Thread: Ueshiba's Aiki
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:21 PM   #24
Chris Li
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Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Dan,
Please refer me to where you can read the new translations of O Senseis words. Who if any of the Japanese/other Shihan [in your opinion]grasped what O Sensei was about? Please tell me why you believe this is so .After all am I right in saying you are not an Aikidoka?If indeed you are not an aikidoka how do you arrive at your conclusions?All the best , Joe.
Dan's already posted a few of them. I think that I did most of the ones he posted, so I'll try commenting.

Some (many) of the English translations are clearly in error, with parts omitted because they were not understood (or thought to be irrelevant) and other parts mistaken because of a lack of background knowledge. There have been some discussions about this on Aikiweb already.

That's not to say that the translators were a bunch of dummies - it's clear that there wasn't any greater understanding on the Japanese side.

How many times have we all heard direct students of the founder say that they couldn't understand what he was talking about?

Well, if a direct student couldn't understand what was being said to them in their native language how could anybody expect that a translation be a non-native speaker who wasn't even hearing the direct speech of the founder would be accurate?

It's possible to look back at the writings of various direct students of the founder and show that they clearly missed what ought to have been obvious if they had had the right background. Not their fault - Ueshiba should have provided that background. At least one example of this has already been discussed on Aikiweb.

That there is so much resistance to the idea that anyone who trained directly with Ueshiba (or even Ueshiba himself) may have misunderstood or been mistaken is a great weakness of Aikido. Just imagine if the same attitude were adopted by historians!

Whether or not Dan is not an Aikido student (although he has been) is really irrelevant to the validity of the opinions expressed, which are clearly demonstrable, as above. But for the record, his Aiki-do is excellent, IMO.