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Old 01-25-2010, 10:25 AM   #1
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Where Did Ueshiba Morihei's Training Go?

There are some aspects of Ueshiba that seem to have disappeared in the aikido world.

1. One hand up, pointing upwards with one hand down, pointing downwards. (No reference thread)

In various videos of Ueshiba, one can see him in a very distinct pose. He has one hand up and one hand down. It is a distinct pose shared with the Daito ryu world as pictures of Hisa and Takeda have shown. Ueshiba can be seen in this pose throughout his life, even in his eighties.

If pictures capture Takeda, Hisa, and Ueshiba in this pose, then perhaps one can find some relevance to it. I would imagine some important relevance. And yet, in modern aikido, it has disappeared.

Why? What happened? Where did this aspect of Ueshiba's training go?

2. Push tests.
Reference Thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14991

In many accounts, Ueshiba was tested through push tests. Whether standing, in seiza, or sitting, people could not push him over. This is also a distinct feature of the Daito ryu world as video of Kodo Horikawa has shown. Ueshiba was videotaped in his later years doing this kind of demonstration.

If Horikawa and Ueshiba demonstrate this, then there is some relevance here. I would imagine something important is being shown. And yet, in modern aikido, it has either disappeared or been so watered down it isn't viable. Some schools derived from Tohei have "Ki tests" that emulate pushing, but so far, I've yet to see anyone actually push on people as was done with Ueshiba or Horikawa.

Why? What happened? Where did this aspect of Ueshiba's training go?

3. Weapons.
Reference thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15054

Ueshiba gave out scrolls of weapons proficiency. He studied weapons throughout his life, in one manner or another. IMO, he did a similar thing that Takeda did. He studied when he could, where he could and then took the portions he deemed valuable. (Really, this is an MMA approach.) He made his own way with weapons. He used a sword in either hand, just like Takeda. His jo whirled and swirled unlike anything else. In that, I can find no Daito ryu correlation.

Weapons, though, "seem" to have propagated into the modern aikido world. I put quotes around "seem" because most kendo people do not study aikido for its "taisabaki". Top kendo people do not credit modern aikido people for their skills. Somewhere, something changed.

Why? What happened? Where did this aspect of Ueshiba's training go?

4. Timeframe.
Reference thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14753

Why did it take so few years for the "Aikido Greats" to get very good? Why did all of their years of experience fail them when they initially met Ueshiba or Takeda? Why did they find something completely different than the world that they had trained in? If their vaunted martial skills were of any value, why follow Ueshiba when someone of that caliber should have been found in their own system/school? Their skills failed them completely. High level men were manhandled with ease.

Then, when they converted to the training of Daito ryu aiki, the skill set was built in a relatively short amount of time. Yet, the world looks upon modern aikido and laughs.

Why? What happened? Where did this aspect of Ueshiba's training go?

5. Testing.
Reference thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15035

All manner of men tested Ueshiba. Highly ranked men from kendo, sumo, karate, judo, etc tested Ueshiba. "Competition" for Ueshiba seems to have only meant the type used in Olympics, UFC, etc. IMO, "competition" never meant one couldn't handle a challenger. The type of "competition" that spurs one to do better was not looked down upon. Ueshiba was no pacifist.

Karate, sumo, and judo had very competent men within their systems. Some of these men tested Ueshiba and came away knowing they weren't as good as Ueshiba. Even Shioda accepted challengers in some manner. But, the modern aikido world is fairly insular. It is a school within itself.

Why? What happened? Where did this aspect of Ueshiba's training go?
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