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Old 04-25-2006, 07:56 AM   #34
Dojo: Bristol North Aikido Dojo
Location: Bristol
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 659
Re: Traditional Aikido vs Nihon Goshin

Ted Ehara wrote:
It might be the deciding factor when a beginner decides who they'll study aikido with. Grandmaster Soke 13th Dan sounds a lot better than 4th dan who is struggling to put together a dojo. The important decision of who you will study with is usually made when you're mostly ignorant.
That may well be true Ted. However you did initially bring up the question of legal ownership of the term "Aikido". My point is that the law and the truth are not inextricably linked.

Ted Ehara wrote:

That description of your activity is subjective. It is different for each one of us.
I agreed it can be very different. In terms of description I do not agree. I have been taught that O'Sensei began to use the term to describe his art around 1942. It is written as 3 ideograms - Ai Ki and Do.

Applying my own very simplistic interpretation on Ai and Ki, (to save time and typing) Loosely these translate as Man and Energy. There is a lot more to be written on this but not directly relevant to the discussion in hand so I'll not digress further.

Do, while widely taken and interpreted at 'The way' is represented by the ideogram Dao and is linked to the Tao.

This in turn can be seen as yin and yang. The combining of these forces is the harmony of Aikido.

While we westerners may well choose the easy paths of ignoring the complicated oriental stuff and accepting glib easy translations does that make us correct?

My thoughts are probably not, but there are many that disagree.

anyway - I'll not dispute that others have used the term, or that I'm no expert on chinese/ japanese translation.

Just giving an angle on the thought processes I've been exposed to.

Ted Ehara wrote:

The name Aikido originated outside of Morihei Ueshiba and was adapted by him to describe his art. The only thing you can hope for is that those who use the name Aikido, describe the origins of their art. Nihon Goshin has to my knowledge, always been up-front in its origins with Shodo Morita.
I think we probably agree here to some extent. If NGA take the interpretation above for their version then I'd accept that they are working towards the same thing as the rest of us. If they don't then my opinion is that its not the same stuff.

I've already said that O'Sensei may not have been the first to use such terms, my believe is that he may have been the first to specifically link the martial form to this philosophy of Tao.

Ted Ehara wrote:

Because Aikido is a market label. People are more likely to recognize aikido as a martial art, rather than pingpongpo.
I think this is the crux. Personally I work on the basis that Aikido is not just a market label but a fairly tight description (or as tight as can be possible when working with translations going back through japanese and chinese symbols.

This is what we do - I know many other don't. Its a choice thing I guess - Accept theres more to Aikido than a label or not.

Just giving upsome of the things I've been taught.

Ted Ehara wrote:
My point is there is no fast and easy way to judge what is aikido. Maybe that's for the best. Budo has always been about the martial artist, not the martial art.
Thanks Ted.

My final thought is that regardless of the philosophical stuff its all just pie in the sky unless you train hard and with a purpose.


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