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Old 09-16-2008, 07:14 AM   #33
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Adding your insight - without the experience of what we actually do is counter productive and misleading to the people who want to understand what we are talking about.

Let me tell you, I'm not too thrilled about being an aikido teacher who is not allowed to discuss what I am teaching in my aikido classes in the aikido forums. But, I accept this is not my call, so I go here to a forum called non-aikido. If normal aikido people come in and start giving advice, I kind feel like - okay so where do I get to discuss these things with people who actually do them?

I hope that clarifies my position.

Hello Rob,

To me, it does to some extent. However, I am curious whether you have discussed these issues with William Gleason? One of my own students in the Netherlands (a new 3rd dan) has attended training sessions with Akuzawa Sensei. He was very enthusiastic, but needed to tell me all about it. So we spent several hours discussing all the issues, including what he should teach in his own aikido dojo.

In reading threads like this, I feel that I am in the same position that Mr Gleason might be in: that students (quite rightly) are developing in ways of which the teacher might not have had precisely the same experience. I mention Mr Gleason because he is your main teacher and because he and I have trained extensively with Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei. So I suspect that we might see aikido in a similar way.

However, there is a 'messianic' element here, a seemingly compulsive sense of being 'initiated' and having a 'mission', that worries me. The corollary is that the supposedly 'initiated' are too ready to condemn those who have not had precisely the same vision, expressed in the same terms. I am reminded of the story about someone who recently entered Heaven. He was taken round by St Peter and encountered a wall. On being asked about the wall, St Peter replied, "Ah, this is for the Catholics: they think they are the only ones here".

As for the issue of where you discuss non-Aikido issues in an Aikido forum, the short answer is that this is Aikiweb, which is a forum dedicated to discussing aikido issues. So a blunt answer would be: create your own forum and also create the necessary 'spam' filters, so that you can enjoy your discussions in the Realm of the Blessed, without having to deal with people like Erick Mead.

I have read all the material that Mark gave in his early posts about how long it takes to achieve mastery (how long it took for certain uchi-deshi of Takeda and Ueshiba to achieve mastery) and, yes, it is hard to disagree with the evidence presented, always assuming that we are comparing apples with apples and not with oranges. However, I also tend to agree with the views recently expressed by Ellis in another thread.

Best wishes,


Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 09-16-2008 at 07:17 AM.

P A Goldsbury
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