View Single Post
Old 06-25-2002, 04:49 PM   #18
Chris Li
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,306
Re: Still looking at the finger...

Originally posted by Richard Harnack
b. The bokken can be an offensive weapon if that is all you see it as, then so be it. O'Sensei used the bokken to train his spirit and body. The bokken is still a piece of wood and can be used for many diverse purposes. One immensely practical one is keeping yourself from freezing to death by using it for fuel in a fire.
Well, yes, and I could use a rifle to splint a broken leg. Your point is?

The "training spirit and body" argument could be used to apply to almost anything - kicking, striking, firerms...

c. Lastly, my point still remains, what O'Sensei did in his youth, while leading in part to the man he became, does not mean he did not change and transform himself and his art. What I object to are folk who actively choose to ignore this change in favor of some supposed "early" state. We have his words in his doka, in his manual and in many interviews and reports of his son and others. All of these point to a man who had a completely different vision of what true budo is.
He certainly changed the purposes behind his training. K. Ueshiba pegs the birth of that change as 1925, by the way. Still he taught atemi and offensive weaponry after the war, 25 or 30 years after the change. That says to me that the change that he experienced was less limited to specific technical approaches than it was to purpose and intent.

2. Cross training. Let me see if I can explain this. Whether one chooses to cross train in other martial arts is purely an individual choice. I strongly recommend to all martial artists that they cross train in swimming and running to improve their stamina and wind. Be that as it may, I will never indulge the lazy conceit of labelling either swimming or running as Aikido Swimming or Aikido Running. My point remains, that just because someone (even a high ranked black belt) says it is aikido (karate, boxing, wing chun, chin na, gong fu, tai chi, etc...) does not make it so.
So are Nishio and Kuroiwa lazy or is what they are doing actually Aikido? If a strike or a kick conforms to Aikido principles why can it not then be called Aikido?

3. Discussion of what techniques comprise Aikido will always vary simply because each of the major branches has different ways of doing the same thing. For me the deciding factor is the underlying principle and intention involved. Do they follow the principles of Aikido or do they follow the principles and intention of some other art?
What I said above .

4. "Shooting a gun".
a. Guns are designed by their very nature to kill. They can only be used to shoot a projectile. All weapons are designed to kill or maim, however, guns really only have the single use. Even a sword can be used to dig a hole or chop down brush, but a gun (pick your favorite) is designed to kill.
Sounds like quite a stretch to me. You could use a sword for other things, but a sword is also a tool designed for a single purpose - killing people (you'd have a stronger argument with a knife...). I could use a gun to hunt for food. I could use a rifle to splint leg, or as a cane.

b. Protecting others with a gun requires intensive training. If you really want to have some raw data to digest, I refer you to Grossman's book "On Killing". In this book he discusses how the US Army approaches their weapons training and the ethical constraints built into it.
Same with a sword.



  Reply With Quote