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Old 12-12-2006, 09:08 PM   #36
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,080
Re: For Ted Ehara - Boundary of your aikido?

Dan Harden wrote:
Seems that a Budo with a goal of bringing peace through nonviolence could make very good use of that particular skill. It would leave me wondering if that wasn't the best skill set of all. As it is the basis for everything else that has meaning. Odd that it isn't at the forefront of everything.
Which leaves the questions.
1. Did he do this regularly?
2. Did others do as well- or just him?
3. Was anyone interested in knowing what he was doing?
4. Did you ever see anyone ask?

Tomiki was supposedly witnessed doing these things?
Did anyone ever see anyone being taught how to do these things?
Did anyone ask?
Reminds me of conversations I've had with various men under Menkyo Kaidens, under Shihan, and under master level teachers in the CMA. Sensei can do this, sensei can do that, sifu this, sifu that.
I always wonder when they say these things. What can you do, what can't you do .....why?

I think one reason is mindset. At Japanese universities it is traditional for students not to ask their professors questions and I once had this explained to me by one of my earliest aikido teachers: in Japan asking a question implies a whole lot more than simply asking the question. But this becomes a major problem when you are a graduate student and need to chart your own course of future studies.

There is an acute awareness here that Japan has too few Nobel prizes and too few Japanese universities are top ranked. So the Japanese education ministry now want students to be taught to use individual initiative, but note that they are telling people this, as if it will simply happen as a result.

I think that Tomiki, Arikawa, Tada and a few others figured out for themselves what M Ueshiba was doing in his personal training. They did not so much ask him questions as watch, feel, especially when they took ukemi, and then work out what they thought was going on. The problem here is that the focus of this training is still the Master and what the Master shows. However, I have indicated above that this is not a problem unique to budo training.

I added the reference to Arikawa to show that some shihans had figured out for themselves that the distinction 'internal/external' when applied to aikido (CMA = mainly internal / Aikido = mainly external--and less efficient than, e.g., DRAJJ or BJJ) is too superficial. But it has to be faced, and accepted for what it is, that none of them talked about it in those terms (internal vs. external training), if they talked about it at all.

P A Goldsbury
Hiroshima, Japan
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