Thread: Ueshiba's Aiki
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:04 AM   #35
Ken McGrew
Dojo: Aikido at UAB
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 202
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

I've read this and similar discussions and find little clarity or evidence for the claims being made. It's not clear what you are trying to say.

It would help to spell out each claim clearly and then provide evidence for it.

That some passages in O'Sensei's writing were either not included in translations or not translated to your liking does not prove on its face that you are the only people who understand his Aiki. For example, I've read the arguments that Aikido is about power not Ki and that his writing was mistranslated to say put Ki in your hand when it should have been translated as power. When asked what they mean by power these authors answer that you'll know it when you see it but you won't see it until you have it. How convenient! I suspect this translation difference is superficial. Power is Ki. If you mean something else say so and back it up with more evidence and explanation than what has been given in these discussions.

I've read the claim that related to this is the failure in Aikido to understand breaking balance internally. While there is clearly renewed interest lately in breaking balance internally, it is not new to Aikido. Watch the old videos of Terry Dobson, for example. It is also a false claim, if the claim being made is, that all of O'Sense's Aikido was about breaking internal balance. You can see him doing a number of things. He was clearly leading and blending at times, grounding at times, Etc. The relationship between the Chinese and Japanese martial arts has been explored most thoroughly by Sugawara Sensei. Very fruitful but certainly not new.

Finally I'd point out that there are multiple sources of evidence available. These include O'Sense's books. They also include interviews he gave, videos of both himself and the students under his supervision, and the recollections of those who trained with him.