glasgow. Cheers, Joe.

Gorgeous George
04-22-2011, 03:12 PM
Right. It's no longer the same art, but it uses the same name.

Thanks.

David

No problem. The UK equivalent of Wal Mart is called Tesco; they move into areas, and tend to attract custom from local businesses, leading to closures, etc.
Only last night there was a violent backlash from the local community towards an unwanted Tesco store that had been opened in the area, against the wishes of the local people:

http://neurobonkers.com/?p=2509

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-13169684

sakumeikan
04-22-2011, 05:05 PM
Sounds like me then Dave..... But I am nowhere like rich, believe me I have never ever made a profit from it, mostly loss and hardly break even, and that was a rarity. I have to admit when I can get back a dojo, I hope by late summer, it won't be for the numbers, just for the joy of doing it, I have never had more than twenty members at any one time..... Like Tomiki and Draeger and all those now gone I have always balanced equally between kata and randori as it needs that balance.... I'm a great believer in loads of kihon as it's where it's all really at. The katas are like stories and makes things interesting.

I did teach professionally for about 3 - 4 years, but the late 80's early 90's recession took care of that and I had to survive where I could, but still managed to run at least one dojo..... Now I just want no more than half a dozen students and I would be as happy as Larry.... I hope I can afford to buy some more mats as the ones I had were trashed, but I won't go into that, it's a very sore point in my aikido life.... but I just keep getting up....
Dear Tony,
I have a colleague who has 50 blue rubber 6 by 3 mats for sale.If interested give me a bell.Cheers, Joe.

L. Camejo
04-23-2011, 01:17 AM
Here's an interesting article:

http://judoinfo.com/draeger.htm Since Judo was brought up in relation to the discussion, here is a link to much more up to date research on the same topic being addressed by Draeger - http://www.archbudo.com/abstracted.php?level=4&id_issue=834968. The article is the last one on the page, authored by F. Shishida.

I think you will find some contrasts to Draeger's concept that Kano "painstakingly removed that which he considered objectionable martial tone from his teachings". If this were true he would not have been studying fighting methods based on weapons (Kendo & Bo-jutsu)and self defence (Aiki-Bujutsu) well after the establishment of the original Kodokan Judo.

Apparently many have confused the limited sporting aspect of Judo as representative of the entire Budo of Kodokan Judo. I dare say the same may be happening with Tomiki's Aikido if we are not careful.

The concept that the sport version of Judo was not Kano's ultimate ideal was not lost on Tomiki when he created sport Aikido. As I indicated earlier, sport is a portion of the practice that must be kept within its context. Its limitations and benefits should be well known by those who refer to themselves as Instructors. If victory in shiai is the be all and end all of practice then one loses sight of the much larger objective and benefits of training.

Regarding the original question of whether Ueshiba M. condemned shiai or not, my question would be how many Shodokan Aikido practitioners (people who do shiai) plan on learning Ueshiba M.'s Aikido. If one wanted to walk in the steps of Ueshiba M. there are many outside of Shodokan (people who don't do shiai) who would serve quite well in teaching that approach imho. So there is no conflict.

The word "Aikido" is not a registered trademark of the Ueshiba family the last time I checked. In that light they don't get to define Aikido in all its possible expressions. If Ueshiba M. condemned shiai in his Aikido - there is nothing wrong with that. Tomiki learnt a method of fighting (DRAJJ) when he studied under Ueshiba M. so he based his systematic, pragmatic approach to training on that paradigm.

We see lots of relationships between combative methods and related sports throughout history. In the modern day we use guns and rifles in combat and we have competitive gun and rifle sports as well. In this light the sport serves to keep certain core skill sets sharp even during peace time. Combat sports based on aspects of empty handed combat serve the same purpose imho. At the end of the day, trained and sharpened mental and physical skills and reflexes serve one better than those that are not sharpened, whether on the street, at work, in the boardroom or in a competition or contest of any sort. In that light there is no comparison between the mental and physical speed, reflexes and body handling of someone who practices with a pressure-testing system (such as shiai) and someone who does not.

Just a few thoughts.

LC

Tony Wagstaffe
04-23-2011, 08:23 AM
Since Judo was brought up in relation to the discussion, here is a link to much more up to date research on the same topic being addressed by Draeger - http://www.archbudo.com/abstracted.php?level=4&id_issue=834968. The article is the last one on the page, authored by F. Shishida.

I think you will find some contrasts to Draeger's concept that Kano "painstakingly removed that which he considered objectionable martial tone from his teachings". If this were true he would not have been studying fighting methods based on weapons (Kendo & Bo-jutsu)and self defence (Aiki-Bujutsu) well after the establishment of the original Kodokan Judo.

Apparently many have confused the limited sporting aspect of Judo as representative of the entire Budo of Kodokan Judo. I dare say the same may be happening with Tomiki's Aikido if we are not careful.

The concept that the sport version of Judo was not Kano's ultimate ideal was not lost on Tomiki when he created sport Aikido. As I indicated earlier, sport is a portion of the practice that must be kept within its context. Its limitations and benefits should be well known by those who refer to themselves as Instructors. If victory in shiai is the be all and end all of practice then one loses sight of the much larger objective and benefits of training.

Regarding the original question of whether Ueshiba M. condemned shiai or not, my question would be how many Shodokan Aikido practitioners (people who do shiai) plan on learning Ueshiba M.'s Aikido. If one wanted to walk in the steps of Ueshiba M. there are many outside of Shodokan (people who don't do shiai) who would serve quite well in teaching that approach imho. So there is no conflict.

The word "Aikido" is not a registered trademark of the Ueshiba family the last time I checked. In that light they don't get to define Aikido in all its possible expressions. If Ueshiba M. condemned shiai in his Aikido - there is nothing wrong with that. Tomiki learnt a method of fighting (DRAJJ) when he studied under Ueshiba M. so he based his systematic, pragmatic approach to training on that paradigm.

We see lots of relationships between combative methods and related sports throughout history. In the modern day we use guns and rifles in combat and we have competitive gun and rifle sports as well. In this light the sport serves to keep certain core skill sets sharp even during peace time. Combat sports based on aspects of empty handed combat serve the same purpose imho. At the end of the day, trained and sharpened mental and physical skills and reflexes serve one better than those that are not sharpened, whether on the street, at work, in the boardroom or in a competition or contest of any sort. In that light there is no comparison between the mental and physical speed, reflexes and body handling of someone who practices with a pressure-testing system (such as shiai) and someone who does not.

Just a few thoughts.

LC

Good thoughts Larry, lets face it, the shiai arena is just a testing ground and the "moment of truth" that Tomiki Shihan wrote about in his many thesis. It is not the be all and end all that so many get confused about, unfortunately it does happen in all "sports"
I found out a lot from losing, more so than winning, it's the only way really.... Well for me it is anyway...

Just a couple of thoughts.....

As Haba Sensei used to say to me don't think! Do!!

sakumeikan
04-23-2011, 11:58 AM
Dear Tony,
I have a colleague who has 50 blue rubber 6 by 3 mats for sale.If interested give me a bell.Cheers, Joe.

Dear tony,
If you rang me recently give me another call.If not in leave phone number. Joe

David Orange
04-25-2011, 06:54 PM
At the end of the day, trained and sharpened mental and physical skills and reflexes serve one better than those that are not sharpened, whether on the street, at work, in the boardroom or in a competition or contest of any sort. In that light there is no comparison between the mental and physical speed, reflexes and body handling of someone who practices with a pressure-testing system (such as shiai) and someone who does not.

Larry, I agree with your general direction on this but in this last part, it gives me some thoughts.

You're right that the sharpened mental and physical skills and reflexes are better than the unsharpened and unrefined. And in that way, the sporting approach can give very similar results to the budo method. But while we know what is "missing" in a budo that does not include sport, we can't know what's missing from a sport that is not informed by budo.

Kano Sensei already felt that judo was missing a certain something by the 1920s and he felt that the missing element could only be gained in classical budo, which is why he sent his people to Ueshiba, Funakoshi and TSKSR.

Even if you retain a lot of the budo roots, as in judo, the greater emphasis will always (and probably increasingly) be the sport aspect. And the reason for competition in sport will far outweigh the budo reason for "competition" as it exists in budo. Which is to say, comparison for increased knowledge and understanding. It is something so subtle (for those with no knowledge of it) that sport can seem to replace it. But once it's gone, if there is no pure budo as a source of the old spirit, then it's gone for good.

Best to you.

David

L. Camejo
04-25-2011, 11:16 PM
Even if you retain a lot of the budo roots, as in judo, the greater emphasis will always (and probably increasingly) be the sport aspect. And the reason for competition in sport will far outweigh the budo reason for "competition" as it exists in budo. Which is to say, comparison for increased knowledge and understanding. It is something so subtle (for those with no knowledge of it) that sport can seem to replace it. But once it's gone, if there is no pure budo as a source of the old spirit, then it's gone for good.
Hi David,

I totally agree with your point. I merely wanted to make the benefits of the competition approach clear.

As far as I am concerned, modern Judo is a sport. The judoka out there who understand Budo are a very very small bunch from my experience.

This is why I keep repeating that the competition approach should be used as a tool for training and development but imho should not become the centre of ones practice method.

To me the difference between the sport and Budo approach can be both subtle and obvious depending on what we are looking at. I see it in both my Aikido and Jujutsu training. The mindset of the person with the Budo approach is quite different. The Budo mindset has served me quite well in sparring / randori in Aikido and Jujutsu. If I had to choose I'd take the Budo mindset every time. :)

This is why Tomiki's approach is centred on kata training with randori as a testing method. Budo was a central concept of his theory. A major part of the randori method was to maintain the martial edge of the method (both in mind and body). Unfortunately when we get caught up in competition too much we forget that aspect.

Just a few cents.

LC

Chuck Clark
04-26-2011, 05:48 PM
Good post Larry. I agree.