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ian
08-07-2002, 05:44 AM
Hi all, I don't tend to be too regular on Aikiweb now'days, but from the useful info I've had in the past I thought I should show you all this. I got it from a senior instructor, scribbled on a bit of paper (it was hard to read, 2 words may be wrong - also I don't think they'll be any copyright slapped on it),
Ian
Anyway;

===================

INTERVIEW WITH MINORU MOCHIZUKI SENSEI

To tell the truth, I got into trouble with Uyeshiba sensei after my trip to Europe thirty years ago.

When I got back I told him “I went overseas to spread aikido and had shiai matches with many different people who were there. From that experience I realised that with only the techniques of aikido it was very difficult to win. In those cases I instinctively reverted to judo or kendo techniques and was able to come out on top of the situation. No matter how I thought about it I couldn’t avoid the conclusion that the techniques of Daito Ryu Jujitsu were not enough to decide the match.

Wrestling and others with that sort of experience are no put off by being just thrown down and rolling away, they get right back up and move in for some grappling, and the French style of boxing is far above the hand and foot techniques of karate. I’m sure that aikido will become more and more international and worldwide in the future, but if it does, its technical range will have to expand to be able to overcome any sort of enemy fully.

Having said all this, sensei said to me, “all you talk about is winning and losing!”

I responded “But one must be strong and win, and now that aikido is being spread throughout the world, I think that it is necessary for it to be theoretically and technically able to defeat any challenge.”

“Your whole thinking is mistaken. Of course it is wrong to be weak but that is not the whole story. Don’t you realise that it is no longer the age where we can even talk about whether we are winning or losing? It is the age of ‘love’ now, are you unable to see that?” This he told me and with those eyes of his!

AikiAlf
08-07-2002, 11:10 AM
this is really a problem/issue for me. I started in aikido attracted to its philosophy. I see more concern about the jutsu and its "effectiveness". How many discussions are about the "superiority" of other MA over aikido or vice versa?

Is Aikido true budo because true budo is protection and love? Is always winning not fighting? OR is aikido true Budo because aikido-ka can kick the butts of anyone anywhere (please don't bother answering this).

why does it bother Aikidoka to think about losing? (againt Muay Thai fighters on top of everything?

Erik
08-07-2002, 11:52 AM
Something I've never understood. Why is it always one or the other? How come we can't have a fully effective martial art and maintain the spiritual aspects of the art? I've never thought the two were mutually exclusive.

If Ueshiba had gotten has ass whupped more often than not we'd never have heard of Aikido. It was his effectiveness which allowed him to develop his art. There's really no way around it. On the other hand, I believe it was because he seemingly offered something more than just a MA which allowed Aikido to grow like it has.

Seems to me like both fit together just fine.

Bruce Baker
08-07-2002, 12:34 PM
If you grow up in a world of hatred and violence, but you have a chance to affect a change by strength or by friendship (love), which one is the stronger more lasting over time?

Certainly conquering foes or adversarys with strength is quite the manly beastial instinct that appears to be held in high regard, but there will always be those who are physically superior and will want to take the material wealth that you have gained from strength.

The application of love for your religious god that gives you the spiritual strength, verses the western version of carrying love and friendship to all living creatures is an enigma of collossal perportions because we have not yet found the peace of our being alligned with love of our god.

I have nothing against any person trying to find the peace of their own personal religion, or being helped in their struggle to find a way to polish the stone of their own inner peace, but please, please, don't ever force me to be like you, pray like you, or believe what you believe.

It is the end effect of us both finding the inner peace of love of our being from practicing our religion that lets us be friends and accepts each separate human being for what they are .... individuals.

Once you have become alligned with the peace of your god, and me with mine, the winning and losing aspect becomes unimportant for the fueling of one's ego to be the greatest fighter of all time.

We find that Aikido practice is the joy of having skills, using the inner energy not the physical strength of muscular tension, and that it does become a journey to entertain the spiritual aspects of our inner being along with maintaining a healthy physical body.

Aikido is more than just winning or losing, it is a building block of living, learning, and a guide to find the best qualities in ourselves and others.

So, yeah, Aikido is a tenent of love, as much as it is a martial art, as much as it not any of these things.

If you truly practice, question, seek answers to the underlying principles of each technique, but your heart tells you not to use the root applications of to injure or kill, you have begun to see the roots of what O'Sensei calls LOVE.

It is not the mushy sexual Love, but the love of a parent, or grandparent that would give their life for their children or grandchildren, yet there is the guidance to introduce lessons for life, and direct them in the matter of attaining spiritual balance to have a happy productive life.

I know this is rather long, but like anything worthwhile, as in practicing Aikido, even if you do other martial arts, the long term affects of Aikido are more beneficial.

Physical strength, the numbers of your victorys fade with time as others overcome your ego, your marks of accomplishments.

Love, on the other hand, seems to get stronger the more it is exhibited.

So when you practice for the love of Aikido, it is not because you love your training partner, it is because you love to practice Aikido.

The mistake of westerners who reach further than the message was intended to go, are succumbing to emotions. Let them go.

Be at Aikido because you love Aikido.

AikiAlf
08-07-2002, 01:49 PM
Hi Erik.

Can you have both? To prove that Aikido is an entirely effective MA you would have to spend all your time demonstrating its effectiveness over the other MA. How do you go about doing that?

And that's totally ignoring the point that the practicioner, not the Martial Art, is who fights/fails etc.

It's only been a few decades since O Sensei died and by now he's "O'Sensei" and there's enough people willing to state that the stories are exaggerated, or not true at all, that Aikido is a circular excuse for a martial art, that "Paddy O'sensei" was really lucky because he never met his Mua-haha-y Thai nemesis or something else. Or that DR, YR, AJJ, BJJ , WJJ is the real thing and not Aikido, etc.

right now I'm confused. The more I read the more I am confused about the purpose of Aikido

I think too much I guess.

Rolf Granlund
08-07-2002, 02:17 PM
Does Aikido have to be martially effective to be of value? Have people changed as a result of their training?

Yes, I believe that an art can be spiritual and effective. But that really doesn't speak to the purpose of Aikido. Although coming from a beginner, I would say that the purpose of Aikido is what you bring to it. Ask yourself why you started. Now ask yourself if that reasoning still holds true.

Like most things in this world, the meaning of something is (and should be)left up to the individual. But a good starting point would be to read what Ueshiba thought the purpose was and then go from there.

ian
08-08-2002, 07:35 AM
Yep, I'd go with these views. I didn't give any bias at the start since it was just a presentation of information. I've used aikido several times and it was far more useful than any other martial art I could have used because it did not injure the other person. Competition is about fighting an opponent, whereas in real situations there is no real 'opponent', and making one of somebody else makes you less likely to be open to non-violent methods.

For me aikido not only has physical use, but it relaxes me during a potential conflict so that the chance of non-aggessive conflict resolution is that much higher.

Ian

SeiserL
08-08-2002, 09:47 AM
IMHO, the question may best be served by asking what is your personal purpose for training in Aikido? Your purpose will dictate your training more than the purpose O'Sensei had or anyone else.

Until again,

Lynn

Kenn
08-08-2002, 09:47 AM
Once you have become alligned with the peace of your god, and me with mine, the winning and losing aspect becomes unimportant for the fueling of one's ego to be the greatest fighter of all time.
Bruce, you assume much with this statement...the assumption of the existence of a God. The assumption that there aren't multiple Gods...and the assumption that everyone has a personal "God"

Kenn
08-08-2002, 09:49 AM
right now I'm confused. The more I read the more I am confused about the purpose of Aikido

I think too much I guess.
Yes, you think too much, in this case. The purpose of Aikido, for YOU is totally subjective. What do YOU want that purpose to be. Aikido is many things to many people. Decide what YOU want to get out of it...and then just train train train.

Kenn

Kenn
08-08-2002, 09:51 AM
Lynn, wondering if you are seeing this,...testing testing

akiy
08-08-2002, 10:28 AM
It seems to me, at least, that the "purpose" of aikido can be as varied as the "purpose" of electricity. It depends on how a person uses it...

-- Jun

Genex
08-08-2002, 10:38 AM
I would say that the purpose of aikido is up to the individual, my purpose of doing aikido is for self defence and also personal confidence knowing that if a situation ever arose where i would have to protect, myself or my wife and unborn child i would be able too.

other then that its good because i get out of the house a couple of times a week after work instead of sitting on my a$$ and watching tv and i'm learning so i'm happy

pete

erikmenzel
08-08-2002, 10:59 AM
It seems to me, at least, that the "purpose" of aikido can be as varied as the "purpose" of electricity.
Hmmm, this made my (twisted) mind come up with a new form of punishment:

the aiki-chair

:freaky:

mike lee
08-08-2002, 11:13 AM
I think the purpose of aikido in America is to get a high rank as quickly as possible, along with a bunch of other unrelated degrees, certificates, acreditations, etc. Then, try to get lots of students and dojos under your control and make them all take lots of tests, pay lots of testing fees, have them manage your school for you, and make them go to costly seminars where you can peddle gi, weapons, books, video tapes and autographed photos of yourself. Continue until you are rich and famous. Then, you win!

P.S. And here's an extra money-making tip for those who are really interested in winning the game. Make students pay extra fees for different classes, such as the "easy-going aikido class," the "hardcore macho aikido class," weapons class, ki-training class, history of aikido class, etc. And if they don't take all those classes, don't promote them!

Erik
08-08-2002, 12:07 PM
Hi Alfonso!

I just wanted to point out something in your comment. Notice how the thought process became absolute? That's not how I see effective. To me, when I compare our art/my skills to say Muay Thai I look at things to see where I may be weak and what sort of things I could expect and should be better prepared to deal with. In the case of Muay Thai, it's short strikes, low kicks and physical conditioning, for example. If by comparing our art to another art I can better understand our weaknesses and improve them, I think it's a good thing. I really don't think our art can only be expressed through the official technical curriculum and practice methodology.

The problem with these discussions, is that it's all or nothing. You are either a bad ass or a loving harmonious entity of peace. The people I've known and respected in this art always had some degree of both and subsequently some degree of balance.

Erik
08-08-2002, 12:14 PM
I think the purpose of aikido in America is to get a high rank as quickly as possible, along with a bunch of other unrelated degrees, certificates, acreditations, etc. Then, try to get lots of students and dojos under your control and make them all take lots of tests, pay lots of testing fees, have them manage your school for you, and make them go to costly seminars where you can peddle gi, weapons, books, video tapes and autographed photos of yourself. Continue until you are rich and famous. Then, you win!

P.S. And here's an extra money-making tip for those who are really interested in winning the game. Make students pay extra fees for different classes, such as the "easy-going aikido class," the "hardcore macho aikido class," weapons class, ki-training class, history of aikido class, etc. And if they don't take all those classes, don't promote them!
Mike, I'm curious if you could provide me some examples. Virtually every full-time Aikidoist I've known probably struggles to pay their bills. Admittedly, I don't know what someone like Tohei, Yamada or Saotome brings in but the vast majority I know are neither rich nor famous. Seagal is rich and famous but I don't think he did it this way. Other than him, I know of one person who runs a very materially structured enterprise and I can think of a few who do ok on the self-help seminar type circuit but most of them are relatively unknown all things considered.

AikiAlf
08-08-2002, 01:36 PM
Notice how the thought process became absolute? That's not how I see effective

uhmm , could you elaborate a bit about that?

I apologize for venting on you guys. I appreciate the different perspectives offered here.

still sorting things out..

Erik
08-08-2002, 04:04 PM
uhmm , could you elaborate a bit about that?
I'll try. Typically, when we have this sort of conversation it's an all or nothing thing. Either Aikido beats Muay Thai 100% of the time or it's pig poop! Most processes, I can't think of any off the top of my head, are not 100%. For instance, we have an effective transportation system, yet, even with that effective transportation system 40,000 people will die this year because of it. Effective sports teams win 60% of the time. Could we be more effective? Should we try? Possibly.

Of course, I'm only talking about effective in a martial sense in this case.

To me, I've always unclear as to why we can't compare ourselves to other arts. They have things to teach us and we can learn from them and adapt to them. I've never thought, nor believed, that Aikido was so narrow an art that it could only be ikkyo, nikyo or whatever.

Did that help?

AikiAlf
08-08-2002, 05:54 PM
Did that help?

yeah. I think I see what you mean. What gets my goat about those conversations is precisely that the situation is proposed as if Aikido were only Ikkyo - nikkyo.

Can you "do" aikido against elbows knees and close attacks? I think you sure can. Would it look like kihon ? Not as I understand kihon. Surely people who practice more than I can come up with names for techniques in that situation.

Can a mugger beat me? - maybe

Can a mugger beat O Sensei -???? what sort of mind worries about this.

OK. I won't bore you guys with this anymore.

I'll stay with finding my own purpose in doing Aikido.

thanks

mike lee
08-10-2002, 04:35 AM
One has to read a little bit between the lines here to truely understand O'Sensei's position. He lived through the dropping of two nuclear bombs on his homeland. Following a long and bloody war, the total destruction in one instant of Nagasaki and Hiroshima had a huge impact on the minds of the Japanese people.

It was also a historic event -- one that showed the futility of war, especially one waged with weapons of mass destruction.

O'Sensei surely realized that the entire concept of fighting, right down to the martial arts level, had to be re-evaluated.

The genius of O'Sensei was that he developed an art that could help change man's thinking about their relations with one another.

This is why O'Sensei got so upset when people dragged mere matters of martial effectiveness into the discussion.

The ultimate purpose of aikido is not to be able to become the world's ultimate fighting machine -- although that could be one possibilty. The purpose is to bring peace to men, and to teach them about the futility of fighting. :do:

akiy
08-10-2002, 09:28 AM
Following a long and bloody war, the total destruction in one instant of Nagasaki and Hiroshima had a huge impact on the minds of the Japanese people.

It was also a historic event -- one that showed the futility of war, especially one waged with weapons of mass destruction.

O'Sensei surely realized that the entire concept of fighting, right down to the martial arts level, had to be re-evaluated.
If I remember correctly, his first "vision" of being bathed in a golden light after the unarmed "duel" with a swordsman happened in 1925. I think this was when he came up with the thought of budo encompassing the notion of protecting and not harming the attacker.

-- Jun

mike lee
08-10-2002, 10:46 AM
Based on conversations with several Japanese shihans, the war served as a very major reinforcer of that vision.

tedehara
08-10-2002, 10:51 AM
The purpose of aikido is found in the name itself. Ai :ai: means union or harmony, Ki :ki: means the universal spirit or life force and Do :do: means path or way. A standard translation would be The Way to Union with the Universal Life Force.

In the Ki Society, this concept is expressed in the motto:
Ki Society Motto:

Let us have a universal spirit that loves and protects all creation and helps all things grow and develop. To unify mind and body and become one with the universe is the ultimate purpose of my study.
If you're doing anything else than Aikido, then you're just wading in the shallow end of the pool, thinking you're learning how to swim.

I know this is a harsh sounding judgement, but it's the one that I've developed for myself.

akiy
08-10-2002, 11:12 AM
Based on conversations with several Japanese shihans, the war served as a very major reinforcer of that vision.
Oh, I'm sure it did. I was just clarifying that World War II and the dropping of the atomic bombs were not what originally brought on the founder's aikido philosophy of "loving protection."

As far as breaking apart the term "aikido" into its three characters, I've also heard that the term "aiki" as a term in and of itself far before the founder was even born. Some of the "original" definitions of the term that I have seen include things like "total dominance" and have no connection to things like "universal life force."

-- Jun

mike lee
08-10-2002, 11:43 AM
Just like in the English language, Chinese characters can have various definitions based on the context. And definitions can also change over time.

Often, in poetic literature, even many native Chinese or Japanese cannot understand the meaning of certain characters. Therefore, an insistance on a precise meaning for certain characters in Chinese or Japanese, let alone English translations, can sometimes prove futile.

Take :ki: for example. Many Chinese and Japanese can't explain it very well in their own language, let alone in English. But they all seem to know exactly what it is.

Kevin Leavitt
08-11-2002, 12:05 AM
The purpose of Aikido is not to learn how to fight. In these modern times of sophisticated weaponry etc, Budo or martial arts is really irrelevant in the big scheme of things.

I have studied the art of war as a professional soldier for about 20 years now. The United States in particular has mastered in many ways the art of war. We as a nation and as people know how to fight we do it everyday. Aikido offers very little in learning true, effective modern day fighting skills. So why study it?

For the mugging that may happen once in your life time? To defend yourself in a bar fight? you are better off trying to avoid those situations than studying for a life time of all the "what if" senarios you can dream up!

What we need to do, is to learn the art of peace.

Aikido is a method for teaching us how to channel our emotions, and agressions in a way to find new ways to deal with war/conflict.

Learning to cultivate your feelings, emotions and learning to resolve conflict at the lowest possible level is what this is all about.

The military is now starting to study these principles. We are no fighting low intensity conflict (LIC) and operations other than war that requires us to become interdependent on others and resolve conflict peacefully.

This is why people like Dr. Richard Heckler, an aikido practioner, are becoming more and more in high demand in the military.

If you are coming to aikido for any other purpose, I think you will be sorely disappointed in the long run!

javnitro
08-11-2002, 03:12 AM
The military is now starting to study these principles. We are no fighting low intensity conflict (LIC) and operations other than war that requires us to become interdependent on others and resolve conflict peacefully.
MMMMMM.... US? Peaceful? I know that the military has invaded a lot of countries since it became a Nation.

Maybe you should go to www.zmag.org and read a little bit of what the people that write there have to say.

Kevin Leavitt
08-11-2002, 08:16 AM
I never said the U.S. was peaceful. Only that the military is trying to incorporate resolving conflict at the lowest level and adopt the principles typically associated with aikido.

We as a country still have a long way to get there.

As aikidoka, we have a means of helping people realize the potential for alternate solutions. Albiet it is slow doing it one person at a time!

DaveO
08-11-2002, 08:24 AM
Good response, Kevin.
As aikidoka, we have a means of helping people realize the potential for alternate solutions. Albiet it is slow doing it one person at a time!
Very true, but changing the landscape begins with a single flower, as Mr. Spock said. ;)

Dave