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dapidmini
06-19-2011, 12:59 PM
I hope this is an appropriate sub forum to post this topic.

the aikido I know has a very deep philosophical points such as: non violence, non ego/self, etc. but it's still an effective martial arts for self defense. I know we're supposed to train both but in dojo, which part should we be more focused on? philosophical or practical side?

DCP
06-19-2011, 01:45 PM
That depends on what you want from aikido. Find an instructor and dojo that fits what you want from aikido.

Where I train, philosophical/martial emphasis usually depends on Sensei's mood.

jester
06-19-2011, 10:20 PM
I don't really see martial arts as philosophical or non violent. You fight like you train.

If you get mugged and your family is at risk are you going to be philosophical or non violent?

-

Carsten Möllering
06-20-2011, 01:56 AM
the aikido I know has a very deep philosophical points such as: non violence, non ego/self,
...
which part should we be more focused on? philosophical or practical side?
I don't think aikido or budo in general to be non violent.

I don't train and I don't teach any philosophical or religious issues during training. We just practice. But I train and try to teach reishiki/reigi.

Philosophical or religious aspects of aikido / budo I discuss with my teacher or students after practice. On the tatami we just train. This is one reason, why seminars are so important.

Tim Ruijs
06-20-2011, 02:38 AM
To properly train, it is important to understand what and why you practise.
Your mindset (and focus) is very important.
When you only practise for good fun, then that's what you will get: fun.

You can practise Aikido to (learn to) hold your own in a fight and at the same time become more philosophical outside the dojo.
There is a time to practise and a time to be philosophical. But to practise the latter in the dojo? I am not so sure.

In our style we stay close to aikijitsu to understand aikido and at many occasions I show how the (do) technique might become dangerous/martial jitsu. I guess you could say one is more philosophical than the other...and then yes you can practise both in the dojo. But my intention is not to teach philosophy but to make my students understand Aikido by showing (some of) its origin (e.g. Aikijitsu).

But can you elaborate on your statement "supposed to train both" and in what way you currently do that? I am curious...

Mario Tobias
06-20-2011, 04:10 AM
I think there is a misconception that aikido is a non-aggressive, non-violent martial art. Aikido is in the first place a martial art.

I had trouble understanding the concept initially as the phrase "non-aggressive martial art" seemed contradictory. How could this be?

In my understanding (pls forgive me if it may seem shallow) as a martial artist, you go through phases. The initial phases, as a beginner you cannot avoid the violent or aggressive phase that the martial art offers. This includes aikido. You start learning techniques mostly painful submission moves and throws to control your partner and this is the only way you know how to control your aggressors. As you start learning more and more techniques, and get more proficient at them, you slowly start to realize how easy/trivial it is to maim, injure, paralyze, and even take ones life or the opposite, how they can take your life. I think the ultimate purpose of aikido or any other martial art for that matter is to transcend the violent phase and challenge yourself to accept that there exists a phase of non-violence (compassion, also for legal reasons) as you now, have higher probability of "winning" over your aggressors using less aggressive BUT more efficient techniques. This non-aggressive principle may just be more pronounced in aikido I think but no matter what phase you're in, violence and aggression will still exist just much, much less to minimize the damage. I think we may have heard the phrase "winning without fighting" at one point in time and this is the ultimate goal for any art.

I think it is not in the art to be questioned if it is effective or not, but in the artist. The techniques themselves are battle tested. The onus is on the artist if they are.

Mario Tobias
06-20-2011, 04:35 AM
case in point re aggressiveness/violence.

chiba or isoyama senseis videos. being high ranking aikidoka, the techniques they employ look aggressive and violent to me.

Jauch
06-20-2011, 04:54 AM
I hope this is an appropriate sub forum to post this topic.

the aikido I know has a very deep philosophical points such as: non violence, non ego/self, etc. but it's still an effective martial arts for self defense. I know we're supposed to train both but in dojo, which part should we be more focused on? philosophical or practical side?

Hello David :)

I'm not a "police officer" (or anything like it), so my answer is from a "pure civilian point of view". ;)

My "self defense" (practical) training is to avoid be in a place/situation where I my need to "defend myself/others". The day I believe this is not enough, I'll move to other place (like my parents did) or if this is not possible I will begin to carry a gun.

Because of this, my training is focused on learn to listen my body, my partners body and my surrounds. I think our "soul" (or intent, or will, or whatever) "talks" through our eyes, movements, etc. I training to become able to clear my mind from everything, so I can "feel" the others/universe. I try to not cause injury, no matter how "violent" my partner charges against me, because I "believe" that if you aren't able to avoid hurting someone (and I'm not saying that you will never have the need to do it...), you do not have "self-control". Without self-control, no one is able to really control the other. And despite the fact that I "believe" in the "aiki is love" idea and that the "universe/others" talk to us in a manner that you can't hear with your ears, for me, aiki, when there is a "physical conflict", is about control.

Then, like was already said, when on tatami, I just train. Or, at least, I try to do it. My philosophy is there, but I try to not be thinking on it. I just try to do what I believe is what I must in order to learn the things I think are important.

"Thinking", right or wrong, is a slower thing. :) So, I try to "internalize" the aiki concept (my believes) when I'm not practicing on tatami. On tatami, I train the ability to use aiki without the need to think on it.

Unsuccessfully until now, I must admit ;)

Hum... I said a lot and don't know if I really helped...
I can only say "Good luck" in your search! :)

SeiserL
06-20-2011, 06:03 AM
IMHO, train the body in the martial aspect and train the mind in the philosophical.

Mario Tobias
06-20-2011, 07:31 AM
IMHO, train the body in the martial aspect and train the mind in the philosophical.

well said.

graham christian
06-28-2011, 05:48 PM
Hi David.
Philosophical or practical? Why in your mind are they different as if to be not connected?

Here's some data for you. Back in Japan in those 'old' days it was quite normal to recognise spiritual and zen was known as very spiritual yet disciplined and real.

Here in the western world when a teacher of such things gives spiritual rules which have physical effects it is generally pur down as philosophical.

Non-violence is an active thing as is non-resistance the effect of which is immediate. Very practical and effective. Hard to learn only because of our own unawareness.

Regards.G.

hughrbeyer
06-28-2011, 11:03 PM
When you're sharpening a sword, the first thing you do is sharpen the sword. You don't worry about the meaning of the sword, or the use of the sword, or the philosophical implications of owning a sword. You sharpen the sword.

Do all that other stuff off the mat.

Tim Ruijs
06-29-2011, 03:25 AM
When you're sharpening a sword, the first thing you do is sharpen the sword. You don't worry about the meaning of the sword, or the use of the sword, or the philosophical implications of owning a sword. You sharpen the sword.


What would be the purpose of sharpening a sword, when you do not know why you need a sword in the first place?

hughrbeyer
06-29-2011, 06:55 AM
Sigh.

When you're sharpening a sword, you sharpen the sword.

When you're not sharpening the sword, do what you like.

phitruong
06-29-2011, 07:13 AM
the aikido I know has a very deep philosophical points such as: non violence, non ego/self, etc. but it's still an effective martial arts for self defense. I know we're supposed to train both but in dojo, which part should we be more focused on? philosophical or practical side?

depends on the kind of person you are. if you are more philosophical and spiritual then you are more than likely will focus on those things. if you are a practical person, then that would be your focus. but it doesn't have to be either or. can be both. just because you are practical doesn't mean you are not philosophical about it, and vice versa. just because you are wearing a skirt, doesn't meant you are not a cross dresser. :)

phitruong
06-29-2011, 07:18 AM
What would be the purpose of sharpening a sword, when you do not know why you need a sword in the first place?

someone pay you, perhaps? :)

read somewhere, that mentioned if you start to ponder on the meaning of life in the middle of a battle, you will have neither meaning nor life.

Tim Ruijs
06-29-2011, 07:44 AM
Sigh.

When you're sharpening a sword, you sharpen the sword.

When you're not sharpening the sword, do what you like.

Sorry, I somehow missed that...

Agreed. Focus on what you do, live in the moment.

@phitruong
Agreed.

Cliff Judge
06-29-2011, 08:32 AM
If you take your Aikido training as a serious, life-or-death endeavor, you inevitably reach a point where you spend a lot of off-the-mat time thinking and worrying about how good you are and whether Aikido could ever work in a "real" situation.

It is in these moments that you have the opportunity to delve into the philosophy of Aikido. When you are staring at the ceiling unable to sleep, driving through rush hour traffic, or on a train having your head rocked back and forth.

That's part of shugyo. Budo training is supposed to change you, but the process of change takes place largely without conscious involvement of your brain. So intellectualizing the philosophical and spiritual side of Aikido is a generally useless endeavor without a storehouse of training experience "soaked in" to your self through hours of getting on the mat and giving it your all.

You can go to seminars and listen to shihan talk about what Aikido means and what it is and how it extends to your normal life, but the words won't mean much if you can't make an intuitive connection with them. The intuitive knowledge can only be formed through severe training.

philipsmith
06-29-2011, 08:48 AM
case in point re aggressiveness/violence.

chiba or isoyama senseis videos. being high ranking aikidoka, the techniques they employ look aggressive and violent to me.

Appearances can be deceptive.

I remember Chiba Sensei once saying (to paraphrase) true compassion is having the ability to destroy but not destroying [your opponent] which sums up both practical and philospohical elements for me

sakumeikan
06-29-2011, 12:44 PM
Appearances can be deceptive.

I remember Chiba Sensei once saying (to paraphrase) true compassion is having the ability to destroy but not destroying [your opponent] which sums up both practical and philospohical elements for me
Dear Philip,
Agreed. Cheers, Joe.

Cliff Judge
06-29-2011, 01:44 PM
Appearances can be deceptive.

I remember Chiba Sensei once saying (to paraphrase) true compassion is having the ability to destroy but not destroying [your opponent] which sums up both practical and philospohical elements for me

For what its worth, this is pretty compassionate, but far short of "truly" compassionate. Lat met throw two principles at you:

1) Since action begins as thought, aggressive thoughts (to harm or hurt another) are, in some sense, as bad as the actions themselves.

2) The boundaries between one person and another are illusory.

if we are all one and the same, then allowing someone to harm you is as bad as harming another person. I.e. turning the other cheek is right out, you might as well mug somebody yourself.

Furthermore, allowing someone to THINK of harming you is as bad as harming them yourself. Bad karma that you will have to pay back at some point.

So true compassion would involve being a person for whom it is impossible to be "an opponent" in the first place.

Like when a swordfight ends before anyone makes a cut, because one guy realizes the other guy just has no openings. The state I am talking about is one where the thought of drawing a sword never even occurs...he's not even a would-be attacker.

I think that's true compassion. If I ever get anywhere near that state I'll let you guys know all about it.

Nicholas Eschenbruch
06-29-2011, 02:16 PM
So true compassion would involve being a person for whom it is impossible to be "an opponent" in the first place.


Thanks, I like that a lot.

For myself I would maybe add something along the lines of "... while maintaining one's own intergrity as much as possible." Somewhere in that direction is the goal of (my) practice. And at heart it is not validated or invalidated by winning or losing real or hypothetical violent encounters, as interesting and relevant as that may be.

mathewjgano
06-29-2011, 03:58 PM
For what its worth, this is pretty compassionate, but far short of "truly" compassionate. Lat met throw two principles at you:

1) Since action begins as thought, aggressive thoughts (to harm or hurt another) are, in some sense, as bad as the actions themselves.

2) The boundaries between one person and another are illusory.

if we are all one and the same, then allowing someone to harm you is as bad as harming another person. I.e. turning the other cheek is right out, you might as well mug somebody yourself.

Furthermore, allowing someone to THINK of harming you is as bad as harming them yourself. Bad karma that you will have to pay back at some point.

So true compassion would involve being a person for whom it is impossible to be "an opponent" in the first place.

Like when a swordfight ends before anyone makes a cut, because one guy realizes the other guy just has no openings. The state I am talking about is one where the thought of drawing a sword never even occurs...he's not even a would-be attacker.

I think that's true compassion. If I ever get anywhere near that state I'll let you guys know all about it.

Duuuude! I so totally dig it! To my mind, that's some practical philosophy!
Thank you for that.

JW
06-29-2011, 10:12 PM
if we are all one and the same, then allowing someone to harm you is as bad as harming another person. I.e. turning the other cheek is right out, you might as well mug somebody yourself.


Reminds me of the story of Tohei and the leather jacket. O-sensei chastised Tohei for having/flaunting something that inspired so much desire -- meaning his attitude and actions pushed the guy to be a thief! Bringing that jacket to Japan where it was rare contributed to the occurance of the transgression, so thanks to Tohei, the world has one more action of theft to stain its history.

For my answer to the OP question-- as I understand aikido, there is no aspect of philosophy that is not a direct metaphor for what you do on the mat. You should be living the philosophy with every movement.
In other words there is not techniques + philosophy, there is only the Way, which tells you 1) what to do on the mat, and 2) how to look at things off the mat.
If you look at the idea of this kind of progression:
unify your body--> unify yourself with what is around you (heaven and earth)--->unify yourself and your partner--->become the universe
it sounds philosophical but it is also a big project physically, which you just keep on working at.

lbb
06-30-2011, 08:01 AM
To properly train, it is important to understand what and why you practise.
Your mindset (and focus) is very important.
When you only practise for good fun, then that's what you will get: fun.


Bit of an aside here, but that really isn't true. I can't count the number of times I went into an experience and got something completely different out of it than what I went looking for. Martial arts training is only one of these.

Tim Ruijs
06-30-2011, 08:27 AM
Bit of an aside here, but that really isn't true. I can't count the number of times I went into an experience and got something completely different out of it than what I went looking for. Martial arts training is only one of these.

But...you only support my statement. If you have an aspect to focus on during practise and during that you find something else that is more wrong you only shift focus to that aspect. This only shows flexibility and open mind.

When you practise for good fun and by accident you get something out of it, I do not consider that proper training/practise. You train purposefully to improve something.

lbb
06-30-2011, 11:43 AM
You're contradicting yourself, Tim. Almost nobody starts training (or, I guess we're not allowed to use that word if we're not sufficiently intentional, so let's just call it "starts taking martial arts classes", will that do?) with the mindset of "Oh, I'll just go into this with a totally open mind, no expectations or desires or even interests, and we'll just see what happens." People typically go in looking for something or with some idea of what might happen, but hopefully with a mind that is open to discovering new things and changing their reason for being there. You're very down on "fun", whatever...that's your value judgment. But I don't see a meaningful difference between "fun" and "self-defense" in this context. It's what brought you in the door, it's not necessarily the only thing you'll walk out with.

Tim Ruijs
06-30-2011, 03:43 PM
(or, I guess we're not allowed to use that word if we're not sufficiently intentional, so let's just call it "starts taking martial arts classes", will that do?)
:confused:

It is hard to find the right words sometimes, sorry for that. I am afraid you have read something I am not trying to say. Perhaps I have stated things a bit black/white.

People typically go in looking for something or with some idea of what might happen, but hopefully with a mind that is open to discovering new things and changing their reason for being there.

But if you approach each exercise during practise with this mindset I would say that you are indeed practising/learning Aikido! So I completely agree with you on this.

Regarding the 'fun' part: first of all practise with a smile on your face. Aikido is fun. What I meant to say is that when you practise just for the fun of it (no deeper interest in Aikido) you are not likely to advance.

However, I do believe that when you want to advance (get better? improve?) you must know what to work on and do not leave that to chance.

graham christian
06-30-2011, 07:33 PM
Anything you do for the right reasons is fun. So fun is related to proper training. It's a result rather than a purpose.

With correct purpose you have fun.

On the other side of the coin if you are doing something for the 'wrong' reasons then for you it's harder, heavier going and not so much fun.

This applies to everything no? Remember being stuck in a classroom studying a subject you neither wanted to do or could see any use for in your life? Not much fun eh?

In fact I would say fun is a basic desire rather than a purpose.

Regards.G.

Tim Ruijs
07-01-2011, 02:22 AM
With correct purpose you have fun.

Agreed.

lbb
07-01-2011, 09:39 AM
But if you approach each exercise during practise with this mindset I would say that you are indeed practising/learning Aikido! So I completely agree with you on this.

Regarding the 'fun' part: first of all practise with a smile on your face. Aikido is fun. What I meant to say is that when you practise just for the fun of it (no deeper interest in Aikido) you are not likely to advance.

Sure, I see this -- if the attitude is, "I'm here for the fun, and I don't want all that other stuff"...well, then you won't get all that other stuff.

However, I do believe that when you want to advance (get better? improve?) you must know what to work on and do not leave that to chance.

I'd agree with this. "Advance", after all, implies a direction -- toward something, which is by definition a goal, right? But it does bring to mind various sayings about the journey vs. the arrival. I'm fortunate to live in an area with lots of woods and a great many hiking trails. Sometimes, when I set out on a trail, I'm trying to get somewhere: to a campsite, to a pond, to the top of a mountain. Sometimes my goal isn't a place but a process: I've been sitting around all day and I want to get my blood moving. It's still a goal, though. But sometimes I'm walking just to walk, just because the act of walking down this trail is worthwhile for me not because of where it's going to get me, but because of what it is right now, in this instant. I am walking, I am moving forward in the sens of body mechanics, but I'm not moving "forward" in the sense of advancing on a goal.

My aikido training is frequently like this. I don't have a goal in aikido, apart from to keep training. That doesn't mean I don't have standards of how I do things, or that I try to do things well, to do them better than I did last time if possible. But there isn't a goal. I don't get to have goals. I have rheumatoid arthritis, and so far I've been lucky, but my ability to exist as an independently moving physical being could go away virtually overnight and stay that way permanently. Every New Year it seems we have a thread on Aikiweb where people articulate their New Year's resolutions: I will train x times a week, I will achieve such-and-such rank, I will master such-and-such technique, I will attend this seminar or summer camp. It's meaningless for me to "resolve" to do anything like that. So I don't go there. I don't try to "advance". That's for other people.

Tim Ruijs
07-01-2011, 05:34 PM
I am moving forward in the sens of body mechanics, but I'm not moving "forward" in the sense of advancing on a goal.
I understand. It is exactly what I mean. :D You have described it much better than I could. Would progress be better than advance?

Janet L.
07-05-2011, 10:41 PM
I'm about as beginning a beginner as you'll find on here: I first went to the dojo about six weeks ago.

My sensei seems to tend more toward the philosophical bent, but that doesn't keep me from being incredibly tired and sore after a class session.

Also, I'm a pretty extreme example of an INTP personality, and believe right down to my very core that if the design/plan/theory is correct the rest will follow.

I've been kind of amazed: I've always been kind of slow picking up new physical skills, and I'm GETTING it! The last month I've been sounding about like a born again aikidoka telling EVERYONE how cool it is :)

- Janet.

genin
07-26-2011, 12:43 PM
I think the philisophical side of martial arts will take you further than will the self-defense side of it. The reason being that most people don't need self-defense skills in order to survive in the world. In addition, having a well developed Aikido-mindset means that you'll be able to avoid situations wherein you might normally need to fight.

Let's face it, combat training is very anti-climactic. We never seem to find ourselves in the dark alley surrounded by three assailants the way we trained for. All the cool weapons you train with amount to little more than abandoned toys at a certain point. So where does that leave the individual martial artist? How do we apply all these martial skills in a civilized world?

I've found that through training, I improve my physical health. I look better and feel better. It makes me smarter too, having to remember moves and terminology. It gives me confidence and has allowed me to meet others whom I'd normally never get to know. It allows me to more effectively explore spiritual insights as well. The physical and mental are often connected, but there is a clearly a mental/spiritual aspect of martial arts that is wholly separate from anything combat related.

graham christian
08-02-2011, 12:03 AM
I think the philisophical side of martial arts will take you further than will the self-defense side of it. The reason being that most people don't need self-defense skills in order to survive in the world. In addition, having a well developed Aikido-mindset means that you'll be able to avoid situations wherein you might normally need to fight.

Let's face it, combat training is very anti-climactic. We never seem to find ourselves in the dark alley surrounded by three assailants the way we trained for. All the cool weapons you train with amount to little more than abandoned toys at a certain point. So where does that leave the individual martial artist? How do we apply all these martial skills in a civilized world?

I've found that through training, I improve my physical health. I look better and feel better. It makes me smarter too, having to remember moves and terminology. It gives me confidence and has allowed me to meet others whom I'd normally never get to know. It allows me to more effectively explore spiritual insights as well. The physical and mental are often connected, but there is a clearly a mental/spiritual aspect of martial arts that is wholly separate from anything combat related.

Except that the philosophical or spiritual base does not help you avoid. Avoidance, escaping from, getting out of etc. are based on fear. The spiritual base brings harmony to.

Regards.G.

Anita Dacanay
08-16-2011, 05:05 AM
Why-oh-why must we break Aikido down in terms of "martial" VS. "philosophical"(or "spiritual")...

Are we so terribly dualistic in our thinking that we cannot conceive that Aikido is BOTH a spiritual practice and martially effective?

As far as what to focus on when one is training, I try to focus on Aikido! Aikido is Aikido. It is unique. If we just want to learn how to beat someone up in a bar brawl, there are a lot of other ways to learn that, and they take a lot less time to learn than "the spirit of loving protection for all."

One of my Senseis asked the other day, "Why do YOU practice Aikido, and not something else?" It is an important thing to contemplate! Therein we find our own clarity about what on Earth we are trying to accomplish at the dojo.

ryback
08-16-2011, 07:13 AM
Why-oh-why must we break Aikido down in terms of "martial" VS. "philosophical"(or "spiritual")...

Are we so terribly dualistic in our thinking that we cannot conceive that Aikido is BOTH a spiritual practice and martially effective?

As far as what to focus on when one is training, I try to focus on Aikido! Aikido is Aikido. It is unique. If we just want to learn how to beat someone up in a bar brawl, there are a lot of other ways to learn that, and they take a lot less time to learn than "the spirit of loving protection for all."

One of my Senseis asked the other day, "Why do YOU practice Aikido, and not something else?" It is an important thing to contemplate! Therein we find our own clarity about what on Earth we are trying to accomplish at the dojo.
Hi there Anita.Well said, very nice post!And i will take it a step further by saying that aikido is not only both spiritual and martial, but also these two virtues are merged, inseparatable and indistinguishable from one another.You are absolutely right when you say that aikido is aikido, you can't break it down and even if one would, he would find that it's actually more than the sum of its parts.It is martially effective (no doubt about it) without being violent or aggressive and that's the point of using a martial art in the first place.You blend with the attack, becoming one with the attacker,using your ki and the momentum of his own attack in order to take him down.So iam somehow surprised that some people seem to find it actually aggressive...

lbb
08-16-2011, 07:31 AM
Why-oh-why must we break Aikido down in terms of "martial" VS. "philosophical"(or "spiritual")...

Are we so terribly dualistic in our thinking that we cannot conceive that Aikido is BOTH a spiritual practice and martially effective?

While I would disagree with the use of the term "spiritual practice" -- my definition of it is more narrow than what most people seem to use when they apply it to aikido -- I was just thinking (as I noticed that this thread had come alive), "Why do people believe that philosophy is inherently impractical?" I think the opposite: you'd better have a functional, practical philosophy (which does not mean that it's all about details). Otherwise, what's the point? I think it's people who haven't really explored any philosophy who believe that philosophy is ethereal and impractical and irrelevant to daily living. IMO that's just exactly backwards.

dps
08-16-2011, 07:51 AM
Can you do the "philosophy" of Aikido without learning the martial art?

dps

ryback
08-16-2011, 08:09 AM
Can you do the "philosophy" of Aikido without learning the martial art?

dps

Hello David.In my opinion you can't.The peaceful way of dealing with every situation has to be backed with technique.Peaceful philosophy(in martial arts) doesn't mean vulnerable person but a warrior who is fighting his battles(literally and metaporically)without using resistance or force against force.But for that to be achieved tremendous skill is required in terms of waza in order for one to be able to defend himself without being aggressive,yet be effective.That's why i mentioned in my previous post that aikido's effectiveness, waza, esoteric ellements and philosophy are one and the same.A solid training that affects all aspects of life.

dps
08-16-2011, 08:26 AM
Can you do the martial art without the "philosophy".

dps

Anita Dacanay
08-16-2011, 05:56 PM
I like what Yannis said to your previous question, David. This time I will answer your current question also with - in my opinion, no. When it comes to Aikido specifically, I do not believe that you can separate the martial and the philosophical and still call it Aikido.

Mary, I understand that you might not want to use the term "spiritual" to describe your practice. Personally, for me, Aikido is absolutely a spiritual practice. It challenges me deeply on every level of my being, in such a profound and rigorous way that I would have to call it a spiritual practice or journey.

ryback
08-18-2011, 01:28 AM
Can you do the martial art without the "philosophy".

dps

Hi there!By the way Annita, nice post!David in my opinion your question is identical to the previous one, but in a "negative-film-to-a photograph" kind of way.So the answer again is no, but the reasons are actually the same.In the case of aikido the peaceful philosophy springs from the way that the technique requires being relaxed and in harmony with the attacker in order for it to be effective.In that way the practical aspect of aikido, the waza, gives birth to the philosophy,so if your aikido is correct on a technical level the philosophy is already there.That means that if one would strip aikido of its philosophical aspect he would actually be performing joint manipulations and wrist locks using brute force, violence and a lot of...ignorance of ki and kokyu thus redusing to a fighting method that is no longer an art.And the magical thing is that it would also be less effective on a practical level, that's how aikido works,you have to be one physically, mentally and aware of your ki and the way to extend it.

dps
08-18-2011, 02:58 AM
So Aikido is a martial art, spiritual path and a philosophical practice.

What is the Aikido spirituality and Aikido philosophy that you must practice to make your martial art Aikido?

dps

ryback
08-18-2011, 03:32 AM
So Aikido is a martial art, spiritual path and a philosophical practice.

What is the Aikido spirituality and Aikido philosophy that you must practice to make your martial art Aikido?

dps

The answer to that is...aikido!You have to practice aikido in an aikido dojo.There, through training you learn aikido's basics such as posture, ballance, ukemi waza(how to fall in order not to be injured by the tori's technique), seiza(aikido's basic sitting position) and slowly through weapon's training and unarmed techniques(and every other possible combination) you learn how to apply aikido's basic principles using aikido techniques in order to be able to defend yourself without using force or violence.All of that is aikido training.Practical and esoteric aspects all one and the same.And as you keep on practicing they become second nature...

dps
08-18-2011, 06:24 AM
I no longer practice Aikido in a dojo, I do it at home. My spirituality comes from my religious beliefs and practices that I have had since a child. My philosophy about violence, peace, fighting, not fighting I got from my Dad when I was in grade school. He taught me how to box and when to fight that put an end to being bullied in grade school.

Am I practicing Aikido even though I do not practice Aikido philosophy or Aikido Spirituality?

dps

lbb
08-18-2011, 07:20 AM
Mary, I understand that you might not want to use the term "spiritual" to describe your practice. Personally, for me, Aikido is absolutely a spiritual practice. It challenges me deeply on every level of my being, in such a profound and rigorous way that I would have to call it a spiritual practice or journey.

Anita, my disagreement with the prevalent use of the term "spiritual practice" is that almost nobody can define what they mean by that term -- or if they do, it's a nonsensically vague definition having something to do with kinda feeling good and, you know, spiritual (self-referential definition fail). I don't think that it's valid to call anything that makes you kinda feel good a spiritual practice; more rigor would seem called for, and most people who call aikido a spiritual practice are decidedly unwilling to bring rigor into the discussion.

mathewjgano
08-18-2011, 09:15 AM
When it comes to Aikido specifically, I do not believe that you can separate the martial and the philosophical and still call it Aikido.


Hi Anita,
Strictly speaking, I think I disagree. I look at the variety of Aikido practice that I've seen, which spans from being almost entirely physical in emphasis to almost entirely mental/"spiritual," and I think all can call it "Aikido," because they're derived from the lineage of the same name.
I look to my experiences with Jinja Shinto as an analogy. My sense is that individuals will pick up different meaning and that on some level this reflects the individualized nature of one's connection to spirituality/kami. Similarly, I see Aikido as an expression of nature and that different groups of people will naturally connect to different aspects of that whole. This isn't to say no one can be wrong in their understanding...and indeed I think on some level no one can be absolutely right...probably. Hence the path of learning being one for a lifetime, a continual process of applying new information and refining the old, through focused interaction. As a :do: I get the sense it ultimately has to do with how to understand the broader nature of things and I think that demands a little individual wiggle-room or it risks becoming a kind of faded photocopy.
...My two bits.
Take care,
Matt

mathewjgano
08-18-2011, 04:02 PM
In thinking about this some more, I'm a little more unsure of my remarks. So rather than say I disagree, I think I'm more comfortable with suggesting that, because almost none of us shares the same exact philosophy as O Sensei, it starts to beg a lot of question when we ourselves start imposing our own standards on other folks. So someone like David, who feels his philosophy or spirituality comes from other places, can be said to be still doing Aikido. (I hope you don't mind my using your example directly, David)
...Two bits.

Anita Dacanay
08-18-2011, 05:02 PM
In thinking about this some more, I'm a little more unsure of my remarks. So rather than say I disagree, I think I'm more comfortable with suggesting that, because almost none of us shares the same exact philosophy as O Sensei, it starts to beg a lot of question when we ourselves start imposing our own standards on other folks. So someone like David, who feels his philosophy or spirituality comes from other places, can be said to be still doing Aikido. (I hope you don't mind my using your example directly, David)
...Two bits.

Matt, I appreciate your remarks and think I understand where you are coming from. I do think it is completely possible to practice Aikido principles or philosophy off the mat; in fact, I certainly try to do just that.

I only know that from my experience, I could only attempt to do that after having had the actual Aikido instruction on the mat. It is as though I could not actually take those concepts and apply them until I had certain experiences in my body.

David, I really don't want to spend my time telling you what experiences you are or aren't having, and labeling them for you! I'd much rather hear you just talk about your own experiences from your own point of view. Sometimes I think it is easier to speak from a sort of distance about what other people do or say or experience, but perhaps our discussions can be richer when they are focused on sharing our own experiences with sincerity and some of that rigor that Mary mentioned.

Aikido has often left me feeling very sort of exposed in an often uncomfortable way. I have come to find that gee, you know, sometimes I don't feel like being a nice girl. Sometimes I have so much anger I just want to bash someone in the face. Gee, maybe I'm not that peaceful! Maybe I hold way too much tension in my shoulders and neck pretty much all of the time, and why is that? Maybe I approach much of my life as though I am just white-knuckling through my experiences, and why is that? If I truly do want to be peaceful, then what are the barriers within which need to be dissolved for me to get there? For me, it's definitely a rigorous process, and very intertwined with the performance of certain techniques and habitual difficulties that I might have with said techniques.

SO: Personally, I see the philosophical and martial aspects of the art of Aikido as being very bound to one another. I would not wish to separate them. Personally, I see my Aikido journey as a spiritual practice, for some of the reasons I have mentioned, and more. Personally, learning martial applications on the mat has brought a whole new level of awareness regarding my own body movement both on and off the mat. Those are my experiences. I am interested in hearing about other people's experiences.

graham christian
08-18-2011, 05:06 PM
I no longer practice Aikido in a dojo, I do it at home. My spirituality comes from my religious beliefs and practices that I have had since a child. My philosophy about violence, peace, fighting, not fighting I got from my Dad when I was in grade school. He taught me how to box and when to fight that put an end to being bullied in grade school.

Am I practicing Aikido even though I do not practice Aikido philosophy or Aikido Spirituality?

dps

Wouldn't that be more Aikijutsu?

Regards.G.

Carsten Möllering
08-19-2011, 03:04 AM
Wouldn't that be more Aikijutsu?
So you do think aiki jujutsu means aikido minus spirituality/philosophie?
I wouldn't agree.

dps
08-19-2011, 04:45 AM
In thinking about this some more, I'm a little more unsure of my remarks. So rather than say I disagree, I think I'm more comfortable with suggesting that, because almost none of us shares the same exact philosophy as O Sensei, it starts to beg a lot of question when we ourselves start imposing our own standards on other folks. So someone like David, who feels his philosophy or spirituality comes from other places, can be said to be still doing Aikido. (I hope you don't mind my using your example directly, David)
...Two bits.

I don't mind you using my example. I agree with you. The philosophy and spirituality that a person has is their own.

I didn't start practicing Aikido until I was 32 years old. By that time I had my spirituality and philosophy about life in place. Both of these are/has been influenced by a lot of things including Aikido.

Even though I don't practice the philosophy and spirituality of Aikido the techniques and principles of the Aikido I have learned has served me well.

By Yannis's definition I have never been practicing Aikido and that is alright. It simplifies things for me. I do not have to argue about how or why to practice Aikido because, I never have.

dps

p.s. Now when Jun posts another survey I can honestly say "d. I don't do Aikido". :)

Carsten Möllering
08-19-2011, 04:53 AM
So Aikido is a martial art, spiritual path and a philosophical practice.

What is the Aikido spirituality and Aikido philosophy that you must practice to make your martial art Aikido?
Hm, I thought the spirituality connected with aikido would be mikyo and shinto, or oomoto kyo to be more precise?
I don't practice something like this. hm...

ryback
08-19-2011, 05:13 AM
I no longer practice Aikido in a dojo, I do it at home. My spirituality comes from my religious beliefs and practices that I have had since a child. My philosophy about violence, peace, fighting, not fighting I got from my Dad when I was in grade school. He taught me how to box and when to fight that put an end to being bullied in grade school.

Am I practicing Aikido even though I do not practice Aikido philosophy or Aikido Spirituality?

dps

I get your point, but you see martial arts have nothing to do with religious beliefs.Even though o'sensei was considered a deeply religious person in Japan, one doesn't have to belong to omoto kyo to practice aikido.Its non-resisting nature and peaceful philosophy is expressed through the techniques, where using your ki and becoming one with the attacker you neutralize him without using force or aggression.Is not a matter of faith, you don't have to believe it just practice it.And if the principles and the techniques are correct, then the philosophy is there, you can't separate it from the rest.But my suggestion would be: train in a dojo.The right environment, the appropriate clothing, the correct guidance and instructions and the contact with multiple, different uke are elements of the utmost importance that help awarness and focus during the practice.I hope that my post helped you in some way...:)

ryback
08-19-2011, 05:30 AM
So you do think aiki jujutsu means aikido minus spirituality/philosophie?
I wouldn't agree.

I think you are right.If one considers aikido's philosophy to be a separate kind of religion that teaches peacefulness(such as omoto kyo) he might think that aikijutsu is aikido without the spiritual aspects, because its developement is believed to be more martial.But in my opinion daito ryu aiki jutsu and aikido are practically the same thing, aikido being a modern expression of aiki jutsu but sometimes the line that separates them becomes very thin, depending on the way one practices.So i believe that since aiki jutsu is an "aiki" based martial art, the philosophy of non-resistance is there, which actually leads to a peaceful attitude.I trully think that there is no signifficant difference practically or esoterically between the two...

Carsten Möllering
08-19-2011, 05:32 AM
... Its non-resisting nature and peaceful philosophy is expressed through the techniques, ...Hm...
Different styles/dojo/sensei teach very different ways to do certain techniques.

Just to give one example we deliver nakadaka ippon ken to the larynx as one basic form of atemi. On the other side there are styles which doesn't use atemi at all.

Or our techniques live from controlling uke, taking over his body and movements by the connection. Other styles of aikido even don't aim to break the balance of uke, because this would be to aggressive.

And there are countless esamples I think of understanding and performing techniques different.
So on which way of doing a certain technique do you rely for forming your spirituality of aikido?

Don't you think your spirituality is forming your way of doing the techniques?

Anita Dacanay
08-19-2011, 05:52 AM
[QUOTE=David Skaggs;290610]"I don't mind you using my example. I agree with you. The philosophy and spirituality that a person has is their own.

I didn't start practicing Aikido until I was 32 years old. By that time I had my spirituality and philosophy about life in place. Both of these are/has been influenced by a lot of things including Aikido."

I did not have my spirituality and philosophy "in place" at age 32, because to me my mind and soul are always changing and growing in one way or another. I started practicing Aikido at 42, and am now 45... I don't think I'm done forming either philosophical or spiritual beliefs, and probably won't be until I'm either dead or have reached complete Enlightenment. :) In other words, I feel that I still have plenty to learn.

But I'm confused - in what way did your Aikido practice influence your philosophical and spiritual life, if your Aikido practice has nothing to do with either of those?

ryback
08-19-2011, 06:34 AM
Hm...
Different styles/dojo/sensei teach very different ways to do certain techniques.

Just to give one example we deliver nakadaka ippon ken to the larynx as one basic form of atemi. On the other side there are styles which doesn't use atemi at all.

Or our techniques live from controlling uke, taking over his body and movements by the connection. Other styles of aikido even don't aim to break the balance of uke, because this would be to aggressive.

And there are countless esamples I think of understanding and performing techniques different.
So on which way of doing a certain technique do you rely for forming your spirituality of aikido?

Don't you think your spirituality is forming your way of doing the techniques?

Well...actually no, it's the other way round.I totally agree that different schools teach slightly different ways, but there is only one aikido, so the basic principles are actually the same.Little details such as the use of atemi don't change these basic principles, nevertheless let's not forget that o'sensei was teaching that atemi waza is a very important element in aikido.Breaking the uke's ballance is not aggressive if done correctly because at the exact moment that he moves you "take" him inside your sphere but in harmony with his move.You "agree" with his attack and you overextend it, thus breaking his ballance without using extra force.The same applies to the avoidance of a punch or a kick.You "sweep" what's coming in the same direction that the attack was going(no blocking), while simultaniously you make sure that you are not there anymore.That way you never resist, and if you use atemi during the technique,well..aikido is still a martial art, it has to work, its not against its peaceful philosophy.So i believe that the philosophy springs by the way aikido's techniques are "designed" to work, in accord with the attacker and not against him.And then you take that feeling and you apply it in all aspects of life...:)

niall
08-19-2011, 07:21 AM
Just to give one example we deliver nakadaka ippon ken to the larynx as one basic form of atemi...

Other styles of aikido even don't aim to break the balance of uke, because this would be to aggressive.

Carsten this sounds like very confused thinking. Perhaps you could explain the spiritual nature of atemi to the larynx.

And please tell us tell us the names of any styles of aikido which don't aim to break the balance of uke.

jonreading
08-19-2011, 10:48 AM
This is a tough question for me. When I consider these types of questions I try to remember several things:
1. The difference between Eastern and Western culture in the realm of spirituality is considerably different. It is tough for me to consider any response which equates Eastern spirituality with Western spirituality.
2. Old Japan had a nationalized religion. Religion was embedded into the culture of of Japan. I think it hard to consider any response which does not account for that consideration.
3. Religion is not spirituality is not philosophy is not principle. These terms are not inter-changeable.

I think ultimately historians and interpreters need to weigh in on this issue to create an apples-to-apples comparison. I am neither a historian nor an interpreter.

The leading response for me at this time is that all martial arts prioritized practicality over philosophy. The arts were developed for warriors and first and foremost they needed to work. We now live in a [relatively] peaceful time and have the luxury of study an art for purposes other than combat. The art is the same, but we are allowed a freedom to choose for what purpose we are studying it. However, I believe you cannot perform good aikido without learning and transcending the martial aspect of the art.

I training with several seniors whom I respect, I have noticed a philosophical and spiritual awareness that takes off the harsh edge to their interaction with me. They do not bring a fight, so we do not have to train to fight. They still have the martial intent and in an instant they can introduce the fight to our interaction. I can honestly say that for those whose only purpose in training is the spiritual side and whose education never included the martial side, their technique feels hollow and dependent upon collusion from their partner. It's great dance, but not a martial way.

Truthfully, I have never seen a compelling argument that O'Sensei ever advocated aikido to be anything other than a collection of principles, to be integrated into one's spiritual and personal belief system. In that sense, we seem to infer aikido has a spirality and religious belief system, rather than depending upon ourselves to integrate the principles into our belief systems.

ryback
08-19-2011, 11:08 AM
This is a tough question for me. When I consider these types of questions I try to remember several things:
1. The difference between Eastern and Western culture in the realm of spirituality is considerably different. It is tough for me to consider any response which equates Eastern spirituality with Western spirituality.
2. Old Japan had a nationalized religion. Religion was embedded into the culture of of Japan. I think it hard to consider any response which does not account for that consideration.
3. Religion is not spirituality is not philosophy is not principle. These terms are not inter-changeable.

I think ultimately historians and interpreters need to weigh in on this issue to create an apples-to-apples comparison. I am neither a historian nor an interpreter.

The leading response for me at this time is that all martial arts prioritized practicality over philosophy. The arts were developed for warriors and first and foremost they needed to work. We now live in a [relatively] peaceful time and have the luxury of study an art for purposes other than combat. The art is the same, but we are allowed a freedom to choose for what purpose we are studying it. However, I believe you cannot perform good aikido without learning and transcending the martial aspect of the art.

I training with several seniors whom I respect, I have noticed a philosophical and spiritual awareness that takes off the harsh edge to their interaction with me. They do not bring a fight, so we do not have to train to fight. They still have the martial intent and in an instant they can introduce the fight to our interaction. I can honestly say that for those whose only purpose in training is the spiritual side and whose education never included the martial side, their technique feels hollow and dependent upon collusion from their partner. It's great dance, but not a martial way.

Truthfully, I have never seen a compelling argument that O'Sensei ever advocated aikido to be anything other than a collection of principles, to be integrated into one's spiritual and personal belief system. In that sense, we seem to infer aikido has a spirality and religious belief system, rather than depending upon ourselves to integrate the principles into our belief systems.

Well said, nice post!I totaly agree with you.I hope that my posts are making the same sense.You see, english is not my mother tongue...:)

graham christian
08-19-2011, 03:01 PM
So you do think aiki jujutsu means aikido minus spirituality/philosophie?
I wouldn't agree.

Yes. Minus O'Senseis you get daitoryu I would say. It is precisely his spiritual and philosophical change that brought Aikido into being and thus took it far away from daitoryu or earlier jutsus.

When people think of religious they should think of spiritual instead of name of religion for all religion is about your spiritual well being.

The principles O'Sensei used and promoted as Aikido were spiritual principles found in all great religions. Thus the principles it's based on are different to all the other jutsus, in fact almost opposite to and the purpose of it is also totally different.

Thus to me they arn't even close in usage or purpose or application.

Regards.G.

Anita Dacanay
08-20-2011, 06:28 AM
I agree with Graham's post, and wanted to share a couple of quotes that I came across this week. Both are from Remembering O-Sensei, which is a gem of a book edited by Susan Perry, and which I just happen to have been reading this week.

To the point of what is or isn't Aikido, here are a few words from Hikitsuchi Sensei which are food for thought:

"We cannot understand Aikido without studying the essential spirit of Aikido. The object of this study is to create a person who is sincere and kind, who has a true heart. Physical technique exists as Aikido discipline. Putting aside the spirit and only doing physical technique, no matter how many times it is practiced, will not lead to understanding the heart of Aikido and will not lead to true technique..." ~ Michio Hikitsuchi

Regarding the difference between spirituality and religion, Okumura Sensei had this to say:

"When O~Sensei did certain exercises, he invoked the God of purification, but he himself said to his students that they didn't have to do the same. His view was that his students should be thinking about whatever God or Gods are sacred to them."
~ Shingenobu Okumura

I actually think both of those quotes are pretty clear, and I personally would not argue with either one of those gentlemen, nor question their authority to speak on the subject of Aikido. :) I think I will take their words to heart.

Carsten Möllering
08-20-2011, 01:27 PM
Well...actually no, it's the other way round.I totally agree that different schools teach slightly different ways, but there is only one aikido, so the basic principles are actually the same.
I think, this a very common opinion. But I am not sure whether I agree.

Not only when I compare different schools like shodokan , aikikai, aiki no michi, ki aikido. But even when I train in different dojo of the aikikai here in Germany it seems to me that the different branches of the "only one aikido" are develloping in different directions. That the different styles or schools or aikido are drifting apart.

Carsten this sounds like very confused thinking.[ I'm sorry fot that! I will try to make my point clearer.

Perhaps you could explain the spiritual nature of atemi to the larynx.
I refered to the statement of yannis, that just practicing aikido creates a certain spirituality or leads to a certain spirituality.
"And if the principles and the techniques are correct, then the philosophy is there", he wrote in the same post.


I stated that I see different ways of aikido. And just to illustrat this I said: One way delivers dangerous atemi. The other way even does not break the balance of uke (see below), because it is considered to be to aggressive.

My point or better my question: Is it possible, that such different ways of practice will lead to the same spirituality? Will they create an identical thinking or feeling? An identical philosophy?
And you may add: Will delivering dangerous atemi lead to a certain spirituality at all?

You are right, I should have been clearer:
I don't think, just practicing aikido leads to a certain spirituality. At least not to what I understand a such.
I think, it is the other way round: You bring it with you, you bring your spirituality to the dojo.

Less confused/confusing?

And please tell us the names of any styles of aikido which don't aim to break the balance of uke.
A friend of mine practices Ki Aikido in the line of Yoshigasaki Kenjiro doshu. This is the line which represents Ki-Aikido in Europe (and South America and South Africa). When there was the split of Ki Aikido in Europe only very few dojo followed Tohei sensei. In Germany there are only one or two of them, I think.
This line of aikido thinks it do be too aggressive to break the balance of uke. I can't really explain to you, how their aikido works. I don't unerstand it. And when I practiced in a dojo of that style it just didn't work on me. For what reason ever.

Yes. Minus O'Senseis you get daitoryu I would say. It is precisely his spiritual and philosophical change that brought Aikido into being and thus took it far away from daitoryu or earlier jutsus.
Do you mean, O Sensei represented a different spirituality or philosophy? Or do you think he was the first one to integrate spirituality and philosophy into the martial ways?

If he was just different, what do you think did he change? And can you verify this (I mean to yourself, your understanding) when comparing his meanings with the spirituality /philosohy of other teachers of budo?

Don't other budo aim for the same?

[QUOTE]... His view was that his students should be thinking about whatever God or Gods are sacred to them."
Doesn't this mean you have to be clear about which spirituality you already have and bring to the dojo?

... I personally would not argue with either one of those gentlemen, nor question their authority to speak on the subject of Aikido. Well, I think only if I respect someones authority, his thoughts are worth to discuss them?

graham christian
08-20-2011, 06:03 PM
[/QUOTE]Do you mean, O Sensei represented a different spirituality or philosophy? Or do you think he was the first one to integrate spirituality and philosophy into the martial ways?

If he was just different, what do you think did he change? And can you verify this (I mean to yourself, your understanding) when comparing his meanings with the spirituality /philosohy of other teachers of budo?


Hi Carsten.
I don't think he represented a 'different' spirituality but that he did represent spirituality.

He certainly wasn't the first person to integrate spirituality into a martial art in fact I would say all martial arts origins are indeed spiritual disciplines. (That's my opinion)

I don't think he was just 'different' as I believe he was a bit exceptional. He changed the whole purpose of what he was previously doing. Thus he worked on changing subtly the techniques to fit his new way, philosophy, spirituality.

Prior to this the aim was to win, to kill, to dominate, to win, to defeat, to overpower etc. Now it was to harmonize, to approach with the spirit of loving protection, to be at one with the universe and thus through non-resistance have no enemy even within self.
A much greater discipline.

On understanding this view then we can see that 'entering' in Aikido takes on a different meaning. Why are you entering? You are entering in order to Be With rather than to avoid or do something to. Just one example of the change which comes about through the spirit of loving protection.

Then you may see that tai sabaki is in fact just another way of entering in order to be with, to share, to blend. It is entering on a curve into the circular space of the 'opponent' in order to join and be the centre of the joint space. Being as one. So this is part of my understanding which comes from those spiritual principles.

If by verifying the spirituality you mean quotes then:

'Aikido is ai (love). You make this great love of the universe your heart, and then you make your own mission the protection and love of all things. To accomplish these things must be the true budo. True budo means to win over yourself and eliminate the fighting heart of the enemy... No, it is a way to absolute self perfection in which the very enemy is eliminated. The technique of Aiki is asctic training and a way through which you reach a state of unification of body and spirit by realization of the principle of heaven.' [QUOTE] O'Sensei "The Aiki Path is Infinite"

'He was trying to teach us to rid ourselves of the desire to fight to win over an opponent- to replace it with the desire to bring forth harmony and peace. Aikido is the budo of love.'[QUOTE] Hikitsuchi Sensei.

'Before the war the purpose of waza was to kill the attacker; we practised like that. After the war he urged us not to attack opponents or to think of defeating them. 'If you do that' he said 'it will be the same as before. I have changed how we do everything.'

O'Sensei told us that we must give our opponents joy. To do this, he said, we must become able immediately to see, sense,and lead their Ki.'......

This method of practice was the opposite of what it had been.[QUOTE] Hikitsuchi Sensei.

Thus I say that an attacker is already devoid of his true nature, already out of alignment with his true self and the universe, already operating from a disunited spirit mind body and so Aikido is the way to restoration which must come first in order to bring about harmony and joy. Now that's quite a discipline. That's quite a budo, far different from the budo of most martial arts and the budo of fighting or competition.

Regards.G.

Anita Dacanay
08-20-2011, 06:14 PM
Carsten:

Don't other budo aim for the same?

Perhaps, I thought that the quote was relevant to our discussion regarding whether Aikido practice is still Aikido practice if one does not fuse all aspects of the practice.

Doesn't this mean you have to be clear about which spirituality you already have and bring to the dojo?

I interpret it as meaning that O Sensei did not think it mattered what one's religious background was, one could still develop spiritually through practicing Aikido.

Well, I think only if I respect someones authority, his thoughts are worth to discuss them?[/QUOTE]


I think perhaps a language barrier is coming into play, because I am not sure that I understand what you are asking. But to restate: I was simply saying that I choose to give the opinions of the people who trained directly under O~Sensei a lot of weight when it comes to defining Aikido and the purpose of Aikido. That was really my only point with that comment about respecting their authority. I didn't mean that I am not interested in hearing other's opinions.

hughrbeyer
08-20-2011, 10:21 PM
I think only if I respect someones authority, his thoughts are worth to discuss them?

You're saying that only if you respect someone's authority are their thoughts worth discussing, right? Love this.

I stated that I see different ways of aikido. And just to illustrat this I said: One way delivers dangerous atemi. The other way even does not break the balance of uke (see below), because it is considered to be to aggressive.

My point or better my question: Is it possible, that such different ways of practice will lead to the same spirituality? Will they create an identical thinking or feeling? An identical philosophy?
And you may add: Will delivering dangerous atemi lead to a certain spirituality at all?


<hobbyhorse>

I'd ask rather, will practicing an Aikido that doesn't even break balance because it's "too aggressive" lead to any spiritual growth at all? And I'd answer: hell, no.

Will practicing a potentially killing atemi to the throat lead to spiritual growth? Very possibly.

Spirituality is not fluffy bunny rabbits. Spirituality is not about everybody feeling good, or being affirmed and validated. Spirituality is not about refusing to engage with each other and the reality of the world around us. True spirituality deals with the world as it is and teaches us how to be fully human within it.

Not so long ago a friend of mine gave me a severe scolding for something I'd done (not to him). We had a fine argument but parted friends: I expect my friends to tell me when I'm screwing up. If they won't, who will?

Atemi to the throat says: You're vulnerable. You're over-extended. Your actions are bringing about your own destruction. You have chosen badly. Aren't those good things to know?

Where Aikido differs from jujitsu and other martial arts is that in Aikido, the message doesn't end there. In Aikido, the message is: You're open, but I don't need to exploit it. You're over-extended, but I remain centered. Your actions and choices do not constrain me--even if you choose aggression, I am free to choose a different path.

Don't you think those are spiritual lessons? Do you think you can practice them for hours every week and not internalize them to some degree?

</hobbyhorse>

Carsten Möllering
08-21-2011, 02:49 AM
Well, I think only if I respect someones authority, his thoughts are worth to discuss them?
I think perhaps a language barrier is coming into play, because I am not sure that I understand what you are asking.
Yes, maybe it's about the language barrier. I try to use other words.

Your statement soundet to me:
If someone is an authority, I will not question his words. ("... I personally would not argue with either one of those gentlemen ...")

I wanted to express:
If someone is an authority (or if I accept someones authority) it makes great sense, to discuss his view, if my own competence leads me to a different understanding of the issue. Instead of just "believing" the authority.

For example:
I would have liked to have a conversation with O sensei who stated that kotodama is just another way of expressing, what the bible wants to say in Joh 1,1. I ( being a theologian) don't think, he is right ....
A (over here) famous french aikidoka who studied under O sensei talked to him about whether a christian could truly study aikido. And O Sensei gave him the answer, which you cite Okumura sensei with. Noquet was content.

@ hugh: I try to respect the words of everyone who expresses his or her opinions to me. But some seem to be more challenging then others.

Anita Dacanay
08-21-2011, 05:24 AM
Yes, maybe it's about the language barrier. I try to use other words.

Your statement soundet to me:
If someone is an authority, I will not question his words. ("... I personally would not argue with either one of those gentlemen ...")

I wanted to express:
If someone is an authority (or if I accept someones authority) it makes great sense, to discuss his view, if my own competence leads me to a different understanding of the issue. Instead of just "believing" the authority.

For example:
I would have liked to have a conversation with O sensei who stated that kotodama is just another way of expressing, what the bible wants to say in Joh 1,1. I ( being a theologian) don't think, he is right ....
A (over here) famous french aikidoka who studied under O sensei talked to him about whether a christian could truly study aikido. And O Sensei gave him the answer, which you cite Okumura sensei with. Noquet was content.



Carsten, thank you for your thoughtful reply.

I think I now understand what you were asking. No, I am not the type of person to accept what someone says simply because they are in a position of authority. In fact, my first political memory is one of watching President Nixon resign on television, and I think that embedded the idea into my brain to always question authority, in fact!

In the end, I suppose we all have to listen to our own inner voices to answer the deeper questions - in Aikido and in life. But we can certainly seek guidance from others, and probably should. In that process, we can also weigh the experience and authority of those speaking.

I do think that the fine point of not confusing "religion" with "spirituality" is a very important one. If O Sensei had thought that only those who practice omoto~kyo could practice true Aikido, then a lot of us would be wasting our time! But from what I have heard and read, his desire was to share Aikido with as many people as possible. I think he truly believed that the spiritual awakening which people could achieve through Aikido would break down religious and ethnic barriers, and create more of a feeling of Unity among people.

Aikido has been so transformative for me because in practicing I have to deal with my patterns of relating to others. It is all fine and well for me to meditate or go do yoga in a quiet room with candles - I can relax pretty well when I am by myself. But that still doesn't mean that I will stay relaxed as soon as life confronts me with chaos and conflict! When I practice Aikido, I have to work through my relational patterns to find a way to connect with my partner. I find this process to be very profound.

Carsten Möllering
08-23-2011, 02:00 AM
... and still something else about language and using of words ...

... I do think that the fine point of not confusing "religion" with "spirituality" is a very important one. ...
After reading some posts again it comes to my mind, that the word "spirituality" seems to have a different meaning in english, than it has in german.

In my context you couldn't split "spirituality" from "religion". Simply because spirituality is defined as one of the manifold manifestations of religion.
In a broader sense spirituality can be seen as a way of practicing the conection with the divine. (With no determination of what/which divine is meant.) Or with the supernatural or transcendency or ...

So what ist called spirituality in German can be clearly distinguished from institutionalised forms of religion, like certain churches or temples or communities. But it can not be separated from religion as a such. Because it is a part of it.

To be honest I think, Ueshiba Morihei also didn't see spirituality unconnected to the cerain religions he had in mind when talking or writing about this issue.

niall
08-23-2011, 02:43 AM
Thanks Carsten. In English spiritual does not exclusively have a sense of the divine so of course an atheist or an agnostic can be spiritual and do things or experience things in a spiritual way. It might be better to make a distinction between spiritual and philosophical anyway. But your point is very interesting. If someone who did not have any sense of spirituality (your example of a person coming to the dojo without it) did aikido for a long time would that person develop one?

Hugh I disagree about techniques for killing. They are the antithesis of aikido. It does seem a little patronizing to have showing openings to your partner as an aim of your aikido instead of an incidental result of sincere training. But it implies that keiko is a kind of conversation which is a very interesting point.

ryback
08-23-2011, 03:24 AM
I think, this a very common opinion. But I am not sure whether I agree.

Not only when I compare different schools like shodokan , aikikai, aiki no michi, ki aikido. But even when I train in different dojo of the aikikai here in Germany it seems to me that the different branches of the "only one aikido" are develloping in different directions. That the different styles or schools or aikido are drifting apart.



Yeah, that may be the case indeed, but that doesn't mean that is correct. There is only one aikido and that is o'sensei's aikido, based on the basic principles that he taught. Everybody who say that they are teaching another style, they don't know what they're saying! And then of course, they engage in endless discussions wondering about the magical secret of o'sensei's skills...Beats me!

Carsten Möllering
08-23-2011, 04:31 AM
If someone who did not have any sense of spirituality (your example of a person coming to the dojo without it) did aikido for a long time would that person develop one?
Correct: I don't think such a person would develop a certain spirituality or philosophey. At least when coming to a dojo like I know it and practicing in a way which is comparable to the way I am used to.

I saw some very committed students fail who where seeking for something like spirituality or philosophy for their life in aikido practice. One of them was my first teacher.

When you bring something with you, aikido can be a great tool, to work on it.

There is only one aikido and that is o'sensei's aikido, based on the basic principles that he taught. Who defines then what this really aikido is?

Everybody who say that they are teaching another style, they don't know what they're saying!
I tried to say that I understand it just the other way round: The name aikido is used for many ways of practice. But this ways of practice have become more and more different.

And then of course, they engage in endless discussions ... Who is "they"?

phitruong
08-23-2011, 07:40 AM
Hugh I disagree about techniques for killing. They are the antithesis of aikido. It does seem a little patronizing to have showing openings to your partner as an aim of your aikido instead of an incidental result of sincere training. But it implies that keiko is a kind of conversation which is a very interesting point.

huh? how do techniques for killing antithesis to aikido? aren't most aikido techniques are for killing and maiming (not necessary in that order)? wouldn't iriminage to someone, on concrete, who doesn't know how to take ukemi, maiming or possibly kill him/her/it? i show openings to my partners all the time, and they do the same to me in return; that's how you learn in martial arts, right? find the openings and plug the openings. find the openings, exploit the openings. martial arts sole purpose is for killing and maiming. it's a tool, no more and no less. similar to a knife. it designs for cut and stab. in the hands of a killer, it takes life. in the hand of chief, it nourishes life. in the hand of a doctor, it saves life. in the hand of a jewish doctor, it shaves part of male life. :D

lbb
08-23-2011, 07:45 AM
Thanks Carsten. In English spiritual does not exclusively have a sense of the divine so of course an atheist or an agnostic can be spiritual and do things or experience things in a spiritual way.

Well, at least they say they can -- although, again, the large majority of these "spiritual but not religious" people can't really articulate what they mean by "spiritual". In such cases, I've found, it is likely that different people are using the same catch-all term to refer to very different things.

It's also not a matter of the English language, but of a cultural usage. The term "spiritual" has become popular in American culture, and possibly in some other English-speaking cultures as well, as a catch-all phrase for pretty much anything that feels good and that doesn't necessarily have a specific physical agent. That's not really what the word means, it's just a popular contemporary usage.

It might be better to make a distinction between spiritual and philosophical anyway.

I'd say so, although as that implies more examination of what exactly you mean by those terms, I don't think this approach will be very popular.

But your point is very interesting. If someone who did not have any sense of spirituality (your example of a person coming to the dojo without it) did aikido for a long time would that person develop one?

Short answer: no.
Long answer: except in rare cases, aikido is not a spiritual or esoteric practice, no matter how many people want to label it as such. It is not taught as such, it is not conducted as such. Many people claim that aikido is a spiritual experience for them, and I'm not going to argue with them (although I'd lay money that they're using the term "spiritual" in the broad sense I mentioned earlier), but insofar as this is true, there's nothing special about aikido that makes it so. Aikido is one of many activities -- practically an infinite number of them -- that can be a catalyst for change in an individual who is ready to make that change. People who are ready to change their lives (sometimes consciously, but much more often unconsciously), and who live as most of us posting to this board do, in an environment rich in opportunities, will find a catalyst. It could be aikido. It could be walking. It could be sitting meditation. It could be working in a soup kitchen. It doesn't have to be an activity that has that "spiritual" marketing stamp on it, it doesn't have to be esoteric or exotic. It doesn't have to require you to wear funny clothes or eat funny food or learn ritual phrases in a foreign language. When it happens to someone who's been plodding along through life, they're inclined to credit the particular activity with having some special and unique character that made this magical change happen. I don't think that's true. Aikido is special, sure, but so are innumerable other things. The magic is in the alchemy, not in aikido.

ryback
08-23-2011, 09:06 AM
Who defines then what this really aikido is?

I tried to say that I understand it just the other way round: The name aikido is used for many ways of practice. But this ways of practice have become more and more different.

Who is "they"?

For the first question the answer is obviously:the art's basic principles, techniques, and the art's training menu and method as they were taught by o'sensei. Being aware of your centre, extending and using the ki, leading the oponent without resisting, moving in certain orbits in order to achieve that e.t.c...I have seen a lot of people claiming that they're doing aikido and the only thing in common was the...outfit and sometimes not even that! Blocking, grappling, pulling, pushing, not doing technique just hitting, claiming there is no ki, selling pills with ki( no kidding!)...you name it. And of course none of the above is aikido, yet the instructors were claiming that they were teaching different styles of aikido. So is it their word against mine? Probably not. One has to take a look at real aikido teachers (o'sensei, Steven Seagal sensei, the current doshu Moriteru Ueshiba just to name a few, there are others as well of course) to see the difference.

As for the second question, "who is they?"...The teachers who are claiming that they are doing another style of aikido than the original of course. They chopped aikido to pieces and then chose to study only what they like. They are not practicing the way o'sensei taught and then they are wondering why it is so difficult to achieve his level in aikido. Where's the logic in that? It really beats the hell out of me!

graham christian
08-23-2011, 09:39 AM
They are not practicing the way o'sensei taught and then they are wondering why it is so difficult to achieve his level in aikido. Where's the logic in that? It really beats the hell out of me![QUOTE]

That's a valid point Yannis.

I notice the general consensus is that O'Sensei was not a good teacher. Of course I thoroughly disagree even if the majority think so.

What it does as far as I can see is open the door to bad students led by those who say O'Sensei was a bad teacher.

It opens the door to lots of intellectual claptrap and 'new' ways bringing back the 'old'

No wonder you're confused. Bad students always look for a 'better' teacher, a new way, the misssing withheld secrets. It's never anything to do with them. That's the simplicity of it really in my view.

Regards.G.

lbb
08-23-2011, 09:54 AM
I notice the general consensus is that O'Sensei was not a good teacher. Of course I thoroughly disagree even if the majority think so.

What it does as far as I can see is open the door to bad students led by those who say O'Sensei was a bad teacher. It opens the door to lots of intellectual claptrap and 'new' ways bringing back the 'old'

No wonder you're confused. Bad students always look for a 'better' teacher, a new way, the misssing withheld secrets. It's never anything to do with them. That's the simplicity of it really in my view.

Well, there's simple, and then there's simplistic. I'm having a hard time seeing your approach as being any different from just guzzling down the Koolade without questioning the content. You sound more like a cult member than a critical thinker. Aikido is not a cult -- please stop making it into one.

Once again, you may end up at the correct answer, but if so, IMO you're doing it purely by accident. The logic that a student who criticizes a teacher must be a bad student is just a bogus as the logic that a teacher whose students aren't all outstanding is a bad teacher.

ryback
08-23-2011, 10:35 AM
They are not practicing the way o'sensei taught and then they are wondering why it is so difficult to achieve his level in aikido. Where's the logic in that? It really beats the hell out of me![QUOTE]

That's a valid point Yannis.

I notice the general consensus is that O'Sensei was not a good teacher. Of course I thoroughly disagree even if the majority think so.

What it does as far as I can see is open the door to bad students led by those who say O'Sensei was a bad teacher.

It opens the door to lots of intellectual claptrap and 'new' ways bringing back the 'old'

No wonder you're confused. Bad students always look for a 'better' teacher, a new way, the misssing withheld secrets. It's never anything to do with them. That's the simplicity of it really in my view.

Regards.G.

Exactly! Thank you very much, it's good to know that there are people in aikido who understand all of that. O'sensei of course was a good teacher. The problem is that many of his students tried to lead aikido in different directions from what his vision was, after his death...

Carsten Möllering
08-23-2011, 11:59 AM
For the first question the answer is obviously: ... Thank you for answering. I see you have a very clear and distinct opinion.

graham christian
08-23-2011, 01:07 PM
Well, there's simple, and then there's simplistic. I'm having a hard time seeing your approach as being any different from just guzzling down the Koolade without questioning the content. You sound more like a cult member than a critical thinker. Aikido is not a cult -- please stop making it into one.

Once again, you may end up at the correct answer, but if so, IMO you're doing it purely by accident. The logic that a student who criticizes a teacher must be a bad student is just a bogus as the logic that a teacher whose students aren't all outstanding is a bad teacher.

I'll excuse the first paragraph as it sounds like the reverse to me.

The critical mind saves one from taking responsibility for their own actions. A bad student blames the book or the noise or something other than themselves. Simple.

When you are as good as your teacher then you may, just may have the right to criticise. No escape from that truth I'm afraid.

But if you believe that then so be it. Don't sound very martial to me.

Regards.G.

ryback
08-24-2011, 02:13 AM
Thank you for answering. I see you have a very clear and distinct opinion.

Thank you for reading my post. It was nice having this conversation.:)

ryback
08-24-2011, 02:36 AM
A bad student blames the book or the noise or something other than themselves. Simple.

When you are as good as your teacher then you may, just may have the right to criticise.

Right! A student's work is to constantly practice with the guidance of his teacher, critisism and excuses will get you nowhere, only hard work will lead you to actually learn the art. There is no level that cannot be achieved (even o'sensei's) if one is training seriously, aikido is a difficult martial art, not a simple recreation activity. As for the critical mind, i would say that it is better if one has an OPEN mind, and of course you can't be critical about o'sensei. It's not a matter of religion or cult. He has proven his value long before we were born, so if we want to achieve his skills we'd better pay attention and practice! I like the way you see it, good post! Good luck with your practice...

lbb
08-24-2011, 10:06 AM
I'll excuse the first paragraph as it sounds like the reverse to me.

That's big of you.

The critical mind saves one from taking responsibility for their own actions. A bad student blames the book or the noise or something other than themselves. Simple.

I'd say simplistic rather than simple. The logic is flawed in several ways. You're claiming that any time students point to anything outside themselves as a factor in why their training isn't what they want, they are by definition a bad student. This is the "all wood burns, therefore all that burns is wood" fallacy. A bad student may blame external causes rather than accepting personal responsibility -- that's one way that being a bad student may play out. But you can't simply reverse the statement -- it's not logically valid.

When you are as good as your teacher then you may, just may have the right to criticise.

Well, that's a nice safety blanket that will shelter many a bad teacher. If the student wants to criticize, and you don't want to hear their criticism, you invalidate it by saying that they're not "good enough".

No escape from that truth I'm afraid.

Truth? You keep making statements as if saying something makes it true. If you say, "Two plus two equals five, no escape from that truth I'm afraid, is is is is is!", will that also become truth?

But if you believe that then so be it. Don't sound very martial to me.

More argument by definition and argument from authority. Who died and made you the boss of what "martial" is? A bully club like this only works if your would-be target believes in its power, and I don't.

MM
08-24-2011, 10:30 AM
That's big of you.

I'd say simplistic rather than simple. The logic is flawed in several ways. You're claiming that any time students point to anything outside themselves as a factor in why their training isn't what they want, they are by definition a bad student. This is the "all wood burns, therefore all that burns is wood" fallacy. A bad student may blame external causes rather than accepting personal responsibility -- that's one way that being a bad student may play out. But you can't simply reverse the statement -- it's not logically valid.

Well, that's a nice safety blanket that will shelter many a bad teacher. If the student wants to criticize, and you don't want to hear their criticism, you invalidate it by saying that they're not "good enough".

Truth? You keep making statements as if saying something makes it true. If you say, "Two plus two equals five, no escape from that truth I'm afraid, is is is is is!", will that also become truth?

More argument by definition and argument from authority. Who died and made you the boss of what "martial" is? A bully club like this only works if your would-be target believes in its power, and I don't.

Loved your post!

Marc Abrams
08-24-2011, 10:38 AM
Mary:

It is difficult to debate with a person who has immeasurable talents:

1) Knows what O'Sensei meant and did without ever being able to read in Japanese what O'Sensei wrote; without ever being a direct student of a direct student.......
2) Knows what Tohei meant and did without ever being able to read in Japanese what Tohei wrote; without ever training directly with Tohei; without ever being a direct student of a direct student.......
3) Has been there and done it.........
4) Has logic and reasoning skills beyond question......
5) Has researched and understood all.....

His videos serve as a testament to all that he knows and can do.....

Regards,

Marc Abrams

ps- that is why most reasoned, intelligent and experienced people stopped responding to the posts. Join the club ! Membership is free.....

Mary Eastland
08-24-2011, 12:42 PM
It is interesting to me that some of you see that in Graham...I don't.
I also don't understand why it is okay for you to make fun of other peoples videos. Does it make you feel better about yourself?

Marc Abrams
08-24-2011, 01:54 PM
It is interesting to me that some of you see that in Graham...I don't.
I also don't understand why it is okay for you to make fun of other peoples videos. Does it make you feel better about yourself?

Mary:

Those are the poster's positions and not my interpretation of his positions. I simply said that his videos spoke for themselves. I don't recall making fun of them in my post. I have in the past, pointed out what I felt were substantial problems with was was being shown. We left it off that I agreed to disagree with the poster's own perceptions of what his videos demonstrated.

As to my level of self-esteem, it is just fine! Thank you for asking though. Was this some kind of attempt to come to faulty conclusions yourself?

Regards,

Marc Abrams

Mary Eastland
08-24-2011, 03:20 PM
I guess it was...it seems like we all can be intolerant at times.

Maybe I am reading into some of the threads but it does seems like if people disgree the issues get lost in the egos. (not just yours and mine.) Or maybe yours never does but mine does sometimes...I can only see what I see and then later when someone takes offense at something I have said I can see another side.
It does help my thinking though it can be painful at times.

Marc Abrams
08-24-2011, 03:44 PM
I guess it was...it seems like we all can be intolerant at times.

Maybe I am reading into some of the threads but it does seems like if people disgree the issues get lost in the egos. (not just yours and mine.) Or maybe yours never does but mine does sometimes...I can only see what I see and then later when someone takes offense at something I have said I can see another side.
It does help my thinking though it can be painful at times.

Mary,

I am anything but perfect.... My feces stinks like those from others....

Sometimes, things are not an issue of agreeing or disagreeing and not everything is relative to one's own opinions. I frankly put the poster in the category of knowing enough to not recognizing how little he really knows, while believing too much in what he thinks that he knows. Ushiro Sensei put it very succinctly when he said that the major impediment to learning is what you believe that you already know.

I can't speak for others, but I am frequently going out and testing my knowledge/skill base to find out how little I do know. I frankly love the experience of facing the "beginner's mind" usually experienced at the end of recognizing the "errors in my way." This position is encouraged by my teachers as a means of being acutely aware of how much I have to learn.

I am always humbled by the shared wisdom from some of the posters on this forum who bring to it a wealth of experience, research and knowledge. When the poster in question can finally acknowledge the frequent errors that have been pointed out to him by numerous people (many far superior in skill, knowledge and experience than myself), maybe, just maybe there is some hope for him. These are not things that are relative and/or subject to opinion to agree or disagree with. Those same areas are evidenced (in my own opinion) in the videos posted. Numerous people have attempted, in good faith mind you, to challenge him on the errors of his beliefs. Those same people usually give up after encountering the mistaken "sleight of hand" in trying to pass off differences as merely opinion or just not knowing the "true way" yet. You too, have been caught up in that cycle. I was simply suggesting to you that based upon where he is presently at, "discussions" with him typically end up nowhere useful.

Marc Abrams

hughrbeyer
08-24-2011, 09:29 PM
Hugh I disagree about techniques for killing. They are the antithesis of aikido. It does seem a little patronizing to have showing openings to your partner as an aim of your aikido instead of an incidental result of sincere training. But it implies that keiko is a kind of conversation which is a very interesting point.

Been cogitating on this.

First, my initial point was just that if one doesn't show one's partner where he's open, one is doing his partner no favors. Some of those openings may involve killing techniques. Doesn't matter, from this point of view.

But where I really get hung up is when people start clutching their pearls over the idea that somebody might actually get hurt from an aikido technique. Guys! And gals! This is a martial art! It's about hurting people! Yes, aikido always offers a way out, so that hurt is a choice... but it's not always the receiver's choice. A boneheaded attacker can pretty much always get themselves hurt. And you'd have to be a better aikidoka than O-Sensei to never hurt your attacker. And in the real world, you can't have any confidence of defending yourself without getting hurt and without hurting your attacker.

If you avoid this truth, as I think you do if you cling to a view of aikido that's all niceness and bunny rabbits, I don't see it as noble. I see it as hiding your head in the sand. If you've taken on a martial art, IMHO, you've taken on the challenge of tuning yourself into the best weapon you can be. Yeah, for most of us the macho wet dream of beating down the five thugs mugging the helpless old lady isn't ever going to be on the table--and yeah, if we use our training well, most conflicts should never get to the point of violence anyway--but we are training to be able to maintain control in difficult situations. Our strength may be a gift to the world if we use it wisely. Our weakness can never be.

The paradox is, if we follow the path faithfully, we discover that we control a situation by not trying to manipulate it. We discover we can use connection rather than force. We discover that the most irresistible power is the softest.

But there are no short cuts. If you're following a martial way, you have to follow it. Otherwise you just have mush.

graham christian
08-24-2011, 10:57 PM
That's big of you.

I'd say simplistic rather than simple. The logic is flawed in several ways. You're claiming that any time students point to anything outside themselves as a factor in why their training isn't what they want, they are by definition a bad student. This is the "all wood burns, therefore all that burns is wood" fallacy. A bad student may blame external causes rather than accepting personal responsibility -- that's one way that being a bad student may play out. But you can't simply reverse the statement -- it's not logically valid.

Well, that's a nice safety blanket that will shelter many a bad teacher. If the student wants to criticize, and you don't want to hear their criticism, you invalidate it by saying that they're not "good enough".

Truth? You keep making statements as if saying something makes it true. If you say, "Two plus two equals five, no escape from that truth I'm afraid, is is is is is!", will that also become truth?

More argument by definition and argument from authority. Who died and made you the boss of what "martial" is? A bully club like this only works if your would-be target believes in its power, and I don't.

Hello Mary.
Firstly may I thank you for the twice you mentioned that you kind of agreed with my conclusions yet feel I must have got there by accident. That made my day.

How can you tell me what I'm saying and then call it flawed logic? Your mistranslation of what I said is not therefore what I said. I said a bad student blames. I infer by that that blame is something a lot of people believe is normal and logical and that I see it differently.

If you can't handle that view then it just shows me you don't understand it, that's fine by me. So it doesn't equal what you say about wood or any such. It equals looking at what blame is and how it is used a lot, in fact most of the time.

It is usually used as a projection of ones own failure onto something else, hence that IS what a bad student does. It's one of the things to recognise. Thus my comment for some would be informative but to those who have never taken this in to account it will seem illogical.

Add on to that that if you take the time to discipline yourself for a certain period of time where you don't allow yourself to blame anything then done as a little project a person can learn a lot about what I said.

Saying 'don't want to hear criticism' is once again a fallacy, it comes from you not me. To welcome criticism and blame and to see through it is my view rather than be led by it or feel insulted or otherwise.

When I mention the word truth I am saying to look at it ie: a bad student always blames and see how often it occurs. By calling it a truth I am saying it always occurs with regards to bad students.

Therefore you have something to inspect, to test the validity of rather than to react against.

Logically therefore you would either say 'I have been watching bad students and find that's true as you say' or else you would say I have been observing bad students and find x, y, z.

Argument by Authority? Maybe you don't like me having an authorative view, a view given with innate certainty. Well that's not my problem. The sky is blue. Authorative. When a person not only sees something but uses it all the time to good results he tends to know what he's talking about. He can share that without being meely mouthed if he so wishes.

It's not insulting so if someone feels insulted then they need to find out why.

But I understand this, you don't get my reasoning even if the conclusion you agree with. That should tell you something.

I didn't get to the conclusion by accident.

Regards.G.

graham christian
08-24-2011, 11:17 PM
Been cogitating on this.

First, my initial point was just that if one doesn't show one's partner where he's open, one is doing his partner no favors. Some of those openings may involve killing techniques. Doesn't matter, from this point of view.

But where I really get hung up is when people start clutching their pearls over the idea that somebody might actually get hurt from an aikido technique. Guys! And gals! This is a martial art! It's about hurting people! Yes, aikido always offers a way out, so that hurt is a choice... but it's not always the receiver's choice. A boneheaded attacker can pretty much always get themselves hurt. And you'd have to be a better aikidoka than O-Sensei to never hurt your attacker. And in the real world, you can't have any confidence of defending yourself without getting hurt and without hurting your attacker.

If you avoid this truth, as I think you do if you cling to a view of aikido that's all niceness and bunny rabbits, I don't see it as noble. I see it as hiding your head in the sand. If you've taken on a martial art, IMHO, you've taken on the challenge of tuning yourself into the best weapon you can be. Yeah, for most of us the macho wet dream of beating down the five thugs mugging the helpless old lady isn't ever going to be on the table--and yeah, if we use our training well, most conflicts should never get to the point of violence anyway--but we are training to be able to maintain control in difficult situations. Our strength may be a gift to the world if we use it wisely. Our weakness can never be.

The paradox is, if we follow the path faithfully, we discover that we control a situation by not trying to manipulate it. We discover we can use connection rather than force. We discover that the most irresistible power is the softest.

But there are no short cuts. If you're following a martial way, you have to follow it. Otherwise you just have mush.

Hugh.
I hope you don't mind me coming in here but the view you express on harming and this being a martial art I would like to offer a perspective on. It may be only mine, it is what I teach, but I doubt I am the only one with this view.

In my view O'Sensei after his realization and presenting his new way of doing things subtly altered the techniques. I believe most peolple agree with this point.

Now personally, along with what I was taught, that equalled techniques designed not to harm. The path and discipline thereafter led to the discipline (martial) of doing such with definite application.
Therefore I can do a definite shihonage in such a way that the uke cannot be harmed, it's not a matter of he has to do a certain breakfall in order to save himself from harm. In my view the subtleties need to be learned number one knowing the reason and the funny thing is when you learn them this way you find they are inescapable by the uke.

So some may find that hard to believe that the harmless technique is not only more powerful but inescapable in comparison to the ways they used to be done where the aims of those jutsus were to harm or dislocate or maim.

Regards.G.

graham christian
08-24-2011, 11:34 PM
It is interesting to me that some of you see that in Graham...I don't.
I also don't understand why it is okay for you to make fun of other peoples videos. Does it make you feel better about yourself?

Hi Mary.
Don't worry I find it interesting too.

All this others with far greater skill and experience stuff. I would say it's those with far less that react myself.

Regards.G.

robin_jet_alt
08-25-2011, 12:17 AM
I can do a definite shihonage in such a way that the uke cannot be harmed, it's not a matter of he has to do a certain breakfall in order to save himself from harm.


Now this is something that I want to see and learn. CANNOT be harmed? There is a 0% possibility of uke being harmed, no matter how dumb and self destructive they are? wow! I can't make a cup of coffee with that kind of guarantee, let alone do a definite shihonage.

Okay, I know I am being pedantic and picking on what was most likely a slip of the tongue (or fingers). Did you mean "there is a very small likelihood of uke being harmed"?

graham christian
08-25-2011, 12:35 AM
Now this is something that I want to see and learn. CANNOT be harmed? There is a 0% possibility of uke being harmed, no matter how dumb and self destructive they are? wow! I can't make a cup of coffee with that kind of guarantee, let alone do a definite shihonage.

Okay, I know I am being pedantic and picking on what was most likely a slip of the tongue (or fingers). Did you mean "there is a very small likelihood of uke being harmed"?

Yes, pedantic.
As I said, harmless techniques. If you understand the principles involved then the word cannot fits. Otherwise I should use the words 'should not'

Regards.G.

ryback
08-25-2011, 04:29 AM
This is a martial art! It's about hurting people! Yes, aikido always offers a way out, so that hurt is a choice... but it's not always the receiver's choice. A boneheaded attacker can pretty much always get themselves hurt.

I agree Hugh, aikido is a martial art and it has to work. I wouldn't say that it's about hurting people though, but my "objection" is not about the essence of your post but the choise of words, so it's no big deal, i find your opinion very valid. With aikido you have the choise of hurting and the choise of not hurting but sometimes it depends on the specific factors of a conflict and not on what you would like to do. The way i see it applying aikido techniques is about harmony and becoming "one" with the attacker. So if you do a technique like that, it is consistent with aikido regardless of where the attacker is gonna...land! It could be safely on the pavement causing a couple of bruises, it could be through a glass window or even right on his fellow attacker's...knife! But if you move in harmony in a non-resisting way i find no inconsistency with aikido's teachings.

lbb
08-25-2011, 06:41 AM
Hello Mary.
Firstly may I thank you for the twice you mentioned that you kind of agreed with my conclusions yet feel I must have got there by accident. That made my day.

It really shouldn't have. Do you know the saying, "Even a broken clock is right twice a day"? Or "even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then"? If you're right by accident, that detracts from the validity of your arguments, it doesn't buttress them.

How can you tell me what I'm saying and then call it flawed logic? Your mistranslation of what I said is not therefore what I said. I said a bad student blames. I infer by that that blame is something a lot of people believe is normal and logical and that I see it differently.

I call it flawed logic because it is. Retroactively restating won't change that.

If you can't handle that view then it just shows me you don't understand it

Yes, Graham, we know. We know your propensity to characterize anyone who doesn't agree with you as being incapable of understanding, unable to "handle it", and various flavors of just plain wrong. We know all about your absolute belief in your personal infallibility. It makes perfect sense that, having such a belief, you naturally conclude that anyone who disagrees with you must be completely wrong. In retrospect, my earlier question was foolish: with such an unwavering belief in your own omniscience, if you happened to believe that 2+2=5...well, anyone who believes otherwise must obviously be wrong, foolish, "can't handle" the truth.

Saying 'don't want to hear criticism' is once again a fallacy, it comes from you not me. To welcome criticism and blame and to see through it is my view rather than be led by it or feel insulted or otherwise.

Yes, Graham, I know. You're infallible. You "see through" criticism -- you see it through the inevitably flawed, utterly false, not-infallible-Graham-thought that it is.

Argument by Authority? Maybe you don't like me having an authorative view, a view given with innate certainty.

My apologies. I have now been enlightened as to your infallible authority. From now on, I'll accept everything you say as absolute truth -- never mind if it's manifestly contradicted by all available evidence and logic.

I didn't get to the conclusion by accident.

Oh, I'm quite sure you didn't.

*PLONK*

graham christian
08-25-2011, 07:55 AM
It really shouldn't have. Do you know the saying, "Even a broken clock is right twice a day"? Or "even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then"? If you're right by accident, that detracts from the validity of your arguments, it doesn't buttress them.

I call it flawed logic because it is. Retroactively restating won't change that.

Yes, Graham, we know. We know your propensity to characterize anyone who doesn't agree with you as being incapable of understanding, unable to "handle it", and various flavors of just plain wrong. We know all about your absolute belief in your personal infallibility. It makes perfect sense that, having such a belief, you naturally conclude that anyone who disagrees with you must be completely wrong. In retrospect, my earlier question was foolish: with such an unwavering belief in your own omniscience, if you happened to believe that 2+2=5...well, anyone who believes otherwise must obviously be wrong, foolish, "can't handle" the truth.

Yes, Graham, I know. You're infallible. You "see through" criticism -- you see it through the inevitably flawed, utterly false, not-infallible-Graham-thought that it is.

My apologies. I have now been enlightened as to your infallible authority. From now on, I'll accept everything you say as absolute truth -- never mind if it's manifestly contradicted by all available evidence and logic.

Oh, I'm quite sure you didn't.

*PLONK*

Maybe I'm just centred? But don't worry Mary I'm only centred twice a day.

You're such an authority on me, I'm honoured. I thank you again.

Regards.G.

jonreading
08-25-2011, 09:32 PM
Niall made a comment about techniques that kill being the antithesis of aikido. I think I understand the gist of the comment, but in application, would the argument then be that a technique applied incorrectly (and therefore effectively causes no harm) be considered aikido? Conversely, would a technique applied correctly, but resulted in harm (killing) not be considered aikido? I ask these questions mostly to construct the argument premise. To point out the obvious, the argument is action-oriented; mens rea is missing from the argument.

I think sometimes we confuse the ends and the means. I can understand that the study of "aiki"do is a study of the means, the end is simply closure to the experiment. In this context, I could entertain a statement that expressed the irrelevancy of the end. Likewise, I can understand a statement that the end is the purpose of training, the means is the medium used to accomplish the end.

For me the study of aikido is not about the end. If I correctly perform aiki, the end result is demonstrative of that success. I think the study of aikido is in the present of interaction, not the future of conclusion. In a sword book I read, the author advices students not to plant their front foot until they have reached the proper striking distance. In planting your foot before you strike you forego the ability to pursue your opponent should he retreat.

If I am already committed to the end, how can I possibly be free in the present to perform aikido? In using Graham's example, If I commit to performing a shiho nage that causes no injury to my partner, how can I do anything but move in a manner that will, in its end, look like shiho nage and not cause injury to my partner? Further, how can one validate whatever movement is necessary to get to the end as aikido? This is flawed logic. A move like shiho nage and shiho nage are not the same. Committing to make a shape that looks like shi nage and committing to aiki resulting in shiho nage are not the same. I think this is why we have non-functional aikido-like movement.

MM
08-25-2011, 10:21 PM
Why-oh-why must we break Aikido down in terms of "martial" VS. "philosophical"(or "spiritual")...

Are we so terribly dualistic in our thinking that we cannot conceive that Aikido is BOTH a spiritual practice and martially effective?


Are we so historically inaccurate that we do not realize that the founder of aikido was dualistic?

Q: When Morihei Ueshiba lectured to his students, what did he say?
A: He spoke in archaic, spiritual terms that no one could understand.

When Morihei Ueshiba talked about his spiritual ideology, he used what "religion" as his base?
A: Oomoto kyo

When asked, Morihei Ueshiba stated he was a man of ??? and not a religious man.
A: he was a man of *budo*

Q: When other people came to Morihei Ueshiba to learn from him, they came because of ??? and not because of ???
A: They came because of his martial skills and not because of his spiritual ideology. They felt and experienced the former and wanted it for their own. They listened and heard the latter and did not understand nor were they interested.

It was Kisshomaru Ueshiba who ushered in the new, modern aikido that removed the dualistic nature of his father to create one martial system comprised of an ideal of peace, harmony, and techniques that was acceptable to a world wide audience.


In the case of aikido the peaceful philosophy springs from the way that the technique requires being relaxed and in harmony with the attacker in order for it to be effective.In that way the practical aspect of aikido, the waza, gives birth to the philosophy,so if your aikido is correct on a technical level the philosophy is already there.That means that if one would strip aikido of its philosophical aspect he would actually be performing joint manipulations and wrist locks using brute force, violence and a lot of...ignorance of ki and kokyu thus redusing to a fighting method that is no longer an art.And the magical thing is that it would also be less effective on a practical level, that's how aikido works,you have to be one physically, mentally and aware of your ki and the way to extend it.

And that is directly opposite Morihei Ueshiba's vision of aikido. He rarely showed a technique twice. When asked to perform a technique again, he would either answer no or they are all the same. He would become irate if people thought of him as being religious. He was a man of budo. He stated his art was formless. Ueshiba stated one must become the Universe, be an avatar of the kami, etc and not that one must use techniques to reach some peaceful philosophy. Pre-war students practiced joint locks as a body developing method and not as techniques. Only after Kisshomaru came along did joint locks become techniques. Only after Kisshomaru came along did aikido change to become a complete vision of spiritual peace and harmony by practicing techniques.


The same applies to the avoidance of a punch or a kick.You "sweep" what's coming in the same direction that the attack was going(no blocking), while simultaniously you make sure that you are not there anymore.That way you never resist,

And how do you reconcile the fact that Ueshiba could stand or sit and have people push on him and he didn't have to move to neutralize the "attack"? He didn't have to "get out of the way" to make his aikido work.

Carsten this sounds like very confused thinking. Perhaps you could explain the spiritual nature of atemi to the larynx.


Perhaps someone could also explain the spiritual nature of breaking an elbow joint with an atemi, too. Because even in his old age, Ueshiba can still be seen delivering that kind of atemi, among others.


Doesn't this mean you have to be clear about which spirituality you already have and bring to the dojo?

I interpret it as meaning that O Sensei did not think it mattered what one's religious background was, one could still develop spiritually through practicing Aikido.



Ueshiba said that whatever religion you chose, aiki would make it better. Not that you could develop spiritually through practicing aikido. There is a big difference there. Kisshomaru's Modern Aikido changed and added that one could develop spiritually through practicing aikido.

There is only one aikido and that is o'sensei's aikido, based on the basic principles that he taught. Everybody who say that they are teaching another style, they don't know what they're saying! And then of course, they engage in endless discussions wondering about the magical secret of o'sensei's skills...Beats me!

Historically, that isn't true. Ueshiba's martial abilities and skills were replicated by his peers, who were also students of Sokaku Takeda. Spiritually, pretty much all his students (with a few exceptions) had no idea what he was talking about.


As for the second question, "who is they?"...The teachers who are claiming that they are doing another style of aikido than the original of course. They chopped aikido to pieces and then chose to study only what they like. They are not practicing the way o'sensei taught and then they are wondering why it is so difficult to achieve his level in aikido. Where's the logic in that? It really beats the hell out of me!

And what of Morihei Ueshiba, who chopped his teacher's art to pieces to reduce the number of techniques taught? Is he then not practicing aikido? Remember, Takeda called his art aikijujutsu, the precursor to aikido and Ueshiba only agreed to the name aikido -- he never named it himself.

Niall made a comment about techniques that kill being the antithesis of aikido.

If we look at Daito ryu as a martial system that taught people the ability to capture center on contact, bring them in, down, and then deliver a blow to hurt/maim/kill, then we can look to Ueshiba adding one more option ... instead of in and down to the feet for harming the attacker, Ueshiba allowed for the possibility to take the attack and allow it to be redirected away.

But, Ueshiba never removed atemi from his aikido. The question is whether or not he thought of the atemi as a "killing blow" or just one that maimed/injured.

mathewjgano
08-25-2011, 11:13 PM
Are we so terribly dualistic in our thinking that we cannot conceive that Aikido is BOTH a spiritual practice and martially effective?
Are we so historically inaccurate that we do not realize that the founder of aikido was dualistic?
Would you elaborate, Mark? This strikes me as a bit odd. So Anita basically says, "why must people suggest we can only be either philosophical or martially effective?" You seem to reply that O Sensei suggested it's either you're philosophical or you're martially effective; or that he completely seperated his philosophy/spirituality and budo practice.

It was Kisshomaru Ueshiba who ushered in the new, modern aikido that removed the dualistic nature of his father to create one martial system comprised of an ideal of peace, harmony, and techniques that was acceptable to a world wide audience.
Except that it was O Sensei who also spoke in archaic, spiritual terms that no one could understand.

...as part of his budo class.
Couldn't it be that he simply had different notions of what constituted harmony, than what most people today think?
How do you reconcile the times he spoke of the homonym "love" as being relevant to Aikido practice? You seem to be saying on one hand that no one was interested in his spiritual philosophy so O Sensei didn't connect his budo with his philosophy. Then on the other hand you seem to say Nidai Doshu tweaked the philosophy, so O Sensei didn't include philosophy in his budo. So I'm left still wondering why it's unreasonable to consider the practice of Aikido as being both.
I also wonder why anyone who doesn't practice the exact philosophy of O Sensei can't be described as doing both authentically. And while I know O Sensei was a close member of Omotokyo, that still doesn't tell me what his exact views were. I've known many spiritual people who adhered closely to some philosophy/sect or another, but who also had and allowed for differences of opinion here and there. Did O Sensei not look to learning from other spiritual practices? Wouldn't that be one example of how we might hit a pit-fall if we assume Omotokyo represents the entirety of his personal spiritual views?
Concordance with nature seems to be a part of O Sensei's philosphy, at the very least. As it relates to what I've learned of Jinja Shinto, Harmony and Peace are important works and not to be confused with "hippie-talk" (for lack of a better description). We harmonize with nature to attain peace...which includes a state of being consisting of restless and infinite movements...rather like a hurricane that can generate its own "eye."
...which I just included because it's not what most "hippies" (lack of a better description) consider harmony-induced, or peaceful, but I do.

mathewjgano
08-25-2011, 11:46 PM
I'm confused again...
Ueshiba said that whatever religion you chose, aiki would make it better. Not that you could develop spiritually through practicing aikido
What is the difference? How is "make [spirituality/religion] better" not a development?

niall
08-26-2011, 12:14 AM
Thanks Jon. I wasn't talking about the means or the result. I was talking about the philosophy. My original comment about killing techniques being the antithesis of aikido was about learning atemi designed to kill - not that could kill. I think that is a fundamental difference. In aikido you learn how not to kill.

But break it down to a simple level. If a ten or eleven year old child attacked you with a knife you wouldn’t use a technique that could maim or kill. You take the knife away.

There is no philosophical difference if it is a 100 kg man attacking you with a knife. The only point is if your level is high enough to do it or not.

Kevin Leavitt
08-26-2011, 01:15 AM
Reminds me of a conversation I was having with my 11 year old this week who was struggling with the paradox his martial studies are presenting between what he thinks he is learning in TKD and Aikido.

For me, I think it maybe the depends on how you look at it.

Learning to kill or not to kill.....which is it?

well I think we break things down way too simply and try to get evangelical or fundamentalist with it. We wanna "bible" to tell us what is right and wrong.

I don't it is as simple as "the difference between aikido is you learn how NOT to kill".

I believe that in aikido you explore many aspects of how things work...both the yin and the yang.

I think you have an open book that you must figure out how this stuff works for yourself.

I think many of us...myself included believe we have choices that in the end we may not have...they are only delusions and in the end we hold ourselves up to standards that we do not have the ability or the fortitude to actually back up with any real, and honest substance.

I think a big part of aikido, for me is letting go of all that crap and simply expanding our knowledge and our practice...finding new things and gaps in our own weaknesses...and improving them.

killing or not killing....well I wish I were that good to be able to make those "choices".

I think techniques are techniques...they are what they are.

People...well they are what they are.

Luck, intent, and situation are all elements that also play into equation and things we don't always control.

So, the same "technique" you learn in Jiu Jitsu that you believe is about killing...is the same "technique" you learn in aikido that is about NOT Killing.

What is the difference? who knows in the end. Alot of it has to do with many other factors both internal and external to us.

I think Aikido is more about learning to identify those factors than it is about ANY thing to do with the up front physics of a technique.

Kevin Leavitt
08-26-2011, 01:21 AM
Another simplistic perspective.

Is a handgun's purpose to kill or not to kill?

If you take firearms training are you learning to kill or not to kill?

Kevin Leavitt
08-26-2011, 01:32 AM
Thanks Jon. I wasn't talking about the means or the result. I was talking about the philosophy. My original comment about killing techniques being the antithesis of aikido was about learning atemi designed to kill - not that could kill. I think that is a fundamental difference. In aikido you learn how not to kill.

But break it down to a simple level. If a ten or eleven year old child attacked you with a knife you wouldn’t use a technique that could maim or kill. You take the knife away.

There is no philosophical difference if it is a 100 kg man attacking you with a knife. The only point is if your level is high enough to do it or not.

I understand your point. good example.

I think it depends on many factors. I believe in your example you are basically saying that size makes a diference on your ability to control..and I would agree that size is definitely a factor that gets weighed into the situation and you would (should) use appropriate enough force, provided you have control of the situation.

Therefore, based on your assumptions, it would take less of X to control an 11 year old child than a 100KG man.

The issue I have is with "killing techniques" vice "non killing techniques".

I don't think (as I outlined my perspective above), that you can divide techniques out into categories.

For example Kotegaeishi is the same regardless...you can perform it on a spectrum however, and as you state, your skill level AND degree of control of the situation etc...may afford you some choices....of which you in all cases use minimal force necessary.

In that respect...yes...I do believe in aikido, as in all martial arts I have studied....a big part of the study of the practice is to understand minimal force and the spectrum of our martial movements.

There is a big danger, I believe though in separating things out based on a philosophical basis and trying to take a philosophical high ground as is done ALOT in aikido.

When you do that...I think you have set a dangerous and delusional precedence for your martial training that could get you are someone else hurt when dissonance hits reality!

So, maybe I am splitting hairs but I think that the statement

" My original comment about killing techniques being the antithesis of aikido was about learning atemi designed to kill - not that could kill. I think that is a fundamental difference."

....I think it is an incorrect perspectives. You learn atemi period. and you should learn good atemi. Good atemi done correctly will get the job done...and it may killl or not kill...that depends on many factors...but in the end...the atemi is the same.

graham christian
08-26-2011, 03:45 AM
Niall made a comment about techniques that kill being the antithesis of aikido. I think I understand the gist of the comment, but in application, would the argument then be that a technique applied incorrectly (and therefore effectively causes no harm) be considered aikido? Conversely, would a technique applied correctly, but resulted in harm (killing) not be considered aikido? I ask these questions mostly to construct the argument premise. To point out the obvious, the argument is action-oriented; mens rea is missing from the argument.

I think sometimes we confuse the ends and the means. I can understand that the study of "aiki"do is a study of the means, the end is simply closure to the experiment. In this context, I could entertain a statement that expressed the irrelevancy of the end. Likewise, I can understand a statement that the end is the purpose of training, the means is the medium used to accomplish the end.

For me the study of aikido is not about the end. If I correctly perform aiki, the end result is demonstrative of that success. I think the study of aikido is in the present of interaction, not the future of conclusion. In a sword book I read, the author advices students not to plant their front foot until they have reached the proper striking distance. In planting your foot before you strike you forego the ability to pursue your opponent should he retreat.

If I am already committed to the end, how can I possibly be free in the present to perform aikido? In using Graham's example, If I commit to performing a shiho nage that causes no injury to my partner, how can I do anything but move in a manner that will, in its end, look like shiho nage and not cause injury to my partner? Further, how can one validate whatever movement is necessary to get to the end as aikido? This is flawed logic. A move like shiho nage and shiho nage are not the same. Committing to make a shape that looks like shi nage and committing to aiki resulting in shiho nage are not the same. I think this is why we have non-functional aikido-like movement.

Jon. I would say first you would have to see that there is an end a middle and a beginning. ie: Result, means applied, purpose. All three have to be there if you're talking completion or the subject of correct Aikido.

Thus when I talk about correct shihonage for example I am talking about all aspects in so for me there is no just end product or just means or just purpose. Therefore the means is not shihonage and neither is the shape, it's the whole.

Therefore in your first premise I would say a technique done incorrectly is not good Aikido obviously so if it doesn't cause harm then that's just fortunate.

A technique applied correctly would therefore be a complete harmonious action and therefore couldn't cause harm. So one that does doesn't exist.

There's always a minimal chance of the result being harmful for example if someone was about to have a heart attack or something at that precise moment or if they were hiding an injury they already had but you never know, done correctly it might save that persons life.

A person who says it's one aspect is all important and the other is not needed is missing a third of Aikido.

The purpose I would say is not the end of Aikido it's the beginning. It's the reason to do it in the first place, it's the reason for the middle or the means. So without correct purpose there is no correct middle or without purpose then you have a student concentrating on the means without knowing why.

The end is the ideal, the envisioned result. So that takes the firt two factors to be known and used together in order to accomplish.
Therefore if a student doesn't have the correct ideal or cannot envision it then he cannot recognise what the result of Aikido is. He has no target, no goal, no end product of any worth.

So focussing on the end is just as important as the other two. All three should be focussed on in order to enjoy the whole journey.

Such is my view.

Regards.G.

Carsten Möllering
08-26-2011, 05:17 AM
...You "agree" with his attack and you overextend it, thus breaking his ballance without using extra force.
I don't think this describes how my aikido works.
We tend to stay on the line. We connect to uke, to his center, to his structure.
We don't throw by overextending uke. But we do kuzushi by affecting the structure of his body by this connection.

This video may give an impression (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwXU7PG0cYw&feature=player_detailpage) of what I mean.

The same applies to the avoidance of a punch or a kick.You "sweep" what's coming in the same direction that the attack was going(no blocking), while simultaniously you make sure that you are not there anymore.
Another example (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_1HgO-BhFk&feature=player_detailpage). I'm not sure whether the way we try to do it the way you understand it.

And at last another video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5z6jg4NIBrM&feature=player_detailpage), which may be charcteristic for us.
We don't avoid the attack, but often go right into it and cut through it.

When looking at those videos: Ist that aikido in your eyes?
At least both teachers are well recognized shihan of the aikikai. Do they meet your "standart"?

And do you think this will lead to the same spirituality / philosophy ?

lbb
08-26-2011, 08:03 AM
Another simplistic perspective.

Is a handgun's purpose to kill or not to kill?

If you take firearms training are you learning to kill or not to kill?

Another fuzzy gray-area answer: it depends :D

In answer to the first question, it's hard to speak of an inanimate object having a "purpose". You can't even really speak about its designer's purpose in creating the firearm, if you're being precise (perhaps it was "to make money" -- a lot of products are designed for exactly that reason). So, maybe the question is, "What is this firearm designed to do?" It depends on the firearm. Some handguns' design is optimized for target shooting, for very precisely being able to punch holes in a paper target, and that's it. Considerations of being able to kill or do damage are absent. But I think it's fair to say that such a firearm represents a departure from the original purpose of firearms, which was to kill, and specifically, to kill people.

The answer to the second question is also "it depends", on the person and the training. I have a good friend who's a firearms instructor, and my impression is that the basic NRA course puts most of its effort into teaching safe operation, i.e., not shooting anything that you don't intend to shoot. Beyond that, you get handgun retention, and beyond that is learning to use the firearm effectively as an offensive weapon. I don't believe there's any training in trying to use a firearm as a deterrent or as a limited weapon (trying to control someone with it vs. using its offensive potential to the max). So that's the general purpose course that is probably the most common in the US -- but again, you've got courses that are focused on hunting and courses that are focused on target shooting. If I were to take firearms training, my most convenient alternative would be the rod and gun club across the river from my house, and they're all about either hunting or pistol target-shooting. It's funny, I'm the only one of my neighbors and one of a minority in town who doesn't own a firearm -- and I doubt one of those people owns a firearm for self-defense.

graham christian
08-26-2011, 08:04 AM
Marc wrote:
Are we so historically inaccurate that we do not realize that the founder of aikido was dualistic?

Q: When Morihei Ueshiba lectured to his students, what did he say?
A: He spoke in archaic, spiritual terms that no one could understand.

When Morihei Ueshiba talked about his spiritual ideology, he used what "religion" as his base?
A: Oomoto kyo

When asked, Morihei Ueshiba stated he was a man of ??? and not a religious man.
A: he was a man of *budo*

Q: When other people came to Morihei Ueshiba to learn from him, they came because of ??? and not because of ???
A: They came because of his martial skills and not because of his spiritual ideology. They felt and experienced the former and wanted it for their own. They listened and heard the latter and did not understand nor were they interested.

Yes, when he lectured he spoke in spiritual terms. He spoke of the spiritual side of Aikido obviously.

Archaic? Well it depends how you use that term. If you use it to mean outdated then you are mistaken. Try timeless.

He didn't actually use the religion as his base when he spoke he used Kotodama, said to be the truths used by great seers of the past worldwide.

He knew himself thus he knew he was a man of budo, a man of love, expressing himself through Aikido. Thus Aikido as the budo of love.

When people later, including today hear his words and see his actions it strikes a chord, thus they are attracted.

For those early ones it was more of a shock for it was totally new to their way of thinking. They had trained knowing only the budo he himself had trained in before. They were fascinated for they could feel the difference yet not understand the new philosophy. Emphasis spiritual, kotodama, new. Only those already of a spiritual disposition through zen or yoga etc. or indeed omoto had a better perspective on some of what he was saying ie: Tohei etc.

Those who only wanted the martial aspect would thus revert to a more pre Aikido way for their aim was not masakatsu or indeed agatsu.

That's how I see it.

Regards.G.

phitruong
08-26-2011, 08:44 AM
to answer the OP question, it's not either or. it's both. and this is not apply just to aikido, but to all other martial endeavors be it learning how to shoot a gun, a tank, to aikido, to judo, kungfu, ....etc.

practical demonstrates the ability to carry out the action to it successful completion. philosophical gives the moral restraint to the practical actions. practical without moral restraint gives us the killer, murderer, rapist, etc and etc. philosophical without practical gives us the victims of the above folks of "practical without moral restraint".

i don't know about you folks, but i don't care to be a victim nor do i care to be a murderer and rapist. although, a bunch chickens, pigs, cows, ducks, fishes, shrimp, and other edible species have been posting my picture on their "Wanted: dead or alive" bulletin board. so far, i have been quite successful in reducing their number; however, they are slowly reducing the blood flow to my arteries. it's a struggle of life and dead. sometimes, i am quite philosophical about it, while practically chowing down a big steak, whether i should use A-1 or Hein 57 sauce. :)

Marc Abrams
08-26-2011, 09:05 AM
to answer the OP question, it's not either or. it's both. and this is not apply just to aikido, but to all other martial endeavors be it learning how to shoot a gun, a tank, to aikido, to judo, kungfu, ....etc.

practical demonstrates the ability to carry out the action to it successful completion. philosophical gives the moral restraint to the practical actions. practical without moral restraint gives us the killer, murderer, rapist, etc and etc. philosophical without practical gives us the victims of the above folks of "practical without moral restraint".

i don't know about you folks, but i don't care to be a victim nor do i care to be a murderer and rapist. although, a bunch chickens, pigs, cows, ducks, fishes, shrimp, and other edible species have been posting my picture on their "Wanted: dead or alive" bulletin board. so far, i have been quite successful in reducing their number; however, they are slowly reducing the blood flow to my arteries. it's a struggle of life and dead. sometimes, i am quite philosophical about it, while practically chowing down a big steak, whether i should use A-1 or Hein 57 sauce. :)

Phil:

Practical: If the big steak is high quality beef, covering up the flavor is bad!

Philosophical: I eat steak, therefore I am full, therefore the universe is happy. :D

Marc Abrams

Keith Larman
08-26-2011, 09:59 AM
You learn atemi period. and you should learn good atemi. Good atemi done correctly will get the job done...and it may killl or not kill...that depends on many factors...but in the end...the atemi is the same.

Agreed completely.

The tendency to attach philosophical and moral questions to these things is a good discussion for those so inclined. And I do believe that Aikido, at least on some level of understanding, involves a struggle with those issues. However, there are some serious issues here if the person in question is incapable of delivering the technique except with "complicit" partners in a dojo. In that case the atemi is worthless and is really just part of a cooperative "dance" that will make no sense in contexts other than a dojo. The mugger on the street will not be phased by a tap. Depending on what they've ingested they might not even be phased by a pretty good shot to the chest. Things get complicated and messy in the "real world" (patent pending).

There are many within aikido who practice in a fashion that brings to mind a famous quote by Gandhi.

It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Some would do well to understand what he is saying. Lots of people wear that cloak like a medal, proudly proclaiming their transcendent ability. Unfortunately the fella attacking may not be in the same transcendent state when they try to take your head off.

Anyway, I think it is a somewhat an error to think about the atemi as a "killing blow". It is an atemi. *In context* it could be many things depending *on* that context. Sure, once we have developed tremendous skill we might have the choice of how we go about delivering our atemi in that sense in the larger context. Unfortunately many skip all that messy "getting good at it" stuff and hope that the philosophy without the foundation will be good enough. And I dare say it is only good enough when the guy attacking is already keyed in on your rules.

So philosophical or practical martial art? Um, how about start with the martial art. Study the philosophy. Get good at the former, and learn the latter. They should come together in the end. But to insist one, the other, both, whatever seems to me to be oversimplifying a really complex issue. And it is often done at the expense of one or the other.

So no answers from me. Really I suppose I'm saying the question really doesn't make a whole lot of sense because it tends to imply a necessity of choosing. As if there aren't overlaps, differences, and context sensitive issues to contend with. It ain't so simple... To me at least.

sorokod
08-26-2011, 10:10 AM
and then off course there is this from Yukiyoshi Takamura Sensei :


"Some aikido teachers talk a lot about non-violence, but fail to understand this truth. A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence. He chooses peace. He must be able to make a choice. He must have the genuine ability to destroy his enemy and then choose not to. I have heard this excuse made. "I choose to be a pacifist before learning techniques so I do not need to learn the power of destruction." This shows no comprehension of the mind of the true warrior. This is just a rationalization to cover the fear of injury or hard training. The true warrior who chooses to be a pacifist is willing to stand and die for his principles. People claiming to be pacifists who rationalize to avoid hard training or injury will flee instead of standing and dying for principle. They are just cowards. Only a warrior who has tempered his spirit in conflict and who has confronted himself and his greatest fears can in my opinion make the choice to be a true pacifist."


Techniques do not kill or maim, people do. If you are good enough you get to choose.

Keith Larman
08-26-2011, 10:14 AM
and then off course there is this from Yukiyoshi Takamura Sensei :

Yes.

Marc Abrams
08-26-2011, 10:15 AM
Agreed completely.

The tendency to attach philosophical and moral questions to these things is a good discussion for those so inclined. And I do believe that Aikido, at least on some level of understanding, involves a struggle with those issues. However, there are some serious issues here if the person in question is incapable of delivering the technique except with "complicit" partners in a dojo. In that case the atemi is worthless and is really just part of a cooperative "dance" that will make no sense in contexts other than a dojo. The mugger on the street will not be phased by a tap. Depending on what they've ingested they might not even be phased by a pretty good shot to the chest. Things get complicated and messy in the "real world" (patent pending).

There are many within aikido who practice in a fashion that brings to mind a famous quote by Gandhi.

Some would do well to understand what he is saying. Lots of people wear that cloak like a medal, proudly proclaiming their transcendent ability. Unfortunately the fella attacking may not be in the same transcendent state when they try to take your head off.

Anyway, I think it is a somewhat an error to think about the atemi as a "killing blow". It is an atemi. *In context* it could be many things depending *on* that context. Sure, once we have developed tremendous skill we might have the choice of how we go about delivering our atemi in that sense in the larger context. Unfortunately many skip all that messy "getting good at it" stuff and hope that the philosophy without the foundation will be good enough. And I dare say it is only good enough when the guy attacking is already keyed in on your rules.

So philosophical or practical martial art? Um, how about start with the martial art. Study the philosophy. Get good at the former, and learn the latter. They should come together in the end. But to insist one, the other, both, whatever seems to me to be oversimplifying a really complex issue. And it is often done at the expense of one or the other.

So no answers from me. Really I suppose I'm saying the question really doesn't make a whole lot of sense because it tends to imply a necessity of choosing. As if there aren't overlaps, differences, and context sensitive issues to contend with. It ain't so simple... To me at least.

Keith:

Well put! Philosophical thinking about what we do works great from a comfortable reclining chair with an awesome drink in our hands. Practical martial arts movements work great when having to address an ongoing physical confrontation. If what you do is not practical and effective, you stand a better chance of resting in a box of wood six feet under the ground, rather than resting in the reclining chair, waxing poetically about the philosophy of what was behind what you did that warranted enjoying that nice drink from the relaxing chair.

Ledyard Sensei wrote a great article of "Atemi" which I consider important reading for all Aikidoka. A vital strike is designed to thwart/disrupt the effective action of an attacker. What happens next, is what happens next.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

graham christian
08-26-2011, 10:58 AM
and then off course there is this from Yukiyoshi Takamura Sensei :

Techniques do not kill or maim, people do. If you are good enough you get to choose.

Well philosophically put. I agree that the aim should be masakatsu, agatsu, and katsuhayai.

Regards.G.

thisisnotreal
08-26-2011, 01:28 PM
Mary, This is all about the violent of the dissolution of cognitive dissonance. I wouldn't get too upset. This, and recent posts, are altogether nuttier than a squirrel turd under an oak tree.

sorokod
08-26-2011, 01:40 PM
I do not speak Japanese myself and doubt that you do, your list makes no sense to me. I doubt that we are in some sort of agreement here.

dps
08-26-2011, 01:59 PM
If Aikido is about redirecting your opponent's attack back to him/her then isn't the opponent responsible for how much violence he/she receives?

What goes around comes around.

dps

graham christian
08-26-2011, 02:34 PM
Another simplistic perspective.

Is a handgun's purpose to kill or not to kill?

If you take firearms training are you learning to kill or not to kill?

I would say yes to the first. Philosophically I would say when you transcribe the makers purpose and apply it to an object then you have function. So it's prime function is to kill. You canthereafter use it for other things ie: secondary functions.

If you take firearms training you are therefore using a weapon designed to kill. You are learning how to shoot. The purpose for so doing lies with you.

Regards.G.

lbb
08-26-2011, 03:32 PM
If Aikido is about redirecting your opponent's attack back to him/her then isn't the opponent responsible for how much violence he/she receives?

What goes around comes around.

Well, that's literally and pragmatically true, to be sure. The faster my attack is, the harder my attack is, the more surprising my attack is, the less likely my opponent is going to be able to moderate his/her response and the more likely I'm going to get seriously turfed.

mathewjgano
08-26-2011, 03:46 PM
Um, how about start with the martial art. Study the philosophy. Get good at the former, and learn the latter. They should come together in the end. But to insist one, the other, both, whatever seems to me to be oversimplifying a really complex issue. And it is often done at the expense of one or the other.

So no answers from me. Really I suppose I'm saying the question really doesn't make a whole lot of sense because it tends to imply a necessity of choosing. As if there aren't overlaps, differences, and context sensitive issues to contend with. It ain't so simple... To me at least.

I think the two are somewhat unavoidable...and even inseperable to a degree. Even the least thoughtful/philosophical person I know has "a" philosophy. They just don't think about it much or know how to articulate it in fancy language like people like me tend to like. They still have a "world view" though, and they exercise it all the time.
So to my mind it's not a matter of this or that, but both...and I think it's best to take each one as it comes. On the mat people probably shouldn't generally analyze Locke or St. Thomas Aquinas, but we can chat about this or that while folding hakama, or over beers afterward. Here, online, we can't practice what to do against a punch, but we can consider training methodology and certainly can cover a lot of philosophical ground.

graham christian
08-26-2011, 04:29 PM
I think the two are somewhat unavoidable...and even inseperable to a degree. Even the least thoughtful/philosophical person I know has "a" philosophy. They just don't think about it much or know how to articulate it in fancy language like people like me tend to like. They still have a "world view" though, and they exercise it all the time.
So to my mind it's not a matter of this or that, but both...and I think it's best to take each one as it comes. On the mat people probably shouldn't generally analyze Locke or St. Thomas Aquinas, but we can chat about this or that while folding hakama, or over beers afterward. Here, online, we can't practice what to do against a punch, but we can consider training methodology and certainly can cover a lot of philosophical ground.

I agree. I would say it's the sensible thing to do and would go further by saying the philosophy is senior in importance to the action or thing. Those who follow only image are thus not too sensible.

Just think of politics, do you follow the image? In fact think of anything. If your not doing both then you cannot learn but can only copy.

Thus I say they are interdependent.

Regards.G.

Abasan
08-26-2011, 04:57 PM
For anyone to take someones propensity towards harmony, I think you have to be first a tiger who chooses not to kill. Rather than a toothless chicken spouting words of non violence...although in hindsight fighting cocks are kinda deadly too.

Behind Osensei's endeavor to achieve world harmony was a person quite able to put on a lot of hurt. This will now lead to a lot of aikido badass masters patting themselves on the back on how deadly they are with their arsenal of irimi and tenkan.

graham christian
08-26-2011, 07:20 PM
Do chikens have teeth? Do they spout harmony? Do you have to be a lion to do harmoniously?

Thinking you have to be like a lion in order to have choice has a certain logic until you find it really has nothing to do with harmony.

G.

MM
08-26-2011, 07:52 PM
Would you elaborate, Mark?

Hi Matthew,
Sorry, been busy. Yes, I will but can't right now. Give me a day or so.

Thanks,
Mark

jonreading
08-26-2011, 08:38 PM
Thanks Jon. I wasn't talking about the means or the result. I was talking about the philosophy. My original comment about killing techniques being the antithesis of aikido was about learning atemi designed to kill - not that could kill. I think that is a fundamental difference. In aikido you learn how not to kill.

But break it down to a simple level. If a ten or eleven year old child attacked you with a knife you wouldn’t use a technique that could maim or kill. You take the knife away.

There is no philosophical difference if it is a 100 kg man attacking you with a knife. The only point is if your level is high enough to do it or not.

Thanks for the clarification. I figured on what you were getting at but I have heard too may opinions on this subject are are poorly constructed, mostly by taking similar comments to what you said and confusing the argument.

A technique applied correctly would therefore be a complete harmonious action and therefore couldn't cause harm. So one that does doesn't exist.


In 1941, O'Sensei performed a demonstration before members of the royal family (the Emperor I believe was absent) during which he seriously injured his uke, Tsutomu Yukawa. I believe O'Sensei broke Mr. Yukawa's arm. Under Graham's contention, since O'Sensei's technique injured his partner O'Sensei was not correctly performing technique because it resulted in injury to uke.

I think my comments may also need clarification. Means and ends are terms used in the philosophical argumentation, "means to an end." The terms "means" and "ends" in this argument are not themselves empirical categories.

What I was getting at was that [study of] aikido is not about the end, that is, the culmination of a technique or throw. I believe aikido is about the interaction. At a recent seminar I heard an instructor whom I respect say, "aikido is not about doing something to your opponent, it is about doing something to protect yourself." Acting to preserve life... I've heard that somewhere...

IF the end is to preserve life, THEN taking life can be an acceptable means. IF the means is to preserve life, THEN it is unacceptable to take life [in the end]. These are not congruent statements. I believe the the philosophy of aikido guides us to preserve life, the art of aikido allows us the means to defend that preservation.

Abasan
08-26-2011, 08:55 PM
Graham,

I think you're getting to the point of being a paranoid victim that everyone in the school yard is bullying and anything anyone says sets off an automatic retort. My last post wasn't directed to you and not meant to be taken literally. But of course there will be some who do.

As far as harmony goes, don't take it to far. I believe that Aikido is misunderstood. To me its a 'natural' way, not some man prescribed definition of harmony. Thus a tiger has teeth and kills to eat, and chickens don't...but they still kill to eat too.

Non one is going to say, hey you aikido, peace man, you shouldn't eat animals or kill dangerous things. It is natural that someone kills it's prey and it's enemies. However as humans we have more avenues thus our natural path has evolved with time. In lawless times, perhaps it was natural for you to achieve justice with your own hands. Now that we live in a society and is bound by their laws, it is natural that we serve those laws.

A warrior, is one who protects. That is the philosophy of budo. An aikido is one who harmonizes with the universe and other stuff. I bet you know the stages of harmonisation, since we've talked about it before. Anyway, that's the aikido philosophy.

I don't know what's the big racket is all about. But every path should have it's own philosophy. Karate, judo etc... Nothing special about aikido that it can be called a philosophical martial art. Different philosophy yes because on the outset it establishes that it disdains violence against the natural way. From the way the technique is applied, to how you deal with attackers, to how you establish your intent and how you project your spirit.

Context wise though, everyone comes to art with differing objectives and perspective. Some of the people here are closely involved in the military and enforcement. So their context is different. Their natural laws are different. It would have been better for you to understand that instead of calling your path the one true way. Osensei's may have said that no one seems to have followed him. Perhaps that is true, but everybody is different. Some are trying their best to follow him, but only to the level of their understanding.

It's great that everyone here tries to share their views so that as a collective you gain more understanding. But some quarters are trying to establish their own rule book instead of actually comparing notes. Deviate and lose membership. That's the nature of men. If it deviates from aikido's original intention, then it just establishes that not everyone's heart is meant for aikido.

ryback
08-27-2011, 05:29 AM
He was a man of budo. He stated his art was formless. Ueshiba stated one must become the Universe, be an avatar of the kami, etc and not that one must use techniques to reach some peaceful philosophy. Pre-war students practiced joint locks as a body developing method and not as techniques. Only after Kisshomaru came along did joint locks become techniques. Only after Kisshomaru came along did aikido change to become a complete vision of spiritual peace and harmony by practicing techniques.

And how do you reconcile the fact that Ueshiba could stand or sit and have people push on him and he didn't have to move to neutralize the "attack"? He didn't have to "get out of the way" to make his aikido work.

Ueshiba said that whatever religion you chose, aiki would make it better. Not that you could develop spiritually through practicing aikido. There is a big difference there. Kisshomaru's Modern Aikido changed and added that one could develop spiritually through practicing aikido.

And what of Morihei Ueshiba, who chopped his teacher's art to pieces to reduce the number of techniques taught? Is he then not practicing aikido? Remember, Takeda called his art aikijujutsu, the precursor to aikido and Ueshiba only agreed to the name aikido -- he never named it himself.

If we look at Daito ryu as a martial system that taught people the ability to capture center on contact, bring them in, down, and then deliver a blow to hurt/maim/kill, then we can look to Ueshiba adding one more option ... instead of in and down to the feet for harming the attacker, Ueshiba allowed for the possibility to take the attack and allow it to be redirected away.

But, Ueshiba never removed atemi from his aikido. The question is whether or not he thought of the atemi as a "killing blow" or just one that maimed/injured.

I totally agree that he was a man of Budo, i never said the opposite, but of course it's obvious in his films that o'sensei was practicing every technique that we practice today, including joint manipulations such as kote gaeshi without them being body development methods. They are clearly martial techniques i've seen that in his videos, my eyes cannot be historically inaccurate.

Exercises such as the ones in which o'sensei was sitting or standing neutralizing his students' push without moving out of the way are tests of kokyu control and grounding the ki of the attacker and not techniques of direct resistance. They are not meant to be martial, just exercises for ki development, we also practice them.

The word "spirituality" in the east has not the same meaning as it has in the west. I think is clear in my post that when i say "spirituality" i don't connect it with religion as people do in the west, i'm talking about ki awarness and development, and the non-resisting, peaceful way of aikido. For religion i couldn't care less...

I don't think that o'sensei's creation of aikido has anything to do with "chopping" daito-ryu, he just made a modern way of practicing for the days of the classic samurai were over, yet their values remained...

I completely agree that o'sensei added one more option of redirecting the attack without harming the attacker but of course he never ignored the other options. That's why he never removed the atemi, which whether or not should be a "killing blow" depends on the situation, i believe.

Although we had our...disagreements, i see that generelly you have done your research and i really like that.I wish you the best!:)

graham christian
08-27-2011, 05:49 AM
Graham,

I think you're getting to the point of being a paranoid victim that everyone in the school yard is bullying and anything anyone says sets off an automatic retort. My last post wasn't directed to you and not meant to be taken literally. But of course there will be some who do.

As far as harmony goes, don't take it to far. I believe that Aikido is misunderstood. To me its a 'natural' way, not some man prescribed definition of harmony. Thus a tiger has teeth and kills to eat, and chickens don't...but they still kill to eat too.

Non one is going to say, hey you aikido, peace man, you shouldn't eat animals or kill dangerous things. It is natural that someone kills it's prey and it's enemies. However as humans we have more avenues thus our natural path has evolved with time. In lawless times, perhaps it was natural for you to achieve justice with your own hands. Now that we live in a society and is bound by their laws, it is natural that we serve those laws.

A warrior, is one who protects. That is the philosophy of budo. An aikido is one who harmonizes with the universe and other stuff. I bet you know the stages of harmonisation, since we've talked about it before. Anyway, that's the aikido philosophy.

I don't know what's the big racket is all about. But every path should have it's own philosophy. Karate, judo etc... Nothing special about aikido that it can be called a philosophical martial art. Different philosophy yes because on the outset it establishes that it disdains violence against the natural way. From the way the technique is applied, to how you deal with attackers, to how you establish your intent and how you project your spirit.

Context wise though, everyone comes to art with differing objectives and perspective. Some of the people here are closely involved in the military and enforcement. So their context is different. Their natural laws are different. It would have been better for you to understand that instead of calling your path the one true way. Osensei's may have said that no one seems to have followed him. Perhaps that is true, but everybody is different. Some are trying their best to follow him, but only to the level of their understanding.

It's great that everyone here tries to share their views so that as a collective you gain more understanding. But some quarters are trying to establish their own rule book instead of actually comparing notes. Deviate and lose membership. That's the nature of men. If it deviates from aikido's original intention, then it just establishes that not everyone's heart is meant for aikido.

Ahmad.
Come on now, paranoid victim in a school yard? A certain same group of people. I play with them. I bear no grudges.

You must admit your comment about toothless chickens spouting harmony was funny and actually not of your usual style.

It did cross my mind if you were having a dig at me, yes, as it was written after my post, but more important to me it seemed a bit different to how you usually contribute. I actually laughed and thought you must be a bit tired or have had a hard day. So I thought I'd find out.

Your response is back on track, smooth and clear as usual.

Actually I get more embarrassed if someone comes on trying to 'defend' me as I don't want to set others against others but I don't mind people having a go at me personally.

Now, in the spirit of your prior post where you mention that due to what you said you could see some patting themselves on their back I'll finish in the same way.

Now I know how Ueshiba felt when trying to teach his Aikido.

( I can see now others rearing up and sharpening their pencils) Ha, ha.

Regards.G.

ryback
08-27-2011, 06:15 AM
In 1941, O'Sensei performed a demonstration before members of the royal family (the Emperor I believe was absent) during which he seriously injured his uke, Tsutomu Yukawa. I believe O'Sensei broke Mr. Yukawa's arm. Under Graham's contention, since O'Sensei's technique injured his partner O'Sensei was not correctly performing technique because it resulted in injury to uke.



Hi Jon! I believe that in this case o'sensei had actually a "bad moment" in the sense that he trully made a mistake. It's wrong to injure your uke during practice or demonstration, but in a real confrontation one might have to do it. Aikido is based on oneness, it is based on peace and harmony but it's still a martial art.

graham christian
08-27-2011, 09:21 AM
Hi Jon.
Thanks for the clarification. The teacher who said about preserving life I found interesting as I haven't heard it put in that way. I like what he says from a solo or self point of view.

As always these things can be taken to mean different things by different students depending on their level.

The means to an end concept is used broadly by most I would say but just personally it's never been enough for me for I need to know the desired end also and actually teach it's more important. But that's me.

As far as O'Sensei damaging a student goes well I don't disagree that it happened and probably happened more than once. That doesn't detract from my earlier opinion though. Yes it does mean he at that time with that one person had a lapse.

Now some I have seen hold this incident up like a trophy to prove something but such is not worthy of consideration by me. It doesn't even lead me to say 'well it shows he wasn't perfect' for that to me is also a saying of little worth. All it shows me is how difficult it is to do perfectly harmless techniques continuously and in dangerous or even life threatening situations.

Personally I'd rather suffer trying than justify harming the other for whatever reason. But that's my view and my way which I equate with his and thus Aikido to me.

Bottom line, if you are improving and happy doing a certain way then there is no need for change so if my views are different doesn't mean I am saying another is wrong or should change. (unless they arrive on my doorstep and want to learn ha, ha.)

Regards.G.

Carsten Möllering
08-27-2011, 01:40 PM
I believe that in this case o'sensei had actually a "bad moment" in the sense that he trully made a mistake. It's wrong to injure your uke during practice or demonstration, ....
Well, as far as I know there where more cases than this one. I heard of some more incidents then this only one?

I was even told, that one of his uke died because of injuries he suffered during a demonstration with a living blade.
I can't verify that and don't really know whether it really happened. But I trust the person who told it to me.

But: If it ist true, does it change anything?

MM
08-27-2011, 03:59 PM
Would you elaborate, Mark? This strikes me as a bit odd. So Anita basically says, "why must people suggest we can only be either philosophical or martially effective?" You seem to reply that O Sensei suggested it's either you're philosophical or you're martially effective; or that he completely seperated his philosophy/spirituality and budo practice.

Except that it was O Sensei who also
...as part of his budo class.
Couldn't it be that he simply had different notions of what constituted harmony, than what most people today think?
How do you reconcile the times he spoke of the homonym "love" as being relevant to Aikido practice? You seem to be saying on one hand that no one was interested in his spiritual philosophy so O Sensei didn't connect his budo with his philosophy. Then on the other hand you seem to say Nidai Doshu tweaked the philosophy, so O Sensei didn't include philosophy in his budo. So I'm left still wondering why it's unreasonable to consider the practice of Aikido as being both.
I also wonder why anyone who doesn't practice the exact philosophy of O Sensei can't be described as doing both authentically. And while I know O Sensei was a close member of Omotokyo, that still doesn't tell me what his exact views were. I've known many spiritual people who adhered closely to some philosophy/sect or another, but who also had and allowed for differences of opinion here and there. Did O Sensei not look to learning from other spiritual practices? Wouldn't that be one example of how we might hit a pit-fall if we assume Omotokyo represents the entirety of his personal spiritual views?
Concordance with nature seems to be a part of O Sensei's philosphy, at the very least. As it relates to what I've learned of Jinja Shinto, Harmony and Peace are important works and not to be confused with "hippie-talk" (for lack of a better description). We harmonize with nature to attain peace...which includes a state of being consisting of restless and infinite movements...rather like a hurricane that can generate its own "eye."
...which I just included because it's not what most "hippies" (lack of a better description) consider harmony-induced, or peaceful, but I do.

Morihei Ueshiba.

A: Studied Daito ryu under Sokaku Takeda and learned the secret of aiki. Aiki which is a training methodology to change the body. It is not a technique. This is the primary and very important fact. Aiki is not a technique. Nor is aiki the motion of using timing and blending to complete a technique. Aiki changes the body such that it operates completely differently than normal. Techniques are all the same, are not the focus, and are not meant to be a primary goal.

B: Studied Oomoto kyo under Deguchi. Spent years fine tuning his spiritual ideology.

Then Morihei Ueshiba took "A" and infused it with "B". He spoke in terms of common internal martial principles of "A" by using "B". He took A and B and combined them such that he built "C" which allowed him to offer other options in a martial world supported by a spiritual ideology.

Okay, so along comes Kisshomaru and Tohei. Tohei learns from the Tempukai to build some internal skills. Tohei attempts to learn from Ueshiba but doesn't get all of aiki (then again, no one did). Kisshomaru is affected by WW II and the burden of his father. No one understands him, no one can do what he does martially. It's war time and no one is really around. Then it's after the war and no one is around, Tokyo is devastated, Ueshiba is in Iwama, and there's people living in the dojo. Kisshomaru does the best that he can and changes things with Tohei's help. They are the two main teachers who created Modern Aikido.

A-1: The full body changing skills of aiki are not to be found. Students are now focused on techniques. Techniques are practiced over and over again. A syllabus is created so that techniques can be trained and rank can be given. Ranks are inflated so that teachers can be sent out into the world.

C: By training techniques with peace, love, and harmony, one can achieve a spiritual philosophy. Aikido techniques and training are the basis for creating a change within someone for peace, love, and harmony.

Now, instead of a dualistic nature of Ueshiba's "A" and "B" creating the end result of love and harmony of "C", we have Kisshomaru's changes where Aikido training replaces Ueshiba's "C". The entirety of a separate spiritual/religious/philosophical knowledge base (Ueshiba's "B") has completely been replaced by the end product of "C".

Instead of A+B=C, you have A-1+C=C and that isn't even getting into the fact that Ueshiba's "A" is not the same as Kisshomaru's "A-1". Look at all the definitions of aikido in modern times. They all state that aikido training will allow one to be a better person, allow one to be in harmony, etc, etc. It all is defined by aikido practice. Morihei Ueshiba defined it by his very involved study *outside aikido and Daito ryu* of Oomoto kyo. His point of reference was external. Modern Aikido's point of reference is itself.

Ueshiba used the very martial aiki as the basis for his homonym usage. He had years of study to gain a spiritual ideology for aiki as love. He combined them. Modern Aikido does not do this. Modern Aikido promotes itself as the end result. By training aikido, one learns how to be peaceful, harmonize, and love your attacker. Modern Aikido is its own spiritual ideology through training techniques. Modern Aikido is very different than Morihei Ueshiba's aikido.

jonreading
08-27-2011, 07:54 PM
Thanks Graham, I thought you might like that explanation. It was a new one for me too.

I pointed out the incident during the demonstration mostly to illustrate that our philosophies should hold to logic and fact. Stronger philosophies are generally more flexible and withstand scrutiny better than weaker philosophies. I do not assert one is better than the other, only that we need to understand the limits of our philosophies.
According to Shioda Sensei, the incident during the demonstration was uke's fault for improperly attacking O'Sensei. I am sure Mr. Yukawa's accident was one of more during O'Sensei's lifetime. However, my concern is that such a philosophy that can be accidentally broken cannot withstand scrutiny.

graham christian
08-27-2011, 08:32 PM
Point taken Jon.
What I have learned is not to worry about what others think but rather to follow whichever path sincerely and observe the results for yourself and those concerned.

There will always be criticism and there will always be mistakes but thats no reason to doubt or give up or even be concerned.

In fact the only criticism worthwhile is from someone who can do the same, the rest can only be based on assumption really and thus usually well off the mark.(of course there are a few exceptions but only from sincere people but then those would be helpful rather than judgemental)

I have also applied this here on this forum although sometimes I get sucked in and lose center so to speak. But seriously, if someone cannot do what I describe then I play with their criticism or ignore it. The same goes for videos, I accept criticism from those who post some themselves for only they would have the same reality and thus ask or share from that view. (once again with some exceptions)

I suppose I'm saying the fear of being wrong or looking stupid or opening yourself up to criticism merely serves to keep you down or stop you progressing in my view.

Let whoever criticise or tear apart your way or philosophy for in my philosophy that all makes sense.

As budo is love then you have the answer to why some take pleasure in criticising and complaining etc. It's very simple really it's because they love it! Ha, ha.

Regards.G.

Anita Dacanay
08-28-2011, 06:09 AM
Morihei Ueshiba.

A: Studied Daito ryu under Sokaku Takeda and learned the secret of aiki. Aiki which is a training methodology to change the body. It is not a technique. This is the primary and very important fact. Aiki is not a technique. Nor is aiki the motion of using timing and blending to complete a technique. Aiki changes the body such that it operates completely differently than normal. Techniques are all the same, are not the focus, and are not meant to be a primary goal.

B: Studied Oomoto kyo under Deguchi. Spent years fine tuning his spiritual ideology.

Then Morihei Ueshiba took "A" and infused it with "B". He spoke in terms of common internal martial principles of "A" by using "B". He took A and B and combined them such that he built "C" which allowed him to offer other options in a martial world supported by a spiritual ideology.

Okay, so along comes Kisshomaru and Tohei. Tohei learns from the Tempukai to build some internal skills. Tohei attempts to learn from Ueshiba but doesn't get all of aiki (then again, no one did). Kisshomaru is affected by WW II and the burden of his father. No one understands him, no one can do what he does martially. It's war time and no one is really around. Then it's after the war and no one is around, Tokyo is devastated, Ueshiba is in Iwama, and there's people living in the dojo. Kisshomaru does the best that he can and changes things with Tohei's help. They are the two main teachers who created Modern Aikido.

A-1: The full body changing skills of aiki are not to be found. Students are now focused on techniques. Techniques are practiced over and over again. A syllabus is created so that techniques can be trained and rank can be given. Ranks are inflated so that teachers can be sent out into the world.

C: By training techniques with peace, love, and harmony, one can achieve a spiritual philosophy. Aikido techniques and training are the basis for creating a change within someone for peace, love, and harmony.

Now, instead of a dualistic nature of Ueshiba's "A" and "B" creating the end result of love and harmony of "C", we have Kisshomaru's changes where Aikido training replaces Ueshiba's "C". The entirety of a separate spiritual/religious/philosophical knowledge base (Ueshiba's "B") has completely been replaced by the end product of "C".

Instead of A+B=C, you have A-1+C=C and that isn't even getting into the fact that Ueshiba's "A" is not the same as Kisshomaru's "A-1". Look at all the definitions of aikido in modern times. They all state that aikido training will allow one to be a better person, allow one to be in harmony, etc, etc. It all is defined by aikido practice. Morihei Ueshiba defined it by his very involved study *outside aikido and Daito ryu* of Oomoto kyo. His point of reference was external. Modern Aikido's point of reference is itself.

Ueshiba used the very martial aiki as the basis for his homonym usage. He had years of study to gain a spiritual ideology for aiki as love. He combined them. Modern Aikido does not do this. Modern Aikido promotes itself as the end result. By training aikido, one learns how to be peaceful, harmonize, and love your attacker. Modern Aikido is its own spiritual ideology through training techniques. Modern Aikido is very different than Morihei Ueshiba's aikido.

I appreciate your clarifications, Mark. What you say is interesting, but I am not sure that I "get" the practical application of your conclusions for any of us who want to learn Aikido in the modern age. What you say seems to imply that unless we study Daito Ryu and Omoto Kyo, we will never be able to understand O Sensei's Aikido, so we may as well not even bother.

I am sure that Kisshomaru did his best to try and a fashion a way to teach the art his father had developed. Certainly, each of us can only do his or her best to try and understand what our teachers have to offer. Certainly later in his life, O Sensei's desire was to share Aikido with the world. He knew that he would not live forever, and that he had to pass the torch.

Personally, I have to believe that O Sensei was not completely unsuccessful in his goals. In my personal training, I think the best that I can do is to seek out and listen to the teachers whom I trust.

Also, referring back to the original post, upon reflection I think that the best answer to the question is indeed, "Yes" - as others have pointed out.

gates
08-28-2011, 09:34 AM
In 1941, O'Sensei performed a demonstration before members of the royal family (the Emperor I believe was absent) during which he seriously injured his uke, Tsutomu Yukawa. I believe O'Sensei broke Mr. Yukawa's arm. Under Graham's contention, since O'Sensei's technique injured his partner O'Sensei was not correctly performing technique because it resulted in injury to uke.



Just like to chime in and add the fact that according to the interview with Shioda Sensei conducted by Stan Pranin:

For the 10 days prior O'Sensei was suffering from jaundice, and in fact had been vomiting constantly and had hardly eaten at all. Yukawa compensated knowing how ill O'sensei was and attacked weakly, he was slammed into the mat and his arm was injured, this was 15 seconds into the performance,

graham christian
08-28-2011, 12:45 PM
Just like to chime in and add the fact that according to the interview with Shioda Sensei conducted by Stan Pranin:

For the 10 days prior O'Sensei was suffering from jaundice, and in fact had been vomiting constantly and had hardly eaten at all. Yukawa compensated knowing how ill O'sensei was and attacked weakly, he was slammed into the mat and his arm was injured, this was 15 seconds into the performance,

I think it comes under the category of mistakes. One mistake was by the uke also. So we have two mistakes at the same time.

On the other hand, taking into account the man himself, it was probably a lesson.

Regards.G.

Carsten Möllering
08-28-2011, 01:30 PM
I think it comes under the category of mistakes. ...

Just as I did in my post # 136 (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=291252&postcount=136) I'd like to ask whether it is to believed that this incident was the only one.
And whether it changes anything if not.

If you think it is unseemly to ask this question and don't want to discuss this, I will be quiet.

Abasan
08-28-2011, 01:34 PM
Just like to chime in and add the fact that according to the interview with Shioda Sensei conducted by Stan Pranin:

For the 10 days prior O'Sensei was suffering from jaundice, and in fact had been vomiting constantly and had hardly eaten at all. Yukawa compensated knowing how ill O'sensei was and attacked weakly, he was slammed into the mat and his arm was injured, this was 15 seconds into the performance,

It might be due to the nature of aiki, that an uke who doesn't commit his ki and spirit into the attack might well be get thoroughly owned by someone of high calibre. In taking his ukemi he would try to choreograph it instead of acting it fully. As opposed to someone who attacks in earnest and subsequently accepts the inevitable fall.

The harder you try to control your fall from a real aiki throw, the higher your probability of injury. Cnsequently the only way to be safe is to put your trust in your nage and fly away letting the ukemi come naturally from your body.

Another fun trivia, for Ushiro Sensei, a person he throws with ki, never gets injured apparently. Even if someone else falls on the guy. Apparently his ki projection is enough of a protection from penetrators attacks.

graham christian
08-28-2011, 04:35 PM
Just as I did in my post # 136 (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=291252&postcount=136) I'd like to ask whether it is to believed that this incident was the only one.
And whether it changes anything if not.

If you think it is unseemly to ask this question and don't want to discuss this, I will be quiet.

I don't know if it was the only one. What could it change?

graham christian
08-28-2011, 05:16 PM
The harder you try to control your fall from a real aiki throw, the higher your probability of injury. Cnsequently the only way to be safe is to put your trust in your nage and fly away letting the ukemi come naturally from your body.[QUOTE]

Carsten.
I agree with the quote above by Ahmad.

The most pertinent point though to do with the described incident is the date if you really want to make some kind of significance out of it.

1941. That should tell you something. O'Sensei said himself that before the war he trained and taught to kill, that to kill was the purpose of the training. Not until after the war and his changing the purpose due to his realizations did he thus differenciate Aikido as new and different.

With the prior post explaining what happened it is pointed out also that he was very sick that week. Seems he overcompensated with Ki maybe.

All conjecture and opinion of course except for the fact of time and type of thing he was practicing at the time.

Still don't know what point you're trying to make though or if this is relevent to it.

Regards.G.

mathewjgano
08-28-2011, 11:06 PM
Just wanted to say a quick thanks to Mark for taking the time to answer me in such detail. I have a few more questions, but not much time to frame them well, so I'll try to formulate them offline and see if I can manage enough organization to add to the discussion properly.

I would say it's the sensible thing to do and would go further by saying the philosophy is senior in importance to the action or thing. Those who follow only image are thus not too sensible.

Just think of politics, do you follow the image? In fact think of anything. If your not doing both then you cannot learn but can only copy.

Thus I say they are interdependent.
Hi Graham, for the bulk of my short life so far I would've agreed hands down with the idea that philosophy is of higher importance than action. Now I see the two as two sides of the same mindfulness coin and am beginning to lean more in favor of action...but I've been a thinker and not much of a doer for a long time now, so I'm definately finding my bias swinging in the opposite direction from where it started. I think more to the point, I agree they are interdependant, and one without the other is asking for trouble.
Take care,
Matt

ryback
08-29-2011, 01:03 AM
Well, as far as I know there where more cases than this one. I heard of some more incidents then this only one?

I was even told, that one of his uke died because of injuries he suffered during a demonstration with a living blade.
I can't verify that and don't really know whether it really happened. But I trust the person who told it to me.

But: If it ist true, does it change anything?

The specific incident that you mentioned at your previous post i'm familiar with, but to be honest i've never heard of any other, such as the one with the live blade. If it changes anything? In my mind it certainly doesn't. He was a man, men make mistakes...

Carsten Möllering
08-29-2011, 02:29 AM
... pointed out also that he was very sick that week. Seems he overcompensated with Ki maybe.
...
Still don't know what point you're trying to make though or if this is relevent to it.
I just wanted to know whether the picture of a Ueshiba, being someone who did sometimes hurt his uke makes a difference to what people think of him and of what he taught.

And I simply was interested whether people know only this mentionend inicident or whether there is a knowledge of more of such. But this to me is only a question of "historical" interest. I just like to know things.

For me myself it doesn't change anything. But I was never arguing that aikido is designed to not hurt an attacker or that Ueshiba didn't hurt someone.

Carsten Möllering
08-29-2011, 03:05 AM
And I simply was interested whether people know only this mentionend inicident ...
And I meant: Whether at all there exist more such incidents!?

niall
08-29-2011, 03:41 AM
In order to establish heaven on earth, we need a Budo that is pure in spirit, that is devoid of hatred and greed. It must follow natural principles and harmonize the material with the spiritual. Aikido means not to kill. Although nearly all creeds have a commandment against taking life, most of them justify killing for reason or another. In Aikido, however, we try to completely avoid killing, even the most evil person.

To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace.

Morihei Ueshiba

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Morihei_Ueshiba (http://<a href=)

MM
08-29-2011, 08:22 AM
Morihei Ueshiba

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Morihei_Ueshiba (http://<a href=)

If you're going to use John Steven's translations, the person it should be attributed to is Kisshomaru Ueshiba and not Morihei Ueshiba. I think the latest round of threads talking about translations would have cleared that up by now. :)

graham christian
08-29-2011, 09:42 AM
I just wanted to know whether the picture of a Ueshiba, being someone who did sometimes hurt his uke makes a difference to what people think of him and of what he taught.

And I simply was interested whether people know only this mentionend inicident or whether there is a knowledge of more of such. But this to me is only a question of "historical" interest. I just like to know things.

For me myself it doesn't change anything. But I was never arguing that aikido is designed to not hurt an attacker or that Ueshiba didn't hurt someone.

Hi Carsten.
Thanks for the clarification. I have read on here somewhere when someone pointed out an incident where the ukes hip was damaged but it sounded remarkably similar to the one you already know about. I think there's many versions of this same one floating about. Exaggerations abound no doubt.

I wouldn't be surprised if there are more, especially pre 1945, for he was a martial arts teacher and exponent over a lifetime.

Regards.G.

niall
08-29-2011, 09:42 AM
I'm not following you Mark. Are you saying you don't think those are O Sensei's words? I no longer have a copy of the book so I can't check the source. John Stevens, who speaks fluent Japanese, translated and compiled the book. He is a respected and world-famous writer and translator and expert on many aspects of Japanese culture and is also an aikido teacher. I'm sure you will understand that unless there is evidence to the contrary I will stick with his opinion.

graham christian
08-29-2011, 09:46 AM
If you're going to use John Steven's translations, the person it should be attributed to is Kisshomaru Ueshiba and not Morihei Ueshiba. I think the latest round of threads talking about translations would have cleared that up by now. :)

Are you saying Kisshomaru said it?

graham christian
08-29-2011, 09:50 AM
Just wanted to say a quick thanks to Mark for taking the time to answer me in such detail. I have a few more questions, but not much time to frame them well, so I'll try to formulate them offline and see if I can manage enough organization to add to the discussion properly.

Hi Graham, for the bulk of my short life so far I would've agreed hands down with the idea that philosophy is of higher importance than action. Now I see the two as two sides of the same mindfulness coin and am beginning to lean more in favor of action...but I've been a thinker and not much of a doer for a long time now, so I'm definately finding my bias swinging in the opposite direction from where it started. I think more to the point, I agree they are interdependant, and one without the other is asking for trouble.
Take care,
Matt

Thanks Matthew.
The fact they are interdependant is the most important datum. From that datum alone we can learn much.

Regards.G.

MM
08-29-2011, 05:11 PM
I appreciate your clarifications, Mark. What you say is interesting, but I am not sure that I "get" the practical application of your conclusions for any of us who want to learn Aikido in the modern age. What you say seems to imply that unless we study Daito Ryu and Omoto Kyo, we will never be able to understand O Sensei's Aikido, so we may as well not even bother.

I am sure that Kisshomaru did his best to try and a fashion a way to teach the art his father had developed. Certainly, each of us can only do his or her best to try and understand what our teachers have to offer. Certainly later in his life, O Sensei's desire was to share Aikido with the world. He knew that he would not live forever, and that he had to pass the torch.

Personally, I have to believe that O Sensei was not completely unsuccessful in his goals. In my personal training, I think the best that I can do is to seek out and listen to the teachers whom I trust.

Also, referring back to the original post, upon reflection I think that the best answer to the question is indeed, "Yes" - as others have pointed out.

Hello,
People in Modern Aikido all over the world often turn to Morihei Ueshiba, the founder, to support their aikido. However, the person they really should be turning to is Kisshomaru Ueshiba. And to another extent, Koichi Tohei. Morihei Ueshiba's martial skills and his spiritual ideology are not present in most Modern Aikido.

That isn't to say that Modern Aikido is lacking. Modern Aikido has stood up for itself and actually done far better in the world than Ueshiba probably ever could have done. So, it isn't a matter of right, wrong, good, or bad.

It's a matter that most Modern Aikido really doesn't have much in common with Morihei Ueshiba's aikido. And up until late in Ueshiba's life, he did not want to open his aikido up to the world. Remember, when Kisshomaru took over in Tokyo and wanted to do an open demonstration, Kisshomaru feared his father's rage at the very idea. And rightly so.

Had Ueshiba truly been interested in "passing the torch", he would have taught someone to be as martially effective as himself. Instead, through many different deshi and his son, they all said Ueshiba was more interested in personal development than in teaching.

Mark

MM
08-29-2011, 05:23 PM
I'm not following you Mark. Are you saying you don't think those are O Sensei's words? I no longer have a copy of the book so I can't check the source. John Stevens, who speaks fluent Japanese, translated and compiled the book. He is a respected and world-famous writer and translator and expert on many aspects of Japanese culture and is also an aikido teacher. I'm sure you will understand that unless there is evidence to the contrary I will stick with his opinion.

I would wonder where the quote came from, who said it, and what the original Japanese text was. John Stevens is known to use translations but not to give citations as to where they came from. He is also known to have omitted parts of sentences from translations, changed meanings from other parts, and to translate ideas according to Japan's wishes.

IF you had to rely upon someone's translations to build a nuclear reactor or to do heart surgery, would you rely upon someone who worked like that? "Hey, let's take out this section where it talks about an important part of cooling a reactor because it really doesn't translate well."

But, if you want to rely upon Steven's translations ... that's up to you.

graham christian
08-29-2011, 05:52 PM
Maybe self development is the most martially effective part of Aikido.

Regards.G.

RonRagusa
08-29-2011, 10:40 PM
I would wonder where the quote came from, who said it, and what the original Japanese text was. John Stevens is known to use translations but not to give citations as to where they came from. He is also known to have omitted parts of sentences from translations, changed meanings from other parts, and to translate ideas according to Japan's wishes.

IF you had to rely upon someone's translations to build a nuclear reactor or to do heart surgery, would you rely upon someone who worked like that? "Hey, let's take out this section where it talks about an important part of cooling a reactor because it really doesn't translate well."

But, if you want to rely upon Steven's translations ... that's up to you.

Hi Mark -

That's a pretty serious literary indictment you have leveled at Mr. Stevens. Have you anything more than anecdotal evidence to back up your claims?

Best,

Ron

ryback
08-30-2011, 08:46 AM
Hello,
People in Modern Aikido all over the world often turn to Morihei Ueshiba, the founder, to support their aikido. However, the person they really should be turning to is Kisshomaru Ueshiba. And to another extent, Koichi Tohei. Morihei Ueshiba's martial skills and his spiritual ideology are not present in most Modern Aikido.

It's a matter that most Modern Aikido really doesn't have much in common with Morihei Ueshiba's aikido. Had Ueshiba truly been interested in "passing the torch", he would have taught someone to be as martially effective as himself. Instead, through many different deshi and his son, they all said Ueshiba was more interested in personal development than in teaching.

Mark

Hi Mark! I think that Kissomaru and Tohei taught a different, very soft form than o'sensei did that sometimes didn't look so martial. Tohei always had that tendency that eventually led to his aikido being more of a practicing form (yoga-like) than a true martial art. However, i don't believe that the form of aikido that we have today is mainly a reflection of this "soft" form. Take a look at the current Doshu, or Steven Seagal sensei for example. I am certain that in aikido there are people as martially effective as o'sensei was, if not even more, what makes you say that he wasn't teaching his students that way? It's not even a matter of passing the torch, if one practices seriously, nobody can "hide" aikido from him.

sakumeikan
08-30-2011, 12:48 PM
Hi Mark! I think that Kissomaru and Tohei taught a different, very soft form than o'sensei did that sometimes didn't look so martial. Tohei always had that tendency that eventually led to his aikido being more of a practicing form (yoga-like) than a true martial art. However, i don't believe that the form of aikido that we have today is mainly a reflection of this "soft" form. Take a look at the current Doshu, or Steven Seagal sensei for example. I am certain that in aikido there are people as martially effective as o'sensei was, if not even more, what makes you say that he wasn't teaching his students that way? It's not even a matter of passing the torch, if one practices seriously, nobody can "hide" aikido from him.
Dear Yannis,
You certainly pick a contrast of Aikido styles when you ask us to look at the current Doshu and Mr Seagal. Frankly they are miles apart as far as their Aikido skills are concerned.Note I am not saying one is better /worse than the other just different.

MM
08-30-2011, 02:31 PM
Hi Mark -

That's a pretty serious literary indictment you have leveled at Mr. Stevens. Have you anything more than anecdotal evidence to back up your claims?

Best,

Ron

Uh, Ron, have you been reading Aikiweb the last few years? Everything I mentioned is noted in Aikiweb threads from the past few years. So, um, how is it that you missed them?

Mark

RonRagusa
08-30-2011, 04:01 PM
Uh, Ron, have you been reading Aikiweb the last few years? Everything I mentioned is noted in Aikiweb threads from the past few years. So, um, how is it that you missed them?

Mark

Well Mark, I've read a lot of opinion on AikiWeb about how Mr. Stevens has done this or that with regards to his translations. Opinion however doesn't constitute evidence of anything other than the author's belief.

So appealing to Aikiweb posts as evidence of the veracity of your claim falls a little short. Note that I'm not saying your assertions are necessarily incorrect, only that when it comes to matters of translation something more than someone else's opinion is required as proof of statements asserting willful misrepresentation.

Best,

Ron

MM
08-30-2011, 07:55 PM
Well Mark, I've read a lot of opinion on AikiWeb about how Mr. Stevens has done this or that with regards to his translations. Opinion however doesn't constitute evidence of anything other than the author's belief.

So appealing to Aikiweb posts as evidence of the veracity of your claim falls a little short. Note that I'm not saying your assertions are necessarily incorrect, only that when it comes to matters of translation something more than someone else's opinion is required as proof of statements asserting willful misrepresentation.

Best,

Ron

Opinion? There were actual japanese text presented with various translations. That's not opinion. I'd say that's fairly hard evidence of how some things were changed, omitted, etc. Again, perhaps you should go back and do research for these posts and threads.

Now, by that very fact, it's going to be willful. Each person decides how they are going to translate something. That's willful. But, nowhere, let me restate that *nowhere* did I say it was malicious. I, like others, think that John Stevens did the very best that he could under the circumstances. Especially where Kisshomaru and hombu was concerned.

But the fact is that certain things that Ueshiba said had very real meaning in the martial world but were somehow not conveyed in the translations. That's probably going to become even more evident as time goes by. Or you could just assign my posts as some rambling drivel by an unknown heretic who's clueless to the aikido world. :crazy: :hypno:

Mark

RonRagusa
08-30-2011, 08:59 PM
Or you could just assign my posts as some rambling drivel by an unknown heretic who's clueless to the aikido world. :crazy: :hypno:

Actually Mark I find your posts contain lots of well thought out points that present the, shall we say,"Dan-centric" view of Aikido very well. You probably know that I view Aikido as an art with a very wide spectrum of applicability and, as such, don't believe that there are any heretical interpretations of Ueshiba's creation.

Before I decided to accept anyone else's word on the subject I should like to hear Mr. Steven's rebuttal of the criticism leveled at him. As he doesn't post here, and for all I know, isn't even aware of the controversy, that'll probably not come to pass.

No matter though, in the long run it's one's training that matters.

Best,

Ron

ryback
08-31-2011, 01:01 AM
Dear Yannis,
You certainly pick a contrast of Aikido styles when you ask us to look at the current Doshu and Mr Seagal. Frankly they are miles apart as far as their Aikido skills are concerned.Note I am not saying one is better /worse than the other just different.

Agreed. I never said they are the same. There is one aikido but each master has his personal style of executing techniques. Doshu and Seagal sensei are different, yet neither of them practicing a soft form with no martial effectiveness.

Carsten Möllering
08-31-2011, 06:00 AM
... Seagal sensei ...
It's ot but here in Germany it is said, that Seagal sensei wouldn't practice and teach anymore? Sounds like that wouldn't be true?

ryback
08-31-2011, 07:10 AM
It's ot but here in Germany it is said, that Seagal sensei wouldn't practice and teach anymore? Sounds like that wouldn't be true?

From what i know it isn't true. There are some (not many) resent videos of him teaching on utube, although without traditional gi and hakama in some cases. In the second season of Steven Seagal:Lawman, there is a video of him teaching kumi-tachi wearing a full black gi and hakama and also practicing tameshi-giri with a katana. And there are also the videos of him teaching a couple of u.f.c athletes which i find a little bit outside the spirit of budo, but it is still an aikido teaching activity. He also teaches the police officers of Jefferson Parish, Luisiana and for some techniques he has one of his actual students serving as uke. I believe he considers aikido one of the most important aspects of his life, therefore i don't think he'll ever stop practicing. I really respect him very much as an aikido teacher and as a person (as far as i know about him).

Demetrio Cereijo
08-31-2011, 07:19 AM
Before I decided to accept anyone else's word on the subject I should like to hear Mr. Steven's rebuttal of the criticism leveled at him. As he doesn't post here, and for all I know, isn't even aware of the controversy, that'll probably not come to pass.

Hi Ron,

In this interview Mr. Stevens hints to his approach regarding his writings about aikido.

http://www.aikido-world.com/articles/JohnStevens-interview1.htm
http://www.aikido-world.com/articles/JohnStevens-interview2.htm

RonRagusa
08-31-2011, 07:58 AM
Hi Ron,

In this interview Mr. Stevens hints to his approach regarding his writings about aikido.

http://www.aikido-world.com/articles/JohnStevens-interview1.htm
http://www.aikido-world.com/articles/JohnStevens-interview2.htm

Thank you Demetrio. I'll try to give them a read today.

Best,

Ron

mathewjgano
09-03-2011, 01:29 PM
Hi Mark,
After reading this article (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=445)posted in another thread I thought instantly of your recent remarks to me. Here Nidai Doshu seems to describe, in what seems like fairly clear terms, the direction in which his efforts went.

[My father] put a broad interpretation on the idea of kata (form) placing instead emphasis on the pursuit of the highest spiritual plane. This is why Aikido became what it is today. In a sense, there is something in Aikido which corresponds to Zen. Aikido involves a complete change of thinking patterns...Also, its training method is in harmony with the workings of society. Morihei Ueshiba was a martial arts genius. We must do our best to bridge the gap between his flash of genius and society.

MM
09-03-2011, 01:54 PM
Hi Mark,
After reading this article (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=445)posted in another thread I thought instantly of your recent remarks to me. Here Nidai Doshu seems to describe, in what seems like fairly clear terms, the direction in which his efforts went.

Matthew,
Just because Modern Aikido is different than Ueshiba's aikido, doesn't mean that one can trivialize Modern Aikido (I know you aren't). Millions of people have given it life and purpose. The real and true founder is Kisshomaru Ueshiba. I really think people don't give him enough credit. It should be his portrait up there with his father's in most dojos. Or Tohei's portrait with Ueshiba's for other dojos. Those two did far, far more for Modern Aikido than Morihei Ueshiba ever did. Different does not equate to wrong or bad in the eyes of the world.

Where I tend to focus is to show that Morihei Ueshiba's aikido *is* different than Modern Aikido.

Aikirk
09-03-2011, 03:24 PM
Maybe self development is the most martially effective part of Aikido.

Regards.G.

Yes. And maybe it's all one, and his teachings was a way of showing that spiritualism and martial art cannot be separated. It might just be the same way.