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Old 01-19-2008, 06:16 AM   #29
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

Mr Neveu,

Thank you for your interesting post.

I have a few comments/questions, placed at various points in your post:

Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
It would be a good analysis if the level of the top practitioners remained constant through the ages. However, it seems that aikido does not impress the world of martial arts the way it did before the war.
PAG. I suppose the evidence is to be found in Internet chat forums, but the issue for me is to what extent the general availability of aikido training for far more people, who are completely unversed in any martial culture, was a major factor in the supposed overall decline in quality.

In addition, to what extent is it possible to measure the level before and after?

Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
Why is that ? Here are a few possible explanations :
PAG. I think that Kisshomaru Ueshiba saw the opening up of aikido as the only means of its survival.

Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
1- The world of martial arts "caught up", and produced better practitioners, and now fares better compared to aikido.
PAG. Again, how do we measure this? Is it that martial arts as sports, such as judo and kendo, have surpassed, in numbers and quality, the older koryu arts and those ‘gendai' arts like aikido and shorinji kempo that are not sports?

Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
2- The sheer number of beginning and intermediate level aikido practitioners (due to its worldwide spread) offsets the quality of the aikido elite, that remained constant over the years.
PAG. I think the issue here is (also) the quality of the aikido elite.

Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
3- aikido transmitted pretty much as completely as it was by O Sensei, but very few people now can afford practicing 6 hours a day, every day, with the same intensity as found in the Kobukai, and living the very formative life of ushi-deshi.
PAG. I think this has always been the case, and also in other traditional arts. In aikido the training of uchi-deshi, considered as O Sensei's personal training regime, stopped after World War II. The third generation of deshi, some of whom reside abroad, were trained as much by Kisshomaru as by O Sensei.

Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
4- Some essential teachings of aikido are not transmitted anymore, which means the quality of today's aikido (even at the top level) is lower than it was decades ago.
PAG. It was sometimes stated by the first disciples of O Sensei that you do not need to know many techniques: if you can do the ‘core' techniques well, you will be OK. The issue is what you need to be able to do besides the techniques. I believe that one major issue here is the role of individual training in aikido: the training you need to do without a partner. This has long been a subject of Internet chat forums, but there is a limit to what can be learned practically from such discussions. In any case, it seems to me that O Sensei did not explicitly teach this, but many of his top uchi-deshi learned it / discovered it.

Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
I don't have the answers(s), but this community is a good place for that debate.
Yes. Thank you.

P A Goldsbury
Hiroshima, Japan
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