Dan Harden doesn't know what he is talking about. He doesn't hold Dan rank in any martial art. He hasn't trained with Saotome Sensei but repeatedly claims to know what Sensei is doing and what Sensei believes. I'm not attacking this clueless guy. By the way, I know someone who also trains with his teacher, and this guy says Harden doesn't know what he's talking about. If this guy had a clue he might realize how he undermines himself attacking Aikikai and Doshu in an international forum while teaching at Aikikai affiliated dojos. This is the way that Harden and his friends address me. Will i now be reprimanded when Harden is not? Jun, are we to have a double standard in favor of Harden?
My posts were not off topic. They were to the heart of the matter. The reasons that Harden and others engage in this stuff, the reason he started yet another thread to bash Doshu, is in order to support their agenda. Their agenda includes, as Harden's posts in this thread demonstrate, redefining Aiki in order to propagate his guru status as being able to teach the secret of In Yo Ho. The photo is yet another attempt to do so by aligning himself with Pranin Sensei's efforts to establish that Aikido is really just Daito Ryu. There are a variety of related claims that they repeatedly make in support of their agenda: O Sensei learned the secret of Aiki from Takeda Sensei, the secret of Daito Ryu that O Sensei learned was In Yo Ho, when Takeda Sensei or O Sensei spoke of Aiki what they really meant was In Yo Ho, O Sensei never taught much less taught the secret of Aikido, what we call Aikido is just a shallow game that Doshu cooked up to sell to the masses, Doshu did this because he did not have the secret of In Yo Ho (his own father didn't bother to teach it to his successor), and on and on without end. Never mind all the evidence including direct quotations from O Sensei and so many of those around him that contradict these claims. Never mind that Harden et al. can't provide one example of Takeda Sensei claiming that the secret of Daito Ryu was In Yo HO.
For the record, O Sensei did not say that Takeda Sensei taught him the secret of Aiki or Aikido or In Yo Ho. In fact, he specifically said that this was not the case. He said that Takeda Sensei opened his eyes to Budo, completely undermining the claims that are repeatedly made: http://www.aikidofaq.com/interviews/interviews.html
Back to the photo, when the claim was made that he photo was altered I just took their word for it. Now they say that the shadow was extended to obscure the reference to Daito Ryu. I am suspicious at this point. They need to provide the photos in question for scrutiny. The sun moves shadows. Any photographer would have taken a series of exposures from slightly different angles. What we may be looking at here are different images from the same session with the shadow obscuring some words more in one than the next.
O Sensei, Doshu, Chiba Sensei, Saotome Sensei, Hikitusuchi, and others, repeatedly explained that Aikido movements are based on the movements of the sword as well as the movements of nature and the universe as a whole; not that the movements of the sword in Aikido come from the Aiki of Aikido, as Harden claims without pointing to any sources. This is visible to anyone who understands Aikido. Harden and company don't understand what the Aiki of Aikido is. They continue to view it through the lenses that they are wearing and as such miss the what is in front of them (or they see it and pretend not to). The length of a sword is more than two feet. It is not possible to use a sword in the confines space that Daito Ryu aims for (one tatami). Yes, there are some moves that require less space, but if you cannot do the small space moves all the time for obvious reasons. All the slicing movements of the sword require move space and a flowing body to create power while moving through. You move through as you cut to avoid being cut by your opponent. This is all obvious to the trained eye. Shihonage, for example, quite clearly comes from moving in to cut, as the opponent attacks, turning and cutting a second time. Daito Ryu did this movement in a confined space by utilizing leverage and threatening the joints. This makes sense when you consider a crowded battle field and the objectives of the Samurai in a situation where he might use Shihonage. O Sensei put the flowing version, the sword version, back into open hands. It's really quite simple on this level.
Once again we see Harden claiming that I fail to understand Saotome Sensei's teachings. He does this while claiming that many ASU teachers train with him (I know of three or four out of hundreds) and agree with him. Because he does not agree with me, therefore, he concludes that they would not either, and ultimately that Saotome Sensei would also agree with him. Dan Harden, who doesn't train in Aikido and doesn't train under Saotome Sensei, claims that he knows the teachings of Saotome Sensei better than I. But I am not trying to market myself. I am simply, and sincerely, following the teachings of Saotome Sensei. On the matter of Aikido evolving in a different direction from Daito Ryu Saotome Sensei is very clear:
"There was in the secret teachings of all the rye an essence that was not technique, a perception that hinted at creation instead of destruction, a power that unified rather than separated opposing forces. There was the shadowy promise, unclear and never fully formed, that harmony is the greatest strength. The agony of O Sensei's severe physical training to uncover this secret was small compared with the agony suffered by his spirit. Slowly he began to feel the tug of an elusive idea. He would try to grasp it, but as soon as he concentrated his mind, it slipped away. It was a half-remembered dream shimmering in the shadows, a peripheral vision lost in the focussing" (Harmony of Nature, p. 122)
"Often those with only shallow experience criticize Aikido upon first observation, saying the movement is too soft and too weak, or that it is only a dance. Their world is very narrow, for they are grasping their own image of the martial way and their minds are stopped by the old concepts of struggle and conflict... Their hostility blocks the development of true power" (Harmony of Nature, p. 133).
"O Sensei created the Aikido EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM [my emphasis] to be a natural system that moves with the natural flow of the body rather than against it. Jujutsu has many of the same techniques-such as kotegaeshi, shihonage, and nikyo-but the result is different. The techniques of jujutsu are designed to destroy. The techniques of Aikido are designed to CONTINUE THE PROCESS AND REDIRECT IT INTO THE CREATIVE PATH OF HARMONY [my emphasis] (Harmony of Nature, p. 135).
"[describing Ikkyo] You must see the movement of your partner's center and deal, not with his hand, but with the DIRECTION OF HIS FORCE [my emphasis]... Before contact is made, you should, by YOUR MOVEMENT [my emphasis] and your will, be in control of the attacker's center... DIVERT AND LEAD HIS ENERGY [my emphasis] so that the advantage is your own... You must first connect with the attacking arm BY JOINING ITS DIRECTION [emphasis mine]. (Harmony of Nature, p. 191)
"In an old Jujutsu technique very similar to the shihonage of Aikido, the first movement was a punch to break the ribs. The jujutsu would then pivot under the enemy's arm, barring it access his shoulder. The accompanying twist would separate the shoulder and break the elbow and wrist. The throw itself would probably crust the enemy's skull as his head was driven into the ground... this technique was designed to kill the enemy... When O Sensei organized his training process, he saw his technique through enlightened eyes. He saw the possibility of an even greater POWER THROUGH MORE HARMONIOUS MOVEMENT [emphasis mine], and a way to practice the technique safely WITHOUT RESTRICTING ITS RHYTHM [emphasis mine]... O Sense saw its practice as an opportunity to understand the principles of balance and natural law. And within its movements HE SAW THE ELEGANT RYTHMS OF THE SWORD [emphasis mine]. (Harmoy of Nature, p. 213).
"Although people often get the impression that much of Aikido technique is the refinement of old jujutsu technique, the rhythm and consciousness of Aikido are BASED ON THE MOVEMENT OF THE SWORD, THE SPEAR, AND THE STAFF [emphasis mine]. There is no sharp dividing line between taijutus... and weapons practice in Aikido, for the philosophy and its physical manifestation in the movement are the same. Aikido is a blending of their truths... When you have no sword, you must MOVE AS THOUGH YOU DID [emphasis mine], extending your body and sporty through the sword."(Harmony of Nature, p. 213).
Anyone with the ability to read carefully who is honest will recognize that the things I stated in this thread are completely based on what Saotome Sensei has written. So, Harden, these ASU teachers who agree with you and not with me when it comes to the Aikido of ASU, are you claiming that they reject the things that Saotome Sensei wrote which I have quoted here? Given that I was merely paraphrasing Saotome Sensei, when you say I don't know what I am talking about, you are actually saying that Saotome Sensei does not know what he is talking about. You are welcome to your opinion. As a non-Aikido student your opinion on this matter is your own. For people who train under Saotome Sensei, and in Aikikai for that matter, they are not entitled to reject in a fundamental manner (though Saotome Sensei allows a great deal of freedom in general) his basic teachings. This is transmission from O Sensei through Saotome Sensei to his students (he says so in the book and in person). Those of us who train under Saotome Sensei have an obligation here. Non-ASU members should not be allowed to make statements on behalf of senior ASU teachers that undermine what Saotome Sensei has said. It leave the impression that they agree with him and distorts the teachings of Saotome Sensei, and by transmission, of O Sensei as well.