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Old 08-16-2007, 03:43 PM   #26
Mark Uttech
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

I'm repeating myself here, but to me, it is 'wisdom' that makes aikido aikido. In a recent seminar, Saotome Shihan taught that you cannot expect your attacker to be aware of 'your' intention. So, somehow, you must wrestle with the modern-day koan of protecting yourself 'and' your attacker.

In gassho

Mark

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Old 08-17-2007, 06:30 AM   #27
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

That's interesting. What specific steps do you recommend taking to wrestle with this koan?
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Old 08-17-2007, 09:16 AM   #28
arderljohn
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

way back when im not aikido practitioner, im just a guy with a hot blooded person. Now, everything is in the row. Must have dicipline and with full of determination. embracing other people with smile full of love.

Calm down my friend, everything is under control.
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Old 08-17-2007, 09:31 PM   #29
Mark Uttech
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
That's interesting. What specific steps do you recommend taking to wrestle with this koan?
You have to practice. With a wide variety of ukes. Try a wide variety of techniques. You have to get to know yourself. Your strengths. Your weaknesses. When you think you know something, you must be able to look again. Buddhism teaches to practice as though your hair is on fire. Terry Dobson taught an aikido class where he told me to practice as though uke's hair was on fire. There's a good lesson here.

In gassho,

Mark

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Old 08-19-2007, 09:04 AM   #30
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

What makes it NOT aikido (to you)?
Hi Tarik,

Aikido to me is Ueshiba lineage and lineage of high-ranking Ueshiba students, relaxed subtle movement, focus on flow, smooth transitions, whole body movement, not forgetting martial applications, intelligent, attention to details, global, applied to non-martial endeavors, peaceful, improves the whole person, and safe to practice.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 08-19-2007, 02:51 PM   #31
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Quote:
Erik Waldrop wrote: View Post
The path of least resistance to achieve a acceptable outcome.
Nicely put.

But acceptable to WHOM?

Michael Hacker
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Old 08-19-2007, 02:57 PM   #32
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Aikido to me...is what it is to me at the time Im doing it.
If its stressful and complicated, then it is that.

If its peaceful and spiritual, then it is that.
Its no more or no less then what I do with it at the time I work with it.

And subtly as time goes on even the 'form' of the title may change to suit a 'better' purpose.

Peace

dAlen
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Old 08-19-2007, 07:10 PM   #33
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
You have to practice. With a wide variety of ukes. Try a wide variety of techniques. You have to get to know yourself. Your strengths. Your weaknesses. When you think you know something, you must be able to look again. Buddhism teaches to practice as though your hair is on fire. Terry Dobson taught an aikido class where he told me to practice as though uke's hair was on fire. There's a good lesson here.

In gassho,

Mark
You made me laugh. I was thinking, hair on fire? What in the world does that mean? Would I be screaming and jumping and flapping my hands on top of my head, trying to put out the flames? Then I realized, hey, wait a minute. I'm bald. I don't have hair to catch on fire.

Mark
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Old 08-19-2007, 08:34 PM   #34
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Then I realized, hey, wait a minute. I'm bald. I don't have hair to catch on fire.
Mark - there's always your chin . . . .
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Old 08-26-2007, 02:25 PM   #35
Daniel Ranger-Holt
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Aikido to me is blending, redirecting force, to halt a basic but powerful attack, from whatever angle and walking away from it. Hoping the attacker will see sence. I don't follow the spiritual side of it. A lot of what O Sensei said went over my little brain, but that's just me. It's the "agreement" aspect to the conflict that fascinates me about Aikido. Yeh, i'd say Aikido is blending.
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:20 AM   #36
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

I find that a lot of answers here can be applied to a variety of martial arts.

Blending? Judo, karate, BJJ, etc.

Redirecting force? Judo, karate, BJJ, etc.

Wisdom? Judo, karate, BJJ, etc.

Get to know yourself? Pretty much all good Budo

Combat ready, self-defense, readiness for life? Many martial arts.

Path of least resistance? Judo, BJJ, karate.

So, for the most part, a lot of the answers may have helped define some part of Aikido, those answers also define other martial arts.

The question of what makes it NOT aikido is left unanswered. How is it that these answers given apply only to Aikido to you and not other martial arts?

Lynn's post provided answers to both questions. Kudos to him. He did it in one sentence.

Jennifer agreed with Erick. While I disagree with their translations and approach (something for another thread perhaps), I think they answered both questions.
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:42 PM   #37
Mike Haftel
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

What makes it NOT aikido (to you)?
I'm not sure what, exactly, you are asking here.

But, to me, it's like asking:

How is a spoon a spoon?
How is a spoon not a spoon?

And, I guess I'd answer it by saying that a spoon is only a spoon if you use it as such and that the word "spoon" is not the thing "spoon."

Aikido is Aikido as long as it IS Aikido. The same could be said for anything and everything in the world. But "Aikido" is not Aikido. Aikido (and everything else, ever) just IS. There is no "Aikido." There just...is.

Catch my drift?
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:25 PM   #38
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Jennifer agreed with Erick. While I disagree with their translations and approach (something for another thread perhaps), I think they answered both questions.
Domo. Do tell. Start one. I'll follow.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-28-2007, 07:42 AM   #39
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Quote:
Mike Haftel wrote: View Post
I'm not sure what, exactly, you are asking here.

But, to me, it's like asking:

How is a spoon a spoon?
How is a spoon not a spoon?

And, I guess I'd answer it by saying that a spoon is only a spoon if you use it as such and that the word "spoon" is not the thing "spoon."

Aikido is Aikido as long as it IS Aikido. The same could be said for anything and everything in the world. But "Aikido" is not Aikido. Aikido (and everything else, ever) just IS. There is no "Aikido." There just...is.

Catch my drift?
Well, it's like saying, okay, you have silverware. What makes a spoon a spoon to you and what makes it not a spoon?

I see answers like:
I can eat with the spoon.
The spoon is a spoon.
The spoon picks up food.
The spoon fits in my hand.
The spoon is a utensil.

While all well and good and do define a spoon, they also define all other silverware. And they aren't really answers to the second question.

Examples:
A spoon catches food in the curvature better than a fork.
A spoon will ladle while a fork will sift.
A spoon can be used to cut but depending on the user, it might not cut as well as a knife.

So, if someone says that aikido is aikido to them because it is a path of least resistance, then that is exactly what judo does. So, how is that definition not judo to them? And, what makes it NOT aikido? What defining limits are there that do not spill over to judo in path of least resistance. If you look at Mifune, he could have done aikido easily. Yet, all can tell that he isn't doing aikido. He's doing judo. But, most answers that I saw here apply equally well to what Mifune does as they do to aikido. How then, does that replied answer define what makes Aikido aikido to them?

Am I making any sense at all?
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Old 08-28-2007, 05:41 PM   #40
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Yup, aikido = spoon, judo = fork. Can't eat soup with fork... can't eat spaghetti with spoon. Gotcha.

Ignatius
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Old 08-28-2007, 06:21 PM   #41
MM
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
Yup, aikido = spoon, judo = fork. Can't eat soup with fork... can't eat spaghetti with spoon. Gotcha.
LOL!

Well, I eat ice cream and soup with a fork sometimes. And I've been told that you aren't "properly" eating spaghetti if you aren't using a spoon.

Mark
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Old 08-28-2007, 06:45 PM   #42
G DiPierro
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
LOL!

Well, I eat ice cream and soup with a fork sometimes. And I've been told that you aren't "properly" eating spaghetti if you aren't using a spoon.

Mark
You might want to ask someone else: "As to the use of a fork plus a spoon for eating pasta, all those at the table were adamant. Spoons are for children, amateurs and people with bad table manners in general."

Seems to me like if Ueshiba's vision of aikido was that of a fine sterling spoon, most of what is called aikido today is closer to a cheap plastic spork. Yes, you can eat a wide variety of things with it, but it isn't really well suited to any of them.
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:44 PM   #43
Erick Mead
 
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
Seems to me like if Ueshiba's vision of aikido was that of a fine sterling spoon, most of what is called aikido today is closer to a cheap plastic spork. Yes, you can eat a wide variety of things with it, but it isn't really well suited to any of them.
Sterling? Just sterling? My good lady wife, silver afficionado, begs to differ. Do you mean a place spoon? Dessert spoon? Baby spoon? Berry spoon (small and large)? Bon-bon spoon? Ice cream spoon? Jam spoon? Salt spoon (master and individual) ? Ice spoon? Egg spoon? Cracker spoon? Nut spoon? Cream soup spoon? Bouillon spoon? Sugar spoon? Tea spoon? Coffee spoon? Demitasse spoon? Gumbo spoon? Citrus spoon? Olive spoon (short and long) ? Chocolate muddler (individual and master)? Stuffing spoon? Vegetable spoon? Pea spoon? Salad spoon? Claret spoon? Mote spoon? Tea caddy spoon?

Just a spoon?

Best to stop. You'll get her started on forks, if you are not careful. She's dangerous with forks.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:25 PM   #44
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
What I'm asking is; what is that fundamental set of things that defines aikido for you?

Regards,
I do not think it lies in the waza, so much as in the lineage. In terms of waza, what I am doing could just as easily be described as some form of Daito-ryu. But we know that what Ueshiba was doing received the name 'aikido' in 1942 and this is enough for me.

I must admit, though, that I have never spent much time looking for the fundamental things that would figure in a definition of what I am doing. I suppose that this is because (1) I have been trained in Greek philosophy and can see the problems involved in defining anything, and (2) all my teachers have had a very clear link with M Ueshiba and so it has not mattered very much.

Since what I am doing is a practice: a complex, habit-forming activity that does not have a specific objective other than the activity itself, the only way I can learn how to do it properly is by doing it and learning to do it better by imitating those who can do it better than I can. Sporting activities are similar, of course, and one of the reasons why I took up aikido is that it is not a sport. But this, of course, still leaves the field wide open.

My teachers have almost always been Aikikai, mainly because when I moved from place to place, the previous teacher recommended another one. But this was still rather arbitrary and if I had found a good Tomiki or Yoseikan teacher at some point, I would almost certainly have followed them.

So, to conclude, I have never searched for "that set of fundamental things that defines aikido" for me. Some people might have to do this and believe that they are not practising the art unless they have done this, but I have never had to do it.

This does not, of course, remove the need for study and I have found that periodically you have to go back to the beginning and recreate things, so to speak. Ecountering new teachers is a good occasion for this, since they invariably do things differently. A few weeks ago we had a joint session in my dojo with Nakao Shihan from Kobe. This was a good occasion for going back and looking again at how Seigo Yamaguchi used to practise.

I think there is a danger that by defining aikido too closely, too specifically, you will exclude much that is useful, even important.

Best wishes,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 08-28-2007 at 09:27 PM.

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Old 08-28-2007, 10:09 PM   #45
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
LOL!

Well, I eat ice cream and soup with a fork sometimes. And I've been told that you aren't "properly" eating spaghetti if you aren't using a spoon.

Mark
I'm amused that your signature quote is about a spoon.

Jennifer Paige Smith
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:26 PM   #46
eyrie
 
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote:
And I've been told that you aren't "properly" eating spaghetti if you aren't using a spoon.
Nah... spoons are for... wu.. uh... what's that Giancarlo? Ah yes... children, amateurs and people with bad table manners.

Chopsticks... now there's an interesting and challenging (for some) utensil... but it's really a karate (kid) thing isn't it?

I think Aikido is kinda like that... a kind of general, vague and non-specific utensil (I think cheap plastic spork is a good analogy, btw, but I;m sure chopsticks would do fine as well). But, presumably you'd want to use the right utensil for the right type of cuisine, or depending on the formality of the occasion, you might want to familiarize yourself with the different types of utensils in Erick's veritable list - lest you be labeled amateurish or ill-mannered.

Last edited by eyrie : 08-28-2007 at 10:29 PM.

Ignatius
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:06 PM   #47
Mike Haftel
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Well, it's like saying, okay, you have silverware. What makes a spoon a spoon to you and what makes it not a spoon?

I see answers like:
I can eat with the spoon.
The spoon is a spoon.
The spoon picks up food.
The spoon fits in my hand.
The spoon is a utensil.

While all well and good and do define a spoon, they also define all other silverware. And they aren't really answers to the second question.

Examples:
A spoon catches food in the curvature better than a fork.
A spoon will ladle while a fork will sift.
A spoon can be used to cut but depending on the user, it might not cut as well as a knife.

So, if someone says that aikido is aikido to them because it is a path of least resistance, then that is exactly what judo does. So, how is that definition not judo to them? And, what makes it NOT aikido? What defining limits are there that do not spill over to judo in path of least resistance. If you look at Mifune, he could have done aikido easily. Yet, all can tell that he isn't doing aikido. He's doing judo. But, most answers that I saw here apply equally well to what Mifune does as they do to aikido. How then, does that replied answer define what makes Aikido aikido to them?

Am I making any sense at all?
Yes, I understand.

Questions, like the one posed in this thread, can not be answered using written word or verbal communicaiton. The world must be experienced; it can not be abstracted or defined in terms.

The only logical answer to the questions like, "What is Aikido? How is Aikido Aikido? How is Aikido not Aikido?" would be to demonstrate Aikido ON the person doing the asking.

It's like trying to describe what salt tastes like to somebody who has never had it, or someone who has no taste buds, or someone who has no concept of taste, itself.

But, this is all just rehashed theories and thoughts from other studies like linguistics, semantics, pragmatics, Taoism, and the Ding an Sich.

"What is a spoon?" *hols up a spoon*
"How is a spoon, a spoon?" *uses a spoon for its original, intended purpose*
"How is a spoon not a spoon?" *uses it for some other purpose* Also, a thing can be defined by what it is not. For example, the thing...*spoon*...is a "spoon" because of the lack of *spoon* where the concave area is.

So...what is Aikido? How is it Aikido? How is it not Aikido?

Go to an Aikido dojo, hop on the mats and find out.

Anything anybody talks about, reads about, watches, or thinks about...is not Aikido.

Kind of reminds me of:

"The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao;
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.
The named is the mother of ten thousand things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations.
These two spring from the same source but differ in name;
this appears as darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gate to all mystery."

I'm not trying to get all mystical and esoteric here. It is simple. A thing is what it is. Nothing more; nothing less.

I don't really know what Aikido is, though. I don't think I've ever really experienced it before.

Last edited by Mike Haftel : 08-28-2007 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 08-29-2007, 01:52 AM   #48
G DiPierro
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Quote:
Mike Haftel wrote: View Post
So...what is Aikido? How is it Aikido? How is it not Aikido?

Go to an Aikido dojo, hop on the mats and find out.
This doesn't really answer the question, unless your position is that any dojo that claims to be doing aikido is doing aikido.
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Old 08-29-2007, 05:42 AM   #49
Budd
 
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
This doesn't really answer the question, unless your position is that any dojo that claims to be doing aikido is doing aikido.
This is a good point and I think there are two things at play, that I can see off the top of my head - not yet having had any coffee (caveat culpa):

1) Where did you get your stuff/transmission, in other words, if you're doing Ueshiba's aikido, what connection do have back to him? Who authorized you to teach? That kind of thing.

2) What are the stated goals for a dojo's practice and how does the training prepare one to meet or exceed those goals?
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:06 AM   #50
Ron Tisdale
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Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Peter, very good post, especially for this thread.

Please give Nakao Sensei my best if you see/train with him again. He was a real pleasure to train with.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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