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Old 08-14-2007, 03:28 PM   #19
tarik
 
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Dojo: Iwae Dojo
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
The art of blending and taking balance can be applied to at least Judo, if not others. How does that make aikido, Aikido?
Well, I do know of those who consider the only meaningful difference to be maai.

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
What if aiki, as appropriate fitting, is fitting the partner's attack to you, rather than the other way around? Of being able to manage your body appropriately and in a way that the partner's energy of attack is automatically matched.
Is there a difference? I think how one achieves "appropriate fitting" might be or might not be a distinguishing feature of aikido. How's that for noncommital? I think the topic of how to appropriately fit is an interesting one, and in a certain sense, whatever works is the right answer.

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
There comes two important aspects to the above. How is that accomplished? In this, I think is where Aikido diverges from Daito ryu. Ueshiba Morihei adapted to a more spiritual-based training regimen and how he accomplished his aiki was different than other student's of Takeda. The second part is what do you do after the above is accomplished. Again, this distinguishes Aikido from other arts in that it works to appropriately match an attack and then, for lack of a better word(s), let go. As opposed to break/kill of jujutsu and other arts.
The ramifications are interesting, but I just don't know enough to have a strong opinion on these historical issues. While I'm very curious, enough to have followed most of the published writings and online speculation for almost 10 years, I still don't feel like I have enough information to express a very meaningful opinion beyond "I don't know", and I don't think anyone else does either (for sure), although they might have a stronger opinion than I do.

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Ueshiba Morihei wasn't a pacifist. Aikido was a martial art to him. In regards to my teacher's teachings, yes, I do agree with you.

But, even when looking to the giants and following our teachers, we still must find our own way. And here, I think, one must have the skill necessary to be able to choose what level harm is involved in Aikido. I'm not there yet. One day, I will be close and I can revisit these ideals. Until then, I follow those who are closer.
I'm not really there yet either, except that.. on occasion, I have had encounters where I realized that even with my miniscule level of skill and understanding, I could completely dominate others in certain situations, and so the choice was there, ready or not.

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
In looking at how Ueshiba Morihei viewed his students when he lived, how can we say that it isn't Aikido? Tomiki, Shioda, etc all started their own schools and for the most part, were allowed to continue. I think the argument isn't are they Aikido, but are they the founder's Aikido. In which case, one can do aikido in any number of variations. But, to do the founder's Aikido ... no, that is much harder and certainly a much narrower vision.
I think here, you are hitting a core issue. I don't think that anyone can do the founder's aikido. It's gone, not even accurately recorded for a real reference, mere momentary glimpses offered for us to explore it ourselves.

Appeals to precisely what he did and what he said are diffcult to make relevant since another person can offer counter statements and actions to support their own viewpoint. Only a comprehensive study can really reveal his intent to us, and few are able to entirely agree with the somewhat detailed results offered already.

This is no different really than what has happened in religion, with Jesus Christ, with Mohammed, with Buddha, and numerous other prominent figures. Even with orthodox groups offering the accepted interpretations, there are many who do not agree.

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I agree. It then becomes the question, just what are the principles?
Oh, you move quick.

I think that's what we're exploring in this thread, neh? Some of it. It's rather difficult to explore the physical principles of kuzushi, tskuri, kake, kokyu, etc. online, as we've seen evident in other threads. You have to feel things to begin to understand them.

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
LOL, you should see the recent workouts I've been trying to do. While not exactly "physically" intense, they are physically intense. And intellectually, emotionally, psychologically. I try to keep the solo exercises slow. And then when I do partner training, I keep it slow because I can't do anything dynamically without losing some part of structure. It's intense and rarely does anyone fall down. It's frustrating at times, irritating at others. I fail and fail again. I put the "me" in mediocre for sure. But, I am trying to put the "aiki" into my training so that one day, I will be able to understand the "do" aspect of aikido.
This sounds exquisitely familiar, the training and the partner practices. The greater my (perceived) comprehension grows, the more mediocre I perceive my skill set, physically and mentally.

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
And then, the most important question arises: Do I want to do Ueshiba Morihei's Aikido? Or do as his students did, and find my own way?
Is M Ueshiba's aikido even relevant to todays practictioner? Maybe and maybe not. We each determine that for ourselves, and I believe that ultimately, it must adapt to remain relevant to those who practice, even as we try to maintain the principles we perceive to be the core of the teaching.

I think, as perhaps described Mr. Goldsbury's recent series of articles, that M. Ueshiba's aikido died with him, and the best we can do is find our own way, using his and our own teachers examples as signposts along the way.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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