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Old 12-25-2007, 06:38 PM
Peter A Goldsbury AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
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Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

NOTE: Though to some extent speculative and without the space to quote or cite sources and secondary references, these columns are really intended as a sort of preliminary sketch for a history of aikido as a martial art. No such history has ever been published, though I know that at least one...
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:11 AM   #50
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Mr. Ledyard, could I get you to elaborate on this? I feel this is at odds with my own experience here on the ground in Japan, but you are obviously seeing things from a very different perspective.

For example, I'm a sumo fan. A big sumo fan. And thus, when I talk to a typical Japanese person about sumo, my knowledge far outstrips theirs. The typical (practically scripted) reaction to this is for the self-deprecating Japanese person to say something like, "Wow, you are more Japanese than I am!" Which of course is a very silly idea. I simply possess a cache of specialized knowledge that reflects an interest of mine. The typical Japanese person still knows far more about sumo than the typical American, and more to the point, even as an avid sumo enthusiast, when it comes to sumo knowledge I get my clock routinely cleaned by Japanese sumo enthusiasts. And of course this goes both ways, as there are Japanese enthusiasts of certain American cultural aspects who know far more about baseball, jazz, etc. than the average American.

This seems to be my experience here with other aspects of traditional Japanese culture. The average non-Japanese practioner certainly falls to the right of the mean on an average distribution, but your statement "many if not most of the senior students are foreigners" seems somewhat hyperbolic. I understand this to be the situation in Toda-ha Buko-ryu, and that Katori Shinto Ryu is experiencing a heavy influx of non-Japanese, but in most other classical arts it seems to me that for every dedicated-more-than-average foreign student, there are a number of dedicated-more-than-average Japanese students.

OTOH, the budo world that I know on the English language internet is certainly different from the budo world that I know in real life. So I'm very interested in your perspective.
Hi Josh,
Of course, I only get to see a slice of the various arts, martial and otherwise, and that slice is based on my conversations with friends and acquaintances who have lived in Japan and trained or have done certain arts here. There's no question I'm painting with a very broad brush here.

One of my good friends has lived over there for 20 years now, I believe. She went over initially to do Aikido at Honbu and trained with Mitsuzuka Sensei in Iaido as well. Eventually, she drifted away from the martial arts in favor of studying various non-martial arts. Last i talked to her she studying traditional indigo dying and was heavily into the art of paper dolls. What she told me was that, whereas there were certainly Japanese women in the classes, they tended to have a different perspective on things. For them the classes were a culturally relevant hobby. The teachers came from a generation which considered these art to be Michi, paths that one pursued as a form of personal development. The younger generation didn't seem to have the same feeling and therefore were not as serious. Her paper doll teacher actually asked her to take the instructor class because she seemed to have a deeper commitment. This is not surprising as she gave up everything in her homeland to move to Japan and live. She went there specifically to study.

I know several people who are either senior or close to senior in some of the martial arts. Ellis Amdur is technically the top parctitioner of the Toda Ha Buko Ryu Naginata style. A number of the other menkyo kaidens are Americans and French. I believe they outnumber the Japanese instructors. There is a Japanese Soke because they felt that it wouldn't be appropriate to have the Soke not living in Japan. But on technical matters Ellis is senior.

Ellis is also one of only a handful, Japanese or foreign to have studied the Araki Ryu. It's obscure even in Japan and is in danger of passing away I believe as I am not sure there is a generation of instructors in the pipeline. Ellis has trained one person to take over from him here and a couple other fellows have also trained with him for many years now. It could easily come to pass that one or more lines of the Araki Ryu in Japan (I think there are three?) could simply fade away leaving an American based line as crucial the art's preservation.

Katori Shinto Ryu is another example... Otake Sensei has a son who will succeed him and by all accounts he his quite capable. But after him it's Relnick Sensei, if I'm not mistaken.

Jodo also has some very high ranking foreigners with Quentin Chambers and Phil Relnick Senseis being the senior Americans as far as I know. Relnick Sensei travels all over the world teaching Jodo, quite an unusual thing compared to the attitude shown by the folks at Aikido headquarters who would never, as far as I can see, have a foreigner acting on their behalf. if someone contacts the aikikai for an instructor, they are not getting a referral to a non-Japanese teacher.

Other than Ellis, the only other case with which I am directly familiar is Angier Sensei, Soke of the Yanagi Ryu. By historical happenstance he ended up as the legitimate Soke of the style. The family wasn't happy about it. His visit to Japan wasn't satisfactory as he was not treated well by the other Japanese martial arts teachers. Apparently they had a hard time with the idea that a foreigner could get to be a Soke.

I have another friend who is a blade maker. He is quite skilled and is known for his beautiful tantos. He's had a couple on the cover of Knife Magazine. We are talking about $6000 tantos here... Anyway, he also makes swords, I have one of his live blades. He has two Japanese teachers that he goes back to train with periodically.

The saya on for my live blade has a special lacquer that my friend made a trip to Japan just to learn the technique. That entails a level of commitment that is unusual. But if you consider that there are actually quite a few people like my friend in the states and then other countries also have their equivalents, you can start to see that it's quite possible to have more serious exponents of an art outside the country than in. I'm not saying that there won't be a Japanese Head of whatever style we are talking about but it's quite possible that the number of serious practitioners may outnumber the Japanese. Or there may be foreign students who have been taught specific techniques which all or most of the Japanese students haven't been taught...

Rev. Koichi Barrish was the first American to bee certified as a Shrine Shinto Priest. He trained under the head of the Grand Tsubaki Shrine. He was taught the same Chinkon exercises which O-Sensei did daily, probably because of his connection with Aikido. These are not generally taught to the young Priests in training these days. Rev Barrish has found himself in the position of having young Japanese Priests ask him to teach them these exercises because there are so few Japanese Priests who know them.

These are just examples; I am sure that there are more. Collectively, given the fact that there are students from all over the world who journey to train in Japan, the pure numbers can outbalance the number of serious practitioners in Japan itself. I hear from virtually every quarter that the young people in Japan are increasingly less interested in many of their traditional arts, martial and otherwise. If the Japanese can handle this well, as in the case of arts like KSR, then it will only benefit the arts. But Aikido has not yet come to terms with this I believe, at least not the Aikikai. They ar happy to have folks overseas do their art but I don't see them accepting foreign teachers at par with their Japanese peers.

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Old 01-22-2008, 11:28 AM   #51
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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... I suggest that the transformation is evident, not just among the students, but among those who teach them, especially in Japan's high schools. The 'cultural intensity' began much earlier that World War II and is the result of a large number of factors. I think that hikikomori, parasaito shinguru and otaku are different manifestations of a certain cultural mania, as are bosozoku, kyouiku mama, ijime, and study groups that teach earnest participants how to sing karaoke songs correctly.
They are trying to find something they have lost and do not even know, really, how to identify so as to know when they have found it. They are trying to rebuild something they have never actually seen.

Ise-Jinja is rebuilt every twenty years for more than one reason. It is not merely the renewing of the structure, but the renewing and evolution of the process and the mentality that generates the structure from the foundation up. Saotome, I think, understands this. Saito understood it. While different, they seem to have the same essential purpose -- to oppose the determinant of truth as pretense (whether as hierarchical validation, feel-goodism or many, many others, East and West) and keep the sense of real instantaneous encounter in the art.

Whether, overgeneralizing, the art as a physical form is taught as form-preserves-principle (Saito) or principle-generates-form (Saotome) the intensity that drives a true encounter must be present or nothing will be gained in those -- or any other -- training paradigm. It is that aspect, more so than any "lost" quantum of "art," that is the problem. It is the engine that both preserves and generates anew. Musubi, I think, is the correct word here.

The clarity of true encounter is unmistakable -- and it is the antidote. It does not require the competitive contest, although I understand why those who seek it verge into that territory. It is the reason for training, in my opinion.

I will not try to hold forth on my own technical art, as I well know its flaws, and its place. But I know when I feel a true encounter. I know when it is absent, and I know that even the most meager art in that true spirit will defeat the false one, however technically "advanced." When my art fails me, it is generally because I first failed the art, and this is why.

It will not be regained in Japan the manner that it was created. Though not wholly different, they are also not the same. It will not be regained here in the same manner as it was gained there, because we are also not the same. The forms are there. The principles are there. They work. I see them, and make them steadily work better in my own practice. For this I deeply thank my teachers, of every lineage. But what has extended my art, and built upon their foundation of both form and principle has been attending to them in true encounters in practice. Without that it is just dead repetition -- with it, everything is both tantalizingly new and yet increasingly familiar.

We rebuild the shrine. We remake, in every life and every generation, something both continuous and yet new with only pieces of what preceded. It is true in every katachi, in the instant of one cut and in the passing of generations. We always build new with broken or raw parts. It is the way our bodies re-structure and restore themselves -- it is the way we stay in dynamic balance -- always one step from falling down. And when we stop building new, we die, literally and figuratively, whether in the instant of attack or in the history of an art.

Very few, East or West are comfortable with this precarious perch we all occupy. Far more are comforted by carefully maintained illusions of security or "unbroken" continuity, whether social or individual. The breaking of these illusions is a cause for anger, despair or hope, depending on one's approach. The radical reality and immediacy of the true encounter -- what Levinas described as the irreducible Other -- is a thing of awe, and awe is a source of both wonder and fear. Little in modern society prepares us to meet it, and much that did prepare us has in varying degrees been discarded, abused or perverted.

We cannot usefully mourn "lost" master carpenters (though they well deserve our remembrance), or their sketch notes, who did the rebuilding twenty years ago. They, like us started where we are. They, like us all, turned out to be ultimately frail, and notes fade and rot. We cannot pack up their knowledge complete and unpack it again, every twenty years. The most we can hope is to keep seeds, sprout them new again, and give faithful tending.

Responding to awe in wonder and invitation, radically accepting the Other is Aikido. Refusing true encounter, or accepting it in less than complete terms, leads to many pathologies, some we have mentioned, and many others besides, individually and collectively. And none of us are immune to that, at any moment, except through diligently developed habits of better response. That is not lost, but each of us can lose it.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 01-22-2008, 11:49 AM   #52
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Erick,

I know that I've disagreed very strongly with you in the past. But I agree with you here.

Best,
Tim
Tim:

I disagree with your agreeing with me.

It's far less interesting.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:30 PM   #53
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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If I may request that the truck be put in reverse for a moment, I fear some unnecessarily broad cultural generalizations are being made here. ..
"Hikikomori", ... It's prevalence in Japan has been distinctly overstated, ... "Parasite singles" are, IMO, a tempest in a teapot, ...

Bosozoku, ijime, and to a lesser extent kyoiku mama, I see as definite social issues that Japan faces these days. ... There's a tendency, I think, to make the fundamental attribution error on a cultural scale.

It's all too easy to look at some ephemeral social phenomenon and believe it says something about the culture in which it was born.
I come from a tradition where "the least of these" are important in their own right, regardless of their absolute or relative number. But the pace and scale of spreading anomie is quite beyond historical precedent, especially in societies as unprecedentedly prosperous as ours are.

It is a problem larger than one culture, although the effects of the problems are felt differently according to culture -- and aikido lives in both of them. The margins of the nonadaptive are growing -- not shrinking. Thomas Sowell said it best: "Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late." The work of civilizing has been falling down on the job, around the world, for some time now. The canaries are not the miners but the miners had best value the health of the canaries -- as they value their own.

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
As for otaku, what is concerning about geek culture? ...
Umm. "Beware Geeks airing miffs ..." ?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:47 PM   #54
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

It is a very tough thing to let go of one's ancestry, one's heritage, one's sense of ... place.

Take, for example, the American Civil War. We have thousands of Americans who delve deeply into reenactments of that period. Some of them have very close ties with those who fought and died. These reenactments are not just idle time killers. Some people put in long hours of sweat and blood to try to get things as close to real as possible. While it is also a social activity and brings people closer together.

Now, imagine, someplace in Japan studying these reenactments and putting on their very own Civil War Reenactment involving only Japanese. While they could get very nearly to perfection in details, history, clothing, and sense of the Civil War, they, nor their ancestors had anything to do with the Civil War.

It isn't a great example/analogy/whatever, but it gives food for thought.

While I understand that non-Japanese can delve just as deeply into Budo as Japanese, Aikido is still relatively new enough to have the kinds of hurdles I illustrated above. This up and coming generation of Aikido teachers are going to have their work cut out for them. Not only are they removed from founder and first generation, but they are going to have to stand on their own without the myriad of support from Japanese instructors as we have now, all the while having to deal with Japan hombu dojos and the Japanese view that the source/center/base of aikido is there.

Really, the one thing I find hopeful about this is that Americans can do what the Japanese choose not to -- Americans can build bridges between organizations, no matter what level of difference (The Aiki Expos are prime examples of this). As long as politics do not interfere. We have an opportunity with the next gen of teachers to bring things together rather than fracture them more. But, will we?

IMO,
Mark
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:29 PM   #55
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
Bosozoku, ijime, and to a lesser extent kyoiku mama, I see as definite social issues that Japan faces these days. However, if I may take up the (much trodden on) banner of cultural relativity, I don't know if I can agree with Professor Goldsbury's characterization of this as "cultural mania". (Although I suspect we are actually close together in our views, and this more a quibble over semantics.)
Hello Josh,

I spent much of my time explaining to my students here the grave perils involved in making supposedly 'objective' cultural comparisons. My working hypotheses concerning culture come from Hofstede (Culture's Consequences, Culture and Organizations: Software of the Mind) and the research on which these works are based. I have very little time for the usual run of books on 'Japanese' 'culture'.

PAG

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Old 01-23-2008, 04:34 AM   #56
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hi Peter
Some how I missed addressing you directly in the post above. My apologies. Of course I was directing my comments to you, and would be delighted in any views you care to share.
BTW Outside of the obvious and well documented "vision of peace" after the war and influence of Omoto-are you going to consider covering how Ueshiba's vision might have been birthed and given substance by his growing internal skills having the ability to manage aggression without having to attack back? How the generation of internal power became the embodiment of a truly defensive and peaceful art?

Were you considering this-any thoughts as to which of these realizations might have been the real prime motivator? The body skills awakened a new vision, or the vision made him change his approach to the Martial arts?
Cheers
Dan
Hello Dan,

Very interesting questions. I will keep these and your earlier comments / questions in mind as I write further columns.

I think the Oomoto 'vision of peace' was clearly prewar and though M Ueshiba virtually stopped contact with Deguchi after the 2nd Oomoto Incident, I do not think he abandoned his beliefs or changed his 'vision'. I do not know, for example, whether he did chinkon kishin training before he met Deguchi (it does not seem Takeda's style somehow), but from the material I have read in Japanese, meeting Deguchi was an important spur to his own private training.

I plan to discuss this more when I consider Kisshomaru Ueshiba's ideas about personal training.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 01-23-2008, 09:21 AM   #57
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Dan,

Very interesting questions. I will keep these and your earlier comments / questions in mind as I write further columns.

I think the Oomoto 'vision of peace' was clearly prewar and though M Ueshiba virtually stopped contact with Deguchi after the 2nd Oomoto Incident, I do not think he abandoned his beliefs or changed his 'vision'. I do not know, for example, whether he did chinkon kishin training before he met Deguchi (it does not seem Takeda's style somehow), but from the material I have read in Japanese, meeting Deguchi was an important spur to his own private training.

I plan to discuss this more when I consider Kisshomaru Ueshiba's ideas about personal training.

Best wishes,

PAG
Hello Peter
I guess the flip side of the coin is whether the solo tanren that exists in Daito ryu were meant for strictly martial purposes and developed the power that Ueshiba had, and where his later chinkon kishin came into play to either blend, morph, or actually -in the end-to do nothing to add to his physical powers.
I've long held a view that it was Ushiba's realization that he could use the internal power-to control and cast away rather than use the associated DR jujutsu waza to draw-in, immobilize and kill, that opened a window into his new vision of peace. That it was this match of the spiritual and physical expression that created *his* Aikido. And it was this that gave Aikido its true testament of power. What Aikido was meant to be all along.

As for Takeda- lest it be ignored- he stated many times that the power of Daito ryu was always meant for defense. Even stating how terrible it would be for this knowldege to be passed into the hands of the wrong type of people.

Why consider Takeda?
While much is made of Ueshiba's personal journey and morphing of Takeda's teachings- it is worth considering that NONE of the schools of Daito ryu look the same either. There were what, five of them who founded schools? Four of the five stated that *they* had seen past Takeda's work and changed themselves. It was their understanding of Daito ryus true power, power that Sagawa openly stated that Takeda told him never to reveal, that was the catalyst for *their* personal expressions. Personally, I think it is the nature of the work itself. That it is so highly individual in nature that it can join a mans personal nature and pursuits to his waza. At any rate IMO it places Ueshiba's work in a more revealing light-to see it along side his peers. That each of them ended up with a powerful, yet highly personalized expression of what was supposed to be a single art- bears testament to this idea.
In the end Ueshiba's journey may not have been as *unique* as previously thought, just more well known, and more attractive to the populace at that time.

I do think "the rot" set in to Aikido long ago, but I have born witness to it being reversed. All that is needed is a begginers mind and a firm belief in change. Were good teachers, good men with a caring and honest soul to learn these skills, then there is no way to lose. These skills, simply work.

Cheers
Dan

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Old 01-23-2008, 10:56 AM   #58
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Small points

Re George's post above:
In Toda-ha Buko-ryu, we have four shihan. I am "first" among equals only in the sense that I'm first to be made shihan, but I'm not even senior among us. None of us does the kata exactly the same, and that's fine. There will be a next generation soke as well, and it will not be a Westerner, about which all of us, to my knowledge are very happy. A Westerner could not fulfill that post. I do not want to go any further into this, as that would drift the thread.

Best
Ellis

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Old 01-23-2008, 02:04 PM   #59
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Re: Small points

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Re George's post above:
In Toda-ha Buko-ryu, we have four shihan. I am "first" among equals only in the sense that I'm first to be made shihan, but I'm not even senior among us. None of us does the kata exactly the same, and that's fine. There will be a next generation soke as well, and it will not be a Westerner, about which all of us, to my knowledge are very happy. A Westerner could not fulfill that post. I do not want to go any further into this, as that would drift the thread.

Best
Ellis
Thanks Ellis,
My memory on these things gets a bit murky at times. Are any / all of the Shihan Westerners? I'd be interested...
- George

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Old 01-23-2008, 02:17 PM   #60
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

All are - me, Meik Skoss, Liam Keeley, Pierre Simon.
Best

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Old 01-23-2008, 04:34 PM   #61
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

Hello Dan,

Thanks for the response. A few additional comments.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hello Peter
I guess the flip side of the coin is whether the solo tanren that exists in Daito ryu were meant for strictly martial purposes and developed the power that Ueshiba had, and where his later chinkon kishin came into play to either blend, morph, or actually -in the end-to do nothing to add to his physical powers.
I've long held a view that it was Ushiba's realization that he could use the internal power-to control and cast away rather than use the associated DR jujutsu waza to draw-in, immobilize and kill, that opened a window into his new vision of peace. That it was this match of the spiritual and physical expression that created *his* Aikido. And it was this that gave Aikido its true testament of power. What Aikido was meant to be all along.
PAG. This is a very attractive view. In the two biographies we have of Ueshiba (Kisshomaru Ueshiba's and Kanemoto Sunadomari's), there is constant emphasis placed on Ueshiba's own personal training regime, which was there right from the very beginning and which was refined as he went along. However, and I have heard this from Kisshomaru directly, he appears never to have systematized this for teaching purposes and thus his students 'got' it, only to the extent that they were able to realize for themselves the importance of what he was doing: what lay behind the waza he was constantly showing.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
As for Takeda- lest it be ignored- he stated many times that the power of Daito ryu was always meant for defense. Even stating how terrible it would be for this knowldege to be passed into the hands of the wrong type of people.
PAG. Yes. Ueshiba is also alleged to have stated that aikido should not be taught to the 'wrong' people: most people assume that he simply meant the waza.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Why consider Takeda?
While much is made of Ueshiba's personal journey and morphing of Takeda's teachings- it is worth considering that NONE of the schools of Daito ryu look the same either. There were what, five of them who founded schools? Four of the five stated that *they* had seen past Takeda's work and changed themselves. It was their understanding of Daito ryus true power, power that Sagawa openly stated that Takeda told him never to reveal, that was the catalyst for *their* personal expressions. Personally, I think it is the nature of the work itself. That it is so highly individual in nature that it can join a mans personal nature and pursuits to his waza. At any rate IMO it places Ueshiba's work in a more revealing light-to see it along side his peers. That each of them ended up with a powerful, yet highly personalized expression of what was supposed to be a single art- bears testament to this idea.
In the end Ueshiba's journey may not have been as *unique* as previously thought, just more well known, and more attractive to the populace at that time.
PAG. Did you know that that a new book has come out on Sagawa? It is much more detailed than Kimura's material and is by another of Sagawa's students, Masaru Takahashi. The title is Sagawa Yukiyoshi Sensei-den: Daito-ryu Aiki no Shinshitsu. It is worth having just for the photographs and the diagrams.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I do think "the rot" set in to Aikido long ago, but I have born witness to it being reversed. All that is needed is a begginers mind and a firm belief in change. Were good teachers, good men with a caring and honest soul to learn these skills, then there is no way to lose. These skills, simply work.

Cheers
Dan
PAG. I have read everything I can about Ueshiba and asked questions of those surviving deshi I know. I do not think his life followed a fixed course, in the sense that he found a vision in his youth and consistently followed it. Then there is the fact of the war. I have often wondered what would have happened if he had not moved to Iwama in 1942.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 01-23-2008, 08:06 PM   #62
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
PAG. This is a very attractive view. In the two biographies we have of Ueshiba (Kisshomaru Ueshiba's and Kanemoto Sunadomari's), there is constant emphasis placed on Ueshiba's own personal training regime, which was there right from the very beginning and which was refined as he went along. However, and I have heard this from Kisshomaru directly, he appears never to have systematized this for teaching purposes and thus his students 'got' it, only to the extent that they were able to realize for themselves the importance of what he was doing: what lay behind the waza he was constantly showing.

Best wishes,

PAG
I've read a similar thing elsewhere, but can't remember where or who wrote it (Most likely it was either you or Ellis). And although we know that Ueshiba had his own personal regime, I don't think I've ever seen anyone state what it was. Does anyone know what that personal regime was?
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:29 AM   #63
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

I think he exposed a little of his praying routines in a text titled Accord with the totality of the Universe (Aikidojournal aritcle). And Hikitsuchi sensei definitely stated that chinkonkishin no ho ( http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/~mckellar/aiki/1999/0.html ) was transmitted to him by O Sensei and was a daily practice of his.

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Old 01-24-2008, 08:11 AM   #64
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

It may well be that the bona fide uchideshi (pre-war) were the ones who were able to witness the personal training. Same for Ueshiba in the time spent with Takeda Sensei in Hokkaido. I wonder how, without that live in, bath, take care of experience, you would pick those personal training regimes up.

Best,
Ron

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Old 01-29-2008, 09:37 AM   #65
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

The posts relating to the discussion of "Chinkon Kishin" have been moved here (with the thread split authorized by Peter Goldsbury):

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13877

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Old 01-29-2008, 10:58 AM   #66
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
It may well be that the bona fide uchideshi (pre-war) were the ones who were able to witness the personal training. Same for Ueshiba in the time spent with Takeda Sensei in Hokkaido. I wonder how, without that live in, bath, take care of experience, you would pick those personal training regimes up.

Best,
Ron
Thats another good question Ron and feeds directly into the transmission question. If we put aside who got what where, we are left with a very obvious outcome. Somebody, somewhere, was able to show and teach or nobody would have "gotten" anything. But why the live in, take a bath, eat the same food idea? Obviously that didn't work either. I think in the end it was always there to be had if someone either knew how to teach it or even wanted to. IMO it is, and always was, best pursued as a separate study from kata.

--------------Takeda---------------Takeda/Deguchi?
----I--------------I----------------I--------------I
Sagawa-----Kodo---------Hisa------Ueshiba
----I--------------I----------------I--------------I
Kimura----Okomoto------Mori--------???-----Nakamura------Kodo
-------------------I-----------------------------------------------I--------------I
-----------------Inue----------------------------------------Tohei-------Shioda
----------------------------------------------------I
---------------------------------------Saotome/Ushiro
---------------------------------------------------I
------------------------------------------------Ikeda

If we say that Tohei went elsewhere- then he most certainly got it?
We know Shioda stepped outside and he got it as well.
Now Ikeda is looking and researching and he is getting it.

So it is there to be gotten. So why isn't it being taught-in Aikido? George makes interesting points with his teacher. That maybe Saotome doesn't know how to transfer or convey the internal information or what he knows of it into a teachable model. Knowing a thing and being able to teach it amidst all the other stuff you are trying to teach might be VERY distracting. And it will not draw most people to it. It is not immediate, and requires an intuitive, creative and obsessive mindset. Maybe Ellis is right you either were an oddduck to pursue it or you became one in the end.

Since a series of Aikidoka are now looking elsewhere; at DR methods, Ushiro's methods, etc, why would their bring-back information be seen as anything different than what these earlier men have been doing all along. Including keeping Mum about it (which is what I tell them to do) till -they- become the new seniors.
Then viola...fixed.
By a series of oddducks.
But here's the rub. Ask them about it. It certainly seems they have found some things that they are convinced are worth having and training...too bring back, but they can't yet. They are getting all obsessive and odd about "getting it" first.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-29-2008 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:07 PM   #67
aikidoc
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

Some piece of the following interview with Kato sensei apply to some of the comments. http://www.rockyvalleyaikido.com/interview2.html. As noted by PAG (roughly paraphrased by me), those that got it figured it out for themselves.
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:47 PM   #68
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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John Riggs wrote: View Post
As noted by PAG (roughly paraphrased by me), those that got it figured it out for themselves.
Hi John:

The way I would phrase it is that everyone grabs as much information wherever they can and then the rest depends on how hard they work at it and how well they can figure out the gaps.

There is a broad spectrum of abilities and understanding and there is a broad spectrum of specialized ways to apply these skills. To give an example of what I'm trying to say, even though they all understood "aiki", Shioda, Ueshiba, and Tohei (to grab examples), those three still had varying degrees of the other things they could do with those skills. If it comes to "aiki" itself, the one that I see on film having the widest repertoire of aiki applications seems to be Shioda.... he apparently revelled in that part of it. Ueshiba appears (to my eyes) to have something about power-release skills that Tohei and Shioda didn't have. And so on.

"Figure it out" is certainly part of it. My opinion is that these are the early days of western Aikido people beginning to acquire and apply these skills into Aikido and it should be interesting to watch the developments by some of the up and coming crowd. Good times.

Best.

Mike Sigman
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:41 AM   #69
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

Knowledge is a product of both ones experience and what is inherited from those who have gone before. The depth of knowledge attained by earlier teachers was not simply the result of their personal effort. They were given the basic material and ran with it. That's why lineage and transmission are so important. Their kind of knowledge is like and endangered species. Once it is lost, it will not evolve again. The Japanese Koryu have recognized this and have developed a systematic method for the transmission of the core elements of the style across generations. While there are isolated pockets of Aikido being taught in this manner, most Aikido is not.

I think and feel George, you have summed this up here in one paragraph as something fundamental and that which is missing in most of today's aikido..... It reflects my feelings accurately....

Tony
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