Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-22-2007, 12:05 PM   #1
ChrisMoses
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 906
United_States
Offline
Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

It's my hope that this thread will be a place for those who have read Ueshiba Kisshomaru's "Aikido no Kokoro" or the English translation, "Spirit of Aikido." In particular, I would love for those fortunate (or is that obstinate?) enough to have read OSensei's "Takemusu Aiki" to offer some opinion as to how well you feel that his son was able to represent his ideas and wishes. My Japanese is not good enough for me to be considered literate, so I'm still limited to translations and all of the errors and biases that introduces. I really appreciate texts like the recently released book on Katori Shinto Ryu offered by Koryu Books that included the full original text in Japanese next to the translated text. A properly motivated student can easily find what words were used by the author. I'm sure for a lot of us, there are many terms that we simply don't bother translating into our native language, as we have been able to appreciate some of the complexity of meaning that comes with these words such to the extent that they simply exist as words in ‘our' language. I do not hear "maai" and think "spacial timing distance interaction" for example, I simply think, "maai." I would particularly appreciate the comments of those people in a position to offer a more scholarly opinion (Ellis Amdur, Peter Goldsbury, Chris Li, many others I'm forgetting…) I'm not particularly interested in ‘your' Aikido, or ‘your teacher's' Aikido. There are plenty of venues for that discussion.

First some background. I must admit something of a bias against Kisshomaru Ueshiba. My first Aikido school was founded by one of the last uchideshi to OSensei who left the Aikikai with Tohei. However, shortly after that, he decided that founding his own small school was the best way to fulfill his duty to OSensei. My teachers (his direct students) did not have a very high opinion of the Aikikai or Kisshomaru (referred to hereafter as Doshu(2)), and he was generally portrayed as someone who was a good administrator but who simply didn't get what his father was doing. So while I certainly don't hold with much of anything from that dojo, I cannot deny that some of their attitudes affected my approach to the art. Further, and at the risk of offending, I have simply never seen any footage of Doshu(2) that impressed me in the slightest. I'm sure this stood to reinforce my early teachers' opinion despite the fact that I have been estranged from them for over a decade. What brought me around to this text was actually the thread on aikiweb based on the poll about aikido being possible without any physical component. Chris Li repeatedly brought up the untranslated text, "Takemusu Aiki" and frustrated with my inability to access the text in any way I started digging through my library. Someone gave me "Spirit of Aikido" years ago, I don't honestly remember who or when. It went straight onto the budo bookshelf and was not read until recently. I came away genuinely impressed with the clarity that Doshu(2) was able to impart to just what it was that made Aikido different and what it actually was the OSensei changed to make Aikido truly different from those arts that spawned it. I have struggled for years with what exactly it was that made Aikido different, having found much (if not all) of what most professed to be unique about it in other arts, frequently at higher levels of refinement. I have also railed against many of the common teaching paradigms and methodologies found in Aikido. If in fact this book is an accurate representation of what it was that OSensei taught and thought, I feel that I have a much better understanding of how these issues came about. Actually, since it could be argued that Doshu(2) had as much (or more) to do with the defining of Aikido philosophy and waza as his father, that even if it is not a correct paraphrasing of his father's teachings, it could be considered the definitive word on what exactly Aikido is and how it should be practiced.

With apologies for such a long introduction, let me state what I took away from the text (please keep in mind that I'm merely trying to paraphrase the text, not convince anyone of these positions):

1) What made the "aiki" of OSensei unique was his conceptual splitting of the term. As has been pointed out, the idea of "aiki" exists in many older arts, but as a relatively specific and understandable concept. One might define "aiki" as taking optimum advantage of the maai of a combative encounter, such that the desired result feels nearly effortless. OSensei took "aiki" and formed "ai" and "Ki". Putting it another way, while one could pseudo-translate "aikijujutsu" as "jujutsu done with aiki", Aikido would need to be translated as "the way of harmonizing with Ki." There is a fundamental shift here. The traditional usage of aiki is non-religious and can exist without any assumptions beyond the specifics of the combative interaction. OSensei elevated Ki (in keeping with his religious convictions) to a unifying life force that creates and binds the universe together (to paraphrase Yoda…), and the goal of Aikido, to join intentionally with that life force. To my thinking this pre-supposes a certain religious/spiritual Truth.

2) The genius of OSensei's teaching was that one did not need to study technique in order to be a great martial artist/human but simply needed to learn how to perceive and unify the self with the Ki-flow of the universe, (thus all of the "I am the Universe!" quotes…). He was not teaching a martial art, but rather was offering an environment where his students could hope to find the same underlying sense of connectedness as he had found. Ki was the key (sorry, couldn't help myself…) to everything: happiness, health, mental focus, martial competence… It was therefore useless to offer specific physical corrections/teachings since once the student was truly aware of Ki, everything would become clear.

Those are what I consider to be the most important assertions/distinctions of the text. I'm sure many of you are thinking, "Well duh…" but frankly, I've never heard these points made in such a clear and distinct manner. If one looks at many of the "What is Aikido?" FAQs on dojo websites or Wikipedia entries, many focus specifically on the old meaning of aiki that, at least according to my reading of "Spirit of Aikido," is specifically what is DIFFERENT about OSensei's art. Some excerpts from the Wikipedia entry for example:
"Aikido (合気道 aikidō?), translated as "the way of harmonious spirit", is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Ueshiba's goal was to create an art practitioners could use to defend themselves without injuring their attacker.
Aikido emphasizes joining with an attack and redirecting the attacker's energy, as opposed to meeting force with force, and consists primarily of body throws and joint-locking techniques. In addition to physical fitness and technique, mental training, controlled relaxation, and development of "spirit" (ki) are emphasized in aikido training."
Later, from the same article, "Aiki is a martial arts principle or tactic. It describes an idea of joining together in the midst of combat."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aikido)

This distinction is pointed out in the aikiweb wiki article on Aikido:
"One interpretation of the word "Aikido" is that the word is made up of three Japanese characters: Ai 合 - harmony; Ki 気 - spirit, mind, or universal energy; Do 道 - the Way. Thus aikido has been called "the Way of Harmony with Universal Energy."
Some do not agree with this interpretation as the character for "ai" 合 itself does not connote "harmony" in Japanese but rather "to fit or to match." As such, "Aiki" 合気 may also be interpreted as "accommodation to circumstances"; this interpretation avoids certain metaphysical commitments and is an attempt to describe both the physical and psychological facets of aikido in everyday language."
Looking at "The Encyclopedia of Aikido" (hyperlink to http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclopedia?entryID=18) from AikidoJournl.com, there is no reference whatsoever to what Doshu(2) presents as the uniquely defining aspects of Aikido:
"A modern Japanese martial art developed by Morihei UESHIBA incorporating joint-lock and throwing techniques applied in self-defense with the intent of not injuring or causing only minimal damage to the attacker. The techniques of aikido derive mainly from the DAITO-RYU AIKIJUJUTSU of Sokaku TAKEDA. Philosophically, Ueshiba was greatly influenced by the views of Onisaburo DEGUCHI, leader of the OMOTO RELIGION. The art evolved gradually during the late 1920s and 30s under various names. Its modern name was officially adopted in 1942 as a result of the reorganization of Japanese martial arts by the DAI NIHON BUTOKUKAI. Its emergence as a major martial art and its spread outside of Japan took place after World War II."

So, my question to you is how well do you feel that the English translation represents the concepts presented in the original Japanese, and further, how well do you feel these views are representative of OSensei's own thoughts and teachings? I would encourage posters to avoid posting *their own* views of what Aikido is/should be or critiquing these concepts. I would like to get there eventually, but please attempt to limit the discussion in THIS thread to the text in question.

Thank you all in advance.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
TNBBC Blog
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2007, 01:14 PM   #2
gdandscompserv
 
gdandscompserv's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,214
United_States
Offline
Re: Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

"The Spirit of Aikido" was one of the first books I read about aikido. It was recommended to me by my sempai Michael Veltri sensei. I like the book.
That's all I know.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2007, 07:54 PM   #3
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,087
United_States
Offline
Re: Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
I like the book.
That's all I know.
I liked it too, but it's been so many years since I've opened it up I don't think that I could really comment on it in much detail without re-reading it. One of Kisshomaru's struggles, of course, was how to present his father's teachings in a way that people could comprehend, and I do recall thinking that he'd done a fairly good job of it with this book.

For another side of the "administrator" image I'd recommend "Aikido Ichiro" - only in Japanese, but fairly readable nonetheless.

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2007, 09:53 PM   #4
ChrisMoses
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 906
United_States
Offline
Re: Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I liked it too, but it's been so many years since I've opened it up I don't think that I could really comment on it in much detail without re-reading it. One of Kisshomaru's struggles, of course, was how to present his father's teachings in a way that people could comprehend, and I do recall thinking that he'd done a fairly good job of it with this book.

For another side of the "administrator" image I'd recommend "Aikido Ichiro" - only in Japanese, but fairly readable nonetheless.

Best,

Chris
Care then to make any comments on how well my paraphrased points align with OSensei's assertions? I'm not trying to be snarky, just reaching for clarity.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
TNBBC Blog
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2007, 09:25 AM   #5
statisticool
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 534
United_States
Offline
Re: Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

A very lovely book, which surprised me considering how small it is. I especially like the parts about aikido being a global budo, non-sport, and for male and female, things which can never be emphasized enough.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2007, 05:23 PM   #6
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,641
Offline
Re: Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Care then to make any comments on how well my paraphrased points align with OSensei's assertions? I'm not trying to be snarky, just reaching for clarity.
Hi Chris,

Very nice presentation of what I think is a complex question. I had the good fortune to meet, talk with, and take ukemi from the Nidai Doshu. I have read everything in English he either wrote himself or someone wrote about him but it is not a vast body of work that's available so it's not saying much.

In my opinion, the reason that Aikido exists world wide, with an estimated 1 million people training, is due entirely to Kisshomaru. His father may have created the art, but what he created was largely not well understood by his own students and was too arcane to spread widely amongst modern Japanese, much less overseas.

If you want to see what Aikido would have been without Kisshomaru, just look at Inoue Sensei and his art Shinei Taido (formerly Aiki Budo). It is generally agreed that Inoue (O-Sensei's nephew and main student in the early years) looked more like O-Sensei than any of his other students. Further, he was a life long follower of the Omotokyo Faith and therefore was aligned much more on a spiritual level with O-Sensei's own beliefs.

So you have a guy who was, arguably, the closest thing to Morihei Ueshiba you could find, and yet his art is practiced in Japan by only a small number of folks and world wide, if there are any, I haven't heard about them. I certainly do not know of any in the States. Now, that doesn't mean there aren't any but it shows, I think, what Aikido would have been like if the art had simply been presided over by O-Sensei throughout the post war years.

At a recent Rocky Mountain Summer Camp I sat with Stan Pranin and Saotome Sensei talking about post war Aikido. I asked them who they thought had tried the hardest to understand Aikido the way O-Sensei understood it. They agreed that Sunadomari, Hikitsuchi, and Abe Senseis were the three. I think it is revealing that, although I hadn't actually specified as such, both Saotome Sensei and Stan Pranin pretty much assumed I meant from a "spiritual" standpoint. The fact that no one even thought to make a distinction between the spiritual / philosophical side and the martial / technical side is a direct result of the fact that what distinguished O-Sensei in the post war years, especially, was his almost total concern with matters spiritual.

So Kisshomaru, the Nidai Doshu, is in the front line position to preside over the growth of Aikido in the post war years. Daito Ryu was barely known, even in Japan. It's later growth was actually sparked by the enormous popularity of Aikido (they sort of slipped streamed along behind Aikido) and the efforts made by Stan Pranin to familiarize both the Japanese themselves and the foreign public about Aikido's parent art.

So here's the Nidai Doshu presiding over an art which has no popular and well known antecedent, whose Founder was a Shinto mystic. Various folks maintain that he didn't understand his father, either from a martial technique standpoint, or from a spiritual standpoint. I absolutely disagree with that assumption. I think he understood quite well.

But he was tasked with taking the art to the world. He had to decide what aspects of O-Sensei's art would be beneficial to modern, post war folks. He decided, correctly I think, that the Shinto, overtly religious aspect of O-Sensei's Aikido, would not be understood at all by the typical modern Japanese citizen nor would it "travel well" outside Japan to other cultures.

I believe that O-Sensei in the post war years had already de-emphasized the martial aspect of the art in favor of developing a movement style designed to foster an understanding of various energetic and spiritual principles. The Budo aspect was important to him but not as "fighting" external enemies, but as a battle with the baser aspects of our own selves. So I think that one should look at Aikido as O-Sensei envisioned it, as a body art designed to reprogram the practitioner both physically and mentally to understand , on some level, the essential unity of the universe and what ones place in the whole should be.

I think that Kisshomaru simply continued that idea and refined what the goals of the training would be. He opted for a lass mystical, more ethical, behavioral model. Not out of keeping with the Founder's Aikido at all, but certainly less complex. It was an Aikido designed to make people's lives better. It was an art designed to create "gentlemen" in the most positive sense of the word (and, oh yes, women could do it too). Kisshomaru manifested that aspect in his own life to the utmost. He was a real gentleman, a class act. He embodied the aspects of the art that he, and the other post war students of the Founder (like Arikawa and Osawa, amongst others) had felt were the aspects of O-Sensei's Aikido that would be of the greatest benefit to the typical modern citizen, both Japanese and foreign. Aikido became, starting with O-sensei and continued by the Nidai Doshu, a transformative art, rather than a fighting art.

It's very difficult for anyone today to discuss Aikido and the differences between O-sensei's view of the art and his son's. There are hardly any folks left who directly experienced the Founder's art when it wasn't highly influenced by his students. Tohei changed how the modern post war generation perceived the art, Kisshomaru was central to defining what the whole post war generation even thought the art was.

Most folks doing Aikido today can not even tell you what "aiki" is. Yes, there is a distinct difference in nuance between "harmony" and "joining" but regardless of which of these definitions people prefer, the vast majority could not really tell you what it means in terms of the physical practice. Whether I am "harmonizing" or "joining" with a partner or opponent, the fact remains that most Aikido folks couldn't tell you, in anything other than the most rudimentary fashion, what either of those terms means. Oh yes, Aikido is the art where you "harmonize" with your partner's energy. Or perhaps you "join" with him…

My own opinion on O-Sensei's great shift in redefining the term "aiki" would be that he took the term from it's traditional usage, which I believe was much closer to "joining" than "harmonizing", and made it into a state of being i.e. "already joined". With that fundamental shift in orientation, one then comes back to "Harmony". Harmony describes the balance of the infinite elements within the whole.

So, technically, harmony is descriptive of what O-Sensei meant when he talked about "aiki" (as in Take Musu Aiki" etc.) The essential problem for the post war generation of Aikido, especially the folks who didn't speak Japanese, was that the term "harmony" is a term loaded with associations. It connotes everybody getting along, it connotes, elements in the system all tooling along happily.

So the folks reading Kisshomaru's writings start understanding Aikido as meaning the "Way of Harmony" and Aikido starts to morph into an art which, at least generally, has no conflict i.e. ineffective attacks, complaint ukes, etc. People start to think that this is fine because they are creating "harmony".

This of course is an imposition of various outside world views onto a term which probably wasn't best translated that way in the first place. Certainly, the Japanese desire for consensus and group cohesion informs this transformation. So do the Western emotional associations with the term harmony as having a connotation of lack of conflict. So we have people seriously maintaining that Aikido is about "conflict resolution" but from whose practice any actual conflict has been removed. Harmony becomes hanging out at a dojo with a bunch of like minded folks who share the same basic interests.

The aspect of "harmony" having to do with the overall balance of the System, not with the fact that the components of the system are constantly changing, colliding, combining, falling apart, coming back together, gets lost in this pursuit of lack of conflict.

Folks blame Kisshomaru for this, undeservedly in my mind. If one takes the view that Aiki can be translated "accommodation to circumstances" as you point out, things make a lot more sense. It acknowledges that circumstances are changing and that or task is to learn how to deal with that. It puts "conflict resolution" largely where it belongs, as a personal endeavor with oneself. And it has direct relationship with practice n the mat. "Accommodation to circumstances" then becomes a physical and mental practice in which one learns to approach change in a non-resistant fashion.

So one can then see the progression from koryu usages as describing "aiki" as a set of perceptual and psychological, techniques used to control an opponent, accurately translated as "joining", to O-Sensei's usage of the term "aiki" as a state of being in which is "connected" with the flavor in translation of "already joined". Then one can see that, for post war teachers like Kissomaru, trying to figure out how the art should be presented to the world in a way that does the most justice to the Founder's goals, the mystical connotations of the term "aiki" when understood as "already joined" presuppose some level of spiritual development that wouldn't generally be present in the "market" to which Aikido is going to be presented. So that use of the term, while the truest to how the Founder himself probably understood it, wasn't going to be beneficial to the large numbers of folks who would be exposed to the art going forward.

So what are left are largely the moral and ethical aspects of how someone with that deep level of understanding would comport himself, or herself, in his everyday life of constantly changing circumstances. Aikido becomes a body based system, still a form of Budo in my opinion, which attempts to impart a set of values, much reduced from the full scope of the spiritually based philosophy of the Founder.

Whether it is performing as conceived is open to debate. Whether it was necessary to pare so much of O-Sensei himself from the art to make it palatable to modern minds and non-Japanese practitioners is also an active debate. I would maintain that too much of O-Sensei was dispensed with in forming the modern presentation of the art. But I do not believe that Kisshomaru and company were wrong about reinterpreting the principles of Aikido from O-Sensei's conceptual paradigm to one better suited for mass consumption. If hey hadn't done so, the vast majority of us wouldn't actually be doing Aikido. The message that was presented as O-Sensei's, although edited heavily, obviously has spoken to people world wide and continues to do so.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2007, 05:24 PM   #7
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
United_States
Offline
Re: Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

Chris:

My teacher, like yours also left with Tohei. Imaizumi Sensei (as written in the Aikido Journal interviews) noted that Doshu-2 made it a point to attempt to rewrite history and essentially attempt to not appropriately note the contributions that Tohei Sensei made, particularly as it related to the spread of Aikido to the United States in the revisions of the books. This pattern simply spoke for itself.

I think that O'Sensei's writings and the writings and words of those who studied directly with him, leave a powerful legacy to which we continually have to work to live up to in our practice and teaching of
Aikido.

Marc Abrams
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2007, 08:24 PM   #8
Misogi-no-Gyo
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 498
Offline
Re: Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

Ledyard Sensei,

I much appreciated your thoughtful response. I have sent you a private message concerning one point you made in your post here in this thread.

Warmest regards,
Shaun Ravens in NY

.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2007, 08:25 PM   #9
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,004
Japan
Online
Re: Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

Hello Christian,

I prepared a comment similar to that made by George L, but decided not to post it (as I often do). I plan to disuss the issues you raised quite extensively in the columns I am writing. A few random comments:

You should also look at Aikido Shintei, a large-format, lavishly illustrated book published in 1986. An English translation appeared in 2004, entitled The Art of Aikido. Unfortunately, the illustrations are monochrome, probably for reasons of cost, but the book presents a clearer picture of Kisshomaru Ueshiba's ideas about postwar aikido than Aikido no Kokoro. The English translation of this earlier book presents a very superficial picture of overseas aikido. I mean by this that the mindset, for want of a better word, of non-Japanese who train very seriously in a martial art like aikido, is rarely understood by Japanese.

I note that the three persons mentioned by George in his post all became 'independent' to varying degrees. One person who did not, and who started almost from the very beginning, was Rinjiro Shirata. There are issues here that I am trying to explain in my columns. Shirata decided to support the Aikikai and so he accepted the iemoto system for what it was. In other words, he decided against independence and so, for example, his technical explorations of aikido have never been published.

The 'invention of tradition' (E J Hobsbawm) is a major issue in aikido, especially as this is understood by non-Japanese. Thus, we believe that the suppression or distortion of what we see as the truth is unethical. I have often been struck that Kisshomaru Ueshiba (and I have occasionally talked to him about this) did not see things in this way.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2007, 12:51 AM   #10
Erick Mead
 
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,505
United_States
Offline
Re: Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

I am not competent to deal with the critical literary aspects of Second Doshu's writing and its validity in translation. But I can address some aspect of the "concept" question.

The points you illustrate from Second Doshu's approach to the art track concepts I have been studying since my undergraduate days. The Neo-Confucianism of Wang Yang Ming (Oyomei) has been recognized in martial arts circles as to its role in the Tokugawa ryu. But those have seemed to limit it to a role as Japanese cover for Chinese Taoism proper. This diminishes the original contributions and independent significance of Neo-Confucian thought in both China AND Japan. It had a definitive influence on the modern understanding of Shinto, particularly.

There are demonstrable parallels to what is being considered here.

I will illustrate some of those parallels from both Chris's and Ledyard Sensei's points below.
Quote:
Chris Moses wrote:
... trying to paraphrase the text [Spirit of Aikido]:

1) What made the "aiki" of OSensei unique was his conceptual splitting of the term. ... OSensei took "aiki" and formed "ai" and "Ki". ... Aikido would need to be translated as "the way of harmonizing with Ki." There is a fundamental shift here ... OSensei elevated Ki (in keeping with his religious convictions) to a unifying life force that creates and binds the universe together (to paraphrase Yoda…), and the goal of Aikido, to join intentionally with that life force. ...
Quote:
Oyomei wrote:
... the learning of the great man consists entirely in getting rid of the obscuration of selfish desires in order by his own efforts to make manifest his clear character, so as to restore the condition of forming one body with Heaven, Earth, and the myriad things, a condition that is originally so, that is all. ... To manifest the clear character is to bring about the substance of the state of forming one body with Heaven, Earth, and the myriad things, whereas loving the people is to put into universal operation the function of the state of forming one body.
Quote:
Chris Moses wrote:
2) The genius of OSensei's teaching was that one did not need to study technique in order to be a great martial artist/human but simply needed to learn how to perceive and unify the self with the Ki-flow of the universe, ... (thus all of the "I am the Universe!" quotes…). He was not teaching a martial art, but rather was offering an environment where his students could hope to find the same underlying sense of connectedness as he had found. ...
Consider in this light:
Quote:
Oyomei wrote:
... the great man regards Heaven, Earth and the myriad things as one body ... that the great man can regard Heaven, Earth, and the myriad things as one body is not because he deliberately wants to do so, but because it is natural to the humane nature of his mind that he do so. ... Again, when he observes the pitiful cries and frightened appearance of birds and animals about to be slaughtered, he cannot help feeling an "inability to bear" their sufferings. This shows that his humanity forms one body with birds and animals. It may be objected that birds and animals are sentient beings as he is. But when he sees plants broken and destroyed, he cannot help a feeling of pity. This shows that his humanity forms one body with plants. It may be said that plants are living things as he is. Yet, even when he sees tiles and stones shattered and crushed, he cannot help a feeling of regret. This shows that his humanity forms one body with tiles and stones.
[Wing-Tsit-chan, Tr.]

What you have summarized most plainly makes the connection between Second Doshu's summary of his father's teaching to Neo-Confucian thought. It is a framework more generally accessible to Japanese and Westerners, but not divorced from his fathers thought at all. The Neo-Confucian rubric applied quite well to OSensei's Shinto mythological conceptualization --, which itself was originally rendered accessible through a Neo-Confucian lens, a point that is not widely understood in the West.

This approach does not appear to be an accident on the part of Second Doshu. It is in a sense, returning to the source. O Sensei's use of Kojiki depended on the critical interpretative commentary by Motoori Norinaga, who made that 8th century text accessible to modern readers (it is is akin to Beowulf to modern English readers). Part of Norinaga's purpose was to illustrate -- in Neo-Confucian terms prevailing as official Tokugawa ideology -- that the Japanese were uniquely suited to understand and express Oyomei's doctrine of "innate knowing" of principle BECAUSE OF their native closeness to the kami -- whose works and natures are described in the Kojiki he interpreted and commented extensively upon.

O Sensei refers to this sensibility in Budo Renshu when he speaks of "yamato-damashii" -- the Japanese spirit. This term is often mistakenly read in Budo Renshu in the same way as the jingoistic uses of the imperialists of the same period. In fact they took it over and perverted a much deeper and more salutary doctrine. That term is Norinaga's conception in his work on the kokugaku (national studies) to which his Commentaries were a large contribution. He was reading Kojiki in the explicitly Neo-Confucian perspective of Oyomei-gaku.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
[Nidai Doshu] decided, correctly I think, that the Shinto, overtly religious aspect of O-Sensei's Aikido, would not be understood at all by the typical modern Japanese citizen nor would it "travel well" outside Japan to other cultures.
Wang Yang-ming has been recognized by the students of Whitehead's process philosophy as a precursor to that line of thought. He is being recognized for important contributions even now as that line of thought develops further, especially in the ethical realms, such as process theology. One of the most notable advocates of process philosophy AND theology was none other than Pope John Paul the Great. The suitability of Second Doshu's choice (if it was not mere happy accident) of how to interpret O Sensei to the world could not be more well-chosen for breadth of potential connections in the world.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I believe that O-Sensei in the post war years had already de-emphasized the martial aspect of the art in favor of developing a movement style designed to foster an understanding of various energetic and spiritual principles. ... one should look at Aikido as O-Sensei envisioned it, as a body art designed to reprogram the practitioner both physically and mentally to understand , on some level, the essential unity of the universe and what ones place in the whole should be.
An understanding that could hardly be more squarely in the terms set forth by Oyomei, as referenced above.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
My own opinion on O-Sensei's great shift in redefining the term "aiki" would be that he took the term from it's traditional usage, which I believe was much closer to "joining" than "harmonizing", and made it into a state of being i.e. "already joined". With that fundamental shift in orientation, one then comes back to "Harmony". Harmony describes the balance of the infinite elements within the whole.
Oyomei again:
Quote:
…becoming a sage is ... being completely dominated by heaven-given principles, [not] seeking to become sages by means of knowledge and power...
O Sensei:
Quote:
We adhere to the principle of absolute nonresistance, that is to say, we do not oppose the attacker. Thus, there is no opponent in Aikido. The victory in Aikido is masakatsu and agatsu; since you win over everything in accordance with the mission of heaven, you possess absolute strength.
Kisshomaru: Spirit of Aikido
Quote:
"When concentration permeates mind and body, breath-power becomes one with the universe, gently and naturally expanding to the utter limit, but at the same time the person becomes increasingly self-contained and autonomous. In this way when breath works together with the universe, the unseen spiritual essence becomes a reality within oneself, enfolding and protecting and defending the self. This is an introduction to the profound essence of aiki.
Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
So what are left are largely the moral and ethical aspects of how someone with that deep level of understanding would comport himself, or herself, in his everyday life of constantly changing circumstances. Aikido becomes a body based system, still a form of Budo in my opinion, which attempts to impart a set of values, much reduced from the full scope of the spiritually based philosophy of the Founder.
And on this point the second major Oyomei doctrine is seen -- the unity of knowledge and action. Basically, in Oyomei thought "innate knowing" is expressed in action on that knowledge or it is not actually knowledge of the inner principle li 理 of the thing, but merely a form of self-delusion -- what we might call today "magical-thinking." Some in aikido might describe this as the aiky-fruity approach. But the same tendency also leads to the opposite problematic approach -- the power-trip.

Oyomei:
Quote:
There have never been people who know but do not act. Those who are supposed to know but do not act simply do not yet know ... [They seek] in illusions, emptiness, and quietness, having nothing to do with the work of the family, the state, and the world... [or occupy] their own minds in base and trifling things, ... losing them in scheming strategy and cunning techniques having neither the sincerity of humanity nor that of commiseration
It is this interior self-delusion that is the most significant barrier to the "connection" (musubi)("making one body"). It is substituting the reflexive image for the reality. Oyomei emphasizes that understanding principle is not to be found in external investigation of things. First, a serious effort must ensure that the interior character of perception of connectedness is not clouded and is capable of connecting truly, and not merely biting its own tail in a selfishly objectifying conception of relationship.

O Sensei's thought on the spontaneous generation of technique (takemusu aiki) also tracks an aspect of the critical relationship between Oyomei's "innate knowing" and the "unity of knowledge and action."
O Sensei:
Quote:
The physical body given to us is an organ of creation and, at the same time, is a place where we perform divine services. It is also a house or an organ where we cultivate our conduit of the spirit. Moreover, the physical body matures and perfects itself magnificently through the spiritual practices required for the birth of spirits. Thus, our body becomes a house for spirits to be born and grow. ... In a sense, with aiki, you purify and remove evil with your own breath of faithfulness instead of using a sword. In other words, you change the physical world into a spiritual world. This is aikido's mission. The physical body is placed below and the spirit above and to the front.
Oyomei:
Quote:
Just don't try to deceive it [liangzhi --"innate knowing"] but sincerely and truly follow in whatever you do. Then the good will be perceived and evil will be removed. What security and joy there is in this!... Innate knowledge is to minute details and varying circumstances as compasses and measures are to areas and lengths. Details and circumstances cannot be predetermined, just as areas and lengths are infinite in number and cannot be entirely covered.... The highest good is the ultimate principle of manifesting character and loving people. The nature endowed in us by Heaven is pure and perfect. The fact that it is intelligent, clear, and not beclouded is evidence of the emanation and revelation of the highest good. It is the original substance of the clear character which is called innate knowledge of the good.
This makes the "Ai-KI -- Love-KI" pun not only better explained, but almost necessary given his transmutation of the term "aiki" from its former references. As applied to budo, O Sensei's teaching is to come to know connectedness in our own body and thereby understand the principles evident in the investigation of external things as they are known in conflict. In Aikido, Oyomei's concept of principle li 理 is expressed in its aspect of dynamic connectedness in in-yo tension, or KI.

O Sensei :
Quote:
Aikido is the Way of the principle of the eternal, unchanging system of the Universe.
And finally, in a more deeply felt echoing Oyomei - "the great man regards Heaven, Earth and the myriad things as one body ":
Quote:
I sang thus in praise of aikido in its modern, perfected form:

This beautiful appearance
Of Heaven and Earth
Everything is One Family
Created by the Lord
Hopefully, Prof. Goldsbury, in his column(s) will be able to offer his own thoughts (or criticisms) of this perspective on the interpretive filters that Second Doshu employed in trying to transmit the legacy he was given.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 06-24-2007 at 01:05 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2007, 01:53 PM   #11
ChrisMoses
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 906
United_States
Offline
Re: Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

First, thanks to those who took the time to post. I very much look forward to your further columns Peter, if your previous ones are any indication, they will be worth the wait! A few comments/responses:

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
In my opinion, the reason that Aikido exists world wide, with an estimated 1 million people training, is due entirely to Kisshomaru. His father may have created the art, but what he created was largely not well understood by his own students and was too arcane to spread widely amongst modern Japanese, much less overseas.
I totally agree. The question becomes however, is that spread a good thing? Any teacher of a martial art has at some point to face the choice to expand and spread the word, or focus on a small group and pass on the tradition to the fullest extent. I would argue that these strategies are mutually exclusive, and certainly there are risks to either path. If you look at OSensei and Takeda Sensei, they obviously struggled with this in their own lives. Takeda Sensei had an enormous number of students (particularly for his time), I've heard some estimates around 30,000. But how many of those received the highest certificates of transmission from him? A handful at best. And while the golden age of Aikido may have been the post war period, where the art went from an obscure throwback to world wide phenomenon, if one looks at the Hell Dojo period, we see a small number of very dedicated students. We also frequently consider the graduates of this period as the greatest of OSensei's students, the Titans as it were.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
If you want to see what Aikido would have been without Kisshomaru, just look at Inoue Sensei and his art Shinei Taido (formerly Aiki Budo). It is generally agreed that Inoue (O-Sensei's nephew and main student in the early years) looked more like O-Sensei than any of his other students. Further, he was a life long follower of the Omotokyo Faith and therefore was aligned much more on a spiritual level with O-Sensei's own beliefs.

So you have a guy who was, arguably, the closest thing to Morihei Ueshiba you could find, and yet his art is practiced in Japan by only a small number of folks and world wide, if there are any, I haven't heard about them. I certainly do not know of any in the States. Now, that doesn't mean there aren't any but it shows, I think, what Aikido would have been like if the art had simply been presided over by O-Sensei throughout the post war years.
Interesting you bring him up. I have one of AJ's videos of Shinei Taido, and was pretty amazed with just how much he looked like OSensei. I've fooled a number of Aikidoka into thinking I'd found some footage of OSensei that they hadn't seen before by showing them parts of that video. In some respect I consider them the Aikido mainline, perhaps what it should have been. In shaping the marketability/understandability of OSensei's vision of Aikido, I feel what actually made it unique, has been largely left behind. It is Daito Ryu lite. Perhaps that's why it serves as such a gateway drug to the koryu. It should be pretty obvious at this point on which side of the spread/preserve fence I fall on. A similar example can be found in Wado Ryu and Shindo Yoshin Ryu. More people in the world know something of the movements of TSYR than ever would have through the direct transmission/ menkyo system by studying those aspects of the art incorporated into Wado Ryu. However, even the senior practitioners of Wado Ryu admit that they don't fully understand many aspects of these kata. That which isn't understood is doomed to be lost to time, no matter how many people it has been passed on to.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
You should also look at Aikido Shintei, a large-format, lavishly illustrated book published in 1986. An English translation appeared in 2004, entitled The Art of Aikido. Unfortunately, the illustrations are monochrome, probably for reasons of cost, but the book presents a clearer picture of Kisshomaru Ueshiba's ideas about postwar aikido than Aikido no Kokoro. The English translation of this earlier book presents a very superficial picture of overseas aikido. I mean by this that the mindset, for want of a better word, of non-Japanese who train very seriously in a martial art like aikido, is rarely understood by Japanese.
Thanks, I'll look into that.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I note that the three persons mentioned by George in his post all became 'independent' to varying degrees. One person who did not, and who started almost from the very beginning, was Rinjiro Shirata. There are issues here that I am trying to explain in my columns. Shirata decided to support the Aikikai and so he accepted the iemoto system for what it was. In other words, he decided against independence and so, for example, his technical explorations of aikido have never been published.
I have some good friends from the Shirata line, so I have a bit of background to appreciate where you're going here. I find something of a parallel between how I perceive Shirata to have interacted with the Aikikai and Takeda Yoshinobu, anther teacher whose own training and teaching differs greatly from what would be considered ‘mainline'/hombu/aikikai Aikido despite his close ties with that very institution. How Shirata chose to teach his own students (and frankly, even WHAT he taught his students) differs enormously from what I have seen from the Aikikai/hombu/USAF. As you point out, this was all while being a staunch supporter/member of that institution.

I'm curious if anyone cares to comment on the second of my assertions, that one of the defining features of OSensei's aiKido was the use of Ki as a primary teaching tool over technique, and how that relates to the current mode of transmission? If this was one of THE defining features of what made aiKido unique, what do we have when that very insight is de-emphasized to the level that we (often) see now? I should point out that I ask these questions as a curious observer, not a zealot who wishes to return the Truth of OSensei's original teaching system. In the interest of full disclosure, I have personally found next to no use for the two main distinctions that I presented in my own training, but rather found the older definitions of aiki and teaching methodologies that do not rely on Ki to be more in keeping with my own world view and teaching models.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
TNBBC Blog
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2007, 07:34 PM   #12
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,087
United_States
Offline
Re: Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
I totally agree. The question becomes however, is that spread a good thing? Any teacher of a martial art has at some point to face the choice to expand and spread the word, or focus on a small group and pass on the tradition to the fullest extent. I would argue that these strategies are mutually exclusive, and certainly there are risks to either path. If you look at OSensei and Takeda Sensei, they obviously struggled with this in their own lives. Takeda Sensei had an enormous number of students (particularly for his time), I've heard some estimates around 30,000. But how many of those received the highest certificates of transmission from him? A handful at best. And while the golden age of Aikido may have been the post war period, where the art went from an obscure throwback to world wide phenomenon, if one looks at the Hell Dojo period, we see a small number of very dedicated students. We also frequently consider the graduates of this period as the greatest of OSensei's students, the Titans as it were..
The Takeda number is mis-leading, most of those people never spent more than a couple of hours with him. On the other hand, he promoted something like 30 people to kyoju-dairi, which isn't bad considering that he never even had his own dojo.

I'm not sure why it has to be either/or - millions of people around the world play and enjoy golf, but there's no shortage of high level players. In fact, I would argue that it is the large golfing community that provides an environment that makes professional golfers possible. Mathematics used to be a closely held "secret" art in many societies, but now that everybody does it to some degree the art itself has progressed greatly over those historical periods.

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
I have some good friends from the Shirata line, so I have a bit of background to appreciate where you're going here. I find something of a parallel between how I perceive Shirata to have interacted with the Aikikai and Takeda Yoshinobu, anther teacher whose own training and teaching differs greatly from what would be considered "mainline"/hombu/aikikai Aikido despite his close ties with that very institution. How Shirata chose to teach his own students (and frankly, even WHAT he taught his students) differs enormously from what I have seen from the Aikikai/hombu/USAF. As you point out, this was all while being a staunch supporter/member of that institution.
Interestingly, I never considered Takeda to be that far out in left field. When I was at hombu the most regularly his teacher (Seigo Yamaguchi) was one of the main figures, and a number of the current teachers at hombu still show a heavy Yamaguchi influence.

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
I'm curious if anyone cares to comment on the second of my assertions, that one of the defining features of OSensei's aiKido was the use of Ki as a primary teaching tool over technique, and how that relates to the current mode of transmission? If this was one of THE defining features of what made aiKido unique, what do we have when that very insight is de-emphasized to the level that we (often) see now? I should point out that I ask these questions as a curious observer, not a zealot who wishes to return the Truth of OSensei's original teaching system. In the interest of full disclosure, I have personally found next to no use for the two main distinctions that I presented in my own training, but rather found the older definitions of aiki and teaching methodologies that do not rely on Ki to be more in keeping with my own world view and teaching models.
Morihiro Saito always represented Ueshiba as a strong promoter of basic technique, or at least, basic principles. Mostly, when he talks about ki and aiki, he was not, IMO, talking about physical/technical practice. I don't think that means that he was no longer teaching a martial art - I don't think that he found the two things mutually exclusive.

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2007, 08:46 PM   #13
raul rodrigo
Location: Quezon City
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 777
Philippines
Offline
Re: Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

I was talking to a Hombu shidoin a few weeks back and I happened to mention to him what I knew of Kisshomaru from The Spirit of Aikido: that aikido was supposed to envelop/neutralize an attack by using circular movements. I raised this in the course of drawing a comparison with other high ranking teachers who preferred at times to go straight at uke--or "masu," in Japanese. The shidoin raised his eyebrows: "Kisshomaru at times would also go straight at uke." Just goes to show; you cant believe everything you read.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2007, 08:49 PM   #14
ChrisMoses
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 906
United_States
Offline
Re: Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Interestingly, I never considered Takeda to be that far out in left field. When I was at hombu the most regularly his teacher (Seigo Yamaguchi) was one of the main figures, and a number of the current teachers at hombu still show a heavy Yamaguchi influence.
At a local Aikikai affiliate dojo, some of the senior students have been basically forced out for exploring Endo Sensei's version of Aikido. I realize Endo Sensei is from hombu dojo, but there ya go..

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
TNBBC Blog
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2007, 10:46 PM   #15
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
Offline
Re: Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

Just a note on the translation. Larry Bieri told me that Kisshomaru U. had the first draft of the translation translated back into Japanese to check it and was unhappy with how "Buddhist" it read. Larry Bieri (and others?) then worked on the text to get it more in line with the original. This makes me think that it is likely to accurately reflect the Doshu's thinking.

Another thought, I think it is clear that a major aim of the Doshu/Aikikai was to clearly define Aikido in the "marketplace" of Japanese martial arts. "How is aikido different from karate, judo, kendo,etc?" I think this was a much greater influence on various decisions made than "What is/was Morihei Ueshiba'sAikido?"

Charles
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2007, 05:43 AM   #16
crbateman
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
crbateman's Avatar
Location: Orlando, FL
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,459
Offline
Re: Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
Just goes to show; you cant believe everything you read.
Certainly not. The written word is subject to interpretation by both the writer and the reader (not to mention the translator). But it's not just the books that warrant scrutiny. Many firsthand accounts and people's recollections have changed through the years, some unintentional, some otherwise.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2007, 01:24 PM   #17
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,641
Offline
Re: Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
The question becomes however, is that spread a good thing? Any teacher of a martial art has at some point to face the choice to expand and spread the word, or focus on a small group and pass on the tradition to the fullest extent. I would argue that these strategies are mutually exclusive, and certainly there are risks to either path.
I would say that where you come down on the issue of whether it was a "good thing" would very much depend on what you strive for in your own practice and what you think the point of Aikido's creation was.

For those of us who have devoted our entire adult lives to training and trying to get to what we see as the "goodies" it is apparent that
our standard for judging what we do is simply too high for the general training populace who are, as my friend John Messores calls them, "hobbyists". The average student isn't there to attain "mastery", they have no real desire to make that much of a commitment.

But is the point of the art to attain "mastery", whatever that is? O-Sensei certainly saw his art as something that had the power to change the world on some level... That certainly isn't going to happen with just a small number of devoted students who focus on trying to get to the highest levels in their training.

Perhaps the benefits to society and beyond simply derive from folks who train and set up communities of like minded people who also train. Folks get exercise, they share common practice, they focus on something "larger" and they enjoy doing it. Maybe that creates enough good Karma to make things better...

You know where I fall in this whole thing... I am fairly uninterested in anything apart from "mastery" of the art. I am not interested in Aikido-lite at all. But this fact probably has a lot to do with the fact that I have a rather small dojo membership-wise. My local is populated with high achieving folks with very demanding careers and families. It is difficult for them to train with me because my take on the art requires a consistent level of commitment to feel like one is making progress. Folks around here look at a BIG outside commitment as twice a week. They don't want the art to occupy more than a small part of their lives. Yet the ones who do train with me seem to get something out of it... something about the art speaks to them.

But only two or three are going to end up at Shihan level, at most. But if there are literally millions of folks out there like that, maybe that is the point... It's not my way, but my way is entirely unlikely to change much about the world at all.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2007, 01:42 PM   #18
ChrisMoses
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 906
United_States
Offline
Re: Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

All good points George, thanks.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
TNBBC Blog
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2007, 02:12 PM   #19
Dennis Hooker
Dojo: Shindai Dojo, Orlando Fl.
Location: Orlando Florida
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 456
Offline
Re: Evaluation of "Spirit of Aikido"

I like the book very much and I carry a copy of it around in my gi bag. I have two copies the second doshu was kind enough to sign for me. I was fortunate enough to take ukme from him and I had the opportunity to present him with a small memento on behalf of the organization and found him to be a most pleasant and a true gentleman. The book although small holds a great deal of information which seems to deepen with meaning each time I read it. I think it is required reading along with a hand full of other Aikido books. Frankly I don’t know if the book is a reflection of his father or a reflection of himself. It doesn’t matter to me because I believe it stands by its self and I would appreciate it regardless.

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
https://www.createspace.com/238049

www.shindai.com
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Long Island Asian Studies Center - Classes: Aiki Budo/Chi Gong/Tai Chi, Author of: Searching For O'Sensei



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Visually impaired man learns aikido" akiy General 10 03-24-2005 02:04 PM
"The Founder of Aikido" DVD Relased AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 0 04-20-2004 07:43 PM
"Traditional Aikido" books for sale genki Marketplace 0 04-02-2004 02:03 PM
"Fighting does not work in Aikido" thisisnotreal General 5 12-24-2003 03:30 AM
"Show me Aikido" shihonage General 17 10-14-2003 10:53 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:18 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate