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Old 12-16-2006, 10:54 PM   #120
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,616
Re: For Ted Ehara - Boundary of your aikido?

Larry Camejo wrote:
It is a great idea to take the words and deeds of Ueshiba M. as a template for one's evolution in Aikido and the definition of those boundaries. However imho if highly skilled exponents of Japanese Budo who were his direct students training for years (and who had the benefit of Japanese as their native tongue) had to "forge" what they learned from Ueshiba M. in their own spirits and manifest their own Aiki based on his teachings (often resulting in their best approximation of his teaching) then it is unbelievable that an individual who is divorced from the context of Ueshiba M.'s reality in time, space, language and other areas can speak categorically about anything to do with his Aikido.
I guess the British University Classical departments just need to turn in their shingles as a lost cause, then. One can get inside the system of his thought and relate it to the system of his movement. He thought they were of a piece. I prefer to believe him instead of sort of dimissing him to a quiet corner of the party like an embarassing dotard uncle.

No one, living or dead, is condemned to remain a prisoner of his own time. We can free ourselves to some degree from our own circumstances. We can liberate a man's ideas from one time and keep them alive in another.

We 21st century Westerners have a singular advantage over his uchi-deshi in mid-century Japan. We can ask rude and impertinent questions about his thought and practice. I love the questions, of any kind. But in framing possible answers we look to compare the best examples of the physical practice that the uchi-deshi handed down. We must also be scrupulous to answer conceptual questions from his own words. It is too easy for one or two stacked inferences to depart far from the limits of what was actually said.
Larry Camejo wrote:
But like David said, it is important to let go of his image a bit to see clearly with our own eyes. It comes down to whether we want to emulate the messenger or his message.
In an art that is, quite literally, "embodied" that may be very hard, and perhaps a misplaced distinction.


Erick Mead
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