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Old 08-19-2007, 04:53 PM   #1
Christopher Gee
 
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What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

I dont mean to sound arrogant. But jumping on the back of a previous thread, I want to get peoples thoughts on this topic.

If we look back over Japanese martial arts, there has always been inconic figures. Whether the founders of Nen Ryu, Katori Shinto Ryu.... all the way to Judo. All of these arts had founders that were great thinkers, spiritualists and fighers.

So, what made O Sensei so special when there were already amazing arts available? Kendo and Judo have perhaps a specific 'selling point', over the koryu, but what did O Sensei's Aikido have? What did O sensei bring to the already rich table?

Respectfully,
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Old 08-19-2007, 04:59 PM   #2
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
What did O sensei bring to the already rich table?
IMHO, his own family recipe. Some of us just enjoy his choice of flavoring.

Lynn Seiser PhD
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We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 08-19-2007, 07:25 PM   #3
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
If we look back over Japanese martial arts, there has always been inconic figures. Whether the founders of Nen Ryu, Katori Shinto Ryu.... all the way to Judo. All of these arts had founders that were great thinkers, spiritualists and fighers.

So, what made O Sensei so special when there were already amazing arts available? Kendo and Judo have perhaps a specific 'selling point', over the koryu, but what did O Sensei's Aikido have? What did O sensei bring to the already rich table?
His budo was one that caused Kano to say something like 'This is my ideal budo.'

I don't think many of the previous martial arts had compassion for the enemy as a high priority.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 08-19-2007, 08:27 PM   #4
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
All of these arts had founders that were great thinkers, spiritualists and fighers.
O' Sensei was all those things, yes?

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
So, what made O Sensei so special when there were already amazing arts available?
amazing arts were available but not Aikido
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Old 08-19-2007, 08:33 PM   #5
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
I dont mean to sound arrogant. But jumping on the back of a previous thread, I want to get peoples thoughts on this topic.

If we look back over Japanese martial arts, there has always been inconic figures. Whether the founders of Nen Ryu, Katori Shinto Ryu.... all the way to Judo. All of these arts had founders that were great thinkers, spiritualists and fighers.

So, what made O Sensei so special when there were already amazing arts available? Kendo and Judo have perhaps a specific 'selling point', over the koryu, but what did O Sensei's Aikido have? What did O sensei bring to the already rich table?

Respectfully,
O'Sensei was politically connected and was able to use his connections to promote his art.

David
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Old 08-20-2007, 02:34 AM   #6
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

1. he was an amazing philosopher.
2. created aikido, something that is different than what existed before, even if it is similar.
3.he trained the people who trained the people we learn from now.

I admit I don't read as much as some people, but when I do hear quotes of Osensei, they are pretty cool. What's more, I talk with people who have practiced aikido all their lives, what they have to say is pretty cool and demonstrates to me that the philosophies of aikido are about how to live, not just about martial arts, techniques or whatever. I think that it's difficult for people who did not actually know the living human being to get a full sense of what a great person Osensei was. my sensei is the deshi of Bansen sensei, deshi of Osensei. Hearing my sensei talk about his sensei, I can tell that he has a great respect for him, in the same way that I have respect for my sensei. I listen to what he says and repeat it when I explain techniques to people with less experience. Isn't that how it happens? tradition, right, by word of mouth and by example. The fact that there are amazing people out their doing aikido and living according to its philosophies is good enough to prove to me Osensei was a great man.
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Old 08-20-2007, 05:16 AM   #7
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

What made O'SENSEI so special? How about his overall philosophy, his spirituality, his willingness to accept all spiritual thoughts, and philosophies into AIKIDO, to want to harmonize with all instead of contend with all. He was a special man, all would be better to follow his teachings, that makes him special. Now dont get me wrong, he shouldn't be worshiped, he was not a God, but he was and still is a special human being. IMHO
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Old 08-20-2007, 06:02 AM   #8
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Thanks for all comments....

Ani, I have no doubt that aikido is 'cool'.

But what is really different about Aikido compared to the other bugei?

For example, technicially, other bugei considered kuzushi as an essential element in thier practice, yet people will say that kuzushi is a 'unique' element to Aikido....

I would imagine that his political connections gave him great weight. I just wonder that Aikido got to the masses because of who O sensei knew, not necessarily what he knew.

I don't mean to play devils advocate, but I will just for a second. As I mentioned, and citing the words of D Skoss and E Amdur, to name but a few. We read the incredible enlightment of the past samurai masters, which, O Sensei was not. O sensei did live in interesting times, but by no means tested his skill like the samurai during the 1500s. Again, I am not saying that what I practice, which is Aikido is of no value. I am just curious as to what 'aikido', specficially technically has that other bugei don't.

It is said that aikido is the samurai art, yet, much in the same way, as me, an englishman is related to my past brothers in the cradle of life, we are far removed.

I put it out there, that aikido has nothing new, the spirit of the life giving sword has always existed in bugei. The prinicples of Marishiten, the goddess of war, has been the central stone in the bugei house hold. When looking at the principles that this deity advocates, lethality has been as much a foundation as compassion. The 7 prinicples of the samurai, remembered in cotton (or polyester) in ones hakama advocate the same things.

So what is really different?

Why didnt Katori Shinto Ryu become a world wide phenomenon?

Why did Jigaro Kano, a man that studied many bugei say that aikido was the ideal budo? Yet, even though he said this many of the traditional katas practiced in judo are Tenjin Shinyo Ryu and not anthing to do with aikido....

Osu
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Old 08-20-2007, 07:21 AM   #9
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote: View Post
His budo was one that caused Kano to say something like 'This is my ideal budo.
I thought it was:

"This is idealistic Budo"
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:14 AM   #10
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
...So what is really different?
Aikido "works" for the person who can keep a high level of mind/body coordination during the technique. The art works on both the physical and psychological level. Mind/body coordination might also be called mind/body unification, yoga or an elicitation of the relaxation response.

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
Why didnt Katori Shinto Ryu become a world wide phenomenon?
Because they didn't have Koichi Tohei. He was the public face for Aikido during the 1950's and 1960's

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
Why did Jigaro Kano, a man that studied many bugei say that aikido was the ideal budo? Yet, even though he said this many of the traditional katas practiced in judo are Tenjin Shinyo Ryu and not anthing to do with aikido....

Osu
Aikido techniques tend to promote mind/body coordination. To have mind/body coordination during a technique, you have to remain psychologically calm. The ability of remaining calm in battle has always been an ideal of the samurai. Therefore the art directly teaches the student how to relax while facing stress/conflict.

The top people of all martial arts have high levels of mind/body coordination in their art. However you can reach a fairly high level in most arts just by physical skill alone. This could be what Kano was talking about.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:17 AM   #11
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Quote:
I don't think many of the previous martial arts had compassion for the enemy as a high priority
I think maybe Judo shares that?

But I think my answer is sort of like Lynn's -- I think he's more like one of many 'special people', and doesn't really negate or supercede all the other martial arts icons out there.

It seems he was good at popularizing things, too -- both in terms of having the connections, and also the desire to spread the art internationally, which I think is not always the case.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:46 AM   #12
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
Thanks for all comments....

Ani, I have no doubt that aikido is 'cool'.

But what is really different about Aikido compared to the other bugei?

For example, technicially, other bugei considered kuzushi as an essential element in thier practice, yet people will say that kuzushi is a 'unique' element to Aikido....

I would imagine that his political connections gave him great weight. I just wonder that Aikido got to the masses because of who O sensei knew, not necessarily what he knew.

I don't mean to play devils advocate, but I will just for a second. As I mentioned, and citing the words of D Skoss and E Amdur, to name but a few. We read the incredible enlightment of the past samurai masters, which, O Sensei was not. O sensei did live in interesting times, but by no means tested his skill like the samurai during the 1500s. Again, I am not saying that what I practice, which is Aikido is of no value. I am just curious as to what 'aikido', specficially technically has that other bugei don't.

It is said that aikido is the samurai art, yet, much in the same way, as me, an englishman is related to my past brothers in the cradle of life, we are far removed.

I put it out there, that aikido has nothing new, the spirit of the life giving sword has always existed in bugei. The prinicples of Marishiten, the goddess of war, has been the central stone in the bugei house hold. When looking at the principles that this deity advocates, lethality has been as much a foundation as compassion. The 7 prinicples of the samurai, remembered in cotton (or polyester) in ones hakama advocate the same things.

So what is really different?

Why didnt Katori Shinto Ryu become a world wide phenomenon?

Why did Jigaro Kano, a man that studied many bugei say that aikido was the ideal budo? Yet, even though he said this many of the traditional katas practiced in judo are Tenjin Shinyo Ryu and not anthing to do with aikido....

Osu
I think your asking a good question but looking in the wrong set for the answers. It is not only, or so much, his martial form that made him special. It was the connections that he derived from them and the foundational framework of the universe that he was able to articulate through a physical set of 'postures'.

I would go so far as to say he was not SPECIAL. He demonstrated the complete ordinariness of the universal way and pulled the veil back on the great oz ( the ego), and it's decleration of 'specialness' or 'uniqueness' of self as different from others. He let us know that this practice was nothing un-ordinary and a path that anyone can follow and learn. When we become enamored with specialness or difference then we are in the state of seperaton that is the hallmark of general society; not a state of universal integration.

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 08-20-2007 at 10:48 AM.

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Old 08-20-2007, 12:07 PM   #13
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
Why did Jigaro Kano, a man that studied many bugei say that aikido was the ideal budo?
He never said "the" ideal budo, which makes the inference a little different.

In "Aikido Kaiso: Ueshiba Morihei Den" K. Ueshiba recounts the quote from Jigoro Kano as:

"This is my ideal conception of budo, in other words, genuine Judo."

According to students who questioned Kano about the statement later the comment was meant in a broader sense - not in the sense that Aikido was superior to Judo.

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-20-2007, 07:58 PM   #14
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

I don't practice or study any other martial arts, I don't even read about aikido. So that means I don't have any concrete examples of how aikido is special. I have watched other martial arts and none of them really interest me. there are a lot of people who cross train, that's great. maybe that's what you need to do to find the answer you're looking for.
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Old 08-21-2007, 06:34 AM   #15
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Ani, I do indeed 'cross train' within the happy boat of Japanese budo, Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido.

As a teacher (in real life not aikido), I am interested in seeking out answers to quesitons. What O sensei did that was so special. Aikido 'technically' shares (on the surface) a great deal with the koryu. Hence why Sensei Threadgill and Amdur are present within our community, and we are lucky to have them. I think I have caught their bug by questioning what aikido truely is. I shall keep looking.

I'll draw this rather self indulgent thread to a close.

Osu
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:42 AM   #16
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
Ani, I do indeed 'cross train' within the happy boat of Japanese budo, Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido.

As a teacher (in real life not aikido), I am interested in seeking out answers to quesitons. What O sensei did that was so special. Aikido 'technically' shares (on the surface) a great deal with the koryu. Hence why Sensei Threadgill and Amdur are present within our community, and we are lucky to have them. I think I have caught their bug by questioning what aikido truely is. I shall keep looking.

I'll draw this rather self indulgent thread to a close.

Osu
Draw away.

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Old 08-21-2007, 12:10 PM   #17
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

I think its much simpler than that. He simply demonstrated a "skill" that Kano appreciated so much that he would say something like...soooo how did he train that skill?? That's the real question
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:02 PM   #18
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
So, what made O Sensei so special when there were already amazing arts available?
'During the 1920's, the Omoto religion included numerous prominent people, including some high-ranking Japanese naval officers.. Due to his teaching activities whithin the Omoto sect, information regarding his martial art abilities was passed to Isamu Takeshita (1869-1949), a retired admiral in Tokyo. With Deguchi's approval and Takeshita's assistance, he left Ayabe and moved to Tokyo.

Within the capital, Takeshita was able to promote Ueshiba's activities to numerous influential people in military, financial, and political circles. Culminating with a demonstration of his martial art in the Imperial Palace Saineikan dojo in 1041. Due to Takeshita's tremendous support and influence, Ueshiba was able to become entirely independent from Takeda Sensei and Daitoryu Aikijujutsu.

Following Takeda's death in 1943 and the end of World War ll Aikido became established in the popular consciousness, with the number of students from all over the world rapidly increasing. During this expansion, his genius received full attention, largely due to the efforts of his students (e.g. Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Tomiki, Tohei, Saito and Shioda Sensei's) who travelled around Japan and the world in response to invitations to teach, lecture, and give demonstrations."

From 'AIKIDO The Tomiki Way' by Neil Saunders page 8.
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:15 PM   #19
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Re:

"the ideal budo"

or

"my ideal budo"

I got "the" from

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=342

This is second hand or more reporting from K. Ueshiba.

Quote:
I have heard it said that he even commented, "This is what I call the ideal budo; that is to say, the true and genuine judo."

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Old 08-22-2007, 05:57 AM   #20
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Oh you know, nothing really......just the whole founder of aikido thing, no biggy.

Seriously though, I agree with what everyone else is saying.

To speak ill of anything is against the nature of Aikido
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Old 08-22-2007, 07:40 AM   #21
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Mikel,

'Oh you know, nothing really......just the whole founder of aikido thing, no biggy' - thats kind of the point I'm afriad.
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:32 AM   #22
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
Mikel,

'Oh you know, nothing really......just the whole founder of aikido thing, no biggy' - thats kind of the point I'm afriad.
What point would that be, please?

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Old 08-22-2007, 10:14 AM   #23
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
'Oh you know, nothing really......just the whole founder of aikido thing, no biggy' - thats kind of the point I'm afriad.
Christopher,

To me, not having known Morihei Ueshiba, myself, but having known someone who knew him very well, I think the big thing about Morihei was that, where men were strong, they were nonetheless very deeply impressed by Morihei when they met him.

Men who had trained and worked single-mindedly to be as strong as possible, found that Morihei could toss them about with seemingly no effort.

He was not the only one, of course. Kyuzo Mifune, of judo, was said to be pretty similar, technically. He could throw pretty much anyone, at will, and they could so little feel what he did that they called his technique "kuki nage" or "air throw".

My sensei was uchi deshi to Mifune and also trained with Toku Sampo. Where Mifune was said to be the "epitome of judo technique," Sampo Toku was said to be "the epitome of judo randori (free-fighting)." He was also highly skilled with sword and Okinawan karate. Yet, when Jigoro Kano sent my sensei to train with Morihei Ueshiba, he became Ueshiba's lifelong student. At the head of his dojo, he had a photograph of Jigoro Kano on one side of the kamiza and one of Morihei Ueshiba on the other. He didn't eve have photos of Mifune or Toku.

With most people, something happened the moment they touched Morihei Ueshiba that made them want to follow him. And as they followed him, he continued to impress them for the rest of their lives.

So to sum up, I'd say that what was so special about Morihei Ueshiba was that he was able to deeply impress the strongest men of his time and make them want to be around him and learn from him. As my teacher said, "If he were not strong, I would not have followed him."

He was, definitely, someone very special. So I'd say it wasn't what he did but who he was that was special.

Best to you.

David

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Old 08-22-2007, 03:32 PM   #24
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Jennifer Smith, I dont think (IMHO) just saying 'he created aikido', which, as we have established is not very different to the preivous bugei a 'special' act. Just MY opinion however. I want to unpick was is 'special' and I am still searching.

David, thanks for the post. Do you have any information about O Sensei meeting those in the bugei/koryu arts?

Regards,

Chris
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:57 PM   #25
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Re: What did O Sensei do that was so special...?

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
David, thanks for the post. Do you have any information about O Sensei meeting those in the bugei/koryu arts?
Only those he may have met in the Naval Academy when he taught there for several years.

I do remember a reference that the people training with him were all around 170 pounds, pretty big for Japanese in those days, and all skilled in sword and other arts.

And he highly impessed advanced military men. Other than that, I can't say.

Best wishes.

David

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