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Old 08-29-2011, 04:11 PM   #157
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Anita Dacanay wrote: View Post
I appreciate your clarifications, Mark. What you say is interesting, but I am not sure that I "get" the practical application of your conclusions for any of us who want to learn Aikido in the modern age. What you say seems to imply that unless we study Daito Ryu and Omoto Kyo, we will never be able to understand O Sensei's Aikido, so we may as well not even bother.

I am sure that Kisshomaru did his best to try and a fashion a way to teach the art his father had developed. Certainly, each of us can only do his or her best to try and understand what our teachers have to offer. Certainly later in his life, O Sensei's desire was to share Aikido with the world. He knew that he would not live forever, and that he had to pass the torch.

Personally, I have to believe that O Sensei was not completely unsuccessful in his goals. In my personal training, I think the best that I can do is to seek out and listen to the teachers whom I trust.

Also, referring back to the original post, upon reflection I think that the best answer to the question is indeed, "Yes" - as others have pointed out.
People in Modern Aikido all over the world often turn to Morihei Ueshiba, the founder, to support their aikido. However, the person they really should be turning to is Kisshomaru Ueshiba. And to another extent, Koichi Tohei. Morihei Ueshiba's martial skills and his spiritual ideology are not present in most Modern Aikido.

That isn't to say that Modern Aikido is lacking. Modern Aikido has stood up for itself and actually done far better in the world than Ueshiba probably ever could have done. So, it isn't a matter of right, wrong, good, or bad.

It's a matter that most Modern Aikido really doesn't have much in common with Morihei Ueshiba's aikido. And up until late in Ueshiba's life, he did not want to open his aikido up to the world. Remember, when Kisshomaru took over in Tokyo and wanted to do an open demonstration, Kisshomaru feared his father's rage at the very idea. And rightly so.

Had Ueshiba truly been interested in "passing the torch", he would have taught someone to be as martially effective as himself. Instead, through many different deshi and his son, they all said Ueshiba was more interested in personal development than in teaching.

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