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Old 10-27-2013, 08:20 PM   #89
Stephen Nichol
Dojo: Aikilife, Canberra
Location: Canberra, ACT
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 90
Re: Can you truly understand budo without training in Japan?

Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
Well, I am going to ask you to clarify who or what you mean.
Alight, I did not think it would be necessary to do it in this thread. Most people on Aikiweb have been here long enough to know 'that conversation' and hopefully have used the 'search' feature of the forum. However the points contained to the statement made by Ueshiba Morihei 'Takeda opened my eyes to true budo' and that as I understand it he was referring to Takdeda's skill with Aiki (IP/IS/IT et al).

Granted we have to accept that Ueshiba's concept and understanding of what 'true budo' is correct and that was what Takeda opened his eyes to. It is difficult to not fall into the trap of 'grabbing one detail or thing someone said about a topic and building an entire point from it' however in this case..

Given that, the core of my point in this context is: Aiki is Budo. Aiki is a specific skill set of body work, not techniques of locks, pins, throws, weapons and so on. As others have stated on this forum and I agree with them: Aiki is the system/engine that powers and drives everything you do, whatever shape or form that your 'art' takes.

All 'arts' that contain 'Aiki' are methods that have 'wrapped' techniques around 'Aiki' to showcase how one can use it do all the stuff you may be interested in within all things considered 'martial arts.' The techniques can be considered an expression of Aiki.

1. Accept that there is a complete 'Aiki' skill set out there.
2. 'Assume' Takeda had it.
3. 'Assume' Ueshiba learned it from Takeda.
4. It would appear from many interviews and general observations made over the decades that not everyone learned the entire 'Aiki' skill set from both Takdeda or Ueshiba but did get parts of it.
5. Many systems have evolved from students of Takeda and Ueshiba (withing the context I am referring to here) that had some Aiki in them, the completeness of that is difficult to measure however when you read interview after interview, consider sources, context and so on... I for one get the distinct impression that many of the founders of these systems for many reasons, did not get the complete skill set for Aiki from their teachers.

Some had to go outside their parent art to get the core Aiki skills and try to get it back into the form of their art.

Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
I trained in Daito Ryu Aiki in Japan, so who do you consider are teaching disseminating this outside Japan?
Oisin, assuming your teacher learned 'aiki' as demonstrated by Takeda Sokaku, described abilities from all the interviews we can read about such abilities, and demonstrated them to you, explained them , taught them to you to the point were you are able to perform the same feats that Takeda Sokaku was known for... then you have been shown 'true budo' following in the same path as described by Ueshiba Morihei.

To be clear: I consider those who learn the Aiki skill set in its complete form, the 'internals' as it were, to the point of being able to perform the feats described that Takeda and Ueshiba demonstrated (not just the visible techniques either) and people who have felt them described in interviews that you can read on Aikido Journal.

With the Aiki skill set you can perform Budo (Stop Spear, or however you wish to interpret that) within whatever context you and the art you practice. I do not believe they are mutually exclusive. It is only that most often these days we see and learn the external expressions of Aiki/Budo and not the true driving skills inside it.

Once again, this is my opinion and position on this topic. If you believe that there has been a continuing separation or loss of transmission of the complete Aiki skill set within the art you are practicing, you can still practice the outside/external form while seeking the internal part from another source if necessary and then try to bring it back into the 'form' without having to give up on their art. That source for some will come from the most readily available area.

In my own personal situation the information came from this forum, lead to people like Dan Harden, from there to Gleason Sensei, Akuzawa and Sam Chin (3 out of 4 on my short list are not in Japan), any of their advanced students who possess what I understand and accept as 'Aiki' IS/IP etc. While I feel that my teachers possess some of the Aiki skill set, I have not experienced what I understand to be the complete set. Some of them understand this as well and actively seek out and study from other teachers in the tradition of having the mind of the 'continuous student'. I believe that Aiki skills as described to be an essential core to what I want to learn. I have decided to try and learn them along with the Aikido I practice and express it within that context.

I hope this clears up my thoughts and feelings on learning budo sources not in Japan.
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