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Old 05-07-2006, 05:12 AM   #1
Chikai Aikidoka
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Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

What about to say should not be taking out of context as being a bias toward one style or other. Please take it w/

I got into an arguement with someone who implied that Aikikai IS the authority on Aikido and that "all other federations are not recognized by Aikikai Honbu dojo"

I asked him more or less what is Aikido?
Is it the one that O'sensei taught pre WWII?
Or Is it the one that O'sensei taught post WWII?
Or Is it the one that O'sensei taught at Iwama?
Or Is it the one that O'sensei taught to his different diciples at diff. times?
Or aren't all of them Aikido?

I furher added that a lot of those O'senesei disciples that established their own schools where either ushi dashis of O'sensei or long time students of his.

To my surprise, he's been doing Aikido for more than 3 years and yet I sensed that he think only those dojos who are recognized (as in registered I think) by Aikikai are the right Aikido schools.

How do I politically correctly put it to him that althought they're diff. schools of style but at the end it's a 1 Aikido with the same principles w/ diff. flavors??

P.S. Our sensei traces our Aikido lineage to Ki-society and Aikikai and currently under the advisory of a Yoshinkan school. What I see in our training seems Aikikai. & about it
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Old 05-07-2006, 10:11 AM   #2
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

I think you have a point. The Aikikai is the parent organization of Aikido and represents the last developments in the art of Aikido as taught by the Ueshiba family. The others are not only reflections of what the Founder taught at different times but they are also representations of what those individual leaders discovered and developed themselves.
O Sensei said that Aikido had no set form - that it was a "study of the spirit." My own teacher has said to me that Aikido has no form. If that is the case, then the styles are not what this is about. That's why many styles are allowed within the Aikikai.
Aikido is about principles and when those universal principles are in play, you have Aikido, whatever the style.

Aikido organizations are not really about styles. Like all organizations, they may have a product to promote and indeed, one that distinguishes them from other groups, but they are really about jurisdiction and authority. The battle of organizations is one to gain power through greater jurisdiction. The great names the organizations promote are to establish authority thus helping them in the quest for organizational "life" or jurisdiction. That is not to say that all are equal or as efficient and fair as they could be. That is a matter of organizational integrity and ethics but when push comes to shove, the organizations are about jurisdiction and establishing authority by means of gaining legitimacy and respect in the eyes of the public. (Size and an early point of origin are helps in the quest for legitimacy.) As that (legitimacy in the eyes of potential and actual constituents ) rises and falls, so does the fate of an organization. The Aikikai certainly has an advantage there but all the other organizations have to play the same game because they are playing in the same arena.
Best wishes,

Last edited by Jorge Garcia : 05-07-2006 at 10:18 AM.

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 05-07-2006, 02:11 PM   #3
Hanna B
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
The Aikikai is the parent organization of Aikido and represents the last developments in the art of Aikido as taught by the Ueshiba family. The others are not only reflections of what the Founder taught at different times but they are also representations of what those individual leaders discovered and developed themselves.
IMHO this is not correct. Take a look at Nisho sensei. His aikido is a product of his being taught by osensei but also by his iaido, karate etcetera. His aikido is a very special line of aikido - within the Aikikai. I am sure there are many lines of aikido outside of the Aikikai, that technically are more mainstream than Nishio sensei.
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Old 05-07-2006, 03:09 PM   #4
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

My statement was,
"The Aikikai is the parent organization of Aikido and represents the last developments in the art of Aikido as taught by the Ueshiba family."

I was making a statement as to the official teaching of the Aikikai as espoused or taught by the Doshu as the representative of the Ueshiba family. Lots of Senseis within the Aikikai who teach under the Doshu have a different style including my own teacher. Those aren't the last developments of the Ueshiba family. Those are the last developments of Nishio Sensei or Saito sensei or whoever.The only official teaching of the Aikikai Foundation is represented in Doshu. Last time I checked, Doshu wasn't doing Nishio style nor are Nishio's books being sold by the Aikikai Hombu dojo.
Thanks for your comment anyway. I know you were trying to help.

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 05-07-2006, 03:15 PM   #5
Hanna B
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

Thank you for your comment Jorge. I know you are trying to help the thread starter here.
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Old 05-07-2006, 04:56 PM   #6
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

Thanks Hanna,
The point is anyway that I don't think that only the Aikikai does the only true or correct Aikido.
Best wishes,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 05-07-2006, 08:19 PM   #7
Lan Powers
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

Personally, the differences between the different players...how they move, what they each emphasize, the ways they each get from point "A" to "B" are what keeps this whole art so interesting.
Much richer, for the differences.
Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:21 AM   #8
Hanna B
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

Thank you, Jorge.
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:35 AM   #9
Hanna B
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

Quote:
Maumote Chami wrote:
got into an arguement with someone who implied that Aikikai IS the authority on Aikido and that "all other federations are not recognized by Aikikai Honbu dojo"

(snip)

To my surprise, he's been doing Aikido for more than 3 years and yet I sensed that he think only those dojos who are recognized (as in registered I think) by Aikikai are the right Aikido schools.

How do I politically correctly put it to him that althought they're diff. schools of style but at the end it's a 1 Aikido with the same principles w/ diff. flavors??
Well, if your teacher's lineage goes back to Ueshiba, it is aikido... Of course non-Aikikai dojos are not recognised by the Aikikai. Non-Yoshinkan dojos are not recognised by the Yoshinkan, etc. What is within the Aikikai and what is not, is a matter of politics more than anything else. I am not sure what you should tell this individual, though. Maybe his teacher is saying this stuff, to make his students feel very proud to belong to the only "real" dojo in the area or similar. If so, I do not suppose there is anything you can say to make him change his mind. What he is saying is basically "my school is better than your school", "my daddy is stronger than your daddy" and that kind of arguments is a dead end street.
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Old 05-08-2006, 02:52 AM   #10
Chikai Aikidoka
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

I definitly agree with u Hanna that the argument I had touches on the issue of pride and on "my school is better than your school", "my daddy is stronger than your daddy". And that's the issue I was trying to argue with him about; they all are schools of Aikido as long as, IMHO, the core principles and concepts are intacts. They r diff. ways to get to the summit; I c these ways are close to each others. Hey ... rn't waving at each others in this forum while we're doing Aikido each in his/her training path?

But has Aikikai, Yoshinkan, Iwama, Yoseikan, etc. ever nullified the teaching of each others and claimed that it was not Aikido that the other side practiced? I wouldn't think so. Right?!

P.S. ur daddy might be stronger than mine, but mine carries a licensed concealed 0.45 ... watch out ... Just kidding :-D
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Old 05-08-2006, 05:07 AM   #11
Amir Krause
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

Quote:
Well, if your teacher's lineage goes back to Ueshiba, it is aikido
Unless you practice Korindo Aikido or some other Aikido M.A. that does not relate itself to Ueshiba.

Maumote Chami

I doubt you could educate him. Too many people take their sensei words as fact, without ever checking them. They forget the Sensei is only human himself and may have never bothered to really study some aspects for which he did not care. Such aspects could be the history of the M.A., the nature of the various organizations, etc.

Amie
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Old 05-08-2006, 06:01 AM   #12
Hanna B
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

Amir, I am ignorant what Korindo aikido regards - I just did som googling. As far as I can see, Korindo aikido does have roots in Ueshiba's art, and it seems it is sometimes referred to as aikido and sometimes not. If it does have aikido roots and works in similar ways (basical principles etc), then nobody can say it is incorrect to call it aikido - no? The web pages I found were very clear in pointing out differences, but that kind of thing is difficult to judge for someone who, like me, has not seen the art.

At the same time, if the pracitioners and the head of the art does not want it to be called aikido, then it is not aikido... I recently watched a jiujitsu class, in a small system with only five dojos in total. I was almost chocked to see that the techniques were even called ikkyo and sankyo - they were simply doing aikido without high falls wearing coloured belts (which nobody does around here) claiming that "aikido is a art for personal growth and harmony with the universe, we are doing self defence". I can imagine one or two aikido teachers not agreing with their view on what aikido is, but who cares. Based on the techiniques it was most definately aikido, but they call it jiujitsu, which is a namn that no lineage has exclusive right to... well okay. Then it isn't aikido, I guess. They probably had some judo mixed in with that aikido-so-called-jiujitsu, too.
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Old 05-08-2006, 08:22 AM   #13
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

Quote:
Maumote Chami wrote:
I definitly agree with u Hanna that the argument I had touches on the issue of pride and on "my school is better than your school", "my daddy is stronger than your daddy". And that's the issue I was trying to argue with him about; they all are schools of Aikido as long as, IMHO, the core principles and concepts are intacts. They r diff. ways to get to the summit; I c these ways are close to each others. Hey ... rn't waving at each others in this forum while we're doing Aikido each in his/her training path?

But has Aikikai, Yoshinkan, Iwama, Yoseikan, etc. ever nullified the teaching of each others and claimed that it was not Aikido that the other side practiced? I wouldn't think so. Right?!

P.S. ur daddy might be stronger than mine, but mine carries a licensed concealed 0.45 ... watch out ... Just kidding :-D

I think almost everyone I have met at one time or another has had an attitude like that. It is human nature to believe we are attached to the best and to look a little down on our neighbor thus lifting ourselves up. It has to do with a desire to build our self identity.
It's a disease of the fallen soul and a part of even the best of us. The most we can do is to catch ourselves when we do it and to try and be as charitable as possible. A Sensei once told me that he was strictly taught by his Shihan never to criticize other instructors but when his Shihan was drunk, all he did was to criticize other instructors. Thankfully, when he was sober, he never did but deep in there, the criticism lived. The alcohol weakened his resolve not to criticize so it was revealed at those times. In a way, it is admirable that he would hold it back but revealing to know that it was still there.
Best,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 05-08-2006, 08:48 AM   #14
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

[quoteOf course non-Aikikai dojos are not recognised by the Aikikai. Non-Yoshinkan dojos are not recognised by the Yoshinkan, etc.[/quote]

Hi, may I ask what you mean by "recognise"? The Yoshinkan was started with Ueshiba Sensei's permission and blessing, and to this day, the head of the Yoshinkan attends the All Japan Aikido Demonstration given by the Aikikai, and he sits at the head table.

As far as I know, there is no "recognition" of rank between the two organinzations...perhaps that is what you meant.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:05 AM   #15
Mark Freeman
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

I belong to a federation that is not affiliated to the Aikikai. It's not something that normally enters my consciousness.
I practice with a teacher who has learnt from a number of O'Sensei's direct students, as far as I'm concerned, the quality of your teacher and his/her teaching is far more important than the name of the organisation or the 'validity' that is given or not by a 'governing body'.
I have no negative thoughts regarding any other aikido 'group' as long as they uphold the spirit of O'Sensei's teaching.

regards,
Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:20 AM   #16
Hanna B
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
As far as I know, there is no "recognition" of rank between the two organinzations...perhaps that is what you meant.
I was unclear, but you last assumption fits well with what I meant. Maybe Yoshinkan has another terminology, but when a national aikido organisation - or another organisation - "belongs" to Aikikai, and have their dan ranks through the Aikikai, it is pronounced in the way that they have "recognition" from the Aikikai hombu. The thread starter said that his friend said "all other federations are not recognized by Aikikai Honbu dojo" and well, in a way it is true but it still means nothing. That is what I wanted to say. Assuming that other aikido styles should need "recognition" from the Aikikai is to see the Aikikai as the center of the aikido universe - which I am sure you do not.

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
The Yoshinkan was started with Ueshiba Sensei's permission and blessing, and to this day, the head of the Yoshinkan attends the All Japan Aikido Demonstration given by the Aikikai, and he sits at the head table.
Well, Chikai Aikidoka - if your friend continues his talk, maybe this is something to tell him! I would not spend too much energy on it, though. Chances are he will never be convinced. If it does come from his teacher... be sure he never will, because people in general just can not face that their teachers are wrong about things, and if so it is probably better the less you talk about the matter. We believe and obey authority - we are created that way. It is so easy for people from a big organisations or styles to look down on smaller ones - the opposite is also quite possible but less common, and generally looks slightly different.
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:37 AM   #17
Hanna B
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

I had a friend in the US who has moved about quite a lot, and on one occasion the only available dojo that he thought was good was an independent dojo. As I understand the story the main teacher of this dojo somehow got caught inbetween when Tohei split the Aikikai back around 1970, and ended up independent. My friend was slightly reluctant to take gradings in this dojo, since he wanted Aikikai ranks. As I told you he moves a lot, and everywhere in the world aikido people know what an Aikikai rank is (at least in theory. In reality it varies a lot but that is another issue). A rank from an independent dojo could be anything from a rank given by an excellent teacher to some bogus, and unless you know about the teacher you do not know what the rank means.

When my friend eventually transferred to an Aikikai dojo, there was no problem with his kyu ranks - he could continue from the rank he had been given by the independent teacher, probably because this independent teacher is wellknown and respected and also my friend had trained quite many years compared to his rank. My friend took his shodan in the Aikikai dojo, and values his Aikikai shodan a lot more than he would have a shodan from this independent teacher - but had he truly been this independent teacher's student, I am sure he would have felt otherwise. Everyone involved must admit that my friend's time was better spent in this independent teacher's dojo than in some Aikikai dojo with less outstanding teacher. Obviously, no one really cared about "Aikikai" or "not Aikikai" for any other reason than the ranks.
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Old 05-09-2006, 01:33 AM   #18
David Yap
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

Hi Maumote Chami,

Quote:
Maumote Chami wrote:
How do I politically correctly put it to him that although they're diff. schools of style but at the end it's a 1 Aikido with the same principles w/ diff. flavors??
Aikido is already a complex art to study for anyone who do not have any prior MA training. To get into the politics of the various aikido organizations only intense its complexity. IMO, it is a study by itself. You need to go into the history and evolution of aikido and its respective organizations. The politics of the major organizations and the politics within these organizations and their affiliates is a never ending subject considering all (human) factors that created the politics. Sadly but realistically, rankings are tools of such politics.

We always look at Aikido as a MA created by M Ueshiba. Then, it is also argued that the term "Aikido" is also used as a classification/label by the DAI NIHON BUTOKUKAI to cover all similar MA - e.g. Korindo Aikido. Interview with Minoru Hirai sensei Generally, the aikido we refer to and train in is the aikido of M Ueshiba and the major organizations of this lineage are:

Controlled and managed by his direct descendants - Aikikai
Of his direct students -
Yoshinkan Aikido - Gozo Shioda
Shin shin Toitsu Aikido - Koichi Tohei
Tomiki Aikido - Kenji Tomiki
Aiki Manseido - Kanshu Sunadomari
Yoseikan - Minoru Mochizuki
Tendoryu Aikido - Kenji Shimizu
and the latest addition - Shin shin Aiki Shuren-Kai - Hirohito Saito (trained as child with O Sensei)

As for the ART, you are right about, "..but at the end it's a 1 Aikido". There are different paths to go up a mountain but the view is the same at the top. I agree with Lan -
Quote:
..get from point "A" to "B" are what keeps this whole art so interesting
To enjoy the journey, we must remain a student and forget about the ranks and hakama.

As for your friend - do you need to correct him? IMO, no. Just ask him to do his own research rather than listening to his teacher. That 25% of the teaching may not be 100% right

Best training

David Y
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Old 05-09-2006, 02:20 AM   #19
Chris Li
 
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

Quote:
Maumote Chami wrote:
But has Aikikai, Yoshinkan, Iwama, Yoseikan, etc. ever nullified the teaching of each others and claimed that it was not Aikido that the other side practiced? I wouldn't think so. Right?!
Well, Moriteru Ueshiba stated outright in "Best Aikido" that "styles that practiced compeition" (ie Shodokan) were not Aikido.

Of course, people have to make up their own minds as to whether they agree with that viewpoint or not.

I know that the "many roads up the same mountain" view is politically correct, but in all fairness, since some things are obviously not Aikido there must be some point at which something becomes "not Aikido", even in spite of some past connection to Morihei Ueshiba. The exact location of that point I leave as an exercise to the reader .

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-09-2006, 02:58 AM   #20
villrg0a
 
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

IMHO there is only one Aikido. Tell him that it is the manner in which they are taught that makes the difference. Some concentrates on variations, some on basics. Others on flowing, others on static. Others on self-defense, others for exercise, etc., etc. Depending on your affiliation, the method of teaching and focus on training varies.
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Old 05-09-2006, 03:02 AM   #21
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
Well, Moriteru Ueshiba stated outright in "Best Aikido" that "styles that practiced compeition" (ie Shodokan) were not Aikido.
Odd that his father, the guy who started Aikido did not mind at all that there was a style with competition in it. Ueshiba was very competitive himself in his younger years. He seemed to have mellowed down in his old age.

Anyway, the people who understand, understand prefectly.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-09-2006, 03:13 AM   #22
Hanna B
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

Quote:
Yann Golanski wrote:
Odd that his father, the guy who started Aikido did not mind at all that there was a style with competition in it.
You know that for sure? I have read otherwise, do not remember where though.
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Old 05-09-2006, 03:43 AM   #23
David Yap
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

Hi all,

There is always something about coincidences - coincidentally, these two just crop up in the Aikido Journal blogs while we were on this subject:

Interview with Doshu & Moriteru Ueshiba and
Aikido - Hierarchy versus Rhizome

Read on

David Y
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Old 05-09-2006, 04:52 AM   #24
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

Quote:
Hanna Björk wrote:
You know that for sure? I have read otherwise, do not remember where though.
Which bit?

The first one was from Tomiki himself who said that Ueshiba never asked him to leave the Aikikai nor asked him to stop teaching randori. Shodokan home page reference

The second one comes from Ueshiba's attitude in his youth. He did not mind other "testing" his Aikido and that is a competitive attitude.

So, yeah I do know for sure.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-09-2006, 04:57 AM   #25
Hanna B
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Re: Diff. styles, 1 Aikido

Quote:
Yann Golanski wrote:
The first one was from Tomiki himself who said that Ueshiba never asked him to leave the Aikikai nor asked him to stop teaching randori. Shodokan home page reference
What I remember is an interview with an Aikikai shihan (don't remember who) where he told how osensei would be irritated when people mentioned Tomiki's name, and complain about how he introduced competition in aikido. It could be an "urban myth", I do not know.
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