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Mert Gambito
03-03-2013, 11:16 AM
Graham, et al;

The discussion of anatomy primarily comes up in online discussions about IP/IS training methodologies (e.g. Dan Harden, Mike Sigman) because people keep trying to dissect things from armchairs hither and thither. The methodologies don't focus on these details. If fact, Dan gets frustrated that people want to digest everything in Anatomy Trains, for example, to better understand what inside the body does the work (and in any methodology discussed in this thread or elsewhere, of course the bones, muscles, fascia, etc. are technically in play) when the work is fundamentally about intent leading energy which manifests various qualities in the body that translate into superlative leverage, cancellation of incoming force, etc.

Dan has repeatedly said during workshops that Tohei's model is a fine baseline for aiki development that fits within a more comprehensive schema of training methods within and descended from Daito-ryu. In fact, I recall watching a YouTube video in which a Daito-ryu instructor says he thinks of his body as . . . an "empty shell" when executing certain techniques.

graham christian
03-03-2013, 01:02 PM
Graham, et al;

The discussion of anatomy primarily comes up in online discussions about IP/IS training methodologies (e.g. Dan Harden, Mike Sigman) because people keep trying to dissect things from armchairs hither and thither. The methodologies don't focus on these details. If fact, Dan gets frustrated that people want to digest everything in Anatomy Trains, for example, to better understand what inside the body does the work (and in any methodology discussed in this thread or elsewhere, of course the bones, muscles, fascia, etc. are technically in play) when the work is fundamentally about intent leading energy which manifests various qualities in the body that translate into superlative leverage, cancellation of incoming force, etc.

Dan has repeatedly said during workshops that Tohei's model is a fine baseline for aiki development that fits within a more comprehensive schema of training methods within and descended from Daito-ryu. In fact, I recall watching a YouTube video in which a Daito-ryu instructor says he thinks of his body as . . . an "empty shell" when executing certain techniques.

Thanks for the clarification. I do not agree with such statements which try to equate Tohei's methods with daito ryu methods.

Tohei's for example is nothing to do with such methods and come from shin shin toitsu.

However, glad to hear some have also mentioned experiencing what I point out in this thread.

Peace.G.

hughrbeyer
03-03-2013, 01:04 PM
Surely Tohei's methods don't come from Shin Shin Toitsu. Tohei created Shin Shin Toitsu.

So where do you think Tohei's methods came from? Ueshiba? He made them up? Elsewhere?

graham christian
03-03-2013, 01:35 PM
Surely Tohei's methods don't come from Shin Shin Toitsu. Tohei created Shin Shin Toitsu.

So where do you think Tohei's methods came from? Ueshiba? He made them up? Elsewhere?

Hugh, they come from shin shin toitsu. He studied shin shin toitsu before he saw how it fitted with Aikido and what Ueshiba was saying. Then he introduced those principles into his Aikido as he thought that would be a better way to transmit it, especially to westerners.

Peace.G.

graham christian
03-03-2013, 01:39 PM
As an additive Hugh the correct term would be shin shin toitsu do. Japanese Yoga.

Peace.G.

Mert Gambito
03-03-2013, 02:39 PM
I do not agree with such statements which try to equate Tohei's methods with daito ryu methods.

Tohei's for example is nothing to do with such methods and come from shin shin toitsu.
It's established that solo training to develop aiki has been done in Daito-ryu (by Sagawa and others) and aikido (by Ueshiba [who was an exemplary Daito-ryu practitioner] and Tohei in particular). So, isn't it reasonable to say that if Tohei was devoted to aikido, and Ueshiba (if not his son so much) seemed to acknowledge the approach and value of what Tohei was doing, then Tohei was combining the Daito-ryu-based approach he learned from Ueshiba with shin shin toitsu methods? Did Tohei ever expressly disavow the influence of Ueshiba's teachings regarding solo methods for developing the use of aiki/ki?

graham christian
03-03-2013, 03:26 PM
It's established that solo training to develop aiki has been done in Daito-ryu (by Sagawa and others) and aikido (by Ueshiba [who was an exemplary Daito-ryu practitioner] and Tohei in particular). So, isn't it reasonable to say that if Tohei was devoted to aikido, and Ueshiba (if not his son so much) seemed to acknowledge the approach and value of what Tohei was doing, then Tohei was combining the Daito-ryu-based approach he learned from Ueshiba with shin shin toitsu methods? Did Tohei ever expressly disavow the influence of Ueshiba's teachings regarding solo methods for developing the use of aiki/ki?

I wouldn't say so. In fact I would say quite the opposite. Without others you cannot develop.

Once again I think it is just something given too much significance and no perspective. This alone leads to such statements as you give above.

There is solo and there is joint or with others. They are interdependent. In fact in anything you do you will find there is sequence, one follows the other.

Every serious practitioner and indeed every athlete or anyone practices solo as well as with others.

As Aikido is an art in which action is 'with others' ie: opponents, then I think that puts the balance back into such statements.

As I said, Tihei practiced shin shin toitsu, a solo practice. Ueshiba studied Omoto, a solo practice. All great past masters studied some such be it zazen or whatever. Many solo practices and that's not including when you get stuck and go away trying to work it out....yet another solo practice.

Peace.G.

graham christian
03-03-2013, 05:53 PM
So to add to the above both Tohei and Ueshiba did solo practices. Ueshiba - Omoto and the Kotodama and Tohei -shin shin toitsu do.

So both did deep spiritual solo practices which shaped their Aikido.

Peace.G.

Mert Gambito
03-04-2013, 12:26 AM
Naturally, paired training is inherent: whether strictly regarding waza/kata, and/or to test the qualities of aiki/ki development.

In any case, history clearly shows that Ueshiba and Tohei's solo practice was heavily, perhaps primarily influenced by the spiritual practices you outlined, Graham. But given that aikido directly derives from Daito-ryu, that art's influence on aikido's solo and paired training methods cannot be discounted any more than the debt owed to the latter's technical syllabus.

The key point is that using the spirit/mind to lead ki in accordance with in and yo is common to multiple training methodologies expressly targeted at developing ability to use aiki in Daito-ryu and aikido, and the primary, common goal today is to improve one's self and have a positive influence on others through such practice. Tohei's time in Hawaii has had lasting, strong effects here. I'm comfortable with what I've said above, given that those folks who've I've trained with who've followed both the IP/IS methodologies as well as Tohei's agree they are symbiotic.

There's my 2 pence for the sake of promoting ai/harmony regarding this topic.

graham christian
03-04-2013, 03:25 AM
Thank you for your reflections Mert.

Peace.G.

Alex Megann
03-04-2013, 04:49 AM
It's established that solo training to develop aiki has been done in Daito-ryu (by Sagawa and others) and aikido (by Ueshiba [who was an exemplary Daito-ryu practitioner] and Tohei in particular). So, isn't it reasonable to say that if Tohei was devoted to aikido, and Ueshiba (if not his son so much) seemed to acknowledge the approach and value of what Tohei was doing, then Tohei was combining the Daito-ryu-based approach he learned from Ueshiba with shin shin toitsu methods? Did Tohei ever expressly disavow the influence of Ueshiba's teachings regarding solo methods for developing the use of aiki/ki?

Koichi Tohei got a lot of his training methods from the Tempukai, and invented the rest as a result of being challenged in Hawaii, as Yoshimitsu Yamada recounts here (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=83). He didn't "get them" from ShinShin Toitsu, though - they were ShinShin Toitsu!

The consensus seems to be that he took rather little of his training methods from O-Sensei.

Alex

Dan Richards
03-04-2013, 10:55 AM
Mert, these are some great points.

I've been cooking for a long time. Pretty seriously. Here recently I wanted to make rice pudding, and realized I didn't know how. I can usually throw things together, and they come out great. This was a different story. I started with some eggs, milk, rice, sugar, vanilla...came out like crap.

My model for rice pudding was what I experienced in NYC at Jewish Delis.

I did something I don't often do, and looked up some recipes. People had all sorts of things... even the kitchen sink. I did run into one comment on a forum that basically said, "You've got to understand the process, and allow the rice and milk to really hang out and get to know each other - and become something else."

So, I simplified things. Just low heat, rice and milk. Then after things were nice and thick, I added sugar. I nailed it on the third try. And what I "nailed" was the experience and the texture of eating rice pudding from a Jewish deli.

The point is, all I needed was the intention to match or exceed the texture I'd already experienced. And in this case that "model" that particularly impressed me was from eating rice pudding in a particular deli in '82.

The point being, to relate this to internal training, is that all these parts - muscles, tendons, fascia, etc. have not only nothing to do with anything, they serve as a huge distraction.

Power is intrinsic. We don't "get" power. It's already present. And it's not Japanese or Chinese or concealed in language or kanji or some historical "esoteric writings." Power is living. It's right here, right now. And it will clearly show itself on the surface. Even Nishio would say, "You already know this, I'm just reminding you."

I'm totally fine with a few different parts to learn to understand something... low, middle, high - height, width, depth - inside, outside - above, below. But past that, once we start dissecting, and getting lost in, not only moving static parts, but moving processes - it becomes an exercise in navel-gazing and tail chasing - and adding when we should be subtracting. We always have to come back to, and keep in mind, the whole and our original intention and purpose.

Have you ever noticed the difference between products that are designed by good designers, and products that are designed by programmers? There's a huge difference. Programmers get lost in the parts and what they can do. Designers approach something from the end-users experience. Good designs are always powerful, simple, elegant.

If you look too deeply into the well - you fall in.

Mert Gambito
03-04-2013, 11:59 AM
Koichi Tohei got a lot of his training methods from the Tempukai, and invented the rest as a result of being challenged in Hawaii, as Yoshimitsu Yamada recounts here (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=83). He didn't "get them" from ShinShin Toitsu, though - they were ShinShin Toitsu!

The consensus seems to be that he took rather little of his training methods from O-Sensei.
Folks, I'm not an aikidoka (outside of IP/IS training), but have an interest in what's common to Daito-ryu and the arts descended from it more than I care about the differences between them.

Mitori-geiko: the great historical differentiator in traditional budo teaching. Clearly all of Sokaku Takeda's best students were proficient in it, as were the best of Ueshiba's, in particular Tohei. All of these standouts operated within a similar technical syllabus and gleaned and/or developed solo training methods compatible with it. This is the bigger picture. Daito-ryu is in many ways unlike preceding/contemporary bujutsu/budo. In turn, aikido, as a whole, is a bit different in flavor from, though clearly technically indebted to the various Daito-ryu(ha), as a whole. Neither Takeda nor Ueshiba insisted on their students following a rigid syllabus. Evolution and personal interpretation that still hold true to the central principles of the system, i.e. those principles that support these arts' eponymous skill -- aiki -- were clearly lauded by both men: e.g. the regard in which Ueshiba held Tohei's understanding and interpretation of aikido.

There are precious few people alive who've had the honor and opportunity to train with both Ueshiba and Tohei. My understanding is that at least two still reside in Hawaii, and one has already weighed in, saying that what Dan Harden is doing is in line with the aiki of Ueshiba. While I don't know this gentleman's specific take regarding what Dan is teaching relative to what Tohei expressed regarding aiki, if Ueshiba felt Tohei was on track regarding aiki, and people of the Tohei lineage here feel that IP/IS methodology (Dan's per se) is compatible with what Tohei taught, then all these data points support a clear relationship between the various methodologies, allowing for differences in flavor that would've been acceptable to Takeda and Ueshiba.

Keith Larman
03-04-2013, 12:19 PM
...and people of the Tohei lineage here feel that IP/IS methodology (Dan's per se) is compatible with what Tohei taught, then all these data points support a clear relationship between the various methodologies, allowing for differences in flavor that would've been acceptable to Takeda and Ueshiba.

Just fwiw, I'm in a lineage descending directly from Tohei. Very focused on his ki tests, exercises, etc. And I just finished up yet another seminar with Dan. I (and 2 others I spoke with afterwards) saw little that was in conflict with what we do. Just expansion / elucidation / clarification of the concepts. So agreed completely. Your mileage may vary, however.

Carry on.

Chris Li
03-04-2013, 12:28 PM
Koichi Tohei got a lot of his training methods from the Tempukai, and invented the rest as a result of being challenged in Hawaii, as Yoshimitsu Yamada recounts here (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=83). He didn't "get them" from ShinShin Toitsu, though - they were ShinShin Toitsu!

The consensus seems to be that he took rather little of his training methods from O-Sensei.

Alex

Koichi Tohei, Morihei Ueshiba, Kodo Horikawa, Yukiyoshi Sagawa, etc. all demonstrated what were essentially very similiar things. Where are the Tempukai guys demonstrating those things?

Tohei later claimed to have learned little from Ueshiba - but I wonder if that was true, or it was just part of the dance of hurt feelings that went back and forth among the involved parties.

It was my impression that the Tempukai provided the framework through which Tohei understood (as much as he did) Ueshiba's "stuff", not that it provided the "stuff" itself, but opinions will certainly vary.

Best,

Chris

chillzATL
03-04-2013, 12:35 PM
Koichi Tohei got a lot of his training methods from the Tempukai, and invented the rest as a result of being challenged in Hawaii, as Yoshimitsu Yamada recounts here (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=83). He didn't "get them" from ShinShin Toitsu, though - they were ShinShin Toitsu!

The consensus seems to be that he took rather little of his training methods from O-Sensei.

Alex

I'm not sure how much of that I buy. I think he got a better, clearer understanding of what Ueshiba was trying to teach from the Tempukai, but I don't know that I agree that he got his methods from there. There are videos and pictures of Ueshiba doing things that became part of Tohei's taiso. We also have examples of some of Sagawa's exercises that are the same as some of Tohei's. Then there are the solo exercises of some of the other early students. Once you have some exposure you see a common theme in a lot of these exercises and the instructions/visualizations that go along with them.

Mert Gambito
03-04-2013, 12:38 PM
The point being, to relate this to internal training, is that all these parts - muscles, tendons, fascia, etc. have not only nothing to do with anything, they serve as a huge distraction. . . .

Good designs are always powerful, simple, elegant.

In a quiet room, if one places his/her ear a centimeter away from a Zildjian "K" cymbal, which exemplifies your definition of "good design" (it may be the quintessential example of industrial design) and lightly taps the cymbal with a marimba mallet: it's one of the most exquisite musical experiences anyone can have. People don't tend to get lost in discussions about metallurgy, forging, and the complex interweaving of overtones and various frequencies. It has to be heard, period, to fully understand the quality of the design (the bronze is beautiful to the eye and touch as well). Similarly, it's nice to noodle on the craftsmanship needed to buiild an Aston Martin, but isn't experiencing, appreciating and "knowing" the car much better accomplished by driving one through its full range of gears? It has to be seen, heard, smelled, tasted (in multiple connotations) . . . felt.

That's why I feel fortunate to live in Hawaii, where we have the rare opportunity to get first-hand accounts from those who've felt Ueshiba's and Tohei's aiki, and who are still available to vet any pretenders to those levels and qualities of martial ability who care to let their wares be sampled.

Mert Gambito
03-04-2013, 12:50 PM
Thank you for your reflections Mert.

You're welcome, Graham. I sincerely believe, several years from now, there will be a greater appreciation outside of the Tohei aikido lineages for what Tohei taught through the critical mass of understanding and ability that is slowly but steadily being approached within the IP/IS crowd.

Marc Abrams
03-04-2013, 01:20 PM
There are precious few people alive who've had the honor and opportunity to train with both Ueshiba and Tohei. My understanding is that at least two still reside in Hawaii, and one has already weighed in, saying that what Dan Harden is doing is in line with the aiki of Ueshiba. While I don't know this gentleman's specific take regarding what Dan is teaching relative to what Tohei expressed regarding aiki, if Ueshiba felt Tohei was on track regarding aiki, and people of the Tohei lineage here feel that IP/IS methodology (Dan's per se) is compatible with what Tohei taught, then all these data points support a clear relationship between the various methodologies, allowing for differences in flavor that would've been acceptable to Takeda and Ueshiba.

Mert:

I have been studying with a gentleman who fits that bill since 1988 (Imaizumi Sensei). It is beyond comical when people who have no real history or affiliation with Tohei Sensei, or O'Sensei begin to tell us what these two men did, said, or meant. These same people also seem to have an affinity for talking about what Dan Harden does or does not do without ever having met him, let alone trained with him. I simply ignore the "white noise" from those who claim things that is obviously beyond what they should ever claim, and continue to train with Imaizumi Sensei and Dan Harden. Like you, reality speaks a lot louder than the chatter in some people's posts.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

Dan Richards
03-04-2013, 01:30 PM
Yes, Mert, there are those who have felt, and experienced, and know the difference between the "K's" and the "A's." And I mean real "K's" - meaning "Constantinople," not the new ones with the big K decal on them.

Have people "felt" Ueshiba or Tohei, or any one of their "K" students? Because they both had "K" students and "A" students. Shoji Nishio was not only a "K" student of both Ueshiba and Tohei, but many of the top artists of the 20th century - including Yasuhiro Konishi, Shigenori Sano, and Takaji Shimizu.

It's surprising as the curtain comes up, and the propaganda machine breaks down, how many shihan and high-dan-ranked aikidoka, are, in fact, "A."

There are "K's" out there. But you've gotta listen, and, like you said - have tasted it, felt it, experienced it - to know the difference.

Keith Larman
03-04-2013, 01:34 PM
In rereading my post up above I said "Just expansion ...". In retrospect I suppose someone could read that as minimizing it. Not at all intended. It was great fun, challenging, elucidating, and like most good training each little discovery, each little new skill, each new "eye opener" gives rise to a whole new set of things to wonder about.

And then I rewatched videos of Tohei, Ueshiba, etc. (thanks Stan!) this morning. There's that cool stuff in various places, amounts and "styles".

I do find it interesting that a couple of folk from our group didn't see any real conflicts or inconsistencies but were just excited to have a whole new toolbox of stuff to try and a whole lot of new stuff to work on. It's kind of like suddenly getting a chance to relive a joyful process. Others I know from some other lineages (in my experience, at least) sometimes seem to find it harder to accept. That doesn't mean it's harder to do, or easier to do for anyone, just that the comfort of the"fit" seems to vary a bit from group to group. And then there's those who have it all figured out already so it doesn't really matter what you put in front of them. Because they've long ago figured it out. And maybe they're right... Can't say... I just follow my own perceptions. So I keep going...

Dan Richards
03-04-2013, 01:43 PM
Mitori-geiko: the great historical differentiator in traditional budo teaching.

Good point, Mert. And there's an article... http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2010/12/17/mitori-geiko-and-speed-by-nev-sagiba/

Mert Gambito
03-04-2013, 02:48 PM
Good point, Mert. And there's an article... http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2010/12/17/mitori-geiko-and-speed-by-nev-sagiba/
I'm just glad we now have proven, clear training methodologies that take centuries-old excellent metaphors for modeling/mapping the skills to the body, and doing the work necessary to develop them, and help make sense of them to the everyman, vs. to only the highly talented like Ueshiba and Tohei.

Do you ever visit Hawaii? If so, you should come out when Dan Harden's here and compare notes. Personally, I'd enjoying participating in the comparing, and talking music with you (Dan's a musician as well).

Mert Gambito
03-04-2013, 03:35 PM
It is beyond comical when people who have no real history or affiliation with Tohei Sensei, or O'Sensei begin to tell us what these two men did, said, or meant. These same people also seem to have an affinity for talking about what Dan Harden does or does not do without ever having met him, let alone trained with him. I simply ignore the "white noise" from those who claim things that is obviously beyond what they should ever claim, and continue to train with Imaizumi Sensei and Dan Harden. Like you, reality speaks a lot louder than the chatter in some people's posts.

Thanks Marc. It really does come down to that. The facts and anecdotes clearly point to the same thing, and you've got a great window in which to do the work.

I think, say in half a decade from now, it'll be a lot easier for IP/IS folks to take just about anyone who's passionate about aikido's martial aspects, assuming that person is half-interested in participating in the process, and map his/her current approach to the art; to Ueshiba's, Tohei's, et al's (pick proven aiki exponent of choice) methods and philosophies; to the IP/IS interpretations and logical roadmap for training in a manner that positively influences that person's approach to the art. If someone is a spiritual person, and seeks to further that aspect of himself/herself through training, then the clarity of the IP/IS approach, if anything, removes clutter that gets in the way of this aspect of "the way".

Then, add another half decade further out, and it won't be about IP/IS as distinct from aikido anymore in the corners of the art where IP/IS has long proved its validity -- whether during encounters when those seeking to experience the art graciously accept invitations to do so, or when they try to kick the door in.

Carsten Möllering
03-05-2013, 02:21 AM
There are precious few people alive who've had the honor and opportunity to train with both Ueshiba and Tohei.
Endo Seishiro did.

Alex Megann
03-05-2013, 02:29 AM
Koichi Tohei, Morihei Ueshiba, Kodo Horikawa, Yukiyoshi Sagawa, etc. all demonstrated what were essentially very similiar things. Where are the Tempukai guys demonstrating those things?

Tohei later claimed to have learned little from Ueshiba - but I wonder if that was true, or it was just part of the dance of hurt feelings that went back and forth among the involved parties.

It was my impression that the Tempukai provided the framework through which Tohei understood (as much as he did) Ueshiba's "stuff", not that it provided the "stuff" itself, but opinions will certainly vary.

Best,

Chris

I stand corrected. Perhaps I have been confused by what Tohei himself said after the messy split from the Aikikai.

It is fascinating, though, that many aikido teachers have found deeper understanding of what they were taught through training with other teachers. One example that springs to mind is how the kesa-giri of Kashima Shinryu profoundly influenced Yamaguchi Sensei's aikido (and that of his students). Also perhaps Tamura Sensei's latterday exposure to Tetsuzan Kuroda, as described in Leo Tamaki's article (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22100).

Alex

Mary Eastland
03-05-2013, 07:14 AM
I like the idea of the empty body...goes along with the empty mind and no weight on your feet.

Which fit perfectly with being very heavy and full of potential.

I also like the idea of uke being in the space that in less than a second I will be in.

I like the idea of blending and turning and entering as though uke is nothing and yet everything.

Dan Richards
03-05-2013, 01:14 PM
I like the idea of the empty body...goes along with the empty mind and no weight on your feet.

Which fit perfectly with being very heavy and full of potential.

I also like the idea of uke being in the space that in less than a second I will be in.

I like the idea of blending and turning and entering as though uke is nothing and yet everything.

Hi Mary, what do you think about playing with this idea: How and why would you be - or want to be - "very heavy" when the body and mind are empty? How about being "light." Being full of light - instead of "potential."

Also, rather than moving into a space that uke occupies, you create a new space. A space where you both can exist in harmony. Uke is creating a space that says you have something they want, and the only way to get it is to come and kick your booty - and deprive you of your space and your booty. But you can create a space in which everyone gets what they really want. Love. Harmony. Peace. And ice cream and cake and party hats.

graham christian
03-05-2013, 01:55 PM
I find when you are empty you yourself are very light yet heavy to others. Probably what was meant....

Peace.G.

Mary Eastland
03-05-2013, 04:58 PM
Hi Mary, what do you think about playing with this idea: How and why would you be - or want to be - "very heavy" when the body and mind are empty? How about being "light." Being full of light - instead of "potential."

Also, rather than moving into a space that uke occupies, you create a new space. A space where you both can exist in harmony. Uke is creating a space that says you have something they want, and the only way to get it is to come and kick your booty - and deprive you of your space and your booty. But you can create a space in which everyone gets what they really want. Love. Harmony. Peace. And ice cream and cake and party hats.

Ummm... maybe on some days,other days that is a little to fluffy... maybe other days I like what I said.

graham christian
03-05-2013, 10:47 PM
Koichi Tohei got a lot of his training methods from the Tempukai, and invented the rest as a result of being challenged in Hawaii, as Yoshimitsu Yamada recounts here (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=83). He didn't "get them" from ShinShin Toitsu, though - they were ShinShin Toitsu!

The consensus seems to be that he took rather little of his training methods from O-Sensei.

Alex

I think somethings lost in translation there. The mind and body coordination principles he did get from shin shin toitsu do. His Aikido principles based on those then he created. Two different things.

Peace.G.

Chris Li
03-05-2013, 11:16 PM
I think somethings lost in translation there. The mind and body coordination principles he did get from shin shin toitsu do. His Aikido principles based on those then he created. Two different things.

Peace.G.

I think that it's clear that Tohei felt that much of Tempu's work elucidated what he had seen from Ueshiba.

OTOH, coordination of body and mind is a phrasing that predates Tohei's involvement with the Tempukai, and even predates Tohei - Ueshiba mentioned it several times in the 1938 manual Budo (in the very same context that Tohei used it in), which was published two years before Tohei even started Aikido.

What's your source for arguing that those principles came from Tempu and Tempu alone?

Best,

Chris

graham christian
03-05-2013, 11:54 PM
I think that it's clear that Tohei felt that much of Tempu's work elucidated what he had seen from Ueshiba.

OTOH, coordination of body and mind is a phrasing that predates Tohei's involvement with the Tempukai, and even predates Tohei - Ueshiba mentioned it several times in the 1938 manual Budo (in the very same context that Tohei used it in), which was published two years before Tohei even started Aikido.

What's your source for arguing that those principles came from Tempu and Tempu alone?

Best,

Chris

Ahh, come on Chris, you know me, I'm not into your kind of debating, don't have that sort of mind.

Call it mind and body coordination or unification or whatever else fits. Point out Someone else said it before him and I'll say someone else said it way back when and that would be true also.

So I would be honored if you wouldn't say I said 'alone'. Plus I don't use the word Tempu either.

Nothing can be equated with 'alone' in this world so I don't get where you're coming from.

Peace.G.

Chris Li
03-06-2013, 12:28 AM
Ahh, come on Chris, you know me, I'm not into your kind of debating, don't have that sort of mind.

Call it mind and body coordination or unification or whatever else fits. Point out Someone else said it before him and I'll say someone else said it way back when and that would be true also.

So I would be honored if you wouldn't say I said 'alone'. Plus I don't use the word Tempu either.

Nothing can be equated with 'alone' in this world so I don't get where you're coming from.

Peace.G.

Where I'm coming from is that you stated that Tohei got certain things from somewhere specific. If you don't want to argue that when someone calls you on it, then don't make the statement.

Best,

Chris

graham christian
03-06-2013, 01:49 AM
Where I'm coming from is that you stated that Tohei got certain things from somewhere specific. If you don't want to argue that when someone calls you on it, then don't make the statement.

Best,

Chris

O.K. Chris. I am coming from understanding. I find the 'call you out' approach strange. I do so in life too, I usually smile at such things and walk away.

I suggest you study and practice some shin shin toitsu do, go to some classes and then come back to me and tell me about how they practice those principles, how they test them and use them.

Nothing to do with 'sources' , no argument.

Peace.G.

Gary David
03-06-2013, 08:17 AM
O.K. Chris. I am coming from understanding. I find the 'call you out' approach strange. I do so in life too, I usually smile at such things and walk away.

I suggest you study and practice some shin shin toitsu do, go to some classes and then come back to me and tell me about how they practice those principles, how they test them and use them.

Nothing to do with 'sources' , no argument.

Peace.G.

Graham
Chris Li comes from the Islands were Tohei was King for a long time. Most of the early Aikido folks that Chris learned from were Tohei trained........so Chris likely knows, has felt, has practiced, has been the principles that you talk to as your source at some time during his many years of training.

I took ukemi for Tohei Sensei more than once here in California when he came to our dojo to teach an even class for just the dojo. I have felt and trained with several of the instructors who came with him, some from Japan and others from Hawaii. Tohei was a very powerful individual, was like running into a wall, was like a moving solid sphere, his movement produced results from that turning sphere. It worked for him, it was very effective on us and none of the folks that came with him were like that.

I did all the ki exercises......I could do them at the level they were being presented and taught.......As I reflect back now I was not taught the steps needed to find motion in stillness or stillness in motion. I was not taught how to establish up and down...side to side or front to back stability. It was not presented. I was told to keep one point...not taught the steps to get there. I moved on.

It has only come to me lately as a gift that maintaing one point is really pulling out from center in all directions and learning how to maintain that. Solo practice with paired practice to check your progress.

It was never about Tohei not having something....rather it was about how it was passed along.

Just me.......fish or cut bait.....

Gary

Cady Goldfield
03-06-2013, 08:34 AM
Graham
I took ukemi for Tohei Sensei more than once here in California when he came to our dojo to teach an even class for just the dojo. I have felt and trained with several of the instructors who came with him, some from Japan and others from Hawaii. Tohei was a very powerful individual, was like running into a wall, was like a moving solid sphere, his movement produced results from that turning sphere. It worked for him, it was very effective on us and none of the folks that came with him were like that.


Please pardon the off-topica aside, but...
This sounds like it should be part of an "It Had to Be Felt" entry over in Mr. Amdur's department.

Marc Abrams
03-06-2013, 08:39 AM
Graham
Chris Li comes from the Islands were Tohei was King for a long time. Most of the early Aikido folks that Chris learned from were Tohei trained........so Chris likely knows, has felt, has practiced, has been the principles that you talk to as your source at some time during his many years of training.

I took ukemi for Tohei Sensei more than once here in California when he came to our dojo to teach an even class for just the dojo. I have felt and trained with several of the instructors who came with him, some from Japan and others from Hawaii. Tohei was a very powerful individual, was like running into a wall, was like a moving solid sphere, his movement produced results from that turning sphere. It worked for him, it was very effective on us and none of the folks that came with him were like that.

I did all the ki exercises......I could do them at the level they were being presented and taught.......As I reflect back now I was not taught the steps needed to find motion in stillness or stillness in motion. I was not taught how to establish up and down...side to side or front to back stability. It was not presented. I was told to keep one point...not taught the steps to get there. I moved on.

It has only come to me lately as a gift that maintaing one point is really pulling out from center in all directions and learning how to maintain that. Solo practice with paired practice to check your progress.

It was never about Tohei not having something....rather it was about how it was passed along.

Just me.......fish or cut bait.....

Gary

Gary:

1) Graham does not belong to Ki Society and has no direct experience with Tohei Sensei.

2) His teacher did not belong to Ki Society either. At best, his teacher might have attended some seminars taught by Tohei Sensei.

3) His assertions regarding this subject matter cannot be substantiated in any manner, shape or form, despite repeated attempts from many different people to try and get him to do so.

4) Many of his ideas are based upon questionable translations from Japanese sources, that he then applies his own unique interpretations to.

Since this thread is about Tohei, solo practice and internal training, the value of people's opinions and interpretations of Tohei's ideas and teachings, without any substantial base of REAL training and experience with Tohei Sensei, is obvious to all. Bait is a good term and has many meanings with this person.....

Regards,

Marc Abrams

Mary Eastland
03-06-2013, 08:52 AM
Sometimes people think that what they have learned or that their experience lets them know what someone else has experienced. Maybe what (Gary,) you have learned from wherever is different than what Graham learned. Maybe we could assume that Graham knows as much as Chris. Maybe we could discuss things.

Ron and I trained with Kokikai for many years. Maruyama Sensei taught many ideas. We took them to mean something...and then built on that. Someone else who trained with Maruyama might have taken it to mean something else...we could feel the difference when we went to camp. It didn't mean that Maruyama Sensei wasn't putting it out there.

That fish or cut bait stuff shuts down discussion...it sounds like only certain people know what is real.

Chris Li
03-06-2013, 09:22 AM
O.K. Chris. I am coming from understanding. I find the 'call you out' approach strange. I do so in life too, I usually smile at such things and walk away.

I suggest you study and practice some shin shin toitsu do, go to some classes and then come back to me and tell me about how they practice those principles, how they test them and use them.

Nothing to do with 'sources' , no argument.

Peace.G.

Smiling at facts and walking away doesn't make them any less factual.

For the rest - that's really a seperate discussion.

Best,

Chris

graham christian
03-06-2013, 09:46 AM
Graham
Chris Li comes from the Islands were Tohei was King for a long time. Most of the early Aikido folks that Chris learned from were Tohei trained........so Chris likely knows, has felt, has practiced, has been the principles that you talk to as your source at some time during his many years of training.

I took ukemi for Tohei Sensei more than once here in California when he came to our dojo to teach an even class for just the dojo. I have felt and trained with several of the instructors who came with him, some from Japan and others from Hawaii. Tohei was a very powerful individual, was like running into a wall, was like a moving solid sphere, his movement produced results from that turning sphere. It worked for him, it was very effective on us and none of the folks that came with him were like that.

I did all the ki exercises......I could do them at the level they were being presented and taught.......As I reflect back now I was not taught the steps needed to find motion in stillness or stillness in motion. I was not taught how to establish up and down...side to side or front to back stability. It was not presented. I was told to keep one point...not taught the steps to get there. I moved on.

It has only come to me lately as a gift that maintaing one point is really pulling out from center in all directions and learning how to maintain that. Solo practice with paired practice to check your progress.

It was never about Tohei not having something....rather it was about how it was passed along.

Just me.......fish or cut bait.....

Gary

Hi Gary.
Shame it took so long for you to be taught in a way that suited you better. You sound like you are benefiting so that's good.

Why you feel you have to tell me about Chris I don't know.

I don't adhere to the belief of training with equals knows more or indeed to the belief that you must belong to a certain group in order to know. However those stuck in that belief I understand too for anything outside of their usual frame of reference they find hard to accept.

I'm glad to hear you now have a better understanding of one point through what you have been practicing, an understanding I have been talking about on here for quite a while I might add along with other aspects of Tohei's methods.

I note you said you learned at the level they were being taught. That's the key point. You then point out what you were not being taught in retrospect. That's all nice and clear. A nice clear presentation of your own personal experience. It doesn't however mean that others were not taught in a better way.

The point Chris was on about was about me saying Tohei got his mind and body unification principles from Shin shin Toitsu do. Believe it or not I understand why he doesn't believe that to be the case for those who follow the way of reasoning he does would have to see it written as such, quoted by him as such or by a close associate of his.

Me, I prefer innocence and common sense. Those things are taught within shin shin toitsu do complete with exercises for weight underside, one point, relaxing with relation to Ki, et. al. No one else presented such things in that way at that time therefor it is quite fine to say he got them from there.

Also the two sentences of mine Chris 'questioned' were addressed to another person, alex if I remember correctly, and refer to a link he pointed out to read. In that article a teacher talked about Tohei. In that article he said Tohei made up his shin shin toitsu principles ie: created them himself.

Well, as I said in those two sentences...I think there is some lost in translation going on. (not translation of language)

The shin shin toitsu principles of Aikido practice he certainly did create himself and I believe those are the ones the Teacher in the interview was talking about. Although they too are an extension of the mind and body unification ones.

Nobody or rather not many were taught or were even aware of shin shin toitsu do as a separate yoga of itself and why should they be. However, I was. Were you?

Peace.G.

Gary David
03-06-2013, 10:06 AM
Sometimes people think that what they have learned or that their experience lets them know what someone else has experienced. Maybe what (Gary,) you have learned from wherever is different than what Graham learned. Maybe we could assume that Graham knows as much as Chris. Maybe we could discuss things.

Ron and I trained with Kokikai for many years. Maruyama Sensei taught many ideas. We took them to mean something...and then built on that. Someone else who trained with Maruyama might have taken it to mean something else...we could feel the difference when we went to camp. It didn't mean that Maruyama Sensei wasn't putting it out there.

That fish or cut bait stuff shuts down discussion...it sounds like only certain people know what is real.

Mary
There are so many paths, paths that dead end, paths that turn back on themselves, paths that offer nothing past a elementary understanding. I am ok with folks taking whatever paths they feel are right for themselves.........but folks have to get out to vet what they do to understand what is real and what is not.

Fish or cut bait has to do with going forward or sitting on what you have now. As for cutting off discussion......discussion gets you nothing but a surface understanding of what folks think they know and can do...... Feeling it......getting together to check what you think you can do....and admit when it doesn't' work and asking for help......or helping when one can......going outside the established comfort zone....is missing from discussion unless you share a common background....that in itself another slippery slope. You have to be clear on what you don't know, that is missing from discussion here.

Gary

Chris Li
03-06-2013, 10:20 AM
Sometimes people think that what they have learned or that their experience lets them know what someone else has experienced. Maybe what (Gary,) you have learned from wherever is different than what Graham learned. Maybe we could assume that Graham knows as much as Chris. Maybe we could discuss things.

It would be nice if everybody knew as much as everybody else, but they don't. :) That's why I asked Graham what his justification was for stating that body and mind unification comes form Shin-Shin Toitsu Do (note that he's since repeated that assertion). Unfortunately, instead of discussing it he "smiled and walked away" since "his mind doesn't work that way".

Doesn't make for much of a discussion, but it's perfect for the passive agressive statements that seem to subsitute for discussion on AikiWeb these days.

Best,

Chris

akiy
03-06-2013, 10:33 AM
Hi folks,

When engaging in discussion here on AikiWeb, please be sure to move the discussion forward by being prepared to back up your assertions. If you are, instead, stating your own opinions based upon your own experience, please be clear in stating such when making the initial point.

Thank you,

-- Jun

Marc Abrams
03-06-2013, 10:42 AM
Hi folks,

When engaging in discussion here on AikiWeb, please be sure to move the discussion forward by being prepared to back up your assertions. If you are, instead, stating your own opinions based upon your own experience, please be clear in stating such when making the initial point.

Thank you,

-- Jun

Jun:

THANK YOU FOR STATING THAT! Opinions are very, very different from facts. Supporting data behind any position is the basis for any sensible debate!

Marc Abrams

graham christian
03-06-2013, 11:08 AM
Excuse me but his little tete a tete started in post 32. What I said is quoted. It starts with "I think"

Chris refers to that as an assertion. Not true.

It is a conclusion of mine hence the words 'I think'

As pointed out later in the thread I explain why I think so. ie: Those principles and even exercises were already in shin shin toitsu do. Nowhere else in that form.

A fair conclusion I would say.

To find out one would have to go look at that yoga form, much of which I was taught.

However you can no doubt read up on it and find out for yourself, nothing stopping anyone doing so.

I know there is at least one book on it but not being one for holding on to what I consider superfluous data ie: names of writers or even for that matter specific titles of all the books I have ever read or been told about then I would have to look it up. One is called something to do with yoga, maybe dynamic yoga or Japanese yoga by a master of the art. Ithink his name begins with H.

Peace.G.

Mert Gambito
03-06-2013, 12:32 PM
Excuse me but his little tete a tete started in post 32. What I said is quoted. It starts with "I think"

Chris refers to that as an assertion. Not true.

It is a conclusion of mine hence the words 'I think'

As pointed out later in the thread I explain why I think so. ie: Those principles and even exercises were already in shin shin toitsu do. Nowhere else in that form.

A fair conclusion I would say.

To find out one would have to go look at that yoga form, much of which I was taught.

Here's the quote in question:
I think somethings lost in translation there. The mind and body coordination principles he did get from shin shin toitsu do. His Aikido principles based on those then he created.

Graham, you're quite decisive regarding your clarification. It's your opinion of what the facts are. The challenges to your assertions are one matter. However, switching contexts regarding the use of "I think" -- clearly you were addressing what you perceive as a loss in translation on Alex's part regarding his understanding of the facts -- is an unfortunate bait and switch.

graham christian
03-06-2013, 12:54 PM
Here's the quote in question:

Graham, you're quite decisive regarding your clarification. It's your opinion of what the facts are. The challenges to your assertions are one matter. However, switching contexts regarding the use of "I think" -- clearly you were addressing what you perceive as a loss in translation on Alex's part regarding his understanding of the facts -- is an unfortunate bait and switch.

Yes Mert. I don't know what a bait and switch is though.

Peace.G.

RonRagusa
03-06-2013, 10:42 PM
Maruyama Sensei taught many ideas. We took them to mean something...and then built on that.

And in the building is where we were able to dig deeper into his teachings and discover for ourselves how to go beyond the external forms that we were taught and merge them with the ideas they were designed to embody. The most difficult part of the process, the part that took many years of training to realize, was how to learn to learn. Ki exercises, Ki testing and technique are the seeds of Aikido, not the art itself. Once they're planted in the student diligent training and honest self examination are required for them to grow and bear fruit.

Ron

graham christian
03-07-2013, 09:33 AM
And in the building is where we were able to dig deeper into his teachings and discover for ourselves how to go beyond the external forms that we were taught and merge them with the ideas they were designed to embody. The most difficult part of the process, the part that took many years of training to realize, was how to learn to learn. Ki exercises, Ki testing and technique are the seeds of Aikido, not the art itself. Once they're planted in the student diligent training and honest self examination are required for them to grow and bear fruit.

Ron

I fully agree Ron.

Giving opinions to help broaden other's understandings is an interesting path.;)

Peace.G.

Gary David
03-07-2013, 11:15 AM
I fully agree Ron.

Giving opinions to help broaden other's understandings is an interesting path.;)

Peace.G.

Folks
Just my opinion........

What is discussion but opinions here...... We are talking about a body art that has to be proven to show effectiveness....... The only feedback loop is between students and that is layered in itself........ There is no process in place in Aikido to really determine the effectiveness of the instructors and what they are teaching except coming down to personal opinion...personal discussions .........

Again just my personal opinion.....nothing more or less.....

Gary

graham christian
03-07-2013, 11:46 AM
Folks
Just my opinion........

What is discussion but opinions here...... We are talking about a body art that has to be proven to show effectiveness....... The only feedback loop is between students and that is layered in itself........ There is no process in place in Aikido to really determine the effectiveness of the instructors and what they are teaching except coming down to personal opinion...personal discussions .........

Again just my personal opinion.....nothing more or less.....

Gary

I fully agree Gary.

Everything that comes out of someones mouth is an opinion therefor it's quite strange to me to have to point it out when communicating.

Until people fully realize that then they will be caught up in arguments and misunderstandings.

Aikido is self development.

Peace.G.

Mert Gambito
03-07-2013, 02:31 PM
The original reason why I provided responses in the Spirituality section that resulted in a post being split off to start this thread was to help foster this notion (feel free to substitute in "Training in the gendai budo descended from Daito-ryu" for "Aikido", as there are many of us in aikido's cousin arts who feel the same way):

Aikido is self development.

Before this thread goes into a death-spiral of rhetoric like so many pertaining to internal training before it, I'd like to say/restate that, as students of aiki, it makes sense to follow the fine examples set by Ueshiba and Tohei and explore methods outside of the confines of our respective budo silos to foster self-development within our martial training.

Many of today's aikido students embrace the notion that Japanese yoga, which completely lies outside of Aikido's martial arts ancestry and martial arts as a whole, led Tohei to key insights related to his esteemed skills and teaching methodology within aikido. Ueshiba sought inspiration and clarification of his purpose as an aikidoka via a Japanese religion and the Chinese philosophies applicable to internal martial arts. Ryuho Okuyama, who founded Hakkoryu, combined his Daito-ryu training with knowledge from Japanese and Chinese traditional medicine, and derived the conclusion that it is important for students "to relax both mind and body so that one$B!G(Bs Tanden or Hara (center of gravity) settles in the proper place" (as quoted from Hakkoryu's public website). Did this come from Daito-ryu, traditional Asian medicine, or both? Regardless, aikidoka who've sampled or cross-trained in Hakkoryu have pointed out that this statement sounds a lot like "weight underside", yet there's no public record of Okuyama having studied Japanese yoga. However, Ueshiba once said, "If your opponent strikes with fire, counter with water, becoming completely fluid and free-flowing." This could also be considered a tenet of Hakkoryu, and it's quite likely that Ueshiba and Okuyama came across the same sources of this knowledge. However, the statement is not just a general yin-yang tactical metaphor, but rather a reference to discreet aspects of internal training and application of internal power -- though the sources are likely from outside of Daito-ryu.

Ki exercises, Ki testing and technique are the seeds of Aikido, not the art itself. Once they're planted in the student diligent training and honest self examination are required for them to grow and bear fruit.

This pertains to "IP/IS training" methodologies (as they've been too conveniently carved out as separate from Ueshiba's or Tohei's IP/IS training methodologies) as well. To put it simply, one could say that Dan Harden's methodology, for example, provides specific models for extending ki once weight is underside, and in and yo from the one-point are established by the practitioner. The precedents set by Ueshiba and Tohei clearly spell out that exploration of relevant ideas and practices beyond what may be considered "aikido" at a given point in time are indeed part of what makes aikido unique, progressive and effective as a both a physical and spiritual endeavor. If the Chinese classics and Japanese yoga are part of this precedent, then it is quite reasonable, if not logical, that an IP/IS training methodology derived from Daito-ryu and vetted by men who've personally trained with Ueshiba and/or Tohei, is worth any aikidoka's time to investigate, if not pursue for the sake of self-development -- or at the very least, not to be dismissed simply because it is not part of one's silo of choice. After all, "ai" doesn't mean or connote avoidance or dismissiveness.

graham christian
03-07-2013, 04:17 PM
Ahaaaa....Mert.. So it's all your fault!!! (joke);)

No, you make good points, well said.

Peace.G.

Ecosamurai
04-03-2013, 06:15 AM
Koichi Tohei, Morihei Ueshiba, Kodo Horikawa, Yukiyoshi Sagawa, etc. all demonstrated what were essentially very similiar things. Where are the Tempukai guys demonstrating those things?

Tohei later claimed to have learned little from Ueshiba - but I wonder if that was true, or it was just part of the dance of hurt feelings that went back and forth among the involved parties.

It was my impression that the Tempukai provided the framework through which Tohei understood (as much as he did) Ueshiba's "stuff", not that it provided the "stuff" itself, but opinions will certainly vary.

Best,

Chris

There is an excellent section on this in an interview Stanley Pranin did available here: http://members.aikidojournal.com/public/interview-with-koichi-tohei-2/ Tohei Sensei specifically states that his four principles came from Ueshiba NOT the Tempukai, he says they were what he observed O Sensei doing, though the words as he formulated them may have more to do with how the Tempukai explained these things. Tohei Sensei further states:
"The only thing I learned from Tempu Nakamura, for example, was that gthe mind leads the body.h On all other matters he used to ask me questions! He was very modest and humble in that respect. When I said that I did not know the answer, he would then say, gWell, let us study it together then.h"

Somewhere else I can't find right now Tohei Sensei discusses the focusing on keeping one point and how in the Tempukai they did it by tensing the muscles of the abdomen which was exhausting, but that Nakamura and he did it simply by concentrating on it, but that after Nakamura died everyone in the Tempukai went back to tensing their muscles. In the interview I linked to above you can see that Tohei is clearly crediting Ueshiba as the source of his methods (via careful observation of what Ueshiba did), though the language Tohei used to teach was far different than the religious language of the founder, and probably came from Tohei Sensei's time at the Tempukai, the Ichikukai and his experiences teaching foreigners in Hawaii.

As an aside, I rarely bother with aikiweb anymore, but glad to see that people are finally acknowledging Tohei Sensei's methods as being IS/IP (or at least compatible with it), I used to clash with Mike Sigman and Dan Harden about it when I last posted regularly. They now seem to be agreeing with what I was saying all along, no doubt they'll choose to remember it differently ;)

Mike

Chris Li
04-03-2013, 10:15 AM
As an aside, I rarely bother with aikiweb anymore, but glad to see that people are finally acknowledging Tohei Sensei's methods as being IS/IP (or at least compatible with it), I used to clash with Mike Sigman and Dan Harden about it when I last posted regularly. They now seem to be agreeing with what I was saying all along, no doubt they'll choose to remember it differently ;)

Mike

I would say that it's not a yes or no question, that there are a number of degrees and qualifiers. My hunch is that Dan and Mike would express opinions along similar lines, but they're not here and I certainly can't speak for them.

I will say that both Mike and Dan have spoken to me positively about Tohei (or at least, parts of what Tohei was doing) for quite a long time.

Best,

Chris

Ecosamurai
04-03-2013, 11:06 AM
I would say that it's not a yes or no question, that there are a number of degrees and qualifiers. My hunch is that Dan and Mike would express opinions along similar lines, but they're not here and I certainly can't speak for them.

I will say that both Mike and Dan have spoken to me positively about Tohei (or at least, parts of what Tohei was doing) for quite a long time.

Best,

Chris

I fully agree it's not as black and white as that, I just remember gettign into arguments with them because the assumption was always that I didn't know what IS/IP was and the general position that it was something lacking from aikido. Stack that against my perception that it most certainly isn't missing from the aikido I've always practiced and you have a recipe for argument, so I gave up on aikiweb as I felt it was in general making me something of an arsehole. I drop in from time to time though.

Anyway, they were right on one thing re Ki Aikido. My early experiences were always being told, 'keep one point' then being tested and told I wasn't doing it right. At no stage can I ever remember being taught how to keep one point, it was just something I picked up from experiencing someone else doing it. I've met several people who've trained with either Mike or Dan who seem to say they do a good job of answering the how? problem, I've of course come up with my own way of doing this for my own students now, so we're probably doing the same sort of thing... more or less, YMMV. They will of course be coming at it from other perspectives than mine.

Mike

Chris Li
04-03-2013, 03:25 PM
I fully agree it's not as black and white as that, I just remember gettign into arguments with them because the assumption was always that I didn't know what IS/IP was and the general position that it was something lacking from aikido.

IMO, it's a big leap from saying that Koichi Tohei has some good skills to saying that I therefore understand what Mike or Dan is saying about IS/IP. The "we already do that" reaction is very common and, IME, almost always mistaken.

And yes, I think that it's generally lacking in modern Aikido. Anyway, no point in revisiting that argument, Dan holds workshops all year (http://www.bodyworkseminars.org) for those who are interested in seeing for themselves.

FWIW...

Best,

Chris

Mert Gambito
04-03-2013, 04:08 PM
Mike,

I haven't been privy to the discussions you've had with Dan, Mike, et al (and am too busy at the moment to go archive-diving). But here's what is clear:

Here in Hawaii, what Tohei taught is well understood, and many people here still have first-hand accounts of his methodology and skills.
Dan has repeatedly said that Tohei's model is compatible with the greater body of aiki tanren that Aikido inherited from Daito-ryu (and that mirrors similar training in, for example, Chinese internal arts, and some extant yoga).
Many people in Hawaii who are familiar with Tohei's method and who have also trained with Dan agree with Dan's above characterization, as do others with exposure to both methods.

So, a subset of a set does not equal the set; but yes, the subset can be profound in its own right, and apparently was/is in Tohei's case. Dan recently reiterated at a workshop in Hawaii, "Do not take Tohei lightly. The man was powerful."

Ecosamurai
04-04-2013, 04:16 AM
IMO, it's a big leap from saying that Koichi Tohei has some good skills to saying that I therefore understand what Mike or Dan is saying about IS/IP. The "we already do that" reaction is very common and, IME, almost always mistaken.

I appreciate that that's the case, I don't believe I'm one of those people. The reason I don't believe I'm one of those people is because I've met a number of people who've trained with either Dan or Mike or both, and nothing they've shown me is incompatible or stunningly different from the way I do things. Though as with all things of this nature, I am of course still learning. I'm sure it'd be interesting to go to one of their workshops if I get the opportunity.

Ecosamurai
04-04-2013, 04:29 AM
So, a subset of a set does not equal the set; but yes, the subset can be profound in its own right, and apparently was/is in Tohei's case. Dan recently reiterated at a workshop in Hawaii, "Do not take Tohei lightly. The man was powerful."

The idea that Tohei's approach was a subset of the set strikes me as a rather self-serving position and one that would, to my mind, only be said by someone whose vested interest is in portraying it as less than what they do. I prefer to think of them as both having something to offer. In Tohei Sensei's own words "The mountain does not laugh at the river because it is lowly, the river does not laugh at the mountain because it cannot move about". The sentiment he expresses in that quote is one he directly attributed to the founder as being a part of the nature of aikido that it doesn't seek to criticise other arts. I do not believe anything Mike or Dan has to offer is something other than worthwhile and a good addition to most people's training. Nor am I deluded as to think I do everything they do, I do not. But having met and practised with a number of people who have practised with one or both of them, I'm very sure that what I do is broadly similar and totally compatible. Probably missing a few things but I'm in it for the journey more than the destination, so that's fine by me.

It seems I've returned to the same old aikiweb, and I thought for a minute there I'd missed it.

phitruong
04-04-2013, 08:38 AM
It seems I've returned to the same old aikiweb, and I thought for a minute there I'd missed it.

same aikiweb, same wars, different players, more or less. generally, less than more, but more than most on occasion.

Chris Li
04-04-2013, 10:17 AM
The idea that Tohei's approach was a subset of the set strikes me as a rather self-serving position and one that would, to my mind, only be said by someone whose vested interest is in portraying it as less than what they do. I prefer to think of them as both having something to offer. In Tohei Sensei's own words "The mountain does not laugh at the river because it is lowly, the river does not laugh at the mountain because it cannot move about". The sentiment he expresses in that quote is one he directly attributed to the founder as being a part of the nature of aikido that it doesn't seek to criticise other arts. I do not believe anything Mike or Dan has to offer is something other than worthwhile and a good addition to most people's training. Nor am I deluded as to think I do everything they do, I do not. But having met and practised with a number of people who have practised with one or both of them, I'm very sure that what I do is broadly similar and totally compatible. Probably missing a few things but I'm in it for the journey more than the destination, so that's fine by me.

It seems I've returned to the same old aikiweb, and I thought for a minute there I'd missed it.

Not criticising doesn't mean not analyzing.

It also doesn't mean that all approaches are equally valid - or why would both Morihei Ueshiba and Koichi Tohei been so critical of other people's approaches in public and in private?

You'll have to ask Mert, but my thinking is that he used the word "subset" in the literal sense - the theories of martial movement we're talking about are very old and very specific, laid out in a complete and extensive manner. Many people, or arts, choose to focus on a portion of the full theory. Sometimes that's out of ignorance of the larger picture, and sometimes it's out of choice for specific purposes. That doesn't mean that what they're doing is good or bad, they just are what they are.

If you think that they have something worthwhile - then go see them. I did, as well as Tohei, Maruyama and the others. It will give you a better background to discuss them by.

Best,

Chris

Mert Gambito
04-04-2013, 12:04 PM
The idea that Tohei's approach was a subset of the set strikes me as a rather self-serving position and one that would, to my mind, only be said by someone whose vested interest is in portraying it as less than what they do. I prefer to think of them as both having something to offer.
Mike,

As I stated, the subset characterization is accepted by people in the place where Tohei focused significant effort to disseminate aikido outside of the U.S., and these people have first-hand experience with Tohei's method and Dan's method. Therefore, saying that this characterization would "only be said by someone whose vested interest is in portraying it as less than what they do" makes no sense: people here have been ardently trying to preserve what the founder and Tohei imparted first hand half a century ago. And, until three years ago, in Hawaii, frankly, only Chris Li was interested in what Dan and Mike had to offer.

I do not believe anything Mike or Dan has to offer is something other than worthwhile and a good addition to most people's training. Nor am I deluded as to think I do everything they do, I do not. But having met and practised with a number of people who have practised with one or both of them, I'm very sure that what I do is broadly similar and totally compatible. Probably missing a few things but I'm in it for the journey more than the destination, so that's fine by me.
Everyone's practice is different. Good for you that you've tried to make rhyme and reason out of the general principles Tohei imparted. How has this work tied to what you've experienced from people who've trained with Dan and Mike, specific to spiraling / silk-reeling? This is the specific portion of the set that Tohei's subset does not address, unless it's some kind of okuden.

And, no worries if spiraling falls into the category of "being a good addition", and being one of those "missing" things. One of Dan's key admonitions is that practitioners focus on spiraling and other more complex movements -- over foundational connection and opening skills like one-point, keeping weight underside, and refining the ability to extend ki -- at their own peril.

Ecosamurai
04-04-2013, 05:17 PM
Good for you that you've tried to make rhyme and reason out of the general principles Tohei imparted.

<passive-agressive-sarcasm>Firstly, thank you for taking the time to patronise me on the internet. I enjoy being spoken to by strangers in the manner that I congratulate my 3 year old son when he successfully uses the toilet. Makes me glad to be here on aikiweb.</passive-agressive-sarcasm>

I'll just add a smiley so that humour is indicated, thereby attempting to gloss over my unpleasant statement, it's one of the things that always works well on internet forums :D

How has this work tied to what you've experienced from people who've trained with Dan and Mike, specific to spiraling / silk-reeling? This is the specific portion of the set that Tohei's subset does not address, unless it's some kind of okuden.

And, no worries if spiraling falls into the category of "being a good addition", and being one of those "missing" things. One of Dan's key admonitions is that practitioners focus on spiraling and other more complex movements -- over foundational connection and opening skills like one-point, keeping weight underside, and refining the ability to extend ki -- at their own peril.

I studied chen style tai chi for a number of years just before I began aikido and stopped shortly after I found aikido. I went back to it for a little bit not long after I got my shodan and found it complimented my training nicely, but I moved away and never took it up again as there was no teacher where I moved to. Though a teacher has moved near to where I live now so I've been thinking about starting again. All in all I'd say I got about 2+ years of fairly regular training in it alongside aikido, not much but enough to be useful to me in conjunction with my aikido.

One of the interesting things about spiraling and silk reeling as I understand them (and keep in mind I've not practised them with a teacher for some years here so could well be wrong) is that of course you're quite right they aren't really in any of Tohei Sensei's standard ki tests, nor can I remember them ever being actively taught to me. But if you look at some of Tohei Sensei's waza, particularly things like kirikaeshi which you see done a lot in taigis it's right there to some degree. I'm basing this on the fact that learning about some of those things helped me figure out how to do the aikido properly. So it could be that I'm cutting and pasting them into aikido unintentionally and they were never there, I just added them of my own accord, if that were the case then I'd say we're probably in complete agreement about all this, though I think there's probably still room for debate. If the only way for me to do those waza correctly was to bring my tai chi experience to them was it because the tai chi was the missing piece? Or was it because it was there all along and I'd simply not figured it out or been actively taught it yet? I don't know, all I know is that my teacher at the time commented that I was getting better at it and that he could do it just fine despite never to the best of my knowledge having studied tai chi of any flavour.

In the sayu exercises of Tohei you can see at the 8.17min mark here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuuhW9t11e0 I found silk reeling to be very helpful as I recall, though we're going back a decade or so and my recollection is a little fuzzy. Note that what you see on the video isn't the exact exercise I'm thinking of so it may strike you as me talking nonsense, it is however, the only video of Tohei Sensei I could find where he's doing anything like the exercise I'm thinking of, nonetheless I hope it should be reasonably apparent that silk reeling could be quite helpful in this aikido waza in certain contexts/variations. Sayu as shown in the video is one of the most misapplied technicques I've come across in the aikido canon. I've seen people ranked as high as 6th dan doing it by basically getting uke close to them and then just smashing them across the face with their forearm/elbow. That's just ugly. I've also heard them describe it as being the Daito Ryu way of doing it and that they obviously come from a more 'traditional' style of aikido than me, never mind the fact that what they're doing is most certainly *not* the Daito Ryu way of doing it according to my limited exposure to the art (outside of aikido). Suffice to say my understanding of the technique is that when done correctly there need be no smashing or crunching, uke simply cannot remain standing because nage's outstretched arm is in the way, this arm should not yield if pushed or pulled, uke's only escape is to either move backwards, which often happens if this is done statically, or if done dynamically their forward momentum means they must drop their head and upper body out of the way as they travel through.

Regarding spiralling, and again you'll have to forgive my rustiness if I get this wrong, it may interest you to know that within the style of aikido I now practise the founder - Koretoshi Maruyama - has introduced some exercises that bear a striking resemblance to spiralling. He observed that after a few decades many people in the Ki Society were getting bad backs, he attributes this to them holding themselves in a certain posture whilst always keeping one point. Consequently he now emphasises focusing on the sacrum which he says amounts to the same thing as keeping one point. He also has exercises where you imagine a ball in the bowl of your pelvis which you roll around, he encourages this in warm ups so that stiff backs do not result after long years of training. It's worth noting that he doesn't link this specific exercise to hand movements the way it might be in tai chi (well if he has I've never seen it done), but it's intriguing nonetheless. Rolling imaginary balls around in your hara is not the only time I've heard him speak about imaginary spheres (I can't bring myself to use the phrase 'big ball of ki' for some reason), I've heard it in other contexts, I'm reasonably sure it's a Daito Ryu influence coming out in his teaching, I don't think he spontaneously created it himself. How these things came to be in his technical repertoire is another issue entirely.

Mike

PS - sorry about the sarcasm earlier in the post, perhaps you see now why I left aikiweb for many years...

Mert Gambito
04-04-2013, 07:50 PM
Thanks for the clarifications, Mike. One thing that I think is clearer now is that you and Koretoshi Maruyama are not sticking with just what the greater portion of the bell curve of Ki Society folks and other Tohei adherants are doing.

Chen-style, taiji. Daito-ryu. Again, my praise for seeking the best of what's in the box / subset by looking at what else is in the set. Yeah, I agree there may be more agreement than not, with room for nuanced debate. We'll all have this reconciled far better in the next decade. Hope you'll check back in again beforehand. ;)

Ecosamurai
04-05-2013, 03:25 AM
Thanks for the clarifications, Mike. One thing that I think is clearer now is that you and Koretoshi Maruyama are not sticking with just what the greater portion of the bell curve of Ki Society folks and other Tohei adherants are doing.

Chen-style, taiji. Daito-ryu. Again, my praise for seeking the best of what's in the box / subset by looking at what else is in the set. Yeah, I agree there may be more agreement than not, with room for nuanced debate. We'll all have this reconciled far better in the next decade. Hope you'll check back in again beforehand. ;)

Not sure I deserve to listed on equal footing with Maruyama Sensei in that statement but... FWIW, this is Maruyama Sensei's designated successor http://www.aikidorepublic.com/aikido-yuishinkai/taiki-okajima

Mert Gambito
04-05-2013, 11:13 AM
Not sure I deserve to listed on equal footing with Maruyama Sensei in that statement but... FWIW, this is Maruyama Sensei's designated successor http://www.aikidorepublic.com/aikido-yuishinkai/taiki-okajima

Kiatsu. As a Hakkoryu student, I find this very interesting. How widely is this studied and practiced among Ki Aikido folks (I don't recall anyone in Hawaii with whom I've trained mentioning it)? The brief demos on YouTube I've watched didn't reference traditional Asian medicine meridians and points, so I'm curious about the underlying theory.

danj
04-05-2013, 04:29 PM
Not sure I deserve to listed on equal footing with Maruyama Sensei in that statement but... FWIW, this is Maruyama Sensei's designated successor http://www.aikidorepublic.com/aikido-yuishinkai/taiki-okajima
Okajima's been doing some funky things that were perplexing 6 yrs ago (when i first saw) and slightly less so now (see everything is Soutai (http://brisbaneaikido.com/2013/04/03/everything-is-soutai/)). With a recent entree to hands on with some IS guys in Sydney, I see his solo exercises (which were and oddity at the time , but did them for some months and found all kinds of stuff contained in them) are almost the same, the tanden ball (and the aiki age, aikisage) stuff is functional work in the abdomen. Its been really neat to see what Maruyama and Okajima are doing through IS coloured glasses, its both an external validation (not that thats needed but nice to see), a diagnostic tool and a fresh viewpoint as well as something to do in its own right.

best,
dan

Ecosamurai
04-05-2013, 04:41 PM
Okajima's been doing some funky things that were perplexing 6 yrs ago (when i first saw) and slightly less so now (see everything is Soutai (http://brisbaneaikido.com/2013/04/03/everything-is-soutai/)). With a recent entree to hands on with some IS guys in Sydney, I see his solo exercises (which were and oddity at the time , but did them for some months and found all kinds of stuff contained in them) are almost the same, the tanden ball (and the aiki age, aikisage) stuff is functional work in the abdomen. Its been really neat to see what Maruyama and Okajima are doing through IS coloured glasses, its both an external validation (not that thats needed but nice to see), a diagnostic tool and a fresh viewpoint as well as something to do in its own right.

best,
dan

I need to get my backside to oz and practise with you at some point Dan. Someone here in the UK (Chris) is talking about visiting in the autumn, if I can go with him I will. Maybe see you then.

Robert Cowham
04-12-2013, 07:54 AM
I first started in Ki Aikido after reading "Ki in Everyday Life" in the mid 80's when in Italy. Didn't practice there for more than 9 months or so, but with a very nice group in Turin (can't remember names any more). Most of my training since then has been Aikikai related - in the Yamaguchi lineage.

I find that "keep weight underside" works well particularly when teaching sword work and how to cut/drop a sword. Also related to the Sayu exercise noted above, and variations such as lifting the arm up while still keeping the shoulder down - same for lifting a sword.