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Old 11-16-2011, 09:12 AM   #41
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

Keith Larman wrote: View Post
I've long argued that the problem wasn't that aiki wasn't there, but that the transmission of the knowledge and skill was difficult and sporadic at best due to a lack of a proper framework within which to understand how it worked. There was a great quote by Wittgenstein that "The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ("Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus" I believe). You have Ueshiba M speaking in highly poetic terms and if Dan and Chris Li are correct in the interpretation of his original words then it seems that even Ueshiba M. had relied on less than precise vocabulary while he was actually actively trying to communicate what he was experiencing.
Hi Keith,
Yes, reading his words *after* training aiki for a little while, Ueshiba starts to make sense. However, we (aikido world) have to realize that Ueshiba was rambling spiritual while the pre-war students were training. Both pre-war and post-war students stated that they didn't understand what he was saying. When we compare pre-war students with post-war students, there is a remarkable difference in skill and abilities. I think it is fairly safe to say that:

1. The training environment was vastly different.
2. Ueshiba's spiritual speeches/talks really didn't matter for training aiki.

Ueshiba's speeches/lectures/whatever are only a validation of the concepts behind the martial skill of aiki. So, again, Morihei Ueshiba, was telling us all the truth ... you didn't have to follow his spiritual path to do aikido. While he had found a spiritual vehicle to house the core principles of aiki, he only had to look at his peers to see that it wasn't a requirement. But, aiki made it all work better.

Keith Larman wrote: View Post
So I see some of the work of guys like Dan, Mike, Ark, Ushiro, et al as helping us better focus on how it is the old guy did some of the stuff he did. Sure, Aikido evolved considerably after his passing. And maybe the aikido of the second doshu is what attracts many to aikido today. In which case *that* aikido may be the one some want to practice instead of the aikido some of us are trying to "rediscover". And I see no problem with both coexisting.

And heck, maybe a lot of us are wrong, but I must say as people develop skills faster and with vastly more power it is harder and harder to deny that this is what was driving the founders of these things. That does not diminish the subsequent evolution, however. It just becomes a question of what it is you want to practice.

Yeah, I"m rambling, but I got a high powered vicoden in me at the moment due to a pinched nerve and I'm chatty. And I wanted to get this off my chest.

I truly wish people would quit arguing about this stuff and just freaking train. I think there is a huge amount of value in the Aikido people are doing today. It gives so many a happy place to go, all sorts of good things about harmony and cooperation. However, it might be the case that this wasn't exactly what O-Sensei had in mind. That does not mean it isn't perfectly valid since it obviously speaks to a lot of people!
It's kind of funny, in a non-funny way. You see, off the top of my head I remember that I've said it. Dan has said it. Ellis has said it. What is "it"? "It" is that Modern Aikido is valid, worth studying, we have no problem if people want to study it, etc.

The point where the arguments start is when we say that Modern Aikido isn't doing Morihei Ueshiba's aikido because it lacks his aiki. Yes, it's a hard pill to swallow. A rough truth to digest. And it will be contested at every turn until we reach a turning point.

Keith Larman wrote: View Post
The biggest problem, as I see it, is that each side looks at the other and says "why don't you see the value of what we're doing compared to what you're doing?" I'd really like to change that vibe to "Hey, enjoy your practice and I'll enjoy mine. Isn't this a remarkably flexible art?"
Not sure about the others, but I don't see it like that. I'm fairly sure by Ellis and Dan's post that they don't see it like that. The three of us have posted here on Aikiweb, the value of Modern Aikido. The sticking point is the truth that they are not doing what Morihei Ueshiba did but rather what Kisshomaru Ueshiba wanted done. And, yes, in that, "aikido" is a remarkably flexible art.

So, back to Mary Eastland's original post ... Personally, I don't have any issues with her aikido. From her posts, I think she's found a great place to be for training with some wonderful people around her. I don't think it isn't valid. Where we would disagree is that, in my opinion, her aikido is not Morhei Ueshiba's aikido but rather Kisshomaru Ueshiba's view of aikido. In the context of the difference between Morihei Ueshiba's aiki and Kisshomaru Ueshiba's view of aikido, how could we not disagree?

And in that disagreement, lies the root of the problem. For in Kisshomaru Ueshiba's view of aikido, there is no need to go outside for "internal strength" or "ai(love)ki". It is inherently attributed to the practice and training of the spiritual side of Modern Aikido. It can be a bit hard to understand why people would go "outside" to get that. And in Modern Aikido, they shouldn't need to. However, for Morihei Ueshiba's aikido, they must. There are fundamental and foundational differences between the two. It is there in those differences where the conflict begins. However, I don't think I've ever said that Modern Aikido is invalid, not worth training, etc. Different, yes. In a martial sense, Ueshiba's aiki is better overall. Doesn't mean it's the best for everyone. In a spiritual sense ... ugh, I tend to stay away from all the spiritual conversations. If I actually had to make a determination, I'd have to say Modern Aikido has a better spiritual sense/overview/outlook/whatever than Morihei Ueshiba's. (Which, if you think about that, Kisshomaru Ueshiba gave the world something very profound. How can you then say the changes he made were bad?)

Hopefully, in the end, Mary Eastland, Ron Ragusa, etc and I can laugh about it over good food and drink.
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