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Old 12-01-2006, 10:35 AM   #17
Ellis Amdur
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Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 899
Re: Train of thought

Dennis - Honestly, (without assumption that your last note was directed at me) - I don't think that Ueshiba lost something after the war - or that he was a mean guy before and a saint after. If fact, I think I've established that his weapons work, clearly and unambiguously, was at it's peak after the war. Just today, I saw some video of him doing jo as a very old man - material I've never seen before - that was just astonishing. If that's so, I would bet it's true for his taijutsu as well. I think the difference was that, per-war, he clearly instructed his leading students on how to do much/all of what he did. After the war, his attitude was more - "find out yourself." (And people like Tohei, for example, went off the reservation to the Tempu-kai, for better or worse). If there was a spiritual change, I think it was reflected in his attitude towards his own role - as a kind of avatar to unite the realms (yes, that is a typical shorthand for chi/jin, etc. training, but he also used it in the macrocosmic sense). And he said, explicitly, that the students' role was to provide energy for him to accomplish this divine work. Nonetheless, he also seemed to say that the information was there if you paid attention, that, for example, if one looked carefully, as I think I did, at his jo work in Hawaii, you could see him repeatedly show, with his body, how to train to create enormous power. So personally, I think he was at his peak after the war, not only as a spiritual exemplar, but technically as well. I just think people had to work much harder to get the information he had - and few were inclined to do so. They got really really good at a lot of stuff - but not, I think, at the "magical" ability to exert power that drew the best martial artists in Japan to Ueshiba in the first place.
And personally, the stronger I've gotten, the better human being I can afford to be. Or as John L. Sullivan said in reply to a friend who was outraged he didn't knock out a young tough who bumped him on a street car, "I am the heavyweight champion of the world. I can afford to be polite."

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 12-01-2006 at 10:37 AM.

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