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Old 07-30-2008, 02:20 PM   #26
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

I don't think O Sensei has the need to teaching newaza, especially at pre-war times, when his students usually had judo (from their school days) or other forms of traditional jujutsu experience, and much less teaching basics like kata gatame/arm triangle choke.

OTOH.

Masatomi Ikeda S. is a 4 dan in judo besides his 7 dan in aikido. If he sees relationship between both arts and wants to show it, no problem. But I don't think he is showing "pre-war aikido".

In the Julio Toribio S. clip what you see is mostly Iwama style aikido.

Anyway, enjoy the pics:


Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 07-30-2008 at 02:27 PM.

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Old 07-30-2008, 02:29 PM   #27
raul rodrigo
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

Quote:
Salim Shaw wrote: View Post
I don't know the full history of sensei Masatomi Ikeda, 7th dan. I do know that he studied Judo prior to Aikido. Interesting enough he teaches his students newaza. I wonder if he understood Aikido from a different perspective (pre war)?
Well Ikeda was born in 1940, and started aikido in 1958, so any notion of him having a "prewar" kind of aikido seems pretty iffy to me. But the fact that he can be seen teaching his students pins isn't remarkable in and of itself. My own teacher taught shimewaza and judo throws in the course of some of her aikido classes when I was a 5th kyu, and she was born in the 1960s. Theres nothing prewar about her or her first aikido teacher. I think several of us have said this to you before: you're making an oversimplification about the character of "prewar aikido" and postwar aikido. Isoyama is a postwar student, as is Chiba.
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Old 07-30-2008, 02:41 PM   #28
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

Quote:
I think several of us have said this to you before: you're making an oversimplification about the character of "prewar aikido" and postwar aikido. Isoyama is a postwar student, as is Chiba.
Yes, we have...and he keeps ignoring us. Oh wel....
Best,
Ron

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Old 07-30-2008, 03:55 PM   #29
johan smits
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

Hi there,

This is my first post here and I probably should not stick my nose where it does not belong but I seem to recall that in the wonderful movie in which Ueshiba sensei shows pre-war aikido there is one technique which according to me qualifies as a sutemi.
Ueshiba sensei sits in seiza and is grabbed from behind. He rolls to the rear on his back, hooks uke's nek with his foot and throws uke to the front.

Definintely a sutemi technique.

By the way what I feel is very interesting in pre-war aikido are the solutions Ueshiba sensei came up with for things he saw maybe as not so good in Daito-ryu.The adaptions he made would be a very interesting subject for research. But then that would be very difficult to do probably.

Happy landings,

Johan Smits
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:53 PM   #30
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

Allen,

I remember meeting Ikkusai Iwata in 1980. He and Rinjiro Shirata were in Paris for an IAF meeting. The IAF has a Superior Council and they took turns to head this body. When O Sensei died in 1969, they both accepted Kisshomaru as Doshu and quietly ran their own dojos/organizations. Like Hikitsuchi, Iwata favoured a white hakama.

Quote:
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Peter do you have a date in mind for your next column?
Well, Jun already has it and so I suppose it will appear with the August columns.

PAG

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Old 07-30-2008, 06:05 PM   #31
Fred Little
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Like Hikitsuchi, Iwata favoured a white hakama.PAG
Dear Peter,

This is an interesting point.

Was this 1) a practice he had continued from his early days of pre-war training when the deshi at the Kobukan wore white hakama 2) something (like Hikitsuchi) connected with a Shinto ordination of some sort 3) a practice he adopted later in life (as is sometimes the case with senior kendo instructors) 4) some combination of the above or 5) something else entirely?

And just as interestingly, how did others respond to his choice?

Best regards,

FL
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:06 PM   #32
Don_Modesto
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

Quote:
Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
No, I *think* you're wrong, Salim. I can't be sure by just that picture alone, but I think I recognize that as a Daito-ryu technique.
Gyakudasuki is it?

Quote:
I can't remember if that starts from standing, kneeling/suwari, or both... probably kneeling... but anyway, you "tie" the guy up with your arms around him, then throw/unbalance him. You then him follow down and break his neck...
I *think* you're thinking of another:Kubihineri maybe. The one in the picture is a carotid choke.

Quote:
... if I'm remembering all that right... I definitely remember being held like that, but I don't remember the full setup..
Yeah. Me, too. Caveat emptor.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:57 PM   #33
David Orange
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

Quote:
Salim Shaw wrote: View Post
I don't know the full history of sensei Masatomi Ikeda, 7th dan. I do know that he studied Judo prior to Aikido. Interesting enough he teaches his students newaza. I wonder if he understood Aikido from a different perspective (pre war)? Clip below.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=85Jxmles0Hk
No, that's straight judo he's demonstrating and it's a common kind of thing for aikido teachers with judo experience to occasionally throw in some judo for perspective. That material was never part of daito ryu or prewar aikido.

Quote:
Salim Shaw wrote: View Post
Another good sensei, Julio Toribio 5th dan, performing sacrifice throws. Maybe really, the pre war Aikido is more of a persons perspective.
Well, those few things where he goes to the ground are not really what you would call sacrifice throws. They're more like escapes. This clip, featuring one of the pre-war greats of aikido, shows some real sacrifices, starting about 3:00.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf39s46Qxcg

But these sacrifice techniques are Mochizuki Sensei's own developments and they were not part of daito ryu or Ueshiba's aikido. His "ordinary aikido," shown from about the 2:00 minute mark to about the 3:00 minute mark, is closer to pre-war aikido, but maybe more pragmatic because it excludes all techniques that rely on the attacker's own grip to execute the throws. Mochizuki Sensei did not trust that kind of throw. If you grabbed him, he would cut your grasp off, re-grasp you, then throw you with his grasp--not yours. But even pre-war, Ueshiba's aikido often used the attacker's own grasp to execute the throws. So "pre-war" should not be confused to mean "harsher" or "rougher" aikido and it certainly should not be thought to include sutemi-waza (sacrifices). And it's definitely not a matter of "perspective" unless you mean the perspective of having studied with Morihei Ueshiba before WWII.

David

Last edited by David Orange : 07-30-2008 at 11:01 PM.

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Old 07-30-2008, 11:45 PM   #34
Allen Beebe
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Allen,

I remember meeting Ikkusai Iwata in 1980. He and Rinjiro Shirata were in Paris for an IAF meeting. The IAF has a Superior Council and they took turns to head this body. When O Sensei died in 1969, they both accepted Kisshomaru as Doshu and quietly ran their own dojos/organizations. Like Hikitsuchi, Iwata favoured a white hakama.

Well, Jun already has it and so I suppose it will appear with the August columns.

PAG
Thanks Peter. Hmm, August is just a day away . . .

Allen

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Old 07-31-2008, 12:05 AM   #35
Scott Harrington
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

Prewar Aikido seems to be the latest bugga boo here. So, to join in.

1) Prewar Aikido is Daito-ryu, the certificates say it, the sign said it, the students then said it, now all of you say it together, Prewar Aikido is Daito-ryu.
2) Daito-ryu has everything in it (that means what Takeda Sokaku taught). Five minutes into an Aiki Expo seminar by Kondo sensei of the mainline Daito-ryu, he had me down on the ground, sutemi fashion, in a grappling move with a pressure point application to the sternum and a neck crank -- all at the same time, certainly rivaling any Bjj'er. Saito Sensei handed out shuriken certificates out (Hendricks Sensei has one.) Jutte techniques are in the Gokajo section of the Hiden Mokuroku, sojutsu was taught to Ueshiba Sensei, variant Itto-ryu can be seen from the Takeda Tokimune sensei line and aiki can be seen from Kodokai and others.
3) Ueshiba sensei did two important things we should all be thankful. Simplified an ungodly complicated system which seems to have enough minutiae to fill a freight car and took out all the really, really, REALLY painful add-ons. How many people pin in suwariwaza by placing their knee on the triceps? Let me do it first. In ‘Budo Renshu' there is a drawing with the prewar pin variant with uke on his knees, bent at the waist and forehead touching the ground. This is to SLAM the skull to the ground, not gently guide uke into a life changing direction. Hell, I get enough injuries just doing Aikido, can you imagine what being hardcore back then must have meant. No wonder Takeda Sokaku's 10 day ‘classes' had a lot less participants at the end than at the beginning. "Uh, I have to go check up on my sick mother, sensei." There's a reason he had them pay first. There's a reason very few dojo practice yonkyo -- it hurts.
4) Ueshiba sensei was a tree-hugging, back to nature, new ager who dawdled excessively with some very, very fascist people. That's okay, everyone was fascist back then, just that U.S. was less than everybody else (thank God).
5) Did he change the direction of martial arts in Japan? I had a chance (unfortunately I didn't have a fortune to buy the rest of the books along with the last in the Soden series by Takuma Hisa -- the fish that got away) for a nice book translated as "History of Judo in Showa period -- with an appendix of waza - 1939" and the purpose is stated to help train the people's spirit for fascism (dirty word again). When you see Kano sensei in Europe who do you think he was demonstrating for in Germany, the local synagogue? Civilization came too close in 1941 to 1984 back then. O'sensei, though far on the fringes (what we would consider) with the utopian Omoto cult, took a superior deadly art, modified it like Kano had, looked at the precipice that wacky European thought had taken mankind to the edge of and said on the mat at least, "There is a better way." Did he believe it, I hope so. Did he bring spirituality into his new Aikido or did Daito-ryu have some of it in there anyway? Great question.
6) Ueshiba sensei had a student defect back to Daito-ryu (Takuma Hisa). Anyone can pick and choose to do the same, shades of one from column a and one from column b. He created a template (probably just like Takeda Sokaku) to study his way (whatever that is still being discussed), or go back to the roots of Daito-ryu, or follow the principles of physics and anatomy and diverge on a different path (I hear there is a combo of Yoshinkan Aikido and MMA -- aaaaaaaagh!) Of course, every seminar I have been too they always say their way is the right way, but it is a way to there.
7) Aikido's curves are rubenesque, with a projection not a crushing drop, a temporary pin and not a way to hold the body down while you cut the head off. It can have a lot less than the supposed nearly 3000 waza or it can have a creative riff with something new just showing up. It can be made too soft but that's alright when you get too old. It can be too spiritual but that can be better than too cauliflower ears. It's a way to there.

Scott Harrington
co-author of "Aiki Toolbox: Exploring the Magic of Aikido"
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:03 AM   #36
salim
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

Quote:
Scott Harrington wrote: View Post
Prewar Aikido seems to be the latest bugga boo here. So, to join in.

1) Prewar Aikido is Daito-ryu, the certificates say it, the sign said it, the students then said it, now all of you say it together, Prewar Aikido is Daito-ryu.
2) Daito-ryu has everything in it (that means what Takeda Sokaku taught). Five minutes into an Aiki Expo seminar by Kondo sensei of the mainline Daito-ryu, he had me down on the ground, sutemi fashion, in a grappling move with a pressure point application to the sternum and a neck crank -- all at the same time, certainly rivaling any Bjj'er. Saito Sensei handed out shuriken certificates out (Hendricks Sensei has one.) Jutte techniques are in the Gokajo section of the Hiden Mokuroku, sojutsu was taught to Ueshiba Sensei, variant Itto-ryu can be seen from the Takeda Tokimune sensei line and aiki can be seen from Kodokai and others.
3) Ueshiba sensei did two important things we should all be thankful. Simplified an ungodly complicated system which seems to have enough minutiae to fill a freight car and took out all the really, really, REALLY painful add-ons. How many people pin in suwariwaza by placing their knee on the triceps? Let me do it first. In ‘Budo Renshu' there is a drawing with the prewar pin variant with uke on his knees, bent at the waist and forehead touching the ground. This is to SLAM the skull to the ground, not gently guide uke into a life changing direction. Hell, I get enough injuries just doing Aikido, can you imagine what being hardcore back then must have meant. No wonder Takeda Sokaku's 10 day ‘classes' had a lot less participants at the end than at the beginning. "Uh, I have to go check up on my sick mother, sensei." There's a reason he had them pay first. There's a reason very few dojo practice yonkyo -- it hurts.
4) Ueshiba sensei was a tree-hugging, back to nature, new ager who dawdled excessively with some very, very fascist people. That's okay, everyone was fascist back then, just that U.S. was less than everybody else (thank God).
5) Did he change the direction of martial arts in Japan? I had a chance (unfortunately I didn't have a fortune to buy the rest of the books along with the last in the Soden series by Takuma Hisa -- the fish that got away) for a nice book translated as "History of Judo in Showa period -- with an appendix of waza - 1939" and the purpose is stated to help train the people's spirit for fascism (dirty word again). When you see Kano sensei in Europe who do you think he was demonstrating for in Germany, the local synagogue? Civilization came too close in 1941 to 1984 back then. O'sensei, though far on the fringes (what we would consider) with the utopian Omoto cult, took a superior deadly art, modified it like Kano had, looked at the precipice that wacky European thought had taken mankind to the edge of and said on the mat at least, "There is a better way." Did he believe it, I hope so. Did he bring spirituality into his new Aikido or did Daito-ryu have some of it in there anyway? Great question.
6) Ueshiba sensei had a student defect back to Daito-ryu (Takuma Hisa). Anyone can pick and choose to do the same, shades of one from column a and one from column b. He created a template (probably just like Takeda Sokaku) to study his way (whatever that is still being discussed), or go back to the roots of Daito-ryu, or follow the principles of physics and anatomy and diverge on a different path (I hear there is a combo of Yoshinkan Aikido and MMA -- aaaaaaaagh!) Of course, every seminar I have been too they always say their way is the right way, but it is a way to there.
7) Aikido's curves are rubenesque, with a projection not a crushing drop, a temporary pin and not a way to hold the body down while you cut the head off. It can have a lot less than the supposed nearly 3000 waza or it can have a creative riff with something new just showing up. It can be made too soft but that's alright when you get too old. It can be too spiritual but that can be better than too cauliflower ears. It's a way to there.

Scott Harrington
co-author of "Aiki Toolbox: Exploring the Magic of Aikido"
Scott,

thank you for your critique and you clearly expressed what I was thinking, but in a more fashionable way. Again, thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:31 AM   #37
Aiki1
 
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post

Anyway, enjoy the pics:

What book(s) are these pics from again? Thanks.

Larry Novick
Head Instructor
ACE Aikido
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:53 AM   #38
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

First one is from Saito's Traditional Aikido (it's in vol.5 iirc) and the other I've found it surfing the web, it seems to be from the Noma Dojo sessions.

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Old 08-01-2008, 07:11 AM   #39
MM
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

Having conversations about aikido is like asking for a headache (as in, oh, my head hurts from thinking about that). So, I thought I'd pass the headache on that occurred while thinking about this stuff.

Thanks to Stan & others, it's known that Ueshiba taught Daito ryu before the war. And that some prewar students received scrolls in Daito ryu. It's been said that Shioda and the Yoshinkan look more like a Daito ryu school than an aikido school.

According to Saito, Ueshiba's techniques were similar when he trained with him and what was recorded in the 1938 Budo book.

I'm told that the Daito ryu schools all have a different syllabus, although some elements remain common.

So ...

If the Daito ryu schools are different just like aikido schools can be different and yet still be doing aikido ...

If Ueshiba was teaching the same things after the war as he was pre-war, at least around 1938 ...

If the name aikido wasn't directly chosen by Ueshiba, but was just acknowledged from the Society ...

If Ueshiba's son, Kisshomaru changed the art after the war for his own purposes ...

If the main influence on Ueshiba in regards to technical knowledge of martial arts was Daito ryu ...

Then we come to the headache. What if Ueshiba never stopped practicing Daito ryu? What if he, like all the other students of Takeda, adopted his own version of Daito ryu? Did Ueshiba ever really leave Daito ryu?

Maybe what Kisshomaru created was truly aikido? The peaceful, blending, harmonizing martial art that most of us know. While the father was still doing what he had learned all along -- Daito ryu.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:29 AM   #40
salim
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

Thank you Mark for sharing. Most Aikidoka are unaware of this history totally, refuse to admit or stubbornly will not accept the fact. Aikido has been tainted in some many different ways. The fact remains that the original practitioners methodology has been lost to a larger degree and ridicule for it's martial application (newaza, sutemi waza). As I indicated earlier, only the peace loving, soft flowing methods receive the greater acceptance as the "Real" Aikido. We have to accept Aikido as more than soft flow. Aikdio can be very martial and that was the intent. That means accepting newaza, sutemi waza as Aikido. Historical evidence supports these methods. It was practiced by the earlier practitioners and some Aikidoka today.
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:30 AM   #41
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Having conversations about aikido is like asking for a headache (as in, oh, my head hurts from thinking about that). So, I thought I'd pass the headache on that occurred while thinking about this stuff.

Thanks to Stan & others, it's known that Ueshiba taught Daito ryu before the war. And that some prewar students received scrolls in Daito ryu. It's been said that Shioda and the Yoshinkan look more like a Daito ryu school than an aikido school.

According to Saito, Ueshiba's techniques were similar when he trained with him and what was recorded in the 1938 Budo book.

I'm told that the Daito ryu schools all have a different syllabus, although some elements remain common.

So ...

If the Daito ryu schools are different just like aikido schools can be different and yet still be doing aikido ...

If Ueshiba was teaching the same things after the war as he was pre-war, at least around 1938 ...

If the name aikido wasn't directly chosen by Ueshiba, but was just acknowledged from the Society ...

If Ueshiba's son, Kisshomaru changed the art after the war for his own purposes ...

If the main influence on Ueshiba in regards to technical knowledge of martial arts was Daito ryu ...

Then we come to the headache. What if Ueshiba never stopped practicing Daito ryu? What if he, like all the other students of Takeda, adopted his own version of Daito ryu? Did Ueshiba ever really leave Daito ryu?

Maybe what Kisshomaru created was truly aikido? The peaceful, blending, harmonizing martial art that most of us know. While the father was still doing what he had learned all along -- Daito ryu.
Mark,

I have a serious question here. How much of Morihei Ueshiba's own discourses are you going to accept as relevant to this discussion? After all, Ellis Amdur's original discussions in Three Peaches and Hidden in Plain Sight derived in part from a close analysis of those parts of Takemusu Aiki that had been translated into English.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:42 AM   #42
Allen Beebe
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I have a serious question here. How much of Morihei Ueshiba's own discourses are you going to accept as relevant to this discussion? After all, Ellis Amdur's original discussions in Three Peaches and Hidden in Plain Sight derived in part from a close analysis of those parts of Takemusu Aiki that had been translated into English.
The problem I see with using this Takemusu Aiki as a "the" source rather than "a" source of information reflecting Ueshiba's thoughts and motivations is that it is a Post War amalgam of lectures delivered to a religious audience. Context should be strongly taken into account IMO.

Of course Takemusu Aiki is an important source in a very sparse field so therefore cannot be taken lightly.

Allen

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Old 08-02-2008, 05:51 AM   #43
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

The field is not so sparse. O Sensei's life is quite well documented (through writings, film, pictures, drawings, testimonies...) thanks to the work of research of a few, and is still today the source of fruitful debate and analysis.

Just ask the practitionners of many chinese martial arts if they would not gladly have the same amount of information about the founders of their arts. Most of the time they have to satisfy themselves with fragments.

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Old 08-02-2008, 07:06 AM   #44
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Having conversations about aikido is like asking for a headache (as in, oh, my head hurts from thinking about that). So, I thought I'd pass the headache on that occurred while thinking about this stuff.

Thanks to Stan & others, it's known that Ueshiba taught Daito ryu before the war. And that some prewar students received scrolls in Daito ryu. It's been said that Shioda and the Yoshinkan look more like a Daito ryu school than an aikido school.

According to Saito, Ueshiba's techniques were similar when he trained with him and what was recorded in the 1938 Budo book.

I'm told that the Daito ryu schools all have a different syllabus, although some elements remain common.

So ...

If the Daito ryu schools are different just like aikido schools can be different and yet still be doing aikido ...

If Ueshiba was teaching the same things after the war as he was pre-war, at least around 1938 ...

If the name aikido wasn't directly chosen by Ueshiba, but was just acknowledged from the Society ...

If Ueshiba's son, Kisshomaru changed the art after the war for his own purposes ...

If the main influence on Ueshiba in regards to technical knowledge of martial arts was Daito ryu ...

Then we come to the headache. What if Ueshiba never stopped practicing Daito ryu? What if he, like all the other students of Takeda, adopted his own version of Daito ryu? Did Ueshiba ever really leave Daito ryu?

Maybe what Kisshomaru created was truly aikido? The peaceful, blending, harmonizing martial art that most of us know. While the father was still doing what he had learned all along -- Daito ryu.
Ueshiba taught the Asahi group in Osaka up until 1936.
Takeda arrived in 36 and stated that Since Ueshiba had taught them all the basics of Daito ryu he would continue their lessons from that point on (actually Ueshiba ran away)
I really can't see any wiggle room here. He was handing out scrolls-though curiously not to the Asahi group) in Daito ryu, and teaching a syllabus so clearly defined as Daito ryu that Takeda himself acknowledged it. Then you have the Noma dojo record as well.
I contend, and as you all know I have always contended, that he never stopped doing Daito ryu aiki his entire life. He changed the use of his connections to create a cast-off projection instead of the more violent seizing of an opponent. And he let them roll away instead of wrapping them up for the kill. That said the power he used to do so was non other than Daito ryu aiki.
In fact I think the "legend, in many ways obfuscated his greatest innovation. Koryu jujutsu has some great stuff in it but the results are pretty much the same in wrapping up or dropping close-in for a weapon kill or stomp. Daito ryu even more so- due to it aiki. Ueshiba with a long history of violent jujutsu in his hands, which was greatly enhanced through Daito ryu aiki, made a phenomenal discovery and innovation. That he could handle violence, and cast it away instead of being violent in return.

And all that said. I believe Marks questions are interesting.

The question of what was being taught really expands out past Ueshiba to what was being disseminated
If Ueshiba was teaching Daito ryu up until 37 or 38 and handing out scrolls, (Takeda recognized and called it Daito ryu). If all his deshi were calling it Daito ryu, (even two of his students considered themselves students of Takeda).
Then what were those deshi teaching?

You see it really does expand outward. Were they all somehow transformed as well by the kami? Did Ueshiba's Satori now expand outward and envelope and wash away all of their years and hard work inculcating a body method in a flash?
Somehow I doubt it. Their scrolls were never given back and they were all given dan ranks after the formal creation of Aikido in the 40’s. However, they were indelibly marked, as Daito ryu men. They- like their teacher before them- had never studied anything else in depth. They replaced their menjo with dans, replaced the capturing aiki with cast aways, and replaced the hell dojo with more cooperative training, and helped found a new movement.


The world sees Daito ryu aiki in Ueshiba for the first time and is amazed. Ueshiba, for reasons lost to history takes the glory for his vision, but doesn't say much on how he got there. His deshi, for some equally curious reasons all their own- never tell anyone about training with him for years in Daito ryu or about the existence of Daito ryu scrolls. They go along to get along.

Then... Along comes a Journalist and History buff called Stan Pranin. Stan gets a bug to investigate this barely mentioned Takeda guy. Whoops..can o' worms, goes and meets Tokimune, sees the eimoroku of Takeda with 20 years of training by Ueshiba. He sees actual Daito ryu for the first time, -being a great student of the obvious- he starts asking pointed questions of all of Ueshiba's deshi.
All of a sudden a new history is written.

Last edited by DH : 08-02-2008 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:12 AM   #45
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

Funny thing about history. It is always being rewritten.

David
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:26 AM   #46
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Funny thing about history. It is always being rewritten.

David
Yup. And sometimes replete with live interviews, paperwork, and a fairly good corroboration of dates and facts. Unfortunately most have passed. Their are some extremely good follow up questions many would like to have asked.
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Old 08-02-2008, 08:01 AM   #47
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

Hello Allen,

I don't think I disagree here. I remember when Ellis Amdur wrote his blogs for Aikido Journal, the only part of Takemusu Aiki that had been translated were the three installments done, with annotations, by Sonoko Tanaka and Stan Pranin. Ellis used these creatively--as a base for his blogs, which were also supplemented by his vast knowledge of Japanese budo.

When the blogs came out, I remember thinking that the basis for some of Ellis's statements seemed awfully fragile--being only three installments of an English translation of a 200-page book. It would have been better to base his arguments on the whole work, in Japanese, not the first few pages in English. Of course, there are major problems here, one of which is copyright and another of which is translation: making sense of what O Sensei actually states. As for copyright, the Aikido Journal translation stopped--and there are some dark theories as to why. With respect to translation, Sonoko Tanaka made a big effort to explain the context of O Sensei's more bizarre statements and I think that this is why Ellis could write his blogs. Nevertheless, an English translation of a text written in very difficult Japanese seems to me to be an unusually fragile basis for statements about what O Sensei actually stated. The same is true of the recent translation of Aiki-Shinzui by John Stevens. As I said elsewhere, I do not have a problem with Mr Stevens producing a sanitized translation, to show how O Sensei fits into the postwar scheme of things (Well, actually, I do have a problem ), but the sanitized translations need to be complemented by something more substantial.

I spent some very pleasant years in the Department of Classics at Harvard University, where we came to grasps with the 'ethics' of translation. (One of my exam questions was to translate Lincoln's Gettysburg Address into the style of Greek used by Pericles in his Funeral Oration during the Peloponnesian War.) There was a rigour there (in the Classics Department, not in my own translation) that is lacking in virtually every single translation of O sensei that I have so far encountered.

I am now writing Column 10 and have translated about a half-dozen pages of Takemusu Aiki--some of the later material, about World War II. There are some really outrageous statements here and so the question arises: to what extent does the context affect the truth of what is stated?

What O Sensei stated himself (allegedly) is complemented by what others have written about him. The 'documentation' here is supposed to be good, but I do not think so. For example, there is very little in Stan Pranin's extensive research into O Sensei's life in Tokyo between 1927 and 1942 that will enable us to illuminate O Sensei's own statements in Takemusu Aiki.

Best wishes,

PAG

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The problem I see with using this Takemusu Aiki as a "the" source rather than "a" source of information reflecting Ueshiba's thoughts and motivations is that it is a Post War amalgam of lectures delivered to a religious audience. Context should be strongly taken into account IMO.

Of course Takemusu Aiki is an important source in a very sparse field so therefore cannot be taken lightly.

Allen

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 08-02-2008 at 08:09 AM.

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Old 08-02-2008, 09:15 AM   #48
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

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Mark,

I have a serious question here. How much of Morihei Ueshiba's own discourses are you going to accept as relevant to this discussion? After all, Ellis Amdur's original discussions in Three Peaches and Hidden in Plain Sight derived in part from a close analysis of those parts of Takemusu Aiki that had been translated into English.
Hello Peter,

I'm sorry I couldn't get a reply back quicker. Things got busy here.

Being in the U.S. and not having access to quite a bit of material, things are a bit murky in regards to Ueshiba's history. Not to downplay Stan's research or your own, but I'm finding that I have to rely upon translations. Sometimes that is good and sometimes that isn't.

Not to demean Ellis or his articles on Aikido Journal, but I find them a stretch at times. I've read through the later posts by you and Allen and it sort of goes along with my thoughts. But the major hurdle is always having to rely upon the translation. And in my case, the majority of books being published are translated by someone affiliated with the Aikikai.

I've learned enough about the Japanese culture to know that while they won't lie, well, they will lie. Up to that point, the material can, and has been, spun with a different aspect to it.

So, I ask questions and propose theories. Being that I'm not a scholar in this area, I hope that they are at least semi-intelligent.

I'm trying to learn Japansese, which isn't an overnight thing. One of these days, maybe I'll be able to read some of the texts and then have an intelligent conversation with you.

Where did you get your text of Takemusu Aiki?

Thank you,
Mark
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Old 08-02-2008, 09:30 AM   #49
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

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Hello Peter,

Where did you get your text of Takemusu Aiki?

Thank you,
Mark
I bought it in a local bookstore. It is freely available here, along with a whole load of books about O Sensei (ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous), that have not been translated.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 08-02-2008, 10:17 AM   #50
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Re: Pre War Aikido, 1930 through Iwama period

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I don't think I disagree here.
Score!

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
. . . but the sanitized translations need to be complemented by something more substantial.
Enter special agent Goldsbury!

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I spent some very pleasant years in the Department of Classics at Harvard University, where we came to grasps with the 'ethics' of translation. (One of my exam questions was to translate Lincoln's Gettysburg Address into the style of Greek used by Pericles in his Funeral Oration during the Peloponnesian War.) There was a rigour there (in the Classics Department, not in my own translation) that is lacking in virtually every single translation of O sensei that I have so far encountered.
Hear! Hear! Such a translation would be beneficial even in Japanese!

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I am now writing Column 10
And where is Column 9 today August the 2nd (August the 3rd if one resides in Japan) . . . hmmmm . . . . Jun . . . pleeeeease?

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
. . . and have translated about a half-dozen pages of Takemusu Aiki--some of the later material, about World War II.
Page numbers please.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
There are some really outrageous statements here . . .
OH, THANKS A LOT Peter! I have to admit this statement finally got me to get off my lazy bottom and go get my copy of Takemusu Aiki . . . and low and behold, I have a copy of 合気神髄 sitting next to it! Whoda thunk it?

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
. . . and so the question arises: to what extent does the context affect the truth of what is stated?
Yeah baby!

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
What O Sensei stated himself (allegedly) is complemented by what others have written about him. The 'documentation' here is supposed to be good, but I do not think so. For example, there is very little in Stan Pranin's extensive research into O Sensei's life in Tokyo between 1927 and 1942 that will enable us to illuminate O Sensei's own statements in Takemusu Aiki.
Peter are you, by chance, willing to autograph 8x10 glossies? I'm seriously considering a prominent place for you on the wall of my dojo.

Honestly, thank you for all of your hard work and your willingness to share. I don't know that we will always draw the same conclusions, but that hardly matters. (Getting closer to "the truth" is what matters in my mind, not who's right or wrong today or tomorrow.) The fact that you are publicly sharing pertinent information in a highly transparent fashion and from a hard earned position that demands to be taken seriously is what matters most IMO. That you do so in a down to earth, accessible and un-pretentious manner is icing on the cake!

I don't know how many folks will read, comprehend and appreciate what you are sharing, but at least it is out there and that in itself is ground breaking.

As my 5th graders would say, "You rock Mr. Goldsbury!"

Last edited by Allen Beebe : 08-02-2008 at 10:20 AM.

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