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Leonaiki
11-17-2017, 02:26 AM
Hi all,

I'm beginning the translation of a (very) long series of articles devoted to Saito sensei's method:

Beyond the method (http://www.aikidotakemusu.org/en/rubriques/208)

The series is 75 posts long (and counting...) so bear with me, it will be a long ride.

In that series, Philippe Voarino explains Saito sensei's methodological principles and how to go beyond the method, hence the name.
Let's not take the map for the territory ;)

Since I'm not the author of the articles I can only vaguely answer in this forum to any of your comment or questions. Philippe Voarino is always happy to answer there.

Good reading.
Léon

P.S 1

(I welcome any suggestion regarding the translation, I translated as close as possible to the original text, hence some clumsiness here and there).

P.S 2
I strongly recommend reading the series devoted to Kajos. (http://www.aikidotakemusu.org/en/rubriques/163) I can only speak for myself but that series changed everything in my practice/understanding. (Yeah, don't laugh, back to zero, very funny...:D )

Leonaiki
02-17-2018, 03:20 PM
I will resume the translations soon... :D

But in the meantime...
http://www.aikidotakemusu.org/en/articles/annoying-ghost

About an annoying ghost...

Enjoy

Demetrio Cereijo
02-18-2018, 07:38 AM
I will resume the translations soon... :D

But in the meantime...
http://www.aikidotakemusu.org/en/articles/annoying-ghost

About an annoying ghost...

Enjoy

There is nothing new under the sun.

Carl Thompson
02-20-2018, 07:21 AM
I will resume the translations soon... :D

But in the meantime...
http://www.aikidotakemusu.org/en/articles/annoying-ghost

About an annoying ghost...

Enjoy

Dear Leon,

I think the annoying ghost is not actually Saito Sensei, but a meme propagated by people not on the scene, that doesn't really represent what is actually happening in the erstwhile town of Iwama.

Alain didn't want to leave Iwama without paying a sentimental visit to O sensei's old dojo where he was uchi deshi in the late eighties. He was welcomed by three uchi deshi and naturally introduced himself: "Hello, I am Alain Grason, former uchi deshi of Morihiro Saito". These few words seemed to strike these three unfortunate fellows like thunder. "Sshhh ! Don't say that name here… it is frowned upon" answered one with a strong Canadian accent.

As someone who has been training in the old dojo since 2006, I thought I should just say, "Morihiro Saito Sensei! Morihiro Saito Sensei! Morihiro Saito Sensei!"

Actually a friend shared this article among a few of us on Facebook this weekend, and I can reassure you that we all told Voarino Sensei that Alain's account is not the case. I mean, logically, can you imagine anyone you know who would want to go to all the trouble to train as an uchi deshi in Iwama, who would happily agree to not even mention Saito Sensei? It's like going to a brewery and not being allowed to even mention (let alone drink) beer. A normal person, - even one trying aikido for the first time, who has no idea who Saito Sensei is, - would balk at the idea of having to do this kind of thing, and get right out of there, right? Okay, a minority of people are exceptionally gullible (alright, maybe more, give recent political events), but given the large numbers of foreigners coming and going, that's quite a feat of regular, repeated indoctrination, don't you think?

Never mind that we haven't had a Canadian uchi deshi in years (come and look at the records), that there are articles by the Iwama teachers clearly giving credit to Saito Sensei (some of which I have translated), TV documentaries in which you can see uchi deshi showing Saito's books as the reason they came (the late Stanley Pranin uploaded my English-subtitled, accidentally-copyright-infringing copy to Aikido Journal) and so on.

We're all human and make mistakes and I think Alain may have inadvertently misinformed Voarino Sensei in this instance.

Regards

Carl

Leonaiki
02-20-2018, 01:43 PM
Dear Carl,

I'm only the translator here, no more :)

I cautiously stay out of these arguments I don' care much about. I work, I practice, I visit non Aikido dojos (weirdly) to see what Aikido can say in the conversation - quite a lot :)

All I can say is that I will be grateful till the end towards Philippe who showed me an underlying structure I had no clue about... Hence I translate as a form of thanking.

The rest of "Beyond the method" will follow soon, stay tuned.

Best
L

Carl Thompson
02-21-2018, 04:23 AM
Dear Carl,

I'm only the translator here, no more :)

I cautiously stay out of these arguments I don' care much about. I work, I practice, I visit non Aikido dojos (weirdly) to see what Aikido can say in the conversation - quite a lot :)

All I can say is that I will be grateful till the end towards Philippe who showed me an underlying structure I had no clue about... Hence I translate as a form of thanking.

The rest of "Beyond the method" will follow soon, stay tuned.

Best
L

Dear Leon,

Of course, I have no intention to shoot the messenger, or anyone else for that matter. I apologise if it came across that way. Since you put the message out here, it is open to discussion, so I added my view and what information I have.

I am grateful for your translations. I've enjoyed reading some of them and I'm interested in what Voarino Sensei has to say.

Regards

Carl

Leonaiki
02-24-2018, 10:46 AM
Hi all,

Number 12:
http://www.aikidotakemusu.org/en/articles/beyond-method12

(The auto correct provides with hilarious options: sorry, I couldn't keep "duke" for "uke", I wonder how Aikido would feel like with the Duke :)

PS. No worry Carl, I believe in benevolence and assume the best first - while scanning ;)

Leonaiki
03-11-2018, 11:26 AM
Hi all,

Articles 13-17 on lin (http://www.aikidotakemusu.org/en)e, including the Ki musubi no tachi in rotation.:)

Best
L

Peter Goldsbury
03-11-2018, 07:23 PM
I think the origins of the present problem, if we need to call it such, lies in the decision of Morihei Ueshiba to move to Iwama during World War II, on land purchased as early as 1935. But he left Kisshomaru in charge, with instructions to maintain the Tokyo Dojo, which he did. M Ueshiba also had no problem with being the Doshu of aikido, making use of the iemoto family system common in traditional arts.

So, immediately after the war, you had two aikido centres and not one, the present iemoto being at one, and the future iemoto being at the other (also given the common Japanese tendency for organizations to to have a hombu, tied to one definite location).

I feel fortunate in not being tied to this system. I began aikido in the UK, went to the US, and eventually decided to move to Hiroshima, miles away from either hombu. I trained at the Tokyo Hombu occasionally, but frankly it was too far away and I had a perfectly good teacher here, with his classes supplemented by seminars from Tada, Yamaguchi and Arikawa. Iwama was a very interesting place, but it was also very hard to get to and it made no sense just to go for one training session: you needed weeks or months. In fact, I did not set foot in Iwama until recently, when I accompanied Ethan W from Denmark, to visit two shhans: Isoyama and Inagaki.

But, Saito Sensei very happily wrote books, illustrated and supplemented by videos, and we studied these books very carefully in the UK. Of course, you can argue endlessly about studying from books, but the number of aikido teachers who have not written books is quite few and Morihei Ueshiba himself started the practice.

The Aikikai are actually somewhat sensitive about the matter of hombus tied to one place and very soon after Saito Sensei's death, they renamed the Iwama dojo as a shibu, which is the counterpart of a hombu, and put in charge a future iemoto. In some respects it was a political move, indicative of the Aikikai's transformation into a system, as much as a collection of individuals. I have seen the same sensitivity exhibited with the IAF, for my efforts to make the IAF a similar legal foundation in Japanese law caused a major panic and one head had to roll (mine).

But my dojo remains and I am free to practice traditions maintained at both hombus.

Best wishes,

Leonaiki
03-13-2018, 05:56 AM
But my dojo remains and I am free to practice traditions maintained at both hombus.

Best wishes,

As always Professor, a balanced and informed answer, never change please :)

Leon