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Old 04-01-2003, 06:43 PM   #43
Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Mesa, AZ
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 199
Edward wrote:
...Now it is obvious, at least to me, that while Osensei produced such highly-skilled studenst with his non-methodical aikido teaching, the ones who established instructional systems such as Saito, Tohei, Tomiki, Shioda failed to produce any outstanding students of their own, I mean not as skilled or more skilled than themselves.
Aikido allows its practitioners to train (barring major physical ailments) right up until they DIE. While the above gentlemen were alive, they probably got attention for creating different systems, but were never associated with Ueshiba on a skill-to-skill basis. I doubt that they would have even allowed it (Japanese false modesty being the way it is) and these comments were probably made after they had passed (not Tohei, of course) by their students. Thing is, those students are now the bigger teachers, and they--in imitation of their Japanese forebears--also don't like to tell people how good they really are, and insist on talking about how good their teachers really were.

The other thing is to watch a movement as it grows, especially from a charismatic singular leader surrounded by a group of motivated and talented acolytes. First century Christianity had the same discussions, and broke into two camps, one obsessed with Jesus as God (later converted into the Greek idea of light, or Christ), the other obsessed with Jesus as ideal man (much like some Buddhist beliefs). Of course, the Jesus-as-God group took over the Roman Empire and killed any followers of the Jesus-as-ideal man group they could get their hands on.

Hopefully the dissent between these two groups as they relate to the founder of Aikido (yes, I am using lower case letters on purpose) will stay only on the internet, and will never lead to killing or brutalization. (If you think Western religion sucks in general, don't forget about the not-so-distant Zen group fighting within itself over succession rights. I forget their name, but they are Korean.)

Jim Vance
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