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Old 05-09-2010, 10:05 AM   #74
oisin bourke
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Dojo: Muden Juku, Ireland
Location: Kilkenny
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 359
Re: Yoshinkan and "aiki"

"1. What does it have to do with learning/altering the traditional arts?
2. How is it harmful? In what way?
3. How is it changing the tradition in your view?
4. Do you suppose that of the hundreds of people now training this way-they want to quit/ alter/ make a fuss in some way? Instead they make positive comments about the effect on their training....

"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.

I'm not speaking on behalf of people I don't know. I'm basing my opinons on my own experience. There are approaches/techinques and training methods that, had I abandoned them in exchange for short term more practical/immediate gains, I wouldn't have begun to understand their depth. Please note. I am not dismissing solo training whatsoever, but there are levels of knowledge involved in other components of the arts, such as Kata, rei ukemi training in Daito Ryu/Aikido etc that are vital to these arts transmissions. From what I read of your comments here you downplay all these other elements.

"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."

With respect, I think you're simplifying things. There are a number of Takumakai people with very high level aiki who to the best of my knowledge didn't get it from Tokimune.

Equally, at least one of Tokimune's shihan practiced and taught solo training.

"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."

That's great, and I don't doubt that you're teaching something very valuable. I'm simply doubting that it's the whole story when it comes to traditional arts. Of course, I may be wrong...

"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."

I understand solo/breath training is vital, but I don't see how Alan's comments contradict what I said. I'm not knocking training that makes one BETTER. I'm questioning training that takes one away from learning within the perameters of one's art, especially at the beginning levels.

It's a fine line between innovation and conservation for sure.

My main point is that, before people dismiss models of practice that seem antiquated/inefficient, we should be aware that these practices may hold vital teachings that only reveal themselves over time,

If people know what they're doing, good luck to them.

"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."

I know

"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."

I appreciate that. Hence I've taken a lot of time to reply.

"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."

That's great. I'm looking forward to seeing the fruits of such work on a wider scale.

This is incredibly time consuming for me.

I'm going to bow out of this discussion now.

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