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mikem
12-26-2005, 02:43 PM
I'm looking into finding Aikido school i have checked into Nihon Goshin it looks good but i am told it is not recognized as actual aikido and any rank you would receive would not be recognized in a traditional school. i am going to look at a traditional school tonight and am leaning towards it any input????

MaryKaye
12-26-2005, 06:05 PM
Answering a question with a question:

What are your goals? Aikido rank is not all that transferrable in general. I train at three dojo, ranking at only one, and neither of the others formally recognizes my rank--on the other hand, it doesn't make any difference in their willingness to teach me. If I wanted to hold rank with them I would have to re-test, which would take a long time--but I'd still be learning while I did it.

If your goal is to learn some aikido, choose the school whose teaching style and environment resonates with you, the teacher(s) whose aikido you admire and want to imitate.

If you have a more specific goal such as "I want to train at Aikikai Hombu in a few years" then the rank question becomes a lot more important. Or if you want to teach within a specific organization, then you need rank in that organization. It all depends on your goals.

Mary Kaye

mikem
12-26-2005, 08:43 PM
Thank you Mary i think I'm going with the traditional school i liked the instructor, i like the fact of the long tradition. the nihon goshin is not even practiced in japan any longer. i think at my older age I'm gonna go with the tradition. Thank you again

Sanshouaikikai
12-26-2005, 09:29 PM
I tried Nihon Goshin out since there's a school not too far from my house...and let me tell you...I prefer my Wadokai Aikido which is pretty much a very pure and unadulterated style of aikido than Nihon Goshin Aikido. NGA is nice and all...but...I wouldn't call it "Aikido." In fact...it's really just Aikijujitsu mixed with Karate...so...in that regard...it's a lot more like Hapkido. It's cool...but...not my preference. : )

crbateman
12-26-2005, 09:49 PM
Nihon Goshin Aikido is a style which developed PARALLEL to O'Sensei's Aikido, rather than from it. Both styles take their origin from DaitoRyu, but little else is common. Nihon Goshin came to the US in the late sixties with Richard Bowe Sensei of New Jersey, a respected MA in his own right, who still teaches, and who has never implied a connection to Aikikai or any of its derivatives. NGA simply does their own thing.

BenjaminH
01-02-2006, 01:19 PM
I've been studying with a traditional dojo for a little bit now.

Due to an inconvenient work schedule I thought I'd check out the other Aikido school in town.... Nihon Goshin.

There are similarities for sure but it has less" Aiki" and the sensei even admitted that. A benefit that I can see in N.G. is it has a quicker learning time than traditional Aikido because there is less a need to "blend" to pull of techniques.

Amir Krause
01-04-2006, 05:00 AM
I tried Nihon Goshin out since there's a school not too far from my house...and let me tell you...I prefer my Wadokai Aikido which is pretty much a very pure and unadulterated style of aikido than Nihon Goshin Aikido. NGA is nice and all...but...I wouldn't call it "Aikido." In fact...it's really just Aikijujitsu mixed with Karate...so...in that regard...it's a lot more like Hapkido. It's cool...but...not my preference. : )


You could have written that NGA does not feel like Ueshiba Aikido, rather as something else, and reminds you of Aikijujitsu mixed with Karate. But you can not say it isn't Aikido, since NGA has decided his system is Aikido and he had every right to do that, just like Ueshiba did.
I never practiced NGA (to my best knowledge, there isn't a NGA dojo in Israel). And could not say anything about this system. But I can understand the frustration and feel of misunderstanding a message like yours, confusing Aikido and Ueshiba Aikido, would have created to a practitioner of NGA, since the system I practice (Korindo Aikido) does not consider itself related to Ueshiba either.

Amir

kironin
01-04-2006, 08:47 AM
Sure I have every right to take everything I have learned from different arts, invent some of my own moves - write my own
system and collection of techniques, open a school and call
it Self-defense Judo.

Hey, I decided to call it Judo so it's Judo.
It's just not Kano's Judo.

--------------------

If you are going to expand the definition of a label to suit your marketing to the public, you can expect that you will encounter others who will disagree with your arbitrary relabeling and feel you are misleading the public.

The thing is, there already is a broad category label for Japanese derived arts that would create no disagreement - "jujutsu"

Nihon Goshin Jujutsu
Korindo Jujutsu

and then

Aikido == Ueshiba derived jujutsu
Judo == Kano derived jujutsu
Daito Ryu == Takeda derived jujutsu
etc.

kironin
01-04-2006, 09:19 AM
Nihon Goshin Aikido is a style which developed PARALLEL to O'Sensei's Aikido, rather than from it. Both styles take their origin from DaitoRyu, but little else is common. Nihon Goshin came to the US in the late sixties with Richard Bowe Sensei of New Jersey, a respected MA in his own right, who still teaches, and who has never implied a connection to Aikikai or any of its derivatives. NGA simply does their own thing.

This is simply wrong.

Richard Bowe attended seminars by Koichi Tohei Sensei in the 1960's. When he invented his own school, he was told not to call it Aikido. In the sixties, Black Belt magazine was young, it had many favorable articles on Aikido. Aikido was new and mysterious. It's not surprising why he marketed his school as Aikido. You can look at their testing syllabus today and see things that were clearly derived from Tohei Senseis style of teaching. The idea that Richard Bowe had any contact with anything called Aikido in Japan is very doubtful.

Now, does this mean that as a form of jujutsu after 30 years of devoted development by Bowe and his students, NG could not be a great martial art. Absolutely not.

Is it Aikido ?

If Bowe was honest about the history, maybe you could argue that.

Something parallel to Ueshiba. No.

mikem
01-04-2006, 09:49 AM
Well this thread started off slow but is picking up now lol i when with a traditional school Akidio of Rockland it is affiliated with AAA. any othe AAA affiliated schools on here ???? thanks for all the posts

Amir Krause
01-05-2006, 07:20 AM
Sure I have every right to take everything I have learned from different arts, invent some of my own moves - write my own
system and collection of techniques, open a school and call
it Self-defense Judo.

Hey, I decided to call it Judo so it's Judo.
It's just not Kano's Judo.

--------------------

If you are going to expand the definition of a label to suit your marketing to the public, you can expect that you will encounter others who will disagree with your arbitrary relabeling and feel you are misleading the public.

The thing is, there already is a broad category label for Japanese derived arts that would create no disagreement - "jujutsu"

Nihon Goshin Jujutsu
Korindo Jujutsu

and then

Aikido == Ueshiba derived jujutsu
Judo == Kano derived jujutsu
Daito Ryu == Takeda derived jujutsu
etc.


Craig

Historically speaking, Ueshiba does NOT have any ownership on the label Aikido. The name Aikido was invented by the Dai-Nihon-Butokukai for Practical Yawara, or Ju-jutsu if you prefer, and Ueshiba adopted it, not the other way around. Hence:
"Aikido == Ueshiba derived jujutsu" is simply untrue, It's not an identity, rather just labeling.

As far as Korindo Aikido, Hirai had every right to use the label Aikido. Neither you nor me could argue with him with regard to the meaning of the term Aikido since Hirai was the chair of the committee that coined the term "Aikido".
I don't know about the history of NGA, nor why did the founder of this system decide to use the term Aikido. But having read an interview with Hirai about the meaning of the name, it was meant as a category definition, not just a single M.A. Hence, Hirai would probably have welcomed other M.A. with "Aikido" as part of their name.

By the way, if you will look more closely at it, you will find that Kano called his art "Kodokan Judo" and Judo was a more general term (It particularly referred to Jikishin Ryu, at least a century before Kano, see: http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14342). Would you like to blame Kano for being "misleading" ?


P.S. I have taken a look at a NGA web site and they consider their founder to be Shodo Morita, not Richard Bowe. I have never studied this issue, and could not attest to the credibility of the history written there.


Amir

beanchild
01-05-2006, 07:36 AM
FWIW, I study NGA, and yes we do consider the founder to be Shodo Morita, rather than Sensai Bowe.

And Benjamin, there is a surprising amount of blending associated with NGA. Perhaps not quite the circles as large as in, say Tomiki, which I have also studied, but blending is an integral part of our mindset.

crbateman
01-05-2006, 08:31 AM
Hello Craig. Although I always find your posts very useful, I have to disagree with you here. Richard Bowe did not invent NGA, never has claimed to. He was simply the first American to bring it to the U.S. He claims lineage from extensive training in Japan under Shodo Morita, who is credited as the founder of NGA, as well as the one who sanctioned the use of the term "aikido". Shodo Morita derived his art from aspects of his training in Daito-Ryu, Judo, Karate, Kobudo and other "esoteric" arts. His Daito-Ryu training came from Yoshita Kotaro, direct student of Sokaku Takeda.

The connection you make to O'Sensei through Richard Bowe's attendance at some of Koichi Tohei's seminars is, in my opinion, superficial, and simply can't be used to define NGA. It was certainly not uncommon in Japan in those days for budoka to be curious about, and seek training in, many other arts. Bowe was probably influenced on some level by Tohei Sensei (how could one not be?), but Bowe's presence at Tohei seminars probably had little effect on what Shodo Morita was doing in his NGA system.

Rather than seizing an opportunity to exploit even the slightest connection to O'Sensei, NGA has steadfastly disavowed any such references, and continued to point to their lineage from many of the same sources that O'Sensei happened to use for his own development. I can respect that, have seen nothing substantive to refute it, and that is why I used the world "parallel" to describe the development of NGA. FWIW.

George S. Ledyard
01-05-2006, 07:17 PM
While it may be true that the Nihon Goshin Founder trained under the elder Yoshida, from what I have seen of Nihon Goshin Aikido, there is very little left of that influence left in what passes for Nihon Goshin Aikido now. My only direct exposure to what Yoshida taught comes from my training with Angier Sensei who trained under the younger Yoshia when he came to the States. If what Angier Sensei is doing is in any way related to what the elder Yoshida taught (which I believe it is), then Nihon Goshin Aikido retained almost none of it. I have see some Nihon Goshin Aikido here, including some video footage of one of their senior instructors, and it just looks like a simplified, more physical Aikido, with very little Aiki. They like to bill themselves as doing a more martial version of Aikido but from what I have seen it's simply not true, at least not when compared to what I've been taught as Aikido. As for the kind of almost magical subtlety you'd get from training with Angier Sensei doing Yanagi Ryu, his former students like Richard Elias etc. teaching the Yoshida derived system, or even Toby Threadgill Sensei who teaches Takamura Ha Shindo Ryu but trained extensively with Angier Sensei, it's completely missing from Nihon Goshin Aikido as it's generally presented now. It may have had that when it was founded in Japan, it may even have still had it as taught by the senior American who brought it from Japan... I don't know because I have never seen him. But what I have seen is a fairly simplified system of jiu jutsu with very little Aiki and in that sense its use of the term Aikido is open to question in my opinion.

senshincenter
01-06-2006, 04:05 AM
Looks like an Aikido to me - not my Aikido, maybe not anyone else's on this thread either - but an Aikido:

http://www.ngaikido.com/video.asp

sullivanw
01-06-2006, 04:53 AM
Another FWIW, I studied Nihon Goshin intensely for about a year and a half, then moved a few times and have been studying Aikikai for the past... maybe two years.

I remember that the techniques were a lot harder on the joints and their presentation was very different from what I am studying now. Also, we did some kind of self-defense drill almost every class; we defended against a line of attackers or a group, with random weapons and any attack allowed. The latter difference could very well be due to my former Sensei.

Although I probably lack the experience in both... styles, whatever... to really compare them, I have described Nihon Goshin as being 'more jiu-jitsuish' to some friends at my current dojo. But it did seem like the 'magic', the aiki, was there.

Ledyard Sensei certainly has the experience to make a sound evaluation, so I'm going to keep the question open for myself.

What I can say is that my former Sensei gave me a love of "aikido", and I continue to train and intend to until old age or injury forces me to stop. Since you have chosen a traditional style, I recommend visiting the Nihon Goshin dojo when you can. The different perspectives will definitely add depth to your aikido.

Good luck, and have fun!

BTW, nice vids - good find!

kironin
01-06-2006, 05:44 AM
P.S. I have taken a look at a NGA web site and they consider their founder to be Shodo Morita, not Richard Bowe. I have never studied this issue, and could not attest to the credibility of the history written there.
Amir


I know what is claimed on their website.

This is old news. Has been hashed out many times years ago
as to what Bowe claims.

As to whatever rationalization you want to use for calling something Aikido, obviously you can do it. Would you be using it if Ueshiba had not adopted it and then his students spread the name world wide ? I have my opinion. May not be P.C. but ...

kironin
01-06-2006, 06:34 AM
Rather than seizing an opportunity to exploit even the slightest connection to O'Sensei, NGA has steadfastly disavowed any such references, and continued to point to their lineage from many of the same sources that O'Sensei happened to use for his own development. I can respect that, have seen nothing substantive to refute it, and that is why I used the world "parallel" to describe the development of NGA. FWIW.

To believe what you wrote you have to know almost nothing about the history of Aikido on the east coast. I respect that coming in and looking at the picture several decades later, you may feel that you have to take claims at face value, however the memories of old men and the deceased paint a very very different picture.

Let me be clear. I am not saying Bowe claimed to invent NGA, I am saying that he did invent it and then invented a lineage back to Japan for it upon opening his school in his small town in the late 60's - early 70's period. How common is that story in the martial arts ? (rhetorical question). Fast forward a few decades to the world wide web where anything passes for fact if dressed up enough. Whether or not it would stand up to the kind of careful historical research Stanely Pranin does is another matter.

again says nothing about NGA as an effective martial art, that is not at issue.

but passing it off as having some kind of direct parallel connection to Daito Ryu and therefore being an example non-Ueshiba related "aikido",

please.

only generational amnesia allows that to be taken seriously.

BenjaminH
01-06-2006, 08:56 AM
FWIW, I study NGA, and yes we do consider the founder to be Shodo Morita, rather than Sensai Bowe.

And Benjamin, there is a surprising amount of blending associated with NGA. Perhaps not quite the circles as large as in, say Tomiki, which I have also studied, but blending is an integral part of our mindset.

Sorry, I made assumptions based on a small period of observations. I also went on the sensei saying they do less of a blend than traditional Aikido, still blending just less I supposes. (Also I might add that the Sensei was a very nice person, and I have no intention of misrepresenting his words.) I'll take your word for it :)

Derek Gaudet
01-06-2006, 09:20 AM
My old Dojo was a mix between Aikikai and Nihon Goshin, O sensei was in our shomen area... My instructor just called it Goshin Aikido. We were mixed because my Sensei's teacher had ranks in both Aikikai and Nihon Goshin, both organizations got word of this I believe (If memory serves) and he was dismissed from both, due to the fact he was teaching a blend. So he changed from writing Nihon goshin on everything to Goshin... I've seen other styles around, Other then the way the attacks are preformed the techniques seemed to remain the same. But grain of salt, for we may be one of those Nihon Goshin styles that moved away from it's origins, therefore we may have been more influenced by O Sensei. Really though it's been mentioned Aikido is a label, much like Karate. Some schools of karate punch with a vertical fist others horizontal, does it mean one should give up the name karate... If you want to get particular you put a name in front of it. I.E. Chito Ryu Karate, Shorin Ryu Karate. Same with Aikido, Nihon Goshin Aikido, Aikikai Aikido, Yoshinkan Aikido. It's in my opinion The name in front of the label that allows you to distinguish between them. Different founders are gonna cause little differences, doesn't mean one's better, or right more than the other. It's a matter of preference. Remember, GRAIN OF SALT.

John Carter
01-06-2006, 12:28 PM
I am a 20 year practitioner of Nihon Goshin Aikido. I currently teach the art in Columbia, SC. My sensei is Steven Weber, Go-Dan, who trained directly under Shihan Bowe during the 70's. Sensei Weber is Shihan Bowe's senior student and instructor in the United States. Over the years many of our instructors have either trained in other styles of Aikido, seen technique of high ranking Aikido-ka, or have taught students from other dojos. Speaking for myself, I have obviously seen and felt the technique of Mr. Weber and Shihan Bowe. I have also seen and felt the technique of the late Toyoda Sensei of the Aikido Association of America. Additionally, Mr. Weber was invited by him to go to Japan and train at the Hombu dojo. His experiences with Toyoda Sensei were numerous. I also have seen and experienced the technique of John Waite of the British Aikido Association. Being located in South Carolina, I have seen Suenaka's technique and have worked with some of his former students. We also have two Aikido clubs here that represent Aikikai, and Seidokan. In all of my experiences thus far, I have to say even though all the styles have differences, including Nihon Goshin, they all have common threads. Irimi, tenkan, ki, immobilization's, projections, joint-locks etc. Developing an opinion from certain practitioners of any art, cannot always be applied to all practitioners of an art. Some may be more jiu-jitsu oriented, or judo, larger circles, smaller, more atemi.... That doesn't mean the art Shihan Bowe learned in Japan wasn't Aikido. Those claiming that he invented the art and utilized the word "Aikido" for what he was teaching in New Jersey, probably have not been through his historical documents, certificates, and pictures, etc. from Hokkaido, Japan.

George S. Ledyard
01-06-2006, 01:48 PM
I am a 20 year practitioner of Nihon Goshin Aikido. I currently teach the art in Columbia, SC. My sensei is Steven Weber, Go-Dan, who trained directly under Shihan Bowe during the 70's. Sensei Weber is Shihan Bowe's senior student and instructor in the United States. Over the years many of our instructors have either trained in other styles of Aikido, seen technique of high ranking Aikido-ka, or have taught students from other dojos. Speaking for myself, I have obviously seen and felt the technique of Mr. Weber and Shihan Bowe. I have also seen and felt the technique of the late Toyoda Sensei of the Aikido Association of America. Additionally, Mr. Weber was invited by him to go to Japan and train at the Hombu dojo. His experiences with Toyoda Sensei were numerous. I also have seen and experienced the technique of John Waite of the British Aikido Association. Being located in South Carolina, I have seen Suenaka's technique and have worked with some of his former students. We also have two Aikido clubs here that represent Aikikai, and Seidokan. In all of my experiences thus far, I have to say even though all the styles have differences, including Nihon Goshin, they all have common threads. Irimi, tenkan, ki, immobilization's, projections, joint-locks etc. Developing an opinion from certain practitioners of any art, cannot always be applied to all practitioners of an art. Some may be more jiu-jitsu oriented, or judo, larger circles, smaller, more atemi.... That doesn't mean the art Shihan Bowe learned in Japan wasn't Aikido. Those claiming that he invented the art and utilized the word "Aikido" for what he was teaching in New Jersey, probably have not been through his historical documents, certificates, and pictures, etc. from Hokkaido, Japan.

Actually, what I have seen is similar to generic Aikido but with less movement. I am intrigued more by the story of the founding in Japan which seems to tie into Yoshida Sensei. Of course the Yoshida family had their own style and the senior Yoshida was also a teacher of Daito Ryu... From what I have seen of the art. I can't see much evidence of the Yanagi Ryu nor would I say much of the more sophisticated, more aiki aspect of Daito Ryu made the transition to the States. Someone who knows more about Daito Ryu might be able to see the relationship since Daito Ryu has a number of levels which have to be worked through. It's possible the Japanese founder of Nihon Goshin Aikido only had a limited exposure to the Daito Ryu techniques taught by Yoshida Sensei although that would be simply conjecture on my part since I am not knowledegeable enough about Daito ryu to say what part of their curriculum something might have come out of.

crbateman
01-06-2006, 02:24 PM
Bowing out...

senshincenter
01-06-2006, 04:41 PM
To believe what you wrote you have to know almost nothing about the history of Aikido on the east coast. I respect that coming in and looking at the picture several decades later, you may feel that you have to take claims at face value, however the memories of old men and the deceased paint a very very different picture.

Let me be clear. I am not saying Bowe claimed to invent NGA, I am saying that he did invent it and then invented a lineage back to Japan for it upon opening his school in his small town in the late 60's - early 70's period. How common is that story in the martial arts ? (rhetorical question). Fast forward a few decades to the world wide web where anything passes for fact if dressed up enough. Whether or not it would stand up to the kind of careful historical research Stanely Pranin does is another matter.

again says nothing about NGA as an effective martial art, that is not at issue.

but passing it off as having some kind of direct parallel connection to Daito Ryu and therefore being an example non-Ueshiba related "aikido",

please.

only generational amnesia allows that to be taken seriously.


Hi Craig,

Are you saying that Bowe never ever trained with Shodo Morita? Or, are you saying that there is no such person as "Shodo Morita"?

I have no affiliation here - just curious about this lineage stuff.
Interesting.

thanks,
dmv

Amir Krause
01-09-2006, 08:47 AM
I am a 20 year practitioner of Nihon Goshin Aikido. I currently teach the art in Columbia, SC. My sensei is Steven Weber, Go-Dan, who trained directly under Shihan Bowe during the 70's. Sensei Weber is Shihan Bowe's senior student and instructor in the United States. Over the years many of our instructors have either trained in other styles of Aikido, seen technique of high ranking Aikido-ka, or have taught students from other dojos. Speaking for myself, I have obviously seen and felt the technique of Mr. Weber and Shihan Bowe. I have also seen and felt the technique of the late Toyoda Sensei of the Aikido Association of America. Additionally, Mr. Weber was invited by him to go to Japan and train at the Hombu dojo. His experiences with Toyoda Sensei were numerous. I also have seen and experienced the technique of John Waite of the British Aikido Association. Being located in South Carolina, I have seen Suenaka's technique and have worked with some of his former students. We also have two Aikido clubs here that represent Aikikai, and Seidokan. In all of my experiences thus far, I have to say even though all the styles have differences, including Nihon Goshin, they all have common threads. Irimi, tenkan, ki, immobilization's, projections, joint-locks etc. Developing an opinion from certain practitioners of any art, cannot always be applied to all practitioners of an art. Some may be more jiu-jitsu oriented, or judo, larger circles, smaller, more atemi.... That doesn't mean the art Shihan Bowe learned in Japan wasn't Aikido. Those claiming that he invented the art and utilized the word "Aikido" for what he was teaching in New Jersey, probably have not been through his historical documents, certificates, and pictures, etc. from Hokkaido, Japan.


One Question, that is essential in view of Craig statements in this thread with regard to NGA:
Did you, your sensei or another of student aside from your teacher, ever train NGA in Japan ? Or did you have any seminar with Japanese teachers of your style ?
Do you know of other students of Shodo Morita ?


Myself, and several other vetran students of Korindo Aikido have gone to train in Japan for short periods of time (wish I could train for longer) and our dojo did bring one of the Shihan to teach here. I have also met students of other dojo's around the world, all connected trough the Japanese "Hombu dojo" and organization.
Did you have any similar experiance in NGA ?


Amir

ronin_10562
04-20-2006, 10:45 PM
Just a quick reply to Craig. I have seen Shihan Bowe's Certificate from Shodo Moritasan and photos of Bowe training at the Hombu dojo . Your statements are ridiculous. If you are saying Shihan Bowe put his own interpertation of the art, that I can agree with since all most all teachers do that.

Brad Darr
04-20-2006, 11:46 PM
Not defending Craig or giving my own opinion here, I would just like a clarification of which "Hombu Dojo" you speak of and if there is any way to view said photos. Again I have no experience with Nihon Goshin, I am simply interested in the lineage.
As a side note I was also curious to see that there was no mention of it on Aikidojournal, I would have thought that a website with information on Aikikai, Korindo Aikido, Daito-Ryu, and Don Angier would surely have some information on an art with history connected to several of these, anyone else find it strange?

Dazzler
04-21-2006, 05:22 AM
I also have no knowledge of NGA.

My thoughts are that simply labeling something Aikido does not make it so, very much in line with the thoughts of Craig.

For me Aikido is not just a name. It is a description. The scholars and Japanese writers here can certainly add some depth, but my understanding is that its ideograms or Japanese characters represent/ translate as Heaven and Earth harmonised with Ki. (very roughly ;-)

This description is fixed.

Like walking.

Everyone accepts what walking is to us bi-peds. If someone starts to call it crawling or leaping then clearly this is incorrect.

I will add that the description is of the purest level of Aikido. With its physical and spiritual dimensions and its multi layered levels of practice there are few that actually produce Aikido that meets this lofty ambition..certainly not mine.

On the physical level is there anything unique to Aikido? Probably not.

What make Aikido different for me is this alignment with the Tao. Again some arts do similar so I'll not claim uniqueness but I think this is what differentiates an Aikido nikkyo from a Jujitsu nikkyo for instance.

NGA like many forms of jujitsu, may well utilise common techniques associated with Aikido. However unless its long term aim matches the (very rough) translation above then I personally wouldn't see it as the same as the Aikido I am familiar with.

I'm not familiar with all 'Aikido' styles of course.

So in a nutshell ....If NG Aikido aspires to meet the description of heaven and earth harmonised to achieve ki according to universal law of Tao (or anyone of the myriad variations of this theme) then it is Aikido.

If it doesn't and its followers translate it as something else then personally I wouldn't class it as Aikido.

As others have said "jujutsu" might be an acceptable label.

As I've said - I know nothing of it other than what is available here, so make absolutely no judgment of it as a martial art.

If its completely separate then is it a big deal? Those that practice it are happy with what they do, if it doesn't aspire to meet the Japanese translation but has other goals then is this a problem?

Not for me - I have enough problems trying to work on my own aikido. Harmonising heaven and earth to produce ki can be hard work!

Just my thoughts for what they are worth.

Respectfully

D

tedehara
04-21-2006, 04:06 PM
Not defending Craig or giving my own opinion here, I would just like a clarification of which "Hombu Dojo" you speak of and if there is any way to view said photos. Again I have no experience with Nihon Goshin, I am simply interested in the lineage.
As a side note I was also curious to see that there was no mention of it on Aikidojournal, I would have thought that a website with information on Aikikai, Korindo Aikido, Daito-Ryu, and Don Angier would surely have some information on an art with history connected to several of these, anyone else find it strange?Hombu Dojo means "headquarters dojo". There was a photo of Richard Bowe with his dojo mates on line. Presumably this was taken in the headquarters dojo in Japan before it closed.

Since Walter had a look at Richard Bowe's certificate, perhaps he can tell us if "Aikido" appeared on the document as part of the name of the art.

I believe Nihon Goshin means Japanese Self-Defense and Aikido was never a trademark name. While most people in the US believe aikido implies connection to Morihei Ueshiba, that is not necessarily so. There was a karate group who became interested in aikido so they decided to change their name from a karate association to an aikido association. They have no formal ties with any larger aikido group. Even though this may run counter to people's concept of the name, they have every legal right to make this word change. Aikido is a name that is in the public domain and anyone can use it.

For those who insist there is a specific "aiki" way to do technique, I'd like to remind them there is aiki-ken. If you can take an aiki approach to sword, then you should be able to take an aiki approach to anything. So that test really doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

Jonesin
04-21-2006, 08:44 PM
I have had experience with NGA (and I am not trying to take sides - for me this is a fact finding mission to help in my own diagnosis of the history of NGA/Kotaro) and I noticed the comments about Yanagi Ryu and Yoshida-Ha and had a question. So many people question the legitimacy of NGA due to the limited confirmation of Shodo Morita's education by Yoshida Kotaro, but in reading some information regarding Yoshida Kenji, there was a rift between father and son. How long and to what extent did Kotaro pass on the art/arts he had learned? It seemed that their relationship was adversarial (mostly politically driven from what I have read) and father may not have spent the time teaching, especially since he was traveling and teaching as often as he was. Could the differences between Kotaro's style and Kenji's, as was stated in this thread, be due to the limited time Kenji had with his father? And therefore the diferences between Yanagi Ryu and NGA?

Here is the question, how long did Kenji study with Kotaro, and what was transmitted from father to son? I feel we must be fair to NGA's lineage in this light. If there is information to confirm the full transmission of style from father to son , I would be grateful to be exposed to it.


Rick Jones
__________
Nichi Nichi - Everyday is a good day.

Brad Darr
04-22-2006, 08:05 AM
I am aware that "honbu" is headquarters in japanese. I was looking for a specification from the poster about which headquarters and if there was a link or some way to learn about it.

I would also be curious to learn anything about the Yoshida lineage, so if people have info please post it.

Brad

Dazzler
04-24-2006, 04:43 AM
Hombu Even though this may run counter to people's concept of the name, they have every legal right to make this word change. Aikido is a name that is in the public domain and anyone can use it..

Legally I can change my name to Grandmaster Soke 13th Dan.. legally doesn't mean jack.

Aikido has meaning - it is a description of what we do and practice however varied should be geared towards meeting this description.

If practice isn't geared towards meeting this description it is something else, maybe good, maybe bad...but something else.

If Aikido is just a label then why not pingpongpo ...another totally meaningless label...but probably not used elsewhere so nice and easy to register as a trademark.


For those who insist there is a specific "aiki" way to do technique, I'd like to remind them there is aiki-ken. If you can take an aiki approach to sword, then you should be able to take an aiki approach to anything. So that test really doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

This quote doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Yes you should be able to take an aiki approach to anything....and then use it as part of your development approach to achieving aikido.

If your using an aiki approach then its aiki. No problemo..

But whats your point Ted?

D

tedehara
04-24-2006, 07:04 PM
Legally I can change my name to Grandmaster Soke 13th Dan.. legally doesn't mean jack.

It might be the deciding factor when a beginner decides who they'll study aikido with. Grandmaster Soke 13th Dan sounds a lot better than 4th dan who is struggling to put together a dojo. The important decision of who you will study with is usually made when you're mostly ignorant.

Aikido has meaning - it is a description of what we do and practice however varied should be geared towards meeting this description.

If practice isn't geared towards meeting this description it is something else, maybe good, maybe bad...but something else.

That description of your activity is subjective. It is different for each one of us.

The name Aikido originated outside of Morihei Ueshiba and was adapted by him to describe his art. The only thing you can hope for is that those who use the name Aikido, describe the origins of their art. Nihon Goshin has to my knowledge, always been up-front in its origins with Shodo Morita.

If Aikido is just a label then why not pingpongpo ...another totally meaningless label...but probably not used elsewhere so nice and easy to register as a trademark.

Because Aikido is a market label. People are more likely to recognize aikido as a martial art, rather than pingpongpo.

This quote doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Yes you should be able to take an aiki approach to anything....and then use it as part of your development approach to achieving aikido.

If your using an aiki approach then its aiki. No problemo..

But whats your point Ted?

D

My point is there is no fast and easy way to judge what is aikido. Maybe that's for the best. Budo has always been about the martial artist, not the martial art.

Dazzler
04-25-2006, 08:56 AM
It might be the deciding factor when a beginner decides who they'll study aikido with. Grandmaster Soke 13th Dan sounds a lot better than 4th dan who is struggling to put together a dojo. The important decision of who you will study with is usually made when you're mostly ignorant.

That may well be true Ted. However you did initially bring up the question of legal ownership of the term "Aikido". My point is that the law and the truth are not inextricably linked.





That description of your activity is subjective. It is different for each one of us.



I agreed it can be very different. In terms of description I do not agree. I have been taught that O'Sensei began to use the term to describe his art around 1942. It is written as 3 ideograms - Ai Ki and Do.

Applying my own very simplistic interpretation on Ai and Ki, (to save time and typing) Loosely these translate as Man and Energy. There is a lot more to be written on this but not directly relevant to the discussion in hand so I'll not digress further.

Do, while widely taken and interpreted at 'The way' is represented by the ideogram Dao and is linked to the Tao.

This in turn can be seen as yin and yang. The combining of these forces is the harmony of Aikido.

While we westerners may well choose the easy paths of ignoring the complicated oriental stuff and accepting glib easy translations does that make us correct?

My thoughts are probably not, but there are many that disagree.

anyway - I'll not dispute that others have used the term, or that I'm no expert on chinese/ japanese translation.

Just giving an angle on the thought processes I've been exposed to.



The name Aikido originated outside of Morihei Ueshiba and was adapted by him to describe his art. The only thing you can hope for is that those who use the name Aikido, describe the origins of their art. Nihon Goshin has to my knowledge, always been up-front in its origins with Shodo Morita.


I think we probably agree here to some extent. If NGA take the interpretation above for their version then I'd accept that they are working towards the same thing as the rest of us. If they don't then my opinion is that its not the same stuff.

I've already said that O'Sensei may not have been the first to use such terms, my believe is that he may have been the first to specifically link the martial form to this philosophy of Tao.





Because Aikido is a market label. People are more likely to recognize aikido as a martial art, rather than pingpongpo.


I think this is the crux. Personally I work on the basis that Aikido is not just a market label but a fairly tight description (or as tight as can be possible when working with translations going back through japanese and chinese symbols.

This is what we do - I know many other don't. Its a choice thing I guess - Accept theres more to Aikido than a label or not.

Just giving upsome of the things I've been taught.



My point is there is no fast and easy way to judge what is aikido. Maybe that's for the best. Budo has always been about the martial artist, not the martial art.

Thanks Ted.

My final thought is that regardless of the philosophical stuff its all just pie in the sky unless you train hard and with a purpose.



Regards

D

ronin_10562
04-28-2006, 02:45 AM
I have seen Mr. Bowe's certificates and I recognized the Kanji for Nihon Goshin Aikido. If you go to http://www.aikidoinc.com/bowe.asp?sid=84vrmhbNSQZdSGWRSD29hLM1oFR55k48KCD6K4o6Gn7lEgaYrN that's Bowe getting promoted by the founder Moritasan and the next is a group shot http://www.aikidoinc.com/history.asp?sid=84vrmhbNSQZdSGWRSD29hLM1oFR55k48KCD6K4o6Gn7lEgaYrN

ronin_10562
04-28-2006, 03:21 AM
This is simply wrong.

Richard Bowe attended seminars by Koichi Tohei Sensei in the 1960's. When he invented his own school, he was told not to call it Aikido. In the sixties, Black Belt magazine was young, it had many favorable articles on Aikido. Aikido was new and mysterious. It's not surprising why he marketed his school as Aikido. You can look at their testing syllabus today and see things that were clearly derived from Tohei Sensei style of teaching. The idea that Richard Bowe had any contact with anything called Aikido in Japan is very doubtful.



This is a bunch of crap that I did not expect to see on this site. It's nothing but opinion and or rumor with no fact. If any one goes to www.aikidoinc.com you can get more info on the art. As for the name of the art it's called Nihon Goshin Aikido not Aikido.

Mr. Bowe has a unique background. He was trained as a fighter at a young age (boxing and combat judo)(Mr Bowe's father trained professional boxers). When he went to Japan while stationed in the military he had an opportunity to train in a variety of arts and analyze them in terms of effectiveness. He trained in Karate, Ueshiba Aikido, and Judo. He felt that Moritasan's form of self-defense was the most effective and focused his energy in that art.

"This is a true Aikido dojo " that quote is from the late Toyoda sensei when I had him hold a seminar at my dojo. I'm sure he would not say that with all of the NGA schools. What it comes down to is the spirit of the dojo. Some are very karate oriented and some dojos are focused on aiki. The good thing about NGA is it allows the practitioner to choose his or her path, because both parts are taught.

ronin_10562
04-29-2006, 07:02 PM
When Mr. Bowe was trained in NGA, there had been no organized method of instruction. Master Morita taught what ever techniques he felt like without them broken down per belt level. Mr. Bowe organized the techniques into different sets per belt level. I would not be surprised if he had seen Tohei's Ki techniques and created his own version. Can you imagine the difficulty having to create a syllabus from scratch? It's not that simple.

Talon
04-29-2006, 10:37 PM
From Aikido FAQ website:
"Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba (often referred to by his title 'O Sensei' or 'Great Teacher')."

From the posted NGA site.
"Nihon Goshin Aikido (Japanese Self Defense) is a system which was founded and developed by Japanese Martial Arts master named Shodo Morita"

Something here is seriously different and odd. I always was of the belief that Aikido was founded and developed by Morihei Ueshiba as per the commonly accepted deffinition. If you're art was developed by someone else and you don't bow to O'Sensei's picture, you are not really practicing what is commonly reffered to and accepted as Aikido.

I'm not saying that its not a good martial art, or that you should not practice it, but the use of the word Aikido in the name clearly implies some kind of deception. At least it does to me and the majority of people who consider the Aikido FAQ definition as the correct one for the therm AIKIDO.

Just my two cents.

Chris Li
04-29-2006, 10:48 PM
I'm not saying that its not a good martial art, or that you should not practice it, but the use of the word Aikido in the name clearly implies some kind of deception. At least it does to me and the majority of people who consider the Aikido FAQ definition as the correct one for the therm AIKIDO.

Just my two cents.

The Aikido FAQ is a general information source, but it isn't definitive. For starters, try this article. (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=87)

Best,

Chris

Amir Krause
04-30-2006, 05:17 AM
The Aikido FAQ is a general information source, but it isn't definitive. For starters, try this article. (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=87)

Best,

Chris

As A student of Hirai sensei M.A. - Korindo Aikido, I would like to second that.

As opposed to what Talon and many other Aikido students seem to believe, the name Aikido is not unique to the M.A. that where developed by Ueshiba. The name is a generic name for a group of M.A., it is true that the largest and most commonly available systems among those were developed by Ueshiba. But Ueshiba only adopted the name and can never change the fundamental meaning of it.

Other M.A. that have Aikido in their name are not necessarily part of some deception. The first example that comes to mind is Korindo Aikido - as you can read him explain in the interview, sensei Hirai right to the name Aikido is historical pr oven and clear, without any relation to his connection with Ueshiba.


Amir

DocM
04-30-2006, 03:27 PM
Nihon Goshn Aikido was developed in Shodo Morita's small dojo in Japan. The term aikido is not proprietary. NGA was brought to the US by Shihan Bowe, and much of its development and spread is due to his work. There were NGA dojos in the US since, I believe the early 1960s.

A couple of things come to mind Firstly, it is all about training. Those of you who worry about the use of the word "aikido," have way too much time on your hands (it seems to me). It is true that pure aikido is now associated with O'Sensei's art. NGA never pretended to be that form of martial art. The development and linneage to Morita had always been stressed.


Secondly, it is all about training. Linneage and how many dojos are in practise are just a matter of marketing, popularity and show. Someone mentioned Yanagi Ryu on this thread. I have had the good fortune to meet Don Angier when he visited Walter's dojo. His art was not NGA, but there was a collegial working attitude between him/his students and ours with regard to appreciation of aiki. This does not mean that Morita did not train under Yoshida Kotaro, only that NGA is not Yanagi ryu. Despite much probing, the definitive training of Shodo Morita himself is still somewhat shrouded in mystery. Yanagi ryu was a family system, passed from father to son. No shodan/ranks. No belts. No one cares about those things, just about the techniques.

For those of you who want to train only based on linneage, I would say this: are the principles of the dojo and the sensei real? Do they work, can you learn and train and achieve? If the answer is to those questions is in the affirmative, you are in the right place. If not, the linneage would mean less to me and should to you too.

As people who cross train know, sometimes you pick and choose what techniques and knowledge suit you. This is, apparently how both Shodo Morita and O'Sensei formulated their arts. That may or may not have been "sacriligious" to their former teachers. Oh well. Now some of you here, are bickering about who owns the term "aikido," whose art is "real" or "legitimate." This is quite humorous to me.

The proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Train, and then decide.


Matthew

Chris Li
04-30-2006, 08:34 PM
As opposed to what Talon and many other Aikido students seem to believe, the name Aikido is not unique to the M.A. that where developed by Ueshiba. The name is a generic name for a group of M.A., it is true that the largest and most commonly available systems among those were developed by Ueshiba. But Ueshiba only adopted the name and can never change the fundamental meaning of it.

A couple of caveats:

1) Yes, it was a generic name for a division of the Butokukai, but that division, in practice, consisted of Morihei Ueshiba's art. Also, the Butokukai went belly up after the war.
2) Morihei Ueshiba does appear to be the first to have adopted that name as the name of his art (Minoru Hirai opened the Korindo dojo several years later).
3) Worldwide, 99% of practitioners of "Aikido" labeled arts trace themselves back to Morihei Ueshiba. So it shouldn't be unexpected that most people regard that usage as definitive.

Best,

Chris

Amir Krause
05-01-2006, 03:20 AM
A couple of caveats:

1) Yes, it was a generic name for a division of the Butokukai, but that division, in practice, consisted of Morihei Ueshiba's art. Also, the Butokukai went belly up after the war.
2) Morihei Ueshiba does appear to be the first to have adopted that name as the name of his art (Minoru Hirai opened the Korindo dojo several years later).
3) Worldwide, 99% of practitioners of "Aikido" labeled arts trace themselves back to Morihei Ueshiba. So it shouldn't be unexpected that most people regard that usage as definitive.

Best,

Chris

Chris, I agree with all your comments, those are the facts as far as I know them. I do not think they contradict the essence of my statement about the nature of the term "aikido".

Amir

Jose Garrido
05-01-2006, 10:45 AM
OK guys, I just looked at this thread and it bothers me in a few ways. One way is the fact that NGA has NEVER claimed to be AIKIKAI related and that people have forgotten that NG= Nihon Goshin= Japanese Self-Defense. It is a practical self-defense oriented style. I also have seen all of the certificates and they do read Aikido.

Now what techniques are present. Richard Bowe used American/English names for them but I can assure you that the following "aikido" waza are present: ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, yonkyo, hiji jime, kotegaeshi, kokyunage, kotegaeshi, kaitennage, shomen iriminage, sokumen iriminage, sudori. Now the jujutsu based: osotogari, ogoshi, ippon seionage, seio-otoshi, kani basami, yoko wakare, hara guruma and more.....

I started my NGA training in 1964 and I can assure you that it is an aikido system with its roots in Daito-ryu because it has some techniques that can be traced directly to its Daito-ryu version without any changes.

Now, this is my two cents worth that I felt I had to add. The only other thing that I must add is that Richard Bowe is and was an exemplary martial artist and instructor. When I trained with him, he was a hard task master about correct technique. And I feel that if you want to train in a a practical and effective Gendai (modern) Budo (martial way) NGA is it.

Now I will bow out

Jose' Garrido :do: