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RuteMendes
06-03-2012, 04:54 PM
Heyy!
so... I'm just a begginer, I've been doing Aikido for the past 9 months, and I've been noticing on online websites and foruns a certain reluctance to Aikikai.
I actually don't really know what Aikikai is... is it a style? A school?

Why don't people like it?
Excuse my ignorance, I just want to understand this.

Peace,

:)

Chris Li
06-03-2012, 08:30 PM
Heyy!
so... I'm just a begginer, I've been doing Aikido for the past 9 months, and I've been noticing on online websites and foruns a certain reluctance to Aikikai.
I actually don't really know what Aikikai is... is it a style? A school?

Why don't people like it?
Excuse my ignorance, I just want to understand this.

Peace,

:)

The Aikikai is a large umbrella organization that includes many different Aikido schools and organizations. It is headed by the Ueshiba family, currently Moriteru - O-Sensei's grandson.

We don't really hate the Aikikai - at least, I don't :D

However, the largest organizations have the most chances to rub people the wrong way, and the Aikikai has often been far from perfect.

Best,

Chris

JJF
06-04-2012, 03:19 AM
Hi Rute

As Christ states the Aikikai is an organisation. It is probably the largest aikido organisation that covers many many different dojos in Japan as well as in the rest of the world. As far as I know they also handle hombu dojo - which is the 'main dojo' in Tokyo Japan.

Apart from running that dojo they also handle the international registration of all yudansha (black belt) grades.

Other organizations have been created over the years so that aikido can be found with little or no connection to the Aikikai. The reasons for this are numerous. Some want to emphazise differently in technique, some don't like the favourism that is bound to happen in an organization - especially one that is international...some just don't like organisations too much, and some think they are not given gradings as fast as they think they should. These are just some of the reasons.

All in all the Aikikai is the center of the cobb web that binds us all together. They supply a framework for organizing aikido, and they can lend credibility to any national organisation that meets the requirements. Sometime they even support us if we are starting something new or are in a difficult transition from one sensei to another (usually when the oldest one die or retire).

It is not perfect, but I like it since it provides a pillar on which to build our aikido. When Saito Sensei and NIshio sensei died in the early 2000's the two major Danish organisations that used to be connected to Japan through these two shihans had to find a way to work together and unify the contact to the Aikikai. Developing a new national organisation where we combine our forces and have one contact interface to the Aikikai has proven a good opportunity for learning new things and joining forces. This weekend we had a workshop where we all trained together at 20 different workshops on five different mat areas throughout a great saturday. Oh... and lot's of beer and good food afterwards :)

In my opinion Aikikai is like democracy. It may not be perfect but it is the best we have right now, and if one participate it is possible to help shape the organization and make it even better.

It is true that the value of the Aikikai has been debated a bit here lately. Don't pay too much attention to this. Right now you should just focus on having a great time learning a great budo.

Have fun

JJ

PeterR
06-04-2012, 03:30 AM
It's simply easier to hit a big target.

SeiserL
06-04-2012, 04:37 AM
I personally have a lot of respect and appreciation for the Aikikai and honor my direct lineage/affiliation.

IMHO, some don't like them simply because the Aikikai doesn't do what they think they should.

David Orange
06-04-2012, 07:14 AM
Hi Rute

As Christ states the Aikikai is an organization.

Though aikikai would have us believe they are ordained directly by God, I have searched my Bible and I went online for various translations and I find the aikikai nowhere among Jesus' topics of discussion! :D

I think it's the spell checker on here. At first I liked it, but then I realized that it was converting "aiki" to "wiki" without my realizing it. Then I saw that "kiai" changes to "kiwi". You really have to be careful! I wrote "reigi" and it "changed it to "reign". I knew I didn't type it that way, but if you're a fast typist the word changes after you've breezed on past it. [/rant]

More fun than the law allows...

David

Dan Richards
06-04-2012, 09:19 AM
Rute, this article might shed some light on various phases of learning.
http://www.aikidofaq.com/essays/tin/shuhari.html

There are some who are in a phase that learn from and protect the school (Shu). There are some who may then have a dislike and detach. (Ha). And there are some for whom the organization and techniques become irrelevant (Ri).

Keep in mind that all these phases contain all the other phases within them. This video gives a good illustration. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEw8xpb1aRA

Chris Li
06-04-2012, 09:22 AM
Though aikikai would have us believe they are ordained directly by God, I have searched my Bible and I went online for various translations and I find the aikikai nowhere among Jesus' topics of discussion! :D

That's the other thing of course, the Ueshiba family clearly believes that Aikido is a family art - and that tends to annoy those who have branched out into other organizations.

Personally, I think that it's grown way too large to be controlled/managed in the way that a family art is usually handled, but I'm sure that many people disagree ;)

Best,

Chris

JJF
06-05-2012, 05:10 AM
Though aikikai would have us believe they are ordained directly by God, I have searched my Bible and I went online for various translations and I find the aikikai nowhere among Jesus' topics of discussion! :D

I think it's the spell checker on here. At first I liked it, but then I realized that it was converting "aiki" to "wiki" without my realizing it. Then I saw that "kiai" changes to "kiwi". You really have to be careful! I wrote "reigi" and it "changed it to "reign". I knew I didn't type it that way, but if you're a fast typist the word changes after you've breezed on past it. [/rant]

More fun than the law allows...

David

Wow... the spell check made my post so much more entertaining.... alas my intention was to write 'Chris'... not to drag religion into this.

Guess I should slow down my typing a bit and pay more attention to the details. Come to think of it, the same thing applies to my Aikido :)

Now I'll be off to the dojo for my next lesson. I believe it is 'walk on water' or 'feed the hungry' today... ;)

JJ

sakumeikan
06-05-2012, 09:16 AM
That's the other thing of course, the Ueshiba family clearly believes that Aikido is a family art - and that tends to annoy those who have branched out into other organizations.

Personally, I think that it's grown way too large to be controlled/managed in the way that a family art is usually handled, but I'm sure that many people disagree ;)

Best,

Chris

Hi Chris,
Chris,, the Ueshiba family I would say might well see Aikido as a business first , art later.Certainly any offspring [male ] has a instant promotion to the top spot.A bit like Prince Charles and Wills here in Blighty.Why could I have not been born to such high faluting parents??Cheers, Joe.

SteliosPapadakis
06-08-2012, 05:34 AM
I just want to understand this

Don't bother with politics, dear friend.
The path!
The path of Aikido you should try to understand, and let the others deal with "systems" and "politics".

:)

batemanb
06-11-2012, 08:25 AM
......Certainly any offspring [male ] has a instant promotion to the top spot.A bit like Prince Charles and Wills here in Blighty.Why could I have not been born to such high faluting parents??Cheers, Joe.

If by which you mean it's an hereditary lineage, that is the Japanese way. I think you will find though that waka sensei (Ueshiba Mitsuteru) has put a fair bit of time into aikido training and is fairly proficient at it, as is his father, and was his grandfather and great grandfather......

In answer to the original poster, I think some dislike for the Aikikai is probably a result of things that have gone on in the past, mostly politics, and maybe very valid to those concerned, but I think a lot of it also comes from misconception, lack of knowing the full story and "Chinese whispers" over the years.

I'm sure that the Aikikai don't lay claim to being a perfect organisation, equally I'm sure that the Japanese way of doing things doesn't always go down well with some of us westerners. Ultimately, we have a choice to live with it or do something else, and many have chosen to do so over the years.

For my own perspective, I actually quite like it and am happy to have a direct link to the Aikikai.

sakumeikan
06-12-2012, 01:47 AM
If by which you mean it's an hereditary lineage, that is the Japanese way. I think you will find though that waka sensei (Ueshiba Mitsuteru) has put a fair bit of time into aikido training and is fairly proficient at it, as is his father, and was his grandfather and great grandfather......

In answer to the original poster, I think some dislike for the Aikikai is probably a result of things that have gone on in the past, mostly politics, and maybe very valid to those concerned, but I think a lot of it also comes from misconception, lack of knowing the full story and "Chinese whispers" over the years.

I'm sure that the Aikikai don't lay claim to being a perfect organisation, equally I'm sure that the Japanese way of doing things doesn't always go down well with some of us westerners. Ultimately, we have a choice to live with it or do something else, and many have chosen to do so over the years.

For my own perspective, I actually quite like it and am happy to have a direct link to the Aikikai.

Dear Bryan,
I think that if one studies any Japanese martial art the study must be a two way process.By that
I mean each party learns from the other much like the relationship between Tori /Uke.Can we really say that the Aikikai is adapting to the needs and aspirations of Western aikidoka or is the Aikikai a modern day feudal system, with a Shogun at the helm?Ever big institution has C.E.O but at least the shareholders get the opportunity to make their views known to the directors and the C.E.O .If the shareholders are not happy they sell the shares or do not support the objectives of the company and sometimes this lack of support causes the company share price to drop or the firm closes down.Over the last few years I have seen movement of groups drifting away from the Aikikai connection.The question is why?I would say categorically that for the vast amount of aikidoka there is little if any feeling of a real meaningful relationship with the Aikikai.Cheers, Joe.

Alex Megann
06-12-2012, 06:36 AM
Dear Bryan,
I think that if one studies any Japanese martial art the study must be a two way process.By that
I mean each party learns from the other much like the relationship between Tori /Uke.

Hi Joe,

As you and I both know, that kind of relationship is a rare thing in the real world...

Alex

Carsten Möllering
06-12-2012, 06:59 AM
... must be a two way process.
Why?

JJF
06-12-2012, 07:05 AM
So... Joe... should they 'keep it real' or should they conform to the wishes of the 'customers'?

It's a bit like parenting. I try to change and become better at being a dad as long as my children grow up and express different needs and wants, but I also have to stick to my core principles. I can't change my decisions based on what my kids want since they change opinions every other day, and since what they want might not take the big picture into account.

As I see it Aikikai is not a business but an organisation - which in my book is closer to a family. It will develop and change, but not always in a way that every member approves on, and often in a more moderate pace than some might want since the incentive for change must come from within.

Therefore we are not shareholders - we are members. If you don't like the club - you are free to leave it, or you can choose to go into a fruitful cooperation and try to influence it from within. The latter takes time and effort but as I see it that is an approach much closer to the uke/nage relationship that you mention.

JJ

sakumeikan
06-12-2012, 05:10 PM
Why?

Dear Carsten,
Do you think the Japanese have the monopoly on Aikido?In the 60s /70s Japanese Judoka were the kings, now the European/Korean guys are just as good.No one person has all the answers.There are many talented Aikidoka who are not Japanese.Tissier for example probably has more students than Hombu.In France the French out number the Japanese in aikido students..I would have thought most people would prefer a relationship where both the Japanese/others would interact and discuss issues with each other rather than one group be subordinate to the other.Cheers, Joe.

sakumeikan
06-12-2012, 05:28 PM
So... Joe... should they 'keep it real' or should they conform to the wishes of the 'customers'?

It's a bit like parenting. I try to change and become better at being a dad as long as my children grow up and express different needs and wants, but I also have to stick to my core principles. I can't change my decisions based on what my kids want since they change opinions every other day, and since what they want might not take the big picture into account.

As I see it Aikikai is not a business but an organisation - which in my book is closer to a family. It will develop and change, but not always in a way that every member approves on, and often in a more moderate pace than some might want since the incentive for change must come from within.

Therefore we are not shareholders - we are members. If you don't like the club - you are free to leave it, or you can choose to go into a fruitful cooperation and try to influence it from within. The latter takes time and effort but as I see it that is an approach much closer to the uke/nage relationship that you mention.

JJ
Dear Jergen,
As a parent your needs, your viewpoints and how you perceive things are your own.These views may not be the same as your childrens views etc.If an organisation fails to change or adapt where necessary , it may well become redundant in time.Fruitful cooperation between groups are always welcome.Nevertheless there can be occasion where for one reason or another a fruitful , c ooperation between parties is not always the case,Tohei Sensei /Aikikai for example is the classic case in point. Cheers, Joe.

Chris Li
06-12-2012, 05:47 PM
So... Joe... should they 'keep it real' or should they conform to the wishes of the 'customers'?

It's a bit like parenting. I try to change and become better at being a dad as long as my children grow up and express different needs and wants, but I also have to stick to my core principles. I can't change my decisions based on what my kids want since they change opinions every other day, and since what they want might not take the big picture into account.

As I see it Aikikai is not a business but an organisation - which in my book is closer to a family. It will develop and change, but not always in a way that every member approves on, and often in a more moderate pace than some might want since the incentive for change must come from within.

Therefore we are not shareholders - we are members. If you don't like the club - you are free to leave it, or you can choose to go into a fruitful cooperation and try to influence it from within. The latter takes time and effort but as I see it that is an approach much closer to the uke/nage relationship that you mention.

JJ

Well, I'm not a child and Doshu ain't my Dad:D .

I've said it before, but the family art model doesn't really work, IMO, with a large international organization composed of people who have never met each other. I know a lot of 6th dans who have never been to Japan, never met the Ueshibas, and whose name Doshu wouldn't even remember. Where's the family?

Of course, everybody's free to leave, and that's a big problem - for the Aikikai.

The people who walk out don't really lose much, because they weren't really getting much in the first place. If the Aikikai, on the other hand, wants to keep things together, then they have to create a model that gives people some reason to stay and send them money.

Best,

Chris

sakumeikan
06-13-2012, 01:59 AM
Well, I'm not a child and Doshu ain't my Dad:D .

I've said it before, but the family art model doesn't really work, IMO, with a large international organization composed of people who have never met each other. I know a lot of 6th dans who have never been to Japan, never met the Ueshibas, and whose name Doshu wouldn't even remember. Where's the family?

Of course, everybody's free to leave, and that's a big problem - for the Aikikai.

The people who walk out don't really lose much, because they weren't really getting much in the first place. If the Aikikai, on the other hand, wants to keep things together, then they have to create a model that gives people some reason to stay and send them money.

Best,

Chris
Dear Chris,
Over a forty year plus career in Aikido my personal contact with the Aikikai/Doshu could be put on the head of a pin.My Aikido has been formed by a few individual teachers over the years.Other parties namely every student I meet or have met have assisted me and I am indebted to each person for this assistance.Cheers, Joe.

Carsten Möllering
06-13-2012, 04:38 AM
Do you think the Japanese have the monopoly on Aikido?
I think the term "monopoly" does not fit to this situation.
As far as I understand, the aikikai plain and simpel is the school of the Ueshiba family. (So: not the aikikai itself is a family. Even if it feels like for many people.) It is clearly organized in the form of an iemoto structure. And the hombu in tokyo is - the hombu.

This to me does not seem as a matter of quality. (There are koryū where soke doesn't even practice and the hombu is not used for training.)
It does not compare to a sales-oriented company. Even if it seems so, this not the core of it.
It is not a family. It is lead by a certain family.

Tissier for example ....Seems you have never discussed this issue with him?
(If so you would be aware, that he is a very bad example for you critics.)

I don't see any obligation nor any motivation for the aikikai to take up a democratic structure or to discuss things.
And I don't see any necessity to be connected with the aikikai if democratic structures or discussions are important. You can practice, you can attend seminars of every teacher you want. There simply is no need to belong to an organization that does not fit to one's own interests?

Demetrio Cereijo
06-13-2012, 09:09 AM
Don't bother with politics, dear friend.
The path!
The path of Aikido you should try to understand, and let the others deal with "systems" and "politics".

:)

Yeah, more idiots (in its etymological sense) is what aikido needs.

sakumeikan
06-13-2012, 10:59 AM
I think the term "monopoly" does not fit to this situation.
As far as I understand, the aikikai plain and simpel is the school of the Ueshiba family. (So: not the aikikai itself is a family. Even if it feels like for many people.) It is clearly organized in the form of an iemoto structure. And the hombu in tokyo is - the hombu.

This to me does not seem as a matter of quality. (There are koryū where soke doesn't even practice and the hombu is not used for training.)
It does not compare to a sales-oriented company. Even if it seems so, this not the core of it.
It is not a family. It is lead by a certain family.

Seems you have never discussed this issue with him?
(If so you would be aware, that he is a very bad example for you critics.)

I don't see any obligation nor any motivation for the aikikai to take up a democratic structure or to discuss things.
And I don't see any necessity to be connected with the aikikai if democratic structures or discussions are important. You can practice, you can attend seminars of every teacher you want. There simply is no need to belong to an organization that does not fit to one's own interests?
Dear Carsten,
I do not know Tissier Senseis viewpoint of the Aikikai.I simply pointed out he has a large group of students affiliated to his organisation. No more no less. As far as being a critic I simply express my own viewpoint. You view the situation one way I an other. I do not call you a critic , I simply see you as having a different view from me.Cheers, Joe.

Carsten Möllering
06-14-2012, 02:37 AM
I do not know Tissier Senseis viewpoint of the Aikikai.I simply pointed out he has a large group of students affiliated to his organisation.
Well, "his" organization is kind of "pure aikikai". Don't know, how to express this right:
Christian Tissier does no't have any administrative function in the FFAAA. He is only one of 39 members of the "Collčge Technique".

Actually his "function" is his strong connection to the aikikai/hombu. As shihan he is the link - or maybe one strong link beside others. And his loyalty to hombu/aikikai is kind of paradigmatic. And he is like a door opener for Europeans at hombu. Or at least used to be for a lot of teacher I know who got their letter of recommendation from him. And, kind of other way round, as far as I know he was the one who invited Endo seishiro for the first time in Europe?

So Christian unites two positions in himself:
He has no problem to state that there is very good aikidō outside of Japan. Not pointing to himself this way, but talking of so many, many high level teachers and commited students all over the world.
On the other hand his loyalty to doshu/aikikai/hombu is - like I said above - kind of paradigmatic: He himself is one of the important representatives of this school in Europe. And he allways makes unequivocally clear that his deep loyalty is with the aikikai.

So, I think, you chose a "wrong" example, for it points just in the opposite direction, you wanted to show us.

... As far as being a critic ...I apologize: I don't mean "critic" to be something negative!!! In my (german) vokabulary it is a very "honourable" word!
But Christian is sometimes used as example in this way or is asked for exampel what he feels about the aikikai not giving out hachidan to non Japanese. And he does not like that and feels misunderstood. Because he kind of "is" aikikai.

------------

I think the only thing you get from being member of aikikai is being member of aikikai. No more, no less. Just this.
And everyone can decide whether this is meaningfull or not. It doesn't affect or change practice in any way.

JJF
06-14-2012, 03:57 AM
Dear Jergen,
If an organisation fails to change or adapt where necessary , it may well become redundant in time.Fruitful cooperation between groups are always welcome.Nevertheless there can be occasion where for one reason or another a fruitful cooperation between parties is not always the case,Tohei Sensei /Aikikai for example is the classic case in point. Cheers, Joe.

Hi Joe
You are right that sometimes a breakup is unavoidable. My point is - and it might just be semantics here - that it is not fair to say the it is due to 'organisation failure' issue. I think the Aikikai should further develop their structure with respect to what they perceive good Aikido is. If this is not aligned with everyone in the organization - and it most likely will not be so - then it's NOT the organization that is failing. Neither are. Sometimes a split is unavoidable, but chalking it up to being somebodys fault is not the right way as I see it.

I have a small dojo, and I teach Aikido the way I think it should be. If some of my students decides it is not what they want then I will be happy to help them find what is right for them - be that boxing, Yoshinkan Aikido, fencing or what ever. I don't change my teachings to suit the requests of my students. Of course I listen to them, and I get influenced, and I use their comments to reconsider what I'm doing, but in the end I need to decide what I believe is right, and teach that.

The Aikikai needs to do the same. Stick to what they think is core and listen to those voices that speak up in a respectful manner and work the system.

Cheers..
JJ

JJF
06-14-2012, 04:07 AM
Well, I'm not a child and Doshu ain't my Dad:D .

(cut)

If the Aikikai, on the other hand, wants to keep things together, then they have to create a model that gives people some reason to stay and send them money.

Best,

Chris

Sorry if my lack of English skills makes my point come across in the wrong way - but please don't reduce the line of thought in my statements to nothing by joking about it. I had a point - it dosen't go away due to a slick remark.

Regarding getting something out of the Aikikai... well.. as far as I see it there is plenty to be gained if you ask for it. So it is not a business that needs to pamper their customers. It is an organisation. Getting something from it requires participating and putting something in.

Had it not been for the Aikikai dispatching senseis to other places in the world in the first place... how much would Aikido have spread today?

Great day to you all
JJ

Chris Li
06-14-2012, 09:20 AM
Sorry if my lack of English skills makes my point come across in the wrong way - but please don't reduce the line of thought in my statements to nothing by joking about it. I had a point - it dosen't go away due to a slick remark.

Regarding getting something out of the Aikikai... well.. as far as I see it there is plenty to be gained if you ask for it. So it is not a business that needs to pamper their customers. It is an organisation. Getting something from it requires participating and putting something in.

For example? What kinds of things are to be gained?

An organization needs to provide some benefits to its members, or it ceases to become relevant to them, the same as a business.

This is not a problem for me, personally, but I think that it is a big potential problem for the Aikikai - if they want to continue to be relevant.


Had it not been for the Aikikai dispatching senseis to other places in the world in the first place... how much would Aikido have spread today?

Great day to you all
JJ

That's true (although I have a few quibbles) - but I could say the same about the Catholic Church, does that mean everybody forever after ought to be Catholic?

Time moves on...

Note that - I'm not anti Aikikai, in fact, I support the idea of a general umbrella organization like the Aikikai. However, I think that realistically if the Aikikai wants to remain relevant for the next 50 years they have to make some serious changes to their model.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
06-14-2012, 09:23 AM
Actually his "function" is his strong connection to the aikikai/hombu. As shihan he is the link - or maybe one strong link beside others. And his loyalty to hombu/aikikai is kind of paradigmatic. And he is like a door opener for Europeans at hombu. Or at least used to be for a lot of teacher I know who got their letter of recommendation from him. And, kind of other way round, as far as I know he was the one who invited Endo seishiro for the first time in Europe?


This is part of the problem - as people like this pass away the links and the personal relationships with hombu are disappearing. Since the Aikikai model has always depended heavily on these relationships, this is a serious problem for them.

Now you have organizations run by people with no personal ties to hombu. What is their motivation to remain affiliated?

Best,

Chris

Carsten Möllering
06-14-2012, 10:37 AM
T... What is their motivation to remain affiliated?
Can't say.

My teacher and other teachers around me do have personel ties to hombu or to certain shihan. I am used to teachers who lived in Japan, be it for some months, be it for some years. When having a meals during seminar, it sometimes happens they start to talk Japanese while remembering stories. And not only the teachers, but my sempai also started to go to Japan on a regular base.
And I am used to teachers coming over from Japan to give seminars here.

In my context I myself (sandan) am a member of the first generation that is not directly connected to hombu or Japan through our own biography but only through our teachers or sempai. So me / we will have to find our way of being connected - or letting go.

Chris Li
06-14-2012, 10:52 AM
In my context I myself (sandan) am a member of the first generation that is not directly connected to hombu or Japan through our own biography but only through our teachers or sempai. So me / we will have to find our way of being connected - or letting go.

Just so - it's an important time for the Aikikai.

Best,

Chris

jamie yugawa
06-14-2012, 12:07 PM
Gaku Homma sensei has written some articles on his opinions of large Aikido organizations. http://www.nippon-kan.org/senseis_articles/10/false-profiteers.html

JJF
06-14-2012, 02:35 PM
For example? What kinds of things are to be gained?


Well for starters they maintain the only place in the world where you can meet and train with a very wide array of great senseis under the same roof. Also whenever a new national organisation is being formed they provide a framework and good advice for those doing the work. They also do work nationally and internationally in order to promote Aikido, and I have hear several stories from our national organisation about how they have had fruitful interaction with the Aikikai.

They do also to a certain extend lend a seal of approval to anybody starting a recognized dojo. Action speaks louder than affiliation for us who are already in the art, but for the rank beginner who gathers his or her information from the internet and books, it's comforting to know that the Aikikai has at least some supervision (through national organisations) over the dojos around the world.

That's true (although I have a few quibbles) - but I could say the same about the Catholic Church, does that mean everybody forever after ought to be Catholic?

well.. no... but if you want to continue practicing the catholic rituals and call yourself a catholic, then you would be expected to stay in contact with Rome. Should you choose to break that relation then I hardly think you would call yourself a catholic anymore. In the same manner breaking away from the Aikikai should result in choosing a different name for what you do. I know 'Aikido' is not 'one thing' and therefore can be expressed in an endless number of shapes and forms, but it would at least not be 'Aikikai Aikido' anymore.

Note that - I'm not anti Aikikai, in fact, I support the idea of a general umbrella organization like the Aikikai. However, I think that realistically if the Aikikai wants to remain relevant for the next 50 years they have to make some serious changes to their model.


well - I agree that change may very well be needed in some areas. But I still think we all have as much of a responsibility to create this change. How should the people at the Aikikai be able to create the organization that best aid the growth of Aikido if we do not tell them about how we fell, and what we think should be changed? They can't ask everybody, so those who go there will have more of a saying, and those who meet with Aikikai teachers at seminars around the world also have some influence. It's not perfect.. but you have - at least in theory - a chance to be heard.

See ya

JJ

Chris Li
06-14-2012, 02:56 PM
Well for starters they maintain the only place in the world where you can meet and train with a very wide array of great senseis under the same roof. Also whenever a new national organisation is being formed they provide a framework and good advice for those doing the work. They also do work nationally and internationally in order to promote Aikido, and I have hear several stories from our national organisation about how they have had fruitful interaction with the Aikikai.

I'm still not sure what "fruitful" means - nor have I seen much in the way of concrete organizational help, except general encouragement. And yes, I've seen some of those meetings where this stuff is discussed - hombu's attitude is extremely hands off.

Most of the actual nitty gritty of setting up a legal organization where-ever you are - they're not qualified or prepared to help you with.

I suppose your opinion of training at hombu may be different than mine, but I think that there's more, and better, training elsewhere for a number of reasons. Even if that weren't the case, most people never get there.


They do also to a certain extend lend a seal of approval to anybody starting a recognized dojo. Action speaks louder than affiliation for us who are already in the art, but for the rank beginner who gathers his or her information from the internet and books, it's comforting to know that the Aikikai has at least some supervision (through national organisations) over the dojos around the world.

When actually talking to most beginners I find that very few of them even know what the Aikikai is - for that matter, it's the same with a lot of regular Aikido students. Honestly, for me that's a zero benefit, and frankly - there's zero supervision and no over-riding national organization in the US.


well.. no... but if you want to continue practicing the catholic rituals and call yourself a catholic, then you would be expected to stay in contact with Rome. Should you choose to break that relation then I hardly think you would call yourself a catholic anymore. In the same manner breaking away from the Aikikai should result in choosing a different name for what you do. I know 'Aikido' is not 'one thing' and therefore can be expressed in an endless number of shapes and forms, but it would at least not be 'Aikikai Aikido' anymore.


Well, no, it might by Yoshinkan Aikido, for example :D .

Interestingly, the word "Aikido" is not trademarked in Japan (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-02-19/aikido-tm-can-it-really-be-trademarked).


well - I agree that change may very well be needed in some areas. But I still think we all have as much of a responsibility to create this change. How should the people at the Aikikai be able to create the organization that best aid the growth of Aikido if we do not tell them about how we fell, and what we think should be changed? They can't ask everybody, so those who go there will have more of a saying, and those who meet with Aikikai teachers at seminars around the world also have some influence. It's not perfect.. but you have - at least in theory - a chance to be heard.


In modern cooperative member-based organizations - you do ask everybody. Welcome to democracy.

Best,

Chris

Joe Bowen
06-15-2012, 04:38 AM
An organization needs to provide some benefits to its members, or it ceases to become relevant to them....

Note that - I'm not anti Aikikai, in fact, I support the idea of a general umbrella organization like the Aikikai. However, I think that realistically if the Aikikai wants to remain relevant for the next 50 years they have to make some serious changes to their model.

Chris,

What benefits do you think the Aikikai should provide to its members that it currently does not? What serious changes do you think they have to make to remain relevant?

Joe

Chris Li
06-15-2012, 09:21 AM
Chris,

What benefits do you think the Aikikai should provide to its members that it currently does not? What serious changes do you think they have to make to remain relevant?

Joe

Well, that's something they're going to have figure out. :D

I've brought up the idea of a more member oriented professional organization more than once on a couple of threads, and I think that there are some advantages to the idea - but I'm not sure that I see the Aikikai ever going that way.

Best,

Chris

phitruong
06-15-2012, 01:04 PM
Well, that's something they're going to have figure out. :D

Chris

didn't i mention that i would like some sort of aikikai discount on coffee and donuts? discount on gi and weapons would be nice too. dojo insurance discount would be a plus. grants to organize seminars. some small nasty women that can bring a man lo, that we can call upon as enforcers for the occasional dojo challenges. discount on clean underwear (koshinage and extra beans just aren't go well together). discount on ibuprofen and tiger balm. :)

sakumeikan
06-16-2012, 03:57 AM
Chris,

What benefits do you think the Aikikai should provide to its members that it currently does not? What serious changes do you think they have to make to remain relevant?

Joe

Dear Joe,
How about variable rates for Dan grade registration in relation to the average income ofa person living in different countries?People wishing register their Dan grades who live in third world counties may well pay a greater %age of their income for registraiton of grade than a member living in a high waged community. Cheers, Joe.

Joe Bowen
06-16-2012, 04:19 AM
Dear Joe,
How about variable rates for Dan grade registration in relation to the average income ofa person living in different countries?People wishing register their Dan grades who live in third world counties may well pay a greater %age of their income for registraiton of grade than a member living in a high waged community. Cheers, Joe.

Dear Joe,

That sounds pretty reasonable. Are you sure there is no consideration right now? Given we don't live in a 3rd world country, and that this type of consideration would not necessarily be broadcast worldwide. It may be occurring and we don't know. Either way that is a program I would definitely endorse. Good idea.

Joe

JJF
06-18-2012, 03:18 AM
Speaking as a person who lives in a country that is about as far from 3rd world as you can get I must admit I think Joe's idea is very good.

Also we should all chip in through the Aikikai for senseis to be send to those places in the world, where they can't afford to host a seminar. Either becuase they are not people enough yet - or because it is too expensive for them given their income level.

The whole discount circus.. don't bother.. In my experience it usually takes more effort to administer than the benefit in the end will justify.

On the other hand a 'startup fund' where you can apply for a loan to buy mats, weapons etc would be a great way to support the spreading of Aikido.

JJ

TCSSEC
06-20-2012, 08:29 PM
I've trained in Aikikai as well as most of the other main organisations - currently I am not Aikikai and have no intention to return.

My observation here is about my region/area .... "... don't like Aikikai" is probably too strong/emotional.

What's coming across to me is that the local Aikikai does not interact with other aikido groups. End of story.

My impression is that they do not like their students to interact with students in other clubs or organisations, or attend other clubs' seminars ... which to me is contrary to the spirit of aiki. I don't know if this is an/the issue in other countries.

My observation is NOT about clubs that have their roots in Aikikai but the main Aikikai organisation locally.

Chris Li
06-20-2012, 09:35 PM
I've trained in Aikikai as well as most of the other main organisations - currently I am not Aikikai and have no intention to return.

My observation here is about my region/area .... "... don't like Aikikai" is probably too strong/emotional.

What's coming across to me is that the local Aikikai does not interact with other aikido groups. End of story.

My impression is that they do not like their students to interact with students in other clubs or organisations, or attend other clubs' seminars ... which to me is contrary to the spirit of aiki. I don't know if this is an/the issue in other countries.

My observation is NOT about clubs that have their roots in Aikikai but the main Aikikai organisation locally.

You'll love this then - one Aikikai organization run by a Japanese shihan not recognizing a dan rank issued by another (the certificate came from hombu, just like all of them) and requiring a student to re-test.

Best,

Chris

Stephen Nichol
06-21-2012, 01:12 AM
You'll love this then - one Aikikai organization run by a Japanese shihan not recognizing a dan rank issued by another (the certificate came from hombu, just like all of them) and requiring a student to re-test.

Best,

Chris

There may be a lot of underlying reasons for that, petty as they may be.

For example, if a student studied since the beginning with Shihan 'A' and before reaching Shodan, moved (city, town or even country) because of an opportunity (work, marraige partner interest etc..) and while there for an extended time trained and tested for Shodan there with Shihan 'B' - Both Shihans belonging to Aikikai... then returns 'home' and presents the certificate to the original Shihan for recognition... there is a chance that this original Shihan make take offense that the student simply took his Shodan exam with a different Shihan for a number of reasons. Maybe the two Shihan dislike each other... who knows. It may simply be a hard pill to swallow. I can see this from so many bad movie plots "I invested years into your training and then you go and do your Shodan with someone else?"

If I was the student in that situation I would contact my first Shihan and sought permission / blessing to grade for Shodan where I was currently living before simply doing so.

Firstly, I know that if I simply show up to another dojo within our organization without a letter of introduction from our association head (not my local Sensei), our Shihan, stating my rank and to please recogonize it and allow me to further my studies etc.. then I do not get to carry my rank with me. (Nor do I care as I 'know what I know' and I know there is always much to learn so... rank hardly matters...)

I suppose even at the point where I would return to my first Shihan in the example above and he told me he would only accept it if I did my exam again with him, I would do it. No big deal, passed it once already right? Just do not expect me to pay for it again. I understand he may want to see my ability for himself, see me take the test so he can be confident in backing up that certificate himself as well as my own ability to back it up representing him in his dojo.

None of what I have suggested above 'should' matter. I was just commenting on your specific mention of that situation and how 'there may be other circumstances'.

As for the whole 'Aikikai' issue (if there is one)

Within the Aikikai (or any organization) a rank issued by them 'should' apply throughout anyone associated with the orginization. This is why they issue the passports as a means of convenience for those that wish to intermix with other dojo inside the Aikikai (and in some cases out of it) as a means of common recognition of their rank via the issuing source.

That being said, the rank does not reflect the 'skill' per se. As it has been said, that is always down to the individual and their ability, not some distant organization. This is why I understand some Dojo cho's / Shihans / Sensei's will respectfully ask you to put on that white belt and train for a few months while they guage your ability and see if you are up to their measure of Shodan.

I do not 'dislike' the Aikikai. I have no reason to. Our organization is 'affliated' I believe. Our ranks are recognized with the Aikikai and dan certificates are issued from there.

Our association organizes its Seminars, invites Shihans from Japan when the opportunity arrises. Makes trips to Japan to go and see what it like to train around there... being part of the Aikikai allows for some of the political red tape to be kept to a minimum from what I understand HOWEVER (yes, it is that big) there is still more than enough politics within the Aikikai and around it to make training 'anywhere you want' even though you are part of the Aikikai, not even remotely possible.

Chris Li
06-21-2012, 01:54 AM
There may be a lot of underlying reasons for that, petty as they may be.

For example, if a student studied since the beginning with Shihan 'A' and before reaching Shodan, moved (city, town or even country) because of an opportunity (work, marraige partner interest etc..) and while there for an extended time trained and tested for Shodan there with Shihan 'B' - Both Shihans belonging to Aikikai... then returns 'home' and presents the certificate to the original Shihan for recognition... there is a chance that this original Shihan make take offense that the student simply took his Shodan exam with a different Shihan for a number of reasons. Maybe the two Shihan dislike each other... who knows. It may simply be a hard pill to swallow. I can see this from so many bad movie plots "I invested years into your training and then you go and do your Shodan with someone else?"

Not the case here, they were shodan before they ever left, all in one place. After they moved to the new city and the new dojo the retest was required.

Anyway, it's just and example of how things fall through the cracks since there's no real regulation.


Within the Aikikai (or any organization) a rank issued by them 'should' apply throughout anyone associated with the orginization. This is why they issue the passports as a means of convenience for those that wish to intermix with other dojo inside the Aikikai (and in some cases out of it) as a means of common recognition of their rank via the issuing source.

Actually, recognition of Aikikai rank issued by another dojo or organization is required by the international regulations. The problem being, if someone (especially someone of substance) chooses to ignore them there is no real avenue for appeal.

Petty, I know, but...fair is fair.

Best,

Chris

sakumeikan
06-21-2012, 02:01 AM
Dear All,
While I accept that the Aikikai may not be perfect and fails to address some issues I think the problem nowadays [at least in my experiences] is that there is too much political stuff going on between different groups.I have always believed in keeping an open door to anyone be they Aikikai /non Aikikai related. Recently I had occasion to make an enquiry about another non Aikikai groups Summer School.I received a message saying sorry we are sorry my presence would not be acceptable at the groups event.I wish to state that both the organizations Principal and one Senior member had on numerous occasions been guests at our events.The same applies at local level. There is little cross training /meeting with Aikikai /non Aikikai dojo in my area.I think some instructors want or need to be viewed as big fish in little pools. As far as Aikido unifying people is concerned I think this is a myth.Aikido is not to blame, its the petty , small minded, egocentric guys who perpetuate this situation.Rather than spend time and effort regarding the Hombu failings ,maybe we should try and attend to business closer to home.?Cheers, Joe

TCSSEC
06-21-2012, 08:44 PM
There may be a lot of underlying reasons for that, petty as they may be.

For example, if a student studied since the beginning with Shihan 'A' and before reaching Shodan, moved (city, town or even country) because of an opportunity (work, marraige partner interest etc..) and while there for an extended time trained and tested for Shodan there with Shihan 'B' - Both Shihans belonging to Aikikai... then returns 'home' and presents the certificate to the original Shihan for recognition... there is a chance that this original Shihan make take offense that the student simply took his Shodan exam with a different Shihan for a number of reasons. Maybe the two Shihan dislike each other... who knows. It may simply be a hard pill to swallow. I can see this from so many bad movie plots "I invested years into your training and then you go and do your Shodan with someone else?"

If I was the student in that situation I would contact my first Shihan and sought permission / blessing to grade for Shodan where I was currently living before simply doing so.

Firstly, I know that if I simply show up to another dojo within our organization without a letter of introduction from our association head (not my local Sensei), our Shihan, stating my rank and to please recogonize it and allow me to further my studies etc.. then I do not get to carry my rank with me. (Nor do I care as I 'know what I know' and I know there is always much to learn so... rank hardly matters...)

I suppose even at the point where I would return to my first Shihan in the example above and he told me he would only accept it if I did my exam again with him, I would do it. No big deal, passed it once already right? Just do not expect me to pay for it again. I understand he may want to see my ability for himself, see me take the test so he can be confident in backing up that certificate himself as well as my own ability to back it up representing him in his dojo.

None of what I have suggested above 'should' matter. I was just commenting on your specific mention of that situation and how 'there may be other circumstances'.

As for the whole 'Aikikai' issue (if there is one)

Within the Aikikai (or any organization) a rank issued by them 'should' apply throughout anyone associated with the orginization. This is why they issue the passports as a means of convenience for those that wish to intermix with other dojo inside the Aikikai (and in some cases out of it) as a means of common recognition of their rank via the issuing source.

That being said, the rank does not reflect the 'skill' per se. As it has been said, that is always down to the individual and their ability, not some distant organization. This is why I understand some Dojo cho's / Shihans / Sensei's will respectfully ask you to put on that white belt and train for a few months while they guage your ability and see if you are up to their measure of Shodan.

I do not 'dislike' the Aikikai. I have no reason to. Our organization is 'affliated' I believe. Our ranks are recognized with the Aikikai and dan certificates are issued from there.

Our association organizes its Seminars, invites Shihans from Japan when the opportunity arrises. Makes trips to Japan to go and see what it like to train around there... being part of the Aikikai allows for some of the political red tape to be kept to a minimum from what I understand HOWEVER (yes, it is that big) there is still more than enough politics within the Aikikai and around it to make training 'anywhere you want' even though you are part of the Aikikai, not even remotely possible.

Hi Stephen

I'm a little surprised that Takemusu is 'affiliated' with Aikikai - you group certainly has a history with Aikikai noting Iwama/Saito Sensei (deceased). But I stand corrected. Please give my regards to Ann Sensei, Drew etc.

Tom

Stephen Nichol
06-22-2012, 01:44 AM
Hi Stephen

I'm a little surprised that Takemusu is 'affiliated' with Aikikai - you group certainly has a history with Aikikai noting Iwama/Saito Sensei (deceased). But I stand corrected. Please give my regards to Ann Sensei, Drew etc.

Tom

Will do Tom.

Indeed our association shows that you do not have to burn all your bridges.

Still, some people choose to for whatever reasons are/were important to them at the time.

Personally I think everyone should train with as many people from as many lineages as they can and not compete while they compare the similarities and differences. There is to much to be gained from the sharing and more to be lost from not doing so.

TCSSEC
06-22-2012, 11:11 AM
"Why ..." This sensei's experience/observation may be relevant (but again 'don't like' is too strong/emotional?)

Look up this webpage for related issue:
http://www.nippon-kan.org/senseis_articles/10/false-profiteers.html