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Old 08-12-2011, 09:39 AM   #1
Allen Beebe
Location: Portland, OR
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 532
When is Aikido a Non-Aikido martial art?

When a Non-Aikido martial art IS Aikido.


Apparently when O-sensei is teaching it!

This was part of an interview with Takako Kunigoshi posted on Aikido Journal this morning:

"Editor: About two years ago we heard some wonderful stories from Yonekawa Sensei. Do you recall if at the time you were training, the name "Aikido" was in use?

I think at that time it was called Daito Ryu.

Editor: "Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu?"

I think it was something like that because I received a makimono scroll entitled Daito Ryu. It seems to me that the name Aikido came into use just a little before the war started. It was almost as if the name Aikido was thought to actually indicate the Daito Ryu. Later whenever I was asked about it I always answered that it was Takeda Sokaku Sensei's tradition (ryu).(I added the bold.)

Editor: During Ueshiba Sensei's training sessions in what way did he explain the techniques of Aikido?

No matter what it was that we asked him I think we always got the same answer. Anyway, there wasn't a soul there who could understand any of the things that he said. I guess he was talking about spiritual subjects but the meaning of his words was just beyond us. Later we would stand around and ask each other, "Just what was it Sensei was talking about anyway?" (laughter)."

Later she actually goes on to explain how she worked in some detail with the Uchideshi and O-sensei to create the book Budo Renshu, including adjustments to illustrations and explanations of technique. So, apparently there were times when communication was of a functional/understandable variety and, if one bothers to read the interview, O-sensei seems to indicate that there is a "right" and "wrong" way of doing things in very strong (yelling actually) terms. So one has to some how reconcile that with "make Aikido yours." Apparently "making Aikido yours" didn't equate to doing whatever one wants as "right" in O-sensei's opinion.

It is a great interview with a prominent early student of Ueshiba Morihei. Stan indicates that he has another interview with her as well in his newly revised and expanded book 'Aikido Pioneers - Pre-war Era.'

Her statement that I put in bold just caught my eye. It is remarkable when one considers a) her level of involvement, b) the length of her continued involvement indicated in the rest of the interview, and c) she clearly was aware of later developments and that she was being interviewed for a publication directly related to "Aikido."

Pretty interesting!

~ Allen Beebe
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