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Old 05-17-2009, 09:17 AM   #42
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
....>snip<... but since it flies in the face of what a popular and supposed "historical expert" who refuses to debate his ill-founded conclusions and those who often quote him (in this very thread, in fact) as some sort of prophet and his works as some sort of prophet of biblical texts, I will keep them to myself for the time being. Too bad for those who find it much easier to accept the printed words of someone else rather than do their own research and challenge even the currently-held opinions and theories..
Hello Shaun
I have not read anything, anywhere, that sets Stanley up as a prophet. I take it you were just trying to accent the strength of your argument.
Actually I can remember balanced views of his research and also critiques of his interview and follow up-or more pointedly the lack thereof. The one thing He was credited for was that fact that he sought corroborating evidence and testimony. He checked out Student A's story with Student B and C. And that process proved enlightening when it stood against certain stories.
Another benefit to Stanley's process is that it blew up a lot of the anecdotal stories offered by single students who trained with one or two teachers-like you're own.;
...Again, I must disagree based upon what I have been told. Abe Sensei, being a personal student of the Founder after 1952....
.....I asked Abe Sensei about this specific thing
.....I have my own opinions about the details of this based upon what I was told...he did give me a list of very specific individuals who, in his mind at least were recipients of said transmission to some extent or another.
While we all appreciate everyone's loyalty to their teacher ,at a point it is foolish to let the experience of a single man training in 1952 define the art or the method spanning decades. It is equally false to let the experiences of a single man -say in 1938- be the defining voice as well.

Now let's add to that-that until Stanley showed up- everyone had buried their DR scrolls and were singing the Japanese "Go along- get along" song which had previously brought us a completely false idea of the origins of the art. Add to that the wonderful stories of O'sensei dodging bullets. Add to that the phases he himself went through. Add to that your VERY correct idea about just who was a real student and who was just passing through. Correct though it may be, do you really want to assign Abe, a single teacher, as the arbitor of who was who in 52'? I sure as hell don't.
Have you considered how many Sensei told how many of their students all the stories of their opinions and experiences with Ueshiba. Please tell me you are not this innocent! I have seen and heard of accounts of the feverishly devoted student, fiercely defending their own teachers version of Ueshiba's history -in the face of- the written evidence presented by Stanley.

Anecdotes are fun, and there are poignant stories worth preserving, but only a very foolish man would make a prophet of his own teacher and training experience without wondering how it pans out within a training / /teaching model lasting over forty years and several phases of a teachers growth.
I think most would agree that it was BECAUSE of Stan's research that we were privileged to see Ueshiba in a fuller light, spanning his career, if not most of his life. Something which we would have never seen. Was it ever meant to be a complete story? Stanley never said so. But as a record it helps to shape and /or place the anecdotes, fond memories, outright fabrications, romantic notions, assorted cold hard facts, and singular experiences in certain eras or phases of their training with Ueshiba in perspective.

I think Stan deserves some credit for that. And also the criticism he has gotten for not following up on some question or other after he received some bombshell answer in an interview. I remember (as so many others do) reading along with interest about some staggering piece of news from the interviewee, and then.... reading Stanley asking about how long a trip it was to go train. I wanted to reach across the pages and strangle him. You you find in all good writing.

FWIW, I have included a copy of my post below which stands in stark contrast to your notion of me painting Stanley as a prophet. It is a balanced view of the issues I just discussed above. Of the ides of single teachers of certain eras talking B.S. or being a stellar voice and us not having the means to counter or verify it. Or we can add your model in of students of single teachers talking about their (research) with their limited exposure to just certain teachers.
In closing have you ever once considered that teachers tell different stories to different people for different reasons, and how smart it is -were you interested in the teacher-to hear contrary views that a single student is unable to obtain?
Stories from your teacher are interesting, but as I said in the quote below, I gave up investing in what they "say" interesting or not, and instead look for corroboration at every turn.

Yes...many of us also caught the wink…at so many of the obfuscations about what they told us through the Eighties and nineties, till Stanley put them on the spot with contrary evidence.
About the deshi's actual training time with Ueshiba-which also proved highly suspect.
About them ever really being taught in detail or obversly- the fact that they when they said they didn't get it their techniques proved their words to be true.
The "wink" during all the obfuscations and what some consider outright lies about Daito ryu -that came by way of the Hombu. Including a Shihan telling me it no longer existed.
I gave up investing in what they "say" interesting or not, and instead look for corroboration at every turn. It's why I appreciated Stanley's method of research.

Last edited by DH : 05-17-2009 at 09:31 AM.