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Old 05-09-2010, 08:43 AM   #71
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
Re: Yoshinkan and "aiki"

Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
I was referring to comments such as this:
"Budo should be the same way. Movement is movement. There are things you can see in interaction and movement."

My point is that Budo is not merely a "method" of efficient movement. That may be an important component of Budo (or any "way" for that matter) but I often get the impression from these discussions that other aspects are being ignored completely.

I was making a general point based on the your comments along with others on Aikiweb who have trained with you, in particular Mark Murray (who discontinued Aikido I believe). It seems to me from reading here that you DO seem to be influencing people. I may be wrong about this, but I'm only going on the general comments on this site.

If there are senior people in traditional arts who have/are training with you, I'd love read their comments about how they incorporate your training methodology into their arts. From reading most of your comments, you seem to see pretty much all traditional Japanese budo as seriously lacking a methodology in developing high level "Aiki"/efficient movement (perhaps I'm wrong about this?). You've also stated that the traditional model of teaching is seriously flawed in terms of withholding information, so I'm having trouble seeing how long term/senior students of the arts can train while maintaining two contradictory positions!

Perhaps the problem isn't with your comments as such as with the relative lack of public commentary by senior Koryu/Aikido people etc on the connection between what they've learned from you and others and how it impacts on their arts.

My comments might not address the reality of such training simply because I don't know anything about training in your Dojo or who trains with you! I'm restricting my points to comments made by you on this forum.

Ultimately, I rarely get involved in these discussions because of the time involved. Hopefully this reply helps clarify where I am coming from.
Thank you for your clarification. It would have been better had you answered my queries more directly.
As has happened with several people who set themselves up as defenders of traditional training- it is clear that there is some really strident misunderstanding going on. It appears they take serious a situation they have only imagined in their own minds..
Imagine if you will, being a shihan or Koryu menkyo and choosing to adopt certain training methods and having some guy fearing FOR you, that you don't know what you're doing in your practice. Further concerns seem to be about the exchange of information / misinformation and what is supposedly what. Other than oath violations-which I have never personally seen take place, the information is out there, and some koryu people (who can talk) are talking here and there but keeping it quiet.

It is interesting to see this type of interaction happening within arts as well and that is a clear precedant for the current debate. Case in point: a shihan from the Takumakia went to Tokimune to improve his aiki.
What did Tokimune teach him?
Solo training to condition the body to make aiki. When he brought it back to the Takumakai they didn't want to do them, they opted for the much slower and chancier way to do it- through kata. When the shihan went back to Tokimune he said "Yes I know, none of my people want to do them either." We can also look at various Koryu which have solo training to condition a bujutsu body. How, why and just where it produces aiki is an interesting study that I will let these teachers be the judges of. They have some VERY strong opinions on what it is doing for them, and for those who want to judge their own abilities to judge the value of it.

Individual cases V corporate cases
Your mentioning of Mark is a single case out of dozens like him. He left aikido because he had no place to train this -within aikido.
Others had the same problem. They went to various seminars and found no place to practice this training back in their home dojo. The teachers didn't get it-and were certainly not as connected as the men they had just trained with at the seminars. I picked up on the problems from reading comments here on aikiweb. My solution was to offer to teach...teachers. This solved the problem by allowing teachers to see the value first hand, and they in turn would set up a venue in their own schools.
This is where the "defenders of tadititonal arts" arguments fail on their own merits. These teachers-seniors by all accounts in Budo- consider this training and what it is doing to their bodies and their aiki to be so important that they are putting time aside from their teaching to pursue it. I have learned quite a bit by listening to their feedback in what it is doing to their teaching and among their student base. Thus it is directly affecting hundreds of people-not only from within traditional arts but in traditional training methods as well.

Allen's comments to you are from a Chinese art perspective on this type of training. That model -understanding solo training to build a bujutsu body- predates the Japanese model by many generations.
Various training practices-to include breath-power training predate Japan and are universal to many cultures.

Last and to end it on topic
Shioda rose to fame doing what? Stock in trade Kodokai aiki displays. After he did what? Went to train in Daito ryu to learn aiki.

Please note my response was not some cheap commentary like "Gee, thank you for your concerns about our welfare, but we can take care of ourselves." rather, I am attempting to clarify, in order to reach some level of understanding that is more informed. At least then people can judge and disagree, but from a more informed position then what I keep reading on different forums.
All in all, I think this is improving the aiki arts, re-focusing them back on bujutsu; the anticendents or roots, if you will. It is already making improvement in the power and sensitivity of teachers and practiioners alike. If the rumors prove to be true-several organization heads are aware, and some are soon to be impacted by it on a broader scale as the teachers are making it mandatory training.
P.S. Since your concerns were for traditional modes of teaching, I didn't cover various MMA people I have trained with and their own view on the value of this training being used in MMA type of training. I think it speaks even futher of the universality of the method, that it can creat aiki connection in freestyle fighting. Again not your concern, but at least for me, it makes a connection to our past when the men were truly capable- using traditional methodologies many modern practioners can only dream of.

Last edited by DH : 05-09-2010 at 08:57 AM.
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