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Old 07-31-2007, 08:53 AM   #2
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

Mark Murray wrote: View Post
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?
Ellis' article raised some good questions. I think he pointed out that the discussions of ki and kokyu in Aikido have been fairly widespread recently (I even heard some more discussions about the latest kokyu classes with Ushiro Sensei at Summer Camp). However, as I see it the ki and kokyu being in Asian arts is a given. It's in all the available literature of any given Asian martial art. In fact, just the discussions about "Ki" or "Qi" should have been enough to give it away, except most western people didn't realize that the ki/qi stuff was anything other than some quasi-religious nonsense which they promptly ignored.

What's next in line of the generalities to be understood is that a "Way" or "Tao" or "Do" also innately contains the "self-cultivation" of ki/qi. I.e., there is no "spiritual" or "health" side to Aikido that does not include the traditional self-cultivation of ki/qi skills, whether you're doing Aikido, Buddhism, Shintoism (which borrowed heavily from Buddhism), Confucianism, Taiji, karate, whatever. So when someone chooses between a fierce martial effectiveness or a more circular, relaxed "Do", they can alter the amount of necessary training they have to do, but the training must still be there and the ki/kokyu skills are still a keystone part of the practice. If you understand that part about the ki/qi basics always being there, then this next question resolves itself:
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?
The next question:
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?
Personally, I don't see any core differences between Aikido and a few other of the "higher-level" martial arts throughout Asia. The idea of blending your ki/jin/kokyu with an incoming attack and leading them to nothingness is a well-known ideal. One thing I'd guess, based on what I've seen and read, etc., is that Ueshiba used a somewhat different training mode, a softer approach, for Aikido than DR did (even though the core principles are the same). There's a more sophisticated range of possibilities with a softer approach, but it can also turn out to be a kidding of yourself if you're not careful.
"Can we start with a two-person exercise that "refines" power, without developing such power first?"
It's possible to be led into correct power, but it's tricky. The best way, IMO, is to learn the power first and then the exercises. But each to his own, I allus sez.


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