It's probably a fair question to ask Mark his qualifications to doubt things from a VOE column.
But be careful about calling BS, Cliff, Makr has done his homework and spent tens of thousands of dollars on research including hands on testing. Secondly, I might suggest you're going to get bit on many levels when hundreds of teachers and shihans happen to agree with what Mark (and I) are saying.
Mark and now over a thousand others have been in rooms, some with up to four Shihan present from different affiliations and they keep seeing it happen over and over. Mark, is not being cagey, about what he has personally seen happen, he is being extremely polite.
I am NEVER going to name names. There are far too many people who have been present in open rooms during some pretty dramatic goings on.
I don't consider this adversarial. Both the research and the results are compelling enough that more and more Aikido teachers are out pursuing many...I say again...many, venues that offer this type of teaching.
Lack of awareness of the pedagogy of the things being discussed is of course troubling within the discussion. The research has to take place on your part. Of course there is a vetting process that needs to be undertaken by those in doubt. I suggest it take place both academically and physically
To try an answer your questions, I will offer one last time:
Ueshiba's training models and exercises were not his
His descriptions were not his
Many/most of his sayings were edited versions of pre-existing internal training dogma
The sum total of his words on training and expression are echos of other works describing internal training. It is no coincidence that the arts containing the same terminology and sayings he was quoting and borrowing from also created what???
Budo giants with unusual strength.
Aiki and awase again
The classic model was aiki as a union of opposites-BEFORE- awase. It is in my tag line from Shirata -yet another giant.
1. Place the immovable body (there is that nagging Ueshiba example again eh?)
2. Into an an invincible position (awase)
As far as understanding goes I continue to pose questions.
How did Ueshiba generate this power with a tree? By "fitting in" with the tree?
How did he stop Tenryu? By fitting in with him? He didn't do anything.
Why did he do push testing? Was that awase?
What was he doing?
How did his description of Heaven/earth/man fit in with a push test?
What is Mountain echo?
Who can do it?
Why did he answer that aiki was a circle with opposing forces?
Why did the things he was saying appear from famous Swordsman after training at the Katori shrine in 1451 who also claimed..... it gave him power?
Explain his answer regarding dual opposing spirals?
Why are there hundreds of men in the ICMA who use the same terms Ueshiba used who have....wait...unusual soft power?
How did this happen, Cliff?
If teachers really understand what Ueshiba was talking about, then why do THEY feel like anyone else I can pull off the street anywhere in the world. Yet, those of us you are debating continue to exhibit a growing unusual strength and soft power to one degree or another. You know, the qualities more in keeping with many of the things Ueshiba was noted for?
How is this happening over and over Cliff and the number of people doing it...are growing?
Could it possibly be because we in fact do know what we are talking about? Has that thought crossed your mind?
Qualifications come in many forms. Cliff. The most telling being what people can actually do. Our understanding in budo, resides in our hands, not in our teachers, not in our "years-in," not in our keyboards...but in our hands.
So, if we remove waza from the equation, and someone feels very powerful and freakishly soft, compelling and controlling,
Someone claims understanding they feel as normal as anyone else...what does that REALLY say about both their understanding?
Dan, you always have some very interesting ideas in your posts, but there is never anything factual in there. Ideas, rhetorical questions, appeals to emotion, claims that yours is the only true way, but no details as to what you actually do or how you got to where you are. Now, I have it on good account that what you are doing is good stuff and probably worthwhile. So I want to be clear that I am only talking about what you say here. And how you say it.
My problem is that you use Ueshiba to brand your product. You do not seem to have been granted that right by a trusted authority. You are certainly not the first martial artist to do this, and I don't think it is a big deal in and of itself. Maybe kind of tacky, a little pandery, but whatever.
The thing is that you only seem to discuss ideas in general terms on the forums, and you are aggressively competitive against ideas that are different than yours. Again, I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with asking tough questions, having conversations about differing viewpoints, etc.
But the intersection of these two things is something I find I have a big problem with. You are claiming that what you do has something to do with what Ueshiba did. You claim that it is more like
what Ueshiba was doing than a typical student could find in an Aikido dojo. You have positioned yourself as a gatekeeper to "the truth." But you don't have any credentials. And then you are dismissive and rude to anybody who hasn't shown up at your seminars and been blessed as a member of your circle. Their ideas are wrong, or at least less right than yours are. What they are doing is "martial arts," they will be owned with a quickness if they move that way, etc. And these people often HAVE credentials.
So it is this combination of wrapping yourself in Ueshiba's fundoshi to market your product, while at the same time running roughshod over people who have put time in with Ueshiba, or Ueshiba's direct students, that seems wrong to me. We're getting into things like here like, "Ueshiba's true Aiki" has nothing to do with connection or making oneself open (and ha-ha Japanese sound funny when they try to talk in English).
I dunno, could you maybe show some more respect and be more inclusive when you come onto this board? Why not highlight the common ground between your view of connection and the view of AWASE here, rather than taking it apart? I figure it should try asking...