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Old 05-18-2009, 10:46 AM   #51
Pat Togher
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Mark,

My question was basically a response to Dan's post #37. (Dan is preaching to the converted here, by the way.)

The fact remains, however, that despite the accomplishments of both men in Aiki skills, what they showed, even to their closest students, was waza--in Takeda's case, hundreds. Budo Renshu (compiled in 1933), by comparison, contains about 160, with an introduction dealing with possible attacks and how to deal with them. So it seems to me that Ueshiba, at least, combined aiki skills with waza and used waza also when dealing with people like Tomiki and Shioda.

Best,

PAG
This is a fascinating thread.

Peter,
I'd like to pose a question if I may.
If Shioda and Tomiki "got" aiki skills from Ueshiba sensei (and they certainly appear to have), is there some particular treason why they would not have codified any special aiki training tools for their students? It seems very odd to me, especially in the case of Tomiki, who appears to have been very open about teaching methods. Why wouldn't Tomiki have codified these aiki exercise methods and passed them on - either directly in his own aikido style or at the Kodokan - if he felt they were critical to the correct execution of the art?

Alternately (or in addition), a question for Dan:
Do the solo excercises from Tomiki aikido have any particular aiki benefits that are not readily apparent? They appear, at least to my untrained eyes, to be relatively standard exercises for warming up and establishing correct movement patterns.

Pat
 
Old 05-18-2009, 10:49 AM   #52
Fred Little
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
why the aiki waza are so bizzare (juxtaposed to koryu jujustu) in their approach, and application, and why they are so?
Mind you, it's only a conjecture, but here goes:

1) Starting at the beginning, let me posit that the exercises used to develop "the body skills" are pretty bizarre in their approach compared to normal calisthenics.

2) It then seems relatively natural that "aiki waza" intended to refine the application of those skills would be pretty bizarre in their approach and application in comparison to koryu jujutsu.

Best,

FL

 
Old 05-19-2009, 09:55 AM   #53
DH
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Hi guys
The way we train here is more in line with -I suspect- the way-Takeda taught to concrentate on the body first. This results in a body that cannot be taken down without great effort- sacrificing your body. I think it is the reason that he produced some incredibly powerful men and Ueshiba-by comparison never did.
I think Takeda taught what he knew, Ueshiba knew more than he taught
I think the goal was to tell your inner sutdents to concentrate on their bodies. The end result should be powerfully evident on contact The body is to be trained to be supported by giving a negative with a supported positive, in many directions at once, rotationally, front and back, up and down, over and under. For us there is simply no way, or any need for us to give two negatives or two positives and throw ourselves. It ceases to have any meaning to do so. I would have to actually concentrate and make myself fall apart inside in order to fall down like that. What is revealed when training your body this way is THEIR center. And we find they are the ones who are ever increasingly revealing their centers to us. On contact their centera are open and can be manipulated. Since all of this is and can be incorporated into daily training its seems axiomatic to all that is aiki and all that is aikido.

Naturally I think it is a better way to train, it doesn’t involve just the exercises or simple standing, or breath power only, it is a combination of all of that in movement. In my view it moves far closer to Ueshiba's goals of having the ability to cancel out real aggression than most of what I have seen these days. Of course it will alter the training model for most dojo not to take ukemi that way. I know of several aikido teachers who have said "That's it! I don't care what anyone says" and are bringing this training into the requirements of their dojo training from now on. I think it is going to make them and their students very capable players across the board against any art in a far shorter time frame-as I have always said it would. Again, it is worth stating it is also healing and healthy for the body, well into old age and continues to build in power when most people are starting to fall apart.
Again, it IS ukemi -just of a different order.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 05-19-2009 at 10:09 AM.
 
Old 05-19-2009, 12:41 PM   #54
C. David Henderson
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Waza
An interesting diversion is to discuss why aiki waza is so bizzare, so singular, justaposed to koryu jujutsu. Why it wasn't repeated, why his students tried to record it. I think there is a reason. And it is also the reason most of it doesn't work in the hands of the vast majority who try them.

Solo training
The fact that Ark and I both teach people solo exercises that condition the body that leads to aiki, and do so openly is not germane, other than to point out that they still exist and we...are capable of doing so.
Cheers
Dan
Hi Dan.

I took it that this was the portion of post #37 to which you were referring. I could venture a guess about what you might say in response to the question posed, but I'd rather ask, if I may, what you think.

Regards,
cdh
 
Old 05-19-2009, 12:44 PM   #55
C. David Henderson
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Looks like I may have stopped reading too soon.
 
Old 05-19-2009, 01:00 PM   #56
Marc Abrams
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hi guys
The way we train here is more in line with -I suspect- the way-Takeda taught to concrentate on the body first. This results in a body that cannot be taken down without great effort- sacrificing your body. I think it is the reason that he produced some incredibly powerful men and Ueshiba-by comparison never did.
I think Takeda taught what he knew, Ueshiba knew more than he taught
I think the goal was to tell your inner sutdents to concentrate on their bodies. The end result should be powerfully evident on contact The body is to be trained to be supported by giving a negative with a supported positive, in many directions at once, rotationally, front and back, up and down, over and under. For us there is simply no way, or any need for us to give two negatives or two positives and throw ourselves. It ceases to have any meaning to do so. I would have to actually concentrate and make myself fall apart inside in order to fall down like that. What is revealed when training your body this way is THEIR center. And we find they are the ones who are ever increasingly revealing their centers to us. On contact their centera are open and can be manipulated. Since all of this is and can be incorporated into daily training its seems axiomatic to all that is aiki and all that is aikido.

Naturally I think it is a better way to train, it doesn't involve just the exercises or simple standing, or breath power only, it is a combination of all of that in movement. In my view it moves far closer to Ueshiba's goals of having the ability to cancel out real aggression than most of what I have seen these days. Of course it will alter the training model for most dojo not to take ukemi that way. I know of several aikido teachers who have said "That's it! I don't care what anyone says" and are bringing this training into the requirements of their dojo training from now on. I think it is going to make them and their students very capable players across the board against any art in a far shorter time frame-as I have always said it would. Again, it is worth stating it is also healing and healthy for the body, well into old age and continues to build in power when most people are starting to fall apart.
Again, it IS ukemi -just of a different order.
Cheers
Dan
I have just spent the last five days with Ushiro Sensei (Shindoryu). One of the powerful things (one of many) that I came away with was what Dan mentioned about one's energy being able to be utilized simultaneously in many directions. With Ushiro Sensei, it is like a 360 degree force field that he can utilize to disperse your attack and also to make his own attack "unreadable." His system centers on the use of Kata (solo training) to develop the body skills that Dan talks about. His utilization of kata is very much like what Dan describes in his approach to training and is far removed from the "kata shell" that exists in many other training paradigms. Each movement in a kata has different levels of "tests" against attacks so as to verify one's progress.

I personally do view Aikido waza as a form of kata. Within each "waza" is a set of body movements, based upon certain principles. These "waza" have different levels and component parts can be tested to verify one's progress. I also view ukemi as a kata and use it accordingly, to help raise the level of my own development.

I greatly appreciate the efforts of those (Dan included) who are actively exploring different ways of addressing the development of Aiki skills. I look forward to having an opportunity to experience Dan's training paradigm. I can say that Ushiro Sensei has a paradigm that works as well and it exists within a traditional approach. I can vouch for the success of this teaching paradigm because I have worked with Sensei's senior students and can attest to the development of Aiki skills in their execution of their art.

Marc Abrams
 
Old 05-19-2009, 08:58 PM   #57
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Hi Shaun, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Are you saying there is no feeling/sensing the other because in a complete unity there is no other? ...that, insofaras X is in union with Y "they" are no longer X and Y, but rather some new singularity, Z?
Would you mind also elaborating on what you mean by "no feeling"?
Take care,
Matt
Hi Matt,

Thanks for the questions. I would have to say that while you ask some great questions, the answers would be best left to a new thread. If you care to start one - see I am lazy after my workout at the gym - then I will try to get around to addressing your points by the weekend.

Best in training...

.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
 
Old 05-19-2009, 09:12 PM   #58
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Tom Wharton wrote:
Dan-

I got the impression Mr. Ravens was talking about Stevens. Mark Murray posted a link to The Way of Harmony at the bottom of his post #15.

I'm sure few in this thread would dispute, with any tenacity, Mr. Ravens' assessment of Stevens' writing, though no less embellishing than Stevens' himself. For the record, I believe Mark was referencing Shirata Sensei, not Stevens.


Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
I thought Shaun was refering to Stanley Pranin too.

John Stevens didn't even come to mind because; one, he has made no public claims about who did and didn't get "transmission " and two, I know of no "refusal to debate."

Who are you talking about Shaun?


Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
No big deal either way. If Shaun meant Stevens most would probably agree with him-but certainly not all. If he meant Stanley, most would probably disagree with him, but not all.
In my small way I tried to present one view of the issues of anecdotal V corroborated "versions" of history.
In either case, maybe we can all benefit from the exchange.
Cheers
Dan


All Interesting theories everyone... Really!

Of course, its important to say that corroborated versions aren't necessarily 100% correct. They may, for various reasons even be entirely wrong. Alas, anecdotal accounts, as unaccepted as they may be by whoever seems to find objection with the correlating conclusions aren't necessarily 100% wrong. They may even be absolutely correct.

As for who I may have been speaking of, wouldn't it be interesting if it had been about the current favorite flavors here on Aiki-Web, or wherever? You know, people like Dan, Akuzawa or even... (gasp) Mike S. ...? Think about it.

Best in training...

.

Last edited by Misogi-no-Gyo : 05-19-2009 at 09:18 PM.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
 
Old 05-19-2009, 10:08 PM   #59
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Hi guys
The way we train here is more in line with -I suspect- the way-Takeda taught to concrentate on the body first. This results in a body that cannot be taken down without great effort- sacrificing your body. I think it is the reason that he produced some incredibly powerful men and Ueshiba-by comparison never did.
I think Takeda taught what he knew, Ueshiba knew more than he taught

I think the goal was to tell your inner students to concentrate on their bodies. The end result should be powerfully evident on contact The body is to be trained to be supported by giving a negative with a supported positive, in many directions at once, rotationally, front and back, up and down, over and under.
Hi Dan,

I am sincerely thankful for your above points. Perhaps you mentioned them previously and I simply missed the opportunity to make my following points. In any case, it is wonderful for you to make my point for me so clearly for all Aikidoka to consider for themselves. I will start by mentioning one aspect of martial arts that was instilled in me early on in my own journey, that being that all martial arts are the same in that they begin and end with "Rei" (a bow) Of course what happens in-between those two bows may look and be entirely unique to the either individual or art form.

Here are your words, followed by my clarifications...

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
I think it is the reason that he produced some incredibly powerful men and Ueshiba-by comparison never did.

Power, whatever that may be has many various definitions. "Gan-Sa-Tan-Riki" is one of many gokui relating to Aikido, and many martial arts, I would suspect. On the surface it talks about levels of power. Just below the surface it offers a road map for seekers of higher-level martial arts. At some point beyond that it becomes a gauge by which one can measure his or her one's own progress or understanding by reflecting back the exact nature of the essence of the person. So what we have is a simple equation that says that Takeda Sensei was very good at producing men of power in terms of how you define it. Similarly, Ueshiba Sensei was very good at producing men of power in terms of how he defined it. These two different "faces" of what power may be defined as are, well... different by their very nature. As most people would agree that Aikido and Daito-Ryu are not the same art, it would make logical sense to conclude that there is something different between one and the other - more so than simply the number of or variation in which the way a particular technique is executed. What you have pointed to in making your assertion about what Takeda Sensei and Ueshiba Sensei were able to produce is that the power within Daito-Ryu, is a different one from that of Aikido. They are different "powers" because the goal of each art and what each art aims to produce is, yes... different.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
I think Takeda taught what he knew, Ueshiba knew more than he taught.

As I meditated on your point, it became crystal clear to me that:
  1. This couldn't possibly be substantiated as anything more than opinion at best.
  2. Would presume that you knew that each teacher wanted the same result.
  3. It is not ever possible to teach all that one knows or even get close.
  4. as things generally turn out, is probably the exact opposite of what actually happened... of course, that is about as much opinion as your original statement, and not my opinion at all, as it turns out.

So, in conclusion, while our (two different) Arts are completely different at their core, in intended result, in execution of techniques and in training to produce those very differences, I bow to you. Budo wa, Budo desu.

Best in training...

.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
 
Old 05-20-2009, 03:00 AM   #60
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
All Interesting theories everyone... Really!

Of course, its important to say that corroborated versions aren't necessarily 100% correct. They may, for various reasons even be entirely wrong. Alas, anecdotal accounts, as unaccepted as they may be by whoever seems to find objection with the correlating conclusions aren't necessarily 100% wrong. They may even be absolutely correct.

As for who I may have been speaking of, wouldn't it be interesting if it had been about the current favorite flavors here on Aiki-Web, or wherever? You know, people like Dan, Akuzawa or even... (gasp) Mike S. ...? Think about it.
I am certainly curious to see what kind (if any?) reactions you are going to get from this, but I thought it was great answer. Even better than if you had answered who, thanks. I'm certainly glad you have decided to become active here again Shaun.

Charles
 
Old 05-20-2009, 05:23 AM   #61
jss
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
So, in conclusion, while our (two different) Arts are completely different at their core, in intended result, in execution of techniques and in training to produce those very differences, I bow to you. Budo wa, Budo desu.
I don't see how you can claim the above without denying Daito ryu was a major influence on aikido. Care to elaborate?

Quote:
Too bad for those who find it much easier to accept the printed words of someone else rather than do their own research and challenge even the currently-held opinions and theories.
Quote:
As for who I may have been speaking of, wouldn't it be interesting if it had been about the current favorite flavors here on Aiki-Web, or wherever? You know, people like Dan, Akuzawa or even... (gasp) Mike S. ...? Think about it.
Ironically, plenty of people quoting these 'current favorite flavors' are the ones that went to train with them. How's that in doing research?

Last edited by jss : 05-20-2009 at 05:32 AM.
 
Old 05-20-2009, 06:53 AM   #62
MM
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote:
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
I think Takeda taught what he knew, Ueshiba knew more than he taught.
As I meditated on your point, it became crystal clear to me that:
A. This couldn't possibly be substantiated as anything more than opinion at best.
I find it hard to believe that you would hold to this position? Perhaps it is just like option "D" that you posted. Something you thought to just throw out there that isn't your opinion, but somewhere, somehow, it could be true?

Going by articles and interviews, we see quite a few things that Takeda supposedly did that Ueshiba didn't show. For example, having someone grab a napkin or paper or whatever and throwing them. (I believe Sagawa has done this.) Having someone grab his (Takeda) neck and throwing them. Using his feet. (Kodo on film doing this). Where is Ueshiba doing these things? One of the few things that are common are some (not all) of the push tests.

In the realm of techniques, it's not hard to research the various schools of Daito ryu and see each using different techniques. The Takumakai supposedly catalogued both Takeda's techniques and Ueshiba's techniques. Looking at the whole, all the Daito ryu schools certainly seem to have quite a bit more techniques than Aikido.

Takeda also taught sword. Ueshiba ... well, we know how that's been talked about.

Fan? Takeda, yes. Ueshiba?

When I read your post and your point "A", it threw me for a loop. I really didn't understand how you could come to this "crystal clear" point in light of a lot of articles and interviews out there.

Speaking of Ueshiba knowing more than he taught. There are interviews talking about how Ueshiba stopped people in their tracks. I'm told it's a Daito ryu thing. But, I can't find any of Ueshiba's students doing this. And it's sort of an unspoken thing that Ueshiba pared down the Daito ryu syllabus when he created aikido.

Perhaps Takeda never taught *all* that he knew. That's certainly a valid theory. However, in light of what Takeda *did* teach to others, it isn't hard to see that Ueshiba knew more than he taught.
 
Old 05-20-2009, 07:10 AM   #63
stan baker
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Hi Shaun
I think you are missing the main point, the power of Daito Ryu and Aikido are the same. Aiki

One can manifest AIKI in different ways or waza, that is the difference.

stan
 
Old 05-20-2009, 07:30 AM   #64
MM
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Has anyone wondered why, when Ueshiba was teaching Daito ryu, Shioda, Tomiki, Shirata, Mochizuki, etc were considered the "greats" of aikido. But after WWII, we still consider them the "greats"? Why it's said that Tomiki held out his hand to judoka and they couldn't throw him? Why Shioda is taped doing what he does with power? Etc.

http://ejmas.com/jcs/jcsart_narimatsu_0101.htm

Quote:
Asked how he got started in aikido, Ueshiba Sensei told Mr. Nonaka that he began training in aikijujutsu after moving to Hokkaido in 1912. His instructor was Sokaku Takeda, who usually didn't trust people, but he liked the young Ueshiba and so let him cook and do other chores for him. In return, Ueshiba learned jujutsu. As he grew older, Ueshiba Sensei began paying more attention to the aiki than the jujutsu, and that was the start of what became aikido.
That's a very interesting paragraph. Ueshiba started concentrating more on aiki in his later years. That certainly could (theory) explain a few things.

1. Why he trimmed the Daito ryu techniques.
2. Why the later students weren't really taught as the pre-war students were. (which brings up another point on just how do you train aiki? But that's another thread.)
3. Why it can be said he knew more than he taught.
4. Why he never cared about teaching sword, yet said things like, this is how you do that with aiki.
5. Why, what he was doing, was ukemi in a pure sense.
 
Old 05-20-2009, 07:37 AM   #65
DH
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Hello Shaun
I'd like to say that although we clearly have differences in view. I have always enjoy your writing. We may debate your excellent points, without arriving at any consensus among the readership, but I suspect there is an awareness that is growing through such debates. I think your referencing my input as one of the "current favorite flavors"-I guess we might as well add "flavor of the month" is an attempt to reduce our arguments, and possibly negate the value of what we are demonstrating. This is a rather normal, even a typical response, to change. It usually lasts right up to the moment of change. Fortunately, the value of our argument is greatly supported by the value of the work and the ever increasing numbers of aikido teachers and students all following your suggestion "of doing their own research." The only difference being they more or less have ended up dissagreeing with your rather parochial view of aikido

Power
Your response to the use of the word power is a rather typical misunderstanding of the concept. The pedestrian view of power among martial artists is of resistance and conflict with muscle and dominance. In that regard one might say this is anathema of Ueshiba's goals. However, the Asian version of Power has nothing to do with such a narrow view. Power is about control. Control that arises: not from resisting a force against you with muscle, but rather by changing it. Whether this change arises from absorbing, redirecting, or letting it arrive directly back at the sender becomes the choice of the adept. But the key here is that the adept must clearly be able to demonstrate that level of skill. That level of skill is incredibly soft and developed. It is NOT, nor ever will be… moving oneself all over the place to avoid force. There is a higher level of skill involved here. And it comes from a method of training the body- tempering it- to achieve that level of power, then training to use that power with an unusual type of skill, that is different and divergent from the arts that use muscle and direct resistance with muscle driven power. These things are known and are hundreds of years old. Unfortunately, due to the way the arts are disseminated, they remain "news" to some people who spent decades in the supposedly soft arts.
Ukemi
It is for this reason that I see Ueshiba's use of his body as Nage... as ukemi. They are one and the same. His body conditioning-not his waza- would have to be voluntarily surrendered and broken in order to fall for his student. But nowhere have we seen both Uke and Nage demonstrating the same level of body skill in motion in Aikido or Daito ryu. Were the uke to being doing so- his receiving of power would not look the way it looks, time after time, for decades. The trained body does not receive power that way. That the aiki arts ask for-and get- the responses theydo from their followers on feeling a teachers power is a separate discussion. What remains clear is that it is wholey unecessary and undeeded to forward the arts core skills and power. It is also less healthy in the long run for the body. Wheras the conditioning we are discussing actually builds the body and increased its power as it ages.

You wrote:

Sadly, this remains a popular view. Yet, I think it is completely false. I think it is this view, that is holding back so many from the beauty of aikido. Aiki is the core and single unifying skill not only between Daito ryu and aikido, but with the higher level Chinese arts as well. I must say it continues to seem strange for people to be at odds regarding the work that the founder himself demonstrated over, and over, and over. Further that there is any need to discuss it yet again. It is both clear and clearly impossible to ignore that the founder in fact demonstrated the use of power in ways that were rather blunt and involved the use of the appearance of direct resistance to force; in people pushing on him and him demonstrating the type of power we have been discussing for years now and our currently demonstrating ourselves. Sadly, many people have and continue to misunderstood both his message and his example.

There is no difference in the core skills of these arts- just the expression. We all have our world view colored by personal experience. I find it refreshing that I was talking to a friend of mine (who is a teacher of Daito ryu) and we were discussing one of the attributes of Aiki when he said when we are connected, if I move in anyway he is controlled. And three years ago I was talking to a Taiji master level teacher who used the exact same example. But it remains the ability, not the knowledge, that defines and defends the argument and the one presenting that argument.

Then and now
As to the teaching and my comment that "Takeda taught what he knew, and Ueshiba knew more than he taught"
These skills are so profound, that they are immediately known. In his time Takeda demonstrated these unusual skills to and on renowned martial artists of his day and was appropriately credited for the unusual nature of them. So were others that he taught, Namely Sagawa, Horikawa, Hisa and -the subject of the debate- Ueshiba. The main point being that you seem to believe that Ueshiba demonstrated skills and abilities that were different from Takeda. I clearly disagree with this view. In keeping with the thread I would like to address this in light of Peter and Ellis's comments on the psychology of the men being relevant to the skills. The power previously discussed; to absorb and redirect and change force, once attained may be "expressed" in any number of ways. But the skills have at their heart the same source, the tempering of the body. For this reason I think it is a mistake to discuss their personalities directly with the skills. Haing the skills is one discussion, what you choose to do with them-another.
Some attempt to state that Ueshiba alone made a drastic "change" from the Budo of the day in his expression of power. They make these statements neglecting the fact that Takeda had made that shift before him, maybe even FOR him. Setting aside their own path of violence, even the teaching of violence lets arrive at the end of both Takeda and Ueshiba's days. At the end of his Days Takeda claimed his art (wildly different in expression and intent from much of Koryu Jujutsu of the day) was for defense only, and for not harming. It's aiki, which stood out, was the source of the acknowledgement of the arts incredible "power." I see nothing different in both the public displays, and in the written words of Ueshiba. It is aiki that remains the source of control and the stopping of violence. It is clearly an unusual skill among the thousands who attempt it.

Of those attempting it, they are immediately known. Aiki is a defining skill that once attained will cause anyone to stand out. Your argument that Ueshiba made many men with it-I think is a hollow one. There is no one in the later generations of Aikido that I am aware of, who was ever acknowledged to be the likes of Hisa, Kodo, Sagawa, Ueshiba or Shioda. Do you know of someone of that skill level? Speaking of the later and current generation- the current greats? As we continue to meet and show teachers in the art, and to have these discussions over dinner and drinks the debate over the veracity of these methods to create aiki continues to arrive in our favor-not yours. In the fullness of time this may affect the current Aikido greats abilities to continue to impress those same teachers and students. It is my personal experience Shaun, that what I am discussing with you here has been judged to be the source of aiki of every teacher I have met who has felt it. I have yet to meet the man or women in aikido who does not want to train this way once they feel it. It is their view that it is the source of their art.
In closing, I will bow to you as well, with respect. As in Ghandis example; I have no intention of making enemies of either you or these teachers the men and women of aikido. I seek to change their minds and show them a better way to achieve what was the source of their art.
I am sure that you, like me, practice with joy and laughter, may you continue to do so.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 05-20-2009 at 07:51 AM.
 
Old 05-20-2009, 07:53 AM   #66
Mike Sigman
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
The fact remains, however, that despite the accomplishments of both men in Aiki skills, what they showed, even to their closest students, was waza--in Takeda's case, hundreds. Budo Renshu (compiled in 1933), by comparison, contains about 160, with an introduction dealing with possible attacks and how to deal with them. So it seems to me that Ueshiba, at least, combined aiki skills with waza and used waza also when dealing with people like Tomiki and Shioda.
In the last few years, it has become more and more apparent that in earlier times the basic ki/kokyu skills were present in Aikido, Judo, Karate, ju-jutsu schools of various sorts, koryu of various sorts, iaido, kendo, etc. Not to mention just about every Chinese martial art that I've encountered and read about. I.e., these skills weren't relegated to 3 or 4 people in the old days. If you have these skills and your opponent also has these skills (in a roughly equal level), the determining factor shifts to the skill in the martial art. I'd say things go sort of like this, all else being equal:

1. Both combatants ignorant of ki/kokyu skills, the better martial techniques win.

2. Both combatants with equal martial skill, the person with ki/kokyu skills wins.

3. Both combatants with martial training and equal ki/kokyu abilities, the better martial-technician wins.

In other words, waza/techniques are not some minor factor in a martial art. Ki/kokyu skills are prominent if few others know them. If everyone knows them you really need to have superior technique/waza. Considering how widely spread these skills are in Asia, the clamp-down on not showing everyone seems to have an effect mainly on low-level practitioners.

My 2 cents.

Mike Sigman
 
Old 05-20-2009, 08:04 AM   #67
DH
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Which ties in with a response to a question to a Daito ryu Shihan.
Q. "Person to person who wins?"
A. "The one with aiki."
Q. "If they both have aiki?"
A. "The one with the better aiki, or the one with better skill in use." (who arrives first or follows and changes better)

I disagree in the modern era about fighting with it.
External to internal- I think very well trained MMA grappler /knockout power headhunters can equal a lot of playing fields, by standing outside and delivering the mail, or setting up "the fog" by repeated strikes to the head and body and kicking... before entering.
Once grappling; internal and short power can become devestating.
I just think since people are going to spend all that time training why not do both? Build both skills.
None of which is directly related to the thread. If we are talking about aiki waza it remains about control..hmm..wait. Who said "90% of aikido is atemi?" hmm...
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 05-20-2009 at 08:10 AM.
 
Old 05-20-2009, 08:08 AM   #68
oisin bourke
 
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

RE: Shaun's comments about Daito Ryu:

As someone who learned Aikido for a few years and is currently practicing Daito Ryu, I am constantly struck by how potentially "humane" the application of the art can be on an aggressor when compared to some Aikido I have experienced.

One feature of Daito Ryu is "robbing the opponent of their power", where you disperse their strength, rendering them less of a threat but without throwing or hitting in a damaging manner.

For sure, there are brutal parts to the art as well, but waza can be applied in a manner perfectly in accordance with "the spirit of loving protection."

Last edited by oisin bourke : 05-20-2009 at 08:12 AM. Reason: specifying the poster I wished to address
 
Old 05-20-2009, 08:14 AM   #69
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

I was only trying to make the point that waza/technique was not taught as some superficial time-killer for that that don't have ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills. Waza is very important. The old saying goes something like "martial-technique-skills without internal strength is not sufficient; internal-strength skills without skill in techniques is no good, either".

FWIW

Mike
 
Old 05-20-2009, 08:14 AM   #70
DH
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
As someone who learned Aikido for a few years and is currently practicing Daito Ryu, I am constantly struck by how potentially "humane" the application of the art can be on an aggressor, compared to some Aikido I have experienced. One feature of Daito Ryu is "robbing the opponent of their power" where you disperse their strength, rendering them less of a threat but without throwing or hitting in a damaging manner.

For sure, there are brutal parts to the art as well, but waza can be applied in a manner perfectly in accordance with "the spirit of loving protection."
Absolutely true and hardly ever acknowledged, accepted, thought about or discussed. And as I noted several times. "What does that say about Takeda's statements about it being a defensive art?"
Or of Sagawa's logo about peace on his wall, and Ueshiba's statements?
They are...like the core of their various arts skills...
One and the same-just different expressions of it.


Quote:
I was only trying to make the point that waza/technique was not taught as some superficial time-killer for that that don't have ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills. Waza is very important. The old saying goes something like "martial-technique-skills without internal strength is not sufficient; internal-strength skills without skill in techniques is no good, either".

FWIW

Mike
Agreed, and nice saying. One can debate all day whether the old expressions of waza are still sufficient or they need to be updated with newer methods of fighting. I think people on both sides of that debate have been surprised at the result.
Then again the training model of ukemi can be explored in that regard, to produce drastically different fighters with completely different pre-conditioned response levels to force. I am sure that just now, many guys training this way are examining much different ways to deal with a lock or throw attempt other than falling down to avoid them.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 05-20-2009 at 08:28 AM.
 
Old 05-20-2009, 08:41 AM   #71
Mike Sigman
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Agreed, and nice saying. One can debate all day whether the old expressions of waza are still sufficient or they need to be updated with newer methods of fighting.
If you're talking about restricted fighting with rules, which is what MMA, etc., are all about, I think it's an artificial distinction, not a "newer method of fighting". Don't forget that there were sport modes of some arts back in the old days, too. Shuai Jiao (which was undoubtedly a precursor to Sumo and ju-jutsu) has had a sport/competition branch for centuries.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
 
Old 05-20-2009, 08:52 AM   #72
DH
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Yes but I am on the "tradional side" of things against newer ways of fighting. I know-several BJJ and MMA guys who have been quite surpirised at what some tradional methods, from several sources; Chinese and Japanese, can deliver in the right hands. Particularly when anything goes. That said, nothing is imperical, its still very much about the man, not the art.

MMA
FWIW, It's a mistake to limit MMA discussions to MMAsport-not my interest at all. MMA as a study -has introgued and involved tradional guys from way back-and was the precurser to the modern MMA sport stuff. They are not the same.
Cheers
Dan.

Last edited by DH : 05-20-2009 at 08:58 AM.
 
Old 05-20-2009, 12:15 PM   #73
Aikibu
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Y
FWIW, It's a mistake to limit MMA discussions to MMAsport-not my interest at all. MMA as a study -has introgued and involved tradional guys from way back-and was the precurser to the modern MMA sport stuff. They are not the same.
Cheers
Dan.
Agreed...Most really good Martial Artists did not limit themselves to thier Kata and in fact tried to improve upon what they were taught.

Which is why I look forward to seeing you in August and I am sure if Shoji Nishio Shihan were still alive he may have ended up incorporating Aunkai (sorry Spelling escapes me) Kata or more Aiki exercises...IOW "Kokyu Power" in Aikido separates the men from the boys...Whenever I feel someone with such skills it makes me realize how much more I have to learn and experiance. Even up to the point he retired from active teaching Nishio Shihan was always looking for ways to make Aikido better and a more complete (hence effective) Budo.

We are all MMA.

William Hazen
 
Old 05-20-2009, 09:37 PM   #74
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hello Shaun
I'd like to say that although we clearly have differences in view. I have always enjoy your writing. We may debate your excellent points, without arriving at any consensus among the readership, but I suspect there is an awareness that is growing through such debates.

Hi Dan,

Thanks for your reply. I, too enjoy reading your posts. I agree with you that engaging in debate for lack of a better word is a good way to expose ourselves to others' opinions as well as both expose our own opinions to the scrutiny of others along with helping to expand others' opinions who happen to resonate with what it is that we are sharing.
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I think your referencing my input as one of the "current favorite flavors"-I guess we might as well add "flavor of the month" is an attempt to reduce our arguments, and possibly negate the value of what we are demonstrating. This is a rather normal, even a typical response, to change. It usually lasts right up to the moment of change.

I haven't completed reading your reply nor had a chance to read all of the other responses. However, I wanted to take a moment to respond to this part of your reply. As I read it, it immediately dawned upon me how you and others might have misread my intentions with regards to the term "favorite flavor." I specifically did not use the term "flavor of the month" as in my mind it would have denoted some sort of invalidation of your training methods, training philosophy or more importantly the results of your training on my part. As I have said to you both on the board and privately, that just isn't how I feel. I want to step up and clearly state, as I have before, that I am in full support of people seeking all forms of martial arts techniques, martial arts forms, martial art power and the like from any and every valid source. I personally have not had the pleasure to train with you, nor Akuzawa Sensei, nor Mike S. I am positive that I would enjoy each and every experience, training session, meeting each of you and your students along with learning more than a few things to assist me on my path from each and every one of you. I don't want to be pigeonholed by saying I meant exactly this or that when using that expression , but I wanted to state what I did not mean. As most people on these boards know, I tend to use colorful language at times. For me, favorite flavor merely pointed to how much people of late are enjoying getting to know you whether that be through posts, internet interactions, personal interactions or training with you. Although I have made it a point of late to do as little of it as possible, I try to be very clear when I am intentionally dissing someone. My previous post was not an instance of that on any level.
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Fortunately, the value of our argument is greatly supported by the value of the work and the ever increasing numbers of aikido teachers and students all following your suggestion "of doing their own research." The only difference being they more or less have ended up dissagreeing with your rather parochial view of aikido

Of course, I agree from a martial standing the technical benefits of your training philosophy and regimen and would expect to hear nothing less than glowing accolades from those fortunate to have the experience. However, I adamantly disagree with people outside of an art saying that they are absolutely sure that what they believe the art of Aikido is, is what Aikido is. This is never more true when it comes from Aikidoka who need to look outside of the art to find what they can not seem to discover from within the art, itself. I am not speaking of someone such as Ledyard Sensei who seeks these experiences from a place within himself which would allow him to absorb what i he seeks and deflect what is extraneous to our art, but rather of someone who has no idea what he or she is looking for in the first place and are truly open to a trance-like "possession" if you will by powers that they neither understand at their root, nor how they are separate and different from what they have been unable to find right in their own Dojo. I am not invalidating those powers. I would say that understanding and mastering these things is beneficial on almost every level to ones martial training.

I make it a point to make the distinction not because there isn't something worthy outside of any one of our arts that should be experienced. We all know that there is. However, the perspective from which outside influences are shared are in reality the polar opposite of what lies at the heart of Aikido - The "way of Aiki." From all that I have read in all of your words (you, as the collective of yourself, Akuzawa, Mike S....etc.) and from all of what I have read in the words of those who have come to train with each of you, even from what I have had the chance to discuss privately with several of those same people is that the simple thing that you are each describing comes from a perspective which is not the Way of Aiki, but rather the "Use of Aiki." The use of Aiki is a wonderful, subtle path and passion in its own right. However, it is not the art of the Founder, O-Sensei, Ueshiba Morihei. Anyone who looks at Aikido from the perspective that Aikido is the mastery of the use of Aiki will never really be training in the art of the Founder, because they are not really seeking the art of the Founder. This is merelya rudimentary study of physical waza. Sure, waza relates to the way of Aiki as they are the tools we use to set out to master the way of Aiki. However, mastering the production of the tools is not mastering the use of the tools. You may call this distinction parochial, and that is of course your right and stated perspective. I, However, see this as people looking up to find the ground and down to find the sky all while complaining that they aren't getting the proper directions because those to whom they went for direction mislead or misdirected them in the first place. As you well know, you can't really force people to see what is right in front of them, so how are we going to force them to see what is all around them? Well, all we have is time, right?

I want to have a chance to digest the most recent replies before I choose to comment. I may decide that I have nothing additional to add that would move the thread forward. More than likely this is already off-topic to the idea of O-Sensei and correct ukemi in the way that the original poster wanted it addressed. I am happy at the chance for discourse, but there is no real sense in repeating oneself over and over. Is that redundant? Did I already ask that...?

Best in training to all...

.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
 
Old 05-20-2009, 11:24 PM   #75
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
I don't see how you can claim the above without denying Daito ryu was a major influence on aikido. Care to elaborate?

Daito-Ryo was a major influence on the Founder of Aikido. Obviously it was the source for the training syllabus, too. However, what is at the heart of the discussion has nothing to do with denying any contributory sources, but more about what separates the two arts and how declaring that just because they share a common ancestry that the very nature of the two arts are quite distinct and polar opposites from the start.

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
Ironically, plenty of people quoting these 'current favorite flavors' are the ones that went to train with them. How's that in doing research?

I would not call this research at all when it comes to clearing up the confusion that is the current state of Aikido. Going to the source of an invalid argument about what is Aikido does little other than to reinforce the nature of the confusion.

Here is a rather long, but personal anecdote to illustrate my point - that being that going to the source of confusion does little to alleviate confusion. I find it quite ironic all these years later given how much of a corollary, albeit a metaphoric one there is between what occurred to me then and what is, in my opinion, occurring in our art now. I hope that someone sees this correlation or at the very least one person finds a story about autofocus cameras interesting on its own merits.

My first introduction in the mysteries of Japan and its wonderful people came through my relationship with a certain Japanese company that made autofocus cameras for which I did subcontractor work. There were two specific models on which I worked, one being the next generation of the other. The repair manuals we were given were considered bibles. The Japanese technicians who wrote them were actually dispatched to train me on how to tear down and rebuild each model. These individuals were presented as gods by their company and were treated as such by all other repair technicians.

At some point in my tenure I discovered a mistake in the manual, one that was important enough to forward it up the chain of command to the parties responsible - the all seeing all knowing, repair-bible writing technician-gods, themselves. See, in actuality, no one would have ever found the mistake because it wasn't an obvious one like 2+2=5. The manual simply stated as fact that two things (the method to set the focus between a set of lens pairs making up the primary lens group on each of these two models) was the same. I had decided to dismantle the lens group which was typically not done as the parts were replaced as a whole. However because of a back-order of lenses lasting months and months, I decided to expedite customer repairs and build the part from scratch. In doing so I discovered that two things that I was told were the same, were documented as being the same and interchanged as if they were the same, were (so sorry to have to report) not the same at all...

I quickly realized that all practicing technicians were using the documented method to calibrate the lenses before sending them back to the customer. However these two things which by all accounts were supposed to be the same were in fact not the same at all. How unfortunate it was that these cameras would eventually all come back, only to be re-repaired at no cost. You see, It really didn't matter how many people said these two things were the same. It also didn't matter how many people in practice operated as if they were the same. The simple fact is, they were and always had been different all along.

Being that I was at the time the world-wide leading repair technician in terms of the sheer number of completed repairs of these two models, I just wouldn't let it go. I continued to make a stink about it until the company was forced to send one of the repair bible toting "technician-gods" out to our shop.

He came all the way over from Japan to tell me to my face how wrong I was. He pointed at the repair bible he had written. He told me that everyone did it this way and that to do it any other way was wrong. I let him go on and on about how he wrote the manual and was the very engineer who actually designed the camera. I then smiled and said okay. I then proceeded to do it exactly as he had instructed. I then proceeded to show him that doing it that way produced an out of focus image each and every time because the two lens groups were in practical fact - different.

This was because, in spite of what he thought, what he said or what he did, that no matter who or how many people agreed with him and that no matter what materials he read out loud or pointed to to show me how right he, they and it all were, he was, wrong, plain and simple. I worked for three or four other Japanese camera companies repairing their cameras. Wouldn't you know it, I found most all the lead engineers just about the same. One could say it was part of the Japanese cultural enigma. One might also have other, less polite names for this, too...

Years later I found myself working for another Japanese camera company. I had (temporarily) been assigned to replace a Japanese QC inspector who had fallen ill. I did the quality control inspection of all cameras that had been repaired under warranty both by outside subcontractors, such as I had been, and by the in-house Japanese repair technicians who worked at the manufacturing plant along side of me. Upon settling in, I found that there was a minefield of politics when it came to rejecting a repair done by one of the in-house Japanese technicians. I was told that if there was any problem upon inspecting their repair that I was to politely put the unit back on the technicians desk for them to review my findings after which they would return it to me for re-inspection. The point of all of this is that of course they would re-repair the problem I had found and then give it back to me with a note indicating that they couldn't find anything wrong with the unit. This was so that their re-do percentage rate would remain under the required 6%, typically more than half even the best outside repair technicians who averaged a 12% to 20% re-do rate - a point they would more than casually throw into the faces of many of their non-Japanese counterparts. I found it appalling that they used an accepted method of faking these statistics, while requiring me to track the exact count of the repair-state of every single unit in terms of if it passed or failed inspection. I mean an outside subcontractor company's contract could be terminated at will based upon these statistics, resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars and more, but in-house technicians were never reprimanded, retrained nor (gasp) terminated no matter what their actual abilities or inabilities were.

Well, having maintained a world-class repair technician status (with a record-setting 2% re-do rate after the unit was 1year back in the field) I chose to make a stink about this hypocracy. Needless to say, the company found some reason to let me go rather than implement an actual accounting method I had devised which would facilitate the training and development of their core, know-it-all, Japanese technicians... You know, the same ones who would be dispatched to all of the outside subcontractors stations to train the "non-Japanese" technicians ...repair-bible in hand, of course. You do the math.

Best in training to all...

.

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