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Old 04-27-2011, 08:32 AM   #85
Carl Thompson
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Location: Kasama
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 488
Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?

I have a question that has maybe only been touched upon in this thread: Is it necessary that aikido be taught in the exact same manner as the founder in order for it to be "Osensei's aikido?"

Perhaps the founder taught a particular way because he really was a "great teacher" in the pedagogical sense as well as for having created the subject to be taught? Osensei certainly observed plenty of his students teaching and he did not seem to require any of them to be possessed by the kami, spontaneously creating divine techniques in flashes of inspiration. That's not to say others couldn't have had any creative input into the birth of aikido, but it seems the founder was in a continuous process of creating and transmitting a vast system involving deep mind and body issues.

Osensei himself said "An instructor can only impart a portion of the teachings." Some instructors had more contact with him than others and some were more capable of digesting what he was doing and were therefore able to deal larger and more accurate portions for us to work from. If we view each of those portions as sketches of the founder (or copies of sketches as we move down the lineages) drawn from different angles with differing time limits and opportunities to observe, we can get a clearer overall picture, especially when these portraits agree with each other as well as with historic facts and other evidence.

Osensei's jo practice is a case in point: In order to teach it, various instructors came up with similar kata of varying detail depending upon their own opportunities to train with the jo with the founder.

Christopher Li wrote: View Post
OTOH, I heard Saito say clearly that there were things that he had changed - don't just take my word for it, it's in some of the public interviews too.
I never got a chance to train with M. Saito Shihan, but for the reasons above I think he, as well as nidai Doshu, Tohei et al, necessarily had their own way of explaining the founder's techniques. In Saito Shihan's case in particular, he seemed to put a lot of effort into interpreting (for that is all I think anyone could do) as accurately as possible, acknowledging where he created whatever kata for whatever reason and for the most part, any additions seem to be precisely that: explanatory "additions" rather than fundamental changes.

Lee Crockett wrote: View Post
This training, preserved today in Iwama, is hard strong Kotai training, for which M. Saito was told that all students were to train in this way until 3rd Dan before Jutai, Ekitai and Kitai training which focuses more on Kokyu Royku,
Just to clarify, are you saying kokyu-ryoku isn't part of kotai training? I think you must mean ki-no-nagare (flowing technique).

Lee Crockett wrote: View Post
If i cant do it on someone solid in the dojo, i dont fancy my chances in the street.
This stresses the importance of training earnestly, but it doesn't mean one is making things work the way Osensei made them work. However, I'd agree with this yardstick just to qualify that what one is doing is at least some kind of budo.

Kind regards

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