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-   -   Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ? (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23707)

jonreading 07-22-2014 11:51 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
I think there is a cross-definition of power going on... Maybe some clarification helps. I have seen at least 4 contexts of "power" ...

Internal power is just another kind of mechanic to generate kinetic force. Muscles are just one kind of power source. So is gravity. In this sense, we are talking about the engine of kinetic energy - movement. If you are doing waza, you are moving and using power. The question really is, what is moving you?

Second, we have an imagery to help craft the recognition and restraint of using muscles you don't need. This is "relax". If you have been told to relax, you are using too many external muscles. It's not that you should not use power to move, its that you are using muscle power to move (as opposed to the unspoken "internalization" of the movement).

Third, we have a philosophy to help craft the intent that leads our movement. Our intent should not focus on doing something to someone, but rather liberating our personal freedom to be unaffected by others. In this sense, "power" refers to the will of dominion over another - the desire to do something to someone.

Forth, we have an education to help craft our decisions and prioritize our actions. This is a concrete expression of action and reaction. In this sense, power is a physical force that we can receive and we can apply. Sunadomari made "take away power" famous in his aikido friendship demo, referring to the process of removing a partner's ability to apply power into nage.

"Internal power" for me is the very specific use of internal mechanics to transfer my potential energy into kinetic energy. If you are talking about anything external to yourself, then you are not talking about "internal power." At best, you are talking about the affect internal power has on others.

Given Gavin's comments concerning his idea of kokyu rokyu doing something to somebody, I think he is not talking about internal power. There is no magical power. Internal power is unusual in that it is a rewiring of human function that requires effort and is not intuitive. But then, isn't gravity unusual power? Watch a baby try to stand against gravity and see the affect gravity has on the baby. Sure, we figure out the tricks to deal with gravity (by wiring our body to move...), but that baby represents a sincere perspective of the power of gravity. After all, isn't gravity fundamental to the concept of kuzushi?

To Cliff's point... If you consider power to be muscular, yes, i think the use of muscular effort is not conducive to cultivating ki* (*somewhat vague). Best example... Imagine loosing an arrow from a bow:
1. Could you push the string with your arm faster that the string can release its kinetic energy?
2. Could you throw an arrow farther than a bow can shoot an arrow?
The build of potential energy is created by drawing the bow, not loosing it. Releasing the string is what converts the potential energy into kinetic energy. The string affects the notched arrow by accelerating it during its return to zero energy state. The result is the arrow is projected into the air. The bow example can both illustrate the inefficiency of where we apply force (pushing the string) and the difference in applied force (the range of comparative arrows).

My thinking... FWIW

Rupert Atkinson 07-22-2014 03:00 PM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Power is important. Get used to it. You need to end up with more, not less. And why do people always think power is just physical strength? But, the irony is, you must learn not to use that power. That's the difficult part.

Mert Gambito 07-22-2014 04:59 PM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
If we assign the connotations of "power" in the western sense to "勁", yeah again, that's limiting. Look at the English terms in addition to "strength" attributed to the Chinese version of the term in Google Translate to illustrate this (not that Google Translate is complete or infallible, but it's interesting to note that the noun synonyms provided do not include "power").

That said, the folks in the IP subset of this community in general are seeking greater, more efficient ability in their respective martial arts. Individual goals are wide ranging within that gamut. Given this is martial arts, even if on the edges of the bell curve someone's seeking power for the sake of simply taking out people more expediently, well that also fits within the gamut. And besides a number of the aiki greats, including Ueshiba, specifically sought and demonstrated it in this context. As a member of the Hawaii martial arts community who encountered Ueshiba during the founder's later years recounts, Ueshiba reversed this man's attack (which came from behind without warning) and readily held him to the ground with a single hand, suggesting it was like subduing a child. That was an unequivocal premeditated show of "power".

Gavin Slater 07-22-2014 08:25 PM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Hi,

I guess everyone has a different idea. I can only say what I was taught in respect to kyoku / kyoku jime I was told it was influencing your enemy (or making your enemy do what you want) with your breath. Uke/tori wasn't really used like in judo.

I just think no matter what you believe aiki is, whether it is internal power, bow theory or big fat jelly men you also need to believe it is not that as well.

Gavin

Carsten Möllering 07-23-2014 04:09 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
I am sorry, I have to take a little detour: I don't understand your following statements:

Quote:

Gavin Slater wrote: (Post 338452)
... im not sure what you mean by putting more ki into my throws. I dont think you throw people away.

Yes. I do. Of course I do. To me that is what the nage waza are about?
(To be more precise, we try to not throw uke away, but try to throw him directly down to the ground between our feet. But I think this does not make a difference in regard to the topic here?)
And you can choose whether to do that more intense, more vigorous, more energatically. - Or not.
One means of steering of how intense your throw becomes is where to lead your ki, and how much to lead there.

In graduation exams of sandan or yondan I hear the request to not hold back, but put more ki into the waza from time to time.

When you say, you don't throw uke away, I think I don't understand which way you are dealing with uke? Well if he is not throwing himself, it tori who has to?
Maybe there is a vid on youtube, that can help me to understand, what you mean?

Quote:

Gavin Slater wrote: (Post 338471)
... influencing your enemy (or making your enemy do what you want) with your breath. Uke/tori wasn't really used like in judo.

Same thing here: What does that mean, that uke "wasn't realy used"? Don't you touch him or grab him? And if not, how then do you make him go down?

Maybe that the coordinate systems of our ways of doing and understanding aikidō is different, so that things like power, strength etc. have completely different place in each case?

---
With regard to power:

For sure "power" is not what I am first of all looking for, but it is part of the outcome of my practice. And "power" for sure does not mean muscular strength. And it does not mean intellectual or spiritual dominance.

In practicing aikidō it is brought forth by using yin and yang, by not relying on muscles but on the internal structure and natural organisation of the body.
And it is brought forth in the same way by living the dao. It is a power that even while it does nothing, leaves nothing undone. A power that even while it is empty, generates the 10,000 things inexhaustible.
I think, dao is very powerfull. As long as you are not searching for power but searching for the dao. And I think, aikidō is a way of practicing the dao.

Gavin Slater 07-23-2014 06:55 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Hi Carsten,

When I say uke/tori wasn't really used, I mean the terms were not really used i.e. the attacker was never called uke. They were always referenced as the enemy. Nothing to do with dealing with uke etc.

In Daito Ryu there are no throws, you don't throw the enemy away.

Maybe our understanding of aiki is very different, mine comes from Daito Ryu. I'm not sure why you use chinese terms like yin/yang and the dao when you study aikido?

I dont think 'power' is muscular strength. I just said I don't think you should want to become powerful.

Gavin

Carsten Möllering 07-23-2014 08:01 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Thank you!
I was completely on the wrong track! Whyever ..

Quote:

Gavin Slater wrote: (Post 338476)
Maybe our understanding of aiki is very different, mine comes from Daito Ryu.

I use to practice with some students of Endō sensei who also practice Daitō ryū Roppokai. At least our understanding of aiki goes together.

Quote:

I'm not sure why you use chinese terms like yin/yang and the dao when you study aikido?
Those terms - and others - are frequently used in my aikido world. And Ueshiba himself also did so.

Cliff Judge 07-23-2014 10:06 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Carsten Möllering wrote: (Post 338477)
Thank you!
I was completely on the wrong track! Whyever ..

I use to practice with some students of Endō sensei who also practice Daitō ryū Roppokai. At least our understanding of aiki goes together.

Those terms - and others - are frequently used in my aikido world. And Ueshiba himself also did so.

Didn't he use the terms in and yo? I've wondered about the use of Chinese terms sometimes too, though it makes sense when someone "up the chain" has done some serious study of Chinese martial arts, which is the case for several of my instructors.

MRoh 07-23-2014 03:18 PM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Cliff Judge wrote: (Post 338478)
Didn't he use the terms in and yo?

I think he used izanami and izanagi.

jonreading 07-23-2014 03:30 PM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
I am not sure how much "published" works of the founder would survive using Chinese terminology. I think there are some good points in Hidden in Plain Sight that talk about the impact of Chinese martial arts and culture on O Sensei.

Mostly, I think think some Chinese terminology more explicitly defines difficult concepts often left to implicit instruction in Japanese martial arts.

Also, I have found that when I work with very powerful people, my ukemi is less about letting them do something to me and more about proactively protecting myself. I am not getting "thrown" so much as I am actively working to protect my body. Even if I am being pinned, I am working to protect my body from being damaged by the pin.

Chris Li 07-23-2014 03:50 PM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Markus Rohde wrote: (Post 338486)
I think he used izanami and izanagi.

Yes, and he also used In and Yo quite a bit - but In and Yo is just...Yin and Yang, the same Kanji with a slight shift in pronunciation (the pronunciation changes in Chinese too, depending upon the dialect you're speaking - the rule in Chinese is to follow the written character, which is the same in Japanese).

I tend to use Yin and Yang because it's more generally recognizable to most folks. Before the IP "crowd" started talking about In and Yo most people in contemporary Aikido had never even heard the terms before.

Best,

Chris

Mert Gambito 07-23-2014 04:11 PM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Gavin Slater wrote: (Post 338476)
In Daito Ryu there are no throws, you don't throw the enemy away.

Gavin,

There are plenty of throws in Daito-ryu, some of which have direct analogues, for example, in judo (e.g. Kata Guruma and O-Soto Gari). Agree regarding throwing away: similar to judo, you generally keep contact with the uke, or at least keep him/her within easy reach, following the throw / takedown.

Quote:

Gavin Slater wrote:
Maybe our understanding of aiki is very different, mine comes from Daito Ryu. I'm not sure why you use chinese terms like yin/yang and the dao when you study aikido?

All of this has been put to bed in the past, e.g. per Morihei Ueshiba's son:
Quote:

Kisshomaru Ueshiba (via Aikido Journal) wrote:
He would always shut himself up in his room and avidly read his stacks of books. He liked reviews of the (nine) Chinese classics and stories of heroes, but he liked physics and mathematics more—he would read and think, think and make things, and absorb himself in experiments.

There was a temple nearby which burned goma (a method of spiritual practice of esoteric Buddhism in which the "firewood of evil passions" is burned by the "fire of wisdom", and while going to a school affiliated with the temple, he studied the (nine) Chinese classics from the priest.

(full introductory text of the article is here: https://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=317)

sakumeikan 07-23-2014 06:04 PM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Rupert Atkinson wrote: (Post 338201)
I find this idea quite thought provoking. Interesting even. I am of the mind that power is very important. I remember that Kanetsuka Sensei (UK) produced very soft Aikido but his structure was solid as a rock. He didn't teach anything about power though - but he was very powerful. In fact, his Aikido was kind of like Chiba's in that it was - obviously very powerful - and then he got cancer and he became soft, then he overcame the cancer, and he remained soft - but power lurked behind it, hidden. And so, all his students followed. But they were following his journey, and his route had included power. If I remember correctly (I could be wrong - I was a nobody back then), some senior students quit at that time and joined a different organisation - perhaps because of this - so it is important to consider.

Anyway, I believe power to be very important. Even, I would say, the more you have the better (both internal and external), but we choose not to use the external, instead finding a more efficient way to do it (internal). But even then, the thing is, we must still work on developing our power (internal and external) and maintaining it. We should be a strong as we can be for our own body on both the inside and the outside. I am not advocating weight training here, rather, just that one should be extra fit (compared to the average guy). And unless you train regularly, Aikido is not enough to get you fit, which is another problem entirely.

Dear Rupert,
As one of the guys who quit the B.A.F and subsequently joined the U.K.A.and later became a co founder of British Aikikai aka British Birankai,I remember that period only too clearly.I must say that had I not left the B.A.F I would not be still involved in Aikido.Quite frankly classes under Kanetsuka Sensei had little in common with Chiba Sensei.I agree Kanetsuka Sensei was a strong person at the time.The people who left the B.A.F did not leave because they were unwilling to acquire power .Perhaps spending long periods lying on ones back with legs tied up like frogs at courses may well have been one of many reasons why an exodus took place.Personally I felt at the time as did others that the direction of aikido under Kanetsuka Sensei left much to be desired.I agree that some individuals remained with the B.A.F.I guess one mans meat is another mans poison??Anyway its all water under the bridge and the past is the past.
In respect of power [please define what you mean by this ]having trained with Sekiya Sensei, Yamaguchi Sensei, Tamura Sensei if you mean physical strength I would dispute your claim that you need to be King Kong to do aikido.You have ruled out weight training , surely a well designed programme of weights will make anybody stronger?Most if not all athletes [runners/judoka/ rowers] all use weights yet you do not advocate this method.Again how do you define fit?Fit for what , lifting huge weights or running a marathon?Being too strong can be counter productive inasmuch some guys use excessive force rather than using skills to apply their waza. Balance between strength/good waza is the way to go.Cheer, Joe

Gavin Slater 07-23-2014 11:27 PM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Hi Mert,

Sorry I have never done aikido, only Hisa Sensei's Daito Ryu. I just always wondered why a Japanese Martial art would use chinese terms thats all.

Do you think Takeda Sensei taught Ueshiba Sensei using chinese terms? I dont think he did. Maybe Ueshiba Sensei liked those terms, or it was his education. I dont really know btw. I asked if Hisa Sensei ever used terms like that and he didn't so who knows.

My teacher never talked about in and yo, or dantiens or anything like that. But he did teach me how to think, and he always stressed not to try and become powerful or think you are powerful. Like it's the most basic rule, and I would not describe him as powerful, in fact it would be the opposite.

Gavin

Carsten Möllering 07-24-2014 02:41 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Gavin Slater wrote: (Post 338499)
I just always wondered why a Japanese Martial art would use chinese terms thats all.

While Japanese Culture in general is deeply influenced by Chinese roots
some Japanese arts show this in particular.
Interesting enough the effective history of Daoism in Japan often is not well known. But it has deeply affected Japanese thinking. Even shintō, which is usually thought to be genuine Japanese has a strong relation to Daoism. And so has Ōmoto kyō - the sect, Ueshiba Morihei was a member of.

When I once asked Endō sensei he was very clear about aikidō having chinese roots. And he pointed out, that Ueshiba himself also was very clear about that.

Quote:

My teacher never talked about in and yo, or dantiens or anything like that.
My teacher does. He learned it from his aikidō teachers. And also in the koryū he teaches, exactly this are essential elements.

Quote:

... he always stressed not to try and become powerful or think you are powerful. Like it's the most basic rule, ...
In examinations for sandan or yondan I've often heard different teaches (Japanese and non-Japanese) request a canditate to be more vigourous, to show more energy, spirit - to be more ... powerful. (I myself also experienced this during my last examination. ;) )
.

Carsten Möllering 07-24-2014 02:47 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
When I showed this video of Yamashima sensei to my students, one ot them spontanuously said: "See how much power he can generate by just using aiki!" ...
... while I am not talking or teaching to become powerfull in my classes.

Chris Li 07-24-2014 03:03 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Gavin Slater wrote: (Post 338499)
Hi Mert,

Sorry I have never done aikido, only Hisa Sensei's Daito Ryu. I just always wondered why a Japanese Martial art would use chinese terms thats all.

Do you think Takeda Sensei taught Ueshiba Sensei using chinese terms? I dont think he did. Maybe Ueshiba Sensei liked those terms, or it was his education. I dont really know btw. I asked if Hisa Sensei ever used terms like that and he didn't so who knows.

My teacher never talked about in and yo, or dantiens or anything like that. But he did teach me how to think, and he always stressed not to try and become powerful or think you are powerful. Like it's the most basic rule, and I would not describe him as powerful, in fact it would be the opposite.

Gavin

In and Yo are both common terms in Daito-ryu, as is Tanden (I've heard all three used by Takuma Hisa himself, and in this article Tokimune Takeda also uses the terms In and Yo) - those are just slightly different pronunciations of the standard Chinese terms - the words themselves are....exactly the same. As I said, it's just a convenience because people are more familiar with the Chinese pronunciations.

As for power - as Mert said, there are a number of ways to define "power", so you'll have to define that a little more closely.

Best,

Chris

Mert Gambito 07-24-2014 03:57 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Gavin Slater wrote: (Post 338499)
Hi Mert,

Sorry I have never done aikido, only Hisa Sensei's Daito Ryu. I just always wondered why a Japanese Martial art would use chinese terms thats all.

Do you think Takeda Sensei taught Ueshiba Sensei using chinese terms? I dont think he did. Maybe Ueshiba Sensei liked those terms, or it was his education. I dont really know btw. I asked if Hisa Sensei ever used terms like that and he didn't so who knows.

My teacher never talked about in and yo, or dantiens or anything like that. But he did teach me how to think, and he always stressed not to try and become powerful or think you are powerful. Like it's the most basic rule, and I would not describe him as powerful, in fact it would be the opposite.

In his day, Ueshiba was not unique in studying Buddhism and being exposed to Chinese classics. Go back a few decades to Takeda's upbringing and that was likely even more prevalent (as discussed in this article). The aiki arts (i.e. Daito-ryu and its descendants) talk about "心" in that term's various flavors. This isn't unique to this subset of martial arts, but this is another example of an ubiquitous martial arts term that is written the same, and even almost sounds the same, in Chinese (Mandarin) as in Japanese.

Gavin, would you mind clarifying how long you've trained in Daito-ryu? Also, if in your training model the term "power" is eschewed, then how is the "internal strength", as mentioned on the Australia Takumakai's website (see quote below), defined/described in your lineage?

Quote:

Takumakai Daito-ryu (Australian branch) wrote:
Through the constant challenges that one must face and overcome and through the support of dedicated instructors and fellow students, serious practitioners will continue to develop mind and body coordination and awareness and internal strength as long as one continues to practice.

In any case, Hisa reportedly made no qualms about discussing the need for power -- in fact differentiating between the merits of different types of power, as presented in this article (with a salient quote below):

Quote:

Yutaka Amatsu wrote:
Hisa taught me "Daito-ryu's strong point is to make use of foot-power, foot is stronger than arm".

Anyway, the notions you put forth regarding no throws, no aspirations of power, lack of borrowed Chinese terminology, etc. in Daito-ryu are unique in my experience (and seemingly that of Chris and others with exposure to the art), so thank you for graciously fielding our rebuttals and evidence to the contrary.

Cliff Judge 07-24-2014 08:41 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Christopher Li wrote: (Post 338506)
In and Yo are both common terms in Daito-ryu, as is Tanden (I've heard all three used by Takuma Hisa himself, and in this article Tokimune Takeda also uses the terms In and Yo) - those are just slightly different pronunciations of the standard Chinese terms - the words themselves are....exactly the same. As I said, it's just a convenience because people are more familiar with the Chinese pronunciations.

Ying and yang I can see, because those have basically been adopted into English and roll off the English speaker's tongue more easily than in and yo. Dantien, not so much, you really need a tai chi background for that one. And I recall some debate on here a couple years back about what dantien actually mapped to in the Japanese martial arts lexicon, whether it was tanden or hara or what.

It can make things confusing. For me it makes it more difficult to establish a common ground, because I have no chinese martial arts experience.

Mert Gambito 07-24-2014 01:08 PM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Cliff Judge wrote: (Post 338510)
Ying and yang I can see, because those have basically been adopted into English and roll off the English speaker's tongue more easily than in and yo. Dantien, not so much, you really need a tai chi background for that one. And I recall some debate on here a couple years back about what dantien actually mapped to in the Japanese martial arts lexicon, whether it was tanden or hara or what.

It can make things confusing. For me it makes it more difficult to establish a common ground, because I have no chinese martial arts experience.

Moreso an Asian background: "丹田" -- which is Japanese/Chinese for tanden/dantian -- is not unique to a culture or art, but is discussed on a broader scale among Asian cultures (and not limited to Taoism).

The differences are more in how one or more tanden/dantian, and/or portions therein, are utilized for various purposes. So, if one person is used to using "hara" to do x, and someone else is used to using "tanden" to do y, while yet another uses "dantian" for z -- well, frankly that's Cartesian-style slicing and dicing that a lot of folks on the west Pacific Rim would just shrug about.

kewms 07-24-2014 01:34 PM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
I'm reminded that China plays a similar role in the East to Greece and Rome in the West. Chinese thought is deeply entangled with the intellectual heritage of the entire region, even if individual thinkers don't necessarily acknowledge the connection.

Certainly there are many advantages to claiming that your art is completely homegrown and uniquely Japanese, especially if you are living in a period of extreme Japanese nationalism. That doesn't mean it's true.

Katherine

Cliff Judge 07-24-2014 02:25 PM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
If the use of new terminology helps people understand something I am all for it. :)

phitruong 07-24-2014 02:52 PM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Cliff Judge wrote: (Post 338521)
If the use of new terminology helps people understand something I am all for it. :)

if you use the terms "in yo ho", it might give folks a different understanding altogether. it might even illegal in some places. some terminology just too dangerous to use in public or even in private for that matter. bad juju. :D

Gavin Slater 07-25-2014 01:22 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Hi Mert,

Rebuttals, evidence and introduction of salient comments I did not realise the aiki
sherrif had rode into town and convened a kangaroo court. Im not sure I could produce anything
that would please the courts. But in the spirit of your request I will try.

So all stand the kangaroo court is in session.

In my first address to the court I would like to table a shock admission given in an affidavit
signed by a Takuma Hisa dated 1939. In it details a conversation held between Mr Hisa
and a Sokaku Takeda.

T - Hisa san come quickly, draw the blinds and close the door.
H - What is it Sensei?
T - Maybe you are not ready, but I want to teach you the menkyo kaiden waza.
H - Really? I have waited all my life for this!
T - Well dont get too excited. The secret is taichi!
H - What do you mean its taichi?
T - Well taichi in a hakama.
H - Well why didn't you just teach me taichi? I could have went down to old Mr Lu at the chinese
takeaway and learnt taichi.
T - Mr Lu does not have a hakama, and if I just taught you taichi then you would missed the
most important points, and just thought about taichi.

Gavin

Mert Gambito 07-25-2014 04:40 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Gavin,

Look forward to continuing to address the points at hand when/if you adjourn the court.

In the meantime, I'm gonna meet up with my Takumakai acquaintance and ask him to demonstrate some of the "foot power" stuff. There are a number of techniques in Hakkoryu that utilize atemi and osae with the feet, so I'm looking forward to comparing notes.

Carsten Möllering 07-25-2014 05:31 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Cliff Judge wrote: (Post 338521)
If the use of new terminology helps people understand something I am all for it. :)

I still don't see in which way it is "new"? And what actually is new?

yin in / yang yo / dantian tanden / dao dō ... same kanji ... nearly same pronounciation ...

Somehow I don't get your point.

oisin bourke 07-25-2014 06:22 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Gavin Slater wrote: (Post 338476)
Hi Carsten,

When I say uke/tori wasn't really used, I mean the terms were not really used i.e. the attacker was never called uke. They were always referenced as the enemy. Nothing to do with dealing with uke etc.

In Daito Ryu there are no throws, you don't throw the enemy away.

Maybe our understanding of aiki is very different, mine comes from Daito Ryu. I'm not sure why you use chinese terms like yin/yang and the dao when you study aikido?

I dont think 'power' is muscular strength. I just said I don't think you should want to become powerful.

Gavin

I totally agree with your points here. The problem is that most other commentators have little to no formal experience in training in Daito Ryu, hence the misinformed comments about throwing people and developing power etc. And then we have the fact that Takuma Hisa stated quite clearly that what Ueshiba was doing and what Takeda Sokaku was doing was completely different:

If people wish to make an authoritative judgement on training methods and body usage in DR, they should find a suitably qualified teacher and train under them. It's not that hard!

jonreading 07-25-2014 08:37 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
I'll bite.

As I understand it, the concept of dashing our partner to the ground (between our feet) is generally consistent with a variety of arts. I would argue that it is actually aikido that diverges from this trait by structuring ukemi into our waza. Sure, we can modify what we are doing, but we are usually giving our partner an avenue of compliance, instead of crumpling our partners to the floor in a heap of brokenness. So, to reverse engineer things for a minute... I think the founder changed that dynamic because it allows us to put more power into what we are doing without increasing the risk to our partner. Having been part of many very uncomfortable pins from which I was not granted an avenue of escape, I appreciate that change.

Second, I am not sure it is surprising that a heightened point of national patriotism, between two countries that have been adverse for a very long time, you would have difficulty finding references to a Japanese nationalist pointing to Chinese methodology as reference for his art. Couple that with the clear synonymy between the elements at issue; we are not talking big leaps of faith. To the tongue -and-cheek court, what's wrong with Tai Chi? Seriously? Is Tai Chi not a viable martial art with some similarity to other martial arts? Of course it is. To the converse, all the internal arts should have some core concepts that are equivalent - I am more concerned when I don't see similarity in sister arts. To Cliff's point, by extension of quality martial arts training, we should all have some foundation in what all [good] martial arts do. Sure, we may not know the words or the forms, but if you stand poorly in aikido, do you think you will stand less poor in Bagua? If you can't put aiki into your hands, do you think you can put aiki into a sword? How many different ways can you twist a wrist?

Daito Ryu and Aikido have a special relationship because Daito Ryu is the parent art of aikido. There is very strong commonality across the arts, but obviously diverse enough that they are recognized separate and distinct arts. The actual issue I see is that the perspectives are divergent, and they should be aligned. The blood in the water from the last several posts is that maybe our perspectives are incomplete or incorrect.

Cliff Judge 07-25-2014 09:04 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Carsten Möllering wrote: (Post 338535)
I still don't see in which way it is "new"? And what actually is new?

yin in / yang yo / dantian tanden / dao dō ... same kanji ... nearly same pronounciation ...

Somehow I don't get your point.

Oh sorry, I thought Chinese and Japanese were different languages.

Cliff Judge 07-25-2014 09:29 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Jon Reading wrote: (Post 338539)
To Cliff's point, by extension of quality martial arts training, we should all have some foundation in what all [good] martial arts do. Sure, we may not know the words or the forms, but if you stand poorly in aikido, do you think you will stand less poor in Bagua? If you can't put aiki into your hands, do you think you can put aiki into a sword? How many different ways can you twist a wrist?

Daito Ryu and Aikido have a special relationship because Daito Ryu is the parent art of aikido. There is very strong commonality across the arts, but obviously diverse enough that they are recognized separate and distinct arts. The actual issue I see is that the perspectives are divergent, and they should be aligned. The blood in the water from the last several posts is that maybe our perspectives are incomplete or incorrect.

Daito ryu and Aikido should definitely not converge, no way! Daito ryu is a very structured, formal system that is officially a koryu bujutsu. It really works well as a non-modern martial art. Some of the things it has to offer are timeless, but some are unabashedly era-bound. To shift its perspective is to risk uprooting it from what makes it great.

Aikido is free from the constraints on a koryu bujutsu. Everybody doing Aikido is crafting their own little system. Practitioners are free to be more creative, and are invited to innovate and express and explore at much earlier stages of training. You can find what works, you can also find things that look cool, you can find things that are just personally interesting.

This is why I don't like the idea that recent innovations in Aikido and new areas of exploration some people are pursuing are somehow "the true old way of Aikido that was lost." Insisting that Chinese and Japanes terms are like, "all the same, man," is one aspect of this.

PeterR 07-25-2014 10:30 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Cliff Judge wrote: (Post 338545)
Daito ryu and Aikido should definitely not converge, no way! Daito ryu is a very structured, formal system that is officially a koryu bujutsu. It really works well as a non-modern martial art. Some of the things it has to offer are timeless, but some are unabashedly era-bound. To shift its perspective is to risk uprooting it from what makes it great.

Aikido is free from the constraints on a koryu bujutsu. Everybody doing Aikido is crafting their own little system. Practitioners are free to be more creative, and are invited to innovate and express and explore at much earlier stages of training. You can find what works, you can also find things that look cool, you can find things that are just personally interesting.

This is why I don't like the idea that recent innovations in Aikido and new areas of exploration some people are pursuing are somehow "the true old way of Aikido that was lost." Insisting that Chinese and Japanes terms are like, "all the same, man," is one aspect of this.

Well Cliff I don't think you could call Daito-ryu an official Koryu Bujutsu although certainly the structure resembles some Koryu, just as some Aikido does. I don't think the definition of koryu or not koryu puts any restrictions on how an art is trained.

Also the connection between Chinese and Japanese, as we all know, is in the writing system. We certainly learned both Chinese and Japanese pronunciations when learning the kanji. When the kanji are the same - there is a very good chance that the meaning is also. Yes I give some room for divergence.

jonreading 07-25-2014 10:32 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Cliff Judge wrote: (Post 338545)
Daito ryu and Aikido should definitely not converge, no way! Daito ryu is a very structured, formal system that is officially a koryu bujutsu. It really works well as a non-modern martial art. Some of the things it has to offer are timeless, but some are unabashedly era-bound. To shift its perspective is to risk uprooting it from what makes it great.

Aikido is free from the constraints on a koryu bujutsu. Everybody doing Aikido is crafting their own little system. Practitioners are free to be more creative, and are invited to innovate and express and explore at much earlier stages of training. You can find what works, you can also find things that look cool, you can find things that are just personally interesting.

This is why I don't like the idea that recent innovations in Aikido and new areas of exploration some people are pursuing are somehow "the true old way of Aikido that was lost." Insisting that Chinese and Japanes terms are like, "all the same, man," is one aspect of this.

I do not advocate that Daito Ryu and Aikido should converge. I advocate that there are areas shared between the arts that are diverging (and probably should not). I also advocate that some of that divergence has damaged the transmission of aiki.

Bending back around to my original comments... If we are free to do our own thing, why do we show jujutsu? If, we are learning aiki at earlier stages of training, and we are free to practice forms of interest, why do our demos look the way they do? For claiming to be free of form, we seem to rely on it pretty heavily.

I also find it odd that while "Practitioners are free to be more creative, and are invited to innovate and express and explore at much earlier stages of training", you are put off by "...the idea that recent innovations in Aikido and new areas of exploration some people are pursuing are somehow 'the true old way of Aikido that was lost.'" Or, more specifically, why would you care about language? Is it the implication that if you are not doing it you are not going to find aiki?

This seems to be a competing perspective - that aikido should be free to do whatever; except if it's different... I think we have to accept that some aikido people want to show aiki with ribbons and ki balls, some by bouncing our partners off the wall without moving.

Some of this stuff reminds me of forced choice. Like the Apple iPhone 5C - You can be unique, as long as it's in one of these 5 colors.

Chris Li 07-25-2014 10:41 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
In: é™°
YIn: é™°

Yo: 陽
Yang: 陽

Tanden: äø¹ē"°
Dantien: äø¹ē"°

Compare for yourselves.

I don't think that it's a foregone conclusion that Takuma Hisa thought that what the two people were doing was completely different - here's what Yutaka Amatsu said:

Quote:

Hisa san took Takeda to the dojo and asked him to teach the Asahi Newspaperā€™s guardsmen. Watching Takeda teaching, Hisa san judged that Takedaā€™s wazas were same kind as Ueshibaā€™s. But Takedaā€™s were much more developed than Ueshibaā€™s. Judging from Takedaā€™s age Hisa san believed that Takeda must have taught Ueshiba, and decided to become Takedaā€™s student.
I've heard similar statements from Hisa directly, from private sources, and it's similar to the opinions expressed by my teachers who also were students of Takuma Hisa.

Peter's right, of course, whether or not Daito-ryu is a Koryu or not is a matter of some debate. Yes, it's recognized by the major Koryu organization in Japan. OTOH - many many people, both in and out of Daito-ryu, seriously question the veracity of the purported history prior to Takeda.

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge 07-25-2014 11:04 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Peter Rehse wrote: (Post 338546)
Well Cliff I don't think you could call Daito-ryu an official Koryu Bujutsu although certainly the structure resembles some Koryu, just as some Aikido does. I don't think the definition of koryu or not koryu puts any restrictions on how an art is trained.

Also the connection between Chinese and Japanese, as we all know, is in the writing system. We certainly learned both Chinese and Japanese pronunciations when learning the kanji. When the kanji are the same - there is a very good chance that the meaning is also. Yes I give some room for divergence.

Official as in, recognized by the Nihon Kobudo Kyokai and Nihon Kobudo Shinkokai. The reality is a bit more open for debate.

You've lived in Japan for a long time but I don't really think you mean that the chinese reading for the kanji is pronounced the way a natrive Mandarin or Cantonese speaker would say it. So what's the deal with using the Chinese word? No big deal if people will admit that they've encountered these concepts in their Chinese martial arts training and they've started to see them as interchangeable. otherwise it just gets kind of ... appropriationy, in my opinion. Better to just make up your own terms.

PeterR 07-25-2014 11:52 AM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Cliff Judge wrote: (Post 338549)
Official as in, recognized by the Nihon Kobudo Kyokai and Nihon Kobudo Shinkokai. The reality is a bit more open for debate.

You've lived in Japan for a long time but I don't really think you mean that the chinese reading for the kanji is pronounced the way a natrive Mandarin or Cantonese speaker would say it. So what's the deal with using the Chinese word? No big deal if people will admit that they've encountered these concepts in their Chinese martial arts training and they've started to see them as interchangeable. otherwise it just gets kind of ... appropriationy, in my opinion. Better to just make up your own terms.

Well sure and when I first started struggling with Mandarin I was disappointed that the characters were not necessarily pronounced with the "Chinese" pronunciations I learned in Japan although in reality many were not that far off. It helps to remember that in China there was a large variation in languages/dialects (where a language becomes a dialect I have no clue) with the written language the unifying element. Japan for the longest time was part of that.

OK so that said I tend to agree that if you are going to use terms that are part of Japanese martial arts it is probably best to use the local pronunciation. Still it is completely fair to say that if the characters are the same - the meaning is also.

Cliff Judge 07-25-2014 12:11 PM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Peter Rehse wrote: (Post 338551)
Well sure and when I first started struggling with Mandarin I was disappointed that the characters were not necessarily pronounced with the "Chinese" pronunciations I learned in Japan although in reality many were not that far off. It helps to remember that in China there was a large variation in languages/dialects (where a language becomes a dialect I have no clue) with the written language the unifying element. Japan for the longest time was part of that.

OK so that said I tend to agree that if you are going to use terms that are part of Japanese martial arts it is probably best to use the local pronunciation. Still it is completely fair to say that if the characters are the same - the meaning is also.

I agree with that, but the thing is, just because the characters have the same dictionary meaning, does not mean there are not huge differences in connotation. i would trust the judgment of someone who had done some training in both Japanese and Chinese martial arts as to whether tanden and dantien are really the same concept. For me, people who use both terms interchangably seem to be implying that they have enough knowledge of both systems to say they are the same.

PeterR 07-25-2014 12:47 PM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Cliff Judge wrote: (Post 338552)
I agree with that, but the thing is, just because the characters have the same dictionary meaning, does not mean there are not huge differences in connotation. i would trust the judgment of someone who had done some training in both Japanese and Chinese martial arts as to whether tanden and dantien are really the same concept. For me, people who use both terms interchangably seem to be implying that they have enough knowledge of both systems to say they are the same.

Context is everything of course but I would say that divergence is far more likely than convergence and if the former there should be an identifiable core meaning.

oisin bourke 07-25-2014 01:18 PM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Christopher Li wrote: (Post 338548)

Compare for yourselves.

I don't think that it's a foregone conclusion that Takuma Hisa thought that what the two people were doing was completely different - here's what Yutaka Amatsu said:

I've heard similar statements from Hisa directly, from private sources, and it's similar to the opinions expressed by my teachers who also were students of Takuma Hisa.

Well Takeda, Hisa and his students have been pretty definite that there was enough difference between the methodology to term the two arts "Takeda Ryu" and "Ueshiba Ryu". And Ueshiba renamed his art. I would submit that, taking into the contemporary descriptions of takeda and ueshiba, this almost certainly refers differences in body methodology. This would mean that Ueshiba was doing something essentially different in terms of body usage than Takeda and the other of takeda's higher level students who continued to teach Daito ryu. In other words, Ueshiba was teaching something different from DR from the 1930s.
Of course, this is only a problem if you try to introduce what you believe are advanced level teachings of DR/body methodology into aikido, when it's clear that this wasn't what ueshiba taught/practiced (for whatever reason).

Chris Li 07-25-2014 01:41 PM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Oisin Bourke wrote: (Post 338554)
Well Takeda, Hisa and his students have been pretty definite that there was enough difference between the methodology to term the two arts "Takeda Ryu" and "Ueshiba Ryu". And Ueshiba renamed his art. I would submit that, taking into the contemporary descriptions of takeda and ueshiba, this almost certainly refers differences in body methodology. This would mean that Ueshiba was doing something essentially different in terms of body usage than Takeda and the other of takeda's higher level students who continued to teach Daito ryu. In other words, Ueshiba was teaching something different from DR from the 1930s.
Of course, this is only a problem if you try to introduce what you believe are advanced level teachings of DR/body methodology into aikido, when it's clear that this wasn't what ueshiba taught/practiced (for whatever reason).

Well there was quite a bit going on with the naming, so it's hardly that simple. Additionally, "Takeda-ryu" and "Ueshiba-ryu" is hardly definitive in and of itself (all that really indicates linguistically is the "style" of that particular person) - the Takumakai, for example, often uses "Aikido" to describe itself in Japan.

Takeda, FWIW, didn't change what Ueshiba had been teaching at the Asahi dojo - he acknowledged that they had already studied the basics and built upon the foundation, which is quite different.

Now, you've been very clear that you don't think that people in Aikido should comment on Daito-ryu without a high level of initiation in that art. Why do you feel free to comment on Aikido and what Ueshiba taught and practiced without a high level of initiation in that art? Personally, I don't care, but you can't have it both ways.

Best,

Chris

PeterR 07-25-2014 01:48 PM

Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?
 
Quote:

Christopher Li wrote: (Post 338555)
Well there was quite a bit going on with the naming, so it's hardly that simple. Additionally, "Takeda-ryu" and "Ueshiba-ryu" is hardly definitive in and of itself (all that really indicates linguistically is the "style" of that particular person) - the Takumakai, for example, often uses "Aikido" to describe itself in Japan.

First DR group I ran into was at Tsukuba Daigaku. They introduced themselves to me as an Aikido group - a matter of convenience I suspect.


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