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Lee Crockett
04-21-2011, 08:25 AM
As a new poster, i just wanted to float this as my opinion and would appreciate some thoughts.

I have trained for over a decade within the UK, with a number of instructors and federations, as well as completing research over , and from my perspective, i do not believe O'Senseis Aikido is being practiced.

Controversial statement, yes.

It is my opinion that today, a composite Aiki-Budo-Jutsu is being taught.

From the initial students of O'Sensei, Aikido was disseminated around the world, with each instructor placing their own interpretation of O'Senseis teachings, with the exception perhaps of M. Saito.

In my opinion, the only people i have visually seen do Aikido in what i perceive as O'Senseis art is S. Arikawa, K. Tohei and Kanshu Sunadomari (and perhaps G. Shioda). The abilities of these gentlemen from what i have observed goes beyond the physical and into the metaphysical.

Aikido is a difficult art to learn, and as O'Sensei stated repeatedly to M. Saito, hard, solid training (Kotai) should be taught up to at least 3rd Dan.

In my experience, there is nowhere within the UK that trains this way. Most clubs train fast, they move before any contact is made, so apply techniques based on momentum and arm movements. There is no body art, and Aikido is supposed to be a Tai Jitsu.

It has been stated that the first Doshu "changed" the techniques of his father, O'Sensei, and if this is the case, and this is now followed and perpetuated throughout the world, with the style of training today, are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?

I watch instructors of some repute like C. Tissier, who demonstrate a magnificent and flowing "Art", but the realistic application of his techniques are questionable. I.e. Can they really be done on a 25 stone neanderthal?

If it is the case we are not doing O'Senseis Aikido, should we even call it Aikido, or something else?

A lot of fellow Aikidoka talk about "hard" training with teachers such as K. Chiba, but is this really Aikido, or a Ju-Jitsu? I have watched this style of instruction and training many times with hard and fast movements, but isnt Aikido supposed to be soft and effortless? Can we therefore call this Aikido?

The definition of Aikido i repeatedly hear is creating harmony with the universal. But if movements are hard and fast, where is the harmony?

For me watching K. Sunadomari in some of his demonstrations shows a serene almost placid but lethal form. Is this the true Aikido, and is what we do today our poor interpretation of O'Sensies art.

From my perspective, i would like to train to try and achieve the high echelons of S. Arikawa, K. Tohei and Kanshu Sunadomari, but how do we get there if the art has changed?

Would appreciate any thoughts.

Tony Wagstaffe
04-21-2011, 09:12 AM
Aikido is a difficult art to learn, and as O'Sensei stated repeatedly to M. Saito, hard, solid training (Kotai) should be taught up to at least 3rd Dan.

You have answered your question here......

Lee Crockett
04-21-2011, 09:36 AM
Thanks for the reply Tony, but not sure i follow:confused: .

However, i have not observed anyone who trains this way with hard solid grabs as O'Sensei stated.

If there are dojos out there that do, i would be interested to hear about them.

Tony Wagstaffe
04-21-2011, 09:51 AM
Thanks for the reply Tony, but not sure i follow:confused: .

However, i have not observed anyone who trains this way with hard solid grabs as O'Sensei stated.

If there are dojos out there that do, i would be interested to hear about them.

We did..... Unfortunately not many want to do our type of aikido anymore. I don't have a dojo at present, but once I can get it up and running you are welcome to come.
I believe that Henry Ellis Sensei's ESTA group train in much the same sort of manner, You could certainly pay them a visit..... I'm sure you would be most welcome.....

http://www.ellisaikido.org/

Lee Crockett
04-21-2011, 10:18 AM
Thanks Tony.

I am familiar with Henry Ellis and Derek Eastmans training, but i would categorise their training as a hard Ju-Jitsu style.

That is not a criticism, its my opinion based on observation as a hard martial style. To me it bears no resemblance to the softer more lethal, and what i believe to be Aikido, performed by the likes of Kanshu Sunadomari.

My point is that i believe what is being trained today, is not O'Senseis Aikido.

Mark Freeman
04-21-2011, 11:03 AM
Thanks Tony.

I am familiar with Henry Ellis and Derek Eastmans training, but i would categorise their training as a hard Ju-Jitsu style.

That is not a criticism, its my opinion based on observation as a hard martial style. To me it bears no resemblance to the softer more lethal, and what i believe to be Aikido, performed by the likes of Kanshu Sunadomari.

My point is that i believe what is being trained today, is not O'Senseis Aikido.

Hi Lee,

I doubt if anyone is doing O Sensei's aikido. Tohei's aikido is Tohei's, Sunadomari's aikido is his own. The best we can do is to learn from the best teacher we can and make our own aikido the best we can. O Sensei left behind an art and many teachers, his aikido left when he passed on.

Have you practiced with Sensei K Williams? Both Sensei's Ellis and Eastman were with him in the beginning. He studied with Tohei for a number of years and having been a student of his and taken ukemi from him for many years, I can say he definitely falls into the soft but powerful camp.

Who are you currently practicing with?

Regards

Mark

Tony Wagstaffe
04-21-2011, 11:04 AM
Thanks Tony.

I am familiar with Henry Ellis and Derek Eastmans training, but i would categorise their training as a hard Ju-Jitsu style.

That is not a criticism, its my opinion based on observation as a hard martial style. To me it bears no resemblance to the softer more lethal, and what i believe to be Aikido, performed by the likes of Kanshu Sunadomari.

My point is that i believe what is being trained today, is not O'Senseis Aikido.

Then I would have to say that what I'm doing is not your ideal.
It has been said that Tomiki/Shodokan is like condensed Daito, but I cannot really say honestly, but from what I've seen of Daito, it's not far off the mark.... Depending on what "School" of Tomiki aikido you come from it would appear that even that is fragmenting into different trains of thought..... I am considered hard, by many, yet many say they cannot feel my grip or forced waza when performing my technique, so where does that take us? Maybe I have found it but don't know it yet?
Personally I'm not that worried as it works for me.... :)

john.burn
04-21-2011, 11:34 AM
Thanks for the reply Tony, but not sure i follow:confused: .

However, i have not observed anyone who trains this way with hard solid grabs as O'Sensei stated.

If there are dojos out there that do, i would be interested to hear about them.

Hi Lee,

I think, as you have observed with regard to the guys who train in the 'hard style' type stuff that it's a lot of muscle / athletic power and, well, if that's all you've got then let's hope you're a lot faster than the next guy who's a lot stronger than you or who's tweaked out on drugs and won't respond to pain compliance.

You need to go and grab someone who's got the goods in internal strength or at least someone who can give you a good intro to it. I'd look in the non aikido related arts section of the forum and you'll find 2 names crop up all the time, I can definitely vouch for one of them, Mike Sigman.

If you're ever in the midlands give me a shout, I'll happily show you what I've picked up along the way.

There's only really one high level teacher out there in Aikido terms trying to get this instilled in people and who's not afraid the take his hakama and black belt off and get on the mat to try and learn new skills. He'll be in the UK next year ;).

graham christian
04-21-2011, 12:04 PM
Lee.
I like your observations. That's a similar reality to mine. However I look at if those doing their Aikido are happy with it and if they are then that's fine. It doesn't make them wrong or right.

I too hold the opinion that if it isn't complete harmony then it isn't Aikido but that's purely personal. I don't hold that as a standard that others should adhere to.

Why? Because I also believe Aikido is for everyone and anyone so I keep it all inclusive.

I actually find out what their particular purpose for learning it is and then either tell them what type of training they will have to focus on to achieve it or lead to to someone who can help.

In my opinion most people understand the need for technical accomplishment and ways to combat this that and the other. If someone does 'a' then you need to do 'x' 'y' or 'z' Their own minds create scenarios of what if someone did this or what if a lunatic did that. That happens in all martial arts. This leads to the devolopement of jutsu or technique so theres nothing wrong with that. Aikido has much jutsu inherent in it.

To learn 'more' than that you would have to have the purpose of Harmony as your main purpose really and that would take you into a whole new aspect of Aikido. An 'unbelievable' aspect open to disbelief and ridicule. For example, using your observations, to face in a placid manner yet be so effective. That's a whole different mindset obscured by terminologies like 'immovable mind' 'shin shin toitsu' 'kokyu' etc.etc. If you can only translate these things physically then you will end up with what you see.

O'Sensei said what he did was spiritual manifesting through his mind and body on the mat. Not many then and not many now understood what he meant for he would indeed communicate from an omoto religious viewpoint and thus much gets lost in translation. So to understand and do it anything like he did, although in your own way, you would have to be aware of all three sets of principles- physical, mental and spiritual would you not?

You would have to see and relate them to the activity of Aikido. The principles of physical technique are well documented and practiced, the rest is harder to find especially if you want to do it as a martial art with a purpose of pure harmony. I believe this is the main attraction of Aikido and yet for many the main dissappointment.

Well, these are my thoughts on the matter anyway.

Good hunting. G.

chillzATL
04-21-2011, 12:15 PM
I would say that for many years I did not feel that I was doing O'sensei's aikido. I was doing my sensei's aikido, who was a student of O'sensei, Tohei and many of the greats associated with aikido, judo and other arts in the 50's and 60's. I had no problem with that either, and still don't. We trained hard, with resistance and a mind towards street-effective aikido, using ki principles, good body mechanics and technique. I feel that through that training I got exactly what I paid for and it served me well.

Fast forward to today. While I do not think I am doing O'sensei's aikido, I think I'm pretty darned close to doing aikido has he felt it should be done. While technically I think I am probably doing similar things to what he did, his aikido was also a spiritual thing and I'm not really interested in it for that. We still train hard, the same as always, but due to my outside interests my understanding and application of ki principles has changed. What I look for in my body when training is much more focused, as is the way I go about doing everything in class. I find myself slowing down much more these days in order to train, as I see it today, the right way. I also spend a decent amount of time outside of class doing things that most people would not consider to be aikido, but are the primary reason I feel I'm closer to doing what O'sensei did himself.

Hanna B
04-21-2011, 12:19 PM
as O'Sensei stated repeatedly to M. Saito, hard, solid training (Kotai) should be taught up to at least 3rd Dan.

Is this a fact? Being concerned with pedagogic stuff doesn't really sound like the Ueshiba Morihei I've learned about.

Source?

lbb
04-21-2011, 12:45 PM
Would appreciate any thoughts.

I don't think your question can be answered one way or another, not as a matter of objective fact. People find the answer that works for them, "Yes" or "No" or (in my case) "I don't know and I'm ok with that". I'm just not a fundamentalist of any stripe.

JW
04-21-2011, 01:36 PM
Hi Lee, I am quite ok with not being a clone of O-sensei or anyone else. That said-- I mostly agree with you. I do think O-sensei was on a particular "path," and it turns out, I am wholeheartedly trying to pursue the same things that he was interested in. So I do have to consider how my practice is different from his.
So yes, I agree with you for the most part, about lots of folks doing things very different from O-sensei. And I agree about us needing to make choices to change our own practice to start doing things more like what he did, if we are interested in walking the same road that he was walking (which doesn't have to be the case for everyone).

Specifically, I agree about static grabs, slowing down and working with forces before adding movement. I know I am not alone in this point of view-- as much as you are unhappy with what has been practiced for the last couple decades, I think you will start being happier soon. My practice has changed dramatically in the last 3 years because of similar sentiment to what you expressed here.

I have started practicing almost exclusively outside the dojo for the last couple years, using pushes, pulls, and wrist grabs. I will go back soon, having drastically improved my abilities.

Do you know or have you seen anyone in the Manseikan? I wonder how well Sunadomari's students have done. There are no dojos here.

Is this a fact? Being concerned with pedagogic stuff doesn't really sound like the Ueshiba Morihei I've learned about.
Hi Hanna, are you in the Iwama lineage? I agree that rules like this probably weren't said verbatim by O-sensei, but Saito sensei did leave the impression of these rules on my past Iwama-lineage teachers. Saito claimed to not try to put his spin on things.. so that suggests that O-sensei at least did not strongly disagree with this type of level-dependent practice rule.
Not that these rules are the reasons that I personally do things!

dps
04-21-2011, 01:50 PM
, i do not believe O'Senseis Aikido is being practiced.

You are right, even his closet students did not or don't practice
O'Senei's Aikido.

O'Sensei's Aikido died when O'Sensei died.

dps

Hanna B
04-21-2011, 02:08 PM
Hi Hanna, are you in the Iwama lineage? I agree that rules like this probably weren't said verbatim by O-sensei, but Saito sensei did leave the impression of these rules on my past Iwama-lineage teachers. Saito claimed to not try to put his spin on things.. so that suggests that O-sensei at least did not strongly disagree with this type of level-dependent practice rule.
Not that these rules are the reasons that I personally do things!

No I'm not. And I quite understood that this was Saito sensei's views - which does not automatically mean they were Ueshiba sensei's. So I wanted to know if this specimen of Iwama Ryu lore is based on substantial facts, if osensei ever said this, or not.

Of course, we can claim that since Saito sensei didn't put his own spin to things, everything he ever said is pretty much words from osensei's mouth. Historians won't buy that, of course. And neither will anyone except those (or some of) those in the Iwama lineage.

My opinion is that of of course Saito sensei did put his spin to things! esp. regarding pedagogic stuff, skills in which Osensei was obviously lacking. (Still his students turned out pretty good. Weird, isn't it.)

I also agree that the aikido of today is probably not osensei's aikido. I am among those who believe that the reason for this is that osensei wasn't taught aikido but Daito Ryu, and we can probably not hope to achieve his skills without going to the source. Plenty of people won't agree with me, I guess. And that is fine.

Tony Wagstaffe
04-21-2011, 02:20 PM
Is this a fact? Being concerned with pedagogic stuff doesn't really sound like the Ueshiba Morihei I've learned about.

Source?

How does anyone know what he really said most of the time? I'm sure he changed his mind often depending on his mood and temperament from day to day and from year to year, decade to decade. I don't agree with everything he said.... if he said it, but I do admire his tenacity.....

Tony Wagstaffe
04-21-2011, 02:24 PM
No I'm not. And I quite understood that this was Saito sensei's views - which does not automatically mean they were Ueshiba sensei's. So I wanted to know if this specimen of Iwama Ryu lore is based on substantial facts, if osensei ever said this, or not.

Of course, we can claim that since Saito sensei didn't put his own spin to things, everything he ever said is pretty much words from osensei's mouth. Historians won't buy that, of course. And neither will anyone except those (or some of) those in the Iwama lineage.

My opinion is that of of course Saito sensei did put his spin to things! esp. regarding pedagogic stuff, skills in which Osensei was obviously lacking. (Still his students turned out pretty good. Weird, isn't it.)

I also agree that the aikido of today is probably not osensei's aikido. I am among those who believe that the reason for this is that osensei wasn't taught aikido but Daito Ryu, and we can probably not hope to achieve his skills without going to the source. Plenty of people won't agree with me, I guess. And that is fine.

I think you are right about the Daito ryu bit and also the fact he engaged in contest as well, most will disagree with that to.....;)

Tony Wagstaffe
04-21-2011, 02:31 PM
You are right, even his closet students did not or don't practice
O'Senei's Aikido.

O'Sensei's Aikido died when O'Sensei died.

dps

Another Classic Dave.... Of course it did.... I don't have his aikido, looks similar, but like most, it is mine....;) I cant see how it can be anyone else's do you?
Just like learning to write, everybody starts off similar, some end up with scrawl, some end up with beautiful calligraphy, mine is very eligible, neat and tidy with a flair to it.... but practical.....

Cliff Judge
04-21-2011, 02:40 PM
Mr Crockett,

With deep respect for where I think you are in your journey, you seem to be confused between Aikido as a quality of training, and Aikido as the result of that training. We all want to get as close as possible to where O Sensei was, and we continually agonize over whether or not we are training the right way to get there. (Well, some of us are sure we train the right way and are more concerned with criticizing the way other folks train).

Frankly, O Sensei's Aikido is the product of an early lifetime of training in a number of other martial arts, followed by a professional existence on the very intense and tumultuous Japanese martial arts scene of the first two thirds of the 20th century.

He taught various students in different ways. I respect your belief that Saito Sensei offered exactly the teaching that he received from O Sensei with no personal "embelishments" but in my opinion it doesn't work that way.

So there are all of these slightly different training traditions out there, and you have had the opportunity to experience many of them, as you cast yourself as quite a wanderer. You seem to be trying to figure out which is the "right" one, while emphasizing that you have some paragons of Aikido that you are deeply inspired by.

Might I humbly suggest that you simply find a style of training that feels right for you, and continue to be inspired by the Aikido greats you admire?

Of the people you may come across who train in some different way, you can either ignore them and what they are doing, or you might try training with them, show them what you've learned, see if there is anything they have to teach you.

James Wyatt
04-21-2011, 03:17 PM
Everyone has their own aikido.

I was lucky to find a sensei who believed in hard practice. Even in his eighties his aikido was incredibly strong. You need to find the sensei whose style you most admire.

There is a quote that when O'Sensei was asked why his aikido was so strong and yet flowing, he replied it was 50 years of kihon!

Everyone wants the flowing aikido and the power, you just have to put in your fifty years.....and how many want to do that.

SeiserL
04-21-2011, 06:24 PM
IMHO, from what I have read and heard, O'Sensei's Aikido was infused with and an expression of his cult spiritual beliefs and explained Aikido in metaphysical terms.

Since there are few practioner of that specific beliefs system, we can conclude that few or any of us are practicing his Aikido.

OTOH, few of us can dedicate our lives exclusively to the development of Aikido through one's own spiritual and martial identity. Therefore, again, we are probably not doing O'Sensei's Aikido.

OTOH, after we learn the craft of Aikido, according to O'Sensei (as I understand it) it becomes a personal expression of the art of Aikido. Therefore, if we are developing and expressing our Aikido then perhaps we are doing O'Sensei's Aikido.

So no, I am not doing "Sensei's Aikido. I have my hands full doing my own hopefully in the direction he suggested and supports.

dps
04-21-2011, 10:27 PM
Another Classic Dave.... Of course it did.... I don't have his aikido, looks similar, but like most, it is mine....;) I cant see how it can be anyone else's do you?
Just like learning to write, everybody starts off similar, some end up with scrawl, some end up with beautiful calligraphy, mine is very eligible, neat and tidy with a flair to it.... but practical.....

You should then call what you do Attiliodo ( the way of Attilio). :)

dps

Tony Wagstaffe
04-22-2011, 07:00 AM
You should then call what you do Attiliodo ( the way of Attilio). :)

dps

Or Attilio the hun.....?:D

Tony Wagstaffe
04-22-2011, 07:03 AM
Everyone has their own aikido.

I was lucky to find a sensei who believed in hard practice. Even in his eighties his aikido was incredibly strong. You need to find the sensei whose style you most admire.

There is a quote that when O'Sensei was asked why his aikido was so strong and yet flowing, he replied it was 50 years of kihon!

Everyone wants the flowing aikido and the power, you just have to put in your fifty years.....and how many want to do that.

The answer lies in the beginning as Percy Thrower used to say......
I practice kihon almost everyday.....

Tony Wagstaffe
04-22-2011, 07:12 AM
IMHO, from what I have read and heard, O'Sensei's Aikido was infused with and an expression of his cult spiritual beliefs and explained Aikido in metaphysical terms.

Since there are few practioner of that specific beliefs system, we can conclude that few or any of us are practicing his Aikido.

OTOH, few of us can dedicate our lives exclusively to the development of Aikido through one's own spiritual and martial identity. Therefore, again, we are probably not doing O'Sensei's Aikido.

OTOH, after we learn the craft of Aikido, according to O'Sensei (as I understand it) it becomes a personal expression of the art of Aikido. Therefore, if we are developing and expressing our Aikido then perhaps we are doing O'Sensei's Aikido.

So no, I am not doing "Sensei's Aikido. I have my hands full doing my own hopefully in the direction he suggested and supports.

Nice quote Lynn....

Lee Crockett
04-23-2011, 04:51 AM
Thanks for your comments guys.

Hannah Bjork stated
:
Lee Crockett wrote:
as O'Sensei stated repeatedly to M. Saito, hard, solid training (Kotai) should be taught up to at least 3rd Dan.

Is this a fact? Being concerned with pedagogic stuff doesn't really sound like the Ueshiba Morihei I've learned about.

Source?

I have all the M. Saito Lost Seminars on DVD and Saito states that this is what O'Sensei told him.

Many of the comments on this board relate to individual Aikido, but this is where there is confusion. There cannot be MANY forms of Aikido, there is only one. Creation of harmony with the universal.

These arent my words, but words stated by Arikawa.

If this is the essence of what Aikido is, then what people are talking about is their own interpretations, which is not Aikido.

Aikido is only achieved if harmony with the universal is created in accordance with the 9 elements. Anything outside of this is not created.

As a student who has trained in the UK for almost a decade, my observations are that we dont train Aikido, not even close. We have a Jitsu form which relies on movement before contact, and then momentum. How is this Aikido? Anybody can move and then apply something. The key is to use the "body", taijitsu, and i simply do not see this. I see arm movements and momentum where the strongest and fastest will win, and this is not the principal of what we are trying to achieve with Aikido.

I saw the Doshu in the Cardiff last year and he does what he does well. But if it is really correct that the first Doshu "changed" O'Senseis techniques, then we are not really doing the Aikido O'Sensie left to the word are we? And if this is the case, why are we calling it Aikido?

Lee Salzman
04-23-2011, 05:43 AM
I saw the Doshu in the Cardiff last year and he does what he does well. But if it is really correct that the first Doshu "changed" O'Senseis techniques, then we are not really doing the Aikido O'Sensie left to the word are we? And if this is the case, why are we calling it Aikido?

See here ("Kisshomaru Ueshiba's stamp on modern aikido", by Stanley Pranin): http://www.aikidojournal.com/blog/2011/03/27/kisshomaru-ueshibas-stamp-on-modern-aikido-by-stanley-pranin/

Tony Wagstaffe
04-23-2011, 08:15 AM
Maybe where its headed to? More health less"thump"?

I don't think Saito would lie about such matters, I am pretty sure that what he said is the truth....

Good solid hard practice is the only way to achieve what he was doing.... What possible advantage would he have in saying it?

Had I had a choice and the time, and the money, I would have gone to try at Iwama, but I have made my choice and am happy with it....

In some ways I don't see a lot of difference in the T/S aikido and the "Iwama" style.....

Consider the fact that Hitohiro is now on his own, he's a pretty solid looking chap and I dare say so is his aikido....

Wouldn't you say that tells you something?

Even Proff Ueshiba told Saito senior to go and put some muscle on as he feared that Saito might not cope with some of the stronger types..... Tells me a lot....

James Wyatt
04-24-2011, 02:50 AM
My sensei was also a student of O'Sensei and he also said that O'Sensei had said you should only start ki no nagare when you are third dan. You have to have solid technique as there is no point in trying to run before you can even walk.

A couple of years ago I attended a seminar by a visiting aikikai instructor. His aikido was powerful and graceful; however, he kept emphasizing the basics and how everyone was making basic mistakes when attempting ki no nagare.

As one sensei said to me if you just teach kihon to beginners they get bored and leave. This is the now generation who want instant gratification and it leads to poor aikido.

grondahl
04-24-2011, 03:33 AM
One should remember that time to sandan also have changed quite alot since M Saito was a beginner.


As one sensei said to me if you just teach kihon to beginners they get bored and leave. This is the now generation who want instant gratification and it leads to poor aikido.

barron
04-24-2011, 08:10 AM
The question that might be asked is what would O'Sensei's Aikido look like today, since it evolved so much over his lifetime. Would he be teaching from his "Budo " book (circa 1938) or from "Aikido in everyday life: giving in to get your way" (Terry Dobson, Victor Miller - 1994) and have moved beyond the physical/spiritual paradigm to more of a pastoral approach.
My martial art of choice is a path I am following as presented by the teachers who express it in a way that is relevant and meaningful to me.

Cheers

sakumeikan
04-24-2011, 08:17 AM
My sensei was also a student of O'Sensei and he also said that O'Sensei had said you should only start ki no nagare when you are third dan. You have to have solid technique as there is no point in trying to run before you can even walk.

A couple of years ago I attended a seminar by a visiting aikikai instructor. His aikido was powerful and graceful; however, he kept emphasizing the basics and how everyone was making basic mistakes when attempting ki no nagare.

As one sensei said to me if you just teach kihon to beginners they get bored and leave. This is the now generation who want instant gratification and it leads to poor aikido.
Hi James,
Your last comment sad to say is indeed the case. cheers, Joe

Tony Wagstaffe
04-24-2011, 09:13 AM
Hi James,
Your last comment sad to say is indeed the case. cheers, Joe

Saying that Joe, kihon is the most neglected thing, I still practice kihon almost everyday, Sunday's off as you know.... It is the foundation of all waza, weak foundations = dodgy building = we all fall down, hence Henry Ellis Sensei's critique on ring a ring of roses a la ribbons.... Come dancing with housewife's choice, the tango? Very nice with an elegant lady!! Hardly surprising really is it?....... ;)

Cliff Judge
04-24-2011, 03:00 PM
My sensei was also a student of O'Sensei and he also said that O'Sensei had said you should only start ki no nagare when you are third dan. You have to have solid technique as there is no point in trying to run before you can even walk.

So you should just allow your uke to take a firm grip on you and then practice technique statically for ten years before even starting to enter before contact or flow with an attack?

Interesting. Not a bad idea, but you are not going to be attracting a lot of new students over the age of 40, and the smaller, less muscular people are going to immediately sign up at the BJJ place across the street.

James Wyatt
04-24-2011, 03:37 PM
Static attacks for ten years....into my seventeenth year and still practising kihon, so give me another 33 years and then I will consider trying some ki no nagare.

Patience is a virtue....which few people seem to have.

grondahl
04-24-2011, 03:46 PM
There is a big difference between only doing gotai practice and "still practising kihon".

Static attacks for ten years....into my seventeenth year and still practising kihon, so give me another 33 years and then I will consider trying some ki no nagare.

Patience is a virtue....which few people seem to have.

Cliff Judge
04-24-2011, 05:57 PM
Static attacks for ten years....into my seventeenth year and still practising kihon, so give me another 33 years and then I will consider trying some ki no nagare.

Patience is a virtue....which few people seem to have.

Wow. Remind me in 33 years not to grab your wrist.

Chris Li
04-24-2011, 07:38 PM
Static attacks for ten years....into my seventeenth year and still practising kihon, so give me another 33 years and then I will consider trying some ki no nagare.

Patience is a virtue....which few people seem to have.

IIRC, Morihiro Saito, who is the usual source of that quote, was doing ki no nagare after three years...

Best,

Chris

James Wyatt
04-25-2011, 02:53 AM
It should also be remembered many of O'Sensei's students were experienced in other martial arts. Nowadays students rarely have any other experience and do not understand the dedication, which is needed.

Malcolm Gladwells book "Outliers" suggests 10,000 hours of practice for true mastery. O' Sensei dedicated his life to the martial arts. That is the dedication, which is needed and it needs to be accompanied by the spiritual purity.

In terms of practice we always used to do concentrate on kotai them move to jutai followed by ryu tai (which would hopefully develop to ki no nagare with time and practice).

James

Chris Li
04-25-2011, 03:05 AM
It should also be remembered many of O'Sensei's students were experienced in other martial arts. Nowadays students rarely have any other experience and do not understand the dedication, which is needed.

As I implied when I made the previous posting, Morihiro Saito made it to san-dan in three years without much extensive experience in the martial arts (he started with Ueshiba when he was eighteen).

Even today, I've seen people in Japan make it to san-dan in four years or less. It's not that unusual, and they didn't train that hard or have any special experience.

All that should be taken into consideration when thinking about what Ueshiba said about ki no nagare starting at san-dan.

Best,

Chris

grondahl
04-25-2011, 03:09 AM
So aikido should take at least 30000 hours? 10000 for gotai, 10000 for jutai and 10000 for ki no nagare? Not to mention that your still "just" doing kihon waza in different forms. Another 10000 to learn jiyuwaza and 10000 for randori?

What do you define as the difference between ryu tai and ki no nagare? (I understand them as both being used to describe flowing waza).

Malcolm Gladwells book "Outliers" suggests 10,000 hours of practice for true mastery. O' Sensei dedicated his life to the martial arts. That is the dedication, which is needed and it needs to be accompanied by the spiritual purity.

In terms of practice we always used to do concentrate on kotai them move to jutai followed by ryu tai (which would hopefully develop to ki no nagare with time and practice).

Lee Crockett
04-25-2011, 05:00 AM
Some very interesting comments guys.

However, there is one issue i want to clarify.

Where i train, we train kotai, hard solid training. But, koati is NOT Aikido.

Kotai needs to be learnt to understand the basic principals, mechanics and angles, of techniques to know what does and doesnt work. It is application of these principals in a dynamic situation that make Aikido so effective.

There are a lot of clubs that move before contact is made, or on the point of contact. This may be practical for a realistic situation, but it does not teach a student correct angles, blending or mechanics of making techniques work. To be honest, it cheats the student.

This is what Saitos school tries to do. The drawback, it takes a LONG time to learn, and students today want instant gratification.

We recently had a Tissier 4th Dan come along to train, and he couldnt do a thing on our strongest and heaviest student, while my instructor throws him round like a rag doll

This is the difference in the Aikido being promoted. An artistic form for demonstration which isnt really practical, against a realistic, martial form.

If you cant apply a technique on a 20 stone solid muscle bloke in the dojo, in reality, nothing will work.

Tony Wagstaffe
04-25-2011, 05:09 AM
So aikido should take at least 30000 hours? 10000 for gotai, 10000 for jutai and 10000 for ki no nagare? Not to mention that your still "just" doing kihon waza in different forms. Another 10000 to learn jiyuwaza and 10000 for randori?

What do you define as the difference between ryu tai and ki no nagare? (I understand them as both being used to describe flowing waza).

Well that lets me in then? at shodan I accumulated 1637 hours, by nidan 2750 hours on top of that, another 3 years after on top of nidan In 1986 when I got sandan, I have stopped counting since then....
I have worked it out..... Since sandan, dojo training and practice 6 hours a week and sometimes at weekends let alone daily 1 hours practice most days, allowing for holidays which are very infrequent and at least one days rest works out at around 21000 hours, which gets me a 2/3rds of the way there then? I still practice kihon every day.... should make it by the time I'm 65...?

Tony Wagstaffe
04-25-2011, 05:35 AM
Some very interesting comments guys.

However, there is one issue i want to clarify.

Where i train, we train kotai, hard solid training. But, koati is NOT Aikido.

Kotai needs to be learnt to understand the basic principals, mechanics and angles, of techniques to know what does and doesnt work. It is application of these principals in a dynamic situation that make Aikido so effective.

There are a lot of clubs that move before contact is made, or on the point of contact. This may be practical for a realistic situation, but it does not teach a student correct angles, blending or mechanics of making techniques work. To be honest, it cheats the student.

This is what Saitos school tries to do. The drawback, it takes a LONG time to learn, and students today want instant gratification.

We recently had a Tissier 4th Dan come along to train, and he couldnt do a thing on our strongest and heaviest student, while my instructor throws him round like a rag doll

This is the difference in the Aikido being promoted. An artistic form for demonstration which isnt really practical, against a realistic, martial form.

If you cant apply a technique on a 20 stone solid muscle bloke in the dojo, in reality, nothing will work.

That is about right, the true gravy test is whether you can use it in a real scenario, if not, you have been wasting your time, sad ain't it.....
It amazes me how people after seeing the Tissier demo's that are very dynamic, which btw way are all choreographed if you haven't noticed, is not going to look like that in a real dingdong, I thought that would be obvious, come on Lee, I see your point but maybe Shodokan will help a little on the way, it's not the all and be all but it certainly goes a long way to addressing some of your doubts.... Nothing wrong with cross training...... Many do it, including Proff Ueshiba....

Cliff Judge
04-25-2011, 06:35 AM
There are a lot of clubs that move before contact is made, or on the point of contact. This may be practical for a realistic situation, but it does not teach a student correct angles, blending or mechanics of making techniques work. To be honest, it cheats the student.


That IS blending. How can you train blending from a static situation?

From my perspective, static training is of limited usefulness because it factors out a great number of issues that need to be dealt with, such as timing, blending, correct angles, and mechanics of making techniques work.

I would also think you'd be encouraging the use of force on force, and as I have mentioned before, it would seem to be a game for the large, squat guys.


This is what Saitos school tries to do. The drawback, it takes a LONG time to learn, and students today want instant gratification.


You and James are being not too subtle with your attack on other styles that do not focus on static training for many years, your implication is that these styles are the result of a moral failing on the part of the students. I would think the fault, if you choose to view it that way, would be more correctly leveled at the shihans.

You two most get fairly tweaked to see all of these internal strength threads on this forum. I mean you've got people with 20, 30 years of experience on this forum talking about how training with muscle power, force against force is a waste of time and they'd never have bothered to train that way from the beginning if they knew what they knew now.


We recently had a Tissier 4th Dan come along to train, and he couldnt do a thing on our strongest and heaviest student, while my instructor throws him round like a rag doll


Is it supposed to be surprising that he couldn't force your strongest and heaviest guy? But it IS surprising to see some nice ukemi?


This is the difference in the Aikido being promoted. An artistic form for demonstration which isnt really practical, against a realistic, martial form.


I think you are choosing words rather arbitrarily here. :)

Demetrio Cereijo
04-25-2011, 06:53 AM
Static training/gotai keiko is not about muscle vs muscle. It is about muscle vs kokyu.

Nicholas Eschenbruch
04-25-2011, 06:55 AM
NIce post, Cliff.

I think any dichotomy between static and non-static (and that seems to be what is alluded to here) is flawed from the beginning. Both can (and in my opinion: should) be taught from day one, they are complementary. If taught correctly, of course, but that is true for anything. Mindless repetition of kihon is as useless as mindless free flow.

FWIW I have never understood the self-congratulatory pride some people take in claiming that static should be exclusively practiced for ages. If you so please, go ahead, but why imply that other approaches are inferior?

To the best of my knowledge Tissier's students practice against resistance quite a lot. The guy in question may not have, who cares. Or maybe he just did not want to get involved in a game of who's got the longest ... static endurance.

Cliff Judge
04-25-2011, 08:33 AM
FWIW I have never understood the self-congratulatory pride some people take in claiming that static should be exclusively practiced for ages. If you so please, go ahead, but why imply that other approaches are inferior?


Just to be clear, my teachers have me do static practice of various kinds as a regular part of our training, and I enjoy it very much. I do not understand why flowing or free training must be postponed until the tea leaves read auspiciously.

If there are dojos where static training is never employed at all, I can't imagine that being a very good idea either, and if that's what Lee and James are decrying then I agree.

It seems like the internal power folks draw from Chinese martial arts a concept of "soaking in" ki through a certain kind of practice, and perhaps the kihon training is a way to do that same type of thing, just without solo work and putting the mind in charge and things.

So I am not really criticizing the approach that James and Lee are advocating, I just disagree with the idea that this is "O Sensei's Aikido" (at best it is Saito Sensei's aikido?) and I really don't think you are going to win any arguments about martial effectiveness taking that approach. I also think its an "Aiki-jutsu-budo" approach moreso than a style that focuses on timing, flow, and using atemi to get people to move.

Tony Wagstaffe
04-25-2011, 09:34 AM
So you should just allow your uke to take a firm grip on you and then practice technique statically for ten years before even starting to enter before contact or flow with an attack?

Interesting. Not a bad idea, but you are not going to be attracting a lot of new students over the age of 40, and the smaller, less muscular people are going to immediately sign up at the BJJ place across the street.

Well Ueshiba was small and muscular, He told Saito to muscle up a bit with some form of weight training, railway track I'm told, as he probably couldn't afford a decent multi gym :D , (nor I come to that :D ) Ueshiba was afraid that he might not be able to handle some of the naturally stronger types that were entering the dojo?
I've met many small people who are small in stature, but are very muscular and strong, even in their forties... I'm reasonably muscular at 57, but it is beginning to sag a bit even though I still train isometrics, Those BJJ er's aren't exactly short of a bit of muscle themselves....
Why is it people want to do aikido but are not prepared to do the the extra curricular to improve their waza or increase their core strength, Isometrics is a very simple way of doing that, yet it is neglected....

James Wyatt
04-25-2011, 11:14 AM
With regards to training it is quite simple, "each to their own". Everyone should find a sensei who they like, respect and feel comfortable with. It is also important to remember being tori is only 50% of the practice. In O'Sensei' s class everyone had to give a proper and committed attack. Therefore 50% of your class and tuition should be on the attack and the ukemi.

Whilst I have trained with a concentration on kotai, it is also balanced with jutai and some ryu tai. Kotai is not about strength, it is about technique. I am 6'5'' and 210 lbs and have been thrown around like a rag doll by some very slight people and found excruciating pain in the application.

I have respect for all styles, some focus on the martial and some on the art. I believe martial comes first and the art will follow.

Cliff Judge
04-25-2011, 11:45 AM
With regards to training it is quite simple, "each to their own". Everyone should find a sensei who they like, respect and feel comfortable with. It is also important to remember being tori is only 50% of the practice. In O'Sensei' s class everyone had to give a proper and committed attack. Therefore 50% of your class and tuition should be on the attack and the ukemi.

Whilst I have trained with a concentration on kotai, it is also balanced with jutai and some ryu tai. Kotai is not about strength, it is about technique. I am 6'5'' and 210 lbs and have been thrown around like a rag doll by some very slight people and found excruciating pain in the application.

I have respect for all styles, some focus on the martial and some on the art. I believe martial comes first and the art will follow.

I'm with you until that last sentence. What you describe does not sound very martial at all. I believe you are postponing martial training until you have developed a certain amount of kokyu power.

James Wyatt
04-25-2011, 11:59 AM
Is it a postponement of martial training? No, it is possibly the most "martial" training as you learn how to strike and where to strike, how to strangle etc. If you can do the technique against a good attack, then you progress. The more experienced go harder and quicker, so it moves from kotai to jutai etc.

James Wyatt
04-25-2011, 12:40 PM
Another point to consider is the fact at Iwama and at the Hombu students were totally immersed. Therefore, Saito sensei may have achievedsandan in three years, but given the quantity and quality of tuition and partners, is it any surprise?

Chris Li
04-25-2011, 01:36 PM
Another point to consider is the fact at Iwama and at the Hombu students were totally immersed. Therefore, Saito sensei may have achievedsandan in three years, but given the quantity and quality of tuition and partners, is it any surprise?

I think that you're overestimating the level of immersion. I know plenty of people who practiced in Japan no more than an hour a day but got to san-dan in around four years.

Best,

Chris

Demetrio Cereijo
04-25-2011, 01:42 PM
Another point to consider is the fact at Iwama and at the Hombu students were totally immersed.

Not as inmersed as you think, especially in early post war times.

James Wyatt
04-25-2011, 02:13 PM
Perhaps some were not totally immersed, but I believe Saito Sensei would have been.

Back to the topic of the original post. My point is O'Sensei devoted his life physically and spiritually to aikido. Everyone and everything else is a derivation. If you want to follow his path, follow his guidance with dedication and hard practice.

Lee Crockett
04-26-2011, 02:36 AM
A lot of interesting comments on the thread, but my point in the initial thread has become more apparent in the discussion.

As I stated, the original students of O’Sensei, after he died, all went off and started teaching their own interpretation of what O’Sensei had disseminated.

All except M. Saito, who stated repeatedly that his focus on training was to preserve the techniques the founder had left in their form before the founder died.

This training, preserved today in Iwama, is hard strong Kotai training, for which M. Saito was told that all students were to train in this way until 3rd Dan before Jutai, Ekitai and Kitai training which focuses more on Kokyu Royku,

Even on this thread we have had statements how this sort of training would be boring and that it wouldn’t attract many students. And that is true. Students today want to throw people around to take large ukemi, using momentum and strength rather than focus on the basics found in Kotai.

And here we have the essence of my point. This type of hard, solid training was CHANGED by the first Doshu into the training we see today, where movement is made before any contact.

There has been reference to the fact that movement is blending, well im sorry, but this is not the blending that the likes of Kanshu. Sunadomari are on about.

This type of blending takes control of Uke totally, resulting in the combination of Tori and Ukes Centre.

I know from my own training that moving before a contact does not result in the blending of centres. It might make a contact at the contact point, but it does not take TOTAL control of Ukes centre.

This can only be achieved by solid Kotai training.

If you cannot take total control of Ukes centre, then you cannot throw that person.

Anyone who has trained with me will tell you I am a total sceptic about things working. I have to FEEL them work before I believe them. I am quite strong but more significantly very stiff. 99% of students cannot even do basic techniques on me. And I don’t mean I deliberately oppose the movement, I apply neutral strength.

But my instructor, no matter how strong I hold, or the strongest members of the club, he does the techniques effortlessly. It’s not muscle on muscle, its soft, blending and taijitsu, some of which I am now starting to develop myself.

This is what I believe the Founders Aikido to be, and this is what I want to pursue. But let’s not kid ourselves that which is being promoted today is the Founders Aikido.

It is a derivation from the fist Doshu.

It’s nice to know that others share the same goal too.

Chris Li
04-26-2011, 02:41 AM
A lot of interesting comments on the thread, but my point in the initial thread has become more apparent in the discussion.

As I stated, the original students of O’Sensei, after he died, all went off and started teaching their own interpretation of what O’Sensei had disseminated.

All except M. Saito, who stated repeatedly that his focus on training was to preserve the techniques the founder had left in their form before the founder died.

Virtually every student of Ueshiba that I've ever trained with claimed to be teaching exactly and faithfully what the founder had taught to them. That includes Kisshomaru.

OTOH, I heard Saito say clearly that there were things that he had changed - don't just take my word for it, it's in some of the public interviews too.

FWIW...

Best,

Chris

Lee Crockett
04-26-2011, 03:28 AM
Christopher Lee -then you know information i dont.

In the video clips i have seen of M. Saito, he clearly states that it is his duty to preserve the teachings of the Founder without his own interpretation for future generations.

If we ASSUME, this to be mostly correct, then Iwama Aikido should be the closest to what the Founder taught, when we know that Iwama Aikido is very different to the Hombu.

They shouldnt be that different.

Nicholas Eschenbruch
04-26-2011, 04:20 AM
Christopher Lee -then you know information i dont.

In the video clips i have seen of M. Saito, he clearly states that it is his duty to preserve the teachings of the Founder without his own interpretation for future generations.

If we ASSUME, this to be mostly correct, then Iwama Aikido should be the closest to what the Founder taught, when we know that Iwama Aikido is very different to the Hombu.

They shouldnt be that different.

Well, there indeed seems to be information you dont have - have you read Peter Goldsbury's columns on this site, for example? Ellis Amdur's book "Hidden in Plain Sight"? If not, you would probably find it helpful, though it would challenge your assumptions. At least the idea that Morihei Ueshiba taught something structured that could be truthfuly and exactly replicated is somewhat dated in the light of that research. It rather sems he left "parcels" of instruction to different students according to - well, we really dont know according to what ;) ...

Saito Sensei himself is on record as having said he came up with some forms long after O-Sensei's death at the occasion of some prestigious aikido demo.

If you assume that whatever someone says on video about the legitimacy of their own work to be automatically true, well, I am sorry but I will call that a little naive. Though, just in order not to be misunderstood, I have greatest respect for the Iwama lineage, and practice with Saito students regularly.

You might also do some more research on the lineages of at least Seiseki Abe Sensei and Hikitsuchi Sensei, and on Hirokazu Kobayashi. It's not a case of Iwama vs Honbu, really.

And so on.... really most of this discussion feels a little dated somehow.... if you like to believe that what Saito did was the best because Saito said so, go ahead. If you are really looking for a greater picture, I am afraid you have reading to do.

I wont repeat myself on static vs. non static....

Demetrio Cereijo
04-26-2011, 04:20 AM
If we ASSUME, this to be mostly correct, then Iwama Aikido should be the closest to what the Founder taught, when we know that Iwama Aikido is very different to the Hombu.

They shouldnt be that different.

And if we don't accept assumptions as proof?

And if Iwama is different from Hombu because both are products of different personal interpretations of O Sensei's Aikido?

Tony Wagstaffe
04-26-2011, 04:54 AM
A lot of reading and no experimenting to find out what really works is really the goal? Does it really matter who said what? What does matter is one practices against fully resisting ukes, it seems to me to be the only way to find out.... the moment of truth?
I dunno I've only been at it for the last 36 years and there seems to be less harmony in "Aikido" than ever before. I think the message is you have to do the hard before you can ever really achieve the soft, ying and yang and all that....?

Chris Li
04-26-2011, 10:24 AM
Christopher Lee -then you know information i dont.

In the video clips i have seen of M. Saito, he clearly states that it is his duty to preserve the teachings of the Founder without his own interpretation for future generations.

If we ASSUME, this to be mostly correct, then Iwama Aikido should be the closest to what the Founder taught, when we know that Iwama Aikido is very different to the Hombu.

They shouldnt be that different.

I posted this response on another thread years ago, these are quotes from public interviews with Morihiro Saito:

"When I starting teaching myself I realized O-Sensei's way of teaching would not be appropriate so I classified and arranged his jo techniques. I rearranged everything into 20 basic movements I called "suburi" which included tsuki (thrusting), uchikomi (striking), hassogaeshi (figure-eight movements) and so on so it would be easier for students to practice them."

"O-Sensei would get angry if we practiced in a one-two-three manner. His way of teaching might be good for private instruction but when you have to teach 30 or 40 students all together the one-two-three method is the only one effective. This was why I gave each of the suburi movements a number."

"O-Sensei's method may have been good for private lessons but not for teaching groups."

"He used me for explanations and for showing forms. I created the 31 jo movements from this."

"I used to teach the jo as a 27 or 28-movement form, but ended up with the 31-movement form as I found this was easier for students to understand."

There is also a published quote from Kisshomaru Ueshiba where, in his own words, he clearly stated his intention to "preserve Aikido as his father taught it".

One more thing (and maybe the most important thing) to consider is what it is that Ueshiba was actually doing, and whether copying exactly the outer form and appearance is actually sufficient to duplicate that.

Best,

Chris

DH
04-26-2011, 11:30 AM
There is also a published quote from Kisshomaru Ueshiba where, in his own words, he clearly stated his intention to "preserve Aikido as his father taught it".
Hi Chris
Good points
I think it is important to differentiate what Kisshomaru said from what he actually produced. I know of no credible source that ever stated that Kisshomaru's aikido was anything like his fathers-not that it isn't obious. What we see from the family is more or less a bland template- lacking the real power that had made his fathers movements incredibly powerful and viable.
Administratively, the son created a framework and preserved an organizational model. Preserving the fathers actual aikido? In that....he failed.

One more thing (and maybe the most important thing) to consider is what it is that Ueshiba was actually doing, and whether copying exactly the outer form and appearance is actually sufficient to duplicate that.
It isn't.
I've not met or seen a current aikido teacher yet who possesses a clear understanding of how to teach their people to develop power and aiki. If there is someone out there- I would love to see it and test their methods out.
So the question of the day is whether we let the millions doing it poorly...mostly because of the poor Japanese teaching model... continue to re-define it?
Or do we tell them to keep their teaching model for themselves and we set about fixing it ourselves, to give it back the power it once posessed?
All the best
Dan

Chris Li
04-26-2011, 11:59 AM
Hi Chris
Good points
I think it is important to differentiate what Kisshomaru said from what he actually produced. I know of no credible source that ever stated that Kisshomaru's aikido was anything like his fathers-not that it isn't obious. What we see from the family is more or less a bland template- lacking the real power that had made his fathers movements incredibly powerful and viable.
Administratively, the son created a framework and preserved an organizational model. Preserving the fathers actual aikido? In that....he failed.

Absolutely. He made certain choices for certain reasons - whether that's good or bad depends on what you think is important. It's important to note that neither Kisshomaru nor Moriteru have any personal students.

In any case, the point is that just about everybody claims to be preserving Ueshiba's Aikido - and most of them believe it.


It isn't.
I've not met or seen a current aikido teacher yet who possesses a clear understanding of how to teach their people to develop power and aiki. If there is someone out there- I would love to see it and test their methods out.
So the question of the day is whether we let the millions doing it poorly...mostly because of the poor Japanese teaching model... continue to re-define it?
Or do we tell them to keep their teaching model for themselves and we set about fixing it ourselves, to give it back the power it once posessed?
All the best
Dan

Like the man said :cool: .

See you in July - some interesting stuff going on around here ;).

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge
04-26-2011, 12:38 PM
It isn't.
I've not met or seen a current aikido teacher yet who possesses a clear understanding of how to teach their people to develop power and aiki. If there is someone out there- I would love to see it and test their methods out.

That's something I find interesting in what these guys are talking about, Dan. They're advocating a training methodology that devotes a lengthy period of time to just doing paired, static, wrist grab type scenarios where one person bears down and the other person is supposed to, over time, develop the ability to move through the technique without using muscle power.

I don't think its the "True O Sensei Way of Aiki" and I don't think its got much to do with martial training, but it seems to me that it might be a very good way to develop a stable structure that can deliver soft power in different directions.

It sounds like what I have heard the Roppokai do as basic exercises, and it sounds like the ICMA method of soaking in and storing chi.

DH
04-26-2011, 01:06 PM
Hello Cliff
Using wrist grabs to "develop" IP/aiki is grossly inefficient to the point of being ridiculous. There are explicit means to get there ...much faster.
And storing chi and moving energy is done solo...and doesn't require wrist grab either. All in all the entire training model needs to be revamped to get anything that is both faster and more powerful.
what I see is catch as catch can and hope for the best.
I threw the japanese teaching model out the window.
We are better.
Dan

James Wyatt
04-26-2011, 01:11 PM
Another point is O'Sensei's aikido changed with age and personal development. It is often said his pre-war aikido was comparatively hard.

With regards to differing training regimes, each to their own. My sensei studied under O'Sensei and his aikido is very martial and hard, but that is what you get after almost 60 years of perfecting the basics (he also flows very well).

mathewjgano
04-26-2011, 02:33 PM
Hello Cliff
Using wrist grabs to "develop" IP/aiki is grossly inefficient to the point of being ridiculous. There are explicit means to get there ...much faster.
And storing chi and moving energy is done solo...and doesn't require wrist grab either. All in all the entire training model needs to be revamped to get anything that is both faster and more powerful.
what I see is catch as catch can and hope for the best.
I threw the japanese teaching model out the window.
We are better.
Dan

Hi Dan,
What about it makes it so inefficient? Do you think it promotes too much arm-based strength? I can certainly see how it might add a whole new set of variables for translating the power of hara, complicating matters. I can't claim any real understanding, but I do remember a moment after doing some katadori movements where I felt like I gained an insight into how to move with more "whole-body" feel (even though I know my best "whole-body" movements are pretty lousy). Something akin to that maybe?
Take care,
Matt

Keith Larman
04-26-2011, 02:34 PM
FWIW, I'm doing the Aikido taught to me by my teachers as filtered through my own understanding and abilities. I come from a lineage that traces back to O-Sensei via Tohei via R. Kobayashi via my current instructors. But *my* aikido is now also informed by all those years of training, my own understandings, and also input from people like Goldsbury, Amdur, Ledyard, Harden, Threadgill, Sigman, and others found here and elsewhere.

None of us are doing O-sensei's aikido in one sense. In another sense we're all doing it. And everything in between.

Me, I focus on trying to be as honest to myself as possible about what I'm doing, why I do it, and what I'm hoping to learn. I am thankful to O-sensei for getting the ball rolling as well as he did as well as to his successors in various realms.

For me any further discussion is more or less like arguing about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. I've played with guys who float, fluff and get all new-age mystical about the silliest of things (to my view). I've also played with guys from some groups who make Tony W look like a light and gentle fella -- brutal! Me, I'm following the path in front of me. Which was formed by the path I took to get here. Mine.

Cliff Judge
04-26-2011, 03:02 PM
Keith, buddy, please pay attention. What the the OP really meant the thread to be about was that Iwama style Aikido is the only true Aikido and if you do anything other than static practice before sandan you are an impatient child who will never have the skills of...whoever it was that he likes. You are, furthermore, doing some kind of aiki budo jutsu and not the true soft lethal Aikido that comes, interestingly, from only the hard, basic training. :D :D :D

I know you are probably wondering how this thread can have gone on for so long if the OP obviously has his mind very thoroughly made up and the answer is, well, because he waited until we were about a page in before he came clean. :cool:

Keith Larman
04-26-2011, 03:11 PM
Keith, buddy, please pay attention. What the the OP really meant the thread to be about was that Iwama style Aikido is the only true Aikido and if you do anything other than static practice before sandan you are an impatient child who will never have the skills of...whoever it was that he likes.

Of course, but everyone of any quality knows that the "real" stuff was what Tohei did, after all he was made Chief Instructor by the Old Guy himself! No, wait, it was Tomiki who was teaching the "real deal" (tm). After all, he learned when O-sensei was young and vital! No, wait, it was ...

Sigh...

Now how many shihan can fit on the head of a pin? Hmmm, let me count the ways...

James Wyatt
04-26-2011, 03:50 PM
Different styles are different, still aikido. My old sensei had Osawa Sensei in the morning, Tohei Sensei and Waka Sensei in the afternoon and O'Sensei when he was at hombu. He also trained under Tomiki sensei and Mifune sensei at the Kodokan. He always said they were all different, but still aikikai.

Martial arts all obey basic principles. Watch the judo itsutsu no kata.

I now train under a sensei who spent over eight years as uchideshi to Saito sensei. Iwama?

It is all aikido. Look for and study the similarities and you will find aikido.

DH
04-26-2011, 04:16 PM
Hi Dan,
What about it makes it so inefficient? Do you think it promotes too much arm-based strength? I can certainly see how it might add a whole new set of variables for translating the power of hara, complicating matters.

I can't claim any real understanding, but I do remember a moment after doing some katadori movements where I felt like I gained an insight into how to move with more "whole-body" feel (even though I know my best "whole-body" movements are pretty lousy). Something akin to that maybe?
Take care,
Matt
I face a whole bunch of people who....
"Remember a moment too....gained an insight into whole body feel, or think they felt this thing....or sort of got this feeling....or had this great night when things were clicking...."and so on and so on.
If people can not recite chapter and verse what they did and did not do,.,both internally. in connection or with aiki and also in waza ...then what does that say?

FWIW, I said wrist grabbing was a grossly inefficient training tool, it takes to long and is no guarantee of anything anyway.
Why spend forty years guessing- under groups of teachers that often treat us like second class citizens who don't understand because we're not Japanese or worse still ...apologize and tell us they only know how to teach by us stealing their technique.
Only to one day meet someone who is better than you and who can explain the how, why, and where ....in English..and save you decades?
All training and all Aikido is most certainly NOT the same..
Just say'n
Dan

mathewjgano
04-26-2011, 05:05 PM
I face a whole bunch of people who....
"Remember a moment too....gained an insight into whole body feel, or think they felt this thing....or sort of got this feeling....or had this great night when things were clicking...."and so on and so on.
If people can not recite chapter and verse what they did and did not do,.,both internally. in connection or with aiki and also in waza ...then what does that say?

FWIW, I said wrist grabbing was a grossly inefficient training tool, it takes to long and is no guarantee of anything anyway.
Why spend forty years guessing- under groups of teachers that often treat us like second class citizens who don't understand because we're not Japanese or worse still ...apologize and tell us they only know how to teach by us stealing their technique.
Only to one day meet someone who is better than you and who can explain the how, why, and where ....in English..and save you decades?
All training and all Aikido is most certainly NOT the same..
Just say'n
Dan

Hi Dan,
Thanks for the reply. I probably shouldn't have even mentioned my experience. I was just interested in hearing specifically what it is about wrist grabbing that makes it ineffective, and thought it might relate. Considering my lack of ability I should have probably assumed it didn't and stuck with the question itself.
So it's just ineffective? No specific reasons why?
Take care,
Matt

mathewjgano
04-26-2011, 05:13 PM
Hi Dan,
Thanks for the reply. I probably shouldn't have even mentioned my experience. I was just interested in hearing specifically what it is about wrist grabbing that makes it ineffective, and thought it might relate. Considering my lack of ability I should have probably assumed it didn't and stuck with the question itself.
So it's just ineffective? No specific reasons why?
Take care,
Matt

Sorry, it just dawned on me I'm going off-topic. Dan, if you reply to this would you please PM me?
Take care,
Matt

Lee Salzman
04-26-2011, 06:18 PM
Hi Dan,
Thanks for the reply. I probably shouldn't have even mentioned my experience. I was just interested in hearing specifically what it is about wrist grabbing that makes it ineffective, and thought it might relate. Considering my lack of ability I should have probably assumed it didn't and stuck with the question itself.
So it's just ineffective? No specific reasons why?
Take care,
Matt

If only were it that we stood on our hands and presented our feet to be grabbed instead, perhaps training with grabs would be more effective. It would get the arms to learn to transfer force from the ground to the spine and teach the legs, pelvis, and lower spine to be more mobile and extensive. :D

mathewjgano
04-26-2011, 07:04 PM
If only were it that we stood on our hands and presented our feet to be grabbed instead, perhaps training with grabs would be more effective. It would get the arms to learn to transfer force from the ground to the spine and teach the legs, pelvis, and lower spine to be more mobile and extensive. :D
:D Careful! I'm goofy enough to try that!

Tony Wagstaffe
04-26-2011, 08:15 PM
FWIW, I'm doing the Aikido taught to me by my teachers as filtered through my own understanding and abilities. I come from a lineage that traces back to O-Sensei via Tohei via R. Kobayashi via my current instructors. But *my* aikido is now also informed by all those years of training, my own understandings, and also input from people like Goldsbury, Amdur, Ledyard, Harden, Threadgill, Sigman, and others found here and elsewhere.

None of us are doing O-sensei's aikido in one sense. In another sense we're all doing it. And everything in between.

Me, I focus on trying to be as honest to myself as possible about what I'm doing, why I do it, and what I'm hoping to learn. I am thankful to O-sensei for getting the ball rolling as well as he did as well as to his successors in various realms.

For me any further discussion is more or less like arguing about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. I've played with guys who float, fluff and get all new-age mystical about the silliest of things (to my view). I've also played with guys from some groups who make Tony W look like a light and gentle fella -- brutal! Me, I'm following the path in front of me. Which was formed by the path I took to get here. Mine.

I am gentle with some but I'm not always like it, but at the same time we don't want to break each other do we? As is often quoted there are many ways up the mountain, either straight up or around and around a spiral until we hopefully reach the top? I would prefer the straight up version, as life is finite, but it much depends on the commitment of oneself and the student and who I have as training partners..... Very few want to find out..... oh yes it can be brutal, but that is part of the course? You tell me.... ;)
I have discovered a lot in solo training and then test my theories on willing partners, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't, back to the drawing board as they say, experiment, experiment, why not?

RonRagusa
04-26-2011, 10:29 PM
As is often quoted there are many ways up the mountain, either straight up or around and around a spiral until we hopefully reach the top?

Hi Tony -

What isn't stated is that the Aikido mountain we're all lumbering up along our unique paths has no top. Myself, I prefer the long and winding road, I'm lovin' the scenery and the journey. I'm in no hurry to see it end.

Best,

Ron

Lee Crockett
04-27-2011, 02:34 AM
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe said:

A lot of reading and no experimenting to find out what really works is really the goal? Does it really matter who said what? What does matter is one practices against fully resisting ukes, it seems to me to be the only way to find out.... the moment of truth?
I dunno I've only been at it for the last 36 years and there seems to be less harmony in "Aikido" than ever before. I think the message is you have to do the hard before you can ever really achieve the soft, ying and yang and all that....?

I couldnt agree more.:)

If i cant do it on someone solid in the dojo, i dont fancy my chances in the street.

Hanna B
04-27-2011, 05:45 AM
I am sure Saito sensei didn't lie. I am sure he said what he thought was the truth. There are many nuances to "truth", however.

"A said that B said x, therefore it is an established fact that B said x" is not really my kind of logics. You wouldn't find a court that excepted it as evidence. To many possibilites for misunderstandings and personal agendas playing a part, IMHO.

chillzATL
04-27-2011, 07:53 AM
Hi Dan,
Thanks for the reply. I probably shouldn't have even mentioned my experience. I was just interested in hearing specifically what it is about wrist grabbing that makes it ineffective, and thought it might relate. Considering my lack of ability I should have probably assumed it didn't and stuck with the question itself.
So it's just ineffective? No specific reasons why?
Take care,
Matt

It's a limited contact point that's easy to work around, regardless of strength, using simple mechanics and it doesn't offer very much force potential or feedback. Ok for connection exercises, but not for building the skills needed to make and move that connection.

Shany
04-27-2011, 09:29 AM
You make your Aikido in the image and likeness of Osensei's Aikido but never Osensei's Aikido. Aikido develops out of you and shapes according to your inner and outer expressions. It develops as the spirit gows wiser and sharper.

Carl Thompson
04-27-2011, 09:32 AM
I have a question that has maybe only been touched upon in this thread: Is it necessary that aikido be taught in the exact same manner as the founder in order for it to be "Osensei's aikido?"

Perhaps the founder taught a particular way because he really was a "great teacher" in the pedagogical sense as well as for having created the subject to be taught? Osensei certainly observed plenty of his students teaching and he did not seem to require any of them to be possessed by the kami, spontaneously creating divine techniques in flashes of inspiration. That's not to say others couldn't have had any creative input into the birth of aikido, but it seems the founder was in a continuous process of creating and transmitting a vast system involving deep mind and body issues.

Osensei himself said "An instructor can only impart a portion of the teachings." Some instructors had more contact with him than others and some were more capable of digesting what he was doing and were therefore able to deal larger and more accurate portions for us to work from. If we view each of those portions as sketches of the founder (or copies of sketches as we move down the lineages) drawn from different angles with differing time limits and opportunities to observe, we can get a clearer overall picture, especially when these portraits agree with each other as well as with historic facts and other evidence.

Osensei's jo practice is a case in point: In order to teach it, various instructors came up with similar kata of varying detail depending upon their own opportunities to train with the jo with the founder.

OTOH, I heard Saito say clearly that there were things that he had changed - don't just take my word for it, it's in some of the public interviews too.

I never got a chance to train with M. Saito Shihan, but for the reasons above I think he, as well as nidai Doshu, Tohei et al, necessarily had their own way of explaining the founder's techniques. In Saito Shihan's case in particular, he seemed to put a lot of effort into interpreting (for that is all I think anyone could do) as accurately as possible, acknowledging where he created whatever kata for whatever reason and for the most part, any additions seem to be precisely that: explanatory "additions" rather than fundamental changes.

This training, preserved today in Iwama, is hard strong Kotai training, for which M. Saito was told that all students were to train in this way until 3rd Dan before Jutai, Ekitai and Kitai training which focuses more on Kokyu Royku,

Just to clarify, are you saying kokyu-ryoku isn't part of kotai training? I think you must mean ki-no-nagare (flowing technique).

If i cant do it on someone solid in the dojo, i dont fancy my chances in the street.

This stresses the importance of training earnestly, but it doesn't mean one is making things work the way Osensei made them work. However, I'd agree with this yardstick just to qualify that what one is doing is at least some kind of budo.

Kind regards

Carl

Cliff Judge
04-27-2011, 12:12 PM
It's a limited contact point that's easy to work around, regardless of strength, using simple mechanics and it doesn't offer very much force potential or feedback. Ok for connection exercises, but not for building the skills needed to make and move that connection.

This seems to jibe with what the Iwama guys have been talking about; focusing on simple mechanics for ten years before learning how to make a connection and move it is, in some people's opinions, and more hard and martial form of training.

abraxis
04-27-2011, 02:52 PM
I began Aikido training with very little awareness of O'Sensei's Aikido. I began with the belief that I could learn a great deal from the Sensei I chose to train under. I quickly learned that my Sensei was always trying to pass on to his students the Aikido O'Sensei had taught to him. I also saw this attitude was shared by visiting Senseis. Each of O'Sensei's direct students made great efforts to demonstrate to us the Aikido O'Sensei had taught them. And this was invariably followed by "Now you do it". This early experience has taught me that if you want to practice O'Sensei's Aikido you should seek out his first generation students or, if that isn't possible, then O'Sensei's second generation Shihans. At least that is my understanding but I do not have a lot of experience or practice so I apologize for my incomplete understanding. I hope it will not reflect poorly on the Sensei's I have been privileged to observe and hear speak.

stan baker
04-27-2011, 07:43 PM
O'Senseis Aikido is based on developing aiki in the body first then waza.He really did not teach anybody in that way.One needs to find someone who teaches aiki body building,if you want to understand O'Senseis Aikido.

stan

Tenyu
04-27-2011, 08:23 PM
O'Senseis Aikido is based on developing aiki in the body first then waza.He really did not teach anybody in that way.One needs to find someone who teaches aiki body building,if you want to understand O'Senseis Aikido.

stan

O Sensei's Aikido is based on developing a grounded harmonically non-resistant Internal relationship with uke. The phrase Aiki in the body, as a thing in itself, implies Aiki can ever be independent or separate from uke. It can't. I believe the phrase really refers to nage's integrity, balance, and connection with nage's own center. I'll specify all of nage here as I've witnessed the resistive, independent, or 'dead' limb issue affecting both nage and uke.

abraxis
04-27-2011, 08:44 PM
O Sensei's Aikido is based on developing a grounded harmonically non-resistant Internal relationship with uke....[and] nage's integrity, balance, and connection with nage's own center.

I believe this can be seen in the videos of OSensei in his later years.

stan baker
04-27-2011, 09:43 PM
the main point is O'Sensei did not teach the solo training necessary to have his kind of internal power and aiki.

stan

abraxis
04-27-2011, 09:55 PM
You may be right but his students taught their students solo training and did so with reference to OSensei's practice. I know this discussion
has moved me to order

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/4900586560/ref=dp_image_0?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books

mickeygelum
04-27-2011, 10:09 PM
Ueshiba would get his ass kicked today. Different era and mindset...no cultural limitations and/or consequences.

Keep fooling yourselves,

Mickey

mathewjgano
04-27-2011, 10:27 PM
Ueshiba would get his ass kicked today. Different era and mindset...no cultural limitations and/or consequences.

What are the differences in mindset that would cause O Sensei to get his ass kicked?

Cliff Judge
04-27-2011, 10:30 PM
Ueshiba would get his ass kicked today. Different era and mindset...no cultural limitations and/or consequences.

Keep fooling yourselves,

Mickey

Given that he came from a relatively well-off family and showed business aptitude at an early age, I figure he'd probably be one of the guys smoking cigars in a box-seat with a trio of hot "escorts" watching the young idiots beat what little brains they have out of each other.

DH
04-27-2011, 10:43 PM
Ueshiba would get his ass kicked today. Different era and mindset...no cultural limitations and/or consequences.

Keep fooling yourselves,

Mickey
Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Mochizuki.....all prided themselves on MMA. Were they alive..they would be more current than most everyone. They would pursue modern combatives...and still have IP/ aiki.
I think it is a case of armchair athletes who so easily dismiss these men; what they did and what they accomplished.

I am not considering the nonsense ueshiba did in his later years.
Dan

sakumeikan
04-28-2011, 12:31 AM
Ueshiba would get his ass kicked today. Different era and mindset...no cultural limitations and/or consequences.

Keep fooling yourselves,

Mickey

Dear Mickey,
How do you arrive at your conclusions here?Did you ever train with him?I think not .If not how can you tell whether O sensei could handle himself or not?If the episode with Tenryu [a Sumo wrestler] is correct ie Osensei pinned Tenryu with one finger,i think your opinion[while I respect your views ]is flawed.
Hope you are well, Cheers, Joe

chillzATL
04-28-2011, 06:38 AM
I am not considering the nonsense ueshiba did in his later years.
Dan

Dan,

It'll be interesting to see how you feel when you're in your 70's. You may find sport fighting trivial and that Ueshiba's progression is more than enough for you to continue to explore aiki into old age. Wouldn't that be a lark?

DH
04-28-2011, 07:29 AM
Dan,

It'll be interesting to see how you feel when you're in your 70's. You may find sport fighting trivial and that Ueshiba's progression is more than enough for you to continue to explore aiki into old age. Wouldn't that be a lark?
Not my meaning. I meant the stuff where he waved at them and they fell down. It stands to reason he retained some power in his old age. Takeda was in his 70's when he did that angry demo at the budokan. Sagawa did a limited freestyle exchange with two olympic judo guys. There are plenty of guys in the Chinese arts that can deliver power in their old age.
I have no interest in arm waving no touch stuff though, it discredits everything good.
Just say'n
Dan

abraxis
04-28-2011, 07:37 AM
I've heard more than one of OSensei's Shihans emphasize--Yes, Aikido is an Art but it is a Martial Art and when you train you must have this in mind. E.g. When you throw you should be aware that many techniques can be killing techniques if practiced in the style which OSensei originally taught them.

Of course many people prefer to emphasize Art and Harmony and do not practice the Martial aspects much at all. On the other hand, there are those who choose to practice physical confrontation to the point of trying to disable a partner who is emphasizing the Art and Harmony of Aikido.

Whether OSensei did not practice or teach a particular type of Aikido and whether or not any of us is practicing that today is really something that can best be debated by OSensei's first generation students. Even then, their individual opinions are likely to be colored by their own personal perceptions and the era in OSensei's life when they were taught by him--and whether or not they've had a lot to drink immediately before the question is put to them.

chillzATL
04-28-2011, 07:50 AM
Not my meaning. I meant the stuff where he waved at them and they fell down. It stands to reason he retained some power in his old age. Takeda was in his 70's when he did that angry demo at the budokan. Sagawa did a limited freestyle exchange with two olympic judo guys. There are plenty of guys in the Chinese arts that can deliver power in their old age.
I have no interest in arm waving no touch stuff though, it discredits everything good.
Just say'n
Dan

I can't argue with that, but I give the old guy a pass. Who knows what his motivations were, maybe in his mind it was all the same? Maybe he was just having fun at everyones expense? He can still be seen flexing his "muscle" in even his final two recordings so he obviously didn't think it was all purple smoke.

Cliff Judge
04-28-2011, 08:26 AM
The phrase Aiki in the body, as a thing in itself, implies Aiki can ever be independent or separate from uke.

Seriously? If I eat a grilled sanma, I have sanma in my body, completely 100% separate and independent from an uke. Unless I ate my uke also. Or...unless the sanma is my uke!

So you are saying that AIKI IS UKE! I get it! Cannibalism is the key to internal power!

stan baker
04-28-2011, 09:09 AM
there is a difference between building aiki in the body and applied aiki
most of aikido is applied aiki without the foundation. Even the best shihans of O'Sensei had only bits and pieces of the foundational training.

stan

Tony Wagstaffe
04-28-2011, 09:21 AM
I think Ueshiba had great ability in his prime, but with everyone as they age is going to realise some decline in ones "powers" whether internal or not.... as for the arm waving episode I think he was probably having a giggle at our expense or he had become a tad bit delusional himself?
The other explanation is the "respect" given him from his uchi deshi that they respected his past ability and wisdom.....
To go in a destroy an old man wouldn't have been that pertinent or socially acceptable given his advanced age? For crying out loud when are people going to realise that? It really beggars belief....

SeiserL
04-28-2011, 10:46 AM
Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Mochizuki.....all prided themselves on MMA. Were they alive..they would be more current than most everyone. They would pursue modern combatives...and still have IP/ aiki.
Yes agreed.

From what I know, they loved to cross train.

If they were alive today they would have a study in every style that would come back and teach them.

IMHO, it wasn't the style but the type of men they were that makes the difference.

Perhaps because we are different types of people, we are not doing the same Aikido?

Thoughts?

Shany
04-28-2011, 10:52 AM
Yes agreed.

From what I know, they loved to cross train.

If they were alive today they would have a study in every style that would come back and teach them.

IMHO, it wasn't the style but the type of men they were that makes the difference.

Perhaps because we are different types of people, we are not doing the same Aikido?

Thoughts?

It's not the car, it's the driver :)

Shany
04-28-2011, 10:55 AM
I think Ueshiba had great ability in his prime, but with everyone as they age is going to realise some decline in ones "powers" whether internal or not.... as for the arm waving episode I think he was probably having a giggle at our expense or he had become a tad bit delusional himself?
The other explanation is the "respect" given him from his uchi deshi that they respected his past ability and wisdom.....
To go in a destroy an old man wouldn't have been that pertinent or socially acceptable given his advanced age? For crying out loud when are people going to realise that? It really beggars belief....

Ueshiba did believe in his later years in his internet KI rather than physical driven KI, hench his practice with 'waving hands' over people's head.
Of course, the only way to truly know if he did 'shoot out' any KI is by asking his Ukes (Some may still live!)

Demetrio Cereijo
04-28-2011, 11:00 AM
Of course, the only way to truly know if he did 'shoot out' any KI is by asking his Ukes (Some may still live!)

For instance:

Speaking from experience, I can relate my feelings about being an uchideshi and uke to the Founder, Morihei Ueshiba. Perhaps only those students who actually practiced with the Founder will truly understand my feelings. As full-time students of the Founder, our respect for him was of course paramount. Especially towards the end of his life, if the Founder asked his students to push against him as hard as they could, there was not one student among us who could do that. It was not that we were not able to physically push him, it was that we couldnt.

At the age of eighty-six, the Founder commanded so much respect for his life and accomplishments, that no student of any rank, even 7th or 8th dan, were able to breach this level of respect. Beyond the obvious differences in rank and experience, I feel this was part of the true Ki power the Founder possessed. It is understandable when looking at old photos of the Founder resisting the efforts of ten students pushing on his body to think it looks like magic. As one who was there, his power was derived from his presence, not from magic. At the height of his physical prowess, I have no doubt that he used technique to keep students from overpowering him. I attribute his powers at the age of 86 to real Sensei power, the personal power he possessed after a life time of hardships and accomplishments. Not only in the world of Martial arts, leaders world wide who have reached this level command this type of respect from those around them.

http://www.nippon-kan.org/abroad/scotland/sensei_ki_scotland.html

JO
04-28-2011, 11:19 AM
I think we should not underestimate the physical power O-sensei still had later in life. Here's a perspective from Kanai sensei:

for full interview : http://www.neaikikai.com/do_k_interview1.htm

Interview questio : From seeing films and videos, people talk about O Sensei practicing differently at various stages of his life. Is one stage more important than another, or do you take in the 'whole' concept and sometimes practice 'hard' and sometimes practice 'soft'?

Kanai: I never knew O Sensei since the young times. But O Sensei said young people (train) 'hard'. (They) need to do that daily, (they) need to hold 'tight', to make sure (if) the technique works or not...that is what O Sensei told me, told us. But when I met O Sensei (he) was old, his technique was very soft. There is a problem (with that)...people think that's 'soft' (and) that's 'easy'. People think that. (Thinking) that way, those people don't know what O Sensei was doing...because I never felt O Sensei (as) 'soft' or 'weak'...always strong. (He would) bounce me off (the mat) when I took ukemi. People don't know that. Those (uninformed) people (are) bringing Aikido down, (they are) destroying it.

abraxis
04-28-2011, 11:35 AM
I think we should not underestimate the physical power O-sensei still had later in life. Here's a perspective from Kanai sensei:

for full interview : http://www.neaikikai.com/do_k_interview1.htm

Interview questio : From seeing films and videos, people talk about O Sensei practicing differently at various stages of his life. Is one stage more important than another, or do you take in the 'whole' concept and sometimes practice 'hard' and sometimes practice 'soft'?

Kanai: I never knew O Sensei since the young times. But O Sensei said young people (train) 'hard'. (They) need to do that daily, (they) need to hold 'tight', to make sure (if) the technique works or not...that is what O Sensei told me, told us. But when I met O Sensei (he) was old, his technique was very soft. There is a problem (with that)...people think that's 'soft' (and) that's 'easy'. People think that. (Thinking) that way, those people don't know what O Sensei was doing...because I never felt O Sensei (as) 'soft' or 'weak'...always strong. (He would) bounce me off (the mat) when I took ukemi. People don't know that. Those (uninformed) people (are) bringing Aikido down, (they are) destroying it.

Hello Jonathan,

I studied very briefly with Kanai Sensei back in '76 and can almost hear him speaking the words quoted in the interview. I deeply appreciate your post.

Sincerest thanks,

Rudy

Tony Wagstaffe
04-28-2011, 03:49 PM
Yes agreed.

From what I know, they loved to cross train.

If they were alive today they would have a study in every style that would come back and teach them.

IMHO, it wasn't the style but the type of men they were that makes the difference.

Perhaps because we are different types of people, we are not doing the same Aikido?

Thoughts?

The same.....

stan baker
04-28-2011, 08:21 PM
it is the lack of understanding of spiraling energy and internal center
that is the main reason present day aikido is not at the same standard
of old.

stan

graham christian
04-28-2011, 09:58 PM
it is the lack of understanding of spiraling energy and internal center
that is the main reason present day aikido is not at the same standard
of old.

stan

Hi Stan.
True. Those type of things are dismissed by many as with other aspects whichO'Sensei could do yet others couldn't understand.

Take the word soft or non-resistance or love or spirit or essence or concept of spirit of loving protection etc.etc. How many Aikidoka actually know and can demonstrate in action these principles?

When I came into Aikidothere apparently was a rift going on in the Aikido scene. Back then my teacher explained it simply as those who wanted to carry on emphasizing and practicing with non-resistance, Ki etc. and those who weren't interested in that but were interested in the 'old school samurai' way as he put it.

It's actually down to people not understanding and many not wanting to understand for they can't 'logically' see the relationship.

Just take the word softness. Every single person in various martial arts and unfortunately this one who I have met who has told me that soft doesn't work etc. hadn't got a clue what it
actually meant. They have many explanations and stories and ridicules of it but cannot do it and by demonstration cannot 'defeat' or stop it.

Thus we get beliefs that its about shooting Ki and Ki balls and nonsense. Ridicule from those who cannot do or understand.

When a person is 'completely' relaxed and do something with 'softness' this is how it is to them the doer. Yet the person who receives comes out with statements like 'what the hell was that it felt like you hit me with a hammer' or 'that put me through the mat' or 'I felt like I ran into a brick wall'

These things are hard to understand for both parties for the person who did it feels like he did nothing and yet the person who received it knows he has been completely 'defeated'. Both new, easily disbelieved yet amazing experiences. They don't fit into the persons 'logical' reasoning.

Now when someone can do this anywhere, anytime, with anyone, (like O'Sensei could) it's just as confusing to the recipient for he usually cannot see how the teachers explanation fits those words. He cannot see how soft can mean something else or indeed that it's true meaning is almost the compleat opposite of what he believes, be he an uchideshi or beginner.

Thus it's dicussed for years.

Each concept when finally understood is more like a realization. Whether it be non-resistance or budo is love.

There is no secret technique or bad O'Sensei teaching, there is only a failure to duplicate those type of principles he repeatedly told everyone he employed.

I used to put down and ridicule those who used computers and joke about them as geeks etc. Once again just my ignorance at play and yet in reality those I ridiculed were just silently laughing at me.

No difference really to the current Aikido scene in many parts.

It's all good.G

Tony Wagstaffe
04-28-2011, 09:59 PM
Hi Tony -

What isn't stated is that the Aikido mountain we're all lumbering up along our unique paths has no top. Myself, I prefer the long and winding road, I'm lovin' the scenery and the journey. I'm in no hurry to see it end.

Best,

Ron

Nor am I, a bit like the last dying breath and then suddenly saying Oooooh I think I've got it aaaaahhh!!! Expire.........:dead:

graham christian
04-28-2011, 10:04 PM
it is the lack of understanding of spiraling energy and internal center
that is the main reason present day aikido is not at the same standard
of old.

stan

Hi Stan.
True. Those type of things are dismissed by many as with other aspects whichO'Sensei could do yet others couldn't understand.

Take the word soft or non-resistance or love or spirit or essence or concept of spirit of loving protection etc.etc. How many Aikidoka actually know and can demonstrate in action these principles?

When I came into Aikidothere apparently was a rift going on in the Aikido scene. Back then my teacher explained it simply as those who wanted to carry on emphasizing and practicing with non-resistance, Ki etc. and those who weren't interested in that but were interested in the 'old school samurai' way as he put it.

It's actually down to people not understanding and many not wanting to understand for they can't 'logically' see the relationship.

Just take the word softness. Every single person in various martial arts and unfortunately this one who I have met who has told me that soft doesn't work etc. hadn't got a clue what it
actually meant. They have many explanations and stories and ridicules of it but cannot do it and by demonstration cannot 'defeat' or stop it.

Thus we get beliefs that its about shooting Ki and Ki balls and nonsense. Ridicule from those who cannot do or understand.

When a person is 'completely' relaxed and do something with 'softness' this is how it is to them the doer. Yet the person who receives comes out with statements like 'what the hell was that it felt like you hit me with a hammer' or 'that put me through the mat' or 'I felt like I ran into a brick wall'

These things are hard to understand for both parties for the person who did it feels like he did nothing and yet the person who received it knows he has been completely 'defeated'. Both new, easily disbelieved yet amazing experiences. They don't fit into the persons 'logical' reasoning.

Now when someone can do this anywhere, anytime, with anyone, (like O'Sensei could) it's just as confusing to the recipient for he usually cannot see how the teachers explanation fits those words. He cannot see how soft can mean something else or indeed that it's true meaning is almost the compleat opposite of what he believes, be he an uchideshi or beginner.

Thus it's dicussed for years.

Each concept when finally understood is more like a realization. Whether it be non-resistance or budo is love.

There is no secret technique or bad O'Sensei teaching, there is only a failure to duplicate those type of principles he repeatedly told everyone he employed.

I used to put down and ridicule those who used computers and joke about them as geeks etc. Once again just my ignorance at play and yet in reality those I ridiculed were just silently laughing at me.

No difference really to the current Aikido scene in many parts.

It's all good.G

stan baker
04-28-2011, 11:03 PM
Hi Graham

I am actually talking about something else.

stan

Cliff Judge
04-29-2011, 09:07 AM
Nor am I, a bit like the last dying breath and then suddenly saying Oooooh I think I've got it aaaaahhh!!! Expire.........:dead:

Your last dying breath doesn't come out of your mouth, mate.

Tony Wagstaffe
04-29-2011, 09:28 AM
Your last dying breath doesn't come out of your mouth, mate.

I know, just having a silly joke, it comes out of the other office doesn't it? :D

Tony Wagstaffe
04-29-2011, 02:03 PM
Right away from the nonsense for a mo...

Looks just like 'O' Sensei.... is this his Nephew? I get mixed up with the names....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WpJZ8RqaZU&feature=digest

Demetrio Cereijo
04-29-2011, 02:46 PM
I think he is.

Hellis
04-29-2011, 03:00 PM
Right away from the nonsense for a mo...

Looks just like 'O' Sensei.... is this his Nephew? I get mixed up with the names....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WpJZ8RqaZU&feature=digest

HHHHHhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
He looks familiar ??
First one with the correct answer wins a magic lamp :D

Henry Ellis
Aikido Controversy
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

Tony Wagstaffe
04-29-2011, 03:39 PM
HHHHHhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
He looks familiar ??
First one with the correct answer wins a magic lamp :D

Henry Ellis
Aikido Controversy
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

It's me Sensei..... its me!!........ Noddy?

Hellis
04-29-2011, 03:46 PM
It's me Sensei..... its me!!........ Noddy?

Tony

NO - NO, it is not you, sorry you don't win the big prize - you can have a 8th dan or Shihan title as a booby prize ?

Henry Ellis
Aikido- Books
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/

Tony Wagstaffe
04-29-2011, 09:45 PM
Tony

NO - NO, it is not you, sorry you don't win the big prize - you can have a 8th dan or Shihan title as a booby prize ?

Henry Ellis
Aikido- Books
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/

Aaaaaw Sensei :( Not even the magic pants?

guest1234567
04-30-2011, 12:59 PM
Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido
Are shotokan karatekas really doing Funakoshis karate?
Are judokas really doing Kanos Judo.
Are we speaking the same english like 100 years ago?
Or the same japanese? I just read a funny story in the interesting E-book Write for Tohoku,"Lost in translation with Roberta Flack" by Heather Dune, it is about Misaki, grown up in Hawaii having learned the japanese from her grandmother. She asked in japanese for the toilet in a department store in Tokyo and all the sales women laughed and bowed, she repeated her question and the ladys kept laughing holding their stomach, then she was shocked thinking that such a fine department store did not have a restroom, finally the matron came and asked again what Misaki needed, and as she told her the matron too began to laugh and told her, that she had asked for the shit house(Misaki's grandmother had emigrated from Japan before there had been plumbing).
Everything develops... the Aikido too. We should just keep training:)
By the way you can find this interesting E-Book in http://fortohoku.org/

abraxis
04-30-2011, 01:30 PM
Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido
Are shotokan karatekas really doing Funakoshis karate?
Are judokas really doing Kanos Judo.
Are we speaking the same english like 100 years ago?
Or the same japanese? I just read a funny story in the interesting E-book Write for Tohoku,"Lost in translation with Roberta Flack" by Heather Dune, it is about Misaki, grown up in Hawaii having learned the japanese from her grandmother. She asked in japanese for the toilet in a department store in Tokyo and all the sales women laughed and bowed, she repeated her question and the ladys kept laughing holding their stomach, then she was shocked thinking that such a fine department store did not have a restroom, finally the matron came and asked again what Misaki needed, and as she told her the matron too began to laugh and told her, that she had asked for the shit house(Misaki's grandmother had emigrated from Japan before there had been plumbing).
Everything develops... the Aikido too. We should just keep training:)
By the way you can find this interesting E-Book in http://fortohoku.org/

Thank you, Carina, for your post. I think a cursory review of Judo and Karate sites on the web will find very similar threads focused on this kind of topic. Human memory is a net with a lot of holes in it which each day gets more frayed; human communication is fraught with language difficulties made worse by background noises that interfere with our hearing. If anybody is alive today who actually heard English spoken 100 years ago would that help us any? Can we really be sure of what Chaucer sounded like when he read out loud?And so on and so forth.

Humor and Laughter are welcome alternatives to an excess of fretting about these issues which quickly devolve into barroom discussions.

Having made these statements, may I foolishly venture to ask if anyone here can give the Japanese translation, or, better yet, give the original quote and source from OSensei which is translated into English as:

"there is no enemy, opponent or other in aikido, there is not even a partner"

With kind regards.

Tony Wagstaffe
04-30-2011, 03:23 PM
Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido
Are shotokan karatekas really doing Funakoshis karate?
Are judokas really doing Kanos Judo.
Are we speaking the same english like 100 years ago?
Or the same japanese? I just read a funny story in the interesting E-book Write for Tohoku,"Lost in translation with Roberta Flack" by Heather Dune, it is about Misaki, grown up in Hawaii having learned the japanese from her grandmother. She asked in japanese for the toilet in a department store in Tokyo and all the sales women laughed and bowed, she repeated her question and the ladys kept laughing holding their stomach, then she was shocked thinking that such a fine department store did not have a restroom, finally the matron came and asked again what Misaki needed, and as she told her the matron too began to laugh and told her, that she had asked for the shit house(Misaki's grandmother had emigrated from Japan before there had been plumbing).
Everything develops... the Aikido too. We should just keep training:)
By the way you can find this interesting E-Book in http://fortohoku.org/

Ha! The "ben jo" if I remember correctly.... (pity anyone called Ben) now it is toirette, As Japanese people have difficulty with "L" which I believe is French.
I prefer the old saying....... It's like poshe English "the little room" now what's that? The cubby 'ole under the stairs?.... The word shit come from Anglo Saxon, just as many others that are now unmentionable!! WTF :D So many words that describe things so exactly. I suppose they do get tiresome if used as expletives every third word, Doesn't bother me as they are used everyday by youth here. I tend to use them under my breath or when I've hit my thumb with a lump hammer, so they should only be used when required to describe what it is you want or what you would like to do or as expression of frustration or hurt so long as those with sensitive sensitivities are not in earshot.....:D

As for aikido or any of the other MA it's all whether on not they are practised for what they were intended for? Aikido now being performed as "martial dance" in many quarters..... Its surprising how many dancers use martial art type movement now, as they are not that far apart.... it's the intent that is missing.....

guest1234567
04-30-2011, 03:39 PM
As for aikido or any of the other MA it's all whether on not they are practised for what they were intended for? Aikido now being performed as "martial dance" in many quarters..... Its surprising how many dancers use martial art type movement now, as they are not that far apart.... it's the intent that is missing.....
I think O'Sensei would have liked that too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6GAQ3-X3Ro

abraxis
04-30-2011, 03:44 PM
I think O'Sensei would have liked that too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6GAQ3-X3Ro

Is that why he said "there is no enemy, opponent or other in aikido, there is not even a partner" ?

guest1234567
04-30-2011, 03:46 PM
I don't know..

Mary Eastland
04-30-2011, 04:00 PM
Good point, Carina.
I don't worry about whose Aikido I am doing. I suppose it's because I can train only as myself. Only Ueshiba could do his Aikido. I like to think I am training with his principles. Yet after they go though my American woman's filter I am sure they are different. I train with a willing body and sincere heart... doing my best every time I am on the mat. I can't do any better than that. Can anyone?

Tony Wagstaffe
04-30-2011, 04:02 PM
I think O'Sensei would have liked that too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6GAQ3-X3Ro

I've a hunch he wouldn't somehow, but then again I maybe wrong, won't ever know now will we......

abraxis
04-30-2011, 04:32 PM
I honestly don't believe O'Sensei was thinking about dance when he practiced, talked or wrote about Aikido. Looking back on this thread, it appears the OP may have touched on an answer to what can be inferred from O'Sensei's statement "there is no enemy opponent or other in aikido, there is not even a partner"

....In my opinion....The abilities of these gentlemen from what i have observed goes beyond the physical and into the metaphysical....

If that is the case then one question that comes to mind is which Senseis are teaching or doing Osensei's metaphysics?

graham christian
04-30-2011, 05:55 PM
I honestly don't believe O'Sensei was thinking about dance when he practiced, talked or wrote about Aikido. Looking back on this thread, it appears the OP may have touched on an answer to what can be inferred from O'Sensei's statement "there is no enemy opponent or other in aikido, there is not even a partner"

If that is the case then one question that comes to mind is which Senseis are teaching or doing Osensei's metaphysics?

Rudy.

I don't think you have finished the thought. That thought tells you what there isn't it's up to you to find therefore what there is.

Happy hunting.G.

Carl Thompson
04-30-2011, 06:01 PM
Everything develops... the Aikido too. We should just keep training:)


Hello Carina

Surely just training and not bothering about how the art developed leaves us open to the same dilemma as the woman you described. Not to mention that things corrupt as well as develop. This "language" had a particular function envisioned by its creator.

Carl

Carl Thompson
04-30-2011, 06:20 PM
In my sketch analogy, I left out "artistic license" and those who intentionally draw' their art not only from Osensei's lineage, but also how they like it' or from other arts. It seems to me that even these views can be informative as we trace how aikido was promulgated and purposely/accidentally changed, distorted, "progressed" or watered down by different teachers.

For a start, one thing that is easy to do is to work out how old someone was when the founder was alive and how long they could have trained with him.
For instance:
Speaking from experience, I can relate my feelings about being an uchideshi and uke to the Founder, Morihei Ueshiba. Perhaps only those students who actually practiced with the Founder will truly understand my feelings. As full-time students of the Founder

Also are there any counter claims? It seems to me there are many who claim to be Osensei's last uchi deshi.
www.taais.com/The_last_uchideshi_of_Ueshiba.pdf

abraxis
04-30-2011, 07:38 PM
Graham,

You say:

" I don't think you have finished the thought. That thought tells you what there isn't it's up to you to find therefore what there is."

Unlike me you seem to have trained regularly and I have the greatest respect for anyone who has stuck with it for as long as you have. As for me, I left dojo practice for 35 years until this past Friday but I still was on a kind of hunt all that time I guess. Doesn't leave much time left to form the right questions or discover too many right answers however. Just a bit of time to practice and be happy that it's still possible to do so. I don't know what the metaphysics of that is I just know I want to keep showing up for practice.

Best,

Rudy

Demetrio Cereijo
04-30-2011, 07:48 PM
Also are there any counter claims? It seems to me there are many who claim to be Osensei's last uchi deshi.

Lots claim to be not only the last but also the closer to him.

Anyway, what is around is: Homma Sensei was born in 1950, started training under Maruyama Shuji Sensei in Akita when he was around 12 years old. Maruyama moved to USA in 1966. Homma Sensei could have trained in Iwama under O Sensei between 1966 and 1969.

Here (http://www.mexicoaikido.com.mx/Homma%20Kancho/p4.jpg) is a pic of Homma Sensei in Iwama (year 1968).

Entry in Aikido Journal Encyclopedia: http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclopedia?entryID=272

Hirosawa Sensei was born in Iwama in 1937 and started training in aikido in 1958. Claims are he received "the real" from O Sensei himself.
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=135840&postcount=1

Video of Hirosawa Sensei: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvmIaco_SUQ

Hanna B
04-30-2011, 08:04 PM
I honestly don't believe O'Sensei was thinking about dance when he practiced, talked or wrote about Aikido.

Most certainly not. He was thinking about communicating with kami (shinto gods).

graham christian
04-30-2011, 08:07 PM
Graham,

You say:

" I don't think you have finished the thought. That thought tells you what there isn't it's up to you to find therefore what there is."

Unlike me you seem to have trained regularly and I have the greatest respect for anyone who has stuck with it for as long as you have. As for me, I left dojo practice for 35 years until this past Friday but I still was on a kind of hunt all that time I guess. Doesn't leave much time left to form the right questions or discover too many right answers however. Just a bit of time to practice and be happy that it's still possible to do so. I don't know what the metaphysics of that is I just know I want to keep showing up for practice.

Best,

Rudy

Hi Rudy.

'Just a bit of time practice and be happy it's still possible to do so'

Now I do like the metaphysical or spiritual side of it as well as the physical. However, without being facetious may I say that your view is metaphysically perfect.

Regards.G.

Tony Wagstaffe
04-30-2011, 09:49 PM
Lots claim to be not only the last but also the closer to him.

Anyway, what is around is: Homma Sensei was born in 1950, started training under Maruyama Shuji Sensei in Akita when he was around 12 years old. Maruyama moved to USA in 1966. Homma Sensei could have trained in Iwama under O Sensei between 1966 and 1969.

Here (http://www.mexicoaikido.com.mx/Homma%20Kancho/p4.jpg) is a pic of Homma Sensei in Iwama (year 1968).

Entry in Aikido Journal Encyclopedia: http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclopedia?entryID=272

Hirosawa Sensei was born in Iwama in 1937 and started training in aikido in 1958. Claims are he received "the real" from O Sensei himself.
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=135840&postcount=1

Video of Hirosawa Sensei: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvmIaco_SUQ

Yoda?

Carl Thompson
05-01-2011, 08:42 AM
Lots claim to be not only the last but also the closer to him.

Anyway, what is around is: Homma Sensei was born in 1950, started training under Maruyama Shuji Sensei in Akita when he was around 12 years old. Maruyama moved to USA in 1966. Homma Sensei could have trained in Iwama under O Sensei between 1966 and 1969.

Here (http://www.mexicoaikido.com.mx/Homma%20Kancho/p4.jpg) is a pic of Homma Sensei in Iwama (year 1968).

Entry in Aikido Journal Encyclopedia: http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclopedia?entryID=272

Hirosawa Sensei was born in Iwama in 1937 and started training in aikido in 1958. Claims are he received "the real" from O Sensei himself.
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=135840&postcount=1
Thanks. In my opinion, looking objectively for this kind of information is the way to go.

With so many claims, we have to play amateur sleuths to get to the bottom of what the founder's aikido was really like. So one sensei might insist that the founder was strong right until the end of his days, while another claims he was weak and people were taking dives for him. Others say he progressed to ki-no-nagare flowing form aikido as seen in his demonstrations (implying the abandonment of solid-form training) while some students insist he always taught solid basics as a way of reaching that point and that embu were designed to be impossible to steal from. Some say he was based in Tokyo in his later years while some have it that he was still resident in Iwama and merely visited the capital and other locations. I'm sure there are cases where honest enough deshi give conflicting accounts and that it's just a matter of degree while other times ego comes into play...

Just the other day I met a rokudan who said he trained with the founder in a particular location. He said he didn't consider himself a student of the founder, because that was the only keiko he had with Osensei during the last couple of years of his life. I find that kind of self-effacing testimony particularly compelling, not to mention the accounts of local people who knew the founder and have no vested interest.

Yoda?

I first met Hirosawa Shihan after the seminar Demitrio linked to in 2006. In those days he taught basic kotai waza although he was controversial in demonstrating flowing technique a lot. When I attacked him, he never froze me with his kiai or threw me without touching me, but when I got hold of him, I couldn't stop him moving me, despite his encouragement for me to try my best. I get the impression that this at least is typical of anyone who spent any time close to the founder, even now in their old age.

Video of Hirosawa Sensei: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvmIaco_SUQ

I was present at this demonstration and to be honest, I've no idea what he was doing. His background is very different from the other "Jedi" doing no-touch throws so I try (it takes some effort) to keep an open mind.

Kind regards

Carl

abraxis
05-01-2011, 08:49 AM
Graham,

Thank you for the kind words. Since you "like the metaphysical or spiritual side of it as well as the physical" may I ask who else do you know of who currently heads a dojo and shares your orientation? Are any of these kindred spirits currently teaching in the states? I don't think it is too far off topic to ask about this but I do ask for the obvious selfish reasons-- those are my preferences too.

Cheers!

Rudy

Tony Wagstaffe
05-01-2011, 09:14 AM
Thanks. In my opinion, looking objectively for this kind of information is the way to go.

With so many claims, we have to play amateur sleuths to get to the bottom of what the founder's aikido was really like. So one sensei might insist that the founder was strong right until the end of his days, while another claims he was weak and people were taking dives for him. Others say he progressed to ki-no-nagare flowing form aikido as seen in his demonstrations (implying the abandonment of solid-form training) while some students insist he always taught solid basics as a way of reaching that point and that embu were designed to be impossible to steal from. Some say he was based in Tokyo in his later years while some have it that he was still resident in Iwama and merely visited the capital and other locations. I'm sure there are cases where honest enough deshi give conflicting accounts and that it's just a matter of degree while other times ego comes into play...

Just the other day I met a rokudan who said he trained with the founder in a particular location. He said he didn't consider himself a student of the founder, because that was the only keiko he had with Osensei during the last couple of years of his life. I find that kind of self-effacing testimony particularly compelling, not to mention the accounts of local people who knew the founder and have no vested interest.

I first met Hirosawa Shihan after the seminar Demitrio linked to in 2006. In those days he taught basic kotai waza although he was controversial in demonstrating flowing technique a lot. When I attacked him, he never froze me with his kiai or threw me without touching me, but when I got hold of him, I couldn't stop him moving me, despite his encouragement for me to try my best. I get the impression that this at least is typical of anyone who spent any time close to the founder, even now in their old age.

I was present at this demonstration and to be honest, I've no idea what he was doing. His background is very different from the other "Jedi" doing no-touch throws so I try (it takes some effort) to keep an open mind.

Kind regards

Carl

Maybe he thought he would have a giggle to..... otherwise why do it?
I am told Tomiki Sensei frowned frowned upon this kind of thing.... Me? I know it's ridiculous, but some choose to believe it, which is kind of sad don't you think? :(

Kent Enfield
05-01-2011, 10:36 AM
Video of Hirosawa Sensei: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvmIaco_SUQ
"演舞" indeed.

abraxis
05-01-2011, 11:38 AM
"演舞" indeed.

Roughly translated as "play dance"?

Couldn't it be considered a spiritual exercise? Could the final videos of OSensei be viewed not just as as martial artistry but as a Divine Prayer? I don't know. I may just be confused on a very fundamental level that's all. I do believe that anyone who can demonstrate that they combine the Divine and the Physical in an effective Martial Art has got my vote.

Josh Reyer
05-01-2011, 04:41 PM
Roughly translated as "play dance"?

Kent's making a pun. The words for "demonstration of budo" (演武) and "demonstration of dance" (演舞) are both pronounced "embu".

abraxis
05-01-2011, 04:48 PM
Kent's making a pun. The words for "demonstration of budo" (演武) and "demonstration of dance" (演舞) are both pronounced "embu".

Joshua, Thank you. Then budo is made up of dance moves? I know that at the one summer camp I attended in the 70's there was a Noh Theater troupe which performed for all those in attendance. As a perpetual beginner I've never fully understood what was intended by that.

Carl Thompson
05-01-2011, 05:02 PM
"演舞" indeed.
Josh just beat me to explaining this. As an extra note, this kanji 舞 means dance
Maybe he thought he would have a giggle to..... otherwise why do it?
I am told Tomiki Sensei frowned frowned upon this kind of thing.... Me? I know it's ridiculous, but some choose to believe it, which is kind of sad don't you think? :(
I'm told Osensei frowned on this kind of thing too. It depends who you ask. The founder was known to do kagura-mai 神楽舞 which is a kind of "spiritual dance" (note the kanji) as well as deliberately making his embu difficult to understand. Some allege he even made them look faked on purpose.

In Hirosawa Shihan's case, I also wondered if this was some kind of joke but he told me directly that this demonstration was the real deal. I do find the "sensitivity" expectation required by the other Jedi out there a bit strange as martial practice, especially after having been told off by one of them for not going where I was supposed to go, but Hirosawa Shihan always wanted me to attack full on and had the goods at a basic level. If the magic doesn't work (and at this point, I can't see how it would work), he at least has that to fall back on. The other Jedi don't in my experience so far.

PS: I notice Kent still has Miyagi-ken as his location. Although you may be sick of hearing it by now, I hope things are well with you after the quake and tsunami.

Kent Enfield
05-01-2011, 07:09 PM
Kent's making a pun. The words for "demonstration of budo" (演武) and "demonstration of dance" (演舞) are both pronounced "embu".
Furthermore, while this demonstration (embu--演武) is from an event with multiple different demonstrations (embu taikai--演武大会) as can be seen on the banner in the background, whoever made this video labeled it, I presume unintentionally, as a "dance performance association" (embukai--演舞会) and had made the pun for me.

I lived in Miyagi until a bit less than two years ago. I'm back in the US. I just had forgotten to update this profile.

guest1234567
05-02-2011, 06:32 AM
Hello Carina

Surely just training and not bothering about how the art developed leaves us open to the same dilemma as the woman you described. Not to mention that things corrupt as well as develop. This "language" had a particular function envisioned by its creator.

Carl
Hi Carl,
I don't think that aikido will corrupt if we train sincerely.
regards

Demetrio Cereijo
05-02-2011, 07:06 AM
I was present at this demonstration and to be honest, I've no idea what he was doing.
The tallest uke in the clip I linked is a former dojo mate of mine. One of the thinks that made him start to consider seriously moving to Japan was his (and other club members) experience with Hirosawa Sensei at 2006 Osimo seminar.

I hope he comes back some day to check what he learned.

abraxis
05-02-2011, 07:34 AM
"I 'yams whats I ams, and dats all that I 'yams: I'm Popeye the Sailor Man"
~ anon

Carl Thompson
05-02-2011, 07:40 AM
The tallest uke in the clip I linked is a former dojo mate of mine. One of the thinks that made him start to consider seriously moving to Japan was his (and other club members) experience with Hirosawa Sensei at 2006 Osimo seminar.

I hope he comes back some day to check what he learned.

It's a small world, especially in Iwama. He's a friend of mine too. I was just talking to him today. As you'll know, he insists that what Hirosawa Shihan is doing is the real deal.

Carl

Demetrio Cereijo
05-02-2011, 08:15 AM
It's a small world, especially in Iwama. He's a friend of mine too.

Nice guy Amir. Give him my best regards nex time you met him.

BTW, If he tells you I'm a d**k, he's correct.:D

Carl Thompson
05-02-2011, 08:43 PM
Hi Carl,
I don't think that aikido will corrupt if we train sincerely.
regards
Hello Carina

I'd agree but what is training sincerely? If someone completely changed what the founder was doing, focusing on superior muscle power and a philosophy of "No mercy! Mercy is for the weak!" Would that not be a corruption no matter how sincerely we do it? I think sincerity implies asking the question in this thread. Then, even if you are deviating from what you think the founder was doing, at least you know you are doing so and can understand why.

Nice guy Amir. Give him my best regards nex time you met him.
Yeah, he's a good bloke. Will do.

guest1234567
05-03-2011, 02:10 AM
Hello Carina

I'd agree but what is training sincerely? If someone completely changed what the founder was doing, focusing on superior muscle power and a philosophy of "No mercy! Mercy is for the weak!" Would that not be a corruption no matter how sincerely we do it? I think sincerity implies asking the question in this thread. Then, even if you are deviating from what you think the founder was doing, at least you know you are doing so and can understand why.

.
Hi Carl
If someone completely is focusing on superior muscle power, do you really think that he will improve in any way?
And about asking the question of this thread? Don't you think it is long enough and there are too much replys already? Will one more provide anything positive to this thread?. Carl I just like to train and enjoy it, I don't like to write too much!
regards

Carl Thompson
05-03-2011, 02:54 AM
Hi Carl
If someone completely is focusing on superior muscle power, do you really think that he will improve in any way?
Yes.

If someone sincerely works on developing superior muscle power and its martial application, they should improve at applying muscle-power martially. If they call it Osensei's aikido, should we just believe them because they do it sincerely?

And about asking the question of this thread? Don't you think it is long enough and there are too much replys already? Will one more provide anything positive to this thread?. Carl I just like to train and enjoy it, I don't like to write too much!
regards

I get it that you don't think this is worth discussing. For all that, you are still replying to this thread with an argument that there are too many replies to the thread. You clearly spend enough time thinking about aikido when you aren't training to want to share your opinion or ask the odd question. That's a good thing isn't it?

Obviously, I'm typing this one-handed in the middle of tai-no-henko, much to the irritation of my partner...

:)

guest1234567
05-03-2011, 03:59 AM
Hi Carl,
Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
Unfortunately I haven't met O'Sensei, so I cannot do his aikido, I'm doing the aikido my sensei is teaching me:)
Have a nice day..

Carl Thompson
05-03-2011, 05:28 AM
Unfortunately I haven't met O'Sensei, so I cannot do his aikido, I'm doing the aikido my sensei is teaching me:)
I never met him either. And I suspect that no one can do his aikido exactly, even if they did actually meet him. The blind men feeling the elephant story has been used to explain what it was like for those around him. Some got closer than others though, and had more time, and I do think there is value in trying to get as good a picture of the elephant as possible, regardless of who you choose to follow.

If you really have issues with my view in particular, I suggest further discussion by PM rather than lengthening a thread you don't like.

Demetrio Cereijo
05-03-2011, 05:48 AM
I'm doing the aikido my sensei is teaching me:)
Which could be aikido only in name.

chillzATL
05-03-2011, 09:11 AM
Which could be aikido only in name.

what's the differentiating factor then?

Demetrio Cereijo
05-03-2011, 09:33 AM
what's the differentiating factor then?

The principles informing the waza and how the art relates to the methaphysical.

chillzATL
05-03-2011, 09:47 AM
The principles informing the waza and how the art relates to the methaphysical.

elaborate on "the metaphysical" please as I'm not sure I understand what you mean there.

Otherwise, I think I agree.

abraxis
05-03-2011, 09:56 AM
elaborate on "the metaphysical" please as I'm not sure I understand what you mean there.
Otherwise, I think I agree.

If I may intrude, I've had the beginner's understanding that metaphysical in this context refers to OSensei's Shintoism. But, then again, I'm probably wrong or only getting a piece of it. That's why I practice.

Demetrio Cereijo
05-03-2011, 10:19 AM
elaborate on "the metaphysical" please as I'm not sure I understand what you mean there.

Otherwise, I think I agree.

Founder explains it better:

"Today, as requested, I will attempt to describe for you what aikido is.

Aikido is the principle of eternal continuation throughout all ages of the one and same system of the Universe.
Aikido is Heaven-sent truth and the marvelous work of Takemusu Aiki.
Aikido is the Way of union and harmony of Heaven, Earth and humanity.
Aikido is, moreover, the Way to take care of the entire creation.
Aikido is the supreme work of kotodama and the Great Way of Universal Purification (misogi).
Those who deeply believe in this Way must serve in the administration of the founding of a Universal Nation.

We must accomplish our missions as human beings and become guideposts for the Great Union and Harmony of the Universal Family. Therefore, we must understand Universal Truth, the true state of things, and attain oneness with the mind of God. We must learn from the manifestations and works of God in this Great Universe, and assist in His administration serving as a sword (tsurugi).

In aikido, it is absolutely indispensable that we stand on the Floating Bridge of Heaven (Ame no Ukihashi). This is essential for us to return to and be unified with God, who is the spiritual source, the Original Parent."

etcetera...

Source: Takemusu Aiki - Lectures of Morihei Ueshiba (I think there's no complete translation in English, but I've read the Japanese edition is easily available and there's a French translation (http://www.editionsducenacle.com/2.1_autour-de-ueshiba.html) in process).

One only has to understand Founder's metaphysical views about aikido and check if his own practise matches with them.

Easy, isn't it?

abraxis
05-03-2011, 10:26 AM
Founder explains it better:

"Today, as requested, I will attempt to describe for you what aikido is.

Aikido is the principle of eternal continuation throughout all ages of the one and same system of the Universe.
Aikido is Heaven-sent truth and the marvelous work of Takemusu Aiki.
Aikido is the Way of union and harmony of Heaven, Earth and humanity.
Aikido is, moreover, the Way to take care of the entire creation.
Aikido is the supreme work of kotodama and the Great Way of Universal Purification (misogi).
Those who deeply believe in this Way must serve in the administration of the founding of a Universal Nation.

We must accomplish our missions as human beings and become guideposts for the Great Union and Harmony of the Universal Family. Therefore, we must understand Universal Truth, the true state of things, and attain oneness with the mind of God. We must learn from the manifestations and works of God in this Great Universe, and assist in His administration serving as a sword (tsurugi).

In aikido, it is absolutely indispensable that we stand on the Floating Bridge of Heaven (Ame no Ukihashi). This is essential for us to return to and be unified with God, who is the spiritual source, the Original Parent."

etcetera...

Source: Takemusu Aiki - Lectures of Morihei Ueshiba (I think there's no complete translation in English, but I've read the Japanese edition is easily available and there's a French translation (http://www.editionsducenacle.com/2.1_autour-de-ueshiba.html) in process).

One only has to understand Founder's metaphysical views about aikido and check if his own practise matches with them.

Easy, isn't it?

Piece of cake. "Now do it".

chillzATL
05-03-2011, 01:02 PM
Founder explains it better:

"Today, as requested, I will attempt to describe for you what aikido is.

Aikido is the principle of eternal continuation throughout all ages of the one and same system of the Universe.
Aikido is Heaven-sent truth and the marvelous work of Takemusu Aiki.
Aikido is the Way of union and harmony of Heaven, Earth and humanity.
Aikido is, moreover, the Way to take care of the entire creation.
Aikido is the supreme work of kotodama and the Great Way of Universal Purification (misogi).
Those who deeply believe in this Way must serve in the administration of the founding of a Universal Nation.

We must accomplish our missions as human beings and become guideposts for the Great Union and Harmony of the Universal Family. Therefore, we must understand Universal Truth, the true state of things, and attain oneness with the mind of God. We must learn from the manifestations and works of God in this Great Universe, and assist in His administration serving as a sword (tsurugi).

In aikido, it is absolutely indispensable that we stand on the Floating Bridge of Heaven (Ame no Ukihashi). This is essential for us to return to and be unified with God, who is the spiritual source, the Original Parent."

etcetera...

Source: Takemusu Aiki - Lectures of Morihei Ueshiba (I think there's no complete translation in English, but I've read the Japanese edition is easily available and there's a French translation (http://www.editionsducenacle.com/2.1_autour-de-ueshiba.html) in process).

One only has to understand Founder's metaphysical views about aikido and check if his own practise matches with them.

Easy, isn't it?

There's a lot of discussion recently as to just how much of the things he said were these quirky metaphysical/spiritual things or if they were actual physical references wrapped up in his spiritual parlance. Because I read some of those things and, to me, now, they are far more physical than spiritual.

For the others, there is an interview on AJ where the person recalls asking O'sensei about his spirituality and if one needed to do that to do his aikido and he responded no, that is his aikido and one does not have to do exactly as he does.

So how do we reconcile that? Is everything short of doing exactly what he did "aikido in name only"? Tohei did not involve himself with the spiritual, but Ueshiba seemed to approve of what Tohei was doing to the point of signing off on books and videos. So where's the real line? Do we need toseparate ai-ki-do and aiki-do?

Demetrio Cereijo
05-03-2011, 06:49 PM
There's a lot of discussion recently as to just how much of the things he said were these quirky metaphysical/spiritual things or if they were actual physical references wrapped up in his spiritual parlance. Because I read some of those things and, to me, now, they are far more physical than spiritual.
But for him, imo, physical and spiritual was the same thing.

For the others, there is an interview on AJ where the person recalls asking O'sensei about his spirituality and if one needed to do that to do his aikido and he responded no, that is his aikido and one does not have to do exactly as he does.

I think you are talking about Andr Nocquet, a french student of Tadashi Abe who practised Aikido in Japan in the mid fifties.

"[One day] I said to Ueshiba Sensei, "You are always praying, Ueshiba Sensei. Then aikido is a religion." "No, that's not true. Aikido is never a religion, but if you are a Christian, you will be a better Christian because of aikido. If you are a Buddhist, you will be a better Buddhist." I thought it was an amazing response. I really liked his answer. Since he was a Japanese I was afraid he would say that Christianity was nothing. Ueshiba Sensei had a great deal of respect for Christ. I was living in a four-mat room in the dojo and he would knock on the door and enter. He would sit down beside me and there was a portrait of Jesus Christ. He would place his hands together in a gesture of respect. I asked him one day if there wasn't a similarity between his prophecies and those of Christ. He answered, "Yes, because Jesus said his technique was love and I, Morihei, also say that my technique is love. Jesus created a religion, but I didn't. Aikido is an art rather than a religion. But if you practice my aikido a great deal you will be a better Christian." Then I asked, "Sensei should I remain a Christian?" He replied, "Yes, absolutely. You were raised as a Christian in France. Remain a Christian." If he had told me to stop being a Christian and become a Buddhist, I would have been lost. My heart was full of Ueshiba Sensei because he had a vision of the entire world and that we were all his children. He called me his son."
Source: http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=405

I wonder how practising Aikido can make one a better christian/buddhist/muslim whatever. Anyway, founder's words as told by Nocquet resemble (to me, at least) Oomoto doctrine:

The teachings of Oomoto are not those of a single sect. We don't believe, as do many established religions, that in the words of our founder we have the one and only religious truth. At Oomoto, we don't bind up and destroy people's living souls by encircling them with the steel nets and bars of doctrine and scriptures and rituals and catechisms. As a result, Christians, Buddhists and believers of other faiths from all over the world come to Oomoto, and we all work together to cultivate our spirituality and to discover religious principles in harmony with our times.Onisaburo Deguchi, 1923

Source: http://www.oomoto.jp/enDokon/main.html


So how do we reconcile that? Is everything short of doing exactly what he did "aikido in name only"? Tohei did not involve himself with the spiritual, but Ueshiba seemed to approve of what Tohei was doing to the point of signing off on books and videos. So where's the real line? Do we need toseparate ai-ki-do and aiki-do?
Where is the real line? I don't know where is the line but, considering how many claim do be doing "the real thing" while doing very different aikidos, makes me thing the line has to be drawn by oneself, mostly because possibly none of them is to be trusted.

abraxis
05-04-2011, 01:12 AM
Taken from the The Aikido of the Ki-no-Nagare Aikido Dojo website

"In the Aikido world there are many ways of training and many different ways Aikido is understood by it's practitioners. The way of practicing Aikido has changed from the time of O-Sensei.

These changes have several reasons, but generally speaking, the major problem is that there has been a separation in terms of how practice is actually done from the spiritual teachings; the spiritual teachings do not lead the actual practice, they are seen as separate from it.

Hikitsuchi-Sensei used to say: "True progress in Aikido does not come from concentration on developing technique, but, as the heart opens the technique changes as a result. This cannot happen through making technique the most important thing in your practice. Budo is not technique".

Opening of the heart can be developed through the practice of Aikido techniques, which is one reason O-Sensei called them kami-waza, techniques of the divine, since that opening leads, according to O-Sensei, to unification of our heart with the heart of the divine, — but there has to be an intent or a movement in that direction (meaning the opening of the heart) both on the part of the practitioner and on the part of the instructor; and how can opening of the heart be a primary intent if we do not wish to discover Aikido as unconditional and universal love, — which is how O-Sensei defined it?

It cannot happen as long as Aikido is practiced dualistically — that is in terms of succeeding in technique against someone, or over someone, as for instance in the concept of self-defense or in sports. Or as something external to one's self, as technique that can be perfected, and rewarded with grades, thus implying competition and comparison with others…
"Aikido is misogi — misogi is Aikido."
O-Sensei

Furthermore, the Aikido of O-Sensei is not done as a reaction to an attack. The attacking movement is called forth and connected with by the tori before the movement begins! Ideally there is just one movement that takes place through the two bodies.

Ki-no-Nagare Aikido tries to be as congruent as possible with the philosophical and spiritual thinking that is in the Founder's writings and talks. For example, O-Sensei stated clearly that the practice of Aikido must be one half part Bu and one half part Bun, as the two edges of the holy sword in Shinto, the Tsurugi, — a word/image that was used by O-Sensei to express the activity of Aikido.
So, through listening and studying in the Ki-no-Nagare Aikido Dojo we practice to relate Aikido to all aspects of the Universe, and to all aspects of Life" --P.Shapiro Sensei

Demetrio Cereijo
05-04-2011, 05:55 AM
Ah, Shapiro Sensei... very interesting (but a bit weird, imo) instructor.

abraxis
05-04-2011, 07:35 AM
Ah, Shapiro Sensei... very interesting (but a bit weird, imo) instructor.

Weird how? Shapiro Sensei appears to be a very dedicated disciple of OSensei and someone who is committed to Aikido as "The Art of Peace". All Aikido instructors have their quirks.

chillzATL
05-04-2011, 08:09 AM
Ah, Shapiro Sensei... very interesting (but a bit weird, imo) instructor.

If this is what he's doing, then can it be seen or better yet, felt, in his aikido?

Diana Frese
05-04-2011, 08:38 AM
Shapiro Sensei was our senpai at special class for foreigners (which included jo and ken ) at Hombu dojo, taught by Saotome Sensei, who was already planning to write a book. Saotome Sensei's mini-lectures at the little coffee shop after class were the beginnings of his book, Aikido and the Harmony of Nature. Shapiro Sensei translated for us, and helped explain the Shinto concepts. His other teacher was Hikitsuchi Sensei of Shingu. Some of the French students at Hombu visited Hikitsuchi Sensei from time to time.... Hikitsuchi Sensei was, officially or unofficially, a Shinto priest .... Thanks for the reference to Shapiro Sensei's dojo website, I will look it up...

Shapiro Sensei, along with Laurin Herr, accompanied Hikitsuchi Sensei on his tour of several American cities in 1977 when Hikitsuchi Sensei held seminars and memorial ceremonies for O Sensei . His devotion to O Sensei and his demonstration of Aikido techniques and his explanations of basic concepts and purification exercises impressed many here also ....

Diana Frese
05-04-2011, 08:41 AM
(Jason posted while I was writing)

Good question, I wonder where his dojo is. I don't have opportunity to travel these days, but maybe someone will go train with him and let us know... I hope so....

Lee Crockett
05-04-2011, 08:52 AM
There have been a lot of interesting comments on this thread.

However, the numerous references to individual Aikido are wrong. There is only ONE Aikido – unification of body and mind with the universal, not my words Arikawa.

What everyone is alluding to is an individual’s interpretation of implementation of the techniques. However, the techniques ARE NOT Aikido.

Aikido can also be found in Calligraphy, Bonsai, Tea Ceremony etc.

O’Sensei used the martial arts, Ju-Jitsu, to find Aikido.

Aikido IS NOT about a physical manifestation, it is a spiritual joining between ones self and the universal/creation.

Just by repeated training of the physical budo will not lead to Aikido. This is why only few reach such a level.

IMHO only O’Sensei and Kanshu Sunadomari have reached it.

This is what I was talking about. The Aikido that O’Sensei produced can only be attained not just by earnest physical training, but by a spiritual enlightening.

You can train 24/7, 365 days a year, but will only become competent in execution of techniques, not Aikido.

chillzATL
05-04-2011, 08:59 AM
There have been a lot of interesting comments on this thread.

However, the numerous references to individual Aikido are wrong. There is only ONE Aikido unification of body and mind with the universal, not my words Arikawa.

What everyone is alluding to is an individuals interpretation of implementation of the techniques. However, the techniques ARE NOT Aikido.

Aikido can also be found in Calligraphy, Bonsai, Tea Ceremony etc.

OSensei used the martial arts, Ju-Jitsu, to find Aikido.

Aikido IS NOT about a physical manifestation, it is a spiritual joining between ones self and the universal/creation.

Just by repeated training of the physical budo will not lead to Aikido. This is why only few reach such a level.

IMHO only OSensei and Kanshu Sunadomari have reached it.

This is what I was talking about. The Aikido that OSensei produced can only be attained not just by earnest physical training, but by a spiritual enlightening.

You can train 24/7, 365 days a year, but will only become competent in execution of techniques, not Aikido.

sounds like ai-ki-do, which is all fine and good, but I want to be doing aiki-do.

Demetrio Cereijo
05-04-2011, 09:06 AM
Weird how? Shapiro Sensei appears to be a very dedicated disciple of OSensei and someone who is committed to Aikido as "The Art of Peace". All Aikido instructors have their quirks.
Sure he is very dedicated, commited and a nice person but (maybe 'weird' was a poorly chosen word on my part) as a result of an interview published in a spanish magazine in 2008 I've been watching some of his lectures and reading other interviews. There's something in his non verbal communication (and in his statements) that, I don't know how to explain, makes me nervous/scared/gives me bad vibrations... but it's probably my fault.

Anyway, you can see him lecturing here (lots of videos of him demonstrating and lecturing): http://www.youtube.com/user/kinonagareAikido

His website: http://kinonagare.com/

The interview that initially draw my attention: http://www.aikiforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=27877#27877

Another interview (in French): http://www.aikidojournal.eu/docs/154/282_946_de.pdf

abraxis
05-04-2011, 09:52 AM
....There's something in his non verbal communication (and in his statements) that, I don't know how to explain, makes me nervous/scared/gives me bad vibrations... but it's probably my fault....
Anyway, you can see him lecturing here (lots of videos of him demonstrating and lecturing): http://www.youtube.com/user/kinonagareAikidoHis website: http://kinonagare.com/
The interview that initially draw my attention: http://www.aikiforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=27877#27877
Another interview (in French): http://www.aikidojournal.eu/docs/154/282_946_de.pdf

Thank you for the links. From what I've learned on the web about Shapiro Sensei he appears quite different from the Shihans I've been exposed to (Mitsunari Kanai, Yoshimitsu Yamada, Morihiru Saito, T.K. Chiba). He lectures on religious matters more than many other senseis. Trained in an alternative kind of Western Psychology. Associated a lot with French akidoka even while in Japan. And, I can say this because I'm older than the average player, he's of a certain age. I think I understand how he might seem a bit weird to some of even the best students. Seems we all get quirkier with age.

Demetrio Cereijo
05-04-2011, 12:06 PM
And, I can say this because I'm older than the average player, he's of a certain age. I think I understand how he might seem a bit weird to some of even the best students. Seems we all get quirkier with age.
It's not his age, it's something different.

IMHO only O’Sensei and Kanshu Sunadomari have reached it.
Can you ellaborate on why you consider Sunadomari Sensei as the only(not counting the founder) who reached this enlightement?

chillzATL
05-04-2011, 12:25 PM
It's not his age, it's something different.

pretentious seems fitting, unless he can demonstrate what he says.

Diana Frese
05-04-2011, 01:58 PM
Maybe it's a good time for me to throw a few thoughts and impressions into the mix.... I remember Arikawa Sensei once gave a definition of Aikido when a group of us were sitting in the little coffee shop ... Ten Chi Jin no Wago no Michi, I think it was. The harmony of heaven, earth, and human beings....

Very strong Aikido, but reminiscent of elemental forces in nature, at least a few of us have described it....

It seems to me that these various students of O Sensei have varying ways of transmitting what they learned ... different practice, different ways of teaching, and my personal opinion is that each of us can absorb thru them from O Sensei in the ways most natural to us as individuals ...

One thing is striking, however, that students who actually met O Sensei were profoundly impressed, for example among the Americans, Mary Heiny, Peter Shapiro, Terry Dobson. The latter two seem to have very intense feelings about it and it shows in their teaching. I only met Mary Heiny once, and hope to meet her again. Perhaps her way of passing on the message is more subtle, I think she did not train with him for a long period, nevertheless, meeting him affected her whole life...

Just a few thoughts and reminiscences, hoping to facilitate the discussion a little more...

Diana Frese
05-04-2011, 02:50 PM
I, too want to thank Demetrio for the links. I read the one in English, and by the way maybe I could modify the translation of Wa as harmony to bringing human beings "into accord with" heaven and earth? I'm not sure what English word the translator used back in "the little coffee shop" that day we happened to have a chance to ask Arikawa Sensei a question.

Judging by his interview, Peter, an expert in music and art, it turns out, must have a strict interpretation of the word harmony, I think.

Yamada Sensei, Kanai Sensei and Chiba Sensei were all three good friends of each other, but their way of teaching and communicating with their students was very different.... They believed Aikido was of benefit to people and have devoted, and in the case of Yamada Sensei and Chiba Sensei are still devoting their lives to passing it on to others. Unfortunately Kanai Sensei passed on in 2004 and Sugano Sensei another good friend of Yamada Sensei, in 2010....

About the "opening the heart" mention in the English language quote, Peter may be referring to "ame no iwato biraki" the opening of the rock cave of heaven that was mentioned in the coffee shop discussions after class. I will have to read more, but it refers to the legend of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu O Mikami hiding in a cave and how the other Kami managed to trick her into coming back out and restoring the life giving illumination....

I'll have to wait for my husband to return from work to listen to the video, I don't know how to plug in the sound!

thanks again, everyone. I never lost my interest in Aikido, but up till now it would have been very difficult to train much. However, Aiki Web has gotten my husband interested again, so I am grateful to all of you....

abraxis
05-04-2011, 03:20 PM
.... I never lost my interest in Aikido, but up till now it would have been very difficult to train much. However, Aiki Web has gotten my husband interested again, so I am grateful to all of you....

Dear Diana,

You and your husband should both think about getting back into attending classes. Age shouldn't be a barrier to doing Aikido. I was given 5th Kyu by Kanai Sensei in '76 and didn't take any more training for 35 years after that until last week. Perpetual beginner isn't the worst thing. Being overweight and kind of fragile is also not the worst. The worst is not doing classes. Let them know your limitations. You can always take breaks. You have a great deal to offer--it will be some 20-something nidan's privilege to be your partner.

Best regards,

Rudy

Demetrio Cereijo
05-04-2011, 03:49 PM
About the "opening the heart" mention in the English language quote, Peter may be referring to "ame no iwato biraki" the opening of the rock cave of heaven that was mentioned in the coffee shop discussions after class. I will have to read more, but it refers to the legend of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu O Mikami hiding in a cave and how the other Kami managed to trick her into coming back out and restoring the life giving illumination....

Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto, by means of lewd dancing and the conmotion it caused, tricked the Sun Goddess outside. BTW, which kami married Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto? ;)

mathewjgano
05-04-2011, 04:04 PM
Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto, by means of lewd dancing and the conmotion it caused, tricked the Sun Goddess outside. BTW, which kami married Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto? ;)

(Raises hand) Ooh! Ooh! I know this one!

Tony Wagstaffe
05-05-2011, 05:22 AM
There have been a lot of interesting comments on this thread.

However, the numerous references to individual Aikido are wrong. There is only ONE Aikido -- unification of body and mind with the universal, not my words Arikawa.

What everyone is alluding to is an individual's interpretation of implementation of the techniques. However, the techniques ARE NOT Aikido.

Aikido can also be found in Calligraphy, Bonsai, Tea Ceremony etc.

O'Sensei used the martial arts, Ju-Jitsu, to find Aikido.

Aikido IS NOT about a physical manifestation, it is a spiritual joining between ones self and the universal/creation.

Just by repeated training of the physical budo will not lead to Aikido. This is why only few reach such a level.

IMHO only O'Sensei and Kanshu Sunadomari have reached it.

This is what I was talking about. The Aikido that O'Sensei produced can only be attained not just by earnest physical training, but by a spiritual enlightening.

You can train 24/7, 365 days a year, but will only become competent in execution of techniques, not Aikido.

Right Lee, let us know when you get there, I shall be all ears. I'm not doing "aikido" any more so it doesn't really matter to much..... When I see you tossing around 250 pounders with ease, without the slightest scathing, I shall immediately want to join your club.. You take care now.....:)

Lee Crockett
05-05-2011, 07:06 AM
Tony, im not sure of the intention of your post.

Ive never made any such claim to be able to toss around 250 pounders, im not there......yet hopefully. Yet my Sensei can do most things on most people, and we have some very strong guys in our dojo.

Tony Wagstaffe
05-05-2011, 09:07 PM
Tony, im not sure of the intention of your post.

Ive never made any such claim to be able to toss around 250 pounders, im not there......yet hopefully. Yet my Sensei can do most things on most people, and we have some very strong guys in our dojo.

Oh Lee, look at your post old son..... Why think that only Proff Ueshiba and Sunadomari are the only ones that you think that can do your ideal "aikido" ? Good as an inspiration yes.......
I think you are on the right tracks going by your posts so why not develop what you are doing and find it within yourself, don't try to be like them, you can't 'cause you aren't. They, your teachers have given you the "tools" so to speak, to try out for yourself as my teachers gave to me, but I don't look anything like them, maybe a semblance but definitely not the same.... I think you have to find it within your own body and mind..... Proff Ueshiba wasn't perfect, very skilled yes, but not perfect.... None of us are, otherwise we would all have the perfect MA..... It don't exist...;) If it did we would see "aikido" winning outright all the time, including the sports arena.... Think about it: straightf
If you are talking about spirituality then you would probably have to study the omoto religion to understand where he was coming from. according to Tohei, Ueshiba believed in spirits and the like, so for him that is where it comes from I would imagine.... also the aesthetic practices involved with that.....
Consider Takeda his teacher, was he spiritual? I doubt it very much, but he was extraordinarily effective.....

Lee Crockett
05-06-2011, 02:59 AM
Tony,

Thanks for your post, but it lacks some understanding.

I cannot be doing an “ideal Aikido”, as I said previously, it was Arikawa who stated “there is only one Aikido”, not many. There are many “Tools” for finding Aikido, that is where the many come into it and hence the many training methods for finding Aikido.

Takeda was skilled in a jitsu art, not Aikido. jitsu is physical; Aikido goes beyond the physical to the metaphysical. That is why O’Senseis skills went beyond the physical skills of Takeda.

Also, i havent seen anything of Arikawa, but others have and they state that he could do Aikido. I didnt name him because i had no experience of his training.

I am looking to find Aikido, “unification with the universal” (Note – Aikido IS NOT the techniques used to train, they are tools, it’s the 9 elements that help us on the way to FIND Aikido). Agreed this is a high ideal, but as I said, just repeating techniques 24/7 365 days will make you competent in delivering techniques, not Aikido. To find Aikido you must go beyond the purely physical, this is where I am trying to focus my training with the assistance of my instructor.

It is my understanding that moving beyond the physical requires, in O’Senseis terms “an enlightening (spirituality)”. Now how does this happen? I have no idea, but at least I have a goal to aim for.

My interpretation at my level is that to achieve this “enlightening (spirituality)” we have to focus on internalisation of our training which then manifests itself in a physical form. For O’Sensei, the Omotokyo religion was a vehicle for this.

This week I simply could not do a technique and spent an hour persisting with it. How did I eventually manage to do it? By following the principals of the ken, yin and yang and correct breathing., in other words, internal training, not physical, though there has to be a physical manifestation This I believe, at my level is the beginning of the path to even try and complete techniques beyond the physical.

This I believe is a process O’Sensei went through in his training too. Am I sure? of course not. But to find Aikido we HAVE to move beyond a physical art, and at my current level, I do not know of another way.

Practice solely in the pure physical will not lead to the discovery of Aikido.

A question if I may Tony, do you think you are doing Aikido? I know I am not, nowhere near it. But through my own endeavours, I am training towards it.

Chris Li
05-06-2011, 03:06 AM
Takeda was skilled in a jitsu art, not Aikido. jitsu is physical; Aikido goes beyond the physical to the metaphysical. That is why O’Senseis skills went beyond the physical skills of Takeda.

Went beyond according to who?

I'll admit that Ueshiba added a metaphysical/philosophical dimension to the physical skill of "Aiki", and that this dimension was vital to the purposes and intentions of his art, but that doesn't mean that his physical skill exceeded (or even matched) Takeda's.

Best,

Chris

Lee Crockett
05-06-2011, 03:47 AM
I did not say that O'Senseis skills exceeded Takedas.

What i said was that O'Senseis skills went BEYOND the physical skills of Takeda.

If you want a direct comparisson in terms of ability, im not sure one can be made, but all i can say is that why is it O'Senseis abilities that are marvelled at over the last half century and not Takedas?

Tony Wagstaffe
05-06-2011, 04:43 AM
Tony,

Thanks for your post, but it lacks some understanding.

I cannot be doing an "ideal Aikido", as I said previously, it was Arikawa who stated "there is only one Aikido", not many. There are many "Tools" for finding Aikido, that is where the many come into it and hence the many training methods for finding Aikido.

Takeda was skilled in a jitsu art, not Aikido. jitsu is physical; Aikido goes beyond the physical to the metaphysical. That is why O'Senseis skills went beyond the physical skills of Takeda.

Also, i havent seen anything of Arikawa, but others have and they state that he could do Aikido. I didnt name him because i had no experience of his training.

I am looking to find Aikido, "unification with the universal" (Note -- Aikido IS NOT the techniques used to train, they are tools, it's the 9 elements that help us on the way to FIND Aikido). Agreed this is a high ideal, but as I said, just repeating techniques 24/7 365 days will make you competent in delivering techniques, not Aikido. To find Aikido you must go beyond the purely physical, this is where I am trying to focus my training with the assistance of my instructor.

It is my understanding that moving beyond the physical requires, in O'Senseis terms "an enlightening (spirituality)". Now how does this happen? I have no idea, but at least I have a goal to aim for.

My interpretation at my level is that to achieve this "enlightening (spirituality)" we have to focus on internalisation of our training which then manifests itself in a physical form. For O'Sensei, the Omotokyo religion was a vehicle for this.

This week I simply could not do a technique and spent an hour persisting with it. How did I eventually manage to do it? By following the principals of the ken, yin and yang and correct breathing., in other words, internal training, not physical, though there has to be a physical manifestation This I believe, at my level is the beginning of the path to even try and complete techniques beyond the physical.

This I believe is a process O'Sensei went through in his training too. Am I sure? of course not. But to find Aikido we HAVE to move beyond a physical art, and at my current level, I do not know of another way.

Practice solely in the pure physical will not lead to the discovery of Aikido.

A question if I may Tony, do you think you are doing Aikido? I know I am not, nowhere near it. But through my own endeavours, I am training towards it.

I don't think I'm doing aikido in the sense that you speak about. I am a rational person and I do not believe in spooks and spirits of what ever form, Whereas Proff Ueshiba did..... Tohei, the only one awarded 10th dan? Did not believe in them either according to his interview in AJ. I am doing aikido according to Tomiki Sensei but I do not look or even move like him, but am seeing what he taught and understood to some degree, as I got it second hand, the tools that is, so according to you Lee I am not doing the aikido that you aspire to..... As for Takeda I think he was martially superior in the physical sense, maybe a hothead, but well trusted by those in high places...... It is said that Ueshiba wasn't the placid smiling guru that many allude to, and he could lose his rag as much as any one else.... so there you go take your pick..... I just see "aikido" as another tool to be picked up or discarded whichever way you look at it. I don't see it as the all and be all. It has it's limitations just like anything else

Lee Crockett
05-06-2011, 05:01 AM
Tony,

Thanks for commenting, but we have now come full circle.

In my original post i was alluding to the fact that we are not doing O'Senseis Aikido, which you have just confirmed you are not doing in your post.

Therefore, if what you are doing is NOT O'Senseis Aikido, if the definition of Aikido is"Unification with the Universal" then why do you persist in calling what you do Aikido? It is not, it is a Jitsu.

Until Aikidoka through their training can create "Unification with the Universal", they are not doing Aikido, they are practicing physical techniques, a Jitsu.

We train TOWARDS Aikido.

Unless you can tell me anyone in the world today who does Aikido by O'Seseis definition then the word Aikido is incorrectly being used globally today to describe the physical training being disseminated.

Tony Wagstaffe
05-06-2011, 05:28 AM
Tony,

Thanks for commenting, but we have now come full circle.

In my original post i was alluding to the fact that we are not doing O'Senseis Aikido, which you have just confirmed you are not doing in your post.

Therefore, if what you are doing is NOT O'Senseis Aikido, if the definition of Aikido is"Unification with the Universal" then why do you persist in calling what you do Aikido? It is not, it is a Jitsu.

Until Aikidoka through their training can create "Unification with the Universal", they are not doing Aikido, they are practicing physical techniques, a Jitsu.

We train TOWARDS Aikido.

Unless you can tell me anyone in the world today who does Aikido by O'Seseis definition then the word Aikido is incorrectly being used globally today to describe the physical training being disseminated.

Going by that....... yes. That is why I say I don't do "aikido" anymore as according to yours and others I am not, so therefore they/you must be right, so I am doing jutsu according to Tomiki/Shodokan, or my version of it..... or "ecky thump" 'ampshire 'og style......:) ;)

Lee Crockett
05-06-2011, 05:35 AM
Now all we have to do Tony is to get the rest of the "Aikido" world to understand this and we (globally) can move forward.

It needs to start witht the Hombu and the Doshu, but i dont believe this will ever happen.

Tony Wagstaffe
05-06-2011, 06:44 AM
Now all we have to do Tony is to get the rest of the "Aikido" world to understand this and we (globally) can move forward.

It needs to start witht the Hombu and the Doshu, but i dont believe this will ever happen.

Best 'o' luck Lee....... :)

Methinks you are right..... Are you really that "worried" or "concerned" about it? I'm not... I enjoy what I do and it has helped me to understand myself a wee bit. It has protected me to some degree and it does work, so great. I'm no fighter or master technician, but I can defend myself if the need arises.... I'm one of those silly sods who won't go down unless you knock me out, then it doesn't matter as I won't feel it till later, who cares?

Cliff Judge
05-06-2011, 09:00 AM
it is a Jitsu.
.

Jutsu. That's how we (people who use the roman alphabet) have been spelling it since the turn of the twentieth century.

術.

If you are going to troll the forum for two weeks with your Aiki-Lutheranism you ought to attend to these details. :)

Demetrio Cereijo
05-06-2011, 09:12 AM
Jutsu. That's how we (people who use the roman alphabet) have been spelling it since the turn of the twentieth century.
A bit later.

Chris Li
05-06-2011, 10:06 AM
If you want a direct comparisson in terms of ability, im not sure one can be made, but all i can say is that why is it O'Senseis abilities that are marvelled at over the last half century and not Takedas?

Better PR, mostly. Who was better is probably a pointless argument - but I don't think that it's a given that Ueshiba was.

Best,

Chris

Lee Crockett
05-06-2011, 10:20 AM
Cliff Judge, if that is all you can add to a serious discussion regarding what Aikido is and what is being practiced today, then words fail me.

Clearly you have nothing constructive to add.

jonreading
05-06-2011, 10:23 AM
I'll bite.

I believe aikido is a tool that unifies yourself to the world around you in all of your endeavors. However, we are not doing O'Sensei's aikido. But wasn't that his intention?

1. I believe the socio-political, physical, and training conditions surrounding the Founder's fighting education are almost [if not] impossible to re-create. The educational curriculum to which O'Sensei was exposed does not exist in aikido (if it even exists in entirety any longer).
2. I believe the aikido O'sensei wished to give the world was devoid of the requirements of combat and fighting science so that citizens could participate in training without the need for more severe training methods. Not less martial, only devoid of the severe combat training required to development necessary fighting skills considered prerequisite to aikido training.
3. As a religious man, O'Sensei used his faith as the paradigm in which to transmit his teaching to others later in his life. That does not mean aikido is religious or spiritual (in the Western sense).

I believe the aikido O'Sensei wanted to share still exists, although not mainstream. Put it next to the polar bears and spotted owls on the endangered list. In deconstructing some of the aikido history and urban knowledge, this topic rates high on the list of things that need to be re-evaluated. I advocate this type of dialogue is confusing to many practitioners because it requires a significant educational pre-requisite to reduce the risk of mis-interpreting the issue. I analogize these progressive arguments to that of teaching math. Calculus exists, but to a middle school child calculus is beyond his comprehension. In progressive education paradigms we place math before algebra, algebra before calculus and so on. Aikido does not recognize that some concepts are beyond comprehension at early stages in training. And as adults, we'll be da%#ed if someone is gonna tell us we don't know what we are doing...even if we don't.

Many modern shihan have translated into a new educational paradigm the aikido they learned from O'Sensei. Still more modern leaders are now translating their learning into a better educational paradigm. We keep centering our entire educational development [evaluation] around the accomplishments of an anomaly delivering a broken curriculum using a Eastern religious paradigm.

Some of the aikido leaders I enjoy focus on these points. These leaders understand that aikido needs a [better] learning structure. They alter their teaching paradigm to deliver better content in a logical order and they seek to reduce the need for severe training to preserve the body.

Lee Crockett
05-06-2011, 10:32 AM
Aikido cannot be taught or learnt, Aikido is discovered.

Techniques are TOOLS to help find Aikido. The techniques demonstrated in the class to the students, once being performed competently does not mean one is automatically doing Aikido.

You have to go beyond the physical.

Cliff Judge
05-06-2011, 10:46 AM
Cliff Judge, if that is all you can add to a serious discussion regarding what Aikido is and what is being practiced today, then words fail me.

Clearly you have nothing constructive to add.

The only way that comment could be constructive is if it convinced you to learn to spell correctly. I've done what I can. :D

In the same light, the only way this can be a "discussion" is if all parties involved are honest with what they share and are willing to allow their thinking to be changed somewhat.

graham christian
05-06-2011, 11:10 AM
Aikido cannot be taught or learnt, Aikido is discovered.

Techniques are TOOLS to help find Aikido. The techniques demonstrated in the class to the students, once being performed competently does not mean one is automatically doing Aikido.

You have to go beyond the physical.

Hi Lee.

I have been reading most of your comments and understand where you are coming from but may I offer some food for thought.

Firstly, I have never met or seen a Master of his art be it Takeda or Ueshiba who didn't have some meataphysical understanding that set them apart or made them that good.

Secondly, the point of doing or not doing O'Senseis Aikido. I would say that it's not a matter of IF you are it is more a matter of WHEN you are.

From this viewpoint you can look at the field of Aikido in a more relaxed manner. O'Senseis Aikido had the spiritual aspects inherent in it but also had all the other aspects as well including technique.

Therefore when you find yourself doing any part of Aikido that you can relate to O'Sensei then you can indeed say to yourself that at that point you were doing O'Senseis Aikido.

There has never been in my experience any Aikido I have seen where there was nothing related to his Aikido, there is always something the person is doing which is Aikido.

Therefore all practitioners are doing O'Senseis Aikido.

If you have the aim of being at one with the universe etc. then when you do something in Aikido and feel that you are then Acknowledge that point as one where you were doing O'Senseis Aikido and thus learn and progress.

Two things can be true at the same time. Arikawas view that there is only one Aikido plus my view that all are doing Aikido.

Regards.G.

Lee Crockett
05-06-2011, 11:24 AM
Graham,

Im not sure where to start, there is such a basic misunderstanding.

If the definition of Aikido is "Unification with the Universal", you tell me one person in the world today who is doing this?

How can you contradict someone as eminent as Arikawa?

Also, technique is NOT Aikido.Just because someone is practicing technique, it does not mean they are doing Aikido.

O'Sensei took the teachings of Takeda, and develped them further into principals and tools to find Aikido.

Look at weapons work. They are AIKIJo and AIKIKen. They do not teach how to fight with a sword or jo, but thats what people believe. The ken and jo are tools to be used for solo practice when partner practice is not possible. They are used to hekp find Aikido.

Tony Wagstaffe
05-06-2011, 12:02 PM
Graham,

Im not sure where to start, there is such a basic misunderstanding.

If the definition of Aikido is "Unification with the Universal", you tell me one person in the world today who is doing this?

How can you contradict someone as eminent as Arikawa?

Also, technique is NOT Aikido.Just because someone is practicing technique, it does not mean they are doing Aikido.

O'Sensei took the teachings of Takeda, and develped them further into principals and tools to find Aikido.

Look at weapons work. They are AIKIJo and AIKIKen. They do not teach how to fight with a sword or jo, but thats what people believe. The ken and jo are tools to be used for solo practice when partner practice is not possible. They are used to hekp find Aikido.

Lee, do you think that Ueshiba or Sunadomari were "invincible" because of the spiritualism or by their technique?. I for one do not think either of them were or as others would have you believe..... No one is unbeatable....

Cliff Judge
05-06-2011, 12:06 PM
Until Aikidoka through their training can create "Unification with the Universal", they are not doing Aikido, they are practicing physical techniques, a jutsu.

We train TOWARDS Aikido.


For what little it is likely to be worth, the kanji for do in Aikido is



This means way, road, or path. It doesn't mean "destination."

Lee Crockett
05-06-2011, 12:34 PM
Cliff,

By training towards something, you are on a path or way, or is that too subtle.

Lee Crockett
05-06-2011, 12:37 PM
Tony,

I have never alluded to O'Sensei or Sunadomari as being invincible. I just said that in my opinion i believe they are the only ones to do Aikido, unification with the universal. This can also be achieved by the tea ceremony, bonsai, calligraphy etc, how would doing these make one invincible? They wouldnt.

mathewjgano
05-06-2011, 12:48 PM
Therefore all practitioners are doing O'Senseis Aikido.

If you have the aim of being at one with the universe etc. then when you do something in Aikido and feel that you are then Acknowledge that point as one where you were doing O'Senseis Aikido and thus learn and progress.

Two things can be true at the same time. Arikawas view that there is only one Aikido plus my view that all are doing Aikido.

Regards.G.

Graham,
You and I are of like minds here I think. I think this is a semantics game and often people are confused because they're arguing different things dressed up in the same or similar terminology. My thinking, ignorant though I know it largely is, is that any time someone is trying for the ideal (without getting into whatever that might spcifically be), they are "doing" Aikido. Their understanding of Aikido, and that which they manifest, will necessarily be different from other expressions. I think this points to the times where people talk of making Aikido your own, of applying it to the unique circumstances we each find ourselves in, and to the capacity we have developed within ourselves.
Of course, on the other hand I believe there is an objective reality. O Sensei did very specific things when he expressed "Aikido." The physical skills he employed and the mindset which directed them were very specific things. If anyone seeks to replicate any part of that set, they must recognize this objective reality...and I'm guessing that's where folks start talking about "one Aikido."

Lee, it's probably semantics, but superficially I disagree with your statement that Aikido is not learned.

To my mind, discovery is learning...in the same way I would describe the :do: of self-discovery as a process of learning about the self. My sense is that Aikido is ultimately an expression of this and that part of learning about how to have victory over yourself implies learning how to meet (:ai: ) with the forces (:ki: ) of the world around you...hence the holistic quality so many people are attracted to...the "Dao."
If that makes sense. I'm just a practicioner of layman-do and hold the rank of nth degree. :D
Take care,
Matt

Lee Crockett
05-06-2011, 12:57 PM
Matt,

When i refer to Aikido being taught or learnt i am referring to a teacher student relationship.

In fact it really is only through self discovery that one improves. A number of senior aikidoka state they arent teachers but "guides", i.e. they can tell you something exists, but cant show you how to find it. You have to find it for yourself.

This is the discovery i was referring to which as you said is self learning.

mathewjgano
05-06-2011, 01:18 PM
Matt,

When i refer to Aikido being taught or learnt i am referring to a teacher student relationship.

In fact it really is only through self discovery that one improves. A number of senior aikidoka state they arent teachers but "guides", i.e. they can tell you something exists, but cant show you how to find it. You have to find it for yourself.

This is the discovery i was referring to which as you said is self learning.

Hi Lee,
I didn't read enough of what you said earlier to pick that up, sorry about that. That makes sense to me. I've often described that teacher-learner relationship the same way. My limited study on the field of Education were centered around the concept of Constructionism, so I see what you're getting at.
Take care,
Matt

Tony Wagstaffe
05-06-2011, 01:38 PM
Tony,

I have never alluded to O'Sensei or Sunadomari as being invincible. I just said that in my opinion i believe they are the only ones to do Aikido, unification with the universal. This can also be achieved by the tea ceremony, bonsai, calligraphy etc, how would doing these make one invincible? They wouldnt.

I thought maybe you were alluding to that as many do, my mistake....:)

Cliff Judge
05-06-2011, 01:39 PM
Cliff,

By training towards something, you are on a path or way, or is that too subtle.

So what are you saying AIkido is, again?

Diana Frese
05-06-2011, 01:52 PM
Now I'm the one waving my hand in the air.... Can I jump back in to a couple of posts a couple of days ago? (I'm trying to teach myself to think before posting....) Demetrio, yes the husband of Ame no Izume no Mikoto was Saruta Hiko (I forget the rest of his name). Matt was kind in waiting for me to answer, since I had brought up the story, but it was the website of the Kannagara dojo he attends that reminded me of the story. O Sensei felt that this Kami was the "patron" of Aikido and I'm sure Matt will explain to anyone who is interested the connection between the Jinja, Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja and Iwama's Aiki Shrine...

Rudy, thanks for the encouragement, as my husband has taken on side work with a demanding schedule to supplement the carpentry and cabinetwork .... and vehicle share with others, not our own, we can't attend the local dojo these days but hope to as soon as possible. He and I actually showed up two days two winters ago for morning class and people were very kind to not "little" but kind of "old" "me". The only one who forgot and threw me was my husband Chuck. I enjoyed the practice but had to take my glasses off, so that also was a new experience because I hadn;t worn glasses years ago when I trained originally. Somehow I have to get a hakama, but if we persevere in work efforts I'm sure I'll be able to get one.... can't show up to evening class without one I think.... I got away with just a gi and black belt in the early morning.... or people were too polite to complain at someone who hadn't really been on the mat much in twenty years...

Skipping a few pages, the benevolent Tony has been encouraging us to persevere with our efforts to resume training, thanks Tony, Chuck hasn't had much chance to train with his pet equipment, the old tires and metal rod he has set up in the yard behind some trees on top of an old water drum.... but I got him to do a few waza, he attacked with yokomen uchi and I'm not that mobile at stepping back anymore so now I was obliged to use the irimi entry on the elbow, yes, I think my other hand was active to prevent a counter.... surprisingly for me it ended up shiho nage ura. I'm just grateful to be practicing again, even just a few techniques every few days. And curious which techniques will come to the fore as I see what I can do these days...

A friend of mine had written a question to Chiba Sensei years ago on whether it was possible to go back to training. She showed it to me. He wrote, "listen to your body" He said the body is like a dog, if the owner mistreats it the dog will bite its owner.... With an example like that, who could forget the advice?

And finally (for now) I remember one of the recent posts mentioned flower arranging and other arts, and when Arikawa Sensei said Ten Chi Jin no Wago no Michi it also reminded me of the Heaven, Earth and Human Beings lines in classical Ikebana.....

Just thought I'd drop in with a few thoughts. I'll continue to learn from this thread, thanks everyone...

graham christian
05-06-2011, 01:54 PM
Graham,

Im not sure where to start, there is such a basic misunderstanding.

If the definition of Aikido is "Unification with the Universal", you tell me one person in the world today who is doing this?

How can you contradict someone as eminent as Arikawa?

Also, technique is NOT Aikido.Just because someone is practicing technique, it does not mean they are doing Aikido.

O'Sensei took the teachings of Takeda, and develped them further into principals and tools to find Aikido.

Look at weapons work. They are AIKIJo and AIKIKen. They do not teach how to fight with a sword or jo, but thats what people believe. The ken and jo are tools to be used for solo practice when partner practice is not possible. They are used to hekp find Aikido.

Lee.
Do you understand unifying with the universal? First comes understanding then comes practice usually however sometimes it's the other way around.

Some may call it being in the zone for example. When you see a tennis player become a 'master' for want of a better word, at the top of his game and no one can touch him it's like he's at another level compared to everyone else. Ask him how he felt at that time.

He was at one with his opponent, he was there returning the ball before the opponent even hit it, he was centered, relaxed, full of life and energy and harmonious motion, his techniques to him were almost insignificant as they were merely a result of his being in tune with all that was there. Need I say more?

So yes there are many examples of people being unified with the universal and you can see it if you know what you are looking for.

As to contradicting Arikawa as I said it's not a contradiction, both statements are true.

Technique is a resultant part of Aikido. Any technique in any walk of life is a resultant part of the practice of principles so it is Aikido. However it shouldn't be the main focus of Aikido obviously.

O'Sensei did indeed use the teachings of Takeda Sensei but he didn't develope them into principles and tools for those teachings were already principles and tools. He did something with those self same principles and tools and thus developed Aikido. A subtle difference.

Plus may I add that when you see the principles are the tools then you will need another word for the techniques.

As far as weapons work goes and your view on that then I would have to leave that for a different thread.

So may I say that inherently I don't disagree with your views in as much as putting equal emphasis or even more emphasis on some of the things you point out but not to the extreme of that's right therefore all else is wrong.

Regards.G.

sakumeikan
05-06-2011, 01:56 PM
Matt,

When i refer to Aikido being taught or learnt i am referring to a teacher student relationship.

In fact it really is only through self discovery that one improves. A number of senior aikidoka state they arent teachers but "guides", i.e. they can tell you something exists, but cant show you how to find it. You have to find it for yourself.

This is the discovery i was referring to which as you said is self learning.
Dear Lee,
My own belief in relation to the student /teacher relationship , the student is 'Taught' Aikido by a form of osmosis.By that I mean the transmission of the art is not done in a logical,systematic way where the teacher imparts knowledge in a manner like learning a new lanquage/maths.Aikido in my mind is 'doing ' .One learns by action.From touch, sensory input , from observation, self realisation.
The teacher may lay a path for the student , but the student I feel has to find his /her own way/WAY.. Cheers, Joe

sakumeikan
05-06-2011, 02:02 PM
Now I'm the one waving my hand in the air.... Can I jump back in to a couple of posts a couple of days ago? (I'm trying to teach myself to think before posting....) Demetrio, yes the husband of Ame no Izume no Mikoto was Saruta Hiko (I forget the rest of his name). Matt was kind in waiting for me to answer, since I had brought up the story, but it was the website of the Kannagara dojo he attends that reminded me of the story. O Sensei felt that this Kami was the "patron" of Aikido and I'm sure Matt will explain to anyone who is interested the connection between the Jinja, Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja and Iwama's Aiki Shrine...

Rudy, thanks for the encouragement, as my husband has taken on side work with a demanding schedule to supplement the carpentry and cabinetwork .... and vehicle share with others, not our own, we can't attend the local dojo these days but hope to as soon as possible. He and I actually showed up two days two winters ago for morning class and people were very kind to not "little" but kind of "old" "me". The only one who forgot and threw me was my husband Chuck. I enjoyed the practice but had to take my glasses off, so that also was a new experience because I hadn;t worn glasses years ago when I trained originally. Somehow I have to get a hakama, but if we persevere in work efforts I'm sure I'll be able to get one.... can't show up to evening class without one I think.... I got away with just a gi and black belt in the early morning.... or people were too polite to complain at someone who hadn't really been on the mat much in twenty years...

Skipping a few pages, the benevolent Tony has been encouraging us to persevere with our efforts to resume training, thanks Tony, Chuck hasn't had much chance to train with his pet equipment, the old tires and metal rod he has set up in the yard behind some trees on top of an old water drum.... but I got him to do a few waza, he attacked with yokomen uchi and I'm not that mobile at stepping back anymore so now I was obliged to use the irimi entry on the elbow, yes, I think my other hand was active to prevent a counter.... surprisingly for me it ended up shiho nage ura. I'm just grateful to be practicing again, even just a few techniques every few days. And curious which techniques will come to the fore as I see what I can do these days...

A friend of mine had written a question to Chiba Sensei years ago on whether it was possible to go back to training. She showed it to me. He wrote, "listen to your body" He said the body is like a dog, if the owner mistreats it the dog will bite its owner.... With an example like that, who could forget the advice?

And finally (for now) I remember one of the recent posts mentioned flower arranging and other arts, and when Arikawa Sensei said Ten Chi Jin no Wago no Michi it also reminded me of the Heaven, Earth and Human Beings lines in classical Ikebana.....

Just thought I'd drop in with a few thoughts. I'll continue to learn from this thread, thanks everyone...
Dear Diana,
Liked the comment about Chiba Sensei and the analogy about the dog/body.As ever Chiba Sensei gave a great answer in his own unique style!! Cheers, Joe

abraxis
05-06-2011, 02:25 PM
First, Lee Crockett wrote:

"Cliff,
By training towards something, you are on a path or way, or is that too subtle."

then

Cliff Judge wrote: "So what are you saying AIkido is, again?"

and now I put my own two cents in and answer:

It's an Art.

Lee Crockett
05-07-2011, 04:25 AM
Rudy,

Aikido is defined as Unification with the Universal. If you want to call that an "Art", that is up to you, but i dont see how it can be an art.

It is a state of existance/mind.

Lee Crockett
05-07-2011, 04:36 AM
Graham,

I do not believe for one moment that being in the “Zone” as you call it, is being at one with creation and yes you are contradicting Arikawa if YOU believe all are doing Aikido.

Technicque is NOT part of Aikido. Techniques are TOOLS used to find Aikido, and the statement “Any technique in any walk of life is a resultant part of the practice of principles so it is Aikido” is simply incompatible with the definition of “Unification with the Universal”.

O’Sensei did develop Takedas tools further, if he hadn’t, we wouldn’t have techniques today slightly different to Takedas techniques, he turned it into a Taijitsu a body art.

Techniques are tools that teach principles, i.e. they teach the 9 elements such as Kokyu, Kamae, Irimi/Tenkan etc

abraxis
05-07-2011, 10:34 AM
...Aikido is defined as Unification with the Universal. If you want to call that an "Art", that is up to you, but i dont see how it can be an art. It is a state of existance/mind.

All well and good but I still am convinced it is in the realm of Performance Art.

Best regards.

graham christian
05-07-2011, 12:46 PM
Graham,

I do not believe for one moment that being in the Zone as you call it, is being at one with creation and yes you are contradicting Arikawa if YOU believe all are doing Aikido.

Technicque is NOT part of Aikido. Techniques are TOOLS used to find Aikido, and the statement Any technique in any walk of life is a resultant part of the practice of principles so it is Aikido is simply incompatible with the definition of Unification with the Universal.

OSensei did develop Takedas tools further, if he hadnt, we wouldnt have techniques today slightly different to Takedas techniques, he turned it into a Taijitsu a body art.

Techniques are tools that teach principles, i.e. they teach the 9 elements such as Kokyu, Kamae, Irimi/Tenkan etc

Lee.
If you say so. A technique in truth is merely an expression of the universal along with the motions and states of being. Is it not?

Anyway, I'll end on that view and leave you with yours.

Regards.G.

Demetrio Cereijo
05-07-2011, 12:55 PM
Graham,

I do not believe for one moment that being in the “Zone” as you call it, is being at one with creation

Being in "the zone", or Cskszentmihlyi's "state of flow", could have been easily understood by someone like Ueshiba as "Unification with the Universal".

Lee Crockett
05-07-2011, 05:27 PM
Graham, Demetrio

How is being in the zone and performing a technique being at one with "creation"? It istnt.

graham christian
05-07-2011, 05:44 PM
Graham, Demetrio

How is being in the zone and performing a technique being at one with "creation"? It istnt.

Lee. You asking or telling? You ever been at one with the universal?

Regards.G.

Lee Crockett
05-07-2011, 05:54 PM
Graham,

I have been in the "zone" doing numerous sports, so i know this isnt being at one with creation (unification of the universal).

Doing a technique competently, also isnt being at one with creation.

Im not sure what it is, but as i said in earlier posts, i have a goal, and an idea. Internal training using principals of the ken, yin and yang and correct breathing.

graham christian
05-07-2011, 06:27 PM
Graham,

I have been in the "zone" doing numerous sports, so i know this isnt being at one with creation (unification of the universal).

Doing a technique competently, also isnt being at one with creation.

Im not sure what it is, but as i said in earlier posts, i have a goal, and an idea. Internal training using principals of the ken, yin and yang and correct breathing.

Lee.
That sounds fair enough to me. That's your path, enjoy it.

So you are searching. It sounds to me through the terminology you use that you are searching for enlightenment through Aikido. And why not indeed?

Good hunting.G.

Demetrio Cereijo
05-07-2011, 06:48 PM
Graham, Demetrio

How is being in the zone and performing a technique being at one with "creation"? It istnt.

I'm not saying it is the same, I'm saying someone with the education, religious/spiritual tendencies and shamanistic practises of O Sensei could have easily used expressions as "being one with the universe" and the like to define what today is called "being in the zone" or "state of flow".

What is the objective difference between being in a state of flow and being one with the universe?

Are you talking of "Unification with the Universal" as mystical religious ecstasy?

Lee Crockett
05-07-2011, 06:50 PM
No Graham, its only THROUGH enlightenment that you find Aikido, you have it the wrong way around.

graham christian
05-07-2011, 06:59 PM
No Graham, its only THROUGH enlightenment that you find Aikido, you have it the wrong way around.

If that's so Lee then what is it you are looking to find? Or are you already enlightened?

Let me see if I've got this right.
You have an idea and a goal to reach unification with the universal.

You havn't experienced it but you are practicing principles of Aikido towards that end.

However you need to be enlightened first before you can find it.

How am I doing?

Regards.G.

Lee Crockett
05-08-2011, 05:52 AM
Graham,

As i said before, i am looking to find Aikido (Unification with the Universal), i have not discovered it, and this will only happen if i am lucky.

Until you become enlightened, you are not practicing Aikido, you are completing a physical form, a Jutsu.

Also you dont seem to get the fact that Aikido can be discovered through other activities such as Bonsai, Calligraphy, Tea Cerempny etc. It is NOT the techniques.

graham christian
05-08-2011, 11:01 AM
Graham,

As i said before, i am looking to find Aikido (Unification with the Universal), i have not discovered it, and this will only happen if i am lucky.

Until you become enlightened, you are not practicing Aikido, you are completing a physical form, a Jutsu.

Also you dont seem to get the fact that Aikido can be discovered through other activities such as Bonsai, Calligraphy, Tea Cerempny etc. It is NOT the techniques.

I suggest you inspect your own 'logic' rather than just state things and tell others what they do or don't understand Lee.

From your view then tea ceremony, bonsai and calligraphy are also 'jutsu' or physical and thus not Aikido.

You appear to like talking. You like the argument. You like winning the argument. To me you seem fixed and indeed fixated. Hardly Aikido to me.

Good luck. G.

Lee Crockett
05-08-2011, 12:39 PM
Graham,

I have never made any reference to Bonsai, Tea Ceremony or Calligraphy being a Jutsu - this is just nonsensical.

Unification with the Universal can be acheived through the above. As i said before, techniques were tools O'Sensei used to find Aikido. You dont need to do a Jutsu to find Aikido.

And no, i dont like winning an argument. I am in the persuit of Aikido, and improving my understanding.

My ideas are based upon research and discussion with senior Aikidoka. I say again, there is only one Aikido - Arikawas words not mine.

Cliff Judge
05-08-2011, 12:57 PM
Aikido is defined as Unification with the Universal.

You are incorrect. Aikido is defined as the way of aiki.

Lee Crockett
05-08-2011, 01:03 PM
Another definition is "Way of harmony woth the spirit"

or

AIKI-DO - AIKIDAO - AIKITAO

Alberto_Italiano
05-08-2011, 04:35 PM
Graham,

As i said before, i am looking to find Aikido (Unification with the Universal), i have not discovered it, and this will only happen if i am lucky.

Until you become enlightened, you are not practicing Aikido, you are completing a physical form, a Jutsu.

Also you dont seem to get the fact that Aikido can be discovered through other activities such as Bonsai, Calligraphy, Tea Cerempny etc. It is NOT the techniques.

Graham is a guy who likes arriving at Aikido via... Aikido.
Now, he can hardly be reproached for that.

As a matter of fact, there isn't any eventual and ultimate goal whose name is Aikido. That ultimate thing is NAMELESS. Once you have it, it can assume any name you want to give to it, because its nature is precisely that of being able to lend itself to any use affording immediate command of the field.

You can reach it via many paths - the ones Lee mentions (nothing against them!). Yet, also the one Graham mentions - undoubtedly.

In fact, "Until you become enlightened, you are not practicing Aikido" is an expression that doesn't tell the whole story. For, once you are enlightened, you don't need Aikido anymore.

It is not that you want enlightenment to achieve Aikido: you want Aikido to achieve enlightenment.

So, saying that ""Until you become enlightened, you are not practicing Aikido" is like saying that Until you become enlightened, you are not enlightened - a self evident tautology.

For it is Aikido that is for enlightenment, not enlightenment for Aikido.
Defending the cause of the ultimate enlightenment is a praiseworthy battle, but let's make sure we are not defending it back to front.
You don't live to discover Aikido - you use Aikido to discover life.
You don't engage in life to find out the eventual meaning of Aikido, but you may definitely engage in Aikido to discover the eventual meaning of life.

There are many paths to the same thing, whose eventual name is not even (I repeat) "Aikido"; and the fact there are many means exactly that we are not made all the same.
Some arrive at Rome via car. Others via air. Others via sea. Other pass from China first. Others lose their ways in a brothel. Others swim. Others sail. Others make a mix. Others by train. Others never arrive. Others stay home dreaming of leaving.
Many are missing, and many are killed in action.

Graham wants to go there with Aikido.
Nothing to object.

Mark Freeman
05-08-2011, 05:21 PM
Alberto,

you've certainly got a way with words, nice post!

regards,

Mark

abraxis
05-08-2011, 05:24 PM
Isn't this a discussion about the biochemistry of enlightenment?

OSensei found Aikido by becoming enlightened and became enlightened by doing Aikido.

When any of us does Aikido, or any one of a host of other activities, "right" we have an experience we call enlightenment, being in a zone, standing on a bridge to the divine etc. We then make efforts to provide a verbal description of our private internal feelings.

Feelings brought on by internal biochemical changes resulting from a combination of meditation and physical practice. Nice when you do it right.

lbb
05-08-2011, 09:12 PM
Isn't this a discussion about the biochemistry of enlightenment?

OSensei found Aikido by becoming enlightened and became enlightened by doing Aikido.

When any of us does Aikido, or any one of a host of other activities, "right" we have an experience we call enlightenment, being in a zone, standing on a bridge to the divine etc. We then make efforts to provide a verbal description of our private internal feelings.

Sure. And they're potentially all different. We're like the blind men and the elephant, only instead of using different words to describe one whole, we use the same word to mean different states of mind. In Buddhist tradition, being enlightened simply means being fully present in reality -- simple, but far from easy, or I suppose everybody would be doing it. In that view, statements about aikido leading to enlightenment or enlightenment leading to aikido don't make a whole lot of sense to me.

Alex Megann
05-09-2011, 06:58 AM
Another definition is "Way of harmony woth the spirit"

or

AIKI-DO - AIKIDAO - AIKITAO

I would say that is a rather vague description, not a definition, of aikido.

In its simplest form, yes, "Aikido" means the Way of Aiki. There are several very knowledegable Japanese language experts on this forum, and I am definitely not one of them, but I do understand that In this context it is meaningless to separate "ai" and "ki". There have been several AikiWeb threads on this already.

Alex

Cliff Judge
05-09-2011, 09:09 AM
Another definition is "Way of harmony woth the spirit"

or

AIKI-DO - AIKIDAO - AIKITAO

FYI, this is actually one popular, but rather licentious interpretation of the kanji.

合 means merging, fitting, together, all, both. I've never really seen any non-hyperbolic reason that this should be translated as "harmony." This kanji is adjectival in nature, it describes the ki.

気 is "spirit," yes, but this is a Japanese concept that lacks many connotations that the English word carries and has many more. It is not a word that carries much meaning by itself, but when combined with a couple other kanji it can mean the essential nature, the numinous force, or that type of thing.

Note that if you take ki and its modifying characters at face value, it can seem very impressively poetic and deep. For example, "spirit of the heavens." Sounds really impressive! Where can I get some of that, it will make me powerful and allow me to crush my enemies! Then of course you find out that tenki means "weather" and while this mystical force did in fact prevent a possible crushing of Japan by Mongol invaders in the 13th century, next time you are caught in the rain without an umbrella you tell me if you find this exposure to the Spirit of the Heavens to be a particularly empowering, spiritual thing.

Basically, though, ki taken by itself does not really mean "THE spirit" or anything like that.

To emphasize something else I have been talking about, 道 means way or path. It doesn't mean destination and it doesn't imply or connote anything great or numinous really, so Lee, you are incorrect in your assertions that Aikido is something we are training towards or striving for. As soon as we step on the mat with the intention of participating in a class we are practicing Aikido. There is no requirement for "enlightenment."

So we're all doing Aikido. If you insist that there is only one, then we're all doing it. There are differences in training pedagogy, including some differences between Saito's organization and the Hombu, but you are not qualified to judge the relative merits of one or the other, sorry. Also, it would just be a "jutsu" difference. It's all O Sensei's Aikido.

Lee Crockett
05-09-2011, 09:24 AM
Cliff,

Then you are contradicting Arikawa. You carry on believing that if you want, but i know who i believe.

Good luck with the training.

Lee

Cliff Judge
05-09-2011, 09:56 AM
Cliff,

Then you are contradicting Arikawa. You carry on believing that if you want, but i know who i believe.

Good luck with the training.

Lee

Please provide a quote and a link. You have offered public disrespect in another thread to a gentleman who had a very close, decade-long relationship with Arikawa so you really have no right to invoke the name in support of your arguments here.

I don't believe you have a good enough understanding of Japanese martial culture to be basing your convictions on what one shihan has said. It is the nature of a shihan to use hyperbolic and evocative language to speak about their art. Speaking directly and succinctly is somewhat uncouth in general in Japanese culture, but more to the point, shihan are tasked with the very grave duty of being their art in human form. When they speak about it to outside people they need to take care that their words are a lesson, something that inspires and drives you in your training. This is much more important than being specific, offering an answer to your literal question, or being consistent with what they said yesterday.

If you approach the words spoken by a high-level Japanese martial arts teacher too literally, and make them into a dogma, you are destined for nothing but trouble. You restrict your own growth. You are also being presumptuous and lazy to no end by assuming you really understand what was being said and that nothing further can be said about it.

Maarten De Queecker
05-09-2011, 10:13 AM
There have been a lot of interesting comments on this thread.

However, the numerous references to individual Aikido are wrong. There is only ONE Aikido – unification of body and mind with the universal, not my words Arikawa.

What everyone is alluding to is an individual’s interpretation of implementation of the techniques. However, the techniques ARE NOT Aikido.

Aikido can also be found in Calligraphy, Bonsai, Tea Ceremony etc.

O’Sensei used the martial arts, Ju-Jitsu, to find Aikido.

Aikido IS NOT about a physical manifestation, it is a spiritual joining between ones self and the universal/creation.

Just by repeated training of the physical budo will not lead to Aikido. This is why only few reach such a level.

IMHO only O’Sensei and Kanshu Sunadomari have reached it.

This is what I was talking about. The Aikido that O’Sensei produced can only be attained not just by earnest physical training, but by a spiritual enlightening.

You can train 24/7, 365 days a year, but will only become competent in execution of techniques, not Aikido.
No offense, but most people I've encountered who also believe stuff like this are generally people frustrated at their own lack of progress compared to other, more talented people and use said 'true aikido' idea to convince themselves they're actually better while in fact, they are not.

Aikido is a martial art. If your technique is bad, your aikido sucks. It's really that simple. Aikido is a martial art and one does not learn how to deal with potential physical conflicts by meditating under a waterfall.

99% of O Sensei's aikido was achieved by rigorous training in various martial arts from a very young age, and actually engaging in combat. The guy was a warrior, a samurai pur sang, not a monk. Aikido is basically a combat system. One of the most difficult around because not harming an opponent is way more difficult than destroying him. It also requires a completely different mindset. O Sensei's enlightenment was probably a "Eureka"-moment in which he discovered that the techniques he was taught can also be used to softly immobilize and convince (an) attacker(s) that more conflict is not necessary and not in their best interest.

Lee Crockett
05-09-2011, 10:15 AM
Cliff,

The source is a book written by Pierre Chassang, i only have it in hard copy, where it is a discussion between him and Arikawa.

I at least provide sources for my information, you have not.

All i can do is refer to discussions and material i have had access to. If there are others who have trained with Arikawa for years, then i would be interested to hear their opinion. I HAVE NOT offered any disrespect so please withdraw this accusation.

If anything it is your growth that is restricted because all you have done is dismissed my comments, which at least are traceable to senior Aikidoka, you have provided no evidence whatsoever.

Also you are making assumptions of my knowledge and experience.

Lee Crockett
05-09-2011, 10:18 AM
Maarten,

If your technique sucks, your technique sucks. It has nothing to do with Aikido.

Aikido is a combats system? Then how can you find Aikido in the Tea Ceremony, Bonsai, Calligraphy etc?

Lee Crockett
05-09-2011, 10:27 AM
Maarten,

One of the most significant periods in O'Senseis life was his time with Onisabaru Deguchi. Do you really not think this had a significant affect on his development of Aikido?

Demetrio Cereijo
05-09-2011, 10:44 AM
Maarten,

One of the most significant periods in O'Senseis life was his time with Onisabaru Deguchi. Do you really not think this had a significant affect on his development of Aikido?

If O sensei were not able to kick ass because his technique sucked, Deguchi would not had hired him as bodyguard and much less had put him on charge of Budo Senyokai.

Get a clue, please.