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Old 04-14-2005, 09:37 AM   #1
Mike Sigman
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Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

I've been reading "Aikido Shugyo" ( http://www.shindokanbooks.com/shugyo.shtml ) and find it one of the best Aikido books I've ever read. The caveat I would make is that I wouldn't have fully understood it earlier in my career... i.e., there are a lot of comments in the book that sound innocuous but which are meaningful if you already understand what he's (Shioda) talking about.

I would suggest without reservation that it's a book everyone doing Aikido, regardless of style, would benefit from reading.

The one point that I'd make is that Shioda, in his systemitized way, is focusing on "ki" things just as much as Tohei does. Shioda breaks his approach to ki down into components and he refers to ki as a "balance" of the factors that he names. As noted in a previous post, when Shioda's *books* are *translated* (that's the problem, the translation) to say "Ki is about balance" or "Ki is the concentration of balance", that's actually an incorrect and misleading translation... he means that it is a balance of several different powers and focuses.

I've watched Shioda on a videotape ("Shingi Denju") and it appears that he at some time did a focused study on the use of paths and power applications using kokyu ryoku (in fact, you can see him indicate the full paths several times, using his finger). I was quite impressed with the sophistication and automatic usage of kokyu paths that he showed in instantaneous movement against an opponent's "empty" directions... he was good. (I have to caveat here that some of his demonstrations are really clever and enlightening, but they wouldn't really work without a cooperative student... but that's the nature of some demonstrations, isn't it?).

Shioda's breakdown of the factors of "ki" is quite clever and gives me a new perspective about thought approaches to the subject, but I also have to comment that his explications are not complete enough to allow someone to just read and understand. In fact, looking at the video of his interaction with students during the demonstration I was commenting on above, I'd say that although he was clearer than anyone I've seen, he wasn't clear enough for some of his students to do exactly what he was doing or to even get the basic idea correct. It would be interesting to see what command of kokyu some of the higher dans in Yoshinkan have... it is, as Shioda noted in his book, an easy skill to lose from the martial arts because it it hard to transmit.

Anyway... I'd recommend the book to everyone. It's a lot about "ki", as are Tohei's interesting books, but it explains more things about ki and Aikido than Tohei's books do. In other words, all these books supplement your overall knowledge of the big picture, but this one is a really good book and has some good discussion topics in it.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 04-15-2005, 09:07 AM   #2
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

I really like this book myself. In light of some of our recent conversations, I'll reread it again (I've got a plane ride comming up, so I should have some reading time).

You've mentioned several times that you would like to feel some of Shioda's top students. I'd like to extend an invitation again to come to Philadelphia...

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Old 04-15-2005, 09:47 AM   #3
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

I LOVED the book! I don't read a whole lot, but I got it and couldn't put it down. We've passed it around to a few students in my class and I think Riggs Sensei has my copy of it now. (need to get it back)

It is well worth reading and re-reading. A lot of good information, both on ki and on atemi.

Thanks for the review!

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Old 04-15-2005, 09:59 AM   #4
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Yup, good book. I read it in the original Japanese a while back.

-- Jun

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Old 04-15-2005, 10:10 AM   #5
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
As noted in a previous post, when Shioda's *books* are *translated* (that's the problem, the translation) to say "Ki is about balance" or "Ki is the concentration of balance", that's actually an incorrect and misleading translation... he means that it is a balance of several different powers and focuses.
Hi Jun,

Do you have any comments about the above? I'd be interested in hearing a native speaker's viewpoint on the statements by Shioda Sensei on the different powers (centerline power, focus power, breath power, ki power, etc.). Especially as it pertains to this statement and statements like it:

Quote:
Ki is the mastery of balance

In aikido we often use the work 'ki', or energy, but this word covers a variety of meanings. "Ki" as it is manifested in the performance of techniques is what we have when the components of correct posture, center line, breathing, the explosive power of focused energy, timing, etc., come together so that we reach the hightst state of perfect balance. It might be said that 'ki' is the 'mastery of balance'.

From Total Aikido by Gozo Shioda
Thanks, Ron

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Old 04-15-2005, 10:18 AM   #6
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
I really like this book myself. In light of some of our recent conversations, I'll reread it again (I've got a plane ride comming up, so I should have some reading time).
Don't let those lips get tired or wear out the tip of that finger, Ron.

I really think there's a huge amount of useable information in that book and a lot of items about O-Sensei that are interesting, particularly for someone trying to get a good start on the art.... although of course the main criterion for good training is to have a good teacher who is willing to show you more than just techniques, choreography, and rituals.
Quote:
You've mentioned several times that you would like to feel some of Shioda's top students. I'd like to extend an invitation again to come to Philadelphia...
Thanks, Ron. Maybe someday. I essentially want to feel their skill level in ki and kokyu and that won't take but a moment.

Shioda's skill is very good, but it is more in what I would call "kokyu" than the full "ki" skills. Tohei's stuff, from what I can see of it, includes some kokyu and some ki, although the useable kokyu things *that I've seen* don't appear to be as sophisticated as Shioda's that I could see on that video "Shingi Denju".

Also, although I appreciate Shioda's comments on timing in order to achieve power, I'd observe that it's very true that timing is tremendously important as an additive to your power, but the big-dog Chens from Chen Village can let you grab them around the chest with both arms and break your bones with a shake. When they release power even on a simple punch, they shake a whole house (now you see the fixation so many of us have with trying to figure out the training methods of Chen's Taiji). I.e., the point I'm making is that I'm very impressed with what Shioda can do, but I still look at all abilities of any person within the context of all martial arts that I've been able to practice or investigate. I think you'd enjoy meeting Wang Hai Jun (sort of a youngish man, not one of the big-dogs) the next time he comes to Philly. The levels of these particular ki skills we're talking about can be appreciated better if you get input from all available sources, IMO.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 04-15-2005, 10:25 AM   #7
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Do you have any comments about the above? I'd be interested in hearing a native speaker's viewpoint on the statements by Shioda Sensei on the different powers (centerline power, focus power, breath power, ki power, etc.). Especially as it pertains to this statement and statements like it:

Ki is the mastery of balance

In aikido we often use the work 'ki', or energy, but this word covers a variety of meanings. "Ki" as it is manifested in the performance of techniques is what we have when the components of correct posture, center line, breathing, the explosive power of focused energy, timing, etc., come together so that we reach the hightst state of perfect balance. It might be said that 'ki' is the 'mastery of balance'.


Thanks, Ron
Just to clarify, Ron, notice that the heading says "Ki is the mastery of balance". In the normal English usage that immediately leads a not-too-careful reader into the idea that Ki is the mastery of stability or equilibrium. The text below, though, elucidates that the "balance" is actually a "balance of skills". In my opinion, the translation for the paragraph heading should have been "Ki is the mastery of a balance of physical skills".

FWIW

Mike
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Old 04-15-2005, 10:43 AM   #8
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Another interesting thing I found about the book was that Shioda says he was an athiest. I know a lot of people have their reservations with ki being spirtual and such, but shioda really points out that its not.
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Old 04-15-2005, 10:47 AM   #9
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

I understand what you are saying, but what I'm trying to do is get the take of a native speaker...do you speak japanese? If so, have you read the original? I don't speak more than dojo japanese myself, and don't read even that (in kanji), so I'm trying to get to the heart of the matter.

Even in the translation, it is obvious that he is talking about combining all of the powers mentioned before...

Thanks,
Ron

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Old 04-15-2005, 10:57 AM   #10
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Even in the translation, it is obvious that he is talking about combining all of the powers mentioned before...
Well, I'm mainly talking about the translation of the subject header, Ron, because it's confusing. If you'll remember, you yourself quoted "ki is the mastery of balance" before when we were discussing this and you apparently went and looked it up that evening... you had only remembered that part about ki and balance. I.e., "Ki is the mastery of balance" is the confusing part to many people.

Mike
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Old 04-15-2005, 10:59 AM   #11
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Sean Constable wrote:
Another interesting thing I found about the book was that Shioda says he was an athiest. I know a lot of people have their reservations with ki being spirtual and such, but shioda really points out that its not.
Both Shioda and Tohei are clear in the point that these skills are the results of physical laws and not anything to do with religion. I believe Tohei mentions that O-Sensei attributed ki and kokyu skills to the "gods", but Tohei rhetorically shrugs that approach off as being unnecessary.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 04-15-2005, 11:00 AM   #12
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Do you have any comments about the above? I'd be interested in hearing a native speaker's viewpoint on the statements by Shioda Sensei on the different powers (centerline power, focus power, breath power, ki power, etc.).
Let me see if I can find the book at home. It may have been one I borrowed from my instructor.

In the meantime, perhaps folks like Peter Goldsbury or Chris Li might have some time to take a look?

-- Jun

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Old 04-15-2005, 02:27 PM   #13
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
you had only remembered that part about ki and balance.
Ah, not quite, I remembered both that and the different powers coming together. But our conversations may be leading me in a slightly different direction, which is good...

Ron

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Old 04-15-2005, 02:54 PM   #14
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Ah, not quite, I remembered both that and the different powers coming together. But our conversations may be leading me in a slightly different direction, which is good..
Speaking of different directions, I found a number of comments by Shioda that describe things in ways I would not necessarily describe them, but I know pretty much what he's talking about. It's like an observation I've tried to make a couple of times... there is a certain logic to these things, particularly in regard to the basic principles. So if two people are using different terminology but they understand the basic principles, there should be a fairly quick arrival at a common dialogue.

Tohei's ki tests, etc., are pretty much in line with common ki/qi things, but from what I've seen they seem to be at a fairly basic level (which is, of course, a good level from which to start people). Because I've been able to observe Shioda on DVD and read his far more explicative thoughts on how things work, I have a lot better idea about what he did, how he moved, etc. As I said, I have to re-think my ideas about how sophisticated the Japanese understanding of ki and kokyu things are, but I'd reaffirm my opinion that the kokyu seen in Aikido is what I would call "linear" (even if it's used circularly at times) and everything appears to have evolved from Shaolin-type use of qi and jin (of course, quotations from O-Sensei pretty much confirm that impression).

But to get to the point I want to make from the background in the above paragraph, it is my *impression* that the ki usage in Tohei shows in his ki tests was pretty much understood by Shioda. Of course the use of "focused power" by Shioda means that he could easily have withstood the pushes, etc., just as the ki tests show. The question would have been some of the techniques that cause the body to "connect" within itself.... and Shioda refers to a way the body "locks" (see pages 85-86 in "Aikido Shugyo") which sounds like the same idea, as Shioda describes it. The general point I'm making once again is that although there are variations, I don't see any real difference between the Aikido that Tohei himself did and the Aikido that Shioda did. Nor do I see anything but confirmation about how important these ki and kokyu skills are to the practice of Aikido. My opinion, of course.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 04-15-2005, 03:32 PM   #15
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Although I haven't read Aikido Shugyo yet, from watching videos of Shioda-sensei I'd agree with Mike that I believe he had a mastery level of kokyu. One example that comes to mind is on a couple of videos I remember watching Shioda-sensei do randori and there would be instances where he would turn his back to his attacker and when the attacker's hands reached his back (shoulder blade area) he would throw them or repel them back with a slight movement of his back. I wouldn't be surprised if I could talk to those ukes that they would say the power in that throw was much more powerful than seemingly appears by just that visible slight movement of his back. To do something like that effectively not only requires superb timing but also the ability to connect with an attacker in that moment and then throw them with kokyu power. This leads me to believe Shioda-sensei probably knew how to move and manifest kokyu power (or ki power if you prefer) around his body, at least in this case the upper back, and then use it effectively. Of course it's hard to be sure without being the uke yourself, but that's my opinion based on what I've seen.
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Old 04-15-2005, 05:52 PM   #16
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

[quote=Mike Sigman]Both Shioda and Tohei are clear in the point that these skills are the results of physical laws and not anything to do with religion. (/QUOTE)

One of my instructors oft repeated sayings is that Ki is (to him) mostly good biomechanics.
Effective use of the proper form makes SUCH sense.
I am not sure about any other "purely energy" non-physical form.

Open to the idea though..shrug
Lan

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Old 04-15-2005, 07:50 PM   #17
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
Let me see if I can find the book at home. It may have been one I borrowed from my instructor.

In the meantime, perhaps folks like Peter Goldsbury or Chris Li might have some time to take a look?

-- Jun
Hello Jun,

I only have the Japanese original. I did read the English translation when I was in Holland recently, but I did not have the Japanese text with me then, so I could not evaluate the translation. The English text reads very well and I read the entire book in a couple of hours, but my suspicion is that this is the result of fairly heavy editing

The section heading in question (on p.129 of the Japanese text), reads "Ki to wa baransu no kesshuu". (Ki is the concentration/marshalling together of [the elements of] balance]). "Baransu" is written in katakana and is the Japanese version of "balance". Notice that there is no talk of kuzushi.

A little further on, on p.130, we have: "watashi wa, ki to wa baransu no kesshuu" da to kangaete imasu." (My thinking is that ki is the concentration/marshalling together of [the elements of] balance).

"Tadashii shinsei to kokyuu, sore ni shuuchuuryoku kara umareta bakuhatsu ryoku." (The explosive power which is created from the concentrated power of correct posture and breathing. Literally: Correct posture and breath: added to this the explosive force of the concentrated power [of these]).

"Chuushinsen no chikara mo sou dashi, taimingu mo ki no naka ni irete ii to omoimasu." (The strength of the centre line is also produced in this way. I think it good to include also timing within ki).

There is then a detailed discussion of the concept in terms of the entire encounter between oneself and one's partner.

Best regards,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 04-15-2005 at 07:53 PM.

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Old 04-15-2005, 07:53 PM   #18
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
I wouldn't be surprised if I could talk to those ukes that they would say the power in that throw was much more powerful than seemingly appears by just that visible slight movement of his back.
I spoke to one of his uke about this, Chida Sensei, the current chief instructor at the yoshinkan hombu dojo. He told me that he went around with the dogi patch from Shioda Kancho's back imprinted on his chin for about a week from one of those throws. They were VERY powerful...

Ron

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Old 04-15-2005, 08:42 PM   #19
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
[snipsky] The section heading in question (on p.129 of the Japanese text), reads "Ki to wa baransu no kesshuu". (Ki is the concentration/marshalling together of [the elements of] balance]). "Baransu" is written in katakana and is the Japanese version of "balance". Notice that there is no talk of kuzushi.

A little further on, on p.130, we have: "watashi wa, ki to wa baransu no kesshuu" da to kangaete imasu." (My thinking is that ki is the concentration/marshalling together of [the elements of] balance).

"Tadashii shinsei to kokyuu, sore ni shuuchuuryoku kara umareta bakuhatsu ryoku." (The explosive power which is created from the concentrated power of correct posture and breathing. Literally: Correct posture and breath: added to this the explosive force of the concentrated power [of these]).

"Chuushinsen no chikara mo sou dashi, taimingu mo ki no naka ni irete ii to omoimasu." (The strength of the centre line is also produced in this way. I think it good to include also timing within ki). [snip again]
Thanks for the quotes from the original text, Peter. The point is pretty clear that "balance" is being idiomatically used to indicate a balance or admixture of factors, not equilibrium or stability. As is usual, the description may be accurate, but the actual "how" is not very clear.

Shioda is using "ki" in a very narrow sense of power/force, in this particular description and "breathing" can actually mean several things, as he uses it. It's a puzzle what he's saying precisely, but the general drift isn't that hard to grasp.

There are things he obviously doesn't say in his descriptions. Watching his use of downward kokyu on DVD, it's obvious that he doesn't tell all the ways that he trains, but it's clear that he's spent a fair amount of time doing standing postures and practicing some of the things he personally uses. Probably he shared most of these things with his senior students. I'd be interested to see if Shioda ever talks more about breathing or kamae in other sources. Does anyone have any more good sources?

Ron, I can't comment on the levels of power Shioda generated, based on an account from a student. As I've mentioned before, I was a little frustrated that Shioda's students were a little dramatic in their reactions to his techniques... something that always obscures exactly what's happening, but you have to live with the dramatics whenever you're involved with Asian martial arts and demonstrations, so I'm sort of neutral about it.

In terms of striking with the back, it's not very hard to do in comparison with striking with the chest or some other areas. The question is what kind of additive factors you add to your chain of power in the strike. The back offers its own additive factor that other body areas don't have and it can be fairly powerful even if you don't have any ki or if you don't have the skills to slip in some of the power boosters. If someone is interested in how to start training (without the ki and boosters), I'll try to describe it.

What's interesting is that we're looking at power generation techniques in Aikido... a surprise. A second interesting point is to read some of Shioda's descriptions of what O-Sensei could do with his ki abilities. I had underestimated (based on the information available to me) the amount of ki things in Aikido, previously. However, if I underestimated the amount of ki things used by O-Sensei et al, that only reinforces the point that most people doing Aikido are missing out on the contribution of ki-training to Aikido.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 04-16-2005, 05:48 AM   #20
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Just wanted to inject a word about the English translation. The translators, Jaques Payet Sensei and Christopher Watson Sensei, who are "western", but both longtime devotees of Yoshinkan, state at the outset of the book that the translation is not word-for-word, but has instead been enhanced to make it easier for "westerners" to understand. The translation originally began as seperate projects by Payet and Watson, but then became a collaboration. It was done after Shioda Kancho's death, so there was no oversight by him personally, although the translation was endorsed by Kyoichi Inoue Sensei. Like most of you who have posted here, I would be interested to know from native speakers how much liberty was taken with the original wording.
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Old 04-16-2005, 06:42 AM   #21
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote:
Just wanted to inject a word about the English translation. The translators, Jaques Payet Sensei and Christopher Watson Sensei, who are "western", but both longtime devotees of Yoshinkan, state at the outset of the book that the translation is not word-for-word, but has instead been enhanced to make it easier for "westerners" to understand.
The problem with translations is that problems always arise. Take for example one of the most significant errors in translating that has affected so many people and their studies, "jin". "Jin" is essentially what "kokyu" is, although there is a slightly enhanced meaning to "kokyu". Jin is a skill, as is kokyu, but out of the possible translations of "jin", the earlier translators chose the word "energy". It was the start of the "energy" revolution for the New Age. Combine "energy" with "ki" and you have the basis for a quasi-religion, as we've all seen.

Another case, but more to the point of what I'm trying to say is in this example: I once invited a teacher in to do teach (just an overview) a spear form that I'd heard about but never seen. He brought his wife with and she was a brilliant (PhD in Chemistry) native Chinese who had been raised in a martial-arts village; she spoke very fluent English and he spoke almost none. I happened to have found a copy of all the posture names in another place and I wanted to use them as a handout for the class. I asked the woman if she would translate the names from the Chinese into English. She tried for over a day to do it and gave me her best effort but told me she was not really able to do it because even though the characters and words were literally translatable, the actual meaning was something quited different to martial artists. I took the list to another Chinese who had studied martial arts his whole life and who also spoke fluent, idiomatic English... he translated it pretty quickly but cautioned me to never ask even a native speaker to understand the nuances that are meant in a martial context because the subtle changes in meaning can completely alter the meaning of the words.

Over the years, I've found that many martial-arts *basics* that were mistranslated into English by fluent speakers who have lived in a country, etc., were wrong. I'm not pointing any fingers (particularly not at the generous people who have taken the time to provide us translations), I'm pointing out an area where I'm always very cautious. Take a simple example... does "shihonage" mean "four-direction throw" as it is literally translated (even in many books), or does the phrase "any-direction throw" more adequately convey the original sense? Some translators' versions are different than other translators' versions and sometimes all these versions are different from the idiomatic sense of the word.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 04-16-2005, 09:05 AM   #22
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote:
Just wanted to inject a word about the English translation. The translators, Jaques Payet Sensei and Christopher Watson Sensei, who are "western", but both longtime devotees of Yoshinkan, state at the outset of the book that the translation is not word-for-word, but has instead been enhanced to make it easier for "westerners" to understand. The translation originally began as seperate projects by Payet and Watson, but then became a collaboration. It was done after Shioda Kancho's death, so there was no oversight by him personally, although the translation was endorsed by Kyoichi Inoue Sensei. Like most of you who have posted here, I would be interested to know from native speakers how much liberty was taken with the original wording.
Mr Bateman,

Thank you for your mail.

In this website, as in the AJ website and E-Budo website, there are so many isues where the western translators have to take liberties with the Japanese original that I now always want to to give the original Japanese text, with a litteral tranlation, so that people may judge for themselves both the text and my own translation skills.

In this case, I believe that the translators took liberties with the best of intentions, but I also believe that they themselves may have taken liberties with the concept of "making it easier for westerners to understand" and perhaps 'edited' the text unduly.

In my opinion Japanese native speakers are not in a position to pronounce on the liberties taken with the translation from Japanese into English, unless they are truly bilingual.

So, I myself am in the position of being able to translate Japanese to English and have the sense of an English native speaker of what translation "fits" the English language, but not the other way round.

So I am not attacking the translation here (at least, I do not think so). However, I think that the English translation does not do what Mike Sigman expects from it. For this, I think you would need a critical translation, in the style of the German translations from ancient Greek texts in the 18th century, witrh a full apparatus criticus.

Since I was brought up in such a classical tradition, my instinct is to give the original Japanese text, and a translation, and then leave others tro judge. This is rarely done nowadays on the Internet, especially with the output of M Ueshiba. So we are left with the douka, which Jun always posts at the head of this web site, and the occasional translation from Mr Stevens, which people seem to take as the actual words of the Founder. But when you want to pry more closely into the concept of ki, as Mr Sigman seeks to do (and whose concerns I also share), then you need look much more closely at the original Japanese.

Best regards,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 04-16-2005 at 09:13 AM.

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Old 04-16-2005, 10:09 AM   #23
Mike Sigman
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
But when you want to pry more closely into the concept of ki, as Mr Sigman seeks to do (and whose concerns I also share), then you need look much more closely at the original Japanese.
Hi Peter:

"Ki" is at best a vagary of which "kokyu" is a more specific subset. The manifestation of "Ki" in Aikido and other arts has to do with the coordination of the mind and how the body moves or is motivated with strength that involves a sort of myofascial component. Shioda actually acknowledges part of this by indicating people become unaffected by blows, etc., but his books focus on a "ki" that more directly tries to systematize what "kokyu" is, to my mind (I have a caveat about this which I'll get to in a minute).

Tohei focuses on the "kokyu" also, in the main, but he does it in conjunction with the more proper concept of proper mind/body/myofascial "ki" being involved in the formation of kokyu power. I suspect fairly strongly that Shioda knew somewhat more about proper "ki" than is indicated in his books, but I'm dithering about just how he may have known because I have only limited information to extrapolate from.

The question overall may be about Japanese knowledge of "ki" (what they knew and when they knew it), but more specifically I'm focused on this term "kokyu" and its full meaning/derivation. I suspect that this term has to do with the relationship of breathing techniques to the training of the actual "ki", which results in the ability to manifest kokyu. In the real world, people can be taught to do a certain level of kokyu without having learned how to train the pressure and fascia components with the breath, so I tend to separate "kokyu power" from "ki", in terms of training, etc. The upshot of all my comments is that the concept of Ki as a whole I have no problem with, but the etymology of "kokyu" and the history of it in Japan is interesting to me. Any help would be appreciated.

Additionally, I'm having some problem with the term "bakuhatsu ryoku" ("explosive power") as Shioda uses it. I suspect the idea derives from the "fa jin" (literally "attack force", but it means an explosive release of power) concept in Chinese, but I don't see Shioda using what I would technically term fa jin ability, although he appears to be able to use focused power quite quickly.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 04-16-2005, 12:00 PM   #24
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Regarding Standing Practice: One of Shioda's uchi-deshi recently published an account of his training at http://www.yoshinkan.info/deshi.php

"The training in this course consists of three parts starting from basic movements. The basic movements are like "Kata" in Karate which can train the physical strength of legs and groin necessary for Aikido techniques. In the basic movements you must stand with 80 percent of your body weight rested on one leg for about five minutes moving both left and right with different movements."

Best

Ellis Amdur

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Old 04-16-2005, 12:32 PM   #25
Mike Sigman
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Re: Shioda, Tohei, and Ki Things

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote:
Regarding Standing Practice [snip]
Interesting article. Sounds like the author underwent a lot of psychological pressure, in addition to actual training. I would like the skills, but not the nerve problems he reported.

I think a certain amount of "standing practice" is now established as integral to a lot of higher-level Aikido. Not many people seemed aware of this in the West, from my experience. Standing practice, when done correctly, will give you actual "ki" over time, although just developing ki and not knowing how to use it in your movements is an oft-encountered problem. I occasionally meet people that I know do standing practice the moment I touch them, and they are "heavy", but they have no idea how to move so it doesn't do a lot of good except for the 'health' aspects and some of the strength. For strength and health, doing standing exercises and some movement exercises using the kokyu power is probably sufficient, but martial practice involves a lot more.

O-Sensei's jo-trick indicates that he did standing exercises; comments in Shioda's book "Aikido Shugyo" tend to corroborate that idea. Shioda's use of kokyu in some of his demonstrations indicates the kind of power you get from standing, not the power from repetitive exercise. Shioda apparently did some sort of down-power exercise from what I see of his usage of it, but I can't get a handle on what that exercise was. It may have simply been suburi, but it might have been something more direct. After watching Shioda on video, I'm still up in the air about whether he got outside help on ki/kokyu training tips. But the sleuthing is fun. Any tips or comments are appreciated.

Mike
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