AikiWeb Aikido Forums

AikiWeb Aikido Forums (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/index.php)
-   Training (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=15)
-   -   Is our Budo watered down? (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1697)

Bruce Baker 03-31-2002 08:24 AM

Is our Budo watered down?
 
Question:
The fact that all Budo, Martial art training was out lawed in the previous two centuries to the common man, except for soldiers and royal families, did that give common people a watered down budo? Must you learn from a descended art by royal family?

Thought:
There is plenty of history outlawing schools of MA in both China, and Japan, let alone Okinawa. How many hidden techniques survived to be relearned in their original form to be understood for their original intended use?

Focus of question:
O'Sensei admits to changing his focus to the new art of Aikido, making it safe to practice for all humanity, but still being a true budo. How watered down did he make it to make it safe, and how much training, study does it take to see the true applications our techniques came from?

Chuck.Gordon 03-31-2002 08:55 AM

Re: Is our Budo watered down?
 
This is Chuck posting as Chuck (no, really!)

Quote:

Originally posted by Bruce Baker
The fact that all Budo, Martial art training was out lawed in the previous two centuries to the common man, except for soldiers and royal families, did that give common people a watered down budo? Must you learn from a descended art by royal family?

No, it wasn't forbidden, strictly speaking. The common man simply hadn't time, money or inclination to do formalized martial arts training. They were too busy staying alive.

In order to study systematized martial disciplines, we require free time, access to teachers, funds to pay, etc. The average man for the past 10,000 years (the 40-hour work week and minimum wage is really a very, very new concept) has been a hunter, farmer, laborer ... they didn't have time to do much but work, take care of family, stay alive and die if they wound up in the wrong place or got sick.

Getting together with the other blokes behind the barn and wrestling is about as formal as most martial instruction for the common man got for hundereds and hundreds of years. The one exception was when the common fellow got drafted and some old soldier shoved a spear in his hands and said "Point goes that way. Butt goes this way. Don't stick your buddy. Now, go kill a kami for mommy."

If he survived that and came back, he sat around the barracks or bivouac and compared notes with other grunts.

Only in times of peace and prosperity do we truly have the luxury to study the arts of war.

There is plenty of history outlawing schools of MA in both China, and Japan, let alone Okinawa. How many hidden techniques survived to be relearned in their original form to be understood for their original intended use?

No. There's not. I think I know where you're coming from though. Oral histories and tales told over sake often refer to the weapons bans, to the Japanese crushing the Okinawan fighting arts, etc etc etc. It's simply not exactly that way. Current, scholarly research into the true history of Okinawa reveals some very interesting things the legends just gloss over (or outright ignore) in favor of romantic fantasy.

Hidden techniques? It's common practice among the legitimate koryu to teach the secrets right up front. They are usually found right there in the basics. And if the student is dedicated, astute and diligent, this becomes clear.

O'Sensei admits to changing his focus to the new art of Aikido, making it safe to practice for all humanity, but still being a true budo. How watered down did he make it to make it safe, and how much training, study does it take to see the true applications our techniques came from?

Japanese budo, like Japanese culture itself, is like an onion. It comes apart in layer after layer and has all kinds of depths. The question is not whether Ueshiba watered down aikido. The question is how willing are we to explore the depths and find what really lies there.

And trust me, Bruce, Dillman and the other folks you seem to be listening to may do what they do very well, but they're, in many ways, perpetuating the myths rather than blowing them away, they are, in fact, obscuring mre than they reveal and they are simply not the experts on history, martial theory and budo they claim to be.

You want to get the real deal? You want to know the "Truth" (tm)? Start listening and training with folks such as Meik Skoss, Karl Friday, Ellis Amdur, even our own dear friend Peter Boylan, folks like Rennis Buchner and Jun Akiyama, people like Chuck Clark and Dennis Hooker. People who have been there, done that, got scars and t-shirts to prove it.

You're in Jersey. Get in touch with the Skosses and see if you can arrange a visit to their dojo. I'd be very interested to hear what Meik has to say about your theories ...

You want good budo? Go see folks who are doing it, not the ones who are selling repackaged myth and misinformation.

As far as budo being watered down? Maybe yours is, mine is not. Nor is that of any of the folks I've referenced above.

Chuck

Brian H 03-31-2002 09:22 AM

The art is not watered down, the people are.
 
As Bruce points out, the dojos of old were filled with full time student warriors. These students were expected to live and breath the art the were studying all the time and stoicly eliminate all outside influences from their lives.

Now the vast majority of MA students practice as much as they can within the scope of full-time plus careers, family and other pastimes. Gone are the days when days of begging outside a dojo door were required for entrance and slavish devotion to a teacher mandatory.

Even if you have a "samurai" career (Law Enforcement, etc), as I do, you would be regarded as quite squirlely if you devoted your self to a life as a "warrior monk" (somepeople will always regard as squirlely just for practicing MAs).

jimvance 03-31-2002 10:21 AM

Re: Re: Is our Budo watered down?
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Chuck, posting as Chuck (no, really!)
Only in times of peace and prosperity do we truly have the luxury to study the arts of war.
This was the only thing I didn't agree with wholeheartedly from your whole seminar (above) with Bruce (which I have seen you have had a lot of lately!). I think that I just misunderstood what you meant. Perhaps it's just the word "only" that gets my attention, perhaps it's the word "war".
Whatcha talkin' bout?

Jim Vance

Chuck.Gordon 04-01-2002 07:19 AM

Re: Re: Re: Is our Budo watered down?
 
Quote:

Originally posted by jimvance
This was the only thing I didn't agree with wholeheartedly from your whole seminar (above) with Bruce (which I have seen you have had a lot of lately!).

Sigh. Yeah. I tried to talk to him, then tried to tune him out and failed, apparently at both. He seems like a nice guy, but he's got a very closed point of view (and I know where a lot of that comes from, I've been down those paths myself over the years).

The main reason I respond now is to try to keep 'good' (read that from my PoV) info out there as well as the stuff he's saying. Let folks examine both and hopefully it'll lead them to do their own research (and training) and find their individual truths.

I think that I just misunderstood what you meant. Perhaps it's just the word "only" that gets my attention, perhaps it's the word "war". Whatcha talkin' bout?

Budo. Most extant budo were organized, codified, catalogued and systematized in times of peace. The roots of the arts may have been laid on the battlefield, but during wartime, no one has the luxury of taking notes, experimenting and researching.

Today, despite the obvious turmoil that exists in this world, MOST of us who study budo do so in relative peace and security.

Folks in Afghanistan right now, for instance, don't have time for much but survival. We, however, are blessed with the options of training, going out for a beer, seeing a movie, etc.

Unless the student is a soldier training for battle, the study of martial arts is a luxury ...

Chuck

jimvance 04-01-2002 10:11 AM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Is our Budo watered down?
 
Quote:

Originally posted by LOEP
Most extant budo were organized, codified, catalogued and systematized in times of peace. The roots of the arts may have been laid on the battlefield, but during wartime, no one has the luxury of taking notes, experimenting and researching.
I was wondering about the many years of the Sengoku Jidai, and also about classical Western infantry combat training(Spartans, Romans, etc.). I guess things were organized and experimented on in the "relative" peace of seasonal changes. Definitely not a luxury.

Jim Vance

Bruce Baker 04-02-2002 12:04 PM

Watered down Budo
 
I guess my fascination of Caste System for almost all cultures, along with the invisible caste system of America in my early years of life still guide my instinctive organization to history and cultures? Poor scum of the earth are me ancestors ... oh, well.

It is the natural way of humanity to create pecking orders, and use them to their advantage ... only when you rise in this order do you gain the freedom to ignore the doors that are closed to others. You can look at the numbers and identification of your life as beneficial ... or that they are the tracking devices or tools used to keep you withing a system that allow those with more to control your life ... or go about your life in total ignorance? (if you really want to know what goes on around town, check the old lady gossip. They know all the secrets and lies.)

As far as commoners learning fighting or Martial arts ... openness depends on if you are the peasant, or someone with a teacher and time to teach you, doesn't it? The ways of America have pretty much changed the attitude of the world, I think today we have more MA in the USA than the mother countries of those arts have themselves?

Anyway, I notice that almost all people who have studies MA since they were a kid, 20 years/30 years, always get this I- have- been there- done- that attitude? I still get it from local teachers I am acquainted with in my local area, but they always seem to be studying something simular or parallel MA to what I did the year before ... with the same huffing and puffing you guys do? Maybe we both huff and puff ... people most dilike the things they dislike in themselves when seen in other human beings. It creates natural instinctive dislike to others to display these traits ... I have been working on that one for twenty years, still am.

Back to MA whining ....
One guy whined about muay tai, Gracie Jujitsu being no good, the next year he was introducing them into his Tae Kwon Do. Another whined about Wing chung, Tai chi being bogus, the next year he had teachers in his dojo. Now you guys are whining about Pressure Points, and Chi/Ki ... well, I am trying to learn what ever I can, are you? No fingers, no offense intended ... thought you might be interested now that there is method, evidence, and true results in this field?

Really, no offense guys, but there has to be a deeper meaning to Aikido than just the physical efforts we do and see. A budo derived from war made safer. Made safe how? Why?

It's okay, you got six more layers oof skin to go before any real pain starts.

In the meantime, I will check out your guys, and you can check out my guys? Fair enough?

Although, if you are as learned as you say, you will get the better end of the deal.

By the way, I do the classical style of Ueshiba Aikido as practiced by Y. Yamada/ NYC.
Studying other MA helps to make it safer, much more enjoyable, too. Tell me you wouldn't enjoy Aikido as much if you didn't do, learn, or had never tried other martial arts.

Cheers.

Lyle Bogin 04-02-2002 12:08 PM

To answer the origianl question: Is our budo watered down?

I'd say no, it's evolved.

Bruce Baker 04-09-2002 09:19 AM

Re: to original question
 
By the words I quoted from O'Sensei, Morehei Ueshiba, himself ... it is watered down.

How you find the secrets of non watered down is up to you. Thank what ever gods you pray to that we have freedom to do so.

:ai: :ki: :do:


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:42 PM.

Powered by: vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.