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-   -   Anti-Aiki Elitism (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1537)

mornmd 02-14-2002 10:27 AM

Anti-Aiki Elitism
 
This is a touchy subject, but one that absolutely deserves to be examined. I have noticed that on several message boards, students of aiki arts other than O'Sensei's aikido are ridiculed as "not being real aikido," or "copycats." Of course this is usually done by those in aikido dojos who are not aware that there are aiki arts that preceeded O'Sensei, (some of which he studied, such as Daito ryu).

I am currently a student in a dojo where we train in Nihon Goshin Aikido (NGA), an art created by Shodo Morita, a contemporary of O'Sensei who studied Daito ryu, among other arts. The name "Nihon Goshin Aikido" was created by Sensei Morita and used officially in the 1940s in his dojo, and continues in the United States today. While NGA may have similarities to Ueshiba's aikido, it is quite different, and all who practice it are very upfront about it.

Frequently, I have seen negative posts about NGA and other aiki arts that are not derived from O'Sensei. As far as I'm concerned, those posting are uninformed and intolerant. I know this is not the way of most enlightened aikidoka, and it is clear that other aiki arts are appreciated by the highest levels in the organizations of O'Sensei's aikido. As an example, the Aiki Expo this year will feature as one of its teachers a phenomenal Sensei, Don Angier of Shidare Yanagi ryu, Aikijujitsu.

I am interested in hearing what others have to say on this issue. Personally, I believe we have more to gain by observing each other and our similarities, rather than disparaging another's art as inferior or not "true" aiki.

Matthew

Sid 02-15-2002 11:02 AM

Re: Anti-Aiki Elitism
 
Mornmd-san (;), could you perhaps give us some more info on your style?

Thanks,
sid

Steve 02-15-2002 01:24 PM

Re: Anti-Aiki Elitism
 
Quote:

Originally posted by mornmd
SNIP

Frequently, I have seen negative posts about NGA and other aiki arts that are not derived from O'Sensei. As far as I'm concerned, those posting are uninformed and intolerant. I know this is not the way of most enlightened aikidoka, and it is clear that other aiki arts are appreciated by the highest levels in the organizations of O'Sensei's aikido. As an example, the Aiki Expo this year will feature as one of its teachers a phenomenal Sensei, Don Angier of Shidare Yanagi ryu, Aikijujitsu.

SNIP

Matthew

Get over it. If aiki-centricism causes you this much anxiety, you need a new hobby.

mornmd 02-15-2002 02:58 PM

Anti-Aiki
 
To answer Steve first - I have no anxiety about this issue, in fact I am quite serene in my enjoyment of NGA and the principles of aiki. I brought up this thread because I think it is an important issue (namely bringing other aiki arts together with O'Sensei's aikido to exchange ideas), and I was interested in seeing the responses. To say "get over it or take up another hobby," is ridiculous.

To Sid, Nihon Goshin Aikido was founded by Shodo Morita, a contemporary of O'Sensei who trained under Yoshida Kitaro in Daito Ryu as well as several other arts. There are many similar techniques to O'Sensei's aikido in NGA which can also be found in Daito ryu. The concept of aiki, blending, are all there. There are also techniques added from Judo and several other arts. There is an emphasis on atemi, punches, strikes and kicks as an integral part of the system for self defense. Sensei Walter Kopitov who has contributed to this forum along with other's in the NGA Association can give you a more detailed explanation about NGA.

Matthew

guest1234 02-15-2002 04:06 PM

Hi Matthew,

If it is any consolation, those who are intolerant of "aiki arts other than O Sensei's" are usually equally intolerant of styles of Aikido descended from O Sensei, but not their own particular one. Intolerant people are unfortuanately in abundance these days....

I spent a month in a Nihon Goshin Aikido dojo in the south, and loved every minute of it (it is also the first place I got the hang of koshinage, even if it was 'mugger's throw' there:D ). Thanks for sharing about your style. Maybe that would make an interesting series for us, having a senior sensei from different styles discuss the positives of his particular branch.

deepsoup 02-15-2002 06:33 PM

Re: Anti-Aiki
 
Quote:

Originally posted by mornmd
To answer Steve first - I have no anxiety about this issue, in fact I am quite serene in my enjoyment of NGA and the principles of aiki. I brought up this thread because I think it is an important issue (namely bringing other aiki arts together with O'Sensei's aikido to exchange ideas), and I was interested in seeing the responses. To say "get over it or take up another hobby," is ridiculous.

Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Or, in other words:
I haven't seen Nihon Goshin Aikido (nor Hapkido nor any other art that happens to have a very similar name to Aikido) coming under attack on this forum. (Nor indeed on the newsgroup thread you are so willfully misunderstanding at the moment.)

You seem extraordinarily defensive for someone whom nobody is actually attacking. Are you sure the chip isn't on your own shoulder?

Sean
x

Sid 02-15-2002 09:56 PM

Re: Re: Anti-Aiki
 
Someone needs to send steve a nice aikidcard, showing osensei blending, methinks.

No need to go crazy on a forum - it is Aikiweb. Why the heck do we need to fight?

Sid

Edward 02-15-2002 10:14 PM

This might be off-topic, but I would like to point out 2 points:

1. There are definitely many common techniques between Aikido and other Aiki-Jutsu arts for the simple reason that they have common origins. However, the application of these techniques and the way they are inintiated, and the purpose of learning the art altogether are different. I know several Aikidoka who practiced Aiki-Jutsu styles in the US and Canada, and their style can be described at least as "brutal" (they agree and are proud of this description..., Aikidoka are usually described as sissies by Aiki-Jutsuka... :D ) .

2. Aikido and all other Aiki- and Ju-Jutsu arts would have been long forgotten were it not for the "marketing" genius of 2 extraordinary men: Gozo Shioda Sensei at first and then Kisshomaru Doshu who get the credit for making Aikido known worldwide. We see now that even Daito-Ryu give the credit to Aikido for keeping the tradition alive, and their latest book is titled: "The origin of Aikido". The florishing of so many Aiki-Jutsu schools nowadays wouldn't have been thinkable were it not for Aikido.

I am sure all practitioners of Aiki-Jutsu and Ju-Jutsu are welcome in this forum by all members. No one has ever discriminated, but you have to admit these are different arts. It's like having Kung-Fu practitioners blaming Karate members for discriminating against them in their forum even though both are striking arts and Karate came from China and probably was developed from Kung-Fu originally.

Cheers,
Edward

shihonage 02-16-2002 02:13 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by ca
(it is also the first place I got the hang of koshinage, even if it was 'mugger's throw' there:D ).
As in, a way to throw a mugger, or a way to be thrown by one ?

guest1234 02-16-2002 05:12 AM

Hmmm, I was having so much trouble keeping all the 'new' names straight, I didn't even recognise that possibility...I guess it is mugger's throw as in dog's leash...not something they want used on them, but it is what gets used nonetheless. Once I got the hang of getting uke over my hips there, it easily translated back to koshinage.

But after a few throws, one student, a rather large male, attacked really quickly (it was kind of a bear hug from behind attack) and yanked me up off my feet. He was laughing, holding me up and standing in a horse stance...in fact, laughing so much I guess he didn't feel the heel of my foot tapping him where most men notice...the instructor noticed, however, and warned him he'd better put me down or get ready to feel really sick. So I guess you could say it was there I also learned the value of atemi when dealing with really large partners.:eek:

deepsoup 02-16-2002 08:32 AM

Re: Re: Re: Anti-Aiki
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Sid
Someone needs to send steve a nice aikidcard, showing osensei blending, methinks.

No need to go crazy on a forum - it is Aikiweb. Why the heck do we need to fight?

Sorry to wander away off topic here, but..

Steve's response wasn't in any way abusive, he just got straight to the point in a refreshingly direct, pithy kind of a way. Let me add my "me too" to Steves post here, and furthermore..

--rant begins--

It really gets up my nose when people bleat "Aikido is all about blending, so why aren't you just meekly agreeing with everything thats said."

Utter bollocks.

This is a forum for discussion, and if you can't handle a discussion in which people express their point of view then stay away.

Theres a distinct whiff of hipocrasy about levelling an entirely unneccessary personal criticism against someone because you feel they are too confrontational. If you can't tell the difference between an exchange of views on an internet forum and a bar-room brawl you have serious problems with reality.

Aikido has atemi as well as blending, and a slap in the mush can also be 'aiki'. If my harsh words hurt you, GET A GRIP! Its just a bunch of text on a computer screen for goodness sake.

--rant ends--

Have a nice day. :)

Sean
x

mornmd 02-16-2002 10:13 AM

Peace, Love, Dove
 
Steve, I don't protest too much, and as you are no doubt aware, I am no lady (Shakespeare aside). I could take you to the threads on other forums that disparage NGA or aikijitsu arts, but what point does that serve? Any who know about O'Sensei and his aikijitsu roots and training would think those comments uninformed and absurd.

The techniques of aiki have been evolving over centuries in Japan; O'Sensei's genius was to put together a coherent system based on principles and yes, philosophy. My main point is that it is meaningless to argue about who is using the name aikido in their art.

It is far more intersting when we compare principles, exchange ideas and better our movement and techniques as a result of that exchange. Colleen's experience is one example of that.

Matthew

Gene McGloin 02-16-2002 11:18 AM

My guess would be that many American aikidoka simply equate the generic term "aiki do" with Morihei Ueshiba osensei's expression of an art he applied that moniker to. I don't believe he was the first to match up those two kanji with relation to a martial art.

I'd heard Daito-ryu aiki-jutsu referred to as "aikido" while in Japan a couple of years ago. I recall that the reactions to this fact ranged from confusion to outright anger among a few of my fellow Ueshiba-ryu aikidoka upon my return to the States! Pretty silly when you think about it!

Gene McGloin

PeterR 02-16-2002 11:36 AM

Mathew;

I come from the style founded by Kenji Tomiki and believe me I have felt the need to deal with a certain amount of ignorance and even hostility directed toward the style. Mostly though they are honest questions.

All you can do is calmly answer questions, refute inaccuracies and explain your view. The bulk of people on this forum, and most others, are reasonable people and get as annoyed as you would with the more rabid of whatever persusion.

So here is a bit of advice from someone oft bloodied in the style wars (sorry discussions).

Your original post started very well but ended up pressing the wrong buttons. Basically approaching a problem as victim does not go down well in a Budo forum. Deal with present slights rather than what may have been posted by some neophyte with a false sense of mission in the past. Read Sean's (deepsoup) post again remembering that he too comes from a "misunderstood" style.

Mathew introduces his style.
Ignorant Neophyte says NGA is not true Aiki because O'sensei did not invent it.
Mathew has fun using intelligence and greater knowledge to not only refute the fool but to further expand on the wonders of what he does.

If these forums were all about peace love and happiness - I wouldn't be here.

Sid 02-16-2002 12:04 PM

Off topic.
 
/quote
It really gets up my nose when people bleat "Aikido is all about blending, so why aren't you just meekly agreeing with everything thats said."

Utter bollocks.

This is a forum for discussion, and if you can't handle a discussion in which people express their point of view then stay away.

Theres a distinct whiff of hipocrasy about levelling an entirely unneccessary personal criticism against someone because you feel they are too confrontational. If you can't tell the difference between an exchange of views on an internet forum and a bar-room brawl you have serious problems with reality.

Aikido has atemi as well as blending, and a slap in the mush can also be 'aiki'. If my harsh words hurt you, GET A GRIP! Its just a bunch of text on a computer screen for goodness sake.

--rant ends--

Have a nice day.
/quote

Point about atemi taken - I agree with it. It *is* a forum for discussion, and I aplogise profusely if what I said was taken personally.

Unfortunately, in my "flawed reality", I don't think that one needs to "slap" someone who is trying to make an honest point.

"Hypocritical personal criticism" - need I say more?

Have a nice day to you too. :D

Sid

guest1234 02-16-2002 04:27 PM

Is Shodokan synonomous with Tomiki Aikido then, or is one a particular type of the other? I've only been to one Tomiki dojo, and really don't know that much about it...

akiy 02-16-2002 04:55 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Edward
2. Aikido and all other Aiki- and Ju-Jutsu arts would have been long forgotten were it not for the "marketing" genius of 2 extraordinary men: Gozo Shioda Sensei at first and then Kisshomaru Doshu who get the credit for making Aikido known worldwide.
Let's not forget Koichi Tohei sensei who has already been airbrushed out of much of aikido history.

As far as the "spirit" of these Forums goes, I'm always glad when differences are expressed! Without such and the ensuing discussions, there wouldn't be much need for a place like this, huh?

But, please do remember the first Forum Rule that you can see under every post and reply that you make: "Treat your fellow AikiWeb Forums members with respect"...

Thanks, folks.

-- Jun

John Carter 02-16-2002 05:03 PM

Nihon Goshin Aikido Dojo Visit
 
I am the sensei from the Nihon Goshin dojo Colleen visited. I do remember the work out when she was lifted and the attacker forgot a heel to the groin or a rear head butt might slow him down a little. As far as how Nihon Goshin Aikido is perceived, well I have heard positive and negative. Our art is not well known, so a person may see one practicioner or one video and then make a judement from that. Personally, I have heard great things from Aikido-ka from many different styles (Colleen for example) who have visited my school while traveling and have left with new information and a positive take on our system. However am I a small part of our association and the only influence I have are over my students and a handful of occasional visitors. My advice is to support your dojo and sensei and ensure you do everything possible to make Nihon Goshin Aikido an effective, positive, and well received martial art.

Sincerely,

John Carter

guest1234 02-16-2002 05:38 PM

:eek: Uh oh, haven't changed the names enough to maintain my anonimity. Sensei, so good to hear your dojo is still there, almost had another trip back last year and I wondered... everytime I do koshinage I think of you and your great kindness in working to get me to 'get' it, and in letting a 'passing through' person join for a month. And how nice you and your senior students were in working with me. And i still can't do that flip-fall thing you all did for warm-up...maybe someday:rolleyes:

guest1234 02-16-2002 05:42 PM

PS if any of you are ever down his way, you'd want to check out the class just for the randori alone...having only a couple of months of training before I was there, I just watched... not so sure I'd be up to more than watching now, but for all you Aiki supermen out there, it looked quite challenging.

John Carter 02-16-2002 08:02 PM

Nihon Goshin Aikido Dojo Visit
 
You are more than welcome to drop in when in town. That goes for any Aikido practioner who find themselved going through the Columbia, SC area. Be sure to check the website, or yellow pages first for the new location.

John Carter

guest1234 02-17-2002 06:10 AM

And just so no one misinterprets my comment on the large student in Carter Sensei's class (oh, never on this forum :rolleyes: ), the student was not being obnoxious to me. While I consider myself of AVERAGE height:grr: , at 110 pounds many of the larger males, in every dojo I've been to, have at one time or another realized they can pick me up and use me as a shield, or even a weapon:eek: , often in randori. Even in the kindest, most gentle dojos, there seems to be something funny in doing this...and it is often a great 'E' ticket ride for me.

Carl Simard 02-17-2002 09:42 AM

By the way, the "ki" principle is somewhat universal in all martial arts. They may not put it in their name, but the "ki" is an important part of other martial arts as well. They may call it other names, but once you know what it is, you know they talk about the "ki"... The way of using it or to transform it in a physical, martial, discipline is different, depending on the origin, the "vision" of the founder, etc... But the "ki" principle is simply not exclusive to aikido.

PeterR 02-17-2002 11:02 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by ca
Is Shodokan synonomous with Tomiki Aikido then, or is one a particular type of the other? I've only been to one Tomiki dojo, and really don't know that much about it...
Shodokan is what Kenji Tomiki named his style.

If you are interested please read the following two short articles.

http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/shihan/kosyo_e.html

http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/.../kyokai_e.html

deepsoup 02-17-2002 11:46 AM

Re: Peace, Love, Dove
 
Quote:

Originally posted by mornmd

The techniques of aiki have been evolving over centuries in Japan; O'Sensei's genius was to put together a coherent system based on principles and yes, philosophy. My main point is that it is meaningless to argue about who is using the name aikido in their art.

It is far more intersting when we compare principles, exchange ideas and better our movement and techniques as a result of that exchange. Colleen's experience is one example of that.

Now that we get down to the meat and bones of it, your point is a good one, and I find I agree entirely.


Quote:

Originally posted by Colleen
Is Shodokan synonomous with Tomiki Aikido then, or is one a particular type of the other?

Yes it is, kind of. When Kenji Tomiki founded his honbu dojo (in Osaka), he called it the Shodokan and the name also applies to his style of Aikido (it works the same way it does with Yoshinkan). I think it was only then that he even considered that his style of aikido had a name.

Tomiki Sensei himself disapproved of the term 'Tomiki style' aikido. Before the Shodokan dojo was founded and named, I dont think he considered that 'his' style of aikido had a name. (Or was a separate style from 'Aikikai' aikido anyway. Most of the time he was teaching aikido and developing his ideas, he did so as an Aikikai Shihan after all.)

Theres a short article by Nariyama Shihan about this, called "The Name of Our Aikido" on the Shodokan honbu website, for anyone who's interested.

Sean
x


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