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DavidM
07-19-2002, 11:21 PM
I hear a lot of relation between Aikido and the Samurai...I can see some of it in our Bokken work. But what , if any, does Aikido and the Samurai REALLY have in common?

Curious Mind Wants to Know
David

Kami
07-20-2002, 02:25 AM
I hear a lot of relation between Aikido and the Samurai...I can see some of it in our Bokken work. But what , if any, does Aikido and the Samurai REALLY have in common?

Curious Mind Wants to Know

David
KAMI : Not very much, I'm afraid. The Founder was born long after the samurai were gone and so his ideas involved what he thought were the ways of the samurai. In the same way as Mishima.

IMO

Thalib
07-20-2002, 04:22 AM
But we have to remember that Osensei studied the Daitoryu art of aiki-ju, which was the Daitoryu art of the Samurai. After he studied Aiki-jujutsu, Osensei evolved it into Aikido. That we must not forget, and must not deny...

shihonage
07-20-2002, 04:33 AM
They're both Japanese.

Kami
07-20-2002, 06:08 AM
But we have to remember that Osensei studied the Daitoryu art of aiki-ju, which was the Daitoryu art of the Samurai. After he studied Aiki-jujutsu, Osensei evolved it into Aikido. That we must not forget, and must not deny...
KAMI : We must not forget also that Takeda, a man as amazing as Ueshiba in his own way, has apparently created his art in modern days, predominantly from Sumo and Kenjutsu. There are no proof that his art was "the Daito Ryu art of the Samurai". To present a modern art as having an ancient tradition is a common trick in oriental arts (Aikijujutsu, Taekwondo, Hapkido, etc...).

Also, even samurai fantasized about his ancestors. See YAMAMOTO, in the HAGAKURE and the crazy ideas of YUKIO MISHIMA. Martial arts are always full of fantasy. We must be careful and always refine our researches.

Best

mike lee
07-20-2002, 06:08 AM
Guts.:ki:

jimvance
07-20-2002, 11:20 AM
We must not forget also that Takeda, a man as amazing as Ueshiba in his own way, has apparently created his art in modern days, predominantly from Sumo and Kenjutsu. There are no proof that his art was "the Daito Ryu art of the Samurai". To present a modern art as having an ancient tradition is a common trick in oriental arts (Aikijujutsu, Taekwondo, Hapkido, etc...).

Also, even samurai fantasized about his ancestors. See YAMAMOTO, in the HAGAKURE and the crazy ideas of YUKIO MISHIMA. Martial arts are always full of fantasy. We must be careful and always refine our researches.I would have to agree almost completely. (The only digression being that Daito Ryu was named by one Saigo Tanomo, if memory serves me correctly, who also alluded to its illustrious descent from the Takeda and the Minamoto. So there may be a pattern here....) There was a period of about three hundred years where no war existed on the islands of Japan, yet the military held control. That is unheard of by today's standards. Most samurai (which means "servant" by the way, the term "bushi" means "warrior".) participated in the local fire brigade and may have seen more action there than anywhere else. This was a hereditary title, and not everyone was excited about getting it.

I liken these ideas of Aikido being the "direct transmission of Samurai martial arts" (I am guilty of calling it that) to the way Chuck Norris related karate to being samurai or ninja arts. Watch the movie "The Octagon", where he is messing around with a katana, it's almost painful to watch. Bruce Lee, Van Damme, Seagal, even Christopher Lambert, they did it too. Most of the time they are pop culture misfits with little or no basis in fact or real history, let alone ability. Could the same be said about the founder of Aikido, his teacher, or the founder of Daito Ryu?

Definitely.

Jim Vance

Kami
07-20-2002, 11:58 AM
(The only digression being that Daito Ryu was named by one Saigo Tanomo, if memory serves me correctly, who also alluded to its illustrious descent from the Takeda and the Minamoto. So there may be a pattern here....)

Jim Vance
KAMI : Hello, Jim!

About your only digression, we should remember that the japanese are just crazy by records of everything, from nut-picking to the washing of clothes, with detailed anotations and there's NOTHING about martial abilities of Tonomo Saigo or the practice of DAITO RYU by the Aizo Clan. DRAJJ begins with TAKEDA SOKAKU and that's all. The so called OSHIKIUCHI of Tonomo Saigo (that he may have taught to Takeda) might have been just court manners and etiquette.

The Minamoto were a very important historical family and not just Takeda but some other arts claim descent from the illustrious Minamoto. Truth? None.

Best regards

Pretoriano
07-20-2002, 08:07 PM
"But what , if any, does Aikido and the Samurai REALLY have in common?"

I see you d been discusing historical, cultural facts.

See, BUDO, MARTIALITY, ATTITUDE, THE WARRIOR SCIENCE OF JAPAN, THE SWORD, all this facts are inherited to Aikido, and there are Present Today!!

Pretorian.

jimvance
07-21-2002, 01:35 PM
"But what , if any, does Aikido and the Samurai REALLY have in common?"

I see you d been discusing historical, cultural facts.

See, BUDO, MARTIALITY, ATTITUDE, THE WARRIOR SCIENCE OF JAPAN, THE SWORD, all this facts are inherited to Aikido, and there are Present Today!!I know what you are getting at, but I disagree based on the historical, cultural facts. This would be like asking the question "What do Denim Jeans, Western (Cowboy) Hats, and Riding boots and "Cowboys" have in common?" (Make up your own question.) I used to live in Montana, and tourists like to visit (especially the Japanese, by the way) and dress up like "cowboys" and fit in. Are they really being cowboys? In a historical sense, no; even today, cowboys (please call them "ranchers") are a dying breed and are few and far between. But there is a huge interest in "Western" wear, music, culture. There was a greater interest in this in my father's culture, like TV shows and movies.

But let's face it, John Wayne was not a cowboy. He was an actor. Toshiro Mifune was not a samurai; he was an actor. Your sensei is not a samurai, nor was the founder of Aikido. No one was technically samurai after the Meiji restoration. The martial attitude adopted by most Gendai budo was strongly influenced by the pre-war imperialistic doctrine of "Yamato damashii". Sure the samurai influenced Japanese mentality, so did the other classes.

I think I agree with Alexsey the most when he said "they are both Japanese". Yes there is a connection, but not the popular culture version. That is false, and the people who rely on it are either misinformed or enjoy the dog and pony show.

Jim Vance

Kami
07-21-2002, 04:47 PM
I know what you are getting at, but I disagree based on the historical, cultural facts. But let's face it, John Wayne was not a cowboy. He was an actor. Toshiro Mifune was not a samurai; he was an actor. Your sensei is not a samurai, nor was the founder of Aikido. Yes there is a connection, but not the popular culture version. That is false, and the people who rely on it are either misinformed or enjoy the dog and pony show.

Jim Vance
KAMI : I believe you're right, Jim. Having to choose between fact and fancy, people almost always opt for fancy.

Best :ai:

Mona
07-21-2002, 05:42 PM
David,

I think the relationship is rather subtle and inferred, in things like Shikko or Suwari Waza techniques.

Sascha Witt
07-21-2002, 09:01 PM
Hakamas

History is always an interesting subject, considering that it is difficult enough getting accurate and unbiased info on things that happened 10 yrs ago let alone trying to trace a connection to the 16th century.

I think that many of the moves taught in Aikido must have been around at the time of the Samurai. And I do like to believe that there is some conection to an actual Samurai art.

I also think that Aikido is much too precise and refined for it to be a completely new art... and if you explore the moves like shihonage for example you can see that Aikido techniques are based on a very deadly style (can we say broken neck and cracked skull?).

On the other hand Aikido is based on a very pacifist philosophy which would be kind of impractical for the fighting "servants" known as the Samurai.

So all in all I'd have to ask: What do YOU think? If you like to believe you are practicing a Samurai style, does it really matter if people who died 300 years before your grandparents were in diapers practiced exactly the same thing? Will that make you any better in Aikido? Will it make Aikido any more or any less effective?

Chris Li
07-21-2002, 11:02 PM
Most samurai (which means "servant" by the way, the term "bushi" means "warrior".) participated in the local fire brigade and may have seen more action there than anywhere else. This was a hereditary title, and not everyone was excited about getting it.
Well, yes, if you go back to the original derivation of the kanji, but in practical use both then and now "samurai" means (and meant) pretty much what people would expect it to mean. No one would call a servant (ie, a maid or butler) a "samurai" in Japanese. Interestingly, the original derivation of the English word "knight" was from "cniht", which meant...."servant".

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
07-21-2002, 11:08 PM
About your only digression, we should remember that the japanese are just crazy by records of everything, from nut-picking to the washing of clothes, with detailed anotations and there's NOTHING about martial abilities of Tonomo Saigo or the practice of DAITO RYU by the Aizo Clan. DRAJJ begins with TAKEDA SOKAKU and that's all. The so called OSHIKIUCHI of Tonomo Saigo (that he may have taught to Takeda) might have been just court manners and etiquette.

The Minamoto were a very important historical family and not just Takeda but some other arts claim descent from the illustrious Minamoto. Truth? None.

Best regards


I've heard some reasonable arguments made on both sides of the issue - what it really comes down to is that there is no proof at all one way or the other. At the least, Daito-ryu was created out of the technical heritage created by the samurai culture, and reflects that, I think. In that sense the connection to the warrior culture of pre-Meiji is quite strong. Other than that I wouldn't venture to say, one way or the other.

Best,

Chris

Kami
07-22-2002, 04:47 AM
Well, yes, if you go back to the original derivation of the kanji, but in practical use both then and now "samurai" means (and meant) pretty much what people would expect it to mean. No one would call a servant (ie, a maid or butler) a "samurai" in Japanese. Interestingly, the original derivation of the English word "knight" was from "cniht", which meant...."servant".
Best,
Chris

KAMI : Hi, Chris!

Also interestingly, the word KNAVE, meaning "a rascal" comes from the same root as KNIGHT (cniht or Knecht). Perhaps a knight, in many cases, was also seen as a rascal...:rolleyes:
And I believe the "servant", in the case of the samurai, had a meaning somehow different from a maid or a butler. More like when we say to a high lady : "Your humble servant, Ma'am!"...:)
Isaac Asimov, of SF fame, once wrote a very funny article about Knights and Knight Errantry. His conclusion was that knights were unsufferably arrogant people and that, when their age was gone, people everywhere smiled and said : "Thank God they're gone!"
As to History, of course you're right. It isn't an exact science and, as such, all we can say is that something is more probable than some other thing. In this way, the "modernity" of Aikido and even Daito Ryu has more facts atesting it than the other history that proposes a longer root to Daito Ryu, stretching to the Minamotos.
At the very least, IMOHO
Best ;)

Chris Li
07-22-2002, 06:42 AM
As to History, of course you're right. It isn't an exact science and, as such, all we can say is that something is more probable than some other thing. In this way, the "modernity" of Aikido and even Daito Ryu has more facts atesting it than the other history that proposes a longer root to Daito Ryu, stretching to the Minamotos.

At the very least, IMOHO

Best ;)
Interestingly, Yukiyoshi Sagawa was of the opinion that Sokaku Takeda invented the principles of Aiki himself. He had no factual basis for this opinion, it was apparently based entirely upon two points:

1) He believed that Aiki was too difficult and complex a concept to have been passed down through the years from the Minamoto.

2) He didn't believe, based upon photographs he had seen, that Tanomo Saigo actually understood Aiki (or that he was any kind of a skilled martial artist). According to Sagawa the eyes would be different,

Still, even with no hard evidence at all I found his opinion interesting, since he was one of the few people who was actually there with Sokaku Takeda. Most of the other people venturing opinions on the matter had little or know contact of any kind with Takeda.

Anyway, the knaves where the ones left after the true knights emigrated to Japan and secretly propagated the knightly ethic disguised as native Japanese Bushido. Now you know why the Hagakure is so hard to read - it's actually a translation from old English :).

Best,

Chris

Kami
07-22-2002, 07:04 AM
Anyway, the knaves where the ones left after the true knights emigrated to Japan and secretly propagated the knightly ethic disguised as native Japanese Bushido. Now you know why the Hagakure is so hard to read - it's actually a translation from old English :).

Best,

Chris
KAMI : Aha...I always knew that (That old knave Joe Yamamoto...) ;)

OTOH, did you know that, in the 17th century, japanese samurai sailed to the USA, arrived in California, from there came to Brazil and here they taught SUMO to brazilian indians? Later the Cayapó Indians developed UKA-UKA (indian wrestling). That's why UKA-UKA looks so much like Sumo...:straightf

Later, those self-same samurai taught the Gracies some jujutsu techniques from which the Gracies developed their own GJJ (forget all the thrash about that guy Maeda...) :straightf

(Hey! Some of those days, when you have the time, we must get together and begin to re-write history! It will be fun!;) )

Best regards and a good keiko

Bruce Baker
07-22-2002, 09:38 AM
Trying to compare the ways of war practiced by the samaurai is like saying all religions are simular because they have spiritual connotations and worship a god? With generalizations broad enough, I guess you can connect almost anything in simularity.

The fact of tracing the geneology of a particular martial art is based upon taking what works and making it your own for your particular generation.

No matter how we classify a martial art, we can always find broadly based connections.

It seems to be the details that define each art.

So, even if there is a broad geneology that connects Aikido to its roots in Japan and a warrior culture, its evolution into Aikido defines it as an art within itself defined by its own particular details.

Aikido is not the art of the Samurai, but hopefully it is the evolution of a martial art that many Japanese ancestors would have wanted life to become for their future generations.

Thalib
07-22-2002, 06:33 PM
Very interesting... there are always new things to learn and to explore... I'll definitely keep an open mind about this issue.

Pretoriano
07-22-2002, 08:08 PM
To Jim Vance, from 90 to 31

Edward
07-22-2002, 09:28 PM
Well, I never read anywhere that O sensei considered himself as a Samurai. The fact is that he considered Aikido as being Budo, and thus that makes him someone who lives according to the bushido principles, whatever they may be, but does not mean that he's a Samurai. In modern Japan, many Japanese live or honor the old bushido way and many companies and schools encourage this spirit among their employees and students, which includes loyalty, diligence, honesty, honor...etc.

Kami
07-23-2002, 04:43 AM
The fact is that he considered Aikido as being Budo, and thus that makes him someone who lives according to the bushido principles, whatever they may be, but does not mean that he's a Samurai. In modern Japan, many Japanese live or honor the old bushido way and many companies and schools encourage this spirit among their employees and students, which includes loyalty, diligence, honesty, honor...etc.
KAMI : I made the subject of this thread the title of an excellent essay by Karl Friday. In short :

a) there never was a "Bushido Code of Japan";

b) the idea of Bushido was promoted by Inazo Nitobe and accepted and incorporated by Japanese Military in Pre-War Japan to bolster military fanaticism among youth and (of course) martial artists;

c) Nitobe, a protestant who lived most of his life in the USA, created the idea of Bushido based on what he thought were the samurai ideals. He idealized them as pure, strong, brave and extremely loyal to their masters, without any fear of death. In reality, to read the history of Japan, is to read about treason, greed, wickedness and unloyalty. He made an icon of the samurai, just as, in the West, we made an icon of the Knight Errants.

There are good books about this theme by G.Cameron Hurst, Karl Friday and many others.

Best regards

PeterR
07-23-2002, 06:03 AM
I understood one of his purposes was to show that the Japanese where as "good" as the Christians. "We are just like you."

The books main thrust is to draw parallels between Bushido (a term which he claimed to have invented) and Chivilry. As you allude, the ideals of both of these concepts did not match the reality.

The book is quite a big seller. There are serious shortcomings in its content yet it is small, has a catchy title and for those reasons is usually one of the first books the people pick up when they travel to Japan. It was, I am ashamed to admit it, the first one I bought here.

Fiction though it might be - the Musashi serial is a far better bet for giving an idea what the samurai were really like. Well its a better read anyway.

The worst is I know of some old Japanese Budo guys that recommended it to visiting foreigners. Gag- I guess that only goes to show you that old Japanese Budo guys fall into romantic traps just as easily as us young impressionable ones. And yes Ubaldo - none of my teachers would even think of recommending the book.

Now of course I try to keep a picture of Nitobe in my wallet at all times.
KAMI : I made the subject of this thread the title of an excellent essay by Karl Friday. In short :

a) there never was a "Bushido Code of Japan";

b) the idea of Bushido was promoted by Inazo Nitobe and accepted and incorporated by Japanese Military in Pre-War Japan to bolster military fanaticism among youth and (of course) martial artists;

c) Nitobe, a protestant who lived most of his life in the USA, created the idea of Bushido based on what he thought were the samurai ideals. He idealized them as pure, strong, brave and extremely loyal to their masters, without any fear of death. In reality, to read the history of Japan, is to read about treason, greed, wickedness and unloyalty. He made an icon of the samurai, just as, in the West, we made an icon of the Knight Errants.

sceptoor
07-23-2002, 10:10 AM
"I liken these ideas of Aikido being the "direct transmission of Samurai martial arts" (I am guilty of calling it that) to the way Chuck Norris related karate to being samurai or ninja arts. Watch the movie "The Octagon", where he is messing around with a katana, it's almost painful to watch. Bruce Lee, Van Damme, Seagal, even Christopher Lambert, they did it too. Most of the time they are pop culture misfits with little or no basis in fact or real history, let alone ability. Could the same be said about the founder of Aikido, his teacher, or the founder of Daito Ryu?"
I can't believe no one has commented on this. Personally, I wouldn't have included Seagal's name to a list of people I regarded as being unskilled with a Katana, but that's just me. None of the other names on that list have any business with a Katana, and I don't care if Lambert really IS the Highlander, or that his character was given a Katana by a 19th century Samurai or whatever:D , Lambert is not a martial artist by any stretch(that I am aware of) and therefore also should not have been included on that list. Seagal is the only one on that list that actually belongs with a katana, and please do not tell me he is not skilled enough to use it or that watching him use one is "painful".

Which brings me to my next comment. Regardless of exact historical correctness,(which will never be agreed upon by everyone here) DaitoRyu, Judo, Aikido, and the sword arts(there are several and I am not fluent in the names so...), are the closest things a martial art can come to be related to the samurai arts TODAY. If there are other Martial Arts that still exist today that more closely represent the Samurai arts I'm sure someone here will let us know and we'll all be waiting.

Kent Enfield
07-23-2002, 02:57 PM
Regardless of exact historical correctness,(which will never be agreed upon by everyone here) DaitoRyu, Judo, Aikido, and the sword arts(there are several and I am not fluent in the names so...), are the closest things a martial art can come to be related to the samurai arts TODAY.There are a variety of schools of martial arts that date from the Edo period and earlier which are still extant. They're just not terribly popular or widely disseminated (most are found only in Japan), as they wern't intended to be. Take a look at http://www.koryu.com/ for a cursory listing.

Things like judo, aikido, and kendo, while related to various earlier arts, are not "the closest things a martial art can come to be related to the samurai arts TODAY." Not by a long shot.

Chris Li
07-23-2002, 04:50 PM
Which brings me to my next comment. Regardless of exact historical correctness,(which will never be agreed upon by everyone here) DaitoRyu, Judo, Aikido, and the sword arts(there are several and I am not fluent in the names so...), are the closest things a martial art can come to be related to the samurai arts TODAY. If there are other Martial Arts that still exist today that more closely represent the Samurai arts I'm sure someone here will let us know and we'll all be waiting.
There are plenty of koryu arts that are practiced today more or less exactly as they were during the pre-Meiji era. Judo and Aikido weren't around then, and whether Daito-ryu was or not it certainly wasn't around in the form that it's practiced in today. If someone's really interested in samurai arts they would probably be best advised to practice one of those styles.

Best,

Chris

sceptoor
07-23-2002, 08:02 PM
While there's no question that it is possible to learn/teach just the techniques of a koryu in isolation from the rest (and there are those who are doing this--the open seminar format, so popular in the West is a good example), the result is, in my opinion, a mere parody of the rich wealth, both technical and spiritual, found in these ancient traditions. www.koryu.com
Developed by warriors for warriors

The koryu (as we sometimes say for short), on the other hand, were primarily arts created by and for the warrior class of Japan's feudal period. A few traditions still exist that were actually used on the battlefields of pre-Tokugawa Japan, and in these systems effectiveness of the killing technique is still paramount. Other traditions were developed during the peace of the Tokugawa shogunate to help warriors-turned-bureaucrats maintain some level of fighting skill; still others were meant from the start to be "disciplines," with more emphasis on spiritual benefits than on technical skills useful in fighting. Thus, the koryu exist (both today and in the past) along a continuum of purposes, much like that of modern American martial arts. For the most part, however, the techniques of the koryu still retain an element of danger; protective gear is typically not used. Safety is less important than efficacy; though wooden weapons are usually used in place of live steel blades, these can still do considerable damage if an error is made, and one learns to function out at the edge. www.koryu.com
I stand corrected, but as a westerner, I really wouldn't have heard of such schools unless I were seriously looking for them. Thanks for the link. I guess I was just thinking in terms of the more popular western variations, (if one could actually refer to Aikido as "popular").

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I knew there were other more refined and exact arts out there regarding the more traditonal samurai tactics, but aikido is the more mainstream one. I understand that Aikido is not the most "battlefield exact", but could that be because of the "do" part than the "jitsu" part?? Is it possible that Koryu is Aikido/Daito-ryu only the techniques don't end in "pins" or throws but killing techniques???

Thanks for the replies....

PeterR
07-23-2002, 08:42 PM
I was trying to compose a post last night mainly because my last last one on this thread felt to me, on hindsight, as a rejection of the samurai influence on Budo.

It is there - the quoted passage uses the word continuum which is apt.

The samurai as a class officially ceased to exist shortly after the Meiji restoration yet there are many groups (budo, police, military) that see part of what they do as a continuation of that tradition. All the koryu, including those founded before the Edo period, have undergone transformations - some slower than others. The gendai budo are only another transformation - the roots are the same. Some have included modern training methods, some of the dojo behaviour is a direct result of another transformation brought about by a militarization of society pre-WWII.

When someone says we train and act like the samurai it is a fair bet that there is little relation to what was going on when samurai were actually expected to fight. More likely is reflects behaviour of samurai as bureaucrat - attempting to maintain the old skills (just like we are doing today) and very likely the pre-WWII warping of the ideals to prepare a general (not samurai) population for war. The disciplined group training protocol is a clear example of the latter and within reason is very attractive. Probably one of the many reasons I enjoy budo training.

So why my previous post.When I first returned to the real world I was subjected to a 30 minute lecture during training time on how samurai behave. In my previous 4 years in Japan not once did I get lectured on that subject. In reality the person was grafting their own morallity onto a fantasy. Perhaps it is a Western need to verbalize but - well I don't react well when fantasy dominates reallity.

Pretoriano
07-23-2002, 08:46 PM
An interesting approach could be a Samurai watching modern Aikido, he probably said something like this: "I wish this existed before, what a Beatiful Sintesis"

Pretoriano
07-23-2002, 08:50 PM
To Ubaldo Alcantara: so ugly and false post

Pretorian

PeterR
07-23-2002, 08:57 PM
An interesting approach could be a Samurai watching modern Aikido, he probably said something like this: "I wish this existed before, what a Beatiful Sintesis"
With modern training methods - especially in the unarmed techniques - a modern exponent might even be more skilled. Young samurai would probably say wow, crusty old samurai would probably say all fluff no action.

In the olden days, when samurai were expected to fight, the training involved learning a limited number of techniques after which they were tossed into the battle. If you survived the first round, you had a better chance of surviving the second. TSKR is a seriously old school but the large number and complexity of kata has more to do with Edo period transformations than what was taught and done pre-Edo. Even then, wasn't it Musashi that held the established fencing schools in contempt.

Chris Li
07-23-2002, 08:58 PM
To Ubaldo Alcantara: so ugly and false post

Pretorian
Huh? Now I'm lost...

If you disagree with something that he said than refute that point specifically - and explain your reasons why, just as he does.

Best,

Chris

Pretoriano
07-23-2002, 09:47 PM
To Peter R "With modern training methods - especially in the unarmed techniques - a modern exponent might even be more skilled" Absolutely.

"Young samurai would probably say wow, crusty old samurai would probably say all fluff no action". Old crusty Samurai were Young once dont forget that.

Musashi was a school by itself he doesnt need to be atthached to any school.

Pretorian

Pretoriano
07-23-2002, 10:15 PM
To Kami: despicting I do respect Mr Friday Knoledge I have to say this:

there never was a "Bushido Code of Japan";

FALSE.

LetterB: Something like The Nazism borned and accepted and incorporated by German Military in Pre-War Japan to bolster military fanaticism among youth and (of course) martial artists; true but Not the True.

Letter C: That sounds like I d say that one of the Sioux braves went to Europe and described created a Sioux code. Totally a Nonsense. It is almost to say that Bushido belongs to the States,put it in to a can and sell, you know, to make it cheap, funny.

"In reality, to read the history of Japan, is to read about treason, greed, wickedness and unloyalty. Just same as American and Europe History as well.

Pretorian

Chris Li
07-23-2002, 10:48 PM
To Kami: despicting I do respect Mr Friday Knoledge I have to say this:

there never was a "Bushido Code of Japan";

FALSE.
Well, it depends what you mean by "bushido code". Certainly there was something - for example the highly romanticized version in the "Hagakure". But in the sense that it is usually represented in the west, no, I don't think that ever really existed. Similarly in the west, there were various representations of the code of chivalry, but in reality the "code" turns out to have been mostly fiction and romanticizing. Alternatively, you have the noble gunfighters of the old west - another highly romanticized legend that never really existed in the way that it has been depicted in modern times.

Best,

Chris

Abasan
07-23-2002, 11:04 PM
I always thought that the Yakuzas were offshoots of the samurai.

That aside... I would assume that samurai's being the warrior class would best be acquainted with weapons ryu. Like you know kenjutsu and Kyujutsu and all that stuff.

In all respect, aikido is about harmony and love right? Well, the samurai won't be learning that anytime soon. They're out there to do their lord's business, and usually its a dirty job that involves lotsa killing.

If the samurai's were alive today, they'll be learning how to use M16s and driving tanks. Oh yeah, with a bit of chado and ikebana thrown in for class. ;)

jimvance
07-24-2002, 12:13 AM
To Jim Vance, from 90 to 31Manuel, I would really like to know what you mean by this; I do consider your input important. Please email me if it is unimportant to this thread.
Personally, I wouldn't have included Seagal's name to a list of people I regarded as being unskilled with a Katana, but that's just me.I really didn't mean it specific to a katana, but if you know what you are looking for, he still makes you wince a bit. My opinion is that his aikijo is much better. My post identified Seagal as just another representative of pop culture fantasy using the medium of motion pictures to create an escape for others and income for himself. That's cool. (If he was menkyo kaiden in Katori or Kashima Shinto Ryu or any other notable school, he would have my attention, bet on that.) What he does is NOT related to the samurai the way he or Chuck Norris would like you to believe though, and they would probably tell you this over a beer or two.

Jim Vance

PS. Thanks to Peter and Chris for putting into words what I was trying to get across.

Kami
07-24-2002, 05:13 AM
Huh? Now I'm lost...

If you disagree with something that he said than refute that point specifically - and explain your reasons why, just as he does.

Best,

Chris
KAMI : Please, pay him no attention, Chris M'Lad...:rolleyes:

This guy has some problem with me (his aside was uneducated and harsh...). Perhaps he is a brazilian, living in another country, and a friend of some enemy of mine in Brazil or perhaps he's disappointed that no one subscribed to his vision of history. Oh, well...Let him spent his rage. It will do him much good.

By the way, excellent your last post. I would also say that any Bushido "code" was local and circunscribed to a specific fief, never a national code, more destined to control the samurai than to enoble them.

KAMI (Not worried with any Pretorian Guard) :D

Chuck.Gordon
07-24-2002, 05:45 AM
An interesting approach could be a Samurai watching modern Aikido, he probably said something like this: "I wish this existed before, what a Beatiful Sintesis"
More likely, "What the heck is that? It sure is ... um ... pretty. And please tell me again why he isn't finishing with a killing blow? Hmm. That's an interpretation of 'aiki' I've never heard before. And please, tell me AGAIN why he didn't just draw a weapon and skewer his opponent?"

Depending, of course on the era, locale and situation.

During times of war, combatants were only interested in making sure they stayed alive (or died well and prettily, if we're to believe the romanticized version of old Japan fostered in many a play, movie and book).

During times of peace, the warrior class was really more of a bureaucrat class. During those times, martial arts systems had the luxury of codifying, researching (restructuring and rewriting sometimes) history, preserving and modifying.

Jujutsu (and yes, aikido is a form of jujutsu) has undergone some amazing changes over the centuries. And if you talk to folks in the Takenouchi Ryu or other koryu jujutsu systems, you might be surprised what you find out.

Aikido is a wonderful synthesis, but it's not a samurai art, though it has (like almost all budo) connections -- roots, if you will -- in the history and legacy of the warrior class.

Chuck

Kami
07-24-2002, 06:20 AM
Aikido is a wonderful synthesis, but it's not a samurai art, though it has (like almost all budo) connections -- roots, if you will -- in the history and legacy of the warrior class.

Chuck
KAMI : Excellent, Chuck San!

By the way, I hope you're enjoying your stay in Germany. Did you have a chance to meet Welf Quade Sensei in Hamburg?

Give him my warmest regards and enjoy the training

Ubaldo

PeterR
07-24-2002, 06:55 AM
By the way, excellent your last post. I would also say that any Bushido "code" was local and circunscribed to a specific fief, never a national code, more destined to control the samurai than to enoble them.
I think you may be talking about the Takeda precepts particularily, yes???

In that case it was a father trying to give his son with an attitude problem a bit of education on how to rule. Like all sons it really didn't work too well.

I recently was told about how one of the early Tokagawa edicts was informing the Ronin how they were to behave. Didn't work to well - it was much easier for local Lords to lay down house rules.

Rule #1 Stay away from my wife and daughter.

Rule #2 Memorize rule #1.

Finally, although I am sure one get get a good technical education in Budo just about anywhere many people have gotten their hackles up by my insistence that you must spend some time in Japan. This really isn't about elitist bull but a simple observation. All budo, koryu and gendai, is a product of culture both present and root. It tends to be relatively well grounded in Japan and diverges very rapidly abroad. Overt fantasy is a little more easily checked over here then over there.

Chris Li
07-24-2002, 07:10 AM
I would also say that any Bushido "code" was local and circunscribed to a specific fief, never a national code, more destined to control the samurai than to enoble them.
That's a good point, and an important one, I think. Even today Japan is extremely provincial, with wide ranges in customs and language from one area to the next. When my father in law starts in on the Akita-ben a lot of Tokyo Japanese can't understand what he's saying - even my wife (who's used to it) has a hard time with some of his older relatives from the country. A lot of that was reinforced by the Tokugawa restrictions on travel, but I think that it's likely to be something that existed even before that time.

Best,

Chris

PeterR
07-24-2002, 07:22 AM
Speaking of travel Chris - I am travelling to Isehara this weekend for Instructor's seminar (near Tokyo right?). I'm considering coming up to Tokyo Friday or staying Sunday (doesn't have to be exactly Tokyo - don't particularily like that city) and if a cheap hotel can be found I would love to get togeather. Another person I would like to meet is Lisa Tomonelli (did I spell that right??). Training, beer, I don't care.

From Himeji St. to Odawara St. Shinkansen Hikari or Kodama

From Odawara St. to Isehara St. Odakyu line, You would better get on

Kyuko(Express) From Isehara St. to Isehara shiritsu Budokan Taxi
That's a good point, and an important one, I think. Even today Japan is extremely provincial, with wide ranges in customs and language from one area to the next. When my father in law starts in on the Akita-ben a lot of Tokyo Japanese can't understand what he's saying - even my wife (who's used to it) has a hard time with some of his older relatives from the country. A lot of that was reinforced by the Tokugawa restrictions on travel, but I think that it's likely to be something that existed even before that time.

Best,

Chris

Kami
07-24-2002, 07:24 AM
To Peter Rehse and Chris Li,

Peter San, not just the Takeda Precepts but also the more recent HAGAKURE - they're both local.

Chris San, you're right, of course.

Best

Chris Li
07-24-2002, 07:30 AM
Speaking of travel Chris - I am travelling to Isehara this weekend for Instructor's seminar (near Tokyo right?). I'm considering coming up to Tokyo Friday or staying Sunday (doesn't have to be exactly Tokyo - don't particularily like that city) and if a cheap hotel can be found I would love to get togeather. Another person I would like to meet is Lisa Tomonelli (did I spell that right??). Training, beer, I don't care.
Oops, bad timing :( ! I'll be in Karuizawa this weekend for the annual Zuihokan gasshuku. Aikido (Aikikai and Yoshinkan) and Daito-ryu. Plus drinking and onsen if we can fit them in - or was it the other way around...

Best,

Chris

Kami
07-24-2002, 07:30 AM
Finally, although I am sure one get get a good technical education in Budo just about anywhere many people have gotten their hackles up by my insistence that you must spend some time in Japan. This really isn't about elitist bull but a simple observation. All budo, koryu and gendai, is a product of culture both present and root. It tends to be relatively well grounded in Japan and diverges very rapidly abroad. Overt fantasy is a little more easily checked over here then over there.
KAMI : You're absolutely right, Peter M'Lad!

Without travelling to Japan, we would be just armchair budoka, with no real experience "in locum".

And by the way, our friend's name is LISA TOMOLEONI (I really would also like to met her in person! Great woman.)

Best :ai:

PeterR
07-24-2002, 07:40 AM
And by the way, our friend's name is LISA TOMOLEONI (I really would also like to met her in person! Great woman.)
That's the one - now I just need her e-mail. She invited me to train or have a meal with her last summer - this would be the first chance I have. Of course I never keep e-mails - foolish me.

Chuck.Gordon
07-24-2002, 10:26 AM
That's the one - now I just need her e-mail. She invited me to train or have a meal with her last summer - this would be the first chance I have. Of course I never keep e-mails - foolish me.
When you see Lisa, remember to give her a resounding 'OOK!' ... preferably in public, someplace it'd cause maximum embarrassment.

Peter Boylan and I inducted her into the Simian Sensei Society when she was in Chicago (at a great seminar with Meik Skoss teaching SMR jo, by the way!) a while back.

Give her a good grooming for us!

Chuck

SSS plankholder

Thalib
07-24-2002, 01:25 PM
I always thought that the Yakuzas were offshoots of the samurai.
Many of the Yakuza families are descendants of the Samurais. Basically the same way many Samurais turned Ronin back in the Meiji era. Actually the anime "Rurouni Kenshin" is a good depiction, although romanticized, of the harshness during the transition of Japan into the modern era. Many Samurais that won't let go of their power and accept reality turned to crime and dirty politics, but many also have accepted change and just lead a normal life and forgotten by the world.
If the samurai's were alive today, they'll be learning how to use M16s and driving tanks. Oh yeah, with a bit of chado and ikebana thrown in for class. ;)
That's basically why the west forbid Japan to have a military force (accept for allowing their puny Japan Self Defense Force). Japan with a military force is actually quite scary, considering their history, national and international.

Just to add one more thing, I personally do believe in Budo and Bushido. Many think they are a myth, so be it, but the teachings are still good. If "Hagakure" is too "romantic" to depict the Samurai code, try reading "Code of the Samurai: A Modern Translation of the Bushido Shoshinshu of Taira Shigesuke".

I agree the fact that knights were highly romanticized. Richard the Lionheart was far from what he was depicted in books and movies, he actually brought his people pain and anguish with his so called crusade. And he was nothing but a mass murderer, the way he slaughtered a whole city during the crusade just because it was too bothersome to have them as prisoners. And also not to mention the implications of Richard's "Holy War" actually give rise to the radical and fanatical muslims. This was actually a historical report compiled by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

But, for me, knights and samurais that do not live by the code are just hypocrites. I don't say that the code does not exist, just the people that supposedly to live by the code became so twisted with power and greed, they stray away from the path. It's just like what we see today with corruption and all. The government also have a code to live by, serving the people, but is that true? Sometimes it's just romanticized that way.

wanderingwriath
07-24-2002, 03:08 PM
Hello all,

My understanding of how Aikido relates to the samurai is limited I admit, but here's my two cents.

We as Aikidoka are given to learn haragei without the sword. At the highest level of Aikido stands a man (O-sensei himself) who faught a duel with a kenjutsu practitioner and won without ever having touched him. There is the connection I see. We learn to sense other people on a level that was previously unknown to any but the greatest samurai who learned out of necessity. Simplified I admit. Reactions please? I'm just a whippersnapper after all. :)

Chris Li
07-24-2002, 06:16 PM
Many of the Yakuza families are descendants of the Samurais.
Well, many Yakuza see themselves as descendants of the samurai, and there's lot of ritual and mumbo-jumbo that goes into supporting that belief. In reality the Yakuza were mainly drawn from groups of poor, landless peasants.
That's basically why the west forbid Japan to have a military force (accept for allowing their puny Japan Self Defense Force). Japan with a military force is actually quite scary, considering their history, national and international.
Not so puny - the world's third largest, in terms of military spending.

Best,

Chris

Thalib
07-24-2002, 06:32 PM
Not so puny - the world's third largest, in terms of military spending.
Where did the money go? They don't have that many man-power. Their arsenal is not that impressive. Or is there a secret undeground government military project that the world does not know about. Me and my conspiracy theories...

Pretoriano
07-24-2002, 07:23 PM
To Chris Li: Hi! , See, when to study Hagakure it is important to do it in a proper manner, putting out Romantic states is one way, why? Simple, because that kind of books has been written in a TACIT Language so, you you get into the stuff or not, and then put it into your daily life, no midle stages here.

Pretorian

Kami
07-24-2002, 07:33 PM
They don't have that many man-power. Their arsenal is not that impressive. Or is there a secret undeground government military project that the world does not know about. Me and my conspiracy theories...
KAMI : Well...To bolster your already devious mind, take a look here :

http://www.jda.go.jp/e/index_.htm

and see how puny and unimpressive is Japan's MILITARY Forces (disguised as Police or Security).

Talk about Hipocrisy...Supposedly Japan can't have Armed Forces...:rolleyes:

Best

Pretoriano
07-24-2002, 08:13 PM
Rule #1 Stay away from my wife and daughter.

Rule #2 Memorize rule #1.

The famous two heads rule, ha?

Rolling... :}

Thalib
07-24-2002, 08:25 PM
Hmmm... never thought of the complexity of the JSDF.

With so many incidents in Okinawa between the US military and the Okinawan residents (and many other issues of course), I wouldn't be surprised that in the future the base will be closed (or reduced) and Japan will again build its military power.

Call me paranoid, but Koizumi's visit to Japan's WW2 military grave and the history book that stated that what they did during WW2 were righteous (did I spell that right?) are actually signs that the Japanese wants to rebuild their military power.

And Budo/Bushido lives on...

Chris Li
07-24-2002, 09:41 PM
Where did the money go? They don't have that many man-power. Their arsenal is not that impressive. Or is there a secret undeground government military project that the world does not know about. Me and my conspiracy theories...
It goes into the military :). You may not realize it, but the JSDF is quite large and well equipped.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
07-24-2002, 09:44 PM
Call me paranoid, but Koizumi's visit to Japan's WW2 military grave and the history book that stated that what they did during WW2 were righteous (did I spell that right?) are actually signs that the Japanese wants to rebuild their military power.
Japanese prime ministers have been visiting Yasakuni shrine for years. Personally, I don't see much wrong with it, most of the dead there are just common soldiers.

The history book problem long predates Koizumi and is actually slightly better than it used to be, although there's still a ways to go.
And Budo/Bushido lives on...
What does Budo/Bushido have to do with the first two things?

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
07-24-2002, 09:48 PM
To Chris Li: Hi! , See, when to study Hagakure it is important to do it in a proper manner, putting out Romantic states is one way, why? Simple, because that kind of books has been written in a TACIT Language so, you you get into the stuff or not, and then put it into your daily life, no midle stages here.

Pretorian
The Hakagure was written by a mid-level bureaucrat with no actual combat experience but with a bad case of romanticism for things that he had never experienced. Unless you read Japanese fluently you haven't actually studied the Hakagure. The reason? Only a small portion has actually been translated into English (or other foreign languages). Most of it is a long and tedious compilation of minor points of samurai etiquette.

Best,

Chris

Pretoriano
07-25-2002, 09:53 PM
So, when you study Hagakure you dont find something Useful Ethical, Filosofical and PRACTICAL TO USE on those Fragments??

Then I tell you dont lose your time studyng it!

Those fragments are so simple to understand!

Personally i dont have any time for long and tedious compilations in jeroglifical japanese, but I tell you this, watch for truths in this kind of text you will find thousands of practical wisdom here and there.

Pretorian

Chris Li
07-25-2002, 10:02 PM
So, when you study Hagakure you dont find something Useful Ethical, Filosofical and PRACTICAL TO USE on those Fragments??
I liked the part about how to get the skin to peel off a decapitated head, but I haven't gotten a chance to use it yet... :)
Those fragments are so simple to understand!

Personally i dont have any time for long and tedious compilations in jeroglifical japanese, but I tell you this, watch for truths in this kind of text you will find thousands of practical wisdom here and there.

Pretorian
For example?

I know that Mishima thought that he had found a lot of good stuff in there, but I'm not sure I want to follow that particular path :) .

Best,

Chris

PeterR
07-25-2002, 10:06 PM
You can find TRUTHS anywhere if you look hard enough.

The point wasn't whether or not some samurai wanna be pencil pusher had something to say but whether it reflected historical reality.
So, when you study Hagakure you dont find something Useful Ethical, Filosofical and PRACTICAL TO USE on those Fragments??

Then I tell you dont lose your time studyng it!

Those fragments are so simple to understand!

Chris Li
07-25-2002, 10:07 PM
You can find TRUTHS anywhere if you look hard enough.

The point wasn't whether or not some samurai wanna be pencil pusher had something to say but whether it reflected historical reality.
Hmm, I should have said that... :)

You're right, I think we're veering off topic here.

Best,

Chris

Pretoriano
07-25-2002, 10:46 PM
Please respond "yes, I understand these kind of books and find its truths useful or not".

Samurai pen pusher, what is that?

Pretorian

Chris Li
07-25-2002, 10:59 PM
Please respond "yes, I understand these kind of books and find its truths useful or not".
Like Peter said, there's something useful in any book if you look hard enough. Taken as a whole, no, I think the Hagakure is to over-romantic to be really useful, although it is interesting in parts.
Samurai pen pusher, what is that?

Pretorian
What most samurai were from Sekigahara through to the beginning of Meiji. Check your history.

Best,

Chris

PeterR
07-25-2002, 11:15 PM
The phrase I used was

some samurai wanna be pencil pusher which admitedly might be difficult for a non-North American english speaker to understand.

wanna be - mean wishes he was

pencil pusher - means bureaucrat

to quote Chriss:

The Hakagure was written by a mid-level bureaucrat with no actual combat experience but with a bad case of romanticism for things that he had never experienced.

So to answer your question.

As entertaining fiction - No. Eiji Yoshikawa's Musashi is far better.

As a source of inspiration and window into samurai culture - No. I would give higher marks to Yoshikawa here too even though he was a 1930's newspaper writter.

What it does provide is a view on a certain type of romantism found during his time and has interest for that alone. Just like people study Edwardian and Victorian Aurther legends.

Chuck Clark
07-26-2002, 01:00 AM
Chris and Peter,

You guys are a good team. Thanks. You both said lots of things I wanted to say and didn't have to.

Regards,

Chris Li
07-26-2002, 01:11 AM
Chris and Peter,

You guys are a good team. Thanks. You both said lots of things I wanted to say and didn't have to.

Regards,
Hey, you could have said them anyway and then we wouldn't have had to :) !

Best,

Chris

Kami
07-26-2002, 05:37 AM
Hey, you could have said them anyway and then we wouldn't have had to :) !

Best,

Chris
KAMI : This discussion shows how much people would rather believe in their fancies than in hard training, themselves and historical facts.

That's why followers of Aum Shinrikyo and Reverend Jim Jones would rather face suicide than face the truth.

A pity...:straightf

Best

Pretoriano
07-26-2002, 08:08 PM
Samurai should be effective, obedient, practical skilled, pen pusher? burocrats, poets, artists, intelectuals?? Ha! , very rarely indeed.

Even today look up to soldiers, some of them are close to killing machines and also very large amount of them are such morons (very low ICQ) frequently found on low ranks...

Just try to figure it out how it was centuries ago.

Aikido and Samurai Inheritance Yes!!

Pretorian

akiy
07-26-2002, 10:03 PM
Samurai should be effective, obedient, practical skilled, pen pusher? burocrats, poets, artists, intelectuals?? Ha! , very rarely indeed.
I believe Chris and Peter were referring to the author of "Hagakure," not to the general population of samurai themselves.

It's a historical fact that the author of "Hagakure" was a set of recollections of Yamamoto Tsunetomo who "was a middle-ranked retainer of Nabeshima Motoshige who had been born into an age of peace but dreamed of glorious days that he really knew nothing about. He was a bureaucrat who fantasized about being a warrior, and turned himself into a self-proclaimed expert on proper warrior behavior. G. Cameron Hurst summed him up very well when he called him 'the G-12 who would be more.'" (Karl Friday, The Historical Foundations of Bushido (http://www.koryubooks.com/library/kfriday2.html)}.

However, as they point out, most serious researchers of Japanese military history discard the "Hagakure" as fluff. Karl Friday remarks upon that work (as well as Nitobe's "Bushido: the Soul of Japan") here in the aforementioned collection of posts he wrote called, "The Historical Foundations of Bushido":

http://www.koryubooks.com/library/kfriday2.html

-- Jun

Chuck.Gordon
07-27-2002, 09:47 AM
Samurai should be effective, obedient, practical skilled, pen pusher? burocrats, poets, artists, intelectuals?? Ha! , very rarely indeed.

Even today look up to soldiers, some of them are close to killing machines and also very large amount of them are such morons (very low ICQ) frequently found on low ranks...

Just try to figure it out how it was centuries ago.

Aikido and Samurai Inheritance Yes!!

Pretorian
And what do YOU know about soldiers? I was one. My IQ, by the last such test I took was about 150. Yours?

Sorry for the digression, I hate when people talk out of their asses.

Fantasy is such a hard thing to lose.

Samurai inheritance? Hmm.

Chuck

ChristianBoddum
07-27-2002, 10:18 AM
Hi !

In easter '98 Nishio sensei said that we should not associate ourselves with the samurais as the were the bullys of their day

and not nessesarily nice people,and he said in

2001 that the original sword which is the one

we are rediscovering in aikido,is a different sword than the samurais,it is a sword to cut

through to new solutions.

Yours - Chr.B.

Pretoriano
07-27-2002, 08:01 PM
To Chuck Gordon: If there are soldiers that I dont trust are those who come from your land.

You should agree with those three paragraphs.

Pretorian

Kami
07-28-2002, 04:50 AM
To Chuck Gordon: If there are soldiers that I dont trust are those who come from your land.

Pretorian
KAMI : Chuck Gordon, remarkable martial artist, soldier and human being, is not a native of Germany, as you so hastily assumed.

And for a man with such a deep ingrained bias against the military, the nick you choose (PRETORIAN) is (to say the least) a bit weird...:confused:

Respectfully

George S. Ledyard
07-28-2002, 05:44 AM
KAMI : I made the subject of this thread the title of an excellent essay by Karl Friday. In short :

a) there never was a "Bushido Code of Japan";

b) the idea of Bushido was promoted by Inazo Nitobe and accepted and incorporated by Japanese Military in Pre-War Japan to bolster military fanaticism among youth and (of course) martial artists;

c) Nitobe, a protestant who lived most of his life in the USA, created the idea of Bushido based on what he thought were the samurai ideals. He idealized them as pure, strong, brave and extremely loyal to their masters, without any fear of death. In reality, to read the history of Japan, is to read about treason, greed, wickedness and unloyalty. He made an icon of the samurai, just as, in the West, we made an icon of the Knight Errants.

There are good books about this theme by G.Cameron Hurst, Karl Friday and many others.

Best regards
I think that there is a distinction to be made between reality as described by professional historians and the myth that a society takes for reality. Which one shapes tha society more? I would say the myth is more important than the actual historical facts since far more people sustain the myth with their beilefs.

Mark Twain had a lot to say about what he saw as a disaster when Sir Walter Scott published Ivanhoe. The book was immensely popular in the South and Southern gentlemen saw themselves as carrying on that tradition of chivalry which we know today didn't exist in anything like the form that Scott described. But that didn't stop folks from basing their behavior on the myth. It lead to an awful lot of needless death due to dueling which was Twain's objection.

The Japanese have been deeply effected by this myth and it is important to undertsnd this myth if you want to understand how those myths effect us as martial artists studying a Japanese system. It may be that some of the myth may be worth preserving and turning in to reality.

Edward
07-28-2002, 06:11 AM
I agree with George Ledyard completely. As for Kami's "In reality, to read the history of Japan, is to read about treason, greed, wickedness and unloyalty.", I would like to say that history usually only remembers people who did outstanding things, not necessarily great, which includes treason and wickedness. There is no historical interest in the vast majority of the common Samurai who were loyal, even fanatic to their lord, and served him as is due, perhaps dying in battle, but who as such did nothing to change the course of history but rather increased political stability, giving thus no material to the historians to work with.

erikmenzel
07-28-2002, 06:45 AM
And what do YOU know about soldiers? I was one. My IQ, by the last such test I took was about 150. Yours?

Sorry for the digression, I hate when people talk out of their asses.
Me too. Ass talk should be eliminated.

When things like on hands experience or IQ are coming into the discussion I get kind of enormously sceptical.

First of all on hand experience often is no guarantee for deep insight into the subject. Quite often it is even the opposite. To many people claiming experience are hindered by their experience to show an objective view.

Second, I always get disappointed when people talk about IQ. Often they dont know what they are talking about.

The definition of IQ is still that what is measured by an IQ-test. Nothing more, nothing less.

There does not exist such a thing as a universal IQ test. Comparing IQ is as useful as comparing shoesizes. (I still wonder why shoesizes arent checked in job applications where IQ is checked. :D ) Another problem is the absoluteness people attribute to IQ. This is completely useless. Claiming IQ of 150 is useless if not the other statistics of the test are considered. What is the intended testing range of the test, what is the standard deviation. (For a test intended for bulk of the populous and with a standard deviation of 30 testing 150 would mean one is within the testing scope of the test and scores just a little above average. On a test intended for less gifted with a standard deviation of 15 testing 150 would just indicate one scored outside the reliability area of the test, in which case 150 just means "not less gifted". On a test for highly gifted with SD 10 testing 150 would mean one is in the top range of IQ over the world.) If one would want to compare IQ, which is ill advised anyway for IQ is quite a useless statistic even though society seems to think highly of it, it would be more wise to compare the population percentile you scored in.

Sorry for the rant, but I realy dislike this kind of nonsense.

jimvance
07-28-2002, 01:10 PM
I think that there is a distinction to be made between reality as described by professional historians and the myth that a society takes for reality. Which one shapes tha society more? I would say the myth is more important than the actual historical facts since far more people sustain the myth with their beilefs.Aikido is not a belief system, and should not rely on myth to bolster its innate worth. People used to think the world was flat too. That didn't make it any less round.
The Japanese have been deeply effected by this myth and it is important to undertsnd this myth if you want to understand how those myths effect us as martial artists studying a Japanese system. It may be that some of the myth may be worth preserving and turning in to reality.The samurai as a social entity existed because of certain conditions. Understanding their actual historical context and how it differs from the existing myth is more important than propagating an inconsistent belief in justification of a noble cause. Why can't we see Aikido as relating to the human condition universally and decide to be noble from the virtue of our studies? Why must we rely on the fickle virtue of popular assent, mythological or otherwise?

Jim Vance

Pretoriano
07-28-2002, 07:10 PM
To Kami: you should be mad at me because my disgresion, the one I still maintain. So, Mr Gordon is close to a genius, pretty good, exeptions are part of live.

"And for a man with such a deep ingrained bias against the military, the nick you choose (PRETORIAN) is (to say the least) a bit weird" You do ignore my militia position.

A guard can protect many gates, and some belts have no colors.

The thing that worries me is the fact that besides serious tradition keepers (practicioners, historical searchers, writers, etc.) what the mass accept and will accept mostly are derived from movies, animes and video games, creating layer after layer of virtual reality.

Pretorian

Kami
07-28-2002, 07:27 PM
I think that there is a distinction to be made between reality as described by professional historians and the myth that a society takes for reality. Which one shapes tha society more? I would say the myth is more important than the actual historical facts since far more people sustain the myth with their beilefs.
KAMI : Dear Ledyard Sama,

It's always a pleasure to hear from you. You made me remember a book I once read : "I, CLAUDIUS", by Robert Graves. It's a romanticized bio of the Roman emperor Claudius.

I don't remember the exact words, so please forgive me but, more or less, Claudius had two history teachers. One day, they asked him whom he liked more. Claudius taught and answered :

"You", he said pointing to one of them, "teaches me a history full of heroes, of brave doings, of magnificent sacrifices. I'm thrilled by it but, at the same time, I feel things weren't really like that".

"You", he said to the other, "Your history is

hard and disagreeable but, all said and done, I feel things were exactly that way".

The teacher of myths was angry and he said that, if people were told the truth, it would disappoint them. On the other side, if they were told myths and heroic deeds, they would feel compelled to emulate them.

At the risk of being considered snobbish and elitist, I believe that the rabble will always be the rabble, manipulated by government, organizations, MA "masters" and "Holy Men".

And Buddha was the first to teach that we should "doubt all" and, above everything, trust and believe in ourselves.

That does not mean we should mistrust, disrespect or discuss with our teachers. After all, we wish to learn something from them. How could we if we spent our time discussing with them?

But God gave us reason to use it, not to believe in myths.

At least, that's what I think.


Mark Twain had a lot to say about what he saw as a disaster when Sir Walter Scott published Ivanhoe. The book was immensely popular in the South and Southern gentlemen saw themselves as carrying on that tradition of chivalry which we know today didn't exist in anything like the form that Scott described. But that didn't stop folks from basing their behavior on the myth. It lead to an awful lot of needless death due to dueling which was Twain's objection.
KAMI : Exactly! That's the problem with myth and myth-makers.
The Japanese have been deeply effected by this myth and it is important to undertsnd this myth if you want to understand how those myths effect us as martial artists studying a Japanese system. It may be that some of the myth may be worth preserving and turning in to reality.
KAMI : To understand something is not to believe blindly in it. But, of course, in everything there's something that's worth of preserving. And ideals independ of attainment. After all we, as martial artists, are always striving for perfection, even if we do know that we shall never atain it.

It's like sex : we shall never bed every woman in the world but it sure is fun to try! :D

Anyway, thank you very much for exchanging ideas with all of us. :ai:

Kami
07-28-2002, 07:35 PM
To Kami: you should be mad at me because my disgresion, the one I still maintain.

KAMI : No, Pretoriano, I'm not mad at you and you have every right to your opinions. But what many people here have expressed is some disgust at your arrogant way of expressing those self-same opinions. That's all.
[QUOTE="Manuel Ch. Anderson (Pretoriano)"]So, Mr Gordon is close to a genius, pretty good, exeptions are part of live.

KAMI : See? Did I said that? Or, being mad at me, you are riposting with aggressivity?
[QUOTE="Manuel Ch. Anderson (Pretoriano)"]"And for a man with such a deep ingrained bias against the military, the nick you choose (PRETORIAN) is (to say the least) a bit weird"

You do ignore my militia position.

A guard can protect many gates, and some belts have no colors.

KAMI : You know best about that. If you insist in speaking in riddles, you do not wish to have answers.
[QUOTE="Manuel Ch. Anderson (Pretoriano)"]The thing that worries me is the fact that besides serious tradition keepers (practicioners, historical searchers, writers, etc.) what the mass accept and will accept mostly are derived from movies, animes and video games, creating layer after layer of virtual reality.

Pretorian
KAMI : Well, that's exactly what you have been doing, haven't you?

Decidedly not mad at you :ai:

Chuck Clark
07-28-2002, 07:39 PM
Dispellers of Myth and Dogma beware!!!

The Believers will feed on the marrow of your bones.

Beware.

Chuck.Gordon
07-29-2002, 02:27 AM
Setting 'Pretoriano' to 'Ignore' ...

Apologies for the ill-thought outburst. I was ill with a stomach virus and short-tempered already and let Pretoriano punch my buttons.

Yes, IQ is no real qualifier of intelligence, but is a handy yardstick.

Kami, thanks for the kind words.

And yes, Unka Chuck, dispelling myth is a dangerous thing ... taking away someone's fantasy is a lot like backing a pacifist into a corner.

Back to lurking, now.

Chuck

Kami
07-29-2002, 04:46 AM
Dispellers of Myth and Dogma beware!!!

The Believers will feed on the marrow of your bones.

Beware.
KAMI : You misunderstand me, Sir! I believe in Father Christmas, in the Tooth Fairy, In the Good Intentions of the Aum Shinri Kyo and in the Good Will of Governments...:straightf

(And definitely, "Chucks" are not an endangered species...They're everywhere!):eek:

Best regards

erikmenzel
07-29-2002, 05:05 AM
You misunderstand me, Sir! I believe in Father Christmas
Me too, I also believe in Santa, but then again, when presents and candy are at risk you dont take any chances, do you??

:D :D

Kami
07-29-2002, 06:18 AM
Me too, I also believe in Santa, but then again, when presents and candy are at risk you dont take any chances, do you??

:D :D
KAMI : None at all, Sir! We wouldn't risk that, would we?;)

Best