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Old 12-05-2006, 02:06 PM   #41
Ellis Amdur
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Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 849
Re: Practical internal training ?

Cady - I'm seeing more and more evidence that, pre-war, Ueshiba taught these things. How else did Tomiki learn - as per the judo story I just found (and there's a story that Oba tells where he saw the DR demo where someone is pinned down flat on his back and choked and "casts" them off, and Tomiki said, 'that's easy," and called some people, Oba included, and did it. Tomiki apparently kept all that to himself. AND Shioda M-A-Y have learned a little from Horikawa, long after the war, but note the brothel fight, where he breaks a guys' leg with an aikido atemi he wanted to try out - a downward slap - pi chuan. He had the skills "way back when." Maybe Horikawa offered him a missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle - and from stories of several foreign deshi of his last years, maybe he just found another person with whom he could do his favorite recreation, which was to drink and tell stories all night long.
Several shihan had described Ueshiba telling them, in essence, "look - I'm going to teach you the real thing - and doing so in a matter of a week or so." I think after the war, with his spiritual focus - he was not averse to others learning what he knew, but he was not interested in making an effort. I will assert that he openly showed things (note his astonishing jo, so different from what came afterwards). But I think his attitude was, either from some spiritual motive or whatever else, that if he showed it, the suitable would pick it up. If you didn't get it from seeing it, maybe you weren't worth it. With all the talk about Sagawa, I've been told that few of his advanced students "got it," and that he was indifferent to those who did not have "eyes to see."
Tokimune stated that Ueshiba was his father's favorite student. Also that he was far better than Hisa. Also that Ueshiba studied with Sokaku longer than any of his students. Sokaku gave ueshiba that "Shinkage-ryu" menkyo (nothing to do with Yagyu, by the way, or any other established ryu), which, I believe, was a purely symbolic recognition of Ueshiba's devotion and attainment. Yeah, the last couple of years of their relationship were fraught - but the only person who can survive life-long with the utter domination of such a teacher (as ueshiba himself became) is the completely self-abnegating - which you could also read as the truly humble, I suppose.
Anyway, I run on. But I think anyone is on the wrong track when one assumes that a) ueshiba didn't teach any of the good stuff b) that he was inferior in his attainment to the other best students of Sokaku - how the heck would one measure that, anyway? I do think there was a "regress of knowledge" Takeda - to Ueshiba et al - then focusing on aikido, Ueshiba's best pre-war students - then the first generation of post-war students, who were still "his" and then to the next generation, directly Kisshomaru's, who learned from ueshiba by feeling and watching as carefully as they could, because he was no longer telling directly.

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 12-05-2006 at 02:11 PM.

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