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Old 01-26-2010, 10:01 AM   #16
Keith Larman
Dojo: AIA, Los Angeles, CA
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,604
Re: Where Did Ueshiba Morihei's Training Go?

Mark Murray wrote: View Post

1. Yes, that's the pose. I've seen Ueshiba in that pose from his early years through to his later years. My question is in regards to where it went?
Tenchinage. I was taught he liked to hold that pose at the end to emphasize the heaven/earth aspect.

Mark Murray wrote: View Post
2. Yes, a weak fashion. Why is that? As I noted with a Youtube video in a previous post, Tohei doesn't accept a weak push. Ueshiba didn't. Horikawa didn't. Why do we accept that a weak push is okay ... after 20-40 years of training? Beyond that, how many schools actually have push tests, besides the Ki Society? Where did that training go? It was something Ueshiba did all his life.
Well, since we're an offshoot of ki society I suppose we're covered in your reply, but we push/pull test *everything* in Seidokan. During aikitaiso, techniques, even sword and jo work. And the expectation is that a student should rather quickly develop a stronger, more solid structure as they learn. So a weak push is all that a newb can handle so it is relevant there (test up to failure). But it is expected that an experienced student should be able to handle stronger and stronger pushes.

Mark Murray wrote: View Post
3. I don't know of many schools, aikido or otherwise, that use the sword in either hand. Ueshiba is on video doing kata that way. There are accounts of both Takeda and Ueshiba training that way. I don't know and haven't heard of any modern high ranking kendo people training with an aikido person to learn their "taisabaki". Yet, somewhere, somehow, all of that happened with Ueshiba. There was a manner of training ... where did it go?
Depends on where you get your "swordsmanship". Virtually no koryu train "left handed" in the sword. Swords (not bokken) are actually asymmetrical in mounting. In other words, there is an "outside" and "inside" of the sword and the tsuka (handle) is built with the idea that the right hand is near the fuchi, left hand at the kashira. The mounts on the saya work only on the left side of the body due to the placement of the kurigata. Hence it is drawn and kept on the left side. Also, there was (and is) a tremendous cultural bias against "lefties". But then... Once you study traditional swordsmanship you'll find that it is *not* a one-handed weapon. Even the "single-hand" draw/cut is accomplished with both arms/hands being part of the movement. And the cutting is done from the hara using the entire body.

So I would have an issue with you comparing Takeda or Ueshiba's *bokken* work with sword work. They ain't the same. And the fact that most swordsmanship is done with a certain holding configuration in fact completely irrelevant to the idea of doing it on "one side only" since all the movements require both arms, hands and full body integration.

Mark Murray wrote: View Post
5. I'm not very good a putting ideas into words. See my previous post to Jason Casteel for a better description of "testing". Aikido isn't looked upon very highly in the martial arts world of today. But, Takeda, Ueshiba, Shioda, Tomiki, etc blazed paths across many martial arts. They were tested (again, not meaning formal challenges) by all manner of men. But, today, even most McDojo Karate schools laugh at aikido. What happened?
Lots of crappy Aikido. Shrug. Lots of crappy karate out there too. And judo. And everything else. Something getting popular doesn't necessarily bode well. However, it is a mistake to assume that an overall lowering of the mean due to a larger population of mediocre practitioners somehow precludes there being people still out at high levels. Just fewer.

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