Thread: Shirata Rinjiro
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:23 PM   #32
Allen Beebe
Location: Portland, OR
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 532
Re: Shirata Rinjiro

Ernesto Lemke wrote: View Post
Hello Peter,

Nice to see you posting again. As an in between question; is there a next TIE on the way?

Allow me to address a couple of points in response to your post.

It's a first I heard of that and it's quite interesting in that plenty of those who participated should still be alive today. I have the distinct impression not a whole lot of French aikidoka are on aikiweb or if they are, they are either in the French language section and or don't post much in the English sections.
It would be nice to read an account from one of the participants.


Well, one option, and one that isn't at all that unlikely, would be solo training in the form that was later distilled as Tandokudosa. Recently I went over these with Dan Harden (as did Allen) and his take on the matter was quite encouraging as revealing. (Lest I'm mistaken by some readers, it wasn't the case of asking Dan to enrich Shirata Sensei's Tandokudosa with an IS flavor. Dan seemed to confirm that Tandokudosa=IT, something which was encouraging as coming from Dan's expertise).

Yes, I'm painfully aware it is. You've mentioned this before and I have not forgotten. Thankfully my life is not the whirlwind it was so in that sense it's an endeavour I now could make, in theory. It then becomes a matter of priorities and finances. Unfortunately I have one more priority at hand which forces me to postpone any trip to Japan. Fortunately the priority is getting married

Best wishes and thanks for the response!
Perhaps the following information should be added at this moment:

Tandokudosa is a rather generic term meaning "solo body movement exercise." However, for me the term refers to 13 solo body movement exercises that were developed by Shirata sensei to "unlock" Aikido. They directly relate to both Taijutsu and Kenjutsu. There is a Ken Kata called Niho Zenshin Zengo Giri, developed by Shirata sensei that directly reflects the Tandokudosa. So Tandokudosa is related to the "unlocking" of both taijutsu and kenjutsu. (BTW, there are further Ken kata developed by Shirata sensei that do this as well, as opposed to the many Ken kata "borrowed" from classical Kenjutsu which we practice as well, which are in turn, to be "unlocked" such that one isn't doing the classical ken kata per se (see my previous post with regards to that), rather one is doing the classical ken kata with Aiki.) (This, BTW, is IMHO [Rant mode fully on now!] a world apart from waving a stick to emulate a waza.)

"This is how we do it with Aiki."

So, I believe that for Shirata sensei his Tandokudosa and Ken Kata are of inestimable importance to the understanding and unlocking of Aikido, they are his effort to "unpack" Aikido as taught to him and I cannot imagine understanding Aikido without this treasure.

That having been said, I am, after several decades of having been introduced to the practice, still discovering the treasures contained therein.

But that isn't the purpose of this post. Here I wish to point out that when Nakajima Masanori first taught me the Tandokudosa and Ken Kata of Shirata sensei (which I later practiced in EVERY class taught by Shirata sensei in my recollection) he also taught me to do certain other exercises taught by Shirata sensei "to build my hips" or to build "Kokyu" or to build "Ki." I didn't know it at the time, but most, if not all, of these came directly from Ueshiba Morihei's Daito Ryu training. Many of these will be familiar to readers: Koshi no Furite, Shiko (Sumo Stomp), Tai no Henko, Aiki InYo Ho, Furibo Suburi, etc. Lest our my Daito Ryu friends become apoplectic, my realization that these are Daito Ryu practices came from a cumulative effect of a) Ueshiba Morihei openly crediting his teacher and his teacher's art, b) Public demonstrations by recognized heads of Daito Ryu (forgive me for not using specific titles, the complexities of Daito Ryu politics and organizations are far beyond my comprehension), c) the generous input and teaching from licensed teachers of Daito Ryu, and d) the general and sustained outcry of a, to my mind in many cases justifiably outraged at being maliciously maligned, collective Daito Ryu voice declaring, "That's our stuff!" I was taught this with the specific instruction to practice these for a specified amount of times (in the tens of thousands) first with no power (the largest time investment), then with speed (the next largest time investment), and then with power and speed (the least necessary time investment).

So, Shirata sensei taught the "stuff" to "build the hips," "Develop Kokyu, Ki and Aiki" and also a hermeneutic (His Tandokudosa and his Ken and Jo Kata) to "unpack" the Kokyu, Ki, and Aiki development into taijutsu or buki waza.

Of course the punch line is . . . to a degree one could practice the outer form of these exercises and one would attain a certain development and understanding . . . or one could miss the boat entirely, or one could "get it." How does one "separate the men from the boys?" IMO the manifestation is the "tell." Those who know can DO. (They can DO the stuff told in the stories that typify what made the renowned of the Aiki arts renowned.)

As for me, I have tens of thousands of reps to do PROPERLY (sorry sensei!) and still unpacking yet to do! (It helps to have someone look in your "suit case" and declare, "Damn! What have you been hiding!!!" Of course one has to also have a full "suit case" and the wisdom (bequeathed from the former suit case holder) to recognize a fellow "suit case" holder and ask, "What do you see in my "suit case"?"

Thank goodness for friends pointing the Way. It seems the "good stuff" is always available and there are always "none so blind and those that will not see." I'm seemingly persistent proof enough of that!


~ Allen Beebe
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