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Chris Li 05-26-2013 05:59 PM

Interview with Aikido Shihan Shigenobu Okumura, Part 1
 
New blog post!

"Interview with Aikido Shihan Shigenobu Okumura, Part 1 - Encountering Aikido in Manchuria"

Enjoy!

Chris

JW 05-27-2013 12:36 PM

Re: Interview with Aikido Shihan Shigenobu Okumura, Part 1
 
Surprised about no replies. Is the interesting discussion happening on some other forum?

Regarding the recommendation against solo practice:
So we know O-sensei did lots of solo practice, many people saw him. (besides the heavy spear work, lodging and un-lodging the spear into trees, we also have the empty hand "tree pushing" exercises as photographed.. which was called kokyu training.)

So, it could be that his sentiment here is referring to a distinction between kokyu ryoku (needs solo practice) and aiki (needs partner practice). Not saying I entitrely agree, just saying that putative distinction could account for this discrepancy as we have seen it worded thus far.

Another possibility is much deeper culturally. Sunadomari Kanshu said that within the Oomoto circles, they called Japan's efforts in WWII a "losing war." This had to do with the Japanese government violently suppressing the Oomoto religion-- the believers saw this representing exactly what would happen to Japan in turn during the war. Could it be that Ueshiba and the rest of the cult members felt spited by the Japanese government, and had no faith in the war effort? In such a situation, even if commanded to go and instruct at imperialist overseas universities or teach directly at military institutions, would O-sensei hold back information that would help progress in budo, or even say the opposite of what he believed would help? It was a crazy time, not just for Japan and the world, but for O-sensei as an individual.

Chris Li 05-27-2013 12:56 PM

Re: Interview with Aikido Shihan Shigenobu Okumura, Part 1
 
Quote:

Jonathan Wong wrote: (Post 327005)
Surprised about no replies. Is the interesting discussion happening on some other forum?

Regarding the recommendation against solo practice:
So we know O-sensei did lots of solo practice, many people saw him. (besides the heavy spear work, lodging and un-lodging the spear into trees, we also have the empty hand "tree pushing" exercises as photographed.. which was called kokyu training.)

So, it could be that his sentiment here is referring to a distinction between kokyu ryoku (needs solo practice) and aiki (needs partner practice). Not saying I entitrely agree, just saying that putative distinction could account for this discrepancy as we have seen it worded thus far.

As regard solo training, I think that Okumura was referring to the post-war meeting in which Tomiki showed Ueshiba some of the basic exercises that he had developed in Siberia. I notice that he mixes the references to those exercises with the competition issue, so it's possible that he had a dog in that fight.

Also, I'd note that what we're hearing is Okumura's impression of what Ueshiba thought - of course that's valuable, but it's also colored by his own perceptions of what ought to be happening. I notice that even when he talks about being in favor of a "Taiji-like" solo form it appears as if he's talking about forms practice rather than any kind of real conditioning.

He makes it clear in Part 2 that there were things that he didn't understand - and never understood, that ought to be understandable if you have the right background, so that may cast the remarks in a different light.

Best,

Chris

Peter Goldsbury 05-27-2013 04:14 PM

Re: Interview with Aikido Shihan Shigenobu Okumura, Part 1
 
Quote:

Jonathan Wong wrote: (Post 327005)
Surprised about no replies. Is the interesting discussion happening on some other forum?

I had some questions, but I have already read the interview in Japanese and also knew Okumura Sensei quite well. I was curious about the occasion for Kakehi Katsuhiko and Hiraizumi Hiyoshi to visit the Hombu for a demonstration: whether it was a special demonstration or they just happened to be passing. (I have already written in the TIE columns about who they are, but do not have much strong evidence about their connection with Morihei Ueshiba.)

Best wishes,

PAG


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