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-   -   Poll: If an instructor's budo "lineage" can not be traced back to Morihei Ueshiba, should (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1564)

AikiWeb System 02-24-2002 07:19 AM

AikiWeb Poll for the week of February 24, 2002:

If an instructor's budo "lineage" can not be traced back to Morihei Ueshiba, should what s/he is teaching be called "aikido"?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Yes
  • No
Here are the current results.

mle 02-24-2002 09:57 AM

Quote:

If an instructor's budo "lineage" can not be traced back to Morihei Ueshiba, should what s/he is teaching be called "aikido"?
(Chuck here, posting in MLE's name 'cause I still can't get her logged out and me logged in at home. Of course, Emily says the reason I can't do that is because SHE'S the aikido person and I'm one of those koryu-lovin' darkside evil budo bunnies. She also mumbled something about the page code tapping into our ki, leaving cookies and checking browser compatibility ...)

Jun, you're a funny, funny boy. I love that about ya.

You left out the best answer: 'It depends.'

Aikido is really kind of a generic term. Inasmuch as there IS a naming convention in Japanese budo, most ryuha are identified by lineage, then by the broader art and any other details (like perhaps the area from which it came).

For example: Takenouchi Ryu jujutsu, Itto Ryu kenjutsu, Shito Ryu karate, Kodokan judo (yes there are other types of judo), and so on.

So Ueshiba's aikido could be called Ueshiba-ha Daito Ryu jujutsu.

Aikido is a specialized subset of Japanese unarmed or lightly armed fighting arts, therefore it is jujutsu. It is derived from Daito Ryu, therefore the parent art is DRJJ. And it is Ueshiba's particular interpretation of that art, therefore, Ueshiba-ha.

He chose to call it aikido, sort of falling in line with Kano's rationale of using the term judo instead of jujutsu (although that distinction is really blurry, semantically and historically) after having called it Daito Ryu JJ, DR aikijujutsu, DR aiki budo, and other apellations. Eventually, he chose to break ties with Takeda and dropped the DR part in practical terms, but (as far as I know) never chose to rename the system formally. Aikido sort of stuck, despite it being non-specific.

There are folks in Japan (and elsewhere) practicing other jujutsu derivatives of DR who call (quite legitimately, I assure you) what they do aikido. Aikido, as a stand-alone term, is vague and sort of generic. Kinda of like saying 'karate' ... there are many variations, flavors and approaches and not all of 'em are Ueshiba-derived.

Is what _I_ do aikido? I practice a system of jujutsu, one that incorporates a concept we call 'aiki' and that contains portions of the curriculum we call aikijujutsu and aikijutsu (or aiki-ho -- not a typo, ho, meaning method). It is not specifically Ueshiba-derived. I tend to call what I do, budo, for simplicity. It is, more or less, a sogo budo -- a broad-spectrum, 'comprehensive' system -- that contains sub-systems of kempo (fist-method -- punch-kick stuff), weapons (sword, staff, and small weapons such as tessen and tanto) and the primary component: unarmed body arts.

However, my teacher spent some time in the late 50s/early 60s training with folks like K. Tohei and G. Shioda. Much of the taijutsu I practice today was flavored by those folks.

So ... I COULD call what I do aikido, if I wanted to (What did Pooh say about words?). And, indeed, Sensei would at times talk about aikido, but the curriculum I teach is broader than just the portion in which we explore the concept of aiki (though, arguably, it ALL encompasses aiki at some level).

Chuck G

PeterR 02-24-2002 12:10 PM

Well I do an Ueshiba derived form of Aikido and agree wholeheartedly with Chuck's post.

Still - and here is the rub - I find myself getting indignant when some groups calls itself something where there is no connection. This goes for Daito-ryu/Aikido dojos where at best there is a year or two under a legitamate instructor. There is an "Aikido" dojo down the road from me just like that. Yuck.

I vote yes - assuming that we are not talking about McDojos.

Edward 02-24-2002 12:34 PM

Again one more opportunity to make a few more ennemies for myself. Thanks Jun.


Traditionally, if you want to follow the Japanese customs, Aikido is a kind of trade mark or property of the Ueshiba family, represented currently by the third Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba. Of course they can't sue and keep someone who would like to use the appellation of Aikido to any form of art he desires from doing that. However, morally speaking, prior approval should be taken.

One example is Tohei Sensei, who was specifically requested by Kisshomaru Doshu not to use the name Aikido when they separated. Tohei Sensei being a man of outstanding morality agreed eventhough he could have refused, since his Aikido is not by any means less authentic Aikido than Aikikai.

I voted no on the poll.

I believe the only reason such schools chose to use the name of Aikido, is to profit from the worldwide recognition of the name, which is the result of the efforts of people such as Kisshomaru Doshu, Tohei and Shioda Sensei.

Cheers,
Edward

Erik 02-24-2002 02:59 PM

Yea, I wanted an "it depends" as well.

I see it this way. No matter how bad we may think it is, if they call it Aikido and if they talk about O'Sensei, then someone there better be able to tie into the man. It may require some stretching but my line is drawn there. I guess I would call it Ueshiba's Aikido.

Quote:

Originally posted by Peter R:
Still - and here is the rub - I find myself getting indignant when some groups calls itself something where there is no connection. This goes for Daito- ryu/Aikido dojos where at best there is a year or two under a legitamate instructor. There is an "Aikido" dojo down the road from me just like that. Yuck.
I've got one of those too. The problem is that people relate to them and see what you are doing in the same light. It damages the value of your name and art. Sort of like me building a car and calling it a Mercedez. Think someone might get upset with me?

Chris Li 02-24-2002 04:34 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Edward
Traditionally, if you want to follow the Japanese customs, Aikido is a kind of trade mark or property of the Ueshiba family, represented currently bys the third Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba. Of course they can't sue and keep someone who would like to use the appellation of Aikido to any form of art he desires from doing that. However, morally speaking, prior approval should be taken.

On the hand, some traditional names (such as Daito-ryu) have actually been trademarked in Japan, opening the door for legal recourse.

Also, I'm not entirely sure that M. Ueshiba was the first to use "Aikido" as the name for his art, I've heard similar claims from practitioners of other arts. Certainly many other people have used the word "Aikido", which would strengthen the argument that the term has become generic.

Quote:


One example is Tohei Sensei, who was specifically requested by Kisshomaru Doshu not to use the name Aikido when they separated. Tohei Sensei being a man of outstanding morality agreed eventhough he could have refused, since his Aikido is not by any means less authentic Aikido than Aikikai.

Last time I looked Tohei was still using "Aikido"...

Was Kenji Tomiki of less "outstanding morality" because he used the name Aikido even when asked not to by M. Ueshiba?

Best,

Chris

Chocolateuke 02-24-2002 06:19 PM

I said yes mainly because I was thinking of the future. what if something really really drastic did happen ( like people forgot how to read like in the middle ages.) and they forget about Ushiba but still train Aikido that they learned. is that accepteble?? who knows Im just out there right now

mle 02-24-2002 07:35 PM

What's in a name
 
Okay.. this is the Real mle ;-)

Um, yeah, K Tohei, Tomiki, Seagal, Nishio, Saito, Doran, Saotome - they all do their interpretation of Ueshiba's vision.

If I learned sumi-e from a master, should I demand that no one else call what they do sumi-e? it's just a description: "ink drawing".

I would want an "it depends" as well, so I couldn't really vote.

Of course, what I am doing right now has Ueshiba influences, but isn't technically DR as taught by Ueshiba, exactly. So, I would have to respond "I don't do aikido" if I were being techically honest.

Additionally.. this is "aikiweb" not "aikidoweb" so I'm afraid I'd still fit here even if I was doing kempo or judo. ;-)

What I am practicing right now is, in many ways, aikido as I was trying to create it for myself, complete with a solid striking system and a variety of weapons arts to complement it.

If you look from system to system, you will see the tremendous diversity, and the exclusive claims of certain greedy individuals with tunnel vision become very frail indeed.
I do urge people to become as educated as they can, using unbiased sources such as Stan Pranin, EJ Harrison or the like.
The late Doshu, Kisshomaru U, had some very grounded and realistic things to say about aikido training in his books which apply to any training.

I don't think anyone should settle for what their instructor feeds them about the art, go for extra credit and learn everything you can.
It's a risk, but I have to tell you that the truth is worth everything...

mle

mle 02-24-2002 07:45 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Edward
Traditionally, if you want to follow the Japanese customs, Aikido is a kind of trade mark or property of the Ueshiba family,

Eh? How'zat? Nihon Goshin Aikido and Korindo AIkido both legitiately use the term 'aikido' in their names. There is no "Board of Nomenclature" oerseeing the budo world ... official or unofficial. If a family or system chooses a name, fine, but that doesn't mean others cannot or may not use it as well.

desires from doing that. However, morally speaking, prior approval should be taken.

Morally? Hoo boy. THAT'S a whole 'nother discussion.

One example is Tohei Sensei, who was specifically requested by Kisshomaru Doshu not to use the name Aikido when they

So ... you're saying Tohei's system isn't aikido? Hmm. Ever heard the term Shinshintoitsu aikido?

Aikido is a generic term that can be translated as the way of aiki. There are many ways and many definitions of aiki. You have any idea how many different Itto Ryu there are? And Itto Ryu is much more specific term than aikido. Semantically, the word 'Aikido' is kind of like kendo, iaido, karatedo, judo or even (gasp!) kenjutsu, jujutsu, sumo, etc.

I believe the only reason such schools chose to use the name of Aikido, is to profit


What about those schools wherein the term aikido appeared simultaneously as Ueshiba's use of the word to describe his art?

Adding 'do' to a martial word was fashionable in some circles back before Meiji ...

Edward, you seem to be a nice guy and seem bright. Do your homework and research. Budo is a broader world than just aikido and while aikido has MUCH to recommend it, it is only one small part of a larger whole. A whole to which it is inextricably bound and with which it is deeply interwoven.



Chuck

Peter Goldsbury 02-24-2002 09:29 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Chris Li


On the hand, some traditional names (such as Daito-ryu) have actually been trademarked in Japan, opening the door for legal recourse.

Also, I'm not entirely sure that M. Ueshiba was the first to use "Aikido" as the name for his art, I've heard similar claims from practitioners of other arts. Certainly many other people have used the word "Aikido", which would strengthen the argument that the term has become generic.



Last time I looked Tohei was still using "Aikido"...

Was Kenji Tomiki of less "outstanding morality" because he used the name Aikido even when asked not to by M. Ueshiba?

Best,

Chris

Interesting topic. I can quite see Edward's viewpoint and a very similar viewpoint has been expounded to me by the late Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba and also by the present Doshu. The Aikikai really do believe that aikido is in a very real sense the property of the Ueshiba family and this explains (to me at least) how the Aikikai conducts itself, especially in relation to other organisations using the name.

On the other hand, the term 'aikido', as used to describe the gendai budo created by Morihei Ueshiba, was first coined by officials of the Dai Nippon Butotukai around 1942. Up to that point Ueshiba had been following Japanese precedent and calliing his art Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu, Ueshiba-ryu, or Aiki-budo. The Dai Nippon Butotukai had the strong support of the Japanese military government and was grouping together all the martial arts in order to coordinate the war effort. I do not think there was any question of not participating (for Ueshiba had close links to the military and was teaching at many military schools); the question concerned the name. Aiki-budo seemed too narrow; any association with jujutsu was not acceptable, since there was already an existing art with that name; in any case it was better for the art to be a 'do', like judo. Thus, 'aikido' was the name finally agreed on. Obviously, this decision must have been made with Morihei Ueshiba's approval, but it needs to be seen in a certain political context.

Now Ueshiba moved to Iwama in 1942 and if 'Aikido Ichiro' is any guide, the reason was to preserve the art he had created (which he called 'aikido'), since he appears to have been very pessimistic about tho outcome of the war. He ordered Kisshomaru to run the Tokyo dojo as best he could, which he did.

The point is that aikido is a generic name, like judo, even though it is also the name of the Ueshiba family art. I doubt very much whether there was any thought of trade-marking the name, just as Kano never trade-marked judo. Probably because the 'iemoto' system is a system of human relationships and is traditionally not thought to need modern legal underpinnings.

With 'Kobukai' and 'Aikikai', the matter is somewhat different. Thus when Gozo Shioda established his own organisation he used a different name (Yoshinkan/kai) and Kenji Tomiki also eventually followed the same pattern. But both continued to use the name 'aikido'. Tomiki Sensei was asked to change the name, but he declined and there was no way that the Aikikai could legally compel him to do so.

In my own case, I started training without worrying about either the name or the history of the art and this state of innocence lasted till I became a yudansha (i.e., structurally attached to a sensei via an organisation). I had lots of teachers, not all of whom were Aikikai, but all of whom could trace their pedigree back to the Founder. For me, this line is important. Of course, a trademark is usually a sign of quality: customers can rely on the brand. In aikido, the search for quality is really much more up to the individual practitioner, whether inside an organisation or outside one. A link with the source indicates the possibility of high quality, but the search is still up to the individual practitioner.

Regards,

Edward 02-24-2002 10:26 PM

Hi Chuck and Chris,

I guess I do not really need to comment on your replies to me since you only have to read Dr. Goldsbury's post. He said in clear scientifical words what I have been trying to say with my poor english and vague historical knowledge.

Now on whether Professor Tomiki should have changed the name as asked or not, I am not in a position to judge his decision but my personal feeling is that he should have followed the wish of the founder. However, since I cannot possibly know the details nor the exact circumstances of this matter, my opinion would remain extremely far from objectivity.

As for Tohei Sensei, my information is that he complied with Doshu's wish and officially called his art "Ki No Kenkyukai". The Aikido mention is added by dojos to specify that it is Aikido that they teach. I have no doubt that this art is as Aikido as can be, but it is history that we are discussing.

Another teacher of outstanding character, who was an Uchi-Deshi of Osensei, and complied to the Doshu's wish, is Noro Sensei who named his art "Ki No Michi".

Cheers,
Edward

Chris Li 02-24-2002 11:44 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Edward
As for Tohei Sensei, my information is that he complied with Doshu's wish and officially called his art "Ki No Kenkyukai". The Aikido mention is added by dojos to specify that it is Aikido that they teach. I have no doubt that this art is as Aikido as can be, but it is history that we are discussing.
Ki no Kenkyukai was founded in 1971, three years before Tohei went independent. As I understand it, Ki no Kenkyukai focuses on ki training and issues ranks based on levels of ki development (some people do ki development training without participatiing in the Aikido side at all). The Aikido side is Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido and that is where Aikido ranks are issued. Most Shin Shin Toitsu dojo in Japan just call it "Aikido" just like the Aikikai. I note that Koichi Tohei has at least two books issued post-breakup that include just plain "Aikido" in the title without any "Shin Shin Toitsu".

Best,

Chris

Edward 02-25-2002 12:52 AM

Chris,

I have to admit that your information is usually more accurate than mine.

I did hear however from someone of authority in the Aikikai world that Tohei sensei did agree not to name his style Aikido. So I'm a little confused.

Cheers,
Edward

Chris Li 02-25-2002 01:13 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Edward
Chris,

I have to admit that your information is usually more accurate than mine.

I did hear however from someone of authority in the Aikikai world that Tohei sensei did agree not to name his style Aikido. So I'm a little confused.

Cheers,
Edward

Maybe they're talking about "Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido", although the difference seems pretty slim to me...

Best,

Chris

Creature_of_the_id 02-25-2002 04:10 AM

if I make, say... an omlette, and it is slightly different to the very first omlette ever made. can I still call it an omlette?

you can get alot of different types of omlette, lots of different ingredients. bacon omlette, mushroom omlette yumm :)
its all got eggs in it, and as long as it tastes good who cares what its called. I appreciate the person who came up with it and everyone will have different tastes and make it their own

so.. my point is, aikido is still aikido, as long as it has... eggs in it

maybe i need to re think my analogy, but after I have eaten. I am hungry now for some reason

mle 02-25-2002 01:18 PM

(Chuck posting -- no not POSING, Peter! -- as Emily again)

A historical note:

In Aikido Journal, Vol 21, No. 3 (1994), there's an interview with Minoru Hirai, then head of Nihon Korinkai Aikido (Anyone know, is he still alive?). Hirai was a contemporary of Uehiba's (born 1903) who trained in several koryu. He entered Ueshiba's Kobukan Dojo in 1939 and became its director of general affairs in '42, and was the Kobukan's representative to the Dai Nihon Butokukai.

According to the interview, conducted by Stan Pranin, Hirai was a major player in changing the name of Ueshiba's art to aikido.

He says: "'Aikido' rather than being a specifically selected name, was the term used to refer to 'Butokukai-ryu aiki budo' within the Dai Nihon Butokukai."

Apparently, Hirai was at the Butokukai in regards to a new section being formed to cover 'comprehensive' yawara/jujutsu systems.

'Aikido' was chosen by Hisatomi Tatatsuo, said Hirai, because is was inoffensive, stressed 'michi', and comprehensive. Hirai said: "... a cover-all term that could include others things as well."

Hirai is also credited with being functional in development of today's taihojutsu (police arrest tactics) originally taught during World War II.

Even while attending clases at Ueshiba's Kobukan, Hirai maintained his own dojo, founded before he met Ueshiba, in Okayama.

Chuck G.

PeterR 02-25-2002 02:32 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by mle
(Chuck posting -- no not POSING, Peter! -- as Emily again)
Don't you just hate these newly married types.

Matching track suits, shared internet accounts, sweeeet. :p

mle 02-25-2002 07:48 PM

Naming thread and Newlyweds...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by PeterR


Don't you just hate these newly married types.

Matching track suits, shared internet accounts, sweeeet. :p

mle:
Hee! yes, we have several things which match by accident, some of which we did on purpose..

Sorry about the confusion about who's who.. I'm the softer spoken one, generally.

Back to topic:
Should Korean judo not be marketed as judo?
Should Gracie jujutsu have its own name?

There's umpty gazillion forms of tae kwan do.

Yes, when we see the word "aikido" we think of the Ueshiba family despite the huge variation in actual form.

But it seems that is kind of like the "band aid" association - referring to stick-on bandages as such is a trademark violation. But everyone calls them that anyway. Same with Kleenex or Xerox.
"Facial tissue" or "photocopy" is a more accurate description, but we get accustomed to the other noises due to marketing saturation.

I would specify that what I do _could_ technically be called aikido, as could judo, or Danzan Ryu, hapkido (do those syllables even make sense in Korean?), chin-na (okay, that's Chinese, for what I don't know) or even tai chi.

The only rule which makes the word "aikido" belong to the Ueshiba is common usage and, quite frankly, marketing.

An educated person should ask, certainly.
If they want Ueshiba's aikido, they can check lineage.. but forgive me, Peter Goldsbury, lineage doth not a good practicioner make. I know you by reading and reputation and can only hope to grab your wrist someday! :-)

I have been taught some questionable things three teachers removed from Ueshiba.
Now, ONE teacher removed, or two, I have seen some fine things. And some very silly things. As I evolve (I've only ten years at this point), perhaps I will develop a more cohesive perspective... but the art is so very fragmented. To only see one view of it, to only experience or acknowledge one style, is to wear very narrow blinders.

My fragmented point being... who is to decide which window into aikido is best?

Each person can only decide for themselves if the softness of Ki no Kenkyukai or Shinshin Toitsu is for them, or the brisk competition of Tomiki, or the intense structure of Yoshinkan.

I would prefer that no one decided for me.

mle

JJF 02-26-2002 02:13 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by mle
(Chuck posting -- no not POSING, Peter! -- as Emily again)
... but why not ? after all there is a trace of a cross-dresser in all of us male aikido-ka's right ? with the hakama and all .... ;)

Peter Goldsbury 02-26-2002 07:35 AM

Re: Naming thread and Newlyweds...
 
Quote:

Originally posted by mle


Back to topic:

An educated person should ask, certainly.
If they want Ueshiba's aikido, they can check lineage.. but forgive me, Peter Goldsbury, lineage doth not a good practicioner make. I know you by reading and reputation and can only hope to grab your wrist someday! :-)

mle

I don't think I ever said it did, but it helps. Are we disagreeing?

Regards,

Chuck.Gordon 02-27-2002 12:56 PM

Deleted by Chuck
 
Deleted by Chuck

ronin_10562 02-27-2002 01:16 PM

"He says: "'Aikido' rather than being a specifically selected name, was the term used to refer to 'Butokukai-ryu aiki budo' within the Dai Nihon Butokukai."

Apparently, Hirai was at the Butokukai in regards to a new section being formed to cover 'comprehensive' yawara/jujutsu systems.

'Aikido' was chosen by Hisatomi Tatatsuo, said Hirai, because is was inoffensive, stressed 'michi', and comprehensive. Hirai said: "... a cover-all term that could include others things as well." "





Does that mean the term Aikido was used as a generic term and that Ueshiba did not invent the name?

Chuck.Gordon 02-27-2002 01:27 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by ronin_10562
Does that mean the term Aikido was used as a generic term and that Ueshiba did not invent the name?
Speaking broadly, yes. That's what I interpret that as saying.

However, over the years, as Peter G and others have cited, the Ueshiba lineage has taken the name to mean the distinctive budo taught by Ueshiba. And, generally speaking (look at Kleenex and Band-Aid) the name has, in popular use, become associated with Ueshiba's art.

I know of a couple of other systems, though, who use the term and have, indeed, heard it pop up in Daito Ryu circles as well.

Personally, I think 'aikido' is too broad a term for Ueshiba's lineage. I don't see anything wrong with 'Ueshiba Ryu Aikido' since it is his creation his family retains (in the main line at least) stewardship of the ryuha.

Tyen of course, we'd have to talk about the 'Tomiki-ha Ueshiba Ryu' of the Shodokan and 'Shioda-ha Ueshiba Ryu' of the Yoshinkan ...

Gets a bit unwieldy, I suppose.

Does that mean, Walt, that your folks (Nihon Goshin Aikido) ought not use the word 'aikido'? Nope. I'd just want to make sure anyone coming into the dojo knew it wasn't Ueshiba-ha aikido so there'd be no confusion.

Chuck

ronin_10562 02-27-2002 02:27 PM

We don't try to pass for Ueshiba's style, never have, never will. We are proud of our history, and share it with everyone that is remotely interested.

Walt

giriasis 02-27-2002 03:29 PM

Chuck's description clears up some confusion for me, and although I know that the NGA folks are really clear, proud, and honest about their lineage, but what of folks who are not? Is that "aikido" although if you walked into the dojo you will see them doing some techniques that look like aikido (especially to the untrained eye)? I'm talking about people who appear and present themselves to be connected to someone but in reality they are not. (Yes, this is a real group and comes from personal experience. I have spoken to people about this group before, they know who I'm talking about.)

Are they "my style mish-mash don't know if it's Ueshiba-ha or Takeda-ha" aikido?

Does unknown or no lineage = not aikido?

Anne Marie "the queen of asking simple yet extremely controversial questions" Giri


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