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Old 09-17-2008, 06:33 PM   #69
Allen Beebe
Location: Portland, OR
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 532
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
It is my understanding that Shirata Sensei had quite a focus on weapons, . . .
Yes, this was my experience. Easily on a par with Saito and others that I am familiar with.

Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Maybe Allen can share some history on the weapons practice of Shirata Sensei.
Unfortunately I cannot share much for the following reasons: a) When I first went to Japan in 1986 my Japanese was minimal at best. b) As my Japanese improved I was receiving so much input (incredible volumes) that my focus unfortunately was on trying to master that, rather than avail myself of opportunities to ask Sensei important historical questions. c) My scope of training, access and correspondence with Shirata sensei was from 1986 until 1993 when he passed.

Consequently, I can, and do, teach much (maybe all, I don't know maybe I missed something) of what Shirata sensei taught of both ken and jo to the best of my ability, but there is much that I don't know about its history. This is why I have, and will continue to, ask the questions that I do. There is much that I don't know that I probably SHOULD know.

Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Although often downplayed now days, John Stevens has taught me a version of the sho-chiku-bai kenpo and as I remember he stressed that it contained the possibility of a more free form back and forth than is usually seen in aiki-weapons kata.
My understanding is that Shirata sensei referred to "aiki-ken"
[that is 'the ken of aiki' NOT a referent to particular teacher's collection of ken kata . . . not even O-sensei's collection of ken kata. I feel comfortable asserting this because Shirata sensei constructed certain parts of the ken kata he practiced and taught himself (over time) and referred to it as "aiki-ken." Also, there are certain kata that clearly come from Koryu that were taught, practiced, and referred to as "aiki-ken" . . . why? I suppose because they were done with Aiki. Furthermore, I think this corresponds with what O-sensei tells us about the sum of Aikido. Aikido isn't kata. However, kata can have Aiki.]
collectively as Sho Chiku Bai Kenpo.

So as I understand Shirata sensei's ken, Sho Chiku Bai doesn't specify specific kata.

Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
. . . and as I remember he stressed that it contained the possibility of a more free form back and forth than is usually seen in aiki-weapons kata
My understanding, and practice, is that this is true for ALL kata. Each person has a predetermined roll and action to perform, the outcome is NOT predetermined. (Although, one must keep in mind the goal of growth such that things are ramped up depending upon the individual's respective development and abilities.

Furthermore, taking the example of Shirata sensei, we also practice with shinken as well as following the precedent set forth in the Kobukan (Shirata sensei was one of the few jujutsu students that also participated in the Kendo section.) we practice with Shinai and Kendogu as well (both fixed and free practice.)

Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
I think he also referenced a non-aikido source for some of it.
I certainly wouldn't be surprised by this (see above) but would sure love to hear what specific sources he names! Also, Peter mentioned that Shirata wasn't bashful about training under Kohai like Saito Sensei if he thought there was something to learn. I've been told that Saito sensei isn't the only Kohai that Shirata sensei learned from. So it would be interesting to connect all of those dots.

Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
If I get to see him this fall I might try to get some more info on it.
Please do share whatever you learn. Certainly Stevens sensei had both more linguistic ability, time, opportunity, and societal clout (being a professor is a big deal in Japan) than I ever did to facilitate the presentation of these sorts of inquiries to Shirata sensei.

Other, closer and longer time students of Shirata sensei would be good sources to tap as well.

Well Ron, I hope you are willing to trade honest limited answers for suggestive innuendo and hyperbole . . . 'cause as you can see, limited answers is all I have to offer!

I hope to learn more in the future. Maybe you'll be filling me in!

All the best,

Last edited by Allen Beebe : 09-17-2008 at 06:43 PM. Reason: Cleaning up typos

~ Allen Beebe
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