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ronin67
08-31-2011, 09:44 PM
Been noticing quite a bit of dissension towards KI Aikido on this forum. Why is that? Is it because many preceive it as ineffective or is it just because of the big split with Tohei Sensei from the Aikikai? I've never understood this in the Aikido community. Please explain. Should I go to another style? Can't KI Aikido be street effective?

May God bless!

Ed

robin_jet_alt
08-31-2011, 10:00 PM
Can you give us some examples?

Personally I have seen good and bad examples in most styles. When I move to a new place and choose a new dojo (which I have done a few times) I tend to choose the teacher and the training environment that I like best out of the available options, and not necessarily the teacher who does the style that I am used to. This has led to my aikido getting a bit mixed up, but it has also been very interesting.

I would have no problem training at a Ki Society dojo, as long as I liked the instructor and the training environment. For example, I live fairly close to where Maruyama sensei (ex Ki Society) trains, and I might have ended up training with him except for the fact that I would not be able to get to his training on time because of my work commitments.

graham christian
08-31-2011, 10:30 PM
Been noticing quite a bit of dissension towards KI Aikido on this forum. Why is that? Is it because many preceive it as ineffective or is it just because of the big split with Tohei Sensei from the Aikikai? I've never understood this in the Aikido community. Please explain. Should I go to another style? Can't KI Aikido be street effective?

May God bless!

Ed

I would say it's because generally speaking many have come across people saying they are using Ki and found them to be ineffective. They thus equate these experiences with Ki Aikido. Think about it, how many have you met?

In any Ki or chi activity there are many who are for want of a better word'airy fairy'

Regards.G.

ronin67
08-31-2011, 11:38 PM
I would say it's because generally speaking many have come across people saying they are using Ki and found them to be ineffective. They thus equate these experiences with Ki Aikido. Think about it, how many have you met?

In any Ki or chi activity there are many who are for want of a better word'airy fairy'

Regards.G.

Yes, I have met a few who fell into this catagory, however I have met some who are very good. So it is pretty much a unfair gereralization you think? So you don't think KI Aikido aikidoka aren't as proficient performing waza/ thus translating it to a very street effective self-defense style, as compared to maybe Aikido organizations under the umbrella of Aikikai?

May God bless!

Ed

ryback
09-01-2011, 02:46 AM
Been noticing quite a bit of dissension towards KI Aikido on this forum. Why is that? Is it because many preceive it as ineffective or is it just because of the big split with Tohei Sensei from the Aikikai? I've never understood this in the Aikido community. Please explain. Should I go to another style? Can't KI Aikido be street effective?

May God bless!

Ed

Personally, i disagree with any claim that there are more than one aikido traditions. There is only one aikido, although different aikidoka, have different personal styles in the way they execute the techniques. For example, in an other thread i had a conversation about how different is the current Doshu's personal style than Sensei Steven Seagal's. These personal styles however, do not constitute different aikido traditions. So in my opinion what Mr. Tohei, Mr. Shioda and others did, claiming their own styles is wrong, regardless of their effectiveness.

Amir Krause
09-01-2011, 03:03 AM
Personally, i disagree with any claim that there are more than one aikido traditions. There is only one aikido, although different aikidoka, have different personal styles in the way they execute the techniques. For example, in an other thread i had a conversation about how different is the current Doshu's personal style than Sensei Steven Seagal's. These personal styles however, do not constitute different aikido traditions. So in my opinion what Mr. Tohei, Mr. Shioda and others did, claiming their own styles is wrong, regardless of their effectiveness.

So who may open a new style / M.A. in your opinion?
Who decides if not the person himself?

In my opinion - a new style is bourne once a teacher decides his way is different than the way of his teacher. He may then open a new style of the same art or a totally new art - it is up to him as the founder to decide. Then, others must decide if they wish to study this new art/style.
the change of the new way from it's predecessor may be minor, it could be some additional techniques, it could be changes in the curriculum and teaching, could be in philosophy or any other issue. It does not matter, once a person decides he is a founder of a new way, and no longer follows his teachers - that is it.

Amir

grondahl
09-01-2011, 03:25 AM
Personally, i disagree with any claim that there are more than one aikido traditions. There is only one aikido, although different aikidoka, have different personal styles in the way they execute the techniques. For example, in an other thread i had a conversation about how different is the current Doshu's personal style than Sensei Steven Seagal's. These personal styles however, do not constitute different aikido traditions. So in my opinion what Mr. Tohei, Mr. Shioda and others did, claiming their own styles is wrong, regardless of their effectiveness.

By your logic, you should disagree that there exists such a thing as aikido at all. It´s just Daito Ryu,

Mark Freeman
09-01-2011, 05:09 AM
Been noticing quite a bit of dissension towards KI Aikido on this forum. Why is that? Is it because many preceive it as ineffective or is it just because of the big split with Tohei Sensei from the Aikikai? I've never understood this in the Aikido community. Please explain. Should I go to another style? Can't KI Aikido be street effective?

May God bless!

Ed

Hi Ed,

Why would you want to go to another style if you are happy with the one you are in? If you were not happy with your training, then yes, it would be worth checking out others to see if it delivered what you wanted.

Of course ki-aikido can be street effective, or rather some people who practice ki-aikido can be street effective, as it is the person not the style that is effective. It may be the case that there is a higher proportion of street effective aikidoka from styles that focus more on martial application, than those in the ki based styles.

I think that Tohei's lineage and teaching methods, has probably attracted many aikidoka who are not practicing for the primary purpose of self defence. They are there for the many other benefits that are gained from learning how to co-ordinate mind and body, which is the main purpose of the ki development exercises, which dilineate this style from others.

I practice and teach ki-aikido, but not with the ki society. I have been on these boards for quite a while, it doesn't bother me that some people here are outright dismissive of the style I practice. I tend to focus on improving what I do, and be open to understanding the limitations of what it is I am learning.

No one style of aikido can be deemed 'better' than the rest, they came from different students of O Sensei. However, just because someone practiced with Ueshiba, doesn't mean they 'got' what he was teaching. Maybe they were not all that good, but because they have the kudos of having spent time in the same place as the founder, they are looked up to, as paragons of aikido.

Let others say what they want, if you are happy following the path you are on, and you know you are progressing along it, then keep going, keep improving, and be open to the fact that there are limitations to all methods/styles.

I have read here recently that the Hombu dojo, has little or no weapons practice going on there. For me, many of the high grade classes I attend are weapons based, occassionally with a live blade. So although some may dismiss me as an aiki-bunny, because of the style I do, I reckon that I would stand a slightly better chance on the street where weapons are involved, than someone who has little or no weapons training at all.

regards,

Mark

gregstec
09-01-2011, 08:28 AM
Been noticing quite a bit of dissension towards KI Aikido on this forum. Why is that? Is it because many preceive it as ineffective or is it just because of the big split with Tohei Sensei from the Aikikai? I've never understood this in the Aikido community. Please explain. Should I go to another style? Can't KI Aikido be street effective?

May God bless!

Ed

IMO, most people who dismiss Ki Aikido do not understand and/or believe in Ki - they view it simply as a mental component like intent or will power. In addition to this, they have probably viewed or had experience with someone from Ki Aikido who thought they understood ki, but really did not and could not express it probably.

IMO, ki/chi is controlled by mental intent but it is an entity of its own and acts as the bridge from the mental to the physical; like in Mind and Body coordination. To express proficient Aiki, this must be understood and worked on - Ueshiba knew this as well as other high level students of Takeda.

Greg

ryback
09-01-2011, 08:31 AM
once a person decides he is a founder of a new way, and no longer follows his teachers - that is it.

Amir

Oh yeah. That's why we are surrounded by founders of martial arts that do not exist.

ryback
09-01-2011, 08:41 AM
By your logic, you should disagree that there exists such a thing as aikido at all. It´s just Daito Ryu,

O'sensei studied daito-ryu and from that he created a system to teach the martial ways of the samurai, in a modern world where the samurai did not exist anymore. So the change from "jutsu" to "do" is valid, for aikido is a martial art for self-defence, self-developement and not for military purposes. It can be studied by anyone. Yet, techniqually is almost the same as daito ryu, is the goal and the purpose and the choice of not harming your attacker that was o'sensei's contribution. So, this is aikido, there is no other tradition. One can have his personal style up to a certain point (no need for another name though), but if you stray to much, it is not aikido anymore.

robin_jet_alt
09-01-2011, 07:39 PM
Should I go to another style?

Ed

This really seems to be the crux of the matter.

I agree with Mark. If you have a good teacher, then why would you want to change? If on the other hand, you don't, then yes, you should change. It's not about style though, it's about individual teachers. I would much rather have a good Shin Shin Toitsu teacher than a bad Aikikai teacher and vice versa.

MM
09-01-2011, 08:09 PM
O'sensei studied daito-ryu and from that he created a system to teach the martial ways of the samurai, in a modern world where the samurai did not exist anymore. So the change from "jutsu" to "do" is valid, for aikido is a martial art for self-defence, self-developement and not for military purposes. It can be studied by anyone. Yet, techniqually is almost the same as daito ryu, is the goal and the purpose and the choice of not harming your attacker that was o'sensei's contribution. So, this is aikido, there is no other tradition. One can have his personal style up to a certain point (no need for another name though), but if you stray to much, it is not aikido anymore.

Morihei Ueshiba was born in 1883. The days of the "samurai" were long gone. Daito ryu was not a koryu then or now. And Morihei Ueshiba taught Daito ryu. He did not create a system. Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Koichi Tohei created a system.

Let me quote Sokaku Takeda about his definition of Daito ryu:
"The purpose of this art is not to be killed, not to be struck, not to be kicked, and we will not strike, will not kick, and will not kill. It is completely for self-defense. We can handle opponents expediently, utilizing their own power, through their own aggression. So even women and children can use it."

Morihei Ueshiba, once the most favored student of Sokaku Takeda, was only following his teacher in his own personal way. Morihei Ueshiba added his own personal spiritual ideology to create his aikido, but do not get confused -- he was a Daito ryu aiki man through and through. Nearly everything he did can be traced back to Sokaku Takeda.

It's been written that even Sokaku Takeda dabbled into some spiritual ideology and also did some mystical magical things.

Research reveals that a lot of "common knowledge" about aikido is really not all that accurate. More myth than truth.

Mark

Tim Ruijs
09-02-2011, 02:17 AM
One can have his personal style up to a certain point (no need for another name though), but if you stray to much, it is not aikido anymore.

Who is to say how much deviation is allowed within a 'style' before it is no longer Aikido?
In all honesty there are Aikido styles that are more modern than others. Modern in a technical sense, but also more importantly in an operational sense. But this goes off topic...
I have never actually practised Ki-aikido or knowingly worked with someone that did. I did watch several vids, but was not too impressed. All too often the pushing head-while-stting-on-the-floor, you-cannot-lift-from-the-floor and unbendable arm are shown. That is just mechanics, plain and simple. We spent 5 minutes a year on this because there is always someone new who asks. Old movies of Tohei just show Aikido as O Sensei taught him.

Again, it is not better, nor worse, just different training methods.
Funny thing is that at my old dojo two students left and went to practise Ki-Aikido because the current style was too hard...this was Suganuma style Aikido. Just plain traditional Aikikai...
...eye of the beholder thing I guess...

I am afraid the Ki-Aikido society tries to stand out so much they get a lot of interest from other 'styles' what the fuss is about. Under close scrutiny nothing special is shown, so the society gets burned. Hate? no, not hate.

Gorgeous George
09-02-2011, 09:34 AM
I don't hate Ki Aikido: I just don't rate it.
I've tried to find out about it - i've looked for videos on YouTube, and there isn't much; I also found out that if you want some videos of the techniques/syllabus, you have to be a certified instructor in order to buy them (at a very high price) from the Ki Aikido HQ.
So I have the impression it's very secretive, and profit-driven...like scientology is.

Then there's the videos I have seen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VGH--Z6RVc

Not that i'm an expert, but the ukemi looks...not so good. It looks like there is never atari/musubi, and with regards to the irimi-nage ukemi in particular: why are they going flying off in a straight line?
I've always been taught - by various teachers, in various styles - that you try and keep close to nage during that (and most other, for that matter) throw: it's the safest place.

Also: the ukes are never stretched - they never get onto their toes; so how can I believe that they're connected to nage, and not just falling down when prompted?

This is what I encountered when I went to a Ki Aikido class: the guy had me in ikkyo, and was just walking around the mat, unable to move me to the floor; eventually, he said "Feel free to go down..." - I said i'd go down if he caused me to (which is, y'know, what an aikido technique does...), to which a dan grade who was practicing with us got all shitty and said "That's not how we practice.".
...shouldn't she have stepped in while he was struggling, and showed him how to effect the technique?

Then when I was training kata dori-nikkyo, the instructor said that when you are grabbed, you don't perform an atemi: no...you raise your hand up towards uke's face, 'With a big wave of energy.' (Ki balls...?).
I'm all for getting abstract and into the philosophy, but I think these Ki people don't know much about budo/aikido, and prefer purely 'spiritual' pursuits - so that's how they practice aikido; they don't understand the whole 'Stopping violence with the spear.': the point of aikido (as I understand it) is not never hurting someone - it's doing the minimum harm possible while doing the right thing/protecting others.
I'm all for resolving things amicably - but some people will never listen: try talking to a drunk, or George Bush, so you might actually have to deal with somebody in a non-verbal/'spiritual' way in life.

This is a foreign language documentary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_uG_tCdID8

...about eight minutes in, the dan grades are training; the ukemi is stuff I got told off for when I was a beginner: the attack is slow, half-hearted; they don't stay connected when their wrist is taken: they leave their back exposed in kote-gaeshi, then just collapse...where's the aiki in that? No connection.
And isn't it unhealthy to receive like that - with just your wrist, as opposed to with your entire body?

I've only been training a few years, but only the other night I was told off for collapsing as uke, and leaving myself exposed to strikes.
These are dan grades, and nobody says nothing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCk_g5-FhuM

Again with the ukemi...it's embarrassing.

Patrick Hutchinson
09-02-2011, 10:20 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCk_g5-FhuM

What's that at 4:38? A push test? My kids push me harder than that.
The ribbon work is pretty devastating though.

Cliff Judge
09-02-2011, 10:22 AM
Personally, i disagree with any claim that there are more than one aikido traditions. There is only one aikido, although different aikidoka, have different personal styles in the way they execute the techniques. For example, in an other thread i had a conversation about how different is the current Doshu's personal style than Sensei Steven Seagal's. These personal styles however, do not constitute different aikido traditions. So in my opinion what Mr. Tohei, Mr. Shioda and others did, claiming their own styles is wrong, regardless of their effectiveness.

It isn't really about how individual practitioners execute techniques. It is about how the training differs, how the art is transmitted. I am not sure if you intend for your post to be as hyperbolic as it sounds but the fact that ki society, yoshinkan. iwama, and mainline Aikido have differences in training methodology is patently obvious. That's what is meant by "different style."

Abasan
09-02-2011, 10:25 AM
Maybe a lot of people see Ki Aikido as airy fairy. Some old timers even dismiss Tohei Sensei as a strong guy, but with a crazy head...

Plus yeah you do get a lot of wannabe's and bad examples out there. So what? You get that from anything really, Wing Chun, Tai Chi, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, DR, etc... Doesn't mean one or two bad examples and the whole organisation is doomed.

Personally it'll all boil down back to the person. Aikido is not a badge you can wear. You can't buy talent, skill.

I've met amazing teachers from Ki Society and their splinter groups. My first school is one of them in fact. And yes, they do churn out some very weird videos people can laugh at. But having felt the man himself, he is not without ability. So there must be some reason I don't understand yet he does those weird stuff.

Its like this. I go to the dojo to learn, not to see if I'm smart.

So you found yourself a teacher you like that you understand and that makes you feel you can master this Aikido thing soon enough. That's great.

I found a teacher I can't defeat, I can't understand and makes me feel like I'm down right stupid. I'm ecstatic

As for street wear... well, you really shouldn't 'Ki aikido' that or 'Tomiki aikido' this... you just do it, like Nike you know.

PS. You don't have to physically atemi the guy for him to feel something. And no its not Ki balls, just intention. But if you're too smart to be an uke, by all means stick your head to that incoming baseball bat! ;)

Gorgeous George
09-02-2011, 10:51 AM
PS. You don't have to physically atemi the guy for him to feel something. And no its not Ki balls, just intention. But if you're too smart to be an uke, by all means stick your head to that incoming baseball bat! ;)

That's the thing: there was no intention.
And as I said (and showed): the ukemi doesn't seem to make sense.

I think you do get bad examples of a martial art - but when you talk about a group/organisation (Aikikai; Ki Society, etc.), that's a different matter.
I've seen plenty of bad aikido - very little has been from Aikikai-approved dan grades; and i've yet to see a bad dan grade in the British Aikido Federation (an Aikikai affiliate I train with).

I've felt effective technique, and seen it applied to other people: it looks nothing like these Ki Aikido examples.

At the end of the day, dan grades are representing your school, and are the future - so if you give one to somebody undeserving of it, then your school is doomed.
As I said: BAF dan grades are really good - and the style is always evolving/refining itself.

FWIW...

Gorgeous George
09-02-2011, 10:55 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCk_g5-FhuM

What's that at 4:38? A push test? My kids push me harder than that.
The ribbon work is pretty devastating though.

Haha.

gates
09-02-2011, 10:57 AM
It seems that an apparent lack of martial effectiveness is a major bone of contention for some of the non Ki Aikidoka, but not for the Ki Aikidoka themselves.

Certain styles seem to lend themselves more readily to practical situations, but with a danger that the practitioners may become obsessed with the form of techniques and lose sight of the bigger picture. On the contrary other styles focus heavily on principles but can have a tendency over time lose accuracy and precision in performing techniques.

The great thing is that there are different paths we can choose from. If traveled thoughtfully and attentively these will get you where you want to go. For me the contrast in styles provides important lessons to highlight potential areas that may be lacking in my own practice, although they may not necessarily be the path I choose to travel on.

I respect Noro Sensei for having the good sense to change the name once the deviation reached a certain point (and with it any preconceived ideas from outsiders that it should or shouldn't be this or that way).

There are many paths to the summit of Mount Fuji but there is only one summit. Arguing over which path is better is distracting from enjoying the view.

Mark Freeman
09-02-2011, 11:10 AM
I've only been training a few years, but only the other night I was told off for collapsing as uke, and leaving myself exposed to strikes.
These are dan grades, and nobody says nothing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCk_g5-FhuM

Again with the ukemi...it's embarrassing.

Hi Graham,

what exactly do you find embarassing about the guy's ukemi in the Kolesnikov clip?

You may not rate ki aikido (what dilineates ki aikido from other styles is the training method,) but it shares the same philosophy and purpose of all aikido, which comes from the same source.

I could deconstruct many videos shown on you tube and tell you where I think people are leaving openings, not doing things right etc, regardless of style.

I watched Sensei Kolesnikov demonstrate a class when I was only a few years into training. I found his explanations good, and his technique looked smooth and pretty powerfull. I have since met a teacher who I rate very highly, who started his aikido career with him over 30 years ago. He spoke well of him too.

It is easy to dismiss, without fully knowing. If you have been only training for a few years, maybe concentrate on improving your own abilities to a level where you can confidently dismiss long term practitioners, from a place of real ability and knowledge.

The longer I practice (ki-aikido for 19 years) the more humble I have become as to the value, benefits and drawbacks of my own style and the different styles of others.

We are all here on a journey of improvement. I thought my style was superior when I first started, now I understand that that is wrong thinking, part of the 'fighting mind' my teacher berates his students for having - the thing that stands in the way of aikido.

Enjoy you training, let others enjoy theirs

regards

Mark

Gorgeous George
09-02-2011, 11:41 AM
Hi Graham,

what exactly do you find embarassing about the guy's ukemi in the Kolesnikov clip?

You may not rate ki aikido (what dilineates ki aikido from other styles is the training method,) but it shares the same philosophy and purpose of all aikido, which comes from the same source.

I could deconstruct many videos shown on you tube and tell you where I think people are leaving openings, not doing things right etc, regardless of style.

I watched Sensei Kolesnikov demonstrate a class when I was only a few years into training. I found his explanations good, and his technique looked smooth and pretty powerfull. I have since met a teacher who I rate very highly, who started his aikido career with him over 30 years ago. He spoke well of him too.

It is easy to dismiss, without fully knowing. If you have been only training for a few years, maybe concentrate on improving your own abilities to a level where you can confidently dismiss long term practitioners, from a place of real ability and knowledge.

The longer I practice (ki-aikido for 19 years) the more humble I have become as to the value, benefits and drawbacks of my own style and the different styles of others.

We are all here on a journey of improvement. I thought my style was superior when I first started, now I understand that that is wrong thinking, part of the 'fighting mind' my teacher berates his students for having - the thing that stands in the way of aikido.

Enjoy you training, let others enjoy theirs

regards

Mark

Off the top off my head: what stood out most was the shiho-nage. When Mr Kalesnikov had folded his arm back, the uke was stood there, in perfect kamae; I never see any kuzushi - his balance is never taken - in the other techniques, either.

I might not have been training for long, but surely that means i'm more familiar with the basics of effective technique (as i'm always reminded of them when being corrected)?
Compare that shiho-nage, with this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAVP7F89cpU

Uke is stretched (has his balance broken), hence the throw is easily accomplished.

And as I said: I don't see that connection between nage and uke is important to these people; when he takes him down for the ikkyo, for example, uke is falling away from nage - Mr Kolesnikov has to catch up with him.
I was at a class the other day, where two people taught, then the head instructor closed the class: he said that it was good that they emphasised the importance of staying 'alive' as uke - that's what aiki is, isn't it...? That way, you can feel the technique, and you can counter if an opening presents itself.

I understand that people train a certain way for decades - and they like what they're doing; but I also train under a man of immense power, who frequently asks that uke is strong; tries to push him over; stop him moving etc. - someone who teaches people whose aikido I have no doubt about: people who don't spend their time intellectualising aikido, but just doing it; he remarks that he trained a certain way for decades - then finally understood, and now he actually has very powerful aikido.

I might not be very good at aikido - but then, i'm not very good at cricket: but I still know a good shot when I see one.

All the best.

PhillyKiAikido
09-02-2011, 12:29 PM
Graham,

Thanks for your honest observations, thoughts and oppinions that made me think. Just want to add some questions for thinking and discussion.

Off the top off my head: what stood out most was the shiho-nage. When Mr Kalesnikov had folded his arm back, the uke was stood there, in perfect kamae; I never see any kuzushi - his balance is never taken - in the other techniques, either.

Uke is stretched (has his balance broken), hence the throw is easily accomplished.


1. Is visible stretch a must when the Uke's balance is taken?


And as I said: I don't see that connection between nage and uke is important to these people;


2. What is the nature of a connection in Aikido?
3. Is visibility a must for a successful connection?


I might not be very good at aikido - but then, i'm not very good at cricket: but I still know a good shot when I see one.


4. Is it possible for us human to see something invisible?
5. What can we do if we want to get some knowledge of something invisible?

Enjoy Aikido!

Ting

Mark Freeman
09-02-2011, 01:20 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCk_g5-FhuM

What's that at 4:38? A push test? My kids push me harder than that.
The ribbon work is pretty devastating though.

Hi Patrick,

this comment shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the test being performed.

Mind body co-ordination (which is the goal) tests were devised by Tohei Sensei, to promote this aspect of aikido, they are 'not' just about physical pushing. In fact if you push just using the body, you are performing the test completely wrong. The test is made to establish that nage has his mind and body connected and that the mind is in the right direction. They are as much a test of the mind as the body.

The tester themselves must be using co-ordination to perform the test, it looks light and it is light, the idea being to be sensitive enough to feel for any tension in the system or wavering of the mind.

Dissing something that you don't understand seems to be common practice, which is a shame.

It is wiser to ask questions, or to seek out and try for oneself, than to dismiss offhand.

regards,

Mark
p.s. I'm not sure about the ribbon though either.

Mark Freeman
09-02-2011, 02:04 PM
Off the top off my head: what stood out most was the shiho-nage. When Mr Kalesnikov had folded his arm back, the uke was stood there, in perfect kamae; I never see any kuzushi - his balance is never taken - in the other techniques, either.

Hi Graham,

thanks for your observations.

Ting asks some good questions in his response to you, regarding visible and invisble factors. Physical balance breaking is plain to see. It is the kuzushi that most are familiar with. I have no problem with the basic nature of this. However, if the mind/ki is led correctly, the body has little option but to follow. This is closer to what is being seen, than in the alternative clip you provide below.

I might not have been training for long, but surely that means i'm more familiar with the basics of effective technique (as i'm always reminded of them when being corrected)?

Good question, but I doubt it. I spend more time now exploring the truth in the basic movements, than I did when I was at a similar level to yourself.

Compare that shiho-nage, with this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAVP7F89cpU

Uke is stretched (has his balance broken), hence the throw is easily accomplished.

Interesting clip, it is obvious to see the uke being stretched, but my question would be, why does the uke give himself away so easily? He stands quite static allowing his arm to be drawn away from his body, thereby losing connection with his centre and the ground. This is common for most ukemi I watch being done. It is easy to throw someone, who gives themselves away like this.

I was at a class the other day, where two people taught, then the head instructor closed the class: he said that it was good that they emphasised the importance of staying 'alive' as uke - that's what aiki is, isn't it...? That way, you can feel the technique, and you can counter if an opening presents itself.

I agree with this,

I understand that people train a certain way for decades - and they like what they're doing; but I also train under a man of immense power, who frequently asks that uke is strong; tries to push him over; stop him moving etc. - someone who teaches people whose aikido I have no doubt about: people who don't spend their time intellectualising aikido, but just doing it; he remarks that he trained a certain way for decades - then finally understood, and now he actually has very powerful aikido.

I too train under a man of undoubted great power, who never spends time intellectualising aikido, a true man of budo. He no longer asks for uke to be strong, to push him, stop him moving etc. he went through all, that along time ago in the early years. He now insists that uke is relaxed, sincere in their attack, that they stay connected throughout the attack, and they don't give themselves away. He has mastered the non resistance that is at the heart of aikido. It is a phenomenal experience to be thrown with such effortless power.

I might not be very good at aikido - but then, i'm not very good at cricket: but I still know a good shot when I see one.

All the best.

As you practice and improve your own aikido, I'm sure you will see things in others that you cannot see at the moment, such is the nature of all of this.

Personally, I enjoy watching different types/styles of aikido, I learn more from trying to understand them, than by watching demos of ki aikido, which I think I understand to a decent level already.

regards,

Mark

Patrick Hutchinson
09-02-2011, 02:07 PM
Hello Mark,

you don't know me, so I'll ignore the chiding and the condescension.
I'm quite familiar with push tests, and unless you're saying that the way Ki aikido does them is utterly different, then please explain:

a. You can only be "sensitive enough to feel for any tension" if you're pushing lightly. Really?

b. In both "tests" in the video, nage exhibits slack and appears to adjust when uke lets go. If he is maintaining the correct "mind and body connection" (to use your terms), should he not be stable within himself and not reacting to uke?

c. How can you test the martial efficacy of your stability if uke only ever uses a light push? Where I train, I have to maintain that stability within myself against a 200-lb guy who can push very very hard while being perfectly sensitive.

Patrick

Abasan
09-02-2011, 02:36 PM
Graham,

I think you raised valid questions. In fact it was a humorous point raised by the ki dojo when an aikikai lady dropped by to train. They were horrified at her iriminage which approached a clothesline instead of the point the fingers through the eye line that they were used to.

Having gone through both schools and many different teaching styles, I think I can safely say that I get it, either way. Both have their own reasons and they are perfectly valid if taken in each context.

The shihonage and other techniques appear to be martially ineffective. I agree with it. But that it is not the purpose of their training nor would that technique be applied in a real situation either.

To put it simply, Sensei K once asked us how many times have we been mugged or needed to use aikido for 'real'. In his 4 or 5 decades of practice, he hasn't need to once. Thus his aikido practice is really useful if it brings him health and joy, i wouldn't discount his skills should he ever need it though, but there you go...different objectives. A bodybuilder and a power lifter may lift weights but they do it with different objectives and thus accomplish different levels of profficiency.

About the shihonage and the kotegaishe and the other stuff... It's pretty much in keeping with the way tohei does it. You don't return the circle to the lower back by way of extending uke's arm over the shoulder,but they use some imagination in creating the circle. Also it's never a pull but a soft touch. You can try and check it out if you ever meet a guy who does this aikido anyway. Just stand firm and try not to fall down. Even though there isn't kuzushi in the beginning, you'd probably fall regardless.

By the way, Is BAF similar to BAB? Sensei K is with the BAB and if I remember correctly, used t be invited to teach in their cross affiliation seminars way back when.

There's a test that he does he didn't show in the vid. I've always been impressed with it. He'll stand on his rear leg and have someone push his outstretched leading hand. You can't push him over. It's a basic ki test, one that tohei has a picture of. I'm pretty sure I pushed him quite hard before and cpuldn't budge him. Yet, that isn't the point of the exercise either. It's more of a way to build up nage's centering ability,

As for the ukemi I can't say it's bad or good. But the point was to walk straight at the end of the round. This is make sure you move from the center not the eyes,

Mark Freeman
09-02-2011, 02:37 PM
Hello Mark,

you don't know me, so I'll ignore the chiding and the condescension.
I'm quite familiar with push tests, and unless you're saying that the way Ki aikido does them is utterly different, then please explain:

a. You can only be "sensitive enough to feel for any tension" if you're pushing lightly. Really?

b. In both "tests" in the video, nage exhibits slack and appears to adjust when uke lets go. If he is maintaining the correct "mind and body connection" (to use your terms), should he not be stable within himself and not reacting to uke?

c. How can you test the martial efficacy of your stability if uke only ever uses a light push? Where I train, I have to maintain that stability within myself against a 200-lb guy who can push very very hard while being perfectly sensitive.

Patrick

Hi Patrick,

it's true, I don't know you, I was only responding to the dismissive nature of the comment. I apologise if I came across as condescending to you personally.

There are plenty of comments made on these boards, by people who do not fully comprehend what they are dismissing. So I was only trying to shed some light on this particular test. which I understand, is testing mind not just body. It is only an exercise, not proof of martial effectiveness.

I too am familiar with the full on physical pushes to test stability, of course one has to be stable under pressure. I didn't say that the only way to test was to test lightly. In my own experience, I am aware that I am more sensitive to the tension in the other, the more relaxed I am myself'.

I wasn't commenting on how well I thought the demo was being done either.

I'm sure ki aikido does some things differently from other styles, some maybe utterly, however, I see much more similarity to others than difference.

As you may have seen from another thread, I am planning to travel extensively next year, practicing in as many different aikido dojos as possible. I will be out to learn as much as I can and make as many good connections as I can on the way.

Hopefully you will be close to my route, so maybe we could compare tests, and afterwards I will by you a beverage of your choice:)

regards

Mark

Tim Ruijs
09-02-2011, 04:32 PM
Interesting replies

Over the past years I have trained in styles of Tamura Sensei and Suganuma Sensei, but foremost Tamura and one of his students Alain Peyrache is now my teacher The difference between Tamura and Suganuma is quite big, it appears (on seminars and their approach of teaching).
One might observe Suganuma has bigger movements and mainly much more displacements than Tamura. (Same goes for Kanetsuka Sensei and Fujitsa Sensei.) Both work equally well, on the surface. But martially spoken Suganuma Sensei moves around too much. Everything can be done with less displacement, less movement (i.e. more effectively).
Thing is: Suganuma Sensei has less interest in that direction, so his style/teaching is different. Better? Depends on you, what you look for.

He who has trained well can certainly judge the level of understanding of Aikido by looking at a technique. Off course he judges with his developed frame of reference and may approve or disapprove accordingly.

For me when aite(attacker) is stationary and tori(defender) moves around this indicates bad understanding of taking the center. Tori only adapts to meet the speed of aite and remains the center of movement and aite moves around like a satellite.
Like my teacher says: when I am in the center you can run around like Carl Lewis, but I will be faster, always.

babbled enough...sorry....

ryback
09-03-2011, 02:39 AM
Morihei Ueshiba was born in 1883. The days of the "samurai" were long gone. Daito ryu was not a koryu then or now. And Morihei Ueshiba taught Daito ryu. He did not create a system. Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Koichi Tohei created a system.

Let me quote Sokaku Takeda about his definition of Daito ryu:
"The purpose of this art is not to be killed, not to be struck, not to be kicked, and we will not strike, will not kick, and will not kill. It is completely for self-defense. We can handle opponents expediently, utilizing their own power, through their own aggression. So even women and children can use it."

Morihei Ueshiba, once the most favored student of Sokaku Takeda, was only following his teacher in his own personal way. Morihei Ueshiba added his own personal spiritual ideology to create his aikido, but do not get confused -- he was a Daito ryu aiki man through and through. Nearly everything he did can be traced back to Sokaku Takeda.

It's been written that even Sokaku Takeda dabbled into some spiritual ideology and also did some mystical magical things.

Research reveals that a lot of "common knowledge" about aikido is really not all that accurate. More myth than truth.

Mark

I agree Mark and i always like your research, that's why i said that technicaly daito ryu and aikido are the same. My knowledge isn't inaccurate at all, but i believe that Sokaku Takeda, being a "dojo buster" himself was inconsistant with his own words about the purpose of daito ryu. But for the rest i agree, technicaly they are the same.

ryback
09-03-2011, 02:46 AM
Who is to say how much deviation is allowed within a 'style' before it is no longer Aikido?


The art's basic principles and martial effectiveness. If one does his own variations within the art's basic principles, then it is aikido. No need to call it "this or that" style aikido, is just aikido. I don't hate anything either, i just disagree with putting different names on it. It's my opinion anyway...

ryback
09-03-2011, 02:58 AM
It isn't really about how individual practitioners execute techniques. It is about how the training differs, how the art is transmitted. I am not sure if you intend for your post to be as hyperbolic as it sounds but the fact that ki society, yoshinkan. iwama, and mainline Aikido have differences in training methodology is patently obvious. That's what is meant by "different style."

I didn't want to sound hyperbolic in any way, and by the way i agree with you about these differences, they are obvious. Even inside Aikikai there are a lot of differences. For example if you see the current Doshu, Steven Seagal sensei, Christian Tissier sensei and others it's quite obvious that each one has his personal style in executing and in teaching techniques. But none of them is claiming his own style. So what i said is that i disagree with claiming other traditions and putting names and labels on them. But this reflects my own personal view. In fact, i respect some teachers that are claiming their own traditions for their technique (such as real aikido's Nenad Ikras). Although i still disagree with the choise of labeling his style that way, his technique is great and very effective.

Tim Ruijs
09-03-2011, 04:55 AM
The art's basic principles and martial effectiveness. If one does his own variations within the art's basic principles, then it is aikido. No need to call it "this or that" style aikido, is just aikido. I don't hate anything either, i just disagree with putting different names on it. It's my opinion anyway...

Is this not exacty where all the discussions get fueled?
There is no agreement on the basic principles it seems. And there is little agreement on what exactly is martial effective. The latter is quite easy to answer: In Aikido there is always an escape, so it is not martially effective. Aikido was not intended to be. Aiki jujutsu is.
The basic principles for me are those that occur to some degree in every technique. (we emphasize shi sei, ma-ai and kino nagare).

But sure I agree with you there is often no need to distinguish between Aikido practise. One might argue that the only distinction would be Aikido and Tomiki Aikido because on the outset practise and intend is different.

andy crowe
09-03-2011, 04:57 AM
Interesting thread.

I came to Aikido with a background of studying a 'hard' style of Gendai Ju-Jitsu and opted for Ki Aikido within Sensei Kolesnikov's association as I'd previously tried some Tai Chi which, whilst enjoyable, wreaked havoc on my knees.

I stayed with Sensei Kolesnikov's association until 3rd kyu and came to the realization that whilst the practise was enjoyable I was not getting what I wanted out of it (i.e. some element of martial application).

Kolesnikov Sensei was clear when he came to do seminars in my local area that he considered his practise of Aikido to be primarily health-related and consequently did not focus specifically on combat orientations to any great depth (the Tai Chi and Rythmic Gynastic-like Ribbon demonstrations are relatively recent developments of Kolesnikov Sensei. There were not practised nor talked about when I trained with his association 11 years ago).

I, therefore, chose to look elsewhere and joined another local Ki-based Aikido association which I remain a part of currently. The difference is like chalk and cheese in terms of practise. Combat focus is central within this association and is taught throughout the whole syllabus, whilst the Ki Aikido principles developed by Tohei Sensei are retained.

The nub of this is that I have found an expression of Aikido that works for me and enables me to combine elements of Ki, softness and effectiveness. I have had to both adapt my body and mindset to this particular style and also make some changes to my practise to accommodate my ageing and arthritic body (for example, I can only do Iaido and Kokyu Dosa whilst standing as sitting in Seiza is not possible due to the acute pain caused by Arthritis in the top of my Left foot).

To my mind, the debate should not be one of whether one particular style of Aikido is better than another in terms of effectiveness etc. I believe that it should be one of establishing what style works for each individuals body structure, mindset and temperament etc. and why that is the case.

I no longer need to rely on strength and actively use Ki, softness and weight underside to make techniques work. This does not mean that my Aikido is any better or worse than people who may use strength and/or other principles in technique in order to make their Aikido work for them. It's just a different way and means of coming to the same conclusion.

ryback
09-03-2011, 05:46 AM
Is this not exacty where all the discussions get fueled?
There is no agreement on the basic principles it seems. And there is little agreement on what exactly is martial effective. The latter is quite easy to answer: In Aikido there is always an escape, so it is not martially effective. Aikido was not intended to be. Aiki jujutsu is.
The basic principles for me are those that occur to some degree in every technique. (we emphasize shi sei, ma-ai and kino nagare).

But sure I agree with you there is often no need to distinguish between Aikido practise. One might argue that the only distinction would be Aikido and Tomiki Aikido because on the outset practise and intend is different.

Correct of course. Tomiki is where it seems that they strayed to much. The basic principles are to be centralised, extend ki, lead the opponent without using force and move using more than one orbits (not always though), principles that you can apply into non-resisting techniques. Putting aikido in competition is against both the spirit and the principles. If you watch how they do it, you'll know what i mean. I just see people resisting and grappling...And the goal and intend (as you also mentioned) of practicing changes also.
Aikido was meant to be martially effective and it is. In a real application you can immobilize, or project (through) the attacker according to the situation. You can also disarm him, technicaly is almost the same as daito-ryu.

danj
09-03-2011, 05:51 AM
The last Ki Society seminar I attended in full was by Kataoka Sensei about 8yrs ago, he stated that Aikido isn't a martial art, however grabbing his wrist off an on over the years tells a different story.

I think aikido attracts an interesting subset of the martial art community and Ki Aikido a subset of that. Its not too hard to imagine that a feedback loop of what attracts and keeps students could drive the focus of a dojo/school/style and so the Ki aspect, which is what makes Ki Aikido unique can shift the focus away from 'mainstream' aikido.

Having started in Ki Society and trained around quite a bit in most many other schools of aikido I don't see any style having a monopoly on doing O'Sensei's aikido and those that tend do be doing the best seem to have broken from the mould/constraints of their style somewhat.

As a generalisation its pretty clear that for the rank and file student that the path to martial effectiveness in the short term tends not to be a strength of the Ki Aikido style schools

sorokod
09-03-2011, 07:25 AM
...
Having started in Ki Society and trained around quite a bit in most many other schools of aikido I don't see any style having a monopoly on doing O'Sensei's aikido and those that tend do be doing the best seem to have broken from the mould/constraints of their style somewhat.


Note that not everyone is claiming to do the founder's Aikido, Tohei in particular was quite clear on this point:

"The one essential thing I learned from Ueshiba Sensei was how to relax. He was always relaxed in the face of conflict, which is why his Aikido was so strong. He would do this himself, but he encouraged his young students to hold with as much strength as possible. In Aikido if you are not relaxed you cannot throw a person. It seemed a mystery to us that Ueshiba Sensei could always throw, could always get out of a hold. He would lead your Ki, and could always throw his opponent in the direction he was already going. I began to make rapid progress after I started copying what he did, and paid less attention to what he said. I ended up only keeping about 30% of the techniques I learned from Ueshiba Sensei, changing or dropping the rest. What I really learned from him was not technique, but the true secret of Aikido, non-dissension; not to resist your opponent's strength but to use it."

the complete interview is here:
http://www.toitsu.de/texte/tohei_en.htm

sorokod
09-03-2011, 07:42 AM
Correct of course. Tomiki is where it seems that they strayed to much. The basic principles are to be centralised, extend ki, lead the opponent without using force and move using more than one orbits (not always though), principles that you can apply into non-resisting techniques.

I wonder who was doing the straying here, take a look what Tohei had to say about the origin of his four principles (for the impatient; it's not the founder) :

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=NtQDAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA44&ots=u-OI5-Ihzp&dq=tohei%20have%20not%20learned%20nothing%20%20from%20ueshiba&pg=PA41#v=onepage&q=tohei%20have%20not%20learned%20nothing%20%20from%20ueshiba&f=false

Lyle Laizure
09-03-2011, 08:05 AM
I have not trained with a Ki Aikido dojo/student before but my thought is if it is trained from the standpoint of being a self-defense then I would imagine it to be as effective as anything else out there.

I think that Ki Aikido gets a bad wrap because people come across clowns that tout great ki and perform with mystic like abilities with their own students but cannot do the same with others.

ronin67
09-03-2011, 09:06 AM
I have not trained with a Ki Aikido dojo/student before but my thought is if it is trained from the standpoint of being a self-defense then I would imagine it to be as effective as anything else out there.

I think that Ki Aikido gets a bad wrap because people come across clowns that tout great ki and perform with mystic like abilities with their own students but cannot do the same with others.

I would agree in some cases. I have seen this and don't play along with the magic fencing of KI energy (making people move without touching them). It is either effective thru waza or not. The dojos I practiced in were not in this realm of KI make believe. Hearing some of the Ki Aikido stories, I'm glad I haven't run across this type of Ki Aikido. What I was taught is that KI breathing and extending KI help the waza to be more effective. This was something I was always taught was the biggest reason for the extra stress of KI in KI Aikido. It all ends up improving the waza. Plus to be quite honest, the KI Breathing does relieve allot of stress also and it also helps you always remember your one point easier (if the KI/misogi breathing is done correctly). Thanks for the input Lyle!

May God bless!

Ed

robin_jet_alt
09-03-2011, 09:38 AM
I think a lot of the issues that arise when it comes to various 'styles' boil down to the fact that they each want to differentiate themselves from the other styles. Ki Society aikido wants to differentiate itself because by all of it's ki exercises and self development etc. and hence that is the focus of its teaching. Why focus on all the other stuff when you get that at any old dojo right? well, the trouble is that new students start training and they see this huge focus on self development and they miss all the other stuff that goes on at other dojos. Sensei probably does all the other stuff, but he doesn't necessarily teach it. Why teach it when that's what everyone teaches? But the his students achieve dan ranks and start their own dojos and they haven't been exposed to it. As far as they're concerned it isn't worthwhile because they haven't been taught it. That's when the problems start arising...

This isn't an attack on Ki aikido by the way, this is an observation about all styles of aikido that try to differentiate themselves from others. Tomiki aikido includes competition and after a few generations it becomes all about the competition. Nishio aikido focuses on atemi and safe positioning, and after a while that is all that is left to some instructors. Their teachers did all the other stuff, but they didn't necessarily teach it, and so their students never learned it. I'm not saying this happens all time. There are obviously a lot of very good Ki Society/Tomiki/Nishio style instructors out there. It is just something that happens occasionally.

I hope all of this makes sense. It is just my theory on where things start to unravel. It's late and I need to get to bed. Maybe I'll be more coherent in the morning.

ryback
09-03-2011, 09:39 AM
I wonder who was doing the straying here, take a look what Tohei had to say about the origin of his four principles

Thank you very much for the link, it's realy valuable! By his sayings i understand that Kissomaru had misunderstood the teachings of o'sensei. O'sensei never said that ki is not important, it is aikido's middle syllable for crying out loud! In that case, it seems that Tohei sensei did the right thing by separating himself. My only objection is that he had to use another name and claim his own tradition. As he said, ki is in the universe, aikido is in the universe and no ki, no aikido, so he was teaching aikido. There is only one universe, only one aikido. Don't get me wrong, i don't belong to the Aikikai. Aikikai is an organisation, aikido is not. It's universal.
As for Tomiki, i don't know your opinion, but in my mind his is not aikido at all...

MM
09-03-2011, 10:48 AM
As for Tomiki, i don't know your opinion, but in my mind his is not aikido at all...

Everyone looks at aikido differently. But as far as I know, Morihei Ueshiba thought Tomiki was doing aikido. It was Kisshomaru Ueshiba who did not think highly of what Tomiki was doing. Kisshomaru was the one who did not think Tomiki was doing aikido.

Mark

Lyle Laizure
09-03-2011, 11:07 AM
This isn't an attack on Ki aikido by the way, this is an observation about all styles of aikido that try to differentiate themselves from others. Tomiki aikido includes competition and after a few generations it becomes all about the competition. Nishio aikido focuses on atemi and safe positioning, and after a while that is all that is left to some instructors. Their teachers did all the other stuff, but they didn't necessarily teach it, and so their students never learned it. I'm not saying this happens all time. There are obviously a lot of very good Ki Society/Tomiki/Nishio style instructors.

I believe this is evidence as to why students should expose themselves to a variety of different instructors. My aikido is continuing to change. I do not like suwari waza but I do not leave it out as it does serve a purpose, just as ki exercises, atemi, big flowing movements, and more direct movements and so on.

gates
09-03-2011, 11:57 AM
Everyone looks at aikido differently. But as far as I know, Morihei Ueshiba thought Tomiki was doing aikido. It was Kisshomaru Ueshiba who did not think highly of what Tomiki was doing. Kisshomaru was the one who did not think Tomiki was doing aikido.

Mark

Hi Mark

Mr. Tomiki told me the following: "What I studied at that time was Daito-ryu Aiki Jujutsu, not Aikido. So I don’t understand present-day Aikido".
(http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=445)

Seems that it was Tomiki himself was quite clear and open about the fact that what he was doing was more akin to Daito Ryu than the new Aikido.

Nowhere have I read K. Ueshiba explicitly or otherwise state that he thought badly of what Tomiki was doing, more that it was different and suggested a name change to avoid confusion.

In another interview with Kisshomaru it is suggested that in fact Tomiki did consider carefully changing the name but he had many students and was also afraid of being expelled by M Ueshiba. (Aikido Masters, Stan P) He was promoted to 8th Dan in 1940 so M. Ueshiba obviously thought quite highly of him too.

"Together with O'Sensei, I will forever remember Kenji Tomita as an unforgettable benefactor who is deep in our hearts. Perhaps as long as Aikido continues, the practioners of Aikido should offer him heartfelt prayers of appreciation" K. Ueshiba in reference to Tomiki in relation to the second omoto incident.
(A life in Aikido, page 218)

Regards
Keith

gates
09-03-2011, 12:04 PM
I wonder who was doing the straying here, take a look what Tohei had to say about the origin of his four principles (for the impatient; it's not the founder)

He does state that he informed O'Sensei of what he had discovered (formulated may be a better way of putting it), to me this has an implied acceptance and approval.

Obviously things kept evolving (as they tend to do) and your guess is as good as mine as to what O'Sensei would have thought at the time of the split.

Keith

MM
09-03-2011, 01:44 PM
Hi Mark

Mr. Tomiki told me the following: "What I studied at that time was Daito-ryu Aiki Jujutsu, not Aikido. So I don't understand present-day Aikido".
(http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=445)

Seems that it was Tomiki himself was quite clear and open about the fact that what he was doing was more akin to Daito Ryu than the new Aikido.


I would agree. But, we have to look at Morihei Ueshiba, too. Ueshiba was doing Daito ryu techniques until he died. He was embodying Daito ryu aiki until he died. The difference being that his spiritual ideology was far different than anyone else. So, if Ueshiba was considered to be doing "aikido" after the war, we must then state that Tomiki was doing "aikido" after the war.


Nowhere have I read K. Ueshiba explicitly or otherwise state that he thought badly of what Tomiki was doing, more that it was different and suggested a name change to avoid confusion.


Um, you won't find it written down in any printed books. I've read and done enough research from what people have stated and written online that I've just taken it as true that Kisshomaru was not at all pleased with Tomiki. While ever being the true gentleman, Kisshomaru, wouldn't have necessarily outright stated such things, but from the people around him and his actions, it's pretty much a given that Kisshomaru strongly disliked what Tomiki was doing.


"Together with O'Sensei, I will forever remember Kenji Tomita as an unforgettable benefactor who is deep in our hearts. Perhaps as long as Aikido continues, the practioners of Aikido should offer him heartfelt prayers of appreciation" K. Ueshiba in reference to Tomiki in relation to the second omoto incident.
(A life in Aikido, page 218)

Regards
Keith

Up to this point, things are good. But, you've confused two people here. :) Kenji Tomita was the head of the Osaka-Fu Police who saved Ueshiba during the second Oomoto kyo incident. Kisshomaru was referring to him and not to Tomiki.

Mark

andy crowe
09-03-2011, 01:56 PM
I think that Ki Aikido gets a bad wrap because people come across clowns that tout great ki and perform with mystic like abilities with their own students but cannot do the same with others.

I agree completely with this; I can recall being instructed to fall at a certain stage of a technique when I first started Ki Aikido and it certainly led to me believing that my technique was better than it was.

This doesn't happen in the association I moved to. I needed to drop down from 3rd kyu back to 6th kyu and re-learn the syllabus from scratch when I changed association as I just couldn't perform techniques whenever any resistance was applied.

Thankfully not all Ki Aikido is the same in terms of how it is practised. :)

gates
09-03-2011, 09:54 PM
Mark, thanks for clearing up my confusion.

kewms
09-03-2011, 11:31 PM
I've encountered bad aikido in many places, including some rather well-known instructors. I've encountered good aikido in many places, including some very obscure instructors.

These days, I mostly pay attention to a dojo's students and recommendations from people I trust, not the name on the door.

I will say, however, that I've seen just as many dismissive statements about Aikikai from Tohei-derived styles as vice versa, but have seen no evidence that either side of the divide produces better students.

Katherine

DH
09-04-2011, 12:38 AM
Hi Patrick,

this comment shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the test being performed.

Mind body co-ordination (which is the goal) tests were devised by Tohei Sensei, to promote this aspect of aikido, they are 'not' just about physical pushing. In fact if you push just using the body, you are performing the test completely wrong. The test is made to establish that nage has his mind and body connected and that the mind is in the right direction. They are as much a test of the mind as the body.

The tester themselves must be using co-ordination to perform the test, it looks light and it is light, the idea being to be sensitive enough to feel for any tension in the system or wavering of the mind.

Dissing something that you don't understand seems to be common practice, which is a shame.

It is wiser to ask questions, or to seek out and try for oneself, than to dismiss offhand.

regards,

Mark
p.s. I'm not sure about the ribbon though either.
How about a healthy dose of intellectual honesty?
Own your practice and either defend it, and explain its worth, or stop asking us for our opinions and then telling us we don't get it.

Here we go again being asked to judge videos and practices, and people tell us we do not understand. I think these discussions are too often disingenuous. Why put up video, ask why we dismiss the practice, talk to people who have met and trained with Ki society people and tested them and then, like a certain person here, go on to routinely tell us - we- don't understand. I mean it's getting to be like clockwork. When I first saw this I said to myself..really...seriously...again?
Tohei set an example of testing himself against judo players and other detractors who were trying to stop him. Apparently he put his ideas and his ass on the line. It seems that being a follower of that type of boldness, is just too much for many people.

Tohei had some power, but overall the styles teachers and members have certainly received quite a bit of bad reviews over the years haven't they?
How come Tohei didn't?
I'd bet it's because he could actually deliver and many in the art cannot. Is there something to be learned there?
The question is, where are the ki society people going out to judo and MMA dojo to test with people who want to see them undone? Since there is so much criticism that comes your way maybe it has some justification? I see no consideration, care or concern that it is perhaps the ki people who are truly the ones who do not understand what ki is capable of after all.

Maybe there is nothing wrong with Tohei's model...just the modern players lack of real understanding. Perhaps you should consider that it is you who are being presumptuous, and really don't understand what ki and aiki is truly capable of. While I remain a great fan of ki and aiki. I have seen too many videos of ki society people showing a profound lack of skill and understanding. Sadly, since I am on any other day a fan of the topic, I remain as unimpressed as everyone else who doesn't even believe in ki or aiki at all. From what I have seen, it is apparently because they do not really understand ki or aiki. And I know they would be delighted to move forward in their practice if they did. I have asked any number or ki people if I could test them...except for Greg Steckel, all have refused. That certainly doesn't say much.

Mark
Patrick trains with me. You are certainly welcome to come and train with us. Then we can have a discussion about who shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the test being performed and what ki can or cannot do. I think you will find we share a mutual interest in the subject itself, just not how one goes about achieving soft power in a more profound way that actually does work against full resistance.
This, is simply not it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VGH--Z6RVc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCk_g5-FhuM

I have no comment on the ribbons other than to say stop blaming your critics when you put this stuff out here. Good grief, at least own your practice and either stop asking questions or at least deal with the criticism in a more professional manner than to say your critics don't understand.
At the very least, if many of you are not as you continually say, doing a martial practice, then remove the keikogis and the fake attacks and make it a Yoga type movement. Most of the stuff that keeps being offered for us to view, certainly has no business being called a martial art.
just say'n
Dan

DH
09-04-2011, 12:51 AM
Been noticing quite a bit of dissension towards KI Aikido on this forum.
Is it because many preceive it as ineffective
Can't KI Aikido be street effective?
May God bless!
Ed
It isn't rocket science Ed.
Go invite some average people in (who are not trained fighters) to attack your teacher.
Then invite in some decent fighters and ask them them to tune your teacher.
Then answer your own question and stay or leave.

In case you don't already know this, most martial artists suck. They can neither fight well, or handle physical stresses well. Many of the "famous" teachers we follow were nothing more than budo wallpaper...also rans in their day. So, it is no surprise that those who followed them are nothing more than highly ranked wallpaper themselves. I suspect it's always been that way.

Dan

ryback
09-06-2011, 01:13 AM
Everyone looks at aikido differently. But as far as I know, Morihei Ueshiba thought Tomiki was doing aikido. It was Kisshomaru Ueshiba who did not think highly of what Tomiki was doing. Kisshomaru was the one who did not think Tomiki was doing aikido.

Mark

I see what you mean...I don't want my posts to sound harsh or exagerated but the only thing i cannot accept is the so-called competition in aikido. It makes people just graple with each other instead of doing actual technique, it has a different purpose than the true purpose of budo and it is not in any way in the spirit of aikido regardless of what o'sensei (and i am fully aware of what i'm saying here) or anybody else believed. It's the only thing that i won't say "in my opinion", it is an objective truth. The way of the sportsman and the way of competition is not the way of the warrior...

Carsten Möllering
09-06-2011, 04:12 AM
When I think of Ki-aikido I have the image of Yoshigasaki doshu (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VGH--Z6RVc), who can be seen in the first video Dan posted.
This is what Ki-aikido looks like here in Germany and I attended one class of this form of aikido.

My impression is that it is fundamentally different from what I know as aikido.
No reason to hate it or have negative emotions about it at all. Just stating it's different.

Tim Ruijs
09-06-2011, 04:55 AM
I have no comment on the ribbons other than to say stop blaming your critics when you put this stuff out here. Good grief, at least own your practice and either stop asking questions or at least deal with the criticism in a more professional manner than to say your critics don't understand.
At the very least, if many of you are not as you continually say, doing a martial practice, then remove the keikogis and the fake attacks and make it a Yoga type movement. Most of the stuff that keeps being offered for us to view, certainly has no business being called a martial art.

+1 Could not agree more.

gates
09-06-2011, 05:13 AM
I see what you mean...I don't want my posts to sound harsh or exagerated but the only thing i cannot accept is the so-called competition in aikido. It makes people just graple with each other instead of doing actual technique, it has a different purpose than the true purpose of budo and it is not in any way in the spirit of aikido regardless of what o'sensei (and i am fully aware of what i'm saying here) or anybody else believed. It's the only thing that i won't say "in my opinion", it is an objective truth. The way of the sportsman and the way of competition is not the way of the warrior...

The purpose of driving a car is to get from a to b. Motor racing is a pointless exercise that only serves to pander the ego's of participants. Except that advances in technology, fue economy, aerodynamics, safety are generated from it, helping us get from a to b.

In principle I agree wholeheartedly with what you say, however things are never as black and white as you suggest. For a truth to really hold firm it has to reflect both sides of the coin.
Respectfully
Keith

Mark Freeman
09-06-2011, 05:46 AM
How about a healthy dose of intellectual honesty?
Own your practice and either defend it, and explain its worth, or stop asking us for our opinions and then telling us we don't get it.

Hi Dan,

I do own my practice with all it's qualities and faults. There is nothing to defend. I was not asking for opinions. I was responding to Patrick's offhand comment about his kids being able to push harder than what was being seen in the video. Which to me sounded a bit like those who see a Jackson Pollock painting and say "my kids could do better than that".

Here we go again being asked to judge videos and practices, and people tell us we do not understand. I think these discussions are too often disingenuous. Why put up video, ask why we dismiss the practice, talk to people who have met and trained with Ki society people and tested them and then, like a certain person here, go on to routinely tell us - we- don't understand. I mean it's getting to be like clockwork. When I first saw this I said to myself..really...seriously...again?

Many videos are posted here, to either provoke discussion or to defend a position, or sometimes for sheer comedy value. I'm not sure the originators of the videos posted them on youtube (if they themselves even did) to ask for everyones judgement. Maybe they are just an expression of what they do. Then we pounce on them and rip them to bits or try to defend them.

If you know you understand something, and from having met you, I know that you do, why worry about those who think you don't? just sayin;)

Tohei set an example of testing himself against judo players and other detractors who were trying to stop him. Apparently he put his ideas and his ass on the line. It seems that being a follower of that type of boldness, is just too much for many people.

As you know, next year I plan to get out into the world and put my own backside on the line. I am prepared to be shown how little or much I know or don't know as the case may be. I am not really interested in proving anything. If I have holes, I want to fix them, if I have the ability to perform well against those who test me, I want to improve that ability.

Tohei had some power, but overall the styles teachers and members have certainly received quite a bit of bad reviews over the years haven't they?
How come Tohei didn't?
I'd bet it's because he could actually deliver and many in the art cannot. Is there something to be learned there?
The question is, where are the ki society people going out to judo and MMA dojo to test with people who want to see them undone? Since there is so much criticism that comes your way maybe it has some justification? I see no consideration, care or concern that it is perhaps the ki people who are truly the ones who do not understand what ki is capable of after all.

You may well be right, and not just for ki society people. I am not a member of the ki society and have never practiced in one of their dojos, but I will make a point of doing so on my travels.

Maybe there is nothing wrong with Tohei's model...just the modern players lack of real understanding. Perhaps you should consider that it is you who are being presumptuous, and really don't understand what ki and aiki is truly capable of. While I remain a great fan of ki and aiki. I have seen too many videos of ki society people showing a profound lack of skill and understanding. Sadly, since I am on any other day a fan of the topic, I remain as unimpressed as everyone else who doesn't even believe in ki or aiki at all. From what I have seen, it is apparently because they do not really understand ki or aiki. And I know they would be delighted to move forward in their practice if they did. I have asked any number or ki people if I could test them...except for Greg Steckel, all have refused. That certainly doesn't say much.

You may well be correct here, I am humble enough to accept that I do not have all the answers, and the more I find out, the more I find there is more to find out. I am however, enjoying the journey. I will also, like Greg, be happy to be tested by you.

Mark
Patrick trains with me. You are certainly welcome to come and train with us. Then we can have a discussion about who shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the test being performed and what ki can or cannot do. I think you will find we share a mutual interest in the subject itself, just not how one goes about achieving soft power in a more profound way that actually does work against full resistance.
This, is simply not it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VGH--Z6RVc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCk_g5-FhuM

Thanks for that invite Dan, I look forward to both the training and the discussion. I am interested in learning whatever I can to improve my own current abilities.


I have no comment on the ribbons other than to say stop blaming your critics when you put this stuff out here. Good grief, at least own your practice and either stop asking questions or at least deal with the criticism in a more professional manner than to say your critics don't understand.

I guess you are commenting generally, rather than to me. I am not posting videos and asking for approval or criticism. However, sometimes criticism comes from those who know, and sometimes the critic does not fully comprehend. If all critics were equally knowing, all reviews would read the same.


At the very least, if many of you are not as you continually say, doing a martial practice, then remove the keikogis and the fake attacks and make it a Yoga type movement. Most of the stuff that keeps being offered for us to view, certainly has no business being called a martial art.
just say'n
Dan

Just a question, is there any 'branch' of aikido that you feel is being practiced in a full 'martial' way? I do accept that ki-aikido is open to all sorts of criticism, from the martial end of the scale. It can't just be written off though can it?

My own teacher had the full on martial training, on offer in the 50's and 60's, that seems to have been relegated to history now. After training with Tohei for about 10/11 years, he uses all the exercises and terminology he learned from him, as he felt that this was a better method than the 'demonstrate and let them get on with it' approach, that was a more cultural norm.

Why can't we wear the kit when we practice? what does it matter to others, if we do?

Personally, I like the fact that aikido can be practiced by kids and adults, young and old. I like the fact that Ueshiba said that aikido is for everyone. I like the fact that it can be used as a tool for personal development and I like the fact that it can be effective as a means of self defence. I also like the fact that that there are guys like you out there, challenging us to keep it real:)

See you soon hopefully

regards,

Mark

oisin bourke
09-06-2011, 08:17 AM
It isn't rocket science Ed.
Go invite some average people in (who are not trained fighters) to attack your teacher.
Then invite in some decent fighters and ask them them to tune your teacher.
Then answer your own question and stay or leave.

In case you don't already know this, most martial artists suck. They can neither fight well, or handle physical stresses well. Many of the "famous" teachers we follow were nothing more than budo wallpaper...also rans in their day. So, it is no surprise that those who followed them are nothing more than highly ranked wallpaper themselves. I suspect it's always been that way.

Dan

That's just an ignorant post.

"Can't fight well." Since when was budo training about producing "fighters"? Anyone with a brain can see that there are better methods if you want to kick other people's asses. The Japanese and Chinese worked out that training just for ass kicking is juvenile years ago. "budo" doesn't even mean "martial art"!

"Can't handle physical stresses well?" There was a huge earthquake and tsunami in Japan a few moths ago. Thousands died. Hundreds of thousands have been left destitute in unimaginably harsh conditions. I'd say that would cause some physical stress. Exactly the sort of "budo" training that you dismiss as producing "sucky martial artists" have helped many of them to cope with difficulty most of us will never experience, (please God).

One thing that Budo training should inculculate is some tact and respect for other people.

Really.

DH
09-06-2011, 11:14 AM
That's just an ignorant post.
"Can't fight well." Since when was budo training about producing "fighters"?
Since the beginning
Anyone with a brain can see that there are better methods if you want to kick other people's asses. The Japanese and Chinese worked out that training just for ass kicking is juvenile years ago. "budo" doesn't even mean "martial art"!
That much is evident in the way many practice.

Ed asked:
Been noticing quite a bit of dissension towards KI Aikido on this forum. Why is that?
1. Is it because many preceive it as ineffective or is it just
2. Can't KI Aikido be street effective?
3..Should I go to another style?

Dan Harden wrote:
It isn't rocket science Ed.
Go invite some average people in (who are not trained fighters) to attack your teacher. Then invite in some decent fighters and ask them them to tune your teacher. Then answer your own question and stay or leave.
In case you don't already know this, most martial artists suck. They can neither fight well, or handle physical stresses well.
Dan
What measure is there for effective? He asked about street effective. I suggested he test both; trained and untrained.
If asked directly there was a simple way to find out.
What does measuring the effectiveness of a martial artist have to do with disrespecting them? They either are, or they are not.
If they do not do their martial arts as martial arts, but rather for fun, than fine.
Why ask a question about effectiveness then?

I think too many people want credit for it all, and they have not put in the time or the testing and suffering to get it...but they want to claim equal footing for something clearly not earned. That is the king of disrespect.
I have many friends in budo who could care less about fighting or fighting ability (maybe even the majority). There is nothing wrong with that. I continually argue that we should not judge people in budo who are having fun...until and unless they claim ( or worse, teach) something they simply cannot do or know.
Dan

DH
09-06-2011, 11:40 AM
That's just an ignorant post.

"Can't fight well." Since when was budo training about producing "fighters"? Anyone with a brain can see that there are better methods if you want to kick other people's asses. The Japanese and Chinese worked out that training just for ass kicking is juvenile years ago. "budo" doesn't even mean "martial art"!

"Can't handle physical stresses well?" There was a huge earthquake and tsunami in Japan a few moths ago. Thousands died. Hundreds of thousands have been left destitute in unimaginably harsh conditions. I'd say that would cause some physical stress. Exactly the sort of "budo" training that you dismiss as producing "sucky martial artists" have helped many of them to cope with difficulty most of us will never experience, (please God).

One thing that Budo training should inculculate is some tact and respect for other people.

Really.
Thought I would point out that I was answering a question about effectiveness. To which, I got a response calling me essentially; ignorant, lack of a brain, juvenile, and lacking tact and respect for other people.
I don't mind, but while I was on point, you and your tone, pretty much defeats your own position.
I would also point out that contrary to many detractors; I publicly and privately support the founding of the ki aikido movement and the very real skills of Tohei, if not the mess we have made out of it and most other Asian arts. The lack of real skill in Ki and aiki in so many modern adepts is the cause and reason for the questions in thread in the first place, is it not? If on the other hand you want me to applaud all efforts as equal and give everyone an "A," than yes, you are talking to the wrong guy.
Hopefully that will change
Dan

hughrbeyer
09-06-2011, 12:01 PM
...Morihei Ueshiba, once the most favored student of Sokaku Takeda, was only following his teacher in his own personal way. Morihei Ueshiba added his own personal spiritual ideology to create his aikido, but do not get confused -- he was a Daito ryu aiki man through and through. Nearly everything he did can be traced back to Sokaku Takeda...

This has been bugging me since I read it before the weekend, so since I thought I'd cycle back and pick up on it.

I think you're overstating your case, Mark. Yes, O-Sensei trained Daito-Ryu, taught Daito-Ryu, and handed out rank in Daito-Ryu before the war. But I think the history is clear that he did more than add a spiritual ideology to DR. He personally came to a split with his teacher that seems to have been more than just personal; he came to a point where he started to look for another name than "Daito-Ryu" to describe what he did; and those who saw what he did saw something other than Daito-Ryu in it. He may not have come up with the name "Aikido" himself, but he seems to have been clear that a new name was needed--he was calling what he did "Takemusu Aiki" before others suggested "Aikido" to him. And he clearly made choices in what he presented and how he presented it, as much in what he left out as in how he refined what he kept.

DH
09-06-2011, 01:18 PM
....and those who saw what he did saw something other than Daito-Ryu in it. He may not have come up with the name "Aikido" himself, but he seems to have been clear that a new name was needed--he was calling what he did "Takemusu Aiki" before others suggested "Aikido" to him. And he clearly made choices in what he presented and how he presented it, as much in what he left out as in how he refined what he kept.
What do you suggest the choices were in;
a) what he chose to present
b) what he left out?
And the unstated....
c) what remained?

hughrbeyer
09-06-2011, 01:59 PM
Dan, I can think of few surer ways of making a fool of myself than by trying to explain the differences between Aikido and Daito-Ryu to you.

I should stop there, but since my momma apparently did raise at least one fool...

Just based on the video record and trying to eliminate my preconceptions, I'd say that O-Sensei clearly had little interest in techniques that locked uke up, pinned him, or put him in a complicated submission. Where he does use joint locks he immediately turns it into a projection. Where he uses pins, they're simple. He seems to care most about dealing with the initial attack in a way that doesn't interfere with uke's momentum, either of one limb or of the whole body, and then getting uke out of his space so he stays free to operate. Even when he's bouncing uke off himself he gets uke away rather than going for a submission.

Flip side, I believe all those elements are part of Daito-Ryu.

So, I infer that O-Sensei didn't want them. And from that, I infer that he thought they weren't useful to what he was trying to teach.

Partly, I'm sure that has to do with adapting sword forms and to the martial situation of multiple attackers. But I don't think that's the whole story.

oisin bourke
09-06-2011, 02:54 PM
Thought I would point out that I was answering a question about effectiveness. To which, I got a response calling me essentially; ignorant, lack of a brain, juvenile, and lacking tact and respect for other people.
I don't mind, but while I was on point, you and your tone, pretty much defeats your own position.
I would also point out that contrary to many detractors; I publicly and privately support the founding of the ki aikido movement and the very real skills of Tohei, if not the mess we have made out of it and most other Asian arts. The lack of real skill in Ki and aiki in so many modern adepts is the cause and reason for the questions in thread in the first place, is it not? If on the other hand you want me to applaud all efforts as equal and give everyone an "A," than yes, you are talking to the wrong guy.
Hopefully that will change
Dan

You made blanket statements about budo and pretty much every anyone teaching or practising one. People from Donn Draeger, Pascal Krieger and the de Prosperos have spent a lot of time and effort explaining the deeper apects of the art to westerners. Are they all just part of the "Budo wallpaper" too ? Posts on a public forum don't have to applaud everyone. They don't have to include blanket dismissals or denigrations either.

MM
09-06-2011, 02:57 PM
This has been bugging me since I read it before the weekend, so since I thought I'd cycle back and pick up on it.

I think you're overstating your case, Mark. Yes, O-Sensei trained Daito-Ryu, taught Daito-Ryu, and handed out rank in Daito-Ryu before the war. But I think the history is clear that he did more than add a spiritual ideology to DR. He personally came to a split with his teacher that seems to have been more than just personal; he came to a point where he started to look for another name than "Daito-Ryu" to describe what he did; and those who saw what he did saw something other than Daito-Ryu in it. He may not have come up with the name "Aikido" himself, but he seems to have been clear that a new name was needed--he was calling what he did "Takemusu Aiki" before others suggested "Aikido" to him. And he clearly made choices in what he presented and how he presented it, as much in what he left out as in how he refined what he kept.

Hi Hugh,
Don't take it personal, but I'm going to ask you to support some things.

First, you said, "He personally came to a split with his teacher that seems to have been more than just personal". So, is there anything out there that supports that? His split was more than just personal, I mean.

John Driscoll does an excellent job of correlating Daito ryu and aikido techniques here on Aikiweb. The end result is a very high percentage. Mochizuki laments the fact that Ueshiba pared down the Daito ryu syllabus ... not that he changed it. Then we have interviews that state Kisshomaru and Tohei changed the syllabus. So, we have to look at what Morihei Ueshiba was actually doing and *not* what Modern Aikido is doing.

An older Ueshiba on video still does stock Daito ryu techniques. He still uses atemi to incapacitate an attacker (just watch some of his videos where he uses an atemi motion to simulate a strike to a downed uke's elbow). Kodo and Sagawa did very similar demonstrations as Ueshiba. Kodo is on tape doing the push test from a seated position. Ueshiba carried a fan just like Takeda. Where in Modern Aikido does this happen? Then there's the issue with the money.

IMO, what Ueshiba changed in Daito ryu techniques was that he opted for another choice. One in which he opted to spiral the attacker outward into safety rather than the Daito ryu conviction of maim/kill. And even that change is suspect because an older Takeda is quoted as stating that his vision of Daito ryu was self defense. Was Ueshiba just taking a natural progression that Takeda had already found? Or did Takeda take a different path because he had seen what Ueshiba had done?

You said, "he came to a point where he started to look for another name than "Daito-Ryu" to describe what he did". Yes. When? After his split with Takeda. Until then, even up to the opening of the Kobukan dojo, he was still a Daito ryu man. As Sagawa stated, there is a time when the student branches out to do different things than the teacher. Ueshiba followed that progression from a spiritual perspective. Sagawa kept the name, Daito ryu. Yet, both said what they were doing was different than what Takeda had done. But both were Daito ryu aiki men. So was Kodo. So, what other reason was there to look for a different name and what research out there supports that?

You said, "And he clearly made choices in what he presented and how he presented it, as much in what he left out as in how he refined what he kept". Yes, Ueshiba did. However, aiki was the foundation for his spirituality. Take a look at Seiseki Abe as an example. Around 1952, Seiseki Abe says this about his initial meeting with Ueshiba:

"How did you ever learn such a wonderful budo", and he answered, "Through misogi." Now I had been doing misogi since 1941 and when I heard that Aikido came from misogi, suddenly "snap", the two came together.

Seiseki Abe had been doing misogi for at least 10 years before ever starting aikido and wasn't at all near Ueshiba's skills or abilities, nor did he even see misogi and aikido as being similar. However, under Ueshiba's tutelage, Seiseki Abe continued to grow as a martial artist. We can see from this that something that Ueshiba knew and had trained was the underlying basis for powering his misogi exercises. Other people who did not have that certain something did not grow to replicate Ueshiba's abilities. Are there other Oomoto kyo, other misogi-type people, other zen adepts that have done what Ueshiba, Sagawa, or Kodo have done? Where are they? Why did those three consider themselves peers even though they were doing different techniques?

Daito ryu aiki men through and through. Ueshiba just took the road less traveled compared to his peers.

Mark

DH
09-06-2011, 03:22 PM
You made blanket statements about budo and pretty much every anyone teaching or practising one. People from Donn Draeger, Pascal Krieger and the de Prosperos have spent a lot of time and effort explaining the deeper apects of the art to westerners. Are they all just part of the "Budo wallpaper" too ? Posts on a public forum don't have to applaud everyone. They don't have to include blanket dismissals or denigrations either.
There are many more to add to that list as well. dozens off the top of my head.
You are making one hell of a presumptive leap to assume you know my thoughts on the scope of budo-to include the entire history of budo- based on some discussion of the well known sad state of affairs with ki and aiki these modern arts. Perhaps I should donate my library from classics of strategy to rare Chinese translations to personal writings of Don Draeger to some interesing twists on Japanese warfare with newer forensic studies to some needy soul.
Are you denying the idea of a lower mean, a lower denominator, my budo wallpaper? The fact that Master level people stood out from the masses defines your own obvious resentment at their being "also rans."
I will assume the lack of care and serious thought in your statement is intentionally flippant so I'll leave it at that.
Dan

Tim Fong
09-06-2011, 05:25 PM
The Japanese and Chinese worked out that training just for ass kicking is juvenile years ago. "budo" doesn't even mean "martial art"!


I can't let this pass.

1. Plenty of Chinese martial arts teachers are strictly interested in teaching skills that work in a combative context (street or ring sport) and are not trying to make better people, teach spirituality, religion or anything like that.
2. Budo is not a Chinese concept, I've never heard any Chinese martial arts teacher discuss what he did in terms of budo. On at least one occasion I have heard someone dismiss the concept of budo entirely with the comment "that's a Japanese thing, we don't do that." The Chinese community is enormous, however, so there probably are some guys out there doing it, but it certainly isn't mainstream.

kewms
09-06-2011, 07:24 PM
"Can't fight well." Since when was budo training about producing "fighters"? Anyone with a brain can see that there are better methods if you want to kick other people's asses. The Japanese and Chinese worked out that training just for ass kicking is juvenile years ago. "budo" doesn't even mean "martial art"!

I'm not fluent in Japanese, but my references for the language certainly translate it that way.

武 -- BU -- of or pertaining to military matters
道 -- DO -- way, art, way of life

武道 -- budo -- martial way, martial art

What translation for budo would you prefer?

Whether a martial art/budo is only, or even primarily, about "kicking asses" is a valid question, of course. But it seems to me that if a field of study claims to be a budo, then asking about the martial effectiveness of either the art or an individual practitioner is completely legit.

Katherine

Gorgeous George
09-06-2011, 07:43 PM
I'm not fluent in Japanese, but my references for the language certainly translate it that way.

武 -- BU -- of or pertaining to military matters
道 -- DO -- way, art, way of life

武道 -- budo -- martial way, martial art

What translation for budo would you prefer?

Whether a martial art/budo is only, or even primarily, about "kicking asses" is a valid question, of course. But it seems to me that if a field of study claims to be a budo, then asking about the martial effectiveness of either the art or an individual practitioner is completely legit.

Katherine

I'm of the same opinion.

I recall reading a speech by O'sensei, where (to paraphrase) he says that the reason the world is in the state is in, is because those with the wisdom/correct spirit to guide society, have been lacking this martial ability: might trumps right - but if right can negate might (as aikido is said to be able to) then society can progress.

Or you can flounce about with ribbons, and talk about peace, and not wanting to be martially effective...while the world burns.

Gorgeous George
09-06-2011, 07:55 PM
Hi Graham,

thanks for your observations.

Ting asks some good questions in his response to you, regarding visible and invisble factors. Physical balance breaking is plain to see. It is the kuzushi that most are familiar with. I have no problem with the basic nature of this. However, if the mind/ki is led correctly, the body has little option but to follow. This is closer to what is being seen, than in the alternative clip you provide below.

Good question, but I doubt it. I spend more time now exploring the truth in the basic movements, than I did when I was at a similar level to yourself.

Interesting clip, it is obvious to see the uke being stretched, but my question would be, why does the uke give himself away so easily? He stands quite static allowing his arm to be drawn away from his body, thereby losing connection with his centre and the ground. This is common for most ukemi I watch being done. It is easy to throw someone, who gives themselves away like this.

I agree with this,

I too train under a man of undoubted great power, who never spends time intellectualising aikido, a true man of budo. He no longer asks for uke to be strong, to push him, stop him moving etc. he went through all, that along time ago in the early years. He now insists that uke is relaxed, sincere in their attack, that they stay connected throughout the attack, and they don't give themselves away. He has mastered the non resistance that is at the heart of aikido. It is a phenomenal experience to be thrown with such effortless power.

As you practice and improve your own aikido, I'm sure you will see things in others that you cannot see at the moment, such is the nature of all of this.

Personally, I enjoy watching different types/styles of aikido, I learn more from trying to understand them, than by watching demos of ki aikido, which I think I understand to a decent level already.

regards,

Mark

the point I was making, is that neither his mind nor body appears to be led; if someone wants to resist, it appears that they can. Also: with regards the ikkyo at the beginning - i've always been taught that that's bad from both uke's, and nage's perspective: 'aiki' denotes connection; yet, uke got away from nage, and nage had to catch up to him; not only is that a lack of aiki, but a lack of martial awareness - and without the martial element, the techniques of aikido make no sense whatsoever.

You want to know why Gozo Shioda's uke for an instructional tape of Yoshinkan aikido's techniques, gives himself away easily?

If somebody's centred, they cannot be thrown; in aikido, you take somebody's balance, and can therefore throw them with ease.

The point of the instructor asking that his students test him, is to validate the effectiveness of his technique - i.e., so nobody looks at it and says "That's fake: he's taking a dive for him."; if I saw something similar in the Ki Aikido I have seen, I might actually regard it as effective.

I know there are things I cannot see at the moment; however, I can tell when somebody is sincerely reacting to a technique - and when they are feigning it: it's happened to me often enough.

Sincerely

- Graham

Gorgeous George
09-06-2011, 08:02 PM
By the way, Is BAF similar to BAB? Sensei K is with the BAB and if I remember correctly, used t be invited to teach in their cross affiliation seminars way back when.

There's a test that he does he didn't show in the vid. I've always been impressed with it. He'll stand on his rear leg and have someone push his outstretched leading hand. You can't push him over. It's a basic ki test, one that tohei has a picture of. I'm pretty sure I pushed him quite hard before and cpuldn't budge him. Yet, that isn't the point of the exercise either. It's more of a way to build up nage's centering ability,

As for the ukemi I can't say it's bad or good. But the point was to walk straight at the end of the round. This is make sure you move from the center not the eyes,

Hi, Ahmad.

The BAB is the body all aikido organisations in the UK belong to, I believe: it provides insurance, regardless of style.
The BAF is the main aikikai affiliate, I believe.

I believe I have seen his ki test videos.

Regards

- Graham

SteveTrinkle
09-06-2011, 08:21 PM
What does measuring the effectiveness of a martial artist have to do with disrespecting them?
Dan

I think this question is key. I think that many folks have a hard time separating their identity and self worth from a critique of their action. And it's certainly not only in martial arts. Training to be a therapist, I had to go through hours of my teachers and colleagues observing via closed circuit TV my therapy sessions and tearing my technique apart and telling me where I sucked. Horrible! I first felt attacked on a personal level. At first I felt like they were tearing me apart, and I had to get over it if I wanted to take advantage of, and learn from the experience. I grew to welcome this kind of training.

My thoughts.....

SteveTrinkle
09-06-2011, 08:41 PM
I should add - I continue on a regular basis, in my work, to go throughout this process of intensive examination and critique of my theory and techniques, approaches and outcomes with colleagues and senior therapists. This is called clinical supervision. To not do this is highly unethical. So, I do the same thing with my aikido.

Well, I hope this analogy fits somewhat.

hughrbeyer
09-06-2011, 10:19 PM
Hi Hugh,
Don't take it personal, but I'm going to ask you to support some things.

<clutches pearls> Oh, the horror!

I'm not competent to claim that this or that Aikido technique isn't in Daito-Ryu, and I'm not going to try. Instead, I focus on what O-Sensei chose to demonstrate vs. what Daito-Ryu masters choose to demonstrate. Public demonstrations may not be a perfect representation of the art, but they do at least show what the master in question thought people should see of their art.

So have a look at the 1935 Asahi news file video. That's fairly early on in the Daito-Ryu/Aikido transition, but there's nothing there technically that would look out of place in a Modern Aikido (tm) dojo. Well, except the general excellence. (And the weird habit of ending with one hand high, palm up, the other low, palm down. What's that about? :rolleyes: )

Conversely, there's not much there that looks like what Daito-Ryu people choose to show when asked to demonstrate their art. Perhaps there's little there that they couldn't show if they chose to, but they don't generally choose to--it's apparently not what they consider most important.

So it seems to me that at this point O-Sensei is already demonstrably moving in a new direction. Couple that with the story of him escaping Takeda Sokaku by sneaking away at night, abandoning his (Daito-Ryu) dojo to his former teacher, and the story writes itself.

Sagawa and Kodo, as you point out, continued to call what they did Daito-Ryu. Why, when O-Sensei did not? Could it be that though they saw themselves as modifying the teaching they received, they saw their own arts as extensions of Sokaku's art? Whereas Ueshiba saw what he was doing as something essentially different?

And again, the reaction of the other martial artists of his time. Did they go to Sagawa or Kodo, asking them what they called their art and refusing to take "Daito-Ryu" as an answer? Yet it seemed to be accepted that this Ueshiba thing needed a new name.

I don't want to downplay your point that O-Sensei infused his art with his spiritual insight, by the way. I think that was certainly a key influence on what he decided to keep and what he threw away. In my view, he kept the movement that reinforced the spiritual attitude he wanted to engender: centered in the six directions, neither aggressive nor defensive, overcoming conflict by negating conflict. That became the core of his art, and he threw away extraneous techniques like a sculptor throws away all the material that doesn't contribute to the image he wants to present.

AikidoDog
09-07-2011, 12:06 AM
Great question. I think it goes back to the battle of who is in charge after Osensei died. Tohei or Osensei's son.Thats when i saw the split.I think also the tricky nature of Ki made it hard to desconstruct and teach. I like all forms of aikido and martial arts
and embrace all ways of doing it.Ki does exist I know cuz at times I was a uke for Tohei as a teen and he did stuff I never have experienced with others. I also have had my Ki moments but it doesn;t always happen and i think a longer learning curve to egt it down right....deep bow to all.:)

gates
09-07-2011, 12:39 AM
Interestingly: When Stan P. interviewed some of the senior Daito Ryu people (I forget who) they referred to it as aikido, much to Mr Pranin's surprise.(When I say it I mean what they were doing, or at least that was the implication)

kewms
09-07-2011, 12:50 AM
John Driscoll does an excellent job of correlating Daito ryu and aikido techniques here on Aikiweb. The end result is a very high percentage. Mochizuki laments the fact that Ueshiba pared down the Daito ryu syllabus ... not that he changed it.

There are, after all, only a limited number of ways to bend human anatomy.

But I think most aikidoka would say that aikido is more than the sum of its techniques. Most students of Daito ryu would probably say the same. To truly appreciate both the similarities and the differences in the two arts, I suspect that you would need to have substantial experience in both.

Katherine

danj
09-07-2011, 06:50 AM
There are, after all, only a limited number of ways to bend human anatomy.

But I think most aikidoka would say that aikido is more than the sum of its techniques. Most students of Daito ryu would probably say the same. To truly appreciate both the similarities and the differences in the two arts, I suspect that you would need to have substantial experience in both.

Katherine

It was a shock to me when I recently had exposure to a second Daito Ryu school and found it to be very different to what I had already learnt. I guess like the various aikido schools, they can be quite different amongst themselves, yet through the different pedagogies there are similarities in principles that suddenly stood out clearly.

More recently, and starting to drift of topic, reading HIPS by Amdur I was bemused to see that Daito Ryu is arguably the creation of one man and that aikido is that of his celebrated student. Then to read that through it all, while there was respect for hierarchy and lineage, they were our there trying out everything they could get their hands on and stealing what they could to make it better.

Dialling forward to the next generation and Tohei Sensei does the something, albeit it with a shift away from martial focus in his later years.

chillzATL
09-07-2011, 08:55 AM
Sagawa and Kodo, as you point out, continued to call what they did Daito-Ryu. Why, when O-Sensei did not? Could it be that though they saw themselves as modifying the teaching they received, they saw their own arts as extensions of Sokaku's art? Whereas Ueshiba saw what he was doing as something essentially different?

I recall a story that Takeda saw what Ueshiba was doing and saw that he had changed things and they came to an agreement that he would no longer call what he was doing DRAJ. I believe at the time aiki budo was the name agreed upon. The question is whether or not that difference is simply in the syllabus being taught or in how the techniques were actually being done. Hisa said that they had no issues picking up right where Ueshiba left off when Takeda took over at Asahi and we can use Shioda to rewind pre-1935 and get a good idea of how Ueshiba was teaching and doing the techniques, which incidently don't look any different than they do today. I tend to think that, as you said in your previous post, everything Ueshiba was doing was part of the DR syllabus as taught by Takeda, but Ueshiba threw away the things he felt weren't important to what he wanted to teach and Takeda could see that.

I don't want to downplay your point that O-Sensei infused his art with his spiritual insight, by the way. I think that was certainly a key influence on what he decided to keep and what he threw away. In my view, he kept the movement that reinforced the spiritual attitude he wanted to engender: centered in the six directions, neither aggressive nor defensive, overcoming conflict by negating conflict. That became the core of his art, and he threw away extraneous techniques like a sculptor throws away all the material that doesn't contribute to the image he wants to present.

What if he simply pared down the number of techniques to the ones he felt best allowed someone to practice and devlop the thing he was really interested in, aiki? I'm not so convinced that the changes in how he did things were all spiritually motivated. My instructor was a student of his for most of the last decade of his life and that's one thing he's always stressed, O'sensei wasn't gentle with you. You were either ready or you weren't and if you came at him half-hearted, he'd probably hurt you.

Lorel Latorilla
09-07-2011, 08:58 AM
Sorry for being a stickler guys, but isn't Kodo's first name "Kodo" and his last name Horikawa? So when you're mentioning him along with Sagawa, Takeda, Ueshiba..shouldn't you call him Horikawa for consistency? Sorry for being a stickler ass stickler, LOL.

graham christian
09-07-2011, 09:02 AM
There are, after all, only a limited number of ways to bend human anatomy.

But I think most aikidoka would say that aikido is more than the sum of its techniques. Most students of Daito ryu would probably say the same. To truly appreciate both the similarities and the differences in the two arts, I suspect that you would need to have substantial experience in both.

Katherine

Hi Katherine.
I have found that all the jutsu people I have met had a different focus to what I call Aikido.

They were into how to harm, how to disable etc. Justified by such things as budo etc as you define it. Logically saying it's for effectiveness etc.

All sounds good except for one major difference. Aikido wasn't done for such purpose. Budo was now described as the budo of love. The purpose was now based on the spirit of loving protection.
How to do Kotegaishe for example in a way where you don't rip the tendons of the wrist of the aggressor is thus a change in technique application. The same goes for all the techniques. There's a way to do them in order to cause pain or dislocation etc. or there's the way of Aikido.

Here's the corker though. The ones that don't cause pain or dislocation etc. are actually more effective in the sense that they are harder to escape from or counter. Of course based on degree of ability.

I'm not trying to change your mind but merely showing you an alternative view, well practiced.

So my view of effectiveness being a key question is that it's a non-starter for me. More important for me is why some people don't have this as their aim.

Regards.G.

Mark Freeman
09-07-2011, 09:07 AM
The BAB is the body all aikido organisations in the UK belong to, I believe: it provides insurance, regardless of style.
The BAF is the main aikikai affiliate, I believe.



Not so, The Ki Federation of GB does not belong to the BAB, I have no idea how many others, if there are any, that do not come under the BAB umbrella.

regards

Mark

chillzATL
09-07-2011, 09:16 AM
All sounds good except for one major difference. Aikido wasn't done for such purpose. Budo was now described as the budo of love. The purpose was now based on the spirit of loving protection.
How to do Kotegaishe for example in a way where you don't rip the tendons of the wrist of the aggressor is thus a change in technique application. The same goes for all the techniques. There's a way to do them in order to cause pain or dislocation etc. or there's the way of Aikido.


Do you have anything to support your notion that O'sensei felt that what he was doing was no longer about effectiveness?

How much first hand experience do you have with kotegaeshi from non-aikido sources?

Hellis
09-07-2011, 09:43 AM
Not so, The Ki Federation of GB does not belong to the BAB, I have no idea how many others, if there are any, that do not come under the BAB umbrella.

regards

Mark

Mark

The ` Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido ` are not members of the BAB and I know of others...I receive emails from people asking about the insurance alternative to the BAB that we detail on our www.British-Aikido.com website - we receive no commision - we offer this information as a service.

Henry Ellis
Seagal - Rik Ellis Article
http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/

graham christian
09-07-2011, 09:56 AM
Do you have anything to support your notion that O'sensei felt that what he was doing was no longer about effectiveness?

How much first hand experience do you have with kotegaeshi from non-aikido sources?

Excuse me? I didn't say he was not about effectiveness. I said Aikido done from such a view is very effective and to me more so.

Kotegeishe is merely one example. How much experience? Much. Let's put it this way. Every non-aikido person or indeed some aikido people. That shouldn't be surprising should it for I say they should be looking after the well being of the opponent.

A new view to many. The budo of love.

Doesn't mean others are wrong for it depends on their purpose. If you can do effective technique in such a way that you at the same time are protecting the aggressor then that is I way I adhere to.

Painless nikkyo which is inescapable and yet leaves the aggressor smiling is quite an experience.

Regards.G.

Lorel Latorilla
09-07-2011, 09:59 AM
Do you have anything to support your notion that O'sensei felt that what he was doing was no longer about effectiveness?

How much first hand experience do you have with kotegaeshi from non-aikido sources?

I recommend putting him on the ignore list. It will make your life much better, Jason.

DH
09-07-2011, 11:02 AM
I recommend putting him on the ignore list. It will make your life much better, Jason.
I say watch this. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttipyZQTguE&feature=related)
Then watch this. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPidmEdPTNM&feature=related)
If you think that person has something of value to impart about the art of Aikido, aikido weapons and Ki then have at it.
Knowing who you are talking to is a good thing.
Dan

kewms
09-07-2011, 11:57 AM
All sounds good except for one major difference. Aikido wasn't done for such purpose. Budo was now described as the budo of love. The purpose was now based on the spirit of loving protection.
How to do Kotegaishe for example in a way where you don't rip the tendons of the wrist of the aggressor is thus a change in technique application. The same goes for all the techniques. There's a way to do them in order to cause pain or dislocation etc. or there's the way of Aikido.

Here's the corker though. The ones that don't cause pain or dislocation etc. are actually more effective in the sense that they are harder to escape from or counter. Of course based on degree of ability.

I did not define "effective" in my post...

One can legitimately argue about whether destroying someone's wrist is "more effective" than simply taking the person to the ground. But there are many aikidoka who are unable to do either, and justify their inability with arguments about aikido's spirituality.

If Ueshiba had not been able to "effectively" handle real attacks from advanced practititioners of other arts, no one would have cared what he had to say. He would be remembered, if at all, as a Shinto mystic, not a martial artist. He may have seen aikido as a new kind of budo, but his results were impressive against the old standards.

If you want to study Shinto mysticism, that's your choice. Nothing wrong with it. But you're not studying budo if you're not willing to confront the effectiveness question.

Katherine

Lorel Latorilla
09-07-2011, 12:07 PM
Guys,

Look at the videos that Dan posted of Graham, and also check out his multi-colored rastarian hat while you are at it. Then you can judge whether you should take his words seriously or not.

graham christian
09-07-2011, 01:21 PM
Obviously an amateur, Ha,ha.

graham christian
09-07-2011, 01:35 PM
Dan seems to like my videos. I take it you like using videos to show something Dan?

Gorgeous George
09-07-2011, 06:24 PM
Has anyone ever seen Tony Wagstaffe and Graham Christian in the same room...?

hughrbeyer
09-07-2011, 06:25 PM
<head explodes>

Gorgeous George
09-07-2011, 07:19 PM
Hahahaha.
:D

graham christian
09-07-2011, 10:21 PM
Has anyone ever seen Tony Wagstaffe and Graham Christian in the same room...?

Mmmmmm. Seen being the operative word.

graham christian
09-08-2011, 07:52 PM
<head explodes>

How's your head? Hope your better today.

Try this one. 'I would love to see everyone enjoying and improving in their Aikido.'

I'm sure you'll feel much better.

Regards.Doctor.G.

JO
09-08-2011, 09:32 PM
I had my first Ki Aikido class the other day while on a business trip.The teacher was much less experience in aikido than myself and only sees his aikido teacher rarely (due to geographical isolation). But I found myself impressed with the ability to show and demonstrate aspects of relaxation and extension that are key to all good aikido using the basic ki exercises he had learned. These are things I often have trouble communicating with beginners.

On the martial aspect of things. This particular instructor is a senior black belt in an independent modern jiu jitsu (their spelling) dojo and has quite a bit of experience in more aggressive fighting takes on the martial arts. Personally, I wouldn't want to pick a fight with him, or many of his students (most of which also come from the jiu jitsu group).

Honestly. I find all the politics and style comparisons detrimental to aikido. If we all trained together a bit more and used such occasions to exchange notes rather than worry about who's instructor was stronger and perpetuating splits and arguments between earlier generations, we would all benefit.

PS - Dan, for a guy that spends quite a bit of time trashing the videos of others, I'm starting to find your failure to show anything of your own practice on these boards cowardly.

MM
09-08-2011, 10:52 PM
I've taken sudafed, can't breathe, can't sleep, and my head is fuzzy. So, please allow for some sarcasm to break through.

Ellis Amdur - Anyone not know him? There's not enough room to talk about what he's done and who he's trained with.

Bill Gleason - Uh, highly respected aikido instructor. Trained in Japan with some very good people.

George Ledyard - Anyone not know him? Highly respected aikido instructor who has trained with some very good people.

Allen Beebe - Trained with Shirata. Highly respected aikido instructor but, sadly, not as well known. A diamond in hiding.

Howard Popkin & Joe Brogna - More and more people know Howard. Joe hides in the shadows, but everyone who trains with these two are enriched by the experience. Quality all around.

Chris Li - Been around awhile and I keep hearing great things about him. I hope to meet him soon. He also has some very good people around him that have also "been round the block" a time or two.

Unnamed highly ranked dan aikido instructors - You don't get that high by being stupid. I've only met a few of them and the ones I met are very good people. Highly respected aikido instructors.

My sincerest apologies to the people in the Europe. I've not met you but have heard good things about you. So, I can't say too much about you. I'm hoping to get the chance to meet everyone over there.

A very highly skilled Chen style master level teacher.

So, okay, now let's skip down to some not so highly ranked people who are still respected and skilled: Gary Welborn, Greg Steckle, Rob Liberti, Stan Baker. These are the ones who have posted here at some point. There are probably a hundred or more that haven't but could be included.

Sadly enough, the list isn't complete because I've purposefully left out a lot of people from a koryu. Sorry, I don't know enough about koryu to say anything either on the subject or the people. You wanna know, ask around. I also didn't include anyone from karate, taiji, etc. And Apologies to anyone I missed listing. Been a rough day for me.

So, what do these hundreds of people have in common? It's actually fairly easy to answer. They *never* needed a video.

Now, imagine being in a room with all these people and telling them to their face that they should have demanded a video. Who are *you* to tell aikido shihan what they should or should not have done? Let alone the other hundreds of highly ranked martial artists. I'm sick of hearing about not seeing a "video".

Maybe instead of making demands for the mountain to come to you, it might, just might be a much better choice to seek out the mountain? As your teachers, your peers, your betters, your shihan in the aikido world have done. At the very least, check out things behind the scenes like most competent budo people do before getting "foot in mouth" disease.

Sorry, tolerance is low tonight. I'm going to miss training and I'm ticked. These are my friends I'll miss seeing. Crap, I hate getting sick...

robin_jet_alt
09-08-2011, 10:57 PM
I've taken sudafed, can't breathe, can't sleep, and my head is fuzzy. So, please allow for some sarcasm to break through.

Sorry, tolerance is low tonight. I'm going to miss training and I'm ticked. These are my friends I'll miss seeing. Crap, I hate getting sick...

I hope you feel better soon. Take it easy and allow your body to heal itself.

gregstec
09-08-2011, 11:31 PM
I had my first Ki Aikido class the other day while on a business trip.The teacher was much less experience in aikido than myself and only sees his aikido teacher rarely (due to geographical isolation). But I found myself impressed with the ability to show and demonstrate aspects of relaxation and extension that are key to all good aikido using the basic ki exercises he had learned. These are things I often have trouble communicating with beginners.

On the martial aspect of things. This particular instructor is a senior black belt in an independent modern jiu jitsu (their spelling) dojo and has quite a bit of experience in more aggressive fighting takes on the martial arts. Personally, I wouldn't want to pick a fight with him, or many of his students (most of which also come from the jiu jitsu group).

Honestly. I find all the politics and style comparisons detrimental to aikido. If we all trained together a bit more and used such occasions to exchange notes rather than worry about who's instructor was stronger and perpetuating splits and arguments between earlier generations, we would all benefit.

PS - Dan, for a guy that spends quite a bit of time trashing the videos of others, I'm starting to find your failure to show anything of your own practice on these boards cowardly.

Jonathan, overall a very good post, some good points in the beginning - however, your last paragraph is in extremely bad taste, and IMO, comes across as immature and very unprofessional.

There are many reasons why Dan, and others, do not do videos - some of these reasons have been expressed before, but are mostly ignored by the 'MTV' generation - sorry, but that is just not the style of some of us that came before that generation.

IMO, videos do not teach and really are only good as marketing demos, especially when dealing with the internal stuff - and contrary to some opinions, we are not marketing anything because we are not making any money off of anything. If you want to know what we are about, come see us - my door is always open and I do not charge any fees - hell, I even travel at no fee for those that have a sincere interest in getting together, just ask my new friends down in Maryland about that!

Bottom line is to respect the reasons of those that do not do videos nor pictures, and do not expect them to have the same opinion of those type of things just because you do.

Greg

Gorgeous George
09-08-2011, 11:38 PM
I've taken sudafed, can't breathe, can't sleep, and my head is fuzzy. So, please allow for some sarcasm to break through.

Ellis Amdur - Anyone not know him? There's not enough room to talk about what he's done and who he's trained with.

Bill Gleason - Uh, highly respected aikido instructor. Trained in Japan with some very good people.

George Ledyard - Anyone not know him? Highly respected aikido instructor who has trained with some very good people.

Allen Beebe - Trained with Shirata. Highly respected aikido instructor but, sadly, not as well known. A diamond in hiding.

Howard Popkin & Joe Brogna - More and more people know Howard. Joe hides in the shadows, but everyone who trains with these two are enriched by the experience. Quality all around.

Chris Li - Been around awhile and I keep hearing great things about him. I hope to meet him soon. He also has some very good people around him that have also "been round the block" a time or two.

Unnamed highly ranked dan aikido instructors - You don't get that high by being stupid. I've only met a few of them and the ones I met are very good people. Highly respected aikido instructors.

My sincerest apologies to the people in the Europe. I've not met you but have heard good things about you. So, I can't say too much about you. I'm hoping to get the chance to meet everyone over there.

A very highly skilled Chen style master level teacher.

So, okay, now let's skip down to some not so highly ranked people who are still respected and skilled: Gary Welborn, Greg Steckle, Rob Liberti, Stan Baker. These are the ones who have posted here at some point. There are probably a hundred or more that haven't but could be included.

Sadly enough, the list isn't complete because I've purposefully left out a lot of people from a koryu. Sorry, I don't know enough about koryu to say anything either on the subject or the people. You wanna know, ask around. I also didn't include anyone from karate, taiji, etc. And Apologies to anyone I missed listing. Been a rough day for me.

So, what do these hundreds of people have in common? It's actually fairly easy to answer. They *never* needed a video.

Now, imagine being in a room with all these people and telling them to their face that they should have demanded a video. Who are *you* to tell aikido shihan what they should or should not have done? Let alone the other hundreds of highly ranked martial artists. I'm sick of hearing about not seeing a "video".

Maybe instead of making demands for the mountain to come to you, it might, just might be a much better choice to seek out the mountain? As your teachers, your peers, your betters, your shihan in the aikido world have done. At the very least, check out things behind the scenes like most competent budo people do before getting "foot in mouth" disease.

Sorry, tolerance is low tonight. I'm going to miss training and I'm ticked. These are my friends I'll miss seeing. Crap, I hate getting sick...

That some of those respected aikidoka train with Dan Harden, and speak highly of him, is why I will attend one of his seminars, should I get the chance; their opinions are surely at least as good a recommendation as a video...?

gregstec
09-08-2011, 11:50 PM
That some of those respected aikidoka train with Dan Harden, and speak highly of him, is why I will attend one of his seminars, should I get the chance; their opinions are surely at least as good a recommendation as a video...?

Better than a video - those opinions have FELT what can never be shown on a video :)

Greg

JO
09-09-2011, 07:16 AM
Hey, he doesn't want to put up a video, that's fine. But I get tired of people who constantly criticize others while putting up nothing of themselves. He leaves nothing at all to judge his knowledge or abilities by, but constantly belittles the abilities and knowledge of others.

I dont see the others on your list doing that Mark.

JO
09-09-2011, 07:20 AM
PS - From the accounts of others, I'm sure he could have much more to add to these exchanges. But he chooses to limit access to himself. I think it's a shame.

Again, I wouldn't have brought up the video in this thread if he hadn't spent much of this thread putting links to other's videos, implying they were examples of bad martial arts.

stan baker
09-09-2011, 07:45 AM
When your at Dan's level and willing to teach anybody you can do what ever. Go see for yourself then you will understand.

stan

chillzATL
09-09-2011, 07:58 AM
When your at Dan's level and willing to teach anybody you can do what ever. Go see for yourself then you will understand.

stan

I'm sure Dan doesn't want or need you to build him up with nonsense like this...

gates
09-09-2011, 08:04 AM
The thread is dead. Long live the thread !

stan baker
09-09-2011, 08:17 AM
Hi Jason
It is not just about Dan it is about people removing the blinders so they stop making stupid comments. I could use my taiji teacher Wang Hai Jun to make the same point. Go feel the best people.
Do that and the conversations will have some meaning.

stan

chillzATL
09-09-2011, 08:33 AM
Hi Jason
It is not just about Dan it is about people removing the blinders so they stop making stupid comments. I could use my taiji teacher Wang Hai Jun to make the same point. Go feel the best people.
Do that and the conversations will have some meaning.

stan

When you say things like you did or like you've said in the past, YOU make it about Dan and not in a positive way.

Tim Ruijs
09-09-2011, 08:36 AM
Think for yourself, learn to judge properly... ;)

Lorel Latorilla
09-09-2011, 08:41 AM
PS - From the accounts of others, I'm sure he could have much more to add to these exchanges. But he chooses to limit access to himself. I think it's a shame.

Again, I wouldn't have brought up the video in this thread if he hadn't spent much of this thread putting links to other's videos, implying they were examples of bad martial arts.

I seriously dont get this line of thinking. If someone criticizes someone on video, that person automically has the burden to post a video of his own? Huh?

Tim Ruijs
09-09-2011, 08:45 AM
I seriously dont get this line of thinking. If someone criticizes someone on video, that person automically has the burden to post a video of his own? Huh?
Agreed. Makes no sense. :yuck: :yuck: :yuck:

Peter Goldsbury
09-09-2011, 09:50 AM
I seriously dont get this line of thinking. If someone criticizes someone on video, that person automically has the burden to post a video of his own? Huh?

Hello Lorel,

Why is this automatic?

I remember having severe arguments with my very first aikido teacher, who was a Japanese ultranationalist and believed in a very conservative way of teaching. He argued that you were not able to criticize your teacher unless you were able to improve on what he was teaching. This argument (wrongly) assumes that knowing something and teaching it are identical. Of, course it might well be that teaching is a good method of gaining knowledge, but the two are not the same. I think in most universities students are called upon to evaluate their teachers, but this in no way implies that they themselves can do better.

Now transfer the argument to writing books or articles, or posting videos. If these are published, they are in the public domain and thereby subject to the opinions of those who happen to read or see them. However, the next step, that those who criticize have some kind of obligation to support their criticism with the same kind of offering, be it a book, article, or video, is not at all automatic. You might think they should do this, but there is no automatic obligation here.

The reverse of this, that unless you are prepared to put up your own video, or publish a book or article, you have no right to criticize an existing one, is clearly invalid. If it were a valid argument, it would inhibit a vast amount of valuable research.

I think part of the problem here is the nature of the medium itself. Videos of aikido show only so much and there is a vast argument about what they actually show. As a medium, books and articles are less likely to deceive. But even here, there were comments about Budo Renshuu, when it appeared in 1933. It made sense only if you could do the waza already.

This being said, I am very glad that Akuzawa Sensei made videos of his exercises. They form the basis of my own private training. However, since I live so far from Tokyo, I cannot check whether my own understanding of what he teaches in the videos is correct.

Best wishes,

P Goldsbury

Demetrio Cereijo
09-09-2011, 10:58 AM
If someone criticizes someone on video, that person automically has the burden to post a video of his own?

Of course not. Unless this someone affirms he/she can do better.

Then this someone could be asked to provide proof about his/her statements, be it video, witnessess, personal interaction, etc., you know... the usual means for proving claims.

sorokod
09-09-2011, 11:19 AM
Of course not. Unless this someone affirms he/she can do better.

Then this someone could be asked to provide proof about his/her statements, be it video, witnessess, personal interaction, etc., you know... the usual means for proving claims.

Not necessarily. Consider for example people who are eager, for reasons know best only to themselves, to expose their lives on Jerry Springer and similar TV shows. According to this logic one should not criticize them without providing a supporting video evidence proving that one could do better.

Demetrio Cereijo
09-09-2011, 11:29 AM
Not necessarily.

:D :D :D

Chris Li
09-09-2011, 12:03 PM
Of course not. Unless this someone affirms he/she can do better.

Then this someone could be asked to provide proof about his/her statements, be it video, witnessess, personal interaction, etc., you know... the usual means for proving claims.

For the "someone" in question there have been numerous witnesses and ample opportunities for personal interaction.

There are plenty of people with video out who get questioned regularly - it doesn't seem to provide any real level of "proof".

And if you could actually learn much from the videos then we wouldn't need all these discussions, right? There's plenty of video available on people with good stuff.

OTOH, another "someone" (but not the "someone" in question) once advised me - what ever you do, don't put up any video of yourself, it just stirs up the peanut gallery.

Best,

Chris

Demetrio Cereijo
09-09-2011, 12:09 PM
For the "someone" in question there have been numerous witnesses and ample opportunities for personal interaction.

Problem solved then. Isn't it.

Like I said before:

...the usual means for proving claims

MM
09-09-2011, 12:14 PM
And Apologies to anyone I missed listing. Been a rough day for me.


In my delusional state, I forgot to list Marc Abrams. One of the people I was going to train with this weekend. I'll use lack of oxygen as my excuse. :) Marc started training with Imaizumi in 1988. And he's currently training with Ushiro. Marc's a great guy and an excellent teacher.

And for those Monty Python fans, "I'm getting better" "I feel happy". :)

gates
09-09-2011, 01:41 PM
Hate is a strong emotion which I generally reserve for really bad people - generally they are not Ki Aikido people.

Tohei's principles are really very sound and quite succinctly cover a lot of turf. All Aikidoka should be aware of what he said, it is useful stuff. Whether the teaching model lends itself well to teaching those skills is another question entirely. (Tohei didn't learn via Tohei .... Or did He!?!?!?!?)

Acting naturally and calmly with a good base in a relaxed stable body and mind really is the key. The other tricks are just that, tricks,... either that or they are the complete opposite: important learning tools and demonstrations of learnt body skill.

As a little kid I used to play think "think heavy - think light !!" with my big brother (Tohei inspired game) and we would try to pick each other up. Great fun.

DH
09-09-2011, 02:09 PM
Well perhaps we should consider Jonathan's thoughtful and carefully considered reply. Perhaps I am a coward.
Let's see
After 21 years of teaching MMA and weapons, after 316 students, after walking into rooms full of strangers -.786 Seminar attendees- some of whom were hostile and with no ukes of my own, (something which almost none of your teachers do, including Ueshiba, who traveled with his entourage) with 11 Shihan, Menkyo's, and so many 4 and 5th dans. and going head to head with ICMA master class teachers, and guys with established fight records...I think you need to make a more substantial and reasoned argument to be considered credible.
Maybe, just maybe, though it may seem incredible, there are other reasons I don't produce video.

My turn
So Jonathan, please continue to turn your discerning eye this way, if you please.
In your thoughtful and considered opinion;
1. After my strong opinions being voiced on the aiki arts for almost two decades, the same critiques that raised your ire, why do you suppose that I enjoy the support in those views by such a broad range of expert opinion who have met and trained with me? How does that happen Jonathan?
2. Since you also questioned my limiting my access?
Why do these teacherse; from Europe to Hawaii, from Seattle to Florida and their own students, now train with me?
3. Why am I doing this and limiting the small amount of money I make by keeping the numbers small (and getting yelled at for that to boot). Why Jonathan, am I keeping the numbers down to 20- 25per session?

Last
4. Who do you know who learned budo correctly from video______________?

Since you cared to offer them so freely-care to enlighten us with more thoughtful views on these questions?
Dan

DH
09-09-2011, 02:11 PM
Hate is a strong emotion which I generally reserve for really bad people - generally they are not Ki Aikido people.

Tohei's principles are really very sound and quite succinctly cover a lot of turf. All Aikidoka should be aware of what he said, it is useful stuff. Whether the teaching model lends itself well to teaching those skills is another question entirely. (Tohei didn't learn via Tohei .... Or did He!?!?!?!?)

Acting naturally and calmly with a good base in a relaxed stable body and mind really is the key. The other tricks are just that, tricks,... either that or they are the complete opposite: important learning tools and demonstrations of learnt body skill.

As a little kid I used to play think "think heavy - think light !!" with my big brother (Tohei inspired game) and we would try to pick each other up. Great fun.

Wait a minute
Just like Ueshiba, we need to carefully separate Toheis very real skill, from the reasons that people do not like the effort of so many of his students.
He knew what he was doing.
Dan

gates
09-09-2011, 02:17 PM
Wait a minute
Just like Ueshiba, we need to carefully separate Toheis very real skill, from the reasons that people do not like the effort of so many of his students.
He knew what he was doing.
Dan

Isn't that EXACTLY what I just said?

DH
09-09-2011, 02:26 PM
Isn't that EXACTLY what I just said?
:D

RonRagusa
09-09-2011, 04:13 PM
The other tricks are just that, tricks,... either that or they are the complete opposite: important learning tools and demonstrations of learnt body skill.

Hi Keith -

They are indeed important learning tools. The exercises involving pushing, pulling, lifting and compressing when practiced with progressively increased applied force allow the student to directly experience the principles and strengthen mind/body coordination. All the partnered exercises can be performed both statically and in motion.

The problem, I think, is that most people only experience the demonstration mode of the exercises, which makes sense since the're generally not taught outside of Ki Aikido (and Ki Aikido offshoot styles). The exercises are therefore seen as tricks to wow the audience while their applicability as development tools goes unnoticed.

Best,

Ron

Mark Freeman
09-09-2011, 04:35 PM
They are indeed important learning tools. The exercises involving pushing, pulling, lifting and compressing when practiced with progressively increased applied force allow the student to directly experience the principles and strengthen mind/body coordination. All the partnered exercises can be performed both statically and in motion.

Hi Ron,

good points, recently my teacher was saying that there is no difference between 'ki development exercises' and aikido, they are the same thing. Aikido is myriad of dynamic ki development exercises. And this from someone who spent the early years of his practice doing very martially effective aikido.

The problem, I think, is that most people only experience the demonstration mode of the exercises, which makes sense since the're generally not taught outside of Ki Aikido (and Ki Aikido offshoot styles). The exercises are therefore seen as tricks to wow the audience while their applicability as development tools goes unnoticed.

good point, also.

regards,

Mark

JO
09-09-2011, 07:44 PM
Well perhaps we should consider Jonathan's thoughtful and carefully considered reply. Perhaps I am a coward.
Let's see
After 21 years of teaching MMA and weapons, after 316 students, after walking into rooms full of strangers -.786 Seminar attendees- some of whom were hostile and with no ukes of my own, (something which almost none of your teachers do, including Ueshiba, who traveled with his entourage) with 11 Shihan, Menkyo's, and so many 4 and 5th dans. and going head to head with ICMA master class teachers, and guys with established fight records...I think you need to make a more substantial and reasoned argument to be considered credible.
Maybe, just maybe, though it may seem incredible, there are other reasons I don't produce video.


My comment has been blown out of proportion. I doubt you are a coward in general. But I have trouble with some of your behavior on this board. You don't hold back from putting others down, but you react rather strongly to any comment aimed at you. It might help me understand you better if you simply explained why you approach this online community the way you do. For example, not putting up videos. In this particular case, you brought up videos of those you have no respect for, and I couldn't help thinking "OK, show me better". I actually tend to agree that the videos you criticized are good examples of training that has minimal interest, at least to me.


My turn
So Jonathan, please continue to turn your discerning eye this way, if you please.
In your thoughtful and considered opinion;
1. After my strong opinions being voiced on the aiki arts for almost two decades, the same critiques that raised your ire, why do you suppose that I enjoy the support in those views by such a broad range of expert opinion who have met and trained with me? How does that happen Jonathan?

I never said I disagreed with your opinions, by the way. It just seemed to me that you were taking shots at people while hiding behind thick cover. Maybe I overeacted, especially with the "C" word. But I don't think I overreacted nearly as strongly as you and some of your supporters have.


2. Since you also questioned my limiting my access?
Why do these teacherse; from Europe to Hawaii, from Seattle to Florida and their own students, now train with me?

Presumably because they feel you have something to teach them. I have already stated on other threads that I would very much like to meet you in person and see/feel what all the talk is about.


3. Why am I doing this and limiting the small amount of money I make by keeping the numbers small (and getting yelled at for that to boot). Why Jonathan, am I keeping the numbers down to 20- 25per session?

Presumably because you feel what you teach is best transmitted in that way. However, plenty of people do small seminars that are more or less public. I've been to at least one seminar with an Aikikai shihan with less than 20 people present. I agree that this is a great way to learn, with so much direct attention by the teacher possible.


Last
4. Who do you know who learned budo correctly from video______________?

Since you cared to offer them so freely-care to enlighten us with more thoughtful views on these questions?
Dan

I don't think you can really learn any body art from video. I don't want to see video of you to learn your method. Just to get a better idea of who I'm interacting with. The best thing Jun ever did on this board is make everybody use their real names. Everyone always understands eachother better after meating in person (just see the thread on the California meet-up). That is not always possible. Video interactions can help. This is my opinion. Obviously you disagree. Though you do seem to believe you can judge others based on video.

Chris Li
09-09-2011, 08:20 PM
Presumably because you feel what you teach is best transmitted in that way. However, plenty of people do small seminars that are more or less public. I've been to at least one seminar with an Aikikai shihan with less than 20 people present. I agree that this is a great way to learn, with so much direct attention by the teacher possible.

Taking applications for Honolulu in November right now...

http://aikidosangenkai.org/news.html

Best,

Chris

JO
09-09-2011, 08:29 PM
Taking applications for Honolulu in November right now...

http://aikidosangenkai.org/news.html

Best,

Chris

Your invite appeals to me on so many levels. But this middle class father of three young children, with a mortgage and a full time job is unlikely to make it to Honolulu in the next decade, never mind the next three months. To be clear, these are priorities, not excuses, that I'm mentioning.

I haven't made it to a seminar further than Ottawa from the province of Quebec (Ottawa's just one bridge from my province, and I have family there to feed and house me).

Chris Li
09-09-2011, 08:37 PM
Your invite appeals to me on so many levels. But this middle class father of three young children, with a mortgage and a full time job is unlikely to make it to Honolulu in the next decade, never mind the next three months. To be clear, these are priorities, not excuses, that I'm mentioning.

I haven't made it to a seminar further than Ottawa from the province of Quebec (Ottawa's just one bridge from my province, and I have family there to feed and house me).

Of course, I feel your pain - but then you can't complain about not having acess right?

Best,

Chris

JO
09-09-2011, 08:58 PM
Of course, I feel your pain - but then you can't complain about not having acess right?

Best,

Chris

Complaining, like not putting up videos, is something everyone has the right to do, as no one can stop you. ;)

CindyGoldman
03-06-2014, 09:18 AM
I just want to express my views after reading the various comments below.

1) Firstly Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido refers to the teaching of Aikido developed by Sensei Tohei and commonly referred to in the West as Ki Aikido. However there are numerous schools out there that teach "Ki Aikido" with different emphasis and priorities. Thus I have met students out there that are literally practicing a different form of aikido albeit they refer to it as "Ki Aikido".

2) The Ki principles from Sensei Tohei are extremely effective in a martial sense. However it is one of those things that has to be mastered - it's a case of all or nothing. Therefore beginners in the art sometimes struggle to extend Ki correctly and thus their martial technique may seem ineffective. Furthermore Ki principles can be separated from the martial Ki techniques taught. You can apply Ki principles to various martial techniques, Krav Maga, Jujitsu, etc. (See Shin Shin Toitsu & Golf).

3) In a real street fight your state of mind is generally more important than the perfection of a martial technique. Ki principles place a lot of emphasis upon meditation and oneness with the universe, similar to the idea of “no mind” and totally present. This state of mind is very important when faced with a life or death or high stake situation, e.g. fighting, financial trading, rock climbing, etc. I have seen a lot of so-called martial arts experts on the streets forgetting the rule that generally the first attack normally comes from an unseen opponent from behind.

4) I believe most aikido techniques practiced in the dojo are merely ideal forms and have to be adapted in a real street fight. For example consider the classic nage knife thrust attack, nage always lunges forward with the knife hand first. From my own experience on the streets I typically find that an attacker with just a little experience but real intent of stabbing you will try to attack you first with the empty hand to grab hold of you. However unless your speed and technique is perfect which is very difficult in real life, whilst you are focused on their empty hand, in less than half a second they could be thrusting the knife in to your kidney with the other hand.