Peter A Goldsbury
Many thanks for the homework you have given me in Posts #83 and #87. I have the impression that you are taking me to task for not carrying out my TIE research in the same way that you would have done. The last three columns were never intended to be an exhaustive analysis of IT/IS. Rather, they were a critical analysis of Ellis's new book. Of course, IT/IS are important here, but if this were the primary focus, I think I would have written a different set of columns.
For example, Scott Harrington kindly sent me information about a work entitled Sanbyaku han kashin jinmei jiten. This is actually a massive 7-volume series covering the han of all 47 prefectures in modern Japan. The Japanese title is 三百藩家臣人名事典. I have not seen the information on Saigo Tanomo, so I am waiting till I have seen it, read it, thought about it, before commenting here. As it is, the Japanese evidence that I have seen so far concerning Saigo's alleged training and teaching in aiki is not convincing. So it supports what Ellis stated in his book.
I will respond to the points you made in Posts #83 and #87 as soon as I have the time.
to task? Heaven forbid. No sir,
I have expressed an opinion that your review went past the nature of a book review and placed expectations on the work of a level that Ellis never intended. I though he was quite clear that he wished it to be a spring board to open up new avenues of research to those who might wish to pursue it more thoroughly and had the means to do so. .It is worth consideration that Ellis continues to pursue and research past publication and continues to discover new material. So taking you
to task for not doing more research would be counter productive to my point.
A few things in regards to IT/IS:
I never expected your review to cover IT/IS. You made a decision to go beyond a book review and bring up points of your own regarding that topic. For that reason I engaged some of the points you raised, such as a) weapons and what real weapons training could have played and b) under what system and why they may or may not have nothing at all to do with the subject of IT in Takeda's training.
I think it is worth consideration that Ellis can bring certain understanding as a martial artists to areas of research that researchers reviewing the martial arts...cannot. Also due to certain people that Ellis has trained with; he now has a different understanding of certain things to look for. If it were not for that exposure there would b a shism, an impasse that could very well let otherwise pertinent material pass by a researchers eyes. I will not go into details but Ellis can certainly tell you that this is undeniably true.
This bring me to Tanamo. For me, someone stating that the lack of known evidence of his training in complete Koryu arts, as evidence
of him not knowing aiki or teaching it to Takeda is meaningless. I am looking for other predicators. To most people researching the subject, they cannot think of other possibilities beside immersion in a total martial system and subsequant grading evidence. I am not talking a position yet either way, but in light of the other material I previously brought up, and in a comical twist; using both of your arguments, it should be looked into, It is worth considering that there may be a dual topic that needs to be researched; stand alone aiki training, divorced from an established ryu ha.. This makes Takeda's statement "He taught me aiki!" not only true, but intriguing.
Again, Ellis thought it interesting that Tanamo had Chinese ties and evidence of Chinese martial training.
Recent events and contact with master level Chinese teachers continue to convince me there is a connection between the Aiki of DR and the internal arts of China.