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Old 05-22-2005, 07:39 AM   #69
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Basic elements of Aikido

Ignatius Teo wrote:
So something like "Mixing the essence of heaven and earth in man" would only mean something to someone who was also in the know, and since it doesn't say how, one can only presume that they were also privy to the same knowledge, either by being shown or having arrived at it independently.
I totally agree, but consider the use of the phrase you just used about "heaven and earth"... for Ueshiba to use it would indicate that he recognized it as an "in the know" phrase that was widespread among the cognoscenti and that more than just a few people would recognize it. It also (in conjunction with the supporting phraseology he uses) makes it clear that he was privy to the accepted phraseology used in China to describe these things, *at one level or another* (it needs to be kept in mind that there are degrees of this type of knowledge, from low to high). The point being that someone could have "arrived" at *some* parts of the ki and kokyu knowledge independently, but knowing what the prescribed phraseology meant indicates that they did NOT arrive at it independently. I.e., Ueshiba certainly had training of some sort. One of the questions that keep bothering me is why Tohei and others have not published an analysis of O-Sensei's comments within the doka... it's almost impossible, in my mind, that some of them don't know full well what Ueshiba was talking about. Their silence is something of a confirmation of the idea that secrets are being deliberately kept.
So the question remains, *where* and *when* did Ueshiba obtain this knowlege and from *whom*? Was it on one of his sojurns to China/Mongolia, which was (deliberately?) omitted from his books?
Given the indications that other ryu and arts used/use this same knowledge, etc., I'd suggest that he got his basic information (if not everything) in Japan. But that's just a guess. He may have acquired additive information in China.... that would certainly answer the question of why he thought his "art" deserved to be separate from Daito-Ryu. At the moment it's impossible to settle on a definite answer, though.
And if Tohei did not put much faith in the old man's words (as in its literal meaning), how did he then arrive at the same conclusion? And how did he know how to utilize that knowledge?
Tohei obviously was trained in a different manner in a different tradition... within the Chinese communitiy there are also a number of approaches. However the point is that regardless of the terminology, there's only one way these things works, whether between styles, traditions, cultures (e.g., Japan and China), and so on. So once Tohei got his knowledge, he would have been able to see how it was the same thing that Ueshiba used and he would have been able to easily extrapolate *some* of the things if there was a question about how something worked in a technique. Because there are levels of understanding, there may well be some things Ueshiba knew that Tohei never learned and vice versa. It's impossible to get much of this just by "hard practice"... someone has to teach you too many of things. The question of how much Ueshiba knew (I would bet heavily on "more" rather than "less", from what I've learned lately) is really what these discussions may ultimately delve into as more and more Aikido people become acquainted with the material.


Mike Sigman
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