Thread: Ueshiba's Aiki
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:57 PM   #321
Ken McGrew
Dojo: Aikido at UAB
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 202
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

This led me to re-read everything I have by and about Dobson Sensei. Becuase I am attempting to continue some of his work but with kids instead of adults, it's important that I get him right. So I took your post seriously and double checked. I found some relevant passages for consideration. They don't take away from your time with him. He did discuss stopping attacks and moving them. He also made statements consistent with what I have said, pertaining to blending, using momentum, and the need for a real attack/energy in Aikido training:

"Eon by eon the rock is worn down, until halfway through eternity it has become a pebble... But what would happen if that rock could turn? At the very least it would stand a chance of surviving longer. As the water struck it, the rock would swivel around in the direction it was pushed... If the rock could turn with the force of the water, still retaining its place in the stream bed, the rock would lose nothing; the water would continue past.

That is part of the spirit of Aiki.

There is an old tale... which tells of the solid oak tree which stands next to the slender reed. The oak bosts of its strength, insulting the reed's delicacy-unitl the typhoon hits. The oak's inability to bend causes it's destruction. It is uprooted by the wind and flattened. The reed holds its ground by flowing with the wind, letting it blow itself far out to sea.

This is part of the spirit of Aiki.

You see, that's the nice thing about sincere, focussed attacks: They are so clearly directed at that point of the triangle, so committed to destroying you that they develop their own momentum and energy. That momentum will carry them past you if you roll or turn at the right moment. If you turn too early, your attacker will spot your response and change course. If you turn too late, you'll end up with the tip of the triangle sticking in your center.

If an attack is insincere and unfocused, if the attacker is only halfhearted about it, you don't have to do anything anyway. Nobody ever got hurt by a halfhearted attack except the attacker."

Aikido in everyday Life: Giving in to Get Your Way (1993 Terry Dobson and Victor Miller, pages 87 to 91 in the chapter on Aiki).

Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I'm just about finished here, but I had to laugh at this one. "privy to unpublished interviews" Quelle Surprise! Zut Alors!!!!!

I was Terry's uchi-deshi. I lived in his dojo. For one and one-half years, I met him every day, we at shrimp and soda-bread sandwiches at the Binibon Cafe in the Lower East Side, and smoked dope every day before practice. We chased the same women: he had craft and experience and I had long hair and good looks. I listened to every meandering thought that wiffled through his often drug-addled and yet, always brilliant brain. I am more qualified to speak about Terry in this light than any person alive. (P.S. - if some of the readers of this statement have another candidate, write to me PM and I'll prove my point). He was somewhat more that my older brother.

Terry loved Ueshiba, who literally saved his life. Yet he trained with Haga, Otake, Wang Shu Chin and was Hatsumi's first non-Japanese student. You could see a little Katori in his shomen uchi, some xingyi in his belly and some crazy-ass nonsense from early Bujinkan every now and then.

I caught him in my arms when he collapsed with a mini-stroke some months before his death. And we spent three days talking about power and aikido and what it meant to him.

He would have absolutely loved this creative ferment, and, were he able, would have taken part.

Let me put it as clearly as I can. Everything you have written - and the manner you write - directly contradicts what Terry believed about aikido. Without any ambiguity whatsoever - everything.

Ellis Amdur

Last edited by Ken McGrew : 11-15-2011 at 12:01 AM.