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andrew
02-16-2001, 11:25 AM
What's the deal with Nihon Goshin Aikido? In my brief investigation, I have found:
1: One webpage whose history of the style pretended Ueshiba never existed, referring only to some Daito Ryu instructor.(I found another page which mentioned both, but it's still odd that someone would talk about their aikido style and pretend that Ueshiba was not a major formative influence)
2: An extremely odd syllabus, with grading moves named like "pulling to the ground by the shoulders." Or, more oddly, "unbreakable arm" as part of a grading for 6th kyu.
3: The unusual mention on one site that "nobody practices this style in Japan anymore, so far as we know."

Does anyone on the forum do it?

mornmd
02-16-2001, 12:09 PM
Nihon Goshin Aikido is not a direct derivative of Ueshiba - it originates from Daito Ryu Aikijitsu, an art in which Ueshiba trained before he formulated his aikido. Shihan Shodo Morita studied many disciplines, and combined his vast knowledge of various arts to formulate a system incorporating what he though of as the best techniques of all of them. NGA incorporates various strikes/atemi, along with Judo throws, joint locks, and blending. In my early experience, it is extremely effective and enjoyable. Weapons training is done at the advanced level with the iron fan, Jo and other items. The essence of aiki and blending is well represented.

The best Website for this form of Aikido is (in my opinion) that of Sensei Walter Kopitov at - http://www.bestweb.net/~ronin.

Sensei Kopitov and Bowers have a book out on the art of NGA listed now on Aikiweb's main page.

Matthew

Godzilla
02-16-2001, 02:51 PM
Hello all:
I have been studying NGA and have really enjoyed the classes. The Sensei is terrific and very pleasant. Here is his website.
http://www.ngaikido.com/video.html

This is much different than the Taekwondo I studied for 8 years! (We never did any blending or throws.)

Check out the videos and let me know what you think.

Truly,
Jeff

mornmd
02-16-2001, 02:56 PM
It is worth noting that O-Sensei, while being an innovator and genius did not invent Aikido de novo. The Daito Ryu background was adapted and refined into Aikido by O-Sensei. It is thus not surprising that if you follow the linneage of those who trained in Daito Ryu and similar arts, you can find other schools today with arts similar to O-Sensei without mentioning him. A better term for those practicing Daito Ryu derivative Aikido might be Aikijitsu.

M

Aikilove
02-17-2001, 08:55 AM
mornmd! It's interesting to se that O-sensei isn't the founder of aikido! I would be surprised to hear that from anyone studying aikido. I'm not sure if you mean that he is not the founder of Aikijutsu, but he sure is the founder of Aikido, the precursor to Iwama ryu, Yoshinkan, Tomiki and Ki Aikido etc...

Jim23
02-17-2001, 10:54 AM
Now to add to the confusion.

A few links (shows the founder and some students):

http://www.aikidoinc.com/history.htm

------

This one says that he trained with Morihei Ueshiba:

Soke Shodo Morita was a student of Morihei Ueshiba and Yoshida Kotaro who also trained under Sokaku Takeda and some of his senior students in Daito Ryu Aiki Ju-Jitsu.

http://www.aikidoacademy.com/photo.htm

-------
This one:

* Shodo Morita, Nihon Goshin Aikido - Derivative Traditional
* Ueshiba Morihei, 1883-1969, (with Ueshiba Kisshomaru), Aikido - Derivative Modern

http://www.aikidofaq.com/history/genealogy.html

-------

Jim23

mornmd
02-17-2001, 02:38 PM
It is clear that O-Sensei formulated what is commonly referred to as "aikido", however Shodo Morita and others were his contemporaries, who all had training in daito ryu aiki jujutsu and other martial arts. The term "aiki" certainly did not originate with O-sensei. And "do" is the Japaese word for way or the path.

Although I understand the reverence and awe at the accomplishments of O-Sensei, I am perplexed at how Ueshiba-derived Aikidoka can not understand that there are many branches from systems older than Ueshiba's that are still active today. It is absolutely appropriate to use the term aikido or aiki jitsu/jujutsu when describing these arts. Blending and many of the same techniques are common to all of them.

Again, O-Sensei did not formulate his system de novo.

Jim23
02-17-2001, 02:43 PM
Point taken - who am I to know anyway.

Jim23

andrew
02-19-2001, 04:38 AM
mornmd wrote:
. It is absolutely appropriate to use the term aikido or aiki jitsu/jujutsu when describing these arts. Blending and many of the same techniques are common to all of them.

I agree with everything you said except the appropriate usage of the word Aikido. Aikido and Aikijujitsu are terms with significantly different meanings, and one of them sells better than the other, which is probably the real reason it's called an "-do" rather than a "-Jitsu." The term "aikido" is completely associated with Ueshiba and the schools of his students, unlike the ubiquitous "aiki".

Not to say NGA isn't teriffic. (Weeel, I don't know what it's like...) If I knew what "Nihon Goshin" meant I probably wouldn't make an issue of this, perhaps. It doesn't really matter, but it still strikes me as mildly false advertising. At least the Nihon Goshin aikido people who've added seem pleased with it, and that's a result...
andrew

ronin_10562
02-19-2001, 07:52 AM
Nihon means Japanese

Goshin means Self-Defense

You will have to ask Shoto Morita why he named his system Nihon Goshin Aikido.
That is the name that is on Shihan Bowe Certificate and that is the name the system had in Japan.

Walt

[Edited by ronin_10562 on February 19, 2001 at 08:05am]

Guest5678
02-19-2001, 10:48 AM
Godzilla wrote:
Hello all:
I have been studying NGA and have really enjoyed the classes. The Sensei is terrific and very pleasant. Here is his website.
http://www.ngaikido.com/video.html

This is much different than the Taekwondo I studied for 8 years! (We never did any blending or throws.)

Check out the videos and let me know what you think.

Truly,
Jeff


Godzilla,

The clips are of good video quality compared to some I've seen. Regarding the tanto dori though, the inside of your wrist would be cut open if you actually tried to "grab" uke's wrist like that. All uke has to do is turn the knife blade toward nage and pull straight back. His wrist would be pumping blood like a fire hydrant.

Consider using the back of the forearm to parry while doing tenkan then take it into kote gaeshi from there. In this way, if uke does pull back, you take the cut on the "less vital" back of the arm and not on the inside of the wrist. (complements Dennis Hooker sensei) Just another view........ otherwise.... cool site.

Regards,

Dan P. - Mongo

ronin_10562
02-19-2001, 11:55 AM
Nihon Goshin Aikido translated means Japanese Self-Defense Timing with the path of kinetic energy. The founder was Master Shodo Morita, who received his Menkyo Kaiden from Master Yoshida Kotaro. Kotaro taught and introduced some very well known martial artists. Kotaro is credited with introducing Ueshiba to Takeda. Kataro also trained Mas Oyama and many more martial artists.Moritasan Promoted Richard Bowe to Shodan and eventualy Mr. Bowe got his Godan from Narasan who took over NGA after Morita passed away.

Shodo Morita also had training in Judo, Karate, Kobudo and the more mystical arts. After many years of training he came to the conclusion that the major forms of martial arts focused on a small part of self-defense. The Karate main principle is striking, Judos main focus was grappling, and the esoteric arts focused on the mind. What Moritasan did was to incorporate these principles into one complete system. He did not take the best technique from each style because there is no such thing; instead he took the heart of these systems.

As a new student you would first learn ukemi, stances and strikes (we consider blocks as strikes) in addition to that you learn the principles of joint locks and throws (such as first wrist technique-I-kyo, or front wrist throw- kotegaeshi). You are taught the mechanics as kata with a partner, then from a realistic attack. As you go up the ranks you are also taught Ki and Ki techniques.

A normal class may start with warm-ups and then ukemi drills followed by striking drills. Then comes the kata type exercise, and applying the techniques from attacks. Near the end of class we will do a blending line that means we canít use strikes but must depend on merging with the attackers energy before executing a technique. After that we do a self-defense line in which we can use all of our tools for self-defense. The last part of class is Ki techniques that you learn to stay centered while someone is trying to upset your center, for example the two-man lift up. Two people try to lift you and you stay rooted to the ground.

So this gives you a rough idea what NGA is about.


Walt

mornmd
02-20-2001, 08:51 AM
to have an exchange of ideas and techniques between NGA Aikidoka and the Ueshiba clan traditionalists. Perhaps at a Dojo. Anyone interested in NY?

ronin_10562
02-21-2001, 08:14 AM
Everyone is welcome to train at the Ossining dojo March 11 from 10:00am to 3:30pm All styles and all dojos are welcome. Call 914 762 4872 to reserve a place. Location is 30 miles north of New York city on the Hudson river.

Aikido Self-Defense Center
95 Croton Ave.
Ossining NY 10562

mornmd
02-22-2001, 07:48 AM
I will try to attend that day in March. It would be great if any of the traditional aikidoka in the NYC-Westchester area would come too.


Matthew

Warriors Code
02-23-2001, 06:12 PM
I was wondering why no one mentioned Sensei Robert Macewen,in my opinion one of the foremost experts on Nihon Goshin.His videos are excellent and i highly recommend them to every one.I was why Mr.Kopitov didnt mention him as he is a student of his and appeared in his videos.If this is the same Walter Kopitov,Mr.Kopitov also has great technique. I attended 1 of Sensei Macewens seminars and it was the greatest,every one had a good time and learned alot.


Tony

ronin_10562
03-01-2001, 02:29 PM
All the credit for Nihon Goshin Aikido in America goes to one man, Mr. Richard A. Bowe. No one in NGA can hold a candle to Mr. Bowe's skill. It is a shame that he rarely gets credit for his contributions.

Walt

Warriors Code
03-01-2001, 03:23 PM
Does any one know what Sensei Macewen is doing now? I have read nor heard anything about him in awhile,last i heard he was doing stunt work in movies.Is he still teaching or has he passed that on to one of his students.If he is not instrucing any more then its a great loss to the Aiki world as the level he is on is just one of undeniable skill and technique.He had really shown that Aiki is not about strength as he is not a big man and everything he does is very precise. His hand gun disarms which he learned from Sensei Ronald Duncan are done with such speed that even slo-mo doesn't help u see it.

mornmd
03-01-2001, 08:06 PM
More than the speed or talents of a particular sensei is to spread the word about NGA and open a dialogue and exchange of ideas with Ueshiba-derived aikidoka.

One of the other forum threads deals with what will aikido evolve into 10 years from now. I believe that every martial art goes through continuous evolution and additions by gifted and creative Sensei. Nihon Goshin Aikido, being based more on Daito-Ryu is already a somewhat evolved system. How will it develop in the future, and what effect will it have on traditional aikido?

Matthew

Warriors Code
03-01-2001, 11:13 PM
What is really important is having creative Sensei,that keep people wanting more,this attracts more people.The world might not be here in 10yrs,you must learn to live for today. It takes a rare breed to capture a large audiences attention and hold it.If you are caught in the traditional Aiki way of life then that's great i wish you the best.By traditional i mean turning the other cheek and believing that you can talk to an attacker that is intent on doing you bodily harm and practicing unrealistic methods,but if thats what a person wishes to do then so be it. It's just not my idea of what Aikido is and every one has their reasons for training. Some people like the soft styles and some like me enjoy the hard styles. So if you enjoy boring seminars and things of that nature then i truely wish you well,but just remember in a time of crisis you may have wished that you had at least learned some thing more useful than countering a pre-arranged attack.Of course this is just 1 guy talking here.

Sam
03-02-2001, 04:28 AM
Warriors Code wrote:
What is really important is having creative Sensei,that keep people wanting more,this attracts more people.The world might not be here in 10yrs,you must learn to live for today. It takes a rare breed to capture a large audiences attention and hold it.If you are caught in the traditional Aiki way of life then that's great i wish you the best.By traditional i mean turning the other cheek and believing that you can talk to an attacker that is intent on doing you bodily harm and practicing unrealistic methods,but if thats what a person wishes to do then so be it. It's just not my idea of what Aikido is and every one has their reasons for training. Some people like the soft styles and some like me enjoy the hard styles. So if you enjoy boring seminars and things of that nature then i truely wish you well,but just remember in a time of crisis you may have wished that you had at least learned some thing more useful than countering a pre-arranged attack.Of course this is just 1 guy talking here.


Creativity is of course important to a certain degree, but I think foremost is the technical quality of an instructor. A lot of training exercises are not varied or exciting, especially the basics and it is a fact that instinct is borne from repetition. Overly creative individuals risk straying from the path which they set out to follow.
I have never found a seminar boring unless there was more talking than training. One of the purposes of a seminar is to standardise the quality of aikido in the clubs under that organisation. If every exercise is fun and different then often you are not learning - most people should be able to see where each exercise comes from and be therefore familiar with it.

Furthermore I think that the classification of styles as soft and hard is pointless because the effectiveness of a style is not determined by whether the style is hard of soft. In my experience hard school means - unable to do soft - and vice- versa. All the main styles of aikido are hard and soft anyway.

Why do we use pre-arranged attacks? Because a predictable attack allows you to do a good technique through which you seek a perfect technique. This will never happen if you over-emphasise unpredictability/fighting. A lot of clubs fall into the trap of more unpredictability = better self defense, but in the end, it breeds sloppy technique. For every exercise including elements of predictability, there should be 10 exercises of predicable attacks and 100 exercises of basics.

What I am trying to say is that a style is only as good as the teaching system and therefore given equally skilled instructors all styles are equal.

mornmd
03-02-2001, 06:20 AM
I asked the question - meant mostly for those in or familiar with Nihon Goshin Aikido, as to their feelings of how the art will evolve. Shodo Morita created the system, a synthesis of his vast experience. As a credit to him and Shihan Bowe, the system has flourished in the United States.

I was, in no way praising the "softer" style of aikido, and do believe that anyone needs to adapt to the proper situation. I did say that an exchange of techniques with classical Ueshiba-aikidoka would be interesting though.

As to the need for seminars, and talented Sensei to popularize NGA - hmmm.....it did work for Seagal, but I doubt anyone would be "bored" watching an NGA demonstration anyway.

Matthew

sceptoor
03-03-2001, 07:02 AM
mornmd wrote:
to have an exchange of ideas and techniques between NGA Aikidoka and the Ueshiba clan traditionalists. Perhaps at a Dojo. Anyone interested in NY?

I just had an experience last night with this. Our dojo is ASU, and a new student joined us last night. It was obvious that she has rank in another art. At first I thought it was Judo, later I thought maybe Karate, and by the end of class, I was convinced it was Hapkido. I was wrong, it was NGA.
Our class started out with basic backfalls, forward rolls, etc., tenkan exercises, and after class was surprised to learn that it was Nihon Goshin AIKIDO. I thought, "What?". Overall, it appears to be a very "stiff" form of Aikido if it is Aikido at all. Not "wrong", just very different than Aikido. One big difference is in their Ukemi. I noticed NGA has one roll over their head rather than the shoulder-to-opposite-hip method. In backfalls, she seemed to always tuck the "outside" leg. ANyway, just different. I hope she returns, because it was kind of interesting.

ronin_10562
03-03-2001, 12:12 PM
I teach NGA and the correct way to roll is from shoulder to opposite hip as you describe and not over your head. A correct roll is correct in any style.
Walt

sceptoor
03-05-2001, 02:10 PM
ronin_10562 wrote:
I teach NGA and the correct way to roll is from shoulder to opposite hip as you describe and not over your head. A correct roll is correct in any style.
Walt


I agree, I guess she just has bad ukemi. Maybe her particular dojo just doesn't emphasize or doesn't realize the importance of ukemi in Aikido?? If that's the case, why call it Aikido?? She seems to have good technique, (although stiff and very un-aikido like, yet seemed effective enough), but it looks more like Judo-meets-Karate, or Hapkido to me, (nothing wrong with that of course)and even judoka and some hapkidoka practice strong ukemi. Anyway, it's just ODD, dont you think??

ronin_10562
03-06-2001, 07:40 AM
In NGA ukemi is important because a bad landing may cause injury.

"Why call it Aikido?"
We don't, the name is Nihon Goshin Aikido, this is what Master Morita named it.

This system allows for a variety of expressions, some students are karate like, and some very soft and fluid. As long as they adhere to the principles that are taught they are doing Nihon Goshin Aikido.

Walt



[Edited by ronin_10562 on March 18, 2001 at 06:51am]

Ray Kissane
03-17-2001, 08:16 PM
Warriors Code wrote:

Does any one know what Sensei Macewen is doing now? I have read nor heard anything about him in awhile,last i heard he was doing stunt work in movies.Is he still teaching or has he passed that on to one of his students.

Mr. MacEwen still teaches in the Middletown NY dojo. He has a very highly sought after video libray that he sells also. His web page is listed on the AikiWeb.

Walter Kopitv mention that Mr Bowe gets all of the credit for Nihon Goshin and he implies that Mr. MacEwen does not. Mr. Bowe when he was younger had set about writting and demonstrating the art Nihon Goshin Aikido in the US and South America. Since Mr. Bowe is is now in his sixties and has a very busy schedule as a laywer and he was Mayor of his town, he has quite doing so much of the demonstrating and writting about Nihon Goshin Aikido. Mr. MacEwen has assumed that role with the support of Mr. Bowe. Mr. MacEwen does not write as much these days but he is still very sought after for demonstrations. He use to do a lot of demonstrations tours with Bill Wallace and Dany Lane and joe Lewis. He is mostly doing demostrations for Nihon Goshin schools and as his schedule premits he will do other schools and events.

tanto20001
03-18-2001, 10:09 AM
I don't see anything wrong with Shihan Bowe receiving credit for NGA with out the mention of anyone else. If it wasn't for Shihan Bowe then this art would not exist. If Sensei MacEwen wasn't around this art would still be here. The one person that I would think should also be mentioned is the most senior and highest ranked instructor of NGA after Shihan Bowe, and he is Sensei Weber. He is a man that has worked very dilegently in NGA and being the highest rank will probably suceed Shihan Bowe, if Shihan ever retires.

Ego is the enemy. Train hard and conquer it.

Disciples
09-11-2004, 01:57 PM
Uh...to the guy who said that about pre-arranged attacks. I as a 16 year old take offense to that. I go to school where guys want to fight you for no reason at all and it helps to learn these attacks that you call "pre-arranged". They are that way so you can learn how to handle situations if it were to happen if they attacked you in that manner. Shomenuchi and a punch are pretty much the same thing in my eyes, so it all depends on the side. Same side, use one of the techiques I learned that involves that. Cross ways, then I use something like kotegeish (however you spell it) or ikkiyo (I think thats right). All in all, you learn more for more effectiveness in different techniques. In a sense, its like if your attacker comes at you, you have the choice in which technique to use, and if you make Aikido apart of your life...which means that you live, breathe, sleep ect. it, then everything should come to you naturally. This is what Wedell sensei was getting at and it makes perfect sense when I read the doka when I log on to this website.

I know this probably didnt make much sense..but whatever.

rschoele
09-12-2004, 02:25 PM
about ten years ago I studied aikikai for almost two years (I was in my young twenties) felt it was too soft and impractical. Although I was fresh out of the Corps (having learned many martial techniques thru drunken brawls) and threw everything at the sensei to "test" him and he swiftly defeated me everytime.

I left martial arts for a couple years and then went back and studied NGA under sensei Phelps in Buffalo NY. I felt that it was more "effective". I went up to Ni-Kyu and then left -- a year before I started studying Iaido at a private dojo in Canada under 5th & 6th dan sensei. This dojo was not advertised and concentrated on Budo in a traditional sense. I saw demonstrations of 'ki' not as mystical powers but refined subtleties of technique that did not allow openings for attack and therefore created defeat for an opponent before a conflict starts.

I left NGA for college and am now finishing my masters in california and in my final year am getting back into aikido through the Doshinkai Aikido with Matsouka Sensei.

My opinion is this, there's no difference ultimately it's up to the practitioner. Aikikai styles are effective arts, but many of the schools don't concentrate on real world scenarios, if you feel the "need" for immediate self defense technique I think NGA is the more effective. I also think that some of the "ineffective or impractical" techniques of Aikikai type styles or arts such as Iaido teach subtle body techniques that NGA lacks. The soft styles teach a refined technique that takes a long time to really grasp and I think sometimes bottles practitioners into not being able to see it's street effectiveness, NGA concentrates on street effectiveness - so what may be deemed as "sloppy" technique by the soft styles is overrided by effectiveness, but a investigation into the refinement of the softer styles may greatly improve the NGA style.

In short a seminar between systems would probably benefit all.

As for names, who started what, and so on. I studied Iaido under Mears Sensei 5th dan, Ohmi Goyo Sensei 7th dan under the direction of the late Haruna Matsuo Sensei 8th dan (Chief Instructor of Musashi Dojo, Ohara, Okayama-Ken, Japan). The one piece of advice I held onto was when topics of lineage and who started what come up I was told, "everyone's a liar!" So who cares -- that lineage I listed didn't make me a better martial artist, better person, etc.

ryan

Misogi-no-Gyo
09-13-2004, 03:08 PM
I saw demonstrations of 'ki' not as mystical powers but refined subtleties of technique that did not allow openings for attack and therefore created defeat for an opponent before a conflict starts.

I left NGA for college and am now finishing my masters in california and in my final year am getting back into aikido through the Doshinkai Aikido with Matsuoka Sensei.

Ryan,

So how do you like the classes with Matsuoka Sensei? Have you had any experiences with Matsuoka Sensei or the senior students at the dojo that reflect what you wrote in your first paragraph, above?


The one piece of advice I held onto was when topics of lineage and who started what come up I was told, "everyone's a liar!" So who cares -- that lineage I listed didn't make me a better martial artist, better person, etc.

Well, I can say, when it comes to lineage, if the person is lying, then you are right, "Who cares." However, the only time it really does matter is when they are telling the truth, as this will determine your path, whether you know it or not. In your case, with Matsuoka Sensei, I wouldn't worry about this at all... You are in the best of hands