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MM
10-09-2012, 09:34 AM
The founder of AIKIDO, Morihei Ueshiba O-sensei, spent many years adapting techniques from Daito-Ryu Jujitsu and other martial arts to embody the principle of AWASE.

As far as I know, this is an unsupported idea. There idea that Ueshiba's aikido came from "other martial arts" is rather, well, wrong.

1. His primary and main influence was Sokaku Takeda and Daito ryu.
2. Footage of Ueshiba into his old age shows stock Daito ryu techniques, with atemi.
3. Driscoll has a corollary here on aikiweb showing a high percentage equivalence with Daito ryu.
4. After viewing other arts, Ueshiba would state, we'd do it this way with aiki.
5. Mochizuki lamented, not the fact that Ueshiba did other arts, but rather that he pared down the Daito ryu techniques.
6. Koshinage and tanto dori did not come from Morihei Ueshiba.
7. A set curriculum of techniques did not come from Morihei Ueshiba.

Everything Ueshiba did after meeting Takeda, was done with aiki. Aiki being the body changing method as taught to him by Sokaku Takeda.

When Ueshiba could not be pushed over by Tenryu, it wasn't because Ueshiba knew the secret of awase. (A: I know the secret of aiki)

When asked why no one could do what he could, Ueshiba didn't answer that it was because they misunderstood awase. (A: You do not understand in yo ho)

When students listened to him, they didn't complain that they had a hard time understanding awase. (A: Floating Bridge of Heaven, heaven/earth/man, Izanagi/Izanami, inyo, fire/water, etc See Chris Li's great translations for information)

Now, if we want to talk Modern Aikido and awase, that's a whole different story. But, tossing Morihei Ueshiba into the mix with awase as "an understanding of the aspect of AIKIDO that makes it unique among martial arts" ... well, I would say that aiki is the unique aspect.

Cliff Judge
10-09-2012, 11:27 AM
6. Koshinage and tanto dori did not come from Morihei Ueshiba.


I thought the general understanding was that classical Aikido koshinage comes from the branch of Yagyu Shingan ryu that Ueshiba studied?


Everything Ueshiba did after meeting Takeda, was done with aiki. Aiki being the body changing method as taught to him by Sokaku Takeda.


Why are you stating this as a fact?

MM
10-09-2012, 01:12 PM
I thought the general understanding was that classical Aikido koshinage comes from the branch of Yagyu Shingan ryu that Ueshiba studied?


As Driscoll noted, there are koshiguruma in Daito ryu. However, the "koshi nage" throws we see in Modern Aikido, I don't believe came from Ueshiba. It's my understanding that there were quite a few "koshi nage" techniques added from some people at Tokyo hombu. The devil is in the details, though. What and how Ueshiba did a technique was not, generally, the same as how Tokyo did them. I would find it more plausable that Ueshiba was doing koshiguruma than Modern Aikido's koshinage for the techniques he did.

While I'm told that there are IP/aiki training methods in koryu, some existing, some extinct (the training methods), it would be rather unique to find Ueshiba taking one small technique from another art when he's stuck to 99.9999% of Daito ryu because the art itself was all about IP/aiki. Still, yes, I do consider that it is a possibility. :)


Why are you stating this as a fact?

It is. Why is it that you don't know it? :) (Yes, it's the silly answer. I didn't know that I didn't know.)

Seriously, that's a long, involved, detailed answer that spans decades of work from a multitude of people. The end of that research shows a conclusion to what I stated. It is complex. It is rather striking in its simplicity. At the end of the day, it's still the truth.

Tengu859
10-09-2012, 01:15 PM
I thought the general understanding was that classical Aikido koshinage comes from the branch of Yagyu Shingan ryu that Ueshiba studied?

Why are you stating this as a fact?

Hello Cliff,

Not so sure that koshinage has its origin in Yagyu-ryu. I think there is a good case that it in fact comes from the Soden waza taught by Sokaku Takeda. But I must admit I've never seen the Yagyu techinque attributed to koshinage. Maybe in biased toward Daito-ryu...if you could a link to he Yagyu technique would be helpful. I would love to see it. Take care. :0)

All the Best,

ChrisW

Cliff Judge
10-09-2012, 01:31 PM
Hello Cliff,

Not so sure that koshinage has its origin in Yagyu-ryu. I think there is a good case that it in fact comes from the Soden waza taught by Sokaku Takeda. But I must admit I've never seen the Yagyu techinque attributed to koshinage. Maybe in biased toward Daito-ryu...if you could a link to he Yagyu technique would be helpful. I would love to see it. Take care. :0)

All the Best,

ChrisW

I was just referring to John Driscoll's article which is on this very forum. http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15096&highlight=Driscoll

Tengu859
10-09-2012, 01:54 PM
Hey Cliff,

I read it along with his other article and e-budo as well. I'm still not sure. Maybe Takeda stole it from Yagyu...guess we will never know for sure. Sorry for the thread drift guys. Take Care.

Thanks,
ChrisW

PS I like the idea that Takeda and Ueshiba, aikified what ever they felt like after seeing it. :0)

sorokod
10-09-2012, 02:48 PM
As far as I know, this is an unsupported idea. There idea that Ueshiba's aikido came from "other martial arts" is rather, well, wrong.


As far as I know, the weapon system didn't come from Daito-Ryu.

Cliff Judge
10-09-2012, 04:16 PM
Seriously, that's a long, involved, detailed answer that spans decades of work from a multitude of people. The end of that research shows a conclusion to what I stated. It is complex. It is rather striking in its simplicity. At the end of the day, it's still the truth.

Well I do not agree with you but I will certainly back away very very slowly. :crazy:

Carl Thompson
10-09-2012, 04:58 PM
Hello Mark


1. His primary and main influence was Sokaku Takeda and Daito ryu.
2. Footage of Ueshiba into his old age shows stock Daito ryu techniques, with atemi.
3. Driscoll has a corollary here on aikiweb showing a high percentage equivalence with Daito ryu.
4. After viewing other arts, Ueshiba would state, we'd do it this way with aiki.
5. Mochizuki lamented, not the fact that Ueshiba did other arts, but rather that he pared down the Daito ryu techniques.
6. Koshinage and tanto dori did not come from Morihei Ueshiba.
7. A set curriculum of techniques did not come from Morihei Ueshiba.

As I understand it, No.1 has not been denied regarding the physical and technical side of things in Iwama. As you say, atemi is normal in the aikido Osensei taught. A high percentage of Daito Ryu is not being refuted. That doesn't mean the sword wasn't derived from Kashima or the jo didn't come from unrelated spear work. Not to mention changes Osensei made himself to the technical repertoire (moving nikyo ura to the shoulder, iriminage) etc.

I understand you keep plenty of references, so I'd be interested in the Mochizuki quote if you have it.

Everything Ueshiba did after meeting Takeda, was done with aiki. Aiki being the body changing method as taught to him by Sokaku Takeda.

When Ueshiba could not be pushed over by Tenryu, it wasn't because Ueshiba knew the secret of awase. (A: I know the secret of aiki)

When asked why no one could do what he could, Ueshiba didn't answer that it was because they misunderstood awase. (A: You do not understand in yo ho)

When students listened to him, they didn't complain that they had a hard time understanding awase. (A: Floating Bridge of Heaven, heaven/earth/man, Izanagi/Izanami, inyo, fire/water, etc See Chris Li's great translations for information)

Now, if we want to talk Modern Aikido and awase, that's a whole different story. But, tossing Morihei Ueshiba into the mix with awase as "an understanding of the aspect of AIKIDO that makes it unique among martial arts" ... well, I would say that aiki is the unique aspect.

You might have educate me a little more on the terminology here: I thought IP (internal power) was the engine that is supposed to have driven the kind of strength that made Osensei immovable to Tenryu. I would equate that to kokyu-roku (teachers often say "onaka kara no chikara" - power from inside). It seems to me that the awase Alexander sensei is talking about is not kokyu-ryoku (IP). His articles on the related subject of kokyu-training have been around for years.

http://www.iwama-aikido.com/resist.html

Regards

Carl

gregstec
10-09-2012, 06:30 PM
PS I like the idea that Takeda and Ueshiba, aikified what ever they felt like after seeing it. :0)

You making up words again, buddy :)

Greg

MM
10-09-2012, 08:04 PM
I don't mind being wrong. :)

Daito ryu = guruma. Ueshiba did? From what I've seen, guruma. So, where exactly did koshi nage come from if Ueshiba didn't do it?

Weapons. Ueshiba doing weapons does not look like any koryu I know of or have seen. In fact, people keep trying to find the koryu he took things from. How about we take Ueshiba at his word ... with aiki, we would do it this way. Which leads us straight back to Daito ryu aiki, now in weapons. Courtesy of Sokaku Takeda.

My comments about awase are that it isn't what made Ueshiba's aikido unique. It was IP/aiki. Awase was for Modern Aikido. :)

The Mochizuki quote ... I'll have to dig, but I'm pretty sure I have it. Somewhere in archives. :)

Thanks,
Mark

Tengu859
10-09-2012, 08:08 PM
You making up words again, buddy :)

Greg

Howdy Greg,

YUUP...(in my loudest DaveHester voice)!!! If Takeda could make up pretzel waza on the spot...then I can make up words!!! :0)

Take Care,

ChrisW

MM
10-09-2012, 08:21 PM
1980 Black Belt Issue Vol 18 No 4. Article by David Orange, Jr. :)

Isn't a direct quote from Mochizuki. Paragraph reads:

Mochizuki does not wish to put himself on Uyeshiba's level, but he wonders why Uyeshiba employed only about 15 of the 350 techniques of daitoryu aikijujitsu in his aikido. "Between two well trained opponents," Mochizuki said, "a punch or kick or throw will have little effecct. the strongest one on the ground will win." Therefore, he places emphasis on judo.

Mark

sorokod
10-10-2012, 04:03 AM
I don't mind being wrong. :)

Weapons. Ueshiba doing weapons does not look like any koryu I know of or have seen. In fact, people keep trying to find the koryu he took things from. How about we take Ueshiba at his word ... with aiki, we would do it this way. Which leads us straight back to Daito ryu aiki, now in weapons. Courtesy of Sokaku Takeda.


Have a look at http://members.aikidojournal.com/public/exploring-the-founders-aikido/. Specifically
The Founder showed a great interest in the sword throughout his martial arts career. He even received a Yagyu Shinkage-ryu sword certification from Sokaku Takeda in 1922 although the exact content of his sword training under Sokaku is not known. Later in 1937, he officially joined the Kashima Shinto-ryu classical school which had an influence on his experimentation with the sword especially during the Iwama years from 1942 to about 1960.

O-Sensei made no attempt to codify or develop sword kata to be used formally in aikido training. The sword was for the Founder an extension of divine power to be used only for life-giving purposes. His sword work—and the same can be said of his jo—was merely a different tool for the expression of aiki movement based on the same universal principles as taijutsu techniques.


Looks congruent with OPs original statement of

The founder of AIKIDO, Morihei Ueshiba O-sensei, spent many years adapting techniques from Daito-Ryu Jujitsu and other martial arts to embody the principle of AWASE.

Chris Li
10-10-2012, 04:46 AM
I thought the general understanding was that classical Aikido koshinage comes from the branch of Yagyu Shingan ryu that Ueshiba studied?


Here's an interesting opinion from Yasuo Kobayashi:

While we're discussing this, as far as I know koshi-nage was not practiced much in the beginning. After Nishio and Kuroiwa researched it independently other instructors began to steal their techniques.

Best,

Chris

sorokod
10-10-2012, 06:09 AM
Link to a Noma dojo photo (1930s) of the Founder doing koshinage

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/9p7V4x0qtcWIR71yh0G0gcGyS-veHGQNQHs-WoXG3Do?feat=directlink

Chris Li
10-10-2012, 06:43 AM
Link to a Noma dojo photo (1930s) of the Founder doing koshinage

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/9p7V4x0qtcWIR71yh0G0gcGyS-veHGQNQHs-WoXG3Do?feat=directlink

I would class that as koshi guruma, rather than what Kuroiwa and Nishio were doing. Anyway, this seems to be getting side tracked from Mark's original point, which is that Awase and Aiki are not quite equivalent.

Not that there's anything wrong with awase...

In any case, I think that the argument that Ueshiba made substantial changes to Daito-ryu on a technical level, or the argument that he incorporated principles from many different martial arts of which Daito-ryu was one, is a hard one to support these days.

Best,

Chris

sorokod
10-10-2012, 07:03 AM
This is how Koshinage is done in the Iwama lineage at present, see here for example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOkH7USu_yw .Kuroiwa and Nishio were doing their own hip throws that were obviously different.


Mark Murray wrote:
6. Koshinage and tanto dori did not come from Morihei Ueshiba.

Not sure what "come from" means here but the Founder was doing this stuff since before the war.

Tengu859
10-10-2012, 07:19 AM
I would class that as koshi guruma, rather than what Kuroiwa and Nishio were doing. Anyway, this seems to be getting side tracked from Mark's original point, which is that Awase and Aiki are not quite equivalent.

Not that there's anything wrong with awase...

In any case, I think that the argument that Ueshiba made substantial changes to Daito-ryu on a technical level, or the argument that he incorporated principles from many different martial arts of which Daito-ryu was one, is a hard one to support these days.

Best,

Chris

Sorry Chris(steady tangent),

So do you feel that what Saito did in Iwama and what kuroiwa was doing at Hombu different? Kata garuma, koshinage...apples and oranges, or grannysmith, macintosh? I see in the Noma link what you mean, kata garuma, DR yes. Maybe I am just hung up on terminology, like aikinage, kokyunage. Thanks. :0)

Take Care,
ChrisW

sorokod
10-10-2012, 07:33 AM
Just to be clear about the name, in the Iwama system there is a specific technique called Koshinage. This is the technique demonstrated by Saito sensei in the video and this is how an Iwama practitioner would call the move the Founder is doing in the photo. It's not a generic name to the family of heap throws.

Cliff Judge
10-10-2012, 09:25 AM
You might have educate me a little more on the terminology here: I thought IP (internal power) was the engine that is supposed to have driven the kind of strength that made Osensei immovable to Tenryu. I would equate that to kokyu-roku (teachers often say "onaka kara no chikara" - power from inside). It seems to me that the awase Alexander sensei is talking about is not kokyu-ryoku (IP).

The "AWASE" concept really sounded to me like all of the stuff I try to work on that is supposed to happen before or without regard to any physical contact. Things that have to do with timing, awareness, communication, etc...I don't see IP having any bearing on these things, whereas I see them as all (including IP) as facets of aiki.

Carl Thompson
10-10-2012, 10:01 AM
1980 Black Belt Issue Vol 18 No 4. Article by David Orange, Jr. :)

Isn't a direct quote from Mochizuki. Paragraph reads:

Mochizuki does not wish to put himself on Uyeshiba's level, but he wonders why Uyeshiba employed only about 15 of the 350 techniques of daitoryu aikijujitsu in his aikido. "Between two well trained opponents," Mochizuki said, "a punch or kick or throw will have little effecct. the strongest one on the ground will win." Therefore, he places emphasis on judo.

Mark
Thank you.

If Osensei only employed 15 out of 350 Daito-ryu techniques, that makes the repertoire of techniques he left among his students in Iwama shockingly Daito-ryu-free:

What is commonly referred to as Iwama Aikido is a vast technical system consisting of taijutsu, aiki ken and aiki jo techniques. The taijutsu component alone includes somewhere in the vicinity of 600 techniques. Add the various weapons suburi and paired exercises and you have well over 1,000 distinct forms. From Stanley Pranin.
http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2012/03/19/the-iwama-aikido-conundrum-by-stanley-pranin/

Also Osensei himself said: (http://www.aikidofaq.com/interviews/interviews.html)
There are about 3,000 basic techniques, and each one of them has 16 variations . . . so there are many thousands. Depending on the situation, you create new ones.
I think the very definition of 'technique' and the concept of what that training method is trying to achieve can blur the boundaries. Maybe only 15 were left unaltered?


Daito ryu = guruma. Ueshiba did? From what I've seen, guruma. So, where exactly did koshi nage come from if Ueshiba didn't do it?

The Daito-ryu koshi-guruma is a hip throw. Osensei taught many throws involving the hips and they are known as koshinage (hip throws). According to this research (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14306), only two hip throws were in the Daito-Ryu Hiden (both referred to as koshiguruma): http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14306

Osensei left dozens in Iwama.

Basically, what Alexander Sensei said stands.

Morihiro Saito Shihan (interviewed by Stanley Pranin):
O-Sensei was greatly influenced by Daito-ryu. It is said that when he was practicing Daito-ryu he confronted many problems so he tried various other arts including Aioi-ryu before the war. After the war when he resumed practicing in Iwama his aikido had changed dramatically. Even though he had been influenced by Daito-ryu there are many distinct differences between O-Sensei's aikido and Daito-ryu. For example, aikido is taught from hanmi, but hanmi is not taught in Daito-ryu. Neither is kokyuho. Although Daito-ryu has many tewaza (hand techniques), the body movements often clash with the opponent's movement. Daito-ryu does not include the idea of the unity of the sword, jo and taijutsu. These are changes O-Sensei incorporated during the Iwama period. Many Daito-ryu techniques were not particularly effective against an opponent who had been trained even slightly in martial arts. Although there were a large number of techniques, many of them were not that effective.

Furthermore...


Weapons. Ueshiba doing weapons does not look like any koryu I know of or have seen. In fact, people keep trying to find the koryu he took things from. How about we take Ueshiba at his word ... with aiki, we would do it this way. Which leads us straight back to Daito ryu aiki, now in weapons. Courtesy of Sokaku Takeda.

Well I said Kashima Shinto Ryu earlier. This is what AJ says about that particular koryu:
A traditional Japanese martial art school with a 500-year history whose sword has a clearly demonstrable influence on the development of the AIKI KEN. This school is a composite system whose curriculum consists of various weapons including the BOKKEN, YARI, NAGINATA, etc. Morihei Ueshiba formally enrolled in this classical school along with Zenzaburo AKAZAWA in May 1937 by signing with blood oaths (KEPPAN). The influence of the Kashima Shinto-ryu sword in aikido can be seen by a comparison of the ichi no tachi sword of this school and the first kumitachi of the AIKI KEN as taught by Morihiro SAITO; the two are virtually identical. Other similar movements can be seen in fragmented form in the sword practices of Saito. The techniques of this school were demonstrated in the AIKI NEWS FRIENDSHIP DEMONSTRATION III in 1987.
http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclopedia.php?entryID=358


My comments about awase are that it isn't what made Ueshiba's aikido unique. It was IP/aiki. Awase was for Modern Aikido. :)
Aren't the IP crowd saying that IP/Aiki is not unique to Osensei and can be found in other martial arts?

I also wonder how you define awase. Like koshinage, it is just a word in Japanese that is not tied to a specific way of doing things. I can use awase with the staff in my office when we share the photocopier. People using the term arrange it with other words to show what they mean by it and in the context of Alexander Sensei's articles, I don't think he meant the overly compliant practice that plagues much of modern aikido. Another way of looking at awase is as musubi (connection).

Regards

Carl

Demetrio Cereijo
10-10-2012, 10:25 AM
6. Koshinage and tanto dori did not come from Morihei Ueshiba.


There are tanto dori in noma dojo pics. You can see irimi nage, kote gaeshi and gokyo there.

oisin bourke
10-10-2012, 10:26 AM
What Morihiro Saito stated about Daito ryu is misinformed. Kokyu ho is taught (although it is not called that) When doing a technique correctly, you should NOT clash with Uke (although to an inexperienced observer it may look like that). And as for effectiveness, well , I thought Saito would have a bit more class. That"s just stirring the pot.

sorokod
10-10-2012, 10:57 AM
Kokyu ho is taught (although it is not called that)

How is Kokyu ho called in the style of Daito-ryu you practice?

Tengu859
10-10-2012, 11:02 AM
Hello,

As far as the research(Of Oak Leaves, Blind Hogs, and an Acorn)goes, the decription of koshi garuma given is not the same across the Daito-ryu board. In the Takumakai, there is extension of uke to draw them over the hips, and there is no raising or lowering of the hip in the throw. It's done more like the decription of Ueshiba's koshinage...So where does this come from originally? Stolen, made up? I don't know. But it is intresting. :0)

Thanks,

ChrisW

Tengu859
10-10-2012, 11:35 AM
How is Kokyu ho called in the style of Daito-ryu you practice?

David,

We call it aikiage in the Takumakai. Other schools call it agete. I'm sure there are others as well.

Take Care,

ChrisW

sorokod
10-10-2012, 01:35 PM
Thanks Chris.

oisin bourke
10-10-2012, 02:20 PM
How is Kokyu ho called in the style of Daito-ryu you practice?

As Chris W stated, along with Aiki sage, (both principles are done in ikkajo, the fundamental technique), not to mention techniques such as mune aiki and fure aiki, which also explore kokyu (also known as kuki) waza.

These are not usually talked about, but I am highlighting them here to illustrate Saito's rather surprising ignorance of the art. It's surprising because Deshi as diverse as Shirata Sensei, Sunadomari Sensei and Arikawa Sensei demonstrate a compendium of techniques derived from the Daito Ryu corpus (While still remaining faithful to Ueshiba Sensei's Aikido).

grondahl
10-10-2012, 03:24 PM
These are not usually talked about, but I am highlighting them here to illustrate Saito's rather surprising ignorance of the art. It's surprising because Deshi as diverse as Shirata Sensei, Sunadomari Sensei and Arikawa Sensei demonstrate a compendium of techniques derived from the Daito Ryu corpus (While still remaining faithful to Ueshiba Sensei's Aikido).

It´s surprising that many posters in this thread are not aware of the Iwama-style koshinage (and koshi guruma over the shoulders as well) since they can google it, but that blue collar worker that worked long hours besides his devotion to aikido such a Saito lacks knowledge about an art that he never studied is hardly surprising.

Chris Li
10-10-2012, 04:15 PM
Sorry Chris(steady tangent),

So do you feel that what Saito did in Iwama and what kuroiwa was doing at Hombu different? Kata garuma, koshinage...apples and oranges, or grannysmith, macintosh? I see in the Noma link what you mean, kata garuma, DR yes. Maybe I am just hung up on terminology, like aikinage, kokyunage. Thanks. :0)

Take Care,
ChrisW

In terms of the outer technical application - yes. In terms of what's happening in the internals - well, that's what everybody argues about, right? :)

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
10-10-2012, 04:27 PM
It�s surprising that many posters in this thread are not aware of the Iwama-style koshinage (and koshi guruma over the shoulders as well) since they can google it, but that blue collar worker that worked long hours besides his devotion to aikido such a Saito lacks knowledge about an art that he never studied is hardly surprising.

Well, if you accept that he knows nothing about Daito-ryu - then how can you accept his statements about the "changes" that were supposedly implemented?

It seems to me that he was wrong in every example of the modifications that he cited.

Best,

Chris

odudog
10-10-2012, 07:52 PM
From my book written by OSensei's son, aikido is derived from three other arts. Daito-ryu being one of them and the main influence. Kito-ryu is also a contributor. Kito-ryu means up & down as said by the author. I forget what the third art is.

As far as the paring down of Daito-ryu. From what I can tell and derived from my own research. Aikido contains many of the Daito-ryu techniques, but we don't the very specific name for each one. OSensei tended to put many of the things into a "class" rather than have a specific name. So while Daito-ryu could have five distinct techniques due to small variations, aikido would just label them all as just iriminage for example.

oisin bourke
10-11-2012, 01:02 AM
It´s surprising that many posters in this thread are not aware of the Iwama-style koshinage (and koshi guruma over the shoulders as well) since they can google it, but that blue collar worker that worked long hours besides his devotion to aikido such a Saito lacks knowledge about an art that he never studied is hardly surprising.

Well, then he shouldn't have made publicly disparaging statements.about said art. In fact, it also disparages Ueshiba Morihei, as indicates that he only had a superficial knowledge of DR (something I don't believe).

Oh, and what Chris said.

grondahl
10-11-2012, 02:52 AM
Well, if you accept that he knows nothing about Daito-ryu - then how can you accept his statements about the "changes" that were supposedly implemented?

It seems to me that he was wrong in every example of the modifications that he cited.

Best,

Chris

I dont and I do not think that this is the first case in aikido history where a teacher expresses opinions about a domain of knowledge where they dont have expert level knowledge.

Chris Li
10-11-2012, 04:11 AM
From my book written by OSensei's son, aikido is derived from three other arts. Daito-ryu being one of them and the main influence. Kito-ryu is also a contributor. Kito-ryu means up & down as said by the author. I forget what the third art is.

He never studied Kito-ryu, just a little Kodokan Judo with a young sho-dan. In the light of Stan's research, and in the light of greater knowledge of Daito-ryu, it's really untenable to assert that what Kisshomaru wrote is correct.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
10-11-2012, 04:13 AM
I dont and I do not think that this is the first case in aikido history where a teacher expresses opinions about a domain of knowledge where they dont have expert level knowledge.

Then you're agreeing with Mark? I think that the koshi-nage thing is a red herring that got the conversation off track.

Best,

Chris

Tengu859
10-11-2012, 07:04 AM
Then you're agreeing with Mark? I think that the koshi-nage thing is a red herring that got the conversation off track.

Best,

Chris

Hey,

A man's gotta eat...Why not fish!!! Sorry guy and gals, I'm out. ;0)

Take Care All,

ChrisW

sorokod
10-11-2012, 07:04 AM
O-Sensei was greatly influenced by Daito-ryu. It is said that when he was practicing Daito-ryu he confronted many problems so he tried various other arts including Aioi-ryu before the war. After the war when he resumed practicing in Iwama his aikido had changed dramatically. Even though he had been influenced by Daito-ryu there are many distinct differences between O-Sensei's aikido and Daito-ryu. For example, aikido is taught from hanmi, but hanmi is not taught in Daito-ryu. Neither is kokyuho. Although Daito-ryu has many tewaza (hand techniques), the body movements often clash with the opponent's movement. Daito-ryu does not include the idea of the unity of the sword, jo and taijutsu. These are changes O-Sensei incorporated during the Iwama period. Many Daito-ryu techniques were not particularly effective against an opponent who had been trained even slightly in martial arts. Although there were a large number of techniques, many of them were not that effective.


Several things come to mind here:


It is possible the Saito shihan is quoting the Founder here.
Saito shihan became the Founders student in 1946. It is likely that what was taught at that time was closer to Daito-ryu (Takumakai?) more than to Aikido some on this thread are now practicing. Maybe closer to Daito-ryu then to Daito-ryu some on this thread are now practicing.
Aikisage and Kokyuho. There is some disagreement on this forum (search for Aikisage), if Aikisage - the principal is the same as Kokyuho - the principal.
Hanmi. Looking at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZczkJwsFFA ,it doesn't seem to be a popular stance with Daito-ryu practitioners.
This and more has been discussed on e-budo, so have a look "Interview: Saito Morihiro (Aikido) & Daito-ryu": http://www.e-budo.com/forum/printthread.php?t=50508

MM
10-11-2012, 07:05 AM
Then you're agreeing with Mark? I think that the koshi-nage thing is a red herring that got the conversation off track.

Best,

Chris

Hi Chris,

So, if we drop that section, think it'll help get the conversation moving forward? :)

Chris Li
10-11-2012, 07:12 AM
Several things come to mind here:


It is possible the Saito shihan is quoting the Founder here.


It's quite likely that Saito's quoting the Founder here, IMO.

That doesn't mean that what he's saying is correct - and it opens up some other conversations about whether or not the Founder was always representing things truthfully.

Best,

Chris

sorokod
10-11-2012, 07:20 AM
Well its a valid conversation but I cant help thinking that the Founders point of view is objectively unique and different from ours in that that it is "from the inside" with intimate knowledge of the continuum [Daito-ryu...Aikido] and [1915..1969]

Chris Li
10-11-2012, 07:26 AM
Well its a valid conversation but I cant help thinking that the Founders point of view is objectively unique and different from ours in that that it is "from the inside" with intimate knowledge of the continuum [Daito-ryu...Aikido] and [1915..1969]

Well, it's unique, but not necessarily objective. The Founder was just as prone to bending facts as anybody else, and it's important to keep that in mind when considering certain statements - and considering what certain instructors base their own statements upon.

Best,

Chris

sorokod
10-11-2012, 08:09 AM
Makes sense but you need to be reasonable to what extent you apply the "bending the facts" approach.

For the statement "hanmi is not taught in Daito-ryu" (assuming it a quote from the Founder) we have Shirata Rinjiro saying



"The stance employed in Aikido is hanmi, adapted by the Founder from the clasical Yagyu school of swordsmanship"
-Aikido, the Way of Harmony

(see http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=wbk9AAAAIAAJ&lpg=PA53&ots=3Hp7TAs97p&dq=%22aikido%20is%20hanmi%22&pg=PA53#v=onepage&q=%22aikido%20is%20hanmi%22&f=false )

It is possible off course that Shirata is "bending the facts" but do you have a good reason to think that?

Ernesto Lemke
10-11-2012, 11:56 AM
That would be Shirata per Stevens then. There is no reference that is a direct quote.

sorokod
10-11-2012, 12:07 PM
Ernesto, on the book cover we have

JOHN STEVENS under the direction of SHIRATA RINJIRO

so I could have said that: Stevens said that Shirata said etc...

Are you correcting the quote or are you implying that in the quoted passage Stevens misrepresents Shirata?

Chris Li
10-11-2012, 03:03 PM
Makes sense but you need to be reasonable to what extent you apply the "bending the facts" approach.

For the statement "hanmi is not taught in Daito-ryu" (assuming it a quote from the Founder) we have Shirata Rinjiro saying

(see http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=wbk9AAAAIAAJ&lpg=PA53&ots=3Hp7TAs97p&dq=%22aikido%20is%20hanmi%22&pg=PA53#v=onepage&q=%22aikido%20is%20hanmi%22&f=false )

It is possible off course that Shirata is "bending the facts" but do you have a good reason to think that?

It could be that is what he was told, or what he heard from another source (he was friendly with Saito, for example).

The most telling reason to believe that the hanmi statement is not accurate is that hanmi exists in Daito-ryu, although it's not usually used as a starting position (not never, just not usually) - some basic examples appear here: http://youtu.be/M23L0D9XrB0

Really, hanmi is not a mysterious innovation of Morihei Ueshiba, you see it in most Japanese arts. Further, hanmi is, to my mind, peripheral to the main question here - whether or not awase is really the same as aiki.

Best,

Chris

gregstec
10-11-2012, 06:53 PM
It could be that is what he was told, or what he heard from another source (he was friendly with Saito, for example).

The most telling reason to believe that the hanmi statement is not accurate is that hanmi exists in Daito-ryu, although it's not usually used as a starting position (not never, just not usually) - some basic examples appear here: http://youtu.be/M23L0D9XrB0

Really, hanmi is not a mysterious innovation of Morihei Ueshiba, you see it in most Japanese arts. Further, hanmi is, to my mind, peripheral to the main question here - whether or not awase is really the same as aiki.

Best,

Chris

In my limited experience with DR, I have found Hanmi to be prevalent in the lower level jujutsu waza of the art - however with the higher level aiki DR, there is no hanmi - just my opinion of course :)

Greg

Ernesto Lemke
10-12-2012, 10:01 AM
Are you correcting the quote or are you implying that in the quoted passage Stevens misrepresents Shirata?

Neither. I’m mostly pointing out that it’s not a given (in the sense that it’s not all that clear) to me that it is Shirata’s view that is represented here. For instance, Stevens added a short biography of the Founder to the book which surely contains information that came via Shirata but is as much the product of Stevens’ own research (IOW via other sources then Shirata). In other parts of the book Stevens sometimes mentions quite clearly when passages are either a summary of or references to Shirata’s point of view. Regarding hanmi I don’t find such a reference so it’s left open to debate.
Anyway, I second what Chris said, it has little to do with the main question.

DH
10-12-2012, 01:15 PM
In my limited experience with DR, I have found Hanmi to be prevalent in the lower level jujutsu waza of the art - however with the higher level aiki DR, there is no hanmi - just my opinion of course :)

Greg

It's worth noting that not all "Hanmi" is the same anyway. So pointing out -a- particular hanmi is more exact. That said, beyond its use to make your "martial art" more uniform,(and lets face it, we all have to do that to one degree or another in our arts) I can make a case for it being practically useless to even being detrimental to stability in actual combative movement.
Speaking of Stevens and supposed quotes from Osensei....
Remember; Ueshiba never said stand in hanmi in the supposed quote Stevens offered. He actually said stand with six direction awareness ; before, during and after each technique." This has a veeery different and deeper meaning to someone educated in the higher level arts like Ueshiba was. It is an exact term used.
Sadly, most translators were not so well educated in the deeper teachings, well known terminology of them and the concepts they described and thier meaning...no matter how long they trained. I value and appreciate people having twenty years of experience-but as I am being told by hundreds of teachers with up to 45 years in-they are now realizing much of what they were taught was...well...missing critical, known and path changing information
Chris Li is correcting many of the earlier mistakes.
Dan

DH
10-12-2012, 01:35 PM
At what point does "tradition" have real value as opposed to what we have been told? When does accuracy and walking in tune with what the founder actually said and actually practiced take the forefront of our research.
Dan

Cliff Judge
10-12-2012, 03:02 PM
It's worth noting that not all "Hanmi" is the same anyway. So pointing out -a- particular hanmi is more exact. That said, beyond its use to make your "martial art" more uniform,(and lets face it, we all have to do that to one degree or another in our arts) I can make a case for it being practically useless to even being detrimental to stability in actual combative movement.


So if you use hanmi at your dojo, it's a "martial art." In quotes.

At what point does "tradition" have real value as opposed to what we have been told? When does accuracy and walking in tune with what the founder actually said and actually practiced take the forefront of our research.
Dan

Tradition, to make a definition for the sake of being clear here, is what your teachers teach you. It is as valid as it is a representation of what they were taught by their teachers, and their teachers were taught by THEIR teachers, etc. If you are smart you pick your teacher as best you can and constantly reevaluate your level of faith in whether or not what he is teaching you is a transmission from Osensei (or whomever).

As far as what the founder actually said, there has been lots of research done there by folks like Stan Pranin, Peter Goldsbury, Chris Li, etc. For me context is still a huge issue when looking at these things. This thread has a lot of examples - people are posting quotations and everybody is like "that sounds like he has no idea what he is talking about!"

And as far as "walking in tune with what the founder actually practiced...." are we all confident we have now figured out exactly what that is? Because I think it is one thing to note that modern Aikido may be different than what Osensei actually practiced because there aren't a lot of people who are near that skill level. It is quite another to say "THIS is exactly what he was doing" because you don't know that. How can you? The best you can do is train with someone who trained with him.

lars beyer
10-12-2012, 04:24 PM
So if you use hanmi at your dojo, it's a "martial art." In quotes.

Tradition, to make a definition for the sake of being clear here, is what your teachers teach you. It is as valid as it is a representation of what they were taught by their teachers, and their teachers were taught by THEIR teachers, etc. If you are smart you pick your teacher as best you can and constantly reevaluate your level of faith in whether or not what he is teaching you is a transmission from Osensei (or whomever).

As far as what the founder actually said, there has been lots of research done there by folks like Stan Pranin, Peter Goldsbury, Chris Li, etc. For me context is still a huge issue when looking at these things. This thread has a lot of examples - people are posting quotations and everybody is like "that sounds like he has no idea what he is talking about!"

And as far as "walking in tune with what the founder actually practiced...." are we all confident we have now figured out exactly what that is? Because I think it is one thing to note that modern Aikido may be different than what Osensei actually practiced because there aren't a lot of people who are near that skill level. It is quite another to say "THIS is exactly what he was doing" because you don't know that. How can you? The best you can do is train with someone who trained with him.

Thanks Cliff, absolutely to the point.
Cheers
Lars

Chris Li
10-12-2012, 04:34 PM
The best you can do is train with someone who trained with him.

The best you can do, IMO, is someone who can replicate what he showed, can explain it, and can teach you how to do it.

That might be someone who trained with him...or it might not.

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge
10-12-2012, 05:45 PM
The best you can do, IMO, is someone who can replicate what he showed, can explain it, and can teach you how to do it.

That might be someone who trained with him...or it might not.

Best,

Chris

Let's start with "what he showed." How can you know even know what that is without having trained with him?

Chris Li
10-12-2012, 06:01 PM
Let's start with "what he showed." How can you know even know what that is without having trained with him?

How could you know anything about anybody you've never met?

For that matter, how do you know that the people who trained with him know what that is? Any number of them have said that various others of them didn't know - many of them said themselves that they didn't know.

Like anything else, you look at the information you have and form your opinion.

All of which is irrelevant to my point - which is just because somebody spent some time with someone doesn't mean that they are the best person to teach you what that person was doing.

Best,

Chris

hughrbeyer
10-12-2012, 06:03 PM
It's worth noting that not all "Hanmi" is the same anyway. So pointing out -a- particular hanmi is more exact. That said, beyond its use to make your "martial art" more uniform,(and lets face it, we all have to do that to one degree or another in our arts) I can make a case for it being practically useless to even being detrimental to stability in actual combative movement.
So if you use hanmi at your dojo, it's a "martial art." In quotes.

Tradition, to make a definition for the sake of being clear here, is what your teachers teach you.

Easy, boy. Given that Dan goes on to acknowledge that we all have to bring some uniformity to our arts, I don't think those quotes are intended to be derogatory.

More interesting is the point Dan raises, which is what exactly do we mean by hanmi? There's a very powerful, basic stance that shows up in Kashima Shin Ryu which could be called hanmi, though it's not the heel-in-line-with-front-foot hanmi that aikidoka love. There's also a very exaggerated feet-in-line-but-turned-out version that never made sense to me until some students of Shirata Sensei showed me what's really going on with it.

As for tradition, what your teacher teaches is what they teach. Tradition is the whole background behind them, which they can pass on or not depending on ability and inclination. The two aren't the same.

sorokod
10-12-2012, 06:21 PM
A link to a picasa album I quickly put together, mainly the Founder in hanmi

https://picasaweb.google.com/sorokod/Hanmi02?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCOGDnrC26K60pgE&feat=directlink

Will be interesting to see more such photos, in particular there is a nice one of the founder with a theatre troupe which I have not been able to locate.

graham christian
10-12-2012, 06:29 PM
What we have been told is part of tradition. Tradition is the handing down of things, passing on, usually verbally. Be it customs, stories, beliefs etc.

As all styles of Aikido have things handed down in such a way then they are by definition all traditional.

The question is thereafter only which traditions does each follow and which do they decide not to.

Value of such is personal to those who follow the ones they do. Thus immeasurable.

Research can merely note this. No other significance as I see it.

Peace.G.

Chris Li
10-12-2012, 06:44 PM
A link to a picasa album I quickly put together, mainly the Founder in hanmi

https://picasaweb.google.com/sorokod/Hanmi02?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCOGDnrC26K60pgE&feat=directlink

Will be interesting to see more such photos, in particular there is a nice one of the founder with a theatre troupe which I have not been able to locate.

Nice pictures - but what's the point in relation to:

The founder of AIKIDO, Morihei Ueshiba O-sensei, spent many years adapting techniques from Daito-Ryu Jujitsu and other martial arts to embody the principle of AWASE.

Which was how this thing got started...

Best,

Chris

sorokod
10-12-2012, 06:53 PM
This is in relation to your "how can you know" comment and Dan's "Remember; Ueshiba never said stand in hanmi in the supposed quote Stevens offered."

Chris Li
10-12-2012, 08:40 PM
This is in relation to your "how can you know" comment and Dan's "Remember; Ueshiba never said stand in hanmi in the supposed quote Stevens offered."

Dan's referring to the 60 degree thing, I think. I've posted a blog (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-02-27/morihei-ueshiba-budo-and-kamae) about that one. I'm not sure how it addresses "how do you know" except on a very gross scale. Neither of those really go to the original question, IMO.

Best,

Chris

Carl Thompson
10-14-2012, 04:57 PM
Hello Chris
Well, it's unique, but not necessarily objective. The Founder was just as prone to bending facts as anybody else, and it's important to keep that in mind when considering certain statements - and considering what certain instructors base their own statements upon.


It's quite likely that Saito's quoting the Founder here, IMO.

That doesn't mean that what he's saying is correct - and it opens up some other conversations about whether or not the Founder was always representing things truthfully.

Best,

Chris
As I have come to understand it, purposely misrepresenting the truth (as Osensei saw it - as one of Japan's premiere martial artists), would jar severely with his spiritual training -- which he connected to his physical training. He was human, but one with a pattern for having no disparity between thought and deed.

Takuma Hisa said that aikido and Daito-ryu were essentially the same. His opinion was based upon training with Ueshiba first (1931) then later with Takeda (1936). Saito Sensei was around at a time when he would have met and trained with plenty of old sempai (including Mochizuki) who had strong backgrounds in the Budo that Osensei taught before he started calling it aikido. In the interview I quoted, Saito Sensei began with "It was said..." and whichever sempai he is referencing, his experience in the dojo clearly tallied with significant changes to the art.


Really, hanmi is not a mysterious innovation of Morihei Ueshiba, you see it in most Japanese arts. Further, hanmi is, to my mind, peripheral to the main question here - whether or not awase is really the same as aiki.


Koshinage and punching are not mysterious innovations either. As your video link shows, the hanmi Osensei developed in Iwama is different in form and application. Hanmi is not peripheral either since it is the cornerstone of awase. As Alexander Sensei said, aikido as Osensei defined it (born in Iwama) was derived from Daito-Ryu and other arts, a couple of which have been mentioned.

As I have come to see it, awase/musubi is a part of Takemusu Aiki.

I like the work you are doing correlating Osensei's words with kokyu/Aiki training found in Daito-Ryu and Chinese arts. There has been very little reference to what Osensei did in creating aikido from Daito-Ryu and other arts in Iwama. Whole books have been written without anyone actually coming here and looking at the Aiki Jinja and asking how its design relates to the way Osensei taught, or looking at his library, talking to the people who trained with him in that period etc. Your welcome to David Alexander was surprisingly frosty (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21213)considering the wealth of information he has that could help you.

Regards

Carl

Carl Thompson
10-14-2012, 04:59 PM
It's worth noting that not all "Hanmi" is the same anyway. So pointing out -a- particular hanmi is more exact. That said, beyond its use to make your "martial art" more uniform,(and lets face it, we all have to do that to one degree or another in our arts) I can make a case for it being practically useless to even being detrimental to stability in actual combative movement.

Hello Dan

What kind of hanmi did Osensei teach in Iwama? Where did he get them from and what do they do?

Carl

Chris Li
10-14-2012, 05:22 PM
As I have come to understand it, purposely misrepresenting the truth (as Osensei saw it - as one of Japan's premiere martial artists), would jar severely with his spiritual training -- which he connected to his physical training. He was human, but one with a pattern for having no disparity between thought and deed.

Well, I have him on tape purposely misrepresenting the truth. And that's just the clearest instance. Plenty of people with spiritual training misrepresent things.

As for the rest, well, I've been to Iwama many times - I've also spoken to most of the principle post war figures at one time or another.

My reply to David - well, I didn't think it was frosty at all.

How many Sensei would do something like that for a student, especially a gaijin?

I think that's the wrong way to look at instructors, that's all.

Best,

Chris

Carl Thompson
10-15-2012, 07:37 AM
As for the rest, well, I've been to Iwama many times - I've also spoken to most of the principle post war figures at one time or another.
And yet this statement is a matter of debate for you:
The founder of AIKIDO, Morihei Ueshiba O-sensei, spent many years adapting techniques from Daito-Ryu Jujitsu and other martial arts to embody the principle of AWASE.
And you consider this a question:
Further, hanmi is, to my mind, peripheral to the main question here - whether or not awase is really the same as aiki.
I know you have visited Iwama. I think it was clear that I was referring to the current research you and others are doing related to IP/Aiki. Are you saying you came to Iwama as an IP/Aiki proponent in relation to this?

Regards

Carl

MM
10-15-2012, 08:36 AM
I also wonder how you define awase. Like koshinage, it is just a word in Japanese that is not tied to a specific way of doing things. I can use awase with the staff in my office when we share the photocopier. People using the term arrange it with other words to show what they mean by it and in the context of Alexander Sensei's articles, I don't think he meant the overly compliant practice that plagues much of modern aikido. Another way of looking at awase is as musubi (connection).

Regards

Carl

To quote David Alexander:


The concept of AWASE is to merge into an opponent's attacking movement and take control. During the initial engagement the defender maintains perfect balance and perfect stance, whereas the technique is designed such that the balance and stance of the attacker are destroyed. The attacker is thereby brought under control immediately. The technique is completed by continuing the movement into a joint lock, pin, throw, etc.

A general conception of AIKIDO is that the principle is to use an attacker's own power against him. Although this is true to some extent, AWASE is more dynamic. The defender uses his own body movement to merge into the attacker's power. It is also possible to initiate a movement that will create an attack into the defender's sphere of control. After the initial engagement, the attacker's power is irrelevant because his balance is gone and he cannot bring his power to bear.

As an analogy to AWASE, consider trying to stop a train that is coming down the tracks. Standing on the tracks and trying to stop the train by physically overpowering it will not be expected to work. However, running next to the train, jumping aboard, moving to the engineer's compartment, overcoming the engineer and applying the brakes will produce the desired result of stopping the train. This is comparable to AWASE in that no attempt is made to directly oppose power, but control is gained by merging into the power and disabling it.

Please make note of the items in bold, which I added.

This defining of awase is how most of Modern Aikido attempts to work. The "defender" physically, actively merges into the attack. However, this was not how Morihei Ueshiba did things. Primarily, this can be verified by the endless and repetitive and common push tests that Morihei Ueshiba did. Ueshiba stood on the train tracks and did not move. The train stopped and did what Ueshiba wanted it to do, mostly go another route off the tracks.

And how did Ueshiba accomplish this? Let's go back to Tenryu, who stood over 6 feet and weighed a whole lot more than Ueshiba. Tenryu was most definitely the train. Did Ueshiba get off the tracks, use body movement to run alongside, then jump aboard? No, he sat there and Tenryu was the one to be stopped. Flick of the wrist and Tenryu went off his tracks elsewhere.

How? Ueshiba: "I knew the secret of aiki." Not awase. Not the view of awase prevalent in Modern Aikido such as the train example given. Not blending with an attack. Ueshiba knew the secret of aiki which allowed him to make the attacker do what he wanted. Or in more spiritual terms, Ueshiba became the Universe and the attacker (one very small planet) had no other choice than to become part of the Universe and go along with whatever the Universe wanted. It would be silly to think the Universe (you know, that extremely large cosmic body filled with trillions of planets and suns) to get out of the way of a small planet, run alongside it, join with it, and then move it somewhere.

Aiki vs Awase.
Ueshiba=aiki
Modern Aikido=awase

sorokod
10-15-2012, 10:32 AM
However, this was not how Morihei Ueshiba did things.

I think that this is pretty much how he did things, have a look at this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wewCJLban8 ( it even has AIKI in its name ).

For your statement to be correct a typical demonstration by the Founder would consist of him not moving at all and ukes rushing and bouncing off him. This is not the case in this video and not in the majority of others. There are some videos of "push tests" such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoDK3XuvZWw#t00m42s#t=0m42s but they are easily countable minority rather then "endless and repetitive and common".

DH
10-15-2012, 11:18 AM
For your statement to be correct a typical demonstration by the Founder would consist of him not moving at all and ukes rushing and bouncing off him. This is not the case in this video and not in the majority of others. There are some videos of "push tests" such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoDK3XuvZWw#t00m42s#t=0m42s but they are easily countable minority rather then "endless and repetitive and common".
That's not true, David
Aiki has no requirement to stand still or move. In fact the age old "Motion in stillness and stillness in motion" pretty much addresses that idea. So does all of the founders quotes on what aiki is as something he trained within himself (opposing forces, aiki being a circle, the circle being opposing forces, heaven/earth/man dual opposing spirals) all mentioned in relation to movement...within yourself...All of which contradict the idea that it is awase. THAT...happens after.

Awase is done by pretty much every human being in martial arts. It is neither unique or unusual to aikido and requires no aiki at all. The idea of having aiki within you makes the quality of the connection on contact something different.
Aiki in me before aiki between thee and me.
Dan

MM
10-15-2012, 11:36 AM
I think that this is pretty much how he did things, have a look at this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wewCJLban8 ( it even has AIKI in its name ).


Yep, and pretty much millions of people training in aikido think this way. And millions of people over 40+ years doing exactly this kind of awase training you subscribe to has produced ... no one of Shioda's level, let alone Ueshiba's. Why can't we do what you're doing, Ueshiba? Because you don't understand inyo. Not, because you don't understand awase.


For your statement to be correct a typical demonstration by the Founder would consist of him not moving at all and ukes rushing and bouncing off him. This is not the case in this video and not in the majority of others. There are some videos of "push tests" such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoDK3XuvZWw#t00m42s#t=0m42s but they are easily countable minority rather then "endless and repetitive and common".

For a start, read this thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14991

Then research it. :)

Mark

sorokod
10-15-2012, 11:40 AM
That's not true, David
Aiki has no requirement to stand still or move. In fact the age old "Motion in stillness and stillness in motion" pretty much addresses that idea. So does all of the founders quotes on what aiki is as something he trained within himself (opposing forces, aiki being a circle, the circle being opposing forces, heaven/earth/man dual opposing spirals) all mentioned in relation to movement...within yourself...All of which contradict the idea that it is awase. THAT...happens after.

Awase is done by pretty much every human being in martial arts. It is neither unique or unusual to aikido and requires no aiki at all. The idea of having aiki within you makes the quality of the connection on contact something different.
Aiki in me before aiki between thee and me.
Dan

Not moving was merely my interpretation of Mark's statement that The train stopped and did what Ueshiba wanted it to do, mostly go another route off the tracks..

If you look at the evidence left by the Founder, you need to consider the whole thing and looking at the videos, in most of them, he is doing waza. A very good waza with a very good awase.

DH
10-15-2012, 11:46 AM
Wouldn't you think at some point the community would be able to answer questions like

Why did the founder talk about solo work in discussions of aiki?
Why did the founder do Solo training all the time?
What were his goals?
How did he get such crazy power?
How come no one else has it?
Was he a one-off?
Why did he then point to and use exact terminology for power building from china that also matches Koryu use of the same terminology?
How come?
Why?
What does it mean?
Did other people who know about it have power like Ueshiba?
Why....why...yes!! They did!!!

Why?
What is this stuff that others know about?
It must be important.
How do we do it?


I think those are questions worth consideration by anyone in their own art, but with a founder like Ueshiba? All the more reason to do so.
Dan

DH
10-15-2012, 11:55 AM
Not moving was merely my interpretation of Mark's statement that .
If you look at the evidence left by the Founder, you need to consider the whole thing and looking at the videos, in most of them, he is doing waza. A very good waza with a very good awase.

Hi David
All arts...are displayed through their waza, so why is that anything worth discussing?
Koryu are displayed through their kata
Daito ryu
Aikido
Karate
'The internal arts of China are displayed through their forms and push hands.
The key to what we should be discussing is that the higher level ones all have solo work to make the soft power displayed in the forms. Many would play and display the power as a separate fun thing.

The questions in my last post should then be asked by those who don't have any soft power thatt is measurable within and more importantly without...kata. Just like the founders did
What is someone really doing if not following in these various founders foot steps?
Something better?
Okay!!
Where....are the new legends?
Dan

Cliff Judge
10-15-2012, 01:03 PM
Why can't we do what you're doing, Ueshiba? Because you don't understand inyo. Not, because you don't understand awase.

"AWASE" refers to the same concept as inyo, as the original column read to me.

sorokod
10-15-2012, 01:47 PM
Hi Dan

It would make concepts more clear and concrete if you will point out the places in the "Budo" film where the Founder is employing Aiki (and not Awase)

DH
10-15-2012, 03:09 PM
Hi Dan

It would make concepts more clear and concrete if you will point out the places in the "Budo" film where the Founder is employing Aiki (and not Awase)
Hi Joe
No...not really. It doesn't help at all. Why? There is nowhere he isn't employing aiki. Aiki precedes awase and is a constant.
Here:
When asked, his students claimed that when he was escorted on to a mat he had "old man sagging muscles, but when he stepped on the mat, it was like he inflated and became hard as iron."
Why?
How?
What does it mean?
How do you do it?
WHY...would you do it?
How come no one is doing it?
Why isn't it taught in Ueshiba's Aikido?
Why wasn't it researched?
How come no one seems to know- it is an actual teaching and body skill?
What affect does it have on incoming forces?
How does it perfectly match what....he...actually said to do?
How does it resolve your question, this thread and really, three separate threads going on right now?
Any guesses?
Dan

DH
10-15-2012, 03:12 PM
"AWASE" refers to the same concept as inyo, as the original column read to me.
Awase is not in-yo, though it can be a form of it if done a certain way with a balance of forces within you. Otherwise it is just jujutsu; Push when pulled, lead or turn when pushed, it's in many arts. etc.
Dan

Carl Thompson
10-15-2012, 03:46 PM
Aiki vs Awase.
Ueshiba=aiki
Modern Aikido=awase

I think you just repeated yourself without adding anything new.

I'll do the same but more concisely:

Not Aiki vs. Awase. Awase/musubi is a component of takemusu aiki.

Ueshiba = Aiki = no argument but you are trying to make one out of an example of Osensei using kokyu ryoku (another component) on Tenryu.

Modern Aikido = all kinds of awase (go no sen, sen no sen, OODA loop, compliance etc).

Regards

Carl

Carl Thompson
10-15-2012, 03:48 PM
Awase is not in-yo, though it can be a form of it if done a certain way with a balance of forces within you. Otherwise it is just jujutsu; Push when pulled, lead or turn when pushed, it's in many arts. etc.
Dan

Agreed :)

Chris Li
10-15-2012, 04:54 PM
That's not true, David
Aiki has no requirement to stand still or move. In fact the age old "Motion in stillness and stillness in motion" pretty much addresses that idea.

A quote from the tai chi classics that appears in quotes from Ueshiba as well. It also appears in the little black book of basic principles that Koichi Tohei used to hand out.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
10-15-2012, 04:56 PM
Not Aiki vs. Awase. Awase/musubi is a component of takemusu aiki.


I would say that awase is an effect rather than a cause. It may seem like quibbling, but I think that it ends up making a rather significant difference.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
10-15-2012, 04:59 PM
And yet this statement is a matter of debate for you:

The founder of AIKIDO, Morihei Ueshiba O-sensei, spent many years adapting techniques from Daito-Ryu Jujitsu and other martial arts to embody the principle of AWASE.



Well, yes, wasn't that how the conversation started?


I know you have visited Iwama. I think it was clear that I was referring to the current research you and others are doing related to IP/Aiki. Are you saying you came to Iwama as an IP/Aiki proponent in relation to this?


Yes, although I knew much less then than I do now, and by the time I was getting deeper into this the elder Saito was too ill to interact with very much.

Best,

Chris

sorokod
10-15-2012, 06:51 PM
Hi Joe
No...not really. It doesn't help at all. Why? There is nowhere he isn't employing aiki. Aiki precedes awase and is a constant.
Here:
When asked, his students claimed that when he was escorted on to a mat he had "old man sagging muscles, but when he stepped on the mat, it was like he inflated and became hard as iron."
Why?
How?
What does it mean?
How do you do it?
WHY...would you do it?
How come no one is doing it?
Why isn't it taught in Ueshiba's Aikido?
Why wasn't it researched?
How come no one seems to know- it is an actual teaching and body skill?
What affect does it have on incoming forces?
How does it perfectly match what....he...actually said to do?
How does it resolve your question, this thread and really, three separate threads going on right now?
Any guesses?
Dan

My name is David and the Founder in "Budo" is middle aged and shows no sign of sagging.

You seem to say that the Founder shows Aiki thought the "Budo". Is this the case for all other filmed demonstrations of the Founder? Is there a video of Aikido demonstration by someone other than Morihei Usshiba that manifests Aiki?

Carl Thompson
10-16-2012, 11:03 AM
I would say that awase is an effect rather than a cause. It may seem like quibbling, but I think that it ends up making a rather significant difference.
It does seem a little quibbling: Are you now saying awase (musubi) is something that happens as a result of Aiki, even though earlier in this thread you considered the idea that awase could actually be Aiki, as a question?

Yes, although I knew much less then than I do now, and by the time I was getting deeper into this the elder Saito was too ill to interact with very much.
Saito Sensei passed away a decade ago in 2002 so this isn't quite the current IP/Aiki situation I meant. In any case, I think you were lucky, even if you couldn't interact much with Saito Shihan. I missed out on that myself.

Did you get to meet or train with any of the other old sempai?

Regards

Carl

Chris Li
10-16-2012, 11:54 AM
It does seem a little quibbling: Are you now saying awase (musubi) is something that happens as a result of Aiki, even though earlier in this thread you considered the idea that awase could actually be Aiki, as a question?

I've never said anything different. What I'm saying is that awase is not really an ingredient of the cake, it's an effect - like getting fat from eating the cake. :)

You might see the two always occurring together, but the cause and effect are really seperate - and trying to mix one into the other doesn't really work all that well.


Saito Sensei passed away a decade ago in 2002 so this isn't quite the current IP/Aiki situation I meant. In any case, I think you were lucky, even if you couldn't interact much with Saito Shihan. I missed out on that myself.

Did you get to meet or train with any of the other old sempai?

Regards

Carl

Well, I saw Saito before he was ill - but by the time I had really started looking more into this stuff he was already in a wheelchair.

Best,

Chris

DH
10-16-2012, 12:26 PM
My name is David and the Founder in "Budo" is middle aged and shows no sign of sagging.
You seem to say that the Founder shows Aiki thought the "Budo". Is this the case for all other filmed demonstrations of the Founder? Is there a video of Aikido demonstration by someone other than Morihei Usshiba that manifests Aiki?
Oops Sorry David
His muscles sagging had nothing to do with it-although part of the way power is made manifest is expressed in that "change." It is the meaning behind his release the mountain echo saying. Actually, it is one of the reasons you get more powerful as you get older. Yes, I know you don't understand how or why. That's okay. Look around you...very few budo people do either.

Other guys? Sagawa, Kodo, Shioda, Shirata, Mochizuki, Tomiki...
All had solo training drills for their body. Why? The answer lies in the essential point-one that Sagawa made as well as Ueshiba- in that aiki begins in the body.The current practice and teaching is terribly inefficient and missing critical information. If the current practice and teaching that people are debating and defending has ever....got anyone to where Ueshiba was pointing and leading then;
Tell me why they can't explain or translate what he said and do it?
Tell me who has his power.
Introduce me to their students with power.
I have listed a series of questions here many times that no one can resolve or answer. They are clear, clean and precise.

Again, many of the greats (before Ueshiba) all said the same thing, and it matches what was taught in China and in Koryu and Ueshiba was just another guy doing the work and pointing there as well. It is the resolving of energy within you first that creates aiki. Ueshiba went on and on about it. I am quite clearly stating that modern aikido doesn't teach it or even understand what their very founder was talking about...yet....
This work is old and known.
The work is definitive and correct.
The work is accurate, and replicable.
And it made budo giants throughout history.

So,
I'd again state for the record
Find yourself unusually powerful (soft power) men.
Find someone who has verifiable students with power (that means they can teach)
Find more than one.
See what they are doing and talking about.
We...yes I am an active part in this... need to once again make Aikido one of the most powerful arts on earth. To do so, we need to change what is being taught.
Dan

Carl Thompson
10-16-2012, 04:42 PM
I have listed a series of questions here many times that no one can resolve or answer. They are clear, clean and precise.

No, they aren't even questions. They are you telling everyone else what they can't do in question form.

Tell me who has his power.
Introduce me to their students with power.

Do some research. You've mentioned Shioda, Mochizuki and other lineages... even outside of Aikido there is Aunkai and other arts that include it.

I've never said anything different. What I'm saying is that awase is not really an ingredient of the cake, it's an effect - like getting fat from eating the cake. :)
Well you said...

Further, hanmi is, to my mind, peripheral to the main question here - whether or not awase is really the same as aiki.
I think you need to compare notes with someone who learned awase/musubi from Osensei who can interact with you more.

Tengu859
10-16-2012, 06:14 PM
Hello,

So it seems clear now...when you have trained yourself to manifest aiki, you can choose match(awase) with your opponent(uke) or not, because you are on the floating bridge!!! ;0)

Cool,

ChrisW

PS Maybe that's why Takeda sometimes tended to seem selfcentered to those who were too sensitive to understand what he was doing... Neanderthal!!!

wxyzabc
10-16-2012, 06:45 PM
Oops Sorry David

Tell me who has his power.

Dan

Maybe I'm being flippant but this always makes me laugh.....at what point in time should we compare ourselves and others I wonder?

At 37 years old can I expect to have the power of Ueshiba at 60/70/80? ...lol..though at 37 was he that good?..who knows ^^ does it even matter? everyone gets all intense and in a fervour over wanting to be all powerful..maybe it's an American thing ^^

Lee

sorokod
10-16-2012, 07:35 PM
Oops Sorry David
His muscles sagging had nothing to do with it-although part of the way power is made manifest is expressed in that "change." It is the meaning behind his release the mountain echo saying. Actually, it is one of the reasons you get more powerful as you get older. Yes, I know you don't understand how or why. That's okay. Look around you...very few budo people do either.

Other guys? Sagawa, Kodo, Shioda, Shirata, Mochizuki, Tomiki...
All had solo training drills for their body. Why? The answer lies in the essential point-one that Sagawa made as well as Ueshiba- in that aiki begins in the body.The current practice and teaching is terribly inefficient and missing critical information. If the current practice and teaching that people are debating and defending has ever....got anyone to where Ueshiba was pointing and leading then;
Tell me why they can't explain or translate what he said and do it?
Tell me who has his power.
Introduce me to their students with power.
I have listed a series of questions here many times that no one can resolve or answer. They are clear, clean and precise.

Again, many of the greats (before Ueshiba) all said the same thing, and it matches what was taught in China and in Koryu and Ueshiba was just another guy doing the work and pointing there as well. It is the resolving of energy within you first that creates aiki. Ueshiba went on and on about it. I am quite clearly stating that modern aikido doesn't teach it or even understand what their very founder was talking about...yet....
This work is old and known.
The work is definitive and correct.
The work is accurate, and replicable.
And it made budo giants throughout history.

So,
I'd again state for the record
Find yourself unusually powerful (soft power) men.
Find someone who has verifiable students with power (that means they can teach)
Find more than one.
See what they are doing and talking about.
We...yes I am an active part in this... need to once again make Aikido one of the most powerful arts on earth. To do so, we need to change what is being taught.
Dan

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I think that your statements can be split up into two categories:

1. there is a superior way of practising martial arts (and specifically Aikido) which you cultivate, it is soft, internal etc....
2. your practice is the same practice that the Founder and some of his students engaged in.

My questions are about the second category only. With this in mind, where in "Budo" ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wewCJLban8 ) does the Founder demonstrate this? In this post: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=317260&postcount=76, you say that "There is nowhere he isn't employing aiki". Could you choose a segment of the video (just a few seconds) and explain how, in that segment, the practice is manifested?

MM
10-17-2012, 08:33 AM
2. your practice is the same practice that the Founder and some of his students engaged in.

My questions are about the second category only. With this in mind, where in "Budo" ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wewCJLban8 ) does the Founder demonstrate this? In this post: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=317260&postcount=76, you say that "There is nowhere he isn't employing aiki". Could you choose a segment of the video (just a few seconds) and explain how, in that segment, the practice is manifested?

This goes straight back to the subject of the thread. People have a hard time (I did) wrapping their heads around a concept that they haven't experienced.

Modern Aikido defines awase in a way that means tori/nage/whatever is doing something, usually physical, to create a connection with uke. The train example was very good. And then people in Modern Aikido equate this principle of awase with aiki. They see them as synonymous, but, they aren't.

There was a reason Sagawa, Horikawa, Ueshiba said aiki was a body changing method. Not technique. Not something they did to an uke. It was something they became. When a student asked Ueshiba what was aiki, Ueshiba yelled, I am aiki. He meant it. When Pranin mentioned to Mrs. Horikawa, the secret is something you see and steal, she replied, no, it was something in the body (paraphrasing greatly here). Sagawa stated aiki was body changing.

There is no "practice" of aiki manifested in viewing the video. Ueshiba, literally, is aiki in each second of that video. Aiki is not awase as defined by most Modern Aikido people. Which is where people have a hard time coming to terms with the concept of Ueshiba's aiki. At least on the Internet. In person, there's no debate that the two (aiki and awase) are completely different. :)

Mark

sorokod
10-17-2012, 08:42 AM
In person, there's no debate that the two (aiki and awase) are completely different.

Why then, it is invisible in the video?

Cliff Judge
10-17-2012, 09:13 AM
This goes straight back to the subject of the thread. People have a hard time (I did) wrapping their heads around a concept that they haven't experienced.

Modern Aikido defines awase in a way that means tori/nage/whatever is doing something, usually physical, to create a connection with uke. The train example was very good. And then people in Modern Aikido equate this principle of awase with aiki. They see them as synonymous, but, they aren't.

There was a reason Sagawa, Horikawa, Ueshiba said aiki was a body changing method. Not technique. Not something they did to an uke. It was something they became. When a student asked Ueshiba what was aiki, Ueshiba yelled, I am aiki. He meant it. When Pranin mentioned to Mrs. Horikawa, the secret is something you see and steal, she replied, no, it was something in the body (paraphrasing greatly here). Sagawa stated aiki was body changing.

There is no "practice" of aiki manifested in viewing the video. Ueshiba, literally, is aiki in each second of that video. Aiki is not awase as defined by most Modern Aikido people. Which is where people have a hard time coming to terms with the concept of Ueshiba's aiki. At least on the Internet. In person, there's no debate that the two (aiki and awase) are completely different. :)

Mark

Are you sure those people said those things, and that you really understand what they said?

Why do you believe there is any way for you to know what Takeda, Ueshiba, etc were training in private, not teaching to most students, or hiding in plain sight?

gregstec
10-17-2012, 09:26 AM
Why then, it is invisible in the video?

It is there if you know what to look for. Watch how Ueshiba moves; he is connected and balanced at all times; and when one thing moves, all things move. This is easily seen in the beginning when he does the two drills - look at how he looks when he moves compared to what the students are doing; Ueshiba is connected with good balance and structure and none of the students are - difference is aiki in him and no aiki in them.

Greg

Carl Thompson
10-17-2012, 10:14 AM
In person, there's no debate that the two (aiki and awase) are completely different. :)

Mark...

You repeated yourself yet again.

I told you awase/musubi is part of Takemusu Aiki, Christopher Li gave you his version as an effect of Aiki, Dan Harden said it is not inyo but can be a form of it...

... and yet you persist with this strawman that thinks 'awase = aiki'.

In person there is no debate indeed... I think you haven't trained with Alexander Sensei, in which case how would you know that he is practising a form of modern awase?

Regards

Carl

DH
10-17-2012, 10:32 AM
Are you sure those people said those things, and that you really understand what they said?

Why do you believe there is any way for you to know what Takeda, Ueshiba, etc were training in private, not teaching to most students, or hiding in plain sight?
a. Because it all fits into the nature of this work; practiced, discussed and disseminated for ages.
b. They said it...because it happens to be true.

I know people keep trying to make their own guy some sort of hero and unique genius. But they were all just playing with information that spanned generations and cultures.

Solo training was king for eons. Why...do so many of the high level arts, do solo training? The idea of cancellation and neutralization of force begin inside you, not outside of you. And the changing of the inside has a dramatic effect on the outside.
Dynamic stability
If you try and throw a large statue by pulling; you will eventually be pulled off your feet -toward the statue.
If you try to push on the statue, you will eventually be pushed back off your feet -away from the statue.
The statue did nothing but be a statue.
Manipulation of forces
Now, what if the statue had soft tissue and could play with it's own forces inside of itself? What if it could then move while retaining all of -that- while in motion?
Anyone attempting to play with it...would be screwed until they became like it. ;)

Solo training is irrefutably important.
Remember Sagawa admitted to lying to his own students about it for 50 years.
Sagawa also did not want his book-explaining why aiki was about changing the body-translated into English!!
Why?
Takeda said never teach white people and NEVER talk about solo training
Why?
Ueshiba never explained why he was doing certain exercises, yet all of his descriptions were the result of internal training. In fact many of his doka were quotes of Koryu and Chinese Internal training models.
Daito ryu has a public history of stating that you should only teach one or two people

The body must change and the source of Aiki was never in waza, never in blending, or external tenkan. It is not a coincidence that those who state such things were amazing, and felt different than everyone else. They focused on solo training and the classic models and ... weirdly....strangely...they feel different and were famous.

The hard part for all of us was being misled. I am not going to argue whether it was on purpose or not, through ignorance or not. The plain facts are that the vast majority of people in the great Ocean of budo are all more or less average people trying to do things and work things that in the end...well...make them feel no different than from the day they started. As shihan they are plagued with the same issues as a shodan; too much muscle, too much shoulder, moving from the hips, too tight, one side weighted, moving disconnected and offing themselves under load, or tensing up against resistance, not having any real explanation for what moving from the center really means and what a dantian even is, and end up having a structure and a body that was custom designed and tailored made.... to be thrown by virtually every budo principle known to man.

That..in itself is very revealing. Most of these principles came from Asia. And yet here we are....practicing Asian arts with Asians... and we end up custom made to be thrown by them with no idea, no teaching, of how and why we can blow all of those principles up, just by changing our own bodies!!!
I have no intention of spending the next twenty years trying to feel like your average Tom Dick and Harry. It just doesn't seem like a smart idea to me. I am going to continue to pursue the aiki that is a balance of in/yo in me, just like Ueshiba said to do.

Dan

MM
10-17-2012, 10:33 AM
Are you sure those people said those things, and that you really understand what they said?


I am sure, for the former. At least as much as basic translation can provide. Translating those kinds of answers isn't as hard as translating Ueshiba's spiritual talks. Which, then goes to your second question. You have all the students stating that they had trouble understanding Ueshiba when he talked about the spiritual stuff. But, using Chris Li's translation, it's understandable to me (and others) and actually points to specific training methods. But, it only became understandable when I started training Ueshiba's aiki and the more direct (non Stevens altered) translations became available. No dig against Stevens, here, as he is the one who actually stated his translations were loose and changed from the original direct meanings.


Why do you believe there is any way for you to know what Takeda, Ueshiba, etc were training in private, not teaching to most students, or hiding in plain sight?

By correlation of personal experiences. I've found that there were specific exercises and training methods that Ueshiba taught specific students, all outside Tokyo hombu, that I have yet to see being shown or taught by any of the Japanese shihan sent from Tokyo hombu. (That just means I have yet to see it, doesn't mean it is nonexistant.) But, back to the specific exercises and training methods. Those were, at times, exactly what I learned elsewhere. They were, at times, very, very close. But, all of them were directly related to training Daito ryu aiki, i.e. Ueshiba's aiki. Not at all like Modern Aikido's definition of aiki. The problem I saw, though, was that each group had different parts of the whole (whole being defined by the entirety of what I was training, not the entirety of aiki training) that I was being shown. In other words, my training encompassed all of their scattered parts, not the other way around. I'm still learning and putting pieces together, and there are lots of places Ueshiba taught outside Tokyo hombu that could possibly have more pieces. Actually, probably do.

End of the day, though, Ueshiba's aiki, Sagawa's aiki, Horikawa's aiki, were all the same, trained nearly the same, but expressed in their own personal way.

MM
10-17-2012, 11:20 AM
Mark...

You repeated yourself yet again.

I told you awase/musubi is part of Takemusu Aiki, Christopher Li gave you his version as an effect of Aiki, Dan Harden said it is not inyo but can be a form of it...

... and yet you persist with this strawman that thinks 'awase = aiki'.

In person there is no debate indeed... I think you haven't trained with Alexander Sensei, in which case how would you know that he is practising a form of modern awase?

Regards

Carl

No, I haven't trained with David Alexander. I'm sure I would enjoy doing so. If I get the opportunity, I will. However, when he states this:

"As an analogy to AWASE, consider trying to stop a train that is coming down the tracks. Standing on the tracks and trying to stop the train by physically overpowering it will not be expected to work. However, running next to the train, jumping aboard, moving to the engineer's compartment, overcoming the engineer and applying the brakes will produce the desired result of stopping the train. This is comparable to AWASE in that no attempt is made to directly oppose power, but control is gained by merging into the power and disabling it."

Then that tells me that how he is defining awase is not the definition of Ueshiba's aiki. It tells me that those two are not the same. And by most accounts, how David Alexander is defining awase is the Modern Aikido definition and that example is also used to define Modern Aikido's aiki. So, when you say, " awase/musubi is part of Takemusu Aiki", I have to respond, no, it isn't. Not going by what was posted. It wouldn't fit with Ueshiba's aiki. Modern Aikido's version of aiki, yes. But those two are functionally different.

As always, in my opinion and experiences.

Cliff Judge
10-17-2012, 12:37 PM
a. Because it all fits into the nature of this work; practiced, discussed and disseminated for ages.
b. They said it...because it happens to be true.


I appreciate the answer, Dan, but this is begging the question. i was asking Mark to describe why he thinks what he is talking about has any actual connection to Ueshiba or Takeda, and how he knows it is correct to call it aiki.

You are responding with "The reason I am pretty sure that this is what Ueshiba was doing is because I am pretty sure this is what Ueshiba was doing."

I have it on good account that what you are doing is good, valid stuff, but I haven't seen any reason to believe it has anything to do with what Ueshiba was doing.

Cliff Judge
10-17-2012, 12:49 PM
I am sure, for the former. At least as much as basic translation can provide. Translating those kinds of answers isn't as hard as translating Ueshiba's spiritual talks. Which, then goes to your second question. You have all the students stating that they had trouble understanding Ueshiba when he talked about the spiritual stuff. But, using Chris Li's translation, it's understandable to me (and others) and actually points to specific training methods. But, it only became understandable when I started training Ueshiba's aiki and the more direct (non Stevens altered) translations became available. No dig against Stevens, here, as he is the one who actually stated his translations were loose and changed from the original direct meanings.

By correlation of personal experiences. I've found that there were specific exercises and training methods that Ueshiba taught specific students, all outside Tokyo hombu, that I have yet to see being shown or taught by any of the Japanese shihan sent from Tokyo hombu. (That just means I have yet to see it, doesn't mean it is nonexistant.) But, back to the specific exercises and training methods. Those were, at times, exactly what I learned elsewhere. They were, at times, very, very close. But, all of them were directly related to training Daito ryu aiki, i.e. Ueshiba's aiki. Not at all like Modern Aikido's definition of aiki. The problem I saw, though, was that each group had different parts of the whole (whole being defined by the entirety of what I was training, not the entirety of aiki training) that I was being shown. In other words, my training encompassed all of their scattered parts, not the other way around. I'm still learning and putting pieces together, and there are lots of places Ueshiba taught outside Tokyo hombu that could possibly have more pieces. Actually, probably do.

End of the day, though, Ueshiba's aiki, Sagawa's aiki, Horikawa's aiki, were all the same, trained nearly the same, but expressed in their own personal way.

So you have read some text, in translation, of material that not even the direct students themselves are comfortable stating that they understand, but it is so clear to you that you actually know what the specific training methods are?

Can you provide some details about these personal experiences you have correlated? Are you talking about your personal experiences that you have had travelling around Japan or something? Or are you talking about other's personal experiences that you have informed yourself of textually? It is the latter, right?

You are continually contrasting what you call "Modern Aikido" with something that you consider to be "Ueshiba's Aiki." I don't see how you have any logical basis to claim any knowledge of "Ueshiba's Aiki." CERTAINLY you do not have any logical basis to challenge someone who trained closely with someone who trained closely with Ueshiba, on what is or is not the essence of Aikido.

But I don't really understand why it matters so much. So "Modern Aikido" doesn't do it for you, and you've found some new way to train that helps you progress along a path that you like better. Why not call it, like "21st century internal power training," or "Internal Strength Methods Inspired by Various Japanese and Chinese Systems," or "Old men in t-shirts pushing on each other with confused looks on their faces."

sorokod
10-17-2012, 01:08 PM
Yep, and pretty much millions of people training in aikido think this way. And millions of people over 40+ years doing exactly this kind of awase training you subscribe to has produced ... no one of Shioda's level, let alone Ueshiba's. Why can't we do what you're doing, Ueshiba? Because you don't understand inyo. Not, because you don't understand awase.

For a start, read this thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14991

Then research it. :)

Mark

These are fascinating. I think that the following are missing from your list:


* The golden light incident

"Immediately after this encounter, with the naval officer, O Sensei had an amazing experience…The ground started to tremble, and he saw thousands of dazzling golden rays falling from the sky…Then he felt soft, golden ki rising from up out of the earth to embrace him…O Sensei exulted inside: ‘This is a divine transformation!' "

-- Kisshomaru Ueshiba "A Life in Aikido"



* The Founder bullet dodging incident in Manchuria

-- Gozo Shioda "Aikido Shugyo"


* The Founder lifting/moving heavy objects no one else could lift/move.

"He utilized his monstrous power to move rocks and logs, earning fame for having the power of an ox. One day after 50 or more volunteer workers had failed to move a giant tree, the founder went up to the tree and using ki-power grasped the trunk and gave a tremendous heave. The great tree swayed. After a few more tries, the roots were so loosened that the volunteers were easily able to move it the next time around. The story grew and spread throughout the faith until it was rumored that "Ueshiba had picked up and carried" an object weighing almost 4,000 kilograms!"

-- Kisshomaru Ueshiba "Founder of Aikido" (http://members.aikidojournal.com/private/founder-of-aikido-22-founding-the-ueshiba-private-school/)


There may be several reasons for this

1. these don't fit into your current understanding of what the Founder was doing
2. these are just a hagiography for a founder of a martial art - and so you don't take them seriously
3. you think they are irrelevantto the discussion.

If its 2 or 3, can you say something about how you avoid cherry picking just the information that fits your views?

Finally here is a quote from Gaku Homma, who was the last uchi deshi of the Founder, that may be relevant:

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

At the age of eighty-six, the Founder commanded so much respect for his life and accomplishments, that no student of any rank, even 7th or 8th dan, were able to breach this level of respect. Beyond the obvious differences in rank and experience, I feel this was part of the true "Ki" power the Founder possessed. It is understandable when looking at old photos of the Founder resisting the efforts of ten students pushing on his body to think it looks like magic. As one who was there, his power was derived from his presence, not from magic. At the height of his physical prowess, I have no doubt that he used technique to keep students from overpowering him. I attribute his powers at the age of 86 to real "Sensei power", the personal power he possessed after a life time of hardships and accomplishments. Not only in the world of Martial arts, leaders world --wide who have reached this level command this type of respect from those around them".

http://www.nippon-kan.org/abroad/scotland/sensei_ki_scotland.html

MM
10-17-2012, 01:53 PM
So you have read some text, in translation, of material that not even the direct students themselves are comfortable stating that they understand, but it is so clear to you that you actually know what the specific training methods are?

Can you provide some details about these personal experiences you have correlated?

Are you talking about your personal experiences that you have had travelling around Japan or something?

Or are you talking about other's personal experiences that you have informed yourself of textually? It is the latter, right?


First para question, yeah. But not just me, at least hundreds of people now.

No, sorry, some things are done in confidence. I know that doesn't help.

Or something, yes.

No and no.


You are continually contrasting what you call "Modern Aikido" with something that you consider to be "Ueshiba's Aiki." I don't see how you have any logical basis to claim any knowledge of "Ueshiba's Aiki." CERTAINLY you do not have any logical basis to challenge someone who trained closely with someone who trained closely with Ueshiba, on what is or is not the essence of Aikido.


Hmmm ... let me follow the logic here. You don't know any of my training history, any of my research, any of the people I've trained with, but you're CERTAIN I do not have a logical basis of challenge for the essence of aiki? I would disagree, but I also understand your dilemna in that I am going against long years of tradition. I certainly am not doing so with malice.


But I don't really understand why it matters so much. So "Modern Aikido" doesn't do it for you, and you've found some new way to train that helps you progress along a path that you like better. Why not call it, like "21st century internal power training," or "Internal Strength Methods Inspired by Various Japanese and Chinese Systems," or "Old men in t-shirts pushing on each other with confused looks on their faces."

Because it's Ueshiba's aiki. Long ago, when millions of people stated the earth was flat, did that make the very few who said it was round, wrong? Being Ueshiba's aiki, it should be part of Aikido. Coupled with Modern Aikido's spiritual ideology (promoted by Kisshomaru), Ueshiba's aiki would make Modern Aikido absolutely come alive and stand out even more so. That's what I'd like to see, not just one Ueshiba popping up, but hundreds.

Mark

Cliff Judge
10-17-2012, 02:26 PM
First para question, yeah. But not just me, at least hundreds of people now.

No, sorry, some things are done in confidence. I know that doesn't help.

Or something, yes.

No and no.


Hmmm ... let me follow the logic here. You don't know any of my training history, any of my research, any of the people I've trained with, but you're CERTAIN I do not have a logical basis of challenge for the essence of aiki? I would disagree, but I also understand your dilemna in that I am going against long years of tradition. I certainly am not doing so with malice.

I am asking you to support your arguments with information about your training history, research, and people you have trained with. And you are not forthcoming, citing confidentiality.

You cannot make a logical argument from sealed information. I am therefore completely right to call bullshit on your claims of superior understanding of the nature of aiki to anyone who has earned the right to post in the VoE forum, let alone someone who trained closely with Saito Sensei, who trained closely with Ueshiba.


Long ago, when millions of people stated the earth was flat, did that make the very few who said it was round, wrong?

Today, billions of people know the earth is round without ever having seen its curvature. They trust what they were properly taught in school by the authority of their teachers. And yet today, there are people who believe the world is actually flat. Or that there are actually four parallel earths on this one planet, each about 6 hours apart.

MM
10-17-2012, 03:57 PM
I am asking you to support your arguments with information about your training history, research, and people you have trained with. And you are not forthcoming, citing confidentiality.

You cannot make a logical argument from sealed information. I am therefore completely right to call bullshit on your claims of superior understanding of the nature of aiki to anyone who has earned the right to post in the VoE forum, let alone someone who trained closely with Saito Sensei, who trained closely with Ueshiba.

Today, billions of people know the earth is round without ever having seen its curvature. They trust what they were properly taught in school by the authority of their teachers. And yet today, there are people who believe the world is actually flat. Or that there are actually four parallel earths on this one planet, each about 6 hours apart.

Considering I probably have five hundred or more posts dealing with this issue's research, I'd say you're ignoring a rather large amount, wanting what? The answers spoon fed to you? I would suggest that you have a rather extensive talk with Gleason. You are, ASU, right? Perhaps a shihan might sway you? Although I'm beginning to doubt it.

There are lots of people who know my training history. Some is listed here. So, not exactly sealed. I've given you enough information to start your own research. And until you do that, no, you don't have any right to call BS. Put in the time and effort I have and then come back to talk with me. I put forth my theories based upon years of experience and research. I stand by them. You put forth some other person is right because they are in the Voices of Experience and ask me to be forthcoming?

And millions of people trusted their betters and highly educated scientists when they were told the earth was flat. Your point?

DH
10-17-2012, 04:00 PM
It's probably a fair question to ask Mark his qualifications to doubt things from a VOE column.
But be careful about calling BS, Cliff, Makr has done his homework and spent tens of thousands of dollars on research including hands on testing. Secondly, I might suggest you're going to get bit on many levels when hundreds of teachers and shihans happen to agree with what Mark (and I) are saying.

Mark and now over a thousand others have been in rooms, some with up to four Shihan present from different affiliations and they keep seeing it happen over and over. Mark, is not being cagey, about what he has personally seen happen, he is being extremely polite.
I am NEVER going to name names. There are far too many people who have been present in open rooms during some pretty dramatic goings on.

I don't consider this adversarial. Both the research and the results are compelling enough that more and more Aikido teachers are out pursuing many...I say again...many, venues that offer this type of teaching.
Lack of awareness of the pedagogy of the things being discussed is of course troubling within the discussion. The research has to take place on your part. Of course there is a vetting process that needs to be undertaken by those in doubt. I suggest it take place both academically and physically

To try an answer your questions, I will offer one last time:
Ueshiba's training models and exercises were not his
His descriptions were not his
Many/most of his sayings were edited versions of pre-existing internal training dogma
The sum total of his words on training and expression are echos of other works describing internal training. It is no coincidence that the arts containing the same terminology and sayings he was quoting and borrowing from also created what???
Budo giants with unusual strength.

Aiki and awase again
_________________________________________

The classic model was aiki as a union of opposites-BEFORE- awase. It is in my tag line from Shirata -yet another giant.
1. Place the immovable body (there is that nagging Ueshiba example again eh?)
2. Into an an invincible position (awase)
_______________________________________________

As far as understanding goes I continue to pose questions.
How did Ueshiba generate this power with a tree? By "fitting in" with the tree?
How did he stop Tenryu? By fitting in with him? He didn't do anything.
Why did he do push testing? Was that awase?
How?
What was he doing?
How did his description of Heaven/earth/man fit in with a push test?
What is Mountain echo?
Who can do it?
Why did he answer that aiki was a circle with opposing forces?
Why did the things he was saying appear from famous Swordsman after training at the Katori shrine in 1451 who also claimed..... it gave him power?
Explain his answer regarding dual opposing spirals?
Why are there hundreds of men in the ICMA who use the same terms Ueshiba used who have....wait...unusual soft power?
How did this happen, Cliff?

If teachers really understand what Ueshiba was talking about, then why do THEY feel like anyone else I can pull off the street anywhere in the world. Yet, those of us you are debating continue to exhibit a growing unusual strength and soft power to one degree or another. You know, the qualities more in keeping with many of the things Ueshiba was noted for?
How is this happening over and over Cliff and the number of people doing it...are growing?
Could it possibly be because we in fact do know what we are talking about? Has that thought crossed your mind?

Qualifications come in many forms. Cliff. The most telling being what people can actually do. Our understanding in budo, resides in our hands, not in our teachers, not in our "years-in," not in our keyboards...but in our hands.
So, if we remove waza from the equation, and someone feels very powerful and freakishly soft, compelling and controlling,
And then
Someone claims understanding they feel as normal as anyone else...what does that REALLY say about both their understanding?
Cliff_______________________________?

Dan

Cliff Judge
10-17-2012, 05:05 PM
Considering I probably have five hundred or more posts dealing with this issue's research, I'd say you're ignoring a rather large amount, wanting what? The answers spoon fed to you? I would suggest that you have a rather extensive talk with Gleason. You are, ASU, right? Perhaps a shihan might sway you? Although I'm beginning to doubt it.

There are lots of people who know my training history. Some is listed here. So, not exactly sealed. I've given you enough information to start your own research. And until you do that, no, you don't have any right to call BS. Put in the time and effort I have and then come back to talk with me. I put forth my theories based upon years of experience and research. I stand by them. You put forth some other person is right because they are in the Voices of Experience and ask me to be forthcoming?

And millions of people trusted their betters and highly educated scientists when they were told the earth was flat. Your point?

You can forum post all you want, that gives you no right to argue anything about what Osensei could do, what he said, what he taught, or what he didn't teach. You weren't there, he didn't teach you, you are not part of that chain of information transfer.

It is a matter of ownership - you own your own experiences, insights you have earned through training, stuff gleaned from conversations, random little thoughts you have reading the translations or whatever that inspire you to go try something new. My advice is to argue in those terms rather than claiming an understanding of Ueshiba and "Ueshiba's aiki" that you don't have.

gregstec
10-17-2012, 05:39 PM
Cliff, if you want to get direct answers to your questions as well as a hands on feel for what is being discussed here, why don't you consider one of the workshops with Dan that are relatively in your neck of the woods:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21866 - Richmond, VA

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21734 - Hainesport, NJ

If you are serious about your budo, these are two opportunities that should be very informative.

Greg

MM
10-17-2012, 07:31 PM
You can forum post all you want, that gives you no right to argue anything about what Osensei could do, what he said, what he taught, or what he didn't teach. You weren't there, he didn't teach you, you are not part of that chain of information transfer.

It is a matter of ownership - you own your own experiences, insights you have earned through training, stuff gleaned from conversations, random little thoughts you have reading the translations or whatever that inspire you to go try something new. My advice is to argue in those terms rather than claiming an understanding of Ueshiba and "Ueshiba's aiki" that you don't have.

You would have to know my training history and experiences to state whether or not I have that right. Something you stated you did not. Even if you did know that, by your own logic, you, personally, would have to have been there with Ueshiba, have Ueshiba teach you, and be a part of that chain of information transfer to know for sure if that information was different from mine. Either way, logically, your argument fails

And you would have to know exactly what Ueshiba's aiki is that you can state that I do not have that knowledge. So far, you have not provided yourself as knowing that. Logically, your argument fails here, too.

So, by your very own post's logic, you have no basis whatsoever to actually state either of those propositions.

Now, let's start over since that gets us nowhere but round and round in circles.

Go through my research and point to where your experiences show that I am not on solid ground. Point to research that invalidates mine. Got to seminars with exponents of aiki. Not seminar, seminars. Not exponent, but exponents. Then point to where my theories are invalid. Probably a thousand posts of mine here on Aikiweb deal with a lot of research and experiences. You have touched upon none of them.

Then, when you've done that, there are the posts of (in no particular order) Dan Harden, Rob Liberti, Marc Abrams, Chris Li, Greg Steckel, Howard Popkin, to name a few. Once you've started, other names will show up and point to where one can go for seminars or training and research.

Personally, if I was in your organization, I'd train and talk to Bill Gleason first. Great training with a top level aikido shihan who will speak his mind. (I'm assuming you've already trained with Saotome and gotten some hands on time with him, of course.)

Or you can just keep posting that I don't know what I'm talking about without anything to support it.

The view of awase with the train example still doesn't equal Ueshiba's aiki. :)

Cliff Judge
10-17-2012, 07:48 PM
Or you can just keep posting that I don't know what I'm talking about without anything to support it.

That's it exactly! You don't know what you are talking about, without anything to support it.

stan baker
10-17-2012, 10:30 PM
That's it exactly! You don't know what you are talking about, without anything to support it.

Hi Cliff
you should get out more

stan

wxyzabc
10-18-2012, 01:02 AM
Imho it's not good to deride anyone's ability if you haven't met them...or practised with them. What we can sometimes see in videos etc is not what can be felt..they don't always go together.

Further why would anyone want to create a situation of tension, whereby if you did meet you wouldn't do so without some goodwill?

The problem lies with when people push there own beliefs/knowledge into the faces of others without due care...

Quietly quietly is the way ^^

Lee

Chris Li
10-18-2012, 03:02 AM
Imho it's not good to deride anyone's ability if you haven't met them...or practised with them. What we can sometimes see in videos etc is not what can be felt..they don't always go together.

Further why would anyone want to create a situation of tension, whereby if you did meet you wouldn't do so without some goodwill?

The problem lies with when people push there own beliefs/knowledge into the faces of others without due care...

Quietly quietly is the way ^^

Lee

Some of us have been discussing this over the internet for 15 years and more. If nobody talked about their beliefs/knowledge it would have been a much shorter and less fruitful conversation.

I, for one, am more than happy that Dan spent years shoving this stuff in my face.

Best,

Chris

MM
10-18-2012, 04:58 AM
That's it exactly! You don't know what you are talking about, without anything to support it.

I'm trying to get you to see that you're guilty of the exact same thing you're accusing me of. So by your own logic, how can you be right?

Going beyond that, it only appears to you that I have no support. I tried pointing you to where it was but you ignore it. Not much I can do when one half of the conversation is only saying, not true you don't know, without research or experience to aid in the discussion. Mine is there, I just asked you to research it ( posts, seminars, talks, etc) yourself instead of spoon feeding it to you and find the parts where you believe I am wrong and why.

Cliff Judge
10-18-2012, 06:09 AM
I'm trying to get you to see that you're guilty of the exact same thing you're accusing me of. So by your own logic, how can you be right?

Going beyond that, it only appears to you that I have no support. I tried pointing you to where it was but you ignore it. Not much I can do when one half of the conversation is only saying, not true you don't know, without research or experience to aid in the discussion. Mine is there, I just asked you to research it ( posts, seminars, talks, etc) yourself instead of spoon feeding it to you and find the parts where you believe I am wrong and why.

Yeah, right. Next time you are pulled over, tell the cop you don't have your license on you but you went to the DMV multiple times and blogged about it, so clearly you weren't speeding.

"Ueshiba's aiki," Mark. If you have any right to speak of this thing with authority it should be extremely straightforward to explain.

wxyzabc
10-18-2012, 06:34 AM
Some of us have been discussing this over the internet for 15 years and more. If nobody talked about their beliefs/knowledge it would have been a much shorter and less fruitful conversation.

I, for one, am more than happy that Dan spent years shoving this stuff in my face.

Best,

Chris

Hya Chris..that's fair enough. Some of us have also spent many a year reading the same things ^^

All the best.....I understand you're coming to Japan soon...where are you going to?

Lee

MM
10-18-2012, 07:00 AM
Yeah, right. Next time you are pulled over, tell the cop you don't have your license on you but you went to the DMV multiple times and blogged about it, so clearly you weren't speeding.

"Ueshiba's aiki," Mark. If you have any right to speak of this thing with authority it should be extremely straightforward to explain.

If the supposed cop is not an official LEO, trying to exert authority that he/she does not have, then there is no issue. *shrug* Not sure what picture you're trying to paint here. Perhaps if David Alexander had posted stating that he had learned straight from Ueshiba that the secret to aikido was awase, then, your example could possibly be valid. (Although even then, that flies in the face of all the historical evidence from everyone else who talked about Ueshiba). But, a friend of the friend of the cop's friend, pulling people over and asking for licenses? Not sure that's going to work very well in the real world.

Now, how about back to the topic? You keep trying to move us away. If you want to talk about me, open a new thread somewhere else. Awase vs aiki as being the unique aspect to aikido. Any thoughts on that? Research?

Mark

Marc Abrams
10-18-2012, 07:37 AM
Cliff:

Personal attacks do not lead to any great understandings and they bridge no gaps. If you want to get personal, then come to a seminar and meet a bunch of us as we sludge are way thru this stuff (Dan teaching the seminar). First weekend in December is the next Dan Harden seminar at my dojo. Put your preconceived ideas to the test IN PERSON, UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL. Chris Li touched on a similar theme. Most of us thought that Dan was full of bovine digested material and we were willing to discover for ourselves what was and what was not the case. Where we are today is a testament to the integrity of the character of all of us.

If you are not willing to do that, then at least spare the rest of us by stopping these personal attacks on someone you have never met and don't know. Look back at my posts. I was guilty of engaging in personal attacks and have mostly backed away from doing so, because this approach has not resulted in any measurable gains.

Marc Abrams

sorokod
10-18-2012, 08:51 AM
I participated in one of Dan's seminars and thought that the body skills he was teaching were real and interesting. I also think that they aren't related to anything the Founder was doing.

You can have one without the other.

Cliff Judge
10-18-2012, 09:29 AM
It's probably a fair question to ask Mark his qualifications to doubt things from a VOE column.
But be careful about calling BS, Cliff, Makr has done his homework and spent tens of thousands of dollars on research including hands on testing. Secondly, I might suggest you're going to get bit on many levels when hundreds of teachers and shihans happen to agree with what Mark (and I) are saying.

Mark and now over a thousand others have been in rooms, some with up to four Shihan present from different affiliations and they keep seeing it happen over and over. Mark, is not being cagey, about what he has personally seen happen, he is being extremely polite.
I am NEVER going to name names. There are far too many people who have been present in open rooms during some pretty dramatic goings on.

I don't consider this adversarial. Both the research and the results are compelling enough that more and more Aikido teachers are out pursuing many...I say again...many, venues that offer this type of teaching.
Lack of awareness of the pedagogy of the things being discussed is of course troubling within the discussion. The research has to take place on your part. Of course there is a vetting process that needs to be undertaken by those in doubt. I suggest it take place both academically and physically

To try an answer your questions, I will offer one last time:
Ueshiba's training models and exercises were not his
His descriptions were not his
Many/most of his sayings were edited versions of pre-existing internal training dogma
The sum total of his words on training and expression are echos of other works describing internal training. It is no coincidence that the arts containing the same terminology and sayings he was quoting and borrowing from also created what???
Budo giants with unusual strength.

Aiki and awase again
_________________________________________

The classic model was aiki as a union of opposites-BEFORE- awase. It is in my tag line from Shirata -yet another giant.
1. Place the immovable body (there is that nagging Ueshiba example again eh?)
2. Into an an invincible position (awase)
_______________________________________________

As far as understanding goes I continue to pose questions.
How did Ueshiba generate this power with a tree? By "fitting in" with the tree?
How did he stop Tenryu? By fitting in with him? He didn't do anything.
Why did he do push testing? Was that awase?
How?
What was he doing?
How did his description of Heaven/earth/man fit in with a push test?
What is Mountain echo?
Who can do it?
Why did he answer that aiki was a circle with opposing forces?
Why did the things he was saying appear from famous Swordsman after training at the Katori shrine in 1451 who also claimed..... it gave him power?
Explain his answer regarding dual opposing spirals?
Why are there hundreds of men in the ICMA who use the same terms Ueshiba used who have....wait...unusual soft power?
How did this happen, Cliff?

If teachers really understand what Ueshiba was talking about, then why do THEY feel like anyone else I can pull off the street anywhere in the world. Yet, those of us you are debating continue to exhibit a growing unusual strength and soft power to one degree or another. You know, the qualities more in keeping with many of the things Ueshiba was noted for?
How is this happening over and over Cliff and the number of people doing it...are growing?
Could it possibly be because we in fact do know what we are talking about? Has that thought crossed your mind?

Qualifications come in many forms. Cliff. The most telling being what people can actually do. Our understanding in budo, resides in our hands, not in our teachers, not in our "years-in," not in our keyboards...but in our hands.
So, if we remove waza from the equation, and someone feels very powerful and freakishly soft, compelling and controlling,
And then
Someone claims understanding they feel as normal as anyone else...what does that REALLY say about both their understanding?
Cliff_______________________________?

Dan

Dan, you always have some very interesting ideas in your posts, but there is never anything factual in there. Ideas, rhetorical questions, appeals to emotion, claims that yours is the only true way, but no details as to what you actually do or how you got to where you are. Now, I have it on good account that what you are doing is good stuff and probably worthwhile. So I want to be clear that I am only talking about what you say here. And how you say it.

My problem is that you use Ueshiba to brand your product. You do not seem to have been granted that right by a trusted authority. You are certainly not the first martial artist to do this, and I don't think it is a big deal in and of itself. Maybe kind of tacky, a little pandery, but whatever.

The thing is that you only seem to discuss ideas in general terms on the forums, and you are aggressively competitive against ideas that are different than yours. Again, I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with asking tough questions, having conversations about differing viewpoints, etc.

But the intersection of these two things is something I find I have a big problem with. You are claiming that what you do has something to do with what Ueshiba did. You claim that it is more like what Ueshiba was doing than a typical student could find in an Aikido dojo. You have positioned yourself as a gatekeeper to "the truth." But you don't have any credentials. And then you are dismissive and rude to anybody who hasn't shown up at your seminars and been blessed as a member of your circle. Their ideas are wrong, or at least less right than yours are. What they are doing is "martial arts," they will be owned with a quickness if they move that way, etc. And these people often HAVE credentials.

So it is this combination of wrapping yourself in Ueshiba's fundoshi to market your product, while at the same time running roughshod over people who have put time in with Ueshiba, or Ueshiba's direct students, that seems wrong to me. We're getting into things like here like, "Ueshiba's true Aiki" has nothing to do with connection or making oneself open (and ha-ha Japanese sound funny when they try to talk in English).

I dunno, could you maybe show some more respect and be more inclusive when you come onto this board? Why not highlight the common ground between your view of connection and the view of AWASE here, rather than taking it apart? I figure it should try asking...

Cliff Judge
10-18-2012, 09:44 AM
Cliff:

Personal attacks do not lead to any great understandings and they bridge no gaps. If you want to get personal, then come to a seminar and meet a bunch of us as we sludge are way thru this stuff (Dan teaching the seminar). First weekend in December is the next Dan Harden seminar at my dojo. Put your preconceived ideas to the test IN PERSON, UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL. Chris Li touched on a similar theme. Most of us thought that Dan was full of bovine digested material and we were willing to discover for ourselves what was and what was not the case. Where we are today is a testament to the integrity of the character of all of us.

If you are not willing to do that, then at least spare the rest of us by stopping these personal attacks on someone you have never met and don't know. Look back at my posts. I was guilty of engaging in personal attacks and have mostly backed away from doing so, because this approach has not resulted in any measurable gains.

Marc Abrams

Marc,

I appreciate your comments, but I am not really sure you understand what my issue is with Mark and Dan. I have got no beef with what they are doing, what their ideas are, how they train, or their skills. I am just saying, if it's got anything to do with Ueshiba, explain how. I fail to see how going to a seminar with Dan would solve this, unless we spent most of our time going over old documents and pictures, or something like that.

Mark started this thread as an attack on the authenticity of ideas presented by a direct student of Saito Sensei. I don't mean to disparage Mark's actual training or skills, whatever they are. I think it is quite fair to challenge Mark's fundamentalist / originalist basis for his attacks.

MM
10-18-2012, 10:00 AM
Mark started this thread as an attack on the authenticity of ideas presented by a direct student of Saito Sensei. I don't mean to disparage Mark's actual training or skills, whatever they are. I think it is quite fair to challenge Mark's fundamentalist / originalist basis for his attacks.

You're missing the point.

Let me try it this way, so if I say, Gleason (who is a 6th dan shihan) who trained with a number of direct students of Ueshiba states this is aiki, then does that trump your card? How about if I say Howard Popkin, a student of Okamoto who was a direct student of Horikawa, states this is aiki, then does that trump your card? How about if Marc states it, does that trump your card? So, my straight flush to your one of a kind should then be enough, right? Why do I think you'd find some other way of arguing these things?

How about if you present your research and experiences to actually challenge and/or argue the information presented? A lot of mine is here on Aikiweb. Yours?

Cliff Judge
10-18-2012, 10:11 AM
You're missing the point.

Let me try it this way, so if I say, Gleason (who is a 6th dan shihan) who trained with a number of direct students of Ueshiba states this is aiki, then does that trump your card? How about if I say Howard Popkin, a student of Okamoto who was a direct student of Horikawa, states this is aiki, then does that trump your card? How about if Marc states it, does that trump your card? So, my straight flush to your one of a kind should then be enough, right? Why do I think you'd find some other way of arguing these things?

How about if you present your research and experiences to actually challenge and/or argue the information presented? A lot of mine is here on Aikiweb. Yours?

What is "this"?

Where have I said that "this" is not aiki?

Chris Li
10-18-2012, 10:11 AM
Hya Chris..that's fair enough. Some of us have also spent many a year reading the same things ^^

All the best.....I understand you're coming to Japan soon...where are you going to?

Lee

Just got back - from Okinawa, slipped in between the typhoons.

Best,

Chris

MM
10-18-2012, 11:25 AM
What is "this"?

Where have I said that "this" is not aiki?

Okay, I did what I could to move this along with you, but I'm bowing out at this point. I don't actually believe that this conversation will go anywhere.

Mark

Marc Abrams
10-18-2012, 11:54 AM
Marc,

I appreciate your comments, but I am not really sure you understand what my issue is with Mark and Dan. I have got no beef with what they are doing, what their ideas are, how they train, or their skills. I am just saying, if it's got anything to do with Ueshiba, explain how. I fail to see how going to a seminar with Dan would solve this, unless we spent most of our time going over old documents and pictures, or something like that.

Mark started this thread as an attack on the authenticity of ideas presented by a direct student of Saito Sensei. I don't mean to disparage Mark's actual training or skills, whatever they are. I think it is quite fair to challenge Mark's fundamentalist / originalist basis for his attacks.

Cliff:

I do understand what you are saying and a necessary start would be for you to actually attend one of the seminars to see and feel the foundational material being discussed. I think that you know that I have been a direct student of Imaizumi Sensei for my entire time in Aikido. I attribute a lot of my recent changes and understandings in my Aikido to my work with Dan. It has enabled me to ask more direct and intelligent questions to Imaizumi Sensei. It has enabled me to follow his own development over the years. So many countless other areas can be included but is not really necessary. O'Sensei is not alive today. The best that we can do is what many of us are attempting to do, which is to try and figure out as accurately as we can, what he was doing, how he was doing it and then try to replicate that process in ourselves. In all of my explorations in the martial arts world, Dan is the closest to what I can take away from the videos of O'Sensei, the clearest in helping me to see how my teacher has come to do things that are like the videos of O'Sensei.

Without ever having put my hands on Dan, I would not be in a position to say what I do today. Without hands on, conversations become feckless attempts to hash out certain things that become self-evident only with hands-on experience. That is why I have asked you to come visit and feel it before you comment further without having a reality-based foundation. One person did and just posted that he did not believe that it was anything that O'Sensei did. We can agree to agree, or agree to disagree from the foundation of hands-on. At least put yourself in that category first.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

Carl Thompson
10-18-2012, 12:08 PM
The view of awase with the train example still doesn't equal Ueshiba's aiki. :)
The very idea that it did is something you set up as a strawman argument.

You said awase was not what Osensei used against Tenryu and that it was actually Aiki. This is a strawman because Alexander sensei never said that Tenryu was overcome by awase. You made that up as an example of what he was saying.

The question of whether awase equals Aiki was mentioned by Chris Li and you quickly made that the new head for your strawman and now even Dan is adding stuffing to it:
How did he stop Tenryu? By fitting in with him?
Then after repeating yourself a number of times (thanks for answering me by the way :) ) you said
Then that tells me that how he is defining awase is not the definition of Ueshiba's aiki. It tells me... etc... etc
AWASE does not equal AIKI. Stop making out that Alexander Sensei wrote that. He didn't. He actually called it a principle of AIKI in the title and content of the thread you quoted from.

Let's put down the strawman and do some research into what he actually meant by awase.
Or you can just keep posting that I don't know what I'm talking about without anything to support it.
Isn't that what you and Dan are doing with many people on this forum?
Some of us have been discussing this over the internet for 15 years and more. If nobody talked about their beliefs/knowledge it would have been a much shorter and less fruitful conversation.

I, for one, am more than happy that Dan spent years shoving this stuff in my face.

Sharing knowledge and beliefs is great, but the discussing part is important. It involves supporting assertions, not just shoving them in people's faces. I can imagine Dan has one of many valuable pre-aikido models at least, almost certainly more effective than the mass-produced model that got the brand-name, but so do a lot of people.
The classic model was aiki as a union of opposites-BEFORE- awase. It is in my tag line from Shirata -yet another giant.
1. Place the immovable body (there is that nagging Ueshiba example again eh?)
2. Into an an invincible position (awase)

This sounds like aikido to me but I think the use of the term awase is different (not wrong though -- it's a broad term).
The research has to take place on your part. Of course there is a vetting process that needs to be undertaken by those in doubt. I suggest it take place both academically and physically.
So you have a book called "Takemusu Aiki" you keep referring to in which Osensei defines his art, saying it was born in Iwama. He dictated the book while living in Iwama. David Alexander spent a considerable length of time in Iwama, beginning a few years after Osensei passed away and wrote an article mentioning a concept he learned from the old sempai who trained with Osensei there for ten or twenty years or more. I'm not saying time-served gave them the goods, they just had long windows of opportunity, which is still important. And you allow that information to get branded "modern aikido" without any evidence. Are you assuming a (possibly willful) zero-percent success rate from Osensei in passing on the proper training? You tell others that it is they who have to do research. Why not ask the remaining old sempai yourself, while they're still around?

Bear in mind, the conclusion could be that Aikido was not "born" but rather "stillborn" in Iwama: Perhaps Ueshiba changed the model for the worse? You could be the one to prove it. Maybe Ueshiba was just a Daito-Drone, capable of doing but not reproducing in his students. Maybe Dan is the Man who steps in and fixes things. We can only know by comparing notes honestly. Just lecturing and assuming no one else knows anything is not helpful.

Carl

MM
10-18-2012, 02:03 PM
You said awase was not what Osensei used against Tenryu and that it was actually Aiki. This is a strawman because Alexander sensei never said that Tenryu was overcome by awase. You made that up as an example of what he was saying.

AWASE does not equal AIKI. Stop making out that Alexander Sensei wrote that. He didn't. He actually called it a principle of AIKI in the title and content of the thread you quoted from.

Let's put down the strawman and do some research into what he actually meant by awase.


No strawman here.

Let me clarify a bit since I now understand where the confusion exists. So, David Alexander stated, "In AIKIDO this is AWASE, which can also be called the principle of AIKI." Notice he used "the", not "a". In fact, the title of his thread also uses "the" not "a".

Now, I took that as being awase is also aiki. As in, awase aka the principle of aiki. I did not take it as awase was "one" of many of the principles that made up aiki, ie "a" principle of aiki.

However, either way you look at it, it still isn't correct. The definition of awase given by David Alexander is not equivalent to Ueshiba's aiki. As I said in this thread, Ueshiba stopped Tenryu using the secret of aiki, not awase.

Even if you try to look at awase as one of the principles that make up aiki, it still isn't correct. All through Ueshiba's discourses, there are mentions of what made up aiki and awase was not one of them. Unless you can point to the research where Ueshiba talked about aiki being comprised of awase? I haven't seen it.



Or you can just keep posting that I don't know what I'm talking about without anything to support it.

Isn't that what you and Dan are doing with many people on this forum?


No.

Please point to those people in this thread who have posted as extensive research as I have here on Aikiweb (Me) Please point to those people who have trained with hundreds of aikido yudansha, 4th dan to shihan, and been tested in person for validation (Dan). Please point to those who have gone out and attended seminars of Harden, Sigman, Akuzawa, Chin, Chengde, Ikeda, Ushiro, etc. (Hundreds to thousands) Can you point to anyone on this thread who has done any of these things - that's on your side? Anyone on Aikiweb?

We have support in both research and hands on experience on both sides (what I call Modern Aikido and those people teaching IP/aiki).


So you have a book called "Takemusu Aiki" you keep referring to in which Osensei defines his art, saying it was born in Iwama. He dictated the book while living in Iwama. David Alexander spent a considerable length of time in Iwama, beginning a few years after Osensei passed away and wrote an article mentioning a concept he learned from the old sempai who trained with Osensei there for ten or twenty years or more. I'm not saying time-served gave them the goods, they just had long windows of opportunity, which is still important. And you allow that information to get branded "modern aikido" without any evidence. Are you assuming a (possibly willful) zero-percent success rate from Osensei in passing on the proper training? You tell others that it is they who have to do research. Why not ask the remaining old sempai yourself, while they're still around?

Carl

Actually, Ueshiba did pass on stuff. The "aikido" greats were all from Uehsiba's Daito ryu teaching days. From that, we know he could pass on the goods. Is there a possibility that some things got passed on in Iwama? I'd think there is a possibility.

However, to define awase like the train example and then state awase is the principle (or "a" principle) of aiki misses the boat completely.

Cliff Judge
10-18-2012, 02:38 PM
The definition of awase given by David Alexander is not equivalent to Ueshiba's aiki. As I said in this thread, Ueshiba stopped Tenryu using the secret of aiki, not awase.


Hi Mark,

Explain to me how you have any idea what Ueshiba's aiki is, again? Let alone what the secrets are?

Nevermind,
Cliff

Carl Thompson
10-18-2012, 05:04 PM
Let me clarify a bit since I now understand where the confusion exists. So, David Alexander stated, "In AIKIDO this is AWASE, which can also be called the principle of AIKI." Notice he used "the", not "a". In fact, the title of his thread also uses "the" not "a".
A definite article indicates that its noun is a particular one (or ones) being identified. It may be something that the speaker has already mentioned, or it may be something uniquely specified. The definite article in English, for both singular and plural nouns, is "the".
Now, I took that as being awase is also aiki. As in, awase aka the principle of aiki.
You should look up the definition of "principle". You are failing both the grammar and vocabulary sections at this point. A principle of something is not "equal to" that thing, whether it is singular or plural.
However, either way you look at it, it still isn't correct. The definition of awase given by David Alexander is not equivalent to Ueshiba's aiki. As I said in this thread, Ueshiba stopped Tenryu using the secret of aiki, not awase.
To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition (awase = principle of Aiki) by replacing it with a superficially similar yet not equivalent proposition (e.g.: the "straw man" that awase is EQUIVALENT to Ueshiba's aiki"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.
Even if you try to look at awase as one of the principles that make up aiki, it still isn't correct. All through Ueshiba's discourses, there are mentions of what made up aiki and awase was not one of them. Unless you can point to the research where Ueshiba talked about aiki being comprised of awase? I haven't seen it.
"Comprised of" is leaning back towards your "equals" strawman. Awase is a broad term. You do not know how it applies to the training that Alexander Sensei did or Osensei's discourses.
Let's try to find out though...
Let's awase...
Carl

MM
10-18-2012, 06:28 PM
A definite article indicates that its noun is a particular one (or ones) being identified. It may be something that the speaker has already mentioned, or it may be something uniquely specified. The definite article in English, for both singular and plural nouns, is "the".

You should look up the definition of "principle". You are failing both the grammar and vocabulary sections at this point. A principle of something is not "equal to" that thing, whether it is singular or plural.

Carl

*sigh* I'm trying to discuss the subject matter and now I get, Let's argue word definitions. Is that really the best argument you want to make about the thread subject?

MM
10-18-2012, 06:40 PM
I participated in one of Dan's seminars and thought that the body skills he was teaching were real and interesting. I also think that they aren't related to anything the Founder was doing.



Can I ask you to detail out why you think that? Here's my answer which also ties into the thread subject.

Part One

http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-04-08/aikido-and-the-floating-bridge-of-heaven

Ueshiba says that if you do not stand on the Floating Bridge of Heaven, aiki will not come forth. The Floating Bridge of Heaven is also the foundation for take musu aiki. Ueshiba then says that the Floating Bridge of Heaven is the turning of fire and water in a spiral. Fire and water are in and yo. Chris writes at the end that, "the Floating Bridge of Heaven, also known as Heaven-Earth-Man, consists of creating a state within yourself by which you connect opposing forces and express that connection in spirals through the body."

Note that nowhere did we find Ueshiba talking about any of the principles of aiki being like this: "consider trying to stop a train that is coming down the tracks. Standing on the tracks and trying to stop the train by physically overpowering it will not be expected to work. However, running next to the train, jumping aboard, moving to the engineer's compartment, overcoming the engineer and applying the brakes will produce the desired result of stopping the train. This is comparable to AWASE in that no attempt is made to directly oppose power, but control is gained by merging into the power and disabling it."

Instead, you are the center of the Universe. The Universe is you.

http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-07-01/more-on-aikido-and-the-floating-bridge-of-heaven
Now, we see that standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven in Shinto is to stand with in and yo together. Something Ueshiba kept talking about.

It's also worth noting that Tohei mentions his view of what Kisshomaru is doing at Tokyo hombu is "the Way of fitting in with another person's Ki". If you reread the view of awase by David Alexander, specifically his train example, it fits near exactly with the supposed interpretation of aiki by Kisshomaru in Tokyo.

http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-04-15/aiki-iki-kokyu-heng-ha-and-aun
Now, we read that Ueshiba stated, "The "Iki" (breath) of Aikido's kokyu-ho winds up in a spiral on the right, winds down in a spiral on the left, and gives rise to the connection between Water ("I") and Fire ("ki")." Opposing forces, contradictory forces. Why do we care? Because Ueshiba stated, "It is said that Aikido is "Standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven". The Floating Bridge of Heaven is the turning of fire and water bound together. Fire moves water, water is moved by fire. Fire and water are one thing. They turn in a spiral. They are entwined through Ki. That is something that is enacted through the breath ("iki"). This breath ("iki") is Aiki."

Throughout, he talks about the principle of aiki as it being the balance of contradictory forces within oneself.

Aikido Today Magazine; #31 Dec.93/ Jan. 94
Interview of Henry Kono sensei by Virginia Mayhew and Susan Perry.
ATM: When you had conversations like these with O'sensei, what would you talk about?
HK: Well, I would usually ask him why the rest of us couldn't do what he could. there were many other teachers, all doing aikido. But he was doing it differently - doing something differently. His movement was so clean!
ATM: How would O'sensei answer your questions about what he was doing?
HK: He would say that I didn't understand yin and yang [in and yo]. So, now I've made it my life work to study yin and yang. That's what O'sensei told me to do.

Notice that Kono knows that many of the other teachers there were doing something very different. What was Kisshomaru's interpretation? What was Ueshiba's interpretation? Different?

There are numerous Aikido Journal articles that detail out Tenryu's meeting with Ueshiba. Ueshiba was seated, not standing, not moving around. Seated. Tenryu could not push him over. Tenryu was over 6 foot tall and about 240 pounds. A giant compared to Ueshiba. When asked why Tenryu couldn't move him, Ueshiba said it was because he knew the secret of aiki. Seated, not moving around the train that was Tenryu. Instead the train that was Tenryu moved around Ueshiba who was like the Universe.

Part Two

Part of what I learned from Dan at the beginning was to build contradictory forces within myself. Primarily, I started learning up and down (at the same time) with the spine. There was also outward and inward through the hands to/from the spine. Opposing forces with me at the center.

Then, word came back that a student of Ueshiba said this kind of training I was doing was what Ueshiba used to do. No, I'm not going to say who that was. Do the research like I did.

At one point in my aikido career of about 20 years, I was able to train with someone who had been around while Ueshiba was alive. And what did some of that training consist of? Up/down with the spine. Out/in through the arms. Spirals. All from outside Tokyo hombu. There are other students outside of Tokyo who had similar training exercises to what I was doing. I'm sure there's more than what I found.

Ueshiba teaching contradictory forces of up/down in the spine and out/in through the arms. In/yo.

Looking back at the research of Ueshiba talking about aiki being contradictory forces, it's not hard to put it all together. Learning exact exercises from two different sources, Ueshiba (via his student) and Dan (via Daito ryu), regarding contradictory forces managed within oneself while trying to be the center of it all. Then top it off with reading the translations from Chris and having Ueshiba's words hammered home about aiki being opposing forces. And that was just one part. There is more.

Final

Let's go back and reread what awase means to David Alexander, "consider trying to stop a train that is coming down the tracks. Standing on the tracks and trying to stop the train by physically overpowering it will not be expected to work. However, running next to the train, jumping aboard, moving to the engineer's compartment, overcoming the engineer and applying the brakes will produce the desired result of stopping the train. This is comparable to AWASE in that no attempt is made to directly oppose power, but control is gained by merging into the power and disabling it."

Kisshomaru's interpretation = the Way of fitting in with another person's Ki
Ueshiba's interpretation = Contradictory forces in a spiral with you at the center.
David Alexander's awase = Who do you think it sounds like? Does it sound like Ueshiba's definition of any of the principles of aiki?

Gary David
10-18-2012, 09:03 PM
I appreciate your comments, but I am not really sure you understand what my issue is with Mark and Dan. I have got no beef with what they are doing, what their ideas are, how they train, or their skills. I am just saying, if it's got anything to do with Ueshiba, explain how. I fail to see how going to a seminar with Dan would solve this, unless we spent most of our time going over old documents and pictures, or something like that.


I participated in one of Dan's seminars and thought that the body skills he was teaching were real and interesting. I also think that they aren't related to anything the Founder was doing.

You can have one without the other.

Mark
I was talking with John today about how he was progressing and moving forward, both with his training and his book. We talked some about levels of understanding and the associated levels of training that go with it. If you just break the levels into low, middle, and high the consensus was that you have to have changed body/movement for middle level to do middle level and to have middle level understanding, to even see middle level.....if you are at a lower level you won't see the differences, the movement or have the understanding. .......it is just that way.

As close of friends as John and I am...we talk this stuff several times a week by phone.....he telling me that if I want more from him, middle level and such, I need to put in the time training with him if I want to develop understanding that he has. I have to spent a considerable time working the sole drills to develop the changed body to even be able to do what he does.

With this in mind maybe it is just time to let this go......if no one is listening, don't want to hear, don't see......maybe can't see at this time..don't think this approach is worth the effort....are just plain happy with what they are doing now....just let it go.... we are back to flat world viewing by most.

let it go..... and just train.......

Gary

sorokod
10-19-2012, 04:21 AM
Can I ask you to detail out why you think that?

Most of the participants in the seminar were from Tai Chi background. Early on Dan said that he isn't interested in Aikido that much and his focus is now on MMA. Except for this and a negative remarks about hanmi, he was much less diplomatic there than on this thread, Aikido wasn't mentioned. Some of the things shown contradicted my knowledge (Iwama lineage), some of it was orthogonal to it.

Ultimately, looking at the videos of the the Founder, Saito or Shioda, I don't see them do anything similar to what Dan was doing.

I have a question/theory for you Mark.

If I was to define "Modern Aikido" as the Aikido that came out of the Hombu dojo after the war, would it be true that most/all of Aikido people who consistently train with Dan or invite him to their clubs, trace their lineage to that "Modern Aikido"?

Dazzler
10-19-2012, 06:34 AM
Most of the participants in the seminar were from Tai Chi background. Early on Dan said that he isn't interested in Aikido that much and his focus is now on MMA. Except for this and a negative remarks about hanmi, he was much less diplomatic there than on this thread, Aikido wasn't mentioned. Some of the things shown contradicted my knowledge (Iwama lineage), some of it was orthogonal to it.

Ultimately, looking at the videos of the the Founder, Saito or Shioda, I don't see them do anything similar to what Dan was doing.

I have a question/theory for you Mark.

If I was to define "Modern Aikido" as the Aikido that came out of the Hombu dojo after the war, would it be true that most/all of Aikido people who consistently train with Dan or invite him to their clubs, trace their lineage to that "Modern Aikido"?

Well....all down to personal experiences really. I'm one of those people who's had Dan to their club. I'll suggest that he is a 'colourful larger than life' personality....and thank god for that, It would be such a boring world if we were all the same. He spoke as he found things...yes he wasn't trying to be diplomatic....just open and true to his experiences. Not really here to talk about personalities though....as Dan consistently says - Its not about him - its about the work.

I never heard Dan say negative things about the founder - instead many times he refered to his amazing skills.

What he consistently argued is that these skills pre-date Ueshiba. I've no issue with that.

He did put up an arguement against traditional hanmi.....supported by reasoned justification. I had no issue with it and certainly won't be getting my knickers in a twist over it.

In the whole he argues for Aiki 'within me, before thee and me' ...aiki power generated and manipulated by a carefully trained body. He provides a structure for training that body and in time that structure can then be deployed freely to waza.....to give practice that has power instead of an empty form.

Perhaps one lesson isn't enough to appreciate what Dan has to offer....but for me there was an instance connection with the teachings of my Aikido inspiration. Perhaps videos aren't always the best source of information..not really interested in debating it either as I'm just happy to focus on my own training.

For what its worth and because of the question on 'modern Aikido'....much of my training was with Pierre Chassang...student of Tadashi abe in 1952/3 and 1961.

Also student of Matsuharu Nakazano & Masamichi Noro and from 1965 student of Nobuyoshi Tamura Shihan.

Is this modern Aikido or not? I have no interest in the labelling of others really but I do know Pierres opinion..

Pierre very much argues againt what he saw as 'modern Aikido'....often refering to conversations with Master Arikawa where modern 'aikido' was referred to as Budo Sportif...and not considered the real deal.

For Pierre, Aikido was sourced in the hara, was linked to the concept of 'heaven earth man', was built around man being a cross and involved reprogramming the brain to respond with Aiki.

Even down to some of Dans walking exercises...Pierre told us of lessons in his past where they just walked up and down the mat - training to move from centre.

Finally. Spiral energy and spiral movement. These were the cornerstone of practice with Pierre.

I definitely haven't done hm full justice in those few words - but I don't see these as similar to what Dan is doing - I see them as exactly in line with the work..

Dan just 'mines' in to a new level, its the same work only even deeper. Once people get over the shock that Dan can actually show and teach this stuff, and stop being insulted on behalf of their instructors then people will realise that theres no real conflict here - just a gateway to a resource that can only improve the Aikido that we all practice.

So while Dans stuff is already in Aikido....he's uncovering things and making obvious previously hidden things that I just didn't get. So when people here are saying about Dans stuff 'we are already doing that'....Its like a sunday morning jogger claiming to have equivalent skills to Usain Bolt !

Anyway - As a caveat I'll say my work with Dan is only just starting - 18 months in after 20 years of Aikido and 8 of jujitsu. Already significant progress for me and am very happy that I've found someone that can help me that will hopefully be around for many years to come. I'll also say that I rarely post these days....there is so much chaff here and most people are so fixed in their ideas that they just aren't prepared to listen.

But FWIW...this is the experience and thoughts of just 1 peson that has hosted Dan.

Regards

D

PS. @Joe Curran - No Dan didn't meet Mike although he met a few of his instructors as well as me. Mike was hobnobbing in Singapore with his wife who was Fencing in some international competition.

sorokod
10-19-2012, 06:57 AM
Well....all down to personal experiences really. I'm one of those people who's had Dan to their club.

Just to be clear, you describe a different seminar.


I never heard Dan say negative things about the founder - instead many times he refered to his amazing skills.


Neither have I. In fact Dan mentioned the Founder only once when he supported his approach by quoting a translation from Budo by Chris Li.


For what its worth and because of the question on 'modern Aikido'...


In this thread 'modern Aikido' was introduced by Mark in post #1 (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=316801&postcount=1). In my definition I just follow Stanley Pranin article "Is O-Sensei Really the Father of Modern Aikido?" (http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2011/11/28/is-o-sensei-really-the-father-of-modern-aikido-by-stanley-pranin/)


Also student of Matsuharu Nakazano & Masamichi Noro and from 1965 student of Nobuyoshi Tamura Shihan.

Is this modern Aikido or not?


It is, according to the proposed definition.

Dazzler
10-19-2012, 07:33 AM
It is, according to the proposed definition.....lol ! For me life doesn't always have things conveniently put in little boxes.

I've no real interest in what someone who hasn't trained with someone else thinks of them or cares to classify them as.

I know what I've experienced with a multitude of seniors over the year - and I know who in my opinion stands out.

I've just chipped in to say how much Dans course resonated with me and was in my opinion in line with the teachings of Pierre which I consider myself very fortunate to have received, I've only done this because certainly in the UK I'm the only Aikido person to host Dan to date so am in a unique position. (Alex Ferreras does lurk but he's CMA).

Regarding the definition supplied on modern Aikido I actually think Aikido v Modern Aikido is more about content rather than geograpic location or even pre/post war. If you check with Henry Ellis you'll see that Pierre came across with Abbe Sensei when Aikido first came to UK. If training after the war makes it 'modern' Aikido then since this was 1952 .....all Aikido in the UK would be modern Aikido.

This isn't my view of course...but everyone is entitled to their own view and I'll not be losing any sleep over such a classification.

Cheers

D.

ps. Were you on the 1st course in London? glasses?

sorokod
10-19-2012, 07:42 AM
....lol ! For me life doesn't always have things conveniently put in little boxes.

I've no real interest in what someone who hasn't trained with someone else thinks of them or cares to classify them as.

I know what I've experienced with a multitude of seniors over the year - and I know who in my opinion stands out.

I've just chipped in to say how much Dans course resonated with me and was in my opinion in line with the teachings of Pierre which I consider myself very fortunate to have received, I've only done this because certainly in the UK I'm the only Aikido person to host Dan to date so am in a unique position. (Alex Ferreras does lurk but he's CMA).

Regarding the definition supplied on modern Aikido I actually think Aikido v Modern Aikido is more about content rather than geograpic location or even pre/post war. If you check with Henry Ellis you'll see that Pierre came across with Abbe Sensei when Aikido first came to UK. If training after the war makes it 'modern' Aikido then since this was 1952 .....all Aikido in the UK would be modern Aikido.

This isn't my view of course...but everyone is entitled to their own view and I'll not be losing any sleep over such a classification.

Cheers

D.

ps. Were you on the 1st course in London? glasses?

If you haven't read "Is O-Sensei Really the Father of Modern Aikido?" already, give it a shot. It is much more reasonable then "someone who hasn't trained with someone else thinks of them or cares to classify them as."
Here is the link again: http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2011/11/28/is-o-sensei-really-the-father-of-modern-aikido-by-stanley-pranin/

Dazzler
10-19-2012, 07:46 AM
One other significant correlation for this - Pierre attributes the 'Eureka moment' of his understanding of Aikido not to his japanese teachers ..but to Chinese scholars quoting Tchang Sai for instance "Everything in the universe is made of Qi" and from the Ling Tchou (a book on medicine) "the living being must not be considered as matter animated by the spirit, it is energy that directs matter, itself a form of energy, towards the phenomum of life"

Heavy stuff...but still consistent with the source of Dans teachings that Aiki predates O'sensei.

FWIW

D

Dazzler
10-19-2012, 08:06 AM
If you haven't read "Is O-Sensei Really the Father of Modern Aikido?" already, give it a shot. It is much more reasonable then "someone who hasn't trained with someone else thinks of them or cares to classify them as."
Here is the link again: http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2011/11/28/is-o-sensei-really-the-father-of-modern-aikido-by-stanley-pranin/
Yes - I've read it.

I'm not being unreasonable though - I'm not here to debate - I never was - I'm just stating that my view is coloured by hands on experience with Pierre, with Dan and with many other senior Aikido players having chipped in because the question posed to Mark essentially referred to someone in my current position.

While I'm here - I think its a good article - but I don't think its a one size fits all. Not all aikido students take their references from a single strand, my opinion is that the Aikido of some post war students has been augmented by research above and beyond that of their instructors ...leading them back towards the source. But thats just my opinion.

I leave classification to the debaters here and return to sitting in the viewing gallery - my posts were to give a view from someone that fits the category in your question to Mark, other than that I really have no dog in this fight and am only interested in training that takes me in the direction I believe is correct.

Right now this runs in the same course as the lessons I gratefully receive from Dan.

Cheers

D

HL1978
10-19-2012, 08:19 AM
Ultimately, looking at the videos of the the Founder, Saito or Shioda, I don't see them do anything similar to what Dan was doing.



Having never met Dan, I have no skin in the game. What exactly do you see as being different from what he is doing, compared to the above people? I think it might be helpful for people that are interested in meeting him.

Carl Thompson
10-19-2012, 08:55 AM
*sigh* I'm trying to discuss the subject matter and now I get, Let's argue word definitions. Is that really the best argument you want to make about the thread subject?

There is no argument for me to want over word definition.

Look at the previous posts in the thread. Now look at the post at the beginning. In that sentence "the post at the beginning" refers to one of many posts. "Principle" does not mean "equal". 2 + 2 is not the principle of 4. It's not rocket science. Don't pretend this is something that even could be argued.

And you are not trying to discuss anything. You started with two conclusions and have told us how they are right over and over without any evidence.

1. You were wrong about Aikido not having influence from other arts. One example of evidence I provided was from was Stanley Pranin - you have done nothing to refute it and asked no questions about it. Were you even interested in discussing this?

2. You were wrong about David Alexander saying Awase = Aiki and your attempt to redefine the English language to cover your mistake isn't going to hide it. Nor is repeating the abstract example of the train and just saying it's modern aikido. Instead of just telling us it isn't Aiki, you could ask questions and have people give all kinds of testimony from actually training in Iwama. Then, you could compare notes, and reach the conclusion at the end (maybe even the same one - only informed).

Before you made your original post, you could have PMed Alexander Sensei and asked him what he meant by awase. Your original post could have been "I'm interested to know what the concept of awase is in Iwama? How does it feature in actual practice? I read that Aikido was influenced by arts other than Daito Ryu. Could anyone give me some examples of how... etc" You have great resources at your fingertips to find out what you want to know.

Are you interested in giving this style of debate a try?

Carl

Cliff Judge
10-19-2012, 09:18 AM
"This is comparable to AWASE in that no attempt is made to directly oppose power, but control is gained by merging into the power and disabling it."

Kisshomaru's interpretation = the Way of fitting in with another person's Ki
Ueshiba's interpretation = Contradictory forces in a spiral with you at the center.
David Alexander's awase = Who do you think it sounds like? Does it sound like Ueshiba's definition of any of the principles of aiki?

Actually, this really sounds like what someone above in the thread - Chris Li maybe - said, that awase is a result of aiki. Maybe you would prefer if David Alexander had described the situation as the incoming force running into the body with in and yo balanced within, and the inbound force loses control and disables itself?

Personally I prefer imagery that is more volitional. David Alexander's works better for me.

Thanks for the explication, btw. It is obviously very important for you to feel validated that what you are doing is exactly what Osensei was doing.

MM
10-19-2012, 10:16 AM
When all logic, research, evidence, and truth fails, talk about character or belabor the format.

So far, I have, on Aikiweb, provided hundreds to over a thousand posts of research and explanations and direct experiences in correlating Ueshiba's aikido against other aikido.

Detractors of that so far have provided only that I am wrong, that I don't know, that I have no pedigree, that the foundation of the wording was in error, and that the format of the debate should be changed, that I must be psychologically impaired, that one person who trained with a student of Ueshiba trumps all other people who either trained with Ueshiba or trained with students of Ueshiba, that, well, pretty much everything except providing solid research and experiences debating the subject matter.

Gary, you were right. :D But, it was never about changing the minds of a few, rather it was about putting information out there for the audience at large so that they can see the other side. Multiple meanings of that is intended.

Anyway, I'm done. The information is there and has not been refuted. A point to keep in mind when reading replies that are directed everywhere but there.

Mark

sorokod
10-19-2012, 10:44 AM
Having never met Dan, I have no skin in the game. What exactly do you see as being different from what he is doing, compared to the above people? I think it might be helpful for people that are interested in meeting him.

The short and somewhat useless answer is "everything". The longer answer is that in the seminar no waza has been taught so when I say everything is different, I mean that I don't see how the waza demonstrated
in the video arises or is related to the drills from the seminar. I have asked similar questions on this thread:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=317230&postcount=69
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=317251&postcount=75
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=317299&postcount=83
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=317348&postcount=90

so have a look.

chillzATL
10-19-2012, 10:50 AM
The short and somewhat useless answer is "everything". The longer answer is that in the seminar no waza has been taught so when I say everything is different, I mean that I don't see how the waza demonstrated
in the video arises or is related to the drills from the seminar. I have asked similar questions on this thread:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=317230&postcount=69
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=317251&postcount=75
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=317299&postcount=83
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=317348&postcount=90

so have a look.

You honestly don't see how what is shown in the video of the first link you posted above matches up with anything Dan did in his seminar? O'sensei having a guy push on him, not moving, not turning away, absorbing their strength into his body until he decides to throw them away. Later in the vid he's letting guys push into his hip, absorbing it and bouncing them away. You consider that waza?

sorokod
10-19-2012, 11:05 AM
You honestly don't see how what is shown in the video of the first link you posted above matches up with anything Dan did in his seminar? O'sensei having a guy push on him, not moving, not turning away, absorbing their strength into his body until he decides to throw them away. Later in the vid he's letting guys push into his hip, absorbing it and bouncing them away. You consider that waza?

Are you referring to the post where I say:


There are some videos of "push tests" such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoDK3...00m42s#t=0m42s but they are easily countable minority rather then "endless and repetitive and common".

?

chillzATL
10-19-2012, 11:09 AM
Are you referring to the post where I say:

?

yes that's correct. You relegate those examples as "the minority", but if you view O'sensei's waza as the highest level of aikido and people have been doing that waza for decades without reaching or really even coming close to his skill level, maybe it's time to figure out how he's doing those other things, because it's pretty clear that waza doesn't get you that. I think that's the base argument that has been made in relation to these IS/IP skills from the get go.

HL1978
10-19-2012, 12:01 PM
The short and somewhat useless answer is "everything". The longer answer is that in the seminar no waza has been taught so when I say everything is different, I mean that I don't see how the waza demonstrated
in the video arises or is related to the drills from the seminar. I have asked similar questions on this thread:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=317230&postcount=69
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=317251&postcount=75
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=317299&postcount=83
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=317348&postcount=90

so have a look.

I've never met Dan, though I have met up with people who have, so any information I have on what he teaches is second hand. I believe he has taught more aikido-centric seminars, so perhaps with that audience makeup, it might be more apparent? I assume he probably would say that you need to apply the principle of whatever he worked on in push-tests, strikes etc to your aikido practice, and that you could presumably utilize it in pre-scripted waza as a limited means by which to develop it, even if waza itself isn't the ultimate goal.

I know for myself, as I study a number of arts, that attending IS seminars, the drills and focus did not look immediately applicable, to my kendo/iaido practice, nor to ground fighting, since we never quite did anything that replicated the motions of cutting, nor submissions. That being said, the fact that people got unbalanced on contact, was rather attractive and seemed unlike what I'd seen which was the result of timing, pain compliance, really good form or collusion. Then its up to one's self to figure out once they understand the principle, and see if the same movement is present in certain people who are acknowledged to "have" it and how to rewire how you move yourself..

Obviously, having never met nor seen Dan, I'm in no position to judge if he is doing what Ueshiba is doing, but I think its pretty clear that he is not advocating the approach most people have to martial arts. I think a question to ask those who have had experience with Ueshiba is to ask, them if he achieved what he did through superior technique and timing or if there was something else they seemed to think was in action (whether it was his religious experiences or something else) and perhaps use that as a measuring stick.

Fred Little
10-19-2012, 01:30 PM
When all logic, research, evidence, and truth fails, talk about character or belabor the format.

So far, I have, on Aikiweb, provided hundreds to over a thousand posts of research and explanations and direct experiences in correlating Ueshiba's aikido against other aikido.

Detractors of that so far have provided only that I am wrong, that I don't know, that I have no pedigree, that the foundation of the wording was in error, and that the format of the debate should be changed, that I must be psychologically impaired, that one person who trained with a student of Ueshiba trumps all other people who either trained with Ueshiba or trained with students of Ueshiba, that, well, pretty much everything except providing solid research and experiences debating the subject matter.

Gary, you were right. :D But, it was never about changing the minds of a few, rather it was about putting information out there for the audience at large so that they can see the other side. Multiple meanings of that is intended.

Anyway, I'm done. The information is there and has not been refuted. A point to keep in mind when reading replies that are directed everywhere but there.

Mark

Mark,

With all due respect, it seems that you misunderstand the nature of the counter-arguments you claim to have addressed.

One could fairly credit you with having made an interesting circumstantial case on the basis of carefully selected quotes organized on the basis of a number of inferences you have made from your personal training experiences.That is something very different from your apparent belief that you have made a rock-solid case based on hard evidence. You find your argument compelling. Fine. That still doesn't make it rock-solid.

What I mean by "hard evidence" is a confirmation of your case by an individual who was familiar with Ueshiba's practices -- as both a private individual and as a semi-private or public teacher/exemplar of his art, and/or by textual evidence with a clear provenance.

One can entirely accept the argument that any number of people who were students of students of Morihei Ueshiba, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, or Horikawa Kodo, or (fill in the blank) find something valuable in the mode of practice you favor without accepting the assertion that either the mode (or precise goal) of your practice is identical to that of Morihei Ueshiba.

In a koryu context, if a school had "lost" such material from its core curriculum (let's call that the "honden") and subsequently "re-imported" the material from some other school that had somehow gotten hold of and maintained that body of instruction, unless there was clear documentation (which requires either unequivocal textual evidence or confirmation by someone familiar with the original material as-taught, or both) that each and every piece of the re-imported material was identical in sequence and detail the original, the material would have to be reclassified as "outside transmission" or "revived transmission." And the final decision would rest with an individual who was appropriately trained and licensed to do so. It would would never be treated as part of the core teachings faithfully transmitted through an unbroken sequence of exponents.

It's not a matter of whether the material is good stuff, is related in some significant part to some good stuff that was part of the school three-quarters of a century or a century ago, or if the people working the material are good people.

It's a matter of whether there is sufficient documentary evidence and direct first hand knowledge to state, unequivocally with no missing links in the chain of argument requiring supposition or inference, that "this" is exactly "that," whatever this and that may be.

Yes, you can say (not unreasonably) that there's no way anyone can know whether or not "this" is good stuff, or useful stuff, without experiencing it. That makes perfect sense. But that is a fundamentally different assertion than the claim that "this IP/IS practice,the aiki body it develops, and whatever arises from that is nothing more or less than Ueshiba's aiki."

Frankly, the only way I see to closer to proving or disproving that claim is for some intrepid researchers currently in Japan to follow up some of the research suggestions Ellis has repeatedly made. There are individuals still alive and related schools extant which might be able to provide further evidence to confirm your informed speculations.

But absent such evidence, your assertions remain informed speculations. While there is value in informed speculation, there is a valid distinction between informed speculation and proven fact. My sense is that the frustration of your interlocutors turns directly on what they see as your (relentless) refusal to acknowledge that this is a meaningful distinction.

None of this goes to the additional questions of whether or not Ueshiba's training methods, philosophical views, religious views and practices, political or soteriological goals changed over time, or to the question of whether what attracts people to the art is simply the fundamental physical ability to manifest rootedness, and generate uncommon power by which the movement of others might be directed, or some other, perhaps less tangible feature. My experience is that most aikido practitioners have some measure of both, but the proportion varies widely from individual to individual and the spectrum is a broad one. Very few are interesting in a strictly physical approach, even a highly nuanced physical approach like those found in the various IP/IS models available.

To return this to the OP. "Awase" can be accomplished any number of ways. Would "aiki" as a distinct principle be useful in accomplishing "awase?" Sure. Is it necessary? Not remotely. Is it desirable? De gustibus non est disputadam!

If you don't like what's on the menu, there's no need to go in the restaurant and no need to fuss at the people who do like what's on the menu. It may be quite enough to say (as F. Scott Fitzgerald once paraphrased Lincoln) : "If you like this sort of thing, this, possibly, is the sort of thing you'll like."

That formulation is well within the Confucian edict "To go too far is as bad as to fall short."

Mindful that this guidance is well within the broad sweep of traditional East Asian shared culture with which Ueshiba M. was raised and to which he was devoted, yet fearful that it is already far too late in this reply to even say such a thing, I will close in the hope that all of the above sparks more light than heat.

Best,

Fred

Fred Little
10-19-2012, 01:54 PM
When all logic, research, evidence, and truth fails, talk about character or belabor the format.

So far, I have, on Aikiweb, provided hundreds to over a thousand posts of research and explanations and direct experiences in correlating Ueshiba's aikido against other aikido.

Detractors of that so far have provided only that I am wrong, that I don't know, that I have no pedigree, that the foundation of the wording was in error, and that the format of the debate should be changed, that I must be psychologically impaired, that one person who trained with a student of Ueshiba trumps all other people who either trained with Ueshiba or trained with students of Ueshiba, that, well, pretty much everything except providing solid research and experiences debating the subject matter.

Gary, you were right. :D But, it was never about changing the minds of a few, rather it was about putting information out there for the audience at large so that they can see the other side. Multiple meanings of that is intended.

Anyway, I'm done. The information is there and has not been refuted. A point to keep in mind when reading replies that are directed everywhere but there.

Mark

Mark,

With all due respect, it seems that you misunderstand the nature of the counter-arguments you claim to have addressed.

One could fairly credit you with having made an interesting circumstantial case on the basis of carefully selected quotes organized on the basis of a number of inferences you have made from your personal training experiences.That is something very different from your apparent belief that you have made a rock-solid case based on hard evidence. You find your argument compelling. Fine. That still doesn't make it rock-solid.

What I mean by "hard evidence" is a confirmation of your case by an individual who was familiar with Ueshiba's practices -- as both a private individual and as a semi-private or public teacher/exemplar of his art, and/or by textual evidence with a clear provenance.

One can entirely accept the argument that any number of people who were students of students of Morihei Ueshiba, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, or Horikawa Kodo, or (fill in the blank) find something valuable in the mode of practice you favor without accepting the assertion that either the mode (or precise goal) of your practice is identical to that of Morihei Ueshiba.

In a koryu context, if a school had "lost" such material from its core curriculum (let's call that the "honden") and subsequently "re-imported" the material from some other school that had somehow gotten hold of and maintained that body of instruction, unless there was clear documentation (which requires either unequivocal textual evidence or confirmation by someone familiar with the original material as-taught, or both) that each and every piece of the re-imported material was identical in sequence and detail the original, the material would have to be reclassified as "outside transmission" or "revived transmission." And the final decision would rest with an individual who was appropriately trained and licensed to do so. It would would never be treated as part of the core teachings faithfully transmitted through an unbroken sequence of exponents.

It's not a matter of whether the material is good stuff, is related in some significant part to some good stuff that was part of the school three-quarters of a century or a century ago, or if the people working the material are good people.

It's a matter of whether there is sufficient documentary evidence and direct first hand knowledge to state, unequivocally with no missing links in the chain of argument requiring supposition or inference, that "this" is exactly "that," whatever this and that may be.

Yes, you can say (not unreasonably) that there's no way anyone can know whether or not "this" is good stuff, or useful stuff, without experiencing it. That makes perfect sense. But that is a fundamentally different assertion than the claim that "this IP/IS practice,the aiki body it develops, and whatever arises from that is nothing more or less than Ueshiba's aiki."

Frankly, the only way I see to closer to proving or disproving that claim is for some intrepid researchers currently in Japan to follow up some of the research suggestions Ellis has repeatedly made. There are individuals still alive and related schools extant which might be able to provide further evidence to confirm your informed speculations.

But absent such evidence, your assertions remain informed speculations. While there is value in informed speculation, there is a valid distinction between informed speculation and proven fact. My sense is that the frustration of your interlocutors turns directly on what they see as your (relentless) refusal to acknowledge that this is a meaningful distinction.

None of this goes to the additional questions of whether or not Ueshiba's training methods, philosophical views, religious views and practices, political or soteriological goals changed over time, or to the question of whether what attracts people to the art is simply the fundamental physical ability to manifest rootedness, and generate uncommon power by which the movement of others might be directed, or some other, perhaps less tangible feature. My experience is that most aikido practitioners have some measure of both, but the proportion varies widely from individual to individual and the spectrum is a broad one. Very few are interesting in a strictly physical approach, even a highly nuanced physical approach like those found in the various IP/IS models available.

To return this to the OP. "Awase" can be accomplished any number of ways. Would "aiki" as a distinct principle be useful in accomplishing "awase?" Sure. Is it necessary? Not remotely. Is it desirable? De gustibus non est disputadam!

If you don't like what's on the menu, there's no need to go in the restaurant and no need to fuss at the people who do like what's on the menu. It may be quite enough to say (as F. Scott Fitzgerald once paraphrased Lincoln) : "If you like this sort of thing, this, possibly, is the sort of thing you'll like."

That formulation is well within the Confucian edict "To go too far is as bad as to fall short."

Mindful that this guidance is well within the broad sweep of traditional East Asian shared culture with which Ueshiba M. was raised and to which he was devoted, yet fearful that it is already far too late in this reply to even say such a thing, I will close in the hope that all of the above sparks more light than heat.

Best,

Fred

MM
10-19-2012, 02:31 PM
Mark,

With all due respect, it seems that you misunderstand the nature of the counter-arguments you claim to have addressed.

One could fairly credit you with having made an interesting circumstantial case on the basis of carefully selected quotes organized on the basis of a number of inferences you have made from your personal training experiences.That is something very different from your apparent belief that you have made a rock-solid case based on hard evidence. You find your argument compelling. Fine. That still doesn't make it rock-solid.

What I mean by "hard evidence" is a confirmation of your case by an individual who was familiar with Ueshiba's practices -- as both a private individual and as a semi-private or public teacher/exemplar of his art, and/or by textual evidence with a clear provenance.

One can entirely accept the argument that any number of people who were students of students of Morihei Ueshiba, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, or Horikawa Kodo, or (fill in the blank) find something valuable in the mode of practice you favor without accepting the assertion that either the mode (or precise goal) of your practice is identical to that of Morihei Ueshiba.

In a koryu context, if a school had "lost" such material from its core curriculum (let's call that the "honden") and subsequently "re-imported" the material from some other school that had somehow gotten hold of and maintained that body of instruction, unless there was clear documentation (which requires either unequivocal textual evidence or confirmation by someone familiar with the original material as-taught, or both) that each and every piece of the re-imported material was identical in sequence and detail the original, the material would have to be reclassified as "outside transmission" or "revived transmission." And the final decision would rest with an individual who was appropriately trained and licensed to do so. It would would never be treated as part of the core teachings faithfully transmitted through an unbroken sequence of exponents.

It's not a matter of whether the material is good stuff, is related in some significant part to some good stuff that was part of the school three-quarters of a century or a century ago, or if the people working the material are good people.

It's a matter of whether there is sufficient documentary evidence and direct first hand knowledge to state, unequivocally with no missing links in the chain of argument requiring supposition or inference, that "this" is exactly "that," whatever this and that may be.

Yes, you can say (not unreasonably) that there's no way anyone can know whether or not "this" is good stuff, or useful stuff, without experiencing it. That makes perfect sense. But that is a fundamentally different assertion than the claim that "this IP/IS practice,the aiki body it develops, and whatever arises from that is nothing more or less than Ueshiba's aiki."

Frankly, the only way I see to closer to proving or disproving that claim is for some intrepid researchers currently in Japan to follow up some of the research suggestions Ellis has repeatedly made. There are individuals still alive and related schools extant which might be able to provide further evidence to confirm your informed speculations.

But absent such evidence, your assertions remain informed speculations. While there is value in informed speculation, there is a valid distinction between informed speculation and proven fact. My sense is that the frustration of your interlocutors turns directly on what they see as your (relentless) refusal to acknowledge that this is a meaningful distinction.

None of this goes to the additional questions of whether or not Ueshiba's training methods, philosophical views, religious views and practices, political or soteriological goals changed over time, or to the question of whether what attracts people to the art is simply the fundamental physical ability to manifest rootedness, and generate uncommon power by which the movement of others might be directed, or some other, perhaps less tangible feature. My experience is that most aikido practitioners have some measure of both, but the proportion varies widely from individual to individual and the spectrum is a broad one. Very few are interesting in a strictly physical approach, even a highly nuanced physical approach like those found in the various IP/IS models available.

To return this to the OP. "Awase" can be accomplished any number of ways. Would "aiki" as a distinct principle be useful in accomplishing "awase?" Sure. Is it necessary? Not remotely. Is it desirable? De gustibus non est disputadam!

If you don't like what's on the menu, there's no need to go in the restaurant and no need to fuss at the people who do like what's on the menu. It may be quite enough to say (as F. Scott Fitzgerald once paraphrased Lincoln) : "If you like this sort of thing, this, possibly, is the sort of thing you'll like."

That formulation is well within the Confucian edict "To go too far is as bad as to fall short."

Mindful that this guidance is well within the broad sweep of traditional East Asian shared culture with which Ueshiba M. was raised and to which he was devoted, yet fearful that it is already far too late in this reply to even say such a thing, I will close in the hope that all of the above sparks more light than heat.

Best,

Fred

Hello Fred,

With respect, I do understand the nature of the counter arguments. Let me sum it up:

People who have provided no research, no evidence, no far ranging experiences telling me I am wrong in regards to Ueshiba's aiki. Now, these people point to a student of a student of Ueshiba for proof. I point to a student of a student of Ueshiba. Who trumps whom? Beyond the fact that each of us is merely pointing at external sources, in essence, these people absolutely must know what aiki is to emphatically state that I do not know what it is.

As you state, "It's a matter of whether there is sufficient documentary evidence and direct first hand knowledge to state, unequivocally with no missing links in the chain of argument requiring supposition or inference, that "this" is exactly "that," whatever this and that may be."

Let's apply that logic to the "counter arguments" shall we? Except, no one has, no one will, no one cares to. Rather, it is taken unequivocally that those with "counter arguments" know absolutely the knowledge to grant all that I do not know.

Let's go back to Ueshiba. Can these people replicate his skills? No. Can they replicate his knowledge of ancient martial concepts? No. Can they prove his training? No. Can they prove his practices? No. Which sort of puts us all on equal footing, no? What, then, gives them the foundation to state so emphatically that I am wrong? If we apply your logic to their arguments, they fall far short.

So, let's go back to the research and the experiences. I have done the research. They haven't. I have about 20 years of aikido training. I'm sure they do, too. I've trained with a variety of aikido shihan. I'm sure they have, too. I've trained with the IP/aiki exponents. They haven't.

Who, then, is on solid ground? And who is on marshy ground?

And this is all just going over what I have done. Shall we toss in Marc Abrams, Chris Li, Greg Steckel, Rob Liberti, etc? All who have greater experiences with students of students of the founder?

Shall we toss in the interviews with the students of the founder themselves who stated they didn't know what he was doing or how he did it? With Kono who said everyone was doing everything different? With Pranin stating that Ueshiba was rarely at Tokyo hombu, let alone teaching there. Etc, etc, etc.

As to the koryu example, let's apply it to aikido. We have several branches from Sokaku Takeda, passing on aiki. There were peers with similar training methods. There are exact training exercises between aikido and daito ryu in regards to training aiki. Where is the broken transmission? Maybe it is that people just didn't know it was there and that these people are arguing from a basis of ignorance rather than supported research? Except that no one wants to apply the same logic to their "counter arguments".

So, it's fine for someone to state unequivocally that awase is the principle of aiki and is what makes aikido unique, in an unsupported manner, but not okay when I refute it backed by research, Ueshiba's own words, and direct experience? Really? Can we use your logic to ask them to support their words with "rock-solid" evidence that I'm asking to provide? Show me Ueshiba's own words that supports their case. Show me the experience they have with those who can do what Ueshiba did that supports their case.

Again, I stand by my first sentence in that post. It has proven true time and time again.

When all logic, research, evidence, and truth fails, talk about character or belabor the format.

Fred Little
10-19-2012, 03:48 PM
Hello Fred,

With respect, I do understand the nature of the counter arguments. Let me sum it up:

People who have provided no research, no evidence, no far ranging experiences telling me I am wrong in regards to Ueshiba's aiki. Now, these people point to a student of a student of Ueshiba for proof. I point to a student of a student of Ueshiba. Who trumps whom? Beyond the fact that each of us is merely pointing at external sources, in essence, these people absolutely must know what aiki is to emphatically state that I do not know what it is. .

This is a misunderstanding of the nature of the burden of proof of the type that the analogy of Russell's teapot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot) was developed to address. In short, it is not necessary for a skeptic to disprove your assertion. It is necessary for you to prove it (as distinct from provide a suggestive, but ultimately incomplete and inconclusive assemblage of evidence that tends to support your argument). You have neither proved your theory nor disproved the counterarguments.

The counterarguments are, for the most part, not bald assertions that you are wrong. They are either alternative theories which may or may not address particulars of your theory, or specific assertions that your theory has holes of both evidence and method in your argument sufficiently large that it remains unproven. These leave you with the option of showing the alternative theories to be false or unlikely in the first case, and of filling in the holes of evidence and method.

Like the other individuals you name in your post, neither you nor I witnessed or have hands-on experience with the skills of Ueshiba Morihei, which means that any argument about the precise nature of those skills is either based on videotape, written description, or hearsay. In the first case, different viewers may come to differing conclusions -- and there are also technical issues like film transfer rates etc. In the second and third cases, both written accounts and hearsay need to be exposed to a number of filters: Who wrote/said this? Who was the reader/listener? What was the context of the statement? What was the agenda of the speaker? These are all legitimate questions that may cause us to give more or less credit to various statements being introduced as evidence.

You cite a number of comparatively exerienced people who find utility in this work and who see a clear continuity between their understanding of Ueshiba's aikido and what they develop in this kind of work. That's useful information. It is also useful information to be told by comparatively experienced people that there is clear continuity between Systema and Ueshiba's aikido, or Contact Improv and Aikido, or verbal conflict de-escalation techniques and Ueshiba's aikido, or Non-Violent Communication and Ueshiba's aikido. Continuity is not identity. Congruity is not identity. Complementarity is not identity. Relationship is not identity. Sydney Bechet is not Louis Armstrong.

The nature of the argument in favor of your theory is like that used in a civil trial -- you are arguing that the "preponderance of the evidence" is on your side and your disputants don't have a similar weight of evidence in favor of their counter-arguments, therefore they should accept your argument.

This is akin to saying: "you can't prove your theory so you must accept mine." What you're failing to acknowledge is that continued skepticism in the face of incomplete information is not only a reasonable position, but may be the soundest position of all.

The above goes to the basic principles of theory formation and evaluation, basic concepts of relatedness and identity, theory falsification and its implications, and the need to examine evidence critically, because this is where the fundamental problem with both your theory and your presentation of your theory appear to lie, based on your summary above. One needn't go beyond that point to identify the structural issues with your argument and your understanding of what it means to "prove" something.

On the other hand, if you could just lighten up a little bit and acknowledge that while you haven't proved your case, rather more gently point out that you still have a circumstantial and suggestive case which is worthy of further examination and archaeology, you might have a defensible position.

Best,

Fred

Eric Winters
10-19-2012, 05:06 PM
This is a misunderstanding of the nature of the burden of proof of the type that the analogy of Russell's teapot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot) was developed to address. In short, it is not necessary for a skeptic to disprove your assertion. It is necessary for you to prove it (as distinct from provide a suggestive, but ultimately incomplete and inconclusive assemblage of evidence that tends to support your argument). You have neither proved your theory nor disproved the counterarguments.

The counterarguments are, for the most part, not bald assertions that you are wrong. They are either alternative theories which may or may not address particulars of your theory, or specific assertions that your theory has holes of both evidence and method in your argument sufficiently large that it remains unproven. These leave you with the option of showing the alternative theories to be false or unlikely in the first case, and of filling in the holes of evidence and method.

Like the other individuals you name in your post, neither you nor I witnessed or have hands-on experience with the skills of Ueshiba Morihei, which means that any argument about the precise nature of those skills is either based on videotape, written description, or hearsay. In the first case, different viewers may come to differing conclusions -- and there are also technical issues like film transfer rates etc. In the second and third cases, both written accounts and hearsay need to be exposed to a number of filters: Who wrote/said this? Who was the reader/listener? What was the context of the statement? What was the agenda of the speaker? These are all legitimate questions that may cause us to give more or less credit to various statements being introduced as evidence.

You cite a number of comparatively exerienced people who find utility in this work and who see a clear continuity between their understanding of Ueshiba's aikido and what they develop in this kind of work. That's useful information. It is also useful information to be told by comparatively experienced people that there is clear continuity between Systema and Ueshiba's aikido, or Contact Improv and Aikido, or verbal conflict de-escalation techniques and Ueshiba's aikido, or Non-Violent Communication and Ueshiba's aikido. Continuity is not identity. Congruity is not identity. Complementarity is not identity. Relationship is not identity. Sydney Bechet is not Louis Armstrong.

The nature of the argument in favor of your theory is like that used in a civil trial -- you are arguing that the "preponderance of the evidence" is on your side and your disputants don't have a similar weight of evidence in favor of their counter-arguments, therefore they should accept your argument.

This is akin to saying: "you can't prove your theory so you must accept mine." What you're failing to acknowledge is that continued skepticism in the face of incomplete information is not only a reasonable position, but may be the soundest position of all.

The above goes to the basic principles of theory formation and evaluation, basic concepts of relatedness and identity, theory falsification and its implications, and the need to examine evidence critically, because this is where the fundamental problem with both your theory and your presentation of your theory appear to lie, based on your summary above. One needn't go beyond that point to identify the structural issues with your argument and your understanding of what it means to "prove" something.

On the other hand, if you could just lighten up a little bit and acknowledge that while you haven't proved your case, rather more gently point out that you still have a circumstantial and suggestive case which is worthy of further examination and archaeology, you might have a defensible position.

Best,

Fred

Yeah, What he said. :)

Eric

mrlizard123
10-19-2012, 05:16 PM
This is a misunderstanding of the nature of the burden of proof of the type that the analogy of Russell's teapot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot) was developed to address. In short, it is not necessary for a skeptic to disprove your assertion. It is necessary for you to prove it (as distinct from provide a suggestive, but ultimately incomplete and inconclusive assemblage of evidence that tends to support your argument). You have neither proved your theory nor disproved the counterarguments.

The counterarguments are, for the most part, not bald assertions that you are wrong. They are either alternative theories which may or may not address particulars of your theory, or specific assertions that your theory has holes of both evidence and method in your argument sufficiently large that it remains unproven. These leave you with the option of showing the alternative theories to be false or unlikely in the first case, and of filling in the holes of evidence and method.

Like the other individuals you name in your post, neither you nor I witnessed or have hands-on experience with the skills of Ueshiba Morihei, which means that any argument about the precise nature of those skills is either based on videotape, written description, or hearsay. In the first case, different viewers may come to differing conclusions -- and there are also technical issues like film transfer rates etc. In the second and third cases, both written accounts and hearsay need to be exposed to a number of filters: Who wrote/said this? Who was the reader/listener? What was the context of the statement? What was the agenda of the speaker? These are all legitimate questions that may cause us to give more or less credit to various statements being introduced as evidence.

You cite a number of comparatively exerienced people who find utility in this work and who see a clear continuity between their understanding of Ueshiba's aikido and what they develop in this kind of work. That's useful information. It is also useful information to be told by comparatively experienced people that there is clear continuity between Systema and Ueshiba's aikido, or Contact Improv and Aikido, or verbal conflict de-escalation techniques and Ueshiba's aikido, or Non-Violent Communication and Ueshiba's aikido. Continuity is not identity. Congruity is not identity. Complementarity is not identity. Relationship is not identity. Sydney Bechet is not Louis Armstrong.

The nature of the argument in favor of your theory is like that used in a civil trial -- you are arguing that the "preponderance of the evidence" is on your side and your disputants don't have a similar weight of evidence in favor of their counter-arguments, therefore they should accept your argument.

This is akin to saying: "you can't prove your theory so you must accept mine." What you're failing to acknowledge is that continued skepticism in the face of incomplete information is not only a reasonable position, but may be the soundest position of all.

The above goes to the basic principles of theory formation and evaluation, basic concepts of relatedness and identity, theory falsification and its implications, and the need to examine evidence critically, because this is where the fundamental problem with both your theory and your presentation of your theory appear to lie, based on your summary above. One needn't go beyond that point to identify the structural issues with your argument and your understanding of what it means to "prove" something.

On the other hand, if you could just lighten up a little bit and acknowledge that while you haven't proved your case, rather more gently point out that you still have a circumstantial and suggestive case which is worthy of further examination and archaeology, you might have a defensible position.

Best,

Fred

So Mark would have been better off saying:

"'The founder of AIKIDO, Morihei Ueshiba O-sensei, spent many years adapting techniques from Daito-Ryu Jujitsu and other martial arts to embody the principle of AWASE.'

I am skeptical that this is the case, where is your proof?"

Isn't this sort of what he's done, albeit with including his argument for what he considers to be the primary principle (aiki)?

Eric Winters
10-19-2012, 05:34 PM
Hi all,

I agree with most of what Dan is saying. (I have never met him)

But I think that the problem some people have with Dan and Mark is that they give no "How To's" and claim IHTBF (Reasonable) and Dan also does not want to give to much verbal info because he does not want the unskilled boobs to sound like the know stuff (can't remember were that post is). So the only thing that seems to come out into the posts sounds like "nobody in aikido understands aikido and everybody that does Aikido sucks unless they train with Dan."

Now they may or may not think that who knows, but it sure does seem like it from the posts.

Otherwise, IMHO what they are doing is essential for great aikido or any other movement activity you chose to do.

Best,

Eric

Marc Abrams
10-20-2012, 08:40 AM
Hi all,

I agree with most of what Dan is saying. (I have never met him)

But I think that the problem some people have with Dan and Mark is that they give no "How To's" and claim IHTBF (Reasonable) and Dan also does not want to give to much verbal info because he does not want the unskilled boobs to sound like the know stuff (can't remember were that post is). So the only thing that seems to come out into the posts sounds like "nobody in aikido understands aikido and everybody that does Aikido sucks unless they train with Dan."

Now they may or may not think that who knows, but it sure does seem like it from the posts.

Otherwise, IMHO what they are doing is essential for great aikido or any other movement activity you chose to do.

Best,

Eric

Eric:

You could not be farther from the truth. Dan gives EXPLICIT "how to's" in the clearest, sequential manner than any other person I have ever trained with. The sheer number of people who have attended one of his seminars can clearly attest to this. Knock yourself out and test your own hypothesis out. Who knows, you might later be offering an apology or retraction of this belief.

As to the larger issue of the intellectual debate that some would like to place this topic in....... Go Fish! You can talk until the dawn of a new era and nothing, nothing with have changed. Those who are pursuing this type of IP work are changing. Those left wasting their precious moments in useless, intellectual debates about a tangible product, will keep on in the direction that they are heading in. People who train with people from each group will very quickly understand reality.

Mark has not only produced more historical context than anyone else posting, but he is also doing the tangible work necessary for change. I give him a lot of credit for continually placing this information out there so others can make their feckless attacks on his research. Personally, I find it more rewarding to do the work and leave these debates to others.

Good Luck!

Marc Abrams

Carl Thompson
10-20-2012, 11:09 AM
Hello Fred,

With respect, I do understand the nature of the counter arguments. Let me sum it up:

People who have provided no research, no evidence, no far ranging experiences telling me I am wrong in regards to Ueshiba's aiki.
Mark, please understand that it was not about your concept of "Osensei's Aiki". You were told you were wrong about claiming David Alexander's position was Awase = Aiki and you actually were wrong about that and Aikido not being adapted (in addition to Daito Ryu) from other martial arts. You were given evidence on Kashima Shinto Ryu for a start. Here's some more:

From Meik Skoss (http://www.koryu.com/bio.html#mskoss)

Shortly after I first raised these questions, in 1978 or `79, I visited the dojo of the late Koichiro Yoshikawa, 64th headmaster of the Kashima Shinto-ryu. He very graciously answered many questions about the history and techniques of the ryu. Moreover, he showed me a registry of the people who had entered the Kashima Shinto-ryu and performed keppan (lit., "blood seal," signing the enrollment register and sealing it with one's own blood as an earnest of one's sincerity and serious intent) dating from before World War II. Guess what, sports fans? One of the names in the register was that of Morihei Ueshiba, along with that of Zenzaburo Akazawa, his deshi. I was told that a number of people at the Kobukan, including Ueshiba, studied for a period of several years. Once again, when I brought up the subject of Kashima Shinto-ryu and its influence on aikido, several aikido people, including one of the most senior instructors at the Aikikai, assured me I was mistaken. The only rejoinder I could make was that: a) I can read, and b) I saw the register with my own eyes (one can dispute with one's teachers and seniors in English without seeming impertinent, but it's almost impossible to do so in a Japanese context). Later, I mentioned all of this to Stan Pranin, publisher of Aiki News, and he has since established this and many other hitherto previously unpublished details of Morihei Ueshiba's training in the classical martial arts and the influence of the koryu upon the development of modern aikido. A great deal more work, however, remains to be done.
And

The omote no tachi is comprised of twelve techniques performed with straight bokuto, as though in armor. The first of these, ichi no tachi, is almost identical to an exercise of the same name taught by Morihiro Saito. Ni no tachi of Kashima Shinto-ryu bears several elements in common with Saito's training sequence, as does san no tachi, but there are a number of differences as well.
http://www.koryu.com/library/mskoss3.html


Now, these people point to a student of a student of Ueshiba for proof. I point to a student of a student of Ueshiba. Who trumps whom? Beyond the fact that each of us is merely pointing at external sources, in essence, these people absolutely must know what aiki is to emphatically state that I do not know what it is.

Proof of what? Who is saying you don't know what Aiki is? Saying or implying that is off the original topic and meaningless if someone hasn't trained with you. That goes both ways. Even if Alexander Sensei had actually said Awase = Aiki, we don't know how the description applies in practice and the word "Awase" is so broad, you'd have to look into the training methodology and ideally get hold of people to find out.


The founder of AIKIDO, Morihei Ueshiba O-sensei, spent many years adapting techniques from Daito-Ryu Jujitsu and other martial arts to embody the principle of AWASE.
As far as I know, this is an unsupported idea. There idea that Ueshiba's aikido came from "other martial arts" is rather, well, wrong.

For my part at least, I have been addressing your original post throughout. Also FWIW I think you probably do know what Aiki is.

Let's go back to Ueshiba. Can these people replicate his skills? No. Can they replicate his knowledge of ancient martial concepts? No. Can they prove his training? No. Can they prove his practices? No. Which sort of puts us all on equal footing, no? What, then, gives them the foundation to state so emphatically that I am wrong? If we apply your logic to their arguments, they fall far short.

So, let's go back to the research and the experiences. I have done the research. They haven't. I have about 20 years of aikido training. I'm sure they do, too. I've trained with a variety of aikido shihan. I'm sure they have, too. I've trained with the IP/aiki exponents. They haven't.

Why does anyone have to be able to replicate Osensei's skills just to point out that David Alexander didn't say Awase = Aiki and that Aikido actually does have some influence from arts other than Daito Ryu? And these are a lot of assumptions about "these people".

Shall we toss in the interviews with the students of the founder themselves who stated they didn't know what he was doing or how he did it? With Kono who said everyone was doing everything different? With Pranin stating that Ueshiba was rarely at Tokyo hombu, let alone teaching there. Etc, etc, etc.
Along with David Alexander, Stanley Pranin is also a student of Saito Sensei from the 70's. The evidence from Kono and Osensei rarely being in the Hombu is usually cited to authenticate the aikido in Iwama.
So, it's fine for someone to state unequivocally that awase is the principle of aiki and is what makes aikido unique, in an unsupported manner, but not okay when I refute it backed by research, Ueshiba's own words, and direct experience?
Alexander Sensei wrote this article ages ago and has re-posted it in VoE. It doesn't come with the answers to your present-day questions, so we have to ask and discuss things. You have been given research and supporting evidence. Please acknowledge or discredit it and we can move on.

Carl

Carl Thompson
10-20-2012, 11:19 AM
You can talk until the dawn of a new era and nothing, nothing with have changed. Those who are pursuing this type of IP work are changing. Those left wasting their precious moments in useless, intellectual debates about a tangible product, will keep on in the direction that they are heading in. People who train with people from each group will very quickly understand reality.

Hello Marc,

As with the other slightly-differently-spelled Mark, I think you are making assumptions.

Mark has not only produced more historical context than anyone else posting, but he is also doing the tangible work necessary for change. I give him a lot of credit for continually placing this information out there so others can make their feckless attacks on his research. Personally, I find it more rewarding to do the work and leave these debates to others.

I also think Mark has done some valuable research. I've cited it before myself.

Carl

Marc Abrams
10-20-2012, 11:34 AM
Hello Marc,

As with the other slightly-differently-spelled Mark, I think you are making assumptions.

I also think Mark has done some valuable research. I've cited it before myself.

Carl

Carl:

We are telic beings. We always make assumptions. Our assumptions in this arena are only as good as they can be realized through the tangible end-products of our martial arts training, thinking, etc.... When we can all be in a room together and test our theories out in a collegial manner, we can make some real headway in our training (theories, applications, etc.). Otherwise, we are left with our assumtions (Assume= "Ass" out of "U" and "Me").

Regards,

Marc Abrams

DH
10-20-2012, 11:38 AM
Shortly after I first raised these questions, in 1978 or `79, I visited the dojo of the late Koichiro Yoshikawa, 64th headmaster of the Kashima Shinto-ryu. He very graciously answered many questions about the history and techniques of the ryu. Moreover, he showed me a registry of the people who had entered the Kashima Shinto-ryu and performed keppan (lit., "blood seal," signing the enrollment register and sealing it with one's own blood as an earnest of one's sincerity and serious intent) dating from before World War II. Guess what, sports fans? One of the names in the register was that of Morihei Ueshiba, along with that of Zenzaburo Akazawa, his deshi. I was told that a number of people at the Kobukan, including Ueshiba, studied for a period of several years. Once again, when I brought up the subject of Kashima Shinto-ryu and its influence on aikido, several aikido people, including one of the most senior instructors at the Aikikai, assured me I was mistaken. The only rejoinder I could make was that: a) I can read, and b) I saw the register with my own eyes (one can dispute with one's teachers and seniors in English without seeming impertinent, but it's almost impossible to do so in a Japanese context).
Carl
Ueshiba never studied KSR. He wanted his students to study while he watched. The soke made him take keppan, just to be allowed to watch. Most famous were him telling his students something like he would never do this or that...like KSR. "In Aiki we do it this way." There are several quotes, I just don't have access to my files right now.

Later, I mentioned all of this to Stan Pranin, publisher of Aiki News, and he has since established this and many other hitherto previously unpublished details of Morihei Ueshiba's training in the classical martial arts and the influence of the koryu upon the development of modern aikido. A great deal more work, however, remains to be done.
Not true either.
Stan (right here in his interview with Jun) Relegates Ueshiba's training to a short study under a 17 year old Judo shodan his dad hired, part time study over a few years time, traveling to a Yagyu Shingan dojo (something like 5 hours away) part time on weekends. and......
23 years in Daito ryu.

Dan

Eric Winters
10-20-2012, 12:08 PM
Eric:

You could not be farther from the truth. Dan gives EXPLICIT "how to's" in the clearest, sequential manner than any other person I have ever trained with. The sheer number of people who have attended one of his seminars can clearly attest to this. Knock yourself out and test your own hypothesis out. Who knows, you might later be offering an apology or retraction of this belief.

As to the larger issue of the intellectual debate that some would like to place this topic in....... Go Fish! You can talk until the dawn of a new era and nothing, nothing with have changed. Those who are pursuing this type of IP work are changing. Those left wasting their precious moments in useless, intellectual debates about a tangible product, will keep on in the direction that they are heading in. People who train with people from each group will very quickly understand reality.

Mark has not only produced more historical context than anyone else posting, but he is also doing the tangible work necessary for change. I give him a lot of credit for continually placing this information out there so others can make their feckless attacks on his research. Personally, I find it more rewarding to do the work and leave these debates to others.

Good Luck!

Marc Abrams

Hi Mark,

Sorry I did not make myself clear. I meant he doesn't give much verbal info online and I actually believe he can deliver the goods. I myself train with Toby Threadgill and know what I believe Aiki feels like. I really have nothing against Dan at all it just sounds like a lot of the posts just belittle aikidoka.

Thanks,

Eric

DH
10-20-2012, 12:10 PM
Hi all,

I agree with most of what Dan is saying. (I have never met him)

But I think that the problem some people have with Dan and Mark is that they give no "How To's" and claim IHTBF (Reasonable) and Dan also does not want to give to much verbal info because he does not want the unskilled boobs to sound like the know stuff (can't remember were that post is). So the only thing that seems to come out into the posts sounds like "nobody in aikido understands aikido and everybody that does Aikido sucks unless they train with Dan."

Now they may or may not think that who knows, but it sure does seem like it from the posts.
Otherwise, IMHO what they are doing is essential for great aikido or any other movement activity you chose to do.

Best,
Eric
Ouch!!
I'm not saying that Eric.
I would rather this material drew us together rather than divide us. It is drawing many communities of martial artists together in person, better than any other method I have seen. I wish the same could happen on the internet.

If you want to sum up my points they would read like this:

Aikido is part Martial art, part spiritual pursuit.
I say that Ueshiba's skills were not unique, but were part of a known paradigm of internal training replete with concepts and specific terminology quoted and cited by Ueshiba. Ueshiba utilized this internal training paradigm for his power and aiki and that it was this known physical process that produced other men with unusual power, that produced what we saw as his unusual power in Aikido.
Ueshiba's terminology, properly translated are known concepts that produce power and aiki. I can define them, teach them, do them, and have produced students who can as well.
Those who claim his power was made manifest by his spiritual pursuits have yet to produce anyone anywhere doing anything defined and replicable to produce his power.
Of those Japanese teachers who had/have power; the teaching method lacked clarity and thus they did not produce students with unusual power.


This is where I disagree with those who argue there is no case:
Ueshiba had unusual power
(Those making this case have unusual power)
He used the same terminology and phrases that exist throughout Asia.
He actually borrowed and directly quoted many internal arts sayings in his writings.
The terminology he used were methods that were known for producing power
Those used them in India/China/Ancient Japan; were also known for unusual power
They all share the same tests- litmus tests for power-that he used
(Those making this case use the same terminology and explain it and also have unusual power)

In a nut shell:
Those reffuting it?
Have no unusual power and cannot explain what Ueshiba was saying, where it cam from, what it means and how to do it to produce power and aiki.

I think not knowing the material is understandable and forgivable.
I think Modern Aikido-ka's distinct lack of power and aiki in the face of those making this argument is rather revealing as they fail almost alarmingly at a 100% rate. It's happening internationally in open rooms. What...does....that....say?

To go back to this notion of circumstantial evidence:
Most jurors at this point would find reasonable cause for conviction, or winning of a civil case on those grounds.


I don't care about having to "make a case." What for?
This is not personal to me, and I am not trying to win anything. I am trying to help people over a set period of time I have available to me. What the community does with it is up to them. I would rather this material drew us together rather than divide us.
I think Aikido was once one of the most powerful arts in the world. I do not believe it still is. From my own exposure to so many of its higher level teachers, to reading just about everything in English, to reading, and meeting people over decades, I have come to realize most of you agree with me that Aikido has problems when it comes to living up to the martial reputation it's founder once had.
I think-we- can fix that and have lots of fun doing so.
Dan

DH
10-20-2012, 12:41 PM
Edit:
Isn't it nice that the thrust of our discussions are still applauding the founder and drawing us here to debate his methods over 40 years after his passing?
Yeah him.

Marc Abrams
10-20-2012, 12:52 PM
Ouch!!
I'm not saying that Eric.
I would rather this material drew us together rather than divide us. It is drawing many communities of martial artists together in person, better than any other method I have seen. I wish the same could happen on the internet.

If you want to sum up my points they would read like this:

Aikido is part Martial art, part spiritual pursuit.
I say that Ueshiba's skills were not unique, but were part of a known paradigm of internal training replete with concepts and specific terminology quoted and cited by Ueshiba. Ueshiba utilized this internal training paradigm for his power and aiki and that it was this known physical process that produced other men with unusual power, that produced what we saw as his unusual power in Aikido.
Ueshiba's terminology, properly translated are known concepts that produce power and aiki. I can define them, teach them, do them, and have produced students who can as well.
Those who claim his power was made manifest by his spiritual pursuits have yet to produce anyone anywhere doing anything defined and replicable to produce his power.
Of those Japanese teachers who had/have power; the teaching method lacked clarity and thus they did not produce students with unusual power.


This is where I disagree with those who argue there is no case:
Ueshiba had unusual power
(Those making this case have unusual power)
He used the same terminology and phrases that exist throughout Asia.
He actually borrowed and directly quoted many internal arts sayings in his writings.
The terminology he used were methods that were known for producing power
Those used them in India/China/Ancient Japan; were also known for unusual power
They all share the same tests- litmus tests for power-that he used
(Those making this case use the same terminology and explain it and also have unusual power)

In a nut shell:
Those reffuting it?
Have no unusual power and cannot explain what Ueshiba was saying, where it cam from, what it means and how to do it to produce power and aiki.

I think not knowing the material is understandable and forgivable.
I think Modern Aikido-ka's distinct lack of power and aiki in the face of those making this argument is rather revealing as they fail almost alarmingly at a 100% rate. It's happening internationally in open rooms. What...does....that....say?

To go back to this notion of circumstantial evidence:
Most jurors at this point would find reasonable cause for conviction, or winning of a civil case on those grounds.

I don't care about having to "make a case." What for?
This is not personal to me, and I am not trying to win anything. I am trying to help people over a set period of time I have available to me. What the community does with it is up to them. I would rather this material drew us together rather than divide us.
I think Aikido was once one of the most powerful arts in the world. I do not believe it still is. From my own exposure to so many of its higher level teachers, to reading just about everything in English, to reading, and meeting people over decades, I have come to realize most of you agree with me that Aikido has problems when it comes to living up to the martial reputation it's founder once had.
I think-we- can fix that and have lots of fun doing so.
Dan

Folks:

Please note that Stanley's criticism of "modern Aikido" is similar to Dan's...

http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2012/10/19/towards-a-reform-of-aikido-technique-1-background-by-stanley-pranin/

Marc Abrams

Cliff Judge
10-20-2012, 01:11 PM
Ueshiba had unusual power
He used the same terminology and phrases that exist throughout Asia.
He actually borrowed and directly quoted many internal arts sayings in his writings.
The terminology he used were methods that were known for producing power
Those used them in India/China/Ancient Japan; were also known for unusual power
They all share the same tests- litmus tests for power-that he used

These are all things that can be proven or disproved. But the only way you can do one or the other is by going through a rigorous scholarly process of writing, publishing, and having your work peer reviewed. Not by martial artists, by historians who work in fields adjacent to this line of research. Until that is done this is all a matter of personal belief. There is nothing wrong with personal belief as long as you aren't passing it off as the truth. At best you look like a passionate eccentric when you do that, and at worse you wind up taking advantage of mentally susceptible people, e.g. people who have a tough time differentiating belief from fact, or differentiating knowing how from knowing that.

Chris Li
10-20-2012, 01:29 PM
These are all things that can be proven or disproved. But the only way you can do one or the other is by going through a rigorous scholarly process of writing, publishing, and having your work peer reviewed. Not by martial artists, by historians who work in fields adjacent to this line of research. Until that is done this is all a matter of personal belief. There is nothing wrong with personal belief as long as you aren't passing it off as the truth. At best you look like a passionate eccentric when you do that, and at worse you wind up taking advantage of mentally susceptible people, e.g. people who have a tough time differentiating belief from fact, or differentiating knowing how from knowing that.

But that applies to everything in Aikido today, since none of it has gone through an academic peer review process, including the statements by direct students of Ueshiba - many of which are contradictory.

Are you saying that people like Mitsugi Saotome, who certainly make declarative statements about Ueshiba, "look like a passionate eccentric" and are "taking advantage of mentally susceptible people"?

I know a lot of the folks that train with Dan - and they're not a mentally susceptible group of idiots who are being taken advantage of - I don't even see myself that way, although my wife might ;) .

Best,

Chris

sorokod
10-20-2012, 03:23 PM
But that applies to everything in Aikido today, since none of it has gone through an academic peer review process, including the statements by direct students of Ueshiba - many of which are contradictory.

But some of "it" has been handed down through the teacher-student interaction. This by itself doesn't guarantee quality or fidelity of the material passed (to say the least) but you do know the provenance.

Personally I would have liked to see something like academic peer reviewed evaluation applied on the inherited "it" but I am not holding my breath. If you bring fresh "it" from the outside the system however, well - then the burden of proof is on you.

Chris Li
10-20-2012, 03:34 PM
But some of "it" has been handed down through the teacher-student interaction. This by itself doesn't guarantee quality or fidelity of the material passed (to say the least) but you do know the provenance.

Personally I would have liked to see something like academic peer reviewed evaluation applied on the inherited "it" but I am not holding my breath. If you bring fresh "it" from the outside the system however, well - then the burden of proof is on you.

There is no fresh "it" - it all comes from recognizable sources, and Dan has said that himself in the past.

It's also not from outside the system - unless you artificially limit the system to a particular politically organized structure.

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge
10-20-2012, 03:46 PM
But that applies to everything in Aikido today, since none of it has gone through an academic peer review process, including the statements by direct students of Ueshiba - many of which are contradictory.

Are you saying that people like Mitsugi Saotome, who certainly make declarative statements about Ueshiba, "look like a passionate eccentric" and are "taking advantage of mentally susceptible people"?

I know a lot of the folks that train with Dan - and they're not a mentally susceptible group of idiots who are being taken advantage of - I don't even see myself that way, although my wife might ;) .

Best,

Chris

Yeah that came out wrong. I was referring more to the highly intelligent, hard working sort of susceptible but that's still a pretty dick thing to throw out. Sorry for the rudeness.

sorokod
10-20-2012, 03:50 PM
There is no fresh "it" - it all comes from recognizable sources, and Dan has said that himself in the past.

It's also not from outside the system - unless you artificially limit the system to a particular politically organized structure.


Not sure what politics you are thinking of, here is an example of what I have in mind:

All my direct teachers are students of Saito Morihiro who was a student of the Founder.
The Founder was very particular about the hanmi, Saito Morihiro was particular about the hanmi. My direct teachers are particular about the hanmi.

When Dan says that hanmi makes no sense in his method and that his method is the same one the Founder had, than this comes from outside the system and requires a proof.

Marc Abrams
10-20-2012, 04:07 PM
Not sure what politics you are thinking of, here is an example of what I have in mind:

All my direct teachers are students of Saito Morihiro who was a student of the Founder.
The Founder was very particular about the hanmi, Saito Morihiro was particular about the hanmi. My direct teachers are particular about the hanmi.

When Dan says that hanmi makes no sense in his method and that his method is the same one the Founder had, than this comes from outside the system and requires a proof.

David:

Chris Li has already pointed out that the "translation" that John Stevens rendered from O'Sensei's writings was not accurate. A more accurate translation was provided which actually supported the position that Dan put forward. Another interesting question is why Saito Sensei did not publicly correct this translation? Or why Saito Sensei did not work off of the more accurate description (six directional awareness) when he was teaching particular stances?

Regards,

Marc Abrams

Chris Li
10-20-2012, 04:28 PM
Not sure what politics you are thinking of, here is an example of what I have in mind:

All my direct teachers are students of Saito Morihiro who was a student of the Founder.
The Founder was very particular about the hanmi, Saito Morihiro was particular about the hanmi. My direct teachers are particular about the hanmi.

When Dan says that hanmi makes no sense in his method and that his method is the same one the Founder had, than this comes from outside the system and requires a proof.

Put it this way - Morihei Ueshiba deplored counting the steps in a jo kata.

Morihiro Saito stated this himself and stated that he would be scolded if found counting out the steps in a jo kata.

Morihiro Saito taught the jo kata while counting out the steps.

Doesn't that mean that Saito was teaching things from outside the system? :)

Morihei Ueshiba taught a lot of people, and those people ended up expressing things in various different ways.

If you're saying that the way that the particular way Saito expressed things is the only legitimate expression within the system then I think that you're in for a lot of arguments.

Personally, I think that you're getting too caught up in the exact outer expression of the physical movement - something that both Morihei Ueshiba and Sokaku Takeda specifically spoke against.

Even Gozo Shioda spoke against it, and few styles are as strictly patterned as the Yoshinkan.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
10-20-2012, 04:39 PM
David:

Chris Li has already pointed out that the "translation" that John Stevens rendered from O'Sensei's writings was not accurate. A more accurate translation was provided which actually supported the position that Dan put forward. Another interesting question is why Saito Sensei did not publicly correct this translation? Or why Saito Sensei did not work off of the more accurate description (six directional awareness) when he was teaching particular stances?

Regards,

Marc Abrams

In Saito's commentary to "Budo" he correctly notes that O-Sensei used "six-directions" and not "hanmi" or "60 degrees", but he speculates that this is because O-Sensei did not use the term "hanmi" at that time budo was written (for some reason unspecified by Saito).

My personal hunch is that it's one of those things that O-Sensei dropped because nobody understood what he was talking about and he didn't care to explain - for all that he broke with Takeda it seems to me that he was somewhat cagey about stating some things explicitly in clear language. Many times it seems that he expected (or wanted to see) people following the hints he dropped - also a common traditional tactic. "Stealing the techniques", in other words.

Best,

Chris

sorokod
10-20-2012, 04:40 PM
Chris Li has already pointed out that the "translation" that John Stevens rendered from O'Sensei's writings was not accurate. A more accurate translation was provided which actually supported the position that Dan put forward.

What do you mean by "already", I have no problem with either of the translations really.


Another interesting question is why Saito Sensei did not publicly correct this translation?

What you mean by "Another"? My guess is that Saito Morihiro was happy with the Japanese original and never read Stevens.


Or why Saito Sensei did not work off of the more accurate description (six directional awareness) when he was teaching particular stances?

I can't tell how things look like when you "open your legs in six directions" but have a look here how it looked when the Founder did it (assuming he was following his own advice): http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-02-27/morihei-ueshiba-budo-and-kamae . Regarding Saito Sensei not being accurate, well, the man made his life's mission to transmit the Founder's Aikido as accurately as possible so you may be a bit hasty in your assessment of his teaching.

Chris Li
10-20-2012, 04:41 PM
Yeah that came out wrong. I was referring more to the highly intelligent, hard working sort of susceptible but that's still a pretty dick thing to throw out. Sorry for the rudeness.

No worries!

These are not the droids you're looking for... :D

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
10-20-2012, 04:53 PM
In Saito's commentary to "Budo" he correctly notes that O-Sensei used "six-directions" and not "hanmi" or "60 degrees", but he speculates that this is because O-Sensei did not use the term "hanmi" at that time budo was written (for some reason unspecified by Saito).

My personal hunch is that it's one of those things that O-Sensei dropped because nobody understood what he was talking about and he didn't care to explain - for all that he broke with Takeda it seems to me that he was somewhat cagey about stating some things explicitly in clear language. Many times it seems that he expected (or wanted to see) people following the hints he dropped - also a common traditional tactic. "Stealing the techniques", in other words.

Best,

Chris

I want to note that, in reading Saito's Japanese text, it appears to me that he was unaware if there was a reason for the change in nomenclature.

Best,

Chris

sorokod
10-20-2012, 05:04 PM
Put it this way - Morihei Ueshiba deplored counting the steps in a jo kata.

Morihiro Saito stated this himself and stated that he would be scolded if found counting out the steps in a jo kata.

Morihiro Saito taught the jo kata while counting out the steps.

Doesn't that mean that Saito was teaching things from outside the system? :)


:-)


If you're saying that the way that the particular way Saito expressed things is the only legitimate expression within the system then I think that you're in for a lot of arguments.


It is the system for me. I don't really know what you practice other that it is different from what I practice. When someone says that the system can be made better by changing this and that, it needs to proved to me.


Personally, I think that you're getting too caught up in the exact outer expression of the physical movement - something that both Morihei Ueshiba and Sokaku Takeda specifically spoke against.


I think (and I mentioned this before) that you are cherry picking the evidence to support your conclusions. For example, in the Shirata -Stevens book a photo of the Founder in hanmi is subtitled:

"The founder demonstrating the correct manner of holding a sword.[When a question arose one day about the proper posture, he posed on the spot in his regular clothes]".

I think you need to do better than say that: I am "getting too caught up in the exact outer expression", that Stevens made up things and Shirata and Saito sensei were on friendly terms, before discarding photographic evidence to the contrary.

sorokod
10-20-2012, 05:27 PM
A link for easy viewing: http://checkthis.com/goji

Chris Li
10-20-2012, 05:29 PM
It is the system for me. I don't really know what you practice other that it is different from what I practice. When someone says that the system can be made better by changing this and that, it needs to proved to me.

What's changed? Takeda said that his art was a principle based art, not locked into specific physical postures - Ueshiba said the same, so did both Yoshiyuki Sagawa and Kenji Yoshida, which shows the same transmission going down two variant lines from Takeda.

If you're saying that it is locked to specific physical postures than it seems to me that it's you who are changing things.


I think (and I mentioned this before) that you are cherry picking the evidence to support your conclusions. For example, in the Shirata -Stevens book a photo of the Founder in hanmi is subtitled:

"The founder demonstrating the correct manner of holding a sword.[When a question arose one day about the proper posture, he posed on the spot in his regular clothes]".

I think you need to do better than say that: I am "getting too caught up in the exact outer expression", that Stevens made up things and Shirata and Saito sensei were on friendly terms, before discarding photographic evidence to the contrary.

As for Stevens making up things - the entire original Japanese text appears in my blog (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-02-27/morihei-ueshiba-budo-and-kamae), people are free to decide for themselves. I will note that Saito's commentary matches my translation, not Stevens.

"Right posture" is a tricky term. There are no articles in Japanese - did he mean "a" right posture or "the" right posture. If he meant "the", did he mean "the only", and what was the context of the situation and the discussion? What about the posture is right and what is not right?

If you're looking at a picture and calculating the number of degrees that are between the feet - then that, to me, is the very essence of "external" training.

Best,

Chris

sorokod
10-20-2012, 05:46 PM
Well if that posture was important to the Founder, then I think it is worth emulating. If by this I lock myself down, so be it. If you thing that Stevens is fibbing in the text of the photo, so be it. If degrees is calculating and directions is not, well, so be it.

Chris Li
10-20-2012, 07:15 PM
Well if that posture was important to the Founder, then I think it is worth emulating. If by this I lock myself down, so be it. If you thing that Stevens is fibbing in the text of the photo, so be it. If degrees is calculating and directions is not, well, so be it.

I didn't say anything about fibbing (that was in reference to a different passage, but I didn't say "fibbing" there, either), I said that it's impossible to tell from the context exactly what he meant by "correct". If you are of the opinion that mimicking his outer form at all times is the way to go then that's fine, but I differ.

Best,

Chris

HL1978
10-20-2012, 08:56 PM
I think (and I mentioned this before) that you are cherry picking the evidence to support your conclusions. For example, in the Shirata -Stevens book a photo of the Founder in hanmi is subtitled:

"The founder demonstrating the correct manner of holding a sword.[When a question arose one day about the proper posture, he posed on the spot in his regular clothes]".

I think you need to do better than say that: I am "getting too caught up in the exact outer expression", that Stevens made up things and Shirata and Saito sensei were on friendly terms, before discarding photographic evidence to the contrary.

The questions I would be asking and trying to figure out based on that photo are more along the lines of:

How is Ueshiba holding himself up? How he is holding the sword up? Where is the weight of the sword being loaded into? Where is his weight and what direction is it committed? Are they in the same or different places as the sword is weighted and committed? Being able to talk directly to him would be helpful to be sure. :)

Most martial artists would be looking at the angle of the feet, angle of the sword, distance between the feet etc, trying to copy their teacher. If you try and work on the questions I ask up top, the distance between feet, angles etc all sort themselves out on their own. Thus the first listed set of questions defines the position from the "inside out" whereas the second set of questions is from the "outside in". The references made in Christopher Li's article make it pretty clear that Ueshiba is referring to the inside out approach rather than the outside in.

sorokod
10-21-2012, 02:59 AM
I didn't say anything about fibbing (that was in reference to a different passage, but I didn't say "fibbing" there, either), I said that it's impossible to tell from the context exactly what he meant by "correct". If you are of the opinion that mimicking his outer form at all times is the way to go then that's fine, but I differ.


Indeed. You did say something about people making their own minds in the context of the discussion of the photo. It was Ernesto Lemke and you earlier, who said:

"That would be Shirata per Stevens then. There is no reference that is a direct quote."
"It could be that is what he was told, or what he heard from another source (he was friendly with Saito, for example). "
"...I'm mostly pointing out that it's not a given (in the sense that it's not all that clear) to me that it is Shirata's view that is represented here. For instance, Stevens added a short biography of the Founder to the book which surely contains information that came via Shirata but is as much the product of Stevens' own research (IOW via other sources then Shirata). In other parts of the book Stevens sometimes mentions quite clearly when passages are either a summary of or references to Shirata's point of view. Regarding hanmi I don't find such a reference so it's left open to debate."

It seems that the only reason for you to discard this specific information (other that it doesn't fit with your views) is that it could be Stevens and not Shirata who was saying that - that despite of Shirata posing in hanmi on the same and preceding pages.

I will ignore the "at all times" which I didn't say and will ask you this:

1. If the "outer form" demonstrated by the founder is not important, why insist on not doing it?
2. How you decide when to stop "mimicking his outer form"? Will you have all the --kyo, shihonage, koshinage, kokyunage etc... reworked to their non outer form shape? If so, how will your martial art look like when you are done?
3. In the context of the previous question, how does your Aikido look like now? How would you categorise your linage?

sorokod
10-21-2012, 03:41 AM
The questions I would be asking and trying to figure out based on that photo are more along the lines of:

How is Ueshiba holding himself up? How he is holding the sword up? Where is the weight of the sword being loaded into? Where is his weight and what direction is it committed? Are they in the same or different places as the sword is weighted and committed? Being able to talk directly to him would be helpful to be sure. :)

Most martial artists would be looking at the angle of the feet, angle of the sword, distance between the feet etc, trying to copy their teacher. If you try and work on the questions I ask up top, the distance between feet, angles etc all sort themselves out on their own. Thus the first listed set of questions defines the position from the "inside out" whereas the second set of questions is from the "outside in". The references made in Christopher Li's article make it pretty clear that Ueshiba is referring to the inside out approach rather than the outside in.

All this was and is taught in Iwama. Find yourself an Iwama teacher and you will have your questions answered in considerable detail.
Regarding your second point, I belive that you need to learn how to crawl before you can run. Perhaps yours is a different methodology. Can you please tell me you aikido lineage?

grondahl
10-21-2012, 04:42 AM
All this was and is taught in Iwama. Find yourself an Iwama teacher and you will have your questions answered in considerable detail.
Regarding your second point, I belive that you need to learn how to crawl before you can run. Perhaps yours is a different methodology. Can you please tell me you aikido lineage?

At least Saito senseis interpretation of these facts are taught. Details on these things can vary between Iwama-style teachers as well.

sorokod
10-21-2012, 05:55 AM
At least Saito senseis interpretation of these facts are taught. Details on these things can vary between Iwama-style teachers as well.

I think that compared to "I wish we could ask OSensei", that is OK.

HL1978
10-21-2012, 08:29 AM
All this was and is taught in Iwama. Find yourself an Iwama teacher and you will have your questions answered in considerable detail.
Regarding your second point, I belive that you need to learn how to crawl before you can run. Perhaps yours is a different methodology. Can you please tell me you aikido lineage?

I studied under Irving Faust, 6th dan (Aikikai as I recall) at Albany Akikai. I no longer claim any affiliation with Faust Sensei as I no longer live in the area. Under his instruction we were taught primarily angles, and blending with the opponent through big circular movement. We did various warm up exercises, which i now get the point of (after experiences outside aikido), but no instruction was provided as to the meaning of them. Practice was essentially copy this shape, not what holds up the shape from the inside.

After 20 years of training in martial arts, and more specifically after exposure to internal concepts via the Aunkai and Mike Sigman, I figured out that you can fundamentally use the body the same way wether you are doing kendo, iaido, judo, aikido, bjj, karate, and kajukenbo (note: I teach and hold licensure in some of these arts) even if the waza are different. The first 12 years of martial arts, I trained externally (the approach I detailed and was taught in my previous post), the last 7 I've been focusing on internally after my "eyes were opened" by Akuzawa sensei. Note: after my eyes were "opened" simply means I learned there was another way, not that I could do the other way. On a side note, you will find plenty of pre-war high level kendo instructors giving hints such that judo and kendo are two sides of the same coin, to indicate that you are training the same sort of thing.

Now when I teach students I don't focus on angles and such, I have them initially focus on weight and where they are sourcing power and where they feel loads.(I also don't officially teach internals either, but we do have a study group).

HL1978
10-21-2012, 08:47 AM
I will ignore the "at all times" which I didn't say and will ask you this:

1. If the "outer form" demonstrated by the founder is not important, why insist on not doing it?
2. How you decide when to stop "mimicking his outer form"? Will you have all the --kyo, shihonage, koshinage, kokyunage etc... reworked to their non outer form shape? If so, how will your martial art look like when you are done?
3. In the context of the previous question, how does your Aikido look like now? How would you categorise your linage?

1) If one is a beginner and they try and copy the outer form, they won't get to the point where the founder is. There are a number of stages where the outer form changes as their body and mind adapt to a different way of using the body. The body will look and move differently through each stage. Keeping to that ideal form, will not allow the body to go through those stages as the ideal form is the culmination of passing through those stages. Ideally you want to train and see people at different stages of using the body along the way because its hard to see several steps ahead of where you are now.

2) If you are learning the waza, then of course you need to learn the choreography. Setting aside for the moment the idea that aikido is or is not a study of waza or a study of "aiki", you could still work on the shape of the choreography, but use a different "engine" to power it from the begining. One would need to decide though if working on that engine is best done through a set waza shape, or if that should be done in conjunction with building up that engine through solo practice, they trying to maintain it through a choreographed shape.

DH
10-21-2012, 11:56 AM
1. If the "outer form" demonstrated by the founder is not important, why insist on not doing it?
2. How (do) you decide when to stop "mimicking his outer form"? Will you have all the --kyo, shihonage, koshinage, kokyunage etc... reworked to their non outer form shape? If so, how will your martial art look like when you are done?
3. In the context of the previous question, how does your Aikido look like now? How would you categorize your linage?
1. I don't consider outer form of mush importance, and neither did Ueshiba. He stressed that he didn't give it importance *over* aiki. And just to be clear; all of his descriptions of aiki didn't involve form. In fact most of them were not even his-they came from other source material and directly pointed to solo training and what was happening inside of you!!
So, other pertinent questions for you would be:
a. Why do you consider outer form important?
b. Why does anybody?
c. Why do so many of your movements and body skills in the people I continue to meet feel like the average person off the street, and Ueshiba didn't? Could it possibly have to do with what he said he was doing?
d. And why is it that those of us who train using those concepts expressed in his own terminology keep being told we feel different?

2. I stopped a few years in and never went back to form to find aiki. My martial art looks like jujutsu based MMA. Why would Sagawa (a peer of Ueshiba's) basically say what Ueshiba said. "Aiki is about training the body. Only amateurs think you get it from techniques." A good counter question is why did none of the peers of Ueshiba (under Takeda) stress form.
Why do you think they disagree so strongly with your ideas?
3. I am told my Aiki...do is pretty good, but hey...according to at least one person here; only idiots and easily swayed people come train with me.:D

Can I add other questions of my own.
Since Ueshiba, Shirata, Shioda, Mochizuki, Tomiki, and later, teachers like Tohei and Saotoma were also known for not being able to be thrown:
a. How was that good?
b. Why was it good?
c. In what dojo was that happening?
d. Why is it now so very ...good....to fit in and be thrown?
e. What is it exactly we are being trained for and to do compared to those men?
Dan

Chris Li
10-21-2012, 12:10 PM
Indeed. You did say something about people making their own minds in the context of the discussion of the photo.

Sorry, I understood the "cherry picking" to be referring to the "Budo" section on kamae - I never made any comment on the translation under the picture with the sword, except to note that it's impossible to tell what Ueshiba was communicating as "correct". Hunter gave a very good summary of some of the kinds of things that I would be asking him about if he were around to discuss the picture.


1. If the "outer form" demonstrated by the founder is not important, why insist on not doing it?
2. How you decide when to stop "mimicking his outer form"? Will you have all the --kyo, shihonage, koshinage, kokyunage etc... reworked to their non outer form shape? If so, how will your martial art look like when you are done?
3. In the context of the previous question, how does your Aikido look like now? How would you categorise your linage?

1) I never insisted on not doing it - Dan could give you his reasons (which are quite good, I think), and you can make up your own mind, which you have, I guess. I'm not saying that there are no times when a standard hanmi are not optimal - but I'm not sure that waiting for those times to roll around is the optimal strategy. The problem is - everything changes, it's the one thing that can be relied upon. Schooling yourself to a certain set posture is OK for studying certain things, but it will get you into trouble, IMO, in most other places.

2) How do you decide anything? You take your best guess with the information you have and take your chances. I have no idea how it will look when I'm done (if I'm ever really done).

3) Our regular training might look a little odd to you. Normal Aikido classes look more or less the same - but better (IMO) ;)

I'm not sure what you mean by categorizing my lineage.

Best,

Chris

Gary David
10-21-2012, 12:16 PM
........ I don't and neither did he and he stressed that he didn't give it importance over aiki. And just to be clear; all of his descriptions of aiki didn't involve form. In fact most of them were not even his-they came from other source material and directly pointed to solo training and what was happening inside of you!!


To add to Dan's questions one of my own.....all of these guys Dan refers to (Ueshiba, Shirata, Shioda, Mochizuki, Tomiki, and later Tohei and Saotome) how do they continue to have the abilities they exhibited at age? I don't think it was youthful speed, timing and the like. I am 70 and can still lift considerable amount of weight...I still go to the gym to keep the body working.....but I no longer turn, spin and the like as I once did.....technique isn't going to hold me over now and to continue to rely only on the outer form just won't do.....I don't think it did for these gentlemen either......

Gary

sorokod
10-21-2012, 01:00 PM
I'm not sure what you mean by categorizing my lineage.

Your lineage is the chain of teachers connecting you to the Founder.

Chris Li
10-21-2012, 01:12 PM
Your lineage is the chain of teachers connecting you to the Founder.

I meant the "categorizing" part.

If it matters, I got my ni-dan from Saotome back in the '80's and then spent a number of years in Japan, where I trained with a number of people in a number of arts - but so far I've always come back to Yamaguchi related lineages.

So...most of my instructors have been one step from the Founder.

Best,

Chris

sorokod
10-21-2012, 01:13 PM
To add to Dan's questions one of my own.....all of these guys Dan refers to (Ueshiba, Shirata, Shioda, Mochizuki, Tomiki, and later Tohei and Saotome) how do they continue to have the abilities they exhibited at age? I don't think it was youthful speed, timing and the like. I am 70 and can still lift considerable amount of weight...I still go to the gym to keep the body working.....but I no longer turn, spin and the like as I once did.....technique isn't going to hold me over now and to continue to rely only on the outer form just won't do.....I don't think it did for these gentlemen either......

Gary

Well, specifically regarding the Founder, check out the interview with Gaku Homa earlier in this thread. Regarding the others, and this is just a guess, they may have been taking private classes from Dan.

DH
10-21-2012, 01:15 PM
I don't really expect to receive any answers, but I thought it worth repeating:

_________________________________________________________
I don't consider this adversarial. Both the research and the results are compelling enough that more and more Aikido teachers are out pursuing many...I say again...many, venues that offer this type of teaching.
Lack of awareness of the pedagogy of the things being discussed is of course troubling within the discussion. The research has to take place on your part. Of course there is a vetting process that needs to be undertaken by those in doubt. I suggest it take place both academically and physically

To try an answer your questions, I will offer one last time:
Ueshiba's training models and exercises were not his
His descriptions were not his
Many/most of his sayings were edited versions of pre-existing internal training dogma
The sum total of his words on training and expression are echos of other works describing internal training. It is no coincidence that the arts containing the same terminology and sayings he was quoting and borrowing from also created what???
Budo giants with unusual strength.

Aiki and awase again
_________________________________________

The classic model was aiki as a union of opposites-BEFORE- awase. It is in my tag line from Shirata -yet another giant.
1. Place the immovable body (there is that nagging Ueshiba example again eh?)
2. Into an an invincible position (awase)
_______________________________________________

As far as understanding goes I continue to pose questions.
How did Ueshiba generate this power with a tree? By "fitting in" with the tree?
How did he stop Tenryu? By fitting in with him? He didn't do anything.
Why did he do push testing? Was that awase?
How?
What was he doing?
How did his description of Heaven/earth/man fit in with a push test?
What is Mountain echo?
Who can do it?
Why did he answer that aiki was a circle with opposing forces?
Why did the things he was saying appear from famous Swordsman after training at the Katori shrine in 1451 who also claimed..... it gave him power?
Explain his answer regarding dual opposing spirals?
Why are there hundreds of men in the ICMA who use the same terms Ueshiba used who have....wait...unusual soft power?
How did this happen?

If teachers really understand what Ueshiba was talking about, then why do THEY feel like anyone else I can pull off the street anywhere in the world. Yet, those of us you are debating continue to exhibit a growing unusual strength and soft power to one degree or another. You know, the qualities more in keeping with many of the things Ueshiba was noted for?
How is this happening over and over and the number of people doing it...are growing?
Could it possibly be because we in fact do know what we are talking about?

People are now talking lineage:
Qualifications come in many forms. The most telling being what people can actually do. Our understanding in budo, resides in our hands, not in our teachers, not in our "years-in," not in our keyboards...but in our hands.
So, if we remove waza from the equation, and someone feels very powerful and freakishly soft, compelling and controlling,
And then
Someone claims understanding they feel as normal as anyone else...what does that REALLY say about both their understanding?

Dan

DH
10-21-2012, 01:34 PM
What is it about an immovable body, what are the qualities required to make it a reality, that would greatly enhance...awase?
What was it that possessed Ueshiba and generations of other budo men to ...push test.
What were they seeking?

sorokod
10-21-2012, 02:20 PM
I meant the "categorizing" part.

If it matters, I got my ni-dan from Saotome back in the '80's and then spent a number of years in Japan, where I trained with a number of people in a number of arts - but so far I've always come back to Yamaguchi related lineages.

So...most of my instructors have been one step from the Founder.

Best,

Chris

Saotome's resume (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsugi_Saotome) sounds like a standard, postwar, Kishomaru/Tohei, student experience.


"There are now two people that I can talk to. They are Yamaguchi Sensei and Saito Sensei. Their forms are completely different, but it's good study for me. They both have something I don't have. Technically, Yamaguchi uses the ken and although Saito Sensei uses the ken too, you could almost say their approaches are opposite. Saito Sensei is the only person who can hand down O-Sensei's Aikido exactly as it was."

http://members.aikidojournal.com/public/interview-with-shoji-nishio-1984-part-1/


According to this quote from Nishio, Ymaguchi was doing his own thing.

Perhaps this is why, you don't find the Founder's Aikido in yours .

Marc Abrams
10-21-2012, 03:46 PM
Saotome's resume (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsugi_Saotome) sounds like a standard, postwar, Kishomaru/Tohei, student experience.

According to this quote from Nishio, Ymaguchi was doing his own thing.

Perhaps this is why, you don't find the Founder's Aikido in yours .

David:

That is quite the assumption that you make. You might want to step back from that cliff that you are falling off of.....

Reading the research and having hands on with a number of direct students of O'Sensei (Saito Sensei being one of them), I think that the best conclusion that myself and other people can come to is that his direct students took bits and parts that seemed to resonate with them. NO ONE seemed to get the entire package. They all developed in interesting paths.

Marc Abrams

sorokod
10-21-2012, 04:26 PM
David:

That is quite the assumption that you make. You might want to step back from that cliff that you are falling off of.....

Reading the research and having hands on with a number of direct students of O'Sensei (Saito Sensei being one of them), I think that the best conclusion that myself and other people can come to is that his direct students took bits and parts that seemed to resonate with them. NO ONE seemed to get the entire package. They all developed in interesting paths.

Marc Abrams

We live in imperfect world were things are not categorically all or nothing. However that no one got the entire package doesn't mean that all got the same sized package. As for the topographical imagery, I don't really understand it, you don't like the quote from the interview with Nishio Shoji?

Chris Li
10-21-2012, 06:40 PM
Saotome's resume (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsugi_Saotome) sounds like a standard, postwar, Kishomaru/Tohei, student experience.

According to this quote from Nishio, Ymaguchi was doing his own thing.

Perhaps this is why, you don't find the Founder's Aikido in yours .

I said that I trained with him in the '80's - that was almost 25 years ago and since then I've trained with a number of other groups, including with Iwama groups and with Morihiro Saito in Iwama.

I just preferred the Yamaguchi teachers that I've trained with - that's a personal preference, as much to do with personality as anything else, it's not a statement about different styles.

I've also trained with Yoshinkan groups, and spent a few years in Daito-ryu, and others. I've seen the elephant.

So...what's your elephant? And does it make an iota of difference to the discussion?

Best,

Chris

aristofanis
10-21-2012, 07:09 PM
FWIW there is an interesting article here:

Barton: how to pose as a strongman (http://www.4shared.com/office/xRluGjiY/barton-how-to-pose-as-a-strong.html)

(there are and some jo tricks in this article... :rolleyes: )

David Orange
10-21-2012, 08:20 PM
A link for easy viewing: http://checkthis.com/goji

Those were his regular clothes?

I want to dress like that...

sorokod
10-22-2012, 04:15 AM
Those were his regular clothes?

I want to dress like that...

Research indicates that he had a passion for fashion. :-)

sorokod
10-22-2012, 06:36 AM
I said that I trained with him in the '80's - that was almost 25 years ago and since then I've trained with a number of other groups, including with Iwama groups and with Morihiro Saito in Iwama.

I just preferred the Yamaguchi teachers that I've trained with - that's a personal preference, as much to do with personality as anything else, it's not a statement about different styles.

I've also trained with Yoshinkan groups, and spent a few years in Daito-ryu, and others. I've seen the elephant.

So...what's your elephant? And does it make an iota of difference to the discussion?


In the following "you" is used loosely to refer to you and the group of people mentioned in one of Mark's posts. Consequently I am oversimplifying in a big way, correct me where you see fit.

At some point in your training you decided that the martial art that you practice lacks a certain quality that you believe the Founder possessed. It is then logical to ask yourself if your main teacher
(by main I mean the one that influenced and shaped of your art the most, this kinda extends to a group of "main" teachers if that is your case) possessed that quality. Then you apply the question to your teachers teacher etc... until you reach the Founder. This chain (or, less convincingly, a bunch of chains) is your lineage.

Using D Harden, M Sigman, Aunkai etc... as the source of that quality from outside of your lineage indicates that you believe that that quality is not present in your lineage any-more. It is then reasonable to ask at which transmission step was it lost.

My comment about the "standard, postwar, Kishomaru/Tohei, student experience" and before that, about "Aikido that came out of the Hombu dojo after the war" is just a shorthand for the
(I would have thought by now uncontroversial) fact that those students have seen the Founder once in a blue moon and trained under him even less. Consequently it is very likely that those students were, to a large extent, finding their own way, sometimes producing brilliant stuff such as the Nishio Aikido, but never having that quality.

Chris Li
10-22-2012, 10:21 AM
At some point in your training you decided that the martial art that you practice lacks a certain quality that you believe the Founder possessed. It is then logical to ask yourself if your main teacher
(by main I mean the one that influenced and shaped of your art the most, this kinda extends to a group of "main" teachers if that is your case) possessed that quality. Then you apply the question to your teachers teacher etc... until you reach the Founder. This chain (or, less convincingly, a bunch of chains) is your lineage.

Using D Harden, M Sigman, Aunkai etc... as the source of that quality from outside of your lineage indicates that you believe that that quality is not present in your lineage any-more. It is then reasonable to ask at which transmission step was it lost.

As I said, I've seen the elephant - I've felt and trained with just about all of the major post-war guys at one time or another, including Saito et al.. I'm not talking about my lineage here - or any particular lineage.

It's not about what I can do or can't do at all, in terms of the discussion, although of course that's important to me personally.

Best,

Chris

Carl Thompson
10-22-2012, 10:31 AM
Sorry for all the quotes, but I thought they tied together quite nicely...

Carl
Ueshiba never studied KSR. He wanted his students to study while he watched. The soke made him take keppan, just to be allowed to watch. Most famous were him telling his students something like he would never do this or that...like KSR. "In Aiki we do it this way." There are several quotes, I just don't have access to my files right now.

So how did the first kumitachi get into his aikido weapons then? I agree, he would have adapted things, but that still makes it an influence, whether it's as a vessel for aiki or as a tool for adding some other quality to his budo… etc.


Later, I mentioned all of this to Stan Pranin, publisher of Aiki News, and he has since established this and many other hitherto previously unpublished details of Morihei Ueshiba's training in the classical martial arts and the influence of the koryu upon the development of modern aikido. A great deal more work, however, remains to be done.
Not true either.
Stan (right here in his interview with Jun) Relegates Ueshiba's training to a short study under a 17 year old Judo shodan his dad hired, part time study over a few years time, traveling to a Yagyu Shingan dojo (something like 5 hours away) part time on weekends. and......
23 years in Daito ryu.

Dan
Alexander Sensei said Osensei adapted techniques from Daito Ryu and other arts. Mark's original assertion said this was unsupported but Osensei was clearly interested in other arts, checked them out and bits of them are found in his aikido. You actually said the following to Mark on this very subject on another thread a while back:


I disagree. If Takeda had not taught him, Ueshiba would have been just another unknown person who had some training in bayonet, judo, and a bit of sword. He would have been just another of those muscle-bound martial artists who liked it when people broke their hand on his head. He would have remained unknown.
Well, I think you are taking this way past the question at hand. Not to be nitpicky...seriously.


And even though it grates on people, the answer is still -- pretty much all the martial skills and abilities about Ueshiba can be traced back to Takeda.
Come on Man. The guy stopped training with Takeda before the war and he continued to train for thirty more years! I am possibly the strongest advocate on the web that he was Daito ryu through and through. I drive people nuts over it. That his internals and aiki are sourced to Takeda is certain, but hell all of his peers stated they all grew past Takeda's teaching. All 5 of the greats.
I am certain that when he was hanging out an experimenting/ training/watching all manner of things; koryu, modern weapons, Bayonet, even playing with Judo, that he...learned..something...anything different than what he got from Takeda.

I mean let's face it, he came from an informal Itto ryu and Jikishinkage ryu background into watching/ possibly training (I'd bet on it) informally in TSKSR and KSR and Yagyu. No one is EVER going to mistake Itto ryu's approach for Shinto ryu.

Ya don't think he picked up some things? Continued to develop? So even if he picked up one principle...cough. With all that exposure that's it...ONE...are you kidding me....What was he, blind?

There goes your absolute argument out the window. It's not reasonable.

Cheers

Dan

I would also add Ellis Amdur's related commentary from another thread :

Haga Junichi was the one who said that Ueshiba was the best swordsman in Japan. On the other hand, a person expert in classical sword spoke scornfully to me about the way Ueshiba executed yokogi-uchi (hitting the bundle of sticks, a Yakumaru-ha Jigen-ryu practice), because, done properly, one strikes exactly the same point every time (until the sticks break), whereas films of Ueshiba show him hitting the sticks at various portions. (The swordsman said to me, "He's doing exercise, not kenjutsu).

As for where Ueshiba learned what, I'm not aware of any records or accounts of Takeda teaching Ueshiba in detail. However, I've seen one article in Hiden magazine where the writer uses photos of pretty much all the major figures in Daito-ryu and some of Ueshiba's major students as well, to establish that there are several components (technique) that are common to all of them.

Ueshiba is known to have taken other people's forms and saying, "in aiki we do it this way," which suggests that he used sword kata as vessels to hold what he considered his primary study. Among the ryu that he used in this way were Yagyu Shinkage-ryu and Kashima Shinto-ryu.

I could go on for quite a few pages, but - oh yes! It's already been done. HIPS - "A Unified Field Theory: Aiki and Weapons (http://www.edgework.info/buy-martial-arts-book-Hidden-In-Plain-Sight.html)

Bear in mind that one solo "exercise" used to build kokyu-power is tanren uchi (usually with a tyre these days rather than sticks).


There's an interesting description of the katai / kotai, yawarakai (solid), ki-no-nagare (liquid) and kitai (gaseous) forms here:

http://www.iwama-aikido.com/resist.html (http://www.iwama-aikido.com/resist.html)
That's an excellent article, Carl. It's basically about the development from normal strength to ki/kokyu skills and going from static to moving techniques.

There is an interesting implication that a student is expected to go from resistance and muscle toward using correct strength (kokyu ryoku) and then developing technique and correct-strength toward using no-strength (that's a very classical statement). What's interesting about the stated ideas in that article is that a person more or less has to find his own way out of the muscle-puzzle. Too many people never do, so they wind up adjusting their use of muscle to techniques... and that's the common scenario in Aikido (and a number of other arts).

The power of the ki/kokyu skills is very much tied to the power that an Uke/opponent puts out in an attack. There is an old, old saying that essentially says "I cannot beat a wooden man or a brass man, but if he is human I can beat him". The essential idea is that using ki/kokyu skills I can blend with the various generated forces of an opponent, blend my forces with his forces and the combination will defeat the opponent. Since a wooden man and a brass man generate no forces, my ki/kokyu forces offer no real advantage.

I would relate the warning about getting lost in the muscle-puzzle to something Chris Li said earlier in the thread about extracting from a morass. Also this...

What's changed? Takeda said that his art was a principle based art, not locked into specific physical postures - Ueshiba said the same, so did both Yoshiyuki Sagawa and Kenji Yoshida, which shows the same transmission going down two variant lines from Takeda.


I agree, the forms are for cultivating principles. Don't you use physical postures to train internally too? What are specific physical postures trying to achieve? We know Osensei left plenty of techniques. What were the techniques meant to do? Would you ever expect to attack or be attacked with a vertical chop to the head? It's only a little more likely than someone jumping out and trying to do push-hands.

Here is a translation Joshua Reyer did of one of the Doka:

教には打突拍子さとく聞け極意の稽古表なりけり

There is no extra syllable with "oshie".

Oshie ni wa (5) - In the teachings
Uchitsuki hyoushi (7) Striking-thrusting rhythm
Satoku kike (5) Listen well (satoku has the sense of "cleverly, keenly)
Gokui no keiko (7) Practice of secrets/ultimate meaning
Omote nari keri (7) Is the surface (basic, first learned techniques)

My translation would be, "In the teachings, mark well the rhythm of striking and thrusting; the practice of the innermost secrets is the basic techniques."

Seems pretty straightforward to me. Understanding the rhythm of attacks is important, and the basic techniques contain all the gokui of aikido.

Carl

sorokod
10-22-2012, 10:33 AM
As I said, I've seen the elephant

I think that I don't understand what you mean by "the elephant", could you explain?

It's not about what I can do or can't do at all, in terms of the discussion, although of course that's important to me personally.

If its not about manifesting physical qualities, what is "it", and what is it about?

HL1978
10-22-2012, 10:42 AM
I think that I don't understand what you mean by "the elephant", could you explain?



I'm not sure if that phrase is used in British English or not. I assume he is referring to this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_in_the_room

"The term refers to a question, problem, solution, or controversial issue which is obvious to everyone who knows about the situation, but which is deliberately ignored because to do otherwise would cause great embarrassment, or trigger arguments or is simply taboo. The idiom can imply a value judgment that the issue ought to be discussed openly, or it can simply be an acknowledgment that the issue is there and not going to go away by itself."

Carl Thompson
10-22-2012, 10:44 AM
I think that I don't understand what you mean by "the elephant", could you explain?

Maybe this elephant?

The founder's thinking changed over the years between the time he started teaching aikido and later in his life, so naturally the kinds of movements he used also changed. There are very few people who had direct contact with him over the span of several decades, so in many ways it's like that old story of the three blind men all feeling different parts of an elephant and giving different descriptions of what an elephant is. In that sense, I wonder if there is anyone at all who understands O-Sensei's greatness completely.

from Hiroshi Isoyama Shihan
http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2012/05/18/interview-with-hiroshi-isoyama-by-stanley-pranin-2/

sorokod
10-22-2012, 10:49 AM
Thanks guys, I am familiar with the idiom but still would like help with this particular elephant.

Chris Li
10-22-2012, 10:51 AM
I think that I don't understand what you mean by "the elephant", could you explain?

Sorry, I meant that I've been around - I've seen pretty much the entire range.


If its not about manifesting physical qualities, what is "it", and what is it about?

When did I say anything about manifesting physical qualities? I said that the discussions not about me, personally, or my personal abilities or lineage.

Best,

Chris

sorokod
10-22-2012, 10:58 AM
When did I say anything about manifesting physical qualities? I said that the discussions not about me, personally, or my personal abilities or lineage.


Could you state in positive terms what the discussion is ( pretty late in the game but better latte then never :-) ). Is it about some sort of character algebra where the argument is if aiki = awase or aiki > awase without any regard to physical manifestation?

Chris Li
10-22-2012, 11:24 AM
Could you state in positive terms what the discussion is ( pretty late in the game but better latte then never :-) ). Is it about some sort of character algebra where the argument is if aiki = awase or aiki > awase without any regard to physical manifestation?

You brought up physical manifestation, in reply to:

It's not about what I can do or can't do at all, in terms of the discussion, although of course that's important to me personally.

As I said, it's not about me, what I can do or can't do. We were talking about the relationship (or non-relationship) about Aiki and awase, weren't we? At least until it devolved into a conversation about whether or not one ought to mimic Ueshiba's angles of the feet to the nth degree...

If it's about what I can do or can't do then it's just a "my stick is bigger than your stick" argument, isn't it? That's why I'm saying that my particular lineage isn't relevant to the conversation.

Best,

Chris

sorokod
10-22-2012, 12:03 PM
You brought up physical manifestation, in reply to:

As I said, it's not about me, what I can do or can't do. We were talking about the relationship (or non-relationship) about Aiki and awase, weren't we? At least until it devolved into a conversation about whether or not one ought to mimic Ueshiba's angles of the feet to the nth degree...

If it's about what I can do or can't do then it's just a "my stick is bigger than your stick" argument, isn't it? That's why I'm saying that my particular lineage isn't relevant to the conversation.


I assure you (Chris) that by you in several of the preceding posts I didn't mean you personally but as a representative of certain attitude.

The OP started with "As far as I know, this is an unsupported idea. There idea that Ueshiba's aikido came from "other martial arts" is rather, well, wrong." followed by a list of specific items Mark claimed supported his argument. The hanmi discussion came a bit latter but I think, still in that spirit. I am pretty sure I haven't brought up specific angles, if I am wrong please point out that post. You know as well as I, what "hanmi" means and that it implies a whole body posture and not just the feet placement. I am still puzzled by you choosing to ignore it as being "external" since in literally all the photos in the "Budo" book the Founder is in hanmi and according to Saito Morihiro's commentary in the same book (and common sense) hanmi=roppo=six direction kamae (p34 in the special edition). Its IPSNEH (In Plain Sight Not Even Hidden).

As to weather or not to mimic the details of Ueshiba's angles - I think you (all of us) should.

Chris Li
10-22-2012, 12:15 PM
I assure you (Chris) that by you in several of the preceding posts I didn't mean you personally but as a representative of certain attitude.

The OP started with "As far as I know, this is an unsupported idea. There idea that Ueshiba's aikido came from "other martial arts" is rather, well, wrong." followed by a list of specific items Mark claimed supported his argument. The hanmi discussion came a bit latter but I think, still in that spirit. I am pretty sure I haven't brought up specific angles, if I am wrong please point out that post. You know as well as I, what "hanmi" means and that it implies a whole body posture and not just the feet placement. I am still puzzled by you choosing to ignore it as being "external" since in literally all the photos in the "Budo" book the Founder is in hanmi and according to Saito Morihiro's commentary in the same book (and common sense) hanmi=roppo=six direction kamae (p34 in the special edition). Its IPSNEH (In Plain Sight Not Even Hidden).

As to weather or not to mimic the details of Ueshiba's angles - I think you (all of us) should.

I'm not ignoring it at all - but I think that what you and I are seeing in the kamae are quite different. Anyway, that has been said before, we 're really just going around in circles.

Best,

Chris

sorokod
10-22-2012, 12:44 PM
I like Joshua Reyer's translation of the doka a lot. For the content and the.poetic merit. Beats my IPSNIH easily.

DH
10-22-2012, 01:34 PM
People can stand in hanmi all day. Many have for decades and simply.....fail.....structurally. They are one-sided weighted, back to front posting and totally susceptible to lateral loads.

thanIf you want to advertise that your teacher got it more than anyone else and "all questions could be answered by going to him...then shouldn't his students be an example of both answering and doing?
At what point is critical Analysis and delivery more important than lineage? For some....never....even when all around them, their lineage representatives keep failing critical testing.
"Do not look to authority for truth
Look to truth for authority."
Dan

DH
10-22-2012, 02:05 PM
I am still puzzled by you choosing to ignore it as being "external" since in literally all the photos in the "Budo" book the Founder is in hanmi and according to Saito Morihiro's commentary in the same book (and common sense) hanmi=roppo=six direction kamae (p34 in the special edition). Its IPSNEH (In Plain Sight Not Even Hidden).

As to weather or not to mimic the details of Ueshiba's angles - I think you (all of us) should.
Hanmi is as divorced from "creating structure" as eating cheese.
Thinking it is -linked-to creating structure is a profound failure.
This is continuously shown in open rooms , now in front of hundreds of teachers and students alike. We can pretend it isn't happening, but we would be just pretending.

Ueshiba pointed to traditional methods for creating structure. I will leave it up to you to figure out why he never mentioned hanmi as having any part in that.
I say the reason he never did....is because it doesn't have a damn thing to do with internal structure.
Dan

Carl Thompson
10-22-2012, 03:52 PM
Hanmi is as divorced from "creating structure" as eating cheese.
Thinking it is -linked-to creating structure is a profound failure.
This is continuously shown in open rooms , now in front of hundreds of teachers and students alike. We can pretend it isn't happening, but we would be just pretending.

Hanmi is related to awase (musubi). There is a counter-case for lateral stability, but then so there is for poor awase (musubi), especially with weapons. Whichever you favour, it is clear and passed down through the kuden and dictations that Osensei worked on forms of hanmi. Lecturing us yet again on the virtues of your take on Aiki does not change that. Reminding us that more and more people know what you are talking about now is a reason to stop lecturing us and help resolve the question in the OP.


I am certain that when he was hanging out an experimenting/ training/watching all manner of things; koryu, modern weapons, Bayonet, even playing with Judo, that he...learned..something...anything different than what he got from Takeda.

Previously, you obviously agreed that Osensei took influence beyond Daito Ryu.


I mean let's face it, he came from an informal Itto ryu and Jikishinkage ryu background into watching/ possibly training (I'd bet on it) informally in TSKSR and KSR and Yagyu. No one is EVER going to mistake Itto ryu's approach for Shinto ryu.

You even name some of the examples others have said.

Ya don't think he picked up some things? Continued to develop? So even if he picked up one principle...cough. With all that exposure that's it...ONE...are you kidding me....What was he, blind? :D

DH
10-22-2012, 09:47 PM
I will try to outline what I think in more detail tomorrow when I can get to a computer. This is from my phone.
I hardly think telling.... me...I am lecturing on MY version of aiki, when I am using Ueshiba's words and exercises in proper context is correct. At least my efforts are cogent, have historical precedent, are logical and can be explained, demonstrated to produce power in anyone who does them....thus can be taught, and I have a thousand witnesses.
Thus far our detractors have produced nothing to match the above, and no person who is able to cancel out, much less absorb what we claim Ueshiba was doing. Which leaves me wondering why we are even having a debate in the first place. I am being polite enough to try and explain what Ueshiba was in fact doing to those who have no comparable power, explanation of or method of their own tbat produces the unusual power he was noted for. Instead they point to their teachers and to stances and techniques. None of which the founder EVER gave credit to. What he did give credit to...they self admittedly cannot explain.
Oh well.
Dan

wxyzabc
10-23-2012, 02:30 AM
"What he did give credit to...they self admittedly cannot explain"

In the end the founder gave credit to a group of Japanese men who then went on to disseminate something in the best way they knew to the rest of the world..or they stayed in Japan and did the same there based on the culture they live in and what is best for the lifestyle of the people (balanced lifestyle, work, family etc). Some did better than others but that's always the way in any endeavour.

Push tests etc are not unusal here...I went down to a ki aikido club a few weeks back and they did it there, and surprisingly well. Many a place will say the warm ups are "taiso" etc. Others don't of course.

All the best with helping some out and furthering their abilities..nothing wrong with that...I wouldn't want to be justifying myself or those long gone every hour of the day though. That must be tiresome.

Lee
p.s. power to live well and get along is what we really need ; )

sorokod
10-23-2012, 06:39 AM
Instead they point to their teachers and to stances and techniques. None of which the founder EVER gave credit to

The "Budo" book by M. Ueshiba is choke full of stances and techniques. Check it out: http://store.aikidojournal.com/morihiro-saito-takemusu-aikido-special-edition/ . From the preface

The book is entitled simply Budo and was published in 1938
by Morihei Ueshiba in his private capacity. Budo was virtually
unknown outside of the inner circles of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo
until its ?re-discovery? was announced in November 1981 in
the magazine Aiki News. During an interview conducted shortly
before the article appeared, Zenzaburo Akazawa, a prewar dis-
ciple of Morihei Ueshiba, produced a copy of the rare technical
manual. Akazawa stated that only a few hundred copies of Budo
were distributed and that it served as a training aid and fund-
raising device during the difficult years of the prewar era.
Contents of Budo
Budo measures 18 x 26.7 cm and contains 50 pages
divided into two parts. The first section consists of a
one-page composition titled Dobun (Essay of the Way),
followed by 26 doka (songs or poems), a two-page table
of contents, and an eight-page essay titled ?The Essence
of Techniques.? The second part presents 50 techniques
demonstrated by Morihei Ueshiba in 119, 5.3 cm square
photographs. The technical material covered includes
preparatory exercises, basic techniques, knife (tantodori)
and sword-taking techniques (tachidori), sword vs.
sword forms (ken tai ken), mock-bayonet (juken) tech-
niques, and finishing exercises (shumatsu dosa). Budo
is the only work on aikido?Ueshiba?s art was actually
called aiki budo at this stage?in which the Founder
ersonally appears demonstrating techniques. Ueshiba?s train-
ing partners in the book are his son Kisshomaru, Gozo Shioda?
who would later create Yoshinkan Aikido?and a third man
named Okubo about whom little is known.


Some of the photos can be seen here: http://checkthis.com/goji

Cliff Judge
10-23-2012, 08:03 AM
I hardly think telling.... me...I am lecturing on MY version of aiki, when I am using Ueshiba's words and exercises in proper context is correct.

You are using translations of certain excerpts of his words, exercises that you believe to be cognate, and your concept of the context is entirely your own. So what you are teaching is your own invention that has been heavily inspired by Ueshiba.

I still do not understand what is wrong with being honest about that.

Another thing, you have had success with discovering these methods and teaching others, right? Well Ueshiba didn't. Therefore you cannot be doing what he was doing.

gregstec
10-23-2012, 08:53 AM
You are using translations of certain excerpts of his words, exercises that you believe to be cognate, and your concept of the context is entirely your own. So what you are teaching is your own invention that has been heavily inspired by Ueshiba.

I still do not understand what is wrong with being honest about that.

Another thing, you have had success with discovering these methods and teaching others, right? Well Ueshiba didn't. Therefore you cannot be doing what he was doing.

Actually, what Dan is teaching is stuff thousands of years old and can be found in Chinese and Indian internal arts; which is pretty much the source of Ueshiba's info for his development of internal power via Takeda. If you look at a lot of Ueshiba's quotes on aiki from this perspective, you will see that a lot of his quotes are exactly what can be found in the Chinese teachings word for word - kind of makes some of his stuff less esoteric and more understandable.

Of course people can (and will) believe what they want for various reasons that help support their decisions in pursuing something. For those that are comfortable in the mainstream and are happy with their pursuit of martial arts as it is, then what we are doing is not for you, and that is fine with me. However, for those like us that have seen or felt something that was lacking in their budo, go in search of it. Like a lot of the folks that train with Dan, I have felt direct students of Ueshiba and Horikawa and many more direct students of those students from various lineages such as ASU, AAA, Iwama, Ki Society, and some independent groups - only a few (from DR and Ki Society only) had some feeling of an internal skill, but for the most part, they had nothing special at all. And absolutely no one felt any where near like what Dan feels like. So if you are happy where you are at with your Aikido, stay there - but if you are looking for that little special thing that can set you apart, get out and start training with those that have it.

Greg

Cliff Judge
10-23-2012, 09:08 AM
Actually, what Dan is teaching is stuff thousands of years old and can be found in Chinese and Indian internal arts; which is pretty much where Ueshiba got his info for his development of internal power via Takeda. If you look at a lot of Ueshiba's quotes on aiki from this perspective, you will see that a lot of his quotes are exactly what can be found in the Chinese teachings word for word - kind of makes some of his stuff less esoteric and more understandable.


So Ueshiba wrote in Chinese, then? :confused:

HL1978
10-23-2012, 09:16 AM
Another thing, you have had success with discovering these methods and teaching others, right? Well Ueshiba didn't. Therefore you cannot be doing what he was doing.

Is your position that what Ueshiba was doing was unique and thus can't be taught? If that's the case why study aikido if no one can ever become like Ueshiba?

Or is your position, that if Ueshiba was unable to teach others to do what he is doing, no one else can either? That would seem contradictory, if these skills were taught to him by others, but perhaps could be the case if they were unique to him. If it was that Ueshiba was unable to teach them, then it would be an interesting conversation to discuss why he couldn't. Was it his teaching model, his teaching ability, his curriculum, was it deliberate obfuscation, was it difficulty of the subject matter, was it a mismatch of background knowledge, was it poor students or other reasons? I'm sure there is scholarly material on the subject.

I don't want to be putting word into your mouth, could you explain your statement a bit more?

Tengu859
10-23-2012, 09:25 AM
You are using translations of certain excerpts of his words, exercises that you believe to be cognate, and your concept of the context is entirely your own. So what you are teaching is your own invention that has been heavily inspired by Ueshiba.

I still do not understand what is wrong with being honest about that.

Another thing, you have had success with discovering these methods and teaching others, right? Well Ueshiba didn't. Therefore you cannot be doing what he was doing.

Hey Cliff,

I think that what some people here are trying to say is that Ueshiba's training methods have deep roots in the Daito-ryu he learned from Sokaku Takeda. It would seem that Takeda taught Ueshiba a certain way to use his body. If I understand this correctly, this kind of body training has its roots in China and before that in India. This kind of training has been around for ages. But it is so different from the way we normally move that it is difficult to learn and apply. Ueshiba was one of those people with a gift and drive to embrace it and be able to apply it to his MA of choice, Daito-ryu.
For example, the book Hidden in Plain Sight and Mr Li's blogs, Mark M's posts give evidence of this. I find this an interesting study. Accept it or not. You make up your own mind. Does it really matter? No. Train in a vibrant and joyful manner... :0)

Take Care,

ChrisW

PS My aunt Sally really loves this thread!!! Thanks.

gregstec
10-23-2012, 09:30 AM
So Ueshiba wrote in Chinese, then? :confused:

I am not sure if your comment is simply some form of sophomoric push back or a honest question. However, giving you the benefit of doubt this time, i will look at it as the latter.

It is pretty common knowledge that Ueshiba was a student of the Chinese classics - does that mean he could read and write in Chinese, don't know, but that does not mean he could not quote them if he could not.

Greg

Cliff Judge
10-23-2012, 09:33 AM
Is your position that what Ueshiba was doing was unique and thus can't be taught? If that's the case why study aikido if no one can ever become like Ueshiba?

Or is your position, that if Ueshiba was unable to teach others to do what he is doing, no one else can either? That would seem contradictory, if these skills were taught to him by others, but perhaps could be the case if they were unique to him. If it was that Ueshiba was unable to teach them, then it would be an interesting conversation to discuss why he couldn't. Was it his teaching model, his teaching ability, his curriculum, was it deliberate obfuscation, was it difficulty of the subject matter, was it a mismatch of background knowledge, was it poor students or other reasons? I'm sure there is scholarly material on the subject.

I don't want to be putting word into your mouth, could you explain your statement a bit more?

My point is that translated original documents, interviews with direct students, and a smattering of footage and photographs are completely insufficient to know what it was that Ueshiba was doing.

It you therefore go to internal Chinese martial arts to develop material that looks like it might be similar to what is suggested by these translations, films, and photos, it is a misrepresentation to say you are teaching "Ueshiba's aiki."

Cliff Judge
10-23-2012, 09:39 AM
I am not sure if your comment is simply some form of sophomoric push back or a honest question. However, giving you the benefit of doubt this time, i will look at it as the latter.

It is pretty common knowledge that Ueshiba was a student of the Chinese classics - does that mean he could read and write in Chinese, don't know, but that does not mean he could not quote them if he could not.

Greg

Just sayin', you claimed he used the exact same words. In point of fact, both Japanese and Chinese are not the type of languages that are typically "exact" at anything.

Marc Abrams
10-23-2012, 09:42 AM
So Ueshiba wrote in Chinese, then? :confused:

Cliff:

O'Sensei received the formal education of that time period, which just so happened to be studying the Chinese classics. The Meiji restoration period brought in an western-style education system where the Chinese classics were no longer taught.

Marc Abrams

Cliff Judge
10-23-2012, 09:45 AM
Hey Cliff,

I think that what some people here are trying to say is that Ueshiba's training methods have deep roots in the Daito-ryu he learned from Sokaku Takeda. It would seem that Takeda taught Ueshiba a certain way to use his body. If I understand this correctly, this kind of body training has its roots in China and before that in India. This kind of training has been around for ages. But it is so different from the way we normally move that it is difficult to learn and apply. Ueshiba was one of those people with a gift and drive to embrace it and be able to apply it to his MA of choice, Daito-ryu.
For example, the book Hidden in Plain Sight and Mr Li's blogs, Mark M's posts give evidence of this. I find this an interesting study. Accept it or not. You make up your own mind. Does it really matter? No. Train in a vibrant and joyful manner... :0)

Take Care,

ChrisW

PS My aunt Sally really loves this thread!!! Thanks.

Of course! Many people on this forum have found some new material that they are very enthusiastic about. There have been multiple epiphanies. That's really great!

But what they are training is not from Ueshiba, so it is not correct to say that it is "Ueshiba's".

There is a continual resistance to this truth, and the general shape of counter-argument goes along the lines of "but it is really great training," or "here are twelve Chris Li translations that seem to be talking about something I think i am talking about," or etc.

gregstec
10-23-2012, 09:58 AM
Just sayin', you claimed he used the exact same words. In point of fact, both Japanese and Chinese are not the type of languages that are typically "exact" at anything.

OK, so I was wrong, you are being somewhat sophomoric. Yes, It is true that when the Chinese guy says yin and yang and the Japanese guy says in and yo, they are not exactly exact - however, they are saying exactly the same thing. Bottom line is my point in that post that the source of a lot of his stuff was Chinese - and if you poke around a bit, you will see that it is not just Dan saying that.

Greg

HL1978
10-23-2012, 10:07 AM
My point is that translated original documents, interviews with direct students, and a smattering of footage and photographs are completely insufficient to know what it was that Ueshiba was doing.

It you therefore go to internal Chinese martial arts to develop material that looks like it might be similar to what is suggested by these translations, films, and photos, it is a misrepresentation to say you are teaching "Ueshiba's aiki."

Ok I think I understand your argument.

I think what others might counter with is if Ueshiba's aiki, is substantially different from Sagawa's Aiki given a common root source,? Likewise, how much overlap there may be between something like what CXW or Sam Chin or others are doing? I think it would be fair to say that there are different flavours/interpretations of the skills IS folks are trying to build and presumably, one could develop aiki but it may be flavored differently than that of Ueshibia do to different life experiences, training paradigms etc. I think Mike Sigman was trying to cover this concept in his baseline skills thread years back saying there are some commonalities between different IS approaches, even if the eventual skills may have different levels or results.

This however seems to be a different argument, than the one the IS proponents are presenting. In using the phrase Ueshiba's Aiki, they are referring to Aiki in the internal martial arts context, and that Ueshiba was utilizing Internal training principles and methods. I don't think they are claiming that there is only one aiki, or they are doing the exact same flavor as Ueshiba, rather aiki as expressed as martial arts principle, in which case one could look to translations, films and photos for evidence.

Chris Li
10-23-2012, 10:27 AM
So Ueshiba wrote in Chinese, then? :confused:

Actually, yes, every Japanese person writes in Chinese ;) .

More seriously, the Chinese influence on Japanese culture is a no-brainer, although it often (usually) tends to be downplayed by the Japanese themselves.

For example - Hiroshi Tada stated in an interview (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-09-16/aikido-shihan-hiroshi-tada-the-budo-body-part-6) that he was raised memorizing and reciting the Confucian classics.

Ueshiba's education in the Shingon temple was similar - memorizing and reciting Chinese classical texts.

What comes then is the question of specific relevance to Ueshiba's thoughts and methods vis-a-vis martial training.

Well, Ueshiba often said pointed to the "secret of Aikido (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-02-22/kiichi-hogen-and-the-secret-of-aikido)" - and examining where that came from is quite interesting.

Also, as Greg noted, as you start to work your way through text left behind by Ueshiba you find that he cited classical Chinese martial arts concepts repetitively and incessantly.

Does that make a difference?

Maybe, if you believe (as I do) that the base theory of whatever you're doing is of importance. The problem with getting away from the base principles and concepts is that the cause and the effect, while related, are often two quite separate things, IMO.

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge
10-23-2012, 10:30 AM
OK, so I was wrong, you are being somewhat sophomoric. Yes, It is true that when the Chinese guy says yin and yang and the Japanese guy says in and yo, they are not exactly exact - however, they are saying exactly the same thing. Bottom line is my point in that post that the source of a lot of his stuff was Chinese - and if you poke around a bit, you will see that it is not just Dan saying that.

Greg

If the source of his stuff is Chinese, then that would mean the source of Takeda's stuff is Chinese. But there is no proof of this, because where Takeda learned his material from is exponentially more hazy than Ueshiba. And maybe it is meant to be, but that's aside the point.

Now going to Chinese internal martial arts and creating a system that you believe to be cognate to Ueshiba's personal practice is all well and good! If it helps you push on walls and stuff better, more power to you, that drywall had it coming!

But you aren't practicing what Ueshiba was practicing. It is even debatable whether it is a reconstruction. Incorrectly representing what you are doing as "the true Aikido of Ueshiba" would STILL not be a huge deal as long as you didn't use that as a jusitification to argue against people who follow an actual lineage that goes to Ueshiba and have different technical ideas.

Cliff Judge
10-23-2012, 10:38 AM
I don't think they are claiming that there is only one aiki, or they are doing the exact same flavor as Ueshiba,

I think I have been pretty clear that my criticism of Dan and his students is that they are arguing exactly these two things. Would love to hear otherwise.

DH
10-23-2012, 10:39 AM
Of course! Many people on this forum have found some new material that they are very enthusiastic about. There have been multiple epiphanies. That's really great!

But what they are training is not from Ueshiba, so it is not correct to say that it is "Ueshiba's".

There is a continual resistance to this truth, and the general shape of counter-argument goes along the lines of "but it is really great training," or "here are twelve Chris Li translations that seem to be talking about something I think i am talking about," or etc.
This is not a counter argument Cliff.
So your saying if Ueshiba discussed Math... that math is now unique to him?
So instead he discusses known methods for generating power and handling forces....so they are now unique to him?
What is really happening is a gradual realization that it is the Aikido community (including top Shihan) who were just simply ignorant, (sometimes self admittedly ignorant) of these concepts. That's not me insulting anyone. There is nothing wrong with not knowing these things. Chiba admitted to not knowing what the old man was talking about and he couldn't wait for him to shut up so they could get back to training. He said it...twice.

I've said this dozens of times to a largely unaware audience: Ueshiba discussed terms and concepts that are a perfect match with the same terms and concepts used across cultures and time by warriors. These terms were for concepts known for producing power.

Not knowing them and how to do them is one thing. Not even knowing they existed? Well... it certainly doesn't make someone right, it makes them...well...er....in need of better information.

Example:
Heaven/earth/ man and the floating bridge
This is the foremost way to learn to manage forces within you. Putting the cosmology aside, it is a body method taught in certain yogic practices, in the internal arts of China, It was noted for being taught at the Kashima and Katori shrines as far back as the mid 1400's. When it is mentioned, it is mentioned for producing power. Ueshiba noted it "released the mountain echo" This is pertinent in that he demonstrated it regularly when people "echoed" or bounced off him. There are minor and major ways of using it. Some more sophisticated than others.

Incidentally, The vertical twirling of the bo or jo he does is not him stirring the toilet bowl of the gods. It is in fact yet another way of practicing and utilizing the above powers, which is not unique to him either.

Six directions
This is yet another term used repeatedly and has a pedagogy mentioned in the above paragraph on Heaven/earth/man. It matches Tohei's use of the one point model. The method used to make it work however is not just standing their dreaming of all directions and extending ki, rather it has a palpable effect on the whole system. Even more interesting is that Tohei's use of the term "one point" is not his either, it came directly out of his yoga practices and terminology.

And both of these tie in neatly to Ueshiba's answer on "What makes aiki?" His answer being a quite definitive breaking point for our discussion right now....
He answered by drawing a circle and stating "It is opposing forces."
One camp thinks it means to people meeting and you always make circles around their force.
The other camp correctly understands the classic model that it is sustained opposing forces within you (prior to any contact) that remains and manipulates their force on contact.

Hence my statement (and Ueshiba's) that aiki is not awase.
Hence, Shirata dividng the models as well, stating "Place the immovable body (aiki as opposing forces)...in an invincible position." (awase).
Hence, my phrase "Aiki in me before aiki between thee and me"

This is the age old model for producing a central dynamic balance in the body through solo training to sustain forces within yourself priorr to any contact-that makes aiki on contact. NOT MOVEMENT or FITTING IN.

As far as his ideas not being unique-I could go on and on. Another example being his phrases on ten units of force being managed by five and five or seven and three Which is a direct quote from the Tora no maki. Or again his use of the guest hand and host hand which is a direct quote right out of the Chen taiji treatise.

Again there are simple and more advanced means to do these things.

None of this ever addresses my other points.
You disagree? Fine.
You get it? Fine
Why don't you feel like Ueshiba?
To what degree or degrees are you on a path that makes soft power and aiki?
Why do all of your teachers we meet keep failing under testing by those who do understand these things?
If we are gonzo, making stuff up, and having personal epiphanies...why do all of our terms and concepts fit known terms and concepts used by martial artists in other cultures to produce power like the type Ueshiba had and yours don't?
Why is it that those of us embracing these things (things that you assign to some random personal epiphany) are producing greater soft power and aiki on a consistent basis? Why....good golly batman !!! Is it yet another wiz bang singular genius at work????
Or is it just yet another generation, learning the same ol stuff that produced other giants before us?

I don't have to bet on the later, I am proving it seminar after seminar against your teachers and now others are as well. It's really only a matter of time before you either embrace it, or stubbornly refuse to just out of spite and anger. Why do I say that? Because it has an almost 100% conversion rate. And why is THAT?
Because it's the best way to do aiki...do.

Last
1. Why is it that -in person-none of you can match your rhetoric with action and results to match our rhetoric and results?
And
2. Why do you keep avoiding that question?
It certainly makes yet another compelling point for our case.
Dan

Chris Li
10-23-2012, 10:51 AM
Of course! Many people on this forum have found some new material that they are very enthusiastic about. There have been multiple epiphanies. That's really great!

But what they are training is not from Ueshiba, so it is not correct to say that it is "Ueshiba's".


Interestingly, Stan Pranin has been saying for years that this is true for most modern Aikido (his term!):

http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2011/11/28/is-o-sensei-really-the-father-of-modern-aikido-by-stanley-pranin/

Best,

Chris

DH
10-23-2012, 11:19 AM
I thought the opening paragraph was clear and definitive and worth pasting here. Interesting that he developed a hypothesis early on, that later proved itself out upon further, more in-depth study and research during his time in Japan.
After practicing and researching aikido for a number of years, I gradually arrived at a hypothesis that went against conventional wisdom and the testimonies of numerous shihan who claimed to have spent long years studying at the side of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. I had over the years attended numerous seminars given in the USA by Japanese teachers, and also made several trips to Japan where I had seen and trained with many of the best known teachers. My theory was simply that aikido as we know it today was not the art practiced and taught by O-Sensei, but rather any one of a number of derivative forms developed by key students who studied under the Founder for relatively short periods of time. This would account for the considerable divergency in styles, the relatively small number of techniques taught, and the absence of an Omoto-like religious perspective in the modern forms of the art. This was not meant as a criticism of these “modern” forms of the art, but rather an observation based on historical research that ran contrary to common perception.
There were folks who studied for aprox. 5-6 years before being sent out to run the aikido programs for whole countries and become the "word" for all things aikido to those they taught.
Dan

Rob Watson
10-23-2012, 11:19 AM
Hence my statement (and Ueshiba's) that aiki is not awase.
Hence, Shirata dividng the models as well, stating "Place the immovable body (aiki as opposing forces)...in an invincible position." (awase).
Hence, my phrase "Aiki in me before aiki between thee and me"

Maybe "Aiki in me before awase between me and thee"? Put a bow on it and we are ready for the next step. The peanut gallery has now spoken.

DH
10-23-2012, 11:26 AM
Maybe "Aiki in me before awase between me and thee"? Put a bow on it and we are ready for the next step. The peanut gallery has now spoken.
Except that there can be elements of aiki in awase... and we
Accept that awase can be just movement with no aiki in it at all
Except when awase is born from aiki and has aiki in it.

We have to accept that there are exceptions to awase having aiki in it!! :p

If aiki were just externally moving in space and timing with an opponent, no seasoned martial artists would have crossed the street to train it.
running and ducking
Dan

ChrisMoses
10-23-2012, 11:42 AM
Woah, time machine thread!

Quite a few years ago I was watching an Iaido demo with my friend Scott Irey (all around miscreant and pretty good Iaidoka). Some of the folks had some dynamic movement, but it was pretty meh. Scott leaned over to me and said (paraphrasing), "See, they're all stuck on the postures. They're just moving from posture to posture. If you were taking photographs, it would look OK, but there's nothing in between the separate postures. The meat of the art is what leads you from posture to posture, not the posture itself."

Tru dat. Most of us are hopelessly caught by the posture. We have no ability to even see what happens between them. It's a mummers farce.

/still waiting for Chris Li to get around to "the cross of aiki" or whatever it actually said. :D

Cliff Judge
10-23-2012, 11:44 AM
This is not a counter argument Cliff.
So your saying if Ueshiba discussed Math... that math is now unique to him?
So instead he discusses known methods for generating power and handling forces....so they are now unique to him?
What is really happening is a gradual realization that it is the Aikido community (including top Shihan) who were just simply ignorant, (sometimes self admittedly ignorant) of these concepts. That's not me insulting anyone. There is nothing wrong with not knowing these things. Chiba admitted to not knowing what the old man was talking about and he couldn't wait for him to shut up so they could get back to training. He said it...twice.

I've said this dozens of times to a largely unaware audience: Ueshiba discussed terms and concepts that are a perfect match with the same terms and concepts used across cultures and time by warriors. These terms were for concepts known for producing power.

Not knowing them and how to do them is one thing. Not even knowing they existed? Well... it certainly doesn't make someone right, it makes them...well...er....in need of better information.

Sure, Ueshiba used a non-unique training paradigm to achieve the power that seems to be expressed in photos, footage, and contemporaneous accounts. It certainly seems logical that you can find that training paradigm in other arts. So that's what you did, right? What you offer is training based on these other arts.

This is definitely progress, I think we are getting there.

Not sure why you have to trot the old man's bones out and beat them to death constantly, if what he was doing can be found in these other places, though.

Tengu859
10-23-2012, 11:47 AM
Of course! Many people on this forum have found some new material that they are very enthusiastic about. There have been multiple epiphanies. That's really great!

But what they are training is not from Ueshiba, so it is not correct to say that it is "Ueshiba's".

There is a continual resistance to this truth, and the general shape of counter-argument goes along the lines of "but it is really great training," or "here are twelve Chris Li translations that seem to be talking about something I think i am talking about," or etc.

Hey Cliff,

Great!!! Then you have made up your mind. For you it's not Ueshiba's Aiki. So why continue to debate with those people...?!?!? Enjoy the ride. Let them bask in their...I think you get my point. ;0)

Take Care,

ChrisW

Chris Li
10-23-2012, 11:53 AM
Woah, time machine thread!

Quite a few years ago I was watching an Iaido demo with my friend Scott Irey (all around miscreant and pretty good Iaidoka). Some of the folks had some dynamic movement, but it was pretty meh. Scott leaned over to me and said (paraphrasing), "See, they're all stuck on the postures. They're just moving from posture to posture. If you were taking photographs, it would look OK, but there's nothing in between the separate postures. The meat of the art is what leads you from posture to posture, not the posture itself."

Tru dat. Most of us are hopelessly caught by the posture. We have no ability to even see what happens between them. It's a mummers farce.

/still waiting for Chris Li to get around to "the cross of aiki" or whatever it actually said. :D

Off to Korea tomorrow, then Dan in November - some day...

There was a little bit here (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-06-03/morihei-ueshiba-and-the-way-of-the-cross) - there's more, I'll try to get to it eventually!

Best,

Chris

ChrisMoses
10-23-2012, 12:01 PM
Off to Korea tomorrow, then Dan in November - some day...

There was a little bit here (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-06-03/morihei-ueshiba-and-the-way-of-the-cross) - there's more, I'll try to get to it eventually!

Best,

Chris

Awesome, I missed that post. Thanks.

DH
10-23-2012, 12:16 PM
Sure, Ueshiba used a non-unique training paradigm to achieve the power that seems to be expressed in photos, footage, and contemporaneous accounts. It certainly seems logical that you can find that training paradigm in other arts. So that's what you did, right? What you offer is training based on these other arts.

This is definitely progress, I think we are getting there.

Not sure why you have to trot the old man's bones out and beat them to death constantly, if what he was doing can be found in these other places, though.
Well, Cliff that logic misses both the forest and the trees.
Since you now agree these training terms and concepts exist and he named them, discussed them, and used them to make his aikido....
The questions are
1. Why doesn't everyone?
2. Why can't they explain them?
3. Why don't they know them and where they came from and are also used?
Last and most compelling is my question...still as yet unanswered (I don't think anyone really wants to answer it)....
4. Why do those who cannot explain them, do not know where they came from and do not practice them feel like everyone else, and we... who do know them, explain them and practice and use them feel like we do?


As for moving forward and not having to repeat
1. Yes...we are trotting out his bones. It's because it used to be his art and we are helping people who want to learn his aiki.
2. Yes I already know that claiming we have a better understanding of what his aiki was draws fire.
Dan

Tengu859
10-23-2012, 12:21 PM
Sure, Ueshiba used a non-unique training paradigm to achieve the power that seems to be expressed in photos, footage, and contemporaneous accounts. It certainly seems logical that you can find that training paradigm in other arts. So that's what you did, right? What you offer is training based on these other arts.

This is definitely progress, I think we are getting there.

Not sure why you have to trot the old man's bones out and beat them to death constantly, if what he was doing can be found in these other places, though.

Seems like Dan is just an "Ueshiba Fanboy"...!!! I'm a big fan myself...!!!

Enjoy,

ChrisW and Aunt Sally

Cliff Judge
10-23-2012, 12:22 PM
We are trotting out his bones because it used to be his art. So, who then...is doing his Aiki..do?
Dan

Not you. :p