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Old 06-23-2007, 11:42 PM   #1055
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,511
Re: Baseline skillset

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
...If you tell me you didn't mean me -in your comments about the Chinese arts- then that's good enough for me. I care more about your intended meaning aynway.
I understand that you have a daito-ryu and kenjutsu background, though you have talked a good bit about training with some Chinese-style masters. What I meant to say (and I think if you look back at the post you referenced, it will be clear) is that a lot of the feats and skills described in the internal mechanics discussions sound more like Chinese performances than like Japanese performances.

It is true that Ueshiba did that thing where several people would push him and not move him. Also Tohei. But I pointed out one example of where Tohei was moved. And Mochizuki sensei never once demonstrated that kind of standing against attempts to move him. It might have been his time with Mifune, but he always moved--and dropped the guy who was pushing him. And speaking of Mifune, when someone once asked him, "I'm younger, stronger and, realistically, faster than you. Why is it you always beat me?" Mifune answered, "It's simple: you take two steps, I take one."

The fact that Tohei could be moved in certain demonstrations, under certain circumstances doesn't detract from his status as an aikido master. And therefore, I just don't think that those skills are really the essence of aikido. Not to say they're immaterial. I recently met a fellow whose wife is Japanese. Her uncle is an aikido teacher in Japan and my friend was very impressed that this uncle of his wife's could sit on his butt, raise both feet in the air and let you push him by the head--but you couldn't move him. So there's a definite stream of that within aikido, but Mochizuki, who goes back to way before it was ever called aikido, didn't see fit to include it in what he was doing, whatever that means.

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
As far as training with people who have trained with Ueshiba? Why yes I have-many times..With the latest meeting offerring some extremely surprising comments about this very topic for both me and others in the room. Not that it really matters. Those who already know the truth ...already know. I think most others really don't want to know anymore.
I'm aware that my experience is neither the baseline nor the outer border. I know that it has limits and those limits are not necessarily permanent. I have no rank or organizational standing to defend, so I have no reason not to learn whatever is true. I hope you will expound on those comments without restraint.

Best to you.


"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"
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