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Old 03-29-2007, 06:49 AM   #1
DH
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Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

As I begin to once again -do- Aikido I wonder.
There is an old adage about the life of a corporation having to renew itself.
1. The company begins with an entrepreneurial spirit and vision
2. It succeeds and sets a new standard
3. It becomes well known and begins to rest on it laurels
4. It struggles to keep up in new burgeoning markets and wonders why the market is no longer looking to it, as it continually looks backwards.
5. It fades against a backdrop of a new company with an entrepreneurial spirit and vision who.......

Ueshiba Morihei was both an internal Artist and a supreme MMA'er of his culture, of his time... his whole life. If we look, he left the traditional arts and went full-bore into MMA.
In his old age showing up at the Kodakan. Aikido against Judo folks!! of an era still talked about today with the then judo “greats.” What on earth was he thinking?
I can only imagine where he would train were he to come back today, say as a thirty year old. I'd venture a guess that Aikido, as it is commonly practiced today would probably not entice him in the least. I say he would be doing MMA.... with internal skills, and perhaps reading the Non-Aikido Martial traditions section of his own arts forums.

I re-read a whole lot these past weeks to help a friends research. Part of it was to reread a series of interviews regrading Ueshiba. Everywhere he was pointing to MMA, Martial research and internal power. THAT....was his AIki way, and he both demonstrably and verbally kept talking about personal Aikido....your Aikido. Never corporate, company aikido. Odd that so many slaved away under him, while -HE- pointed outside of his own "company" and said "They or he or she are doing -real- Aikido!" And then he went to his own corporate Headquarters, walked in the door and shouted "This is not my AIkido!!" and preceded to lecture.
He, as the CEO, was scoffed at then and there. Taken lightly or dissmissed as being a cranky old guy when he boomed!. Today, more so. Maybe the company founder knew exactly what he was talking about and was pointing to the right path all along.

I wonder if George, and Ikeda are not on to something profound by looking outside too. I wonder what following Ueshiba's vision really means to begin with?
Who would Morihei say was doing "real Aikido" today? Place that MMA mindset, and internal training in todays dojo's. Where would that mind be looking and heading toward?
1. He would be in BJJ dojo's, Judo dojo's (as he actually WAS)
2. Sword schools
3. Then solo internal training that was NOT aikido technique based at all.
4. Then bringing in guest instructors from outside arts (as he actually DID) 5. Then back to those dojo's, researching, testing, proving his research.
6. Then back to his own dojo testing, researching proving his work.
Now imagine he's you.
You are the future of Aikido.

Last edited by DH : 03-29-2007 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:25 AM   #2
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Hi Dan,

To be honest with you I'm not entirely sure what the point you're trying to make in your post is. I know of many many people who cross train in various other martial arts in addition to aikido. I have students who are mainly from Tae Kwon Do or Judo backgrounds, guys from karate backgrounds. I practice three arts: aikido, kendo and iaido and I enjoy training with people from other arts than these whenever possible. I know plenty of people who are BJJ students who also do aikido. Kung Fu guys, Taiji guys. One of my sempai practices Taiji alongside aikido and finds them both extremely rewarding. I'm not the only one either, I'm pretty sure that if Jun were to put a poll up (assuming he hasn't done so in the past already) asking how many people cross trained in other arts the numbers would be fairly high. Isn't that representative of a lot of what you said above? Or is MMA something that in your mind has a different definition? i.e. separate from simply cross-training as you described the reincarnated Ueshiba doing in your previous post?

I've personally always been slightly wary of MMA as a principle not so much because I disagree with it in theory (I like the theory, hence the reason I like to cross train), but the people I've met who are MMA devotees have overwhemingly been cherry-pickers who take bits and pieces from whatever art they fancy as being 'effective', though they never actually define what they mean by 'effective'. That doesn't mean all or even most MMAers are like this mind, just the ones I've met. I recall one guy telling me that aikido wristlocks didn't work, he practically screamed when I put a nikyo on him. I think that says more about individuals than the principle as a whole though.

I am genuinely curious as to how and if you would differentiate between cross-training (a relatively common practice for many aikido students in my own personal experience) and MMA?

Regards

Mike Haft

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:51 AM   #3
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Another view of Ueshiba Morihei's power...

Quote from "Aikido Shugyo - Harmony in Confrontation", Shioda Gozo's book:

"Sensei (Ueshiba Morihei) was invited to go there and give a demonstration as part of a big martial arts tournament. There were a lot of Judo practitioners around and one of them who had watched Sensei's demonstration came and challenged him, saying that he didn't believe what he had just seen. The challenger, whom I will call Mr. N was known at that time as the rival of Masahiko Kimura. Of course, Mr. N was considerably larger than the average person and when he and Sensei faced each other, it looked just like an adult with a child.

Suddenly, Mr. N came in to grab Sensei's inside collar and, pulling him in, tried to execute a hip spring throw. That was it. Mr. N's gigantic figure buckled and he crumpled to the floor right there. As for Sensei, he was standing very quietly as if nothing had happened. The spectators were thrown into an uproar because nobody quite understood what they had just witnessed.

As it happens, Sensei had delivered a light blow with his fist to Mr. N's hip just as he stepped into Sensei's chest. The timing was absolutely perfect. From a conversation I overheard later I learned that Mr. N's hip bone was broken so severely that he would never fully recover.

This same principle can be applied in free-for-all fights as well. Discerning the opponent's movements and delivering an atemi at just the right moment will result in a very effective technique."

My gut level understanding of this is: Mr. N wanted to test his technique against something he thought was not real... he wanted to throw a fellow senior budoka with a judo hane goshi that would have no lasting effect other than most likely a strong fall from the ukemi. Something judoka do with each other every time they get on the tatami together. On the other side, Ueshiba Morihei must have viewed the "confrontation" differently because he "delivered a light blow" with the "same principle can be applied in free-for-all fights" which resulted in Mr. N's hip bone being broken so severly that he would never fully recover.

I just thought this first hand memory from Shioda would illustrate one encounter that Ueshiba Morihei had with a judo man that left a strong impression on both Shioda and Mr. N.

Best regards,

Chuck Clark
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www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:59 AM   #4
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
And then he went to his own corporate Headquarters, walked in the door and shouted "This is not my AIkido!!" and preceded to lecture.
I find it interesting that this is the third or fourth time that this anecdotal statement has been mentioned. I also find it very interesting as to the standards of acceptance of the points in debate on either side. Where is the similar critique of language or circumstance or finessed translation on what O Sensei supposedly meant in the anecdotal event mentioned here? Why would one refuse to accept the plain import of things he is reasonably well-documented to have actually said, emphatically, in generally reliable and well-regarded regarded translation (and presumably to mean it when he said it.)

I find the contrast of approach interesting. My reliance on an authoritative, well-attributed interview in which O Sensei (with Kisshomaru Doshu also present and speaking) makes an emphatic point on "absolute non-resistance" several times, in several different ways, all to the same essential effect, is dismissed. I am told, among other things, that I do not understand the plain words, that it must be a bad translation, or alternatively, that what was said could not possibly be what was meant. http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=612
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=611
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=618
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=626
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=647

Why the uncritical willingnness to believe that THIS statement means just exactly what YOU want it to mean? Especially since the anecdotal account seen so far does not in the least bit elaborate on WHY the instance of practice he was observing was objectionable. Nor is there any indication that what ever he was observing was not subsequently corrected following from that comment. Nor any explanation of why whatever he (the Founder) did criticize would not have been immediately corrected.

One cannot support a persuasive position on a chain of inferences, leaving questions such as these unanswered with regard to a statement with such an ambiguous reference. Suggestive rhetorical questions are no substitute for some actual facts.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:15 AM   #5
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Hey, chill out Erick or Jun will move this thread to the troll-pit down in the cellar of aikiweb... oops, sorry I mean the 'non-aikido martial traditions forum'....



Mike

Last edited by Ecosamurai : 03-29-2007 at 08:22 AM.

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Old 03-29-2007, 08:34 AM   #6
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Hi Mike

I think you're reply very probably makes Dan's point from my reading of his initial post. Which is that while Aikido, Kendo and Iaido may well provide a individual with an excellent skill set were he living in pre-modern Japan they would not necessarily be your first port of call were you living in a 21st century western country and your primary interest was in maximising your fighting ability for the enviroment you find yourself in.

Aikido may have been an appropriate vehicle through which Uesbiba expressed his internal power given the time and place he was born in but were he alive now and exposed to the present information available on the relative merits of different approaches to developing fighting skills then his Aikido may have developed very differently indeed.

Dave H
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:41 AM   #7
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

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Dave Holbrow wrote: View Post
Hi Mike

I think you're reply very probably makes Dan's point from my reading of his initial post. Which is that while Aikido, Kendo and Iaido may well provide a individual with an excellent skill set were he living in pre-modern Japan they would not necessarily be your first port of call were you living in a 21st century western country and your primary interest was in maximising your fighting ability for the enviroment you find yourself in.

Aikido may have been an appropriate vehicle through which Uesbiba expressed his internal power given the time and place he was born in but were he alive now and exposed to the present information available on the relative merits of different approaches to developing fighting skills then his Aikido may have developed very differently indeed.

Dave H
Probably true. But my post was actually asking Dan how he would define the difference between MMA and cross-training. I happen to practice 3 arts which as you correctly point out would not be particularly beneficial to me in certain situations except in pre-modern Japan. That's just me however (I also like to play with BJJ and Judo guys when I get the opportunity from time to time incidentally). But, what about people who practice aikido and Tai Chi, or people who practice aikido and judo? Or aikido and BJJ.

How is cross training different from MMA? That's what I was asking really. I'm sure it is differerent, just not exactly sure how you'd define the difference.

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:54 AM   #8
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Confused Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

No worries Mike

I'll leave Dan to comment on how he personally makes that distinction between cross-training and mma. I know its a distinction I make but now you ask I'm not exactly sure even in my own mind where one ends and the other starts.

Dave H
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:21 AM   #9
John A Butz
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

I can't speak for Dan, obviously, but I have always viewed the concept of MMA as being less an actual set of techniques and more a methodology of training and employment.

The MMA methodology, in my opinion, is to take your skillset and put it up against another's skill set in an environment with increasing levels of resistance, and work what you know till you reach the failure point, i.e. you are submitted or dominated positionaly and can no longer defend yourself, or you have achieved said control over the other guy.

Cross-training is, to my mind, more of a "putting tools in the toolbox" sort of thing. You study different arts and methods as individual activities. In essence, you learn several arts under the assumptions those arts make about training and combat.

Because all arts make assumptions about training and combat, you need a venue in which to experiment without the need to "do technique" and see how things can play out when you forego some of the assumptions. That is the role of mma-style training.

MMA is taking that cross-trained knowledge and removing the assumptions it was gained under in a "live" environment where the other guy is under no obligation to share the same assumptions. I do not believe that all cross training has to be mma any more then all mma has to be thai boxing crossed with BJJ and wrestling. You could practice any set of arts, in any combination of armed or unarmed, with a mindset more aligned with removing assumptions and reliance on the "techniques" of an art. I would term this randori, and I personally view it more along the lines of judo's randori then what most folks consider aikido randori.

Even in MMA-style training, you are still going to have assumptions and limitations. There is no way to practice safely without some guidelines. But by removing the arts you train in from their standard context, you will create a less restricted environment to experiment with what you know.

If you watch the mma guys train, they don't just train in the sort of thing you see in a UFC match. They will do striking combo work, BJJ drills, heavy bag work, a wide variety of skill sets acquired from different places (Crosstraining). They then train different combinations of those skills as drills, i.e. standup to create opportunities for takes downs, or newaza till you have position to ground and pound (randori). They will integrate more and more aspects of the game into the drills they do till it looks like MMA. Then, when they get to the actual event, they are able to put the skills into practice. It doesn't always look exactly like what they trained, but because they have remained aware of the underlying assumptions in their game, they are able to have a full-contact, few holds barred type of fight. When they go back to training for the next fight, they also break stuff down again, and work the elements in isolation as well as incorporating them into drills, and the cycle repeats itself.

I do not think that cross training is necessary for MMA and more then MMA is necessary for crosstraining, so long as you understand the assumptions inherent in what you are practicing. I have had no formal training outside of aikido, and have enjoyed several sessions with judo, bjj, and stand-up striking guys where we would play by a certain set of rules and do drills or roll or whatever, and all I had was my aikido. I should note that these were friendly, half-speed and power things, and that in areas where I am weak I would find myself dominated. Sometimes I would find myself in the better position, and able to execute things I had learned from my aikido.

So, in essence, the question is what venue do we use to determine how well we are able to express the principles of our aikido? How do we want to structure our exploration of the principles underlying the techniques? And how can we train under increasing resistance without having it become a competition?

I apologize for the long post.

Last edited by John A Butz : 03-29-2007 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:22 AM   #10
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Mike, you say that you practice three different arts/systems. Do you combine them and use the "other" skills to augment your aikido, when you're in the aikido dojo? Or does your aikido "remain aikido" and not look anything like TKD, or taiji, etc. when you are nage/tori?

I'd say that in MMA, the skills you acquire from a variety of sources are bound into a cohesive and cogent system unto itself. It is custom-tailored to the needs of the individual practitioner, who makes a deep study of a variety of arts that provide what he needs to be a well-rounded fighter based on his capabilities as well as limitations.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 03-29-2007 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:36 AM   #11
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Mike, you say that you practice three different arts/systems. Do you combine them and use the "other" skills to augment your aikido, when you're in the aikido dojo? Or does your aikido "remain aikido" and not look anything like TKD, or taiji, etc. when you are nage/tori?
Brief answer as I'm out of time today. Three arts, aikido, kendo and iaido. Yes I do find that things I learn in each affect the other arts and the way I practice them. For example I try to use the 'ki' or internal stuff I learned in aikido in all of them and consequently, the way I do the others looks different. I've also found that my ikkyo for example occasionally gets a bit of a fumikomi type of footwork as you'd find in kendo etc etc.. other examples too.

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:03 AM   #12
Michael McCaslin
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
I find it interesting that this is the third or fourth time that this anecdotal statement has been mentioned. I also find it very interesting as to the standards of acceptance of the points in debate on either side. Where is the similar critique of language or circumstance or finessed translation on what O Sensei supposedly meant in the anecdotal event mentioned here?
You keep bringing this point up. Here's an example from an interview with Kenji Shimizu that is posted on Aikido Journal at the moment:

Quote:
Kenji Shimizu wrote:
Was O-Sensei irregular about coming to the dojo?

Yes, he was. When I was actively practicing there he often came and went. When he showed up everyone immediately sat down. At first, I thought that people were being courteous toward him. However, it wasn't only that. It was also that the practices we were doing were different from what O-Sensei expected us to do. Once he lost his temper at us. No one realized that he had come and he shouted: "What you people are doing is not aikido." His shout was so powerful it felt like the earth was trembling. He was then in his seventies but his voice nearly pierced our ear drums. Everybody just became quiet and looked gloomy.
So it's clear that O-Sensei was unhappy with what was being done in the dojo. What is not clear, I'll give you, is why he was unhappy and what he felt was missing.

If you think aikido today is better than aikido was then, and that we have moved closer to O-Sensei's ideal, then soldier on. I don't know that I can agree that aikido today is appreciably different from aikido as it was practiced then. If it is, I'm not sure that it is *better* than it was then.

All we know is that O-Sensei was telling them in no uncertain terms that they had it wrong, and that they didn't know what to do to make it right. It's a depressing thought, but also an inspirational one. It's inspirational because there are people with direct links to the training O-Sensei had who are pointing to practices that make for more effective aikido that appear to be known only to a minority of aikido practitioners today, if any. I don't know how anyone can see a statement like "the practices we were doing were different from what O-Sensei expected us to do" from someone who was there and not be in the least bit interested in seeing what's out there while the people who have it are generous enough to show it.

I have a hard time believing that O-Sensei would be that upset if they were practicing the right techniques with the wrong attitude. I think they were doing something fundamentally different from what he wanted.

Michael
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:59 AM   #13
DH
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

I just am over trying to convince anyone. I'm not even interested in talking to the ones who sort of endlessly debate. It isn't a real discussion. I'm talking past them to folks who are really taking this stuff in and then moving forward in their training and in the discussion.
The interviews in support of what Ueshiba was saying are so numurous that its pointless to deny them. Chiba went on to state when Ueshiba did these things and then lectured;
a. They didn't have a clue what he talking about
b. They couldn't wait for him to finish so they could go back to training.
c. Training.....what? They just go tolkd it wasn't his Aiki?
What were they doing that he considered it to be "Not his aikido?"
Why was he blown-off as just an old man booming. Becasue they had no cluse how to find it? How to begin to do it? I haven't found many of that crop who were solo training. They were doing waza looking for technique to eventually instill aiki in them.
Who was really listening?

The more things change the more thay stay the same
I demonstrated what I do to a teacher who also trained with Ueshiba Morihei. When that teacher watched then felt me it was stated flatly and in no uncertain terms the following: "This is Ueshibas Aikido! They don't teach ths anymore you know! It's not in modern aikido."
One fellow and I were somewhat taken a back and explained how this is such a debate on aikiweb.The teachers looked at us puzzled and said.
"What do they know? Did -they- train with Ueshiba sensei?"

We all were sort of stumped being faced with such simple logic.
I posted that experience before. No I'm not going to reveal the source. Ellis and Chuck know who it is as well as a fellow who posts here. Here it will just get debated just like all the other personal witnesses. Somehow in today's internet, anyone with a keyboard is equal to everyone else.
That teacher doesn't post or read so I don't want to reveal their name. Its not relevant ot the point I'm making anyway The point of it is to the discussion's of what Ueshiba's Aiki really was and how he trained it. As well as HIS openess as a MMA practioner in his day.
He was NOT cross training to add to some "collection" of techniques called Aikido. Most of which came from his son as a syllabus later-on. he was concerned with testing his real skills against all comers, Sumo, Judo, jujutsu, Koryu kenjutsu, kendo etc.
He was leading and exploring and testing his power, his Aiki
Not doing a collection of techniques to add to his techical base as a cross trainer.
It's wonderfully challenging to look ahead and think like that.
I think Ikeda sensei has a keen idea and so doea George of looking outward to move Aikido forward.
Just like Ueshiba would be doing.

Last edited by DH : 03-29-2007 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:09 AM   #14
John A Butz
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
He was NOT cross training to add to some "collection" of techniques called Aikido. Most of which came from his son as a syllabus later-on. he was concerned with testing his real skills against all comers, Sumo, Judo, jujutsu, Koryu kenjutsu, kendo etc.
He was leading and exploring and testing his power, his Aiki
Not doing a collection of techniques to add to his techical base as a cross trainer.
I believe this is the key point in any discussion about cross training vs training methodology/MMA. It is NOT about acquiring a collection of waza. It is about discerning how the principles power the waza and going out and applying those principles against skilled people who don't play by your rules.

For what it is worth, I believe that Ueshiba's anger at the type of practice he witnessed stems not from the fact that the deshi were doing techniques wrong, but rather from the fact that the FOCUS of the training had become the technique.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:18 AM   #15
DH
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Quote:
John Butz wrote: View Post
It is about discerning how the principles power the waza and going out and applying those principles against skilled people who don't play by your rules.

For what it is worth, I believe that Ueshiba's anger at the type of practice he witnessed stems not from the fact that the deshi were doing techniques wrong, but rather from the fact that the FOCUS of the training had become the technique.


Amen to Non-cooperation from stangers to us and our "views" Who only want to kick our butts and are perfectly willing to demonstrate that presently.
Amen to understanding it isn't about adding more techniques.

Good on ya John
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:23 AM   #16
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Quote:
Michael McCaslin wrote: View Post
You keep bringing this point up.
Only because it has not been answered.

Quote:
Michael McCaslin wrote: View Post
What is not clear, I'll give you, is why he was unhappy and what he felt was missing.
Which is the only question worth answering in this context.

Quote:
Michael McCaslin wrote: View Post
I don't know how anyone can see a statement like "the practices we were doing were different from what O-Sensei expected us to do" from someone who was there and not be in the least bit interested in seeing what's out there while the people who have it are generous enough to show it.
What "it" is that is being shown now in certain quarters and its relation to "what he felt was missing," have not been established, and are the point of my criticism. Ushiro has been the focus of the outside critics.. He essentially said that basically aikidoka need to simply learn to hit effectively to fix the problem.
Quote:
... when Mr. Pranin asked Ushiro Sensei what suggestions he might have that might help the students improve their aikido, he replied: "Things will change if you learn how to attack better. And that's pretty much it." ... (An audio replay of the entire discussion may be heard at http://www.aikidojournal.com/downloa...dia=radio&id=7.
See: entire article: https://bujindesign.com/seminar_revi...article_1.html

Whirly-twirly dance is justly to be criticized, but it is also not what I was taught nor those alongside me. I just don't get the point of all this hand-wringing. That is not to say that the discussion is not worth the attention and the effort. I have certainly spent some effort in engaging it.

In every lineage in which I learned aikido (Saotome's, Saito's, and even briefly, Chiba, himself) we were specifically instructed in how to hit and kick, quite effectively. I see no problem in the typicality of my arc of training on that score. Mechanically, his overall point makes perfect sense: concentration of force and dissipation of force are the same exact prinicple in operation and to understand the one you must also understand the other. "In-yo ho" as Dan likes to say.

But also mechanically, his explanation of how this is occurring, while more than adequate in the idiom he learned it, needs some serious work to put into to the idiom of physical mechanics.
Quote:
Using ki, you can enter into the opponent's center instantly, directing them at will through the hips and knees. In the case of throws, too, it is not an external rotation that breaks the partner's balance, but an internal one. Because it is applied internally, the opponent cannot feel it."
http://www.uk-jj.com/news/e_06_colorado.html

Some of what I have proposed, in terms of manipulating angular momentum, centers of inertia, gyrodynamics and related principles of waveforms are all applicable to his general description. Aspects of the Huygen/Fresnel Principle on wave gates, which I have mentioned previously, come into play to precisely the same effect that Ushiro describes for the internal rotation action noted above.

I won't belabor my thoughts on these things at any greater length than I have already. It seems like it should be unobjectionable that work on defining the nature and operation of that internal rotation in the idiom of physical mechanics of the principle would be helpful. In our increasingly technological society this seems an inevitable and long overdue development in the art, to me, especially if the art is to not only survive and keep attracting and helping practitioners in the future but also to develop and grow in depth of understanding, and ability to relate its prinicples even more broadly in society.

I have heard much analogy and pointing to websites, and mention of things like tensegrity structures, but little in terms of the actual proposed dynamics of those (or any other) structures in physically meaningful internal actions in the terms that Ushiro Sensei puts it. Dan, Mike (S.), Rob, and the others in their line of thought would do well to aid everyone if they would give their thoughts in line with what Ushiro says above, on a couple of fairly simple points:

1) What structure(s), to their way of thinking is/are rotating internally?
2) How do they rotate internally ?
3) What mechanism(s) transmit that rotation externally to the other person?

Feel free to point the response to any of the other threads if you so desire. But I think I made the topicality of my point fairly clear.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 03-29-2007 at 11:31 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:36 AM   #17
Edward
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

If Osensei was unhappy about the training, he obviously would have done something about it. I believe he did have the necessary power to do it, being the founder of aikido and all. However, in his lectures that were so boring for the deshi, he was talking about heaven and earth and the kami and the universe...etc. No one understood a word of what he was saying. That's why they were so eager to go back to practice instead of sitting in seiza for an hour listening to an incomprehensible speech.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:44 AM   #18
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

I believe that the concepts, principles, and execution of aikido is dependent upon a knowledge of basic fighting. O'Sensei (and many of his senior students) had significant experience in at least one other martial art before training aikido. Today, many aikido people do not have a pre-existing knowledge of basic fighting. I feel this element of "pre-training" is important to overall understanding of aikido. Can you learn aikido without knowing karate? Sure. But the knowledge of basic striking, kicking or blocking contributes to aikido training. I encourage serious students to learn basic skill sets to accelerate their aikido training, karate, judo, jujitsu, all provide good training in Japanese stylistic fighting.

That said, I differentiate cross-training from Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). To me, cross-training implies training multiple activities simultaneously. Mixed Martial Arts denotes mixing multiple activities together in one instance. I encourage cross-training to build a better understanding of aikido, but mixing arts promotes the bastardization of technique. Many people who train aikido do not understand the difference between aikido technique and bastardized aikido technique. This misunderstanding contributes to deficient technique and deficient technique contributes to poor aikido.

Sometimes we are so quick to take something, repackage it, and call it ours, and we forget to take enough time to figure out what the heck we repackaged. MMA is a great sport, and there are great athletes who are great fighters within that sport. Aikido is not MMA. Train aikido and learn aikido using other martial arts as the foundation of knowledge.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:59 AM   #19
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Quote:
John Butz wrote: View Post
It is NOT about acquiring a collection of waza.
I, for one, never said it was. Kihon are a tool, like any tool, intended to make work possible or more efficent. They are not the work itself, an assumption which it is very right to criticize.

Quote:
John Butz wrote: View Post
It is about discerning how the principles power the waza ...
Fine. Explain the physical principles, and explain how they power the waza. Be forewarned, of course, that if you can't explain it to my satisfaction, I may decide that you do not in fact discern them. This point is explicitly based on a very unfair assumption I am making -- but it is simply the precise obverse of the often-stated, and unfounded assumption in these discussions that "X hasn't felt this; X therefore doesn't know what he is talking about."

Let's get past that silliness for once and for all. Being able to apply power -- from whatever source derived, does not mean you understand the principles of the power you are invoking and applying. Hunderds of millions of people, every day, flip a light switch without the faintest clue as to the principles they are applying in doing that. The President can launch the power of several thousand megatons of thermonuclear warheads. He almost certainly does not understand the principles that make them do what they do. I am on fairly safe ground to say that he likely can't build one even if given sound instructions, because he does NOT understand the principles he may be trying to apply.

Application does not necessarily result in discernment. Discernment may often be divorced from any possibility of application. Stephen Hawking has surely proved that.

For budo, these things must go hand in hand. It is a deep principle of Japanese budo, stemming from Neo-Confucianism, that knowledge and action be unified. For an art that is expressly intended to be instantaneously adaptive and creative, it is doubly essential.

For an art that has made many inroads toward becoming endemic in the West, it has yet to make the Western idiom a comfortable fit. It is time that this changed. That does not mean that if we just work long or hard enough then we can just flip the proverbial light switch on our aikido.

Budo doesn't work that way. It is by definition a commitment of one's entire being. Unlike the casual invocation of incidental light, it requires the whole spirit and mind as well. We cannot reach deeply into the mind of the typical Westerner until we can pass the gates of his understanding -- the idiom that is used to learn and understand things deeply.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 03-29-2007 at 12:02 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:17 PM   #20
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Quote:
Edward Karaa wrote: View Post
If Osensei was unhappy about the training, he obviously would have done something about it. I believe he did have the necessary power to do it, being the founder of aikido and all. However, in his lectures that were so boring for the deshi, he was talking about heaven and earth and the kami and the universe...etc. No one understood a word of what he was saying. That's why they were so eager to go back to practice instead of sitting in seiza for an hour listening to an incomprehensible speech.
Not really, He was seldom there anymore. He was also apparently going to the Kodokan to play with them. It would be interesting to see how often that was. Then he was at Iwama training. The teaching was Kissomaru and Tohei. Tohei then left. What's left was Kissomaru's development with his students. Which looks like a technical syllabus more than anything else.
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:20 PM   #21
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Lest this thread get too bogged down in cross-training vs. MMA discussions, I'd be curious to ask those that have more information and insight than I do, was aikido ever formally codified as being comprised of x number of techniques with x variations against x number of attacks (other than testing requirements)? If so, can you please point me to the source?

Also if so, was the codification done in such a way as to declare whether the technical syllabus was the basis of the art or examples of how the principles of the art were manifested?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:30 PM   #22
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

I for one am not being an advocate for MMA. It's just that Ueshiba was...in spades. Weird huh? Since I chose it.
That really isn't what I would focus on were I in Aikido and didn't have internal skills. In many ways you're just adding even more techniques to do...externally. But everyone decides for themselves.
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:46 PM   #23
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Yes, but then one could say, "I do aikido AND MMA!!". Plus, I enjoy collecting comic books and baseball cards.

(darn, I'm getting drawn into the madness -- now how do I hide this edit -- stupid flu)

--edited--

I'm not arguing, per se, against the cross-training or MMA approach (guilty here, of both, at times). I'm more curious as to the formal pedagogical/hoplological underpinnings of the technical syllabus of aikido. I have no doubt that the founder tested himself against others. My own belief is that's one way that you train your skills (as JAB put above, we're of like minds on the subject). How you go about doing it is another subject entirely.

Anyhow, just wondering what info people may have of how exactly the ikkyu-rokkyu x-nage series of techniques were templated into the syllabus. At what point were they implemented as the teaching method of aikido and was the emphasis on the form or the "stuff" that made it happen? If the paradigm changed over time, when, where, why?

Thanks!

*exeunt*

Last edited by Budd : 03-29-2007 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:57 PM   #24
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Mike, you say that you practice three different arts/systems. Do you combine them and use the "other" skills to augment your aikido, when you're in the aikido dojo? Or does your aikido "remain aikido" and not look anything like TKD, or taiji, etc. when you are nage/tori?

I'd say that in MMA, the skills you acquire from a variety of sources are bound into a cohesive and cogent system unto itself. It is custom-tailored to the needs of the individual practitioner, who makes a deep study of a variety of arts that provide what he needs to be a well-rounded fighter based on his capabilities as well as limitations.
Cady,
I'm a bit curious. Do you practice MMA?
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:05 PM   #25
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Re: Ueshiba on the future of Aikido

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Not really, He was seldom there anymore. He was also apparently going to the Kodokan to play with them. It would be interesting to see how often that was. Then he was at Iwama training.
You'd also have to factor into that schedule regular visits to Osaka and Shingu. Presumably, one of the uchi-deshi would be travelling with him as otomo as part of his training, but that's not quite the same thing. Adding to that Gaku Homma's lamentation that folks tended to clear out of Hombu when they knew Morihei was coming in, one has to conclude that his contact with the bulk of the practitioners at Hombu was certainly considerably less than that of Kisshomaru, Tohei, et al.

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