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Chris Li
05-13-2012, 09:03 PM
Latest blog post!

Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words
From his mouth to our ears - how things get garbled and go astray.

http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-05-13/morihei-ueshiba-untranslatable-words

Enjoy!

Chris

sakumeikan
05-14-2012, 03:23 AM
Latest blog post!

Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words
From his mouth to our ears - how things get garbled and go astray.

http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-05-13/morihei-ueshiba-untranslatable-words

Enjoy!

Chris

Dear Chris,
Certainly food for thought.I also as many can, testify that Tamura Sensei when you tried to move him he felt like a brick wall.To this day I would like to know how he did what he did.Cheers, Joe.

DH
05-14-2012, 11:32 AM
Dear Chris,
Certainly food for thought.I also as many can, testify that Tamura Sensei when you tried to move him he felt like a brick wall.To this day I would like to know how he did what he did.Cheers, Joe.
Really?
It's sort of basic training! That by itself is Chris's point. Ueshiba actually quoted the path to do it.
Oh well...shrug.
Dan

john.burn
05-14-2012, 11:43 AM
Dear Chris,
Certainly food for thought.I also as many can, testify that Tamura Sensei when you tried to move him he felt like a brick wall.To this day I would like to know how he did what he did.Cheers, Joe.

Hi Joe,

Did you never ask any of your teachers? Not that they would probably have told you (assuming they could have, not a given).. Just curious.

sakumeikan
05-14-2012, 03:07 PM
Really?
It's sort of basic training! That by itself is Chris's point. Ueshiba actually quoted the path to do it.
Oh well...shrug.
Dan
Dear Dan,
With all due respect since I did not ask Tamura Sensei what training he did or didnt do to acquire this skill one cannot presume that the basic training you indicate is necessarily the same method as Tamura Sensei used.It may well be the same but then again it may not.Oh well -shrug??
Cheers, Joe

sakumeikan
05-14-2012, 03:17 PM
Hi Joe,

Did you never ask any of your teachers? Not that they would probably have told you (assuming they could have, not a given).. Just curious.
Dear John,
Hope you are well. Funny I never got around to asking Tamura Sensei how he did what he did.As for asking my other teachers I have as yet not asked them.Some of those who might have been able to give me an answer have passed away. Sekiya Sensei for example held me down with a kesa gatame [scarf hold in Judo ] and I felt he weighed a ton.Barely budged him and he was not a heavy man.My own view is that the acquisition f what the Chinese call 'Heavy hands ' requires a total relaxation of the body and a certain mindset.If i do get a chance I will try to get some info on this subject.Unfortunately I may not be able at least for now to ask about this.Cheers, Joe

Chris Li
05-14-2012, 03:25 PM
Dear John,
Hope you are well. Funny I never got around to asking Tamura Sensei how he did what he did.As for asking my other teachers I have as yet not asked them.Some of those who might have been able to give me an answer have passed away. Sekiya Sensei for example held me down with a kesa gatame [scarf hold in Judo ] and I felt he weighed a ton.Barely budged him and he was not a heavy man.My own view is that the acquisition f what the Chinese call 'Heavy hands ' requires a total relaxation of the body and a certain mindset.If i do get a chance I will try to get some info on this subject.Unfortunately I may not be able at least for now to ask about this.Cheers, Joe

Mentioning Sekiya reminded me of another student of Yamaguchi who used to say that it was impossible to do Ikkyo correctly unless you can make your hands heavy (he never said how, though..).

Best,

Chris

dave9nine
05-14-2012, 03:52 PM
fascinating. thanks for these posts!

DH
05-14-2012, 04:21 PM
Dear Dan,
With all due respect since I did not ask Tamura Sensei what training he did or didnt do to acquire this skill one cannot presume that the basic training you indicate is necessarily the same method as Tamura Sensei used.It may well be the same but then again it may not.Oh well -shrug??
Cheers, Joe
Hi Joe
Well to yield the results you are talking about...the same as is seen culture to culture....it should start to ring some bells that it is the same basics. The same ones the Indian and Chinese wrote about, and Ueshiba quoted! :rolleyes:
Then we have to ask.....
Why can't everyone do it? It's a basic?
Bad teaching?
Or was it on purpose?
Thankfully there are those willing to do the job others can't or won't.
Dan

DH
05-14-2012, 04:27 PM
Mentioning Sekiya reminded me of another student of Yamaguchi who used to say that it was impossible to do Ikkyo correctly unless you can make your hands heavy (he never said how, though..).

Best,

Chris
Yamaguchi used to also say..."Not soft enough"...without ever saying what to do about it.
It is interesting to train with those who trained privately with him for over a decade and then...finally...having someone explain...what...to do.
Interesting that the one...solves the answer to the other issue you mentioned and why so few know the answer or different methods to train it!
Dan

DH
05-14-2012, 05:41 PM
Hi Joe
Well to yield the results you are talking about...the same as is seen culture to culture....it should start to ring some bells that it is the same basics. The same ones the Indian and Chinese wrote about, and Ueshiba quoted! :rolleyes:
Then we have to ask.....
Why can't everyone do it? It's a basic?
Bad teaching?
Or was it on purpose?
Thankfully there are those willing to do the job others can't or won't.
Dan
Even though it is my own post this rang a bell for a further thought.
Why can't everyone do this stuff?
It's basic....yet shodan to Shihan...you can't do it.
Why?
The answer and the solution, should unite us in friendship, not divide us.
Dan

Russ Q
05-14-2012, 06:45 PM
Hi Dan,

(Thread drift) Met you at George's in March and have been practising reeling silk and "opening and closing" by bowing the spine and using (trying) psoas muscles. Been getting a bit of back pain (small muscles spasming). Perhaps I'm being to eager BUT, hoping you might have some wisdom for me:-) See you again in August either way....

Cheers,

Russ

Chris Li
05-14-2012, 06:53 PM
Hi Dan,

(Thread drift) Met you at George's in March and have been practising reeling silk and "opening and closing" by bowing the spine and using (trying) psoas muscles. Been getting a bit of back pain (small muscles spasming). Perhaps I'm being to eager BUT, hoping you might have some wisdom for me:-) See you again in August either way....

Cheers,

Russ

I blew out my back last year running and I'm still working through it. None of this stuff should hurt your back, but we've had a couple of guys who described the same kinds of problems - mainly because of trying to pull too hard with the back when turning. It may help to concentrate on releasing the musculature and letting the turn come out naturally (you may also find that you can actually turn further that way).

FWIW...

Best,

Chris

Mary Eastland
05-14-2012, 08:04 PM
The feeling of Aikido can be translated through training.

Chris Li
05-14-2012, 08:08 PM
The feeling of Aikido can be translated through training.

It can - but if you have no idea where you're going then you're sure to get there.

That's why people have been writing this stuff down for thousands of years - it's one more tool.

Best,

Chris

gregstec
05-14-2012, 09:10 PM
I blew out my back last year running and I'm still working through it. None of this stuff should hurt your back, but we've had a couple of guys who described the same kinds of problems - mainly because of trying to pull too hard with the back when turning. It may help to concentrate on releasing the musculature and letting the turn come out naturally (you may also find that you can actually turn further that way).

FWIW...

Best,

Chris

ditto on what chris said - it is extremely important to un-tense all muscle in this

greg

DH
05-14-2012, 11:16 PM
This is all for a different thread or P.M. isn't it?

Chris Li
05-15-2012, 02:38 AM
This is all for a different thread or P.M. isn't it?

Easily distracted, I guess. :D

Here's an interesting companion read:

http://store.aikidojournal.com/koichi-tohei-1974-letter-of-resignation-from-the-aikikai-hombu-dojo-free-pdf-download/

Best,

Chris

sakumeikan
05-15-2012, 03:42 AM
Even though it is my own post this rang a bell for a further thought.
Why can't everyone do this stuff?
It's basic....yet shodan to Shihan...you can't do it.
Why?
The answer and the solution, should unite us in friendship, not divide us.
Dan
Dear Dan
I agree with your point about finding the answers and the solutions to this issue should unite everyone.The problem as I see it is making a clear distinction on 1.What the problems are 2.How one resolves the problems3.Is there more than one way to skin the cat?4.Finding people who are willing to transmit the method .
I would disagree only on one point Dan, I know that certain Shihan can demonstrate this factor.The problem may well be that for one reason or another this factor is not being transmitted. Sekiya Sensei
certainly gave some indications of how to manifest this factor.Unfotunately my time spent with him was too shortso I never had the opportunity to fully explore and develop this skill.I did however on his advice change my own way of doing Aikido.He indicated to me that I should train in a manner whereby
I should think of myself as being extremely weak and sickly.He stated that if one can do movement
which has an effect on Uke using minimum power /strength this was an indication that one was
on the right track.Cheers, Joe.

Orio
05-15-2012, 06:35 AM
In another thread this quote from an interview with Nobuyoshi Tamura appeared:

"O-Sensei would slip into the dojo, show a few techniques, and then slip out. If he felt like it he would speak for a while. We were all young, so mostly we just wanted to get on with the practice. (on the content of the lectures) He would talk about the gods - Izanagi, Izanami and so forth. In Sakurazawa-shiki (Macrobiotics) they have some of the same ideas, so I thought that he was speaking about something concerning In and Yo, but that's about as much as I understood."

The last sentence is very interesting in view of Ueshiba's saying:

"You can't do what I do because you don't understand in/yo."

Also, in another thread discussing Tamura's "warm up" (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11211&highlight=Tamura+warm) it is mentioned that they are doing Do-In (Daoyin) exercises. The exercises are similar to the ones described here (my previous sensei frequently refered to them as "Ki exercises"):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baduanjin_qigong (BTW, how can be Baduanjin be translated?)
(in fact, there are a few more "warm up/breathing/solo" exercises which are not shown here)

I had only one chance to see Tamura in person doing these exercises. For an untrained eye like mine, when Tamura did them there was something else, something more than I saw in some of his students (my previous sensei included). Since I am no expert the only thing I can say is that while I could see that my sensei was actually "doing" these exercises, it looked like if Tamura was really not "doing" them, but the movements came from somewhere else.

I wonder where/when/how Tamura learnt these exercises and how he taught them. In addition, Tamura apparently attached great importance to them. I am not an expert, but it appears that these might convey some IT. Hopefully in the near future I will be able to meet some of the IT guys and have my eyes opened...

Roberto.

Carsten M÷llering
05-15-2012, 07:12 AM
The feeling of Aikido can be translated through training.
I practice for some 18 years now. And for me aikid˘ allways has been a certain feeling. Practice created this certain feeling within me. And this feeling again created "my" aikid˘ and gave form to my training.
(When Endo sensei teaches he very seldom uses just "ki", but mostly uses "ki-mochi" / 気持ち. Which means "feeling".)

Over the time I experienced that there exist quite different feelings of aikid˘ as a result of different ways of understanding what aikid˘ is or should be. And as a result of quite different ways or types of training. So a certain feeling only indicates a certain way of aikid˘. Whether it is the way Ueshiba meant and taught can not be derived from that.

For this reason I found it so important to more and more be able to connect teh words of Ueshiba to specific ways of training. To experience that sayings like "the connection of heaven and earth" are not something vague, esoteric, spiritual but are certain ways of practice. Evoking a certain feeling. A certain feeling which is similar to certain ways of doing aikid˘. But not to others.

phitruong
05-15-2012, 07:37 AM
, I know that certain Shihan can demonstrate this factor.The problem may well be that for one reason or another this factor is not being transmitted..

problem is they can demonstrate, but cannot explain/teach it to you. lots of time, it's the language and cultural barrier which prevented such explanation. I have the same problem with Ikeda sensei for years; actually, most folks did and do. i found some other sources that could explain and demonstrate. now, i understand Ikeda sensei stuffs perfectly. personally, fumbling in the dark hoping to gain knowledge is kinda suck. i don't have that much time to waste as my life clock ticking down by the second. one goes into life kicking and screaming because some bastard spank ya; one would hope to go out of life getting spank by a good looking nurse.

Mary Eastland
05-15-2012, 08:28 AM
I practice for some 18 years now. And for me aikid˘ always has been a certain feeling. Practice created this certain feeling within me. And this feeling again created "my" aikid˘ and gave form to my training.
(When Endo sensei teaches he very seldom uses just "ki", but mostly uses "ki-mochi" / 気持ち. Which means "feeling".)

Over the time I experienced that there exist quite different feelings of aikid˘ as a result of different ways of understanding what aikid˘ is or should be. And as a result of quite different ways or types of training. So a certain feeling only indicates a certain way of aikid˘. Whether it is the way Ueshiba meant and taught can not be derived from that.

For this reason I found it so important to more and more be able to connect teh words of Ueshiba to specific ways of training. To experience that sayings like "the connection of heaven and earth" are not something vague, esoteric, spiritual but are certain ways of practice. Evoking a certain feeling. A certain feeling which is similar to certain ways of doing aikid˘. But not to others.

I respectfully agree. There are many different experiences under the umbrella of Aikido

I have been training for 25 years. Ron always, right from the beginning of my training, has emphasized developing correct feeling and connection with our ukes.

Any concepts that seem a mystery can be revealed in the training. The process and commitment are important.

I get suspicious when someone says that their way is the best way or the only way. Ron's teacher did that in kind of a joking way, but he really wasn't kidding, totally. Anyone can develop correct feeling and strength if they keep training.

DH
05-15-2012, 08:44 AM
I don't care who they are or what culture they come from. I've always said
"If they can't explain it...walk away."
"If they don't allow or don't want their students to go feel other methods...walk away"
"If they don't have good students with power....walk away."
Spend your time with those who can actually teach.

It now looks as if Ueshiba was at least trying by not only quoting Chinese classics but even using an anatomy book on at least one occasion to show the connection to the physical model.
Dan

Chris Knight
05-15-2012, 08:54 AM
I get suspicious when someone says that their way is the best way or the only way. Ron's teacher did that in kind of a joking way, but he really wasn't kidding, totally. Anyone can develop correct feeling and strength if they keep training.

Hi Mary, I think I disagree on this

Strength is debatable, anyone can be strong through learning to put their weight through an opponent - I'm interested in the strength and power which is contained in us at all times,
which can be unleashed in an atemi with no wind up
where the ground is felt in our body, anywhere at any time
where we are virtually untouchable (literally)

this is the power and strength i'm after, and so should the vast majority of aikidoka IMO

regards

Mary Eastland
05-15-2012, 09:14 AM
Hi Chris:

Thank you for spelling that out. I see very clearly what you are after. That is great. I am training for different reasons. In my opinion, also valid and good.

I am training first and foremost because it is fun...
to stay youngish, to be strong and fit and comfortable in my skin until I die. I want to be able to roll and fall in my 90's. I enjoy the philosophy of Aikido as I understand it. I am searching and reading and training. The inner work is important and that takes time.

Have fun on your journey.

Chris Li
05-15-2012, 10:21 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baduanjin_qigong (BTW, how can be Baduanjin be translated?)
(in fact, there are a few more "warm up/breathing/solo" exercises which are not shown here)

"Eight stage (or step) brocade".

"Brocade" as in a high quality piece of cloth.

I believe that Tamura added those exercises to his training at some point after he left Japan (one of the European folks may have more information).

Best,

Chris

DH
05-15-2012, 10:32 AM
Strength is debatable, anyone can be strong through learning to put their weight through an opponent - I'm interested in the strength and power which is contained in us at all times,
which can be unleashed in an atemi with no wind up
where the ground is felt in our body, anywhere at any time
where we are virtually untouchable (literally)

This is the power and strength I'm after, and so should the vast majority of aikidoka IMO
regards
Interesting. Aikido has no teacher who has this or any methodology to teach this and offer it to anyone that I have seen. I have seen pieces and and hints at it, but nothing fully developed (not saying I have seen everything either).
Those of us in Aikido who are training correctly....are going to change that.
Dan

Chris Knight
05-15-2012, 10:41 AM
Hi Chris:

Thank you for spelling that out. I see very clearly what you are after. That is great. I am training for different reasons. In my opinion, also valid and good.

I am training first and foremost because it is fun...
to stay youngish, to be strong and fit and comfortable in my skin until I die. I want to be able to roll and fall in my 90's. I enjoy the philosophy of Aikido as I understand it. I am searching and reading and training. The inner work is important and that takes time.

Have fun on your journey

Hi Mary - glad you enjoy what you do - so do I, but I have to keep in mind that I need to keep martially minded by it all, otherwise I would take up yoga. (no disrespect intended) I want to be able to train into old age but I also want to keep as close as possible to the founder's method of physical training - and power production. I understand the peace and harmony view, however to get there I believe I have to master the "basic" body training, as laid out in rather mysterious terms, by O Sensei - in basic terms I need to walk before I can run

Best regards

Chris

Chris Knight
05-15-2012, 10:46 AM
Interesting. Aikido has no teacher who has this or any methodology to teach this and offer it to anyone that I have seen. I have seen pieces and and hints at it, but nothing fully developed (not saying I have seen everything either).
Those of us in Aikido who are training correctly....are going to change that.
Dan

Hence why I looked outside of aikido :)

hope you're well

Chris

graham christian
05-15-2012, 10:47 AM
Interesting. Why though is it put down to mistranslation generally or inability to teach?

I see Ueshiba when speaking as more of a lecturer, not a teacher. On the mat, a teacher. In private or with Uchideshi maybe a mixture of both but probably due to his personality more the lecturer.

Thus writing what he said, as he said it, would be best of course but it would then have to be taken as you would a lecture at university.

From there on it is the responsibility of the student to look into what the words from that lecture mean and how to conceive them properly and understand and apply. Thus in my view the problem is once again the student and nobody else.

No rush, no short cuts.

For instance, in the op regarding what O'Sensei said it ended up being translated as plus Ki. He himself laughed and agreed that that would do and that the translator would from then on be his translator. Thus he knew the problem.

So in the old traditional ways of some more enlightened folk he, in my opinion, chose to stick with giving the truth as it is and pointers towards attaining it and leaving the rest up to the student. Nothing wrong with that.

Let's take what he did say, let's take the actual words he used and ask do you understand them? Love and light. There you are, in plain English. Do you understand? Sometimes I wonder 'Do you want to understand?' (a serious question) For a serious student who did want to understand that particular piece of information given would have to research what it meant wouldn't they?

So the next question would be where to look. Take the data given and go look in the right places and find out for yourself is the way of the student. How many Aikido folk could equate Ki with love and light? Thus how many via that statement have a reality close to what he meant on that particular point.?

Then we come to the main topic of this thread, untranslatable words. I think it's more to do with untranslatable concepts, not words.

The two concepts of love and light being a prime example.

So slightly to do with whether the words were translated properly, slightly to do with method of teaching but mainly to do with getting the concept as given. All good students know this is a process and will take time.

Peace.G.

Chris Li
05-15-2012, 11:27 AM
Thus writing what he said, as he said it, would be best of course but it would then have to be taken as you would a lecture at university.

From there on it is the responsibility of the student to look into what the words from that lecture mean and how to conceive them properly and understand and apply. Thus in my view the problem is once again the student and nobody else.

How is a lecture not teaching? If you go to a lecture at a university the person at the front is called a "teacher" and is expected to convey the concepts in a manner that will transmit the ideas to the students. Teachers at universities are routinely evaluated by their students as to their effectiveness at doing just that (there are some problems with the system, but that's another discussion).


For instance, in the op regarding what O'Sensei said it ended up being translated as plus Ki. He himself laughed and agreed that that would do and that the translator would from then on be his translator. Thus he knew the problem.

Just like Ueshiba knew that "nice young fellow from Hawaii" understood what he said? :D



Let's take what he did say, let's take the actual words he used and ask do you understand them? Love and light. There you are, in plain English. Do you understand? Sometimes I wonder 'Do you want to understand?' (a serious question) For a serious student who did want to understand that particular piece of information given would have to research what it meant wouldn't they?

So the next question would be where to look. Take the data given and go look in the right places and find out for yourself is the way of the student. How many Aikido folk could equate Ki with love and light? Thus how many via that statement have a reality close to what he meant on that particular point.?

Then we come to the main topic of this thread, untranslatable words. I think it's more to do with untranslatable concepts, not words.

The two concepts of love and light being a prime example.

So slightly to do with whether the words were translated properly, slightly to do with method of teaching but mainly to do with getting the concept as given. All good students know this is a process and will take time.

Peace.G.

Actually, I used "Untranslatable Words" because - that's what Tohei called the section.

Anyway, I have my ideas about "love and light" (and I have a hunch that what Ueshiba was referring to was actually more complex than what it would seem to be), but since the context no longer exists (having been eliminated by Tohei) it would be hard to say for sure.

Best,

Chris

graham christian
05-15-2012, 01:39 PM
How is a lecture not teaching? If you go to a lecture at a university the person at the front is called a "teacher" and is expected to convey the concepts in a manner that will transmit the ideas to the students. Teachers at universities are routinely evaluated by their students as to their effectiveness at doing just that (there are some problems with the system, but that's another discussion).

Just like Ueshiba knew that "nice young fellow from Hawaii" understood what he said? :D

Actually, I used "Untranslatable Words" because - that's what Tohei called the section.

Anyway, I have my ideas about "love and light" (and I have a hunch that what Ueshiba was referring to was actually more complex than what it would seem to be), but since the context no longer exists (having been eliminated by Tohei) it would be hard to say for sure.

Best,

Chris

That nice young fellow should have been more honest methinks. He probably did know that too.

Untranslatable words is a good title for all enlightened ones say how words alone cannot convey.

I differentiate between lecture and teaching and it is a good differentiation to have and remember. In most lectures it is meant to be the responsibility of the student to take notes or in this day and age even record. Why? To go over in their own time.

Teaching is a two way flow actually. Lecturing is a one way flow. Teaching is involvement with the student(s). Thus the teacher is with the student sharing in the understanding of the student, staying with the student in a two way communication, until the student grasps what is given.

Lecturing has nowhere near as much involvement and places more responsibility on the student.

Questions may be asked after the lecture or not. If so a little teaching may ensue.

Peace.G.

Chris Li
05-15-2012, 01:43 PM
That nice young fellow should have been more honest methinks. He probably did know that too.

Untranslatable words is a good title for all enlightened ones say how words alone cannot convey.

So Tohei was enlightened?

FWIW, Nonaka always maintained that he really, honestly did not understand.

Best,

Chris

graham christian
05-15-2012, 02:29 PM
So Tohei was enlightened?

FWIW, Nonaka always maintained that he really, honestly did not understand.

Best,

Chris

Oh dear, lost in translation again. I am not talking about Tohei or those who said they didn't understand. I am talking about such things as love and light and all concepts given down by 'illuminated' people.

Anyway, Tohei was definitely more enlightened than many, that's for sure.

Peace.G.

Henrypsim
05-16-2012, 03:59 AM
I blew out my back last year running and I'm still working through it. None of this stuff should hurt your back, but we've had a couple of guys who described the same kinds of problems - mainly because of trying to pull too hard with the back when turning. It may help to concentrate on releasing the musculature and letting the turn come out naturally (you may also find that you can actually turn further that way).

FWIW...

Best,

Chris

I think I am one of those guys that Chris was talking about. I was so eager that I actually was in pain for a while. Difficult to describe but there is a difference between "relax" stretching and "muscle" stretching. From my own experience, if I have to use my muscle to force myself to do the exercise, something is wrong. However, if I relax my body to do the exercise, it is correct. Bottom line.....you should feel tired but no pain after the exercise. If you fell pain, you did something wrong somewhere. Hope that helped.

Russ Q
05-16-2012, 01:36 PM
Thanks Henry!

Russ

Chris Li
06-02-2012, 11:27 AM
Un pont d'argent - Budo Shugyosha mentioned "Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-05-13/morihei-ueshiba-untranslatable-words)" in his blog post on Aikido in Hawaii (link uses Google Translate):

http://tinyurl.com/pontdargent

Best,

Chris

David Orange
06-02-2012, 07:46 PM
Let's take what he did say, let's take the actual words he used and ask do you understand them? Love and light. There you are, in plain English. Do you understand?

Mmmmmm.......do you think Ueshiba actually said "love and light"....in plain English? Again....that's Tohei's translation.

If you've read Tohei's interviews with Stan Pranin, you'll see that he actually retained a bit of resentment of OSensei. And he carried a resentment of aikikai with him a long time after the split. It seems he aggressively discarded pretty much everything O Sensei talked about and just taught the outer form and described it with his own concepts. He didn't know and didn't care what Ueshiba was talking about, except that he considered it pointless.

Sometimes I wonder 'Do you want to understand?' (a serious question) For a serious student who did want to understand that particular piece of information given would have to research what it meant wouldn't they?

So the next question would be where to look. Take the data given and go look in the right places and find out for yourself is the way of the student.

I know Chris is doing that as a qualified translator of Japanese, long-experienced in aikido and having access to some of the greatest aikidoka in the world.

Have you done that???? Do you want to understand (serious question).

You sum up everything so nicely, tidily and simply....in theory...that you seem not to have put into real action.

Thanks for the clarification.

David

RonRagusa
06-03-2012, 08:36 AM
It seems he aggressively discarded pretty much everything O Sensei talked about and just taught the outer form and described it with his own concepts. He didn't know and didn't care what Ueshiba was talking about, except that he considered it pointless.

In the 25 years I spent as Sensei Maruyama's student I can assure you that the idea that Tohei Sensei taught only the outer form of Aikido is incorrect. All of the teaching (Ki development and waza) was directed at fostering a strong mind/body connection, first within oneself and then with a partner. The push testing employed by O Sensei was carried over and employed with regularity. After leaving the Ki Society Maruyama Sensei continued to stress that for Aikido to be effective students had to develop power and strength that didn't rely on muscle. This power is generated from what he termed "correct feeling".

Ron

David Orange
06-03-2012, 04:08 PM
In the 25 years I spent as Sensei Maruyama's student I can assure you that the idea that Tohei Sensei taught only the outer form of Aikido is incorrect. All of the teaching (Ki development and waza) was directed at fostering a strong mind/body connection, first within oneself and then with a partner. The push testing employed by O Sensei was carried over and employed with regularity. After leaving the Ki Society Maruyama Sensei continued to stress that for Aikido to be effective students had to develop power and strength that didn't rely on muscle. This power is generated from what he termed "correct feeling".


Ron, it would be crazy to say that Tohei's aikido was not very, very powerful. It was. And he did the push test, etc. So it's not mere outward form. It's very excellent form with a lot of content.

What I mean is that he simply rejected a lot of what O Sensei said as being utter nonsense. Ueshiba was definitely extremely eccentric and idiosyncratic. Mochizuki Sensei, not only a very close lifelong student of O Sensei, but also his close personal friend, never tried to address those esoteric concepts very deeply, but he did not reject them as Tohei did, substituting his own extensive rationale for the esoteric matters he (and no one else, apparently) understood.

We can look at Tohei's interviews with Stan Pranin and see that he had a lot of resentment about a lot of things relative to O Sensei. Tohei actually married Ueshiba's daughter, which opportunity Mochizuki Sensei declined (probably a different daughter). He pokes at Tohei by saying something like, "I felt that would end up badly...it seems my awareness of ki was stronger than Tohei's in that regard." It was one of the few times he said anything about ki. (Another was "Ki is something very simple. It is inspiration.")

But Tohei's marriage to O Sensei's daughter made him brother-in-law to Kisshomaru, the doshu, and Tohei's technical superiority to Kisshomaru, along with the natural friction between brothers-in-law, along with Tohei's need to replace O Sensei's esoteric rambling with a ki-based logic that not everyone at aikikai understood or accepted, led to the split that so shocked the aikido world. Having come through the yoseikan system, which was never affected by that split, I didn't know much about it and it doesn't much matter to me except as historical interest.

What I really mean is that we can't look to Tohei to interpret what O Sensei either said or exactly what he meant since Tohei just waved most of it aside. If you look at the photo on Chris' blog, with O Sensei getting the lei at Honolulu Airport, Tohei stands slightly apart with a very big smile that actually looks rather forced, if not purely tatemae. He commented in one interview that O Sensei was "childish" and maybe in the same interview pointed out that O Sensei had never faced any kind of challenge like Tohei had faced when he went to Hawaii to introduce aikido. He talked about the huge guys me met there and such, so that his accomplishment was greater than O Sensei's.

I don't know about that. I certainly don't worry about it Tohei certainly was great. I really enjoyed Aikido in Daily Life and it underlies a lot of my thinking even now. Since I've been involved in IP training, a lot of it comes back to me, but I'm not sure that what he was talking about was the same as IP or that it really covers what O Sensei was doing.

So apologies if it sounded as if I were dismissing him. I always wanted to meet him and I was sorry when he passÚd away.

Best to you.

David

Tom Verhoeven
06-04-2012, 01:20 PM
Un pont d'argent - Budo Shugyosha mentioned "Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-05-13/morihei-ueshiba-untranslatable-words)" in his blog post on Aikido in Hawaii (link uses Google Translate):

http://tinyurl.com/pontdargent

Best,

Chris

Speaking of translations; Google translates here pont d'argent with bridge money.
The French word "argent" means gold, but is commonly used for the money that you have on the bank or the notes that you have in your wallet. The word money is used for coins.
It is a funny example of how a translation may lead to misinterpretation.

Tom

Chris Li
06-04-2012, 01:34 PM
Speaking of translations; Google translates here pont d'argent with bridge money.
The French word "argent" means gold, but is commonly used for the money that you have on the bank or the notes that you have in your wallet. The word money is used for coins.
It is a funny example of how a translation may lead to misinterpretation.

Tom

Are you sure? I tried the link (which runs the entire page through Google Translate), and I tried plugging just that phrase into Google Translate directly, and they both translated the phrase correctly - "Silver Bridge".

And wouldn't "gold" be "or"? (of course, it's been a long time since high school french :D ).

Best,

Chris

David Orange
06-04-2012, 03:06 PM
Are you sure? I tried the link (which runs the entire page through Google Translate), and I tried plugging just that phrase into Google Translate directly, and they both translated the phrase correctly - "Silver Bridge".

And wouldn't "gold" be "or"? (of course, it's been a long time since high school french :D ).

Best,

Chris

I read it as "bridge of money".

FWIW

David

Chris Li
06-04-2012, 03:12 PM
I read it as "bridge of money".

FWIW

David

Wow - I wonder if that's part of Google's personalization settings, it comes up fine for me.

I'm sure people have noticed, but search engine results in Google now vary widely depending on your location and your personal search history - but I didn't think that it would affect the online translation engines...

Anyway, I still think that gold is "or", not "argent"...

Best,

Chris

aikilouis
06-04-2012, 03:22 PM
Or is gold.
Argent originally means silver, it also means money.

Automatic translators can be helpful but never provide reliable translations.
I would actually recommend the site www.linguee.com , which works as a translation search motor. I use it very often at work.

Dave de Vos
06-04-2012, 03:23 PM
pont = bridge
d' = contraction of de before a vowel = of. The particle de is just the way to express the genitive. Like jus d'orange = juice of orange = orange juice.
argent = silver (money is a derived meaning)
monnaie = coins
or = gold

French is one of the languages everyone in the Netherlands learns for some years in school (4 years in my case). My French is good enough to manage on vacation, but I would expect that Tom speaks French fluently as he obviously lives in France. Also, his name is Dutch or Belgian, which suggests he also learned French in school even if he moved to France as an adult.

Still, pont d'argent is simple to translate, and I'd expect any French translator to translate it as either silver bridge or money bridge, depending on the context.
I don't see how it could be bridge money (whatever that means). I think bridge money would be argent de pont.

Chris Li
06-04-2012, 03:28 PM
Still, pont d'argent is simple to translate, and I'd expect any French translator to translate it as either silver bridge or money bridge, depending on the context.
I don't see how it could be bridge money (whatever that means). I think bridge money would be argent de pont.

Actually, I just tried it and both come up with "silver bridge ("argent de pont" is capitalized for some reason) in Google Translate. Go figure...

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
06-04-2012, 03:32 PM
Or is gold.
Argent originally means silver, it also means money.

Automatic translators can be helpful but never provide reliable translations.
I would actually recommend the site www.linguee.com , which works as a translation search motor. I use it very often at work.

Automatic translators for Japanese just don't work very well at all, but at least with European languages I can read enough to figure out what's happening.

I agree,I don't recommend relying on them for anything that requires any kind of real accuracy either.

www.linguee.com looks good, but it doesn't translate whole websites on the fly like Google Translate - or does it? I may have missed something.

Best,

Chris

aikilouis
06-04-2012, 06:48 PM
No it doesn't, but it has the advantage of providing translations in context, which is most of the times the difficult part.

David Orange
06-04-2012, 06:55 PM
Wow - I wonder if that's part of Google's personalization settings, it comes up fine for me.

That's not Google. Just some very long ago French courses.

Anyway, I still think that gold is "or", not "argent"...

Yeah, gold is or and argent is money but how fluid those two are in actual usage, I don't know.

FWIW

David

David Orange
06-04-2012, 06:57 PM
pont = bridge
d' = contraction of de before a vowel = of. The particle de is just the way to express the genitive. Like jus d'orange = juice of orange = orange juice.
argent = silver (money is a derived meaning)
monnaie = coins
or = gold

French is one of the languages everyone in the Netherlands learns for some years in school (4 years in my case). My French is good enough to manage on vacation, but I would expect that Tom speaks French fluently as he obviously lives in France. Also, his name is Dutch or Belgian, which suggests he also learned French in school even if he moved to France as an adult.

Still, pont d'argent is simple to translate, and I'd expect any French translator to translate it as either silver bridge or money bridge, depending on the context.
I don't see how it could be bridge money (whatever that means). I think bridge money would be argent de pont.

Yeah, I think "money bridge" is closest.

David

Chris Li
06-04-2012, 07:06 PM
That's not Google. Just some very long ago French courses.

Yeah, gold is or and argent is money but how fluid those two are in actual usage, I don't know.

FWIW

David

Ah, I got it - I thought that you were getting different results out of Google Translate.

Of course, "pont d'argent" and "silver bridge" (in this case) are both translations from the Japanese 銀の橋 - which is a play on the Floating Bridge....:freaky:

Best,

Chris

Tom Verhoeven
06-04-2012, 09:03 PM
Are you sure? I tried the link (which runs the entire page through Google Translate), and I tried plugging just that phrase into Google Translate directly, and they both translated the phrase correctly - "Silver Bridge".

And wouldn't "gold" be "or"? (of course, it's been a long time since high school french :D ).

Best,

Chris

You are correct, argent is of course silver.
I did not put in the phrase for translation, was just reading the translated page as you had linked it.
On that page "Bridge money" and "golden bridge are mentioned in two following sentences.

It is not an important point, just thought it was curious to see google translate in an incorrect way, while the topic was Untranslatable Words.

Tom

Chris Li
06-04-2012, 09:11 PM
You are correct, argent is of course silver.
I did not put in the phrase for translation, was just reading the translated page as you had linked it.
On that page "Bridge money" and "golden bridge are mentioned in two following sentences.

It is not an important point, just thought it was curious to see google translate in an incorrect way, while the topic was Untranslatable Words.

Tom

Ah...in the quotation - must be a Google Translate quirk, the title "Silver Bridge" came out OK. Still have a little bit of time before translators are taken over by Google too :D

Best,

Chris

Tom Verhoeven
06-04-2012, 09:23 PM
pont = bridge
d' = contraction of de before a vowel = of. The particle de is just the way to express the genitive. Like jus d'orange = juice of orange = orange juice.
argent = silver (money is a derived meaning)
monnaie = coins
or = gold

French is one of the languages everyone in the Netherlands learns for some years in school (4 years in my case). My French is good enough to manage on vacation, but I would expect that Tom speaks French fluently as he obviously lives in France. Also, his name is Dutch or Belgian, which suggests he also learned French in school even if he moved to France as an adult.

Still, pont d'argent is simple to translate, and I'd expect any French translator to translate it as either silver bridge or money bridge, depending on the context.
I don't see how it could be bridge money (whatever that means). I think bridge money would be argent de pont.

Now you are flattering me ! My French is really not that good and far from fluent. French was not my favorite language at school.

As far as the google translation is concerned; bridge money does not really make any sense to me either, so I just guessed it was sort of a direct translation of pont (bridge) and argent (money - and that not even being correct).

But it does show I think how easy things get lost in translation or get mixed up. Something we should always keep in mind when we read a translation of an originally Japanese text on Aikido.

Tom

Tom Verhoeven
06-04-2012, 09:48 PM
Even though it is my own post this rang a bell for a further thought.
Why can't everyone do this stuff?
It's basic....yet shodan to Shihan...you can't do it.
Why?
The answer and the solution, should unite us in friendship, not divide us.
Dan

Dan,
It may not be bad teaching. In the early eighties Tamura sensei did explain the things that he did. And he gave personal instruction, I practiced many times with him - Tamura sensei usually being uke. Could not move him either in the beginning (very frustrating!!!). I remember how he instructed about the scroll of the tiger, it was an eye-opener to me, but quite a number of people complained about these teachings; they felt that they did not get a proper training and these simplistic sums did not make any sense to them. They walked out - how can a teacher teach a student that walks out of the door? Next seminar they would be there again, doing their same old rough stuff.
Another problem was the growing number of participants. The teaching may not have been intrinsically bad, but how does one reach 300, 400 or even more students in one class?
Tom