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Old 02-21-2009, 07:10 AM   #41
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 11

Doug Walker wrote: View Post
Perhaps that is the next other elephant in the room Dan -- men who are really serious about the training will need more than the techniques, more than the solo training, more than the weapon component, they will need to knuckle down and learn the language (antiquated Japanese) so they can read the words and understand the meaning of the message.
Most won't be willing to do the work that will be necessary.
(Oh, and then there is the psycho-religious technology, the next next other elephant.)
Interesting and I agree.
There are however several possible permutations to that
Example: What if the reverse were true?
1. What if you have highly accomplished Aikido men who are well versed in the language, became versed in the old archaic Japanese, became versed in the concepts espoused by Ueshiba and then pursued an education of those concepts in context of the culture itself so that they would better understand Ueshiba? Then...they started to make a study of the physical concepts of aiki that Ueshiba himself explored?
I would say that would make those men poised to become a seriously authoritative voice on understanding a more complete Ueshiba, and more complete aikido and to be seriously daunting in the physical execution of their understanding.
Do these men exist?
Where are they?
What are- they- doing?

Lets consider Josh's idea
Josh writes: Professor Goldsbury doesn't see aikido as a sui generis creation of one man, whom must then be emulated (either directly or via a lineage of transmission) in order to be able to do it, but rather as a much broader set of body skills (which is another way of saying "waza") which can be learned from a broad number of disparate teachers, such as Akuzawa, Ushiro, yourself, Sigman, etc.
Ueshiba didn't see it as sui generis either. He was pointing to a path that he believed was established. He continued to talk about what the way of aiki was, and was far less concerned with an established fixed form; 123.
The idea of Ueshiba's way of aiki goes far beyond a physical form of kata. By its nature it was meant to incorporate the mind / spirit/ /body to the point of making the practitioner a channel for the gods. He himself thought he was a channel. To that end he was very much concerned with the idea that each person had to seek out his own path to enlightenment. To make their way of aiki- their own. If you really get to the heart of this belief system it becomes impossible for there to ever be ONE AIKIDO. In fact the notion of THE ONE AIKIDO is anathema to everything Ueshiba was pointing to in the first place. It simply must be an individual focus and path or it ceases to be valid in the first place. As he said over and over "You must make it your own."

I do not believe that Ueshiba ever intended the art to be a formalized martial pursuit. Just as Judo got dragged into sport competition-much to the dismay of Kana...I wonder if Aikido got dragged into what it is today...much to the dismay of Ueshiba?
As I continue to meet teachers of the art with decades of experience they disagree with this idea of a fixed form that "is" aikido-so do I.

Be that as it may, we are concerning ourselves here with trying to understand -Ueshiba's- intentions not someone else's-not even that of his Deshi. It seems clear by Ueshiba's own directives that Aiki was formless and the the study of the way of was to have been an expression of that mind/ body/ spiritual union. His waza demonstrated his rejection of a form, his words supported that at every turn. In fact even a reasonable study of his life and his physical actions defies any notion of a fixed form in any manner. The way is not in the form or in the forming and formalizing of them. He was actively trying to rid himself of the trap of thinking in or of forms.

This brings me back to Peter's column and my response of the Poetry and the language Ueshiba used to convey his wishes for aikido. It is well known that he stood in rooms and talked and showed things and his students were lost. Unable to grasp the concepts being discussed they many times wrote him off and just wanted to practice. I was reminded of this last week when I was teaching two aikido teachers. One of whom said to the group at break. "I have never even heard of this material before. I don't understand it, even with it being explained in plain English. I am lost."
I mention this to again highlight that it is more than probable that Ueshiba was -in fact- trying to communicate, (and it appears he was successful with some people) but that the entire model; the physical and the spiritual was so alien to the young men and other accomplished Budo men that were training with him that they were lost.
I am not surprised then to see Ueshiba write down some concepts in poetic form, so that they remained locked, inaccessible to the athletic fighters and hobbyist that were sure to come. They remained a beacon for the rare few that were like him.

Peter used the bible in several passages. I am reminded of Christ telling his followers "you are not ready to hear what I have to say." So he told them a story of a man who owned an orchard, who hired workers at dawn and agreed to pay X dollars, then hired workers at lunch but offered them the same as the workers who started at dawn, then 5 minutes before closing he offered new workers the same amount of money for 5 minutes work. When the other workers complained the owner said I made a deal with each of you and to each I kept my word. So it is with the Kingdom of heaven.." He was trying to explain grace and unmerited forgiveness handed out to each but in a culture deeply inculcated in eye for an eye and guilt. What did he use to keep his message clean? Analogies and parables-stories locked in time,
Why? Because even those who walked with him卹epeatedly asked him questions demonstrating clearly that.they didn't get it.
No I am not comparing Ueshiba to Christ. Not even close. I am using an example for communication through analogy, poetry, or parable used to "lock concepts in place" and keep them from being mucked up by followers and do gooders who corrupted the message later.
Thankfully Christ's words lived past that generation for future followers to unlock.
So did Ueshiba's.
Although some look at the thousands doing aikido and call it Ueshiba's Aikido? I have never thought that to be true. In fact I think it's glaringly obvious that it is NOT true at all.
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