View Single Post
Old 02-27-2012, 07:33 PM   #21
Ellis Amdur
Ellis Amdur's Avatar
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 904
Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Sorry to jump back to a previous portion of the thread, but several questions are raised by the question of roppo (not that I have answers).

1. When Ueshiba said, "In footwork there is an external six directions and an internal six directions as well as an outer spiral and an internal spiral, this will be taught in practice," did he keep his "promise." In other words, did he actually explicitly teach this, or was it that he manifested it and assume those worthy would "steal" it - or absorb by osmosis.
2. As Lee Saltzman pointed out earlier, (with my caveat in italics) there's not doubt that the core complete skills of qi and jin and tantien, etc., are the same, in the same way that there is a discipline of physics or mathematics. But . . . Each martial art may emphasize a circumscribed subset of those skills. That may be all they know. That may be what they choose to emphasize. We cannot clearly determine exactly what Ueshiba meant by HIS roppo. There's no doubt in my mind, whatsoever, that he is referencing the same general material that is described in the Chen t'ai chi text, but that doesn't mean he meant the same thing in detail. In other words, they were both talking about physics (a term used as a metaphor, here), maybe even quantum physics, but one might have been using a cyclotron and the other a Large Hadron Collider.
3. As Takeda was almost illiterate, it is unlikely that he referenced this literature, that O-sensei nearly quotes at times (not the Chen manual, which was not accessible, even to most Chinese, but the general Chinese literature). Did Ueshiba find this literature (remember that the Misogikai practices were, in fact, an extracted and rewritten into Shinto version of Chinese training texts, at least in part, but they were almost surely Shaolin-type texts) later, recognize it and say, "here's a document for what I've been doing!" OR, was this literature so common amongst educated Japanese (Kiichi Hogen certainly was - heck, I knew about his legends) that it was something he'd read about and then "had his eyes opened to true budo" when he physically experienced it? Or - uh-oh - there's always the danger that he did what so many do - he got a some level of physical skill and then, because the terms sounded right, (and given their historical cachet, sounded cool), said, "that's what I'm doing."

With all his students, why didn't he produce equals or superiors if he did teach this in practice?

Ellis Amdur

  Reply With Quote