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Old 03-31-2005, 05:33 PM   #15
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

Mr Krause,

I know that you practice Korindo, but the first poster asked some fairly specific questions about aikido and this was the reason for my first answer.

I am aware that there are other meanings of the term. Takeo Doi wrote a whole book on the subject (Omote to Ura, published by Kobundo in 1985, English translation: The Anatomy of Self, published by Kodansha in 1986). However, I doubt that the penetrating description of these terms as applied to Kashima Shinryu, given by Karl Friday, applies to aikido. For a start, Morihei Ueshiba himself never used the terms, or their cognates irimi and tenkan, and in his douka stated that there were no hidden aspects of aikido.

I am sure that you can look at the whole structure of aikido in terms of omote aspects and ura aspects and some teachers, such as the late Seigo Yamaguchi, used to practise in a way that beginners found very difficult to understand. Could one apply the term 'ura' to Yamaguchi Sensei's aikido? Perhaps, but Yamaguchi Sensei himself used to say that he was doing basics.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
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