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Old 07-20-2011, 10:27 PM   #78
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: The Word "Aikido"

Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Conceded, but I set myself up for that.

O'Sensei certainly didn't shy away from the attention he got. But, as Greg Steckel (hi, sorry for third person reference ) brings up, was his son not the more active party in actually driving it to him? And as for his words, due to the efforts of his son, are we not in fact looking at a scrubbed squeaky-clean of Omoto-kyo references version of what he said, and then pumped through a layer of English translation with all the capacity for misunderstanding, rather than what he actually said?

It is background information, but sometimes I think there needs to be more active reality checking on incoming people. How many teachers have the balls and the firm sense of introspection to tell a student, who comes to them because of interest in O'Sensei's character, notions of being as skillful as O'Sensei, that, well, if you study my aikido, you will probably never become anything like O'Sensei, because, well, I have no idea how to be anything like him either. O'Sensei was talked of so reverently without qualification that, by everyone, that I always got the opposite vibe. I never heard that reality check from any of my teachers, but it is what I wish I had heard. Eventually I figured it out myself, but it's a hard comedown from that realization and not easy to come to in the first place.
The data given to do with his son promoting is no doubt partly true and to me obvious but the difference I see is that O'Sensei wanted it for he wanted to spread it as he believed the world needed it. So no different to me saying to someone 'yes I know I should put it out there more but it's not really my thing, I just like practicing and teaching whoever comes so if you could do that for me that's great'.

Secondly the data given about political usage of wordings and thus the search to find some changed words or words lost in translation. I question the motives of those doing this for it makes me feel it is them with the hidden agenda and they are just projecting that onto source. Why? Because I can find many times in researching where he said the same things to other people and there is no mistranslation. Therefore I conclude a false picture is painted.

So many things were said by O'Sensei time and time again which would be very hard to understand if he spoke in plain English and yet I find these concepts swept under the carpet as if he didn't say them or as if he was rambling instead of someone saying 'well he did say that on numerous occasions and I don't know what it means'

As to a teacher having the 'balls and firm sense of introspection' as you put it I totally agree. I would say personally it's purely and simply a lack of integrity and honesty. That may sound harsh but there you are. People, or many people aren't used to that but are very used to presenting an image.

Psychologically I would say that many want to be an O'Sensei replacement, some maybe even superior, (maybe that's super ego) but thus is the ego and the competitive mind in action.

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