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DH
11-13-2011, 11:58 AM
George Ledyard ends the blog post thus:

"I think that in terms of pure accessibility Dan Harden and Mike Sigman may be the best to connect with in the sense that each has his own system, neither is beholden to anyone and can teach whatever and whomever he wishes, both are native English speakers and are extremely accomplished at offering systematic explanation of complex principles."

"This is a very simplistic synopsis. Each of these teachers offers enough to keep any serious Aikido student busy for years. Each teaches things that are either absent from most Aikido or at least are not taught in any systematic form. The exposure to these teachers and systems is transforming Aikido in a positive manner and I eagerly await the time in a few more years when this exposure has had time to turn into something really deep."

If you have some problems with the things you are reading in this thread, then please take them up with the above-named rokudan in your own ASU, because he is saying the same things.

I have a feeling you won't be so quick to sling a retort like "Debate over" at George Ledyard.

Then get back us on Aikiweb and we will pick this discussion up from there.

R
This really gets to the heart of the matter doesn't it. I really don't have time to debate every tom, dick and harry on the internet. Why should I ? The shear volume and background of the teachers who consider this work transformative to their Aikido....should speak volumes to a lessor student of the same art.
Why it doesn't speak to them is the key issue. I suspect the lack of cognative reasoning is due to an agenda. That explains why the thread reads like you are all talking to a wall.

For my part I have never seen my name attached to so many views and opinions that I do not hold and do not recognize. It's pure nonsense. I thought to address it, but after skimming through last night, quickly realized that my ACTUAL opinions wouldn't matter at all.
Oddly enough, here I am in another Aikido dojo, making friends, laughing my butt off, and they.....are reading this guys opinions...and laughing their butts off at dinner. They are ASU, they train with Ikeda and they want me back in the spring. No one recognizes any validity in this fellow's words.
I will continue to dialogue with those interested in truth, over agenda.

Since I have been traveling, I wish to thank Kathryn, Greg, Mark, and the rest of you for at least trying to explain things to this guy. In the end the truth will out, it always does.
All the best
Dan

Ellis Amdur
11-13-2011, 02:26 PM
"Course, talkin' don't amount tuh uh hill uh beans when yuh can't do nothin' else . . . Pheoby, you got tuh go there tuh know there. Yo papa and yo mama and nobody else can't tell yuh and show yuh. Two things everybody's got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out about livin' fuh theyselves. Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston

Who cares if Saotome dropped a "karate expert." Did he teach you to do it? Or what I'm increasingly thinking, what's wrong with you as a student if your teacher manifests something and you can't learn it? All this talk about Osensei being a lousy teacher. Really? How about lousy students? Who then only have refuge in talking about the wonderful things their teacher can do.

Lest there be any confusion, Ken's example is merely a singular of a myriad.

Ellis Amdur

kewms
11-13-2011, 11:58 PM
Why would one do this? What would it show? Has it happened to you?

Training with people from other arts is a great way to test one's assumptions, with a particular eye to finding blind spots in one's own training. Many possible lessons are available, but the ones most relevant to the post I was responding to include:
* The realization that good attackers don't actually unbalance themselves much, if at all, when they attack. This challenges the assumption that the energy of an attack makes it "easy" to unbalance the attacker.
* The realization that actually completing an irimi entry against a non-compliant attacker is not a trivial matter, and potentially creates many opportunities for reversals and followup strikes.
* The realization that merely getting behind someone does not, in fact, necessarily give you control of their balance.

Katherine

Tim Ruijs
11-14-2011, 03:16 AM
Who cares if Saotome dropped a "karate expert." Did he teach you to do it? Or what I'm increasingly thinking, what's wrong with you as a student if your teacher manifests something and you can't learn it? All this talk about Osensei being a lousy teacher. Really? How about lousy students? Who then only have refuge in talking about the wonderful things their teacher can do.

Good questions, but you do have a teacher to teach you, right? It takes two to tango, the student might not be able to pickup what the teacher is telling, but also the teacher may not be able to bring across his point (efficiently). Today is the age of consumers: many simply want to be told what is what and how it is done. Quite contraire to the old days where you learnt by working hard....;)
Less talk, work harder.

Ellis Amdur
11-14-2011, 03:59 AM
Apropos of this thread as a whole ( a couple quotes from Dobsons, It's a Lot Like Dancing:

Concerning Ueshiba's power (aiki)
Osensei said that it is easy to control people. What is much more difficult is to control them without using tricks. There are many things he did that I can't explain, like the way in which he woudl hold out his bokken and ask people to push on it. Since it would always be the same people, Subano (sic) Kenai (sic) and Saotome, and he'd never include me, I'd think, oh that son of a bitch. This is all rigged, this is all funny. There was a big demonstration one day. He had three guys pushign on the bokken. I slid in between Chiba and Subano (sic). I hit that bokken. I was certain it had to move. Even if you run up aaginast a wall, there has to be some movement. But there wasn't any, none. It was like hitting solid steel. Now, how did he do that? I have no idea. All I know is that I was dealing with something that could not be explained from my basic experience as a human being.

Concerning the question of religion:
I know what he did when nobody was looking. I went on a trip with him to Kyoto, for three or four days. He had almost no meetings with anybody. We stayed in this house, in rooms right next to each other. I could hear every move he made. Whatever he needed, I would provide for him. What he did during those days was pray. That's what he did. That's his point of origin. He didn't go to the movies, go out on a date, or entertain a bunch of people. He just talked to God.

Just so this is not misconstrued, this does not mean that he demanded everyone follow his religion. But he was profoundly religious himself.

Back to the question of teachers and students:

One time my teacher, in an off-handed moment mentioned that my kicking wasn't so good. I joined a muay thai gym for several years.
Another time, he said that my grappling skill was lousy. I trained in judo for a number of years.
He never once told me how to do a technique. He just told me over and over how terrible I was. So I watched him carefully. And learned to do things as he did.

So I have little sympathy for the complaint that someone is not a good teacher.

(And that said, that Dan, Mike, Ark, to name just three, are so willing to articulate their understanding of these principles, and go about attempting to explicitly present their understanding for others' edification, is quite a remarkable development in the history of internal martial arts. Something worth checking out - if only to confirm that one's own path is sufficient).

Ellis Amdur

Tim Ruijs
11-14-2011, 06:11 AM
@ Ellis
Your examples of what your teacher did, show the type of teacher you had: a good one.
Others will probably disagree because he did not explain what you had to do, but only showed what you were not doing. Students expect their teacher to solve their problem and tell it to them (consumer mentality).
A good teacher challenges you to solve the problem he presents....

Demetrio Cereijo
11-14-2011, 07:09 AM
Training with people from other arts is a great way to test one's assumptions, with a particular eye to finding blind spots in one's own training. Many possible lessons are available, but the ones most relevant to the post I was responding to include:
* The realization that good attackers don't actually unbalance themselves much, if at all, when they attack. This challenges the assumption that the energy of an attack makes it "easy" to unbalance the attacker.
* The realization that actually completing an irimi entry against a non-compliant attacker is not a trivial matter, and potentially creates many opportunities for reversals and followup strikes.
* The realization that merely getting behind someone does not, in fact, necessarily give you control of their balance.

Katherine

Something is rotten in Denmark when looking outside for things like the ones you mentioned is needed.

OTOH, Ellis quote of Dobson regarding Ueshiba's power reminded me this other one from Homma:

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

SteveTrinkle
11-14-2011, 07:30 AM
@ Ellis
Your examples of what your teacher did, show the type of teacher you had: a good one.
Others will probably disagree because he did not explain what you had to do, but only showed what you were not doing. Students expect their teacher to solve their problem and tell it to them (consumer mentality).
A good teacher challenges you to solve the problem he presents....

This also, and perhaps more importantly (given that the teacher actually has the skills), shows what kind of student the teacher had.

Tim Ruijs
11-14-2011, 07:47 AM
This also, and perhaps more importantly (given that the teacher actually has the skills), shows what kind of student the teacher had.

Agreed completely. Every teacher attracts the students he deserves....every student is with the teacher he deserves...

hughrbeyer
11-14-2011, 09:46 AM
I like Ellis' story. Reminds me of the time when I sat down in front of my teacher and said, "So. I'm slow, I don't know when I'm open, and I punch like your grandmother. Am I right?"

I think he was a little worried and at first tried to make sure I wasn't feeling discouraged, but those were all things he'd said to me and in the end he admitted that I was right.

Which was fine. I had the idea of studying boxing as a way of dealing with the specific problems he'd raised and wanted to check it out with him. But that's what I want from a teacher--someone who will be harder on my failings than I am. That's how I learn.

kewms
11-14-2011, 11:04 AM
Something is rotten in Denmark when looking outside for things like the ones you mentioned is needed.

Well, yes. That's my point: that many aikidoka are not aware of their training assumptions and blind spots.

As it happens, I've been fortunate in that the dojos where I've trained have always had a decent number of people with training in other arts. I got smacked in the nose by a karateka just the other night, in fact. Totally my fault, and a valuable reminder.

Katherine

Chris Knight
11-14-2011, 11:16 AM
opened a can of worms here i think.... any advice on my original post??
game of badminton perhaps?

some excellent information being banded about though

my take on things from a novice aikidoka... i've constantly heard that in a pressurised situation aikido doesn't resemble any kind of technique when performed correctly.. O Sensei's techniques (obviously not just his) and teachings, are these performed large and slow at first and statically for a beginner and then should these techniques become smaller and smaller trying to internalise these movements until they become part of our body movement, and the outward movements become less and less until they aren't obvious externally?? if that makes any sense whatsoever lol - that surely would tie in with chinese internal philosophy and explain why SOME exponents regard ueshiba's aikido as internal?? was he trying to show this all along??

SteveTrinkle
11-14-2011, 01:01 PM
Agreed completely. Every teacher attracts the students he deserves....every student is with the teacher he deserves...
Mmmm... that's not what I meant really, I was thinking more along the lines of how I can consistantly strive to be a better student.....

kewms
11-14-2011, 01:16 PM
O Sensei's techniques (obviously not just his) and teachings, are these performed large and slow at first and statically for a beginner and then should these techniques become smaller and smaller trying to internalise these movements until they become part of our body movement, and the outward movements become less and less until they aren't obvious externally??

Yes and no, IMO. On one hand, learning big movements is important for developing the free movement and lightness that is essential to good aikido. Once you can do that, your technique can get smaller and smaller *without* being muscular. On the other hand, the big flowing technique doesn't actually work (without a cooperating uke) without a lot of skills that beginners just don't have.

Likewise, static practice is useful because it gives you the time to really feel what's going on, but it can easily reinforce bad habits.

Katherine

Ken McGrew
11-14-2011, 03:44 PM
Oddly enough, here I am in another Aikido dojo, making friends, laughing my butt off, and they.....are reading this guys opinions...and laughing their butts off at dinner. They are ASU, they train with Ikeda and they want me back in the spring. No one recognizes any validity in this fellow's words.
I will continue to dialogue with those interested in truth, over agenda.

Dan

Once again we have Dan making insults towards myself as "lesser" student and referring to students in ASU as an authority, that I am not only mistaken but mistaken as far as Saotome Sensei would believe. This is a very dishonest way to deflect criticism of the claims that Dan and his supporters have made. These ASU students mind you haven't commented. At this point they must. They are allowing Dan to misrepresent the teaching of Saotome Sensei. Unnamed though they are, we know who he is implying that they are given his relationship with them. This is not acceptable.

I am presenting the teachings of Saotome Sensei as they were given to him by O Sensei. If these students in ASU haven't studied Saotome Sensei properly, his books and videos as well as the things he tells us, then they should do so. If it has been many years, then they should read his books again. Sensei has a new book out in Japanese about the teachings of O Sensei that will surely contradict Chris. Will they believe Dan and Chris or will they believe Sensei? Do they support what Dan has just said that they said, or has he embellished? They should not allow Dan to distort his teachings by implying that I have not presented them properly. I have studied Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei's teachings very carefully, including books and narration from their videos, and have obtained confirmation in conversations with them that my understanding of what they have said is correct. Every student has an obligation to do the same. I have experienced what I take to be Dan's influence in ASU Aikido. I do not think it is a good influence for us as it goes against what our teacher is giving us. Let me quote from Saotome Sensei, which is what I've been doing all along mind you:

"During Aikido training, the instructor will demonstrate a technique for study. Everyone will practice that same technique, so everyone understands the movement of defense that is to be used. With this knowledge it is easy for the uke... to anticipate the movement and stop it. Stopping your partner's technique in this manner is dishonest and STRICTLY FORBIDDEN [my emphasis]. Each technique is designed so that a specific style and direction of force may be experienced and studied. AIKIDO TECHNIQUE DEPENDS ON BLENDING WITH THE FORCE OF THE ATTACK [my emphasis]. IT IS THAT FORCE WHICH DETERMINES THE MOVEMENT [my emphasis. Here is support for my stating that Aikido should not stop the energy of the attack and that even taking the center is not always necessary]. If Uke holds back the necessary force, there cannot be an exchange of the training experience and that technical application cannot be explored. Each attack must be completely committed, given honestly from your center to your partner's center with a fresh mind and sporty. The attack is given each time with full concentration, as though it were the first time and the only time. Now is now" (Harmony of Nature) - This speaks to training process, and many other things that I have reported.

"As your extended arm meets the attack, it is done with the spirit of Kokyu ho, without conflict, without impact. You must first connect with the attacking arm by joining its direction. Then subtly change that direction with the continuous rolling motion of a spiral, bringing both energies into accord. This is musubi" (Harmony of Nature) - there is no talk here of stopping the attack then throwing with internal unbalancing or whatever it is that Dan and company call Aiki. For Saotome Sensei, at least ideally, there is no separation between blending and throwing. Sensei shows an irimi nage, for example, in which nage responds to the strike by spiraling up until Uke is lifted off the ground and falls.

"In an old Jujutsu technique very similar to the shihonage of Aikido, the first movement was a punch to break the ribs. The jujutsuka would then pivot under the enemy's arm, barring it across his shoulder. The accompanying twist would separate the shoulder and break the elbow and the wrist. The throw itself would probably crush the enemy's skull as his head was driven into the ground. Very difficult to control and therefore difficult to practice, this technique was developed to kill the enemy.

When O Sensei organized his training process, he saw his technique through enlightened eyes. He saw the possibility of an even greater power through more harmonious movement, and a way to practice the technique safely without restricting its rhythm. With the joints bent in the natural flow of the body movement, it need not maim or kill, but would just as effectively control and aggression...

Although people often get the impression that much of Aikido technique is the refinement of old jujutsu technique, the rhythm and consciousness of Aikido are based on the movement of the sword, the spear, and the staff" (Harmony of Nature) - here is the source of my statements about not threatening the joints lulling Uke into cooperation.

"As you study the movement of Ikkyo, you must be aware, not only of your own center and your partner's center, but also of the center that is developed by the relations between the two of you. The center of the relationship is the de-ai, the meeting. Before the physical contact, you must understand this center and control it with your movement. As the attack begins, your movement begins, your movement begins. If your partner is truly attacking and committed, he will follow" (Harmony of Nature) - in other words, body positioning and leading. This talks of joining with the attacker, so it is not only in Nage, "body conditioning," as Dan and others have stated, at least not according to Sensei. The importance of body positioning leading is often stressed by Ikeda Sensei (who leads in a very subtle manner), Saotome Sensei, and was stressed in conversations I have recently had with high ranking instructors in ASU.

I can go on at length. Point to anything I've stated in this discussion and I can quickly reference support in Saotome Sensei's books and videos, as well as Ikeda Sensei's public videos (yes including his discussion of internal balance breaking), my private collection of videos and photos from seminars, and my conversations with them.

This is not about me, this is about whether Dan and company will be allowed to make the claims that they make about Aiki and Aikido, and about their knowing the real Aiki of O Sensei, more so that "modern" Aikido instructors like Saotome Sensei. You can see from Dan's posts, which I will quote again below, that what we have here is Daito-ryu attempting to infiltrate post-war Aikido as revenge for what they took to be O Sensei's theft. The only question is whether we will help him/them to do so.

Ofcourse Dan and company are slippery. They will claim that the power they are teaching is the power of Daito-ryu one moment and then when challenged they will pretend they never made the claim. Even the notion of Aiki which they allude to seems to be different from the notion of Aiki that Takeda Sensei had: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aiki_(martial_arts_principle)

It is Dan and company who made all the outlandish claims that they cannot back up with evidence, argument, and logic. They were not forced to do so. I have not taken Dan's positions out of context. I have responded to what he says and what his students say. Here, again, are Dan's words:

Spin off of the latest discussion in the Bill Gleason/ Popkin thread on the continuing Aikido or Non aikido aiki debate and what is or isn't aiki when it is taught...and where is can be placed on aikiweb.

Since more and more top aikido people are going outside of aikido to learn aiki, it's not going to matter in the long run.
I have charted a course for my own involvement in teaching IP/aiki which I always stated it was a three to five year plan, with predictions of behavior.
The plan and events as I saw them
1. First, discussion of it. "Those outside people don't really understand the aiki of aikido."
2. Aikido students go feel it, recognize they missed it and they are not allowed to train in their home dojos.
3. Aikido teachers are shown it. They can't do a thing to the guys who actually have it. They see they missed it. They create an environment to train it and they start to teach it. They tell everyone "These outside guys are doing the aiki of aikido!!"
4. They start to get it a little bit and their students do as well.
5. As their bodies change and their mind/ body awareness improves, they convince themselves they actually had more of it then they first thought (forgetting the evidence of their obvious initial failures)
6. As they get better because of going outside, they think the people they went outside to get it from aren't as good as they once thought.
7..In time they convince themselves and their students that everything they wanted was there all along and they already knew it, those outside guys just reminded them.

Then, full circle in the near future
8. The new narrative appears. The people who were given aiki from the outside guys now take it back into the art and they say to their students. Those outside people are good but ....
they don't really understand the aiki of aikido."

It's only a matter of time. This is just the predictable path for the best budo people. Most of whom are self motived and self disciplined people. All input will eventually become self-awareness and self-actualization. They cannot help but to follow a process more or less along the lines of;
That guys amazing
I can't do that,
I am learning to do that,
My teachers did that
I forgot I already knew all that
That guy was a bit of an influence on me

Precedent
Ueshiba, meets Takeda. When they met, he cried from being totally dominated.
Twenty three years under Takeda- Ueshiba gets power. This was all based on and witnessed to be from...Takeda.
What do we get
What he says "Takeda opened my eyes to true budo...."
What he does hands out Daito ryu scrolls with a changed name, and refused to pay the fees he promised...and walked away into a world pointing to his vision..

I am a realist. What these aikido teachers are doing is going to change aikido. It is changing aikido, but in the end it is going to turn back to ownership from within...aikido. So, for me it's best to remain a nobody and just help when I am asked and watch it all unfold with interest. It appears that everyone has a shield or added layer in what they say on the net or say behind closed doors. For some strange reason, what they say and what they can actually do in person is...not always the same. I suspect it's always been that way.

So is this the aiki in aikido? You just might find that it's not only who you ask, but also when you ask them.

Standing on the outside and enjoying the view.
Dan

Aikido: Discussions of power
I would like to open with a discussion of O sensei by his son, Kisshomaru in... "A life in Aikido."
After a recent seminar, I was reading and reflecting on a direction, and and the continued discovery of the ignorance of such basics as the warm up exercises in the art and how and why they were done, what they were for and what they were meant to deliver to the adept.
_________________
"...since O sensei had made his search for the true path of Aiki the center of his life, I don't think these "legendary feats" were all he intended to do. But since Aikido was still at an early stage, I think he used these feats as a means to explain and promote Aikido to the masses, who might not easily acknowledge it without power or the proof of power. In other words, my sense is that O sensei's legendary feats were intended not only to demonstrate or show off what he could do, but to create and opportunity for the introduction of a true martial art.
O sensei could use some rather dramatic methods to show what Takemusu Aiki...was."
_________________

I think this stands in stark contrast to what has become of the art in the hands of those who thought to pursue it's higher goals without the means to deliver as martial artists. It strains credibility to be copying the trappings of a martial art without the means to deliver. And apparently the more one researches and reads, the more one discovers that the arts founder not only shared the same view, but stressed it continually.

Of interest, in the same chapter, We find a discussion of Kito ryu as the study of In yo ho, with direct correlation to Ueshiba's pursuit in Daito ryu's aiki in yo ho, with the advice that one cannot pursue one or the other, but must maintain the union of opposites to be effective. This lines up with the new translations currently taking place and those, fit in well with the Chinese models. Yet we hear these same sayings (which the non-aikido people understand)... were un-intelligible to those students of Aikido who would become the Japanese teachers the Aikido community is currently following.

I think that nothing has changed from the post war taking over of Kisshomaru to today. I believe O sensei's famous entry comment "This is not my Aikido" into the post war dojo, would be used upon his entry into the majority of modern dojo, were he alive today. I keep hearing this assessment stated by Shihan and teachers I am meeting. "I think we missed it." "I do not believe that we would withstand O sensei's scrutiny of our methods today." I think O sensei, would no doubt agree. For most, they cannot enter into an informed discussion on the tenets of in yo ho and how it applies to effective movement, much less how it would be the cornerstone of soft power in a martial art based on Aiki. It appears that once they experience aiki and the ability to generate power, they now agree that were O sensei to re-enter the picture today, his entry would sunder the Aikdo community, as many, if not most, would have to re-wire or leave. In other words, his re-entry would turn modern Aikido on its head.

Against outside pressure, Ueshiba's pursuit of effective power as the core of Aikido would withstand the current demands, would withstand critical review for internal power and aiki and he would in fact, get along with and have more in common with those pursuing that as the foundation of their aikido than the current methods of the majority practicing the art.
Thoughts?
Dan

He did say what he was searching for so it doesn't really need much speculation unless you didn't understand him.

What makes the softest aiki...is power
What generates control of others force into you that feels ghosty soft...is power.
What makes deadly atemi is power.
Most martial artists, do not understand power, which give those that do...power over them.
It is not about strength for force on force. Continually bringing it up shows how far people are off from understanding their own founders message.
Using small effort to move a large force requires power unseen or felt.
Using 5 and 5 to defeat ten is power unseen.
7 and 3 to defeat ten requires power unseen.
The source of that power is Aiki in yo ho.

Takeda knew it
Sagawa trained it and talked about it
"However closely you watch my Aiki from the outside you will not understand. That's because I remove the power from my opponent through internal movements that do not show in the outer form. Now I am able to remove the enemy's power no matter where on my body I am grabbed. The source of this begins from a simple principle,(aiki in yo ho) but nobody understands. You can see whether somebody understands by watching their Aiki-age."

Ueshiba trained it and talked about it
Henry (Kono) asked O-sensei "Why can we not do what you do, Sensei?" O-Sensei's reply was direct, simple and final, "Because you don't understand in yo ho."
"In order to achieve the mysterious workings of ki based upon intent, first realize the appearance of the foundation that is the ki connection (ki musubi) between the left side of the physical body grounded in the martial and the right that receives the universe. If you can achieve this connection between the left and the right then you will be able to move with complete freedom."
"Manifest yo (yang) in the right hand, change the left hand to in (yin) and guide the opponent."
"The way of the mountain echo is intent, standing in the center of the connection between the ki of heaven and the ki of the earth."

Tohei trained it and talked about it
Shirata trained it and talked about it
How you are meant to use it is the mystery that people do not understand. It is the source of aiki in-yo-ho. The very foundation of the entire art of Aikido....is power.

In his own words
Interestingly enough, Many of Ueshiba's commentaries are borrowed from Daito ryu and the Chinese arts. Some are almost word for word. In essence many of his Doka; Yin and Yang hand, dual opposing spirals, Six directions, Heaven/earth/man, mountain echo, are not his, they are concepts all borrowed from other arts.
And they were given to a student based completely incapable of even translating them correctly, much less defining and doing what he was apparently continually talking about.
When they were asked why they mistranslated, or skipped over translating these phrases on movement that were so dear to your founder that he repeated them over and over and are commonplace to about a million people, they said..
"We had no idea what they meant."
And they....became your teachers.

I agree with Both Sagawa and Ueshiba who is worth quoting again.
"Why can we not do what you do, Sensei?" O-Sensei's reply was direct, simple and final, "Because you don't understand in yo ho."

And Sagawa "All you need do is watch someone do aki age and you know if they understand in yo ho."
If you are not doing aiki in yo ho, you are not doing Aikido (the way of aiki). Ueshiba was right, it really is that simple.

Dan

Chinese: Yin yang
Japanese- in yo ho (method) yes it is a method.
By definition it is not about power dominating...
But you would have to understand what in yo ho means.
Which was more or less my point.

As I stated
Teachers in aikido don't get what their own founder was saying. It's not their fault, apparently it just isn't taught anymore, hence Ikeda going to Karate and Daito ryu to get it, others going elsewhere. I have read just about everything in English and it isn't there. It isn't in the interviews with the arts teachers. I now know the translators didn't know how to translate it correctly. They don't know the meaning of his terms, and they still don't understand his contextual referencing. As it was then, it is now, to the modern teachers...it's pretty much gobbledegook.

Some of us from...outside, are helping to fix this. Outside of Aikido -as aikido teachers attending seminars with teachers from other arts like the ICMA are finding out- this stuff is known. As one group of ICMA guys said to some aikido teachers: "Your art is a soft art, how come you guys don't know this stuff, what have you been doing?"

So we are trying hard to get the word out to aikido-ka, by reading it to them (their own translations are incorrect), teaching them where it came from, what it means, why their founder kept talking about it over and over and over and show them the same quotes from across the sea. Then we show them how to do it, and why it was important. So far it seems the teachers like it and find it important. Plus they get reading suggestions to awaken them to a world their founder was pointing to that they thought was indecipherable. It's one of the benefits of going out to learn.

As for in yo ho, as has been pointed out (but only to certain teachers) in watching Ueshiba videos....(and as Sagawa said) "You can see it instantly."
Hell, at certain points it was like Ueshiba was daring you. "Hey...look at me!" it was so obvious.
Dan

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote:
Dan
I have tried to find more on Aiki in yo ho, but nothing much came up. But from waht I have found:
Do I understand correctly it is about being able to become the link that neutralizes yin yang between your attacker and the universe ? Balance out yin yang? (do not know how to describe it better)
The power would be more about ability than actual strength...
You won't find anything.
Aiki is a method, resolving in yo within and without you.
It is more complex than the typical nonsense of doing things; like timing and power displays between you and an attacker.
Aiki begins in you, is perfected within you, otherwise everything you try to do with an opponent that creates kuzushi on contact will fail.
The type of strength produced is not what most people understand and or know how to develop, and for that matter know how to cope with. The dilapidated state of Sagawa-where he couldn't open a jar-is not a requirement. Most people I meet still have this weird notion that "soft" means evading or running away.
a) that is not soft, and it is unsupported
b) it does not exhibit yin yang
They just don't know how to produce power without flexing muscle, so they opt for that evading stuff and call that "Soft."
Interestingly, and in keeping with the tenor of the thread, the world outside of aikido, has tracked that type of understanding for hundreds of years and have discredited it as ...not being part of the "soft" arts. They also recognized that it was low level, that many can do it- as it requires no serious training or changing of the body. The changing of the body is the cornerstone of the soft arts and here we go again why O sensei said no one can do what I do, because you do not understand In yo ho.

Cheers
Dan

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote:
Dan
I have tried to find more on Aiki in yo ho, but nothing much came up. But from waht I have found:
Do I understand correctly it is about being able to become the link that neutralizes yin yang between your attacker and the universe ? Balance out yin yang? (do not know how to describe it better)
The power would be more about ability than actual strength...
You won't find anything.
Aiki is a method, resolving in yo within and without you.
It is more complex than the typical nonsense of doing things; like timing and power displays between you and an attacker.
Aiki begins in you, is perfected within you, otherwise everything you try to do with an opponent that creates kuzushi on contact will fail.
The type of strength produced is not what most people understand and or know how to develop, and for that matter know how to cope with. The dilapidated state of Sagawa-where he couldn't open a jar-is not a requirement. Most people I meet still have this weird notion that "soft" means evading or running away.
a) that is not soft, and it is unsupported
b) it does not exhibit yin yang
They just don't know how to produce power without flexing muscle, so they opt for that evading stuff and call that "Soft."
Interestingly, and in keeping with the tenor of the thread, the world outside of aikido, has tracked that type of understanding for hundreds of years and have discredited it as ...not being part of the "soft" arts. They also recognized that it was low level, that many can do it- as it requires no serious training or changing of the body. The changing of the body is the cornerstone of the soft arts and here we go again why O sensei said no one can do what I do, because you do not understand In yo ho.

Cheers
Dan
The attempts to redefine aikido as ai..ki..do was a recent corruption.
Aiki..do is congruent with
Ken...do
Ju...do
Iai...do.
Nothing more.

kewms
11-14-2011, 04:03 PM
Familiar as you are with Saotome Sensei's teaching, surely you are well aware that he has no problem with those students of his who choose to study other arts as well? That senior instructors in his organization openly invite instructors from other arts to teach at their dojos, with no organizational consequences? That in fact instructors who have done so remain extremely respected within the ASU?

So why are you misrepresenting *his* position on outside influences?

As for the rest of the post, it is very easy to win an argument when you take both sides. You are taking message board posts out of the context of what Dan actually teaches -- of which you remain proudly ignorant -- using them to define a straw man, and then walloping that straw man for all it's worth. Meanwhile, you have resolutely ignored every attempt to actually discuss the merits of your argument, retreating again and again to an appeal to an authority (Saotome Sensei) who as far as I can tell does not actually support your position.

Katherine

Ken McGrew
11-14-2011, 04:06 PM
Ellis,

I can't do this particular irimi nage. I have only seen Saotome Sensei do it this well and O Sensei who does this technique several times on video. And as I stated earlier, Saotome Sensei DID teach us how to work towards getting this technique. What he taught us contradicts much of what I've read in this discussion. The approach you and others are advancing will never allow you to master this technique, at least according to Saotome Sensei. That's why I mentioned it. Also because it is an example of how Aikido differs from Date-ryu.

I never met Dobson Sensei. Several of my instructors and Sempi were very familiar with his Aikido and thought. I have been privy to unpublished interviews with Dobson Sensei that you have not seen. Nothing I have said contradicts what Dobson Sensei came to believe about Aikido.

There is an orthodoxy in the yo ho internal stuff that is being described here. Saotome Sensei is against orthodoxy. O Sensei was against orthodoxy. There are principles and their are general rules. There are exceptions. For example, the internal approach being advocated by Dan and company requires a strict notion of posture. I'm not saying that they are stiff or rigid. But they oppose leaning. I've been corrected in recent years by teachers who I believe have been influenced by Dan. Here's the problem, I have multiple screen shots of O Sensei, Saotome Sensei, and other high level Aikido practitioners engaging in strategic leaning. Ikeda sensei teaches this as a way to avoid the face punch as part of his tenkan. Despite the claims of Dan and others I am simply not as clueless about what they are doing and what my teachers are teaching as they'd like the world to believe.

Who cares if Saotome dropped a "karate expert." Did he teach you to do it? Or what I'm increasingly thinking, what's wrong with you as a student if your teacher manifests something and you can't learn it? All this talk about Osensei being a lousy teacher. Really? How about lousy students? Who then only have refuge in talking about the wonderful things their teacher can do.

Lest there be any confusion, Ken's example is merely a singular of a myriad.

Ellis Amdur

kewms
11-14-2011, 04:06 PM
You can see from Dan's posts, which I will quote again below, that what we have here is Daito-ryu attempting to infiltrate post-war Aikido as revenge for what they took to be O Sensei's theft. The only question is whether we will help him/them to do so.

Wow. Just ... wow.

Katherine

Ken McGrew
11-14-2011, 04:08 PM
Your posts are not serious.

Familiar as you are with Saotome Sensei's teaching, surely you are well aware that he has no problem with those students of his who choose to study other arts as well? That senior instructors in his organization openly invite instructors from other arts to teach at their dojos, with no organizational consequences? That in fact instructors who have done so remain extremely respected within the ASU?

So why are you misrepresenting *his* position on outside influences?

As for the rest of the post, it is very easy to win an argument when you take both sides. You are taking message board posts out of the context of what Dan actually teaches -- of which you remain proudly ignorant -- using them to define a straw man, and then walloping that straw man for all it's worth. Meanwhile, you have resolutely ignored every attempt to actually discuss the merits of your argument, retreating again and again to an appeal to an authority (Saotome Sensei) who as far as I can tell does not actually support your position.

Katherine

Ken McGrew
11-14-2011, 04:09 PM
Wow. Just ... wow.

Katherine

He refers to the false claim that O Sensei failed to pay Takeda Sensei what he was owed. Why do you think he makes this claim? Why bring that up.

Again, you are not serious. You try to score petty points based on typos and so forth.

kewms
11-14-2011, 04:11 PM
There is an orthodoxy in the yo ho internal stuff that is being described here. Saotome Sensei is against orthodoxy. O Sensei was against orthodoxy.

You do realize that your frequent appeals to those authorities are the very definition of orthodoxy, right?

I would also suggest that advanced practitioners -- in any art -- can often do things that would be monumentally stupid for less advanced practitioners to even attempt. That's why teaching progressions exist.

Katherine

Ken McGrew
11-14-2011, 04:13 PM
I don't want to let you distract from the point here.

Dan has accused me of misrepresenting the teachings of Saotome Sensei. He says that senior students of Saotome Sensei who are training with him this weekend don't recognize Saotome Sensei in the things I've stated in this discussion. My quotes of Saotome Sensei demonstrate conclusively that my positions were taken directly from him. So which is true? Did these senior students say what Dan says they said? If so, did they fail to understand the teachings of Saotome Sensei, or did Dan misrepresent what was said?

Dan's accusation against me is the greatest insult. I have not and would not misrepresent Sensei's teachings.

Familiar as you are with Saotome Sensei's teaching, surely you are well aware that he has no problem with those students of his who choose to study other arts as well? That senior instructors in his organization openly invite instructors from other arts to teach at their dojos, with no organizational consequences? That in fact instructors who have done so remain extremely respected within the ASU?

So why are you misrepresenting *his* position on outside influences?

As for the rest of the post, it is very easy to win an argument when you take both sides. You are taking message board posts out of the context of what Dan actually teaches -- of which you remain proudly ignorant -- using them to define a straw man, and then walloping that straw man for all it's worth. Meanwhile, you have resolutely ignored every attempt to actually discuss the merits of your argument, retreating again and again to an appeal to an authority (Saotome Sensei) who as far as I can tell does not actually support your position.

Katherine

kewms
11-14-2011, 04:14 PM
He refers to the false claim that O Sensei failed to pay Takeda Sensei what he was owed. Why do you think he makes this claim? Why bring that up.

Again, you are not serious. You try to score petty points based on typos and so forth.

Accusing Dan -- who claims no rank in Daito Ryu -- of spearheading a conspiracy to infiltrate aikido is hardly a typo. Too ridiculous to deserve comment, but not a typo. If you don't want to be held accountable for accusations like that one, don't make them.

Katherine

Ken McGrew
11-14-2011, 04:21 PM
I have repeatedly stated that internal work is good. I have repeatedly stated that what Dan does may be very good and may be useful at times to Aikido. I have repeatedly stated that one should generally connect with the center. I have merely argued, technically speaking, that there are other sides to Aikido. It is Dan, yourself, and others who have said these other sides are merely tricks. I am not the one being orthodox.

I have opposed the claims about the origins of Aikido and the claims that Aikido teachers since O Sensei were not doing real Aiki. Here there can be no multiple truths.

You do realize that your frequent appeals to those authorities are the very definition of orthodoxy, right?

I would also suggest that advanced practitioners -- in any art -- can often do things that would be monumentally stupid for less advanced practitioners to even attempt. That's why teaching progressions exist.

Katherine

kewms
11-14-2011, 04:22 PM
Dan has accused me of misrepresenting the teachings of Saotome Sensei. He says that senior students of Saotome Sensei who are training with him this weekend don't recognize Saotome Sensei in the things I've stated in this discussion. My quotes of Saotome Sensei demonstrate conclusively that my positions were taken directly from him. So which is true? Did these senior students say what Dan says they said? If so, did they fail to understand the teachings of Saotome Sensei, or did Dan misrepresent what was said?

I was not at the San Francisco seminar this weekend, and will not speculate on what was or was not said, or by whom.

I was at a different seminar, taught by one ASU rokudan and attended by another. Neither of them seems to see any particular conflict between Saotome Sensei's positions and their work with Dan. Both of them remain ASU instructors and dojo-cho in good standing. So clearly their interpretation is different from yours, and equally clearly Saotome Sensei is okay with that.

Katherine

Ken McGrew
11-14-2011, 04:24 PM
Accusing Dan -- who claims no rank in Daito Ryu -- of spearheading a conspiracy to infiltrate aikido is hardly a typo. Too ridiculous to deserve comment, but not a typo. If you don't want to be held accountable for accusations like that one, don't make them.

Katherine

It's not a conspiracy. It's an 8 stage process that he outlined. He is restoring Aikido to the pre-war glory of whatever. This is an old argument rehashed in new language. This is Daito-ryu, Yoshinkan, Saito Sensei all making the old claims about "modern" Aikido being fake, Etc.

The things that you take to be fake are the parts that O Sensei added to make Aikido different and better, not worse.

kewms
11-14-2011, 04:24 PM
I have repeatedly stated that internal work is good. I have repeatedly stated that what Dan does may be very good and may be useful at times to Aikido. I have repeatedly stated that one should generally connect with the center. I have merely argued, technically speaking, that there are other sides to Aikido. It is Dan, yourself, and others who have said these other sides are merely tricks. I am not the one being orthodox.

I have not said any such thing. Please provide a quote or retract your statement.

Katherine

kewms
11-14-2011, 04:26 PM
The things that you take to be fake are the parts that O Sensei added to make Aikido different and better, not worse.

Again, I have personally made no claims that any aspect of modern aikido is fake. Please provide a quote or retract your statement.

Katherine

Ken McGrew
11-14-2011, 04:29 PM
I was not at the San Francisco seminar this weekend, and will not speculate on what was or was not said, or by whom.

I was at a different seminar, taught by one ASU rokudan and attended by another. Neither of them seems to see any particular conflict between Saotome Sensei's positions and their work with Dan. Both of them remain ASU instructors and dojo-cho in good standing. So clearly their interpretation is different from yours, and equally clearly Saotome Sensei is okay with that.

Katherine

Again, you engage in a dishonest argument.

I have demonstrated that I am not misrepresenting what Saotome Sensei said. This is a matter of honor at this point. It has nothing to do with the fact that Sensei allows us to train other arts. Sensei is not on the internet and his ability to read English is limited. To the extent that people are teaching not to do the blending and joining that Sensei shows, then I don't think he'd be ok with that. STRICTLY FORBIDDEN. It is Dan who claimed to be backed up by Saotome Sensei, or rather claimed that I did not know what I was talking about regarding Saotome Sensei's teachings, it is his claim that I am forced to respond to.

Blending and body positioning are said to be tricks. Saotome Sensei says they are part and parcel with Aiki. So there is a conflict here.

Ken McGrew
11-14-2011, 04:30 PM
Again, I have personally made no claims that any aspect of modern aikido is fake. Please provide a quote or retract your statement.

Katherine

Yes you have. You have stated that body positioning does not work. Do you think people won't remember? You are simply not trying to engage in an honest discussion.

Ken McGrew
11-14-2011, 04:31 PM
Training with people from other arts is a great way to test one's assumptions, with a particular eye to finding blind spots in one's own training. Many possible lessons are available, but the ones most relevant to the post I was responding to include:
* The realization that good attackers don't actually unbalance themselves much, if at all, when they attack. This challenges the assumption that the energy of an attack makes it "easy" to unbalance the attacker.
* The realization that actually completing an irimi entry against a non-compliant attacker is not a trivial matter, and potentially creates many opportunities for reversals and followup strikes.
* The realization that merely getting behind someone does not, in fact, necessarily give you control of their balance.

Katherine

Here's a quote. The body positioning being a part of "modern Aikido." No retraction warranted.

kewms
11-14-2011, 04:33 PM
Yes you have. You have stated that body positioning does not work. Do you think people won't remember? You are simply not trying to engage in an honest discussion.

Please provide a quote, and ideally a link to the post.

If I recall correctly, I said that more than body positioning is going on. That is very different from the claim that modern aikido is fake.

Katherine

kewms
11-14-2011, 04:35 PM
Here's a quote. The body positioning being a part of "modern Aikido." No retraction warranted.

The word "fake" does not appear in that post. The word "body positioning" does not appear in that post.

Moreover, the post is a discussion of my own personal experiences, and makes no claim about all of "modern Aikido." There are lots of things that my teachers can do that I can't. Admitting that I personally find an action challenging is certainly not the same thing as claiming that it is impossible, or that people who appear to be doing it are "faking."

I'll look forward to your retraction. Until I get it, we are done.

Katherine

Keith Larman
11-14-2011, 04:36 PM
Ken, have you considered simply contacting Saotome and passing on your concerns about how so many of his high ranking people here are hanging out with Dan? I understand he (Saotome) will be teaching in Florida in December.

For the life of me I can't understand why you're getting so worked up about this here. Obviously, if you're correct, a whole lot of the very highest ranked folk here are doing stuff that is in direct violation of Saotome's teachings. If that's the case you should probably be speaking privately with the powers that be.

Of course the other option would be that maybe there is more subtlety here than your understanding of Saotome's words will allow and maybe in that case Saotome (or one of his representatives) may be able to help clarify matters for you.

Regardless, as a fella happily *not* involved with your group, it does look like you are valiantly trying to defend what you take to be the orthodoxy of your sensei. Maybe you should toss these concerns up the chain of command and let them deal with it in a quieter, more professional manner.

Honestly, untwist those knickers and let the folk who are in charge know about it. Then maybe they can provide some clarity on the issue for all involved.

But... I got no dog in this one. Carry on.

Ken McGrew
11-14-2011, 04:36 PM
Please provide a quote, and ideally a link to the post.

If I recall correctly, I said that more than body positioning is going on. That is very different from the claim that modern aikido is fake.

Katherine

Doesn't work = fake. I have in no way misrepresented your meaning. You are not engaging in an honest debate. You try to distract and change the subject. You are trying to bury my response to dan in these exchanges. I'll bump it if I have to. Dan needs to retract his claims about my statements about Aikido having no relationship to the teachings of Saotome Sensei.

ChrisMoses
11-14-2011, 04:37 PM
Great post. I made it to the end but will gladly buy YOU a tasty adult beverage should we ever meet. :)

Gotta say, it's kind of funny to come back to AW forums and see the SAME conversation going on that (many of us) have been having for many years now...

EDIT: this was in response to Hugh Beyer's excellent post, (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=296684&postcount=192) that wasn't clear in the quick post I did.

Ken McGrew
11-14-2011, 04:39 PM
They claim that they know what Aiki should be and that modern Aikido practitioners are not engaging in. I mention a direct student of O Sensei to counter their claims about Aiki, Aikido, and O Sensei. They say my understanding of Saotome Sensei's teachings are wrong because his students train with Dan. Therefore my understanding of Aiki remains wrong. It is not I who went down this road.

Ken, have you considered simply contacting Saotome and passing on your concerns about how so many of his high ranking people here are hanging out with Dan? I understand he (Saotome) will be teaching in Florida in December.

For the life of me I can't understand why you're getting so worked up about this here. Obviously, if you're correct, a whole lot of the very highest ranked folk here are doing stuff that is in direct violation of Saotome's teachings. If that's the case you should probably be speaking privately with the powers that be.

Of course the other option would be that maybe there is more subtlety here than your understanding of Saotome's words will allow.

Regardless, as a fella happily *not* involved with your group, it does look like you are valiantly trying to defend what you take to be the orthodoxy of your sensei. Maybe you should toss these concerns up the chain of command and let them deal with it in a quieter, more professional manner.

Honestly, untwist those knickers and let the folk who are in charge know about it. Then maybe they can provide some clarity on the issue for all involved.

But... I got no dog in this one. Carry on.

Marc Abrams
11-14-2011, 04:43 PM
Ken, have you considered simply contacting Saotome and passing on your concerns about how so many of his high ranking people here are hanging out with Dan? I understand he (Saotome) will be teaching in Florida in December.

For the life of me I can't understand why you're getting so worked up about this here. Obviously, if you're correct, a whole lot of the very highest ranked folk here are doing stuff that is in direct violation of Saotome's teachings. If that's the case you should probably be speaking privately with the powers that be.

Of course the other option would be that maybe there is more subtlety here than your understanding of Saotome's words will allow.

Regardless, as a fella happily *not* involved with your group, it does look like you are valiantly trying to defend what you take to be the orthodoxy of your sensei. Maybe you should toss these concerns up the chain of command and let them deal with it in a quieter, more professional manner.

Honestly, untwist those knickers and let the folk who are in charge know about it. Then maybe they can provide some clarity on the issue for all involved.

But... I got no dog in this one. Carry on.

Keith:

ditto. This guy is not even a direct student of Saotome Sensei and thinks that he knows enough about what Saotome Sensei says and does so as to defend his teacher's honor? I haven't seen such a clueless, hanging out of dirty/clean laundry in quite some time.... Kind of like driving by that accident on the side of the road....

Knowing Dan and some of Saotome Sensei's deshi personally, it is kind of amusing seeing how badly things can be distorted to fit someone's ill-defined, personal agenda.

Marc Abrams

Keith Larman
11-14-2011, 04:46 PM
They claim that they know what Aiki should be and that modern Aikido practitioners are not engaging in. I mention a direct student of O Sensei to counter their claims about Aiki, Aikido, and O Sensei. They say my understanding of Saotome Sensei's teachings are wrong because his students train with Dan. Therefore my understanding of Aiki remains wrong. It is not I who went down this road.

Yup, but all those folk are direct students of Saotome, neh? FWIW to me this looks like a gigantic poo slinging contest. And as an outsider I'll say it is rather unbecoming.

Again, many of these people you are talking about are direct and high ranked students of Saotome, the fella you're quoting to say they're wrong. I was simply suggesting that Saotome is the final "arbitrar" of right and wrong with respect to his words. Not you. Not them. Kick it up the chain and maybe they will clarify it for you all. Reading huge tomes about what Saotome "means" when he writes in relation to things Dan has written and things Saotome's direct students are doing in studying with Dan strikes me as rather silly when you could just ask the man directly.

But no need to reply to me, I ain't in your group and there's nothing in what I've learned with Dan and others that is in direct conflict with my particular branch of the Aikido lineage (Tohei offshoot). So carry on...

kewms
11-14-2011, 05:00 PM
Doesn't work = fake. I have in no way misrepresented your meaning.

Again, quote or retract.

Chris Knight
11-14-2011, 05:00 PM
And pause for breath. ....

Janet Rosen
11-14-2011, 05:20 PM
Jeez.
Well I was at the SF Seminar. We were never working on stopping anybody from doing anything, just providing just enough pressure per our partner's direction to give the partner enough of a challenge to work with but succeed - just as in good aikido training.
I am not and have never been a member of an ASU dojo. It happens the hosting dojo is an ASU dojo. I will say that the dojocho, a septuagenarian who has been training in aikido a good 50 years, was totally STOKED by the seminar, and saw nothing to contradict what Saotome Sensei or Ikeda Sensei do.

Ken McGrew
11-14-2011, 05:20 PM
Keith:

ditto. This guy is not even a direct student of Saotome Sensei and thinks that he knows enough about what Saotome Sensei says and does so as to defend his teacher's honor? I haven't seen such a clueless, hanging out of dirty/clean laundry in quite some time.... Kind of like driving by that accident on the side of the road....

Knowing Dan and some of Saotome Sensei's deshi personally, it is kind of amusing seeing how badly things can be distorted to fit someone's ill-defined, personal agenda.

Marc Abrams

My name is Ken.

Were Dan, Mark, and Chris direct students of Takeda Sensei, O Sensei, or Saotome Sensei? It is they and others who made various claims about their teachings. They can make claims based on written words, videos, and personal experience, but I can't. It's such a dishonest way of engaging in debate.

You'll need to read the discussion from start to finish to understand what has transpired.

raul rodrigo
11-14-2011, 05:21 PM
Marc was talking to Keith Larman, Ken.

raul rodrigo
11-14-2011, 05:27 PM
"You can see from Dan's posts, which I will quote again below, that what we have here is Daito-ryu attempting to infiltrate post-war Aikido as revenge for what they took to be O Sensei's theft. The only question is whether we will help him/them to do so."

Yes, let's help him do just that. :)

Ken McGrew
11-14-2011, 05:29 PM
Jeez.
Well I was at the SF Seminar. We were never working on stopping anybody from doing anything, just providing just enough pressure per our partner's direction to give the partner enough of a challenge to work with but succeed - just as in good aikido training.
I am not and have never been a member of an ASU dojo. It happens the hosting dojo is an ASU dojo. I will say that the dojocho, a septuagenarian who has been training in aikido a good 50 years, was totally STOKED by the seminar, and saw nothing to contradict what Saotome Sensei or Ikeda Sensei do.

Janet, as someone who was there, this is the closest ANYONE in all the posts I've researched going back to about 2005 has come to describing what Dan is teaching. Why not describe it to us in more detail?

I have never said that what I take Dan to be doing is contradictory to Aikido training, at least not at the level of exercise which develops skills that can be taken back into Aikido waza. Most of my posts have been in response to the claims about what and why Dan is doing what he is doing (though without detailed description provided).

You say it's complimentary and yet THEY describe it in terms that sound contradictory. Dan and Dan's supporters say that blending, leading, and body positioning are tricks and not real aiki as found in O Sensei's Aikido, why is it wrong to challenge the claim? Why is it wrong to question their evidence? Why can they cite having taken ukemi from Saotome Sensei at a seminar as if that sums him up and yet all my training with him, with his senior students, and with his teachings doesn't count?

Whether what they are doing is O Sensei's aiki, the claim that they make, should be a claim that can be tested. And it would seem to matter what the answer is. If they are right, we should all train with Dan. If they are wrong, then we may choose to train with Dan, but for different reasons than the ones he and his supporters have presented.

HL1978
11-14-2011, 05:38 PM
]It is very unusual to ban photos and videos from seminars. Without these all we can go by are the words that Dan and others have written. If we weren't supposed to debate their ideas why did they post them in a discussion forum? I have tried very hard to follow the arguments they are making. I'm good at doing that, by the way, I teach people how to do this at the highest levels. My initial posts asking for clarification were met with indignation and demands that I read all the old posts. I did. They are confusing and hard to read. I said so. I was asked to post specific question (it wasn't my idea) and I did so. The questions were not answered. They were reasonable questions. Then the insults started.

I can't speak for this being true in the aikido world, but in many other martial arts they may be out right banned, need prior permisson, or may be considered poor form. I've been to a number of seminars in japanese sword arts where they were discouraged (by the Japanese guest instructors), and other arts where they were banned. They were banned for two seminars I hosted as well.

Seminars run by americans had a lot more liberal take on the presence of cameras.

kewms
11-14-2011, 05:56 PM
I can't speak for this being true in the aikido world, but in many other martial arts they may be out right banned, need prior permisson, or may be considered poor form. I've been to a number of seminars in japanese sword arts where they were discouraged (by the Japanese guest instructors), and other arts where they were banned. They were banned for two seminars I hosted as well.

Seminars run by americans had a lot more liberal take on the presence of cameras.

In the YouTube era, I think most internet-savvy teachers are concerned about how out-of-context videos can be misinterpreted. I know Ikeda Sensei, for example, refuses to sell some of his videos to anyone except seminar attendees. He's afraid that they will look fake to anyone who wasn't actually present. It's a legitimate fear: there are plenty of examples of exactly that around these boards.

Katherine

Janet Rosen
11-14-2011, 06:02 PM
In the YouTube era, I think most internet-savvy teachers are concerned about how out-of-context videos can be misinterpreted. I know Ikeda Sensei, for example, refuses to sell some of his videos to anyone except seminar attendees. He's afraid that they will look fake to anyone who wasn't actually present. It's a legitimate fear: there are plenty of examples of exactly that around these boards.

Katherine

Exactly. From my own posting earlier today in the thread on the SF seminar:
There is one thing I would like to address, which is the often-bandied about phrase "It has to be felt", used on aikiweb so often that it merits its own "IHTBF"
I had always taken this to mean that one has to be on the receiving end of Dan's stuff to truly gauge what it is. Now that is certainly true. But it applies just as much to the learning process.
I am lousy on learning movement in terms of really gross movement like stepping and turning. But I am one of those people who has the mixed blessing/curse of being very very sensitive to changes within my body - I've always been able to feel and relate whether a sensation or pain was coming from an organ or a muscle or something else, for instance.
So usually it is fairly easy for me to follow an instruction whether it's anatomic/physiologic, like engage your lats or do a Valsalva or more energetic, like breathe into your low back or move the heat from your head to your hands.
But there is NO WAY I could have correctly done most of what Dan was asking of us without his hands isolating on my body what to keep still/not engage and what to focus on engaging. A couple of the very basic things I was taught this wkend I still can't do but at least having had them isolated and felt, I can call upon that and focus on learning to isolate and engage.
So...yeah....videos pointless, even talking pointless....IHTBF!

***FOR PURPOSES OF CLARITY*** references to Valsalva maneuver, lats, moving heat and breathing into back are NOT references to anything Dan is doing. They are examples of things I have routinely done for years based on purely verbal instruction, so folks understand where I'm coming from.

Josh Lerner
11-14-2011, 06:08 PM
I recommend all parties who feel the need to air their grievances fill out a report form (http://www.enjoytherandom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Butthurt-ad-de.jpg)and send it to Jun.

HL1978
11-14-2011, 06:58 PM
Define aiki as Dan defines it.
It seems to be defined as grounding and breaking internal balance.
Where then is the aiki in sword?

Are you claiming that Saotome Sensei one Ikeda Sensei have trained with Dan much less that they are following him? Ikeda Sensei has been inspired by Ushiro Sensei, who Dan thinks little of, and Saotome Sensei is focussed primarilly on transmitting what he learned from O'Sensei to his students.

Read Ellis's post (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=254966&postcount=79)about how he connected through his weapon through the other person's weapon to the aite's center and was able to move him in any direction he wanted. This is apparently similar to the Kuroda video from Mind Body and Kickass moves with respect to the opponents movment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=sXsMSoXrNgo#t=328s

Now I won't comment if this is internal or not, but the following video shows the opponent getting knocked off line via a shinai.

v

DH
11-14-2011, 07:12 PM
Dan says this ......
Dan says that......

Mr McGrew
You are purposefully misquoting me to represent views I do not hold, and statements about arts I do not agree with.
This is dishonest. While not a violation here it is in incredibly poor taste.
May I ask...Are you a young man?
Dan

raul rodrigo
11-14-2011, 07:31 PM
Hunter, the thing that strikes me about Ellis' post (and Ellis himself said as much) is that the head of his koryu, when he saw the new technique that Ellis was doing (using internal strength to knock uke's sword away), he stopped the class and had Ellis teach everyone what he was doing.

Ellis said: "That is a man worth following - he cares about getting stronger, not about his 'position.'"

People get stronger by doing the work. The people who don't do the work can sit around and fume that their teacher's honor is being besmirched. As if Saotome cared.

Marc Abrams
11-14-2011, 07:44 PM
My name is Ken.

Were Dan, Mark, and Chris direct students of Takeda Sensei, O Sensei, or Saotome Sensei? It is they and others who made various claims about their teachings. They can make claims based on written words, videos, and personal experience, but I can't. It's such a dishonest way of engaging in debate.

You'll need to read the discussion from start to finish to understand what has transpired.

Ken:

1) I have been following this thread since it's inception. I actually responded to you back in post #90.

2) The people who you mentioned do not have to be direct students in order to make claims about other teachers. The people who you mentioned are far more informed, knowledgeable, experienced and open-minded than you. You might do well to step back from your position and begin to explore why your seniors in your organization ( people in other organizations as well) are pursuing the directions that they are.

3) [Ed: Link to personal information irrelevant to discussion removed.] This link ring a bell? Maybe it's me, but you seem to be a little bit like Don Quixote, swinging at the windmills.

4) You might do well to redirect your determination in more fruitful directions. You don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing..... Just a friendly suggestion....

Marc Abrams

Ellis Amdur
11-14-2011, 07:46 PM
I never met Dobson Sensei. Several of my instructors and Sempi were very familiar with his Aikido and thought. I have been privy to unpublished interviews with Dobson Sensei that you have not seen. Nothing I have said contradicts what Dobson Sensei came to believe about Aikido.

I'm just about finished here, but I had to laugh at this one. "privy to unpublished interviews" Quelle Surprise! Zut Alors!!!!!

I was Terry's uchi-deshi. I lived in his dojo. For one and one-half years, I met him every day, we at shrimp and soda-bread sandwiches at the Binibon Cafe in the Lower East Side, and smoked dope every day before practice. We chased the same women: he had craft and experience and I had long hair and good looks. :) I listened to every meandering thought that wiffled through his often drug-addled and yet, always brilliant brain. I am more qualified to speak about Terry in this light than any person alive. (P.S. - if some of the readers of this statement have another candidate, write to me PM and I'll prove my point). He was somewhat more that my older brother.

Terry loved Ueshiba, who literally saved his life. Yet he trained with Haga, Otake, Wang Shu Chin and was Hatsumi's first non-Japanese student. You could see a little Katori in his shomen uchi, some xingyi in his belly and some crazy-ass nonsense from early Bujinkan every now and then.

I caught him in my arms when he collapsed with a mini-stroke some months before his death. And we spent three days talking about power and aikido and what it meant to him.

He would have absolutely loved this creative ferment, and, were he able, would have taken part.

Let me put it as clearly as I can. Everything you have written - and the manner you write - directly contradicts what Terry believed about aikido. Without any ambiguity whatsoever - everything.

Ellis Amdur

Joe McParland
11-14-2011, 07:59 PM
It seems to me that Mr. McGrew is demonstrating incredible internal strength: He is resolved. He is unswayed by people who are dropping in to tell him he is arguing incorrectly. He is not distracted by people telling him to go elsewhere. He is not terribly affected by individuals shifting the context and meanings of statements. He is arguably holding his center without being drawn out by red herrings or falling into black holes. It seems that he is defining the ground where others meet him. Moreover, he does not appear to bind himself to "winning" within typical (perceived) aikido rules of engagement.

Still, people feel they must engage him, attack him, prove something, hit him with the ad hom. attacks, ... and there he stands.

Brilliant. :)

HL1978
11-14-2011, 08:09 PM
There is an orthodoxy in the yo ho internal stuff that is being described here. Saotome Sensei is against orthodoxy. O Sensei was against orthodoxy. There are principles and their are general rules. There are exceptions. For example, the internal approach being advocated by Dan and company requires a strict notion of posture. I'm not saying that they are stiff or rigid. But they oppose leaning. I've been corrected in recent years by teachers who I believe have been influenced by Dan. Here's the problem, I have multiple screen shots of O Sensei, Saotome Sensei, and other high level Aikido practitioners engaging in strategic leaning. Ikeda sensei teaches this as a way to avoid the face punch as part of his tenkan. Despite the claims of Dan and others I am simply not as clueless about what they are doing and what my teachers are teaching as they'd like the world to believe.

I'm somewhat confused with respect to orthodoxy. Why does Ueshiba start using the various terminology and references in his writings to indicate that he is "in the know?"

As for the content of Dan's seminars, I can't comment as I have not been there, but I can certainly comment on IS type training in terms of what I understand Aiki to be and what it isn't. Aiki does not require cooperation (once you understand it). Aiki doesn't require pain compliance to work. Aiki does not require superior timing or superior technique as waza to work. Aiki doesn't require certain stances for power. Aiki can overcome considerable differences in mass and physical strength.

Aiki lets you quite littleraly join your body to someone elses to make them move as though they were an extension of you. That is to say, if you wanted to move them in any direction they would be powerless to resist you no matter how hard they tried. This is no different than how one can pick up an inanimate object and move it as though it was an extension of themselves. (Well that isn't exaclty true as to make the object part of you, you have to move in a manner to counterbalance the weight) Further, much like you don't really feel the weight of your arm when you move it, it is the same when you move your opponenet using "aiki".

With respect to non-resistance, consider the following. In judo when I push, you pull. You use that feedback resistance and add to it. With someone who understands aiki that doesn't work in part because you may not get that feeling. Now if you pull on the person who understands aiki, you may move them, but you won't unbalance them (they might be able to stop you too if so desiered) no matter how fast you move or hard you push and therefore applicaton of the waza will not work. You can only do this if you don't resist at all (even pushing back with the toes) which is a very hard urge to change as so many people get caught up with the feeling of physical strength (and "winning") and therefore have a hard time adapting to the fact that lack of feedback is what you want. Now what you may find is that if you don't resist, aite will often cause themselves to be put off balance, and you can add to that if you want with sometimes spectacular results that feel like little effort on your part.

While the founder may cite Kami as a source of power, his references to IS principles allows those to commit to training those prinicples to be able to replicate some of his demonstrations on those from outside the art.

MM
11-14-2011, 09:14 PM
It seems to me that Mr. McGrew is demonstrating incredible internal strength: He is resolved. He is unswayed by people who are dropping in to tell him he is arguing incorrectly. He is not distracted by people telling him to go elsewhere. He is not terribly affected by individuals shifting the context and meanings of statements. He is arguably holding his center without being drawn out by red herrings or falling into black holes. It seems that he is defining the ground where others meet him. Moreover, he does not appear to bind himself to "winning" within typical (perceived) aikido rules of engagement.

Still, people feel they must engage him, attack him, prove something, hit him with the ad hom. attacks, ... and there he stands.

Brilliant. :)

Actually, quite the opposite. Mr. McGrew is doing a good job of tainting the reputation of the ASU. Had I done something like this, I know of quite a few seniors in at least two organizations I belonged to who would have walloped me up side the head (deservedly so) and told me to cut that sh*t out. If I was clueless, things would have been explained, in careful detail, just how badly I was acting. Had I continued, I would have been unceremoniously removed from the organizations.

While we might joke at practice, smile, have fun, we still take budo very seriously. And lackadaisically arguing with experienced budo men (Ellis Amdur, Chris Li, etc) because you've read books, articles, watched videos and asked some questions is, at the least, very presumptuous. I can only hope that some seniors in the ASU are sitting down with Mr. McGrew and explaining how a "good budo man" should conduct himself.

Mark

Ken McGrew
11-14-2011, 09:27 PM
Dan, I have been responding to a range of people who claim to understand your views and approach. And also responding to what you have written. If I remembered something one of your supporters said as if you had said it I am sorry. I would never deliberately attribute statements to someone that they do not hold. Having said that, you don't point of specifics. I quoted you at length and did not change the quotes in any manner. I do not believe that I have misquoted you or misrepresented what it is you do or believe, though it was not easy to sort out these things given the lack of clarity. I have become a student of every word you and your supporters have ever written on the subjects at hand.

Dan says this ......
Dan says that......

Mr McGrew
You are purposefully misquoting me to represent views I do not hold, and statements about arts I do not agree with.
This is dishonest. While not a violation here it is in incredibly poor taste.
May I ask...Are you a young man?
Dan

Gary David
11-14-2011, 09:52 PM
I have become a student of every word you and your supporters have ever written on the subjects at hand.

And you understand nothing..............

Gary

raul rodrigo
11-14-2011, 09:53 PM
Gary got there first....

phitruong
11-14-2011, 09:56 PM
Actually, quite the opposite. Mr. McGrew is doing a good job of tainting the reputation of the ASU. Had I done something like this, I know of quite a few seniors in at least two organizations I belonged to who would have walloped me up side the head (deservedly so) and told me to cut that sh*t out. If I was clueless, things would have been explained, in careful detail, just how badly I was acting. Had I continued, I would have been unceremoniously removed from the organizations.

While we might joke at practice, smile, have fun, we still take budo very seriously. And lackadaisically arguing with experienced budo men (Ellis Amdur, Chris Li, etc) because you've read books, articles, watched videos and asked some questions is, at the least, very presumptuous. I can only hope that some seniors in the ASU are sitting down with Mr. McGrew and explaining how a "good budo man" should conduct himself.

Mark

not to worry about the reputation of ASU, since i are one. our reputation first and last will be done on the mat. words are like drums. the more hollowed the drum the louder it is. i just laughed when he would argue with Ellis on Saotome book and stuffs, but didn't even realize there was a picture of Ellis and Terry Dobson attacking Saotome on the beach, in one of the book's chapter. then arguing with Chris Li on japanese translation and didn't even bother do a bit of background research that it's one of Chris area of expertise. then asking ASU folks to do some uprising against the evil horde of Dan, yet didn't bother to check that at least two rokudan of ASU taking lessons from Dan; and one of them posts on aikiweb quite regularly and had knocked me in the head a few times for being dense. personally, i found it's entertaining in a sad kind of way.

ken, btw, dan's evil horde isn't the only one that needs challenge. there are the mike sigman's horde, arkuzawa's horde, ushiro's horde, couple of chen's horde and some others. i didn't mention howie's horde since he just has a bunch of misfit groupies, so not really horde like, if you count fishing and drinking and carousing. come to think of it, there is a phi's horde which includes various personalities of phi. and let me tell you. phi horde is the most vicious one of them all, because phi has ki, and in abundant of it.

for other folks, think of this as a training/testing kind of thing. it's painful, but it will soon pass, like a bad case of build up ki which will not ever becomes aiki, but more along the line of aiiieeeee kkiiiii. :D

Joe McParland
11-14-2011, 10:08 PM
Actually, quite the opposite. Mr. McGrew is doing a good job of tainting the reputation of the ASU. Had I done something like this, I know of quite a few seniors in at least two organizations I belonged to who would have walloped me up side the head (deservedly so) and told me to cut that sh*t out. If I was clueless, things would have been explained, in careful detail, just how badly I was acting. Had I continued, I would have been unceremoniously removed from the organizations.

While we might joke at practice, smile, have fun, we still take budo very seriously. And lackadaisically arguing with experienced budo men (Ellis Amdur, Chris Li, etc) because you've read books, articles, watched videos and asked some questions is, at the least, very presumptuous. I can only hope that some seniors in the ASU are sitting down with Mr. McGrew and explaining how a "good budo man" should conduct himself.

Mark

Internal strength need not take into consideration potential judgments or other consequences. He doesn't *have to* "blend."

Keith Larman
11-14-2011, 11:16 PM
It seems to me that Mr. McGrew is demonstrating incredible internal strength: He is resolved. He is unswayed by people who are dropping in to tell him he is arguing incorrectly. He is not distracted by people telling him to go elsewhere. He is not terribly affected by individuals shifting the context and meanings of statements. He is arguably holding his center without being drawn out by red herrings or falling into black holes. It seems that he is defining the ground where others meet him. Moreover, he does not appear to bind himself to "winning" within typical (perceived) aikido rules of engagement.

Still, people feel they must engage him, attack him, prove something, hit him with the ad hom. attacks, ... and there he stands.

Brilliant. :)

The same could be said of a 6-year-old with his fingers in his ears saying "La la la la la la I can't hear you."

gates
11-14-2011, 11:45 PM
Ken. Simple question. What is it you are trying to achieve here?

Joe McParland
11-15-2011, 12:20 AM
The same could be said of a 6-year-old with his fingers in his ears saying "La la la la la la I can't hear you."

Very good example, Keith!

One's internal strength need not be used to please another, nor must the "technique" conform to what anyone finds acceptable. For instance, we know that indirect passive-aggressive pot-shots can bolster our sense of self-righteousness through belittling and bullying another; but really they're just words, a "technique" employed to bring circumstances into conformity with our own worldview--just like that six-year-old... You hear me, right? ;)

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 12:23 AM
Ken. Simple question. What is it you are trying to achieve here?

Initially it was to make sure I understood what the claims being made were. They seemed so outlandish and I didn't want to falsely accuse.

Next it was to test whether the claims being made are well supported and ultimately convincing. They go against everything I've read and been told by Budo women as well as Budo men. I have given them the respect of serious consideration.

All the personal attacks eventually forced me to demonstrate that I wasn't just making things up as was and continues to be implied or stated.

It's a discussion forum. If people don't want to discuss then why are they here?

gates
11-15-2011, 12:34 AM
Ken.
I think you made your point.

Lee Salzman
11-15-2011, 12:38 AM
Initially it was to make sure I understood what the claims being made were. They seemed so outlandish and I didn't want to falsely accuse.

Next it was to test whether the claims being made are well supported and ultimately convincing. They go against everything I've read and been told by Budo women as well as Budo men. I have given them the respect of serious consideration.

All the personal attacks eventually forced me to demonstrate that I wasn't just making things up as was and continues to be implied or stated.

It's a discussion forum. If people don't want to discuss then why are they here?

We're here to exchange possibilities, opportunities for future growth and direction. I don't think any of us is going to be convinced about a way of expressing the body that is described in... text... on a screen. The best we can settle for is that we collected those seeds of ideas in our brains for potential exploration, and maybe even planted some seeds of ideas in other peoples' minds, and hopefully earned some friends in the process. But ultimately we have to pursue those ideas and those friendships offline, or it is nothing more than words.

So that is what I would encourage to you. I know you say you have encountered people of Dan's flavor, but next time I would encourage you to strike up a critical, but respectful dialog with them about your concerns. Not just watch them, but discuss, and allow them to demonstrate, and allow yourself to demonstrate, what can not be explained merely in text. I think you'd be pleasantly surprised by the results, really, honestly, sincerely. I think that's the most any of us can ask of you at this point. Whether or not this caricature of a debate this thread has become has swayed your emotions one way or another, I just please ask of you that much.

kewms
11-15-2011, 12:48 AM
While we might joke at practice, smile, have fun, we still take budo very seriously. And lackadaisically arguing with experienced budo men (Ellis Amdur, Chris Li, etc) because you've read books, articles, watched videos and asked some questions is, at the least, very presumptuous. I can only hope that some seniors in the ASU are sitting down with Mr. McGrew and explaining how a "good budo man" should conduct himself.

Ledyard Sensei would be the most likely candidate, due to his high profile online. He was at a seminar all weekend, taught class this evening, and was last seen talking aikido politics (with me). So he may not have caught up yet.

Katherine

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 12:57 AM
This led me to re-read everything I have by and about Dobson Sensei. Becuase I am attempting to continue some of his work but with kids instead of adults, it's important that I get him right. So I took your post seriously and double checked. I found some relevant passages for consideration. They don't take away from your time with him. He did discuss stopping attacks and moving them. He also made statements consistent with what I have said, pertaining to blending, using momentum, and the need for a real attack/energy in Aikido training:

"Eon by eon the rock is worn down, until halfway through eternity it has become a pebble... But what would happen if that rock could turn? At the very least it would stand a chance of surviving longer. As the water struck it, the rock would swivel around in the direction it was pushed... If the rock could turn with the force of the water, still retaining its place in the stream bed, the rock would lose nothing; the water would continue past.

That is part of the spirit of Aiki.

There is an old tale... which tells of the solid oak tree which stands next to the slender reed. The oak bosts of its strength, insulting the reed's delicacy-unitl the typhoon hits. The oak's inability to bend causes it's destruction. It is uprooted by the wind and flattened. The reed holds its ground by flowing with the wind, letting it blow itself far out to sea.

This is part of the spirit of Aiki.

You see, that's the nice thing about sincere, focussed attacks: They are so clearly directed at that point of the triangle, so committed to destroying you that they develop their own momentum and energy. That momentum will carry them past you if you roll or turn at the right moment. If you turn too early, your attacker will spot your response and change course. If you turn too late, you'll end up with the tip of the triangle sticking in your center.

If an attack is insincere and unfocused, if the attacker is only halfhearted about it, you don't have to do anything anyway. Nobody ever got hurt by a halfhearted attack except the attacker."

Aikido in everyday Life: Giving in to Get Your Way (1993 Terry Dobson and Victor Miller, pages 87 to 91 in the chapter on Aiki).

I'm just about finished here, but I had to laugh at this one. "privy to unpublished interviews" Quelle Surprise! Zut Alors!!!!!

I was Terry's uchi-deshi. I lived in his dojo. For one and one-half years, I met him every day, we at shrimp and soda-bread sandwiches at the Binibon Cafe in the Lower East Side, and smoked dope every day before practice. We chased the same women: he had craft and experience and I had long hair and good looks. :) I listened to every meandering thought that wiffled through his often drug-addled and yet, always brilliant brain. I am more qualified to speak about Terry in this light than any person alive. (P.S. - if some of the readers of this statement have another candidate, write to me PM and I'll prove my point). He was somewhat more that my older brother.

Terry loved Ueshiba, who literally saved his life. Yet he trained with Haga, Otake, Wang Shu Chin and was Hatsumi's first non-Japanese student. You could see a little Katori in his shomen uchi, some xingyi in his belly and some crazy-ass nonsense from early Bujinkan every now and then.

I caught him in my arms when he collapsed with a mini-stroke some months before his death. And we spent three days talking about power and aikido and what it meant to him.

He would have absolutely loved this creative ferment, and, were he able, would have taken part.

Let me put it as clearly as I can. Everything you have written - and the manner you write - directly contradicts what Terry believed about aikido. Without any ambiguity whatsoever - everything.

Ellis Amdur

Ellis Amdur
11-15-2011, 01:06 AM
That book was one of Terry's greatest regrets. Insecure about his own writing (despite being brilliant, he was afflicted by terrible writer's block until near the end of his life), he associated himself with Miller, a hack writer who turned Terry's ideas into New Age pap. It's funny - just as with Ueshiba, one has to wend one's way through the rococo religious imagery, with this book, to glean even a little of what Terry really believed, you have to push your way through marzipan and New Age. And sadly, despite deciding consciously to sell out, in hopes of disseminating the moral ideals of aikido, as he saw them, to the wider populace, he ran smack into the 1980's (when the book was originally published), when the thrust was how to run your life like a hedge fund manager.

Tim Ruijs
11-15-2011, 01:45 AM
Mmmm... that's not what I meant really, I was thinking more along the lines of how I can consistantly strive to be a better student.....

But off course! When you do that you will not stick with a teacher that does not challenge you, help you, now would you? So you end up with the teacher that does....
You can strive to be a better student, but are limited to what your teacher shows you, or you expect yourself to be the next O Sensei....

Demetrio Cereijo
11-15-2011, 06:26 AM
but didn't even realize there was a picture of Ellis and Terry Dobson attacking Saotome on the beach, in one of the book's chapter.

Not that is important, but I can't find that pic in the spanish edition of "Aikido and the Harmony of Nature". Which book is the one where said picture can be found?

phitruong
11-15-2011, 07:13 AM
Not that is important, but I can't find that pic in the spanish edition of "Aikido and the Harmony of Nature". Which book is the one where said picture can be found?

it's the same book. i made a mistake. it wasn't Terry Dobson, but Ken Nissen (another great old timer i have heard of, but have not a chance to meet). it's in the pages where Saotome sensei talked about relationship between nuclear reaction and multiple attack. back then Ellis still had quite a bit of hair; same went for John Messores. They both had since cleaned up quite nicely. :)

Demetrio Cereijo
11-15-2011, 07:18 AM
it's the same book. i made a mistake. it wasn't Terry Dobson, but Ken Nissen (another great old timer i have heard of, but have not a chance to meet).
Thanks.

it's in the pages where Saotome sensei talked about relationship between nuclear reaction and multiple attack.
Better don't go into Saotome's new ageish pseudoscience. Let's keep this thread on the IHTBF mojo.

back then Ellis still had quite a bit of hair; same went for John Messores. They both had since cleaned up quite nicely. :)
:D

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 11:17 AM
Are you claiming that Dobson Sensei specifically disavowed the things in the book that I quoted?

Which parts of the book are you saying that he disavowed?

I don't see anything in the book that is inconsistent with anything he wrote at other times, anything he said on the videos of his teaching, anything he said in the interviews (some which were done with Jim
Lee late in his life and are not published) as well as those which are published, everything he told various senior instructors who trained with him back in the day, and what he did and said at the counseling sessions that he conducted.

If you are going to claim that your teacher disavowed the things he wrote and said in order to support your points, then I would request that you go into greater detail. I am continuing Dobson Sensei and Lee Sensei's work, though in new directions, and you are saying that I can't rely on the things they said? Isn't it possible that he stressed some parts of the art with you that don't contradict the other sides?

The language used in the momentum quote sounds like Dobson Sensei speaking. I think that part was Dobson Sensei.

At any rate, if he told you things that contradict everything that I can quote from him, perhaps you would be so kind as to tell us what those things were in greater detail.

That book was one of Terry's greatest regrets. Insecure about his own writing (despite being brilliant, he was afflicted by terrible writer's block until near the end of his life), he associated himself with Miller, a hack writer who turned Terry's ideas into New Age pap. It's funny - just as with Ueshiba, one has to wend one's way through the rococo religious imagery, with this book, to glean even a little of what Terry really believed, you have to push your way through marzipan and New Age. And sadly, despite deciding consciously to sell out, in hopes of disseminating the moral ideals of aikido, as he saw them, to the wider populace, he ran smack into the 1980's (when the book was originally published), when the thrust was how to run your life like a hedge fund manager.

Fred Little
11-15-2011, 11:38 AM
Are you claiming that Dobson Sensei specifically disavowed the things in the book that I quoted?

Which parts of the book are you saying that he disavowed?

I don't see anything in the book that is inconsistent with anything he wrote at other times, anything he said on the videos of his teaching, anything he said in the interviews (some which were done with Jim
Lee late in his life and are not published) as well as those which are published, everything he told various senior instructors who trained with him back in the day, and what he did and said at the counseling sessions that he conducted.

If you are going to claim that your teacher disavowed the things he wrote and said in order to support your points, then I would request that you go into greater detail. I am continuing Dobson Sensei and Lee Sensei's work, though in new directions, and you are saying that I can't rely on the things they said? Isn't it possible that he stressed some parts of the art with you that don't contradict the other sides?

The language used in the momentum quote sounds like Dobson Sensei speaking. I think that part was Dobson Sensei.

At any rate, if he told you things that contradict everything that I can quote from him, perhaps you would be so kind as to tell us what those things were in greater detail.

Wow.

There's really nothing like someone quoting from a highly contingent process document read through the filter of tendentious sectarian third- and fourth- hand information and hagiography telling someone with first-hand experience that he doesn't know what he's talking about and then aggressively insisting on a chapter and verse defense of that experientially informed knowledge, which, on the basis of past evidence, would only be used as the basis for another ill-informed round of noisy posturing. Or if there is, I don't want to know.

And trust me, I'm not saying that on the basis of some crazy claim that I'm above a round of noisy posturing from time to time.

FL

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 11:39 AM
In Aikido in America (Stone and Meyer) Dobson Sensei says that he regretted the process of making the book, was very upset about the cover, and didn't like some of the things that were included. He was upset that his cover with the circle, square, and triangle was not used. He discusses these in the chapter on aiki that I quoted from. I see no evidence that he disavowed the discussion of the technical and aiki aspects of the book.

In fact, I can transcribe his seminar which I have on video to support the things I have attributed to him.

Are you claiming that Dobson Sensei specifically disavowed the things in the book that I quoted?

Which parts of the book are you saying that he disavowed?

I don't see anything in the book that is inconsistent with anything he wrote at other times, anything he said on the videos of his teaching, anything he said in the interviews (some which were done with Jim
Lee late in his life and are not published) as well as those which are published, everything he told various senior instructors who trained with him back in the day, and what he did and said at the counseling sessions that he conducted.

If you are going to claim that your teacher disavowed the things he wrote and said in order to support your points, then I would request that you go into greater detail. I am continuing Dobson Sensei and Lee Sensei's work, though in new directions, and you are saying that I can't rely on the things they said? Isn't it possible that he stressed some parts of the art with you that don't contradict the other sides?

The language used in the momentum quote sounds like Dobson Sensei speaking. I think that part was Dobson Sensei.

At any rate, if he told you things that contradict everything that I can quote from him, perhaps you would be so kind as to tell us what those things were in greater detail.

gregstec
11-15-2011, 11:42 AM
Are you claiming that Dobson Sensei specifically disavowed the things in the book that I quoted?

Which parts of the book are you saying that he disavowed?

I don't see anything in the book that is inconsistent with anything he wrote at other times, anything he said on the videos of his teaching, anything he said in the interviews (some which were done with Jim
Lee late in his life and are not published) as well as those which are published, everything he told various senior instructors who trained with him back in the day, and what he did and said at the counseling sessions that he conducted.

If you are going to claim that your teacher disavowed the things he wrote and said in order to support your points, then I would request that you go into greater detail. I am continuing Dobson Sensei and Lee Sensei's work, though in new directions, and you are saying that I can't rely on the things they said? Isn't it possible that he stressed some parts of the art with you that don't contradict the other sides?

The language used in the momentum quote sounds like Dobson Sensei speaking. I think that part was Dobson Sensei.

At any rate, if he told you things that contradict everything that I can quote from him, perhaps you would be so kind as to tell us what those things were in greater detail.

You know Ken, I was seriously thinking about coming back to you about some points associated with your Saotome quotes and Dan's aiki model that may have made some sense to you. However, I realized that would be futile. You just will not listen to anything that does not match your perception exactly. This is very evident from you challenging Ellis on Terry D - what part of Ellis saying he was very intimate with Terry that you do not understand and cannot accept. Ellis commented on what Terry felt about that book after the fact - why can't you accept that maybe Terry felt some things in that book were wrong after it was written.

Every one views the world via their own filters and tries to make things match their beliefs as best they can - that does not mean other people have to agree with you 100%, and if they don't, that does not mean they are wrong. Two people can read the exact same thing and come away with two totally different perspectives on what the writer was trying to convey - both perceptions can be correct to the reader because every thing is relative - to ascertain that one is wrong and the other is correct, both perceptions need to be presented to the writer at the exact same time for clarification - have you done that with Saotome? Of course, you cannot do that with Dobson, but you just received the next best thing, the opinion of someone that knew Terry very very well.

Good luck in your journey - I am afraid it will be a lonely one.

Greg

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 11:50 AM
Greg and Fred,

Ellis hasn't told us what Dobson Sensei allegedly rejected in the book (and in general) related to the importance of blending with momentum. If he has specific quote regarding that, then I may be persuaded. Despite your disparaging comments I am hardly someone who doesn't take evidence seriously. I am not someone who is unwilling to change views when warranted. But when weighing contradictory evidence one has a quandary. The written word can be understood. That's why people write. It's evidence. You favor the personal experience over other forms of evidence. How then could we ever resolve the differences between what Saito Sensei said and other direct students have said about he founder? Ellis is one person who knew Dobson Sensei well. I know a dozen people who also knew Dobson Sensei well, who had very in-depth conversations about some of these questions because they were working with him, and who tell me a different story. Dobson Sensei was known to bump an attacker off the line with his big belly, making an opening to the back where he could move. That is something far different from internal balance breaking. Of course, I've acknowledged that Dobson Sensie worked on internal unbalancing. But he also worked on other things. How should I weigh Ellis's views related to the totality of this evidence?

You know Ken, I was seriously thinking about coming back to you about some points associated with your Saotome quotes and Dan's aiki model that may have made some sense to you. However, I realized that would be futile. You just will not listen to anything that does not match your perception exactly. This is very evident from you challenging Ellis on Terry D - what part of Ellis saying he was very intimate with Terry that you do not understand and cannot accept. Ellis commented on what Terry felt about that book after the fact - why can't you accept that maybe Terry felt some things in that book were wrong after it was written.

Every one views the world via their own filters and tries to make things match their beliefs as best they can - that does not mean other people have to agree with you 100%, and if they don't, that does not mean they are wrong. Two people can read the exact same thing and come away with two totally different perspectives on what the writer was trying to convey - both perceptions can be correct to the reader because every thing is relative - to ascertain that one is wrong and the other is correct, both perceptions need to be presented to the writer at the exact same time for clarification - have you done that with Saotome? Of course, you cannot do that with Dobson, but you just received the next best thing, the opinion of someone that knew Terry very very well.

Good luck in your journey - I am afraid it will be a lonely one.

Greg

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 12:01 PM
From the video, An Aikido Seminar with Terry Dobson:

"What causes him to fall is not my strength but his lack of balance."

As he demonstrates katatedori kokyu tandem ho from a fast attack and blends to throw: "I move with him, THAT SUDDEN AGREEMENT THROWS HIM ALL FORWARDS. Like anyone else... when you're too far forward you start going back [to try to regain your balance]. If you know that THEN YOU MOVE WITH HIM... You have to move with him... in terms of direction and center, agree with what he's doing. As he comes forward you'll feel him start to go back [shows blending with the back motion of Uke in an attempt to stand back up in order to break Uke's balance]."

Later he defines aiki: "There must be Aiki. There must be a time when his spirit and my spirit, when his intention and my intention, go the same way. If all we have is opposition we don't have Aiki. So to get Aiki you gotta get Aiki. And if you're not looking where your Uke is looking, you ain't doin' Aiki... can you do Aiki and move with him."


Try as I might, I can't see any ambiguity in what he is saying and showing on this video at that time. In that particular instance we was stressing blending as the means of throwing. There are lots of examples in the video like this. He shows no touch throws and describes them as non-resistance. There is also some internal stuff.

Thomas Campbell
11-15-2011, 12:07 PM
3) [Ed: Link to personal information irrelevant to discussion removed.]

Awesome. The case does illustrate a certain tendency to and style of argumentation that seems relevant to this thread. :)

Demetrio Cereijo
11-15-2011, 12:16 PM
How then could we ever resolve the differences between what Saito Sensei said and other direct students have said about he founder?
Interesting question. What have you read from Saito?

Cliff Judge
11-15-2011, 12:21 PM
You know what your problem is, Ken?

You just don't understand in yo ho.

Keith Larman
11-15-2011, 12:23 PM
Awesome. The case does illustrate a certain tendency to and style of argumentation that seems relevant to this thread. :)

Yup.

I remember when I was a minor I got a speeding ticket. I was righteously indignant for all sorts of reasons (he couldn't have gauged my speed that accurately, he didn't have time to do it, he was too far away, .... ). So my dad said "Okay, go argue it if you feel that way." So I go in to talk with the juvenile traffic judge. He listens to me for about 15 seconds then interrupts me. He said "Excuse me, son, but were you speeding?" I sat there for a moment and said "Well, yes, but " then he cut me off, told me my fine, and suggested I work a bit harder on staying under the speed limit. Next case!

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 12:34 PM
Yup.

I remember when I was a minor I got a speeding ticket. I was righteously indignant for all sorts of reasons (he couldn't have gauged my speed that accurately, he didn't have time to do it, he was too far away, .... ). So my dad said "Okay, go argue it if you feel that way." So I go in to talk with the juvenile traffic judge. He listens to me for about 15 seconds then interrupts me. He said "Excuse me, son, but were you speeding?" I sat there for a moment and said "Well, yes, but " then he cut me off, told me my fine, and suggested I work a bit harder on staying under the speed limit. Next case!

We have a group of people who want to dominate conversations about Aikido on the international stage. When the evidence they present is questioned with logic and counter-evidence, they resort to repeated personal attacks, disparaging remarks, and now this. I have contacted Jun repeatedly about this. Because he hasn't responded, I will.

My case was take up by the Wisconsin Supreme Court... unheard of in recent decades for a case of this nature. The Supreme Court overruled the appeals court on the issue of the constitutional right to a jury trial. From now on, in that state, the right to a jury will always be constitutionally guaranteed and will never be less than 6 persons. We have seen the right to a jury trial eroded in this country in ways that were never intended. Do you know, for example, that the right has been taken away in many jurisdictions for non-criminal matters, reduced to a jury of only 6 in many and in our federal system, even in criminal matters? The very term jury since the dawn of law referred to 12 persons. This matters for obvious reasons. And yes, I admit there is a lot of Thomas Jefferson in me.

Fred Little
11-15-2011, 12:34 PM
Greg and Fred,

Ellis hasn't told us what Dobson Sensei allegedly rejected in the book (and in general) related to the importance of blending with momentum. I

It is a fundamental category error to treat a work of pop psychology, intended as an advertisement for bookings on the self-help seminar circuit, as a technical manual.

It is, similarly, an utterly ungrounded supposition to assert that either Greg or I categorically "favor the personal experience over other forms of evidence."

I trained at Bond Street years after Terry and Ellis departed. For better or worse, I've got most of the canvas that was on the deck when Terry came back to teach one last set of classes at Bond Street after many years away, and those classes were the limit of my direct experience with the man.

That said, even as someone who trained at Bond Street years after Terry and Ellis departed, the all-too-frequent experience of encountering individuals with very partial views of what Terry was about putting that partial knowledge through additional filters to arrive at highly idiosyncratic readings of "what Terry really meant," has become so very, very familiar that it has to rise to a particular level to call for a response, however futile.

FL

akiy
11-15-2011, 12:36 PM
Folks,

One behavior that I keep noticing in threads like this is that the discussion starts to become very personal. By this, I don't mean that the points people are raising are not of personal importance for them, but, rather, that the posts become directed at the person behind the topic.

I'm fine with passion. I'm fine with disagreement. Being passionate and disagreeing, even vehemently, are welcome and even encouraged. Doing so in a manner that's directed towards disparaging a person's character, motivations, intent, and such are utterly unwelcome.

Direct your discussion towards discussing the post, not the person behind the posts. I have said this, time and time again, and I still stand by this simplest of rules that underlie civil discussions.

Choosing not to do so not only diminishes your argument but also lowers the level of discourse here on AikiWeb. So, please. PLEASE!

-- Jun

Gary David
11-15-2011, 12:46 PM
Direct your discussion towards discussing the post, not the person behind the posts. I have said this, time and time again, and I still stand by this simplest of rules that underlie civil discussions.

Choosing not to do so not only diminishes your argument but also lowers the level of discourse here on AikiWeb. So, please. PLEASE!

-- Jun

Jun
Dealing with this gentleman is like talking to a child who continually asks "Why"....... no answer, no matter how correct and no matter how who responses is still returns with the "Why" question. You might as well close this thread and give Ken the opportunity role out a new subject so we can go through this again........
Gary

HL1978
11-15-2011, 12:53 PM
We have a group of people who want to dominate conversations about Aikido on the international stage. When the evidence they present is questioned with logic and counter-evidence, they resort to repeated personal attacks, disparaging remarks, and now this. I have contacted Jun repeatedly about this. Because he hasn't responded, I will.


One might feel there is a religious zeal when people get exposed to IS skills, on the otherhand if people can start to replicate some of the feats attributed Ueshiba after a relatively short period of time providing a different perspective on the founders words, its hard to ignore.

For many, its like their eyes were opened to what the potential of martial arts could be. Its hard to go back after that....

akiy
11-15-2011, 12:54 PM
Hi Gary,

In response, I'll just repeat myself one more time:

Direct your discussion towards discussing the post, not the person behind the posts.

-- Jun

Gary David
11-15-2011, 12:57 PM
Hi Gary,

In response, I'll just repeat myself one more time:

Direct your discussion towards discussing the post, not the person behind the posts.

-- Jun

Jun
Read the posts......there is no discussion when one does not listen. As for me I'll drop off this one.....good luck with it.
Gary

Keith Larman
11-15-2011, 01:03 PM
We have a group of people who want to dominate conversations about Aikido on the international stage. When the evidence they present is questioned with logic and counter-evidence, they resort to repeated personal attacks, disparaging remarks, and now this. I have contacted Jun repeatedly about this. Because he hasn't responded, I will.

My case was take up by the Wisconsin Supreme Court... unheard of in recent decades for a case of this nature. The Supreme Court overruled the appeals court on the issue of the constitutional right to a jury trial. From now on, in that state, the right to a jury will always be constitutionally guaranteed and will never be less than 6 persons. We have seen the right to a jury trial eroded in this country in ways that were never intended. Do you know, for example, that the right has been taken away in many jurisdictions for non-criminal matters, reduced to a jury of only 6 in many and in our federal system, even in criminal matters? The very term jury since the dawn of law referred to 12 persons. This matters for obvious reasons. And yes, I admit there is a lot of Thomas Jefferson in me.

Mr. McGrew -- reading the thread and the link I was just reminded of my own experience. I really have no comment on your particular traffic experience as I don't see it as relevant. Mine was more about how I was arguing all sorts of things but in the end what it was, was, what it was. I was speeding. He was right. My only point was that there can be a lot to argue about as to what/how/why/when but in the end things are what they are independently of our arguments. I can argue, I can not understand, but it will still be exactly what it is. My understanding or acceptance is not a requirement for it being the case. Your experience merely sparked a related memory of my own.

Aiki is a remarkably difficult concept to talk about on a forum like this. And it is very easy (dare I say impossible?) for people not to bring their own understandings to the forefront as a filter. FWIW I have met many people who had trained with Dobson off and on when he was in the US. I hear slightly different stories from each of them. But I had always heard that the book we've been discussing was a very odd detour given their understanding of the man. But that said... Je ne sais pas. It is not surprising that you don't believe what others are saying. You don't have to accept arguments from authority (like people who actually do it or people who actually knew Dobson closely).

In the end you're demanding to be convinced. And that's nigh impossible if someone won't accept anything other than what they already believe to be the case. That's why I suggested you simply talk to Saotome when he visits the US next month if you think there's an issue with a whole lot of senior people studying with Dan. If you feel so strongly that it is contradictory to his writings as you understand them you should probably go to the "source". It is his organization after all and I seriously doubt he appointed you as defender of his writings. He might want to know what's going on and would probably give you guidance for the future.

With respect to everything else, well, I was skeptical at first. But I saw glimmers of things in what they were doing in what I was beginning to wonder about in my own training. So I went. I have had to honor to train directly with a lot of really good people from inside aikido (including Saotome's group) as well as outside Aikido. And it has subtly changed my understanding of what Ueshiba Morihei was doing and saying. I certainly don't understand it all. I certainly don't have Chris Li's translation skills. I certainly don't have the direct experiences of someone like Ellis Amdur. But I made the effort to get on the mat with people I didn't necessarily understand or agree with. And I then let what I experienced directly guide my understanding. And I think I'm the better for it.

But honestly... I think this thread has run its course. You don't seem to be satisfied with anything other than what you already believe to be the case. So I suggest you go back to *your* final authority -- Saotome-sensei -- and ask him about all this when he comes next month. Then, if you are in fact correct I would think there will be a lot of censuring going on. I just hope if the answers aren't what you expect that you'll come back and share those as well.

SteveTrinkle
11-15-2011, 01:07 PM
Again, better to actually try this stuff than to discuss it.

“Men argue, nature acts.” Voltaire

DH
11-15-2011, 02:10 PM
Double post edit time ran out

Dan, I have been responding to a range of people who claim to understand your views and approach. And also responding to what you have written. If I remembered something one of your supporters said as if you had said it I am sorry. I would never deliberately attribute statements to someone that they do not hold. Having said that, you don't point of specifics. I quoted you at length and did not change the quotes in any manner. I do not believe that I have misquoted you or misrepresented what it is you do or believe, though it was not easy to sort out these things given the lack of clarity. I have become a student of every word you and your supporters have ever written on the subjects at hand.
Mr McGrew
First off I don't know where or how you feel familiar enough with me to call me Dan. Do you know me personally? Particularly while doing this hatchet job on me.

And for the last time, you sir are not correctly addressing my real views and thoughts on budo.
1. You started by misquoting me-and using your own interpretatons to arrive at views I do not hold.
2. Only to go on to actually quoting me.. . and still using your own interpretatons... to arrive at views I do not hold.
Two small samples:
You can see from Dan's posts, which I will quote again below, that what we have here is Daito-ryu attempting to infiltrate post-war Aikido as revenge for what they took to be O Sensei's theft. The only question is whether we will help him/them to do so.

I do not believe Ueshiba "stole" anything. He studied very hard under Takeda, and earned what he got. He (like others under Takeda) continued to research and grow past what he had learned with Takeda and made some changes that I have not only outlined here on Aikiweb, one or two of them have been quoted in Ellis's book.
For example, the internal approach being advocated by Dan and company requires a strict notion of posture. I'm not saying that they are stiff or rigid. But they oppose leaning. I've been corrected in recent years by teachers who I believe have been influenced by Dan. Here's the problem, I have multiple screen shots of O Sensei, Saotome Sensei, and other high level Aikido practitioners engaging in strategic leaning. Ikeda sensei teaches this as a way to avoid the face punch as part of his tenkan. Despite the claims of Dan and others I am simply not as clueless about what they are doing and what my teachers are teaching as they'd like the world to believe.
Your description of me supposedly teaching to stand absolutely vertical defies anything I have ever taught...anywhere. There is a very inportant teaching involving the spine but it has not one thing to do with verticality. For the most part that is important for certain reasons- which I would bet you cannot state- but at a later state it is not an operational requirement, again for reasons I would bet you cannot state either. You then go on to state that you know more about my teaching then you reveal. It's pure fabrication.

Excuse me, but you demonstrate over and over, that you don't know what you are talking about where I am concerned and this sort of blatent dishonesty or ignorance doesn't deserve any expansation in response. In fact I think it incredibly obvous you do not undestand anything at all that I teach.

I challenge that you are directly uninterested in what I do or teach and are engaging in a smear campaign based on dissinformation of your own making.

Just like you did with your discussion of Terry Dobson with Ellis; it appears you can be given better and more accurate information and you remain undeterred from your own conclusions based on poor information. Keith tried to explain that to you. Unfortunately, it appears that you are the one who is not interested in a a real exchange. I think you should rethink your approach. We all have had to do that many times with various issues. It's not a bad thing.
Dan

gregstec
11-15-2011, 02:39 PM
Greg and Fred,

Ellis hasn't told us what Dobson Sensei allegedly rejected in the book (and in general) related to the importance of blending with momentum. If he has specific quote regarding that, then I may be persuaded. Despite your disparaging comments I am hardly someone who doesn't take evidence seriously. I am not someone who is unwilling to change views when warranted. But when weighing contradictory evidence one has a quandary. The written word can be understood. That's why people write. It's evidence. You favor the personal experience over other forms of evidence. How then could we ever resolve the differences between what Saito Sensei said and other direct students have said about he founder? Ellis is one person who knew Dobson Sensei well. I know a dozen people who also knew Dobson Sensei well, who had very in-depth conversations about some of these questions because they were working with him, and who tell me a different story. Dobson Sensei was known to bump an attacker off the line with his big belly, making an opening to the back where he could move. That is something far different from internal balance breaking. Of course, I've acknowledged that Dobson Sensie worked on internal unbalancing. But he also worked on other things. How should I weigh Ellis's views related to the totality of this evidence?

The written word is as timeless as the paper it is written on - however, it is only as accurate as the opinion and knowledge of the author at the time of composition, which can change before the ink dries. In other words, things change, new knowledge is learned and opinions and conclusion change as time goes by - I will give much more validity to those that have actual first hand expediences over any form of written knowledge in a heart beat. I have had first hand experiences with various historical events over the years due to my many years of military and other government service where I have NEVER once seen the actual written report of the event to accurately present all the facts as they truly occurred - some points are minimized while others are embellished, and some are even changed or left out in order to reflect a desired conclusion. So yeah, I take all written knowledge with a grain of salt until I can personally validate it with hands on experience AND corroboration.

You bring up blending a bit - so, let me just say that the quotes on blending you have presented from Saotome and Dobson can also very easily fit into Dan's model of aiki as well. keep in mind there is external blending and there is internal blending. You appear to advocate external blending into uke and then doing something to uke to unbalance him. In internal blending, the blending starts in nage by the balancing of yin-yang within, when uke attacks, uke's energy is blended internally with nage, and uke and nage become one under the control of nage - nage then unbalances uke by moving nage - nage maintains his balance but uke comes along for the ride and is unbalanced as the result - at this point, feel free to apply the technique of your choice - oh, by the way, all this happens in an instant at the point of contact with uke - no large timing movements from nage to position for leverage, etc.

Now of course, you do not have to agree with all of that, but that is OK - just try not to call it something else because you do not totally understand it. Also, don't bother responding to any of this looking for further discussion - I have exhausted what I feel is worth mentioning on the subject at this time.

Greg

DH
11-15-2011, 02:45 PM
Folks,

One behavior that I keep noticing in threads like this is that the discussion starts to become very personal. By this, I don't mean that the points people are raising are not of personal importance for them, but, rather, that the posts become directed at the person behind the topic.

I'm fine with passion. I'm fine with disagreement. Being passionate and disagreeing, even vehemently, are welcome and even encouraged. Doing so in a manner that's directed towards disparaging a person's character, motivations, intent, and such are utterly unwelcome.

Direct your discussion towards discussing the post, not the person behind the posts. I have said this, time and time again, and I still stand by this simplest of rules that underlie civil discussions.

Choosing not to do so not only diminishes your argument but also lowers the level of discourse here on AikiWeb. So, please. PLEASE!

-- Jun
This is hard to do, but over the years I have continued to realize the wisdom in it. God knows I have failed this simple guideline in the past.

Of late, I open Aikiweb to see these highly personal comments made about me, and I have to take a breath from either laughing out loud, or being ticked off at the audacity of some people. In the end though, this simple guide does help to keep the discussion at a higher level-even when I am the one getting personally attacked.

Dan

vjw
11-15-2011, 02:57 PM
This is hard to do, but over the years I have continued to realize the wisdom in it. God knows I have failed this simple guideline in the past.

Of late, I open Aikiweb to see these highly personal comments made about me, and I have to take a breath from either laughing out loud, or being ticked off at the audacity of some people. In the end though, this simple guide does help to keep the discussion at a higher level-even when I am the one getting personally attacked.

Dan

Dan, Thank you for putting up with all this BS. I don't say much and write even less, but I've worked hard on your stuff for the last two years. People are now commenting about the changes in my Aikido and other martial arts that I'm learning. My instructors are surprised at my rate of advancing. Yet I know I still only have a toe in the door. I'm enjoying my training like never before. I'm also able to "steal" much more from my instructors thanks to your instruction. Looking forward to seeing you again in January,

Vic

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 03:03 PM
Mr. Haden and others,

I have used the name Dan because you have used the name Ken. You've said a number of things far less kind.

Why do you continue to engage with me, raising accusations that are hard to ignore, and then complain that I am not convinced or going away?

A number of people have claimed to be presenting what you are doing. You have even thanked them for doing so. When I posted what I took to be what you were doing, none of your supporters said that I was wrong. When I did so I used qualified language like "seems to be doing" and so forth. I don't claim to know exactly what you are doing. But you claim to know exactly what all Aikido direct students of O Sensei are doing wrong. If what you are doing is like Daito-ryu, if what you are doing is more like what Saito Sensei was doing, if what you are doing is somewhat like the video of the other instructor you commented on, if what you are doing is something like the sort of internal connection and unbalancing exercises that many people have worked on, then it is possible to have some idea of what you are doing. If we can't talk about it why post about it?

I have tried to piece together what you are doing from a variety of sources as no-one has been willing to come out and say directly what you are doing and why you are doing it. I was told to go read all those threads. I did. Then people still wouldn't answer the questions after all that work. I was accused of lying that I had not read them. When I explained that I can read quickly given my academic training I was accused of lying about my academic training. This frustrated me early in the discussion and I let that show. I should not have done so.

Since then, however, I have not done that. The attacks have been personal and not based on the evidence. I have tried not to respond in kind. I have sincerely tried to respond to what you and people who say they follow you are doing and why. You do make very bold claims that undercut modern Aikido training. What sort of reaction do you expect that to elicit? If you are right, then your arguments must be proven. It's very important. If you are wrong, then what you do may be valuable, but not for the reasons that are given.

I have repeated time and again that what you are doing may be very good and may be applicable to Aikido. I have questioned the claims you have made about having Aiki when so many other students of O Sensei allegedly don't have it. I have disagreed with statements that say that the things in Aikido that make it Aikido as I understand it, that they are mere trickery and not real Aiki. I am not at all invested in winning anything. I am invested in knowing what is true. Some truths are relative. Others are testable.

Here is the quotation of you that led me to say that you said O Sensei "stole" Aiki:

"What he does hands out Daito ryu scrolls with a changed name, and refused to pay the fees he promised...and walked away into a world pointing to his vision.."

I think given this quote what I said was reasonable. Maybe you forgot that you said that. You have obviously said that O Sensei had ability, as you define it.

You use the video of Dobson Sensei as an example of my unwillingness to see how I am wrong. In all sincerity I don't see how what Dobson Sensei said in the video of the seminar supports the yo ho arguments you and your supporters have made and how the contradict what I have taken them to mean. He seems very clear to me. If I am wrong, it seems that people could demonstrate how I am wrong, by showing how I took the video and words wrong, or brining in other conversations with him that would change what I took to be his meaning. It is very important that I understand where Dobson Sensei was coming from. I do not want to get it wrong as I will be writing based on some of his work.

Here's what I think I have learned based on what you are teaching:

Aiki is not about blending with energy. It is about connecting with an attacker in such a manner that immobilizes their attack. It is then possible to throw them or move them as you wish as they are in you.

This Aiki is not spiritually based. It is found in the retraining of muscles, tendons, and nervous system.

You develop this Aiki skill though exercises, largely solo exercises.

The training approach is a slow static type training, not rigid, but Uke does not move unless compelled to do so by Nage's Aiki.

Real Aiki has nothing to do with leading, blending, or even getting off the line. These are tricks that may work but not in a "real fight." In application it is necessary to connect with Aiki right away, bringing Uke into your control, so that the attack is instantly immobilized.

This secret to Aiki is found in Daito-ryu. It probably is or Chinese origin.


As I said, I've tried hard to understand. I'm just not convinced. I've given reasons why. The approach to engaging in debate that I've taken is academic. Maybe people just don't understand that. It seems to rub people the wrong way.

Double post edit time ran out

Mr McGrew
First off I don't know where or how you feel familiar enough with me to call me Dan. Do you know me personally? Particularly while doing this hatchet job on me.

And for the last time, you sir are not correctly addressing my real views and thoughts on budo.
1. You started by misquoting me-and using your own interpretatons to arrive at views I do not hold.
2. Only to go on to actually quoting me.. . and still using your own interpretatons... to arrive at views I do not hold.
Two small samples:

I do not believe Ueshiba "stole" anything. He studied very hard under Takeda, and earned what he got. He (like others under Takeda) continued to research and grow past what he had learned with Takeda and made some changes that I have not only outlined here on Aikiweb, one or two of them have been quoted in Ellis's book.

Your description of me supposedly teaching to stand absolutely vertical defies anything I have ever taught...anywhere. There is a very inportant teaching involving the spine but it has not one thing to do with verticality. For the most part that is important for certain reasons- which I would bet you cannot state- but at a later state it is not an operational requirement, again for reasons I would bet you cannot state either. You then go on to state that you know more about my teaching then you reveal. It's pure fabrication.

Excuse me, but you demonstrate over and over, that you don't know what you are talking about where I am concerned and this sort of blatent dishonesty or ignorance doesn't deserve any expansation in response. In fact I think it incredibly obvous you do not undestand anything at all that I teach.

I challenge that you are directly uninterested in what I do or teach and are engaging in a smear campaign based on dissinformation of your own making.

Just like you did with your discussion of Terry Dobson with Ellis; it appears you can be given better and more accurate information and you remain undeterred from your own conclusions based on poor information. Keith tried to explain that to you. Unfortunately, it appears that you are the one who is not interested in a a real exchange. I think you should rethink your approach. We all have had to do that many times with various issues. It's not a bad thing.
Dan

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 03:29 PM
You bring up blending a bit - so, let me just say that the quotes on blending you have presented from Saotome and Dobson can also very easily fit into Dan's model of aiki as well. keep in mind there is external blending and there is internal blending. You appear to advocate external blending into uke and then doing something to uke to unbalance him. In internal blending, the blending starts in nage by the balancing of yin-yang within, when uke attacks, uke's energy is blended internally with nage, and uke and nage become one under the control of nage - nage then unbalances uke by moving nage - nage maintains his balance but uke comes along for the ride and is unbalanced as the result - at this point, feel free to apply the technique of your choice - oh, by the way, all this happens in an instant at the point of contact with uke - no large timing movements from nage to position for leverage, etc.

Greg

Greg, this is only the second time in this whole discussion that someone tried to put into words what is being advocated for.

I agree that what you are describing is PART of Aikido. Internal unbalancing work if very good. I only argue that it's not the whole of what is needed. It's one way of doing things in a given situation. When I say blending, however, I mean something different than what Mr. Harden and others seems to be describing, as they say it is not relational but only internal and automatic. Not what you do but who you are.

Most of the training for this is at the level of exercise, in my opinion. When applied to application it needs to be incorporated, that is internal unbalancing, into the things that make up waza. I would argue that the things that are called tricks are essential, that you can't escape them. I would disagree with the idea of yo ho that is described in that I think Ki is part of this. I believe Saotome Sensei has a drawing that corresponds to this idea, with fire on one side and water on the other, in Harmony of Nature, but he also shows the world, original Ki, and water below... if I remember correctly. Finally, I argue that the system of cooperative training is not what makes Aikido fake, but what makes it possible to learn what cannot be taught directly in Aikido. I argue that we have to trust the system. But there's nothing wrong with working in other arts or working in exercises to isolate particular skills. They just shouldn't replace waza system.

I don't say any of this for the sake of my ego. This is conventional "modern" Aikido that I describe, is it not?

DH
11-15-2011, 03:31 PM
We have a group of people who want to dominate conversations about Aikido on the international stage. When the evidence they present is questioned with logic and counter-evidence, they resort to repeated personal attacks, disparaging remarks, and now this. I have contacted Jun repeatedly about this. Because he hasn't responded, I will.

Mr McGrew
Those "people" are teachers of aikido. They have every right to discuss their aikido as anyone else. This movement isn't going away any day soon. I would not be surprised to come back in ten years and it is being discussed in the majority of dojo's. It is already being discussed by the top brass in various branches and by doshu.

When it comes to the discussion of internal power and aiki;
We have presented over the years, in many discussions, various how to's, reasons why, the logic in doing so, how it affects uke and you, where it occurs in other cultures and what our opinions were of the movements we saw.
Recently, some of my direct wording of what he was doing, has been validated in newly translated words of Ueshiba. In those works it is as if he was quoting me back at me...in his own words.

You have presented no counter evidence of anything as you don't understand what it is you are trying to counter.

In fairness, I think the burden was on us to try....somehow...to explain to the community that they had been had and not taught what Ueshiba was teaching and talking about. That their aikido was in fact not Ueshiba's aiki. Of course I can understand the angst, anger, and /or dismissiveness that was going to ensue. Sometimes you have to hold your breath going in, knowing that what you are saying and doing is correct and will prove true in the end. However, that was years ago. In all that time, and with hundreds of teachers and students going out to feel, test, train, whatever, the vast majority (almost 100%) have decided to train this way to enhance their aikido.
No one has ever told me it is counter or harmful to their aikido! In fact I hear just the opposite. I will add, that so far no one has been able to handle the power of aiki adequately, expressed and trained and demonstrated.

For this reason, I remain unmoved as to my observations and understanding of the skills I believe he was personally training, doing, and showing. I just returned from yet another seminar- with a teacher under your own Sensei- who stated that what I did was the finest explanation of Aiki in Aikido he had ever seen. So imagine how very odd for me personally to keep doing these seminars, and hearing these things, and for everyone to keep telling me it has changed their aikido for ever- only to read so much vitriol from those who do not understand it, have never felt it and who do not know me.
I continue to hope that we can do better, but in all honesty the attacks I continue to face do not come from me, they are aimed at me.
Dan

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 03:46 PM
Did you miss the post above while you were typing?

People have every right to post, but not to use personal attacks and try to drive other people away in order to win.

I listed what I took to be what people say they are doing. Am I getting it wrong in the list I gave?

I have presented lots of counter evidence and argumentation that undermines the evidence that you and your supporters have presented. Not to win for the sake of winning. I don't understand how you can say I have presented no counter evidence.

I don't see any reason why the thing you are trying to describe can't exist at the same time that the things I'm describing, that O Sensei wrote, that others wrote and said about him, can't both exist within Aikido. There is a time to blend externally and throw. There's a time to connect internally, move a person (maybe even for their own good), and either throw or not throw. The fact that you feel that you found some evidence for your interpretation does not prove that O Sensei had not expanded on the art in ways that were important and not the result of yo ho. Yo ho may be the secret for the grounding demonstrations that O Sensei did. That doesn't mean that they are the secret for everything else he did. That is a basic mistake in logical argumentation. No offense intended by saying so.

To the extent that people stop training the waza system, because they have decided it is fake and trickery, then they start to stop Uke all the time, then it becomes damaging to the training process as O Sensei described it to Saotome Sensei, as he described in his books and videos, Etc.

Please stop saying that people from ASU training with you makes you correct. They don't all agree. Do you think I haven't asked senior people to confirm I am not as clueless as has been suggested? I am just not as clueless and incompetent in my understanding of what I've been taught as has been said. I doubt that most people in ASU go to you for the reasons that you think. That is, they probably think that blending, Etc. are important and not fake... they just think you're good at what it is you do. It's not necessarily support for your bold claims.

It's a lot to ask us to reject the things that O Sensei said to his students that were passed on to us. It's a lot to say that our teachers are just doing tricks that aren't Aiki. Translation errors can't erase the mountain of data here. Especially when you have so few translations to point to. We have to go by what O Sensei said and what he passed down. That doesn't mean that I think you suck at whatever you are doing. I trained with Ki society for a while. They were very good where I trained. Good Aikido. Effective. But not, in my opinion, for the reasons that they thought it worked. Still, very good Aikido.

Mr McGrew
Those "people" are teachers of aikido. They have every right to discuss their aikido as anyone else. This movement isn't going away any day soon. I would not be surprised to come back in ten years and it is being discussed in the majority of dojo's. It is already being discussed by the top brass in various branches and by doshu.

When it comes to the discussion of internal power and aiki;
We have presented over the years, in many discussions, various how to's, reasons why, the logic in doing so, how it affects uke and you, where it occurs in other cultures and what our opinions were of the movements we saw.
Recently, some of my direct wording of what he was doing, has been validated in newly translated words of Ueshiba. In those works it is as if he was quoting me back at me...in his own words.

You have presented no counter evidence of anything as you don't understand what it is you are trying to counter.

In fairness, I think the burden was on us to try....somehow...to explain to the community that they had been had and not taught what Ueshiba was teaching and talking about. That their aikido was in fact not Ueshiba's aiki. Of course I can understand the angst, anger, and /or dismissiveness that was going to ensue. Sometimes you have to hold your breath going in, knowing that what you are saying and doing is correct and will prove true in the end. However, that was years ago. In all that time, and with hundreds of teachers and students going out to feel, test, train, whatever, the vast majority (almost 100%) have decided to train this way to enhance their aikido.
No one has ever told me it is counter or harmful to their aikido! In fact I hear just the opposite. I will add, that so far no one has been able to handle the power of aiki adequately, expressed and trained and demonstrated.

For this reason, I remain unmoved as to my observations and understanding of the skills I believe he was personally training, doing, and showing. I just returned from yet another seminar- with a teacher under your own Sensei- who stated that what I did was the finest explanation of Aiki in Aikido he had ever seen. So imagine how very odd for me personally to keep doing these seminars, and hearing these things, and for everyone to keep telling me it has changed their aikido for ever- only to read so much vitriol from those who do not understand it, have never felt it and who do not know me.
I continue to hope that we can do better, but in all honesty the attacks I continue to face do not come from me, they are aimed at me.
Dan

HL1978
11-15-2011, 03:50 PM
Greg, this is only the second time in this whole discussion that someone tried to put into words what is being advocated for.

I agree that what you are describing is PART of Aikido. Internal unbalancing work if very good. I only argue that it's not the whole of what is needed. It's one way of doing things in a given situation. When I say blending, however, I mean something different than what Mr. Harden and others seems to be describing, as they say it is not relational but only internal and automatic. Not what you do but who you are.

Most of the training for this is at the level of exercise, in my opinion. When applied to application it needs to be incorporated, that is internal unbalancing, into the things that make up waza. I would argue that the things that are called tricks are essential, that you can't escape them. I would disagree with the idea of yo ho that is described in that I think Ki is part of this. I believe Saotome Sensei has a drawing that corresponds to this idea, with fire on one side and water on the other, in Harmony of Nature, but he also shows the world, original Ki, and water below... if I remember correctly. Finally, I argue that the system of cooperative training is not what makes Aikido fake, but what makes it possible to learn what cannot be taught directly in Aikido. I argue that we have to trust the system. But there's nothing wrong with working in other arts or working in exercises to isolate particular skills. They just shouldn't replace waza system.

I don't say any of this for the sake of my ego. This is conventional "modern" Aikido that I describe, is it not?

I was under the impresson that Ueshiba didn't teach waza, that the lists of waza were created by his students, and that he said that he was doing the same thing in each waza.

BWells
11-15-2011, 04:05 PM
All of this makes me think of the comments of Henry Kono at a party for
O'Sensie.

"Henry Kono: Another funny story... All of us, the foreign students, had cooked up a little party for his birthday with a cake and everything. That day, he was very relaxed and happy so I thought it might be the right moment to try my luck with a question. I asked him "O Sensei, how come we are not doing what you are doing?" He just smiled and replied "I understand Yin and Yang, you don't". Like if it was nothing, he just gave me the secret of Aikido. However, I am sure that he must have said it to other people before me but I kept it all within me until I understood how it all worked."

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 04:06 PM
I was under the impresson that Ueshiba didn't teach waza, that the lists of waza were created by his students, and that he said that he was doing the same thing in each waza.

By Waza I mean cooperative training process. There are other ways to train also, for different reasons, like balance building, strength building, connection training, Etc. but the cooperative training process was described by O Sensei as the educational system of Aikido.

kewms
11-15-2011, 04:19 PM
In the end you're demanding to be convinced. And that's nigh impossible if someone won't accept anything other than what they already believe to be the case. That's why I suggested you simply talk to Saotome when he visits the US next month if you think there's an issue with a whole lot of senior people studying with Dan. If you feel so strongly that it is contradictory to his writings as you understand them you should probably go to the "source". It is his organization after all and I seriously doubt he appointed you as defender of his writings. He might want to know what's going on and would probably give you guidance for the future.

Hard to be convinced if one refuses to step on the mat with the man. Just saying...

FWIW, Saotome Sensei lives in the US and teaches seminars frequently. If one wishes to ask a question -- especially if one has already discussed a topic with him at length -- it's just not that hard to find an opportunity.

Katherine

DH
11-15-2011, 04:20 PM
Did you miss the post above while you were typing?
Yes.

People have every right to post, but not to use personal attacks and try to drive other people away in order to win.
Again, I think that your manner coming in did yourself a disservice. I think it was you who should have apologized for the manner in which you approached this -particularly to me- so everyone could have re-set. You angered/irritated quite a few people. Not by the debate you wanted to have but rather your manner.

I listed what I took to be what people say they are doing. Am I getting it wrong in the list I gave?
Yes almost completely. It doesn't help that you misquote them as well.

I have presented lots of counter evidence and argumentation that undermines the evidence that you and your supporters have presented. Not to win for the sake of winning. I don't understand how you can say I have presented no counter evidence.
In fact many of things I do teach are also outlined in some of your supposed counter arguments. It's why people are struggling to take you seriously. It's as if I am teaching the sky is blue, and you are arguing that the sky is blue. Sorry, but we can't help but laugh.

I don't see any reason why the thing you are trying to describe can't exist at the same time that the things I'm describing, that O Sensei wrote, that others wrote and said about him, can't both exist within Aikido. There is a time to blend externally and throw. There's a time to connect internally, move a person (maybe even for their own good), and either throw or not throw. The fact that you feel that you found some evidence for your interpretation does not prove that O Sensei had not expanded on the art in ways that were important and not the result of yo ho. Yo ho may be the secret for the grounding demonstrations that O Sensei did. That doesn't mean that they are the secret for everything else he did. That is a basic mistake in logical argumentation. No offense intended by saying so.
Good grief, man you are now stating what others stated to you. They do both exist AT THE SAME TIME. This is getting rather bizzare.

It's a lot to ask us to reject the things that O Sensei said to his students that were passed on to us. It's a lot to say that our teachers are just doing tricks that aren't Aiki. Translation errors can't erase the mountain of data here. Especially when you have so few translations to point to. We have to go by what O Sensei said and what he passed down. That doesn't mean that I think you suck at whatever you are doing. I trained with Ki society for a while. They were very good where I trained. Good Aikido. Effective. But not, in my opinion, for the reasons that they thought it worked. Still, very good Aikido.
I have never said to reject what Ueshiba said.
"We have to go by what O Sensei said and what he passed down."
My argument is that you have never read what he actually DID SAY and pointed to as his aiki.
Oddly this is very clear to most who have read what I write, and a source of our disagreement on aikiweb, yet somehow you missed that.
Other than from myself, I have never read anything presented on the way Ueshiba moved that was correct-until the recent translations appeared and Ueshiba stated essentially what I have been saying all along. And the majority of the aikido I have seen is not what he was doing. FYI, comparing me to ki society further proves you have absolutely no idea of what I do or am talking about. In fact, it serves as a perfect example of that point. And it is another example that hundreds of teachers know is different and you don't. It would serve you well to know you do not know me or what I do, and leave it at that.
Oh well.
Dan

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 04:24 PM
Hard to be convinced if one refuses to step on the mat with the man. Just saying...

FWIW, Saotome Sensei lives in the US and teaches seminars frequently. If one wishes to ask a question -- especially if one has already discussed a topic with him at length -- it's just not that hard to find an opportunity.

Katherine

I am convinced that Dan is good at what he does, whatever "it" is. I have no doubt about that, in all seriousness. I never said I did.

Do I not describe it correctly?

If there is no way to test bold claims except to feel what he does, why make the claims in a forum? Frankly, if what he claims is true it can be proven with logic. Feeling him do something impressive does not prove all the things that have been claimed. It doesn't even prove that he is great for the reasons he thinks he's great. I don't believe that O Sensei was possessed by a deity. I don't think that was the direct source of his take musu Aiki. Training with him directly would not have convinced me either. He could come closer to convincing me with logic.

kewms
11-15-2011, 04:29 PM
People have every right to post, but not to use personal attacks and try to drive other people away in order to win.

I listed what I took to be what people say they are doing. Am I getting it wrong in the list I gave?


You've materially mis-represented my position on at least three different occasions. When asked to provide a quote or retract your statements, you have not done so. I can't speak for anyone else, but based on that record, it seems likely that your understanding of other people's statements is similarly flawed.

Katherine

Janet Rosen
11-15-2011, 04:29 PM
To the extent that people stop training the waza system, because they have decided it is fake and trickery, then they start to stop Uke all the time, then it becomes damaging to the training process as O Sensei described it to Saotome Sensei, as he described in his books and videos, .

Many of us have explicitly said and will continue to say: we are continuing to get on the mat and train as nage and uke, doing waza. As uke, we are not resisting, we are not tanking. We are (trying to at least, depending on our skill level!) providing the committed, sincere attack nage needs in order to do the technique the instructor has asked us to do. As nage , we are not standing there like blocks, we are (again, at least striving to dep. on skill level) entering, establishing a connection to uke's center, achieving kuzushi in order to do the technique the instructor has asked us to do.
Making use of the internal strength training is no different from a Ki Society dojo making use of those tools IN SERVICE TO WAZA. We are doing aikido. I have no idea why you think this is not the case.

raul rodrigo
11-15-2011, 04:31 PM
I remember the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. No matter what happens, as in he loses both arms and both legs, he just sneers: "This is just a flesh wound."

DH
11-15-2011, 04:35 PM
Many of us have explicitly said and will continue to say: we are continuing to get on the mat and train as nage and uke, doing waza. As uke, we are not resisting, we are not tanking. We are (trying to at least, depending on our skill level!) providing the committed, sincere attack nage needs in order to do the technique the instructor has asked us to do. As nage , we are not standing there like blocks, we are (again, at least striving to dep. on skill level) entering, establishing a connection to uke's center, achieving kuzushi in order to do the technique the instructor has asked us to do.
Making use of the internal strength training is no different from a Ki Society dojo making use of those tools IN SERVICE TO WAZA. We are doing aikido. I have no idea why you think this is not the case.

I'm at a loss.:confused:

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 04:41 PM
Mr. Harden,

I did not compare to you Ki Society. I used them as an example of people being good at something, but the fact that they are good at it does not convince me it's because they have Ki beams coming out of their eyes, mouths, and fingers. But they were good. You are good. But does that prove the other things you say.

I have already apologized for any misquotations of you and for losing my patience earlier. Your supporters and yourself were not blameless. To be accused of lying right off the bat would offend anyone. It offended me and I responded badly initially. Do you think all these personal attacks that continue, all the statements about "budo men" reflects well on your people? Why don't we move on. If I'm not worth communicating with, then don't. If what you claim is correct then what you say is very important. If it is not correct that doesn't prove that you have nothing to offer.

If we go back in the discussion carefully I could point to people who stated that all of O Sensei's Aikido was the Aiki connection and that everything else, blending, leading, body positioning, were tricks and not Aiki. The people who made these statements presented themselves as knowing what you were doing. You even praised some of them for presenting your ideas. I know it's a lot of posts and you haven't read them all word for word. Just saying. I'm responding to specific things people said.

Now I am very confused about what you believe as you reject the list I gave. That list is taken from what people said on here on your behalf and from things you said. I could point to the various statements made by yourself and others that led me to make the list. You in fact said it is not relational and is inside yourself. I don't understand why you would now deny you said that. It would be so much easier if you or someone you officially endorse to the purpose would either make a list or respond to my list.

If your argument is that yo ho internal unbalancing is only part of what makes Aikido work, then I believe you may be right, so far as certain things like O Sensei's displays of grounding. I don't know if you are right. But I have no reason to say you are wrong. I know you have new translations that point to the fact that the concept of yo ho is important. There are other applications of the concept of yin and yang that the founder presented. I believe it was more than one thing. I believe this based on what direct students of his said. The new translations Chris found, speaking in terms of logic and evidence, may support some of your claims. They don't seem to be conclusive support for all the claims you have made, assuming I understand what those claims are at all. You do realize that Saotome Sensei did his own translations, with the help of a team of people, of certain lessons by O Sensei and published them in Harmony of Nature? We have more sources than the American translators for believing certain things about what O Sensei believed.

Yes.

Again, I think that your manner coming in did yourself a disservice. I think it was you who should have apologized for the manner in which you approached this -particularly to me- so everyone could have re-set. You angered/irritated quite a few people. Not by the debate you wanted to have but rather your manner.

Yes almost completely. It doesn't help that you misquote them as well.

In fact many of things I do teach are also outlined in some of your supposed counter arguments. It's why people are struggling to take you seriously. It's as if I am teaching the sky is blue, and you are arguing that the sky is blue. Sorry, but we can't help but laugh.

I
Good grief, man you are now stating what others stated to you. They do both exist AT THE SAME TIME. This is getting rather bizzare.

I have never said to reject what Ueshiba said.
"We have to go by what O Sensei said and what he passed down."
My argument is that you have never read what he actually DID SAY and pointed to as his aiki.
Oddly this is very clear to most who have read what I write, and a source of our disagreement on aikiweb, yet somehow you missed that.
Other than from myself, I have never read anything presented on the way Ueshiba moved that was correct-until the recent translations appeared and Ueshiba stated essentially what I have been saying all along. And the majority of the aikido I have seen is not what he was doing. FYI, comparing me to ki society further proves you have absolutely no idea of what I do or am talking about. In fact, it serves as a perfect example of that point. And it is another example that hundreds of teachers know is different and you don't. It would serve you well to know you do not know me or what I do, and leave it at that.
Oh well.
Dan

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 04:58 PM
Here is someone answering my questions to Mr. Harden, on his behalf, and to which I have been speaking. I will also highlight the most relevant quote here:

Is internal balance breaking the only way to do Aikido or is is also ok to break balance externally using the momentum of Uke? - The only way to do Ueshiba's aikido.

People, answering the questions for Mr. Harden, said there is only one way to do Aiki as Ueshiba did.

QUOTE=Jason Casteel;296641]Anyone can answer these for you.

Are you against the cooperative training approach? Cooperative training, no. Training where, for instance, someone does a shomenuchi and you make the movements of a technique and they fall, yes, definitely.

Do you claim that O'Sensei was against the cooperative training approach? see above.

Do you claim that there is no difference between Ju Jitsu and Aikido? Daito Ryu Aiki-jujitsu, not really no.

Do you claim that O'Sensei was not religious? no

Do you claim that no students of O'Sensei can do the Aikido that O'Sensei was showing them and wanted them to do? If some could do it please indicate which ones. - how many of them can do what he could do? Only a handful of his students seem to have been particularly respected for their skills.

Do you claim that Aikido does not work by blending with energy? - blending with energy inside yourself, sure. The twirly external stuff, only to a certain degree and I would consider it low probability and this from someone who has used it in real fights.

Is internal balance breaking the only way to do Aikido or is is also ok to break balance externally using the momentum of Uke? - The only way to do Ueshiba's aikido.

To the extent that any of these claims are claims that you make, how do you reconcile them with the quotes I have provided from O'Sensei that seem to contradict them? - This type of training has done nothing but open my eyes to the things he said. I've seen no contradictions.[/QUOTE]

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 05:01 PM
You've materially mis-represented my position on at least three different occasions. When asked to provide a quote or retract your statements, you have not done so. I can't speak for anyone else, but based on that record, it seems likely that your understanding of other people's statements is similarly flawed.

Katherine

This is a dishonest attempt to engage in point making over semantics. You claim that I falsely accused you of calling Aikido fake when you said it doesn't work. Same thing. But fine. You never said it was fake. You just said that blending, leading, body positioning won't work. Same thing. You gave Judo as an example, a situation where two opponents go at each other and are not allowed by rules to evade...

Please stop trying to attack me and score cheap points. Let Mr. Harden just list out what he believes. That would be great.

DH
11-15-2011, 05:04 PM
Attacks? Attacks?? Katherine was never attacking you she was addressing you once again misquoting her like you do me and asking for a retraction. Has it dawned on you that everyone sees this behavior as an attack ON ME?
Look what you are doing again. Listen, I am reaching the end of my rope. Stop this and stop it now.
I do not know Jason, he has never trained with me and I am POSITIVE that he is as pissed as I am to hear he is speaking on my behalf. I am sick of this misdirection, misquoting, and restatements of things that have NOTHING TO DO WITH ME.
Knock it off.
Dan

Here is someone answering my questions to Mr. Harden, on his behalf, and to which I have been speaking. I will also highlight the most relevant quote here:

Is internal balance breaking the only way to do Aikido or is is also ok to break balance externally using the momentum of Uke? - The only way to do Ueshiba's aikido.

People, answering the questions for Mr. Harden, said there is only one way to do Aiki as Ueshiba did.

QUOTE=Jason Casteel;296641]Anyone can answer these for you.

Are you against the cooperative training approach? Cooperative training, no. Training where, for instance, someone does a shomenuchi and you make the movements of a technique and they fall, yes, definitely.

Do you claim that O'Sensei was against the cooperative training approach? see above.

Do you claim that there is no difference between Ju Jitsu and Aikido? Daito Ryu Aiki-jujitsu, not really no.

Do you claim that O'Sensei was not religious? no

Do you claim that no students of O'Sensei can do the Aikido that O'Sensei was showing them and wanted them to do? If some could do it please indicate which ones. - how many of them can do what he could do? Only a handful of his students seem to have been particularly respected for their skills.

Do you claim that Aikido does not work by blending with energy? - blending with energy inside yourself, sure. The twirly external stuff, only to a certain degree and I would consider it low probability and this from someone who has used it in real fights.

Is internal balance breaking the only way to do Aikido or is is also ok to break balance externally using the momentum of Uke? - The only way to do Ueshiba's aikido.

To the extent that any of these claims are claims that you make, how do you reconcile them with the quotes I have provided from O'Sensei that seem to contradict them? - This type of training has done nothing but open my eyes to the things he said. I've seen no contradictions.

kewms
11-15-2011, 05:04 PM
This is a dishonest attempt to engage in point making over semantics. You claim that I falsely accused you of calling Aikido fake when you said it doesn't work. Same thing. But fine. You never said it was fake. You just said that blending, leading, body positioning won't work. Same thing. You gave Judo as an example, a situation where two opponents go at each other and are not allowed by rules to evade...

Again, provide the quote or retract the statement. In particular, I don't recall even mentioning judo, except in the mild suggestion that training with a judoka might be enlightening.

Katherine

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 05:10 PM
Many people have argued that Aikido does not work by blending, at least not real Aiki, and that those are tricks. People have written those things in this discussion. I can dig them up if I must. People have suggested that Mr. Harden provides the solution to the artificial and superficial nature of "overly" cooperative training. I was told that if my Aikido works because of my blending that I must also be doing more internal unbalancing than I realize in order for it to work. Katherine, I believe, described slow static practice to take balance from resistance that was just enough to let you succeed. Someone described very clearly the idea of brining Uke into you so you can move them and they can't prevent it. This is what I'm responding to.

Internal connection is great. Internal unbalancing is great. It is not the only way that Aikido works. You often connect to Uke. But you don't always connect. You do what fits the situation. Body positioning, blending, leading, these are not tricks, they are part of Aiki.

Many of us have explicitly said and will continue to say: we are continuing to get on the mat and train as nage and uke, doing waza. As uke, we are not resisting, we are not tanking. We are (trying to at least, depending on our skill level!) providing the committed, sincere attack nage needs in order to do the technique the instructor has asked us to do. As nage , we are not standing there like blocks, we are (again, at least striving to dep. on skill level) entering, establishing a connection to uke's center, achieving kuzushi in order to do the technique the instructor has asked us to do.
Making use of the internal strength training is no different from a Ki Society dojo making use of those tools IN SERVICE TO WAZA. We are doing aikido. I have no idea why you think this is not the case.

Chris Knight
11-15-2011, 05:11 PM
ok guys, Ken calm it down will you, I want some answers to my post before the thread is closed...:D

Fred Little
11-15-2011, 05:13 PM
u or someone you officially endorse to the purpose would either make a list or respond to my list.

If your argument is that yo ho internal unbalancing is only part of what makes Aikido work, then I believe you may be right, .

I believe that we can all agree on this: yo ho internal unbalancing requires one more ho and a bottle of rum.

FL

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 05:13 PM
Again, provide the quote or retract the statement. In particular, I don't recall even mentioning judo, except in the mild suggestion that training with a judoka might be enlightening.

Katherine

I just did retract it. I said fine. I retract it. You never exactly said Aikido is fake. And I never put it in quotation marks when I said that you said it was fake. It's called paraphrasing. It is not the same thing as misquoting.

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 05:15 PM
ok guys, Ken calm it down will you, I want some answers to my post before the thread is closed...:D

Please explain why my posts don't seem calm. Why address this to me? Dan wrote in all caps, not me. I'm perfectly calm.

kewms
11-15-2011, 05:15 PM
Katherine, I believe, described slow static practice to take balance from resistance that was just enough to let you succeed.

Sure. That's one of many useful training tools. I never claimed that was all of aikido.

Katherine

Janet Rosen
11-15-2011, 05:16 PM
You often connect to Uke. But you don't always connect. You do what fits the situation. Body positioning, blending, leading, these are not tricks, they are part of Aiki.

Then we have fundamentally different conceptions of aikido, because to me without connection there is no aikido.
I never said or implied that body position, blending or leading are "tricks" - but I will say in my conception of aikido, they are tools that enable us to make connection. Even on a non-touch throw there is an inherent connection between uke and nage or else uke is merely tanking.

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 05:17 PM
How did I misquote Jason? I quoted what he wrote in order to explain why I took your teachings to be what I took them to be. People ask me questions, I answer them, then people go hog wild. Stop asking me questions and I'll stop responding. I'd love to.

If you won't tell us what you do, and the english language isn't adequate to even begin to capture what you do, then I guess it can't be discussed in a forum.

Attacks? Attacks?? Katherine was never attacking you she was addressing you once again misquoting her like you do me and asking for a retraction. Has it dawned on you that everyone sees this behavior as an attack ON ME?
Look what you are doing again. Listen, I am reaching the end of my rope. Stop this and stop it now.
I do not know Jason, he has never trained with me and I am POSITIVE that he is as pissed as I am to hear he is speaking on my behalf. I am sick of this misdirection, misquoting, and restatements of things that have NOTHING TO DO WITH ME.
Knock it off.
Dan

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 05:19 PM
Sure. That's one of many useful training tools. I never claimed that was all of aikido.

Katherine

Other people claimed Aikido, meaning Aiki, is only real when it's a certain thing Dan does. I am responding to dozens of people who all present themselves as advocating for Mr. Harden, then when I take them on their word I'm accused of something... I'm not sure what. Lots of things. Of not being a budo man.

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 05:20 PM
Then we have fundamentally different conceptions of aikido, because to me without connection there is no aikido.
I never said or implied that body position, blending or leading are "tricks" - but I will say in my conception of aikido, they are tools that enable us to make connection. Even on a non-touch throw there is an inherent connection between uke and nage or else uke is merely tanking.

Janet, sometimes, like in randori, you just want the person to go by you. You don't always want to engage with them, do you?

In Aiki Nage, going down on both knees and bending over from a shomen strike, you sometimes connect with the center, but not always. Connecting with the center is a disruption. That can be helpful or not helpful. In Aiki nage Uke can be thrown forward by the force of his own strike and then tripped by your body, like a log in the woods not seen.

Chris Knight
11-15-2011, 05:23 PM
Many people have argued that Aikido does not work by blending, at least not real Aiki, and that those are tricks. People have written those things in this discussion. I can dig them up if I must. People have suggested that Mr. Harden provides the solution to the artificial and superficial nature of "overly" cooperative training. I was told that if my Aikido works because of my blending that I must also be doing more internal unbalancing than I realize in order for it to work. Katherine, I believe, described slow static practice to take balance from resistance that was just enough to let you succeed. Someone described very clearly the idea of brining Uke into you so you can move them and they can't prevent it. This is what I'm responding to.

before i'm jumped on and lynched by you Ken i have no association with any body on here and dont know anybody who posts personally

maybe, through my very very basic knowledge of aikido, that the internal blending is the most coherant thought process.. i mean, yes in a dojo setting , we have time to make adjustments to posture, positioning, tai subaki, tenkan movements etc...maybe o sensei taught these to start to instill the idea of the movement process, in reality, (please nobody start the what's reality reply), these movements are maybe condensed down into minimalistic movements within ourselves i.e. internal, as in reality, an attack is based on nano second reaction times, which even bruce lee couldn't predict and react to a punch from face to face action...
im sure i've read before that o sensei stated that his aikido/daito ryu took no form of the dojo training when used in a cross training/testing setting....

my 1 pennies worth

kewms
11-15-2011, 05:26 PM
I just did retract it. I said fine. I retract it. You never exactly said Aikido is fake. And I never put it in quotation marks when I said that you said it was fake. It's called paraphrasing. It is not the same thing as misquoting.

I couldn't have been misquoted, since you didn't quote me. I believe I said you had materially misrepresented my position. Repeatedly.

Just so we are clear, and since you refuse to look up exactly what I did say, I said that some actions (there are a number of examples) "often" don't work. I did not say they "never" work, I did not say they are "impossible." To leap from "often don't work" to "modern aikido is fake" is a gross misrepresentation of my position.

Getting my views wrong once, I could attribute to quick reading or inattention. To insist on your interpretation, repeatedly, even when challenged, suggests that you are the one more interested in rhetorical points than in actual discussion of the issues.

Katherine

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 05:27 PM
Chris, Why do you accuse me of lynching you? To imply that I've been angrily attacking others? That is doc clearly not what I am doing. I don't understand. Seriously.

When Mr. Harden and company so internal connection they mean something very specific that they themselves say is not what most Aikido teachers do. Mr. Harden is on the record saying Aiki was lost after the war. He said O Sensei did not teach it well.

You are hitting exactly on my definition of Aiki. The ability to sense what cannot be known, exactly what is the attack that is coming at me and what must I do?

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 05:30 PM
How long are you going to harp on this, Katherine?

I think they are the exact same meanings. I see no meaningful distinctions between what you said and how I described what you said. You got your retraction. How long can you milk this.

Please, either engage in the heart of the discussion, or leave me alone.

I couldn't have been misquoted, since you didn't quote me. I believe I said you had materially misrepresented my position. Repeatedly.

Just so we are clear, and since you refuse to look up exactly what I did say, I said that some actions (there are a number of examples) "often" don't work. I did not say they "never" work, I did not say they are "impossible." To leap from "often don't work" to "modern aikido is fake" is a gross misrepresentation of my position.

Getting my views wrong once, I could attribute to quick reading or inattention. To insist on your interpretation, repeatedly, even when challenged, suggests that you are the one more interested in rhetorical points than in actual discussion of the issues.

Katherine

Chris Knight
11-15-2011, 05:31 PM
Other people claimed Aikido, meaning Aiki, is only real when it's a certain thing Dan does. I am responding to dozens of people who all present themselves as advocating for Mr. Harden, then when I take them on their word I'm accused of something... I'm not sure what. Lots of things. Of not being a budo man.
i dont think this is quite accurate.... i think the point is that Dan's skills are probably replicated all over China, but he is one of the few people in the west, who have delved into and dare i say started to master aiki, AND WHO ARE WILLING TO TEACH IT... this isn't a common practice as the Chinese are well known for their unwillingness to share the age old secrets

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 05:33 PM
Mr. Harden says I am wrong to attribute anything anyone says in defense or explanation of his art to him. If he won't describe it himself, then it can never be know, apparently.

I think this was meant to be a private discussion among people who already accept Mr. Harden's claims or assumptions. There should be a way to have those sorts of private conversations. Ueshiba's Aiki seemed like a topic that applied to us all. That's how I took it.

Chris Knight
11-15-2011, 05:37 PM
You are hitting exactly on my definition of Aiki. The ability to sense what cannot be known, exactly what is the attack that is coming at me and what must I do?

no definiately not the same definition... you are advocating large physical movements within aikido, when in reality, which is what a martial art is generally based around, there is no time for this and movement has to be internalised... no body knows what is comiing, and my guess is that the internal movement is developed until it becomes as natural as possible within us...

as the chinese say, less movement is better than large movements, and no movement is the goal

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 05:39 PM
i dont think this is quite accurate.... i think the point is that Dan's skills are probably replicated all over China, but he is one of the few people in the west, who have delved into and dare i say started to master aiki, AND WHO ARE WILLING TO TEACH IT... this isn't a common practice as the Chinese are well known for their unwillingness to share the age old secrets

What we have here is circular reasoning. No offense is intended in saying so. It just is. If you don't want to convince me or others and if you don't think I'm worth talking to, please just don't address me in your posts or otherwise mention me.

I don't have a problem with what Dan is doing. I have a problem with claiming it is the real Aiki in Aikido that the direct students of O Sensei never got, Etc. and so on. I have a problem with the claim that O Sensei would have agreed. I've given the reasons why, which include the things he said to his direct students which have been written down and otherwise conveyed. I've been saying this from the very beginning.

Mr. Harden is a master at whatever it is he is doing. I don't doubt it.

Chris Knight
11-15-2011, 05:42 PM
I think this was meant to be a private discussion among people who already accept Mr. Harden's claims or assumptions. There should be a way to have those sorts of private conversations. Ueshiba's Aiki seemed like a topic that applied to us all. That's how I took it.

how is that possible when i've never met the man, dont know his training concepts and can't easily get to train with him, although i would like to

just because some people have looked in more depth into the chinese philosophy of martial arts and internal strengh per se, is totally irrelevant of his teachings... if you look hard enough, you will find concepts of all martial arts mingled together, especially aikido within tai chi and my belief is that o sensei expanded his knowledge from this base form, but that's just me probably being crazy - i haven't studied it long enough but looking at the forms, there is a high correlation

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 05:43 PM
no definiately not the same definition... you are advocating large physical movements within aikido, when in reality, which is what a martial art is generally based around, there is no time for this and movement has to be internalised... no body knows what is comiing, and my guess is that the internal movement is developed until it becomes as natural as possible within us...

as the chinese say, less movement is better than large movements, and no movement is the goal

Chris, this gets to the heart of the disagreement. I understand your perspective. I disagree for various reasons that I have and could lay out again. I am not a real budo man so there is no reason to care what I think.

I do not advocate only for large movements. That is a misunderstanding of what I am saying. It can be large or small. There are lots of ways to cook an egg. They are all parts of Aikido that fit some situations better than others. Aiki is more than physical. It is many things. I could explain exactly what I mean but by now I see mosts posts as an attempt to draw me back into fire. Why address me at all?

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 05:44 PM
how is that possible when i've never met the man, dont know his training concepts and can't easily get to train with him, although i would like to

just because some people have looked in more depth into the chinese philosophy of martial arts and internal strengh per se, is totally irrelevant of his teachings... if you look hard enough, you will find concepts of all martial arts mingled together, especially aikido within tai chi and my belief is that o sensei expanded his knowledge from this base form, but that's just me probably being crazy - i haven't studied it long enough but looking at the forms, there is a high correlation

This was not directed at you. I did not write it in response to you. I did not use the quote feature. It was a statement meant to stand on it's own. Really? Please don't address me if you don't want me to respond.

DH
11-15-2011, 05:45 PM
How did I misquote Jason? I quoted what he wrote in order to explain why I took your teachings to be what I took them to be. People ask me questions, I answer them, then people go hog wild. Stop asking me questions and I'll stop responding. I'd love to.

I think you have trouble reasoning.
I didn't say you misquoted.
Let's do a test and see if you can follow along.
This is what you said
Ken McGrew wrote:
" Here is someone answering my questions to Mr. Harden, on his behalf." and to which I have been speaking.:
Now...stop. Go back. Read it again.
You said
Here is someone answering my questions to Mr. Harden, on his behalf,
Do you comprehend that?
Do you see it is not a misquote?
Should I provide a definition?
I don't care about the content of the quote. I do not know Jason, he has never trained with me. He cannot speak on my behalf.
Now wait. Follow along. I also said;
"I am sick of this misdirection, misquoting, and restatements of things that have NOTHING TO DO WITH ME."
DO YOU UNDERSTAND?

Good
Now....
Stop it. It is a disservice to yourself and to others.
Dan

Chris Knight
11-15-2011, 05:52 PM
Why address me at all?

because its a forum and i would like to discuss my ideas with you, as they dont adhere exactly to what your ideas are

Chris Knight
11-15-2011, 05:54 PM
This was not directed at you. I did not write it in response to you. I did not use the quote feature. It was a statement meant to stand on it's own. Really? Please don't address me if you don't want me to respond.
sorry my mistake

Chris Knight
11-15-2011, 05:56 PM
Chris, this gets to the heart of the disagreement.

it gets to the heart of the slight disagreement between me and you, as i haven't got a clue whether my concept of internal strength and chinese philosophy is the same as everybody elses posting, probably not as im a newbie, just throwing thoughts around though

Janet Rosen
11-15-2011, 06:00 PM
Janet, sometimes, like in randori, you just want the person to go by you. You don't always want to engage with them, do you?

In Aiki Nage, going down on both knees and bending over from a shomen strike, you sometimes connect with the center, but not always. Connecting with the center is a disruption. That can be helpful or not helpful. In Aiki nage Uke can be thrown forward by the force of his own strike and then tripped by your body, like a log in the woods not seen.

Actually, my goal is to always engage/connect. I understand in randori sometimes it is not possible to do more than establish a fleeting energy connection in order to keep the randori flow going. I would consider a complete evasion to be a weakness in my technique. This should not be construed as a statement of my abilities but of my goals, what I think aikido can and should be.

If uke is thrown off balance by the force of his own strike, then I think it was an overcommitted attack.

Again, we can agree to disagree and probably will. In my conception, connection and kuzushi are the primary issues - things like timing and position and blending are some of the tools to accomplish them - and internal training is something I am trying to learn in the body in order to have a more stable structure and to be more effective at connection and kuzushi - those are my goals right now and may not be a reflection of anybody else's teachings or goals.

DH
11-15-2011, 06:11 PM
If you won't tell us what you do, and the english language isn't adequate to even begin to capture what you do, then I guess it can't be discussed in a forum.
I have talked about it and I demonstrate it and I teach it. So there is a combinaton of forum and personal teaching. Who are you that you deserve me to lay everything out for you? Why?
Moreover, with me, people start to actually improve in their aiki. I would love to line up or write the names of the 4th, 5th, and 6th dans and Shihan and what they say about lack of detailed teaching of aiki in aikido...all under Masterclass Japanese instructors.
Care to discuss those Japanese teachers....in detail?
How about how much they charge for a seminar?
I never will, but it serves the point.


Internal connection is great. Internal unbalancing is great. It is not the only way that Aikido works. You often connect to Uke. But you don't always connect. You do what fits the situation. Body positioning, blending, leading, these are not tricks, they are part of Aiki.
No one is contesting positioning, blending, leading as part of aiki... BUT YOU.
We are discussing what you do to produce it. The essence of aikido is aiki. Aiki is first developed as a holding or sustaining of aiki in you. Then and only then can you make aiki between people.
"Aiki in me, before aiki between thee and me."
This is paramount to creating the aiki in aikido. It is the source of heaven/ earth/ man... six directions... in yo ho...and dual spiral energy (which Ueshiba states the mystery of aiki is revealed through). This is not the universal spirals that Saotome talks about.
In yo ho (yin yang method) is a system in the body.

FYI, stop calling it, yo ho.:rolleyes: Fred might hurt a rib laughing.
In light of the fact that you desire to contest me over what Ueshiba said, and meant -learn the terms that he used, the methods he ascribed to and what they really mean. It will give your arguments more weight. At least on the surface.
Dan

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 06:16 PM
By stop it I think you mean cower.

It was my mistake to take people describing your art as being able to do so to your satisfaction, especially when you thanked some of them for doing so.

On his behalf is a figure of speach. It does not mean In an official capacity.

I think you have trouble reasoning.
I didn't say you misquoted.
Let's do a test and see if you can follow along.
This is what you said

Now...stop. Go back. Read it again.
You said
Here is someone answering my questions to Mr. Harden, on his behalf,
Do you comprehend that?
Do you see it is not a misquote?
Should I provide a definition?
I don't care about the content of the quote. I do not know Jason, he has never trained with me. He cannot speak on my behalf.
Now wait. Follow along. I also said;
"I am sick of this misdirection, misquoting, and restatements of things that have NOTHING TO DO WITH ME."
DO YOU UNDERSTAND?

Good
Now....
Stop it. It is a disservice to yourself and to others.
Dan

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 06:28 PM
Listen, you said stop it then immediately Addresed me again. Please calm down.

People have denied the role of blending in Aiki. I even bumped one of he posts.

I don't accept your definition of Aiki.

I have talked about it and I demonstrate it and I teach it. So there is a combinaton of forum and personal teaching. Who are you that you deserve me to lay everything out for you? Why?
Moreover, with me, people start to actually improve in their aiki. I would love to line up or write the names of the 4th, 5th, and 6th dans and Shihan and what they say about lack of detailed teaching of aiki in aikido...all under Masterclass Japanese instructors.
Care to discuss those Japanese teachers....in detail?
How about how much they charge for a seminar?
I never will, but it serves the point.

No one is contesting positioning, blending, leading as part of aiki... BUT YOU.
We are discussing what you do to produce it. The essence of aikido is aiki. Aiki is first developed as a holding or sustaining of aiki in you. Then and only then can you make aiki between people.
"Aiki in me, before aiki between thee and me."
This is paramount to creating the aiki in aikido. It is the source of heaven/ earth/ man... six directions... in yo ho...and dual spiral energy (which Ueshiba states the mystery of aiki is revealed through). This is not the universal spirals that Saotome talks about.
In yo ho (yin yang method) is a system in the body.

FYI, stop calling it, yo ho.:rolleyes: Fred might hurt a rib laughing.
In light of the fact that you desire to contest me over what Ueshiba said, and meant -learn the terms that he used, the methods he ascribed to and what they really mean. It will give your arguments more weight. At least on the surface.
Dan

DH
11-15-2011, 06:28 PM
By stop it I think you mean cower.
Cower?
This is an implication on your part, presuming some negative posturing on my part.
Let me be clear. I stand in rooms and allow no one to call me a teacher. I deal with people straight in the eye and don't look down on anyone.
You're carrying around your own baggage. I don't need that tripe.
It was my mistake to take people describing your art as being able to do so to your satisfaction, especially when you thanked some of them for doing so.

On his behalf is a figure of speach. It does not mean In an official capacity.
It was one of many mistakes on your part. How can someone who doesn't know me and never met me describe my art?
Ask people at the office if they think ANYONE speaking on their behalf is a figure of speech!
I think I'm done here.
See ya
Dan

gregstec
11-15-2011, 06:56 PM
Ken,

The bottom line is that your definition of aiki is different than ours and when you read what we are saying, you view it as being said from the perspective of your definition - no one can communicate that way since other terms we use will not have the same relationship and meaning in our model that it would have in your model - so, no more need for further discussion - this is, of course, a logical observation and conclusion.

As far as insults are concerned, you came in here with the attitude, you pushed and we pushed back - if you are done with that, so are we; and I apologize for my part.

Below is from a previous post that is a good summary of where we think aiki is - you have absolutely every right to disagree with that and say what ever you want about it - however, until you can duplicate anything in there, we are not interested in hearing your opinions anymore - please keep in mind that those you have challenged here have already been through your understanding of what aiki is and have found it lacking for their purposes - however, if it fits your purposes, have fun.

Here are a few tidbits (gems) that may have relevance to parts of this thread.

1. Aiki starts at home - you develop aiki within you via the balancing of yin-yang/in-yo - Ueshiba said it himself: (paraphrase) "you will never learn aiki unless you know in yo ho" (don't ask for a reference to where he said it, look for it yourself - it has been posted recently)

2. You don't blend with Uke's energy, you allow uke's energy to blend with you; then YOU control the joining of the two as one - this is as much ki blending as a physical blending - actually, more ki

3. Once you have created aiki within you, everything that touches you becomes part of you and is controlled by you; this includes sword and jo, and whatever.

Oh, one other thing, this is ALL so soft and natural, you should not even break a sweat

Greg

hughrbeyer
11-15-2011, 09:56 PM
...I could point to people who stated that all of O Sensei's Aikido was the Aiki connection and that everything else, blending, leading, body positioning, were tricks and not Aiki.

You seem to be very wound up about the "tricks" comment. If so, I probably started it. I believe that in the same post I told you outright that not only was I not speaking for Dan or anyone else, but that I knew for sure that some IS people disagreed with me on some of what I was saying.

We could, possibly, have an interesting conversation about what it means to call something a trick in this context. Or we could continue the pissing contest. Which seems more likely, and I'm on the road with no access to my liquor cabinet so my tolerance for such is limited. :crazy:

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 11:03 PM
Why do you keep addressing me?

If you want to get into an argument with me about textual analysis you are addressing an area of professional expertise that I have. I'm sorry you think I'm not making sense. But I am. I may be wrong in the end but I'm not unclear or unable to follow a written argument.

Various people have said they were describing what you do and why. Call it what you want. If what they had to say was of no value I'm not sure why they said it and why you havent asked them to stop. Of course, we get to the point were its impossible to discuss on a discussion list.

If they can't describe what you are doing accurately, and you won't describe what you are doing, then how can you make all the bold claims that you have made? I'm not asking you to respond. I just don't get it. I know you think these arguments have been settled in your favor but they haven't. People just don't engage with you or your supporters.

I don't want to engage with you about anything personal. Cant you just let that stuff go?

If you want to define what you are doing better or respond to the counter evidence then great. If not why bother to respond to a know nothing nobody like myself?

Cower?
This is an implication on your part, presuming some negative posturing on my part.
Let me be clear. I stand in rooms and allow no one to call me a teacher. I deal with people straight in the eye and don't look down on anyone.
You're carrying around your own baggage. I don't need that tripe.

It was one of many mistakes on your part. How can someone who doesn't know me and never met me describe my art?
Ask people at the office if they think ANYONE speaking on their behalf is a figure of speech!
I think I'm done here.
See ya
Dan

Ken McGrew
11-15-2011, 11:32 PM
Greg, what you quoted is very clear. It is part of what I used to make the list of things I'd try to learn about your approach and arguments. What was wrong with my list? Mr. Harden rejected it as completely wrong. Also, do you have permission to explain what the perspective is? Is this the same as what Mr. Harden would say?

At this point I would look at your evidence and respond to it. I've done that repeatedly. Then you could show how my arguments are wrong, present more evidence, or undermine my counter evidence. Or not. But that's how debate is supposed to go. I've seen no additional evidence. Mostly the effort to undermine my arguments took the form of personal attacks or saying that I had read, heard, or seen things incorrectly. I responded to those claims. I quoted various sources at length to show that I had not misread anything. There really was no response. At this point you could address why my counter was wrong or why I'm missing something so as to undermine my view. Or not. But that's how debates work.

I think we do have different understandings of what aiki is. I'm not sure where yours comes from. It doesn't seem to come from Takeda Sensei. It doesn't seem to jive with the bulk of what O Sensei said and what others were directly told by him.

It's very hard to understand. I see video of people doing the sort of grounding you describe (whatever the source). Is it not on display in the Daito-ryu anniversary footage? I've seen the same thing in modern aikido, so I don't see how it's supposedly missing. Assuming we are discussing the same ability, which I think we are, then the only disagreements are 1) whether it was missing in Aikido since O Sensei 2) whether this ability is the only true Aiki and 3) possibly the source of the ability and how to develop it. This ability as I see it is part of Aikido. Just part. Aiki and Aikido are multifaceted.

I carry a photo in my phone of O Sensei falling over from blending beyond his own balance in order to throw Uke. How can he be doing what is described if he is falling himself? Does this grounding Aiki not require that you be balanced? There's lots of this in the footage of him. I simply see with my own eyes O Sensei blending both in himself, meeting others half way, blending inside of other people, or not at times blending. I see him connecting or not connecting at times in the same varied way. I see a complex variety of ways of doing Aikido. They seem to primarily be related to leading, blending, joining, and unbalancing. The grounding immobilizing skill does not appear to be the majority of what he shows.

Ken,

The bottom line is that your definition of aiki is different than ours and when you read what we are saying, you view it as being said from the perspective of your definition - no one can communicate that way since other terms we use will not have the same relationship and meaning in our model that it would have in your model - so, no more need for further discussion - this is, of course, a logical observation and conclusion.

As far as insults are concerned, you came in here with the attitude, you pushed and we pushed back - if you are done with that, so are we; and I apologize for my part.

Below is from a previous post that is a good summary of where we think aiki is - you have absolutely every right to disagree with that and say what ever you want about it - however, until you can duplicate anything in there, we are not interested in hearing your opinions anymore - please keep in mind that those you have challenged here have already been through your understanding of what aiki is and have found it lacking for their purposes - however, if it fits your purposes, have fun.

Ken McGrew
11-16-2011, 12:19 AM
It is possible to draw out of Uke this over commitment. That ability is part of Aiki. It is part of what Dobson Sensei described in the video transcription I provided. The idea is for Uke to lose his balance. Connection by itself is not a goal that helps you survive. Why is your goal to connect and throw? I'd prefer he not touch me if I could choose. I'd prefer he trip as he charged and fall on his face.

So let's talk about "real attacks." To engage in a real attack that does damage it must have power. That means momentum. If Uke tries to creep up then I can run away. If he tries to close the distance without speed then he will enter my kicking range. He has to come in with force and speed to close the distance to reach me. If he's wise he'll come a bit from the side as well. There is always momentum in real attacks. It's physics. it's body mechanics. If he is already near me and attacks, then there is less to blend with, but it's still enough if the attack has power. Imagine a sneaky fast punch to the face from someone right next to you. First thing you must do is move your face. That's essential. You don't even have time to move anything else. Even in this situation his strike will unbalance him somewhat. Not enough to make him fall down. Enough to get the boulder moving down hill. Then you don't let him regain his balance. You can lead, blend, connect, not connect but rather strike him, or internally unbalance him. That's hardest to accomplish to be certain. Once you don't get hit you have multiple choices but little time before the next attack comes.

Actually, my goal is to always engage/connect. I understand in randori sometimes it is not possible to do more than establish a fleeting energy connection in order to keep the randori flow going. I would consider a complete evasion to be a weakness in my technique. This should not be construed as a statement of my abilities but of my goals, what I think aikido can and should be.

If uke is thrown off balance by the force of his own strike, then I think it was an overcommitted attack.

Again, we can agree to disagree and probably will. In my conception, connection and kuzushi are the primary issues - things like timing and position and blending are some of the tools to accomplish them - and internal training is something I am trying to learn in the body in order to have a more stable structure and to be more effective at connection and kuzushi - those are my goals right now and may not be a reflection of anybody else's teachings or goals.

kewms
11-16-2011, 12:27 AM
Have you tried the experiment I suggested up-thread? How did it go?

Katherine

DodgingRain
11-16-2011, 12:56 AM
ueshiba apparently didnt bother to codify his system himself, and tried to relate his ideas of aiki budo through spiritual/religious talk that many did not understand. so aiki is an ambiguous all encompassing term that can be used to describe a myriad of different yet interrelated aspects of budo, that is open to interpretation because it was never clearly defined?
surprisingly, different groups of people are choosing to focus on and explore different certain aspects of what the term aiki means to them? depending on what their personal goals are for their aikido?
some are choosing to explore the spiritual/religious side of aiki, and it makes them happy.
some are choosing to explore the mental/intention/timing/blending aspect of aiki, and it makes them happy.
some are choosing to explore the more physical body training of aiki, and it makes them happy.

we are all so different.

who would ueshiba yell at for doing his aikido?

DodgingRain
11-16-2011, 01:13 AM
edit:
who would Ueshiba yell at for NOT doing his aikido?evileyes

Demetrio Cereijo
11-16-2011, 06:24 AM
edit:
who would Ueshiba yell at for NOT doing his aikido?evileyes

I think this question, for the common good, should remain unanswered.

http://www.aikidosydney.com/stephen/osenseispath.jpg

Gary David
11-16-2011, 09:04 AM
It's very hard to understand. I see video of people doing the sort of grounding you describe (whatever the source). Is it not on display in the Daito-ryu anniversary footage? I've seen the same thing in modern aikido, so I don't see how it's supposedly missing.

Mr. McGrew
Maybe part of the difficulty you are having here lies with what you can't see. The point of what is being provided by Dan Harden isn't "grounding" which is one of the by products, but in my view rather the tools for a rewiring of the body to provide whole body movement powered from a activated center through a fully connected body crossing and linking as a single unit. If you want your house to have better plumbing you re-plumb, better electrical you rewire.....the house doesn't look any different from the outside, but it functions more efficiently. To get a good aiki body you need to re-program your body using practices that Dan or others like him can provide. It is not likely that you will have a clear understanding of the possibilities unless you acturally take the time to seek this this out. Standard Aikido is not providing these tools and that is the rub here....you don't see and we do.

Have a great day....
Gary

Keith Larman
11-16-2011, 10:11 AM
Ken:

To stand behind Gary here and say "yeah", you're arguing that what you *think* people are doing is just this or that. I wouldn't argue that what you *think* they're doing isn't all that much different that what most try to do. Not at all. You're absolutely right. The problem is the disconnect between what *you think* people are doing and what they are in fact doing. And *EVERYONE* who has posted, most highly experienced/ranked aikidoka with decades of experience who have actually tried this stuff, are telling you that you're not correctly understanding or describing the phenomena. There have been attempts to explain but it is difficult at best to do in this medium. And yes, that is a serious problem that many are trying to address through attempting to come up with better models, better explanations, etc. Here and in other threads there have been quite a few very good descriptions.

So it's you saying "make me understand" to a whole lot of people who are saying "you don't understand". And since it appears most of us are incapable of making you understand (which requires both very good explanations, models, etc. and an audience willing to consider that their hard won knowledge may in fact not be totally correct and comprehensive) there is little point to continue in flogging with this dead horse.

So feel free to decide that you were right because you weren't moved by the explanation of others. But do consider that there are a large number of highly experienced people here posting on this, many with more experience than either of us, many with more direct experience with higher ranking folk closer to the "source" than either of us saying that it appears the problem is in your understanding of what *they're* doing.

Me, I have a solid science background. Rigorous, boring and very uptight. I would discuss these things on-line from time to time with people. I would often say "well, yeah, but isn't that what we already do?" quite a few times. Then I got more and more hands on with a variety of people. And I still say "Yeah, that's what we already do" sometimes, but it is rare and I also recognize that there is a substantive different in terms of degree when I say that. "Yeah, that's kind of what we already do but here's another view that may take it a whole lot further, expands on it, makes it more obvious, and may make things click a heck of a lot faster." is more what you'd hear me say today. And I came from a group that greatly emphasized the internal aspects of Aikido right from the get-go. So I see it as a fantastic clarification, new tools, new awareness, new focus. And on all those things Gary wrote about.

Mary Eastland
11-16-2011, 10:13 AM
Ken...this happens to anyone who thinks in a different way. It is not personal. I guess if people throw enough poo at anyone they quiet down. It seems to work on here. People just give up and move on.

Ken McGrew
11-16-2011, 10:25 AM
Hi Gary,

I am in no way slow. I am not having trouble understanding what is being said. I understand that what is internal can be invisible. People know I'll spent some time training with and discussing these things with Ikeda Sensei.

You are now describing the aiki body conditioning. When I made my summation list Mr. Harden rejected it entirely. Part of what was in it is what you are saying and what Chris said. You have both said irt is not spiritually based. Therefore it is not Ki. Moreover, Chris doubts it was even spiritually based for O Sensei. Just body. Even so, how you use this body gives hints of what it is or isn't. It may not be what you think it is... Even if you can do it.

If water comes from your ceiling you know you have a leaking pipe, though you can't see it. If you watch the official Daito-ryu video when they stop the energy of the attacker after tenant and are facing the same direction as Uke they bend their knees and sink their weight into Uke's tail bone. Ikeda Sensei teaches this also. From this example you can see that it is not just in nages body. It is blending dependent. Nage is doing something not just being himself or herself. And even then this immobilization won't last forever as some have implied. You must throw before they recover. Or keep adjusting to their efforts to recover, another form of blending, to prevent them from doing so.

The drawing I described from harmony of nature is on page 82. At the bottom of the drawing is written "the harmony of opposites support the cycle of life". Harden said this is not the same thing that he claims to have found in the new translations of O Sensei. It may not be the same take on it as his, but Saotome Sensei was clearly describing his understanding of the same energy process.

You are saying that Aikido doesn't provide these tools. I am saying that it does. Maybe harden does also. I am also saying that these tools are not what you claim they are.

What you call automatic body responses that immobilize an attacker (by whatever mechanism you do not explain, how this mechanism could function) I call very subtle blending, grounding, misdirection, and manipulation of Uke's response systems so he's unbalanced, even without realizing it. Very hard to do in a real self defense situation. Very high level. Ikeda teaches this. You may say its not the same. I think it is the same thing that he teaches. I've asked him many questions about how it works.

Mr. McGrew
Maybe part of the difficulty you are having here lies with what you can't see. The point of what is being provided by Dan Harden isn't "grounding" which is one of the by products, but in my view rather the tools for a rewiring of the body to provide whole body movement powered from a activated center through a fully connected body crossing and linking as a single unit. If you want your house to have better plumbing you re-plumb, better electrical you rewire.....the house doesn't look any different from the outside, but it functions more efficiently. To get a good aiki body you need to re-program your body using practices that Dan or others like him can provide. It is not likely that you will have a clear understanding of the possibilities unless you acturally take the time to seek this this out. Standard Aikido is not providing these tools and that is the rub here....you don't see and we do.

Have a great day....
Gary

MM
11-16-2011, 10:49 AM
Ken...this happens to anyone who thinks in a different way. It is not personal. I guess if people throw enough poo at anyone they quiet down. It seems to work on here. People just give up and move on.

Am I reading this correctly? You think that Ellis Amdur, Keith Larman, Chris Li, George Ledyard, and Fred Little are throwing poo? I reread your post and thought I had to be taking it the wrong way. Those people have some very defining experiences in aikido. Of course, that doesn't even begin to add Janet Rosen, Chris Moses, Katherine Derbyshire, Hugh Beyer, Stephen Trinkle, Greg Steckel, Gary Welborn, Marc Abrams, Hunter Lonsberry, Phi Truong, Lee Salzman, Matthew Gano, Jason Casteel, me and Dan Harden. I thought to myself that I couldn't possibly have read your post right in that you seem to be saying that all the people I just listed above are throwing poo and that the one, single person arguing against is right. Is that what you're saying?

Confused,
Mark

ChrisMoses
11-16-2011, 12:08 PM
Am I reading this correctly? You think that Ellis Amdur, Keith Larman, Chris Li, George Ledyard, and Fred Little are throwing poo? I reread your post and thought I had to be taking it the wrong way. Those people have some very defining experiences in aikido. Of course, that doesn't even begin to add Janet Rosen, Chris Moses, Katherine Derbyshire, Hugh Beyer, Stephen Trinkle, Greg Steckel, Gary Welborn, Marc Abrams, Hunter Lonsberry, Phi Truong, Lee Salzman, Matthew Gano, Jason Casteel, me and Dan Harden. I thought to myself that I couldn't possibly have read your post right in that you seem to be saying that all the people I just listed above are throwing poo and that the one, single person arguing against is right. Is that what you're saying?

Confused,
Mark

It's OK Mark, I'm TOTALLY a poo slinger! Is OKUDEN TNBBC super-secret technique! ;)

Mark Gibbons
11-16-2011, 01:02 PM
..... You have both said irt is not spiritually based. Therefore it is not Ki. .....

Therefore? Presumably you believe some authority that says ki is spiritual. I think many folks would disagree. I don't see this as a valid conclusion and the rest of your following comments fall apart.

Regards,
Mark

Ken McGrew
11-16-2011, 01:17 PM
Therefore? Presumably you believe some authority that says ki is spiritual. I think many folks would disagree. I don't see this as a valid conclusion and the rest of your following comments fall apart.

Regards,
Mark

I personally don't believe that there is a spiritual Ki. But to deny that O Sensei believed there was a spiritual Ki is to disrespect him. The post by Greg that I was responding to said that Aiki is all about the body, all about retuning the body, not even about something you do with the body. That's the point I was addressing, as you full well know. Please don't try to fight over small points. The point that Greg was making is that it is all in the body, and automatic. I challenged that based on visual evidence.

I spoke to two scientists last night about these issues. The idea that Aiki training is changing the body is testable and almost certainly false. Changing the neural pathways maybe. We learn to use the body differently. We don't change the function of the body parts. Even though it may feel like you do at higher levels.

Jeremy Hulley
11-16-2011, 01:27 PM
The idea that Aiki training is changing the body is testable and almost certainly false. Changing the neural pathways maybe. We learn to use the body differently. We don't change the function of the body parts. Even though it may feel like you do at higher levels.

Does'nt all training change the body? I'm not quite sure what point you are making.

Ken McGrew
11-16-2011, 01:28 PM
Keith, I have no problem with the suggestion that Hansen helps you to understand a certain skill better or even brings something new into your Aikido. As you full well know he and those around him make all kinds of claims about what they are doing, how what they are doing is completely missing in Aikido (though they conveniently walk that tone back at times), and about why what they are doing allegedly works... whatever it is they are doing. Why not describe it in detail?

Another claim that has been made is that they must be right because O Sensei told someone at some point that the secret to Aikido is yin and yang (which I could accept with a different definition of Yin and Yang). For the record, O Sensei told Saotome Sensei that the secret to Aikido is Ikyo (p. 29-31, Principles of Aikido). There is an element of joining in the Ikkyo that Saotome Sensei describes, but this does not support the definition of Aiki that Hansen and others present. As Saotome Sensei writes:

"The most important element of ikkyo is the spirit. No weapon or technical expertise will make ikkyo work if your confidence and courage do not inform them. You must enter and take over your enemy's spirit with the fearlessness embodied by the principle of irimi. Yet your fearlessness must be tempered by the principle of ai nuke. You must pass beyond the desire to defeat your opponent and reach toward the goal of ending the conflict before it starts."

It is my argument that domination, the will to revenge that Saotome Sensei says undermines the proper attitude of ikkyo, can be soft or hard. Therefore I strive for non-resistance. I let them undue themselves.

For the record, I don't think there is A secret to Aikido. I think that misses the point. I also know that O Sensei encouraged different students of his to explore different sides of Aikido and Aiki. He told them what they needed to hear, not some absolute one secret to Aiki or Aikido. Aiki is many things. Saotome Sensei describes it as being like light split by a prism. All the colors are in light. But light is one thing.

Ken:

To stand behind Gary here and say "yeah", you're arguing that what you *think* people are doing is just this or that. I wouldn't argue that what you *think* they're doing isn't all that much different that what most try to do. Not at all. You're absolutely right. The problem is the disconnect between what *you think* people are doing and what they are in fact doing. And *EVERYONE* who has posted, most highly experienced/ranked aikidoka with decades of experience who have actually tried this stuff, are telling you that you're not correctly understanding or describing the phenomena. There have been attempts to explain but it is difficult at best to do in this medium. And yes, that is a serious problem that many are trying to address through attempting to come up with better models, better explanations, etc. Here and in other threads there have been quite a few very good descriptions.

So it's you saying "make me understand" to a whole lot of people who are saying "you don't understand". And since it appears most of us are incapable of making you understand (which requires both very good explanations, models, etc. and an audience willing to consider that their hard won knowledge may in fact not be totally correct and comprehensive) there is little point to continue in flogging with this dead horse.

So feel free to decide that you were right because you weren't moved by the explanation of others. But do consider that there are a large number of highly experienced people here posting on this, many with more experience than either of us, many with more direct experience with higher ranking folk closer to the "source" than either of us saying that it appears the problem is in your understanding of what *they're* doing.

Me, I have a solid science background. Rigorous, boring and very uptight. I would discuss these things on-line from time to time with people. I would often say "well, yeah, but isn't that what we already do?" quite a few times. Then I got more and more hands on with a variety of people. And I still say "Yeah, that's what we already do" sometimes, but it is rare and I also recognize that there is a substantive different in terms of degree when I say that. "Yeah, that's kind of what we already do but here's another view that may take it a whole lot further, expands on it, makes it more obvious, and may make things click a heck of a lot faster." is more what you'd hear me say today. And I came from a group that greatly emphasized the internal aspects of Aikido right from the get-go. So I see it as a fantastic clarification, new tools, new awareness, new focus. And on all those things Gary wrote about.

vjw
11-16-2011, 01:32 PM
The idea that Aiki training is changing the body is testable and almost certainly false. .

So you are saying it is maybe true. What tests did your scientists suggest?

kewms
11-16-2011, 01:32 PM
That's the point I was addressing, as you full well know. Please don't try to fight over small points.

It seems to me that almost the entire thread has been a fight over small points. Certainly the many sub-threads about definitions and what particular individuals actually said or meant have that flavor.


I spoke to two scientists last night about these issues. The idea that Aiki training is changing the body is testable and almost certainly false. Changing the neural pathways maybe. We learn to use the body differently. We don't change the function of the body parts. Even though it may feel like you do at higher levels.

Neural pathways are part of the body, are they not?

Changing the body through exercise is not a particularly radical notion. People develop increased speed, strength, and flexibility ALL THE TIME, through a wide variety of disciplines. Every sport on the planet depends on a particular set of teachable physical skills. Whether that is what IS proponents "really" mean is, again, a debate over small points.

Katherine

Ken McGrew
11-16-2011, 01:37 PM
Does'nt all training change the body? I'm not quite sure what point you are making.

Jeremy, I am responding to Gary, Greg, and Harden and what they describe as body conditioning. Don't draw me into this. You'll need to ask them to clarify, not I. They are clearly describing something biological.

So no, training doesn't change the body in the way they seem to be suggesting. Different types of physical activity shape existing tissues Etc. in particular ways within the limits of their genetic potential. But they don't make them into something new. They argue for an automatic process by which the body does the work for you and it takes no effort.

I have never said that Harden can't do whatever it is he does. I am saying that I'm skeptical that it works for the reasons that he thinks it does. I am certain that O Sensei would not have agreed with him, though Harden may be right, he can't find the support in O Sensei that he thinks he finds for the reasons I have gone over repeatedly. I just don't see the evidence to support the claims that he makes outweighing the mountain of counter evidence. Also, my own eyes. Internal unbalancing can be amazing. But it is not magic. I believe they mistake subtle blending Etc. for what they describe as body conditioning. Even if they can do it well. It's not really automatic in the way they mean. The body may do things for you out of habit. But that's not the same conception of automatic that they seem to describe.

kewms
11-16-2011, 01:44 PM
So no, training doesn't change the body in the way they seem to be suggesting. Different types of physical activity shape existing tissues Etc. in particular ways within the limits of their genetic potential. But they don't make them into something new.

Here we go again... I don't recall any claim that IS training "makes the body into something new."

It is very difficult for someone to defend a position that they don't actually hold.

As someone who claims professional expertise in textual analysis, I'm sure you are very familiar with the various types of logical fallacies. I provide the following link for other readers who may need to refresh their memories: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/

Katherine

Jeremy Hulley
11-16-2011, 01:47 PM
I have a good sense of what they mean. I've been on the mat with Dan, Ark, Keith, Gary and lots of other people.

Can you do a front roll, or kotegaeshi hard fall? I would imagine that after time in those things become pretty automatic.

After enough time building in different ways to move, to respond to pressure, to walk and remain grounded...six direction training becomes automatic as well.

Ken McGrew
11-16-2011, 01:48 PM
It seems to me that almost the entire thread has been a fight over small points. Certainly the many sub-threads about definitions and what particular individuals actually said or meant have that flavor.

Neural pathways are part of the body, are they not?

Changing the body through exercise is not a particularly radical notion. People develop increased speed, strength, and flexibility ALL THE TIME, through a wide variety of disciplines. Every sport on the planet depends on a particular set of teachable physical skills. Whether that is what IS proponents "really" mean is, again, a debate over small points.

Katherine

I really don't want to engage with you. This again does not feel like an honest question but rather an attempt to try to make me look wrong.

This has not been a fight over small points. It is a fight over big claims, like no Aikido direct student of O Sensei has Aiki, which became ok they don't have Aiki quite as good as Harden, which became Harden is just better at explaining it. My memory is longer than that. I know you are speaking to people who just joined the thread and won't read back. People have repeatedly said that he things I point to as the heart of Aikido are not the substance of Aikido's Aiki. This is not a small disagreement.

Harden intentionally makes claims that cut at the heart of mainstream, what you all call "modern" Aikido. He even has posted a multi-phase process for changing Aikido into what he thinks was superior about Daito-ryu. It is no small thing.

Ken McGrew
11-16-2011, 01:51 PM
I have a good sense of what they mean. I've been on the mat with Dan, Ark, Keith, Gary and lots of other people.

Can you do a front roll, or kotegaeshi hard fall? I would imagine that after time in those things become pretty automatic.

After enough time building in different ways to move, to respond to pressure, to walk and remain grounded...six direction training becomes automatic as well.

You and Katherine are at it again. Lets' let Gary and Greg respond, as they are responding with more substance and honesty at this time than you and Katherine seem to be. As an inferior budo man who has nothing of value to contribute you people seem rather bothered by my analysis and the fact that I don't run away. I should be like a fly to you, better to ignore. Just don't address me.

Don't ask me to try to infer what you mean by body conditioning, six direction training, Etc. and then fault me for not inferring right. By the way a careful reading of my posts shows that I use qualifying language when I am inferring and not certain; that is words like "seems." I'm not going to fall into that trap again. Why don't you provide your explanations and definitions and evidence to which the rest of us can respond, which is what I asked for days ago, but was told why should we bother. Harden recently asked who I was that he should explain what he is doing to me on a forum.

Here's a suggestion. If you don't want to back up bold claims that cut to the heart of Aikido on an Aikido related forum, then don't make them on the forum, repeatedly.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-16-2011, 01:57 PM
Ken,

As an academic, what do you think about Yuasa Yasuo (http://books.google.es/books?id=l1coR4ItTFsC)'s work?

kewms
11-16-2011, 02:03 PM
I really don't want to engage with you. This again does not feel like an honest question but rather an attempt to try to make me look wrong.

No, I'm very serious. I honestly do not understand why you think there is a problem here.

Changing the body through training is not a radical idea. Developing a skill to the point where it is automatic is not a radical idea.

But you said that:
I spoke to two scientists last night about these issues. The idea that Aiki training is changing the body is testable and almost certainly false.

So what did you ask them, specifically? How did you describe "aiki training" and the "body change" it purports to develop? What tests did they propose?

Since it's already clear that not everyone in this thread shares the same definition of "aiki," it is impossible to comment on your statement without knowing which definition of "aiki" you used.

Katherine

kewms
11-16-2011, 02:07 PM
Here's a suggestion. If you don't want to back up bold claims that cut to the heart of Aikido on an Aikido related forum, then don't make them on the forum, repeatedly.

Good advice.

If you don't want people to challenge your arguments about the nature of aiki in an aikido-related forum, don't make those, either.

Katherine

ChrisMoses
11-16-2011, 02:12 PM
Jeremy, I am responding to Gary, Greg, and Harden and what they describe as body conditioning. Don't draw me into this. You'll need to ask them to clarify, not I. They are clearly describing something biological.

Dan doesn't need to justify this. Jeremy and I have both felt him and know the truth. When I met Ark almost six years ago one of the things that most stood out as something worth exploring is that his body felt and moved differently. IHTBF. I've since had people with decades of training in aikido, some with decades more than the decades I've got FREAK OUT at the way I feel and can move now (and to be clear, I'm no Ark and I'm no Dan. I'm not making that claim).

So no, training doesn't change the body in the way they seem to be suggesting. Different types of physical activity shape existing tissues Etc. in particular ways within the limits of their genetic potential. But they don't make them into something new. They argue for an automatic process by which the body does the work for you and it takes no effort.

Um, actually it takes a great deal of effort to get there, but then yes, the body does indeed feel to be able to respond to pressures and input in a nearly unconscious way. I can't do it justice to describe it and I don't think you'd get it anyway. You have too much baggage and again, IHTBF.

I am certain that O Sensei would not have agreed with him, though Harden may be right, he can't find the support in O Sensei that he thinks he finds for the reasons I have gone over repeatedly.

I really don't think he cares if you or O Sensei would have agreed with him. *I* don't care at all if you believe me.

But it is not magic.

No one is saying it's magic. It's real, it's hard, it takes a lot of brain power and personal effort. It's not magical at all. BUT the receiving end can feel very nearly magical it's so far outside of what most people have been exposed to. Again, that first time I met Ark and he asked me to push on him, and I'm absolutely heaving on him square on his shoulders and he's standing relaxed in shizen-tai, and everything I've done before is telling me that what I'm doing should be breaking his balance if not knocking him over backwards and *NOTHING* is happening to him. It felt like his swanky tracksuit was filled with granite in the shape of a human. Then suddenly it just felt empty like a tracksuit filled with air.

I believe they mistake subtle blending Etc. for what they describe as body conditioning.

You could not meet Ark or Dan and possibly make that statement. It's body conditioning. It changes the way the body *works*. You are sounding like a fool man, quit presuming you understand what these guys are teaching and doing. I've watched your videos, I can see that you're not doing this stuff. I have felt Saotome, Ikeda, Takeda Yoshinobu and MANY other senior aikido guys n gals and this is something different. I've written about this in the past, look for my 'book report' on "The Spirit of Aikido".

Even if they can do it well. It's not really automatic in the way they mean. The body may do things for you out of habit. But that's not the same conception of automatic that they seem to describe.

You are reading meaning into their posts because you have no frame of reference for what they're talking about.

I will say (since we have such a lovely audience) that I do agree with one thing you're saying, and that's that I do believe that when we (and this is a very loose "we" here) are talking about AIKI, we are not using the word the same as aiKIdo uses the term (which I write as aiKI for clarity). One of the reasons I think this is/was so controversial is that the concept of AIKI that we're all working towards is not an aspect of aiKIdo. I'm sure many of you will disagree with me on that one, but that's my belief. I'm not saying you can't do aiKIdo with AIKI (I think it works better), or that OSensei didn't use AIKI (I'm convinced he did). But I think his followers leveraged their understanding of timing and kuzushi (from their judo backgrounds) to approximate what they saw and felt OSensei doing. I do not think they were using AIKI the way Daito ryu or Yanagi ryu use the term. I firmly believe it's the missing piece of the puzzle. Has anyone for example ever seen ANYONE do the jo trick besides OSensei? C'mon, that was awesome, if aiKIdo is working the same AIKI as he was, why can't anyone do this? Answer: no AIKI in aiKIdo. Again, those are my opinions, please don't attribute them to anyone but me.

kewms
11-16-2011, 02:15 PM
Let's suppose, for the sake of argument, that John claimed to be able to swim. Let's even suppose that he claimed to have developed a new, more efficient version of the breast stroke, which allowed him to put up much faster times.

Then along comes Jane, and she says "John said that he can walk on water. That's ridiculous. He may be a good swimmer, but no one can walk on water. And even if he could, that's walking, not swimming."

And then off we go for 18 pages, with one side pointing out that John never claimed to be able to walk on water, all he wants to talk about is his breast stroke, and the other continuing to attack the waterwalking claim and the redefinition of what swimming even is.

*sigh*

Katherine

Chris Knight
11-16-2011, 02:55 PM
Ken. If you did a bit of research this type of body conditioning has been scientifically proven to alter the body biologically from molecular reactions to unused muscle usage to connecting the body correctly to increasing bone marrow density. Why make comments like this when the scientists are unequivically wrong? ?

wxyzabc
11-16-2011, 04:28 PM
Ken..

Imho you're basic intentions are good..you've come on here to defend the status and teachings of Saotome sensei...(unfortunately being English I've never met him..but then, neither have I met the other people on this forum so am not a particular "supporter" of anyone here).

That said, you've come in with ego my friend...along the lines of I teach people to do this for a living ..I will demonstrate my debating prowess etc .....a semi legal attitude of ignoring key evidence ...deflecting and misquoting...

Sadly.. thinking that volume and noise equals quality is not the way to go.

You have clearly demonstrated to everyone the limitations of your understanding to date..I would leave it at that. Either quietly seek more information with respect to other people...try to understand the picture Saotome sensei showed you or be happy with what you have. So you're a new 3rd dan with say 25 years practise time?..so you're basic aikido/waza should be pretty good...:)

All the best

Lee

Matt Fisher
11-16-2011, 04:37 PM
I spoke to two scientists last night about these issues. The idea that Aiki training is changing the body is testable and almost certainly false. Changing the neural pathways maybe. We learn to use the body differently. We don't change the function of the body parts. Even though it may feel like you do at higher levels.

Ken. If you did a bit of research this type of body conditioning has been scientifically proven to alter the body biologically from molecular reactions to unused muscle usage to connecting the body correctly to increasing bone marrow density. Why make comments like this when the scientists are unequivically wrong? ?

Up to this point I have been very reluctant to get involved in the exchange between Ken and others on this list...but the above two statements compel me to respond. FWIW, I'm a Ph.D. biochemist (University of Wisconsin-Madison), a chemistry professor of 20 years and an aikidoka of almost 30 years.

Aiki training changing the body is only testable if the changes are ones that we have ways of measuring now. And changes that involve interactions between different types of tissues are much more difficult to test that changes inside a single type of tissue. As for Ken's comment that this idea (Aiki training changing the body) is almost certainly false...sorry, but stating your conclusion BEFORE doing the experimental work is bad science. Period. You may have a thought, a suspicion, a hunch, a hypothesis...but any chemistry student of mine who presented a claim to me in the language Ken used would find out very quickly that I have no tolerance for making conclusions in advance of the experimental work.

(think of it as the verbal equivalent of hitting them in the head with a shinai...)

As for Chris's comment that "the scientists are unequivocally wrong"...I'm not sure which scientists he is referring to. Without specific references from the peer reviewed literature, I'm not in a position to evaluate how much has actually been proven vs. suggested or implied. And time constraints don't allow me to do the necessary research on PubMed...:D But "proof" in the scientific community really requires reproducibility and independent verification. So if the research that Chris refers to is a single paper, that certainly suggests something...but I'm reluctant to say that a single paper constitutes "proof."

Matt Fisher
Allegheny Aikido
Pittsburgh, PA

Chris Knight
11-16-2011, 04:50 PM
The scientists who ken spoke who refuted the idea straight away according to his post. Internal training has been proven to increase bone marrow in just one example and is used throughout hospitals in the east. ..Not just conducted in a lab but in medical useage

Demetrio Cereijo
11-16-2011, 04:58 PM
Matt

IS is outside of the realms of western science.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19317

Matt Fisher
11-16-2011, 05:11 PM
Matt

IS is outside of the realms of western science.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19317

Hmm...I'm a little skeptical of categorical statements like that. That's not to say that there is nothing outside of realms of western science (that is a philosophical position that I don't agree with), but I have yet to encounter any compelling evidence that IS is inherently and clearly outside the realm of any type of scientific investigation. Unless we're going to describe it as something completely spiritual...but my impression from reading a number of posts on Aikiweb is that the advocates of IS are not claiming that.

Matt

Ken McGrew
11-16-2011, 05:37 PM
Once again we have people making statements directed at me on a personal level. We have people continuing to draw me into a situation that they say makes me look bad. So I assume that means that they like trying to hurt me, or see me hurt myself. Not that I agree. But that is what they say. When will you stop with the personal stuff? You are welcome to ignore me.

It is impossible to engage with the multi frontal Harden attacks. People speak as if they are representing, but if I respond to one of them, then the clamor comes that that one person can't speak for Harden Etc. Don't ask me to infer and then complain when I don't infer to your liking.

A variety of people have spoken up about the importance of what they say they are training with Harden. And yet they have said, or strongly implied, contradictory things. It's impossible to follow.

These folks argue (in general) that A) O Sensei was doing the same Aiki that they are doing, B) they know this because of translations they've made of O Sensei's writings, and C) alternative say the can't or won't describe what they are doing. If O Sensei could put it in words then they can.

Many of Harden's followers keep going back to you have to feel it to believe it. That's fine. But why pronounce this in a forum? If the point isn't to debate or inform, then what is the reason to post? I will say this one more time. No matter how good Harden is it does not prove that he is good for the reasons that he thinks. O Sensei believed his astral body left this plane for the bridge between heaven and earth while he was doing Aikido. I don't believe that. Being thrown by O Sensei would not convince me that the source of his power was what he thought it was. But I'd be impressed none the less.

We can't begin to test the biological impact of IS training without a definition of what IS training is. We don't need to conduct tests to know before hand that nothing in IS will allow people to change beyond their genetic limits. In science people make baseline assumptions given a range of things that are already known. In order to transform the genetic boundaries IS would have to change the genes. That's very testable.

Various followers of Harden have argued things that imply, as Matt just acknowledged, that it's all in the body. Now we have people who follow Harden implying that it is something else, what I don't know, maybe something mystical. Like I said, even the advocates of Harden's IS can't seem to agree on what it is.

We don't have to agree on what it is or where it comes from in order to have a conversation about how it's done. We could find a video to look at and see what's visible there. To the extent that it's not visible we could put into words how it was done and what it felt like. We could compare what Harden followers experienced with common experiences that we have between us to compare and contrast. It is simply not impossible to communicate with words. Some things can't be directly conveyed, like emotions to an alien who doesn't share them, but they can still be described and comprehended. Think of Data. But there is a lack of will to do so for some reason among the advocates of Harden's whatever it is. That's fine. But I can't begin to understand, then, why they spend so much time on forums.

Gerardo Torres
11-16-2011, 05:54 PM
O Sensei believed his astral body left this plane for the bridge between heaven and earth while he was doing Aikido. I don't believe that.
I do! ;)

Being thrown by O Sensei would not convince me that the source of his power was what he thought it was.
It's OK, history has shown that few if any listened to him anyway.

gregstec
11-16-2011, 06:01 PM
Hmm...I'm a little skeptical of categorical statements like that. That's not to say that there is nothing outside of realms of western science (that is a philosophical position that I don't agree with), but I have yet to encounter any compelling evidence that IS is inherently and clearly outside the realm of any type of scientific investigation. Unless we're going to describe it as something completely spiritual...but my impression from reading a number of posts on Aikiweb is that the advocates of IS are not claiming that.

Matt

My impression as well - however, the true validity of your statement would obviously depend on an accepted definition of spiritual :)

IMO, I view spiritual as that which is not physical - I am under the impression that most western cultures have a singular view of spirituality that is predominantly religious in nature. My view is that religious beliefs reside in the domain of spirituality as does other nonreligious ethereal entities; such as mind.

Core to IS training is the coordination of mind and body and that is where I believe ki comes into play as the bridge between mind and body - to me, ki has both a mental intent quality as well as a physical quality that enables and controls manifestation of physical power.

Just some of my thoughts on the subject - thanks for jumping in with your comments, very refreshing.

Greg

Carl Thompson
11-16-2011, 06:03 PM
I spoke to two scientists last night about these issues. The idea that Aiki training is changing the body is testable and almost certainly false. Changing the neural pathways maybe. We learn to use the body differently. We don't change the function of the body parts. Even though it may feel like you do at higher levels.

Those scientists should be familiar with Wolff's Law. (http://jwi.charite.de/en/current_issues/publications/book_of_julius_wolff/)

Regards

Carl

kewms
11-16-2011, 06:19 PM
We can't begin to test the biological impact of IS training without a definition of what IS training is. We don't need to conduct tests to know before hand that nothing in IS will allow people to change beyond their genetic limits. In science people make baseline assumptions given a range of things that are already known. In order to transform the genetic boundaries IS would have to change the genes. That's very testable.

Since only a handful of elite athletes ever approach their genetic limits, invoking them in this discussion is something of a red herring.

In any case, you were the one who brought science into the conversation, declaring that scientists you had consulted said that aiki training probably doesn't have the claimed effects. So what definition of aiki training did *you* use? How did you even come up with a description, when you have repeatedly complained that IS supporters refuse to say what they're doing?

Yes, sure, if I went to a random biochemist and asked if X form of training could change someone's genetic limits he would say probably not. That's like asking an astrophysicist if the sun will rise tomorrow. But no one is claiming that IS can do that, so what's the point of the question?

Katherine

Ken McGrew
11-16-2011, 06:24 PM
I was tempted to ignore this post for the personal comments found within it.

Ignoring those you have at least contributed to the conversations something observable in the physical world that can be discussed.

The sort of grounded can't be pushed posture you describe is something we can all visualize whether we agree on how it's done or not. I've trained with Tae Chi people, not in Tae Chi, but I can imagine this sort of grounding. I know you say it's not grounding. They described it as grounding. I know you might say they had not been taught the secret... Again, we don't have to agree on how it's done, at least initially, to discuss what it looks like Etc. The feeling empty or drained comment, you might describe in greater detail and what you think was going on. Did his body drain your Ki? Did he send impulses into your nervous system? Or did you mean those words more metaphorically.

The question is how this relates to the claims that are made. Harden et al describe this as Aiki. They say Aiki is the secret of Aikido that was on display in O Sensei. They call it the engine of Aikido and all that other stuff. They DO claim to care that O Sensei allegedly said he was doing what they are doing.

Now, more importantly, and related to these claims -which is all I care about not whether you enjoy what Harden teaches- how does this skill translate into Aikido responses to attacks? It would be very easy to describe this in words, not agreeing necessarily on how it works, but what it looks like. It starts to sound like Harden can absorb the power of a kick or punch to the face without moving. I doubt that is the claim. Is the claim that he moves off line, touches Uke, and Uke falls to the ground as if he had lost the ability to stand? If not, what?

I can certainly point to places in O Sensei where this grounding (as I call it) was applied in technique. By grounding I mean like what he showed with the jo trick. I can also point to places where it wasn't. So what makes this one skill the secret of Aiki in Aikido? I don't think that this is your claim. But it is Harden's claim.

Dan doesn't need to justify this. Jeremy and I have both felt him and know the truth. When I met Ark almost six years ago one of the things that most stood out as something worth exploring is that his body felt and moved differently. IHTBF. I've since had people with decades of training in aikido, some with decades more than the decades I've got FREAK OUT at the way I feel and can move now (and to be clear, I'm no Ark and I'm no Dan. I'm not making that claim).

Um, actually it takes a great deal of effort to get there, but then yes, the body does indeed feel to be able to respond to pressures and input in a nearly unconscious way. I can't do it justice to describe it and I don't think you'd get it anyway. You have too much baggage and again, IHTBF.

I really don't think he cares if you or O Sensei would have agreed with him. *I* don't care at all if you believe me.

No one is saying it's magic. It's real, it's hard, it takes a lot of brain power and personal effort. It's not magical at all. BUT the receiving end can feel very nearly magical it's so far outside of what most people have been exposed to. Again, that first time I met Ark and he asked me to push on him, and I'm absolutely heaving on him square on his shoulders and he's standing relaxed in shizen-tai, and everything I've done before is telling me that what I'm doing should be breaking his balance if not knocking him over backwards and *NOTHING* is happening to him. It felt like his swanky tracksuit was filled with granite in the shape of a human. Then suddenly it just felt empty like a tracksuit filled with air.

You could not meet Ark or Dan and possibly make that statement. It's body conditioning. It changes the way the body *works*. You are sounding like a fool man, quit presuming you understand what these guys are teaching and doing. I've watched your videos, I can see that you're not doing this stuff. I have felt Saotome, Ikeda, Takeda Yoshinobu and MANY other senior aikido guys n gals and this is something different. I've written about this in the past, look for my 'book report' on "The Spirit of Aikido".

You are reading meaning into their posts because you have no frame of reference for what they're talking about.

I will say (since we have such a lovely audience) that I do agree with one thing you're saying, and that's that I do believe that when we (and this is a very loose "we" here) are talking about AIKI, we are not using the word the same as aiKIdo uses the term (which I write as aiKI for clarity). One of the reasons I think this is/was so controversial is that the concept of AIKI that we're all working towards is not an aspect of aiKIdo. I'm sure many of you will disagree with me on that one, but that's my belief. I'm not saying you can't do aiKIdo with AIKI (I think it works better), or that OSensei didn't use AIKI (I'm convinced he did). But I think his followers leveraged their understanding of timing and kuzushi (from their judo backgrounds) to approximate what they saw and felt OSensei doing. I do not think they were using AIKI the way Daito ryu or Yanagi ryu use the term. I firmly believe it's the missing piece of the puzzle. Has anyone for example ever seen ANYONE do the jo trick besides OSensei? C'mon, that was awesome, if aiKIdo is working the same AIKI as he was, why can't anyone do this? Answer: no AIKI in aiKIdo. Again, those are my opinions, please don't attribute them to anyone but me.

Ken McGrew
11-16-2011, 06:25 PM
Since only a handful of elite athletes ever approach their genetic limits, invoking them in this discussion is something of a red herring.

In any case, you were the one who brought science into the conversation, declaring that scientists you had consulted said that aiki training probably doesn't have the claimed effects. So what definition of aiki training did *you* use? How did you even come up with a description, when you have repeatedly complained that IS supporters refuse to say what they're doing?

Yes, sure, if I went to a random biochemist and asked if X form of training could change someone's genetic limits he would say probably not. That's like asking an astrophysicist if the sun will rise tomorrow. But no one is claiming that IS can do that, so what's the point of the question?

Katherine

That's not what I said exactly word for word, Katherine. Retract it.

HL1978
11-16-2011, 06:35 PM
Jeremy, I am responding to Gary, Greg, and Harden and what they describe as body conditioning. Don't draw me into this. You'll need to ask them to clarify, not I. They are clearly describing something biological.

So no, training doesn't change the body in the way they seem to be suggesting. Different types of physical activity shape existing tissues Etc. in particular ways within the limits of their genetic potential. But they don't make them into something new. They argue for an automatic process by which the body does the work for you and it takes no effort.

I have never said that Harden can't do whatever it is he does. I am saying that I'm skeptical that it works for the reasons that he thinks it does. I am certain that O Sensei would not have agreed with him, though Harden may be right, he can't find the support in O Sensei that he thinks he finds for the reasons I have gone over repeatedly. I just don't see the evidence to support the claims that he makes outweighing the mountain of counter evidence. Also, my own eyes. Internal unbalancing can be amazing. But it is not magic. I believe they mistake subtle blending Etc. for what they describe as body conditioning. Even if they can do it well. It's not really automatic in the way they mean. The body may do things for you out of habit. But that's not the same conception of automatic that they seem to describe.

As I spoke of earlier with regards to integrating objects/people into you, that is certainly a mental process. On the otherhand, it would be strange to state that the results of breathwork (kokyu) do not result in physical changes, nor would it be correct to say that development of a strong tanden doesn't lead to different type of muscular development by working a muscle group not normally used. One need only spend some time with people who have spent considable time doing both and see a different body, namely they can move a ball of muscle around in the lower abdomen, or in the case of koyku type conditioning, they can "tense"/flatten the skin in a way that does not look like muscle. The idea of the koyku type development is to use that tension to move the limbs.

Of course, people pursuing these skills tend to have pretty massive legs/hip development as well.

Some discussion/research has been preformed into the whole koyku development, you can poke around on the fascia congress website for various papers, but I can't state that development of the fascia is what is going on.

Now the thing is if your body is built/functioning in such a manner, the idea of blending takes on a new dimension from the one typically understood. Now none of what I said is new, anyone following these threads in the past few years would be familiar with the assertions above (or have seen various seminar givers demonstrate the above characteristics).

DH
11-16-2011, 06:36 PM
It is largely a different and counter intuitive way to use the body, that creates different effects when someone touches you. Most notably creating Kuzushi on contact.
Other aspects are that the fascial chain gets more developed and the dantian grows and affects the limbs in substantial ways. I had a rolfer work on me and tell me I was weirdest feeling person she ever worked on. She said my fascia felt like leather but it was smooth and fluid and not sticking as she would normally suspect with that much force needed to work me. She was on the table and giving all she had and the fascial chains were stretching well, just thicker than she had ever experienced. Most people have never had a person stand in front of them and rotate the dantian. Which many will tell you is a weird first time experience.
Then of course while being a non martial display, it is odd to see someone launch themselves in seiza from dantian, or launch themselves vertically in the air with locked knees ...from dantian.

These things, and other like them have been noted in the Martial arts from India to China to Japan.
Most educated budo people already know this, but every generation you have to suffer the newbies and the "athletes" and even the AMA, who keeps having to back paddle on what they were certain they knew...till they didn't.
Dan

kewms
11-16-2011, 06:37 PM
That's not what I said exactly word for word, Katherine. Retract it.

You said, word for word:

I spoke to two scientists last night about these issues. The idea that Aiki training is changing the body is testable and almost certainly false.

The question stands. What, exactly, did you ask them? I don't want to speculate, but have no choice without further detail.

Katherine

Ken McGrew
11-16-2011, 06:42 PM
Now the thing is if your body is built/functioning in such a manner, the idea of blending takes on a new dimension from the one typically understood. Now none of what I said is new, anyone following these threads in the past few years would be familiar with the assertions above (or have seen various seminar givers demonstrate the above characteristics).

By this you mean IS training?

And that the blending takes on a new meaning (and some people DID say it is not about blending, timing, leading, Etc. - but let's leave that aside for now), do you see this "new meaning" expressed in O Sensei and if so where? Can you describe the new meaning that this blending takes on in the form of a defense against an attack?

If the argument were merely that Harden Etc. have added a new skill for Aikido we wouldn't be having this conversation. They make lots of bold and well known claims.

Fred Little
11-16-2011, 06:59 PM
Once again we have people making statements directed at me on a personal level. We have people continuing to draw me into a situation that they say makes me look bad. So I assume that means that they like trying to hurt me, or see me hurt myself. Not that I agree. But that is what they say. When will you stop with the personal stuff? You are welcome to ignore me.

It is impossible to engage with the multi frontal Harden attacks. People speak as if they are representing, but if I respond to one of them, then the clamor comes that that one person can't speak for Harden Etc. Don't ask me to infer and then complain when I don't infer to your liking.

A variety of people have spoken up about the importance of what they say they are training with Harden. And yet they have said, or strongly implied, contradictory things. It's impossible to follow.

These folks argue (in general) that A) O Sensei was doing the same Aiki that they are doing, B) they know this because of translations they've made of O Sensei's writings, and C) alternative say the can't or won't describe what they are doing. If O Sensei could put it in words then they can.

Many of Harden's followers keep going back to you have to feel it to believe it. That's fine. But why pronounce this in a forum? If the point isn't to debate or inform, then what is the reason to post? I will say this one more time. No matter how good Harden is it does not prove that he is good for the reasons that he thinks. O Sensei believed his astral body left this plane for the bridge between heaven and earth while he was doing Aikido. I don't believe that. Being thrown by O Sensei would not convince me that the source of his power was what he thought it was. But I'd be impressed none the less.

We can't begin to test the biological impact of IS training without a definition of what IS training is. We don't need to conduct tests to know before hand that nothing in IS will allow people to change beyond their genetic limits. In science people make baseline assumptions given a range of things that are already known. In order to transform the genetic boundaries IS would have to change the genes. That's very testable.

Various followers of Harden have argued things that imply, as Matt just acknowledged, that it's all in the body. Now we have people who follow Harden implying that it is something else, what I don't know, maybe something mystical. Like I said, even the advocates of Harden's IS can't seem to agree on what it is.

We don't have to agree on what it is or where it comes from in order to have a conversation about how it's done. We could find a video to look at and see what's visible there. To the extent that it's not visible we could put into words how it was done and what it felt like. We could compare what Harden followers experienced with common experiences that we have between us to compare and contrast. It is simply not impossible to communicate with words. Some things can't be directly conveyed, like emotions to an alien who doesn't share them, but they can still be described and comprehended. Think of Data. But there is a lack of will to do so for some reason among the advocates of Harden's whatever it is. That's fine. But I can't begin to understand, then, why they spend so much time on forums.

1. I do not speak for Dan Harden

2. I am not an advocate of Harden's IS.

3. I have never attended a class with Dan Harden.

4.. I argued that Dan Harden doesn't write well or clearly years before you did.

5. The set of people who think they write well is much larger than the set of people who actually write well.

8. The set of people who think they think well is much larger than the set of people who actually think well.

9 . It is possible for some people to write very well and very clearly without thinking at all (for example, Christopher Hitchens on a bad day).
(corollary to 9, it is possible for some people to think very clearly without writing at all well)

10. One can both write well and think well without moving well.

11. One can move well without either writing well or thinking well, much less being able to describe in spoken or written form the state of a trained body that moves appropriately without thinking.

12. Not all information transfer occurs through either writing or (rational) thinking. Some individuals excel in direct, hands-on transfer of knowledge that is not susceptible to written explanation.

13. It has been observed that the reasons students go to classes and training events in educational systems of all kinds are varied. Possible reasons include learning, fulfillment of attendance requirements for advancement, social interaction (freely chosen), and social interaction (coerced as a condition of group membership). This is not an exhaustive list.

14. Virtually none of the individuals noted as teaching IS skills teach systems in which there is a structured system of advancement, nor is there a structure of group membership. This reduces the possible reasons for attendance from the select list above to learning and social interaction.

15. Almost all attendees at such events report extreme physical and mental exhaustion. Sometimes, there are also reports of beer and/or fishing, but only after extreme physical and mental exhaustion. It is quite possible to buy beer and go fishing without engaging in preliminary activities which lead to physical and mental exhaustion.

16. One is virtually forced to conclude that attendees believe that learning is occurring.

17. You are arguing that attendees are not adequately explaining or justifying to you the learning that they believe is occurring.

18. This is not an argument that learning is not occurring, this is a boring repetition of something everyone knows: (see item 4).

19. Many people arguing with you are asserting that they have a wide range of experience with various instructors of aikido at every level, have gone through a series of arguments with others (and or themselves) much like the list above and concluded that as long as they get item 12, they don't give a rodent's backside about any other item on the list.

20. I'm going to stop here and go do something more productive like ask a fish how it swims (when Howard is in town).

FL

Ken McGrew
11-16-2011, 07:12 PM
1. I'll call people who do IS similar to what Harden does whatever they prefer to be called.

2. If it can't be discussed why are we discussing it? Why post about "it."

3. I don't mind if people are benefiting or whatever from the training you are describing.

4. I am not arguing that people aren't learning.

5. I'm questioning the bold claims that what they are learning is the Aiki of Aikido that was lost after O Sensei.

6. I'm questioning therefore whether "real Aikido" (as some have certainly implied or stated) only occurs when it is the Aiki they do in IS.

7. I'm asking if the IS replaces the things that we think of as how Aikido works and exactly how the IS is incorporated into the Aikido in waza.

8. I'm asking (as some have certainly implied or stated) if it is their claim that Aikido doesn't "work" against real attacks unless it contains their IS skills?

1. I do not speak for Dan Harden

2. I am not an advocate of Harden's IS.

3. I have never attended a class with Dan Harden.

4.. I argued that Dan Harden doesn't write well or clearly years before you did.

5. The set of people who think they write well is much larger than the set of people who actually write well.

8. The set of people who think they think well is much larger than the set of people who actually think well.

9 . It is possible for some people to write very well and very clearly without thinking at all (for example, Christopher Hitchens on a bad day).

10. One can both write well and think well without moving well.

11. One can move well without either writing well or thinking well, much less being able to describe in spoken or written form the state of a trained body that moves appropriately without thinking.

12. Not all information transfer occurs through either writing or (rational) thinking. Some individuals excel in direct, hands-on transfer of knowledge that is not susceptible to written explanation.

13. It has been observed that the reasons students go to classes and training events in educational systems of all kinds are varied. Possible reasons include learning, fulfillment of attendance requirements for advancement, social interaction (freely chosen), and social interaction (coerced as a condition of group membership). This is not an exhaustive list.

14. Virtually none of the individuals noted as teaching IS skills teach systems in which there is a structured system of advancement, nor is there a structure of group membership. This reduces the possible reasons for attendance from the select list above to learning and social interaction.

15. Almost all attendees at such events report extreme physical and mental exhaustion. Sometimes, there are also reports of beer and/or fishing, but only after extreme physical and mental exhaustion. It is quite possible to buy beer and go fishing without engaging in preliminary activities which lead to physical and mental exhaustion.

16. One is virtually forced to conclude that attendees believe that learning is occurring.

17. You are arguing that attendees are not adequately explaining or justifying to you the learning that they believe is occurring.

18. This is not an argument that learning is not occurring, this is a boring repetition of something everyone knows: (see item 4).

19. Many people arguing with you are asserting that they have a wide range of experience with various instructors of aikido at every level, have gone through a series of arguments with others (and or themselves) much like the list above and concluded that as long as they get item 12, they don't give a rodent's backside about any other item on the list.

20. I'm going to stop here and go do something more productive like ask a fish how it swims (when Howard is in town).

FL

Fred Little
11-16-2011, 07:31 PM
Answers in bold italics, because I'm lazy that way.

1. I'll call people who do IS similar to what Harden does whatever they prefer to be called.

Please ask Saotome Sensei, directly, if his aikido is similar to Yamada Sensei's aikido, and then tell him that you will call it whatever he prefers it be called. Please let us all know how that goes.

2. If it can't be discussed why are we discussing it? Why post about "it."

Some people just can't help themselves.

3. I don't mind if people are benefiting or whatever from the training you are describing.

Why, that's right white of you!

4. I am not arguing that people aren't learning.

But you are insisting that they describe their learning in terms accessible to you. They are insisting (on the basis of having personally gone through a multi-phase process of skeptical argumentation) that you are wasting your time and the answer you are seeking regarding what they are learning is best accessed through direct contact.

5. I'm questioning the bold claims that what they are learning is the Aiki of Aikido that was lost after O Sensei.

Which questioning seems to be rooted less in an open and even-handed examination of all evidence -- both direct and indirect, extant and possible -- than in a privileged status for hagiographic treatments of the founder, full acceptance of statements made by his direct students as honest, accurate, and relevant (and this last is important, for something can be entirely honest and accurate without being in the least relevant), and a view of his art as having reached some ideal stage of completeness. Of course, historically speaking, such a stage is usually a temporary phenomenon that can only be followed by degeneration.

6. I'm questioning therefore whether "real Aikido" (as some have certainly implied or stated) only occurs when it is the Aiki they do in IS.

They're asking whether "really good Aikido" occurs without it. There's a difference between thinking of points on a continuum and points in binary opposition.

7. I'm asking if the IS replaces the things that we think of as how Aikido works and exactly how the IS is incorporated into the Aikido in waza.

What you mean we, kemo-sabe?

8. I'm asking (as some have certainly implied or stated) if it is their claim that Aikido doesn't "work" against real attacks unless it contains their IS skills?

See Ellis' remark about Terry and the chain saw several miles back. Not that anybody speaks for everybody, but nobody disagreed with him on that point.

phitruong
11-16-2011, 08:42 PM
Please ask Saotome Sensei, directly, if his aikido is similar to Yamada Sensei's aikido, and then tell him that you will call it whatever he prefers it be called. Please let us all know how that goes.


Fred, that's just cruel! i know ken is annoying, but he doesn't deserve that. ;)

graham christian
11-16-2011, 09:11 PM
By this you mean IS training?

And that the blending takes on a new meaning (and some people DID say it is not about blending, timing, leading, Etc. - but let's leave that aside for now), do you see this "new meaning" expressed in O Sensei and if so where? Can you describe the new meaning that this blending takes on in the form of a defense against an attack?

If the argument were merely that Harden Etc. have added a new skill for Aikido we wouldn't be having this conversation. They make lots of bold and well known claims.

Hi Ken. Been off for a week. I see you replied to me way down the thread. What I said still stands for me.

I notice the title of this thread is Ueshiba's Aiki. If we take that to mean the aiki he learned from Takeda then we could loosely call that Ueshibas Aiki.

Now if we wan't to talk about Ueshiba's Ai Ki then that's another story and I would say far surpasses the former above.

I would even say that the AI Ki leads to a different Aiki than the one described by those debating with you.

Regards.G.

Matt Fisher
11-16-2011, 09:14 PM
We can't begin to test the biological impact of IS training without a definition of what IS training is. We don't need to conduct tests to know before hand that nothing in IS will allow people to change beyond their genetic limits. In science people make baseline assumptions given a range of things that are already known. In order to transform the genetic boundaries IS would have to change the genes. That's very testable.

Ken,

If you are going to invoke genetics...

There is an entire area of biochemistry/molecular biology called "epigenetics" that focuses on the chemical modifications that can be made in DNA - many of them linked to environmental factors. The following comes from an editorial overview of a special section on epigenetics in the journal Nature, one of the most highly regarded science journals in the world:

"Epigenetics is typically defined as the studyof heritable changes in gene expression that are not due to changes in DNA sequence. Diverse biological properties can be affected by epigenetic mechanisms: for example, the morphology of flowers and eye colour in fruitflies.

Epigenetic changes are crucial for the development and differentiation of the various cell types in an
organism, as well as for normal cellular processes such as X-chromosome inactivation in female
mammals and silencing of mating-type loci in yeast. However, epigenetic states can become disrupted by environmental influences or during ageing, and the importance of epigenetic changes in the development of cancer and other diseases is increasingly being appreciated."

Also see Bird's article "Perceptions of epigenetics" in the 5/24/07 issue of Nature (page 396). Based on what I know at this point, can I rule out that IS training may result in epigenetic modifications within cells? No. Can I say that IS training definitely results in epigenetic modifications? No. It remains an open question...one that could be testable, assuming we knew where in the human genome to look for these possible epigenetic modifications.

But I'm beginning to think that there is the start of one heck of a grant proposal in the above sentences…:D

Matt

HL1978
11-16-2011, 09:25 PM
By this you mean IS training?

And that the blending takes on a new meaning (and some people DID say it is not about blending, timing, leading, Etc. - but let's leave that aside for now), do you see this "new meaning" expressed in O Sensei and if so where? Can you describe the new meaning that this blending takes on in the form of a defense against an attack?

If the argument were merely that Harden Etc. have added a new skill for Aikido we wouldn't be having this conversation. They make lots of bold and well known claims.

No, I don't think Dan, or any other proponent of IS (myself included) thinks they are bringing anything new to Aikido as preformed by Ueshiba, in part because there are indicators of this sort of movement in the videos we have of the founder. We can of course dissect some videos, which may be useful for you, but in my past experience, most people who haven't felt this sort of thing don't tend to see it. I don't mean this by any means as a copout, just something that more than a few people have had first hand experience with where they began to see some of the indicators.

I think a ton of people would love to have seen Ueshiba's movement prior to taking up study with Takeda Sokaku. If we had access to that, it would be pretty easy to descern when his eyes were "opened".

Here is something which may be helpful. The koyku dosa exercise does not show irimi and blending as typically expressed in standing waza with big circular motions by which you lead your partner/opponent. The teacher who opened my eyes to this sort of movement said that during his time at the Sagawa (daito ryu) dojo, they pretty much spent most of class doing this exercise, but not in the way preformed in most aikido dojo as waza, but instead in a manner of figuring out how to connect directly to your partner's center to your center and lift via moving your center.

Ark doing Agete/kyoku ho/dosa (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAJVQMCWeOA&feature=player_detailpage#t=8s)

Now if you watch that video at the 8 second mark you can see the guy in back trying to use his shoulders and arms to lift, whereas when Ark does it, you don't see such movement. What you experience is actually an absence of feeling, its like there was zero effort to move you. You probably can't see how he actually does it, but not as obvious a motion as utilizing the shoulders and arms.

What you can try to look for initially if you don't have first hand experience, is two things. One is absense of clearly descerinable power that originates solely in the arms/shoulders or in the hips. Two is to see if movement originates in the middle of the body and propagates on out. That is to say using the hips alone versus the middle which pushes on out into the hips(onto the legs, upper body etc) does look different, one is more of an opening/closing movement (body moving between convex and concave positions) and the other lacks such motion. Using the hips isn't bad by any means and can be quite powerful, but isn't the same thing as what is discussed in IS.

Of course seeing this can be difficult when the people you watch are either at a very high level, or are wearing poofy hakama or silk robes because they don't overexaggerate the movements. Wearing tight fitting clothes makes it much easier to see this movement.

Now once you have connected center to center, you have effectively blended together as you are basically one unit. Like a four legged animal to borrow from Mike Sigman and his drawing. When you connect to someones limb and pull on that limb with your limb in the same direction that your partner is pushing or is commiting too, you aren't really blending per say in the manner discussed in IS because you have not connected center to center. The person who is stronger, bigger, less overcommited can "win" or who has better timing to prevent overcommiting. Now you can certainly blend in the way that I was taught in aikido and connect to the opponents center as an additonal power "additive" because you are moving your mass and adding it to your partners, but it isn't a prerequisite to move your parnter. It can simply make it more powerful.

The center to center feeling is usally outside most people's experience in the IS context. Again borrowing from Mike's drawings, its like you competely bypass the arms the resistance feedback you experience you get from arms pushing on arms.

Now to answer your question regarding defense from an attack, if you have this sort of bodyskill you instantly connect the second your make contact with your opponent and can move them on contact anywhere you want, or can blow right through them without them being able to read or feel where you are weak. You could preform waza, or as shown in some of Ueshiba's videos where he holds a static position, you cause the opponnet to bounce off you on contact with little to no windup or movement. You could make your opponent feel like they are touching a granite statue which is unmovable (kind of like the Tenryu story) or like there is absolutely nothing there at all. Timing becomes far less of an issue.

Now if you have two people of relatively equal body skill/understanding of aiki, then timing, waza, mass etc comes back into play.

This blending is really no different if you are attacking or defending. Ideally both partners should be trying to connect to each other's center, so that they fight to take/retake the center instead of merely letting one person be tossed about. The various waza are basically all working on this concept just from different positions, so that the kokyu dosa video shown above is really on different than ikkyo/nikkyo etc. Thus cooperative training paradaigm changes once you learn the "outside" shape of the waza, because instead of merely copying the form you learn how to power the form.

You can of course make it easier by having uke muscle it while tori attemps to connect to uke's center too, but as I stated earlier you eventually want to have both "fighting" for center.

Gary David
11-16-2011, 09:27 PM
Mr. McGrew
Some things:

1. You started this

2. What Fred Little said (both times)

3. I am no one's lap dog

4. I am not a student of Dan Harden's...his direct students work out in his barn.

5. I call Dan friend and he is one of my many teachers.

6. My granddaughter is one of my teachers.

7. Dan, along with several others, are filling the holes in my understanding of what powers Aikido and my abilities to apply this in my Aikido.

8. I have been at this 37 years, starting Aikido in 1974.

9. The Aikido folks on here that have had positive results in their Aikido from their contact with Dan likely have several hundred years of combined training with most of them cross training in other arts.

10. I have taken (well not much lately at my age) ukemi from most of the big names that came over from Japan, all of the shihan sent here early on, many of the other big names including Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Koichi Tohei, Shoji Nishio Sensei, Yasuo Kobayashi , Fumio Toyoda, Shoji Nishio, Mitsugi Saotome, Terry Dobson, Frank Doran, Robert Nadeau, my first instructor Harry Ishisaka, John Clodig (Aiki Jujitsu) Don Angier (Aiki Jujitsu) and on....... I have some sense of what is and what isn't...

11. When I knew Terry Dobson he never moved off the line.....somehow we angled off the line. It wasn't him bumping us with his belly.

12. Terry was a story teller and he told a few about O'Sensei, one of which revolves around Terry telling O'Sensei how impressed he (Terry) was with Wang Shu Jin and O'Sensei's physical response which is nothing anyone else has every talked about being able to do.

13. I gave another of the of the Americans a ride to the airport, one had who spent time with O'Sensei in Japan in the 60's talking spiritual/metaphysical with him. None of the other Japanese in the dojo at the time spent any of this kind of time with O'Sensei...they couldn't make sense of what he was talking about and had no problem with the American talking something that was not waza

14. I ask my wife to explain the role of the teacher to me and her response was that the teacher's role was to help the student to reach their full potential.....at that point it was the student responsibility to then use that potential to fill out their understanding by finding their own way.

15. A good friend of mind who is a long time martial artist told me that at some point you will reach the extent of what your current teacher can give you and you will need to move on. Moving on means a lot of self-work and self-discovery mixed with the inputs from others as checks. Cross training helps with the checks.

16. Enough already

My point being that I have enough time in grade and have touched enough teachers to understand what was passed along and what wasn't....and the way things are going even more will be lost if things can't be re-discovered. Dan and others are helping to fill in the gaps......maybe you should take a chance and see what is waiting......

Gary

HL1978
11-16-2011, 09:30 PM
I will say (since we have such a lovely audience) that I do agree with one thing you're saying, and that's that I do believe that when we (and this is a very loose "we" here) are talking about AIKI, we are not using the word the same as aiKIdo uses the term (which I write as aiKI for clarity). One of the reasons I think this is/was so controversial is that the concept of AIKI that we're all working towards is not an aspect of aiKIdo. I'm sure many of you will disagree with me on that one, but that's my belief. I'm not saying you can't do aiKIdo with AIKI (I think it works better), or that OSensei didn't use AIKI (I'm convinced he did). But I think his followers leveraged their understanding of timing and kuzushi (from their judo backgrounds) to approximate what they saw and felt OSensei doing. I do not think they were using AIKI the way Daito ryu or Yanagi ryu use the term. I firmly believe it's the missing piece of the puzzle. Has anyone for example ever seen ANYONE do the jo trick besides OSensei? C'mon, that was awesome, if aiKIdo is working the same AIKI as he was, why can't anyone do this? Answer: no AIKI in aiKIdo. Again, those are my opinions, please don't attribute them to anyone but me.

Chris,

The funny thing is that I understand exactly what you are saying, but unless you have felt this sort of thing, I don't think anyone could descern the difference. I do think your comments about Ueshiba's students attempting to approximate it through their understanding of kuzushi as quite apt though.

Ken McGrew
11-16-2011, 10:11 PM
Hunter, Thanks for this.

The way you describe Kokyu Dosa, and for the most part what is shown on the video, is how Kokyu Dosa is done under Saotome Sensei. There are various ways to do Kokyu Dosa to work on different things. It is absolutely about getting the center first. There is a higher level of training where its like push hands with the centers. I think it's basically the same. Getting the guy off the ground like that is pretty cool. Sensei could probably do that. If not, he certainly can do things along the same lines. I've been working on pushing right into the stomach and visualizing a hot knife through butter. Refusing to feel the strength and melting past it. The flowing arms version I've seen many times. Sensei also describes this exercise in his writing to learn to use the strength of the partner to your advantage. Blending is not all about momentum for Saotome Sensei and I never said it was. I know you think I can't see "it" but this looks very familiar.

Regarding the quotes below, I've seen Ikeda and Saotome Sensei do the things you describe, like bouncing off. I'm not sure what you mean by "blow right through them" I understand the idea of them not being able to find a handle in your body to fight with. I've felt what you are describing in Aikido. The immobilization where Uke can't continue the attack but or fall down, both Ikeda and Saotome Sensei's do quite a bit. I can do that to some extent.

The video and the other videos of this instructor on the you tube page, are these the same things that other people are trying to describe related to training with Harden or are there a bunch of different things getting called IS here? For the most part this is not knew to me. I see similar skills in Saotome Sensei, Ikeda Sensei, Sugawara Sensei, Ushiro Sensei, and others. I don't see any problem with it. I know you are stressing the importance of the IS grounding in a video like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=snYlMC6gUoM
I also see very familiar things, like weight shift.

I would say it's just part of the universe of Aikido. There are times when this sort of movement would be helpful and other times when it would be better to work on blending, Etc.

No, I don't think Dan, or any other proponent of IS (myself included) thinks they are bringing anything new to Aikido as preformed by Ueshiba, in part because there are indicators of this sort of movement in the videos we have of the founder. We can of course dissect some videos, which may be useful for you, but in my past experience, most people who haven't felt this sort of thing don't tend to see it. I don't mean this by any means as a copout, just something that more than a few people have had first hand experience with where they began to see some of the indicators.

I think a ton of people would love to have seen Ueshiba's movement prior to taking up study with Takeda Sokaku. If we had access to that, it would be pretty easy to descern when his eyes were "opened".

Here is something which may be helpful. The koyku dosa exercise does not show irimi and blending as typically expressed in standing waza with big circular motions by which you lead your partner/opponent. The teacher who opened my eyes to this sort of movement said that during his time at the Sagawa (daito ryu) dojo, they pretty much spent most of class doing this exercise, but not in the way preformed in most aikido dojo as waza, but instead in a manner of figuring out how to connect directly to your partner's center to your center and lift via moving your center.

Ark doing Agete/kyoku ho/dosa (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAJVQMCWeOA&feature=player_detailpage#t=8s)

Now if you watch that video at the 8 second mark you can see the guy in back trying to use his shoulders and arms to lift, whereas when Ark does it, you don't see such movement. What you experience is actually an absence of feeling, its like there was zero effort to move you. You probably can't see how he actually does it, but not as obvious a motion as utilizing the shoulders and arms.

What you can try to look for initially if you don't have first hand experience, is two things. One is absense of clearly descerinable power that originates solely in the arms/shoulders or in the hips. Two is to see if movement originates in the middle of the body and propagates on out. That is to say using the hips alone versus the middle which pushes on out into the hips(onto the legs, upper body etc) does look different, one is more of an opening/closing movement (body moving between convex and concave positions) and the other lacks such motion. Using the hips isn't bad by any means and can be quite powerful, but isn't the same thing as what is discussed in IS.

Of course seeing this can be difficult when the people you watch are either at a very high level, or are wearing poofy hakama or silk robes because they don't overexaggerate the movements. Wearing tight fitting clothes makes it much easier to see this movement.

Now once you have connected center to center, you have effectively blended together as you are basically one unit. Like a four legged animal to borrow from Mike Sigman and his drawing. When you connect to someones limb and pull on that limb with your limb in the same direction that your partner is pushing or is commiting too, you aren't really blending per say in the manner discussed in IS because you have not connected center to center. The person who is stronger, bigger, less overcommited can "win" or who has better timing to prevent overcommiting. Now you can certainly blend in the way that I was taught in aikido and connect to the opponents center as an additonal power "additive" because you are moving your mass and adding it to your partners, but it isn't a prerequisite to move your parnter. It can simply make it more powerful.

The center to center feeling is usally outside most people's experience in the IS context. Again borrowing from Mike's drawings, its like you competely bypass the arms the resistance feedback you experience you get from arms pushing on arms.

Now to answer your question regarding defense from an attack, if you have this sort of bodyskill you instantly connect the second your make contact with your opponent and can move them on contact anywhere you want, or can blow right through them without them being able to read or feel where you are weak. You could preform waza, or as shown in some of Ueshiba's videos where he holds a static position, you cause the opponnet to bounce off you on contact with little to no windup or movement. You could make your opponent feel like they are touching a granite statue which is unmovable (kind of like the Tenryu story) or like there is absolutely nothing there at all. Timing becomes far less of an issue.

Now if you have two people of relatively equal body skill/understanding of aiki, then timing, waza, mass etc comes back into play.

This blending is really no different if you are attacking or defending. Ideally both partners should be trying to connect to each other's center, so that they fight to take/retake the center instead of merely letting one person be tossed about. The various waza are basically all working on this concept just from different positions, so that the kokyu dosa video shown above is really on different than ikkyo/nikkyo etc. Thus cooperative training paradaigm changes once you learn the "outside" shape of the waza, because instead of merely copying the form you learn how to power the form.

You can of course make it easier by having uke muscle it while tori attemps to connect to uke's center too, but as I stated earlier you eventually want to have both "fighting" for center.

kewms
11-17-2011, 12:43 AM
6. I'm questioning therefore whether "real Aikido" (as some have certainly implied or stated) only occurs when it is the Aiki they do in IS.

They're asking whether "really good Aikido" occurs without it. There's a difference between thinking of points on a continuum and points in binary opposition.

Alas, your interlocutor appears to think in absolutes. Many many times in this thread, shades of meaning are completely ignored.

Katherine

Ken McGrew
11-17-2011, 12:45 AM
If we look at the Ukazawa Sensei who Hunter provided the link to, when we get to the level of application, you see the problems I said i worried about. While his karate/kung foo look great, and the exercises are fine, the aikido style throws don't look that good to me. There's a tendency to have to sweep or take a long time or use force because the momentum in Uke's body is gone. There is a place where Karate and Aikido overlap. Saotome Sensei shows that side as well. So he does some of the applications shown on these and other videos of Ukazawa Sensei. But the parts that look more like Aikido just don't look very good to me compared to most "modern Aikido," they take too much effort and too long to execute, his movement is not open or free, and don't look like they would be ideal in group attack situations. The Daito-ryu anniversary footage looked better to my eyes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJcq-8cvCpc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbvipmVYGzA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh1rTZ0T36o&feature=youtube_gdata_player


I don't know if this Sensei is a good representation of how other IS people like Harden invision application.

I assume that people interested in the application of Chinese arts to Aikido have read Sugawara Sensei's books on the topic.

Upyu
11-17-2011, 02:34 AM
There's a tendency to have to sweep or take a long time or use force because the momentum in Uke's body is gone. There is a place where Karate and Aikido overlap.

So maybe you'd like to point out the specific time codes of instances where he's fouling? Maybe people can discuss where he's lacking? (Which is a great exercise btw)
But then again, that also places Saotome and any number of "name" Shihan as fair targets...and I remember what happened the last time someone here opened that can of worms. I think it ended in <Thread closed> :D

Myself personally I think
1:42-1:50
is a bit more indicative of his rough-shod nature in the way he uses IS, but its also a bit more apparent as to what he's doing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DL7g_xDrJmE&feature=player_embedded

mrlizard123
11-17-2011, 02:59 AM
I've been reading the whole thread and this springs to mind:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDoC8BhtUyo

Alec Corper
11-17-2011, 04:14 AM
Why doesn't everyone just agree that Mr. McGrew is right, then this thread can die and those of us misguided IS "lemmings" can just carry on being misguided and stupid. What a waste of time and energy, no wonder this is such a busy thread.

Alec Corper
11-17-2011, 04:16 AM
P.S. Hi Rob, glad you're still alive and kicking. Don't forget to Tell Ark how poor his technique is !!!!!!!!

Chris Knight
11-17-2011, 04:43 AM
No, I don't think Dan, or any other proponent of IS (myself included) thinks they are bringing anything new to Aikido as preformed by Ueshiba, in part because there are indicators of this sort of movement in the videos we have of the founder. We can of course dissect some videos, which may be useful for you, but in my past experience, most people who haven't felt this sort of thing don't tend to see it. I don't mean this by any means as a copout, just something that more than a few people have had first hand experience with where they began to see some of the indicators.

I think a ton of people would love to have seen Ueshiba's movement prior to taking up study with Takeda Sokaku. If we had access to that, it would be pretty easy to descern when his eyes were "opened".

Here is something which may be helpful. The koyku dosa exercise does not show irimi and blending as typically expressed in standing waza with big circular motions by which you lead your partner/opponent. The teacher who opened my eyes to this sort of movement said that during his time at the Sagawa (daito ryu) dojo, they pretty much spent most of class doing this exercise, but not in the way preformed in most aikido dojo as waza, but instead in a manner of figuring out how to connect directly to your partner's center to your center and lift via moving your center.

Ark doing Agete/kyoku ho/dosa

Now if you watch that video at the 8 second mark you can see the guy in back trying to use his shoulders and arms to lift, whereas when Ark does it, you don't see such movement. What you experience is actually an absence of feeling, its like there was zero effort to move you. You probably can't see how he actually does it, but not as obvious a motion as utilizing the shoulders and arms.

What you can try to look for initially if you don't have first hand experience, is two things. One is absense of clearly descerinable power that originates solely in the arms/shoulders or in the hips. Two is to see if movement originates in the middle of the body and propagates on out. That is to say using the hips alone versus the middle which pushes on out into the hips(onto the legs, upper body etc) does look different, one is more of an opening/closing movement (body moving between convex and concave positions) and the other lacks such motion. Using the hips isn't bad by any means and can be quite powerful, but isn't the same thing as what is discussed in IS.

Of course seeing this can be difficult when the people you watch are either at a very high level, or are wearing poofy hakama or silk robes because they don't overexaggerate the movements. Wearing tight fitting clothes makes it much easier to see this movement.

Now once you have connected center to center, you have effectively blended together as you are basically one unit. Like a four legged animal to borrow from Mike Sigman and his drawing. When you connect to someones limb and pull on that limb with your limb in the same direction that your partner is pushing or is commiting too, you aren't really blending per say in the manner discussed in IS because you have not connected center to center. The person who is stronger, bigger, less overcommited can "win" or who has better timing to prevent overcommiting. Now you can certainly blend in the way that I was taught in aikido and connect to the opponents center as an additonal power "additive" because you are moving your mass and adding it to your partners, but it isn't a prerequisite to move your parnter. It can simply make it more powerful.

The center to center feeling is usally outside most people's experience in the IS context. Again borrowing from Mike's drawings, its like you competely bypass the arms the resistance feedback you experience you get from arms pushing on arms.

Now to answer your question regarding defense from an attack, if you have this sort of bodyskill you instantly connect the second your make contact with your opponent and can move them on contact anywhere you want, or can blow right through them without them being able to read or feel where you are weak. You could preform waza, or as shown in some of Ueshiba's videos where he holds a static position, you cause the opponnet to bounce off you on contact with little to no windup or movement. You could make your opponent feel like they are touching a granite statue which is unmovable (kind of like the Tenryu story) or like there is absolutely nothing there at all. Timing becomes far less of an issue.

Now if you have two people of relatively equal body skill/understanding of aiki, then timing, waza, mass etc comes back into play.

This blending is really no different if you are attacking or defending. Ideally both partners should be trying to connect to each other's center, so that they fight to take/retake the center instead of merely letting one person be tossed about. The various waza are basically all working on this concept just from different positions, so that the kokyu dosa video shown above is really on different than ikkyo/nikkyo etc. Thus cooperative training paradaigm changes once you learn the "outside" shape of the waza, because instead of merely copying the form you learn how to power the form.

You can of course make it easier by having uke muscle it while tori attemps to connect to uke's center too, but as I stated earlier you eventually want to have both "fighting" for center.

excellent post, very descriptive and informative... makes a lot of sense... thanks!!

Chris Knight
11-17-2011, 04:56 AM
8. I'm asking (as some have certainly implied or stated) if it is their claim that Aikido doesn't "work" against real attacks unless it contains their IS skills?

Off course it will work in some respect depending on how it's trained etc... until you come up against somebody with the goods, like Ueshiba did with Takeda, and couldn't move him, never mind perform a technique etc

Chris Knight
11-17-2011, 05:05 AM
"Epigenetics is typically defined as the studyof heritable changes in gene expression that are not due to changes in DNA sequence. Diverse biological properties can be affected by epigenetic mechanisms: for example, the morphology of flowers and eye colour in fruitflies.

Epigenetic changes are crucial for the development and differentiation of the various cell types in an
organism, as well as for normal cellular processes such as X-chromosome inactivation in female
mammals and silencing of mating-type loci in yeast. However, epigenetic states can become disrupted by environmental influences or during ageing, and the importance of epigenetic changes in the development of cancer and other diseases is increasingly being appreciated."

Also see Bird's article "Perceptions of epigenetics" in the 5/24/07 issue of Nature (page 396). Based on what I know at this point, can I rule out that IS training may result in epigenetic modifications within cells? No. Can I say that IS training definitely results in epigenetic modifications? No. It remains an open question...one that could be testable, assuming we knew where in the human genome to look for these possible epigenetic modifications.

very interesting concept...

Tim Ruijs
11-17-2011, 05:26 AM
very interesting concept...

In this light re-wiring your body gets whole new dimension :D

graham christian
11-17-2011, 05:35 AM
Off course it will work in some respect depending on how it's trained etc... until you come up against somebody with the goods, like Ueshiba did with Takeda, and couldn't move him, never mind perform a technique etc

Minor point: Ueshiba wasn't doing Aikido when he came across Takeda. Well, actually, a major fact.

Later, when confident in his OWN Aikido he would demonstrate on anyone from sumo to whatever. Including anyone with ip/is or whatever. It didn't matter. He was on a different level.

Regards.G.

Tim Ruijs
11-17-2011, 05:50 AM
To the best of my knowledge this is how Ueshiba practised: he stayed with a teacher until he felt he was better, or the teacher had nothing left to teach him (that was of interest to him). He really did not avoid testing, he even challenged his own students to do surprise attacks on him...
Like you said; a different level that is for sure.
Funny thing is that later in life he realised true Budo was not about competition, but he kept doing demos/test. However he did so not to compete but to show what he had to offer.

Chris Knight
11-17-2011, 05:52 AM
Minor point: Ueshiba wasn't doing Aikido when he came across Takeda. Well, actually, a major fact.

thanks for the correction Graham, the point I was trying to get across was that aikido/daito ryu/ joes bloggs MA will become unstuck when encountering Aiki in it's correct form.
Ueshiba was more than a competent martial artist at this time

graham christian
11-17-2011, 06:01 AM
To the best of my knowledge this is how Ueshiba practised: he stayed with a teacher until he felt he was better, or the teacher had nothing left to teach him (that was of interest to him). He really did not avoid testing, he even challenged his own students to do surprise attacks on him...
Like you said; a different level that is for sure.
Funny thing is that later in life he realised true Budo was not about competition, but he kept doing demos/test. However he did so not to compete but to show what he had to offer.

Hi Tim. As I understand it later on his demos/tests were usually under protest. In other words it was through public pressure or the organization wanting some footage for promotional purposes etc.

Another thing I find interesting is this idea that later on he was just a figurehead and didn't actually do much teaching himself. I find this amazing that people would believe this.

He trained up to the day he died. He taught up to that time as well. His whole world was his Aikido 24/7.

This factor I think people should understand a bit better before they think they are 'experts' on him.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-17-2011, 06:11 AM
thanks for the correction Graham, the point I was trying to get across was that aikido/daito ryu/ joes bloggs MA will become unstuck when encountering Aiki in it's correct form.
Ueshiba was more than a competent martial artist at this time

Maybe. Your view on correct aiki I take it is to do with what Dan does? (I am assuming it is)

But then all those things coming unstuck when meeting it? Now that's quite a bold statement.

I think those kind of things have been around for centuries, it's nothing new. They have been used in martial arts for centuries too. That's nothing new. People using such have overcome opponents and been overcome by opponents for centuries. That's nothing new.

To think it's some kind of all conquering secret is in my view not very wise.

Regards.G.

Chris Knight
11-17-2011, 06:26 AM
Maybe. Your view on correct aiki I take it is to do with what Dan does? (I am assuming it is)


how would i know when I stated that I dont know him?

To think it's some kind of all conquering secret is in my view not very wise
secret, possibly,, all conquering no, however it would probably dominate a non-aiki martial art yes
that is my own belief

Demetrio Cereijo
11-17-2011, 06:36 AM
secret, possibly,, all conquering no, however it would probably dominate a non-aiki martial art yes that is my own belief
People believe in lots of weird things, you know.

Chris Knight
11-17-2011, 06:54 AM
People believe in lots of weird things, you know.

have you tested it Demetrio?

DH
11-17-2011, 06:56 AM
Minor point: Ueshiba wasn't doing Aikido when he came across Takeda. Well, actually, a major fact.

Later, when confident in his OWN Aikido he would demonstrate on anyone from sumo to whatever. Including anyone with ip/is or whatever. It didn't matter. He was on a different level.

Regards.G.
That's an attempt to rewrite history.
* His aikido- is the aiki of Daito ryu and is the modified waza of Daito ryu.
* Takeda was the one who gave him his power...aiki. Which he referred to as his power for the rest of his life. He never mentioned aiki before Takeda's stay with him at Ayabe.
* His reputation for great physical strength had already been noted, yet it did not help him at all, with Takeda or with some tough military students. In fact, when he first met Takeda, Takeda left him crying- slumped in the corner.
* Interestingly, the only other arts he was known to have studied had already occurred.
* His enlightenment, by his own admission (in the early 20's) came to him shortly after Takeda's stay with him and it was all about aiki. As he said to his son aiki informed his spiritual pursuits.

Once you have these skills, you continue to grow your entire life. Which Ueshiba did do, right along with Sagawa and Kodo. A smart Johnnie will continue to experiment absorb and add things. With Ueshiba, Sagawa and Kodo they cannot be considered-they would in fact never had been discussed- if it were not for Takeda.
While remain a great fan of Ueshiba, without Takeda, Ueshiba would have been a nobody in the world of Budo and we would not be here discussing him.
Dan

Chris Knight
11-17-2011, 07:00 AM
His aikido- is the aiki of Daito ryu and is the modified waza of Daito ryu.
* Takeda was the one who gave him his power...aiki. Which he referred to as his power for the rest of his life. He never mentioned aiki before Takeda's stay with him at Ayabe.
* His reputation for great physical strength had already been noted, yet it did not help him at all, with Takeda or with some tough military students. In fact, when he first met Takeda, Takeda left him crying- slumped in the corner.
* Interestingly, the only other arts he was known to have studied had already occurred.
* His enlightenment, by his own admission (in the early 20's) came to him shortly after Takeda's stay with him and it was all about aiki. As he said to his son aiki informed his spiritual pursuits.

thanks for clarifying Dan :)

Demetrio Cereijo
11-17-2011, 07:07 AM
have you tested it Demetrio?

I'd like to cross hands with an IS proponent my size, then I could say in what I believe.

Chris Knight
11-17-2011, 07:09 AM
I'd like to cross hands with an IS proponent my size, then I could say in what I believe
being a proponent of at least 4 martial arts, I would have thought you would have been actively searching to test it....

DH
11-17-2011, 07:21 AM
Maybe. Your view on correct aiki I take it is to do with what Dan does? (I am assuming it is)

But then all those things coming unstuck when meeting it? Now that's quite a bold statement.

I think those kind of things have been around for centuries, it's nothing new. They have been used in martial arts for centuries too. That's nothing new. People using such have overcome opponents and been overcome by opponents for centuries. That's nothing new.

To think it's some kind of all conquering secret is in my view not very wise.

Regards.G.
Internal strength is not aiki
Actually people who are very skilled with it are rare. I have as yet, never met anyone in Aikido with much in the way of connection, power and Aiki, much less highly skilled aiki. Most teachers I have met and crossed hands with tell me they wish they had discovered this decades earlier.

Of course there are many other people with Internal strength (JMA and ICMA), but not all have accomplished aiki skills. Instead they use their IP for power displays. What Ark is doing in the kokyu dosa vids are power displays. I stand people back up on their feet from Kokyu dosa but I do not do it the way he does. While what he is doing is very good, it is still a collision of forces. His power is more developed, so he wins. However, it is not aiki.
With weapons it becomes even more pronounced. Power is a losing gambit with weapons, yet few know how to use aiki there either. I give people bokken and let them use two hands to make a horizontal cut against me, while I hold a bokken at the very end with one hand against their entire two hand "power" cut.
Power...with muscle is the dumbest of the available strengths
Internal power is more accomplished and difficult
Internal power with aiki is far better
Internal power with aiki and being able to fight with it...is the highest level of skill.
And comparatively, few possess those skills.

To quote you
"all those things coming unstuck when meeting it? Now that's quite a bold statement."
It is a statement of fact. The aiki Ueshiba's pursued is daunting, Graham. I'll let you know when I meet an Aikido-ka, anyone, who can stop it with Aikido.

For Mr. McGrew and others, the internet is the best place to discuss it. Why?
In person, it isn't going well for the detractors. You have no where to go and no argument left after that.
"All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." -Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
This continues unopposed, in person...because it is self evident to all.
Dan

Chris Knight
11-17-2011, 07:29 AM
Internal power with aiki is far better
Did you have to travel to find a teacher for this or was this found in your weapons training?

SteveTrinkle
11-17-2011, 07:43 AM
Mr. McGrew,
From your posts you seem to be passionate about your study of aikido. I wonder if there is any reason that would keep you from going and checking out some of this "IS" stuff in person?

With all respect,
Steve Trinkle

DH
11-17-2011, 07:49 AM
Did you have to travel to find a teacher for this or was this found in your weapons training?
Like Sagawa, Ueshiba, and Kodo before me....
First given
Then developed.
I'm not important.
And discussions of individuals only continues to miss the mark. It is far more important to understand why there are so many doing these things and that this work is out there in many forms. That way, it frees everyone's mind to understand they can have it too....for themselves.
Ueshiba, while great, was simply in the end, yet another internal artists...quoting the classics and simply laying out body technology centuries old. His doka of the way, are sometimes direct quotes of Chinese works. Aikido-ka find them inexplicable, others see them for what they were.
It is stupifiyingly dumb for all of those gving us a hard time over; Heaven/ earth /man, six direction training, In yo ho and dual opposing spirals, etc. after it was discovered it was there all along, layed out in Ueshiba's own words, to continue to doubt. You'd think those who knew it all along would be lauded.
Rarely have I seen ignorance....defended so strongly. In the end, many don't want to know where he was pointing, if it means they have to go back and start again.
Dan

MM
11-17-2011, 08:04 AM
To the best of my knowledge this is how Ueshiba practised: he stayed with a teacher until he felt he was better, or the teacher had nothing left to teach him (that was of interest to him). He really did not avoid testing, he even challenged his own students to do surprise attacks on him...
Like you said; a different level that is for sure.
Funny thing is that later in life he realised true Budo was not about competition, but he kept doing demos/test. However he did so not to compete but to show what he had to offer.

Everything I've read suggests otherwise. Ueshiba dabbled in a few martial arts but never really stayed with them long ... until he met Takeda. Daito ryu is the one and only art that Ueshiba stayed with, became a teacher of, and then progressed on his own.

As for "competition", I would research what Peter Goldsbury had to say on that subject. Very illuminating. It's here on Aikiweb somewhere. Basically, there are different definitions of "competition" and Ueshiba was okay with some but not others. Competition between peers to become better - okay. Olympic Judo type competition - no.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-17-2011, 08:18 AM
being a proponent of at least 4 martial arts, I would have thought you would have been actively searching to test it....

As interested as in looking for Nessie.

Tim Ruijs
11-17-2011, 08:22 AM
Everything I've read suggests otherwise. Ueshiba dabbled in a few martial arts but never really stayed with them long ... until he met Takeda. Daito ryu is the one and only art that Ueshiba stayed with, became a teacher of, and then progressed on his own.

As for "competition", I would research what Peter Goldsbury had to say on that subject. Very illuminating. It's here on Aikiweb somewhere. Basically, there are different definitions of "competition" and Ueshiba was okay with some but not others. Competition between peers to become better - okay. Olympic Judo type competition - no.
Well, I wrote when he thought he was better, that does not imply that he stayed long. Perhaps what you call dabbling was more than enough for Ueshiba to decide to move on. Mind you he was never looking to master those arts; he was searching.... But I will take your word on it as I have not deeply researched this.
It is this type of competition I referred to, obviously.

MM
11-17-2011, 08:22 AM
Another thing I find interesting is this idea that later on he was just a figurehead and didn't actually do much teaching himself. I find this amazing that people would believe this.

He trained up to the day he died. He taught up to that time as well. His whole world was his Aikido 24/7.

This factor I think people should understand a bit better before they think they are 'experts' on him.

Regards.G.

You can find it "interesting" all you want. The research is there to prove that fact. Yes, fact.

"later on" in Ueshiba's life:

1. There was no exhaustive, extensive training with Ueshiba later on in his life.
2. The students didn't get a whole lot of hands on time with Ueshiba. NOTE: This does *NOT* mean that they didn't get hands on time, didn't learn from him, or didn't train with Ueshiba. It means that the myths of having extensive training are wrong. I'm certain that all of them wished they had much more time with Ueshiba than they actually got.
3. The training schedule of both Iwama and Tokyo are out there. Look them up and let us know just how long Ueshiba actually taught each day.
4. Ueshiba had a very busy training schedule and he also had many visitors. Look it up. Where was he and when and for how long? What happened when visitors came?
5. Kisshomaru, Tohei, and other seniors taught most of the classes. Kisshomaru taught most of the "private" classes. Tohei taught a lot of students.
6. A lot of students went outside of hombu to learn. Dig into it and find where some of them went and then come back here and let us know what you've found.
7. Ueshiba trained a lot. He was probably obsessive/compulsive about it. But, he did not teach a lot.

I find it amazing that people would not do the actual research and understand a bit better before they think they are "experts" on him.

For the rest, please do not take this as detracting from the students of Ueshiba. A lot were young and eager to learn. They wanted to learn. They had felt Ueshiba at some point and wanted what he had. Some of them did everything they could to learn or "steal" the secret, even going outside aikido or going to private dojos or going to pre-war students. Their dedication and desire to learn is never in question.

chillzATL
11-17-2011, 08:26 AM
Everything I've read suggests otherwise. Ueshiba dabbled in a few martial arts but never really stayed with them long ... until he met Takeda. Daito ryu is the one and only art that Ueshiba stayed with, became a teacher of, and then progressed on his own.

As for "competition", I would research what Peter Goldsbury had to say on that subject. Very illuminating. It's here on Aikiweb somewhere. Basically, there are different definitions of "competition" and Ueshiba was okay with some but not others. Competition between peers to become better - okay. Olympic Judo type competition - no.

Mark,

In the article Stan posted yesterday, the self-defense world translation of his Asahi interview, Ueshiba keeps things vague enough that one could run with the idea that he ran around mastering various arts and challenging people, but I would agree with you that the timeline just doesn't seem to support it being as extensive as it sounds. DR is definitely the only one that stuck with him though.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-17-2011, 08:44 AM
Ueshiba keeps things vague enough that one could run with the idea that he ran around mastering various arts and challenging people

Back in my day, we had to walk 20 miles to school in the snow, uphill both ways, no shoes... the usual.

Mary Eastland
11-17-2011, 09:10 AM
I wonder if Takeda leaving Ueshiba crying in the corner helped Ueshiba develop Aikido as I understand it. Maybe this is where Ueshiba saw the futility of being the strongest. That there would always be someone stronger or bigger or that has a gun. That maybe what matters in the end is striving for connection and reconciliation. To me this is what makes Aikido different than Aiki. No right or wrong, just different.

Chris Knight
11-17-2011, 09:28 AM
I wonder if Takeda leaving Ueshiba crying in the corner helped Ueshiba develop Aikido as I understand it. Maybe this is where Ueshiba saw the futility of being the strongest. That there would always be someone stronger or bigger or that has a gun. That maybe what matters in the end is striving for connection and reconciliation. To me this is what makes Aikido different than Aiki. No right or wrong, just different.

do you not think aikido should contain aiki Mary? as in aiki-do, ken-do, ju-do, taekwon-do?

Tim Ruijs
11-17-2011, 09:41 AM
do you not think aikido should contain aiki Mary? as in aiki-do, ken-do, ju-do, taekwon-do?

not sure this is actually a do in the Japanese sense....

Chris Knight
11-17-2011, 09:50 AM
not sure this is actually a do in the Japanese sense....
doh!

DH
11-17-2011, 09:53 AM
I wonder if Takeda leaving Ueshiba crying in the corner helped Ueshiba develop Aikido as I understand it. Maybe this is where Ueshiba saw the futility of being the strongest. That there would always be someone stronger or bigger or that has a gun. That maybe what matters in the end is striving for connection and reconciliation. To me this is what makes Aikido different than Aiki. No right or wrong, just different.
I would agree on where he ended up, not on how he got there. He was not quite the peacenic everyone thought he was.
Decades after Takeda we find our Ueshiba...teaching military people, assassins, taking challenges, and distinctly involved in Budo. I admire some of the changes in thought and process that he went through. I suspect we differ on the level of cooperation needed to make aiki work, or what "connection" is about! I am a fan of what he had and did and not necessarily the over cooperative no touch throws he ended up with.

I don't like the fact people cut up aikido as if everyone in it is a Fauntleroy. It's a fallacious argument. Sure there are many hobbyist incapable of using aikido, but that is not different than many other arts. There are just as many inept people in the supposedly nastier art of DR. I think what people miss is that some very capable people come to aikido for reasons other than fighting, and others -who while they go out to do BJJ and MMA- stay in aikido for reasons all their own.
And most important.... aiki, works for all parties concerned
Dan

chillzATL
11-17-2011, 09:53 AM
I wonder if Takeda leaving Ueshiba crying in the corner helped Ueshiba develop Aikido as I understand it. Maybe this is where Ueshiba saw the futility of being the strongest. That there would always be someone stronger or bigger or that has a gun. That maybe what matters in the end is striving for connection and reconciliation. To me this is what makes Aikido different than Aiki. No right or wrong, just different.

I think what you're looking for came well after their meeting.

graham christian
11-17-2011, 11:31 AM
That's an attempt to rewrite history.
* His aikido- is the aiki of Daito ryu and is the modified waza of Daito ryu.
* Takeda was the one who gave him his power...aiki. Which he referred to as his power for the rest of his life. He never mentioned aiki before Takeda's stay with him at Ayabe.
* His reputation for great physical strength had already been noted, yet it did not help him at all, with Takeda or with some tough military students. In fact, when he first met Takeda, Takeda left him crying- slumped in the corner.
* Interestingly, the only other arts he was known to have studied had already occurred.
* His enlightenment, by his own admission (in the early 20's) came to him shortly after Takeda's stay with him and it was all about aiki. As he said to his son aiki informed his spiritual pursuits.

Once you have these skills, you continue to grow your entire life. Which Ueshiba did do, right along with Sagawa and Kodo. A smart Johnnie will continue to experiment absorb and add things. With Ueshiba, Sagawa and Kodo they cannot be considered-they would in fact never had been discussed- if it were not for Takeda.
While remain a great fan of Ueshiba, without Takeda, Ueshiba would have been a nobody in the world of Budo and we would not be here discussing him.
Dan

1) This crying slumped in a corner statement I've never seen. Then I would add what's it's significance? Why do people say this? I've seen many big men crying 'in a corner' It's the type of statement I would question the user on.

2) Never heard him quote it as his power either. Have heard him say what his power is though on many occasions.

3) His Aikido is totally different to the aiki of Takeda. Thus so is his Aiki.

4) That aiki you talk about would assist any spiritual pursuits, ask a yogi. So does different forms of breathing and many other things.

5) I believe if it wasn't for Ueshiba then Takeda wouldn't even be considered. In fact I would say it was due to Ueshiba and the promotions of his son that saved the declining daito ryo itself.

Regards.G.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-17-2011, 11:42 AM
1) This crying slumped in a corner statement I've never seen. Then I would add what's it's significance? Why do people say this? I've seen many big men crying 'in a corner' It's the type of statement I would question the user on.
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=35083&postcount=4

On the origins of the usage of the "aiki" term, there are various narratives around, one of the most interesting is this one:

In 1922, Takeda "visited" Ueshiba in Tanabe, a habit he was to repeat through out his life whenever he needed money. The reverend Deguchi did not care for Takeda and suggested to Ueshiba that he change the name of the art from Daito-ryu Jujitsu to Aiki. He also gave some money to Ueshiba to give to Takeda so that he would go away. According to Inoue, he became upset with his uncle when hesitant to add the term 'aiki' to the name. Eventually the name was changed to Daito-ryu Aikijujitsu, but the fact that Ueshiba had had doubts about changing the name, was one of the factors that contributed to the split between the two after the war. At the age of 21, Inoue returned to his birth place to engage in mushashugyo, (itinerant training in the martial arts). He was very successful and decided to go to Tokyo to teach. When he went to get his parents approval, they informed him that they could only support him if he ran the family business. Being his usual head strong self he told his family he was not able to run the business, and instead went off with his uncle to teach the martial arts.
http://www.shinwa-taido.org/history.shtml

graham christian
11-17-2011, 11:49 AM
Internal strength is not aiki
Actually people who are very skilled with it are rare. I have as yet, never met anyone in Aikido with much in the way of connection, power and Aiki, much less highly skilled aiki. Most teachers I have met and crossed hands with tell me they wish they had discovered this decades earlier.

Of course there are many other people with Internal strength (JMA and ICMA), but not all have accomplished aiki skills. Instead they use their IP for power displays. What Ark is doing in the kokyu dosa vids are power displays. I stand people back up on their feet from Kokyu dosa but I do not do it the way he does. While what he is doing is very good, it is still a collision of forces. His power is more developed, so he wins. However, it is not aiki.
With weapons it becomes even more pronounced. Power is a losing gambit with weapons, yet few know how to use aiki there either. I give people bokken and let them use two hands to make a horizontal cut against me, while I hold a bokken at the very end with one hand against their entire two hand "power" cut.
Power...with muscle is the dumbest of the available strengths
Internal power is more accomplished and difficult
Internal power with aiki is far better
Internal power with aiki and being able to fight with it...is the highest level of skill.
And comparatively, few possess those skills.

To quote you
"all those things coming unstuck when meeting it? Now that's quite a bold statement."
It is a statement of fact. The aiki Ueshiba's pursued is daunting, Graham. I'll let you know when I meet an Aikido-ka, anyone, who can stop it with Aikido.

For Mr. McGrew and others, the internet is the best place to discuss it. Why?
In person, it isn't going well for the detractors. You have no where to go and no argument left after that.
"All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." -Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
This continues unopposed, in person...because it is self evident to all.
Dan

Dan. You mention someone doing power displays and that you do these things and that his isn't aiki. That sounds like you do 'power' displays also then. Aiki wise. Does he say yours is Aiki and if so what does he call his?

The demos you describe show what? Effectiveness of your aiki? (I assume so) However I don't see it as significant or unusual myself. Maybe 'out there' it is.

For instance, lifting someone up back to their feet from kokyu dosa. When you say power display equalling collision of forces are you implying you havn't met anyone who can do that without such?

Sword tricks. Are you saying you havn't met anyone who can cut through your sword held as you describe?

Regards.G.

chillzATL
11-17-2011, 11:55 AM
5) I believe if it wasn't for Ueshiba then Takeda wouldn't even be considered. In fact I would say it was due to Ueshiba and the promotions of his son that saved the declining daito ryo itself.

Regards.G.

You have something real to base this one? Because otherwise it's called "Just making crap up".

graham christian
11-17-2011, 12:17 PM
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=35083&postcount=4

On the origins of the usage of the "aiki" term, there are various narratives around, one of the most interesting is this one:

Thanks Demetrio. As I thought, someone says in a book. One person, saying this for whatever reason, maybe to help sell his book, who knows. Secondly, he says Ueshiba was seen to be crying in a corner of the dojo.

Well I bet a few people have been 'hurt' in such a way that made their eyes water, what's new? So that's if it's true in the first place.

I don't see the words 'slumped' or 'crying like a baby' in that reference either. Sounds like people dress it up to make it more for their own ends? It's like tabloid gossip.

I have read that second one before as well. Inoue. Now there's a charachter. Similar views with Ueshiba on aiki and what it means. Also couldn't stand Takeda, along with deguchi, and I'm sure I also read how he (Inoue) didn't even like training with Takeda and also could handle him easily.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-17-2011, 12:20 PM
You have something real to base this one? Because otherwise it's called "Just making crap up".

Yes. Somewhere in Stanley Pranins work if I recall correctly. I'm not one for times , places, who said what. Once I get the concept I throw the data away.

Regards.G.