Thread: Why no tsuba?
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:21 PM   #168
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: Why no tsuba?

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
This is going to continue to come up thread after thread because it is generally felt that there are people here talking way over their paygrade...thread after thread. They don't "hear" themselves in light of more experienced people in Budo.
Many people who have skills either ignore this tripe or are sort of outraged that these people see themselves with any qualities that would add relevance to many discussions here. More so that they are teaching people this stuff in the name of Aikido or Budo. It's dangerously inept. People keep bringing it up out of concern for the community at large, for Aikido's integrity, and for general safety-particularly with weapons.

I have been trying to tell you this for a year or so. Saying those videos were not demonstrations but rather some sort of mumbo jumbo of making a point in class that none of us are capable of seeing fails on its face. You are talking to a room full of teachers, many with far more experience than you. FWIW, there is no reason, none what-so-ever, for any lesson in any class what-so-ever to engender the type of movement you display with a weapons, for any reason in a budo. From our stand point; the way you hold a sword, handle a sword, swing a sword, your maai, your entry, your placement, your hasuji, your footwork is totally wrong. I would be the first to give you affirmation when I can see anything that is:
  • Traditionally correct
  • Martially correct
  • or even mechanically sound.

Most of us have talked about it and just can't find anything relating to weapons. If you want to present a case that all of your videos are you showing every single thing that one could do wrong with a sword as THEE lesson...then you may have a point. Otherwise, I think you are harming yourself and your own reputation in a community of very capable and even expert adepts in weapons use. For those who care about the safety, veracity and competent use of weapons they will continue to challenge what you say and allegedly know, in light of what you show.
You seem a nice fellow. Take this as a word to the wise.

For the community at large
This is yet another case where you need to step up and do some self monitoring. Every day that you sit idle and grant and acknowledge equanimity of view to just anyone in your art....much less a yet another day that you continue to see people leaving your art in droves world over. Attendance is down, the reputation of the at is down. As four Shihan-unrelated- said to me this year; "Aikido is all but dead." Bill Gleason said "Aikido has become a disgrace" and he told me to quote him. You guys need to step up and make some sort of standard that will bear testing in the internet era. I think Aikido should be one of the most powerful arts the world has seen with it's aiki and principles intact, being able to work cross platform with anyone. I can use it that way....and every one of you should have that as your goal and take the art back to the level last seen in Morihei Ueshiba.
FWIW, generally accepted equanimity, in opinion, unhindered and unrestrained is the chief reason many of the truly competent people will no longer offer anyone advice here. Their voices are drowned in a sea of meaningless and even dangerous advice.
As Fred Little stated:
There are a number of very skilled and knowledgeable practitioners who simply don't post at all because doing so exposes them to endless streams of mindless rejoinders from ill-informed, poorly trained, and notably unaccomplished practitioners who are suffering from meta-cognitive failure to such an extreme degree that the result calls to mind the old proverb about the inadvisability of wrestling pigs......

Day by day you make your arts reputation, you make your aikiweb experience.
Mmmm. Think you're missing the point once again. The thread is tsuba and the thrust of my comments I related to my old teacher and what I witnessed. I witnessed such comments as yours then so it's all old news to me.

Looks like I witnessed and experienced what you haven't by the looks of things. That means nothing really but alas I thought it may be interesting to hear another side of the coin.

If I took up some other sword art no doubt I would learn various nuances and techniques etc. but as I said this isn't about me.

He did things with the sword and bokken I doubt you could come close to. Some things I witnessed you would only find in some book of fiction. Thus I have seen potential. By a man with all of his fingers and knuckles still intact who didn't use a tsuba.

Then we come to the point of what he taught. Once again I witnessed 'others opinions of what should be versus his demonstration. He demonstrated with ease whilst they were lost for it didn't fit with what they knew. So you and your experts views may well fall into this category.

I heard his explanations so have a handle on what his 'secret' was, which in fact is no secret but as he said a failure of others to understand the relationship of Aikido and the sword.

He did say one of the tests he had to pass in his learning of such skills however which I will leave up to you swordsmen out there to recognise, or not, It involved a piece of paper. Now, if you are aware of such a test you can tell me what it involved. I'm sure I couldn't do that one as yet along with the fact that I don't personally have or train with a live blade.

Once again doing. What I saw him do I don't see anywhere near that on videos, aikido videos.

I've heard him explain to those from other arts how without shin shin toitsu as he called it then 90% of what they learned technically was a waste of time. By shin shin toitsu he was talking in the realms of sen no sen etc.

Didn't I read somewhere recently something written by you where you were explaining how you were just learning how the bokken returns to center after cutting or bounces back to so to speak? Didn't I read somewhere how you now make the end of a weapon 'heavy' via your experiments with your 'aiki'?

Do you consider this new?

Don't worry yourself about my reputation thank you based on what I show for I show nothing to astound or impress others, purposely I might add.

People leaving in droves? Maybe in the U.S. or big organizations so I suggest they look at themselves. London has many various Aikido styles and clubs all over the place. But hey, doomsday merchants arise in all fields of activity, nothing new there, especially ones who consider they are the elite. Standard procedure. Politics.

Anyway, you enjoy your challenging but more importantly just focus on what you do and have success and may all you teach learn well.