Thread: Chinkon Kishin
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:03 PM   #25
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,243
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

I think this is a very good and fruitful discussion, and one that I was not expecting when I wrote this particular column.

I purposely used three abstract nouns in the general title of the series, because there is considerable doubt as to what these actually mean, in the context of aikido. They are simply a peg on which to hang the preliminaries of an investigation.

Another general peg on which the series hangs is the thesis that Kisshomaru Ueshiba believed that it was his filial duty to disseminate a distinct art, called aikido.

However, whether Morihei Ueshiba saw things in quite the same terms is moot and a similar question could be asked of Sokaku Takeda, concerning his relationship with Ueshiba. Clearly, Morihei Ueshiba trained in Daito-ryu and the interesting issue at the level of waza is the degree to which these were changed by both Morihei himself and Kisshomaru.

Lurking behind the waza is the much more shadowy world of personal training and especially 'internal' training. It is clear that Takeda did this, as did his deshi including Ueshiba, but it is less clear to what extent we can talk of transmission and inheritance here. Morihei Ueshiba had been doing this training well before he met Sokaku Takeda at Engaru, but we do not really know how he conceptualized this at the time, even to himself. We know more about the period after he met Deguchi and Kisshomaru somewhere states that his waza became more powerful as a result of meeting Deguchi. After he met Deguchi, Ueshiba began to read works like Reikai Monogatari and thus found a vehicle to express (to himself as much as to others) what he was doing.

The reason why World War II is so important for aikido is that the old Oomoto formulas were swept away and it is highly likely that the training was also sanitized. Not completely done away with, however, but the main question about Kisshomaru and his associates at the postwar Hombu is how much of the baby was thrown out with the bath water.

Best wishes to all,

P A Goldsbury
Kokusai Dojo,
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