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Old 07-11-2011, 11:46 AM   #8
Allen Beebe
Location: Portland, OR
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 530
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Allen,

Just a(nother) thought . . . (or two, or three) . . .

Do you think that Ellis Amdur's discussions in Hidden in Plain Sight has any bearing on Stan's arguments in his article?

At the beginning of his article Stan proposes a hypothesis. It is in the third line of the article and I think this is really the 'thesis' of the article. But it is a hypothesis, right?

Any thoughts on chronology?

1. If we paint with a broad brush, aikido was the name given to the art in 1942, which was when Ueshiba retired to Iwama. The name was given to the art as a whole, which includes what Morihei was doing in Iwama from 1942 onwards, not just to the bit that Kisshomaru was practising in the old Kobukan.

2. Actually, Stan asks if O Sensei is really the father of modern aikido and my understanding of this term, based on the article, is the aikido taught in the resurrected Kobukan from around 1955 onwards.

But what was M Saito doing in Iwama during these years? Was he practising 'ancient' aikido? But we can ask the same question of Kisshomaru from 1942 onwards. Kisshomaru began serous training when he was a student, from around 1935 onwards? But how was he training from 1942 onwards? Presumably he was doing the same Daito-ryu that he had been taught in the old Kobukan. And when the Kobukan had to close in 1945, he trained in Iwama as often as he could.

3. What was Rinjiro Shirata doing during the years between his repatriation after the war and his re-entry almost two decades later? If I understand the situation (not based on Stan's interviews), he had to be persuaded by Morihei and Kisshomaru to 'cone back' to aikido.

Finally, Mark's analogy about drag-racing is very interesting. The problem with the analogy is that it assumes that Morihei Ueshiba never changed the engine or the body of the car. And, if we continue with the analogy, he might not have been able to do: he might well have thought that the future of postwar aikido lay in drag-racing. It was left to Kisshomaru and K Tohei to make the changes to allow very many postwar aikidoka to drive Toyotas, and leave the drag-racing groups to those who could afford it.

Best wishes,

PAG
Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Just a(nother) thought . . . (or two, or three) . . .
Thought/THôt/Noun
1. An idea or opinion produced by thinking or occurring suddenly in the mind: "Mrs. Oliver's first thought was to get help".
2. An idea or mental picture, imagined and contemplated: "the mere thought of Peter made her see red"

vs

ques·tion/ˈkwesCHən/
Verb: Ask questions of (someone), esp. in an official context: "four men were being questioned about the killings"; "the young lieutenant escorted us to the barracks for questioning".
Noun: A sentence worded or expressed so as to elicit information.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Do you think that Ellis Amdur's discussions in Hidden in Plain Sight has any bearing on Stan's arguments in his article?
Not that came, or comes, readily to my mind. But then I've only read Ellis' book once (unless one counts reading your response to the book as a second reading) and I read Stan's article two whole times!

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
At the beginning of his article Stan proposes a hypothesis. It is in the third line of the article and I think this is really the 'thesis' of the article. But it is a hypothesis, right?
What is truth?

If there were no Ueshiba Morihei there would probably be no Aikido (well accept for the non-Aikido Aikido groups.) Therefore Ueshiba Morihei is the father Aikido. Of course, if there were no Onisaburo Deguchi to suggest that the use of the term Aiki be applied to Daito Ryu Jujutsu perhaps there would have been no impetus to morph the term into the general heading Aikido later on. So therefore Onisaburo Deguchi is the father of Aikido. But then Onisaburo Deguchi might never have suggested the term Aiki be used, if Ueshiba Morihei's teacher Takeda Sokaku hadn't shown up to help out his pupil and consequently approve of the appellation of "Aiki" to the name his art. So clearly Takeda Sokaku is the father of Aikido. But wait! Who taught Takeda Sokaku the art that so many of his students later simply called "Aikido?" Well, that's a tricky question, but according to some, Shinra Saburo Minamoto no Yoshimitsu could very well be the father of Aikido. On the other hand, if all of this can be traced back from the earthly Kami to the heavenly Kami, perhaps it is best said that Ame no Minakanushi no O-Kami is the really real father of Aikido. But then . . . we all are Ame no Minakanushi no O Kami, so . . . we are all "the father" of Aikido.

Yeah, that must be it. Every time I think of "Aikido" I am "the father" of "Aikido!"

But that wasn't your question. Your question was,

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
But it is a hypothesis, right?
And my answer is, "Yes, I think it is a hypothesis."

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
1. If we paint with a broad brush, aikido was the name given to the art in 1942, which was when Ueshiba retired to Iwama. The name was given to the art as a whole, which includes what Morihei was doing in Iwama from 1942 onwards, not just to the bit that Kisshomaru was practising in the old Kobukan.?
Is this the case? I thought that it was a sectional name given (by someone else and approved of by Ueshiba Morihei) to what was being taught at the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai because they needed a name for what Ueshiba was teaching relative to everyone else. Was there some formal adoption of the name? Or was it more by circumstance or happenstance that it became common parlance for all Daito Ryu-ish arts?

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
2. Actually, Stan asks if O Sensei is really the father of modern aikido and my understanding of this term, based on the article, is the aikido taught in the resurrected Kobukan from around 1955 onwards.

But what was M Saito doing in Iwama during these years? Was he practising 'ancient' aikido? But we can ask the same question of Kisshomaru from 1942 onwards. Kisshomaru began serous training when he was a student, from around 1935 onwards? But how was he training from 1942 onwards? Presumably he was doing the same Daito-ryu that he had been taught in the old Kobukan. And when the Kobukan had to close in 1945, he trained in Iwama as often as he could.
Yes, Stan askes if O-Sensei is really the father of "modern" aikido (as taught in the resurrected Kobukan from around 1955 onwards) and comes to the conclusion that the answer is, "No."

But what was M Saito doing in Iwama during these years? Presumably he was practicing whatever his teacher was training which, according to Stan, is reflected in the contents of the publication "Budo." You say that Kisshomaru began serious training from about the age of 14. (It is my understanding that Kisshomaru was taught more by the Uchi Deshi rather than by his father at that time, which makes some sense considering his father's schedule and family structures of that era.) I'm guessing that there wasn't a whole lot of training Kishomaru actually did from 1942 onwards. There were few students, not a lot of food to be had, and plenty of firebombing. No? The fact that Kisshomaru trained in Iwama from 1945 as often as he could doesn't tell us how often that was. According to M. Saito that training would have reflected the contents of "Budo" with which Kishomaru would have been familiar. It is my understanding that Tohei Koichi also trained with Ueshiba Morihei in Iwama from 1940 (and sent out to teach after six months of training) before being drafted in 1942 and repatriated in 1946. Nevertheless, what Kisshomaru and Tohei taught later appears to be clearly different from what we see demonstrated in the book "Budo" which was purportedly being trained in Iwama. BTW, it is also clear that Ueshiba Morihei supported both Kisshomaru and Tohei's 1950's efforts as evidenced by his support and apparent approval of their film and publication efforts. Those efforts seem to align with much of the photographic evidence of what Ueshiba Morihei was demonstrating publicly. However, according to M. Saito and seemingly backed up by other evidence, what Ueshiba Morihei was training on in Iwama was a bit different. Perhaps there was a "shifting of the lines" of outside vs inside, or perhaps O-sensei himself allowed for a "changing of the times" while seeing no need to change his own personal training which you seem to identify as Daito Ryu.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
3. What was Rinjiro Shirata doing during the years between his repatriation after the war and his re-entry almost two decades later? If I understand the situation (not based on Stan's interviews), he had to be persuaded by Morihei and Kisshomaru to 'cone back' to aikido.
While certainly that is a question that is very relevant to me, I am uncertain of its relevance to our present subject. Perhaps you know something I don't know and are willing to share? I do know that Shirata sensei reportedly visited his teacher upon being repatriated. And I am also informed that his teacher said something along the lines of, "Look my technique has changed!" I unfortunately was not told that by Shirata sensei, nor do I know that that is why Shirata sensei was reluctant to "come back" to Aikido. I had assumed (with no evidence) that Shirata sensei did what so many other people did after the war. He tried to survive, help his family survive, and (as Japanese are prone to doing and many American's of that era as well) deal with the trauma of his war experience within the depths and privacy of his own mind (and household to the degree that what could not be suppressed in his own mind "surfaced.")

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Finally, Mark's analogy about drag-racing isery interesting. The problem with the analogy is that it assumes that Morihei Ueshiba never changed the engine or the body of the car. And, if we continue with the analogy, he might not have been able to do: he might well have thought that the future of postwar aikido lay in drag-racing. It was left to Kisshomaru and K Tohei to make the changes to allow very many postwar aikidoka to drive Toyotas, and leave the drag-racing groups to those who could afford it..
Given the above, and given that Ueshiba while unique and given to hang-out with other unique characters, was also subject to the cultural influences, assumptions and thought patterns that naturally came those of his time (just like you and me), your continued analogy sounds as plausible as any.

BTW, has Ness written to you? Are we going to be seeing each other shortly?

I hope so!,
Allen

p.s. While the socratic method is all fine and dandy, one might perhaps best not lose sight of the end result for Socrates though!

~ Allen Beebe
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