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dps
06-23-2011, 11:06 AM
We all understand Aikido from our previous and ongoing experiences and training.

Most people in Aikido have previous martial arts or sports experience and there are some on this forum whose frame of reference is training and riding horses.

From;
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12078&page=6,



.......There is *no* doubt that Tohei trained with Nakamura who himself was considered the "father" of yoga in Japan. There is no doubt Tohei was profoundly affected by this training.

My understanding of the issue is that his training with Nakamura helped Tohei better understand what he was experiencing with Ueshiba. And that allowed Tohei to develop his systematic approach to teaching which in turn became "mainstream" aikido since Tohei was soon Chief Instructor. So there was an influence. I wouldn't say he had nothing then went outside to bring ki back. Nor would I say he already had it all and he just did some yoga on the side.

Now the question that remains is whether what he was doing/teaching/formulating was the absolute end all of aikido or the *only* way to go about transmitting the skillset. I think few would claim such a thing. I train in a lineage that goes directly to Tohei-sensei. I like/enjoy/train/teach much of the same stuff. However, time spent with others has greatly informed my understanding of what we learned from Tohei, from our founder, Kobayashi-sensei, and then from his senior students now carrying on what he taught. I have spent time with Mike, Dan, Toby, even Aaron Clark via an Aikiweb seminar. I learned much in all of them, adding things to my "to do" list each time. Stuff I try to do daily in addition to what I already do. And yet when I train and teach I don't think I'm doing anything outside the realm of Aikido. I just find there are new ways to improve, new insights, clarifications, etc. ......

What is your frame of reference for better understanding your experience with Aikido?

chillzATL
06-23-2011, 12:02 PM
These days everything I do and think of in regards to aikido is framed around IS/IP skills. Coming from a lineage very similar to Keith, whom you quoted, I now see the point behind pretty much everything we do.

ChrisHein
06-23-2011, 12:52 PM
As you pointed out, my frame of reference has changed much as time has gone on. At first, it was that of a kid who got in lots of fights and had lots of aggression. Aikido "blew" my mind from that reference point. To think a person could win a fight, without hurting anyone else, and do it effortlessly, seemed pretty amazing. This helped me to drop much of the fear and aggression that had gotten me into all of those childhood fights.

My frame of reference was changed again and made me believe that Aikido was a bunch of garbage, not long after getting my black belt. I got into my first fight since I started training, and my Aikido training didn't help me-in either avoiding, or dominating the fight.

That pushed me to sport martial arts. Which gave me a new reference point, and made Aikido seem just as silly. It also taught me more about what I considered to be "fighting" than I had learned previously.

Then I fought with the Dog brothers, and again my reference point was changed. In that fight, much of my Aikido training came into play. This opened up my perspective to the idea of different fighting contexts; that is to say that different kinds of fights require different fighting methods, strategies and ideologies. It made me realize that there was more to the martial world than kicking, punching, wrestling and high amperage throws.

This led me back home, and more training in Aikido. Lot's of long discussion, debate and training hours spent with Michael Varin, many other marital artists, and the people here on Aikiweb. Forming my current frame of reference for Aikido. A system designed to develop humanity through historically sound fighting methods, that revolve around the context of dealing with multiple attackers while armed.

Shadowfax
06-23-2011, 01:49 PM
For me it is horses. Horses led me to aikido because I heard that there was a relationship between the two and I am finding this to be very true. So quite often in the dojo I will try to find some connection between what I am working on and riding or handling horses. Ive even written a couple of short articles on the subject.:)

dps
06-23-2011, 02:05 PM
From; http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=286372

...... Tohei did not bring ki to Aikido - he brought his own take on it and his own methodology of teaching it, which a lot came from outside the Aikido community. ........

No one is saying ki and aiki were never in Aikido - Ueshiba had it, but unfortunately, not much of it got passed down. .......



I would disagree that it did not get passed down.

It was passed down.

O'sensei's method of passing down was him being an example and the student emulating what he was doing.

He did not try to find a coherent frame of reference for his students. He used his own frame of reference.

It was and is up to the student to supply their own frame of references to understand.

dps

dps
06-23-2011, 02:11 PM
For me it was horses, high school wrestling, weight lifting with free weights and lots of manual labor.

dps

chillzATL
06-23-2011, 02:13 PM
He did not try to find a coherent frame of reference for his students. He used his own frame of reference.

It was and is up to the student to supply their own frame of references to understand.

dps

Which is why so few got so little of what he had and why fewer still could teach what little they got.

dps
06-23-2011, 02:20 PM
Which is why so few got so little of what he had and why fewer still could teach what little they got.

The information is in the techniques.

If you know the techniques you need frames of references to understand.

dp

chillzATL
06-23-2011, 02:21 PM
The information is in the techniques.

If you know the techniques you need frames of references to understand.

dp

and he left no understandable frame of reference, hence, nobody really having what he had.

dps
06-23-2011, 02:34 PM
and he left no understandable frame of reference, hence, nobody really having what he had.

Right, the frame of reference is missing to understand what they are emulating.

What O'sensi demonstrated for his students was like being given a book written in Spanish. If you already know how to read Spanish you can understand the book.

If you know Italian or Latin or any of the Romance languages then you may be able to understand the book a little bit.

If you don't know language except English you won't understand the book at all.

dps

chillzATL
06-23-2011, 02:41 PM
Right, the frame of reference is missing to understand what they are emulating.

What O'sensi demonstrated for his students was like being given a book written in Spanish. If you already know how to read Spanish you can understand the book.

If you know Italian or Latin or any of the Romance languages then you may be able to understand the book a little bit.

If you don't know language except English you won't understand the book at all.

dps

exactly, which is why it really wasn't passed down.

dps
06-23-2011, 02:47 PM
exactly, which is why it really wasn't passed down.

No.

In my analogy the book is Aikido O"Sensei passed down.

The student must find a way to read the book.

dps

DH
06-23-2011, 02:51 PM
The information is in the techniques.
dp
"Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training. Only amateurs think that techniques are enough. They understand nothing." Sagawa

THe information is NOT in the techniques. That's why he routinely talked down to people who were technique oriented and he was well known for not repeating them. Something he learned from Takeda.

Interestingly enough Ueshiba spent hours and hours solo training and hours and hours talking to them about the mental aspects of Ki.
You realize of course, that you are more or less stating that you know better than the old man himself.
We can add Shirata, Tohei, Takeda, Sagawa, and many others to the list but...I don't think we need to.
Dan

dps
06-23-2011, 02:53 PM
"Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training. Only amateurs think that techniques are enough. They understand nothing." Sagawa

THe information is NOT in the techniques. That's why he routinely talked down to people who were technique oriented and he was well known for not repeating them. Something he learned from Takeda.

Interestingly enough Ueshiba spent hours and hours solo training and hours and hours talking to them about the mental aspects of Ki.
You realize of course, that you are more or less stating that you know better than the old man himself.
We can add Shirata, Tohei, Takeda, Sagawa, and many others to the list but...I don't think we need to.
Dan

And what do you think he was doing in those hours solo training?

dps

chillzATL
06-23-2011, 02:57 PM
No.

In my analogy the book is Aikido O"Sensei passed down.

The student must find a way to read the book.

dps

I'm not sure how well the analogy fits, David. The book and the method of reading it properly, so that it is transmitted in the same way that it was written, are pretty tightly connected, IMO.

Ketsan
06-23-2011, 03:18 PM
The information is in the techniques.

If you know the techniques you need frames of references to understand.

dp

There's very little information in the techniques. You can do them ad infinitum and not really learn anything. If anything they hinder things.

dps
06-23-2011, 03:21 PM
There's very little information in the techniques. You can do them ad infinitum and not really learn anything. If anything they hinder things.

There is alot of information in the techniques you just need the appropriate frame of reference for you.

dps

phitruong
06-23-2011, 03:28 PM
The information is in the techniques.

If you know the techniques you need frames of references to understand.

dp

interestingly enough, Saotome sensei said "aikido is principles, ideas, understand?" what can i say, his Japonglish is strange sometimes.

as far as frame of reference, it's drinking, partying, and general carousing and public disturbing after late night practice. as far as understanding aikido, still puzzle with why do we need to wear gi pant underneath hakama or wear anything at all? or why isn't there hot pink hakama with the lace trim, not that i would wear one, at least not in public, but why isn't there? why is there aiki ken but no aiki barbie? why aiki jo instead of aiki joe-bob or even billy-bob? and why can't we rap with O sensei doku? :D

gregstec
06-23-2011, 03:52 PM
exactly, which is why it really wasn't passed down.

I was getting ready to jump in on this somewhat off-logical exchange, but I see you are doing a good job of explaining my point - thanks! keep up the good work :D

Best
Greg

gregstec
06-23-2011, 04:00 PM
There is alot of information in the techniques you just need the appropriate frame of reference for you.

dps

The only information in a technique is what is put there by the practitioner. Techniques do not teach ki or aiki, they serve as examples of ki and aiki application only when performed by someone that already knows ki and aiki; which is what Ueshiba and Takeda did.

Greg

lbb
06-23-2011, 04:03 PM
Another derailed thread. Awesome.

gregstec
06-23-2011, 04:03 PM
interestingly enough, Saotome sensei said "aikido is principles, ideas, understand?" what can i say, his Japonglish is strange sometimes.

as far as frame of reference, it's drinking, partying, and general carousing and public disturbing after late night practice. as far as understanding aikido, still puzzle with why do we need to wear gi pant underneath hakama or wear anything at all? or why isn't there hot pink hakama with the lace trim, not that i would wear one, at least not in public, but why isn't there? why is there aiki ken but no aiki barbie? why aiki jo instead of aiki joe-bob or even billy-bob? and why can't we rap with O sensei doku? :D

This ramble makes more sense than some other statements I am reading in this thread :D

Greg

gregstec
06-23-2011, 04:10 PM
And what do you think he was doing in those hours solo training?

dps

probably developing his frame of reference, which was IS :)

Greg

chillzATL
06-23-2011, 04:19 PM
And what do you think he was doing in those hours solo training?

dps

you could start here:

http://benotdefeatedbytherain.blogspot.com/2010/07/sagawa-sensei-tanren.html

but keep in mind that you can do it and still not be doing it. :)

Gerardo Torres
06-23-2011, 04:28 PM
Another derailed thread. Awesome.
How? It seems people are sharing/defending their different understanding of aikido.

Thread title: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Janet Rosen
06-23-2011, 06:54 PM
ROTFLMAO!
or why isn't there hot pink hakama:D

With or without stripes? I lost the link to the bright pink women's version but there is this....
http://cgi.ebay.com/Japanese-Boys-Pink-HAKAMA-Thin-Stripes-55cm-7-items-/170560891014 :)

why is there aiki ken but no aiki barbie?
Um.....c'mere and grab my wrist.... :D

on a serious note... I have not found this thread to have been hijacked; every post has been on the topic as titled/raised.

BJohnston
06-23-2011, 11:23 PM
Music

Eva Antonia
06-24-2011, 02:55 AM
Hello,

I have two frames of reference that give me some consolation for not yet understanding aikido yet...

...first is my university education. It took me two years to get my pre-diploma; that was in pre-Bologna Germany that what in the anglo-Saxon world a BSc is. => equivalent to 3rd kyu.
Then it took me two more years to get my Dipl.-Ing (= MSc in engineering = shodan).

Then, as a "shodan" engineer starting my professional career, what was I? A mere beginner without experience. So I started working very much and learning very much and scrambling slowly towards more understanding.

Now I have 20 years of experience, but still I wouldn't consider myself as a "shihan" in environmental engineering. And I still have as many years in front of myself as I'm in good health and able to find assignments. So the learning process is going on.

And I get the impression for aikido it's very much the same.

Second reference is languages.
I learnt a lot of them during my life; some I did master, some I gave up because they were too difficult for me, but the process was always the same.
At first you learn single words and grammar structures. It's just like in aikido when you learn tai sabaki, nikkyo and so on; you learn them all separately and without really understanding the connection. Then you learn to form complete, but simple sentences. You would be able to give an answer on, let's say,
shomen uchi. You perform stutteringly ikkyo ura.
And after some time you can give fluent answers with a more complex structure.
And after some time more, you could engage into conversation, discussion and disputes. That would be kaeshi waza and randori.

And obviously, some people also learn to write poems, scientific essays or mighty novels. Most of us never get there, neither in their first language nor in other languages they learn later and also not in aikido....

Best regards,

Eva

Tim Ruijs
06-24-2011, 02:56 AM
Everything...:confused:

phitruong
06-24-2011, 07:31 AM
With or without stripes? I lost the link to the bright pink women's version but there is this....
http://cgi.ebay.com/Japanese-Boys-Pink-HAKAMA-Thin-Stripes-55cm-7-items-/170560891014 :)



the stripes make me look fat and i don't have the right curves for it, which would affect my aikido greatly, in a very negative way. besides, stripes don't harmonize with pink, lace trims would be better. methink, hot pink hakama and black leather vest top would brought all kind of understanding to my aikido, or at least other people understanding of my aikido. :D

the other frame of reference for me is riding motorcycle. you learn to use minimal amount of energy to steer the bike, mostly with your hips. interestingly enough, my dojo seemed to attract bikers, i.e. 90% of my dojo mates, including my sensei, ride motorcycle. they tend to have a very good sense of balance. now the state where i live isn't too far from Tail of the Dragon trail http://www.tailofthedragonmaps.com/maps_ridemeposter.html it's 11 miles with 318 curves in the smoky mountain range. it's scary when you ride in a car, much less on a motorcycle. However, i have not the nerve to go through it yet. some of my dojo mates had. riding motorcycle is very much like aikido. you got randori through traffics, you got mostly irimi follow by tenkan. ukemi is a bitch on asphalt so you don't give up your balance if you can help it. you got push and pull by the winds in various direction. you got to use minimal power to make maximum affect. you got to focus and live in the moment, and cannot let your mind wander, or you will learn why ukemi on concrete, with various obstacles like cars and rails, is a bitch. your mind is on protecting your body and your bike. you got to practice and practice and practice, then push the boundary of your limits. and it's exhilarating and frightening at the same time. what is there not to like when you have a large vibrating motor between your legs? :D

lbb
06-24-2011, 10:26 AM
How? It seems people are sharing/defending their different understanding of aikido.


I think there's a difference between "sharing/defending" and bickering. But perhaps it's all in the eye of the beholder.

My own perspective is that I'm not a theoretician, and I have to be able to do it before I'm going to understand it...not the other way around. And that, even at that point, I don't need a philosophical or theoretical framework to put it in. Maybe that's nice, but it's not necessary, and sometimes even detrimental.

Keith Larman
06-24-2011, 12:12 PM
Interesting to take my quote... In the larger context I was arguing that since aikido has morphed in so many directions then what is important as core concepts/ principles/ methods/ whatever vary tremendously. Hence arguing about this stuff at that level is kinda silly.

But... My personal opinion is another thing entirely. And I would argue that very few ever got to a high level in what *I* (see, my POV, my priorities, my background) consider fundamental. I sure as heck haven't. And I see some of that as a lack of transmission due to a variety of factors.

The major one, I think, is that those folk who did "grok" some of this stuff "groked" it in a way that simply couldn't be transmitted to someone who didn't have the same experiences. Their understanding of how they were able to do these things wasn't well formed due to a lack of a conceptual framework which makes it a difficult proposition at best to teach. I think many of those who are very, very good in fact don't really understand how they got there. But they did. And they tell you to relax, to not muscle, to just move their center like they do. What they don't see is that they spent years developing that ability through some mix of methods and now that they can do it they can't explain how they do it. They just relax. But if we "just relax" it doesn't really help. Why? If we adopt a point of view that some degree of physical development is necessary to do these things then you have a person trying to explain a feeling to someone lacking the physicality to feel it themselves. Honestly I think some who have some degree of these skills do feel (what they take to be) the "ki flowing", do feel that connection, they just don't have a mechanism by which to explain it that goes beyond semi-mystical concepts. Hence the conundrum we find ourselves in.

"Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training. Only amateurs think that techniques are enough. They understand nothing." Sagawa

THe information is NOT in the techniques.

Over the years this has been my experience as well. The training methodology most of us have used over the years is learning to do techniques along with various exercises with the hope that we get that elusive glimpse of aiki as we go. So the footwork, positioning, postures, etc. that we work on aren't so much to learn to the technique well, but to hopefully "stack the deck" so we can start to build up a structure, balance, approach, then develop something that allows this magical aiki thing to start to make an appearance. So to me it is like tossing down the little footstep markers on the floor to teach someone a dance. It ain't really about stepping in each spot. It is about guiding someone into being able to finally do it with grace, elegance, etc. and hopefully at some point -- they simply dance. Without the footsteps. I.e., the techniques themselves were simply a heuristic device to get at something deeper, more fundamental.

So while one can start to "grok" some aspects, it seems to me to a be a poor transmission methodology since most students simply emulate the movement, the dance steps, without ever grasping the underlying "power" that drives it. I think some of the movement to IS/IP is trying to focus on that power which can then be fed back in to the techniques to see how they can be done fundamentally differently (all while often looking almost exactly the same).

Cart before the horse...

All that said I've met and trained with people in Aikido who are marvelous technical artists. Their movement, strength, balance, etc. is just fantastic. But in my personal classification what I see is really good, solid jujutsu. Good empty hand waza with good physical presence. I marvel at those people, but I'm not so sure that good jujutsu is the same as the aiki I was looking for in training in aiki-do. But here I see the focus on technique. Good solid technique that would probably leave me in a crumpled mass on the mat. That's good stuff. Just not what fits in to *my* conception of what I want *my* aikido to be.

Anyway, I felt obligated to post since it was my quote that started this thing. I won't get in to the whole "was it handed down" argument because it is a question of degrees. I think Tohei did a marvelous job with his focus and he gave us a lot of tools for learning. But it's okay to look for more tools to investigate the same thing.

Or if it isn't your bag, there are other ways to approach aikido that I think are perfectly valid, like the "technician" approach I outlined above. I respect that greatly.

So... that's my framework for understanding... FWIW.

Mary Eastland
06-24-2011, 12:43 PM
I was a good athlete but I didn't care about winning and losing. I had a substance abuse problem.

I hurt myself alot and let others hurt me. I needed help and I had no idea how much.

The universe picked me up and set me in Ron's class. I get other help too but aikido has helped me heal physically.I can take ideas that I learn elsewhere and put them into my life in a excercisey way. I am still getting better one day at a time. Works for me!

Nicholas Eschenbruch
06-25-2011, 02:24 AM
In the larger context I was arguing that since aikido has morphed in so many directions then what is important as core concepts/ principles/ methods/ whatever vary tremendously. Hence arguing about this stuff at that level is kinda silly.

(...)

Their understanding of how they were able to do these things wasn't well formed due to a lack of a conceptual framework which makes it a difficult proposition at best to teach. I think many of those who are very, very good in fact don't really understand how they got there. But they did. And they tell you to relax, to not muscle, to just move their center like they do. What they don't see is that they spent years developing that ability through some mix of methods and now that they can do it they can't explain how they do it. They just relax. But if we "just relax" it doesn't really help. Why? If we adopt a point of view that some degree of physical development is necessary to do these things then you have a person trying to explain a feeling to someone lacking the physicality to feel it themselves. Honestly I think some who have some degree of these skills do feel (what they take to be) the "ki flowing", do feel that connection, they just don't have a mechanism by which to explain it that goes beyond semi-mystical concepts. Hence the conundrum we find ourselves in.



Great points. I think it is Michael Polanyi who has this whole theory that we understand stuff with a sort of unspoken reference to other things we also know, but are unaware of. (We then call the process intuition, talent or the like, and I am certainly not doing justice to his theory here...). I seem to observe this in all my teachers and myself when I teach, it seems impossible to make the whole frame of reference transparent.

For myself, for example, at some point something "clicked" regarding letting forces through my body into the ground. I don't know how I got there (to make matters more complicated, I think I may actually have "stolen" it from my teacher through feeling him.) From that point onwards, not only could I do a lot more in that area (though I still suck), I could also tell beginners which part of their body to adjust just by feeling into them through a contact point, or looking at them - I could tell them stuff I had not learned consciously myself. All that is not a big deal, but my point is that to this day I dont quite know how I do it and why I can do it, while the beginners think I have some sort of higher mystical power. (A delusion that passes, fortunately).

Interestingly enough, IS training now helps me to understand what I am doing (And realise how little I know).

One of my teachers uses spiritual and emotional "language" to get to very similar physical effects that others get to using a sort of more anatomically grounded IS explanatory framework. And then everybody tends to say that their frame of understanding is the way to explain what is happening, while I would be arrogant enough to argue that we are all only partially aware of what is really going on.

Not sure I am making my point clear, Saturday morning ramblings.

As for my frame of reference, I find it difficult to say anything but "my life".

SeiserL
06-25-2011, 06:53 AM
We all understand Aikido from our previous and ongoing experiences and training. Most people in Aikido have previous martial arts or sports experience and there are some on this forum whose frame of reference is training and riding horses. What is your frame of reference for better understanding your experience with Aikido?
Yes agreed.

Most people attempt to understand something new in the frame of reference of something old.

Which can actually inhibit or prevent new learning that is outside to old model paradigm.

While my prior martial arts training was helpful in the discipline, it did present an obstacle to learning the new principles and movements.

Perhaps this make a good case of Shoshin (beginner's mind)?

Thoughts?

Keith Larman
06-25-2011, 08:39 AM
Perhaps this make a good case of Shoshin (beginner's mind)?



Also a strong argument for periodically emptying one's cup by going out and trying different things. And not just the things you are comfortable trying... Maybe most importantly occasionally trying those things you are most skeptical about.

Michael Varin
06-26-2011, 06:08 AM
but I'm not so sure that good jujutsu is the same as the aiki I was looking for in training in aiki-do.

But is "IP/IT/IS" either? From the way I hear it described, I don't think so.

Where does that leave us?

Michael Varin
06-26-2011, 06:16 AM
Great points, Lynn and Keith.

I have continuously struggled with the obstacles you mention in those last two posts, as I suspect many do.

Keith Larman
06-26-2011, 10:02 AM
But is "IP/IT/IS" either? From the way I hear it described, I don't think so.

Where does that leave us?

Well, years ago I went to a dojo opening where a number of guys gave demos. Toby Threadgill, Neil Yamamoto, Rich Elias, and a bunch of others. James Williams was there and he did some interesting matched stuff he got from Kuroda. I saw a lot of great stuff. Stuff I would have called great aikido because most of what I saw that day was driven by the exact "stuff" I was looking for.

You say "from the way I hear it described". Well, with all due respect I don't have that problem. I sucked it up after that demo (and other things I'd seen) and went out and got on the mat with a lot of different people. What changed for me *was* my frame of reference because as Lynn has pointed out, we only tend to understand things through our own filters. We are limited in what we know *by* what we know. I went out, got manhandled, got thrown, learned new stuff, struggled, and am still struggling. My frame of reference has changed. No, I don't think it is a complete fundamental change, but it is a heck of a lot more nuanced, a heck of a lot more complex, and I hope a heck of a lot better mapped to what is really going on. My understanding of aiki has changed. That idea, the notion of differing frames of reference, the notion that the metaphors and mental constructs we use to understand this stuff determine how we understand (and can limit us) was the point of what I posted originally in that other thread that was grabbed for here.

Again, back to another thing I wrote. I see good jujutsu that can be done without aiki. Some in Aikido are actually fairly good at that. I'll then see okay jujutsu with *some* elements of aiki. I also have seen stuff that I simply can't describe because it seems to me to be completely devoid of anything at all (delusional comes to mind). But it is those doing good waza with the power of a more nuanced aiki who can both do it with amazing fluidity and softness. *BUT* that softness is there with a potential power underneath it that is palpable. And undeniable.

By the way, one guy I know has a t-shirt that says "ki is crap". I would also say I've seen the guy demonstrates a tremendous amount of aiki in his waza. Powerful.

And I don't see a contradiction.

When you type "from the way I hear it described" I will sit here shaking my head understanding what you're saying. I had heard it as well up until I *really* watched some people working. That planted a seed. I then asked more questions, got out on the mat, and then experienced what they were doing. That in turn fed back in to me as I watch old videos of o-sensei, of Tohei, of others. And I see it through different eyes now, through a different frame of reference. The problem wasn't what was being said, the problem was my understanding of what aiki *is* wasn't as fully developed as it is now. Or maybe my conception was simply different if that makes folk feel better about it.

I'm not going to argue about right or wrong. The problem here is that I have my opinions from my training, my experiences, and my beliefs. There's guys here who enjoy arguing either side. Me, I answered it for myself by shoving my ratty black belt in to the bottom of my bag and attending classes with people doing other stuff. People who came to "aiki" through different paths.

I'm still asking questions. But I do it on the mat now. And in person. And I have a long way to go. And all the discussion *here* won't help. So on that note, time to shower up, pack my bag, and get out on the mat.

dps
06-26-2011, 10:14 AM
But is "IP/IT/IS" either? From the way I hear it described, I don't think so.

Where does that leave us?

From A blog about Shirata Rinjaro at;

' Be Not Defeated By The Rain'

http://benotdefeatedbytherain.blogspot.com/2011/06/shirata-rinjiro.html

"Tandokudosa is a rather generic term meaning "solo body movement exercise." However, for Shirata Sensei the term refers to 13 solo body movement exercises that were developed to "unlock" Aikido. .......

......So, for Shirata sensei his Tandokudosa and Ken Kata are of inestimable importance to the understanding and unlocking of Aikido, they are his effort to "unpack" Aikido as taught to him.

So, Shirata sensei taught the "stuff" to "build the hips," "Develop Kokyu, Ki and Aiki" and also a hermeneutic (His Tandokudosa and his Ken and Jo Kata) to "unpack" the Kokyu, Ki, and Aiki development into taijutsu or buki waza."

Kind of a WinZip for Aikido.

dps

DH
06-26-2011, 10:29 AM
And those tandokudosa can be done, totally wrong and devoid of anything that will unlock aikido.
As with most things; you can see high ranking people do some things, then you can see other people do the same things....and sure enough, while they are both from the same teacher, they have arrived at a completety different understanding.
We can sit here and wonder why, but I suspect it has always been this way.
Cheers
Dan

Allen Beebe
06-26-2011, 01:04 PM
I have only read the last few posts on this thread, but just for the record:

Toby Threadgill, Richard Elias, Neil Yamamoto, and James Williams all were students of Don Angier at one time and to one degree or another before they became featured on the front of martial Wheaties boxes. Don Angier taught (teaches?) Shidare Yanagi Ryu Aikijujutsu. So when one sees their "stuff" there would be an undeniable Yanagi Ryu Aikijujutsu influence because of the profound influence of Don. Not that any of those guys are doing Don's art now. I'm just saying that when one is a sincere student, and I have no doubt that they were all sincere students (one doesn't get good at what one studies unless one is sincere), one is deeply and profoundly influenced by one's teacher, probably even in ways that one is not consciously unaware of. In fact, it sometimes is quite difficult to "shake the dust off" of such an influence from one's sandals even if one sincerely desires to do so.

Also it is my understanding that according to Don, his teacher, Kenji Yoshida, was taught the Yoshida family art by his father Kotaro Yoshida, who, it is well documented, also happened to be a friend and student of Takeda Sokaku.

So there are both Yanagi Ryu Aiki and Daito Ryu Aiki connections and probable influences at play. It should come as no surprise then that one would recognize some form of congruency there. Although, before one jumps to hasty conclusions . . . if Daito Ryu, at least, consists of a Jujutsu, Aiki Jujutsu, Aiki no Jutsu tripartite, which of these three is one recognizing? Who is "qualified" to say? And, who "has the eyes to see?"

Just for transparency's sake, the Ki is Crap calligraphy that probably is featured on the t-shirt is mine. Neil asked me to do write it out so that he could make a gift of it to Don. I'm happy to hear that it isn't lining Don's underwear drawer in the manner that the certificate awarded by certain August Aikido personage reportedly is. I wrote it in a manner that mimics a certain other well-known aficionado of "Ki" BTW.

Personally I loved the irony. Here is a person that could do what that "other person" could do (and possibly more) but was so turned off by the mystical smoke blowing and cult worship that he felt compelled to promote an opposing (balancing) view, "Ki is crap!" Thereby producing . . . Aiki! It is my understanding that Don actually has his own nuanced opinion and insights into what he thinks Ki actually is, or at least what it could be, and what it definitely is not. But for the sake of simplicity "Ki is Crap!" suits his unique "martial curmudgeon" accoutrements quite nicely! I imagine that Don finds the self righteously indignant outrage aimed at him by true believers (usually self deputized defenders of an art they have just begun to learn) to be particularly amusing considering that he is the Soke of a lineage of ai KI jujutsu.

And then there is the blog . . .

I have to admit I was surprised when I bumbled along that a several days back. Basically it is an entire blog largely consisting of my post taken from Aikiweb. At first I didn't know what to think, and then I thought, "But he didn't even ask my permission." And then it occurred to me that any post is probably in the "public domain." I'm admittedly getting older and, while I really love technology, I am kind of "old school." So I took the blog as a reminder that what I say on a board I am saying to the world, around the world.

Anyway, Dan's comment about my quote frames it up nicely. The longer one lives with ANY art the more one sees "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

I remember the first time Neil hosted Jon Bluming to the U.S. A bunch of guys were standing around and introducing themselves and then recognizing each other even though they had never met . . . because they had met on e-budo. I remember thinking, "e-what? Who are these guys, and why are they sitting around typing when they could be training?"

Well look who's a motor mouth on the boards now! (Maybe that is why my pants don't fit me any more.)

Yesterday, my son's (5) and daughter's (7) grandfather came to spend the day for the first time in their lives.

Within maybe 20 minutes my son was sitting in his grandpa's lap, leaning back so that his little head was nestled against grandpa's cheek reading grandpa one of his favorite books.

Now THERE was some ai (love) ki (joy) on contact! Seeing the inter generational (in/yo) bond (musubi) happen instantly (katsu hayabi), between my kids and their grandfather formed a bridge in my heart (ame no ukihashi) and I felt that my own departed father and all of our ancestors somehow were enjoying that moment with us, a sense of the high plain of heaven (takamagahara) shining down upon my jaded and world weary sense of life for a moment, a sense of unity, wholeness, and at home (O-moto).

Russ Q
06-26-2011, 02:13 PM
Within maybe 20 minutes my son was sitting in his grandpa's lap, leaning back so that his little head was nestled against grandpa's cheek reading grandpa one of his favorite books.

Now THERE was some ai (love) ki (joy) on contact! Seeing the inter generational (in/yo) bond (musubi) happen instantly (katsu hayabi), between my kids and their grandfather formed a bridge in my heart (ame no ukihashi) and I felt that my own departed father and all of our ancestors somehow were enjoying that moment with us, a sense of the high plain of heaven (takamagahara) shining down upon my jaded and world weary sense of life for a moment, a sense of unity, wholeness, and at home (O-moto).

Love it.

mathewjgano
06-26-2011, 02:14 PM
Now THERE was some ai (love) ki (joy) on contact! Seeing the inter generational (in/yo) bond (musubi) happen instantly (katsu hayabi), between my kids and their grandfather formed a bridge in my heart (ame no ukihashi) and I felt that my own departed father and all of our ancestors somehow were enjoying that moment with us, a sense of the high plain of heaven (takamagahara) shining down upon my jaded and world weary sense of life for a moment, a sense of unity, wholeness, and at home (O-moto).

Nice! This is an example of why I was drawn to Aikido. I love the physical practice itself (contrary to the implication of my poor training habit), but it's the "intangibles" I was after; the bigger picture, as it were.
That said, my frame of reference was based largely on sports, wrestling and slap-boxing with friends, along with the stories about family military history I heard from my dad and grandad, which were themselves based on the need to protect family and friends.
...consequently, I think I have a very practical view of "self"-defense which initially caused me to dismiss aspects of Aikido which I later found a practical use for, reinforcing that old idea of beginner mind and emptying the cup, which I see as central to living the "good life," a thing somewhat interpreted from sources like Socrates (philosophy being another reference point which informed/informs my Aikido).
...Holy cow that's a great run-on sentence.

Keith Larman
06-26-2011, 07:08 PM
Toby Threadgill, Richard Elias, Neil Yamamoto, and James Williams all were students of Don Angier at one time and to one degree or another before they became featured on the front of martial Wheaties boxes. Don Angier taught (teaches?) Shidare Yanagi Ryu Aikijujutsu. So when one sees their "stuff" there would be an undeniable Yanagi Ryu Aikijujutsu influence because of the profound influence of Don.

Funny thing was as I was typing that I was smiling at a coincidence -- Stan Pranin had just reposted an interview with Katsuyuki Kondo on the aikido journal facebook page. In that interview Kondo also mentioned Kotaro Yoshida as one his early teachers of Daito Ryu. Yoshida certainly had one heck of a reputation and I think we would probably be having very different conversations today about aiki if Aikido hadn't taken off as a "mainstream" art.

Hidden in plain sight... Hmmm, maybe not all that hidden after all...

DH
06-26-2011, 09:05 PM
Funny thing was as I was typing that I was smiling at a coincidence -- Stan Pranin had just reposted an interview with Katsuyuki Kondo on the aikido journal facebook page. In that interview Kondo also mentioned Kotaro Yoshida as one his early teachers of Daito Ryu. Yoshida certainly had one heck of a reputation and I think we would probably be having very different conversations today about aiki if Aikido hadn't taken off as a "mainstream" art.

Hidden in plain sight... Hmmm, maybe not all that hidden after all...
Hi Bud
Daito ryu? I don't think so. I don't have time to look it up, but if memory serves, I think all he got from Yoshida was some form of single sheet makimono on iron fan...and that after a relatively short study period.
Cheers
Dan

Keith Larman
06-27-2011, 12:45 AM
Hi Bud
Daito ryu? I don't think so. I don't have time to look it up, but if memory serves, I think all he got from Yoshida was some form of single sheet makimono on iron fan...and that after a relatively short study period.
Cheers
Dan

You're right, I didn't mean to imply anything more than he was one guy he studied with. I was just chuckling to hear him mentioned as I was typing about how much I respect the aiki done right here in the US by those outside Aikido who came about it from the same source but *not* Ueshiba.

Kondo mentioned him as a brief teacher and if I remember correctly he also said Yoshida was already partially paralyzed at that time. My more important point was that Yoshida (Kotaro) was one of the instructors who trained under Sokaku (and I read somewhere, although it may be a figment of my fading memory, that it was Yoshida who introduced Ueshiba to Takeda). Anyway, the larger point being that there were a number of students of Takeda, and some who trained long and hard. Ueshiba clearly became the most "famous" especially once the art of Aikido took off in the later years. But there were others, clearly capable, who were learning the same stuff who went in their own directions. So the son Kenji comes to the US and meets up with Angier and that whole nexus forms as well. Just a lot smaller, a lot quieter, a lot more to themselves.

Just riffing on local history, people I've met, things I've seen. Trying to say the world is a heck of a lot bigger and more complex than a lot of folk in Aikido would like to believe it is...

In other words... No argument here. :) Just blathering on...

DH
06-27-2011, 08:15 AM
....It was Yoshida who introduced Ueshiba to Takeda). Anyway, the larger point being that there were a number of students of Takeda, and some who trained long and hard. Ueshiba clearly became the most "famous" especially once the art of Aikido took off in the later years......
......Trying to say the world is a heck of a lot bigger and more complex than a lot of folk in Aikido would like to believe it is...
Hence the reason Kisshomaru tried to bury very real and powerful connections. Its tough to be a "legend larger than life" while standing next to your equals or betters. ;)

Isn't it really the way of aiki (aiki...do) that is the unique study in Japanese history. It is the reason these aiki arts stand apart as different. I was drawn to this "way of aiki" by Stan Pranin's writings about Ueshiba's teacher, Takeda. It was intriguing and I used to call him in Japan to discuss it. I saw that it's potential was beyond my experience.
So funny thing was:
I was drawn to Aikido™ because of Daito ryu.
I quit Aikido™ because of Daito ryu
I am now back in Aikido™ dojo all over the place teaching aiki...do because of Daito ryu.

The way of aiki is what binds together a certain sub group in the martial arts. More and more...are caring less and less... about the defensive barriers and walls that folks have put up to separate us.

Aiki is living free in the world. Ueshiba caught his part of the vision, and all people do is try to copy his vision, that they can never have, instead of walking free.
Cheers
Dan

RonRagusa
06-27-2011, 08:53 AM
Aiki is living free in the world. Ueshiba caught his part of the vision, and all people do is try to copy his vision, that they can never have, instead of walking free.

In the fullness of time these "make aikido your own" statements should be challenged by taking them to their logical conclusion.

Hi Dan -

So which is it? Do we make Aikido our own, "live free in the world", or should we recreate Ueshiba's vision in all its detail in order that we may be able to do "his Aikido"?

Best,

Ron

DH
06-27-2011, 09:26 AM
Hi Dan -
So which is it? Do we make Aikido our own, "live free in the world", or should we recreate Ueshiba's vision in all its detail in order that we may be able to do "his Aikido"?

Best,
Ron
What do you think, Ron?
Dan Harden wrote:
In the fullness of time these "make aikido your own" statements should be challenged by taking them to their logical conclusion.
As I said, I think people need to have their feet put to the fire and be decisive other than to keep quoting him to validate what ever it is they're trying to say, which most of the time leads to the contradictions which were his life.
Do you think you are capable of "recreating his vision in all its detail?"
For those making claims of physical understanding, they should in- whatever part- be able to demonstrate at least some of his physical power, and that power should be greater in those training the longest. If not, what's up with that?

If not and they want to walk away and stand on their own and do what ever it is they do, what's wrong with that? Although I do think its odd that people claiming spiritual understanding are dressing up in Japanese clothing and waving weapons (that they clearly have no clue how to use) in the air and running around in a circle. I think it's an embarrassment to him and themselves, but whatever.

Most would agree the middle ground is where they are at. There is a peculiar aspect to the aiki arts that draw people, and I have heard enough people talk about the benefits of their practice that I am sold that it is indeed a positive experience for many. So what's wrong with that?
Just as well, there are those interested in the more martial aspects of IP/aiki, and what is wrong with that?
Cheers
Dan

lbb
06-27-2011, 09:56 AM
As I said, I think people need to have their feet put to the fire and be decisive other than to keep quoting him to validate what ever it is they're trying to say, which most of the time leads to the contradictions which were his life.
Do you think you are capable of "recreating his vision in all its detail?"

Oh, agreed -- I think trying to do "O Sensei's aikido" is a fruitless endeavor, because we don't really know what that is. So, you can take the academic/scholarly approach and do a lot of research, which isn't necessarily a bad thing in and of itself -- Donn Draeger comes to mind. On the other hand, I never got the sense that Draeger's purpose was to find some fountainhead of Asian martial arts in order to be able to practice it -- he just wanted to investigate the history of martial arts styles in Asia.

On the other hand, when you talk about putting feet to the fire, doesn't that raise the question of just what the "fire" is?

For those making claims of physical understanding, they should in- whatever part- be able to demonstrate at least some of his physical power, and that power should be greater in those training the longest. If not, what's up with that?

Ok, so in that case the "fire" is defined by those who are making the claims? That makes sense.

If not and they want to walk away and stand on their own and do what ever it is they do, what's wrong with that? Although I do think its odd that people claiming spiritual understanding are dressing up in Japanese clothing and waving weapons (that they clearly have no clue how to use) in the air and running around in a circle. I think it's an embarrassment to him and themselves, but whatever.

Is your beef that Japanese clothing is incompatible with spiritual understanding? Or (as I suspect) is it that putting on Japanese clothing does not create spiritual understanding?

DH
06-27-2011, 10:21 AM
Oh, agreed -- I think trying to do "O Sensei's aikido" is a fruitless endeavor, because we don't really know what that is. So, you can take the academic/scholarly approach and do a lot of research, which isn't necessarily a bad thing in and of itself -- Donn Draeger comes to mind. On the other hand, I never got the sense that Draeger's purpose was to find some fountainhead of Asian martial arts in order to be able to practice it -- he just wanted to investigate the history of martial arts styles in Asia.

On the other hand, when you talk about putting feet to the fire, doesn't that raise the question of just what the "fire" is?
Ok, so in that case the "fire" is defined by those who are making the claims? That makes sense.

Is your beef that Japanese clothing is incompatible with spiritual understanding? Or (as I suspect) is it that putting on Japanese clothing does not create spiritual understanding?
I pretty much agree with all of that, Mary. I think many people have a tendency to mimic the movement and dress of teachers they like, but lack the power therein.
I don't have a beef with budo or budo clothing; there just isn't much to say about the travesty of some people's actions; turning in circles with wooden weapon replicas (and handling them as if they were an alien thing) while dressed in a pair of cullottes; while claming a spiritual and martial understanding of some sort.
A friend of mine calls it "dressing up and playing cowboys and indians" on any other day (and she wears them-as do I- in another art). We're alll geeks!
Cheers
Dan

Anthony Loeppert
06-27-2011, 10:46 AM
Aiki is living free in the world. Ueshiba caught his part of the vision, and all people do is try to copy his vision, that they can never have, instead of walking free.
Cheers
Dan

Sometimes I'm bothered that some do revere him as a messiah figure (without the resurrection). If science was focused in this backwards manner we'd still be celebrating fire and the wheel on a daily basis and those technologies would still be cutting edge.

No disrespect to his achievements or contributions but this world is for the living and it is our responsibility to look forward to and build the future, while learning from the past not fixating on it... What is that called again.... Oh yeah progress.

Onto 1st kyu preparation...

DH
06-27-2011, 10:58 AM
Sometimes I'm bothered that some do revere him as a messiah figure (without the resurrection). If science was focused in this backwards manner we'd still be celebrating fire and the wheel on a daily basis and those technologies would still be cutting edge.

No disrespect to his achievements or contributions but this world is for the living and it is our responsibility to look forward to and build the future, while learning from the past not fixating on it... What is that called again.... Oh yeah progress.

Onto 1st kyu preparation...
Well yes and no. I've seen nothing in sports science to equal the IP/aiki model. I had to look backward... to move forward... using aiki in a full spectrum of MMA.

RonRagusa
06-27-2011, 11:25 AM
What do you think, Ron?

My view is that Aikido speaks to each student on a very personal level, whether by design or happenstance. Every student must seek his/her own path. When I observe other's Aikido I do so without judgement and simply accept it as an expression of their practice.

Do you think you are capable of "recreating his vision in all its detail?"

Heavens no. His vision was a product of many factors unique to his life that I'll never be able to replicate in any detail should that be my goal. And, for the record it's not.

For those making claims of physical understanding, they should in- whatever part- be able to demonstrate at least some of his physical power, and that power should be greater in those training the longest.

Agree.

Most would agree the middle ground is where they are at. There is a peculiar aspect to the aiki arts that draw people, and I have heard enough people talk about the benefits of their practice that I am sold that it is indeed a positive experience for many.

Agree.

Just as well, there are those interested in the more martial aspects of IP/aiki, and what is wrong with that?

Nothing wrong with that. The Aikido umbrella is wide, plenty of room underneath for a whole bunch of folks to get in out of the rain.

Best,

Ron

DH
06-27-2011, 01:33 PM
My view is that Aikido speaks to each student on a very personal level, whether by design or happenstance. Every student must seek his/her own path. When I observe other's Aikido I do so without judgement and simply accept it as an expression of their practice.

Best,

Ron
Well...that certainly is P.C. but if one is "CLAIMING" to be effective and or to have aiki...then all things are NOT equal and some people are full of it. If they're just havingfun ...connectng in some fashion and there is no delusional statement attached ..then who cares what they do.
cheers
Dan

lbb
06-27-2011, 02:03 PM
Well...that certainly is P.C. but if one is "CLAIMING" to be effective and or to have aiki...then all things are NOT equal and some people are full of it.

Dan, sometimes I just don't understand how you get from point A to point Q, really. If one...then some people...what? As best I can pare your statement down, it seems like what you're really trying to say is, "You get to have your own opinion (or meaning), but you don't get to have your own facts." Why make it more complicated than that?

Chris Li
06-27-2011, 02:21 PM
Dan, sometimes I just don't understand how you get from point A to point Q, really. If one...then some people...what? As best I can pare your statement down, it seems like what you're really trying to say is, "You get to have your own opinion (or meaning), but you don't get to have your own facts." Why make it more complicated than that?

It made sense to me - anything anybody wants to do is fine, but not all roads lead to the same end.

Best,

Chris

jester
06-27-2011, 02:28 PM
Does anyone else studying Aikido try and use as little power as possible? It seems like this should be the end goal.

A lot of discussion about power/strength ki etc. but if you really understand the art, shouldn't you not need to use it?

I threw a guy at a party by only a slight touch. I could have used power but didn't find it necessary. Isn't this true Aikido?

-

RonRagusa
06-27-2011, 02:54 PM
Well...that certainly is P.C. but if one is "CLAIMING" to be effective and or to have aiki...then all things are NOT equal and some people are full of it. If they're just havingfun ...connectng in some fashion and there is no delusional statement attached ..then who cares what they do.

Hi Dan -

That's the first time I've ever been accused of being politically correct. And who said anything about "CLAIMING" this or that or said anything about all things being equal?

That's all beside the point. The original question I posed to you which you answered by turning it back on me is:

As Aikido students should we be left to go on our merry ways be they delusional or otherwise or have our feet to the fire of some contrived standard of measurement?

Your two quotes I posted in my original post seem to argue for both sides of the question.

Best,

Ron

DH
06-27-2011, 03:12 PM
Ron
My two quotes make perfect sense when you understand that aikido is in fact being judged...just as any other art is being judged. You may not like it, you may not ask for it but you can't escape it.
In light of that, everyone can so or do what ever they like, but if someone says they are doing something martial....and its fantasy land, they open themselves up for judging from those who know better.
As for anyone else catching air and somewhere in the middle...they are being honest about their practice and are straight up, good on them.
Delusional practice-stating something that is just simply not true- does not get someone a free pass from criticism. That's not the world we live in. Other arts that claim to be martial, have their feet to the fire. It's a good thing.
Cheers
Dan

Tim Ruijs
06-27-2011, 03:33 PM
Dan

(not wanting to interfere the conversation, but trying to understand)

The statements you make are interesting to some extent....
Do I understand correctly that you object to those that claim their Aikido is effective (martial)? And should back such claims up?

First of all, consider natural selection. Students select teachers, students that look beyond the end of their nose find good teachers and advance, understand. others will not. A teacher with many students does not make him good; that is he might be good at selling Aikido.
Secondly, calling someone's bluff sounds a lot like challenge, competition, fight. This seems contrary to what Morihei believed in.

Thirdly, there is only one test...which is a bit final...which ultimately still does not say anything about someones Aikido understanding/ability...

Could you please explain?

Patrick Hutchinson
06-27-2011, 03:51 PM
Throwing a guy at a party is true aikido?

phitruong
06-27-2011, 04:23 PM
Throwing a guy at a party is true aikido?

i think what he meant was he threw a guy a party and the guy was so touched by it. so it was very aikido. it was a very touchy feely kinda thing, which creep out many martial folks. :)

graham christian
06-27-2011, 04:44 PM
My frame of reference is martial and the the one place I don't see martial is in the ring.

In the ring I see skill, I see ability, I see sport. No martial.

Regards.G.

phitruong
06-27-2011, 04:59 PM
question, do folks believe that testing is to do some sort of fighting, especially, when it comes to aiki? just curious of folks perception on "aiki testing", i.e. testing frame of reference.

jester
06-27-2011, 05:09 PM
i think what he meant was he threw a guy a party and the guy was so touched by it. so it was very aikido. it was a very touchy feely kinda thing, which creep out many martial folks. :)

Ha! Almost as good as North South!

Patrick, yes, it was Aikido in my book it's a form of conflict resolution. A party, a parking garage, a home break-in, whatever.

-

RonRagusa
06-27-2011, 05:28 PM
Ron
My two quotes make perfect sense when you understand that aikido is in fact being judged...just as any other art is being judged. You may not like it, you may not ask for it but you can't escape it.
In light of that, everyone can so or do what ever they like, but if someone says they are doing something martial....and its fantasy land, they open themselves up for judging from those who know better.
As for anyone else catching air and somewhere in the middle...they are being honest about their practice and are straight up, good on them.
Delusional practice-stating something that is just simply not true- does not get someone a free pass from criticism. That's not the world we live in. Other arts that claim to be martial, have their feet to the fire. It's a good thing.
Cheers
Dan

Thanks Dan I see better where you're coming from now.

Best,

Ron

Keith Larman
06-27-2011, 05:45 PM
question, do folks believe that testing is to do some sort of fighting, especially, when it comes to aiki? just curious of folks perception on "aiki testing", i.e. testing frame of reference.

:cool:

+1 fwiw.

Patrick Hutchinson
06-27-2011, 05:57 PM
A better form of conflict resolution is for an Aikido guy to throw a party.

Janet Rosen
06-27-2011, 06:11 PM
A better form of conflict resolution is for an Aikido guy to throw a party.

You beat me to it!!!! :D

DH
06-27-2011, 06:32 PM
Thanks Dan I see better where you're coming from now.

Best,

Ron
I want to be clear that I have a wide range of friends in the arts: Some who only are concerned with martial; sport or otherwise, others who could care less and are simply not in it too much for the martial side of things, and then others....firmly in the middle.
The only things -I judge- are at the two extremes of the spectrum.
1. The guys who have no clue what a real fight is or what real weapons can do and who have convinced themselves and their students that their shtick will work.
2.The martial guys who poke fun at the guys who don't necessarily care about the martial side and are having fun any way. They never said they were...leave them alone. Go straighten out the deluded ones.
Everyone else... is somewhere in the middle and having fun.
Cheers
Dan

jester
06-27-2011, 08:21 PM
A better form of conflict resolution is for an Aikido guy to throw a party.

Unfortunately that conflicts with my Bank Account! :D

lbb
06-27-2011, 08:37 PM
Ron
My two quotes make perfect sense when you understand that aikido is in fact being judged...just as any other art is being judged. You may not like it, you may not ask for it but you can't escape it.

Well, sure. You can be standing at the bus stop and someone will judge you based on how your dressed, even though it's none of their business.

In light of that, everyone can so or do what ever they like, but if someone says they are doing something martial....and its fantasy land, they open themselves up for judging from those who know better.

Wait, so the only people who judge are those who "know better"? Somehow I don't think so.

Just because someone's judging you, doesn't mean their judgment is sound or should be listened to. Sometimes yes, but sometimes no.

DH
06-27-2011, 09:28 PM
Wait, so the only people who judge are those who "know better"? Somehow I don't think so.
Just because someone's judging you, doesn't mean their judgment is sound or should be listened to.
Well now, wouldn't that depend on what we are talking about? You'd have to be talking about specific things that are irrefutable or concepts that are known.
There are any number of ways, and any number of people who can judge us quite well. What's more, many times their judgment...of...us, will be agreed upon...by...us, once we are exposed.
Education is a good thing. Some people fear it, others welcome it. I've often found it helps us grow.
Cheers
Dan

stan baker
06-27-2011, 10:18 PM
My frame of reference is martial and the the one place I don't see martial is in the ring.

In the ring I see skill, I see ability, I see sport. No martial.

Regards.G.




What are you talking about

lbb
06-28-2011, 06:27 AM
Well now, wouldn't that depend on what we are talking about? You'd have to be talking about specific things that are irrefutable or concepts that are known.
There are any number of ways, and any number of people who can judge us quite well. What's more, many times their judgment...of...us, will be agreed upon...by...us, once we are exposed.
Education is a good thing. Some people fear it, others welcome it. I've often found it helps us grow.

But judgment and education are not the same thing.

My point is that judgment per se isn't helpful and can be limiting, if you're too quick to give credence to someone who's very good at sounding authoritative and knowledgeable and loudly asserting that he is right. It's a paradox with pitfalls on either side: being less knowledgeable, how do you judge whether the "authority" passing judgment is qualified? There are some common-sense guidelines and some blatant bs flags, but a skilled manipulator can negotiate that minefield with ease. "Trust but verify" is probably the only sane way, and don't ever drink any koolade, no matter how many people tell you that it's tasty and good for you.

Mary Eastland
06-28-2011, 07:30 AM
The orginal question is helpful in understanding the disconnect in this conversation.

What is your frame of reference for understanding Aikido?

If we each could define our frame of reference: with examples of say lineage...training...where we are now in Aikido ...it might be helpful.
Aikido means different things to different people. To try to have conversations assuming that it means the same things to all of us keeps leading us to the same place.

I think an Aikido site is an excellent place for authortive people who say they have the answer to dominate because a lot of people who train in aikido have no interest in having power over another or in being right even on an internet board.

So the same conversation keeps happening. Some of the players change but after a while we realize that resistance prolongs the attack. Relaxing, laughing at myself and training are better responses for me.

chillzATL
06-28-2011, 09:39 AM
These days everything I do and think of in regards to aikido is framed around IS/IP skills. Coming from a lineage very similar to Keith, whom you quoted, I now see the point behind pretty much everything we do.

this thread is listing horribly...

To expand on my original post.

I've also found yard work to be a great frame of reference for my aikido as it is today. Mainly because of the ample opportunities to work on the IS conditioning. Digging post holes, throwing sod, planting (digging of any sort really), even mowing the lawn (sometimes),are good repetative ways to work on that conditioning and it translates right over to the mat. As with all this stuff, the details are in how you do it, but once you have a good idea of that it's hard to not do those things and feel the difference compared to how you would do them otherwise, especially a few days later. I've never been one to enjoy that sort of stuff on its own, but I find myself enjoying that time a lot more now.

jonreading
06-28-2011, 10:30 AM
My frame of reference is the martial paradigm. In addition to the technical information we have from aikido, I also often find many other arts contribute instructional information relevant to aikido. In experience, I have found more good aikido from people with martial backgrounds than without; so for now, I believe the martial paradigm and subsequent education is the better direction for me.

That said, I want to clarify that "martial" is simply a reference to the origin of an educational system. I read a couple posts that danced around the elephant in the room; badly doing martial arts does not make martial arts bad. I think aikido is infested with people who walk the fine line of non-functional aikido and crappy jujutsu. We validate these people's aikido when we allow that behavior to persist.

Dan talked about simply expecting a competent aikido person to effect technique. Not just technique on a colluding uke or on a fellow dojo-mate, anyone. I believe this is a reasonable expectation. As stewards of aikido, I believe we are expected to discern between functional and non-functional aikido and apply constant pressure to increase competency.

I also believe that there is a form to aikido. I think we have moved away from the correct form in practice and adopted a "do your own thing" perspective. I thing there is some truth in stating that aikido techniques no longer contain aiki. I think a followup question to the statement is did the forms have aiki at some earlier point in time?

Personally, I believe that aikido is in the process of recreating itself to bring back some of what was removed. From a martial perspective I believe I may be able to access references and information to help me re-create some of the aiki stuff that was lost.

hughrbeyer
06-28-2011, 11:19 PM
My point is that judgment per se isn't helpful and can be limiting, if you're too quick to give credence to someone who's very good at sounding authoritative and knowledgeable and loudly asserting that he is right. It's a paradox with pitfalls on either side: being less knowledgeable, how do you judge whether the "authority" passing judgment is qualified? There are some common-sense guidelines and some blatant bs flags, but a skilled manipulator can negotiate that minefield with ease. "Trust but verify" is probably the only sane way, and don't ever drink any koolade, no matter how many people tell you that it's tasty and good for you.

Today my Aikido was judged by another aikidoka during ato-gaiko after class. I was trying to put kaiten-nage on him and he judged my technique... insufficient. It's not about "sounding" authoritative, it's not about "being less knowledgeable", it's not about "authority"... my technique didn't work. I've got something to learn there. I don't think anybody's suggesting anything else. IHTBF, and when it's felt, there's not really an argument any more, is there?