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-   -   Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido? (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19749)

Lee Crockett 05-06-2011 09:20 AM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Cliff Judge, if that is all you can add to a serious discussion regarding what Aikido is and what is being practiced today, then words fail me.

Clearly you have nothing constructive to add.

jonreading 05-06-2011 09:23 AM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
I'll bite.

I believe aikido is a tool that unifies yourself to the world around you in all of your endeavors. However, we are not doing O'Sensei's aikido. But wasn't that his intention?

1. I believe the socio-political, physical, and training conditions surrounding the Founder's fighting education are almost [if not] impossible to re-create. The educational curriculum to which O'Sensei was exposed does not exist in aikido (if it even exists in entirety any longer).
2. I believe the aikido O'sensei wished to give the world was devoid of the requirements of combat and fighting science so that citizens could participate in training without the need for more severe training methods. Not less martial, only devoid of the severe combat training required to development necessary fighting skills considered prerequisite to aikido training.
3. As a religious man, O'Sensei used his faith as the paradigm in which to transmit his teaching to others later in his life. That does not mean aikido is religious or spiritual (in the Western sense).

I believe the aikido O'Sensei wanted to share still exists, although not mainstream. Put it next to the polar bears and spotted owls on the endangered list. In deconstructing some of the aikido history and urban knowledge, this topic rates high on the list of things that need to be re-evaluated. I advocate this type of dialogue is confusing to many practitioners because it requires a significant educational pre-requisite to reduce the risk of mis-interpreting the issue. I analogize these progressive arguments to that of teaching math. Calculus exists, but to a middle school child calculus is beyond his comprehension. In progressive education paradigms we place math before algebra, algebra before calculus and so on. Aikido does not recognize that some concepts are beyond comprehension at early stages in training. And as adults, we'll be da%#ed if someone is gonna tell us we don't know what we are doing...even if we don't.

Many modern shihan have translated into a new educational paradigm the aikido they learned from O'Sensei. Still more modern leaders are now translating their learning into a better educational paradigm. We keep centering our entire educational development [evaluation] around the accomplishments of an anomaly delivering a broken curriculum using a Eastern religious paradigm.

Some of the aikido leaders I enjoy focus on these points. These leaders understand that aikido needs a [better] learning structure. They alter their teaching paradigm to deliver better content in a logical order and they seek to reduce the need for severe training to preserve the body.

Lee Crockett 05-06-2011 09:32 AM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Aikido cannot be taught or learnt, Aikido is discovered.

Techniques are TOOLS to help find Aikido. The techniques demonstrated in the class to the students, once being performed competently does not mean one is automatically doing Aikido.

You have to go beyond the physical.

Cliff Judge 05-06-2011 09:46 AM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Quote:

Lee Crockett wrote: (Post 283051)
Cliff Judge, if that is all you can add to a serious discussion regarding what Aikido is and what is being practiced today, then words fail me.

Clearly you have nothing constructive to add.

The only way that comment could be constructive is if it convinced you to learn to spell correctly. I've done what I can. :D

In the same light, the only way this can be a "discussion" is if all parties involved are honest with what they share and are willing to allow their thinking to be changed somewhat.

graham christian 05-06-2011 10:10 AM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Quote:

Lee Crockett wrote: (Post 283054)
Aikido cannot be taught or learnt, Aikido is discovered.

Techniques are TOOLS to help find Aikido. The techniques demonstrated in the class to the students, once being performed competently does not mean one is automatically doing Aikido.

You have to go beyond the physical.

Hi Lee.

I have been reading most of your comments and understand where you are coming from but may I offer some food for thought.

Firstly, I have never met or seen a Master of his art be it Takeda or Ueshiba who didn't have some meataphysical understanding that set them apart or made them that good.

Secondly, the point of doing or not doing O'Senseis Aikido. I would say that it's not a matter of IF you are it is more a matter of WHEN you are.

From this viewpoint you can look at the field of Aikido in a more relaxed manner. O'Senseis Aikido had the spiritual aspects inherent in it but also had all the other aspects as well including technique.

Therefore when you find yourself doing any part of Aikido that you can relate to O'Sensei then you can indeed say to yourself that at that point you were doing O'Senseis Aikido.

There has never been in my experience any Aikido I have seen where there was nothing related to his Aikido, there is always something the person is doing which is Aikido.

Therefore all practitioners are doing O'Senseis Aikido.

If you have the aim of being at one with the universe etc. then when you do something in Aikido and feel that you are then Acknowledge that point as one where you were doing O'Senseis Aikido and thus learn and progress.

Two things can be true at the same time. Arikawas view that there is only one Aikido plus my view that all are doing Aikido.

Regards.G.

Lee Crockett 05-06-2011 10:24 AM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Graham,

Im not sure where to start, there is such a basic misunderstanding.

If the definition of Aikido is "Unification with the Universal", you tell me one person in the world today who is doing this?

How can you contradict someone as eminent as Arikawa?

Also, technique is NOT Aikido.Just because someone is practicing technique, it does not mean they are doing Aikido.

O'Sensei took the teachings of Takeda, and develped them further into principals and tools to find Aikido.

Look at weapons work. They are AIKIJo and AIKIKen. They do not teach how to fight with a sword or jo, but thats what people believe. The ken and jo are tools to be used for solo practice when partner practice is not possible. They are used to hekp find Aikido.

Tony Wagstaffe 05-06-2011 11:02 AM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Quote:

Lee Crockett wrote: (Post 283061)
Graham,

Im not sure where to start, there is such a basic misunderstanding.

If the definition of Aikido is "Unification with the Universal", you tell me one person in the world today who is doing this?

How can you contradict someone as eminent as Arikawa?

Also, technique is NOT Aikido.Just because someone is practicing technique, it does not mean they are doing Aikido.

O'Sensei took the teachings of Takeda, and develped them further into principals and tools to find Aikido.

Look at weapons work. They are AIKIJo and AIKIKen. They do not teach how to fight with a sword or jo, but thats what people believe. The ken and jo are tools to be used for solo practice when partner practice is not possible. They are used to hekp find Aikido.

Lee, do you think that Ueshiba or Sunadomari were "invincible" because of the spiritualism or by their technique?. I for one do not think either of them were or as others would have you believe..... No one is unbeatable....

Cliff Judge 05-06-2011 11:06 AM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Quote:

Lee Crockett wrote: (Post 283033)
Until Aikidoka through their training can create "Unification with the Universal", they are not doing Aikido, they are practicing physical techniques, a jutsu.

We train TOWARDS Aikido.

For what little it is likely to be worth, the kanji for do in Aikido is



This means way, road, or path. It doesn't mean "destination."

Lee Crockett 05-06-2011 11:34 AM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Cliff,

By training towards something, you are on a path or way, or is that too subtle.

Lee Crockett 05-06-2011 11:37 AM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Tony,

I have never alluded to O'Sensei or Sunadomari as being invincible. I just said that in my opinion i believe they are the only ones to do Aikido, unification with the universal. This can also be achieved by the tea ceremony, bonsai, calligraphy etc, how would doing these make one invincible? They wouldnt.

mathewjgano 05-06-2011 11:48 AM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 283058)
Therefore all practitioners are doing O'Senseis Aikido.

If you have the aim of being at one with the universe etc. then when you do something in Aikido and feel that you are then Acknowledge that point as one where you were doing O'Senseis Aikido and thus learn and progress.

Two things can be true at the same time. Arikawas view that there is only one Aikido plus my view that all are doing Aikido.

Regards.G.

Graham,
You and I are of like minds here I think. I think this is a semantics game and often people are confused because they're arguing different things dressed up in the same or similar terminology. My thinking, ignorant though I know it largely is, is that any time someone is trying for the ideal (without getting into whatever that might spcifically be), they are "doing" Aikido. Their understanding of Aikido, and that which they manifest, will necessarily be different from other expressions. I think this points to the times where people talk of making Aikido your own, of applying it to the unique circumstances we each find ourselves in, and to the capacity we have developed within ourselves.
Of course, on the other hand I believe there is an objective reality. O Sensei did very specific things when he expressed "Aikido." The physical skills he employed and the mindset which directed them were very specific things. If anyone seeks to replicate any part of that set, they must recognize this objective reality...and I'm guessing that's where folks start talking about "one Aikido."

Lee, it's probably semantics, but superficially I disagree with your statement that Aikido is not learned.

To my mind, discovery is learning...in the same way I would describe the :do: of self-discovery as a process of learning about the self. My sense is that Aikido is ultimately an expression of this and that part of learning about how to have victory over yourself implies learning how to meet (:ai: ) with the forces (:ki: ) of the world around you...hence the holistic quality so many people are attracted to...the "Dao."
If that makes sense. I'm just a practicioner of layman-do and hold the rank of nth degree. :D
Take care,
Matt

Lee Crockett 05-06-2011 11:57 AM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Matt,

When i refer to Aikido being taught or learnt i am referring to a teacher student relationship.

In fact it really is only through self discovery that one improves. A number of senior aikidoka state they arent teachers but "guides", i.e. they can tell you something exists, but cant show you how to find it. You have to find it for yourself.

This is the discovery i was referring to which as you said is self learning.

mathewjgano 05-06-2011 12:18 PM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Quote:

Lee Crockett wrote: (Post 283077)
Matt,

When i refer to Aikido being taught or learnt i am referring to a teacher student relationship.

In fact it really is only through self discovery that one improves. A number of senior aikidoka state they arent teachers but "guides", i.e. they can tell you something exists, but cant show you how to find it. You have to find it for yourself.

This is the discovery i was referring to which as you said is self learning.

Hi Lee,
I didn't read enough of what you said earlier to pick that up, sorry about that. That makes sense to me. I've often described that teacher-learner relationship the same way. My limited study on the field of Education were centered around the concept of Constructionism, so I see what you're getting at.
Take care,
Matt

Tony Wagstaffe 05-06-2011 12:38 PM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Quote:

Lee Crockett wrote: (Post 283070)
Tony,

I have never alluded to O'Sensei or Sunadomari as being invincible. I just said that in my opinion i believe they are the only ones to do Aikido, unification with the universal. This can also be achieved by the tea ceremony, bonsai, calligraphy etc, how would doing these make one invincible? They wouldnt.

I thought maybe you were alluding to that as many do, my mistake....:)

Cliff Judge 05-06-2011 12:39 PM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Quote:

Lee Crockett wrote: (Post 283069)
Cliff,

By training towards something, you are on a path or way, or is that too subtle.

So what are you saying AIkido is, again?

Diana Frese 05-06-2011 12:52 PM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Now I'm the one waving my hand in the air.... Can I jump back in to a couple of posts a couple of days ago? (I'm trying to teach myself to think before posting....) Demetrio, yes the husband of Ame no Izume no Mikoto was Saruta Hiko (I forget the rest of his name). Matt was kind in waiting for me to answer, since I had brought up the story, but it was the website of the Kannagara dojo he attends that reminded me of the story. O Sensei felt that this Kami was the "patron" of Aikido and I'm sure Matt will explain to anyone who is interested the connection between the Jinja, Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja and Iwama's Aiki Shrine...

Rudy, thanks for the encouragement, as my husband has taken on side work with a demanding schedule to supplement the carpentry and cabinetwork .... and vehicle share with others, not our own, we can't attend the local dojo these days but hope to as soon as possible. He and I actually showed up two days two winters ago for morning class and people were very kind to not "little" but kind of "old" "me". The only one who forgot and threw me was my husband Chuck. I enjoyed the practice but had to take my glasses off, so that also was a new experience because I hadn;t worn glasses years ago when I trained originally. Somehow I have to get a hakama, but if we persevere in work efforts I'm sure I'll be able to get one.... can't show up to evening class without one I think.... I got away with just a gi and black belt in the early morning.... or people were too polite to complain at someone who hadn't really been on the mat much in twenty years...

Skipping a few pages, the benevolent Tony has been encouraging us to persevere with our efforts to resume training, thanks Tony, Chuck hasn't had much chance to train with his pet equipment, the old tires and metal rod he has set up in the yard behind some trees on top of an old water drum.... but I got him to do a few waza, he attacked with yokomen uchi and I'm not that mobile at stepping back anymore so now I was obliged to use the irimi entry on the elbow, yes, I think my other hand was active to prevent a counter.... surprisingly for me it ended up shiho nage ura. I'm just grateful to be practicing again, even just a few techniques every few days. And curious which techniques will come to the fore as I see what I can do these days...

A friend of mine had written a question to Chiba Sensei years ago on whether it was possible to go back to training. She showed it to me. He wrote, "listen to your body" He said the body is like a dog, if the owner mistreats it the dog will bite its owner.... With an example like that, who could forget the advice?

And finally (for now) I remember one of the recent posts mentioned flower arranging and other arts, and when Arikawa Sensei said Ten Chi Jin no Wago no Michi it also reminded me of the Heaven, Earth and Human Beings lines in classical Ikebana.....

Just thought I'd drop in with a few thoughts. I'll continue to learn from this thread, thanks everyone...

graham christian 05-06-2011 12:54 PM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Quote:

Lee Crockett wrote: (Post 283061)
Graham,

Im not sure where to start, there is such a basic misunderstanding.

If the definition of Aikido is "Unification with the Universal", you tell me one person in the world today who is doing this?

How can you contradict someone as eminent as Arikawa?

Also, technique is NOT Aikido.Just because someone is practicing technique, it does not mean they are doing Aikido.

O'Sensei took the teachings of Takeda, and develped them further into principals and tools to find Aikido.

Look at weapons work. They are AIKIJo and AIKIKen. They do not teach how to fight with a sword or jo, but thats what people believe. The ken and jo are tools to be used for solo practice when partner practice is not possible. They are used to hekp find Aikido.

Lee.
Do you understand unifying with the universal? First comes understanding then comes practice usually however sometimes it's the other way around.

Some may call it being in the zone for example. When you see a tennis player become a 'master' for want of a better word, at the top of his game and no one can touch him it's like he's at another level compared to everyone else. Ask him how he felt at that time.

He was at one with his opponent, he was there returning the ball before the opponent even hit it, he was centered, relaxed, full of life and energy and harmonious motion, his techniques to him were almost insignificant as they were merely a result of his being in tune with all that was there. Need I say more?

So yes there are many examples of people being unified with the universal and you can see it if you know what you are looking for.

As to contradicting Arikawa as I said it's not a contradiction, both statements are true.

Technique is a resultant part of Aikido. Any technique in any walk of life is a resultant part of the practice of principles so it is Aikido. However it shouldn't be the main focus of Aikido obviously.

O'Sensei did indeed use the teachings of Takeda Sensei but he didn't develope them into principles and tools for those teachings were already principles and tools. He did something with those self same principles and tools and thus developed Aikido. A subtle difference.

Plus may I add that when you see the principles are the tools then you will need another word for the techniques.

As far as weapons work goes and your view on that then I would have to leave that for a different thread.

So may I say that inherently I don't disagree with your views in as much as putting equal emphasis or even more emphasis on some of the things you point out but not to the extreme of that's right therefore all else is wrong.

Regards.G.

sakumeikan 05-06-2011 12:56 PM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Quote:

Lee Crockett wrote: (Post 283077)
Matt,

When i refer to Aikido being taught or learnt i am referring to a teacher student relationship.

In fact it really is only through self discovery that one improves. A number of senior aikidoka state they arent teachers but "guides", i.e. they can tell you something exists, but cant show you how to find it. You have to find it for yourself.

This is the discovery i was referring to which as you said is self learning.

Dear Lee,
My own belief in relation to the student /teacher relationship , the student is 'Taught' Aikido by a form of osmosis.By that I mean the transmission of the art is not done in a logical,systematic way where the teacher imparts knowledge in a manner like learning a new lanquage/maths.Aikido in my mind is 'doing ' .One learns by action.From touch, sensory input , from observation, self realisation.
The teacher may lay a path for the student , but the student I feel has to find his /her own way/WAY.. Cheers, Joe

sakumeikan 05-06-2011 01:02 PM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Quote:

Diana Frese wrote: (Post 283088)
Now I'm the one waving my hand in the air.... Can I jump back in to a couple of posts a couple of days ago? (I'm trying to teach myself to think before posting....) Demetrio, yes the husband of Ame no Izume no Mikoto was Saruta Hiko (I forget the rest of his name). Matt was kind in waiting for me to answer, since I had brought up the story, but it was the website of the Kannagara dojo he attends that reminded me of the story. O Sensei felt that this Kami was the "patron" of Aikido and I'm sure Matt will explain to anyone who is interested the connection between the Jinja, Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja and Iwama's Aiki Shrine...

Rudy, thanks for the encouragement, as my husband has taken on side work with a demanding schedule to supplement the carpentry and cabinetwork .... and vehicle share with others, not our own, we can't attend the local dojo these days but hope to as soon as possible. He and I actually showed up two days two winters ago for morning class and people were very kind to not "little" but kind of "old" "me". The only one who forgot and threw me was my husband Chuck. I enjoyed the practice but had to take my glasses off, so that also was a new experience because I hadn;t worn glasses years ago when I trained originally. Somehow I have to get a hakama, but if we persevere in work efforts I'm sure I'll be able to get one.... can't show up to evening class without one I think.... I got away with just a gi and black belt in the early morning.... or people were too polite to complain at someone who hadn't really been on the mat much in twenty years...

Skipping a few pages, the benevolent Tony has been encouraging us to persevere with our efforts to resume training, thanks Tony, Chuck hasn't had much chance to train with his pet equipment, the old tires and metal rod he has set up in the yard behind some trees on top of an old water drum.... but I got him to do a few waza, he attacked with yokomen uchi and I'm not that mobile at stepping back anymore so now I was obliged to use the irimi entry on the elbow, yes, I think my other hand was active to prevent a counter.... surprisingly for me it ended up shiho nage ura. I'm just grateful to be practicing again, even just a few techniques every few days. And curious which techniques will come to the fore as I see what I can do these days...

A friend of mine had written a question to Chiba Sensei years ago on whether it was possible to go back to training. She showed it to me. He wrote, "listen to your body" He said the body is like a dog, if the owner mistreats it the dog will bite its owner.... With an example like that, who could forget the advice?

And finally (for now) I remember one of the recent posts mentioned flower arranging and other arts, and when Arikawa Sensei said Ten Chi Jin no Wago no Michi it also reminded me of the Heaven, Earth and Human Beings lines in classical Ikebana.....

Just thought I'd drop in with a few thoughts. I'll continue to learn from this thread, thanks everyone...

Dear Diana,
Liked the comment about Chiba Sensei and the analogy about the dog/body.As ever Chiba Sensei gave a great answer in his own unique style!! Cheers, Joe

abraxis 05-06-2011 01:25 PM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
First, Lee Crockett wrote:

"Cliff,
By training towards something, you are on a path or way, or is that too subtle."

then

Cliff Judge wrote: "So what are you saying AIkido is, again?"

and now I put my own two cents in and answer:

It's an Art.

Lee Crockett 05-07-2011 03:25 AM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Rudy,

Aikido is defined as Unification with the Universal. If you want to call that an "Art", that is up to you, but i dont see how it can be an art.

It is a state of existance/mind.

Lee Crockett 05-07-2011 03:36 AM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Graham,

I do not believe for one moment that being in the “Zone” as you call it, is being at one with creation and yes you are contradicting Arikawa if YOU believe all are doing Aikido.

Technicque is NOT part of Aikido. Techniques are TOOLS used to find Aikido, and the statement “Any technique in any walk of life is a resultant part of the practice of principles so it is Aikido” is simply incompatible with the definition of “Unification with the Universal”.

O’Sensei did develop Takedas tools further, if he hadn’t, we wouldn’t have techniques today slightly different to Takedas techniques, he turned it into a Taijitsu a body art.

Techniques are tools that teach principles, i.e. they teach the 9 elements such as Kokyu, Kamae, Irimi/Tenkan etc

abraxis 05-07-2011 09:34 AM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Quote:

Lee Crockett wrote: (Post 283121)
...Aikido is defined as Unification with the Universal. If you want to call that an "Art", that is up to you, but i dont see how it can be an art. It is a state of existance/mind.

All well and good but I still am convinced it is in the realm of Performance Art.

Best regards.

graham christian 05-07-2011 11:46 AM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Quote:

Lee Crockett wrote: (Post 283123)
Graham,

I do not believe for one moment that being in the "Zone" as you call it, is being at one with creation and yes you are contradicting Arikawa if YOU believe all are doing Aikido.

Technicque is NOT part of Aikido. Techniques are TOOLS used to find Aikido, and the statement "Any technique in any walk of life is a resultant part of the practice of principles so it is Aikido" is simply incompatible with the definition of "Unification with the Universal".

O'Sensei did develop Takedas tools further, if he hadn't, we wouldn't have techniques today slightly different to Takedas techniques, he turned it into a Taijitsu a body art.

Techniques are tools that teach principles, i.e. they teach the 9 elements such as Kokyu, Kamae, Irimi/Tenkan etc

Lee.
If you say so. A technique in truth is merely an expression of the universal along with the motions and states of being. Is it not?

Anyway, I'll end on that view and leave you with yours.

Regards.G.

Demetrio Cereijo 05-07-2011 11:55 AM

Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?
 
Quote:

Lee Crockett wrote: (Post 283123)
Graham,

I do not believe for one moment that being in the “Zone” as you call it, is being at one with creation

Being in "the zone", or Csíkszentmihályi's "state of flow", could have been easily understood by someone like Ueshiba as "Unification with the Universal".


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