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Old 02-01-2012, 07:02 AM   #364
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Hi David,

Although Kenshiro Abbe started teaching in the 10 years after the war, Henry Ellis was not there at that time, I believe he was introduced to aikido at the Hut dojo around '57. Tadashi may well have been brought over to the UK to teach the students there, but it would have been later. I will speak to my teacher about the dates. In all my years of listening to his experiences of those days, he has not given an account of Tadashi Abe's influence. He does cite Noro and Nakazono, Tamera and Tada as being influential to the training at that time. I will ask him about Tadashi Abe when I see him next.

Not sure why you say that that stuff was 'purer' than your your own experience?

Kenshiro Abbe was primarily a Judo man, his aikido was very positive and direct. He did have his own spiritual philosophy/theory (kyu shin do), which underpinned his practice. As far as I am aware, when he returned to Japan, he was disappointed that many of the students in the UK just didn't 'get it'.

It seems that quite a few were not that interested in the Ki aspect that Tohei introduced via his own practice method. It seems that many felt that they had all they needed from their practice so far. So when they were being asked to change their approach, they were unable/unwilling to.

I have always been intrigued by this time in the UK aikido history. My own teacher (Williams) was recognised as being the best UK produced aikidoka. When he found a teacher (Tohei) that had something that he thought was beneficial, it meant changing his whole approach to training and teaching. He was willing to do what it took to make the adjustment and take the time to re-examine his own thinking. Much to the benefit of his own aikido. It seems not many of his students were able to stay with him through this change.

Maybe it was lack of discipline, but I doubt that, as the likes of Henry Ellis and his fellows, were put through increadibly robust training, they had to be disciplined to survive, so my guess is that it was for other, more personal reasons.

The UK aikido history is pretty well documented courtesy of Henry Ellis' hard work and commitment to keeping it so. The politics in the late 60's early 70's were pretty messy, and have since led to a myriad of different organisations sprigning up all over the country. The BAB (British Aikido Board) is the governing body for 'all' aikido in the UK. The KFGB under K Williams is completely outside of their influence (unsurprisingly so having read some of the stuff on the Ellis website).

Respect to all who go before us, but we agree, great teachers do not automatically mean great students. I think that covers all of us


p.s. apologies for the thread drift
Hi Mark. The ways of anyone else who does the 'resistive' Aikido or whatever the right term is I do not say that means lack of discipline. Someone who comes out of that training of that time and in turn is respected as a teacher is obviously very disciplined and able. As I have said before I respect and admire all forms of Aikido.

In my experience with any person from say a 'resistive' style of Aikido who get's stuck with doing technique on me it doesn't equal their way is wrong to me. It equals this particular person is lacking discipline somewhere. That's my thought process and it in no way equals they are wrong. It doesn't reflect on their teacher or their way either.

There are only two things I have to consider, are they trying to do it my way, according to my principles, or are they trying to do it their way, according to their teachers principles.

If the latter then I would ask them questions and listen. I will get to see how they are applying what their teacher tells them. Most times I usually see how they are thus not doing what their teacher says. I then correct, get them to focus on an aspect they appear to be missing and then they have successs. They usually brighten up and say'that's what he means' or 'that's how he does it'.

Inside I usually feel but don't say that their teacher has probably told them that a thousand times but they are not disciplining themselves enough on that outness.

All I care about in these circumstances is that they go back and get better at their Aikido and the answer if they want to follow that way is not by coming to learn my way but by being more disciplined with the principles of theirs.

I like seeing everyone good at their way. Enjoying their way.

I agree it doesn't mean all great teachers have great students and also that all great students don't necessarily have great teachers. But I do believe all great teachers and all great students have a certain discipline that others haven't yet adhered to or reached. That includes me also.

So rather than being oppressed or undermined may all sentient beings be free, (and disciplined ha, ha.)

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