Thread: Then and Now
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Old 08-30-2002, 10:22 PM   #5
Chris Li
 
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Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
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Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
I believe the reason Ueshiba Sensei shook things up so bad is that he did think outside the box. Some people still can't and other won't admit that such a thing happened. He didn't just start another line of the same thing. Hell started something new. He took a concept called Aiki which had been a concept of war and redefined it as peace and had the juice to make it stick.
I'm going to argue the other way .

I'm not so sure that he did shake things up. Looking around the Tokyo area I see a lot more Judo than Aikido. I see a lot more Karate than Aikido. I see a lot more kendo and even kyudo than Aikido. M. Ueshiba doesn't seem to have had any effect on those arts. If you mention Aikido to the average Japanese person they really have only a vague idea what you're talking about...

He was a giant in modern Japanese martial arts, no question, but so were Kano and Funakoshi, among others.

The concept of "Aiki" as used in Daito-ryu doesn't have much to do with being warlike or not, it's primarily a technical/strategic concept. That technical/strategic concept hasn't really changed in Aikido. What's changed, IMO, is that M. Ueshiba used the same word as a philosophical/religious concept - that, I believe, is primarily what he meant when he talked about using the word "Aiki" in a different sense than it had been used previously.

As I see it, the base concepts that M. Ueshiba espoused were all in place previously, for many hundreds of years, in most cases. In my mind his innovations were primarily ones of emphasis. That's not to belittle what he created - I wouldn't have chosen to spend years delving into it if I wished to do so, but neither do I believe it to be something that is a complete break with the roots of previous martial traditions.

Best,

Chris

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