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Old 04-24-2017, 10:50 AM   #23
Dojo: Open Sky Aikikai
Location: Durham, NC
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 433
Re: Aikido Principles: Unbendable Arm

I guess part of my resistance to calling the Unbendable Arm exercise as a principle in and of itself is after training for 12 years in Aikikai, I moved to a town with only a Ki Aikido offshoot dojo (they had started with Tohei and broke ties).

I was happy to join in, but I had to wear a white belt for 18 months and was never graded even for basic ranks. I had not been shown the specific Unbendable arm demo nor practiced it. As I had not, I was regularly told my Aikido was not principle-based as theirs was, or contained no Ki. There were regular discussions on what a prat the second Doshu was, and how Aikikai was the enemy. All I had to do to advance in rank was insult my former teacher, and I declined. I did learn the method though.

For any Ki People though, Tohei was a remarkable innovator and someone I respect. He was always developing his teaching methods and refining them. The doors seem to have been closed when I was just out of diapers, and I've not see a clip for the last multiple decades of his life. Did he continue to refine his teaching methods?
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