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Old 07-31-2007, 07:49 AM   #1
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Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

Very interesting. You can read it here:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=3600

I have some questions.

First, I tried finding some definition for "neo-Shinto" but failed miserably. We all know that O Moto Kyo was neo-Shinto. But what defines neo-Shinto versus Shinto?

Hmm ... so, if one were to say that Daito ryu is the underpinnings of Ueshiba Morihei's aikido while the spiritual (O Moto Kyo, etc) is the modifier *and* Ueshiba has said that one didn't have to follow his spiritual route, can one achieve Ueshiba Morihei's aikido through DR underpinnings and Christianity? DR and any religion?

Could we say that there are two lines of aikido now? Those following Ueshiba Kisshomaru's vision of aikido and those following Ueshiba Morihei's vision of aikido? This doesn't mean, btw, that one need to be in the "Aikikai" to follow Kisshomaru's vision. Any school that follows a mainly, technique driven approach over solo training would also follow Kisshomaru's vision of aikido. If Ueshiba did countless hours of solo training, throughout his life, then somewhere along the way, those solo training exercises were dropped from the curriculum. How much emphasis is placed upon the solo training that Ueshiba did (which was learned from Takeda and Daito ryu) in any Aikido school?

Was the innovations that Ueshiba created unique? In other words, were the changes he made to DR's core training methods something only he did? According to Sagawa, no. Sagawa has been quoted as saying he modified his training regimen. He is quoted as saying that he has been innovating for at least 20 years. IF there is as many visions of DR as there are heads of schools, then can we not still consider Ueshiba Morihei's version of aikido, Ueshiba-ha Daito Ryu? Even with the spiritual modifications, Ueshiba still innovated as Kodo and Sagawa did. I guess this all breaks down into just how much influence and/or change the spiritual made towards DR methodology and/or essence. Was it really that much?

Are the core training methods of DR still needed to "do" aikido? Or can the modified training methods of Ueshiba Morihei be used?

"Can we start with a two-person exercise that "refines" power, without developing such power first?" Even if one has developed the power first, where are all the solo exercises Ueshiba Morihei did being taught? Where are the breathing exercises taught? Where are the empty hand and weapons solo exercises being taught?

As always, Amdur sensei, your writings are a joy to read but they always leave me with more questions than I started.

Thank you,
Mark
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