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Old 12-13-2006, 08:56 AM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
Re: aiki ethics and internal training

Jeff Miller wrote:
(i'm sure this has been covered before, but probably in a thread i've not seen...)

i was thinking about the discussions about whether or not osensei held back some of the internal aspects of his own practice of aikido, particularly post-war. and there's this:
Hello Jeff!
I'm not sure it's been covered in its own thread, but I've seen bits and pieces of what you posted covered elsewhere.

Jeff Miller wrote:
pre-war he seems to have required that any deshi go thru a lengthy, and from what i understand: sometimes rigorous, screening process. attendent to this, it appears that many of the sensei that some folks (mike, etc.) say show internal abilities are primarily pre-war and during-war deshi.

after the war, aikido opened up to the world, and suddenly there seems to be less emphasis on (or at least demonstrations of) internal abilities from the deshi.
I don't really know a lot. Especially pre-war/war students and how they trained. But, when you get into post war, then you start to get into the period where his son, Kisshomaru, took over. I don't know about most people, but that is not a job I'd ever look forward to accepting. You are following in the footsteps of a martial art giant, you have senior students still around (Tomiki, Shioda, etc), and you are contending with the legacy of a newly developed martial art.

Ueshiba, K. had some very tough decisions and probably a very tough life in regards to Aikido. The decisions he made truly affected the world, although I don't know if he understood the complete ramifications at that time. And the split with Tohei didn't help matters at that time.

Now? I don't know. I would venture to say that what he did was probably the best decision in regards to the future of Aikido. While there were fractures and splits and some schools are far removed from the main, Aikido not only survived but it gained momentum and popularity.

Jeff Miller wrote:
over all of this time, osensei seemed to have been increasingly developing his spiritual-ethical emphasis (i.e. it was always there, and seems to have gotten stronger over time).

given that there are some arguments floating around out there that many interal masters are cautious about who they share those abilities with for ethical-moral reasons (as well as others: familial, business, etc. but since osensei had this ethical emphasis, i'll stick to that in his case):

is it possible that osensei was selective (less so, perhaps, pre-war; more so post) about whom he shared that stuff with? (attendent to this of course: it could be possible that some sensei are also selective about sharing what they know, etc.) so, he created an art in which, if practed reasonably well, would develop enough internal strength, but would not necessarily give them the abilities he demonstrated, which he would argue could too easily be used for "evil" purposes. all the while, of course, he argued the ethical-spiritual thrust, and designed the techniques he maintained and created to represent and nurture this thrust.
I think that if one wants to understand the spiritual aspect of Ueshiba and understand the "ethical" or "moral" aspects, one should go to Japan. It's like reading how an apple tastes as opposed to biting into an apple. You can read all the books you want, but that won't give you as much insight into Japanese culture as actually being there. And while one bite won't give you the whole range of what all apples taste like, it can certainly help eliminate a lot of what apples don't taste like.

In other words, American values/definitions for "spiritual", "ethical", "moral", etc are definitely not equally applied to Japanese values/definitions. Until that experience is felt first hand, IMO, one can talk/write/read all day long but not get anywhere close. Course, that's my opinion only.

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