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Old 11-29-2006, 08:03 PM   #283
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,511
Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Mark Murray wrote:
If any of this stuff had come from inside an Aikido organization, guess what ... we'd *still* have the same discussions going on now. Just a bit different in that it would be various schools defending their way of training/teaching/whatever from another school. Aikido is so splintered that to change the whole, one must change a multitude of parts.
Mark, I've experienced that for many, many years. There is such a wide variety of approaches to aikido that it becomes almost impossible to discuss it with people of another style. I go places and see people flying wildly through the air when the tori has merely gestured. And you hear all kinds of ridiculous statements about the deadliness of certain responses to attacks when you know that the speaker couldn't really do it. So it's not surprising that people (especially widely experienced martial artists) would think that something is missing in aikido. It was certainly a consistently devastating combat art before the war.

Many people try to excuse the modern stuff with simpering explanations of how O-Sensei "perfected" the art as he aged. They say "its' not about fighting," but they won't drop the trappings of a "martial art" and approach it as pure misogi. So people both inside and outside aikido are confused as to what, exactly, it is.

But I have had the perspective of other arts for a long time. Our system incorporated karate, judo and jujutsu from 1976 on and I started tai chi training in about 1979 and bagua in 1988. I found certain things common among them, but I also found that certain key aspects do not really overlay the Japanese way.

Mark Murray wrote:
No one is saying that the current Aikido training is worthless and should be scrapped.
A lot of it should be scrapped, though. As you said, it's not a unified world. There is definitely some pure swishery being passed off as aikido these days. And then there are those who try to make up for that by just being violent with aikido-style movements, thinking they're "rediscovering" aiki-jujutsu.

Mark Murray wrote:
But, what is being said is that there is another way of having "aiki" and there is a training program that is more efficient in gaining this internal skill. If you're doing Aikido, you still need to know and understand the techniques of the system. Ueshiba never dropped them, so why would we?
Well, Ueshiba did drop a lot of things that were in aikijujutsu and my attitude is that if something is missing in aikido, it's to be found in aikijujutsu. This is not to say that you can't gain a tremendous benefit from learning other arts and appreciating how they work and how they are applied. But I think it does a disservice to both sides to blend the parts that don't really belong together.

Mark Murray wrote:
I don't know how you've trained, David. You may have learned some of this stuff, but coming from Mochizuki sensei, you may have been taught different terms.
Mochizuki Sensei's terms don't even work with other styles of aikido. He used traditional jujutsu nomenclature for all the techniques. I still have to check to make sure which technique sankyo and yonkyo actually relate to. I just try to use those names as a courtesy to people who only know those terms. Sensei called them yuki chigai (or kote mawashi) and te kubi otoshi, if I have the right techniques in mind. Instead of irimi nage, he said mukae daoshi. Instead of ikkyo, he called it robuse. And instead of omote shiho nage, he said mae shiho nage. Omote and ura meant an entirely different thing for him than just "in front" and "in back."

But a lot of what I read about on these threads, he never discussed in words. My Dutch friend, Edgar Kruyning, however, says that "Tanden training was not usually discussed directly or separately, but it was the core of all the training (in aikido, judo, karate, jujutsu and sword)." He has trained not only with Mochizuki Sensei, but with Sugino and Otake in katori shinto ryu. He's ranked in KSR and represents it in the Netherlands. And I don't think there's anyone on these boards who can push him around (or whom he can't push around and put on the ground, for that matter). But I'm not him, so I don't put him up for that kind of challenge.

What I will say, though, is that we developed a lot of things with no terminology at all. When I think of what's described and compare it to what I feel when I do techniques, a lot of it sounds familiar, but because of the terminology, I don't try to say I either know or do it. And some things, such as Dan describes, I would say I can't do. However, in certain circumstances, in a natural encounter (not a set-up situation), I might actually pull them off. I recently had a big old football player come to my class and it was interesting to see how much effect I could have on him.

And I have done some of the push-out exercise and found it interesting. My neighbor has had a good bit of JKD training and I got him to do a moment of the push-out exercise with me recently. I was surprised at how much power I had with him, considering how little I've done it. He wanted to bend his knees, but I didn't feel the need. I was concentrating, as Tim Fong said, on spreading the force through the whole body--but that's how you do kokyu ho.

So it should be clear that I have nothing against broadening my perspective or experiencing new arts or new ideas. I just don't like people thinking they can renovate an art in which they don't really have very deep experience. For instance, I wouldn't dream of telling tai chi people that they need to do aikido-style tai sabaki instead of roll-back kinds of receiving forces. And I don't accept that a lot of the core Chinese concepts equate to or are even compatible with certain core Japanese arts. That's disrespectful to both sides.

Mark Murray wrote:
Dunno. One of these days, I'll make it down your way and we can get together and have some fun.
Sounds good.

Mark Murray wrote:
Mind and body integrated via the breath. It certainly captures some of the exercises I've been trying to do. But, you didn't mean it that way.
But I did. I just don't accept that it equals "jin" as Mike says.

Best to you.


"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"
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