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Old 02-01-2012, 04:00 AM   #362
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: "The goal is not to throw"

David Orange wrote: View Post
Thanks. That's where I get my ideas on aikido.

And I wasn't even their in the thick part. Fifteen or twenty years earlier, when Mochizuki was in his sixties, the dojo would have been three times as dense and Sensei would have been much more actively involved in all that. Patrick Auge was uchi deshi in those days and I learned from him over some years before I lived there. Our line of yoseikan comes through a US Army base in Alabama via a Japanese military officer, so the early yoseikan classes were among military men. My line came down through a civilian instructor but we had access to the old military notes and certain philosophies about human conflict and the place and application of aikido.

It's completely decisive and as harsh as it may sound, I came from kyokushin karate (from 1972) and that aikido really was revolutionary to me. As violent as it may seem to you, I had no trouble recognizing a deep and pure spiritual difference in the aikido approach. And when I went to other dojos, I seldom found that same kind of purity in the practice. And the more "spiritual" the attitude of the teacher, the less physical (and the less strategic) the training, the weaker the aikido was. Yet the more people would believe what they said about aikido because they were more "spiritual" than I.

Now think about Henry Ellis, direct student of two incredible martial artists--Kenshiro Abbe and Tadashi Abe ten years after the War with Japan! That blistering training was fresh out of the oven and Abbe and Abe led Henry and the other UK students through it for years. So that stuff was even far purer than what I learned and it was in the very dawn of aikido in the UK. I doubt Abbe or Abe ever made them wonder whether they were supposed to throw.

Anyway, thanks for reading.

Thanks for another well appreciated response.

By reading your brief outline on your 'history' it fits with your views, excellent. By how you explain your experiences briefly with Aikido places that emphasized spiritual I totally get that too. In fact there is nothing in what you say in each paragraph that I disagree with.

I would say every 'spiritual' Aikido I have experienced I myself and my friend for that matter always thought it was too 'airy fairy' and unreal. Now that means either I didn't visit enough places or a lot had missed the point in my way of thinking. On the other side of the coin we found many others rough and tumbling and 'useless' from our opinion and the same reasons above may also be the case.

However, to understand my 'history' you would first have to understand my training.

I entered Aikido not knowing there was a big political divide going on. My teacher had left the 'organization' and set up privately. His way was very dynamic as shown by the old video of Noro shown by Carsten on the spiritual thread. I therefore had met someone who did this very dynamic and stern art yet at the same time very spiritual.

I found that in his opinion he left because too many would not do the meditation or see the relevence of Ki and that it takes discipline to get those realities. So he was also influenced by Tohei.

Thus I learned a very important lesson throughout that whole period under his influence. One word, discipline. His answer to virtually everything.

So as time went on and I met many who did stern Aikido and yet couldn't do techniques with me and needed my corrections to do so I put it down to they hadn't learned that discipline.

On the other hand when I met or trained with people who did Ki or spiritual Aikido yet it didn't work with me either I had the same conclusion, not enough discipline.

Thus I questioned everything and this led me to understand what discipline is. Just look at the word disciple. Following and sticking to principles. Not data, not try this and try that, not dip your toe in here and there and everywhere and then you will have experience and understand. No, discipline.

From that point on I decided that's how I would teach, emphasis on discipline meaning drills. Drills, drills and drills.

Therefore those who want to fly about dramatically without enough reality on the principles, go elsewhere. Those who want dream loving thoughts not willing to know theres great discipline there then go elsewhere.

Therefore my way is such, different.

Although the principles I use you may not be aware of I will give you an example using Toheis for in the early days it was exclusively those which I used from the view of discipline.

Basic techniques and attacks etc. learned. Then how they are all dependent on the principles. Thus we would do a technique from one principle. Iriminage: Do it from static using the principle of 'one point' If it works then the person holds harder, makes it harder, and on and on. Whenever it doesn't work it's due to no one point and no other reason, none allowed.

Then move to moving attacks etc but if any time doesn't work equals no one point, no other reason allowed. If you get a head ache or are sick or plain worn out it equals no one point, no discipline.

There is no 'this person said or that person said or but my tai sabaki wasn't right or but you moved, no excuses. There is no 'ah that was a good workout' there is only following that one principle and thus getting more and more reality on it. Thus my way is nothing to do with speed or 'power' but only to do with principle and discipline.

If someone runs at you fast, same principle. If someone uses great power, same principle, no excuses. Whatever the other person does doesn't matter, same principle no excuse.

This if inspected shows something quite zen. It shows that if you keep one point then there will be no problem doing any technique any time anywhere with anyone. Yet on further inspection it also says that there are more than one principle and they all work together.

Thus other principles are used 'on their own' in the same manner. Weight underside: All techniques done from that one principle. Extending Ki: All techniques done from that one principle. Etc.

Another I use is Koshi. Tried to explain that once on here, wasn't too successful. However, all techniques done from that.

Now on to another you will recognise. Ma-ai. All techniques done from that as a principle.

Add to these type of things spiritual principles and you can get the picture, or not, of my particular methods.

As an example of a spiritual principle I use I give a very simple standard english worded principle for example: Be with.

So a person does a technique or rather tries to and it doesn't work. That's because they are not being with. (when using this principle) No excuses. The person realizes where they 'went against' or whatever but as a discipline it doesn't matter, be with and that's all. It's actually a principle of love yet it's a discipline. It's a hard discipline. It means there is no against. It means it can't work. It means many logical things. Yet in the end it means itself and it works.

I would rather one student practicing very slowly one principle for twenty years rather than one thousand doing otherwise.

I'm not even interested in one million people telling me I must go out and prove this or that. I am only interested in one person who wants to learn how to apply a principle I use and teach.

So that explanation has either served to give you a clearer picture of me or else it's confused you. Hopefully the former.

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