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aiki-jujutsuka
03-10-2013, 09:22 AM
Moriteru Ueshiba is the current Doshu of the Aikikai Hombu in Japan. Christian Tissier is also a member of Aikikai Aikido. However their demonstration of the waza is very different to my mind, as I think this video shows https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTsfG0eNbuE .

To my mind Tissier executes the waza in a more martial fashion, whereas Moriteru Ueshiba's waza is much smoother and "soft". Is this just a case of individual expression of the waza or does Moriteru demonstrate Aikikai Aikido more in line with his grandfather's - O Sensei's - conceptualization of Aikido?

I like the fluidity of Moriteru Ueshiba's Aikido, it's very circular and in some respects mesmerizing. But I am inspired more by Tissier's Aikido because I feel it retains the more applicable, martial quality of the art and therefore looks "stronger".

Technically who is "better" or "closer" to O'Sensei's vision of Aikido?

Kevin Leavitt
03-10-2013, 09:29 AM
I think O Sensei's vision in this sense was that Aikido and his message would spread throughout the world. In this case, the fact that two high level people do things different are no better or worse, or closer or further from the vision.

graham christian
03-10-2013, 09:44 AM
Yes indeed, I agree with Kevin. Many 'styles' or expressions in Aikido and all usually believe they are the best representation.

My advice would be to forget that question and stick with a better one ie: "which would suit you best?" or "which are you more drawn to?"

Peace. G.

aiki-jujutsuka
03-10-2013, 10:09 AM
the only reason I compared them was that they are two high level Aikikai shihan that are affiliated to the same Aikido organisation. It just interested me that they had very different styles. As Doshu do you think Moriteru's gracefulness is something to aspire to? It seems to me that his uke needs to be far more compliant in order for his style to appear to personify the principle of non-resistance; whereas Tissier's looks more dynamic; still fluid but more powerful. I would imagine if uke did not comply with Tissier he would still be able to execute the technique effectively. Or is this just my untrained observations?

graham christian
03-10-2013, 11:04 AM
Is the wind more powerful than the sea? Does the house picked up by the tornado have more compliance than the house burnt by the fire?

I think some sprinters look very graceful and some look very dynamic and powerful yet on closer inspection both are very powerful and graceful.

Peace.G.

aiki-jujutsuka
03-10-2013, 11:21 AM
Is the wind more powerful than the sea? Does the house picked up by the tornado have more compliance than the house burnt by the fire?

I think some sprinters look very graceful and some look very dynamic and powerful yet on closer inspection both are very powerful and graceful.

Peace.G.

I am assuming you're using the metaphor of wind for Moriteru and sea for Tissier (which I really like btw). Forgive me for thinking less poetically but the way I see both is Moriteru seems to be able to blend effortlessly with his uke; his uke almost becoming an extension of himself in a way. There is a beautiful harmonization between them. With Tissier, I can see better where he is taking uke's posture, breaking his balance before executing the technique as well as demonstrating where atemi fits into Aikido, two things as a practitioner of Aiki-Jujutsu I can relate to, as the two principles are very important to good AJJ.

Mert Gambito
03-10-2013, 11:44 AM
From separate Aikido Journal interviews:

[My father, Kisshomaru Ueshiba,] always did make a point to give me certain pieces of advice while I was out on the mat, for example, to always perform my techniques cleanly and carefully, to keep my hips down, and to make my movements large.

The essence of Budo is the absence of openings, waki ga nai, which means never leaving an opening, either through our actions or our words. . . . [W]hat interests me most is being able to practice with people whose codes are different from mine and to make it work nonetheless! That is precisely why I like to practice with people I don't know, beginners, tall people, big people, karateka, judoka and so on.

aiki-jujutsuka
03-10-2013, 11:59 AM
Thank you for these quotes, they are very insightful and explain a lot about their two individual styles - Moriteru certainly has a very clean technique and you can tell Tissier strives to embody the true essence of Budo through his Aikido.

graham christian
03-10-2013, 12:03 PM
I am assuming you're using the metaphor of wind for Moriteru and sea for Tissier (which I really like btw). Forgive me for thinking less poetically but the way I see both is Moriteru seems to be able to blend effortlessly with his uke; his uke almost becoming an extension of himself in a way. There is a beautiful harmonization between them. With Tissier, I can see better where he is taking uke's posture, breaking his balance before executing the technique as well as demonstrating where atemi fits into Aikido, two things as a practitioner of Aiki-Jujutsu I can relate to, as the two principles are very important to good AJJ.

Indeed. I am also veering away from comparing in terms of 'better than' or 'more powerful than' as I feel that leads to too much conjecture.

Now you compare from more of a technical viewpoint with your added experience I would say each can do what the other is doing. Each 'style' can be as effective as each other. Can being the operative word.

So all comes back down to which you personally want to learn and therefor which places emphasize the the specifics you are looking for in their teaching.

It may equal in the end that you get peoples views as you are doing and then part two you may have to visit a few different dojo's and teachers before you can fully decide which is for you.

Peace.G.

Carsten Möllering
03-10-2013, 12:15 PM
Big grin:
I am member of the German Aikido Federation with Endo Seishiro and Christian Tissier as shihan.

From members of other lines of aikikai here in Germany I am used to hear that the aikidō of Christian Tissier depends completely on his uke being compliant ...
That his aikidō is too soft and too "big" for being martially effective and only works as a way to fondle uke down to the floor.
Christian Tissier himself allways emphasizes, that the second dōshu was a most important teacher to him.

For preparing my classes aswell as for preparing my nidan examination I used the book "The Aikido Master Course" of Ueshiba Moriteru a lot as technical reference. So there is no real difference of the forms both teach.
(Btw. where you looking for technicalc DVDs? I would also recommend the books of the current dōshu.)

I think:
Both clearly provide a different "image". It looks different: According to their personality, biography, background (in swordwork e.g.).
But this is just the personalization of the underlying identical technical theme.

So I think: Yes it is just about the observation and the image that arises in the observer. (And not only the untrained.)

Cliff Judge
03-10-2013, 01:12 PM
Just going by these two clips, it looks to me that Tissier makes much more obvious kuzushi, and he tends to use the moment of unbalance to either enter deep and under his uke, or to create big up-and-down wave with his body. The end result is that there is more obvious energy being transferred into uke as he throws.

The Doshu, on the other hand - and this is something I have noticed whenever I watch his demonstrations - keeps a fairly open ma'ai with his uke, and his movements tend to be horizontally circular. Not as much up and down, and not as much obvious energy being transferred into uke during the technique.

In my very humble opinion, looking at just these two videos, Ueshiba's technique is a lot more martial than Tissier's; Tissier seems to be the showman here. Imagine if the ukes had hidden knives. Ueshiba is very centered, his uke's are very much extended past their centers; if he were to fail to take his uke's balance perfectly, he would have a bit of room to flow into something else. It looks to me that what Tissier is doing, if he were to screw it up, he would be in a pretty bad position.

aiki-jujutsuka
03-10-2013, 01:34 PM
Big grin:
I am member of the German Aikido Federation with Endo Seishiro and Christian Tissier as shihan.

From members of other lines of aikikai here in Germany I am used to hear that the aikidō of Christian Tissier depends completely on his uke being compliant ...
That his aikidō is too soft and too "big" for being martially effective and only works as a way to fondle uke down to the floor.


Interesting. Can you explain more. Taking Iriminage for example, the clips I've seen on youtube of Tissier performing this technique he always destroys uke's balance before throwing them, generating a lot of velocity. This to me does not appear "soft", although the movement is much bigger than techniques in AJJ.



In my very humble opinion, looking at just these two videos, Ueshiba's technique is a lot more martial than Tissier's; Tissier seems to be the showman here. Imagine if the ukes had hidden knives. Ueshiba is very centered, his uke's are very much extended past their centers; if he were to fail to take his uke's balance perfectly, he would have a bit of room to flow into something else. It looks to me that what Tissier is doing, if he were to screw it up, he would be in a pretty bad position.


I understand your point ma'ai is an important martial principle, but how Tissier would react to a knife attack I am sure would be different to the empty handed attack as demonstrated here. Although his techniques appear more "showmanship" they also generate more force, meaning after the technique is executed he has more time to prepare for the next attack, whereas Moriteru's techniques are so flowing that uke is protected more and therefore back on balance much quicker. Maybe I need to understand martial principles better but that is how I see it.

Cliff Judge
03-10-2013, 02:46 PM
but how Tissier would react to a knife attack I am sure would be different to the empty handed attack as demonstrated here.

I do not believe Ueshiba would have to react differently to a knife attack than he does in this video. :)

That's why I think his is the more martial demonstration.

aiki-jujutsuka
03-10-2013, 03:22 PM
I do not believe Ueshiba would have to react differently to a knife attack than he does in this video. :)

That's why I think his is the more martial demonstration.

This made me curious so I decided I wanted to compare and thankfully youtube provided me with the evidence!

Ueshiba performing tanto dori kote gaeshi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fad-uQ5kIzk

Ueshiba performing kote gaeshi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVmOI4AY6d8

From what I can see his distance from uke does not alter greatly between attacks; however fascinatingly he brings uke's hand back further towards uke's body in the tanto version which would force uke to move his head to avoid being cut with his own knife thus taking his posture both through the wrist lock and knife.

But does this prove greater martial effectiveness? For one uke telegraphs the attack very obviously and doesn't conceal the weapon so Ueshiba can more easily judge the distance.

I couldn't find any videos on youtube of Tissier performing tanto dori so I can't compare his techniques.

Robert Cowham
03-10-2013, 03:26 PM
In my view aikido is a very "broad church" - and I personally like top level practitioners to be different - to give us something different to choose from - and indeed to aspire to. I am personally not so keen on senior students of teachers being carbon copies of their teachers. I want to see them express principles, but according to their own characters, bodies, shapes and sizes.

Have you practiced with both of these teachers? If not, I would suggest you reserve some judgement until you have done so.

Investigate - let us know your further conculsions.

aiki-jujutsuka
03-10-2013, 03:54 PM
Have you practiced with both of these teachers? If not, I would suggest you reserve some judgement until you have done so.



I am not judging them as far as critising them, I am making observations about them and forming opinions. Both men are vastly more experienced than I am and are superior martial artists. I am just interested in comparing and contrasting their techniques and understanding why they are different. :)

graham christian
03-10-2013, 04:42 PM
I am not judging them as far as critising them, I am making observations about them and forming opinions. Both men are vastly more experienced than I am and are superior martial artists. I am just interested in comparing and contrasting their techniques and understanding why they are different. :)

Effectiveness. As they are both very experienced and know they are expressing 'martial' then perhaps the basis of your comparison needs a little tweaking.

Assuming they are both equally effective martially then you would be left with a different question.

Basically...'Why are they both equally effective martially?'

Peace.G.

aiki-jujutsuka
03-10-2013, 04:59 PM
Basically...'Why are they both equally effective martially?'

Peace.G.

What would your answer be?

graham christian
03-10-2013, 05:07 PM
What would your answer be?

Very simply, the principle(s) being used. This is the difference between that which you watch when trying to work out what the differences are. The principles being used and if indeed the very same principles are being used in the two videos you choose then how they are being used would then be the difference.

Peace.G.

Cliff Judge
03-10-2013, 05:07 PM
But does this prove greater martial effectiveness? For one uke telegraphs the attack very obviously and doesn't conceal the weapon so Ueshiba can more easily judge the distance.

It seems to me that if he applies technique similarly, regardless of whether his uke is armed with a knife or not, that his technique is going to be pretty effective whether or not the uke is armed with a knife. ;)

aiki-jujutsuka
03-10-2013, 05:14 PM
Very simply, the principle(s) being used. This is the difference between that which you watch when trying to work out what the differences are. The principles being used and if indeed the very same principles are being used in the two videos you choose then how they are being used would then be the difference.

Peace.G.

Are we speaking of the principles of ma'ai and kuzushi as mentioned earlier or different principles? Sorry Graham I'm not always on your wave length, I appreciate your patience with me. :)

graham christian
03-10-2013, 05:40 PM
Are we speaking of the principles of ma'ai and kuzushi as mentioned earlier or different principles? Sorry Graham I'm not always on your wave length, I appreciate your patience with me. :)

They are but two principles. There are many. Let's say I were to use one other than those two as an example. The principle of the circle. Straight away you could view two clips from that one view and examine which person was employing that principle more. Thus nothing to do with who was better or more effective but aids in the recognition of comparing and contrasting what exactly is being done.

Peace.G.

graham christian
03-10-2013, 05:49 PM
http://youtu.be/5zUut60gfkU

Here's an example of what I mean by looking at something from such a view. What I notice is:

1st, keeping ma-ai. next he is turning tenkan which employs both entering and circle principles, finally and amazingly he is allowing his body to break ie:not keep ma-ai whilst at the same time his head is basically doing a number of irimi's (entering off line behind the punch) all whilst the feet are going backwards to readjust balance. Extraordinary in my opinion.

Peace.G.

aiki-jujutsuka
03-11-2013, 12:07 PM
They are but two principles. There are many. Let's say I were to use one other than those two as an example. The principle of the circle. Straight away you could view two clips from that one view and examine which person was employing that principle more. Thus nothing to do with who was better or more effective but aids in the recognition of comparing and contrasting what exactly is being done.

Peace.G.

Thank you for explaining with reference to the other principles you were alluding to. Taking the example of the circle, how then do Tissier & Moriteru Ueshiba apply this principle differently?

graham christian
03-11-2013, 02:58 PM
Thank you for explaining with reference to the other principles you were alluding to. Taking the example of the circle, how then do Tissier & Moriteru Ueshiba apply this principle differently?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P03tgoBYS9E&feature=share&list=FL_5MQVXkXTfOHvc4lzBqMAQ

This is a short video entitled fujita sensei aihanmi 1.

Once again I would say they probably both apply the principle so it's not a matter of differently it' a matter of seeing when they are.

In the video above Fujita starts by showing the ways he doesn't do it and then to how he does or maybe in his opinion how it should be. To the untrained eye it may seem like his technique or rather the hand part of his technique is in, up and down. The whole motion looks like taking up and taking down.

Now, when I say principle of the circle this includes all parts of a circle in action and thus curves and arcs. At the top of his up is an arc. Thus using the principle of the circle.

You can demonstrate this for yourself if you get someone pushing their hand agaist your hand for example. Two forces pushing against each other. You create a small arc and both your energy and theirs will follow it thus you can return the force to them. Just one example of one use of the circle.

Some may do the same exercise as fujita in that demo but emphasize or put more emphasis on a different principle and so it would look the same yet different or similar but not the same.

Peace.G.

Walter Martindale
03-11-2013, 08:36 PM
In 03 a group of us Canucks went to Aikikai Hombu Dojo with Kawahara sensei as our "tour guide". Day 1 in Tokyo we attended Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba's morning class, and that evening the 15 of us went to dinner with him. We were fortunate that one of the group could act as a translator. Mr. Ueshiba told us that when he teaches he likes to demonstrate the basics. As it was nearly a decade ago I forget what else he said beyond that, but he wanted to make sure that people attending his sessions received consistent instruction.
W

ryback
03-12-2013, 08:06 AM
In the past there have been many threads adressing the issue of the so-called aikido "styles", and i have always said that there is only one aikido.
Now this thread comes to validate my point since it's obvious that teachers who happen to belong in one organization or another have very different "style" among each other.
No matter in what organization one starts learning the art there is a set of basic principles and a set of techniques that he will be taught. One's personal style of applying, executing or performing techniques in demos is mostly a matter of the personal polishing and forging he put himself through, after he had learned the basics and sometimes it reflects parts or sums of some of his teachers, sometimes it doesn't.
And that in my opinion is a healthy thing, we don't want simple copies of the teachers that came before us, or the art will slowly fade.
I have done a research for a certain high ranking master that belongs to the aikikai but his technique was always different, perhaps supperior than the second and third doshu, and i realised that his technique didn't look anything like his teachers'! He had developed a personal "style", sometimes better than some of his instructors' but that doesn't make it another ryu, so he never called it that.
So in my opinion, the same applies between the Doshu and Tissier, and it's not necessarily a matter of better or worse, they are just different approaches...

philipsmith
03-12-2013, 11:39 AM
Reading this thread I am reminded of something Okamura Sensei once said (I paraphrase)

"Up to 3rd Dan be technically correct, 3rd to 6th Dan develop your own style, after 6th Dan do what you like"

Aikido (like any physical sport) follows certain principles but each player/practitioner develops a style according to their personality and physical make-up (Think of Federer vs Nadal, Woods vs McIlroy etc. etc)

In this context better or worse becomes not only irrelevant but meaningless.