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Jorx 06-27-2003 03:32 AM

Saito sensei's path was wrong?
 
I heard a -rumor- and I would want to know weather it is true or just a bad rumor. And comments and details about it.

Well I HEARD (what a bad start) that a while after Saito sensei's passing his son, who is now the head of Iwama-ryu made a statement that Saito's ways were a mistake or a failure and that Iwama-ryu is not "the real thing".

Any comments?

Would really appreciate it 'cause one shouldn't let such rumors roam around if not true.

Jorgen
Riveta Sportsclub

Greg Jennings 06-27-2003 05:29 AM

Don't know firsthand about the purported rumor.

It's the sort of thing that you hear and say with a high degree of confidence "Somebody had their ears screwed on wrong".

I do know that we are practicing just as we practiced before.

Further, I do know that when Hitohiro Saito Sensei taught in Denver, he taught as he had in the past and as his father had in the past. No differences.

Changes always accompany the passing of great icons like the late Saito Shihan. In this case I, personally, am highly confident they will all be of an organizational nature.

Perhaps the organizational changes ("Iwama Ryu" is actually an organization) is what you've heard.

Best Regards,

ikkainogakusei 06-27-2003 11:28 AM

Re: Saito sensei's path was wrong?
 
Quote:

Jorgen Matsi (Jorx) wrote:
I heard a -rumor- and I would want to know weather it is true or just a bad rumor. ... made a statement that Saito's ways were a mistake or a failure and that Iwama-ryu is not "the real thing".

Yikes! That's such a sketchy thing to discuss as a rumor. I have always been saddened by the rift between followers who believe their 'way' is the 'true' way.

Having started out in an aikikai-affiliated dojo, with a sensei who was highly influenced by M. Saito-shihan I would say that my forms are 'Iwama' if cornered and required to define or box my style. But never would I have a compunction to say that my 'way' was more true than any other's.

I have great difficulty imagining that H. Saito would ever say that, and when training in the dojo, my sensei -does- discuss differences in for between M. Saito, and H. Saito sensei and the differences are more about being more side or forward facing at a certain point in a technique. The 13 Jo awase has some differences, but in no way have we deviated so much as to reject M. Saito Shihan's teachings.

Hope that this was not said and/or this rumor does not take off.

:) :ai: :)

Greg Jennings 06-27-2003 01:42 PM

I took the "Way" part of it to mean the emphasis on kotai training.

When most people think "Iwama", they think of kotai keiko. But, that's less than one-fourth of the Iwama pedagogical method.

I still think someone was confused about a "Way" versus an organizational expediency that allowed the late Saito Sensei to take care of his students in certain countries.

Best Regards,

ikkainogakusei 06-27-2003 02:35 PM

Quote:

Greg Jennings wrote:
When most people think "Iwama", they think of kotai keiko. But, that's less than one-fourth of the Iwama pedagogical method.

Hi Greg,

Just for clarity, I haven't seen the term kotai keiko. [sometimes left-coasters use different terminology] I tried to find kotai and wound up in a kendo site and it explained kotai as 'change', but this could be interpreted in so many ways. I have heard Iwama described as more kihon (start-stop), is this related?

Thanks

:) :ai: :)

Greg Jennings 06-27-2003 04:35 PM

Hi Jane,

I got those terms directly from Hans Goto Sensei and from Saito Sensei's original series, "Traditional Aikido".

Kotai = "Rigid Body"

Jutai = "Supple Body"

Ryutai = "Flowing Body"

Kitai = "Energy Body" S.K.A. "Takemusu Aiki"

We usually speak more broadly in terms of "Kihon" (basics) and "Ki-no-nagare" (Energy Flow).

It's one pedagogical method. It seems to work for me.

Best Regards,

akiy 06-27-2003 11:22 PM

Hi Greg,

I believe "kotai" should be "katai"...

-- Jun

Peter Goldsbury 06-28-2003 07:13 AM

Quote:

Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
Hi Greg,

I believe "kotai" should be "katai"...

-- Jun

Hello Jun,

Greg is correct. The word used is 固体, read as こたい, as on p.51 of "Traditional Aikido" Vol. 5.

Actually, today I was in the Aikikai Hombu and spent several hours in the company of Hiroshi Isoyama, who is an IAF official. If H Saito's training is wrong then so is Isoyams Sensei's, for it came from the same source.

Best regards,

Peter Goldsbury 06-28-2003 07:25 AM

Quote:

Greg Jennings wrote:
Hi Jane,

I got those terms directly from Hans Goto Sensei and from Saito Sensei's original series, "Traditional Aikido".

Kotai = "Rigid Body"

Jutai = "Supple Body"

Ryutai = "Flowing Body"

Kitai = "Energy Body" S.K.A. "Takemusu Aiki"

We usually speak more broadly in terms of "Kihon" (basics) and "Ki-no-nagare" (Energy Flow).

It's one pedagogical method. It seems to work for me.

Best Regards,

Hello Greg,

As a footnote to my earlier post, the translation for 固体稽古 is 'solid exercise' (as per Bill Witt's translation of "Traditional Aikido"). If you were to follow the assumptions in the above post, the compound word 'ko-tai-gei-ko' would mean 'solid body respect old', which is nonsense.

Kotai means solid, as opposed to liquid. Thus 'kotai renryo' means 'solid fuel', but 'rigid body' seems far too literal.

I have no problem with the type of training you are thinking of, only with Mr Goto's translation.

Best,

akiy 06-28-2003 10:36 AM

Hi Peter,

Oh, yes -- "koutai" makes sense. I was just reading it as "kotai" (without the long first vowel), I guess...

Thanks for the correction, as always.

-- Jun

Greg Jennings 06-28-2003 01:35 PM

Actually, I thought I heard Goto Sensei say "katai", but I saw "kotai" in "Traditional Aikido" and thought I'd heard wrong.

When I got the wording from Goto Sensei, we were in a large metal building with fans running.

Given that environment and that I have far too many rounds of rifle and shotgun going off close to my head, I need to let others speak to what was strictly said.

I like the "solid" far better than the "stiff" that I normally hear.

I'd segued to "rigid" to better convey the feeling I have of precision as opposed to stiffness. As in "rigid application of basics". But that is my own personal opinion.

The "solid" translation gives me the same feeling as I was looking for. I'll use it in the future.

The compound "kotai keiko" is my own lack of language skills coming out.

Goldsbury Sensei and Jun, thank you so much. In many ways, Aikido-L and now these forums greatly enhance my knowledge base.

Best,

Greg Jennings 06-28-2003 01:57 PM

Sorry for the double post:

Jun, I seem to remember you saying that you'd heard Witt Sensei say that he sometimes thought of "keiko" as "tracing the old".

Am I having a senior moment here? Do you remember enough to expand on what he said?

Best Regards,

akiy 06-28-2003 05:46 PM

Hi Greg,

Indeed, I do remember Witt sensei saying that his interpretation of "keiko" was "tracing the old." He might not have meant it literally but may have just been referring to the kind of practice in which people in calligraphy partake -- of placing their teacher's calligraphy underneath another piece of paper and "tracing" the faint characters.

If I get a chance, I'll see if I can talk to him about it at the Aiki Expo.

-- Jun

Greg Jennings 06-28-2003 06:25 PM

Hi Jun,

Thanks for replying. I'm glad I wasn't having a senior moment. There are more and more of those these days.

Please do speak to Witt Sensei. I'll try to do the same. But with Nihongo being your first language, your conversation will probably be richer than any I could have.

Best Regards,

Peter Goldsbury 06-28-2003 06:52 PM

Quote:

Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
Hi Peter,

Oh, yes -- "koutai" makes sense. I was just reading it as "kotai" (without the long first vowel), I guess...

Thanks for the correction, as always.

-- Jun

Aagh!

Jun,

The KO in 固体 is not long. The other readings are 固まる katamaru, 固まり katamari, 固い katai, and some compounds are: 固守 koshu = persistence, 固有名詞 koyu meishi = proper noun, 固形 kokei = solid, 固定 kotei = fixed.

Best,

akiy 06-28-2003 10:44 PM

Quote:

Peter A Goldsbury (Peter Goldsbury) wrote:
The KO in 固体 is not long.

Oops. I guess I get a failing grade for this thread, huh?

-- Jun

Peter Goldsbury 06-28-2003 11:07 PM

Quote:

Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
Oops. I guess I get a failing grade for this thread, huh?

-- Jun

No, you are allowed the latitude of a native speaker... Perhaps we should restart our conversations in Japanese...

Best,

David Yap 07-09-2003 10:35 PM

Re: Saito sensei's path was wrong?
 
Dear Jorgen,
Quote:

Jorgen Matsi (Jorx) wrote:
I heard a -rumor- and I would want to know weather it is true or just a bad rumor. And comments and details about it.

Well I HEARD (what a bad start) that a while after Saito sensei's passing his son, who is now the head of Iwama-ryu made a statement that Saito's ways were a mistake or a failure and that Iwama-ryu is not "the real thing".

Any comments?

Would really appreciate it 'cause one shouldn't let such rumors roam around if not true.

Jorgen

Riveta Sportsclub

By your post, you appear to me that you have little understanding of aikido or the martial arts. If you do, you would not be too concerned with these "rumours". Your thread is "Saito sensei's path was wrong?" Do you know or can you explain in your own thought what exactly is Saito sensei's path?

I commenced my training in aikido in 1994. I have been training in Shotokan karate since 1972 (15 years young). Though Shotokan karate as taught by Japan Karate Association is very much sports orientated - it has one of the best methodology of teaching and passing the essence of the art to future generations (provided one trains ones remaining lifetime). Saito sensei's path is just that - passing on the essence of aikido as was taught to him by O sensei. The essence is deeply buried in the roots - The Basics. If you cannot master the basics you cannot move forward. I have trained with various Aikikai instructors in my country, each has his own perceptions of aikido - and each teaches according to his perceptions and understandings of the art and the danger of such teachings is that both "right" & "wrong" perceptions are passed down by students who have not acquired the skill of "filtering". In some dojo, the students are not allowed to ask questions, the students are told to observe and memerick the teacher's movements (feelings and understandings will come naturally if you continue to train so they say).

I remember the first time I entered the aikido dojo, I could not flow with the footwork after years of karate training and the teacher wisely said "empty the cup and fill it again". In our local aikikai style association, we sometime had inter-dojo training - the teacher would take his group of students to train another teacher and his group with the association. Strangely, some of the techniques that we learned in our dojo did not flow (work) when practising with the other group and vice-versa. The teachers' explanation was that some certain techniques require the nage and uke to feel and understand each other first (it will work if both students continue to train together) - to me, that's sound like "choreography" and bulls***. I was very lucky when I had the opportunity to train with Steve Ng sensei a 3rd dan Iwama-ryu stylist in 1997. After watching our practise, he told us to empty our cups again and some of us did so with much sceptical and reservation. He showed us the Jo and Ken suburi, the footwork and postures when executing these suburi and how the same footwork and postures are applied in our techniques. For 3 months, he taught us basic, basic and basic and surprisely, that was the key requirement for any technique to work and at any dojo. The shame was that after Ng sensei returned to Australia, the aikikai style instructors reverted to their own preferred way of instructions - "in my dojo, there is only one way - My Way" attitude. Why?? Selfish reason ($$) or just different perception.

After a 5 years of arm-chair aikido, I am back in the dojo but the situation is still status quo. So, it is back to "Oss sensei!! Hai sensei!!" - just a physical exercise. "Unlucky" for us locally, there is no Iwama way of instruction to take to the level of Takemusu Aikido. For new student after learning the rolls and break-falls, it is "Takemusu Aikido" and a DIY perception of the Art. I am just wondering that some of them will still be trying to figure out why or how it work at their dying beds.

Most magicians will not disclosure their tricks for the fear of losing their patrons. Saito sensei not only showed us the magic of aikido as was taught to him by O sensei but also how and why they work. At a certain time, you should be able to differentiate a showman from a true teacher.

For what have been said, no apology is needed to all the showmen out there.

David

Malaysia

Fausto 07-31-2003 01:03 AM

It'a all about the basic techniques.

I've trained for 11 years and because of my father's job i have been able to do Seidokan, Iwama, Aikikai (in mexico) and Bu Iku Kai. I actually teach Bu Iku Kai because is the Aikido that fits best to me.

I had the opportunity to train with very good teachers (even if they did a differnt style) and i have come to the conclusion that if you learn the basics of any style you'll be ok, your technique will work.

Of course if your teacher is a charlatan (i hope that's the correct word in english) you can do any style and your technique will never ever work, it really depends on the teacher not on the style..... i think ;)

Jorx 08-17-2003 01:20 PM

I'm really sorry about upsetting all you guys.

And it really seems that some of you didn't read or understood my post correctly.

David (sorry about using forenames but this a forum) - you state that "I seem not to have knowledge about martial arts -text- -text- cause my thread is stated -text- path -text- can I explain -text- etc"

Of course I need to worry about such rumors. In Estonia you don't get much MA news and if someone tells you something you have to make sure weather the information was accurate. (Unluckily a lot of bad things happen in MA and it really happens that someone by accident or intentionally does and teaches for decades some very bad and stupid things. I'm glad this wasn't the case.)

Of course I cannot explain what that path was. I heard such a statement as I wrote in my previous post so it was not up to me to define what that post was but up to that person who made that statement (in this case it would have been the next leader of Iwama but luckily all that stuff turned out to be just a rumor).

But otherwise I'm very glad to read that others as well are concerned with how and why and the falsification of what we do.

Because I am very much convinced that we cannot very effectivly practice with exactly the same methods as 200 years ago (Hai sensei! Oss sensei!) Because the life isn't the same as 200 years ago.

Unluckily shotokan karate do in Estonia has fallen into a very deep pit of selfishness and false truths and so it struggles in there and has problems... But that's a very different subject...

My point was: to get information about a certain thing. I accomplished that. Thanks to everyone who helped.

shadow 08-17-2003 09:05 PM

Re: Re: Saito sensei's path was wrong?
 
Quote:

Jane Tao (ikkainogakusei) wrote:
I have great difficulty imagining that H. Saito would ever say that, and when training in the dojo, my sensei -does- discuss differences in for between M. Saito, and H. Saito sensei and the differences are more about being more side or forward facing at a certain point in a technique. The 13 Jo awase has some differences, but in no way have we deviated so much as to reject M. Saito Shihan's teachings.

my teacher is a student mainly of M. Saito sensei but of course as uchi deshi has been taught by H. Saito sensei numerous times too. He also discusses the differences between them, there is sometimes slight variations in the pin or in some of the weapons but rather than changes they are more like H. Saito has reverted to the old ways in which M. Saito had taught.

A lot of the changes that H. Saito has now changed back were brought about by M. Saito travelling to do seminars and finding that the techniques had been misinterpreted so he came up with simplified versions of the techniques. So there is some change.

But as far as rumours go, like all rumours it has probably been stretched by several retellings so it now hardly resembles the original fact, if there was one to begin with.


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