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Old 08-29-2006, 12:11 PM   #20
BKimpel
Location: Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 113
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Re: Article: An Aikido Journey: Part 10 by Peter Goldsbury

Not to seem disrespectful or anything (I am apologizing in advance as sometimes my brash manor of questioning can come off as impertinent), but I think it is interesting to look at how some things have changed over the years in Aikido and what that means in terms of 'perceived' credibility...

Pre-war students of Aikido preferred to be called uchi-deshi of O-sensei, when I evaluate their relationship honestly I see this statement (today) as meaning:
'I was a dedicated student of o-sensei himself.'
The credibility implied is that a ‘better' level of Aikido was received by learning it from O-sensei himself (which follows the martial arts lineage theme).

Post-war students prefer also to be called uchi-deshi of O-sensei, when I evaluate their relationship honestly I see this statement (today) as meaning:
'I was a dedicated student of Hombu dojo while o-sensei was alive.'
The credibility implied is that a ‘better' level of Aikido was received by learning it from Homubu-dojo while O-sensei occasionally meandered into a class during his visits.

Current students probably also prefer to be called uchi-deshi of Hombu dojo, when I evaluate their relationship honestly I see this statement (today) as meaning:
'I was/am a dedicated student of Hombu dojo'
The credibility implied is that a ‘better' level of Aikido was received by learning it from Homubu-dojo.

Two Interesting points fall out of this:

(1) The definition of uchi-deshi (as discussed by all above)

Does everyone agree with Kisshomaru Doshu's notion of what an uchi-deshi really is, as Mr. Goldsbury has been kind enough to share with us?

Does one define uchi-deshi as a paid-to-live-in-student of the founder, or the organization (Aikido), or the dojo (Hombu)?
Does one define uchi-deshi as a fulltime-live-in-student (i.e. their daily life consists of practicing Aikido and serving the organization -- they do not have another profession at that time)?

I would say that given the excellent sense of propriety Kisshomaru Doshu demonstrated, he must have considered it impertinent for him to state that student's were his uchi-deshi when o-sensei was alive (in the sense that the pre-war uchi-deshi were uchi-deshi to o-sensei), and doing so would only create more rifts (which Kisshomaru Doshu seemingly sought to prevent).

(2) How credible is it to associate one's self with Hombu dojo today

Can current students really gain anything at all from claiming to be an uchi-deshi from Hombu dojo now a day?
As stated, does anyone say I am uchi-deshi of present Doshi to lend credibility to their Aikido?

Just interesting to thing about…

Bruce Kimpel
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