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mike lee
06-24-2002, 03:12 AM
Before one starts looking to other fighting methods to expand one's arsenal, one should carefully consider whether one is actually looking for a way to make up for one's lack of skill in aikido.

If one wants to study violence, then one should go to a dojo or gym where such things are practiced. But if one wants to study the budo of love, the art of peace, then one should seek to master aikido.

Damaging joint locks, agressive punching and kicking are the budo of violence.

Nevertheless, I know of one aikido instructor who boasts of teaching his aikido students boxing, while at the same time admitting that he can't pull off aikido techniques against bigger, stronger men. I have to wonder if he is not utilizing violent arts to make up for his lack of skill in aikido. While this individual claims to venerate O'Sensei and boasts of his lineage in the art of peace, he at the same time practices arts of violence in his aikido dojo and introduces them to his aikido students. This appears to demonstrate a major lack of understanding on this teacher's part.

Go to Hombu dojo in Japan and start throwing side kicks around or box with your partner and then watch the sensei's reaction.:mad:

Chris Li
06-24-2002, 07:21 AM
Originally posted by mike lee
Damaging joint locks, agressive punching and kicking are the budo of violence.

Nevertheless, I know of one aikido instructor who boasts of teaching his aikido students boxing, while at the same time admitting that he can't pull off aikido techniques against bigger, stronger men. I have to wonder if he is not utilizing violent arts to make up for his lack of skill in aikido. While this individual claims to venerate O'Sensei and boasts of his lineage in the art of peace, he at the same time practices arts of violence in his aikido dojo and introduces them to his aikido students. This appears to demonstrate a major lack of understanding on this teacher's part.

OTOH, I know a student of Morihei Ueshiba's who was also a golden gloves boxer who integrates boxing techniques with his Aikido and does so very well, thank you, "arts of violence" or not. M. Ueshiba practiced with a sword (but he I'm sure that he was very peaceful as he sliced his partners into tiny pieces...), he practiced with a bayonet - how "non-violent" is that? Iimura (a long time student of M. Ueshiba) demonstrates bayonet techniques every year at the all Japan Aikido demonstration, I assume with Doshu's blessing, since he keeps on getting invited back... :) .

Why is punching or kicking someone inherently more "violent" then throwing them on their head? And what's wrong with a damaging joint lock if you thereby prevent some greater injury to yourself or your opponent?

Best,

Chris

mike lee
06-24-2002, 07:38 AM
Sorry Chris. I was unaware that O'Sensei ever sliced anyone to pieces. Could you be more specific and tell me when that event took place?

I'd also like to know on what occassions he stabbed someone with a bayonet. As far as I know, he only practiced defensive techniques against bayonet attacks.

I never saw tori ever intentionally throw uke on his head.

What dojo are you practicing at?

Chris Li
06-24-2002, 07:48 AM
Originally posted by mike lee
Sorry Chris. I was unaware that O'Sensei ever sliced anyone to pieces. Could you be more specific and tell me when that event took place?

A sword is not a defensive weapon (unless you're on certain Japanese TV dramas, of course). If you're training with a sword you're training to slice someone into tiny pieces (in a manner of speaking.


I'd also like to know on what occassions he stabbed someone with a bayonet. As far as I know, he only practiced defensive techniques against bayonet attacks.

Hmm, he certainly trained with a bayonet during his stint in the army. I don't know whether or not he actually stabbed anybody. It's true, he practiced mostly defensive strategies against the bayonet - not so for his training with things like the sword...



I never saw tori ever intentionally throw uke on his head.


Well he certainly injured a number of people in training. More to the point, what do you think would happen if you threw someone with no training the way that most people are thrown in Aikido dojo?



What dojo are you practicing at?

A couple of places, mostly Aikikai, but not completely - I even get down to that hombu place that you mentioned every once in a while to train with a well known Aikikai hombu 9th dan famous for intentionally injuring people :) .

Best,

Chris

SeiserL
06-24-2002, 08:43 AM
IMHO,most martial arts are pretty complete and hollographic in their own right. If I look deep enough, everything is everything. The intention of the observation often influences the information gathered. A punch can be a block, a lock, or a throw depending on how you apply it. There are probably more similiarities in principle than difference. Trying to undertsand one art in reference to another is often too complicated for me. It is what it is. Just relax, breath, and enjoy yourself.

Until again,

Lynn

mike lee
06-24-2002, 09:44 AM
What an amazing forum! People can make wild, unsubstantiated assertions about the founder of aikido in one breath, and in the next, while admitting that the assertions were wrong, continue talking complete nonsense. No wonder some people are concerned about the future of aikido.:rolleyes:

Mike Haber
06-24-2002, 09:56 AM
Originally posted by Chris Li



A couple of places, mostly Aikikai, but not completely - I even get down to that hombu place that you mentioned every once in a while to train with a well known Aikikai hombu 9th dan famous for intentionally injuring people :) .

Best,

Chris

That 9th Dan wouldn't happen to be Sadateru Arikawa would it?

Chris Li
06-24-2002, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by mike lee
What an amazing forum! People can make wild, unsubstantiated assertions about the founder of aikido in one breath, and in the next, while admitting that the assertions were wrong, continue talking complete nonsense. No wonder some people are concerned about the future of aikido.:rolleyes:

Which ones were wild and unsubstantiated? He did practice the sword (as I said), and the object of sword practice is to cut your opponent (as I said). He did practice the bayonet (as I said) - you brought up the "stabbing" yourself. Take a look at my original post - nothing I said there was inaccurate,

If you think that something that I said is "complete nonsense" then let me know what it is and we'll discuss it.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
06-24-2002, 04:38 PM
Originally posted by Mike Haber


That 9th Dan wouldn't happen to be Sadateru Arikawa would it?

Sure would. To be fair, I've never seen him actually injure someone, although it seems as if he's mellowed a bit through the years :) .

Best,

Chris

Richard Harnack
06-24-2002, 09:14 PM
1. Wally Jay's Small Circle Ju-jitsu is not Aikido, neither is Aikido Small Circle Ju-Jitsu. This does not mean there are no similarities, after all the human wrist can only bend so many different ways.

2. Cross training in other arts may or may not be necessary or even desirable. However, beware of Aikidoka who have trained in other arts and insist on including their former art's techniques in Aikido and calling it Aikido. I am certain there are folk out there who will attempt to justify using handguns as long as they shoot "from their one point". Just because someone says it is so, does not mean it is.

3. I am constantly amazed at how versatile O'Sensei must have been. If I were to compile all of the alleged things he was supposed to have trained in as mentioned in the above posts, O'Sensei must have never slept. Come on, a goodly portion of his history is known, so please stick with that, not some daydream conjured up to justify a point.

4. Lastly, the whole discussion of what O'Sensei did as a young man begs the question and ignores what he became. At a very specific point in his life he changed from doing Daito Ryu Ju-jitsu and began his path in Aikido. We have many statements from him where he identifies himself with Aikido, none where he does the same for anything else. He changed and transformed himself and his art into something that had not been seen previously. The lotus is not admired for its' roots in the mud, but for its' flower.

Chris Li
06-24-2002, 09:52 PM
Originally posted by Richard Harnack
2. Cross training in other arts may or may not be necessary or even desirable. However, beware of Aikidoka who have trained in other arts and insist on including their former art's techniques in Aikido and calling it Aikido. I am certain there are folk out there who will attempt to justify using handguns as long as they shoot "from their one point". Just because someone says it is so, does not mean it is.

The question of whether or not cross training is valuable or not is, I suppose, not to be settled on the internet. Still, in support of cross training I would have to say:

Morihei Ueshiba cross trained
Sokaku Takeda cross trained
Both of them included techniques form other arts in their own arts
Most major figures in the history of Japanese martial arts cross trained

Of course, YMMV.

Does Yoshio Kuroiwa do Aikido? He's who I was talking about with the boxing. What about Nishio? He combines both Karate and iaido movements with his Aikido. Is what he's doing not Aikido? Some people, of course, will say not, but I tend to disagree.

Suppose that you use a police officer uses a handgun in order to protect the lives of civilians. Is that antithetical to the principles of Aikido? How is that different from using a sword?


3. I am constantly amazed at how versatile O'Sensei must have been. If I were to compile all of the alleged things he was supposed to have trained in as mentioned in the above posts, O'Sensei must have never slept. Come on, a goodly portion of his history is known, so please stick with that, not some daydream conjured up to justify a point.

I don't know if that was addressed to my comments or not, but his training in both the sword and the bayonet are very well documented and supported, hardly a "daydream".


4. Lastly, the whole discussion of what O'Sensei did as a young man begs the question and ignores what he became. At a very specific point in his life he changed from doing Daito Ryu Ju-jitsu and began his path in Aikido. We have many statements from him where he identifies himself with Aikido, none where he does the same for anything else. He changed and transformed himself and his art into something that had not been seen previously. The lotus is not admired for its' roots in the mud, but for its' flower.

He practiced with offensive weaponry (ie, the sword) until the day he died...

I'm not saying that he didn't create a purpose in his training that was seperate from Daito-ryu, but I would argue against the preposition that there is a built in techical ethic inherent in Aikido technique that is cannot be present in, for example, a striking art.

Best,

Chris

mike lee
06-25-2002, 01:29 AM
Let's let O'Sensei speak for himself.

From “The Aikido FAQ” Web site at www.aikidofaq.com.

An interview with Morihei Ueshiba O Sensei and Kisshomaru Ueshiba
The interview, conducted by two unnamed newspapermen, appeared in the Japanese-language text “Aikido” by Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Tokyo, Kowado, 1957, pages 198-219. It was translated from Japanese by Stanley Pranin and Katsuaki Terasawa.

Excerpt:

Q: It is said that Aikido is quite different from Karate and Judo.

O Sensei: In my opinion, it can be said to be the true martial art. The reason for this is that it is a martial art based on universal truth. This universe is composed of many different parts, and yet the universe as a whole is united as a family and symbolizes the ultimate state of peace. Holding such a view of the universe, Aikido cannot be anything but a martial art of love. It cannot be a martial art of violence. For this reason Aikido can be said to be another manifestation of the Creator of the universe. In other words, Aikido is like a giant (immense in nature).

Therefore, in Aikido, heaven and earth become the training grounds. The state of mind of the Aikidoist must be peaceful and totally nonviolent. That is to say, that special state of mind which brings violence into a state of harmony.

And this I think is the true spirit of Japanese martial arts. We have been given this earth to transform into a heaven on earth. Warlike activity is totally out of place.

:ai: :ki: :do:

Chris Li
06-25-2002, 01:46 AM
Originally posted by mike lee
Q: It is said that Aikido is quite different from Karate and Judo.

O Sensei: In my opinion, it can be said to be the true martial art.

No offense to Stan Pranin, but M. Ueshiba often uses this phrase, and he never says "the" for the simple reason that there is no "the" in Japanese. Consider the difference:

1) Aikido is the true martial art.
2) Aikido is true martial arts.

The implication, as you can see is quite different. The first one implies that Aikido *exclusively* is the true martial art (ie, Aikido is the one true martial art). The second one implies that Aikido follows the true spirit of the martial arts but leaves room for the possibility that other martial arts may also follow that spirit (ie, Aikido is one of many true martial arts, or Aikido is a true example of the martial arts).

I've read a lot of what M. Ueshiba wrote in the original Japanese, and in every instance that I can recall he seems to mean "true" in the second sense of the word.


And this I think is the true spirit of Japanese martial arts. We have been given this earth to transform into a heaven on earth. Warlike activity is totally out of place.

I think this supports my supposition. He doesn't say "only Aikido represents the true spirit of the Japanese martial arts" he says that he believes that the art of peace is the true spirit of the Japanese martial arts - IMO that means that this spirit is not necessarily limited to the art of Aikido.

He says "warlike activity is out of place". He doesn't say that "striking" (for example) is out of place. The fact that he practiced the sword assiduously until the day he died says to me that he didn't even consider non-defensive, potentially destructive activity to be out of place, in the correct circumstances.

Best,

Chris

Mike Haber
06-25-2002, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by Chris Li


Sure would. To be fair, I've never seen him actually injure someone, although it seems as if he's mellowed a bit through the years :) .

Best,

Chris

Chris,

How would you describe Arikawa Sensei's aikido? Especially in his younger years?

Who did Arikawa Sensei train mostly with? Was it under K. Ueshiba Doshu or did he get to Iwama quite a bit to train with O-sensei?

Richard Harnack
06-25-2002, 10:38 AM
1.
a. Yes, O'Sensei did train in the Japanese army in his youth. He so impressed his superiors that instead of going into combat he was made into an empty handed combat instructor and bayonet instructor.

b. The bokken can be an offensive weapon if that is all you see it as, then so be it. O'Sensei used the bokken to train his spirit and body. The bokken is still a piece of wood and can be used for many diverse purposes. One immensely practical one is keeping yourself from freezing to death by using it for fuel in a fire.

c. Lastly, my point still remains, what O'Sensei did in his youth, while leading in part to the man he became, does not mean he did not change and transform himself and his art. What I object to are folk who actively choose to ignore this change in favor of some supposed "early" state. We have his words in his doka, in his manual and in many interviews and reports of his son and others. All of these point to a man who had a completely different vision of what true budo is.

2. Cross training. Let me see if I can explain this. Whether one chooses to cross train in other martial arts is purely an individual choice. I strongly recommend to all martial artists that they cross train in swimming and running to improve their stamina and wind. Be that as it may, I will never indulge the lazy conceit of labelling either swimming or running as Aikido Swimming or Aikido Running. My point remains, that just because someone (even a high ranked black belt) says it is aikido (karate, boxing, wing chun, chin na, gong fu, tai chi, etc...) does not make it so.

3. Discussion of what techniques comprise Aikido will always vary simply because each of the major branches has different ways of doing the same thing. For me the deciding factor is the underlying principle and intention involved. Do they follow the principles of Aikido or do they follow the principles and intention of some other art?

4. "Shooting a gun".
a. Guns are designed by their very nature to kill. They can only be used to shoot a projectile. All weapons are designed to kill or maim, however, guns really only have the single use. Even a sword can be used to dig a hole or chop down brush, but a gun (pick your favorite) is designed to kill.
b. Protecting others with a gun requires intensive training. If you really want to have some raw data to digest, I refer you to Grossman's book "On Killing". In this book he discusses how the US Army approaches their weapons training and the ethical constraints built into it.

Bronson
06-25-2002, 02:09 PM
that just because someone (even a high ranked black belt) says it is aikido (karate, boxing, wing chun, chin na, gong fu, tai chi, etc...) does not make it so.

What if they are altered to more closely follow the principles of aikido than the original art?

For me the deciding factor is the underlying principle and intention involved. Do they follow the principles of Aikido or do they follow the principles and intention of some other art?

Isn't that in a nutshell what O-sensei did? He took techniques that were designed to maim and kill and altered the spirit, focus, and technical execution to follow the ideals and principles we was exploring while creating this new budo.

I guess what it comes down to for me is this; do you consider aikido to be a collection of techniqes with some underlying principles, or do you consider it a collection principles, that uses techniques to demonstrate those principles? If you follow the "technique" path then no, none of those other things will ever be aikido techniques. They will always be from that "other" art but sometimes you use them. But if you follow the "principles" path those other things could become part of your aikido if they are done with aiki-principles, aiki-intent, and aiki-mind.

Again, my understanding as of now...wait a while, it'll change :rolleyes:

Thanks,
Bronson

Chris Li
06-25-2002, 04:38 PM
Originally posted by Mike Haber
How would you describe Arikawa Sensei's aikido? Especially in his younger years?

Well, I never really saw him when he was "young", but he was more dynamic 20 years ago then he is now (who wasn't!). His movements tend to be fairly small, not flash, but very effective.


Who did Arikawa Sensei train mostly with? Was it under K. Ueshiba Doshu or did he get to Iwama quite a bit to train with O-sensei?

As I understand these things he spent some time in Iwama after the war, but so did K. Ueshiba at that time - a lot of folks went back and forth during that period. K. Ueshiba used to teach out at Iwama as well (the beginning M. Saito being in some of his classes), so it's not that easy to make a clear division.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
06-25-2002, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by Richard Harnack
b. The bokken can be an offensive weapon if that is all you see it as, then so be it. O'Sensei used the bokken to train his spirit and body. The bokken is still a piece of wood and can be used for many diverse purposes. One immensely practical one is keeping yourself from freezing to death by using it for fuel in a fire.

Well, yes, and I could use a rifle to splint a broken leg. Your point is?

The "training spirit and body" argument could be used to apply to almost anything - kicking, striking, firerms...


c. Lastly, my point still remains, what O'Sensei did in his youth, while leading in part to the man he became, does not mean he did not change and transform himself and his art. What I object to are folk who actively choose to ignore this change in favor of some supposed "early" state. We have his words in his doka, in his manual and in many interviews and reports of his son and others. All of these point to a man who had a completely different vision of what true budo is.

He certainly changed the purposes behind his training. K. Ueshiba pegs the birth of that change as 1925, by the way. Still he taught atemi and offensive weaponry after the war, 25 or 30 years after the change. That says to me that the change that he experienced was less limited to specific technical approaches than it was to purpose and intent.


2. Cross training. Let me see if I can explain this. Whether one chooses to cross train in other martial arts is purely an individual choice. I strongly recommend to all martial artists that they cross train in swimming and running to improve their stamina and wind. Be that as it may, I will never indulge the lazy conceit of labelling either swimming or running as Aikido Swimming or Aikido Running. My point remains, that just because someone (even a high ranked black belt) says it is aikido (karate, boxing, wing chun, chin na, gong fu, tai chi, etc...) does not make it so.

So are Nishio and Kuroiwa lazy or is what they are doing actually Aikido? If a strike or a kick conforms to Aikido principles why can it not then be called Aikido?


3. Discussion of what techniques comprise Aikido will always vary simply because each of the major branches has different ways of doing the same thing. For me the deciding factor is the underlying principle and intention involved. Do they follow the principles of Aikido or do they follow the principles and intention of some other art?

What I said above :) .


4. "Shooting a gun".
a. Guns are designed by their very nature to kill. They can only be used to shoot a projectile. All weapons are designed to kill or maim, however, guns really only have the single use. Even a sword can be used to dig a hole or chop down brush, but a gun (pick your favorite) is designed to kill.

Sounds like quite a stretch to me. You could use a sword for other things, but a sword is also a tool designed for a single purpose - killing people (you'd have a stronger argument with a knife...). I could use a gun to hunt for food. I could use a rifle to splint leg, or as a cane.


b. Protecting others with a gun requires intensive training. If you really want to have some raw data to digest, I refer you to Grossman's book "On Killing". In this book he discusses how the US Army approaches their weapons training and the ethical constraints built into it.

Same with a sword.

Best,

Chris

Richard Harnack
06-25-2002, 09:34 PM
Originally posted by Chris Li
[B]

The "training spirit and body" argument could be used to apply to almost anything - kicking, striking, firerms...


Yes that is true, however we are still talking about Aikido, not the Way of the Tech Nine.


"He certainly changed the purposes behind his training. K. Ueshiba pegs the birth of that change as 1925, by the way. Still he taught atemi and offensive weaponry after the war, 25 or 30 years after the change. That says to me that the change that he experienced was less limited to specific technical approaches than it was to purpose and intent."


Yes, 1925 is one of the early dates, he later changed and refined his view during the war and sometime in 1942 began to use the term Aikido to describe his art. Later he changed more as his understanding grew deeper. The important point is that his "purpose and intent" informed his choices not only to what techniques he kept, but also how he used them. Aikido did not stop growing with the Founder's death, thank heavens.


"So are Nishio and Kuroiwa lazy or is what they are doing actually Aikido? If a strike or a kick conforms to Aikido principles why can it not then be called Aikido?"


I doubt either are lazy and I would imagine that borh would very vehemently state that they are doing Aikido. The lazy comment is for students who do not examine their own beliefs in the light of factual knowledge or who refuse to consider anything which might contradict a belief.


"Sounds like quite a stretch to me. You could use a sword for other things, but a sword is also a tool designed for a single purpose - killing people (you'd have a stronger argument with a knife...). I could use a gun to hunt for food. I could use a rifle to splint leg, or as a cane."


Actually, in regard to the sword, not as much of a stretch as you might think. I refer you to the Yagyu family scroll and Musashi's Five Rings for the germane discussions on Katsu Jinken.

All weapons are tools designed for killing, other purposes remain to be discovered by others. Killing animals for food is still killing, however, I sincerely doubt that the machine pistol was designed for food hunting.

Please do me a favor and never splint my leg with a rifle, unless you first break it down, remove all shells and take out the firing pin. Or if you prefer, hand it to me so I can pull the trigger several times with the barrel away from me just to make certain it was empty.

And please, if you need a cane please use a tree limb or a bokken, not a rifle. Forget the bad "B" war movies showing this use of the rifle. What they fail to show is the same idiot forgetting that he used it for a cane, then attempting to fire it with the barrel clogged -- kerblooie, the gene pool is improved.

The finger is still pointing at the moon.

Richard Harnack
06-25-2002, 09:44 PM
Originally posted by Bronson


What if they are altered to more closely follow the principles of aikido than the original art?

I guess what it comes down to for me is this; do you consider aikido to be a collection of techniqes with some underlying principles, or do you consider it a collection principles, that uses techniques to demonstrate those principles? If you follow the "technique" path then no, none of those other things will ever be aikido techniques. They will always be from that "other" art but sometimes you use them. But if you follow the "principles" path those other things could become part of your aikido if they are done with aiki-principles, aiki-intent, and aiki-mind.


Altering techniques from other arts to follow the principles of Aikido is something that happens. However, not all techniques can be altered to fully correspond to Aikido principles. A kick to the head is still an aggressive move and not part of Aikido, no matter what "justification" is given. Hapkido possibly, but not Aikido.

Blending techniques were known in other arts prior to Aikido. Ueshiba Morihei, however, literally embodied the very principles of harmony and centeredness. He spent most of his life attempting to articulate for others what he understood in his body.

Aikido is a way of unifying principles of onesness, calmness and blending with physical movements which express the same and ultimately lead to "techniques".

Aikido is also a world view.

Chris Li
06-25-2002, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by Richard Harnack

Yes that is true, however we are still talking about Aikido, not the Way of the Tech Nine.


Huh? How do you get from "striking" to "tech nine"? I'm not talking about the Matrix, I'm talking about basic martial techniques and strategies.


"So are Nishio and Kuroiwa lazy or is what they are doing actually Aikido? If a strike or a kick conforms to Aikido principles why can it not then be called Aikido?"


I doubt either are lazy and I would imagine that borh would very vehemently state that they are doing Aikido. The lazy comment is for students who do not examine their own beliefs in the light of factual knowledge or who refuse to consider anything which might contradict a belief.

So if they're not lazy it would be acceptable to you to include boxing or karate techniques in and Aikido curriculum? Or are you saying that, in your opinion, that what they are doing is not Aikido?



"Sounds like quite a stretch to me. You could use a sword for other things, but a sword is also a tool designed for a single purpose - killing people (you'd have a stronger argument with a knife...). I could use a gun to hunt for food. I could use a rifle to splint leg, or as a cane."


Actually, in regard to the sword, not as much of a stretch as you might think. I refer you to the Yagyu family scroll and Musashi's Five Rings for the germane discussions on Katsu Jinken.

I've read the Heihokadensho and the Gorinnosho, both in Japanese and in English (the Japanese versions were more interesting, BTW). Interestingly, there are plenty of examples on the other side using firearms in the same meaning. After all, what do "peacekeeping" forces use? Is it your argument that this kind of thing is possible with a sword but not with a gun? And if so, why?


Please do me a favor and never splint my leg with a rifle, unless you first break it down, remove all shells and take out the firing pin. Or if you prefer, hand it to me so I can pull the trigger several times with the barrel away from me just to make certain it was empty.

And please, if you need a cane please use a tree limb or a bokken, not a rifle. Forget the bad "B" war movies showing this use of the rifle. What they fail to show is the same idiot forgetting that he used it for a cane, then attempting to fire it with the barrel clogged -- kerblooie, the gene pool is improved.

Well, I wouldn't exactly want to use a shinken for chopping brush or digging holes either, not unless I made a lot more money than I do now. My point was that if you're going to make up silly examples to try and establish that the sword is not really a killing weapon then it's possible to do the same thing for firearms.


The finger is still pointing at the moon.

Hmm, maybe you ought to look at the moon then :) .

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
06-25-2002, 10:42 PM
Originally posted by Richard Harnack


Altering techniques from other arts to follow the principles of Aikido is something that happens. However, not all techniques can be altered to fully correspond to Aikido principles. A kick to the head is still an aggressive move and not part of Aikido, no matter what "justification" is given. Hapkido possibly, but not Aikido.

And yet, Morihei Ueshiba practiced strikes to the head, both with sword and with empty hand until the day he died. Why are those moves less agressive then a kick to the head?

Best,

Chris

Bronson
06-26-2002, 03:40 AM
Or if you prefer, hand it to me so I can pull the trigger several times with the barrel away from me just to make certain it was empty

The prefered method is to point the weapon in a safe direction and open the action to visually confirm the weapon is empty.

Bronson

Bruce Baker
06-26-2002, 07:00 PM
Stop pointing your fingers, and spitting at each other about how much O'Sensei meant about this or that ... this was not part of the original question or direction I thought this would go?

O'Sensei has gone to heaven, and left us to continue with his practice and wrestle with new ideas of what Aikido is or where it should go.

The quibbling about words is not the intent of Aikido, but a moot point to argued by weasel lawyers who ask you to tell the whole truth, then cut you short when you do ... hopefully your own moral fiber is a bit stronger.

What can we add to make Aikido better?

Are there things that Wally Jay has improved that we should take back into our Aikido practice? I have practiced with many Small Circle enthusiasts and Aikido practice surely comliments Small Circle as much as Small Circle compliment Aikido.

Not everything in every style of fighting arts is usefull in Aikido, but certainly training in other arts do compliment and enliven Aikido practice.

So ...

Back to the subject ...

If you want to compare particular training to to being good or bad for the pillars of Aikido, or if you want to introduce your experience in cross training and finding many of your old Aikido friends in practice, that is the direction I wished to go.

But this, "I know this", and "O'Sensei said that" ...

I don't think that O'Sensei wanted all his words to be a religion, or the absolute final word on Aikido, but guide for you to get your feet on the ground as you find your own way in your practice, and your soul.

So if you want to start another thread about O'Sensei said ...

Otherwise we can end this, if there is no more to be said.

I am going to see if I can corner John Stevens, author and teacher, in July, and see what he thinks about this whole thing.

mike lee
06-27-2002, 03:17 AM
When aiki-ken and aiki-jo is practiced, the attacker is never struck, although the attacker's weapon occassionally is struck.

Koichi Tohei taught to never strike an opponent's weapon for a number of reasons.

The glory of aikido is that because of the way we train, in a combat situation, we often have the option to choose, based on innumerable factors, what kind of response will be used. Ideally, the least distructive response is selected.

Although the vast majority of those who practice aikido can understand this principle, as we can see from one certain lost soul on this thread, violence and distructive thinking rule his life. Rather than trying to reach a level of understanding, he chooes to obstinately remain obtuse. Not the kind of chap that most of us would want to have as a friend.

In fact, I avoid such people like the plague, because not only do they end up creating trouble for themselves, but they also try to involve those around them in their juvenile charade.

It would be better to walk 100 miles alone than 1 mile with a fool.

P.S. As far as I know, on the day that he died, O'Sensei was in the hospital, and I don't think that he was swinging a sword in the hallway.

Chris Li
06-27-2002, 03:27 AM
Originally posted by mike lee
When aiki-ken and aiki-jo is practiced, the attacker is never struck, although the attacker's weapon occassionally is stuck.

Depend where you train. Since there's really no standard aiki-jo or aiki-ken it's impossible to make a blanket statement.

I've got plenty of videos of M. Ueshiba cutting his opponent with Aiki-ken, BTW. The aiki-jo and aiki-ken that M. Saito taught (and are probably closest to what M. Ueshiba was doing in the latter years) certainly do cut and strike the opponent at times.

I won't comment on your other remarks.

Best,

Chris

PeterR
06-27-2002, 03:32 AM
Originally posted by mike lee Not the kind of chap that most of us would want to have as a friend.

In fact, I avoid such people like the plague, because not only do they end up creating trouble for themselves, but they also try to involve those around them in their juvenile charade.

It would be better to walk 100 miles alone than 1 mile with a fool.

Hmmm. Ok at this point let's hear a bit more about your training. How long have you been at it, who are your teachers.

Chris has been very clear about his background. He trains right in the heart of things including Aikikai Honbu - have you ever even visited? He reads the words of Ueshiba M. and his students in the language they were written and has a good understanding of the culture from which they originate. He applies a critical eye rather than whimsical fantasy.

More to the point - I look forward to meeting him and would be very happy to walk that mile.

Peter Goldsbury
06-27-2002, 05:01 AM
Originally posted by mike lee


Although the vast majority of those who practice aikido can understand this principle, as we can see from one certain lost soul on this thread, violence and distructive thinking rule his life. Rather than trying to reach a level of understanding, he chooes to obstinately remain obtuse. Not the kind of chap that most of us would want to have as a friend.

In fact, I avoid such people like the plague, because not only do they end up creating trouble for themselves, but they also try to involve those around them in their juvenile charade.

It would be better to walk 100 miles alone than 1 mile with a fool.



It is not entirely clear to me who this 'lost soul' is, but if it is Mr Li, I would disagree.

I know him only through his posts in this and other discussion forums, but I very rarely have anything to disagree with. Like Mr Li, I live here and have come to realise the importance of going back to the sources and studying them in the language in which they were written. Coming to live here was the result of a conscious decision, made on the basis of 10 years aikido training with 4 different teachers.

Since coming here I have got to know well some people who were very close to the Founder, including his son Kisshomaru Ueshiba and his grandson the present Doshu. Oh and also the 9th dan shihan who has been mentioned in earlier posts. I have learned from Arikawa Sensei the importance of studying how O Sensei lived and what he said about the world and the place of aikido within it and when we meet, this is usually what he likes to discuss.

I do not want to sound elitist, but this is not something for everyone. Uprooting oneself and coming to live in another country, especially a country like Japan, is a major wrench. Nor would I say that the person who trains hard under one teacher for his / her entire aikido career is wrong.

Training is fundamental, but when I train I am conscious of being part of a living tradition, with people like Doshu, his father, and Arikawa Sensei trasnmitting this tradition from its source. I personally think it is very important to combine good training with a study of the source, including what the people above said and say about the source. And then come to my own conclusions about what is best for my own training.

So I do not think there are any 'lost souls' on this thread and I have not been aware of any spitting either.

Best regards to all,

Chris Li
06-27-2002, 07:29 AM
Originally posted by PeterR

More to the point - I look forward to meeting him and would be very happy to walk that mile.

Well see, now I'm blushing... :).

Anyway, if you're up in Tokyo let me know - we actually plan to move back to Honolulu next spring, once we work our way through the paperwork.

Best,

Chris

George S. Ledyard
06-27-2002, 07:33 AM
I remember seeing a science fiction movie in which a group of people found some old artifacts and from them began to infer all sorts of meaning. Eventually they had a quite sophisticated culture all built on the ideas that they saw as coming from the "ancestors".

There are only about thirty pages or so of the writings of O-Sensei in English. Yet I have seen, on a number of occasions, well meaning Americans say that this Sensei or that Sensei (students of the Founder for ten years or more) clearly didn't understand what O-Sensei meant. Huge conceit.

People like Chris Li and Professor Goldsbury are fortunate enough to be able to read what O-sensei and his son Kisshomaru wrote in Japanese. In addition they train or have trained with people who spent many years directly under the Founder. I suspect that they have as good an idea about what the Founder actually said about Aikido as anyone I know.

In my own case I have had to go off of my teacher's descriptions of his time with the Founder. Fortunately he distilled much of this into his book, Aikido and the Harmony of Nature. It is quite clear to me that there are many people who have read the small amount of what was translated in English about the Founder and have from that have formed their ideas about what the Founder believed. I think that in many cases these ideas have more to do with what they would like to believe than what the real truth is.

When you listen to people like Chris discuss alternate readings of a translation of something the Founder said you can see that a small difference can communicate quite a different intention. Those of us who do not possess the Japanese skills to make these distinctions would do well to listen to those who do.

Saotome Sensei was quite clear when he told us that the Aikido that O-Sensei put out before the public was not necessarily reflective of what he taught his Deshi. Once again we have people looking at O-Sensei videos, of which there are a number of hours, and they form a picture of what O-Sensei's Aikido teaching was about. Now I have seen a number of videos with various demonstrations by Saotome Sensei. If one were to go strictly by the videos of his demos (not his instructional tapes) one would form a very incomplete picture of what he taught us and no picture of how he taught it.

I think precisely the same is true of O-Sensei. There simply isn't enough of his writings, which aren't extensive even in Japanese, or enough of him on video, to have any real understanding of what he did or did not believe. Those of us who started training after O-sensei passed away and could not spend time with him can only go by what our teachers, who did spend years exposed to his teaching of the most direct sort, tell us.

It's possible that Saotome Sensei, Hikitsuchi Sensei, Nishio Sensei, etc. didn't understand the Founder. I suppose that it's possible that after twenty five years I haven't understood Saotome Sensei. What seems unlikely is that someone who did not train under the Founder, does not read Japanese, did not even train under a teacher that trained directly with the Founder will have a better idea of the Founder's meaning and intentions than any of the aforementioned people.

One of the things about this forum that I like is that I get to hear the opinions of people who have more knowledge than I do. When I hear them say things that contradict what I have thought about a subject, I reexamine the basis of my own opinion. It would be a waste of a wonderful resource to decide that they were fools I didn't want to listen to.

What always has struck me about the really vocal Peace and Harmony crowd in Aikido is how aggressive some of them are about their beliefs. They can be incredibly condescending, even insulting about the superiority of their beliefs. They tend to be very good at making friends with people who are already of like mind and terrible at communicating with folks who entertain different ideas. Eric Hoffer's true believer.

I remember one of my friends coming back from a seminar with a teacher who was really active in the Peace movement and taught a very soft and non-violent style of Aikido. My friend was one of the sweetest folks I knew and would never hurt a fly. Two hours on the mat with these folks and he came back and said that it was all he could do to not punch his partner out. Now that's creating World Peace! But it was true. I knew many people who trained with these folks and they said the same thing. Their beliefs in Peace and Love were so aggressive that they brought out precisely the opposite emotions in people who otherwise seldom had thoughts like that.

If you really want to see Aikido in action on the Forum look at how Goldsbury Sensei expresses his opinions without ever ceasing to be a gentleman. He is never deriding or insulting, never aggressive. I am still working on this and am clearly not as good at it as he is.

Chris Li
06-27-2002, 07:44 AM
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury


It is not entirely clear to me who this 'lost soul' is, but if it is Mr Li, I would disagree.


I quite often feel lost, myself...

I've been thinking about the discussion, and the basic point of disagreement seems to be over the "built in harmony" assumption. That is, there is a segment of the Aikido world, including some of M. Ueshiba's students, who appear to believe that the techniques were physically altered in such a way that Aikido technique harmony and peaceful resolution are built into the techniques themselves, "idiot-proofed" against violence, in a manner of speaking, unlike other "violent" approaches such as kicking or striking (although I'm still not sure how that concept gets around swordwork...). Anyway, I don't buy that argument, although I once did, years ago.

Did you get to M. Saito's funeral? A couple of people that I know went up, but they said it didn't seem to be as crowded as they had expected...

Best,

Chris

akiy
06-27-2002, 09:30 AM
I've split this thread into a different title as well as into the Training Forums, as the subject matter was starting to change so much from its original intent.

-- Jun

Peter Goldsbury
06-27-2002, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by Chris Li


I quite often feel lost, myself...

I've been thinking about the discussion, and the basic point of disagreement seems to be over the "built in harmony" assumption. That is, there is a segment of the Aikido world, including some of M. Ueshiba's students, who appear to believe that the techniques were physically altered in such a way that Aikido technique harmony and peaceful resolution are built into the techniques themselves, "idiot-proofed" against violence, in a manner of speaking, unlike other "violent" approaches such as kicking or striking (although I'm still not sure how that concept gets around swordwork...). Anyway, I don't buy that argument, although I once did, years ago.

Did you get to M. Saito's funeral? A couple of people that I know went up, but they said it didn't seem to be as crowded as they had expected...

Best,

Chris

You're going back to Hawaii? Gosh. Well, we really ought to meet before then. Jun, when are you next in Japan? Perhaps we should have a get together of a Japan Aikiweb group, like they do over on E-budo.com. Or you and I could meet up with the other Peter (the one in Himeji, whom I've also never met) and walk the extra mile together.

I regret that I could not attend Saito Sensei's funeral. I have classes here late on Friday evening and early on Monday morning: it's the luck of the class timetable draw for this year. Japan is a long narrow country and I am at the wrong end for ease of travel to places north of Tokyo.

Yes, I do not buy the "built-in harmony" assumption either and never have believed it. (The fact that one of my earliest teachers was K. Chiba perhaps explains this). I have always been taught that peace and harmony is something you have to work at yourself: the teacher or techniques don't do it for you.

Best regards,

Ron Tisdale
06-27-2002, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
I am going to see if I can corner John Stevens, author and teacher, in July, and see what he thinks about this whole thing. [/B]

The best time for this type of question will be at the book signing on July 12th at the Barnes and Noble off route 309 in Montgomeryville. Open discussion welcome!

Ron Tisdale

Ron Tisdale
06-27-2002, 11:38 AM
Originally posted by mike lee

It would be better to walk 100 miles alone than 1 mile with a fool.


Hmmm, for someone who professes such an attachment to harmony, those are some *really* interesting statements...

Ron Tisdale

"Harmony at the expense of one is not harmony"... (paraphrased) Yukio Utada

Bruce Baker
06-27-2002, 01:12 PM
Come on guys, you should know the reason Aikido has broad no hitting policys ...

Aikido correctly puts you near pressure points that could cause injury or death.

Those little points on your body that cause bee sting pain when pressed just right? Yeah, they do connect to bodily functions, and they will cause big problems if you hit three just the right way on the same meridian, which is incredably easy if you slow down your Aikido and take a look at where you are in relation to your opponent as you do a technique?

Damn! You are right there where you want to be!

I don't have much use for sensei's who abuse students for their own personal training ... blindly thumping them until they get a physical shutdown ... don't like it at all.

But if you want to see reason's behind strikes with weapons, hand to hand, or even see what has been preserved right in the open with Aikido ... think pressure points on meridians.

Sharp weapons are another field of study, maybe that is why O'Sensei would tell his students that they had already been down that road, go back to practice ...

Why do you think I brought up this thread in the first place?

It was because I am integrating more and more of my early Wally Jay practice into my Aikido, especially weapons work, let alone the stretching exercises.

You don't always have a weapon with you, but you have your arms and legs ... sometimes that is all you will have to protect yourself or keep yourself from harm ... learn to use them.

Chris Li
06-27-2002, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
Come on guys, you should know the reason Aikido has broad no hitting policys ...

Broad no hitting policys? When did that happen? I'll agree that Aikido is not a striking art in the sense that Shotokan Karate is a striking art, but plenty of respected Aikido instructors use strikes, including M. Ueshiba.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
06-27-2002, 04:35 PM
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury

You're going back to Hawaii? Gosh. Well, we really ought to meet before then. Jun, when are you next in Japan? Perhaps we should have a get together of a Japan Aikiweb group, like they do over on E-budo.com. Or you and I could meet up with the other Peter (the one in Himeji, whom I've also never met) and walk the extra mile together.

Sounds good to me. We debated on the move for a long time, but finally made the decision that it would be better overall. Still, I have until my daughter finishes fourth grade (next year March), so there's still some time.

Best,

Chris

PeterR
06-27-2002, 07:48 PM
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury
Jun, when are you next in Japan? Perhaps we should have a get together of a Japan Aikiweb group, like they do over on E-budo.com. Or you and I could meet up with the other Peter (the one in Himeji, whom I've also never met) and walk the extra mile together.

What a great idea - I was already thinking of wrangling an invitation to your dojo opening (hasn't happened just yet has it?). Chris - I will be in the Tokyo area end of July but I am also sure there are other opprotunities. There was an Aikido-l seminar in Japan already that was very successful.
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury
Yes, I do not buy the "built-in harmony" assumption either and never have believed it.
A me too here - I see a strong distinction between the moral and the physical. In other words how you apply the former to the latter. The physcial techniques do not change.
Originally posted by Mike Lee
Rather than trying to reach a level of understanding, he chooes to obstinately remain obtuse.

Strange I would say the same about you - you are aggressively right and anyone who doesn't agree with you is obtuse. Where is your attempt to understand.

Chris Li
06-27-2002, 08:02 PM
Originally posted by PeterR

What a great idea - I was already thinking of wrangling an invitation to your dojo opening (hasn't happened just yet has it?). Chris - I will be in the Tokyo area end of July but I am also sure there are other opprotunities. There was an Aikido-l seminar in Japan already that was very successful.

I was in Hawaii during the last one :(

I'm not sure I have the time to set up anything along the lines that YAP (Yet Another Peter) Boylan did, but anybody's welcome (of course) to train where I train (mostly smaller dojo), or we could sneak you into Aikikai hombu :). Alternatively, we could just go get a drink...

Best,

Chris

PeterR
06-27-2002, 08:13 PM
Originally posted by Chris Li I'm not sure I have the time to set up anything along the lines that YAP (Yet Another Peter) Boylan did, but anybody's welcome (of course) to train where I train (mostly smaller dojo), or we could sneak you into Aikikai hombu :). Alternatively, we could just go get a drink...
I got into serious trouble over the last Aikido-l seminar. Teaching a segment with an Ikkyu where there were a Godan in Judo and Sandan in Yoshinkan doing the same. Shihan saw the schedual and literally forced one of our Sandans to attend. Ah well - a good time was had by all.

That weekend I will have attended a Yudansha seminar - a beer sounds just fine. My worry is about getting back to Aioi. It is probable that the weekend might not work out either.

Chris Li
06-27-2002, 08:30 PM
Originally posted by PeterR

I got into serious trouble over the last Aikido-l seminar. Teaching a segment with an Ikkyu where there were a Godan in Judo and Sandan in Yoshinkan doing the same. Shihan saw the schedual and literally forced one of our Sandans to attend. Ah well - a good time was had by all.

Know what it feels like :). Last time I got tricked into teaching a class up here was at one of the dojo that I train at run by a husband-wife team. Of course, 5 minutes after I got started the husband (who got his san-dan from Gozo Shioda in 1971, when I was 7 years old, and then switched to Daito-ryu) walks in, followed by at least three other folks senior to me who trickled in after him. No luck trying to give the class away, though...


That weekend I will have attended a Yudansha seminar - a beer sounds just fine. My worry is about getting back to Aioi. It is probable that the weekend might not work out either.

No problem, just let me know - I'll email you my home phone seperately.

Best,

Chris

Bruce Baker
07-02-2002, 09:34 AM
I have given this thread a few weeks to see if I could view it again with new eyes ... and I have only a few words to add.

The purpose of Aikdo was to provide a means of protection without resorting to means that would kill or severly injure another human being.

I think it has accomplished this purpose.

The fact that we train, incorporate other styles of MA's into our cross training, or understand the more violent potential for Aikido merely brings into perspective our renewed dedication to use less violent means to neutralize violence.

I cannot deny that in finding the result of Aikido O'Sensei did not explore or seek understanding of more violent martial arts.

I find enlightenment in understanding the aspects of Aikido's roots, and the evolving jujitsu that compliments many of our basic Aikido pillars. Even the understanding that all martial arts have pressure point applications that are designed to kill is the study of finding less life threatening defenses, such as those of Aikido, that neutralize such attacks.

So, if the final analysis of fighting is to injure, maim, and kill, the goal of Aikido is to neutralize and bring harmony without death or major injury.

As observed, the capability of dumping someone on their head is always there, just as causing injury through joint lock, or using pressure points is always there, but we generally find lesser ways of violence, don't we?

I would say, that once you have trained in small circle jujitsu, you will appreciate Aikido even more, but you will think a bit differently ... more broadly than before.

I have seen in other threads, the benefits of static training in certain Aikido schools and long term studies in stances, basics, and position, but these are also found in many karate schools, such as my former kempo training. Sometimes I wish I could interrupt the class and correct the movement and balance we do not detail in my present classes, but that is the way of learning by letting experience teach instead of words.

Enough rambling.

The purpose of this thread was to explore bringing back variations of Aikido that other styles have taken and improved, and ... if you had seen more than I have in bringing Wally Jay's small circle jujitsu to your attention?

It would seem diversion to history of Aikido is still the main theme, rather than focusing on the present training of our Aikido and the evolving terrain of today's martial arts.

If there is anyone who is interested in this subject, then please post your thoughts.

If not, then I guess this thread is done.

Thanks for your interest on this subject.

Chris Li
07-02-2002, 04:48 PM
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
The purpose of Aikdo was to provide a means of protection without resorting to means that would kill or severly injure another human being.

Hmm, I wouldn't say so, but YMMV.

Best,

Chris

George S. Ledyard
07-02-2002, 05:37 PM
Originally posted by mike lee

Nevertheless, I know of one aikido instructor who boasts of teaching his aikido students boxing, while at the same time admitting that he can't pull off aikido techniques against bigger, stronger men. I have to wonder if he is not utilizing violent arts to make up for his lack of skill in aikido. While this individual claims to venerate O'Sensei and boasts of his lineage in the art of peace, he at the same time practices arts of violence in his aikido dojo and introduces them to his aikido students. This appears to demonstrate a major lack of understanding on this teacher's part.

You know it is possible that this teacher wishes that his students be capable of really executing a skillful attack so that when they train they can attain a higher level of skill than one can dealing with the typical Aikidoka who can not do a strike that would do anything but annoy you.

This same teacher might have been referring to doing training for a group of club security people who were three hundred plus pounds of solid muscle and high pain tolerance. The goal was not to throw them down or defend oneself from an attack by them, all of which this instructor could do. Instead the goal was to force the subject to vacate a room against his will (that's what bouncers do) without inflicting injury on him. You are probably right that it would be this teacher's low level of expertise that kept him from casting these guys out the door with ease. I believe that he is still working on his technique to rectify this inability. The security folks involved obviously didn't think he was too deficient in his understanding as they have set up a schedule for continued training with this instructor. They might not realize that he is so spiritually and technically undeveloped (something bar bouncers find very important). Perhaps you should warn them.

It is amusing to see that so many people seem to think that Aikido is the art of conflict resolution but they do their level best to remove any conflict from their training. I guess I fail to see how you practice conflict resolution when there is no conflict, develop skill in self defense when there is only incompetent or at best simplistic attack lacking any intention, develop the ability to stay centered under stress by removing any stress from the training. In such a closed environment you might think you have attained some sort of skill but if you leave the safe confines of your own dojo and venture forth you will find that that skill is an illusion, wishful thinking as Clint George Sensei says.

Chris Li
07-02-2002, 05:44 PM
Originally posted by George S. Ledyard

You know it is possible that this teacher wishes that his students be capable of really executing a skillful attack so that when they train they can attain a higher level of skill than one can dealing with the typical Aikidoka who can not do a strike that would do anything but annoy you.

Shigeru Egami (who was actually a Karate guy) said of the early days with Funakoshi that nobody had very good blocks because nobody could attack very well. As people's attacks improved so did their blocking. Makes sense to me...

Best,

Chris

akiy
07-02-2002, 05:54 PM
In the same vein, Ushiro sensei (7th dan, Shindoryu Karate) made a comment at the Aiki Expo that if aikido people learned how to attack more intensely, it could only raise the level of the art in its entirety.

-- Jun

Paula Lydon
07-03-2002, 09:24 AM
I agree wholeheartedly that I'd like to see Aikidoka attack--with a corressponding level of control and skill--with more intensity AND realism. Many are intense but still not realistic, or lack control, or have little or no understanding of the interplay of energies. Obviously, this can only happen at a higher level of training, and does with some people, but if beginners were brought up along these lines I think it would raise Aikido to a new level. IMHO :square: :triangle: :D

PhiGammaDawg
07-12-2002, 12:32 AM
from an interview from Seagal Sensei

Q: Well, I think so, but what I'm saying is that I think that most of the people I've ever come in contact with that practice Aikido probably either wouldn't or certainly wouldn't want to believe that he (OSensei) was a violent person.

Seagal Sensei's answer
I'm not saying that O'Sensei was a violent person at all. Besides, violent is a limited word and in French and in German and in Spanish and in a lot of different languages they have a word that denotes heavy, fast moving action, like in Japanese we say "Hageshi!". Violent sometimes has a negative connotation in English that's attached with something bad. Like when you look at my Aikido you may call it violent. But nobody is necessary getting hurt.

Chris Li
08-16-2002, 06:28 PM
OK, there seems to have been misinterpretation of one of my comments at the beginning of this thread:
I know a student of Morihei Ueshiba's who was also a golden gloves boxer who integrates boxing techniques with his Aikido and does so very well, thank you, "arts of violence" or not. M. Ueshiba practiced with a sword (but he I'm sure that he was very peaceful as he sliced his partners into tiny pieces...), he practiced with a bayonet - how "non-violent" is that?
Apparently, this comment has been interpreted to mean that I:
espouse using violence in their practice to compensate for their lack of understanding or skill in aikido.
However, if you read just a few lines down from the original quote (the one that I made) you see that I had made a further explanation:


Why is punching or kicking someone inherently more "violent" then throwing them on their head? And what's wrong with a damaging joint lock if you thereby prevent some greater injury to yourself or your opponent?
More specifically, I was responding to the argument that punching and kicking are in and of themselves violent, that to study such things is to study violence, things that I don't believe to be true.

There can be little argument that M. Ueshiba practiced striking, all the way through the 1960's, there can also be little argument that he trained in things like the sword through that time. If punching and kicking are inherently violent, how much more so must be the sword, which is designed, not to control, but to kill or injure? And yet the founder of the "art of peace" apparently saw no conflict with that, nor with including atemi in his technique, nor in teaching spear or bayonet techniques.

I believe that there is an ethic in Aikido, but I also believe that that ethic is contained in the practitioners, not the techniques.

Best,

Chris

Pretoriano
08-16-2002, 09:53 PM
80% of Aikidokas Attacks I train and Ive seen makes me Laugh!!

Kami
08-17-2002, 03:26 AM
80% of Aikidokas Attacks I train and Ive seen makes me Laugh!!
KAMI : Pretoriano, you're saying that you "saw and trained" with 80% of ALL the World's aikidoka???

Really amazed...:D

Kami
08-17-2002, 04:03 AM
Let me congratulate Peter Goldsbury, Chris Li, George Ledyard and Peter Rehse, for the very best posts on this thread!

It's difficult to say anything else after them... :(

An interesting thing I've observed : how this thread is sensitive. Perhaps cross-training is much more important than many people think...:cool:

It's always a pleasure to read what some people write here. Thanks, guys!

Best

Bruce Baker
08-19-2002, 01:33 PM
Well, it has been about a month, since July 13-14, and I see the forum is closed.

Part of my observation as to Small Circle Jujitsu resembling many of the sword practice, and conversions to wrist locks, etc.

The three simple wrist exercises he uses for warm ups is so closely related to many of the wrist movements in bokken or jo practice, it is quite laughable when people tell me there is no simularitys in the two styles.

As for the innumerable misconceptions about what O'Sensei said, there is a context to his own beliefs that causes a somewhat different slant upon the words that are written, translated, and interpreted by people around the world.

O'Sensei had a strong sense of national pride in his art and his country, and it took many long years to get his permission to allow outsiders to view his art that became Aikido. That includes many of his own Japanese brethren who did not have the right attitude to accept the responsibility to properly use his teachings.

The fact that we take pieces of his words, bend them to what we think they should mean, is by no means the entirety of what was being transmitted through training, verbal lessons, and usually one guy watch O'Sensei's top half while someone watched O'Sensei's bottom half so they could put together whatever he was teaching. If that isn't a diffucult way to learn, I don't know what is.

There are four or five pages of stories I could relate from our talks during lunch and after class, but realize that much of what you need to learn for Aikido does not always come from inside your Aikido class.

Many of your insights will come from studying from books, talking, exchanging ideas, and sometimes from examining the simularities and differences in arts that are not Aikido.

Maybe it is my delving into four or five other arts that made me fall in love with Aikido, but it also opened my eyes to how the world in its diversity ... is very simular in its use of movements also.

So, Back to the subject.

First, if you haven't already, find out what I am talking about, with the three warmup wrist movements Wally Jay uses, then tell me how they relate to bokken and jo training.

Maybe then we will begin to see many other movements that are simular to other arts, and progress to talking about how Aikido truly is effective in its training regimen without striking and causing injury.

Bruce Baker
08-19-2002, 03:02 PM
May I am training in a different way than some of you, as the USAF Aikikai's do not endorse actual contact with strikes of kicks to the point of injury, or potential injury, most strikes or kicks are controled, plus uke's are instructed to use one hand to block/make ready to avert or change offense into defense.

Or maybe the tough guys want to tell you how the movements in professional wrestling don't hurt or cause injury? (another subject for doubting how pain can be administered.)

Get out there and talk to some of the people who have met and trained with O'Sensei. See if they do not put many of the teachings of aikido into a different context.

Last time I saw Siiechi Sugano sensei, he clarified many points on universal harmony was not the goal of the entire human race, but the goal of each human being to be in allignment with their god or religion. From that allignment, we must be able to get along. The virtual peace we find within ourselves, although we do not agree about our religions or even how to live, is put aside by the fact that our love for our god puts us in allignment.

Ask about, when you go to seminars. See if more clarity comes to light with those students who had experiences with O'Sensei.

Neil Mick
08-24-2002, 09:17 PM
Before one starts looking to other fighting methods to expand one's arsenal, one should carefully consider whether one is actually looking for a way to make up for one's lack of skill in aikido.

If one wants to study violence, then one should go to a dojo or gym where such things are practiced. But if one wants to study the budo of love, the art of peace, then one should seek to master aikido.

Damaging joint locks, agressive punching and kicking are the budo of violence.

Go to Hombu dojo in Japan and start throwing side kicks around or box with your partner and then watch the sensei's reaction.:mad:
I think you all got lost on a side-note, but let me relate a personal experience.

I took capoeira for 4 years while I was training at Aikido (I still train Aikido but no longer in capoeira). I had been training in Aikido for 10+ years when I started capoeira, and I joined the Brazilian art for all the things Aikido didn't have: the kicks, acrobatics, the music.

Once in a blue moon I've taught Aikido responses to capoeira moves: it's a lot of fun! But I really wasn't thinking of "expanding my arsenal," when I practiced capoeira. My martial interests just took 2 roads for awhile. I still get pulled into a roda (game), now and again.

Still, I see your point, and diffusing your studies too widely in too many disciplines is, I think, not a good way to focus.