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Old 03-14-2001, 08:16 AM   #51
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,319
Thanks for the heads up on this Jun however it looks like other Tomiki stylists have covered the base fairly well. As you know (and the probable reason for the notice) I spent four years doing Shodokan Aikido in Japan, three at Honbu, and continue to teach and train in the style along with forays into Aikikai.

I would like to emphasize a few points.

"Americanized Tomiki Bullshit"
I must say that this reflects a profound ignorance not only of Aikido history but budo in general. Stanley Pranin of Aikido Journal has written a good summary of Kenji Tomiki althouth there are some points I would add.

Lets just say that after 30 years with Ueshiba Kenji Tomiki introduced competition into Aikido. The push for this was a successful attempt to reintroduce Aikido into the university system. Much Budo and especially Aikido was looked upon with suspicion considering it's links with the military and convicted war criinals (Tojo studied Aikido). There was no complete break with Ueshiba over this although the latter had strong misgivings. For example, Tomiki taught at Aikikai Honbu for several more years, was present at Tohei's ninth dan party and I have a tape were the current head of the style is demonstrating at an Aikikai function in 1989. Tomiki's introduction of his system to Kansai Universities was only possible through the support of Aikikai's Kobyashi Shihan and in fact the latter provided further training to Tomiki's chosen successor.

The whole idea of competition and tanto randori is to fill a void left by only practicing kata. It is not knife fighting - the tanto stike's purpose is to provide a strong linear attack. It is also not combat. It is one of many training tools whose lessons are applied to all your Aikido.

One of the most constant arguments against competition is the winning over everything mindset. This also demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of what competition is all about. If the latter reason was all there was too it why enter a competition you know you will loose. We see competition as providing a forum for testing technique and yourself under stress. It is a real eye opener and contrary to some assertations - an ego destroyer. I have seen some ripe egos within non-compeditive organizations mainly because their illusions are never challenged.

Part of the mental struggle is to recognize and contain the negative aspects of competition. Last summer I attended the US Nationals in Virginia and I am very glad to say that our American cousins understand this very well. Good fun, good training, well I was about to say good beer but that would be pushing it.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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