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Old 12-23-2010, 07:24 AM   #305
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

I think George's post (#294) was great. Worth re-reading.

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
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George Ledyard wrote:
The internal power training which has been discussed at length is about focusing on oneself and bringing the various components of the mind-body into an integrated state. It is largely a solo endeavor, although I really appreciate the way Dan H teaches many of the exercises under load with a partner. Anyway, you are not trying to do anything to anyone else. You are integrating yourself.
For fighting effectiveness.
No.

There's a misunderstanding here. Daito ryu aiki (which = the aiki that Ueshiba's had which = a physical body skill) is a changing of the body to allow the body to work at a very fundamentally different manner than normal. This aiki isn't a "tool" and isn't a "technique" as most of the world defines those terms. The exercises of aiki rewire and rebuild a body to internally work differently such that the aiki body is a more "martial" body.

That isn't to say it can *not* be used in other venues, but someone with aiki who then proceeds to learn a martial system will stand out significantly. The very real and important point here is that aiki, by itself, will not create a martial artist, a fighter, a boxer, etc. One must learn those martial systems.

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
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George Ledyard wrote:
But O-Sensei changed the form of the practice to focus on these principles and the trans-formative effect on the individual of integrating oneself with these principles. It was meant to be a spiritual practice.
ONCE he became proficient technically speaking.
Not really. Look back at the timeline. Ueshiba first started training with Takeda in 1915 but it wasn't extensive. He moves to train with Deguchi in 1920. Then in 1922, he trains extensively with Takeda for about 6 months. By 1922, he had two years with Takeda and two years with Deguchi. He was already intertwining aiki with spirituality. By the 1930s, he had at least 7 years of devoted training using both. It wasn't a matter that he became technically proficient first. He became proficient in both at the same time.

There's more than a few pre-war students from the Kobukan era who are quoted saying that they didn't understand Ueshiba's lectures. And it was debated whether Ueshiba was his best pre-war or post-war. However, some talk about his power and how he felt like lightning/electricity in pre-war and then some talk about how ghost-like and soft he was in post-war.

I think Ueshiba changed both his techniques and his spiritual ideology throughout his life. But, he did so with both technical and spiritual as one entity, starting from the beginning.

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
There is for me and I'm not O Sensei. Do you really believe that it took him 50 years of rigorous training to begin to even understand Ikkyo? Was he that bad?
No, he wasn't that bad. But, both aiki and spirituality are an ever evolving entity. Throughout the Japanese arts and the Chinese arts, those martial artists who had aiki continued to talk about how they kept progressing and getting "stronger" (budo or martial strong, not physical) even as they aged.

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
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George Ledyard wrote:
Anyway, you become what you train. If you take the idea that you can just focus on technique and spiritual thing will come later, you will inevitably hit a dead end in which your technique stops progressing because the limiting factor will no longer be something physical. You can see this in innumerable high level practitioners. Their stuff hasn't changed in years and years because the focus of their training was outward on technique and how one could apply it to defeating an opponent outside oneself. A inward focus, both technical and spiritual, gives one the freedom to keep developing technically indefinitely. That's why O-Sensei's Aikido at the end of his life didn't look like what he did in his fifties and didn't look like what most of his students ended up doing. He kept changing, they didn't. They never understood his spiritual ideas and how they related to the practice and chose instead to master the form but not the content.
I cannot agree with you here too. So I need the spiritual to keep progressing in my technique? Does it work too for Chess or Civil Engineering? Sorry but no. No.
We're talking martial arts, not engineering or games. And I think George is stating that focusing solely on techniques as it relates to defeating an opponent will only get you so far. I think he's right. Even Kodo said his art was formless. These men worked on becoming the best that they could be and IMO that focus was derived by physically changing their body, mentally changing their minds, and by changing spiritually. Ueshiba just took it to the extreme in the spirituality area.

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
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George Ledyard wrote:
Of course, there is a continuum I am talking about. Some teachers freed themselves more from technical restraints of form and pursued some notion of a spiritual underpinning and others seemed almost entirely uninterested. But it is clear to me that O-Sensei's Aikido was meant to reveal the truth of non-separation, of the essential interconnectedness of things. Technique was a tool for that study. If ones interest is in fighting, all ones training starts with the fundamentally dualistic mindset that virtually precludes understanding this fact that way the Fonder understood it.
You mean then than prewar students did not understand a thing. Frankly, what's the different between those prewar deshi's techniques, the pictures of Noma Dojo, and Iwama Ryu's? Where is that technical progress?
The pre-war students had just as much a hard time understanding Ueshiba's spiritual talks as the post-war students did. Few got it. That's a fact. That isn't to say they didn't understand a thing. They got something from Ueshiba -- a bit of aiki. It only takes a quick glance at people like Shioda, Tomiki, and Mochizuki to see that they didn't really, totally agree with Ueshiba's spiritual ideology or how he changed things.

Techniques are a completely different thing. Anyone can mimic techniques. Look at the Ohio students who studied diligently from books and then showed up at a Tohei seminar. Tohei was impressed with what they had done. Look at Kisshomaru stating that it should only take a couple of years to learn techniques. In a cooperative training environment such as Modern Aikido, anyone can mimic the techniques. For 40 years, we have proven that true. However, that is not the same as doing the techniques as Ueshiba did them. The form is the same but the function is completely different.

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
For what purpose were Aikido techniques created? Were they created by O Sensei? Or they predate him by hundreds of years? Were they not created to defeat and prevail in armed and unarmed confrontation?
Ueshiba changed and modified the Daito ryu syllabus for his own personal, spiritual goals. Those were created by Ueshiba, yes. Do they look similar to Daito ryu techniques? yeah. Are they the same? No. Even Ueshiba is quoted as saying that he hated teaching at the military schools because it was all about winning and killing.

Looking back to the demonstration where Ohba, as uke, changed his attacks to be completely realistic, we can see Ueshiba having to revert back to *other* things than what he wanted to show. Ueshiba was furious about it, too. That was not his aikido. And it didn't look like any other demonstration he had given.

Compare Daito ryu and aikido techniques with koryu jujutsu techniques. Why are they different? Compare Sagawa with Ueshiba. Why was Sagawa not impressed with Ueshiba's "techniques"? Why was Mochizuki not happy with Ueshiba when Ueshiba changed and altered techniques? Why did Tomiki try to add some sort of "competitive" element? Why was Shioda's school chosen for the police but Modern Aikido wasn't? Did not Ueshiba teach at many military schools? What changed?
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