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Old 07-09-2003, 10:35 PM   #18
David Yap
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 561
Re: Saito sensei's path was wrong?

Dear Jorgen,
Jorgen Matsi (Jorx) wrote:
I heard a -rumor- and I would want to know weather it is true or just a bad rumor. And comments and details about it.

Well I HEARD (what a bad start) that a while after Saito sensei's passing his son, who is now the head of Iwama-ryu made a statement that Saito's ways were a mistake or a failure and that Iwama-ryu is not "the real thing".

Any comments?

Would really appreciate it 'cause one shouldn't let such rumors roam around if not true.


Riveta Sportsclub
By your post, you appear to me that you have little understanding of aikido or the martial arts. If you do, you would not be too concerned with these "rumours". Your thread is "Saito sensei's path was wrong?" Do you know or can you explain in your own thought what exactly is Saito sensei's path?

I commenced my training in aikido in 1994. I have been training in Shotokan karate since 1972 (15 years young). Though Shotokan karate as taught by Japan Karate Association is very much sports orientated - it has one of the best methodology of teaching and passing the essence of the art to future generations (provided one trains ones remaining lifetime). Saito sensei's path is just that - passing on the essence of aikido as was taught to him by O sensei. The essence is deeply buried in the roots - The Basics. If you cannot master the basics you cannot move forward. I have trained with various Aikikai instructors in my country, each has his own perceptions of aikido - and each teaches according to his perceptions and understandings of the art and the danger of such teachings is that both "right" & "wrong" perceptions are passed down by students who have not acquired the skill of "filtering". In some dojo, the students are not allowed to ask questions, the students are told to observe and memerick the teacher's movements (feelings and understandings will come naturally if you continue to train so they say).

I remember the first time I entered the aikido dojo, I could not flow with the footwork after years of karate training and the teacher wisely said "empty the cup and fill it again". In our local aikikai style association, we sometime had inter-dojo training - the teacher would take his group of students to train another teacher and his group with the association. Strangely, some of the techniques that we learned in our dojo did not flow (work) when practising with the other group and vice-versa. The teachers' explanation was that some certain techniques require the nage and uke to feel and understand each other first (it will work if both students continue to train together) - to me, that's sound like "choreography" and bulls***. I was very lucky when I had the opportunity to train with Steve Ng sensei a 3rd dan Iwama-ryu stylist in 1997. After watching our practise, he told us to empty our cups again and some of us did so with much sceptical and reservation. He showed us the Jo and Ken suburi, the footwork and postures when executing these suburi and how the same footwork and postures are applied in our techniques. For 3 months, he taught us basic, basic and basic and surprisely, that was the key requirement for any technique to work and at any dojo. The shame was that after Ng sensei returned to Australia, the aikikai style instructors reverted to their own preferred way of instructions - "in my dojo, there is only one way - My Way" attitude. Why?? Selfish reason ($$) or just different perception.

After a 5 years of arm-chair aikido, I am back in the dojo but the situation is still status quo. So, it is back to "Oss sensei!! Hai sensei!!" - just a physical exercise. "Unlucky" for us locally, there is no Iwama way of instruction to take to the level of Takemusu Aikido. For new student after learning the rolls and break-falls, it is "Takemusu Aikido" and a DIY perception of the Art. I am just wondering that some of them will still be trying to figure out why or how it work at their dying beds.

Most magicians will not disclosure their tricks for the fear of losing their patrons. Saito sensei not only showed us the magic of aikido as was taught to him by O sensei but also how and why they work. At a certain time, you should be able to differentiate a showman from a true teacher.

For what have been said, no apology is needed to all the showmen out there.


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