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Old 03-02-2007, 08:02 AM   #176
Budd
 
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
What vaule is rank other than your relationship to your teacher? Interesting! And it ties in with #5 and #7.
Who can define in any given Dojo whose definition of Aiki matters?

Well, Who is the real authority? The man with twenty years of sweat in training? Or the man who can be unmoved by the former's every attempt and yet move -him- around at will with Aiki? Expertise due to relaitionship? or skill?
"I don't look to authority for truth. I look to truth for authority."

Again who is really doing Aikido?
The masters of Aiki? Or the masters of early students response-driven ukemi play that has, over time, solidified a method or corpus of training that was never the intent in the first place?
I hear the echo of a booming voice entering the Hombu shouting "This is not my Aikido!"
And being written off as just a cantakerous old man. When he in fact might have meant every, single, word.

So, is it in structure and the resultant aiki
Or the waza that is just a manifistation of the results.
I think its clear that the larger body of practitioners are just going through the motions and performing the later.

Cheers
Dan
Without arguing for or against any of the above, where does the uke/nage paradigm properly fit into practice?

Is it a transition point in time to describe who is doing what?

Is each person always uke AND nage at any given time?

Is it the middleground between solo work and randori to "drill" waza that may "happen" as a result of structure and aiki?

Does it 'depend'?

Should it be thrown out altogether?

To include Ecosamurai's point, does all of this hinge on an assumption of how one's practice includes atemi?

I have my own thoughts, but I'm a pretty small fry in this happy meal, so I'm more interested in others' discussions.
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:20 AM   #177
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Naw you missed it entirely, MIke. I'm a terrible writer.
I was only discussing the different ways some guys in different arts respond to structure. ONLY as an example was I offering a comparison between styles. Judo, MMA Aikido etc. Such as an MMA'er Standing outside the range and striking or kicking or moving in and kneeing you as a response to a diffictkly structure.
And I was stating the men with structure "offer" zero input to the aikidoka to then play with not aikido folks "having" zero input..

Dan
Cool, clears things up. Basically you're talking about what most people in aikido would call 'openings'. Right? I have the feeling that what you're saying about not offering input to an aikidoka amounts to what is commonly referred to as not offering a committed attack. A quick example would be continuously jabbing at an aikidoka thus making it difficult for them to execute kotegaeshi on the hand you're jabbing with. Sound about right?

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:21 AM   #178
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
To include Ecosamurai's point
LOL, wish I could go back in time and change my bloody username, seemed like a good idea at the time hehe....

Mike

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Old 03-02-2007, 09:17 AM   #179
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

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Mike Haft wrote: View Post
LOL, wish I could go back in time and change my bloody username, seemed like a good idea at the time hehe....
Well, at least you didn't name yourself 'aikibirdy', 'aikiwolfie' or 'aikipoopie' -- no offense to any aikido canines, avians or other endangered fecies that may live or post on this planet . . .
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:06 AM   #180
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

I am thinking and rethinking some of my notions about Ueshiba, aikido, uke/nage and ukemi.

One thing I am noting now, is that while looking at some of the videos on YouTube, Ueshiba doesn't move very much. Once he has touched his attacker, there isn't a whole lot of external movement on his part. The ukemi that he is taking has to be internal.

However, once he has done that, then the attacker, who is now taking ukemi, is making big external movements. Hmmm ...

Mark
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:28 PM   #181
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I am thinking and rethinking some of my notions about Ueshiba, aikido, uke/nage and ukemi.

One thing I am noting now, is that while looking at some of the videos on YouTube, Ueshiba doesn't move very much. Once he has touched his attacker, there isn't a whole lot of external movement on his part. The ukemi that he is taking has to be internal.

However, once he has done that, then the attacker, who is now taking ukemi, is making big external movements. Hmmm ...

Mark
Ueshiba was doing Aiki-do
Most everyone else is going Full speed......in the wrong direction. all while openly wondering why they can't find the magic, why they just, can't, make it happen. They know somethings wrong, somethings missing.
But still they artificially lift Ueshiba up, telling themselves he's out of reach- they settle for less. When the answer is there for them....every one.
Most will spend the rest of their lives staring at waza- looking at their hands, knowing there's something there... but something's missing.
And waiting for it to "happen" through waza....

Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-12-2007 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 03-26-2007, 11:03 PM   #182
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Sagawa Yukioshi on bodywork and Ukemi

Solo training
Training must be done EVERYDAY for the rest of your life. That is the meaning of “Shugyo.” No matter how much muscle you think you aren’t using (you’re only misleading yourself.) The true execution of Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training to condition the body (Tanren). It is not easy to attain.
You won’t be able to manifest Aiki unless you continue tanren of the body everyday for decades. You must train the body, ponder and have the techniques “seep out” from the body itself. Even if you train everyday all the while changing yourself, it will take at least 20 years. Ten years or so isn’t nearly enough time.
Your body has to truly be ready; otherwise no matter what you do you won’t be able to do “Aiki.”

Ukemi
"The reason practitioners from some styles are weak and no good is because they do not train (Tanren) their bodies. Only amateurs think that techniques are enough and that training the body is unnecessary. They understand nothing.
In reality unless you train the body you will not be able to do technique. If Uke simply throws himself into the air, neither side will understand anything. ...... Frankly, the thought of “If you take Ukemi a lot you will begin to understand.” is ridiculous.
The job of Ukemi is completely different from Tori. If you want to become good at Tori you must practice in that direction. No matter how good you become at taking falls, it won’t make your skills at taking someone down become better."


I am enjoying reading a book hitherto unknown to me. It is facinating to "hear" so much across almost a hundred years of training history -addressing many of the issues that some folks here think are "new" and "strange" concepts being talked about from the very foundation of their own art.
The job of Tori is true Ukemi... to remain standing.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-26-2007 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 03-26-2007, 11:45 PM   #183
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I am enjoying reading a book hitherto unknown to me. It is facinating to "hear" so much across almost a hundred years of training history -addressing many of the issues that some folks here think are "new" and "strange" concepts being talked about from the very foundation of their own art.

Cheers
Dan
Hi Dan,
What's the book? I scanned the posts to see if you had mentioned it and I had missed it but i didn't see it.
- George

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Old 03-26-2007, 11:54 PM   #184
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Probably "Tomei na Chikara - Fuseishutsu no Bujutsu-ka, Sagawa Yukiyoshi" (Transparent Power - The Extraordinary Martial Artist, Sagawa Yukiyoshi). I think Rob John was working on a translation of it.
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Old 03-26-2007, 11:56 PM   #185
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Yup! Tom Nailed it.
"Clear Power" by Sagawa Yukioshi.
Sagawa was a student of Takeda- probably the greatest Aiki man of the last century after Takeda. It's reported that he paid Ueshiba a visit when Ueshiba was 68 and supposedly enlightened and was most certainly powerful. Sagawa stopped him dead in his tracks. That doesn't mean Ueshiba didn't have substantial skills. Sagawa was simply better at them.
When Sagawa was in his seventies he threw Olympic gold medal Judoka's around.And in his eighties go dan AIkidoka.
Not bad for an old gent.

Last edited by DH : 03-27-2007 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 03-27-2007, 12:09 AM   #186
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Yup! Tom Nailed it.
"Clear Power" by Sagawa Yukioshi.
Sagawa was a student of Takeda- probably the greatest Aiki man of the last century after Takeda. It's reported that he paid Ueshiba a visit when Ueshiba was 68 and supposedly enlightened and was most certainly powerful. Sagawa stopped him dead in his tracks. That doesn't mean Ueshiba didn't have substantial skills. Sagawa was simply better at them.
Of course, that's the story according to Sagawa. I'm not saying that it wasn't true, but that kind of anecdotal brag story is very common in Japan - Yukawa used to tell the same kind of story about how he grabbed Sokaku Takeda and stopped him dead. I tend to take most of those stories with a grain of salt.

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-27-2007, 12:38 AM   #187
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Hi CHris
True enough. But actually most of serious guys in Budo I've met aren't full of it. Many of the most talented were/are all a bit of a character and mildly wierd in a good way. But lying really wasn't a common theme. I've seen more than a few well known and very high ranked guys stopped in their tracks. But they were stopped using these skills.

For me, the point is not so much "who" wins. The point is that the skills are the winner. The fact that Sagawa had the stuff to stop Takeda also supports the fact that he got the stuff -from- Takeda and worked it. Just as Ueshiba and Kodo had. So again I look at all of it as the method or skills are the winner. There are a few stories floating about here and there about men who felt various combinations of the big four; Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo, Ueshiba, and favoured Sagawa as superior over the other students. Is it any wonder if Sagawa new it already and agreed?
Mores the point is that it means if they had it and it was taught then there is hope for every man to try to get them for themselves. It wasn't some single, crazy, genius afterall.
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Old 03-27-2007, 01:02 AM   #188
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
For me, the point is not so much "who" wins. The point is that the skills are the winner. The fact that Sagawa had the stuff to stop Takeda also supports the fact that he got the stuff -from- Takeda and worked it.
Yukawa (Tsutomu), not Sagawa, was the one who told the story about stopping Takeda dead.

In any case, I'll agree that Sagawa seems to have had some hot stuff, and he certainly had some interesting training methods.

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-27-2007, 05:08 AM   #189
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Stopping someone is not that big of a deal, and it does not prove that you are better than the other person. Much harder and more noteworthy is to throw someone who is trying to stop you. If you can do this right from first touch it's very convincing proof of superior skill. The more time you need to set it up, the less convincing a demonstration it becomes.

-G DiPierro
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:06 AM   #190
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

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Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
Stopping someone is not that big of a deal, and it does not prove that you are better than the other person. Much harder and more noteworthy is to throw someone who is trying to stop you. If you can do this right from first touch it's very convincing proof of superior skill. The more time you need to set it up, the less convincing a demonstration it becomes.

-G DiPierro
Well I don't know if I agree or disagree. It's really about definitions and levels. On one level yes. The one with superior structure can throw and greatly disrupt at a touch. Taking center on contact with any part of the body whether you touch the head or knee or chest.

However, the greater the skill, the harder it is to throw someone with skill. There are limits to everything, So on a certain level I can see two masters of aiki not being able to throw each other. But the superior one perhaps being able to stop the others attempts to move or apply skills.
Mike tells a story of two taiji masters meeting for a bout. With everyone watching they touched hands to grapple and no one moved. Everyone applauded the tie. The lessor men privately went to the other and ackowledged he won, and admitted he knew the other guy had him but was being polite. Why? He had the ability to stop him dead.

On another level being able to stop someone who is trying everything they have at their disposal to throw -you-and stopping them dead is a skill the results in them being "owned." The throw is secondary. Which is more along the path of what Ueshiba saw, and had in mind about his Budo.

Most people haven't met someone with substantial structure and skill and probably don't really know what it means to try and throw someone who has it. Most folks operate on a technical level. Trying to gain some some understanding thru waza. Thats worse than taking the slow boat to China. At least with the boat you know you'll get there sooner or later. There's no guarranty with waza.

Last edited by DH : 03-27-2007 at 06:12 AM.
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Old 03-27-2007, 08:50 AM   #191
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
On another level being able to stop someone who is trying everything they have at their disposal to throw -you-and stopping them dead is a skill the results in them being "owned." The throw is secondary. Which is more along the path of what Ueshiba saw, and had in mind about his Budo.
My point was simply that it's easier to stop someone from throwing you than it is to throw the same person. Surely you wouldn't disagree with that. Controlling someone such that you could throw them but without actually throwing them is another matter entirely, and it's too easy for something like that to become a matter of one's imagination being greater than his ability. This affliction is so common in martial arts like aikido that do not do realistic resistance training that I myself prefer to see proof.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:22 AM   #192
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Me, I can't imagine who stopped whom. I can equally believe that Sagawa did what Dan says he said he did, or Ueshiba simply thought that Sagawa was still the irritating guy that he was as a teenager, when he, Ueshiba, started training. "Hey Mori, hey Mori - c'mon, try your stuff on me, you aint got it, old man, c'mon."
One of my biggest regrets is as follows: a rather prominent guy in "progressive martial arts studies" in Japan (No, I won't say who), as a young man, used to train aikido, before going off and reserrecting some koryu, Chinese martial arts, internal Japanese secrets, etc, and writing books and being prominent. One day, me and my first wife were visiting a school friend of hers and he said that he had joined the dojo of a master, who taught at the Budokan, and given "your husband" does martial arts, wouldn't we like to see him. We heard wonderous stories how be beat a prominent sumo wrestler, and was a sword master, etc. So OK, we went. I was really kind of excited to meet a real master.
Well, we didn't go INTO the Budokan - we went behind it, in the grove of trees, and there was a small group of young Japanese - new-age kids - and up comes Mr. X, with whom I'd used to practice in Aikido, which disappointed me in the "master" sense, 'cause unless he'd done a major upgrade in three years, I didn't think master and X in the same thought. He was dressed in formal kimono and haori with high geta like a samurai, with a sword - outside! In Japan! - that was wrapped in about four layers of suede leather (I guess it was so wrapped up that it was street - legal, but he actually had it in his sash!!!!!!). Anyway, he recognized me and in a very patronizing way, began to tell me how he'd discovered the secrets of martial arts and how he'd gone to Iwama and stopped Saito Morihiro cold in his tracks. Eventually, he grabbed my hand and he put an "aikido" nikkyo on it, and then he said, "feel this. THIS is the difference." He changed the angle slightly -- - - - - - but nothing really happened. I would like to note that he had his back to the Budokan moat, with his calves touching a one-foot high cable. My wrists used to be kinda like cable, too, in those days, and I was just standing there - irritated - "taking ukemi" (Hi Dan) - and my body was going, 'shove him over the cable!' My mind's eye could see him tumbing down-down-down the slope into the scummy moat, his kimono and hakama up around his ears. But my mind was also saying, "S ---- (my then wife) is going to be really pissed off. Really. This is her h.s. friend's teacher and she's called you a beast already over some other escapades." So I simply stood there and said, "Wow, I can really feel the difference! I can hardly move." With a smug little nod, he let go. Still, to this day, I so regret not indulging in that little shove - - - - - down he goes again in my minds eye, down, down, down, splash.
Maybe Sagawa stopped Ueshiba or maybe Ueshiba's wife was watching.
I agree with Dan in this sense - people who've been to WAR tend, often, to be reticent about talking about what they did, what they saw, etc., and few, that I've met, do much bragging. But martial artists? Particularly "internal" martial artists? At one point, I was traveling in Taiwan, considering moving there and possibly shifting my field of study from Japanese to Chinese martial arts. Each teacher I met told me how superior their skills were and to prove it, by and large, they all told me that they defeated, dumped, tripped, knocked over, Wang Shu Chin, or that his technique was crude and he was too fat. I ended up figuring that the guy that everybody wanted me to know that they could beat was probably the real tough guy.

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 03-27-2007 at 09:26 AM.

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Old 03-27-2007, 09:35 AM   #193
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
At one point, I was traveling in Taiwan, considering moving there and possibly shifting my field of study from Japanese to Chinese martial arts. Each teacher I met told me how superior their skills were and to prove it, by and large, they all told me that they defeated, dumped, tripped, knocked over, Wang Shu Chin, or that his technique was crude and he was too fat. I ended up figuring that the guy that everybody wanted me to know that they could beat was probably the real tough guy.
Didn't Kazuo Chiba also claim to have broken Wang Shu Jin's wrist?

R
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:57 AM   #194
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

There were five witnesses. I've spoken to three of them. He didn't.
Best

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Old 03-27-2007, 09:59 AM   #195
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Ellis, another gem of a post! Thanks so much. I look forward to this sort of stuff on budo discussion sites. It's worth wading through lots of other posts to find these gems. Nothing beats original authority.

Chuck Clark
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Old 03-27-2007, 10:31 AM   #196
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

敵は本能寺にあり!

The enemy awaits at Honnōji!

The perceived target is not always the actual target. In "stopping" someone from doing a particular technique, one may actually have just walked into a planned ambush. In general, I find stopping someone's technique to be neither an accurate measure of skill nor terribly intelligent from a strategic point of view. Changing it, on the other hand...

As an aside, I've yet to meet someone who can "stop" a technique from happening while they're still trying to stand up after meeting Mr. Kuzushi.

Michael Hacker
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Old 03-27-2007, 10:51 AM   #197
Erik Johnstone
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Quote:
Probably "Tomei na Chikara - Fuseishutsu no Bujutsu-ka, Sagawa Yukiyoshi" (Transparent Power - The Extraordinary Martial Artist, Sagawa Yukiyoshi). I think Rob John was working on a translation of it.
Sorry for the thread drift..

Dan, is the copy you are reading the one currently available in Japanese, or has an English translation come out?

Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2007, 12:14 PM   #198
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Me, I can't imagine who stopped whom. I can equally believe that Sagawa did what Dan says he said he did, or Ueshiba simply thought that Sagawa was still the irritating guy that he was as a teenager, when he, Ueshiba, started training. "Hey Mori, hey Mori - c'mon, try your stuff on me, you aint got it, old man, c'mon."
According to "Tomei na Chikara", Sagawa had to pester Ueshiba quite a bit and ended up just grabbing his wrists. Anyway, Ueshiba laughed and invited him to Aikikai hombu to teach. Sagawa agreed initially, but changed his mind later on.

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-27-2007, 02:18 PM   #199
Thomas Campbell
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Quote:
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[snip]
Mike tells a story of two taiji masters meeting for a bout. With everyone watching they touched hands to grapple and no one moved. Everyone applauded the tie. The lessor men privately went to the other and ackowledged he won, and admitted he knew the other guy had him but was being polite. Why? He had the ability to stop him dead.

[snip]
Chen Fake was the pre-eminent Chen style taijiquan master of the twentieth century, and certainly among the top taijiquan practitioners of all styles. Hong Junsheng, a long-time disciple of Chen, related the following story:

"Mr. Shen San was the number one wrestler in China. One day Master Chen met him at a martial arts competition. Upon meeting, the two aged martial artists exchanged greetings of mutual respect while shaking hands. Shen then said, "I have heard that Taijiquan is famous for being soft. In the ring, competition is conducted through drawing lots. What will a Taijiquan practitioner do if he is to face a wrestler?" Master Chen answered, "I think there should be a way for a Taijiquan practitioner to compete against a wrestler. I am not experienced in this, but I know that when two parties fight, it is not customary to first ask in what style the other party is proficient." The respectable Shen then proposed that to answer the question he and Master Chen compare fighting techniques. Master Chen said, "I don't know how to wrestle but I enjoy watching wrestling as an art form. I know that wrestlers always grab the opponent's sleeve before applying any techniques." As he was saying this, he extended both forearms, which Master Shen then grabbed. At the time some students and I were watching them and were quite excited at the prospect of having the rare chance to witness two great masters compete. But, unfortunately, someone came to deliver a message to the two masters regarding a business meeting. They left right away, hand in hand, laughing. Two days later, Shen came with a gift when we were practicing in Master Chen's house. I invited him in. The respectable Shen said to Master Chen, "Thank you for not humiliating me that day." My master answered, "Not at all! Vice versa." When I heard their conversation, I thought that they had engaged in another match and felt unfortunate for losing the chance to see them compete after all. Seeing me absorbed in thoughts, the respectable Shen asked, "Didn't Master Chen tell you what happened the other day?" I replied that he had not. The respectable Shen was apparently moved. "Your master is the best. Especially his morals. You must learn from him! Experts can tell the level of kungfu by one single touch. When I grabbed your master's hands, I knew that his skill was far superior to mine because I couldn't apply any strength to him." After respectable Shen spoke with my master for a while and left, a student said to my master, "Since that's the case, why didn't you throw him out [toss him to the ground during the public encounter two days earlier]?" "Throw him out? Why throw him out?" The student didn't dare to answer because he saw the master was so upset. "Now you tell me, do you want to be thrown around in front of so many people?" The student answered "Of course not." "Oh, you don't like it either? How can you apply something to others if you don't want it applied to yourself? You shouldn't even have thought of such a silly idea!" Then he turned to everyone who was present and said, "It is very difficult for a person to become famous like Master Shen. So we should bear other people's reputation in mind at all times when we do something." In hindsight, I thought that it was extremely noble of Master Shen, the number one national wrestler, to admit in front of so many young people that he met a formidable opponent. It is little wonder that since then the two of them have been close friends. They were, in all respects, equally great masters. At the time, Master Chen also told us that through that one touch he had sensed that Master Shen was extremely fast and, if they were to fight, it would have been difficult to predict the result. It is obvious that they two respected one another. They are both our models to learn from and to keep in memory."

https://www.epsb.net/~jchen/chen_fake.htm
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:22 PM   #200
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Personally, I truly don't care who beat whom. I'd be just as content were it the other way round. Who beat who was really not even close to the point. I mentioned it for a reason beyond all that.

As for the worth of stopping technique? I think we'd first have to agree what it really means and who uses what terminology for what. It's easy to dissipate meaning based on a common point of refference. It's self reinforcing and the way its always been.
No matter.

Last edited by DH : 03-27-2007 at 04:30 PM.
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