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Old 12-23-2010, 04:18 PM   #311
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
No. He did not. I just say that prewar exponents' techniques and Iwama Ryu's techniques are very similar. And all of them very different from all that's in the middle (chronologically speaking).

I don't buy that those in the middle are/were doing what O Sensei taught them. What was that about nobody trying to do O Sensei's Aikido?
Kihon Waza is kihon waza. Saotome Sensei's kihon waza is pretty much the same kihon waza as the Yoshinkan / Iwama folks, with minor differences. The question is really whether it all stops there or keeps going. Both Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei do their Aikido on an entirely different basis when they are not just teaching basics. Each can manifest technique in a multitude of ways depending on the purpose at the time.

Saito Sensei saw his mission as preserving O-Sensei's Aikido, as he was taught that Aikido. Repeatedly one would hear later deshi saying that if one wished to know how a technique was done earlier by the Founder, one should ask Saito Sensei. Saito Sensei even walked around when teaching with a little book of O-Sensei's technique, saying "See, I didn't change a thing!".

While valuable for the rest of us to have a moment of Aikido history frozen in time that we can refer back to, I do not think that this is what O-Sensei had in mind. He was on the record as saying that one can get trapped by technique and to be wary lest that happened. Many of the post war greats, like Yamaguchi Seigo, worked out their own Aikido. To me that is the point. To work out your own Aikido and keep working it out until you pass away. Everyone who limits himself to imitating someone else's Aikido inevitably falls short. Only if you add something from your own investigations into the mix and make that Aikido truly your own can you hope to go as far or farther than ones own teacher. Only that way can the art grow rather than shrink with each generation.

Not one of Saotome Sensei's students looks like him, not Ikeda Sensei and not any of the rest of us. And Sensei is quite overtly proud of that fact. He taught us how to train but didn't try to tell us what to train. He left that for us to find out. Each of his students has taken a different path on that journey, and the best of them will leave Aikido with something that is his or her unique contribution.

As far as I am concerned, that is the process as it should be.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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