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Old 11-11-2005, 07:01 PM   #57
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
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Re: Rank-Aikido (pun intended)

Hello Charles,

Originally, I wrote a much longer post, but then I read Peter Rehse's comments on Budoseek and shortened it.

I think some people are upset that Doshu appears to have been singled out for special scrutiny. I am not upset, for such scrutiny is an inevitable consequence of being the focus of the tatemae of an organization like the Aikikai. Like O Sensei, Doshu is simply not allowed to have off-days or to display bad technique. He is like a yokozuna, who is not allowed to lose even once.

A saving factor, in my opinion, is the concept of the iemoto. There, the leader is the one who can best further the interests of the ie, not the one who has the highest skill. However, the ie is also underpinned by those who do indeed have a very high level of skill, which is why one ahould also look at the waza of technicians like Shirata, Yamaguchi, Tada, Arikawa, Isoyama and others who buy into the Aikikai as an organization.

There is another point that has not been discussed very much in this thread. I think the concept of architecture, when applied to aikido waza, has some disadvantages. A waza is essentially something in time, with a beginning and an end. So there is always a creative tension between the two people doing the waza, which is not well expressed in terms of the architecture of the waza. I saw this at first hand when I took ukemi for Seigo Yamaguchi. He seemed to break losts of rules and static camera shots might well have revealed much grosser 'lapses' than Doshu's. But there was never any question for me, at the time, that the waza worked.

But this raises the question whether, for any one waza, my attack and subsequent ukemi were 'appropriate'. Thus the attention shifts from the architecture of the waza, understood as a kind of Form, to that of the attack and ukemi. This aspect has not been studied nearly as much as the former, but the idea that one should not take ukemi from a 'senior' practitioner if the waza is 'bad' is far too simple to bear serious scrutiny. Ellis Amdur has written about teaching by ukemi in one of his Aikido Journal blogs, but there was little follow-up.

Anyway, rest assured that when I meet Doshu next, I will tell him that his 1-kyou and 3-kyou, evidenced from the Asian Federation meeting, have been severely criticized on the Internet.

Best regards,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 11-11-2005 at 07:07 PM.

P A Goldsbury
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