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Old 09-11-2005, 06:49 PM   #24
Misogi-no-Gyo
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 498
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Omoto-kyo Theology... Relevant?

Hi David,

I wanted to address your recent post. However, while I may be putting forth questions with regards to your comments, I do not want in any way to make it seem that I am in support of Erick's point of view, which by and large I am not.

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:

For example, your larger perspective makes it seems like there is one type of Aikido - a practice that has existed without modification and that exists in the same shape wherever it is present throughout the world -- one traced to the Founder.
I ask this question over and over and really don't get a satisfactory answer (read: I get answers contrary to mine…) Do you believe that O-Sensei would be able to watch someone practice Aikido and say, "that is not aikido" My answer is a resounding yes, there are things that are not aikido. As an example, as many Daito-Ryu practitioners would have us believe, Aikido is just watered down, or a pared down practice of DRAJ. Of course, you and I do not really support that view. As such we believe that even if on the surface if a specific Aikido & DRAJ technique looks the same, in fact, one is Aikido and one is not. Therefore, is it not empirically logical to say that one is Aikido and the other (being DRAJ) is not. From there is it not plausible to say with some certainty that two Aikido dojos, while have Aikido in their name, may in fact also be doing different things, and for the sake of this argument, one of them is Aikido and the other is not…
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
It seems to deny how contrary many styles of Aikido are to each other and how determined things are by the individual practitioner.
Well, actually from my point of view it merely says that some people know what they are doing, and some do not. I dare not say which is which, but I do say that both are possible states of being. If someone watched a thousand hours of aikido videos and read 100 books in various languages, and yet had no interaction with any aikido teacher, is what he is practicing with his next door neighbor in his garage aikido because it looks like the aikido he saw in the pictures and videos? How does he even know what Aikido is, or that any of the individuals in the videos or books did not garner their understanding of the art in the exact same fashion as he - that being completely disconnected from the art.
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
It also seems to deny the numerous discontinuities that actually separate us from "The Founder."
What separates most from the founder is their own ability to say, "Yeah, this is what the founder was doing, cause if I'm doing it, and I say it is Aikido, then it must be aikido…
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David Valadez wrote:
Moreover, when you say such things, you need to manufacture support for such claims,
Okay, I agree with your point here. I am going to use this below… noted as STATEMENT CLEARLY NEEDS SUPPORT
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
In contrast to your perspective, if we look at things more specifically, we find that there is indeed no one thing called "Aikido."
STATEMENT CLEARLY NEEDS SUPPORT
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Moreover, we realize that the defining and/or describing of "Aikido" is actually a political game currently being played out -- one a historian is supposed to be reflective enough to not be suckered into playing right along with everyone else.
STATEMENT CLEARLY NEEDS SUPPORT
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Once we realize that "Aikido" does not exist as a single agreed upon event and/or practice, we are not only able to better record the relevant larger economy of power, we are better able to note those agents that seek to exchange one form of capital for another form of capital in the truth game of defining "Aikido."
STATEMENT CLEARLY NEEDS SUPPORT Strong arguments are never based upon a point founded on incomplete data and inconclusive evidence. Since all of your subsequent arguments are based upon this point, they too appear to be very weak. Just as important, does your "historian" practice Aikido and did he happen to get all his information from books and videos?
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David Valadez wrote:
Since, Osensei (or one's understanding of "Osensei") is big capital in such a truth game, we can see how and why certain folks want to look at him in a certain way and measure these efforts against the accuracy of documents proven to be reliable.
Sure, I would agree with this to some extent, that being about 99.9 percent. However, do you not think that O-Sensei, might, and I just say might have actually given a few students his thoughts on the matter? Often it is hypothesized that because Kishomaru Doshu said this that or the other thing about his father that it must be so. I don't buy that in the least. It is a very weak argument at best. I look at what I know about my own father, someone whom I have always been close to, and in truth I know very little, especially about what happened in the three plus decades he lived before I was born. He also know much about my life, however there are many things that he does not know, things that my students who are with me most of the time don't know, and neither of them will ever know. However, friends of mine know these things because we discuss them casually. I am sure the friends of O-Sensei know much more about O-Sensei's thoughts and feelings than anyone within his various dojos or circle of martial influence.
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
From here, we can with greatly clarity add to our self-reflective efforts to not be suckered in by the current political battles that are raging and thus produce ourselves histories that are more accurate.
Or less accurate on an increasingly exponential path.
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David Valadez wrote:
When we do this, it becomes very strange (suspect) to suggest that Osensei in some way demythologized Aikido and/or the possible philosophies that underlie Aikido.
STATEMENT CLEARLY NEEDS SUPPORT I say that because I personally find it interesting (ridiculous and contradicting) when those who claim that O-Sensei didn't have a teaching methodology or that his lectures didn't make sense because they were based on various mythological, cultural, older-style Japanese (Chinese, Shingon, Buddhist…etc.) paradigms or other religious sources then go out to try and explain the very methodologies they say O-Sensei didn't have. When I asked Abe Sensei about this aspect of O-Sensei's teaching, and the individuals who proffer teaching methods based upon Myth, Mystery, and Mimicry he said, "If it sounds like the person explaining it to you doesn't understand what he was talking about, he doesn't." (Clarifying - that if he is merely repeating it in lecture form, but it is just repetitious academic reference material, walk away quickly as there is nothing to learn from such a person.)
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
From a local specific point of view, it is clear that Osensei did no such thing, nor attempted to do such thing.
STATEMENT CLEARLY NEEDS SUPPORT This I do disagree with wholeheartedly. I do so based upon information that I have to prove otherwise. However at this time I will not support my own statement, but ask you how you can support such a statement without having consulted every possible individual living or dead that may have received opposing information.
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
From a local specific point of view, it would have been impossible for Osensei to do this.
STATEMENT CLEARLY NEEDS SUPPORT Again, read my above comments. I will say that while it would certainly be difficult from a cultural perspective for specific reasons, that it would be wholly possible to do so outside of the cultural paradigm. This is easy to envision like the way a person in the military must act when on duty versus off duty versus when on leave versus when he completes his service. He is always the same person, but acts according to a wide set of parameters based upon whichever circumstance he chooses for himself.
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
From a local specific point of view, if there are today demythologized Aikidos out there, they are obviously the product of later folks who seek to legitimate their efforts by saying that they are only doing what Osensei already did.
STATEMENT CLEARLY NEEDS SUPPORT Again, I must disagree here as stated before. This is merely a revisionist's approach, something that historians are often guilty of and much less often than they should be, held to account for the damage they do to actual history.
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
A more accurate form of history would see such statements for the political maneuvers that they indeed are -- truth games where social and cultural power is at stake.
While this may be 100 % accurate in 99.9% of the cases, it may not be so in 100% of them.
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Once you reach this point, we aren't so subject to the party line of one group in particular and thus better come to see that there are probably a whole lot of other more relevant reasons than the demythologization of Aikido (in certain areas, but individuals other than Osensei) for explaining how or why Aikido has spread throughout much of the modern world.
Actually this is very easy to describe. When we look at Gendai budo versus Koryu budo we see a much larger group of practitioners of the former than the latter. Why? It is because it is always more difficult to keep something the same for a long period of time than it is to let it, encourage it or even force it to change during a much shorter period of time. Simply speaking, Mediocrity is a meal for the masses. The masses want things to come to them easy, and so they seek an art that appears to them to say "I can do whatever I like and call it Aikido" Try that B.S. at a Koryu dojo and see how long you get to stay.
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Indeed there are personal preferences to why we do one form of history over the other, and often both sides deem that "accuracy" is the primary motivator. However, when two perspectives are coming out with two contrary interpretations, while both can claim "accuracy," only one perspective can indeed be deemed "accurate."
I agree with what you say here, but obviously with conclusions that are 180 degrees out of sync with yours.
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
For me, you got a long road ahead of you in proving that Osensei sought to demythologize Aikido (and that it was not others like Kisshomaru, etc., who are primarily responsible for this departure from what Osensei did do -- which is speak with the voice of his personal culture, one that was saturated in mythological understandings), or that Aikido is spreading around the world because a single reason and/or even because of a single set of reasons. Etc.
Like Erick, I too would have such a long road if either of us tried to prove such a thing on our own. Fortunately we do not have to do any such thing. I am not sure that Erick was even attempting to say that O-Sensei did such a thing, as from what I gathered he was merely another type of revisionist, the one that says we do not need to travel along the path O-Sensei traveled in order to come to the place O-Sensei ended up. As you might have guessed, I don't concur with that view of history, at least not lock, stack and barrel. My own opinion is that while we certainly don't need to travel exactly the same path, there are certain points along that path that must be visited, taken in and digested in order to understand what the next point along the path must be. I do believe that you fall somewhere in between Erick's and my view, but I could very well be mistaken.
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
However, that is just my perspective, coming to me from my own slant on how to do History.[/b]
Yes, this is clear to see. I for one would invite you to look at history from another place just for the opportunity it might give you to see something of high valuse that seemed not to be there before.

I look forward to any reply you (or Erick Mead for that matter) care to make with regards to my questions and comments.



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