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Old 05-20-2009, 09:37 PM   #74
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 498
Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hello Shaun
I'd like to say that although we clearly have differences in view. I have always enjoy your writing. We may debate your excellent points, without arriving at any consensus among the readership, but I suspect there is an awareness that is growing through such debates.

Hi Dan,

Thanks for your reply. I, too enjoy reading your posts. I agree with you that engaging in debate for lack of a better word is a good way to expose ourselves to others' opinions as well as both expose our own opinions to the scrutiny of others along with helping to expand others' opinions who happen to resonate with what it is that we are sharing.
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I think your referencing my input as one of the "current favorite flavors"-I guess we might as well add "flavor of the month" is an attempt to reduce our arguments, and possibly negate the value of what we are demonstrating. This is a rather normal, even a typical response, to change. It usually lasts right up to the moment of change.

I haven't completed reading your reply nor had a chance to read all of the other responses. However, I wanted to take a moment to respond to this part of your reply. As I read it, it immediately dawned upon me how you and others might have misread my intentions with regards to the term "favorite flavor." I specifically did not use the term "flavor of the month" as in my mind it would have denoted some sort of invalidation of your training methods, training philosophy or more importantly the results of your training on my part. As I have said to you both on the board and privately, that just isn't how I feel. I want to step up and clearly state, as I have before, that I am in full support of people seeking all forms of martial arts techniques, martial arts forms, martial art power and the like from any and every valid source. I personally have not had the pleasure to train with you, nor Akuzawa Sensei, nor Mike S. I am positive that I would enjoy each and every experience, training session, meeting each of you and your students along with learning more than a few things to assist me on my path from each and every one of you. I don't want to be pigeonholed by saying I meant exactly this or that when using that expression , but I wanted to state what I did not mean. As most people on these boards know, I tend to use colorful language at times. For me, favorite flavor merely pointed to how much people of late are enjoying getting to know you whether that be through posts, internet interactions, personal interactions or training with you. Although I have made it a point of late to do as little of it as possible, I try to be very clear when I am intentionally dissing someone. My previous post was not an instance of that on any level.
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Fortunately, the value of our argument is greatly supported by the value of the work and the ever increasing numbers of aikido teachers and students all following your suggestion "of doing their own research." The only difference being they more or less have ended up dissagreeing with your rather parochial view of aikido

Of course, I agree from a martial standing the technical benefits of your training philosophy and regimen and would expect to hear nothing less than glowing accolades from those fortunate to have the experience. However, I adamantly disagree with people outside of an art saying that they are absolutely sure that what they believe the art of Aikido is, is what Aikido is. This is never more true when it comes from Aikidoka who need to look outside of the art to find what they can not seem to discover from within the art, itself. I am not speaking of someone such as Ledyard Sensei who seeks these experiences from a place within himself which would allow him to absorb what i he seeks and deflect what is extraneous to our art, but rather of someone who has no idea what he or she is looking for in the first place and are truly open to a trance-like "possession" if you will by powers that they neither understand at their root, nor how they are separate and different from what they have been unable to find right in their own Dojo. I am not invalidating those powers. I would say that understanding and mastering these things is beneficial on almost every level to ones martial training.

I make it a point to make the distinction not because there isn't something worthy outside of any one of our arts that should be experienced. We all know that there is. However, the perspective from which outside influences are shared are in reality the polar opposite of what lies at the heart of Aikido - The "way of Aiki." From all that I have read in all of your words (you, as the collective of yourself, Akuzawa, Mike S....etc.) and from all of what I have read in the words of those who have come to train with each of you, even from what I have had the chance to discuss privately with several of those same people is that the simple thing that you are each describing comes from a perspective which is not the Way of Aiki, but rather the "Use of Aiki." The use of Aiki is a wonderful, subtle path and passion in its own right. However, it is not the art of the Founder, O-Sensei, Ueshiba Morihei. Anyone who looks at Aikido from the perspective that Aikido is the mastery of the use of Aiki will never really be training in the art of the Founder, because they are not really seeking the art of the Founder. This is merelya rudimentary study of physical waza. Sure, waza relates to the way of Aiki as they are the tools we use to set out to master the way of Aiki. However, mastering the production of the tools is not mastering the use of the tools. You may call this distinction parochial, and that is of course your right and stated perspective. I, However, see this as people looking up to find the ground and down to find the sky all while complaining that they aren't getting the proper directions because those to whom they went for direction mislead or misdirected them in the first place. As you well know, you can't really force people to see what is right in front of them, so how are we going to force them to see what is all around them? Well, all we have is time, right?

I want to have a chance to digest the most recent replies before I choose to comment. I may decide that I have nothing additional to add that would move the thread forward. More than likely this is already off-topic to the idea of O-Sensei and correct ukemi in the way that the original poster wanted it addressed. I am happy at the chance for discourse, but there is no real sense in repeating oneself over and over. Is that redundant? Did I already ask that...?

Best in training to all...


I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.