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Old 10-16-2013, 10:25 PM   #13
Ellis Amdur
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 809
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Too much is made of Ueshiba - or Takeda - being beyond technique. There is rarely a moment in any film of Ueshiba where he is doing anything that is not a technique - ikkyo, iriminage, what-have-you. At no moment does he look like he's doing anything other than aikido. Just like all the "technique-oriented aikidoka" that are so fashionable to deride, Ueshiba trots out the same 12 or so techniques almost every moment he's on the mat. When he wants to show off, he pulls out some other Daito-ryu techniques that he hadn't taught anyone post-war.

Oh, how about Sagawa, the greatest man no one's seen. Actually, Kuroiwa Yoshio observed a class in the mid-1960's (albeit he didn't observe Sagawa himself). What were they doing? "I saw kaiten-nage and nikyo, while I was there. They weren't very good either."

Seriously, when Ueshiba was talking about being beyond technique, every account comes down to him doing something, and a student asking, "how did you do that?" and him making some grandiose statement, and doing it another way Not some chaotic whirlwind - he just did variations.

If Ueshiba really was anti-technique - or Takeda Sokaku - then there wouldn't be this huge legacy of techniques. They would have done something like I-ch'uan. I believe with some confidence that the internal strength conundrum from those in the aiki arts who possessed it, was more like taking an old car and replacing the engine and the gearing (and maybe, to handle the extra power, you'd need some new tires as well). But it was - and it remains - the same 1946 Packard.

Takemusu aiki is really an expression that meant "spontaneous technique," not "no technique." When Ueshiba did Takemusu aiki - it still looked like ikkyo and tenchinage and all the limited rest of the curriculum.

Now - that the techniques could be one ideal methodology to "work" internal strength training - that's an interesting concept. That true aikido - or Daito-ryu - lacks any techniques. I think that's a fantasy. That one could choose to train aiki without using Daito-ryu or aikido techniques? Sure. But I don't think there is any evidence that was what Ueshiba was doing.
Ellis Amdur

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