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hughrbeyer
08-09-2011, 01:24 AM
(I really consider this post to be about Aikido, but put it over here because it's about all that IS/IP/Aiki history nonsense.)

So I've been reflecting on the latest round of the Dan/Mike wars--thank you very much guys, take five, get yourselves some water--and thinking about what all this might imply about the transmission of the art, in particular of internal skills.

My understanding of Mike's position--taking out the value judgements--is that what Dan has a is mix of techniques and concepts shaken up in a bag, lacking certain fundamental principles that are widespread and well understood in CMAs.

Let's assume the basic theory laid out in HIPS, that Chinese internal methods came over to Japan and got assimilated and reworked in Takeda's Daito-Ryu. They become part of the underpinnings of that system, along with material from other sources and from Takeda's own genius. Some of the Chinese material might be downplayed or omitted altogether; other material would be transformed through synthesis with the other material. The result is a system that produces very impressive results in the people who train in it.

The question is: Suppose we now take the new system and show it to the original Chinese masters. Wouldn't they respond very much the way Mike did? There would be elements which were clearly the same, or at least congruent; there would be weird new stuff no one had seen before; and there'd be stuff that the CMA folks thought was basic that might be omitted.

And the next question: Can we interpret more about Takeda's (or his teachers') unique contribution by looking at the differences? Mike never seems to have heard of spiraling or elbow power as the IP/Aiki people use those terms. Does that suggest that this is a unique Japanese contribution? Dan has argued, by contrast, that some Chinese styles actually do incorporate spiralling in the sense that he understands it. Is this the source for its appearance in Japan, or was there parallel development?

Conversely, Mike has been laying out principles he considers basic to any kind of internal strength in CMA's. If they're so very basic they must have been introduced to Japan as part of the package. If they're not showing up in later Japanese arts, the Japanese must have made a deliberate decision to exclude them.

Why? Because the Japanese didn't understand them? --Unlikely, given the caliber of the Japanese in question. Because the Japanese didn't value them? --Why not? Are there alternative concepts that work better? That are more practical for martial applications? Or are they showing up, just with different vocabularies and visualizations?

Gentlemen: Start your engines.

Nicholas Eschenbruch
08-09-2011, 01:54 AM
Hugh,
interesting and courageous attempt. When I think about these things I mostly get stuck one step earlier: that I am doubtful that descriptions (in language) of physical sensations - even when the applicability of those sensations can get tested - are probably never quite accurate enough to follow this stuff reliably through history, where we have only hearsay about application. They are necessarily heavily overshadowed by the (necessary) assumption that one's own experience is what is being described in the historical documents - or not. Which is impossible to verify. On top of that all the diverging interests of the people that told the stories then and do the research now...

Now I suppose it can be verified that a certain minute movement has been transmitted between two living people. But I am sceptical about historical reconstructions. More so when the original descriptions were in highly metaphorical languages, and embedded in complicated cosmologies.

So I often ask myself whether history here is really worth anything but as a source of personal motivation and inspiration.

Sorry for undercutting your questions... which I still think are interesting, but unanswerable. But I am looking forward to anybody else's attempts.

Ellis Amdur
08-09-2011, 02:22 AM
Hugh - a little historical context. A couple points I tried to make in HIPS:
1. There were a discreet number of Chinese boxing manuals that arrived in Japan before the country was shut down - I believe about 20 are known. They are, as far as I've been told, Shaolin derived. The sophisticated training methods are somewhat different from those found in xingyi, t'ai chi and bagua. As far as that transmission is concerned, elements like "silk realing" almost surely were not transmitted.
2. Similarly, the direct Chinese transmission of marital arts that is known (Yoshin-ryu and Kito-ryu, being the most prominent) is also southern Chinese/Shaolin based).

3. But - a lot is poorly known. If my theory about Daito-ryu's history is correct (http://www.edgework.info/buy-books-on-martial-arts.html), then Daito-ryu is a transmission of Itto-ryu from the older Kyo Hachi-ryu. Tradition states that this whole complex of martial disciplines has it's roots in esoteric Buddhism and Shugendo - and these, too, have roots in Chinese religious practices, some transmitted 1500 years ago. What is important to understand is that Taoism, outlawed in Japan, was hidden within these esoteric schools and there are clear records of various Taoist meditation and physical culture methods. For example, one of the Zen patriarchs is said to have broken his health doing zazen and was taught a Taoist method of restoration that included envisioning an egg broken on the crown of his head, and "feeling" the egg in streams going slowly down his body, this sensation to be a progressive and gradual relaxation. In so far as Daito-ryu is concerned, who knows what esoteric training practices were transmitted, Taoist methods that could have been adapted to combatives. For example, five element theory was transmitted within ARaki-ryu as a means of kiai development, here referring to both internal states as well as psychological manipulation of an enemy.
4. Takeda Tokimune states that the roots of Daito-ryu are in bugaku, the ancient court dances. This first sounded to me as a romanticized legend, but consider that these dances are perhaps the oldest extant dances in the world, with roots not only in China, but all the way back to Persia by way of the silk road. (There are Persian objects in the Shosoin, Imperial storehouse dating back to the seventh century, and if I recall correctly, Nestorian Christians traders contacted the Japanese in the Nara period. The point here is this: These dances are well over a 1000 years old, and have their own training methods which surely include ways of physical cultivation, this being yet another transmission method for physical culture that could contribute to the development of aiki. Examples:
ONE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTv4jUfnEUI), TWO (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auatZN1P1l4&feature=related) . And here's an example of the much later developed NOH (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o--VbWf6M0c&feature=related) - there are NOH texts with incredibly detailed instructions on physical culture.
5. Finally, as I mentioned in my conclusion to HIPS - I've had considerable doubts that the Hoshina family actually transmitted Daito-ryu, BUT as I note there, the Hoshina turn out to be Chinese, they were associated with the Shogun in making their daughters concubines, and they had their own family bujutsu, using, by report at least, a sword that sounds like a Chinese rather than Japanese type.

OK, so all that means is that there WAS an amalgam of information threading it's way through Japanese culture, reinterpreted and reworked by the Japanese if, for no other reason, that the requirements of skill development in Japanese martial arts differed in some respects to those of the Chinese. Each ryu that had such teachings distilled out a different tincture, from the available sources. Therefore, each would be unique - and some probably true "outlier" methods. (Imagine Hummel and Hayden sheet music was transmitted to Latvia, but no Beethoven, Bach or Mozart - AND, they had orchestras, but the pianos were all Pleyels, with the light touch, and they had no brass instruments, but a couple types of woodwinds not seen in the rest of Europe and huge accordions. What kind of music would their brand of classic music be? Maybe wonderful, but there might be essential core principles that Mozart, Bach and Beethoven used that were not part of their repertoire).

So it is very likely that Daito-ryu was a "blended art." Could Takeda, for example, have developed these principles in a new way, or independently discovered principles that are held in Chinese "internal" martial arts without direct transmission? Why not? If they were discovered once, why not again? Sagawa Yukiyoshi claimed that he had discovered a different way of doing aiki than his teacher. Again, why not?

How good? How complete? Why is this no different from discussing grappling? Like realizing that BJJ got their triangle chokes when Rolls Gracie found them in a judo book. (There is no doubt that the BJJ work on triangles far surpassed what judo did with it). Here are some examples of that kind of practical analysis by the great Feng Zhiqiang:
S: Was it then something similar to Yi Quan (Intention Boxing)?

MR.FENG: I do not know enough about Yi Quan to be able to compare the methods. Hu Yaozhen did not teach standing methods where palms were turned outwards because in his opinion this made Qi flow away.



Jarek Szymanski: Mr.Feng, it is known that you studied Shaolin Standing Post methods in your youth. How would you compare it to Neijia practice?

MR.FENG ZHIQIANG: Yes, I learnt and practised Standing Post exercises of Shaolin school. The main difference between them and the methods of Neijia school is that Neijia emphasizes relaxation to greater degree. For this I think there is certain reason in dividing martial arts into External and Internal Families. It is also related to the methods of using Qi - External Family (Waijia) uses physical strength (Li) to drive Qi, while Internal Family (Neijia) uses Intention (Yi) to move Qi. Anyway, I had to give up all my external practise after I started practising Neijia.

It is really unfortunate that one cannot note that, for example, "x" principle seems to be absent in Araki-ryu, and that's either true or false - the problem gets complicated, of course, if I am constrained by any kind of oath of secrecy, that may constrain my reply. Nonetheless, if you say, "well, Araki-ryu is far less complete than xyz ch'uan because you lack such principles," it's either true, false or doesn't matter. I'm only mentioning that because I, for one, would prefer that "engines aren't started." Seriously, I've never seen such acrimony about points of doctrine as in the internal arts, be they Chinese or Japanese. Brings to mind a recent aikido event when an aikido teacher got out of line with another teacher, doing something rude, and the 2nd grabbed him by the throat, throttling him against the wall, and someone came running across the mat, yelling, "You can't do that!. This is a friendship seminar!!!!" :)

Actually, the kind of comparative analysis you are talking about can be done. For example, Akuzawa Minoru and I like each other, and he was very kind to me when I visited his school. He answered any question I asked. When I asked about certain elements of his training that seemed to be like xingyi (which he had studied), he clearly explained that the xingyi he learned "did it this way," whereas the Yagyu Shingan-ryu did things differently.
So, perhaps, someday, with people who are highly skilled from Chinese and Japanese training backgrounds, there can and will be a meticulous analysis of training methods, and what the words people use to describe their actions really mean - in action.
Just so happens that the experts posting on Aikiweb will not likely be the ones to do that with each other.

Tim Ruijs
08-09-2011, 03:47 AM
I like the example on how variation of the musical instruments can still create good compositions, but each will have their own signature.
Can one be better than the other, subjectively? One has to define what makes music good....ultimately it is down to the purpose of the music. The purpose will define whether or not the music is any good.

chillzATL
08-09-2011, 08:05 AM
Conversely, Mike has been laying out principles he considers basic to any kind of internal strength in CMA's. If they're so very basic they must have been introduced to Japan as part of the package. If they're not showing up in later Japanese arts, the Japanese must have made a deliberate decision to exclude them.

Why? Because the Japanese didn't understand them? --Unlikely, given the caliber of the Japanese in question. Because the Japanese didn't value them? --Why not? Are there alternative concepts that work better? That are more practical for martial applications? Or are they showing up, just with different vocabularies and visualizations?

Gentlemen: Start your engines.

What I've gathered from reading a few years worth of this stuff, right or wrong, is that it's not that they were left out or discarded, but that they weren't known in the first place. Various arts seem to have pieces and parts of the components that make internal strength. Mike's thinking is that internal strength is a very specific thing. Leaving a part or two out of it makes it no longer internal strength, but some sort of lesser derivative that shouldn't be called internal strength.

MM
08-09-2011, 09:06 AM
If we go by Sokaku Takeda's own thoughts, we find that in his eimeiroku and shareiroku are listed two of his teachers: Shibuya Toma of Ono-ha Itto-ryu and Chikanori Hoshina. (Stan Pranin Converstaions with Daito Masters.)

Ono-ha Itto-ryu
I have reason to believe that in some of the kenjutsu schools, there are/were training methods which rebuilt the body such that it created "internal structure". It's possible that some of these schools might have had a bit more training in internal skills than just that. We can guess that Takeda must have learned some internal training from Ono-ha Itto-ryu.

Chikanori Hoshina (Tanomo Saigo)
Now, someone I know has a theory about what oshikiuchi meant. It has been translated as "inside the threshold". Ellis states that the Hoshina turn out to be Chinese. When a Chinese martial arts master takes in a student to train in the "secrets", this student becomes an "indoor student". The theory is that oshikiuchi was the Japanese way of stating what the Chinese did. In other words "inside the threshold" = "indoor student". Hoshina could actually have known Chinese internal skills *outside* of any martial abilities. (1)

Sokaku Takeda
Factor in the sumo training, his stating the two teachers above, and then the change in Japan where the sword was no longer carried. Takeda then makes the move to unarmed. His skill by now was very good and so when he meets people, they start interacting in very strange ways because of aiki. We have the beginnings of Daito ryu, a martial art created by Takeda but owing to his teachers for giving him the sound basis of internal training.

Takeda's eimeiroku and shareiroku officially state that he is Daito ryu Hombu-cho or Somucho. In other words, he is the director of a training method that he put together from a few different places and he gives two of them their proper due in his books.

IMO anyway,
Mark

(1) For example, spirals. The ability to have internal spirals is not dependent on a martial system. One can train them without any martial ability. Takeda could have learned internal structure and power from kenjutsu and sumo, but not have learned spirals. He could have learned spirals and internal power from Hoshina, who did not train in the martial arts but kept the family "secret" alive for "health" reasons.

Tim Ruijs
08-09-2011, 09:30 AM
How would this relate to someone that has ability, good developed internal strength, but is not a good teacher. People may still flock and wish to learn. Because of the mismatch students are likely to assume what the 'teacher' must be doing.
We already established that Ueshiba himself was not a good teacher.
What do we know about the teaching qualities of his predecessors?

niall
08-09-2011, 10:02 AM
I'm not in this discussion but let's try to keep a little intellectual rigour.

Hundreds of thousands or millions of people doing the art you founded is an exceptional legacy for a teacher. Who has established that Morihei Ueshiba was not a good teacher? Whether you like his style is not a criterion.

Also deciding if music is good or not based on its purpose is not serious. The lightest piece Mozart dashed off for a fee or for a patron would be better than a second-rate composer's religious hymn or love song.

And that would be self-proclaimed experts.

Budd
08-09-2011, 10:38 AM
On my end, I take all this to mean that the next generation of people (of which I consider myself one) trying to train these things have some pretty heavy lifting to do.

1) Get your skills to be as developed and polished as they can be. That's on you. No affiliation, connection, rank, years of experience or words can change whether or not you have legitimately put in the time, practiced and figured things out to develop your abilities. Having access to good information is one thing. Doing something of note with it is quite another.

2) Decide who you will share things with. Your network of contacts, training mates, etc. can either be a help or hindrance. You need folks that will support and challenge you in your path.

3) Stay within the realm of assuming that you suck and have a ton of things to constantly work on. Hopefully, that will keep your head from getting too big, drive down the potentially-fatal habit of assuming you have a clue about something new and keep you in the habit of maintaining a beginner's mind, where appropriate. In the case where you have students and they're expecting you to have a clue, set the example for humility, hard work and moral authority driven by attainment, rather than entitlement. In this case attainment includes, but is not limited to skill.

4) Be clear on the results you expect your training to imbue in yourself and your students. Also be clear on what the training may offer to someone walking in off of the street. Everyone will bring their own additional baggage anyway, the trick is will your training-as-a-container accommodate it or not. If not, don't be shy about having that conversation.

5) Present your peers and students with appropriate means to call you on your own bullshit. It's a good sanity check when done respectfully. Your teachers should do it as well, but will likely do it on their terms - one of the reasons they're your teachers. ;) (REMINDER: this is a voluntary relationship)

That's all I got - not so much about how to train "this stuff" but some things I strive for in day to day and in my practice, as well as conventions that I don't think would hurt if we want to promote some of these training methodoligies from the standpoint of tradecraft, architecture and technology - assuming that there's an eventual interest as more people develop skills and want to share, capture the "how's it work", attempt to codfy, etc.

Again, I'm talking more about the next several years, etc. At some point, the round of people that are (I assume) feverishly training these things and trying to develop them a) for their own sake OR b) within their own martial arts -- will likely (gawd, I hope) step outside of the factions and see who's doing what, how they're describing it and (gawd, I hope) respectfully applying some pressure testing to see where the limits, definitions and mythologies overlap.

FWIW

Cliff Judge
08-09-2011, 10:51 AM
Ono-ha Itto-ryu
I have reason to believe that in some of the kenjutsu schools, there are/were training methods which rebuilt the body such that it created "internal structure". It's possible that some of these schools might have had a bit more training in internal skills than just that. We can guess that Takeda must have learned some internal training from Ono-ha Itto-ryu.

I don't think this is the right tree to be barking up. It is possible that Ono ha Itto ryu contains such training, but if it does, it is 100% hidden and secret. I've been to their hombu and they clean the place up, do some stretches, run through kamae really quick, and then they practice their extremely straightforward kata. No sumo stuff, no silk reeling....nothing at all fancy really, just clean technique.

I chatted with Rodney Uhler of Nine Circles a few weeks ago, he has been training the Takeda flavor of Ono ha Itto ryu for a number of years and he confirmed that it is practiced differently in the Daito ryu. I asked him how it was different and he said "it is done with Aiki." What this tells me is that, if there is an internal strength dimension in Takeda's Itto ryu, he put it there from another source.

What source could that be then? If you are thinking there was some input into Takeda's IP from kenjutsu, the obvious candidate would be Jikishinkage ryu. Those guys basically spend 75% of their training time packing ki into their centers and releasing it in very specific, controlled fashions through their kiai. Whether or not this actually has anything to do with internal power or not I have no idea but it is the starting point of their training as opposed to a possible, I think unlikely, hidden secret.

Cliff Judge
08-09-2011, 11:16 AM
oooh yeah and the founder of Jikishinkage ryu fled to China when Tokugawa took power and spent a number of years there. So there is that.

Thomas Campbell
08-09-2011, 11:22 AM
Seriously, I've never seen such acrimony about points of doctrine as in the internal arts, be they Chinese or Japanese. Brings to mind a recent aikido event when an aikido teacher got out of line with another teacher, doing something rude, and the 2nd grabbed him by the throat, throttling him against the wall, and someone came running across the mat, yelling, "You can't do that!. This is a friendship seminar!!!!" :)


That is truly funny.

The whole post was masterful, and suggests an outline for another book . . . HIPS 2: Love Handles.

Thomas Campbell
08-09-2011, 11:29 AM
We already established that Ueshiba himself was not a good teacher.


Has that been established? The successful transmission of internal skill from teacher to student is a rare thing under the best of circumstances. Perhaps Ueshiba did not conform to the modern pedagogical standard of spoonfeeding meticulously-analyzed concepts and baby-step students through basics . . . but at least some of his students (Shirata? Tomiki? Shioda with later influence from Kodokai? and others that have been pointed out on this forum over the years) achieved a decent understanding and ability to manifest internal connection and power--something they probably did not have a clue about before training with Ueshiba.

Janet Rosen
08-09-2011, 11:36 AM
Brings to mind a recent aikido event when an aikido teacher got out of line with another teacher, doing something rude, and the 2nd grabbed him by the throat, throttling him against the wall, and someone came running across the mat, yelling, "You can't do that!. This is a friendship seminar!!!!" :)


Life imitates art.... (http://youtu.be/UAeqVGP-GPM):D
Seriously...I am in no position to judge anybody's accuracy on historical matters, but appreciate Ellis' extended metaphor using classical music - it makes transmission/branching issues VERY clear.

Mike Sigman
08-09-2011, 12:42 PM
S: Was it then something similar to Yi Quan (Intention Boxing)?

MR.FENG: I do not know enough about Yi Quan to be able to compare the methods. Hu Yaozhen did not teach standing methods where palms were turned outwards because in his opinion this made Qi flow away.





Jarek Szymanski: Mr.Feng, it is known that you studied Shaolin Standing Post methods in your youth. How would you compare it to Neijia practice?

MR.FENG ZHIQIANG: Yes, I learnt and practised Standing Post exercises of Shaolin school. The main difference between them and the methods of Neijia school is that Neijia emphasizes relaxation to greater degree. For this I think there is certain reason in dividing martial arts into External and Internal Families. It is also related to the methods of using Qi - External Family (Waijia) uses physical strength (Li) to drive Qi, while Internal Family (Neijia) uses Intention (Yi) to move Qi. Anyway, I had to give up all my external practise after I started practising Neijia.



Hi Ellis:

One thing I'd point out is that the two anecdotes you used would be considered discussions about how to do internal strength correctly, but they're both refined discussions, in a sense, in that they assume qi and jin are present in a legitimate way already.

The current discussion about the Chinese and Japanese doing things differently is about like suggesting that electrical engineering is done differently in China and Japan and Japan has left out things they don't need, have added some important contributions the Chinese don't know about, and so on. I.e., it's really a sort of silly argument if you know something about electrical theory, but for people who have no idea about electrical theory it's not hard to convince them that there is a difference between Japanese and Chinese electrical theory if you've set yourself up as an expert with legitimate knowledge.

Me, I go to legitimate experts whenever I can to get things checked out... and I've recommended that people do the same thing. Of course, if legitimate experts aren't good enough to judge you, I can see the problem. ;)

2 cents.

Mike Sigman

graham christian
08-09-2011, 01:07 PM
(I really consider this post to be about Aikido, but put it over here because it's about all that IS/IP/Aiki history nonsense.)

So I've been reflecting on the latest round of the Dan/Mike wars--thank you very much guys, take five, get yourselves some water--and thinking about what all this might imply about the transmission of the art, in particular of internal skills.

My understanding of Mike's position--taking out the value judgements--is that what Dan has a is mix of techniques and concepts shaken up in a bag, lacking certain fundamental principles that are widespread and well understood in CMAs.

Let's assume the basic theory laid out in HIPS, that Chinese internal methods came over to Japan and got assimilated and reworked in Takeda's Daito-Ryu. They become part of the underpinnings of that system, along with material from other sources and from Takeda's own genius. Some of the Chinese material might be downplayed or omitted altogether; other material would be transformed through synthesis with the other material. The result is a system that produces very impressive results in the people who train in it.

The question is: Suppose we now take the new system and show it to the original Chinese masters. Wouldn't they respond very much the way Mike did? There would be elements which were clearly the same, or at least congruent; there would be weird new stuff no one had seen before; and there'd be stuff that the CMA folks thought was basic that might be omitted.

And the next question: Can we interpret more about Takeda's (or his teachers') unique contribution by looking at the differences? Mike never seems to have heard of spiraling or elbow power as the IP/Aiki people use those terms. Does that suggest that this is a unique Japanese contribution? Dan has argued, by contrast, that some Chinese styles actually do incorporate spiralling in the sense that he understands it. Is this the source for its appearance in Japan, or was there parallel development?

Conversely, Mike has been laying out principles he considers basic to any kind of internal strength in CMA's. If they're so very basic they must have been introduced to Japan as part of the package. If they're not showing up in later Japanese arts, the Japanese must have made a deliberate decision to exclude them.

Why? Because the Japanese didn't understand them? --Unlikely, given the caliber of the Japanese in question. Because the Japanese didn't value them? --Why not? Are there alternative concepts that work better? That are more practical for martial applications? Or are they showing up, just with different vocabularies and visualizations?

Gentlemen: Start your engines.

Interesting Hugh.
History. Now there's a thing to look at of itself. What is it's significance?

As in life you get the more conservative people who don't like change. They hold on to the past like it's the most important thing to do. This factor needs to be factored in to understand in my opinion.

So when a person, O'Sensei, says there has never been an art like his Aikido then it's hard for people to accept. When he says budo is love it's hard for people to see what he means. When he says therefore it is a new way and the only connection to the past is the waza used but now for a different reason then people run to the hills because to them it doesn't compute.

Thus we get Yoshinkan in it's origin which was more into pre war Aikido. Then we get others continually relating back to prior, back to Takeda, back to Daitu ryu etc. Back to chinese internal. Holding on the past, going backwards.

So we get the term Modern Aikido used as a putdown. Well one vital point is missing. Aikido is modern, it is a new way and that was what drew people to it. Thus as most said it was a mystery to them. As it is to anyone from another martial art now.

Ueshibas Aikido didn't lead to any descent of Aiki as it brought interest back to that dying art. Thus it brought it back to life. Even though Osenseis Aiki was no longer that which it helped bring back to life. Such was the power of this new phenomenon.

Thus I say you can study history to see how it used to be but until you see the budo of love, until you see the use of kindness, until you see the power of harmony and until you see the aim of bringing joy to your opponent then you will never know O'Senseis Aiki. When people get their minds around how these things relate to waza, to universal, to martial, then Aikido won't so much be in descent but rather will only slowly progress.

In fact still the most attractive thing about Aikido for all those potential adherents is those O'Sensei statements about love and harmony, human progression. A new Aiki, a new way of thinking, a new martial art.

So we have the rise of old Aiki and the rise of new Aiki.

Regards.G.

Ellis Amdur
08-09-2011, 01:59 PM
Mike - You write:

The current discussion about the Chinese and Japanese doing things differently is about like suggesting that electrical engineering is done differently in China and Japan and Japan has left out things they don't need, have added some important contributions the Chinese don't know about, and so on

In the words of Wikipedia:
Although most electrical engineers will understand basic circuit theory (that is the interactions of elements such as resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors and inductors in a circuit), the theories employed by engineers generally depend upon the work they do. For example, quantum mechanics and solid state physics might be relevant to an engineer working on VLSI (the design of integrated circuits), but are largely irrelevant to engineers working with macroscopic electrical systems. Even circuit theory may not be relevant to a person designing telecommunication systems that use off-the-shelf components.

Ellis

rroeserr
08-09-2011, 02:10 PM
Hi Ellis:

One thing I'd point out is that the two anecdotes you used would be considered discussions about how to do internal strength correctly, but they're both refined discussions, in a sense, in that they assume qi and jin are present in a legitimate way already.

The current discussion about the Chinese and Japanese doing things differently is about like suggesting that electrical engineering is done differently in China and Japan and Japan has left out things they don't need, have added some important contributions the Chinese don't know about, and so on. I.e., it's really a sort of silly argument if you know something about electrical theory, but for people who have no idea about electrical theory it's not hard to convince them that there is a difference between Japanese and Chinese electrical theory if you've set yourself up as an expert with legitimate knowledge.

Me, I go to legitimate experts whenever I can to get things checked out... and I've recommended that people do the same thing. Of course, if legitimate experts aren't good enough to judge you, I can see the problem. ;)

2 cents.

Mike Sigman

You've missed the entire argument. No one said Chinese and Japanes IP is based on different theory or Japan didn't get the basic theory from China. It has been stated over and again that in Japanese martial arts you move opening, closing across the body, instead of closing/opening front/back like you demonstrated in your video, or an exercises pool noddling. Therefore if you are suggesting that it is except-able to move opening/closing front/back other than just training (and you really shouldn't work on that much) then you are not teaching them how to move correctly for a Japanese art and should therefore find someone that knows how to move properly for a Japanese art to teach you what to do.

hughrbeyer
08-09-2011, 02:18 PM
@Nicholas: If we had to rely only on the written word, I'd agree with you. But we have serious experts in the different arts here, most of whom are in a position to compare at least some of the different lineages.

@Ellis, Thank you thank you, for the links particularly. I've hunted around YouTube for examples of the connection to classical dance but having you point to videos you think are good examples means a lot to me.

"MR.FENG ZHIQIANG: ... I had to give up all my external practise after I started practising Neijia." -- Okay, this makes me feel better about giving up weightlifting to study aiki. I guess I'm in good company.

I sure hope "start your engines" isn't taken as an invitation to start a pissing contest about whose art is better. That is indeed a waste of time. Exploring the commonalities and differences interests me, however.

@Budd, "Stay within the realm of assuming that you suck"--amen, brother.

@Mike: I don't buy the "electrical theory" analogy. Now, if you had drawn an analogy between eastern and western medicine... western medicine is based on science so either eastern medicine conforms to it or it's wrong... I think the analogy would be closer. It would also disprove itself. :cool:

Ellis Amdur
08-09-2011, 02:25 PM
Robert - Just for the record, since you are responding to something written to me. I don't know what you train, but as far as I'm concerned, what Mike has shown me is absolutely congruent with the two Japanese arts I train. AND - Araki-ryu and Toda-ha Buko-ryu use remarkably different drivers of movement (THBR is rotation around an axle from crown to perinium, whereas Araki-ryu is like a bowling ball carrying the limbs and upper body in its wake. One would never mistake one art for the other). I'm not defending Mike - just reacting to any blanket statement about "Japanese budo."

What I'm focusing on is the fact that, as I put it elsewhere, there's ice cream and there's salted caramel and there's passion fruit/guava. Interestingly, what Akuzawa Minoru showed me is less congruent with those same two arts.

Best
Ellis

Mike Sigman
08-09-2011, 02:36 PM
No one said Chinese and Japanes IP is based on different theory or Japan didn't get the basic theory from China. It has been stated over and again that in Japanese martial arts you move opening, closing across the body, instead of closing/opening front/back like you demonstrated in your video, or an exercises pool noddling. Therefore if you are suggesting that it is except-able to move opening/closing front/back other than just training (and you really shouldn't work on that much) then you are not teaching them how to move correctly for a Japanese art and should therefore find someone that knows how to move properly for a Japanese art to teach you what to do.Really? In Japanese arts, you open and close "across the body"? All Japanese arts (I just want to get this clear) or just some of them? If you do a suburi swing, you're not doing it with the dantien but are instead using a cross-body open-close? Now we're getting into details. Using the suburi swing, or something close to it, explain why the body is moving differently than the qi model.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

jss
08-09-2011, 02:37 PM
It has been stated over and again that in Japanese martial arts you move opening, closing across the body, instead of closing/opening front/back like you demonstrated in your video, or an exercises pool noddling.
If you pool noodle without the pool noodle, you end up with a common aikido breathing exercise: hands start low, go up in front of the body, open out to the side above the head and then go back down with arms extended to the sides. I agree that's an example of opening/closing back/front.

Now, if I do the same exercise with only my right arm with most of my weight on my left leg, I would say I am opening and closing across the body. So to me that's a variation of opening/closing back/front.

Do you agree with me up to this point? If not, why not? If so, why do the Japanese prefer the opening/closing across the body over the front/back opening/closing?

rroeserr
08-09-2011, 02:52 PM
Robert - Just for the record, since you are responding to something written to me. I don't know what you train, but as far as I'm concerned, what Mike has shown me is absolutely congruent with the two Japanese arts I train. AND - Araki-ryu and Toda-ha Buko-ryu use remarkably different drivers of movement (THBR is rotation around an axle from crown to perinium, whereas Araki-ryu is like a bowling ball carrying the limbs and upper body in its wake. One would never mistake one art for the other). I'm not defending Mike - just reacting to any blanket statement about "Japanese budo."

What I'm focusing on is the fact that, as I put it elsewhere, there's ice cream and there's salted caramel and there's passion fruit/guava. Interestingly, what Akuzawa Minoru showed me is less congruent with those same two arts.

Best
Ellis

He posted on forum, and doesn't seem to have a problem posting back to other people. It's not my argument. He missed the argument. I restated it.

Regard- Ark if you move from crown to perineum in Toda-ha Buko-ryu isn't that more like shin taijiku than pool noodling?

Out of curiosity what class of status of citizen would do an art like Toda-ha Buko-ryu vs Araki-ryu?

Mike Sigman
08-09-2011, 02:54 PM
Robert - Just for the record, since you are responding to something written to me. I don't know what you train, but as far as I'm concerned, what Mike has shown me is absolutely congruent with the two Japanese arts I train. AND - Araki-ryu and Toda-ha Buko-ryu use remarkably different drivers of movement (THBR is rotation around an axle from crown to perinium, whereas Araki-ryu is like a bowling ball carrying the limbs and upper body in its wake. One would never mistake one art for the other). I'm not defending Mike - just reacting to any blanket statement about "Japanese budo."

What I'm focusing on is the fact that, as I put it elsewhere, there's ice cream and there's salted caramel and there's passion fruit/guava. Interestingly, what Akuzawa Minoru showed me is less congruent with those same two arts.

Best
Ellis
Ellis, it's quite possible that what Robert practices is a purely external martial-art and they may actively practice muscular contractions in an X-shape or whatever across the body. I don't have a problem with that possibility. If, on the other hand, they are using "ki", "hara", etc., terminology (I'm just making an example) and mixing it with this cross-body, then they probably represent some old practice that deteriorated from classical movement. Just assume that for a second..... in the made-up example/thought-problem where the skills have devolved over time, the definition is more "deterioration" rather than "Japanese". Unless of course all Japanese arts do the same thing. BTW, folks, this is a terms discussion, not a "my style is better" discussion.

Best.

Mike

rroeserr
08-09-2011, 03:04 PM
Really? In Japanese arts, you open and close "across the body"? All Japanese arts (I just want to get this clear) or just some of them? If you do a suburi swing, you're not doing it with the dantien but are instead using a cross-body open-close? Now we're getting into details. Using the suburi swing, or something close to it, explain why the body is moving differently than the qi model.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Oh good you noticed that. Excellent. See how annoying it is when people setup strawmen? You do it all the time - logical fallacies make it hard to have logical argument. Like your electrical engineering comment or about "how you go see actually experts" as opposed to people who don't.

Anyway I will say in Judo there is an up hand and a down hand, or a pushing and pulling hand. Or take a look at Aikido throws like irimi nage, juji nage, or tenchi nage. Why can't your dantien make one hand go up and one hand go down? Why can't move with your entire body but have a preference for moving your whole body a certain way? People do all sorts of cuts that aren't straight up and down.

Ellis Amdur
08-09-2011, 03:15 PM
Robert -

Regard- Ark if you move from crown to perineum in Toda-ha Buko-ryu isn't that more like shin taijiku than pool noodling?

Out of curiosity what class of status of citizen would do an art like Toda-ha Buko-ryu vs Araki-ryu?


1. Interestingly, although they sound the same, they really are somewhat different. Here's a still photo (http://todahabukoryu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Ai_Naginata_02.jpg) of Nitta Suzuyo sensei. The shin tai-juku movement would contribute - no doubt - but there are other elements in the THBR which are quite different. I'm not being coy - it just would be very difficult for me to explain, other than to say that when I did work some of Ark's exercises, they did not seem to contribute to the physical organization I am striving for in THBR

2. That's tough. Different lines of Araki-ryu, depending on what han one was in, had different status. The line from which I "descended" was rural bushi, goshi and nomin together. THBR was original VERY high class - bushi and even daimyo, but for many centuries, it was the provenance of a very rural clan, the Suneya, who functioned as village headmasters.

best
Ellis

Mike Sigman
08-09-2011, 03:29 PM
Oh good you noticed that. Excellent. See how annoying it is when people setup strawmen? You do it all the time - logical fallacies make it hard to have logical argument. Like your electrical engineering comment or about "how you go see actually experts" as opposed to people who don't. ????? What? Noticed what? Examples of logical fallacies????? None of that paragraph makes sense to me.
Anyway I will say in Judo there is an up hand and a down hand, or a pushing and pulling hand. Or take a look at Aikido throws like irimi nage, juji nage, or tenchi nage. Why can't your dantien make one hand go up and one hand go down? Why can't move with your entire body but have a preference for moving your whole body a certain way? People do all sorts of cuts that aren't straight up and down.Judo is very clearly a "deterioration" of originally qi and jin usage, though. Even Shioda named Judo as an art that lost the skills. Are you indicating that Judo uses a cross-body mode of movement? Are you saying the Aikido in reality uses "cross body" movement?

Let me try to make something clear for a second. "Qi" or "Ki" has everything to do with the way the human body moves (and attendant health and all that, but let's keep this simple). In other words, Qi/Ki could be looked at, in a rough sense, as something to do with Thomas Myers' book "Anatomy Trains" (he got the idea from the qi-theory). Except that Myers' view is more or less passive and doesn't really deal with active manipulation of the body, so he didn't get into the dantien part. So the Qi theory would be a sort of "Anatomy Trains" plus the part of the body that is the motivating central nexus, the dantien. It's how the body works when you look at "strength" as some combination of muscles and fascia working together. There are optimal ways to move, given the configuration of the system and that's got a lot to do with why the whole qi/ki thing achieved quasi-religious significance for thousands of years.

OK, so you're positing a "Japanese Way" of moving the system, instead, it seems. Is it really a "Japanese Way" or is it some devolution or variation of the original whole qi theory?

Mike Sigman

thisisnotreal
08-09-2011, 03:31 PM
The use of the word 'deterioration' implies one style is better than the other.

Ellis Amdur
08-09-2011, 03:47 PM
Josh -

The use of the word 'deterioration' implies one style is better than the other.

You just summed up exactly how discussions on Aikiweb get so absurd. (Yes, that's a criticism - quelle horrible!!!!!).

"Deterioration" means there was a corpus of knowledge in jujutsu that deteriorated - was allowed to lapse - in judo. That's historical fact.

It can also be opinion. "Judo is not as good as x or y" - Oh my God, what a hurtful thing to say.

So what!!!! It's true, it's false, it's irrelevant - and it's just someone's opinion. Good God! What a waste of time.

So some people are obnoxious - put them on the fricking ignore list. The way things are now, to merely critique something - anything - is to say something is "better." That might be true. To quote Dan, "not everyone gets an 'A.'

Or it might be false.

Or the criteria are irrelevant.

If you don't like being on someone's report card, when you don't even view yourself as having enrolled in their goddam charter school, blank them out. (And lest there be any confusion, that's a collective message, not just Josh. And if anyone doesn't like it, put me on their ignore list.) Jeezus - this discussion forum has such potential and so much time and energy is wasted on such ridiculous stuff.

And yes, I do see the irony of this outburst with my tag line :)

phitruong
08-09-2011, 04:00 PM
The current discussion about the Chinese and Japanese doing things differently is about like suggesting that electrical engineering is done differently in China and Japan and Japan has left out things they don't need, have added some important contributions the Chinese don't know about, and so on.
Mike Sigman

it's more along the line of electricity in 60Hz vs 50Hz.

jss
08-09-2011, 04:16 PM
Anyway I will say in Judo there is an up hand and a down hand, or a pushing and pulling hand. Or take a look at Aikido throws like irimi nage, juji nage, or tenchi nage. Why can't your dantien make one hand go up and one hand go down?
You mean like in the Ba Duan Jin's Separate Heaven and Earth: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ab8pCWBElZs/TUAHlbp-xnI/AAAAAAAAAWs/u-3KCFYuQ2g/s1600/Las%2Bocho%2Bpiezas%2Bde%2Bbrocado.jpg (The one in the top left corner.)
Or like this guy is doing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvrYO9N57Mw? (Just to illustrate the exercise, couldn't find a video of one of the top-level Chen guys.)
Or this guy from 1:45 onwards: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LacIB10kiNo?

Why can't move with your entire body but have a preference for moving your whole body a certain way? People do all sorts of cuts that aren't straight up and down.
The open/close front/back is not limited to straight up and down. You can also do a diagonal cut with it. Or a thrust.

rroeserr
08-09-2011, 04:35 PM
????? What? Noticed what? Examples of logical fallacies????? None of that paragraph makes sense to me.


You noticed my straw man and attacked it. I thought it would fun to post roughly the inverse of what you were saying because I knew you would attack it. Like I said you can't have a logical argument if you use fallacies.


Judo is very clearly a "deterioration" of originally qi and jin usage, though.
Even Shioda named Judo as an art that lost the skills. Are you indicating that Judo uses a cross-body mode of movement?
Judo does seem to have lost it's internal skills? But at some point in time people with skills created the throws and there is a pattern. The pattern doesn't match pooling noodling front/back open/close.

Are you saying the Aikido in reality uses "cross body" movement?

Nope.


Let me try to make something clear for a second. "Qi" or "Ki" has everything to do with the way the human body moves (and attendant health and all that, but let's keep this simple). In other words, Qi/Ki could be looked at, in a rough sense, as something to do with Thomas Myers' book "Anatomy Trains" (he got the idea from the qi-theory). Except that Myers' view is more or less passive and doesn't really deal with active manipulation of the body, so he didn't get into the dantien part. So the Qi theory would be a sort of "Anatomy Trains" plus the part of the body that is the motivating central nexus, the dantien. It's how the body works when you look at "strength" as some combination of muscles and fascia working together. There are optimal ways to move, given the configuration of the system and that's got a lot to do with why the whole qi/ki thing achieved quasi-religious significance for thousands of years.

Not arguing this. I'm saying that it is possible to use whole body movement driven by the dantien where you have a preference for not moving by opening/closing front/back together.


OK, so you're positing a "Japanese Way" of moving the system, instead, it seems. Is it really a "Japanese Way" or is it some devolution or variation of the original whole qi theory?


This is a logical fallacy called begging the question. If you want to have a clinical discussion shouldn't use logical fallacies.

rroeserr
08-09-2011, 04:46 PM
Hi,


1. Interestingly, although they sound the same, they really are somewhat different. Here's a still photo (http://todahabukoryu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Ai_Naginata_02.jpg) of Nitta Suzuyo sensei. The shin tai-juku movement would contribute - no doubt - but there are other elements in the THBR which are quite different. I'm not being coy - it just would be very difficult for me to explain, other than to say that when I did work some of Ark's exercises, they did not seem to contribute to the physical organization I am striving for in THBR

Interesting. Would a difference be the function of the hips? In the picture it looks like should like she's twisting but her hips are still forward? Couldn't see the lower body - roughly does one knee go up/back and one knee go down/forward on a cut/raising the naginata?


2. That's tough. Different lines of Araki-ryu, depending on what han one was in, had different status. The line from which I "descended" was rural bushi, goshi and nomin together. THBR was original VERY high class - bushi and even daimyo, but for many centuries, it was the provenance of a very rural clan, the Suneya, who functioned as village headmasters.

Ok thanks.

Regards,
Robert

Ellis Amdur
08-09-2011, 04:54 PM
Robert - The best I can say is "watch this space." I'm going to be making some videos for my students sometime in the next year and among them will be some basic training exercises (suburi). So best I can say is check the website (http://www.todahabukoryu.org/)

Ellis Amdur

Mike Sigman
08-09-2011, 05:06 PM
You noticed my straw man and attacked it. I thought it would fun to post roughly the inverse of what you were saying because I knew you would attack it. Like I said you can't have a logical argument if you use fallacies.
Do me a favor, Robert and simply make your points without trying to make comments about me personally.

Judo does seem to have lost it's internal skills? But at some point in time people with skills created the throws and there is a pattern. The pattern doesn't match pooling noodling front/back open/close. "people created skills and there is a pattern ... (that) doesn't match pooling noodling front/back open/close". Really? If Judo has lost the skills (according to Shioda and others), how do you know what the original movement was? Were you there back in the day, have you read a good source, or what?

Not arguing this. I'm saying that it is possible to use whole body movement driven by the dantien where you have a preference for not moving by opening/closing front/back together.
Sure. That's possible. But if the overall optimum is to use the dantien and suit one way, what would you call a way that is not as efficient? Can you give some idea what the advantage would be?

Just as an aside, let me reiterate something I've said before: there's more to the "internal strength" stuff than has been discussed here (on AikiWeb) or in any forum you were in on QiJin. There's a reason for the whole-body approach as opposed to the cross-body idea.... *yet* I've seen indications that this principle was known in Japan (in some old writings) and I didn't see any indication that this cross-body stuff was involved. Got any ideas?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

MM
08-09-2011, 09:36 PM
I don't think this is the right tree to be barking up. It is possible that Ono ha Itto ryu contains such training, but if it does, it is 100% hidden and secret. I've been to their hombu and they clean the place up, do some stretches, run through kamae really quick, and then they practice their extremely straightforward kata. No sumo stuff, no silk reeling....nothing at all fancy really, just clean technique.

I chatted with Rodney Uhler of Nine Circles a few weeks ago, he has been training the Takeda flavor of Ono ha Itto ryu for a number of years and he confirmed that it is practiced differently in the Daito ryu. I asked him how it was different and he said "it is done with Aiki." What this tells me is that, if there is an internal strength dimension in Takeda's Itto ryu, he put it there from another source.



Should have clarified, I was talking about Ono-ha Itto-ryu of Takeda's time frame, not modern schools. Aiki, or internal training, seems to be somewhat of a secret and only a few people ever really had it. So, I'm looking at the possibility that:

1. Ono-ha Itto-ryu school where Takeda studied had some form of training that perhaps forced the body to learn certain internal structure via the kata.

and

2. Someone at that school had a deeper knowledge of internal skills.

MM
08-09-2011, 09:42 PM
If we go by Sokaku Takeda's own thoughts, we find that in his eimeiroku and shareiroku are listed two of his teachers: Shibuya Toma of Ono-ha Itto-ryu and Chikanori Hoshina. (Stan Pranin Converstaions with Daito Masters.)

Chikanori Hoshina (Tanomo Saigo)
Now, someone I know has a theory about what oshikiuchi meant. It has been translated as "inside the threshold". Ellis states that the Hoshina turn out to be Chinese. When a Chinese martial arts master takes in a student to train in the "secrets", this student becomes an "indoor student". The theory is that oshikiuchi was the Japanese way of stating what the Chinese did. In other words "inside the threshold" = "indoor student". Hoshina could actually have known Chinese internal skills *outside* of any martial abilities. (1)



Had to reference previous material for this.

One of the theories of oshikiuchi is that it was how to be martially skilful inside the court. When this theory is stated, part and parcel of that theory is shikko, or the walking on one's knees.

From Transparent Power:

Sagawa is quoted as saying, "What is this 'shikko' - there's no such thing in Daito-ryu. Anyway, Takeda Sensei never sat and bowed to his students. He would show up standing and announce, "All right, come on!" then begin immediately. It wasn't at all formal. You students should stop doing shikko, it looks disgraceful. To be natural is best. Takeda Sensei stood up or sat down naturally without doing any shikko."

I highly doubt that oshikiuchi meant defending in the court using shikko. It has more veracity to look at the other theory that oshikiuchi was the Japanese way of saying "inside student" which came from the Chinese. Again, not my theory but I think it's actually better and more sound than any other.

Ellis Amdur
08-09-2011, 10:21 PM
One thing - "Chinese" descent, of approximately 400 years previously. The Hoshina were very definitely Japanese in culture, and recognized as such. This is analogous to Saddam Hussein having an Albanian wife, and she brings her family, and they get some kind of court rank and become naturalized Iraqi - and 300 or 400 years later, we have . . (?) The question would be if they truly did retain anything they brought over centuries before.

I got one verbal communication that the Hoshina had, at some time in the past, their own kenjutsu, and that they used an "odd" katana, with a shorter, very broad blade.

That's all I got. Which is why I put it at the end of the book - just for the enjoyment of the possibility - of something we may never find the answer. But if some researcher ever was, with fluent Japanese, able to somehow make a link with this still aristocratic family (and remember, the branches that survived are not the Aizu, who were decimated in the Boshin War (See HIPS (http://www.edgework.info/buy-books-on-martial-arts.html) on that) - and get them to open up about their family secrets, who knows what might come out?

Best
Ellis

thisisnotreal
08-09-2011, 10:59 PM
Hi Ellis,
You know I completely agree with you, right?
The truth at all costs. And it may damn well hurt.
But then you got something real. Something to build on.

I think the problem is deeper than this 'delicate genius' thing you point to. This willingness and seeming eagerness to be offended.

I just wish we could all really share ideas, opinions, models on shenfa and stuff, instead of playing games. Keeping score. I think that's the problem. I'm really grateful for the privilege to be able to read all you weird people's opinions on this strange, rare and valuable work. Break free from the lack of free knowledge on this subject.

And thanks for escalating this matter with me, an emotionally disturbed individual. You will be hearing from my lawyer.
All the Best to you.

hughrbeyer
08-09-2011, 11:26 PM
Just a note on "descent" and "deterioration" -- In the OP I described aiki as we're discussing in on these forums as a collection of techniques mixed up with some odd stuff added and some important stuff left out.

I think it's worth noting that the same could be said of O-Sensei's aikido--that he took Daito-Ryu, left out a bunch of good stuff, added a bunch of mysticism, mucked up the techniques he did keep, and created an odd mongrel art inferior to the original. In fact, I believe something like that has been said by Daito-Ryo folks.

That's the natural dynamic whenever a genius arrives and transforms an art with their new vision. Whether you think this is a "degeneration" of the old art or a creative invention of something new depends on your attitude towards the art that was created. (I'm reminded of a story about a music critic hearing Beethoven for the first time and saying, "But- But- One must not make music like that!")

Given that in this case, the resulting arts produced some of the finest martial artists in Japan, I'm not too worried about "degeneration." To the contrary, I'm more interested in finding out if there are elements of the Chinese arts which did get left out, whether there was a reason for that, and whether going and learning about them would make my art stronger.

It's different from studying aiki--the case has been persuasively made that when I study aiki I'm studying the body of knowledge that O-Sensei himself based his art on. But it's still of potential value.

So let's not get bent out of shape about the words. We know the positions of the various players. I'm more interested in the content.

Oh, and when I used "descent" in the title--I was playing off Darwin's title, "The Descent of Man", of course. No value judgement implied.

Tim Ruijs
08-10-2011, 03:38 AM
Allthough the discussion moved on, I would still like to respond.

First off, I could not be more serious.
Who has established that Morihei Ueshiba was not a good teacher? Whether you like his style is not a criterion. The man was an inspiration to many and had great technical ability, no doubt. But even the highest ranked students state Ueshiba hardly explained anything. The late Tamura Sensei (one the oldest students) and Suganuma Sensei (one of the last students) both state this. Both explain that students started to name techniques to keep them apart for practise. So yeah, his didactic skills were not that great.

Also deciding if music is good or not based on its purpose is not serious.
Why so serious :D What are you looking for then? When a tool fits the purpose, the tool is good enough. It does not have to be perfect. Perfection (of technique) was never a goal...There is no absolute reference. Each and every time you execute a technique it is a new one. Perhaps it is because I am an engineer that I have this perspective. I apply a known tool for a problem, or I create a tool that does the job. The better I get, the better I can judge what tool to use, or the better I am able to create a specialised tool. I think Ueshiba and others had similar approach: they adapted their knowledge to solve their problem. In case of Ueshiba: find/define his Budo.
I do not think that is too far off from the OP...just different perspective. :cool:

back to the main thread....

niall
08-10-2011, 06:55 AM
I like the example on how variation of the musical instruments can still create good compositions, but each will have their own signature.
Can one be better than the other, subjectively? One has to define what makes music good....ultimately it is down to the purpose of the music. The purpose will define whether or not the music is any good.

(second post)

How would this relate to someone that has ability, good developed internal strength, but is not a good teacher. People may still flock and wish to learn. Because of the mismatch students are likely to assume what the 'teacher' must be doing.
We already established that Ueshiba himself was not a good teacher.
What do we know about the teaching qualities of his predecessors?

If you want to continue this sidebar to the discussion Tim please don't use quote marks implying I wrote something I didn't write. Let's try to keep intellectual honesty along with the rigour.

You didn't say, "In my opinion Ueshiba could not have been a good teacher." You said we already established that he was not. No. We. Haven't. Look at the results. Incidentally I don't recall Tamura sensei ever saying that Ueshiba was not a good teacher. And Tamura sensei was a great aikido teacher. Do you think it was possibly because of O Sensei or do you think that it was despite O Sensei. So we haven't established it.

Ellis made an interesting comparison with music but read what you said about music again: nothing about tools, just about purpose and quality. That is the same as saying a martial art is good if it has a good purpose. Even if it's not martial and not an art.

Well remember the devil has the best tunes.

MM
08-10-2011, 09:14 AM
If you want to continue this sidebar to the discussion Tim please don't use quote marks implying I wrote something I didn't write. Let's try to keep intellectual honesty along with the rigour.

You didn't say, "In my opinion Ueshiba could not have been a good teacher." You said we already established that he was not. No. We. Haven't. Look at the results. Incidentally I don't recall Tamura sensei ever saying that Ueshiba was not a good teacher. And Tamura sensei was a great aikido teacher. Do you think it was possibly because of O Sensei or do you think that it was despite O Sensei. So we haven't established it.

Ellis made an interesting comparison with music but read what you said about music again: nothing about tools, just about purpose and quality. That is the same as saying a martial art is good if it has a good purpose. Even if it's not martial and not an art.

Well remember the devil has the best tunes.

Just to clarify. Tim Ruijs actually said that that Tamura stated Ueshiba hardly explained anything. That's fairly accurate.


Tamura Sensei: When O-Sensei came to the dojo, he threw us one after another and then told us to execute the same technique. At the beginning we didn't even know what kind of technique he did. When I practiced with a senior student he would throw me first. Then, he would say, "It's your turn!", but I didn't know what to do. While I was struggling to throw him, O-Sensei began to demonstrate the next technique. During the first period of my training which lasted a long time, I was just thrown and made to feel pain. It took one or two years for me to be able to distinguish techniques a little.

Now, let's establish some other factors in Ueshiba's teaching style.

1. Spiritually: Nearly every single student, with only rare exceptions, stated that they had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. Did Ueshiba manage to get across to his students his spiritual vision/ideology? Was he a good teacher? We would have to answer that with no.

2. Techniques:

Tamura already chimed in on that.

Kisshomaru states: During his later years, rather than teach, my father demonstrated movements which were in accord with the flow of the universe and unified with nature. Thus, it was a matter of students watching his movements, learning by themselves, in that way understanding his technique. He wasn't deeply concerned about teaching students (Aiki News Issue 031)

Kunigoshi stated Ueshiba didn't really explain techniques. (Aiki News 047)

Shirata said: Ueshiba Sensei's way of explaining techniques was first of all to give the names of kamisama (deities). After that, he explained the movement. He told us, "Aikido originally didn't have any form. The movements of the body in response to one's state of mind became the techniques.

and also

in our time, Ueshiba Sensei didn't teach systematically. While we learned we had to systemize each technique in our mind so it was very hard. Ueshiba Sensei didn't have techniques. He said: "There are no techniques. What you express each time is a technique." (Aiki News Issue 063)

Kamata said that sometimes Ueshiba would explain. (Aiki News Issue 049)

Sugino said Ueshiba didn't explain. (Aiki News Issue 069)

Mochizuki: Uyeshiba Sensei's teaching pushed me a lot to think. He could never show again what he did in randori. I would say, "What was that?" and he would reply, "I got that from God suddenly. I don't remember." To Uyeshiba Sensei, ki (internal energy) was inspiration from God. So I had to rationalize and try to extract basics from multiple variations. Also, Uyeshiba Sensei was not concerned with teaching at the time I was studying under him. We were mostly training partners to him. (Black Belt 1989 Vol 27 No 8)

Robert Frager states: I understood very little of his talks. Osensei used a great many esoteric Shinto terms, and he spoke with a strong regional accent. His teachings were pitched at a philosophical, mystical level, far above my beginner's concerns about where I had to place my hands and feet. I puzzled over statements like, "When you practice Aikido, you stand on the floating bridge between heaven and earth," and "Put the Shinto Goddess 'She-who-invites' in your left foot and the God 'He-who-approaches' in your right foot." (Yoga Journal March 1982)

Crud, I'll stop there. There's too much information. Overwhelmingly, both pre-war and post-war Ueshiba's students state that he really didn't explain. He would show and then add in his spiritual talk (that they didn't understand).

Nearly every single student, with only rare exceptions, stated that they received no explanations for techniques. Did Ueshiba manage to get across to his students the techniques? Obviously, as we have multiple schools of aikido. However, it was not easy and required years of effort for the students to create a curriculum. That's the important part -- the students created a curriculum of what they *saw*. Ueshiba always stated aikido was formless. Was he a good teacher? I'd have to say no. For a formless art, he allowed his students to build a technique based curriculum on what they *saw* rather than on what he "taught".

3. Aiki:

That red-headed step child who won't go away. More bickering amongst lawyers, friends, and parents. Every time I turn around, there's that red-headed step child. Sheesh. And by the looks of him, he might actually have some Chinese lineage in him from his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-oh, 400 years great grandfather.

Who amongst Ueshiba's students stands out as great? A few pre-war students. But, wait, they weren't training aikido *at all*. They were training Daito ryu.

Was Ueshiba a good teacher for aiki? I'd have to say not really but with a caveat. Takeda told them not to teach it to everyone. Looking at Sagawa and Kodo, Ueshiba merely did the same as his peers. Could Ueshiba have been a good teacher of aiki? Perhaps. He knew how to train it. Sagawa and Kodo did, too. They each created a few men who had it. So, it's mostly probably that Ueshiba could have done so, too. He chose not to.

MM
08-10-2011, 09:33 AM
One thing - "Chinese" descent, of approximately 400 years previously. The Hoshina were very definitely Japanese in culture, and recognized as such. This is analogous to Saddam Hussein having an Albanian wife, and she brings her family, and they get some kind of court rank and become naturalized Iraqi - and 300 or 400 years later, we have . . (?) The question would be if they truly did retain anything they brought over centuries before.

I got one verbal communication that the Hoshina had, at some time in the past, their own kenjutsu, and that they used an "odd" katana, with a shorter, very broad blade.

That's all I got. Which is why I put it at the end of the book - just for the enjoyment of the possibility - of something we may never find the answer. But if some researcher ever was, with fluent Japanese, able to somehow make a link with this still aristocratic family (and remember, the branches that survived are not the Aizu, who were decimated in the Boshin War (See HIPS (http://www.edgework.info/buy-books-on-martial-arts.html) on that) - and get them to open up about their family secrets, who knows what might come out?

Best
Ellis

Let me break my thoughts down.

1. oshikiuchi - theoretically could be a Japanese term that was taken from a Chinese term. How in the world could you find out?

2. Hoshina - Has Chinese family roots (albeit way back) and could possibly have retained some internal training.

3. Hoshina - Could possibly have had ties to someone who had internal training and passed it along to Hoshina, using the term oshikiuchi, when finally teaching these secrets. This could have happened at any point in the Hoshina family history.

4. Chikanori Hoshina - Could have learned internal training outside of any martial art context. Being that many Chinese use internal training for "health" reasons, it is possible that Chikanori Hoshina learned internal training for just that reason. Or Chikanori Hoshina learned the family "secret" because it was family but he had no interest in martial activities.

I know, all theories ... no proof.

Cliff Judge
08-10-2011, 09:40 AM
Should have clarified, I was talking about Ono-ha Itto-ryu of Takeda's time frame, not modern schools. Aiki, or internal training, seems to be somewhat of a secret and only a few people ever really had it. So, I'm looking at the possibility that:

1. Ono-ha Itto-ryu school where Takeda studied had some form of training that perhaps forced the body to learn certain internal structure via the kata.

and

2. Someone at that school had a deeper knowledge of internal skills.

Of all the kenjutsu schools you could implicate in the vast conspiracy to conceal internal power training from the Aikidoka of the 21st century, I cannot think of a less appropriate one to pick than the Ono ha Itto ryu. The whole POINT of the school is to forget the nonsense and just go in and cut 'em down.

While it is possible that a dramatic shift in the syllabus of this ryu took place in the past three generations, I think it would be more likely that old forms would be retained but no longer understood, because koryu tend to work like that - the form is how they are transmitted.

I tend to think that if there had been significant changes in the ryu since the late 1800s, it would have been noticed by practitioners of other arts. The Ono ha claims to be the orthodox Itto ryu, the one that is closest to the original system developed by Itto Ittosai. You can't make that kind of claim in a community that includes other ryuha if you are going to change things. Somebody from, say, the Hokushin Itto ryu will eventually say 'uh....this stuff they are demonstrating is different than the stuff I saw them do five years ago."

I am quite confident that what I have seen this group do on youtube and at their Soke's own dojo is the same art that Takeda trained in.

Here is a clip of the Ono ha Itto ryu - I am pretty sure this is the Hombu group that trains under the Soke - at a recent embu. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0ArUtzJP-w)

There is another assertion you seem to be making, that there could be some type of hidden internal training in this art. That's one of the worst things about this whole field of research / debate / inquiry, IMO. There is the idea that you can do some outwardly straightforward martial art and then, either your instructor deigns to introduce you to some heretofore unrevealed training method that immediately rockets you to the heights of immovability, or that the same form can be secretly imbued with internal power such that one student is being taught the "inner secrets" whereas twenty other students are being taught external form but there is no difference to the untrained or semi-trained eye.

Doubtful. If Ono ha Itto ryu kata can be magically gokuied into interal power training, than there is no need for any of us to change the way we are training to develop these skills!

But look, let's revisit the alternative idea I presented to you earlier: if Takeda owes any part of his development of IP skills to sword training, then he owes it to Jikishinkage ryu.

I dare you to watch this clip and tell me that it is more likely Takeda's internal power comes from Itto ryu. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlyTVTXa8Ng) Jikishinkage ryu training puts a very heavy emphasis on packing ki into one's hara for cryin' out loud! Whether or not this is actually training for what we call internal power around here or not I have no idea but the point is, you can see that their forms aim to do something other than develop crisp and clean technique. I can much more easily imagine that a student who has practiced Jiki's hojo kata for 20 years may be pulled aside and presented with an inner teaching that allows them to unlock an internal power component from what they have been doing for hours a day.

MM
08-10-2011, 10:07 AM
Ono ha Itto ryu and Jikishinkage ryu. I don't know either one. I won't make any assertions on either.

Watched both videos. I'll only point out one thing from a personal observation. In the Ono ha Itto ryu vid, around 2:15, they were practicing a cut going forward. To me, this shows training that should reinforce the hips always forward during the cut. In other words, this is not hip driven power but should be something else. Why would that be relevant? In any martial art? Which arts specifically have kata to train that? How many students of those arts still use hip power to generate the cut? Why?


There is another assertion you seem to be making, that there could be some type of hidden internal training in this art. That's one of the worst things about this whole field of research / debate / inquiry, IMO. There is the idea that you can do some outwardly straightforward martial art and then, either your instructor deigns to introduce you to some heretofore unrevealed training method that immediately rockets you to the heights of immovability, or that the same form can be secretly imbued with internal power such that one student is being taught the "inner secrets" whereas twenty other students are being taught external form but there is no difference to the untrained or semi-trained eye.

Doubtful.


I'm fine with agreeing to disagree. :)

Mark

niall
08-10-2011, 10:17 AM
I know what he said. I quoted it. I disagreed with his cavalier assumption without evidence. I'm talking about language and logic not the substance of the discussion.

You and Tim might prefer a western-style teacher who explains what he or she is teaching but I'm sure you know that is not usual in Japanese martial arts.

You have your axes to grind Mark. But I'll go by results. You can't explain away hundreds of thousands or millions of people doing aikido. That is the legacy of a great and exceptional teacher.

MM
08-10-2011, 11:29 AM
You have your axes to grind Mark. But I'll go by results. You can't explain away hundreds of thousands or millions of people doing aikido. That is the legacy of a great and exceptional teacher.

Results. Hmmm ... I do wonder about that, too.

How do you explain those millions of people not quoting that their techniques come from kami? That is a very important belief of Ueshiba.

How do you explain those millions of people who are not doing push tests multiple times per day. Ueshiba did this frequently. His students couldn't push him over no matter how hard they tried. Show me who in the millions of people that can replicate this result.

Show me the millions of people who are doing bayonet/juken and spear work? This was a common training for Ueshiba.

Show me the millions of people who use kiai resoundingly and frequently as Ueshiba did.

Add in most everything else I've posted here that rarely seems to get refuted.

If we just go by the results of those millions (aikikai estimate but probably just of aikikai members) of aikido students, we find that those millions of people are a legacy from Kisshomaru/Tohei. And I agree with you, that it is the legacy of great and exceptional teachers. (I would add other great and exceptional teachers, Tomiki, Shioda, Shirata, etc.)

But those millions are not from Ueshiba's legacy. They are from Kisshomaru/Tohei. The vast amount of articles, interviews, writings, and such support that statement. Just stating that they all are from Ueshiba, doesn't make it true, and certainly doesn't invalidate all the references.

Aikibu
08-10-2011, 12:28 PM
Anyway I will say in Judo there is an up hand and a down hand, or a pushing and pulling hand. Or take a look at Aikido throws like irimi nage, juji nage, or tenchi nage. Why can't your dantien make one hand go up and one hand go down? Why can't move with your entire body but have a preference for moving your whole body a certain way? People do all sorts of cuts that aren't straight up and down.

Yup...They do...and in my experience the relaxation/whole body expression of every technique under duress may not be Aiki but it is a worthwhile goal of any Martial Art. :) Something as simple as "relax" and "breath" in the midst of a huge adrenaline dump? Few can do it with any consistency and it is a challenge to create this kind of practice environment in a Modern Aikido Dojo.

William Hazen

Cliff Judge
08-10-2011, 01:23 PM
Ono ha Itto ryu and Jikishinkage ryu. I don't know either one. I won't make any assertions on either.


So you are retracting your initial assertion. Fair enough.

Howard Popkin
08-10-2011, 01:36 PM
[QUOTE=Cliff Judge;289983]

Here is a clip of the Ono ha Itto ryu - I am pretty sure this is the Hombu group that trains under the Soke - at a recent embu. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0ArUtzJP-w)

The grey haired gentleman in the beginning of the clip is Sasamori Soke.

Howard

MM
08-10-2011, 02:07 PM
So you are retracting your initial assertion. Fair enough.

I posted an idea, a theory, a guess. No, I am not retracting it at all. I think it's still a valid idea.

Cliff Judge
08-10-2011, 02:44 PM
I posted an idea, a theory, a guess. No, I am not retracting it at all. I think it's still a valid idea.

Sorry, I thought your statement to the effect of "i am not going to make assertions about things I know nothing about" was retroactively applicable to the assertions you had already made. ;)

Tim Ruijs
08-10-2011, 03:48 PM
This thread moves really fast...

@Mark, thanks for your support in this. I really did not want to bother to find all the references like you did. But now that they are here, I sincerely thank you. ;)
I think we established Ueshiba was not in fact a good teacher. :)

@Niall
(Sorry about the quote, that should not have been there. Some copy paste error.:o very unfortunate mistake.)
Please understand I am not trying to convince anybody, merely want to share my perspective (and off course that of my teacher Alain Peyrache, uchi deshi of Tamura Sensei).
To indicate I make no empty statements or assumptions: I have trained for years in the lineage of Tamura Sensei and Suganuma Sensei (which took my black belt test). The last eight years I have my own dojo and Alain has been my teacher for even longer (which gave me Menkyo).
When you know Tamura (Alain, or me) you would not imply that I am into a western style of teaching...quit contraire.

Basically I really do understand what is being said but fail to share the conclusion that when many people doing something that that makes the originator is a good teacher. A good inspirator/motivator yes.

To direct a bit to the OP:
the problem is how do you know what you are doing is any good? This is why I like the comparision with music so much. You yourself define what is good (or good enough) depending on your expectations of Aikido. others may judge, but are likely to have different expectations, different standards. This is why I said there is no absolute standard. There is no absolute test. When you look at actual combat to the death it will still mean nothing whether you survive the fight or not. This because many other aspects play a big role in the outcome.
When you fail to keep searching, this is really where the descend (of aiki) starts.

(to prevent posters to attack me for making absolute statement, this is off course my opinion :D )

MM
08-10-2011, 04:12 PM
Sorry, I thought your statement to the effect of "i am not going to make assertions about things I know nothing about" was retroactively applicable to the assertions you had already made. ;)

There is a difference between stating ideas,theories, possibilities and between stating what people do or what koryu do especially regarding training and gokui.

I stated a possibility of a type of training in Ono-ha Itto-ryu. I did not, nor did I ever, state that I know what Ono-ha Itto-ryu training was like, what constituted it, what its gokui was, nor did I do that for Jikishinkage ryu, nor did I do that for any member of either ryu past or present.

Point of fact, I completely left out Jikishinkage ryu of any of my discussions because the focus was on the people whom Takeda stated were his teachers, not because Jikishinkage ryu could have, might have, or does hold specific types of training, be they external or internal.

As I stated, "I don't know either one. I won't make any assertions on either." Should you want to have a discourse regarding my ideas as set forth previously, please continue. Should you want to play word games with my posts, please understand I will no longer take part. Have a good day.

Mark

niall
08-10-2011, 05:47 PM
Mark so that's your theory?! Because people don't do bayonet practice Morihei Ueshiba was not a good teacher? Well a lot of his direct students became great teachers. They learned OK. Don't assume that difficult is bad. Don't assume that a lack of explanations is bad. That's a western paradigm. None of those students you quote left. None of them said he was a bad teacher. And who taught Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Tohei.

Thanks Tim. You still seem to be judging from a western stance. But all we've established is that he was difficult to understand and didn't give many explanations. Like a lot of excellent Japanese teachers of martial arts and other disciplines.

I trained for many years with direct students of O Sensei. I've heard many stories about his teaching. Many were interesting and funny. I never heard that he was not a good teacher. Don't expect to go unchallenged when you make unsupported blanket generalizations based on your particular cultural perspective or to fit your particular pet theory.

MM
08-10-2011, 09:30 PM
Mark so that's your theory?! Because people don't do bayonet practice Morihei Ueshiba was not a good teacher? Well a lot of his direct students became great teachers. They learned OK. Don't assume that difficult is bad. Don't assume that a lack of explanations is bad. That's a western paradigm. None of those students you quote left. None of them said he was a bad teacher. And who taught Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Tohei.

Thanks Tim. You still seem to be judging from a western stance. But all we've established is that he was difficult to understand and didn't give many explanations. Like a lot of excellent Japanese teachers of martial arts and other disciplines.

I trained for many years with direct students of O Sensei. I've heard many stories about his teaching. Many were interesting and funny. I never heard that he was not a good teacher. Don't expect to go unchallenged when you make unsupported blanket generalizations based on your particular cultural perspective or to fit your particular pet theory.

Niall,
First, thanks for having a decent conversation about this stuff. While we don't agree, at least it's been a very civil back and forth. :)

With that said and no animosity on my part, I'll dive in.

No, not just bayonet. I've actually listed quite a few things in this thread alone that have yet to be addressed. I've actually shown examples. On your side, so far, we have your word. Since we don't know each other and other people don't know us, why trust what either of us say personally? (I'm sure we're both good and honorable but for the sake of argument/conversation, let's assume the worst)

Do you have examples of anything that you can share? I'm actually trying to help you here. To an unknown reader, I have a myriad of examples from Ueshiba's students to his observed personal training that can be verified. You have yet to cite examples.

Stan Pranin's research pretty much verifies that Kisshomaru and Tohei are behind post-war modern aikido. Your examples to contradict that?

You yourself stated that because of millions of people training aikido, it meant that Ueshiba was a good teacher. And then you said, don't expect to go unchallenged when you make unsupported blanket generalizations. Personally, I think you've made an unsupported blanket generalization. I've established interviews, articles, and such to contradict your statement.

I'm asking for you to prove me wrong with examples, articles, interviews, etc because that will *help* me with a possible writing project I'm working on. So, please, don't take what I'm posting personally. It isn't intended that way. I'm just hoping that you can come up with stuff to refute me.

graham christian
08-10-2011, 10:09 PM
Just to clarify. Tim Ruijs actually said that that Tamura stated Ueshiba hardly explained anything. That's fairly accurate.

Now, let's establish some other factors in Ueshiba's teaching style.

1. Spiritually: Nearly every single student, with only rare exceptions, stated that they had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. Did Ueshiba manage to get across to his students his spiritual vision/ideology? Was he a good teacher? We would have to answer that with no.

2. Techniques:

Tamura already chimed in on that.

Kisshomaru states: During his later years, rather than teach, my father demonstrated movements which were in accord with the flow of the universe and unified with nature. Thus, it was a matter of students watching his movements, learning by themselves, in that way understanding his technique. He wasn't deeply concerned about teaching students (Aiki News Issue 031)

Kunigoshi stated Ueshiba didn't really explain techniques. (Aiki News 047)

Shirata said: Ueshiba Sensei's way of explaining techniques was first of all to give the names of kamisama (deities). After that, he explained the movement. He told us, "Aikido originally didn't have any form. The movements of the body in response to one's state of mind became the techniques.

and also

in our time, Ueshiba Sensei didn't teach systematically. While we learned we had to systemize each technique in our mind so it was very hard. Ueshiba Sensei didn't have techniques. He said: "There are no techniques. What you express each time is a technique." (Aiki News Issue 063)

Kamata said that sometimes Ueshiba would explain. (Aiki News Issue 049)

Sugino said Ueshiba didn't explain. (Aiki News Issue 069)

Mochizuki: Uyeshiba Sensei's teaching pushed me a lot to think. He could never show again what he did in randori. I would say, "What was that?" and he would reply, "I got that from God suddenly. I don't remember." To Uyeshiba Sensei, ki (internal energy) was inspiration from God. So I had to rationalize and try to extract basics from multiple variations. Also, Uyeshiba Sensei was not concerned with teaching at the time I was studying under him. We were mostly training partners to him. (Black Belt 1989 Vol 27 No 8)

Robert Frager states: I understood very little of his talks. Osensei used a great many esoteric Shinto terms, and he spoke with a strong regional accent. His teachings were pitched at a philosophical, mystical level, far above my beginner's concerns about where I had to place my hands and feet. I puzzled over statements like, "When you practice Aikido, you stand on the floating bridge between heaven and earth," and "Put the Shinto Goddess 'She-who-invites' in your left foot and the God 'He-who-approaches' in your right foot." (Yoga Journal March 1982)

Crud, I'll stop there. There's too much information. Overwhelmingly, both pre-war and post-war Ueshiba's students state that he really didn't explain. He would show and then add in his spiritual talk (that they didn't understand).

Nearly every single student, with only rare exceptions, stated that they received no explanations for techniques. Did Ueshiba manage to get across to his students the techniques? Obviously, as we have multiple schools of aikido. However, it was not easy and required years of effort for the students to create a curriculum. That's the important part -- the students created a curriculum of what they *saw*. Ueshiba always stated aikido was formless. Was he a good teacher? I'd have to say no. For a formless art, he allowed his students to build a technique based curriculum on what they *saw* rather than on what he "taught".

3. Aiki:

That red-headed step child who won't go away. More bickering amongst lawyers, friends, and parents. Every time I turn around, there's that red-headed step child. Sheesh. And by the looks of him, he might actually have some Chinese lineage in him from his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-oh, 400 years great grandfather.

Who amongst Ueshiba's students stands out as great? A few pre-war students. But, wait, they weren't training aikido *at all*. They were training Daito ryu.

Was Ueshiba a good teacher for aiki? I'd have to say not really but with a caveat. Takeda told them not to teach it to everyone. Looking at Sagawa and Kodo, Ueshiba merely did the same as his peers. Could Ueshiba have been a good teacher of aiki? Perhaps. He knew how to train it. Sagawa and Kodo did, too. They each created a few men who had it. So, it's mostly probably that Ueshiba could have done so, too. He chose not to.

Marc.
Look at the statement 'Ueshiba hardly explained anything' and tell me what's nonsensical about it.

Anyone with half a brain would know he explained lots, probably too much in my opinion for it was over most peoples heads.

So let's take up your points above by number.

1) Spiritual. Now that contradicts that he hardly explained anything doesn't it? He explained plenty otherwise how could they say they didn't understand what he was talking about?

Did he thus communicate? Yes. Was he a good teacher? Well by all accounts he was called O'Sensei, great teacher, was he not?
Didn't he personally train all those uchideshi who you now call the giants of Aikido? Who went on to form their own successful forms of Aikido?

Has anyone else taught as many greats as he did?

How many greats of other martial arts who met him and tested him said he was not a great teacher?

Instead of listening to and concluding from odd negative statements why not pin those same detractors down and ask them what they DID learn from him for only then may you get a more balanced view. I think you will then find a whole array of different positive influences and changes he caused in each individual, a whole array of different understandings and gained abilities.

Sounds like a great teacher to me.

2) In the later years he 'taught' less but showed and demonstrated. Well, hadn't he said enough already?

You say he got across his techniques to his students. That's teaching.

You say it was hard for them. That's studying and practice.

They created a curriculum from what they learned obviously, not what they saw, unless they were numbskulls. Who did they create a curriculum for? Why?

So obviously him allowing a curriculum is him seeing others need to learn that way which just shows his humility to me which makes him all the greater. So that would be their way of teaching from where they were at. Meanwhile his way of teaching was his responsibility to carry on.

3) Aikido came about after the war didn't it? So he was the only teacher of this new Aiki. After his realization. Before therefore is null and void and that includes Takeda.

Now to reality. Show films of Ueshiba and films of any other daito ryu or Aikido teacher to friends and family and strangers and tell me who they are attracted to.

Show me how many different websites to do with things other than martial arts where his words are used in a positive and life helping way. Thousands. That's quite a reach I would say. That's quite a powerful achievement I would say. That's the main reason people are attracted to Aikido I would say. What he said and what he demonstrated is still by far and away the biggest attraction to Aikido for people worldwide. Wow! Still teaching after all these years.

Every Aikido teacher that has had any success has used His name and philosophy in order to get students. No one was attracted by his son for he was responsible for organization in order to handle the want.

Without him there would be no Aikido.

Without his words there would be no worldwide interest.

Without his ability there would be no O'Sensei title and a mere fraction of adherents.

Without his teaching there would be nothing, not even this forum.

There wouldn't even be a string of people saying 'I didn't understand'

The quotes from all those teachers are laughable frankly. Those who use those statements are blind as far as I'm concerned. For those same teachers use, boast, and brag about what they did under his tutelage. Not bad for people who understood nothing.

Regards.G.

Cliff Judge
08-10-2011, 10:23 PM
As I stated, "I don't know either one. I won't make any assertions on either." Should you want to have a discourse regarding my ideas as set forth previously, please continue. Should you want to play word games with my posts, please understand I will no longer take part. Have a good day.

Mark

I think your ideas are wrong. I would be happy to continue the conversation from there if you are interested.

niall
08-10-2011, 10:50 PM
Mark let me help you. Let's leave Tim's unsupported throwaway remark aside. I called him on it and you jumped in.

Your translated secondary sources showed 1.some people found O Sensei difficult to understand and 2.he sometimes did things without explanation.

I have a serious problem that you extrapolate that to assume that he was not a good teacher. I already explained that Japanese teaching methods have a completely different cultural context.

So my advice to you is to say what you can prove. (for example)

Some people apparently found O Sensei difficult to understand. He also did not often use explanations.

And you have your citations. You have satisfied the demands of logic and reasonable scholarship. To take the intellectual jump to say he was not a good teacher is not supported. You just undermine your credibility. And that is a pity. Some of the information you have put together is interesting.

graham christian
08-10-2011, 10:51 PM
This thread moves really fast...

@Mark, thanks for your support in this. I really did not want to bother to find all the references like you did. But now that they are here, I sincerely thank you. ;)
I think we established Ueshiba was not in fact a good teacher. :)

@Niall
(Sorry about the quote, that should not have been there. Some copy paste error.:o very unfortunate mistake.)
Please understand I am not trying to convince anybody, merely want to share my perspective (and off course that of my teacher Alain Peyrache, uchi deshi of Tamura Sensei).
To indicate I make no empty statements or assumptions: I have trained for years in the lineage of Tamura Sensei and Suganuma Sensei (which took my black belt test). The last eight years I have my own dojo and Alain has been my teacher for even longer (which gave me Menkyo).
When you know Tamura (Alain, or me) you would not imply that I am into a western style of teaching...quit contraire.

Basically I really do understand what is being said but fail to share the conclusion that when many people doing something that that makes the originator is a good teacher. A good inspirator/motivator yes.

To direct a bit to the OP:
the problem is how do you know what you are doing is any good? This is why I like the comparision with music so much. You yourself define what is good (or good enough) depending on your expectations of Aikido. others may judge, but are likely to have different expectations, different standards. This is why I said there is no absolute standard. There is no absolute test. When you look at actual combat to the death it will still mean nothing whether you survive the fight or not. This because many other aspects play a big role in the outcome.
When you fail to keep searching, this is really where the descend (of aiki) starts.

(to prevent posters to attack me for making absolute statement, this is off course my opinion :D )

Hi Tim.
How about there is something that is good? Regardless of what you think. If so then there is a test.

Regards.G.

MM
08-10-2011, 11:10 PM
I think your ideas are wrong. I would be happy to continue the conversation from there if you are interested.

I have doubts about my ideas, too. However, if we take Takeda at his word, then he learned from two people according to his eimeiroku and shareiroku: Shibuya Toma of Ono-ha Itto-ryu and Chikanori Hoshina.

Looking at either Ono-ha Itto-ryu, Shibuya Toma, or both, could there be a training methodology that instills some portion of internal structure or skills?

I think certain ryu did have training that sort of rewired the body for internal structure. I also think some people throughout history in koryu had internal training and/or skills.

We are talking internal, so this would be outside any external technique or kata, per se. More like what one trains while performing the kata. I gave the example of the hips and cutting while moving forward. By training certain kata, that might distill in a person some internal structure over time. Did the Ono-ha Itto-ryu that Takeda studied have this kind of training?

In other instances, we need to remember Ueshiba and Sagawa's words. Aiki makes everything better. Aiki works in all martial arts. So, someone who had internal training could pass on that knowledge in any martial art. Did Shibuya Toma have this kind of training?

The theory is that if we take Takeda's word for whom his teachers are, we must look to Shibuya Toma of Ono-ha Itto-ryu and Chikanori Hoshina. What did they teach and in what kind of vehicle? Was Ono-ha Itto-ryu used?

Mark

graham christian
08-10-2011, 11:15 PM
Mark let me help you. Let's leave Tim's unsupported throwaway remark aside. I called him on it and you jumped in.

Your translated secondary sources showed 1.some people found O Sensei difficult to understand and 2.he sometimes did things without explanation.

I have a serious problem that you extrapolate that to assume that he was not a good teacher.

So my advice to you is to say what you can prove. (for example)

And you have your citations. You have satisfied the demands of logic and reasonable scholarship. To take the intellectual jump to say he was not a good teacher is not supported. You just undermine your credibility. And that is a pity. Some of the information you have put together is interesting.

Hi Niall.
No doubt you'll know I agree with your position. However just one thing I have to say.

The citations satisfying the demands of logic and reasonable scholarship. I find they don't.

I find they are they are parts of statements or communications taken out of context and presented together as one picture. There is no comparing and contrasting, no presenting of the whole of what was said in it's proper context, no balance and therefore no reason or logic. Merely deception.

For instance you could take the citation of sugino. Is that all he said about ueshibas teaching? I think not. In fact I am sure I could dig up something from Aikijournal where he paints a glowing picture of O'Sensei and EXPLAINS his teaching.

Not presenting the whole picture. Surely reason should have all relevent data, given in correct sequence, nothing omitted, in other words correct perspective. Otherwise what is it?

Just a little thought.

Regards.G.

DH
08-10-2011, 11:29 PM
Hello Hugh
I have basically avoided this thread. I would like to address a few points

My understanding of Mike's position--taking out the value judgements--is that what Dan has a is mix of techniques and concepts shaken up in a bag, lacking certain fundamental principles that are widespread and well understood in CMAs.

Regarding me
Mike has never met me
Mike has no idea what it is I do, he only thinks he does.
The little he has written is a little off base to way off base.

Regarding the Chinese arts
Mike (by his own writing and addmission) is an outsider, not an insider, in the ICMA. He has pieced together a system based on information from here and therefore is not of a level equal to any expert of ICMA.

It is a bit ridiculous for you to use him or me in a role to judge anything as being consistent or not with all that is Internal in the ICMA or JMA. Some take advantage and enjoy the role of the one eyed man in the land of the blind. I do not enjoy or embrace that role. There is way to much hubris on display of late. When people have skills they can overplay their hand. There are lots of talented people out there.

Let's assume the basic theory laid out in HIPS, that Chinese internal methods came over to Japan and got assimilated and reworked in Takeda's Daito-Ryu.
The question is: Suppose we now take the new system and show it to the original Chinese masters. Wouldn't they respond very much the way Mike did?
I have done this with real experts of the ICMA, they were witnessed in open rooms. It went very well and there was no posturing or defensive B.S. That's what face to face testing of skills often does. There really isn't much B.S. you can spin or say when your skills are on display is there? The results were not only surprising they are key to what you are asking and what Ellis postulated on several key points. I found the comparisons and information exchange later with other professional teachers of the ICMA consistent with a theory I have had between certain Koryu movement and DR and Chinese arts as well. To be honest though there are fighters that are better tests as well as modern weapons. I guess what I am saying is it's wise to increase your exposure.
Good day
Dan

MM
08-10-2011, 11:33 PM
Mark let me help you. Let's leave Tim's unsupported throwaway remark aside. I called him on it and you jumped in.

Your translated secondary sources showed 1.some people found O Sensei difficult to understand and 2.he sometimes did things without explanation.

I have a serious problem that you extrapolate that to assume that he was not a good teacher. I already explained that Japanese teaching methods have a completely different cultural context.

So my advice to you is to say what you can prove. (for example)

And you have your citations. You have satisfied the demands of logic and reasonable scholarship. To take the intellectual jump to say he was not a good teacher is not supported. You just undermine your credibility. And that is a pity. Some of the information you have put together is interesting.

Spiritual:
It wasn't "some" people who didn't understand him, but more like 90-95% of *all* his students, including his son. A hallmark of a good teacher is one who can make his/her students understand the material such that they, too, can teach it or pass it on. On the spiritual side, Ueshiba fails. And not just from post-war, but from pre-war also.

Here we have 1/2 of aikido from Ueshiba (it is both a spiritual and martial vision) that did not get passed on. What did get passed on was Kisshomaru's changes to his father's spiritual ideology. Why? To appeal to a wider audience, in post war, so that they can understand the changed vision. Here, Kisshomaru passes with flying colors.

Techniques:
It wasn't "sometimes" that he did things without explanation, but rather 90-95% of the time. Even his own son states that Morihei used his students as training partners rather than teaching. His own son. Who was it that codified the techniques? It was Ueshiba's students, after class that got together and compared notes about what they had done that day. They wrote down the techniques. They were the ones who passed down the technical syllabus of aikido. From what I understand, even koryu has a structured training regimen. Ueshiba did not pass down techniques to his students. He didn't want to.

Yes, the Japanese have a different cultural context. However, we find that when Ueshiba was teaching Daito ryu, he created Shioda, Tomiki, Shirata, etc. When Ueshiba taught aikido, he created ... ?
When Takeda taught, he created Sagawa, Kodo, Ueshiba, Yoshida, Hisa, etc. When Sagawa finally taught, he found those select students getting it. Kodo created at least two. Sagawa and Kodo did so post war. All of Takeda's students knew how to replicate Takeda's teaching such that they could create another aiki great. In fact, Ueshiba proved it pre-war with those famous students.

Aiki has to be directly shown and trained. Takeda stated it was easy to steal so he kept his training closed away from prying eyes. Takeda's students knew this and kept their personal training very private.

The intellectual jump is supported. Unfortunately, before I started training in aiki, I would have thought my conclusions were tenuous. So, my frame of mind is very different now. There were things hidden in plain sight that I never would have seen. And, I always make room that I'm wrong. :)

niall
08-11-2011, 01:00 AM
Probably we've come to the end of useful dialogue. I'm sorry you don't place much value on your credibility. I mean that seriously. If the aiki platform is based on loose logic and poor scholarship what is there to fall back on? Internal bickering? Please excuse the pun. Well I know how seriously to take your posts now. Just to finish.

Spiritual.
Your point is meaningless. Since when has aikido had an extrinsic spiritual aspect? But it is also fair to add that many experienced aikido teachers have some understanding of the spiritual dimension within aikido.

Techniques
Your point about codifying is meaningless. We are talking about teaching. Most aikidoka do the same basic techniques O Sensei taught. Some teachers have added variations over the years. For example Nishio Sensei added koshi nage. But techniques like irimi nage, tenchi nage, shiho nage and ikkyo are done almost the same. I'm sure you've looked at videos.

Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba. Today hundreds of thousands or millions of people do aikido. He was and is called O Sensei. As Graham very correctly reminds us that means Great Teacher.

Tim Ruijs
08-11-2011, 05:02 AM
@Niall
Thanks for your respect towards my opinion and your constructive comment. :rolleyes: really helpful... :disgust:

@Graham. I am not sure what you mean. Would you care to explain a bit further?

chillzATL
08-11-2011, 07:06 AM
Re: Was Ueshiba a good teacher.

That he didn't pass on his aiki skills in bulk can't be used against him when debating if he was a good teacher or not. I can't believe that he intended to pass those skills on to everyone or even a good many of his students. Only pass it on to a select few? check. He did that.

He, along with Tohei, Kisshomaru and others created quite a few people who are considered really good aikido teachers. They're out teaching the art as they learned it, as he likely intended it to be passed on in bulk, and are highly regarded in that respect.

Nobody says he was a bad teacher. I mean with all the students he had, no non-sense, no BS guys like Kuriowa, guys with fighting backgrounds, etc. There would be some who outted him in some way. You don't hear that. You here plenty semi-complaining about his spiritual speak, but in their minds they effectively learned from him what they thought they were there to learn.

he died likely thinking that Tohei was the man being left with the real skills and it was up to him to continue to only pass them along to only a select few. Say what you will about Tohei being different than Ueshiba, but Ueshiba signed off on everything Tohei did and by all accounts Tohei had real skills. He also had a more systemized approach that had in it everything needed to pass on both the bulk version and the "only to a select few" version of Ueshiba's aikido. Ueshiba likely felt secure about the future of his art.

Also, why is Ueshiba held to a higher standard than other arts built around internal skills? They're not cranking out students with real skills in bulk either, intentionally.

chillzATL
08-11-2011, 07:18 AM
Ueshiba did not pass down techniques to his students. He didn't want to.



Yet we have videos of him doing the same techniques over and over again. Students from different eras who all learned the same "techniques" from him. The same techniques that Takeda taught and that his students continued to teach.

I think it's pretty clear that the techniques were the vehicle for practicing what he wanted to teach. Call them the shapes of force exchange for training the body in a unique way if you want to, but those shapes were consistent over the course of his teaching career.

Cliff Judge
08-11-2011, 07:39 AM
I have doubts about my ideas, too. However, if we take Takeda at his word, then he learned from two people according to his eimeiroku and shareiroku: Shibuya Toma of Ono-ha Itto-ryu and Chikanori Hoshina.

Looking at either Ono-ha Itto-ryu, Shibuya Toma, or both, could there be a training methodology that instills some portion of internal structure or skills?

I think certain ryu did have training that sort of rewired the body for internal structure. I also think some people throughout history in koryu had internal training and/or skills.

We are talking internal, so this would be outside any external technique or kata, per se. More like what one trains while performing the kata. I gave the example of the hips and cutting while moving forward. By training certain kata, that might distill in a person some internal structure over time. Did the Ono-ha Itto-ryu that Takeda studied have this kind of training?

In other instances, we need to remember Ueshiba and Sagawa's words. Aiki makes everything better. Aiki works in all martial arts. So, someone who had internal training could pass on that knowledge in any martial art. Did Shibuya Toma have this kind of training?

The theory is that if we take Takeda's word for whom his teachers are, we must look to Shibuya Toma of Ono-ha Itto-ryu and Chikanori Hoshina. What did they teach and in what kind of vehicle? Was Ono-ha Itto-ryu used?

Mark

You are referencing unquoted and partially-cited sources here so it is more difficult for me to find the answer to this myself: did Takeda claim that he learned aiki from these two men, or simply that they were the two men he regarded as sensei?

If you want to limit the discussion to the matter of which teachers of Takeda informed his internal skills (excluding from the discussion a lifetime of personal experience and research into sumo, various sword arts, etc from which he may have derived new training methods and skills that were all his own) then either Ono ha Itto ryu had nothing to do with it, or you have a LOT of work to do to show how it could have. I am all ears!

john.burn
08-11-2011, 10:01 AM
You are referencing unquoted and partially-cited sources here so it is more difficult for me to find the answer to this myself: did Takeda claim that he learned aiki from these two men, or simply that they were the two men he regarded as sensei?

If you want to limit the discussion to the matter of which teachers of Takeda informed his internal skills (excluding from the discussion a lifetime of personal experience and research into sumo, various sword arts, etc from which he may have derived new training methods and skills that were all his own) then either Ono ha Itto ryu had nothing to do with it, or you have a LOT of work to do to show how it could have. I am all ears!

At Dan's recent UK seminar he mentioned something about a scroll of some sort whereby Takeda states that he got his Aiki from a chinese guy and was his indoor or inside student and that the phrase was written in a different way to the rest of the scroll - more chinese, or, in chinese. Dan, care to comment?

DH
08-11-2011, 11:20 AM
At Dan's recent UK seminar he mentioned something about a scroll of some sort whereby Takeda states that he got his Aiki from a chinese guy and was his indoor or inside student and that the phrase was written in a different way to the rest of the scroll - more chinese, or, in chinese. Dan, care to comment?
No scroll, John
I have it written down here in several placces. He referred to his training as oshiki-uchi, the implied meaning of which was "inside the threshold."
Kisshomaru states that he was told that Takeda was given a menkyo frm Chikanori, something which would be fascinating to see, were it true. I don't trust what the aikiaiki put out for public consumption, nor the quality of the translation done by students. He'll for that matter, I have heard any number of stories of deshi who drew his bath every day and did his solo training with him everyday....long after he had retired from teaching in Tokyo...so....shrug.
Dan

hughrbeyer
08-11-2011, 06:24 PM
Dan: Okay, I appreciate your reproof and your unwillingness to get drawn into another slanging match. And I understand that Mike's never met you or seen your stuff first hand, so his isn't an informed opinion. But there are other experts around who have wide personal experience, so I thought it worth throwing the question out there.

I'm interested in what kind of reaction you get from Chinese experts. Is it like, "Cool, we do that and here's what it looks like"? Or, "Cool, we've never seen that before but it could fit in with our principles this way"? The first would suggest some kind of direct connection; the second would suggest some innovation along the way.

Yeah, we'll never know for sure. But it would be cool to trace the common threads.

Re increasing my exposure: Oh yeah. Working on it. :p

Marc Abrams
08-11-2011, 07:16 PM
He'll for that matter, I have heard any number of stories of deshi who drew his bath every day and did his solo training with him everyday....long after he had retired from teaching in Tokyo...so....shrug.
Dan

Dan:

I have a copy of the unedited version of the interview that Shizuo Imaizumi Sensei provided for Aikido Journal. You do not have to believe Aikikai since Imaizumi Sensei does not belong to that organization. Throughout his life, he has kept an extensive diary. These are not stories, but verified facts.

1) "When O' Sensei stayed in Tokyo, he used to appear during the first class. So Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei or Waka Sensei immediately stopped his instruction and made his students sit seiza (kneeling). O-Sensei bowed shomen and turned to us. After he had exchanged greetings with us, he would begin to do his own morning exercises while talking to us. I often helped him do his own exercises. The his aikido demonstration would begin. After O'Sensei retreated into his private house, Waka Sensei hastened his aikido instruction for the morning students as if he were trying to recover the lost time."

2) "I witnessed O-Sensei's naked figure. One day Saburo Sugiyama Sensei, riji or director of Aikikai, invited O'Sensei to experience a whirlpool bath at his owned clinic in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. In those days it was rare that an individual possessed a whirlpool bath. As you know, now everyone likes it very much. We picked up a taxi from the Hombu dojo and went to the clinic. On arriving at the clinic,we were guided to the whirlpool room. I helped O'Sensei take off his clothes. After that, O-Sensei was dressed in nothing but loincloth and entered the bath by himself. Although I was waiting for him to come back to the dressing room again, I was wathcing O'Sensei's actions through glasses because I should be alert all of the time as my duty of the otomo. It seemed to me that he was enjoying this new experience. When he came out the bath, I began to prepare a bath towel for wiping his wet body, and then I was surprised at his thick chest. His chest were as if it were an old woman's breasts hanging down. Although he was the age of 80's in those days, I could imagine that he had real muscles of iron at his prime of manhood. If you doubt my story, you should check a photograph of O'Sensei's naked figure to the waist in page 20 of Budo-- Teaching of the Founder of Aikido by Morihei Ueshiba, published in 1991 by Kodansha International, Tokyo."

I think that the real question is whether or not the people who assisted O'Sensei fully grasped what he was doing when he was doing it. There are a sufficient number of people who could verify these facts as told by Imaizumi Sensei. Healthy skepticism is good, which is why I always consider the source of the information and look for at least one other independent source to back up what is being said.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

DH
08-12-2011, 09:18 AM
Hi Marc
If it ever does get published...cough...there might be some interesting stories there as well. I think this supports the points I hade made. Your opening comment from your teacher was "when he stayed in Tokyo...." Go back and read the interviews of all the people who had these personal one-on-ones with him either stated or implied as "everyday" when it was after he retired. It's no big deal to me just another talking point. These unverified stories, (I'm not calling your teacher a liar, it's just that it is, after all, just his story), and the interviews and events that actually do verify things, call into question statements that contradict many of the more popular stories. When we add in lousy translations, myth making from the aikikai, banning and rewriting of history, there isn't much to really hang your hat on.

While I do indeed find all of this interesting, in a culture like Japan, I don't trust much of what people say or do. Frankly the entire history of the system of aiki from Takeda to the modern era seems rather bizarre and weird. I don't invest much in the information offered; either from lineage or the personalities involved either way.
Cheers
Dan

phitruong
08-12-2011, 09:33 AM
His chest were as if it were an old woman's breasts hanging down. Although he was the age of 80's in those days, I could imagine that he had real muscles of iron at his prime of manhood. If you doubt my story, you should check a photograph of O'Sensei's naked figure to the waist in page 20 of Budo-- Teaching of the Founder of Aikido by Morihei Ueshiba, published in 1991 by Kodansha International, Tokyo."


short interruption of a serious discourse with a light dose of irrelevant discourse.

methink, had O Sensei lived today, and with your description of his chest, i believed he would be a good candidate for "Le Bro" such as these http://inventorspot.com/articles/mens_premium_bra_offers_hope_japans_overly_endowed_20078
I think i might need one or two as well, as mine is getting saggy as i aged. gravity is a bitch! so does the pink one hold up better than the black one? with wire support or without? :D

graham christian
08-12-2011, 04:28 PM
@Niall
Thanks for your respect towards my opinion and your constructive comment. :rolleyes: really helpful... :disgust:

@Graham. I am not sure what you mean. Would you care to explain a bit further?

Hi Tim.
First your comment on good teacher doesn't equate with lot's of students. A teacher who starts a way and it spreads in such a way as Aikido did is actually a Great Teacher.

The main point though which I think you are referring to is my comment on what about if there is good?

It's not a joke, it's real. Whether a technique or move is good or not is not a matter conjecture or different expectations etc. It's a matter of honesty.

You know without a shadow of doubt when your application was good. The uke knows without a shadow of doubt when an application done is good. Those watching are quite irrelevant really.

That's all.

Regards.G.

amand
08-12-2011, 08:46 PM
One thing - "Chinese" descent, of approximately 400 years previously. The Hoshina were very definitely Japanese in culture, and recognized as such. This is analogous to Saddam Hussein having an Albanian wife, and she brings her family, and they get some kind of court rank and become naturalized Iraqi - and 300 or 400 years later, we have . . (?) The question would be if they truly did retain anything they brought over centuries before.

I got one verbal communication that the Hoshina had, at some time in the past, their own kenjutsu, and that they used an "odd" katana, with a shorter, very broad blade.

That's all I got. Which is why I put it at the end of the book - just for the enjoyment of the possibility - of something we may never find the answer. But if some researcher ever was, with fluent Japanese, able to somehow make a link with this still aristocratic family (and remember, the branches that survived are not the Aizu, who were decimated in the Boshin War (See HIPS (http://www.edgework.info/buy-books-on-martial-arts.html) on that) - and get them to open up about their family secrets, who knows what might come out?

Best
Ellis

Hi Ellis
A local historian in Aizu found out Sokaku learned Aiki from a Soothsayer who learned Shugendo not from Hoshina.
he researched about Sokaku pretty well.check this site.
http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/ikezuki2

niall
08-13-2011, 12:02 AM
Hugh I thought your idea for the thread was sensible and constructive even if I don't agree with a lot of the things that were said.

I used the sidebar discussion about O Sensei as one of the themes in my blog (http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/moon-in-the-water-19051/great-teacher-dancing-and-death-4282/) this week.

Tim Ruijs
08-13-2011, 01:49 AM
Hi Tim.
First your comment on good teacher doesn't equate with lot's of students. A teacher who starts a way and it spreads in such a way as Aikido did is actually a Great Teacher.

The main point though which I think you are referring to is my comment on what about if there is good?

It's not a joke, it's real. Whether a technique or move is good or not is not a matter conjecture or different expectations etc. It's a matter of honesty.

You know without a shadow of doubt when your application was good. The uke knows without a shadow of doubt when an application done is good. Those watching are quite irrelevant really. I am not sure about that. Can everybody really detect openings in the technique?

Eric in Denver
08-13-2011, 06:45 AM
I am not sure about that. Can everybody really detect openings in the technique?

Currently, the way I see it is both uke and nage have a sensitivity to techniques. If nage is more sensitive than uke and can create a technique below the level of sensitivity of uke (ie, so that uke can't really feel what is going on), then it will appear that there are no openings in the technique. I think this is one of the keys to getting musubi. Although I suck at musubi and aiki, so there you go.:D

Marc Abrams
08-13-2011, 10:42 AM
Hi Marc
If it ever does get published...cough...there might be some interesting stories there as well. I think this supports the points I hade made. Your opening comment from your teacher was "when he stayed in Tokyo...." Go back and read the interviews of all the people who had these personal one-on-ones with him either stated or implied as "everyday" when it was after he retired. It's no big deal to me just another talking point. These unverified stories, (I'm not calling your teacher a liar, it's just that it is, after all, just his story), and the interviews and events that actually do verify things, call into question statements that contradict many of the more popular stories. When we add in lousy translations, myth making from the aikikai, banning and rewriting of history, there isn't much to really hang your hat on.

While I do indeed find all of this interesting, in a culture like Japan, I don't trust much of what people say or do. Frankly the entire history of the system of aiki from Takeda to the modern era seems rather bizarre and weird. I don't invest much in the information offered; either from lineage or the personalities involved either way.
Cheers
Dan

Dan:

Stanley did publish this in the old, printed Aikido Journal. The edited version took 2 volumes. Imaizumi Sensei is so exacting, he had stuff in there like the flight number of the plane he first took to the US and the exact time that it landed....

Check with Stanley, this information was vetted. I agree with you in how people can mis-state things. Imaizumi Sensei's diaries are so exacting that it would include the exact days that O'Sensei was there!

Regards,

marc

graham christian
08-13-2011, 11:03 AM
I am not sure about that. Can everybody really detect openings in the technique?

Woah, slow down Tim.

First let's stick to what I said. It's a matter of honesty for you do know when you do something which was good and so does uke.

So what has that got to do with openings? That's a different subject.

Now if your aim is to see the openings and take advantage of openings then you will know if you did or didn't. Simple really. Once again a matter of honesty.

Personally I think openings would be a discussion of it'self. So much talk about it as if it's the correct thing to say but what does it mean? What's the purpose?

In my opinion unless you're well versed in principles and their application then discussing openings always sounds good but is a waste of time.

Regards.G.