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Old 06-05-2009, 05:25 PM   #1
MM
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Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote:
Mark, agreed with everything else you write, but you and others who write about a conspiracy, a cover up, are absolutely wrong. Cut it out! Jeez. Just because it wasn't talked about in some aikido dojo in x-town, American, doesn't mean there's a cover-up. There's just no interest that far from the center.
When I went to Japan in 1976, I asked about Daito-ryu (I'd read about it in ALL the forwards of all the the aikido books I'd read - sure, there were some not so nice things written about Takeda, but the gist was there) and I was told where to find it, who taught it, etc. It was common knowledge. That aikido people weren't interested in it is quite understandable, really.
Hi Ellis,
Sorry it's taken this long to respond. Things were sort of busy at home and I needed to go through a couple of books. I think you may have taken a tangent here based upon my poorly phrased sentence. I didn't mean that there wasn't information (although it was sparse) or a cover-up about Daito ryu itself. I meant that there was a cover-up regarding just how critical Takeda and Daito ryu were to Ueshiba and his Aikido.

1. Stan's Aikido Journal DVD of back issues and Stan's diligent research into Daito ryu is fairly well known. If not for Stan well, it either would have taken quite a bit longer or we may never have known the extent of Daito ryu training on Ueshiba.

2. The Spirit of Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba. Printed 1984 in English (although mine is second printing of 1985).
Page 97 has historical background of Morihei Ueshiba. Most of the page is devoted to the spiritual side and Deguchi.
Quote:
Kisshomaru Ueshiba wrote:
After his father's death and during his stay at Ayabe, the Founder's dedication to budo became single-minded, primarily due to the encouragement of Deguchi. Prior to this time he had practiced and mastered several martial arts, including swordsmanship in the Shinkage School, jujutsu in the Kito and Daito schools and others. Most remarkable among his accomplishments in the Daito School from Master Takeda Sokaku, whom he had met by chance at a Hokkaido inn in 1915, when he was 32. It was the jujutsu that opened the Founder's eyes to the deep meaning of the martial arts; Daito principles differ from aikido's but many techniques are shared in common.
Page 98.
Quote:
Kisshomaru Ueshiba wrote:
While choosing the new term aiki may have had something to do with the influences of the Kito and Daito schools, both of which are based on the principle of yin and yang and the use of ki, the fundamental source was Master Ueshiba's own budo training, life experience and the realization of ki gained during his stay at Ayabe. The most important influence was the mastery of kotodama,
Remember, most of pages 97 and 98 are devoted to spiritual development and Deguchi. These are the only bits that mention Daito ryu.

Page 99 covers the period from 1925 to 1936 with no mention of Takeda or Daito ryu.

3. Abundant Peace: The Biography of Morihei Ueshiba Founder of Aikido by John Stevens. 1987, I think. But my edition is well down the line.

This book has a fairly decent chapter on the history of Takeda, however the training between Takeda and Ueshiba is majorly downplayed. Their relationship is painted as horrible and strained.

Starting on page 14 (my edition), Stevens talks about Ueshiba training with Takeda and then leaving because of his father's illness.

Quote:
John Stevens wrote:
It is my view that Morihei was both spiritually restless, still searching for life's purpose, and disenchanted with Sokaku's teaching methods, anxious to experiment on his own, free of the ceaseless demands of that exacting and exasperating mentor.
Page 37 tells of a meeting between Miura and Ueshiba where Ueshiba bests Miura.
Quote:
Miura wrote:
Your techniques are a world apart from those of the Daito ryu. It is true budo. Please enroll me as your disciple.
Page 43 really sums up the way Daito ryu was presented.
Quote:
Stevens wrote:
Before relating the birth of Aikido, I would like to summarize Morihei's relationships to the two major influences in his life: Sokaku Takeda and Onisaburo Deguchi.

As indicated earlier, the relationship between Sokaku and Morihei was strained almost from the start. Sokaku's son, Tokimune, who currently heads the Daito ryu, has written of his father's tender affection toward Morihei, but the truth of the matter is that Sokaku was terribly jealous of Morihei; he raided Morihei's dojos for students -- "Train with me, the real Daito ryu master" -- and, in effect, extorted money from his best pupil. Sokaku invited himself to the Kobukan not long after it was opened to present Morihei with a certificate he did not need or want.
Stevens goes on to write that Morihei "had long before surpassed Sokaku as a martial artist". He writes about one of the early disciples (I'm guessing of Ueshiba) pretending to be effectively pinned by Takeda but really wasn't and that things like that never happened when working with Ueshiba.

Page 44 caps it all with this:
Quote:
Stevens wrote:
Initially, Morihei -- essentially a self-taught master -- used his Daito ryu licenses to give himself a measure of legitimacy in document-obsessed Japan.
I don't think it's hard to see that there was a cover-up going on with Takeda, Daito ryu, and Ueshiba regarding Ueshiba's training. So, let me ask you this, when you were in Japan and the knowledge of Daito ryu was common, how common was the fact that Ueshiba owed a large portion of his skills to Takeda and Daito ryu? Or was it downplayed? covered-up?
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:46 PM   #2
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

Mark,

Well, I am not Ellis, but there is one book you have missed and the English translation has just been published. On pp. 93 - 100 of A Life in Aikido, Kisshomaru gives an account of Morihei Ueshiba's meeting and early training with Sokaku Takeda. Kisshomaru's book (originally published in Japanese in 1987) is one of the sources for the biography by John Stevens. Stevens has revised this book and given it a new title. This is Invincible Warrior and I have drawn your attention to this book before.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 06-06-2009, 12:25 AM   #3
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

I objected to the word "conspiracy." That one or another writer slants history is not a conspiracy. That one or another shihan is dismissive or lies, is not a conspiracy. I went to Japan in 1976. I'd done aikido two years. I wanted to do Daito-ryu. Takeda was described as a not nice man, but in my mind, there was no doubt that he was as great or greater than Ueshiba. Daito-ryu was my goal. Until I saw it. What was presented publicly was a profound disappointment.
Two other points:
1. The real "cover-up" was enacted by Daito-ryu. If they had wanted the limelight, all they had to do was do what Ueshiba did - wow rich patrons and get sponsorship. They chose to be secretive. Look, when Sagawa states that until his latter years he didn't even teach his OWN students the real goods, is it any wonder that many would have a jaundiced eye towards DR.
2. The aiki arts are rife with a tendency to denigrate each other - to deny others' validity or even existence. Examples?
  • Yukawa, Ueshiba's student, had to pretend to fall for Takeda, per Tohei K.
  • Takeda had to go to Ayabe to help Ueshiba handle the Navy guys who were too strong for him, per Tokimune
  • Inoue Noriaki took ukemi for Takeda, but never learned from him, and had to take the falls to make Takeda look good, per Inoue himself
  • Shioda learned real aiki from Kodo Horikawa, not his own teacher Ueshiba, say many, despite Tenryu stating that Shioda was the closest to Ueshiba in technique
  • Aikido is better than Daito-ryu, because the latter lacks "kokyu," per Saito M.
  • Kodo Horikawa is my student, per Sagawa, because he signed his "book," after a couple of days of instruction to fill in some blanks in Horikawa's own learning
  • Yoshinkan is "hard," per Aikikai
  • "Tohei? Tohei who?" per Aikikai
  • "Everyone in Tokyo is weak. Their aikido is useless." Tanaka Bansen to me
  • "Hombu Aikido is weak. Only Iwama is doing Osensei's aikido." Sugawara T. to me
On the other hand, note Okumura, one of the top shihan at the Aikikai in one of Stan Pranin's early interviews - saying something like, "You should contact Kodo Horikawa. He studied with Takeda sensei longer than Osensei."

It's all high dudgeon over little. The reason "aiki" (internal training) has been little known has been
a. EIther Ueshiba didn't teach it or his students didn't learn it
b. Daito-ryu didn't present it publicly after Takeda, and, in fact, used a teaching procedure that ensured that few of their own students would progress with any speed.

Best
Ellis Amdur

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 06-06-2009 at 12:28 AM.

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Old 06-06-2009, 05:31 AM   #4
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Mark,

Well, I am not Ellis, but there is one book you have missed and the English translation has just been published. On pp. 93 - 100 of A Life in Aikido, Kisshomaru gives an account of Morihei Ueshiba's meeting and early training with Sokaku Takeda. Kisshomaru's book (originally published in Japanese in 1987) is one of the sources for the biography by John Stevens. Stevens has revised this book and given it a new title. This is Invincible Warrior and I have drawn your attention to this book before.

Best wishes,

PAG
Peter,

While the original book by Kisshomaru was published in Japan in 1987, other books published outside of Japan in that same time frame seemed to have had very different information.

I didn't include Steven's new book because it is outside the time frame for my posting about a supposed cover up. I haven't forgotten your post that pointed me towards the book, it's just that early 90s to present are quite a bit later than the 1980s era of books. Unless there are versions printed prior to those dates?

I haven't had time yet, but it'll be interesting to compare the early English books to the current round of English books for Ueshiba's printed history. It's on the list of things to do. Even my Japanese studies have slowed because of life intervening.

Thank you,
Mark
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Old 06-06-2009, 05:56 AM   #5
MM
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I objected to the word "conspiracy." That one or another writer slants history is not a conspiracy. That one or another shihan is dismissive or lies, is not a conspiracy. I went to Japan in 1976. I'd done aikido two years. I wanted to do Daito-ryu. Takeda was described as a not nice man, but in my mind, there was no doubt that he was as great or greater than Ueshiba. Daito-ryu was my goal. Until I saw it. What was presented publicly was a profound disappointment.
Well, conspiracy would be hard to prove. And I'll give that you had quite a bit more knowledge and experiences than me in that time frame. However, there are certain points that I will argue.

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Two other points:
1. The real "cover-up" was enacted by Daito-ryu. If they had wanted the limelight, all they had to do was do what Ueshiba did - wow rich patrons and get sponsorship. They chose to be secretive. Look, when Sagawa states that until his latter years he didn't even teach his OWN students the real goods, is it any wonder that many would have a jaundiced eye towards DR.
Still doesn't explain how, here in the U.S., quite a few books and people "slanted" history to the point that Daito ryu had very little influence on Ueshiba's skills. It's hard to blame Daito ryu on that when many of these books and people fell under the authority of Kisshomaru at the time.

Granted, I agree with you about Daito Ryu being secretive and not grabbing the lime light.

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
2. The aiki arts are rife with a tendency to denigrate each other - to deny others' validity or even existence. Examples?
How many events that you listed were after people started learning that Daito ryu really was a main influence on Ueshiba's skills, say mid 90s to now? I'm still convinced that the Daito ryu influence on Ueshiba was either downplayed greatly on purpose or actually was being covered up. Why get all the spiritual details right but miss out completely on the martial aspect? As someone pointed out to me in PM, one of my quotes above has incorrect info. Ueshiba didn't study Kito ryu, yet it was printed that he did.

If you use Stan's research as a pivot point, it seems quite a bit changed about Ueshiba's martial "history" from the 70s-80s to now.

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
It's all high dudgeon over little. The reason "aiki" (internal training) has been little known has been
a. EIther Ueshiba didn't teach it or his students didn't learn it
b. Daito-ryu didn't present it publicly after Takeda, and, in fact, used a teaching procedure that ensured that few of their own students would progress with any speed.

Best
Ellis Amdur
Agreed.

Thanks,
Mark

Last edited by MM : 06-06-2009 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 06-06-2009, 06:41 AM   #6
DH
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

Quote:
It's all high dudgeon over little. The reason "aiki" (internal training) has been little known has been
a. EIther Ueshiba didn't teach it or his students didn't learn it
b. Daito-ryu didn't present it publicly after Takeda, and, in fact, used a teaching procedure that ensured that few of their own students would progress with any speed.

Best
Ellis Amdur
Very good snapshot of the aiki arts.
RE: Not teaching or not learning of aiki:
You could include a teacher from Hisa's school who went to learn from Tokimune. He wanted power/ aiki. Tokimune showed him a series of Solo exercises to do, the guy brings them back, and supposedly no one wants to do them at the Takumakai. He asks Tokimune. Tokimune says "No one wants to do them here either. They only want to do techniques." You have solo training in the aiki arts, you have specific paired exercises outside of kata as a more direct means to get it. Yet most everyone is trying to get it through kata with varying degrees of success.

I agree with negating the conspiracy idea. On the whole individual behaviors are only that; individual acts. It remains a fact that the individuals all seemed to have arrived at the same mistaken representation of the DR connection though.
So, one could rightly ponder:
How did so many English speaking authors and teachers end up playing the same tune? Who was the source of such information at that time?
Why did the English speaking versions get "corrected" so dramatically after...Stan Pranin Why do the newer versions of Ueshiba's martial history seem to "follow" his work?

Re: the idea that DR was ever wanting the limelight. I would agree to that. With few exceptions they have chosen to remain small and out of the public eye. As you know they have had opportunities to pursue more recognition and declined.

I think the link is important, and a worthwhile pursuit. I also think your observations of the way aiki arts treat their own is interesting. The aiki arts-which stood apart from koryu jujutsu in form and execution, were probably staged to have these kinds of problems due to the nature of the transmission of the arts themselves. When you look at koryu you see ( for the most part) a set transmission model of kata. You learn the art one kata after the other. There are open secrets. In other words you know you have to go through step 1,2,3 before you get into the gokui and its a process. In the aiki arts, aiki skews everything in that people get it before others and it does not always follow the path set for everyone. And that happens and is played out among a wide ranging syllabury bettween schools that is so diverse its almost like they were doing different arts. Not without merit is the fact that each of the big five under Takeda all swear they are doing what they were taught, while each looks so different. Which in and of itself proves out the the idea that "aiki" skewed everything-possibly even right from the source; Takeda himself. There is the distinct possibility that he, just like Ueshiba, was ever evolving his art. And that Ueshiba's statements that "Aiki is formless" was not only a direct quote from his teacher but a defining commentary that explains the entire framework that joins these arts.
Logic would suggest that since aiki looks so different and is so strident as a defining aspect in such diverse arts, it should mean that it is a process that can be trained outside of those arts, but be used inside of the same arts, were someone to take that route.
I would love to read a more in depth take on why the Dai Nippon Butoku kai set aside a "classification" for demonstrating "the way of aiki" in 1942. We know Ueshiba liked the name and kept it for his current Aikibudo art and "Aikido" as a name, was born. But I am interested in whether they were considering it as a classification for Ueshiba only, or was it in recognition that the aiki arts were themselves a different category. They obviously knew he was a Takeda man. As has been suggested in the past, I wonder if they were making a broader distinction, instead of a specific example.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 06-06-2009 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 06-06-2009, 07:12 AM   #7
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

Where did Takeda get "it" from?
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Old 06-06-2009, 07:47 AM   #8
Fred Little
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
V
I would love to read a more in depth take on why the Dai Nippon Butoku kai set aside a "classification" for demonstrating "the way of aiki" in 1942. We know Ueshiba liked the name and kept it for his current Aikibudo art and "Aikido" as a name, was born. But I am interested in whether they were considering it as a classification for Ueshiba only, or was it in recognition that the aiki arts were themselves a different category. They obviously knew he was a Takeda man. As has been suggested in the past, I wonder if they were making a broader distinction, instead of a specific example.
Cheers
Dan
Quote:
In January of 1942, Morihei Ueshiba appointed Minoru Hirai as the Director of General Affairs for the Kobukan dojo. In October of 1942, Hirai Sensei was sent as a representative to the Dai Nihon Butokukai (The Greater Japan Virtues Society) where he played a major role in establishing the name of Ueshiba's art, changing it from aikibudo to aikido.

In 1945, Minoru Hirai was awarded the rank of Hanshi (master) from the Dai Nihon Butokukai and in October of that same year established the Korindo dojo in Shizuoka. In September of 1953 he established the Korindo dojo in Tokyo and in January of 1954 established the Nihon Korinkai organization.

Note: After rejecting the proposed name of aikibudo, the Dai Nihon Butokukai established a new section to include yawara and generically labeled this new category as "aikido." The name aikido, although a category established within the Dai Nihon Butokukai referring to all jujutsu based systems, was used by Ueshiba to refer to his modern art.

The above series of events appears to be a point of contention between the Nihon Korinkai and the Aikikai Foundation. Although Minoru Hirai Sensei served as the Director of General Affairs for the Kobukan dojo and was instrumental in the name change of Ueshiba's art, he was a member of the Dai Nihon Butokukai prior to the addition of the new yawara section referred to as aikido. There appears to be a disagreement regarding the course of events and the Nihon Korinkai rejects the claim that Hirai was "sent" as a representative by Ueshiba.

Today, the name aikido is generically used in reference to the art created by Morihei Ueshiba. But according to the Nihon Korinkai, aikido was actually founded by Minoru Hirai and little stress, if any, is emphasized regarding the fact that Minoru Hirai studied under Morihei Ueshiba.
Excerpted from an interview with John Goss at the following url:
http://www.daitoryuonline.com/article.php?articleID=654

In other words, as far as the Butokai was concerned, "aikido" is less a "''classification' for demonstrating 'the way of aiki'" than it is a mutually agreeable label for a bureaucratic section that was developed so that the aikibudo and jujutsu guys wouldn't be under the control of the judo section of the Butokukai. No specific example, no broad distinction. No technical significance whatsoever.beyond the sociological recogniion that the aikibudo people were a bunch of bitchy little Heathers who couldn't play nicely with others, or each other, so it was best to give them their own little padded room.

Any claim broader than that isn't much more than grandiose wish-fulfillment and retrospective projection, something disgruntled humans looking to a prior golden age from the perspective of an oh-so unsatisfactory contemporary world have been doing for millenia. It's not a bug, it's a feature.

Best,

FL

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Old 06-06-2009, 08:17 AM   #9
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

Hello Mark,

A few more comments.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
While the original book by Kisshomaru was published in Japan in 1987, other books published outside of Japan in that same time frame seemed to have had very different information.
PAG. You need to give more information here, if you want to convince me of a cover-up or conspiracy of some sort. What time frame are you talking about here and what books published outside Japan do you have in mind? Apart from those published by Tohei Koichi and one published in French by Tadashi Abbe, the only one that comes to my mind is Kisshomaru Ueshiba's Aikido, which was published in the late 60s and is a translation (re-editing) of two books published in Japanese earlier.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I didn't include Steven's new book because it is outside the time frame for my posting about a supposed cover up. I haven't forgotten your post that pointed me towards the book, it's just that early 90s to present are quite a bit later than the 1980s era of books. Unless there are versions printed prior to those dates?
PAG. So what IS your time frame?
Secondly, judging from your response to Ellis, you appear to be stating that the cover-up / conspiracy took place only in the US. I started training in the UK in 1969 and devoured Tohei's earlier books. I never heard any talk of a cover-up in the UK, nor in the US, where I trained in the mid 70s.

So, if we return to your opening post, I would discount Point 3, since Stevens himself did not acknowledge any material not previously published (except probable oral discussions with his teacher Rinjiro Shirata, not the best potential witness of an Aikikai cover-up / conspiracy).

I would also discount Point 2, since the Japanese original of The Spirit of Aikido was published in 1981. The items you specify are covered in much more detail in the 1987 biography and so I need to know why this 1987 biography does not fit into your time frame.

The problem for me here is that you are seeing evidence of a cover-up / conspiracy in the English translations, but nobody saw such evidence in the Japanese originals. Of course, this might simply mean that in Japan no one was looking for any evidence, as Ellis suggests.

This leaves Point 1, which is the research of Stanley Pranin, recorded in the issues of Aiki News and Aikido Journal. I know from many private conversations that Stan's principal target was the 'official' version of aikido history, put out by 'the Aikikai'. However, it is still a stretching of the evidence, in my opinion, to talk of a cover-up or conspiracy.

Not long before he died, Stanley Pranin and I spent six hours interviewing Sadateru Arikawa Sensei, who, along with Shigenobu Okumura, was the prime 'historian' in the Aikikai. I drew up a list of questions for this interview: questions like what were the defining attributes of Aikido, in comparison with Daito-ryu; whether the Aikikai (= Kisshomaru Ueshiba) had 'doctored' the history of aikido. Arikawa Sensei sought the advice, not of the Aikikai, but of Katsuyuki Kondo, of Daito-ryu, who urged him to give the interview. He gave the interview, which Stan taped (with Arikawa Sensei's permission). Actually, Arikawa Sensei was Stan's 'protector' in the Aikikai Hombu and, believe me, I know what this means.

So, since Arikawa Sensei did not give permission for the interview to be published (yet), my own private response has been to complement Stan's researches by publishing the results of my own research. I was never in a position to conduct interviews and ask the questions that Stan did not ask, but I suspect that I have a deeper acquaintance with the crucial cultural aspects. The result is the series of AikIWeb columns.

Finally, since you are talking of cover-up and conspiracy about how critical Daito-ryu was to aikido, I think you need to consider another possible cover-up, which concerns Morihei Ueshiba's obsession with deities, kotodama, and establishing the correct harmony between the 'three worlds'. This is why I believe you need to read the English translation of Kisshomaru Ueshiba's biography very carefully indeed. Kisshomaru's biography is much more subtle than that of John Stevens (in either edition).

As always, best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 06-06-2009 at 08:30 AM.

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Old 06-06-2009, 08:27 AM   #10
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
In other words, as far as the Butokai was concerned, "aikido" is less a "''classification' for demonstrating 'the way of aiki'" than it is a mutually agreeable label for a bureaucratic section that was developed so that the aikibudo and jujutsu guys wouldn't be under the control of the judo section of the Butokukai. No specific example, no broad distinction. No technical significance whatsoever.beyond the sociological recogniion that the aikibudo people were a bunch of bitchy little Heathers who couldn't play nicely with others, or each other, so it was best to give them their own little padded room.

Any claim broader than that isn't much more than grandiose wish-fulfillment and retrospective projection, something disgruntled humans looking to a prior golden age from the perspective of an oh-so unsatisfactory contemporary world have been doing for millenia. It's not a bug, it's a feature.
Hello Fred,



Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 06-06-2009, 10:22 AM   #11
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

OK, just for kicks:

Mentions Daito Ryu in some form or another:
1956 Tomiki "Judo,Appendix:Aikido
1968 Shioda "Dynamic Aikido"
1978 Kisshomaru "Aikido"

Does NOT mention Daito Ryu in some form or another:
1960 Makiyama (Claude St. Denise) "The Power of Aikido"
1960 Tohei "Aikido, The Arts of Self Defense"
1962 Tohei "What is Aikido"
1966 Tohei "Aikido in Daily Life"
1970 Tegner "Bruce Tegner's Complete Book of Aikido and Holds & Locks"

I didn't look in Saito's Series or Singly Published Book.

I tried to stay in the 50's-60's (and failed twice) because from the 70's there are too many books for lazy old me to look through. For one Tohei went on a printing frenzy after his departure and his histories in these books are understandably skewed as were the Aikikai's from that moment on. BTW, Stan started mimeographing AikiNews in the 70's and the early editions make interesting "historical" reading. One of the reasons I respect Stan is because he wasn't afraid to publish stuff that contradicted earlier issues. He really appeared to be publishing "for the record" although it is important to keep in mind that even he "knows things" that he hasn't published.

Anyway, like I said, I just looked for "kicks."

Allen

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Old 06-06-2009, 01:41 PM   #12
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
1970 Tegner "Bruce Tegner's Complete Book of Aikido and Holds & Locks"
Allen, I have to admit that you might be doing a leg-pull here that I'm not catching, but surely you jest in listing Tegner as a source? Even the title should raise flags.

Mike
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:16 PM   #13
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

1. How many judo books go into great detail about Tenjin Shin'yo-ryu and Kito-ryu, AND make a point how wonderful those jujutsu schools were and (better than judo???)
2. How many Japanese karate books go into detail about their Okinawan roots, and (how much better Okinawan Karate is?)
3. How many Taekwondo books break down how their forms are from Shotokan?
4. How many of you go into great detail about your first marriage when you are trying to hook up with someone new?
5. How many of you explain to the prospective owner of your new home that you have a little mold problem in the basement, but only during winter?
6. How many Iman talk about the Jewish and Christian roots in Islam? And how many rabbi's refer to the Babylonian myths of the Flood and the Garden of Eden? How many Christians note that the Old Testament description of the Messiah is someone who brings peace to earth - now - and by definition, then, any Messiah who hasn't created world peace cannot . . . ?
7. By the way, did you know that winking in enumerated as a sin in the Old Testament, although no one knows why?

Ellis Amdur

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Old 06-06-2009, 03:58 PM   #14
Allen Beebe
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Allen, I have to admit that you might be doing a leg-pull here that I'm not catching, but surely you jest in listing Tegner as a source? Even the title should raise flags.

Mike
What?!?! Bruce Tegner is a LEGEND! He was an MMA guy before the term MMA was invented. I'm surprised to hear a person with your CMA background besmirching one of the first guys to publicly teach iron palm.* Next thing you'll be telling me to take down my poster of Charles Atlas and stop doing dynamic tension exercises. [Oops! See? Now I'm a sinner and Ellis has me all confused about what to do about it!]

Allen

*Or at least punching ironing boards.

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Old 06-06-2009, 04:18 PM   #15
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
1. By the way, did you know that winking in enumerated as a sin in the Old Testament, although no one knows why?
Ellis,

Context is everything. Next time you happen to visit a Synagogue try "winking" at the Rabbi's wife. I'm sure he will find one of 10 good reasons for that to be a sin. Your wife will probably find one of 10 good reasons for you not to do that as well!

Just shoot'n from the hip,
Allen

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Old 06-06-2009, 09:38 PM   #16
Dan Rubin
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
Does NOT mention Daito Ryu in some form or another:
....
1960 Tohei "Aikido, The Arts of Self Defense"
1962 Tohei "What is Aikido"
....
1961 (revised edition) Tohei "Aikido, The Arts of Self-Defense":
"He practiced almost all the existing martial arts, beginning with Kito-ryu Jujutsu, Yagyu-ryu, Aioi-ryu Hozoin-ryu and finally Daito-ryu."

1962 Tohei "What is Aikido?":
"He practiced almost all the existing martial arts, beginning with Kito-ryu Jujitsu, Yagyu-ryu, Aioi-ryu, Hozoin-ryu and finally Daito-ryu."

1968 Tohei "This is Aikido":
"He first trained in the Kito school of jujutsu and later went on to study Yagyu, Aioi, Hozoin, and finally Daito jujutsu."
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:26 AM   #17
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Dan Rubin wrote: View Post
1961 (revised edition) Tohei "Aikido, The Arts of Self-Defense":
"He practiced almost all the existing martial arts, beginning with Kito-ryu Jujutsu, Yagyu-ryu, Aioi-ryu Hozoin-ryu and finally Daito-ryu."

1962 Tohei "What is Aikido?":
"He practiced almost all the existing martial arts, beginning with Kito-ryu Jujitsu, Yagyu-ryu, Aioi-ryu, Hozoin-ryu and finally Daito-ryu."

1968 Tohei "This is Aikido":
"He first trained in the Kito school of jujutsu and later went on to study Yagyu, Aioi, Hozoin, and finally Daito jujutsu."
Oops! Dan can you post what section heading or location those quotes are in and I'll check my editions and see if I need to amend what I posted. Maybe there is mention of Daito Ryu in the books I posted and I missed it. I'd hate to inadvertently give false info.

Thanks,
Allen

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Old 06-07-2009, 05:33 AM   #18
aikilouis
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

Daito-ryu is also mentioned in Tadake Abe and Jean Zin's manual in French from 1958.

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Old 06-07-2009, 05:49 AM   #19
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

Peter, all,

Don't have the time right now to address the questions. But, I want to clear up my point of view. I'm not arguing that Daito ryu was hidden or covered up at all. Yes, it's there in the books. My point is that Daito ryu (and Takeda) was so downplayed and marginalized that both were never shown to be the major factor in Ueshiba's training.

In other words, look at all the examples posted from the books. Stevens even goes as far as to print "Morihei -- essentially a self-taught master". Whenever Ueshiba's training was discussed in books, Daito ryu was amidst several other martial arts, some of which Ueshiba had never studied and some of which he studied for about a year.

Peter, I'm not sure of the exact dates and I'll have to do some digging for them. But, my best guess is up to the 1980s and possibly the very early 90s, the books printed here (and to answer your other question, I don't have info on what books were like outside the U.S. so I don't include them.) skewed, downplayed, or otherwise covered up the fact that Takeda's Daito ryu played the single major role on Ueshiba's martial training.

I make note of this because I think Stan's research was the pivotal point where books started to address Daito ryu as being more than just another martial art Ueshiba studied in his self taught genius.

And just as history has shown us that bringing certain things to the light of day creates the effect of a change in what was once "canon", I think it is starting to happen again -- this time with Daito ryu aiki. It's kind of interesting to watch it unfold.
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:43 AM   #20
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Peter, all,

Don't have the time right now to address the questions. But, I want to clear up my point of view. I'm not arguing that Daito ryu was hidden or covered up at all. Yes, it's there in the books. My point is that Daito ryu (and Takeda) was so downplayed and marginalized that both were never shown to be the major factor in Ueshiba's training.
Hello Mark,

Yes, I am aware of this. However, I think that suggestions of a cover-up and conspiracy become much harder to demonstrate.

To me, talk of a conspiracy / cover-up suggests that someone, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, for example, actually knew all the time that his father's Daito-ryu training was really far, far more important than his connections with Omoto, but he deliberately chose to downplay or suppress the former, in order that people would (erroneously) believe that the latter was more important: in other words, systematic lying took place on a major scale.

I do not believe that such a serious moral lapse can be demonstrated, even from Stanley Pranin's research.

In your post, you mention Daito-ryu and Takeda as the major factor, rather than a major factor (which is what I myself believe). So I think you need to show more evidence than you have done so far.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 06-07-2009, 07:33 AM   #21
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

Mark
What did you think to accomplish or point out? Everything is obvious to everyone that will see it the way they want to see it. And Peter is accurate in that there is a spiritual component to consider that is not answered by Takeda's involvement at all.
But the replies; to include such wildely and widely disparate views from Ueshiba as a self made and self taught man, to the schools governed by -even though not directly involved with the Butokukai being considered "a bunch of bitchy little Heathers who couldn't play nicely with others, or each other, so it was best to give them their own little padded room." Some seventy years in the future for the sake of a debate on the internet are so polarizing as to be discounted from the start.
Fred.
While I for one certainly appreciate the humor, and the prequisite semblance of acedemic impartiality to a subject matter; I found it all the more fascinating juxtaposed to the commentary found in the link you offered, with its reference to another organization, the Aikikai. Your link came up with a view of the Aikikai as a rather ugly political machine. The author observed the aikikai as:
Quote:
....motivated by money and political power.
.... I find it sad that many of those who propose to teach others about respect, self-control, integrity and humility still seek political power themselves and adamantly vie for status, with little or no thought to the price paid by the art.
These organizations (Aikikai Foundation) were important when I ran a commercial dojo. They are supposed to be about legitimacy, but they're too worried about making money. Let me put it this way, an organization as big as Aikikai, how many people can they personally mentor, who's there at the Aikikai? Yet they have hundreds of thousands of members. Why are these people members, they're not members because they get excellent instruction from Aikikai, their instructor may be Aikikai, but they don't get their instruction from Aikikai. The reason they're members is because it legitimizes their rank, which has become more important than the student-teacher relationship and the study of budo.
I think that view is overly harsh as well and is more of the same polarizing that get's us nowhere.

The butokukai in 1942
I made no claims, I asked about "what ifs" and if it were as I had heard or read somewhere about a catagory differentiating the art or arts. I wasn't sure. Your reply, while appreciated was heavily laden with its own conclusions and commentary you had advised against in your own post.
I'm sure with a mandate of organization building, involving Judo and Kendo teachers and Koryu, taking the national stage in war time Japan in 1942; that every one of the modern arts represented; Judo and Kendo, those teachers involved were the epitome of consummate Japanese gentlemen- who of course are known world wide for attaining a level of grace and calm when they reach a level of power , and those "other guys" were are you have described. "a bunch of bitchy little Heathers who couldn't play nicely with others, or each other, so it was best to give them their own little padded room." Great comment by the way; although that comment seems consistent with the threads here by Peter and Ellis and others on their early experiences at hombu.
I thought it might be fun to explore other comments given by the men directly involved in the Butokukai at that time, about the formulation of the new category
Quote:
"… proposed the establishment of a new section to include arts for actual fighting based on jujutsu techniques."
or the the appearence of Takeda at a Butokukai event where he was reported to have stormed the stage uninvited and said something about the arts being presented not being the true arts of Japan or some such thing and then tossing around a bunch of judoka, as was reported by Sugino to Stan. But all that would only prove to be a distraction and tangential to the discussion here.
I agree with your closing comment and its cautionary tone about romanticizing the past for expediency. I think demonizing or making heroes out of men always misses the mark. Were one to read "all" of the writings of Takeda's son-including his private in-house comments offered in rebuttal to the history offered by the aikikai in light of "all" of the written words spoken of his Dad's involvement in the printed media regarding his pivotal role in the modern public dissemination of aiki- another obvious aspect would emerge. Who offered a more balanced and self aware overview of the direct involvement without the need or desire to demonize of aggrandize for the sake of individuals or organizations.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 06-07-2009 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 06-07-2009, 08:08 AM   #22
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
To me, talk of a conspiracy / cover-up suggests that someone, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, for example, actually knew all the time that his father's Daito-ryu training was really far, far more important than his connections with Omoto, but he deliberately chose to downplay or suppress the former, in order that people would (erroneously) believe that the latter was more important: in other words, systematic lying took place on a major scale.

I do not believe that such a serious moral lapse can be demonstrated, even from Stanley Pranin's research.

In your post, you mention Daito-ryu and Takeda as the major factor, rather than a major factor (which is what I myself believe). So I think you need to show more evidence than you have done so far.

Best wishes,

PAG
I think that really is the crux of the matter.

DR is unquestionably the source of Ueshibas power, particularly in light of his peers, under Takeda, demonstrating the same power which was rather singular in the day. He didn't have it before Takeda and it grew under him.
What he did after and whether he got any more physical power that was from outside of that source is speculation without support
The spiritual components are from his own search.

The conspiracy argument can be negated / explained by Kissomaru believing in what he said and what he was told. That makes it innocent. And others ran with it and romantisized things without evidence. There is an interview somewhere in Aikido Journal where he all but apologizes for diminishing the involvement of Takeda in the history, that could be explained by either intent or ignorance.
Another interview (again with Sato acting as a go between for Takeda) outlines a series of questions posed to Ueshiba in a letter from Takeda wherein he asks why Ueshiba was lying about him; about "a house" supposedly given to him, about the fees begin so large etc. Stan offered that Kissomaru had posession of series of letters that he will not divulge to the public.
Then again,Takeda was painted as a man almost without any redeeming qualities by the popular writers so....
Maybe there are no moral lapses on Kissomarus part and he was telling the story as he knew it- of a beloved dad.
So again inconclusive.
In the end I think Ellis covered it-they were trying to forward a new art, who cared?
Thats not a bad stand alone statement to cover the topic. Until you considered what was offered when it WAS brought up! A passing reference to what Ueshiba has studied for 23 years and gave him a power sword skills unquestionably unusual for the day.

Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 06-07-2009 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:29 AM   #23
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

1. My version of Budo: The Teachings of the Founder of Aikido. First printing is 1991. My copy is fairly new.

Page 8 starts the chapter, The Life of Morihei Ueshiba. Page 9 devotes two sentences to Ueshiba meeting and training with Takeda. Page 10 and 11 deal mostly with Oomoto kyo and Ueshiba's spiritual development. Then, this part:

Quote:
Kisshomaru Ueshiba wrote:
This led him little by little to break away from the conventions of Yagyu-ryu and Daito ryu jujutsu, and to develop his own original approach, using applied principles and technique together, to break down the barriers behind mind, spirit, and body. In 1922 this approach was formally named "aiki-bujutsu" but it became known to the general public as Ueshiba-ryu aiki-bujutsu.
No more is mentioned of Daito ryu or Takeda.

However, Ueshiba was issuing Daito ryu certificates until the mid 1930s. In fact, Tomiki didn't start studying with Ueshiba until 1926 and I believe he received a Daito ryu certificate from Ueshiba. Shirata started at the Kobukan in 1933.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:34 AM   #24
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Finally, since you are talking of cover-up and conspiracy about how critical Daito-ryu was to aikido, I think you need to consider another possible cover-up, which concerns Morihei Ueshiba's obsession with deities, kotodama, and establishing the correct harmony between the 'three worlds'. This is why I believe you need to read the English translation of Kisshomaru Ueshiba's biography very carefully indeed. Kisshomaru's biography is much more subtle than that of John Stevens (in either edition).

As always, best wishes,

PAG
For this part of my thread, I was dealing only with the martial background of Ueshiba. I haven't touched upon the spiritual background and I would not be surprised to find a similar changing of "history".
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:43 AM   #25
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Mark,

Yes, I am aware of this. However, I think that suggestions of a cover-up and conspiracy become much harder to demonstrate.

To me, talk of a conspiracy / cover-up suggests that someone, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, for example, actually knew all the time that his father's Daito-ryu training was really far, far more important than his connections with Omoto, but he deliberately chose to downplay or suppress the former, in order that people would (erroneously) believe that the latter was more important: in other words, systematic lying took place on a major scale.

I do not believe that such a serious moral lapse can be demonstrated, even from Stanley Pranin's research.

In your post, you mention Daito-ryu and Takeda as the major factor, rather than a major factor (which is what I myself believe). So I think you need to show more evidence than you have done so far.

Best wishes,

PAG
I agree that a deliberate cover up by one or two individuals is hard to demonstrate. In fact, I'm not at all sure why there was a "changing", a "slant", or a "cover up" to the martial history of Ueshiba.

When Kisshomaru took over, it was definitely a struggling, hard time in the post WWII aftermath. I wouldn't be surprised to see anyone overplay the spiritual aspects of Aikido in that time.

But, something happened. Events were changed. Published books up to the early 90s dealing with Takeda and Daito ryu either majorly downplayed, lied, or slanted the truth to the point that Daito ryu was just one minor martial art of many that Ueshiba studied. We now know that Daito ryu was the main martial influence on Ueshiba.

Discounting the spiritual side, can you elaborate on why you believe Takeda and Daito ryu are only a major factor? Was there another martial art that was a major factor in Ueshiba's training?
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