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Old 09-17-2008, 12:54 PM   #51
Jim Sorrentino
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Hello Dan,
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Bill Gleason came to train here. He was the 6th dan I refered to in an earlier post.
Thank you very much for this post. I heartily agree with Prof. Goldsbury's comments.

I do not have a lot of time these days to post. I work for the Federal Housing Administration in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and we have been... busy.

I look forward to seeing Gleason-sensei (and Rob L.) sooner, rather than later.

Sincerely,

Jim
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:11 PM   #52
rob_liberti
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Umm well, I have some further spine stretching to do before I am ready to go on tour.

Funny story really. It turns out that I was not physically stretching enough due to my misunderstanding some directions/advice. I had that stupid moment when I was explaining to Dan that I found it odd that I had to stretch up MORE when I used the skills to throw him than when I do my solo work. I actually could see him having that internal struggle to not slap his forehead. Oh well, I'm not the best and brightest! But luckily there is plenty of room for the not-so-bright hard workers in the spectrum!

It's an exciting time for me for sure.

Rob
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:20 PM   #53
mjchip
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Umm well, I have some further spine stretching to do before I am ready to go on tour.

Funny story really. It turns out that I was not physically stretching enough due to my misunderstanding some directions/advice. I had that stupid moment when I was explaining to Dan that I found it odd that I had to stretch up MORE when I used the skills to throw him than when I do my solo work. I actually could see him having that internal struggle to not slap his forehead. Oh well, I'm not the best and brightest! But luckily there is plenty of room for the not-so-bright hard workers in the spectrum!

It's an exciting time for me for sure.

Rob
Rob,

Just to make sure I'm not making the same mistake along with all of the other mistakes I'm making, can you clarify what you (I) should be doing?

Thanks,

Mark
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Old 09-17-2008, 04:44 PM   #54
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Mark, it turns out that "stretch up" means literally physically stretch up (not in the chest of course) as well as intention up, and I wasn't doing the physical aspect enough. So I didn't have enough slack out of my body to do anything very useful.

I can show you a lot better than I can describe it for sure.
Rob
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:21 PM   #55
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Mark, it turns out that "stretch up" means literally physically stretch up (not in the chest of course) as well as intention up, and I wasn't doing the physical aspect enough. So I didn't have enough slack out of my body to do anything very useful.

I can show you a lot better than I can describe it for sure.
Rob
Got it, thanks. Off to the dojo to do solo training before my class.....

Mark
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:18 AM   #56
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Understood.

I've been thinking we should call it "Sho shin rob"

If we come up with another name, maybe we can change the name of the "non-aikido" section?

However, "the way of aiki" fits so well. I was hoping to popularize what I'm doing now to the point that people not doing it wouldn't want to have seminars or open schools using the name "aikido" for fear of someone with aiki skills showing up.

Rob
I was going to put in my vote for phido, failing that then aikidoki, and lastly aikidunotdo. Those names just roll right off the tongues.

Don't know what Dan teaches as basic, but the basic stuffs that I learned from Mike could easily incorporate into aikido and by the time a person got all the stuffs sorted out, he/she/it will be shodan or somewhere close. he/she/it can do waza with noticeable aiki (i hope, maybe, possibly).

As far as folks with aiki skills show up, we have two solutions 1) open a can of aiki-whup-ass on them or 2) invite them to sushi and beer. Take for example, the last time Howard came to our dojo, he opened a can of aiki-whup-ass on us, so we invited him out for sushi and beer. harmony restored. nobody got hurt, except for a bunch of fishes, but hey they were in a better place.
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:38 AM   #57
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

I'm good with phildo.

I have a friend named Don who teachs "sho shi ryu" that trains aiki with me now. I joked with him that we soon call his art "sho shin rob" and I'll call my art "aiki don". But I digress..

I have had several requests for me to go visit people and help show what do now. I would love to do that right away but:
1) I'm not yet good enough
2) I'd rather spend my time with my learning and my own dojo unless I feel the person I visit is going to be serious about perusing this stuff - so it becomes an investment where someday they can take it to places I haven't tried yet like "aiki" meets "hung gar" for instance.

There are of course several people I am close enough friends with that I'll be happy to share what I know so far with the moment I am blessed to do so and not misrepresent "the mad budo skillz" I'm learning.

I'm certainly open to suggestions on this point of "in what manner"...

Rob
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:41 AM   #58
Ron Tisdale
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Hi Rob,

I understand your teacher will be in the Philly area again rather soon...any chance you will come down with him? It would be a pleasure to meet you!
Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 09-18-2008, 02:20 PM   #59
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Just a word of caution.
Everyone needs to remain self-aware. Rob openly states he doesn't have it yet. That's good. But in balance after 18 years training it- I don't think I "have it" yet either. And what about other methods? So, I hope everyone is self-effacing of where they may be at, and don't start to think they have it-when they clearly don't. We've already seen it with some posters here-who go on and on about something they obviously haven't a clue about.
We don't want folks who might accidentally think they understand more than they do and cause more harm than good. Mike's cautions were sound and good advice. It's a balance you have to reach between when you want to share and when you actually are able ...to share. Add to that, just who you should be sharing with in the first place.
Think of it this way.
What is it going to gain any of us, if more hall-ass MAers start showing skills they barely know to other MAer's (who may already be doubting, or who are searching fro answers) who may go..."Bleck!..Thats nothing worth learning!" And in so doing you actually screw that person out of a great training tool they both wanted and needed but will now pass-up. You weren't intentionally misleading them, but screwed them none-the-less by misrepresentation. All due to your lousy skills in showing it.
All that does is bring us right back to more hobbyists MAers ruining the reputation of what was once good Martial arts all due to our ego's. No, I'm not meaning a "Hey look at what I can do" ego, but rather a "Here let me teach you. I know this cool stuff" type ego. How aweful would it be to find out -you- were the one to screw someone over by misleading them in their training?

We need to be careful about rushing around with barely learned skills-not the least of which might be a lack of an intuitive and experienced ability to teach it, while eagerly willing to show it to all and sundry. We've all seen enough of that with hundreds of teachers out there who have no business teaching. None.

I'm hoping for more introspection and hard work types over the- I can't wait to break out and teach types. to really latch on to this training, and lead the way.

Last edited by DH : 09-18-2008 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 09-18-2008, 03:27 PM   #60
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Just a word of caution.
Everyone needs to remain self-aware. Rob openly states he doesn't have it yet. That's good. But in balance after 18 years training it- I don't think I "have it" yet either. And what about other methods? So, I hope everyone is self-effacing of where they may be at, and don't start to think they have it-when they clearly don't. We've already seen it with some posters here-who go on and on about something they obviously haven't a clue about.
We don't want folks who might accidentally think they understand more than they do and cause more harm than good. Mike's cautions were sound and good advice. It's a balance you have to reach between when you want to share and when you actually are able ...to share. Add to that, just who you should be sharing with in the first place.
The way I look at it is that by accident, ego, and design a lot of western practitioners missed or discounted a set of physical skills that were the core/goal of Asian martial arts for at least a couple of thousand years. Those skills aren't intuitive and must be taught... which is why the skills declined in availability as martial usage declined.

At the moment there are a number of people who have become interested in the skills and who are trying to access whatever information is available in order to recreate/replicate some of the skills, to varying degrees. However, I don't know of any westerners (me included) who are really even close to being "experts" yet at these skills, and I know from experience that not all that many Asian martial artists are full-blown "experts" either. It's a matter of 'you pays your money you takes your choice'.... hit or miss and you have to be careful. The full range of skills is bigger than most people think, so some caution is needed.

All that being said, I don't think there's any real way to stop every Tom, Dick, and Harry who has even some bit skills (or thinks he does) from getting out there and teaching before his time. It's just human nature and it's going to happen. The important thing, in my opinion, is to get the basics out there so that the die-off of the core skills doesn't happen again. Beyond that I wouldn't get too excited about it because on the whole it's an occasion for satisfaction that something that went wrong is (maybe) going to be put right for some of this generation and the next generation. So what if the basics get spread, sometimes incorrectly or incompletely? In that case, it's caveat emptor and it's certainly a lot better situation than we've had up until now. And no matter who thinks they're good now and have "got it", there's going to be someone(s) better in the next generation. That's a good thing.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:04 PM   #61
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

My gosh...

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I have had several requests for me to go visit people and help show what do now. I would love to do that right away but:
1) I'm not yet good enough
2) I'd rather spend my time with my learning and my own dojo unless I feel the person I visit is going to be serious about perusing this stuff - so it becomes an investment where someday they can take it to places I haven't tried yet like "aiki" meets "hung gar" for instance.

There are of course several people I am close enough friends with that I'll be happy to share what I know so far with the moment I am blessed to do so and not misrepresent "the mad budo skillz" I'm learning.
This was expressed poorly. Sorry for any potential confusion. So:
I stand fully behind what I wrote for #1 - I'm not good enough yet

But #2 should be more like - WHEN I AM GOOD ENOUGH (not expert but much more connected and able to use the skills so I don't screw anyone up more than help them) I still would rather concentrate on my training and my own students (who only do the solo exercises along side of me currently before normal aikido class). However, once I am at that level, I'll be willing to go out and visit some people who I know are very serious that would be worth the investment of me NOT going to train myself. People who I know understand shugyo, and hopefully people who do other interesting things that would be interesting to learn what they are like when powered by this kind of aiki skill set.

Hope that clears up any confusion.

So Dan or Mike, what "level" of this skill set do you think it good enough before it is shared with the uninitiated? I was thinking once I could do a series of those super punches (you tell me what to call them). But maybe that is not yet good enough either. I still don't know enough to even evaluate what the level should be myself. We can talk off line too. It's just that this is the "in what manner" thread...

Rob
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:25 PM   #62
Mike Sigman
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
So Dan or Mike, what "level" of this skill set do you think it good enough before it is shared with the uninitiated? I was thinking once I could do a series of those super punches (you tell me what to call them). But maybe that is not yet good enough either. I still don't know enough to even evaluate what the level should be myself. We can talk off line too. It's just that this is the "in what manner" thread...
There is a problem in gauging exactly what level is appropriate for various martial arts. The same question arises for a number of arts. Let's take an art outside of Aikido, for instance Judo, and try to decide what is the appropriate level of ki/kokyu skills.

First of all, we have to decide what the founder of Judo (Jigoro Kano) knew and intended. Let's say, as a talking point, that Jigoro Kano had skills of level 5 (on a 1-to-10 scale) and that his Judo consisted of all viable Judo waza plus his own personal skills of level 5. The problem is that most people going into Judo have no idea that Kano had some skills in these areas (later records indicate that he did, BTW). So most people think that Judo has to do with the many Judo techniques (same is true of Aikido) and the smoothness with which they are executed.

But let's say that Judo people begin to understand via various indicators (like the kata in Judo, old films, etc.) that Kano had some specific skills that relate to ki/kokyu. How much of those skills did he have? We don't know precisely. But generally we could postulate that anyone with less than those skills is not complete enough (as a legitimate debate point), right? How about if one of Kano's students like Mifune actually had more ki/kokyu skills than Kano himself did? Would that still be legitimate Judo if even more ki/kokyu skills were applied to Judo? You see the point, which is the same basic question that Rob is asking... what is the level of ki/kokyu skills that is legitimately a requisite before teaching them as part of "Aikido"?

Tohei answered this question by setting up a separate ranking system for ki/kokyu skills. Now that I understand what Tohei did (and believe me, we *all* start from ignorance), I think he brilliantly foresaw the problem and stepped around it.

What is the rest of Aikido going to do, though?

Honestly, I think that remains to be seen and the answer is going to be determined by the rank and file of Aikido (for instance the readers of AikiWeb, other forums, various Aikido organizations, etc.).

For the moment, my personal and general answer would be that someone should be able to replicate some general ki-ability tests similar to the ones that Tohei set up (BTW, I am not a Tohei student or even a particular fan of his). That's the first thing. Secondly, they need to be able to move (sans shoulder reliance) with these skills before they are qualified to *teach* these skills as part of Aikido. But that's just my personal and general answer. In reality I realize that during this transition from chaos to order there will be a lot of different answers. And that's fair enough. All I would personally ask is that teachers respect the idea that their students are humans too, and if you lead them wrong you do them wrong. Be sure you're right before you start preaching the gospel.

Best.

Mike Sigman
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:38 PM   #63
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

I don't see the worry. If I don't know how to do something, you're sure as hell not going to have to worry about me attempting to teach it.
Aikido as I was taught, didn't include very much weapon's work. Consequently I do not attempt to teach that aspect of the art. Besides, I'm inclined to believe Dan when he says he sees very little good weapon work from aikidoka.
I know very little about internal stuffs (thanks phi ), consequently you aint gonna catch me attempting to teach them. I guess what I'm sayin is that worrying about posers teaching internal stuffs seems a little paranoid to me. I pretty much teach nothing but basics. As I see it, I can spend a lifetime just perfecting basic aikido and be very happy with it. Of course, now I want to spend another lifetime learning internal stuffs but you aint gonna catch me trying to teach something I don't know.
Of course, the more I know, the less I know. Sometimes I wonder if I have any business teaching anything at all. I do however love training and since I'm the only one in town, I do what I can.
Besides, if you internal guys would just get out and teach more of us, there would be less posers around to worry about.
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:44 PM   #64
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Quote:
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I guess what I'm sayin is that worrying about posers teaching internal stuffs seems a little paranoid to me. I pretty much teach nothing but basics.
Heh. That was a classic, Ricky.

Mike
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:11 PM   #65
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

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Heh. That was a classic, Ricky.

Mike
lol, Yeah, from your perspective I'm sure. I'm well aware that you consider internal stuffs to be basic, but you and I both know we're talking about different things. I profess no skills in the basics as you have defined them, but by your own admission these basics are quite rare anyway, right? I do basic waza, nothing more, nothing less, but I am also a lifetime student of budo, grasping at knowledge where ever I can find it. Even from you, like it or not.
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:35 PM   #66
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Hey Robert John - you are about 3 years into this stuff right? A what point did you feel you were doing people more good than harm by showing them stuff on your own?

Rob
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Old 09-19-2008, 10:47 AM   #67
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Hey Robert John - you are about 3 years into this stuff right? A what point did you feel you were doing people more good than harm by showing them stuff on your own?

Rob
Well first off, I rarely show people "on my own." This past workshop was only the second one I've ever done, and frankly it gives me the jitters since I realize the distinct possibility of sending someone down an errant side road is huge.
I try to show only what I'm pretty certain is "true" from a general context, not to mention cross checking the material with Ark.

Fortunately, so far none of the stuff I've posted, (including some of the other "training for martial movement posts" ) have been wrong, even after looking back a year or two later. While there are significantly deeper aspects I've mined since then, all the basic concepts still hold true.
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Old 09-19-2008, 11:11 AM   #68
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Hey Robert John - you are about 3 years into this stuff right? A what point did you feel you were doing people more good than harm by showing them stuff on your own?
Heh. No offense to anyone involved (i.e., both Robs) but when I read that last question I had to laugh out loud. I'm sure Rob L. didn't mean it, but I sort of read the last question as being similar to asking "At what point did you feel like you had quit beating your wife and were now helping her?". I.e., the question presumes that Rob John must have been misdirecting his students at some point.

On a more serious note, I would offer the suggestion that there would be 3 serious steps in the process, which I'll take a personal stab at trying to define:

(1.) A person should not be "teaching" others or "showing the way" until they can easily replicate, let's say, the static "ki-tests" that Tohei uses in Ki-Aikido (well, I'm talking about the ones I used to see in books years ago).

(2.) A person should not be teaching moving exercises before they themselves can exhibit reasonable/consistent movement that has ki/kokyu skills throughout it at all times and movement is led by the hara.

(3.) A person should not be teaching Aikido waza, in my personal opinion, until they're fairly consistent at #1 and #2, but of course this is not going to be the case, in reality.

The trick at the moment is to slide as much and as pure ki/kokyu skills into existing organizations as possible. It's going to be very hard to do it adequately. A lot of schools, etc., couldn't care less about putting ki into Aikido, but that's actually a positive thing. Let them go; it's just less to worry about.

One thought I have is that it's best to work with a whole school and not individuals. Piece-mealing things seems to just not work as well as when an active group makes an effort to change over. That's an important point. If you don't have a school working together, someone who is focusing on the skills almost invariably is forced to drop out and work by himself in order to get the engine running (I think Mark Murray and a number of others will vouch for this).

Anyway, those are just some thoughts, FWIW.

Best.

Mike
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Old 09-19-2008, 11:58 AM   #69
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
(1.) A person should not be "teaching" others or "showing the way" until they can easily replicate, let's say, the static "ki-tests" that Tohei uses in Ki-Aikido (well, I'm talking about the ones I used to see in books years ago).

(2.) A person should not be teaching moving exercises before they themselves can exhibit reasonable/consistent movement that has ki/kokyu skills throughout it at all times and movement is led by the hara.

(3.) A person should not be teaching Aikido waza, in my personal opinion, until they're fairly consistent at #1 and #2, but of course this is not going to be the case, in reality.
Would you be so kind as to provide a 'short' list of those that you believe are qualified to teach aikido waza?
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Old 09-19-2008, 01:12 PM   #70
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Thanks. I agree I could have stated that better. It's becoming a reoccurring theme. I just have time to post quickly and not spend too much time proof reading.

Rob
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Old 09-19-2008, 04:44 PM   #71
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Quote:
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Would you be so kind as to provide a 'short' list of those that you believe are qualified to teach aikido waza?
Rick,

Mike was merely offering a personal opinion as to the steps anyone would need to introduce ki/kokyu (back) into aikido. I don't think it needs to be taken the way you phrased the question.

Ignatius
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Old 09-19-2008, 05:33 PM   #72
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
Rick,

Mike was merely offering a personal opinion as to the steps anyone would need to introduce ki/kokyu (back) into aikido. I don't think it needs to be taken the way you phrased the question.
Ignatius,
I am very interested in learning internal stuffs. If Mike knows anybody in the aikido world that has these skills I would like to know who they are. Not sure how you took it, but my interest is sincere.
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:22 PM   #73
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

From Abundant Peace by John Stevens.

http://www.amazon.com/Abundant-Peace...2290355&sr=1-1

Quote:
John Stevens wrote:
When Sokaku returned to Hokkaido a few years later, inevitably he and Morihei crossed paths. Morihei had known of Sokaku's presence in Hokkaido for some time. Once, after thrashing a sumo wrestler in an impromptu contest, Morihei was asked if he was the "famous Sokaku Takeda." On a trip to Engaru, Morihei learned that Sokaku was conducting a session in a nearby inn and immediately rushed there to attend.

After witnessing an impressive demonstration and being deftly handled by the skinny Sokaku, Morihei applied for admission to the "Daito Ryu," as Sokaku styled his teaching, and was accepted. Morihei forgot about everything else, staying at the inn for a month, training day and night with Sokaku; following thirty days of practice, Morihei was presented with a first-level teaching license.
The next para states that Morihei returned to Shirataki and invited Sokaku there.

Quote:
John Stevens wrote:
... and received private instruction each morning for two hours. Sokaku also taught a group lesson later in the day.
Quite a bit of what has been written follows this example. Ueshiba doesn't have a lot of time with Takeda to learn. Thirty days of practice, even morning and night doesn't add up to much.

If you train 2 hours a day, 3 days a week for a year -- that gives you about 26 days of training if you were to factor in each day's training lasting 12 hours.

So, really, that month is about one year of training. Two at most. Adding up the training times for Ueshiba, it wasn't all that long. I would venture to guess that most people in Aikido who have 20 years of training have way more time on the mat than Ueshiba had with Takeda.

And judging by how well Ueshiba did with the first meeting, his vaunted skills were useless. According to Stevens, Ueshiba was even mistaken for Takeda. Skilled? Yes. Skilled in a way that Takeda was? Not even close. Ueshiba's skills were as nothing to Takeda.
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:35 PM   #74
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Abundant Peace by John Stevens.

He talks about Ueshiba pretty much splitting from Takeda around 1922. Stevens goes on to say that by 1925, Ueshiba was "invincible as a martial artist".

Ueshiba trains with Takeda 1915-1922, but mostly in short periods of time. And between 1922 and 1925, it seems Ueshiba learned on his own. Solo training? Whatever it was, Ueshiba got better and better from the teachings of Takeda -- and Ueshiba didn't need Takeda there all the time to do it.
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:58 PM   #75
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Ueshiba was training with Takeda into the 30's
The total days of training in seminars have been counted to add up to 70+ to 90+ days depending on who's counting.
It doesn't count all the private training. More important than those days are the days he kept training with his own people. All of those early guys only saw Takeda now and then. They kept training over and over practicing. That's probably the main source of their improvement.

As for 1922 period. I disagree with some people's assessment.
I do not believe that Ueshiba had aiki until then. And it is why after Takeda's long stay in Ayabe that Deguchi was so impressed by the aiki of Takeda's Daito ryu that he suggested Takeda change the name to Aiki-jujutsu. Why? because he stated the aiki was what was so magnificent. Takeda did change the name.

Some want to suggest that it was in Ayabe that Ueshiba was given jujutsu. Personally I think Deguchi and sooo many there knew and had seen all too much jujutsu, and that they were not impressed by more waza. I believe Ueshiba learned jujutsu with Takeda until his stay at Ayabe. During that long live-in period Takeda gave aiki to Ueshiba and only after that...did he allow Ueshiba to teach.

To follow that logic to Stevens quote- I can only say that making an argument that Daito ryu jujutsu would make anyone invincible- I find completely ridiculous.

Daito ryu aiki is the power of Daito ryu and the power of Takeda and thence Ueshiba's invincibility and Deguchi's amazement at Takeda's what???
Aiki.
Apparently, Deguchi got that much....loud and clear, if no one else has since.
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