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Old 05-21-2009, 03:03 AM   #76
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Hello Shaun,

お久し振りです。

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
[/b]
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.


Try Japanese banks, or the Immigration Office, or Japanese coaches teaching foreigners Japanese baseball, or even Japanese professors of English teaching Japanese students English.

Best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 05-21-2009 at 03:10 AM.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:48 AM   #77
stan baker
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Hi Shaun,
I think it is actually the opposite, Dan is teaching in quite detail how to develope aiki . or we can say the way of aiki. He is also teaching how to use aiki but that is secondary, one has to develope aiki before you can use it.After thirty years of aikido practice we need to get back to the roots.

stan
 
Old 05-21-2009, 06:20 AM   #78
MM
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
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.
After reading that, i found myself smiling. Rereading it, I found myself laughing. What a beautifully illustrative anecdote. I have to thank you for posting that. I don't think I could have come up with anything nearly as wonderful.

I find that I can see correlations:

1. The two cameras: Ueshiba and his son, Kisshomaru.

2. The two cameras and how they work: Ueshiba's aikido and post WWII aikido.

3. The subcontractor (you) looking at the cameras as correlative to the worldwide non-Japanese students of aikido.

4. The mistake as correlative to the missing aiki skills in aikido.

5. The "all seeing all knowing, repair-bible writing technician-gods" as correlative to the current Japanese shihans.

6. And the difference in the repair of the lenses showing blurry (common repair bible) and clear (done correctly) as correlative of common aikido being blurry while aikido with aiki as clear.

I just found it so apt to the current situation. A small subset of people (in the aikido world) have found a flaw in the current model and can clearly see the differences and are trying to show the bible-readers just what changes were made between the older and newer models.
 
Old 05-21-2009, 07:41 AM   #79
jss
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
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.
Could you then explain (or point to me a post, website, whatever) what the very nature is of Daito ryu and of aikido and how these natures are polar opposites? Because I can't see how two arts can share so many techniques, but use these to achieve totally opposite goals.
Come to think of it, I'm probably misunderstanding you because of a difference in perspective: to me, two martial arts can never have totally opposite natures, since there's no escaping the fact that both are martial arts.

Quote:
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.
Going to the source of an argument and exploring that source, seems to me the best way to explore the validity of an argument. Unless one lacks a critical mind of one's own and is just looking for a guru with magical skills, of course.

Quote:
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.
Based on that anecdote, I'd say you're point is that going to the source of confusion does little to alleviate confusion, if and only if the source of the confusion is a mistake and the people who made that mistake are unwilling to accept they have made that mistake.
Which nicely ties up this post, because here I end up with the same question as in the beginning: what's the difference in nature between Aikido and Daito ryu? (If you already did so, my apalogies and please point me to where you did.)
 
Old 05-21-2009, 07:57 AM   #80
DH
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
what 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.
Shaun
Again thank you for your thoughtful reply. I also appreciate your willingness to state people are not doing the way of aiki, but I think it serves little use without addressing and explaining under what terms and conditions you see others as not being able to understand or experience the way of the founder. Not without notice, it ties in perfectly with an understanding of what ukemi truly is and what one must do to create one model and what one must give up to create the other popular view.

I do find your view of a single way to be at odds with the founder himself. He was noted on many occasions telling all manner of outsiders that "they got it" while yelling at the deshi (the next generation of teachers) that they were NOT doing his aikido. I also find it curious for you to claim to know just what the founder's goals were and are, and who might be on the "outside looking in," while you yourself go on to propose there is a state of confusion in the art and thus are determining people don't get it. Clearly, there is no definitive model being offered.
I wonder at what point you feel free to negate my own training "in" the art, my experiences in Daito ryu, and the fact that I am currently teaching teachers in Aikido dojos. Teachers who have their own views for training for decades in the art. Are you sure you are not overstressing your case to freely dismiss the views, judgments and opinions of many teachers up to 6th dan currently training this way? Teachers who consider this the way of aiki of the founder and that it is greatly affecting their art? That seems very narrow minded of anyone who would claim to grasp the idea of there even being a way. I might suggest to you that the very nature of Ueshiba expressing there was a way was in stating there was never "A" way. While I appreciate your recognition of George Ledyard, I am fairly certain I know a few men who deserve equal recognition for their own understanding of the way of the founder and they most certainly disagree with your view.
Sadly, I feel there is little definition or reason behind the argument you have presented for me to address. Your reasoning is contradicted by many teachers who have done the research you yourself have advocated- yet admittedly have not done, their own conclusions as members and teachers of the art and then with the life and words of the founder himself.

I would suggest one must be able to exhibit- and by way of exhibiting-I mean "have" and understand the type of aiki the founder was showing and discussing in order to move forward and then discuss how the "the use of it" is foundational and supportive of understanding the way of it. Without "it" -the way of the founder, and any claims to understand the way, cease to have meaning. It is worthy of note that without the "use of aiki" -as you coined it- his mission and his voice would have had little impact or meaning on the world of Budo and chances are very good we would not even be discussing him. Further, that the vast majority of Aikido are still seeking it.

Aiki as a way-and narrowing the lenz.
Are you practicing to be an avatar of the gods? Do you know what that means and how to practice to supposedly attain it?
Are you a scholar of the kotodama?
Did you train long enough to understanf the essense of an art that Ueshiba admitted opened his eyes to true budo, and never once rejected?
If not perhaps you yourself are not pursuing his path. Then again, as I noted above he declared on several occasion that others outside of the art who were clearly not doing these things, or practicing aikido "got the way of aiki."
So maybe his own message was a bit clouded and ill-defined. One thing remained clear - his admonition "To make your own aikido, your own path." Were one interested in a parochial view -that- seems inescapable.

Personally, I might suggest that the way of aiki, has as its center, a dualism, a challenge as it were.
1. First one must hold aiki in balance in their own body. The ability to sustain the union of in / yo in order to understand the power within before it is made manifest without.
2. One must then walk that walk, in its fullness. Have and contain that much power potential and be able to actually use it before it is going to affect you and offer and sort of substantial realizations, in order for you to….
3. Choose….You must first have the ability to cause violence and be that substantial, in order to have your choice of nonviolence have any real meaning.That walk, that path is a lengthy one, and has a very real spiritual component. It is an interesting duality; to be able, and then to remain open and, and in the face of difficulty to keep giving and remain transparent for others seeking.
4. This ties in with the dualism of Ukemi. For Ueshiba and anyone who trains like he did it is a different dilema then what we see today.

One might rightly discuss and rebut just who are the ones who truly know in part, and can thus affect few, and who are seeing a clearer picture of the way of
As noted- Ueshiba looked at the training of the deshi (who are now the leaders) and stated flatly what they were doing was not his aikido. I wonder why and how his opinion would have changed were he to awaken today and walk the earth and see what has become of his aikido? What-if anything- would change his opinion? Numbers?

To give a nod to the thread subject-knowing what it is and how to train it leads to truly knowing how to begin to practice the way. This leads to a deeper understanding the ukemi model. It helps to understand the role of ukemi, what Ueshiba's body was feeling, and what he needed to let go of, when he chose to fall down, since he was never going to be taken down. On the surface Shaun, it looks like the same dualism of everyone else taking ukemi- but it was distinctly different for him, and for very substantial reasons- all encompassing the use of aiki, now as the way of aiki.
Good luck in your training and walk along your own path
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 05-21-2009 at 08:10 AM.
 
Old 05-21-2009, 07:58 AM   #81
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Hi Mark,

Thank you for your comments and perspective.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
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?
Sorry, not in this case...

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
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.
Sorry to have to repeat myself from about a dozen or so other posts here on Aikiweb, alone, but this simply isn't the case. Repeating the idea that just because "you" haven't seen these things and/or that you don't know anyone else who has seen these things doesn't mean there aren't Aikidoka who can and are doing them and teaching the skills one would need to eventually be able to do them, too. I have personally seen them, felt them and don't find them to be anything outside of what a particular teacher might choose to share with any number of their senior students.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
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.
Quite true. However, there are no techniques in Aikido, and I am not speaking of that in the way that Dan might in that with proper Aiki one doesn't really need techniques at all. Simply speaking the way of aiki has nothing to do with the use (application) of the principles of Aiki... in my opinion, I guess I should note...

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Takeda also taught sword. Ueshiba ... well, we know how that's been talked about.
Hmmm, there are lots of experts, certified in all sorts of things who are consistently outdone by so-called unqualified outsiders, or what have you. In any case, not having had the chance to face off with him, I am not saying anything about O-Sensei's sword skills, Are you???

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Fan? Takeda, yes. Ueshiba?
Huh...? I guess I am a fan of both

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
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.
Let it be written, let it be true? Sorry, having read countless articles and documents, many with forced conclusions based upon misunderstanding, personal agendas and the like. Others, well meaning are lengthy diatribes put forth by overly-educated types who are simply hopeful to have an ever-expanding audience based upon the authoritative nature of their very well-written thesis. I find it easy to do so when there is overwhelmingly obvious information out there that is unfortunately most-often overlooked due to the inherently obvious nature of these very facts. I feel quite confident in saying that I am not the only one who sees these things, that there are quite a few senior people that do see these things and train and teach from such a perspective. Just because they don't publicly come out and write about it and just because it doesn't jibe with the currently held viewpoints of you, other senior practitioners or anyone from outside the art, once again does not make them wrong or these facts not any less true.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
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.
Please see my previous point (#2), above.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
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.
...all I can say is WOW and ask you to please re-read my previous post over and over again with an open mind.

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 05-21-2009, 08:03 AM   #82
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Stan Baker wrote: View Post
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


Hi Stan,

Thanks for your comments and perspective. Actually you have illustrated one of my points very clearly - the idea that two people can look right at the same thing and come to two very different conclusions. Who is right? Well, that would be whichever one writes the book, of course...

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 05-21-2009, 08:09 AM   #83
MM
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
Could you then explain (or point to me a post, website, whatever) what the very nature is of Daito ryu and of aikido and how these natures are polar opposites? Because I can't see how two arts can share so many techniques, but use these to achieve totally opposite goals.
I hope that you don't mind if I chime in here? I don't want to usurp Shaun Raven's reply, should he choose to do so, but I'd like to make a distinction here about my views of DR and Aikido.

Pre-war, Ueshiba taught DR. Little, if anything, was different. So, I won't focus on that part of Ueshiba's life at all. It's same-same as far as I'm concerned.

It's after he broke from DR that becomes interesting. I usually call that post war, but I think it really started before the war. For simplicity, I say post WWII.

I think Ueshiba's art of Aikido really can be seen, or thought of, as distinctly different than Daito ryu. And, it can be seen, or thought of, as very, very similar to DR.

Similar first. Techniques are similar, although I'd have to say DR has more. Aiki is similar, although I'd argue Ueshiba never taught all he knew in that area. The outlook of the art is defensive in nature is shared between DR and Aikido. The manner in which Ueshiba and other DR greats show their skill is similar (think push tests, etc.)

Different. The core area where they diverge is how the application of aiki is used. DR takes, IMO, aiki and applies it in techniques to capture center on contact, then quickly finish the encounter. Quite a bit of uke's landing at the feet of nage/tori and locks/blows/etc. Ueshiba changed that to a pass through model. Instead of dealing with quite a bit of jujutsu level techniques, he pared things down so that he could concentrate on ukemi. No, not rolling and falling. His version of ukemi, IMO, was pure aiki. I think that is where Ueshiba diverged from DR in a unique manner. Ueshiba was concentrating on ukemi purely as a way to be the avatar of the kami. That was his "correct" usage of ukemi. Taking all the incoming attacks/energy and changing it in his body so that he could use it in a manner that suited his spirituality. I think he may have gotten a natural high from aiki ukemi. (aiki ukemi is sort of redundant. I just use it to emphasize the point.)

You can't be a bridge between heaven and earth, be an avatar of the kami, if you're just dispatching uke at your feet quickly and decisively. In that manner, I think DR and Aikido are polar opposites. The former captures in and down decisively while the latter appropriately redirects and sends forth.

That doesn't mean DR doesn't do that (pass through/redirect uke outwards/etc). I'm sure there are aspects where it does. It just means DR doesn't focus solely upon that aspect in the spiritual manner that Ueshiba worked.
 
Old 05-21-2009, 08:55 AM   #84
jss
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I hope that you don't mind if I chime in here?
Not if you do so with such an interesting post, I don't!

Quote:
I think that is where Ueshiba diverged from DR in a unique manner. Ueshiba was concentrating on ukemi purely as a way to be the avatar of the kami. That was his "correct" usage of ukemi. Taking all the incoming attacks/energy and changing it in his body so that he could use it in a manner that suited his spirituality.
So you'd define Ueshiba's ukemi as "taking all the incoming attacks/energy and changing it in his body through the use of aiki", right? And you just might be able to do so in the role of uke/aite and in the role of tori/nage?
And because of Uehsiba's spiritual goals we get to:
Quote:
You can't be a bridge between heaven and earth, be an avatar of the kami, if you're just dispatching uke at your feet quickly and decisively. In that manner, I think DR and Aikido are polar opposites. The former captures in and down decisively while the latter appropriately redirects and sends forth..
I can agree with that, but to me this doesn't imply what Shaun said, i.e. that "the very nature of the two arts are quite distinct and polar opposites from the start." Ueshiba changed the goal from martial to spiritual and his art evolved to express that. One might say that the end goal (spiritual instead of martial) defines the very nature of an art, but that's only what it looks like in theory, in practice it doesn't work that way.
 
Old 05-21-2009, 08:58 AM   #85
MM
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
Hi Mark,

Thank you for your comments and perspective.
Hi Shaun. Thanks for a civilized debate.

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
Sorry, not in this case...

Sorry to have to repeat myself from about a dozen or so other posts here on Aikiweb, alone, but this simply isn't the case. Repeating the idea that just because "you" haven't seen these things and/or that you don't know anyone else who has seen these things doesn't mean there aren't Aikidoka who can and are doing them and teaching the skills one would need to eventually be able to do them, too. I have personally seen them, felt them and don't find them to be anything outside of what a particular teacher might choose to share with any number of their senior students.
I find this quite refreshing to hear that there are aikido teachers showing and teaching how to throw ukes when they grab one side of a napkin/paper/etc, how to do techniques on uke when he grabs your feet, how to sit with feet crossed and receive a push on the head without being pushed over, how to freeze a person, etc.

I'm sure quite a lot of people would be interested in hearing more about these aikido teachers. I know I would.

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
Quite true. However, there are no techniques in Aikido, and I am not speaking of that in the way that Dan might in that with proper Aiki one doesn't really need techniques at all. Simply speaking the way of aiki has nothing to do with the use (application) of the principles of Aiki... in my opinion, I guess I should note...

Hmmm, there are lots of experts, certified in all sorts of things who are consistently outdone by so-called unqualified outsiders, or what have you. In any case, not having had the chance to face off with him, I am not saying anything about O-Sensei's sword skills, Are you???

Huh...? I guess I am a fan of both
Let me see if I can be clearer. In the realm of techniques, Takeda taught way more than Ueshiba. Researching and viewing Daito ryu schools shows this.

In the realm of teaching a sword art, Takeda taught one. Ueshiba didn't. So, no, that isn't saying anything about their skills. It merely states that Takeda taught what he knew. Ueshiba didn't. It's well known that many schools in Daito ryu also teach Ona ha Itto ryu, something they received from Takeda. Ueshiba ... never passed down any sword art. He taught some things with weapons, but nothing as detailed as what Takeda taught.

In the realm of teaching other weapon techniques, Takeda taught the use of the shuriken, the umbrella, and the fan. Ueshiba didn't. Watch Okamoto videos. I can't find any evidence of Ueshiba teaching these things in his Aikido.

What I'm pointing to is more than just articles and interviews. They are one small part of it. While my research isn't exhaustive, it also isn't something small.

What Takeda taught in Daito ryu is a lot more than what Ueshiba ever taught in his Aikido. (Please don't take that as being bad. I'm not making that point at all.) It's just a very, very hard thing to contradict the statement:

Takeda taught what he knew while Ueshiba knew more than he taught.
 
Old 05-21-2009, 09:20 AM   #86
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Greetings!
Just wanted to say thank you to those participants in this thread.
I cannot write in the same way as these well written posts.

Here are some random thoughts-

Dan, your last post blows me away.
Thank you kindly for your thoughts.

Shaun,
Thank you for your thoughts.
Very interesting.

Are there ways and ways and ways?
Is there a way here? Is there *a* truth?

Is the use of Aiki the proper use of the human body? Bringing into service a created thing.
The following comes to my mind:
Psalm 139:14 declares, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." The context of this verse is the incredible nature of our physical bodies.

It the way of Aiki a religion of the naturepowers ?
Is one using nature (use of aiki), and the other worshipping the created (way of aiki/Dao)? Here we launch into the micro/macrocosmic nature of within and without.. etc. been there. Am I correct that the 'more' that you highlight has to do with the transformational nature of these 'mind-body' practices?

It seems with every iteration of these things/posts/conversations we go closer and closer to it. But there always lies a limit beyond which a man fears to say. I find this most curious, but somehow understand it intuitively. Always a boundary and a limit, here.

Is knowledge proprietary? Is it sealed, for access by means of effort of a few? Or is it open to all?

With gratitude and sincerity to all involved,
Josh
 
Old 05-21-2009, 12:09 PM   #87
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
So you'd define Ueshiba's ukemi as "taking all the incoming attacks/energy and changing it in his body through the use of aiki", right? And you just might be able to do so in the role of uke/aite and in the role of tori/nage?
I'm being overly simplistic, but yes. Ukemi in a more "aiki" sense is seen in this way. It's why I think that Ueshiba was really "uke" when he had his students attack him. Ueshiba used aiki to appropriately match the incoming attack.

It is ukemi, but not seen just as rolling and falling. It's also why I use the example of Ueshiba's push tests. IMO, he's showing aiki both statically and dynamically. If you can't do the static, how can you use aiki in a dynamic manner? This is "correct ukemi" to me.

Which brings up the question of why did Ueshiba want specific attacks and ukemi from his deshi? What drove that?
 
Old 05-21-2009, 01:09 PM   #88
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
If you can't do the static, how can you use aiki in a dynamic manner? This is "correct ukemi" to me.

Which brings up the question of why did Ueshiba want specific attacks and ukemi from his deshi? What drove that?
Hi Mark,
Ok, but is this too obvious to be right:

He wanted 'root' examples...with clear lines, which sprout to finer and finer subdivisions. Like a tree.
In simple words: Picked extreme cases that generate many possibilities. These samples/examples are the 'cardinal directions'. The foundations he chose...because they are compatible with the manifestion of aiki he wanted to emphasize.

What do you think?

Josh
P.s. Sorry; I think i owe you a couple of answers on other threads.

pps. You have a way with words, my friend. I thought you phrased the delineations between DR and Aikido well. I could not have put it so succinctly. I really hope that Shaun and others will address it, because I think there are a lot of unique perspectives assembled here.
 
Old 05-21-2009, 06:02 PM   #89
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post


Josh
P.s. Sorry; I think i owe you a couple of answers on other threads.

pps. You have a way with words, my friend. I thought you phrased the delineations between DR and Aikido well. I could not have put it so succinctly. I really hope that Shaun and others will address it, because I think there are a lot of unique perspectives assembled here.


Hi Josh,

Thank you for your contributions and perspective. I will most certainly pan around my mind in search of some nugget or another. Should I find one worth sharing that I believe might make a difference and assist people in seeing my overall point (which I feel has been and still is being missed) I will add it in short order.

I did want to add that upon meditating on particular posts written by two or three people I keep catching the shadow of a corner of a point that I find very both interesting and important as it flashes on by. I have only been responding to other points up till now and need to wait until the words come to me that help to move the essence of what these people have been saying forward in a way that will enhance our movement as a whole. When I say our movement, I mean all of us, regardless of art form, school or perspective. I see it as a possible "unified" theory of collective martial forwardness.

While Dan and I may never agree about the most basic of points regarding that the differences between Aikido and DR are more important than the similarities, not that it is unimportant in any way to understand how they are similar, posting it in a public forum is merely our chance to debate our opposing opinions and let others watch and participate as they see fit. While that is all well and good, it probably serves us in somewhat of a limited fashion. However, the point Dan highlighted earlier in the thread is paramount to our movement that I want to repeat it here. That is that regardless of who holds what opinion, as a whole it is more important that at least we are holding discussions, civilly debating our personally-held points and cross training in open environments and via sincere invitations to come together and share rather than how it was in most dojos throughout the 70's, 80's and 90's. I am sure it is still as it was in many dojos today. Perhaps we can all agree that the ease of obtaining information and the ability to not only read the thoughts of senior practitioners on websites such as this one, but actually email these individuals directly through the internet has served our community well.

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 05-21-2009, 06:50 PM   #90
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Well put Sir!
 
Old 05-21-2009, 09:14 PM   #91
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
That is that regardless of who holds what opinion, as a whole it is more important that at least we are holding discussions, civilly debating our personally-held points and cross training in open environments and via sincere invitations to come together and share rather than how it was in most dojos throughout the 70's, 80's and 90's. I am sure it is still as it was in many dojos today. Perhaps we can all agree that the ease of obtaining information and the ability to not only read the thoughts of senior practitioners on websites such as this one, but actually email these individuals directly through the internet has served our community well.

Best in training to all...

.
Very eloquently stated and well worth quoting as an "I second this" type post.
 
Old 05-22-2009, 06:16 AM   #92
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
That is that regardless of who holds what opinion, as a whole it is more important that at least we are holding discussions, civilly debating our personally-held points and cross training in open environments and via sincere invitations to come together and share rather than how it was in most dojos throughout the 70's, 80's and 90's. I am sure it is still as it was in many dojos today. Perhaps we can all agree that the ease of obtaining information and the ability to not only read the thoughts of senior practitioners on websites such as this one, but actually email these individuals directly through the internet has served our community well.
Thank you Shaun, that's me thirding...

I think it important to note that Shaun was one of the first to reach out specifically to me and invite me to meet one of his teachers, an experience that will always stand out in my aikido life. For him, these are not empty words.

Mark, I have been thinking about the role reversal of shite/uke that you spoke of above. I didn't quite get it at first...but the longer I mull it over, the more sense it makes, especially after training for an hour last night with a rather strong fellow. I'll continue to work that thought...it may resonate even more as I continue to struggle.

Best,
Ron

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 05-22-2009 at 06:22 AM.

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:37 AM   #93
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Mark, I have been thinking about the role reversal of shite/uke that you spoke of above. I didn't quite get it at first...but the longer I mull it over, the more sense it makes, especially after training for an hour last night with a rather strong fellow. I'll continue to work that thought...it may resonate even more as I continue to struggle.

Best,
Ron
Hi Ron,
Just to give you something more to think about ...

Thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15054

I asked about the definition of taisabaki. Kent Enfield posted some very interesting information.

Quote:
Kent Enfield wrote: View Post
Well, sabaku doesn't mean "move". It means something more along the lines of "handle/deal with/manipulate", so while it does mean things like "step to the left with your left foot", that's not *all* it means.

Though they often get glossed over at lower levels, and I've not seen any indications of a purposeful curriculum for teaching body skills directly, at higher levels, there seems to be lots of attention to small details that affect how one moves and generates power: tension in the legs, alignment of the hips and spine, etc. It wouldn't surprise me at all for kendo people to visit someone who moves well to see if they could learn how to improve their own movement.
Now, if Ueshiba was moving out of the way of uke's attack and then blending with uke as most of aikido currently works, then why didn't the kendo people come to Ueshiba to learn ashi sabaki? How to move out of the way? Or could tai sabaki be used here to mean more of a body manipulation in a sense of correct alignment of hips, spine, upper body, etc and generating power within that internal working environment.

From a personal viewpoint, I work on correct alignment of my hips and spine when I'm doing push test exercises. It really is body manipulation, specifically correct alignment. As I note in my vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr17-NgGdSs

And if I try to do anything dynamically, I still have to keep correct body manipulation/alignment.
 
Old 05-22-2009, 07:47 AM   #94
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
However, the point Dan highlighted earlier in the thread is paramount to our movement that I want to repeat it here. That is that regardless of who holds what opinion, as a whole it is more important that at least we are holding discussions, civilly debating our personally-held points and cross training in open environments and via sincere invitations to come together and share rather than how it was in most dojos throughout the 70's, 80's and 90's.
I'm glad you got that and agree, Shaun.

I am happy to discuss these things-but there is no need to be abrasive and rude while doing so-particuarly since it seems everytime people meet and train together it is a positive-even fun- exchange. It makes internet bickering seem so hollow...even ridiculous.

The style wars are waining, but there is new information out there that is far more challenging to practitioners, some even say definitive and finite about the qualifiers for claiming to be a teacher of Asian arts. Although most want to validate themselves and think it' about "sharing" of equal information. It really isn't. You are either training some version of this-or you're not. I think in very short order- this training -or should I say the results of it in your body-is going to be a "requirement" to be considered acceptable as a legit teacher. And there will be plenty of students training in it to keep every Japanese sensei both aware of it...and on their toes. I know of a few cases where high level teachers of students (who are training this way) started training in it themselves-because the students are surpassing them.
How did they know?

Let's go back to Ukemi as a model.
WIth the student taking ukemi...on contact those teachers eyes popped and they -not the student- said "Your different, what happened?"
Why?
Because it was obvious the student didn't need to take ukemi. The teacher was no longer "good enough" to do anything to the student. And the students ukemi...absorbing the teachers efforts... meant the teachers was getting sucked-in and compromise for their efforts and it was they..who were going to get thrown for trying.
Ukemi with a body trained this way is not the same, as ukemi in normal budo people. In my personal experience going way back...contrary to the internet. There -is- no argument about it....in person.

As for today being an improvement over the dojos in the 70,80, 90's, Shaun? That remains to be seen. As more and more aikido teachers and students start training internal/ aiki -things are going to start to change more rapidly. Were we to be talking in 2020 I think the discussion will no longer be about style and secrets, it will be more like...remember when most people weren't practicing internal power /aiki back in the day....
In time all of the current senior Japanese teachers are going to be facing a very different American student base smiling back at them. Aikido as omote and Ura and the decision for no more Non-Japanese Shihan as Peter noted as a strong possibility... may take on a whole new face. Just as was seen in Ueshiba with his teacher....we may no longer care or need what they know.
Have a great weekend
Dan

Last edited by DH : 05-22-2009 at 08:01 AM.
 
Old 05-22-2009, 08:18 AM   #95
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Hi Ron,
Just to give you something more to think about ...

Thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15054

I asked about the definition of taisabaki. Kent Enfield posted some very interesting information.

Now, if Ueshiba was moving out of the way of uke's attack and then blending with uke as most of aikido currently works, then why didn't the kendo people come to Ueshiba to learn ashi sabaki? How to move out of the way? Or could tai sabaki be used here to mean more of a body manipulation in a sense of correct alignment of hips, spine, upper body, etc and generating power within that internal working environment.

From a personal viewpoint, I work on correct alignment of my hips and spine when I'm doing push test exercises. It really is body manipulation, specifically correct alignment. As I note in my vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr17-NgGdSs

And if I try to do anything dynamically, I still have to keep correct body manipulation/alignment.
Hi Guys,

I've posted this before, but it seems relevant.

After training Kendo one day a group of us went out to eat and Robert Stroud (7th Dan Kyoshi I believe) told me the following story because he knew I trained/taught Aikido:

A similarly gathered bunch of Kendoka were all eating and drinking and someone asked Nakakura Kiyoshi* why he was such a powerful/successful Kendoka even into his 90's. His answer took everyone by surprise, "It is because of my Aikido training."**

Obviously Nakakura Kiyoshi didn't mean it is because he learned Daito ryu/Aikido Waza . . . he didn't do that in Kendo. If one looks at video of his matches his ashi sabaki isn't that unusual. So I'm guessing he learned something *more* that made the difference that allowed him to perform and compete successfully into his later years.

Best,
Allen

*Nakakura Kiyoshi is a legendary Kendoka that was one of the famous "Three Crows" who, at one time, was going to be the inheritor of Aikido from Ueshiba Morihei. My teacher, Shirata Rinjiro, studied Kendo with him while they both were at the Kobukan.

**Unfortunately this is all a paraphrase since I didn't right the story down, nor was I there to here it first hand. But I think the significance remains just the same.

~ Allen Beebe
 
Old 05-22-2009, 09:38 AM   #96
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Hi Allen,

Yes, the significanse definately remains...

Best,
Ron

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Old 05-22-2009, 12:48 PM   #97
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Hi Shaun,
Thank you for your message.
I have very little factual contribution; but I can share some of my thoughts.

I have been over this thread earnestly trying to understand your missed point. I do not think I understand.

I think we are talking about the differences about DR and Aikido.
I think *it* is not simply expressed.
For what it is worth; I think *it*, and very relevant on-topic ideas about proper ukemi, may have been discussed, at length, and done well here:
http://65.102.221.210/forums/showthr...t=14772&page=3
I think the answer has something to do with what you discuss as Gan-Sa-Tan-Riki. I do not understand the term. Am I even in the right ball park?
As, I think, you pointed out in the linked thread; this does not have only to do only with .. actual aiki physical skills, which are subject to one-upmanship. But is the something more ... which isn't known; and the *it* that is missed. And the difference between DR and Aikido. And fundamental to a difference in ‘proper ukemi'. And I do not think you are talking about anti-aiki as proper ukemi. But something on a different order. Q: Is it not a concrete physical skill? I think I have asked the wrong question.
That is what it all seems to me. But that's mostly my spidey-sense talking/tingling.

Sincerely, and All the Best,
Josh
 
Old 05-22-2009, 01:07 PM   #98
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

OK, I'm going to try to relate this to this thread (kinda sorta) but I won't be surprised or offended if this post or its answers need to be relocated.

Ueshiba sensei received (Ukeru) a Menkyo in Shinkake ryu from Takeda sensei. This would only be appropriate (correct) [Get the connection? Ueshiba and 'correct ukemi'? Groan . . . sorry.] if Takeda was qualified to present such a license. It is clear that Takeda spent a significant amount of time studying Jikishinkage Ryu (which consequently implies that he found that he had something to learn studying Jikishinkae Ryu and only left after he ascertained that he had learned what there was to learn. He later boasted that he could {in the end} best Kenkichi Sakakibara in matches 2 out of 3 times.) and I'm guessing that this is where he took authority from. It is my understanding that Takeda studied more than one form of Itto ryu, but that that occurred earlier in his life.

So my question is: Why is it that Daito Ryu seems to want to "Hang its hat" on Ono Ha Itto Ryu? Why not Jikishinkage Ryu? Or perhaps "Takeda ha Shinkage Ryu" or some other moniker unique to Takeda Sokaku? Not that I have anything against Ono Ha Itto Ryu. I'm just asking, "Why them to the exclusion of others? And, "Is there proof that this exclusive wedding of Ono Ha Itto Ryu with Daito Ryu came directly from Takeda Sokaku?"

Also, while it is pretty well understood that Takeda sensei was a formidable "weapons guy" before he made his "bread and butter" teaching Jujutsu, do we know that he passed on what he learned weapons wise to any individual or individuals? Does any one student or group of students stand out as great weapons guys in the same manner that a group of his students seem to stand out as great (Aiki) Jujutsu guys?

I'm certain it could be said that the time for great weapons guys had/has passed, but the same could be argued for (aiki) jujutsu guys and still there seem to remain standouts in both fields . . .

Anybody have insight into this?

Thanks,
Allen

~ Allen Beebe
 
Old 05-22-2009, 01:16 PM   #99
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
So my question is: Why is it that Daito Ryu seems to want to "Hang its hat" on Ono Ha Itto Ryu? Why not Jikishinkage Ryu? Or perhaps "Takeda ha Shinkage Ryu" or some other moniker unique to Takeda Sokaku? Not that I have anything against Ono Ha Itto Ryu. I'm just asking, "Why them to the exclusion of others? And, "Is there proof that this exclusive wedding of Ono Ha Itto Ryu with Daito Ryu came directly from Takeda Sokaku?"
Takuma Hisa Discusses One Aspect of This Here

Tokimune Takeda extends the connection back further in this interview.

I think the more specific answer to your question would be: because Ono Ha Itto Ryu was the sword art that Tokimune's students were encouraged to study.

Best,

FL

 
Old 05-22-2009, 01:51 PM   #100
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Re: O sensei and 'correct ukemi'

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
Takuma Hisa Discusses One Aspect of This Here

Tokimune Takeda extends the connection back further in this interview.

I think the more specific answer to your question would be: because Ono Ha Itto Ryu was the sword art that Tokimune's students were encouraged to study.

Best,

FL
Thanks Fred,

I'll look into to the links. As far as the specific answer goes, I suspected that might be the case. But then there is always stuff one hasn't heard or learned yet, hence the question.

Thanks,
Allen

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