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Old 03-31-2012, 03:11 PM   #111
Tom Verhoeven
Dojo: Aikido Auvergne Kumano dojo
Location: Auvergne
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 295
Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Henry Sim wrote: View Post
There is hope. Please see my Introduction when I just join Aikiweb. O-sensei was not good in transmitting what he knew. Is that consider good or bad teacher is beside the point. His students did not get what he truly trying to teach and that is Aiki as demonstrated in his writings.O-sensei consider technique in itself is secondary, hence he do the same technique differently when he teach. But thru his writings he has said that Aikido without Aiki is not Aikido (something to that effect). He also said something like "when he turn around and thought his students were following him but saw no one there". Evidently, he was disappointed. Even to this day, the main focus of most (notice I said most and NOT all) modern teachers and students are in technique which is Ai-Do and not Aikido and miss the main focus of what O-Sensei was trying to teach. When O-Sensei's student ask him why is it that they cannot do what he does, his answer was "you do not understand Aikido". One other thought, O-Sensei's is very powerful, not because he has muscles or because he was built like a giant but because he uses Aiki to generate power to his technique. How many modern teachers can do that .... very very few. The good news is that more and more teachers in Japan and other countries are beginning to realize that and have made effort to "empty their cup so as to add more tea". In time, all students in Aikido will definitely learn Aikido and not just Ai-Do.
"When O-Sensei's student ask him why is it that they cannot do what he does, his answer was "you do not understand Aikido".

This sounds like a familiar quote of Henry Kono. I have come across this quote on Aiki web before, but it was a little bit different (shows how a story at times develops into something else entirely, a bit like with urban myths).
I met Henry Kono the first time in 2000, when I had invited him to come over and give a weekend seminar in the Netherlands. During class he told the story how one day he decided to ask O Sensei a question that was in his mind for quite a while. He had seen what O Sensei did and he had looked carefully at what his students (including himself) did and to him it was not the same thing. So he asked O Sensei "Why can't we do what you can do?" O Sensei answered him; "Because you do not understand Yin and Yang". After class in a private conversation with Henry I questioned this remark by O Sensei. And Henry Kono told me; "Yes, you are right, he did not use the words Yin and Yang. In reality O Sensei told me that we could not do what he did because we did not understand Izanagi and Izanami. But most people do not understand this. So I simplified it into Yin and Yang". And this is how he still explains it in his seminars and on his dvd's.
Yin and Yang can be compared to Izanagi and Izanami. But it is not exactly the same.

As far as transmitting knowledge is concerned, a good student does not depend on explanations, sometimes simply hinting at the right direction will do.

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