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Old 12-30-2005, 01:53 PM   #3
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Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 826
Re: Article: Teaching Aikido as Michi - A Path Up the Mountain by George S. Ledyard

George S. Ledyard wrote:
One of the analogies describing Aikido, or any other Michi (Do, Path or Way) is that it is like a path up a mountain. In the case of Aikido there are many paths, some of which stop far short of the pinnacle but which offer incredible scenic vistas nevertheless. Our teachers are on the path we have chosen, up ahead of us, sometimes far ahead, and often only a ways up the path beyond us. O-Sensei made it to the top, in fact he blazed a trail himself. Most of his journey up the mountain was made when the majority of his deshi weren't there to observe him; he was already at the top calling back to them when they started at the bottom. These students all agree that they are on the path far down the mountain from their teacher. Most of us are even farther down the mountain, so far in fact that we actually can't see the path which our own teachers have taken to get to where they are.
That's one viewpoint, but here's another.

From This is Aikido revised edition preface
Koichi Tohei wrote:
He (the founder) often said to us, " I founded Aikido after realizing something significant for reasons of my own while training in Omotokyo. Then I came to believe that the deity being preached about in the teachings of Omotokyo came into my body and for the first time I obtained the power of Aikido. This is the reason why I can perform Aikido techniques freely." Therefore, in his lectures there were many religious terms and names of gods, and literally no one could understand his lecture. He sometimes said, "Whatever wisdom one may have, he cannot understand my lectures because even I cannot understand what I mean, too."

Some of his students believed and followed him that there might be something in his story although they could not understand his lectures. Most of his students, however, simply ignored his lectures and resorted to learning only Aikido techniques. Therefore, after his death only Aikido techniques remained and the teachings of the spirit which were the ultimate objectives of his quest, and which he found so difficult to explain, disappeared completely from the minds of his devotees."
Not as successful an evaluation as the first.

crbateman, see what questions your book brings.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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