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Old 11-28-2011, 05:35 PM   #14
Ken McGrew
Dojo: Aikido at UAB
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 202
Re: O'Sensei teaching Aikido at the Hombu Dojo after WWII

Interview with MICHIO HIKITSUCHI SENSEI, which goes quite contrary to the efforts are revisionism propagated by Pranin Sensei and others. If we take this passage from the narrative from Pranin Sensei, for example:

"Some have said that the Founder’s art changed greatly over the years and that this accounts for the differences in the techniques of his students who learned during different periods. Others state that O-Sensei would teach different things to different students according to their character and ability. I have never found either of these arguments to be particularly persuasive. In fact, when I discovered the old 1935 Asahi News film many years ago I was surprised at how “modern” the Founder’s art was even at that early stage. Moreover, the Founder usually taught groups of students, not individuals, and this fact does not lend support to the theory that he adapted his instruction to the needs of individual students."

We see that for evidence he provides: 1) he never found either of the arguments to be particularly persuasive and 2) he found the Asahi New film to look "modern." His not being persuaded is not conclusive and the Asahi film footage was artificially speeded up in translation... that is to say it is more static than flowing at the proper speeds.

I am not interested in debating this with those who have their minds made up and are trying to prove their case. I am speaking past them to others out there in the Aikido world who might be taken in by this. The fact that O Sensei did not teach every class and traveled often does not prove that he did not supervise the Aikido development of Doshu and a number of senior instructors. His supervision did not need to be on the mat all or even most of the time. This is not unusual. We all teach on and off the mat, giving pointers, giving talks, and hands on demonstrating. If we had the full transcripts of all the interviews that Pranin Sensei conducted I suspect that they would often be as the one with Hikitsuchi Sensei, that is to say that they would almost certainly, if asked, state that O Sensei guided Aikido's development after the war and that this future development was improvement.
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