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Old 03-23-2010, 07:17 AM   #1
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Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Quote:
Dirk Desmet wrote: View Post
But some people don't want to be that good as Ueshiba. Some people don't have the need to reach the top or be the best someday.
Some people want to do Aikido for other reasons.
Like a runner who just wants to go jogging as recreation to get fit, but doesn't want to do it only to be able to run a marathon some day.
I don't mean that it has to be soft, you can still train hard and learn the good techniques, but for me personally it's not my purpose to get a black belt someday.

For some people, Tai Chi or Yoga would be better to practice instead of Aikido.
Aikido needs to stay Aikido. It needs to stay a MARTIAL art.
Ueshiba created his aikido to be a spiritual and a martial pursuit. His son, Kisshomaru, might have placed more emphasis in the spiritual area than the aiki of his father, but it would be a hard argument to say that Kisshomaru Ueshiba didn't view aikido as martial, too.

If you want pure martial there are quite a lot of other systems out there for that, like boxing. I'd also say that other systems will get you martially effective quicker, so all you'd have to do is to add your own spirituality to that training to have a better sense of self defense with a moral purpose.

I have experienced aikido schools that have top quality instructors with very good training systems that produce top quality jujutsu skills. And I don't downplay those skills as they can be extremely effective. I just think that they take a lot longer to develop than other martial arts and I don't view them as aiki skills.

Personally, I think that if we define "aikido" as the way of aiki and we define aiki as the definable body quality exemplified by Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Kodo, etc, then most of the threads here would fall under the "Non-Aikido Martial Traditions" forum. I don't believe most modern "aikido" has "aiki" but relies upon high level jujutsu skills to mimic the "aiki" of Ueshiba.
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:00 AM   #2
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I don't believe most modern "aikido" has "aiki" but relies upon high level jujutsu skills to mimic the "aiki" of Ueshiba.
How are you able to determine that?
Is your aiki ability what you base your judgment of others on?
Does your level of aiki ability near that of O'Sensei or his students?

David
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:15 AM   #3
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

I think a really big problem in the Aikido community is the fact that we all call Aiki different things.

To some Aiki is what others would call kokyu, or internal skills. While others don't think Aiki hinges on this at all.

Others relate Aiki to rhythm and timing. Or the ability to project or lead intention. Some even call Aiki the type of techniques we use. There are lots of things that we call Aiki, but when we talk to each other we are not talking about the same things.

I know above you related Aiki to the "body quality" show by Takeda, Ueshiba etc. What exactly does that mean? I would guess you're talking about their ability with kokyu. But you could mean the way they move their body, or the way they use their body (leverage, angle, development). There are lots of things we can be talking about.

I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong in their definition of Aiki, just that we need to come to a common understanding so we can talk about this. For example the Iwama kind of Aiki, or the Aiki of the kodokai, or Aikikai Aiki, etc. We have no foundation on which to start our conversation.

The same goes for martial. You used boxing as an example of martial, while I know where you are going with that, I giggled a bit. Boxing doesn't seem very martial to me, it seems like a sport, like MMA, or Judo. Fighting with guns seems martial to me. When we say martial, some mean fighting in the streets, some mean fighting in a gym, some mean on a battle field; all very different animals, while all being valid in their own right.

We all throw these things around like everyone has the same understandings and definitions, but we don't.

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Old 03-23-2010, 11:17 AM   #4
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Hi Mark, could you say more about your thinking on the way in which pursuit of the internal skills you refer to as aiki has a "spiritual" component?

Many thanks.

David Henderson
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:51 AM   #5
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I think a really big problem in the Aikido community is the fact that we all call Aiki different things.

To some Aiki is what others would call kokyu, or internal skills. While others don't think Aiki hinges on this at all.

Others relate Aiki to rhythm and timing. Or the ability to project or lead intention. Some even call Aiki the type of techniques we use. There are lots of things that we call Aiki, but when we talk to each other we are not talking about the same things.

I know above you related Aiki to the "body quality" show by Takeda, Ueshiba etc. What exactly does that mean? I would guess you're talking about their ability with kokyu. But you could mean the way they move their body, or the way they use their body (leverage, angle, development). There are lots of things we can be talking about.

I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong in their definition of Aiki, just that we need to come to a common understanding so we can talk about this. For example the Iwama kind of Aiki, or the Aiki of the kodokai, or Aikikai Aiki, etc. We have no foundation on which to start our conversation.

We all throw these things around like everyone has the same understandings and definitions, but we don't.
Hi Chris,

It's a really good post (although I clipped the part about martial).

And I'll start by stating that until a few years ago, I would have thought of "aiki" in a similar manner as you've described -- way the body moves, angles, deflections, timing, , rhythm, techniques, etc. In the end the phrase, "I didn't know that I didn't know" was right on target.

However, after getting the experience of training with someone who has aiki changed everything. In a matter of minutes, everything listed above fell away. In the coming year or so, more people with better experience than I had in aikido all came away with the exact same notions about aiki.

Do I expect people who haven't had this kind of experience to understand what I'm talking about? No. I could never have come to an understanding until personally experiencing it, but in the end there really is a right and wrong with aiki.

Why do I go on about it, then?

Because aiki is *the* secret to the martial arts that is a foundational change to make you better. The Holy Grail, the Fountain of Youth, the Hope Diamond of the martial arts. Aiki is what allowed Ueshiba to implement his spiritual vision amidst a martial encounter and bring the highest ideal of non-violence of nullifying an attacker without damaging either person to reality.

The way of aiki (and I mean both aikido and Daito ryu) has the potential to be *the* preeminent martial arts.

Those people who are still alive and who have trained with Ueshiba, Kodo, Sagawa, Shioda, Tomiki, Shirata, etc have all felt the capabilities of aiki in some manner. And those who haven't can research just what these people did.

So, I go on about aiki to get people to toss out what they think they know about it. To look at it from a perspective that says, I don't know anything about aiki because (to list a few examples):

1. I can't replicate what Ueshiba did when he encountered Tenryu (and others).

2. I can't replicate sitting on the floor cross legged and not be pushed over.

3. I can't replicate what Tomiki did when he held out his hand for judoka to throw him and they couldn't.

4. I can't replicate what Ueshiba did to Nishimura with the folded paper (which, btw, Takeda also did to show off his skills).

5. I can't replicate Ueshiba not being lifted off the floor by four strong men.

6. I can't explain how Ueshiba got great in less than 10 years (which btw, Tomiki and Shioda also did).

7. All the people in modern aikido who have gone out and gotten their hands on someone who has aiki, have come away with the realization that everything they knew about aiki was wrong. Every single one, including shihan level aikido people.

So, yes, I'm trying to get people to toss out most everything they know about aiki. Why?

Because modern aikido has yet to give anyone any hope that they can reach a skill level on par with Shioda, Tomiki, Shirata, let alone Ueshiba. It's all dreams built upon notions of keeping at it for a lifetime that no one has yet to achieve.

But training in aiki makes those dreams a reality.
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:57 PM   #6
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Well, I guess what I'm saying here is, lot's of people call different things Aiki. Lot's of people can lay legitimate claim to why what they call Aiki is correct.

I'm all for talking about how we (you and I, or Aikiweb people) will choose to define Aikido, but that will still simply be our definition.

On your list of things above:
Quote:
1. I can't replicate what Ueshiba did when he encountered Tenryu (and others).

2. I can't replicate sitting on the floor cross legged and not be pushed over.

3. I can't replicate what Tomiki did when he held out his hand for judoka to throw him and they couldn't.

4. I can't replicate what Ueshiba did to Nishimura with the folded paper (which, btw, Takeda also did to show off his skills).

5. I can't replicate Ueshiba not being lifted off the floor by four strong men.

6. I can't explain how Ueshiba got great in less than 10 years (which btw, Tomiki and Shioda also did).

7. All the people in modern aikido who have gone out and gotten their hands on someone who has aiki, have come away with the realization that everything they knew about aiki was wrong. Every single one, including shihan level aikido people.
2-5 can be done using angle and alignment. There are a number of people who preform these things regularly. Several of them fall into the area of tricks and can be learned in minutes.

http://www.nardis.com/~twchan/mag.html

A study of Lulu Hurst will reveal many of the same, and some even more impressive body skills that Ueshiba demonstrated. These things will be found to be simple application of leverage, body weight, mental suggestion and timing. Natural parts of martial arts training, found in almost every system.

When we train in Aikido we enter into a compliant state of mind, we want to take part in the magic, so we participate in it. There is nothing wrong with this. It can help us to learn, and learning to put someone into this state of mind can be, martially speaking, very useful indeed. I believe Ueshiba got himself out of some very difficult situations thanks to this skill.

Anyways, I'm getting long winded here. Basically we have to decide what it is that we are going to call Aiki. Then we can talk about it.

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Old 03-24-2010, 04:49 AM   #7
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote:
Personally, I think that if we define "aikido" as the way of aiki and we define aiki as the definable body quality exemplified by Takeda, Ueshiba, ....
Saying that a particular body quality is aiki because you trained with someone who has that particular body quality and you were impressed doesn't get us anywhere. Likewise, it is an error in reasoning to say people with this body quality can do #1-6; this body quality is aiki; therefore, lack of ability to do #1-6 shows that a person doesn't know anything about aiki.

You fully accept that aiki is "the secret to the martial arts," and this body quality is aiki.

Your definition of aiki may very well be correct, but you must still prove your argument.

In fact, you didn't define the "definable body quality," which you suggest is the definition of aiki.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote:
Do I expect people who haven't had this kind of experience to understand what I'm talking about? No.
On some level you recognize the lack of effectiveness of your argument. But I'm not sure we should just chalk it up to ‘people don't know what they don't know.' If this body quality is aiki, define it, and explain why it is aiki. Then show why aiki is the secret to the martial arts.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 03-24-2010, 07:12 AM   #8
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Aiki and high level internal is not something that can be proved in debate or argument it has to be felt and expressed in action.

stan
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:41 AM   #9
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Quote:
Stan Baker wrote: View Post
Aiki and high level internal is not something that can be proved in debate or argument it has to be felt and expressed in action.

stan
High level internal can be shown. I know because I've trained with a recognized high level internal expert for a number of years. He can do a number of very impressive things. However he will be the first to tell you that they are all a product of angle, leverage, body weight, natural elasticity of the tissues and alignment.

You can see all of these things demonstrated by modern sport martial artists as well. If the definition of Aiki is internal martial arts, then we are going jump out of one pot and into the next. Because (Chinese) internal martial artists are having this same debate.

Because the martial arts are of a physical nature, there must be a tangible representation of any skills that are useful. This thread, posted recently:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17875

Shows the power of suggestion at work. The Sensei here is demonstrating great control over his students. This is a useful martial skill. There is a tangible representation of this skill, his students are willing to do all number of things for him. I think this is just one of the skills that Ueshiba was very proficient in.

Defining the power of suggestion as Aiki is a reasonable one. No more or less valid then angle, or timing.

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Old 03-24-2010, 08:08 PM   #10
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Hi Chris
I think your teacher is mistaken, it is not about angels and all that.
You need to be blown away like you do not exist then you can understand what I am talking about. There are only few people in the world that I know that are in that category.

stan
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:35 PM   #11
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Quote:
Stan Baker wrote:
You need to be blown away like you do not exist then you can understand what I am talking about.
OK. . . but why is that aiki?

The idea is to define aiki.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:06 PM   #12
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Quote:
Stan Baker wrote: View Post
Hi Chris
I think your teacher is mistaken, it is not about angels and all that.You need to be blown away like you do not exist then you can understand what I am talking about. There are only few people in the world that I know that are in that category.

stan
While I'm sure your experience in these matters is second to none Stan, you're not helping us find a definition. "Blown away like you do not exist" tells me very little about what Aiki may be.

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Old 03-25-2010, 06:20 AM   #13
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

If you read the book "Abundant peace: the biography of Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido By John Stevens", then somewhere around page 40-50 is mentioned that Ueshiba got illuminated someday. (or how do you say that in proper English, he got one with the universe? I'm reading the book in Dutch)
He got visions about things after training long lonely periods in the mountains and standing under holy waterfalls, and suddenly he got the secret power.
Anyway, a list of supernatural things were mentioned in the book that Ueshiba experienced once to achieve his power (like his body looked like it was glowing etc...)

What is real about it? It's like the Bible explaining with surrealistic examples what super powers Jesus had aswel.

Perhaps it could be that Ueshiba was gifted someday to do things no others could by training.

Last edited by bulevardi : 03-25-2010 at 06:25 AM.

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Old 03-25-2010, 07:24 AM   #14
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Hi Chris,
That is probably true, I do have alot of experience testing some of the best people in both chinese and japanese arts. I suggest you read Dan's posts on Aiki and then get first hand experience with him.

stan
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:15 AM   #15
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Quote:
Stan Baker wrote: View Post
Hi Chris,
That is probably true, I do have alot of experience testing some of the best people in both chinese and japanese arts. I suggest you read Dan's posts on Aiki and then get first hand experience with him.

stan
Sometimes Stan Baker, I think you are Dan. I can see we're in for more proselytism and propaganda. I've been down this road. I'm here to discuss, not chase my tale.

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Old 03-25-2010, 11:03 AM   #16
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Hi Chris
after some direct experience then we can discuss, speculation is a waste of time in martial arts.

stan
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:03 PM   #17
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Why didn't you just tell me you didn't have a definition because of lack of experience?!

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Old 03-25-2010, 05:54 PM   #18
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Hi Chris
Aiki means to join energy, that is easy to say. Bringing one's unification to a high level is difficult, everybody knows that.

stan
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:37 AM   #19
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Quote:
Stan Baker wrote:
Aiki means to join energy....
Well, that's a start.

But a crude English translation is not a definition.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 03-26-2010, 02:35 AM   #20
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

I'm starting to like Stans way of posting.

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Old 03-26-2010, 12:23 PM   #21
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I don't believe most modern "aikido" has "aiki" but relies upon high level jujutsu skills to mimic the "aiki" of Ueshiba.
Speaking for myself (and only myself), this is true. But I'm not sure where high level jujutsu skills end and aiki begins. There probably is no line -- it's possible for somebody to have good aiki skills, but still need to work on the jujutsu, I suppose.

One key component of the difference between jutusu and aiki, from what I can tell from my limited internal strength training so far, is that "aiki" is about using the whole body in a fully coordinated manner. The result of aiki is that those with it are able to respond instantly to unexpected forces from different directions, to exploit those forces for off-balancing the opponent(s), and to generate a lot of power without a lot of movement.

----
-Drew Ames
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:52 PM   #22
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Quote:
Drew Ames wrote: View Post
it's possible for somebody to have good aiki skills, but still need to work on the jujutsu, I suppose.
.
Maybe..
I'm not convinced that you can have aiki and not have done the jujutsu work first.

I think that people have to train enough jujutsu to udnerstand when they are confronted by something that's just different. Does not fit in the pardigm.

I don't think that most people hwo have not done the jujutsu get it.

Jeremy Hulley
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:53 PM   #23
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Quote:
Drew Ames wrote: View Post
One key component of the difference between jutusu and aiki, from what I can tell from my limited internal strength training so far, is that "aiki" is about using the whole body in a fully coordinated manner. The result of aiki is that those with it are able to respond instantly to unexpected forces from different directions, to exploit those forces for off-balancing the opponent(s), and to generate a lot of power without a lot of movement.
Nicely put..

Jeremy Hulley
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Old 03-26-2010, 02:37 PM   #24
C. David Henderson
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Quote:
Jeremy Hulley wrote: View Post
Maybe..
I'm not convinced that you can have aiki and not have done the jujutsu work first.

I think that people have to train enough jujutsu to udnerstand when they are confronted by something that's just different. Does not fit in the pardigm.

I don't think that most people hwo have not done the jujutsu get it.
Hi Jeremy,

Not to disagree, but what about those whose start out by training for the body skills first, without formal jujustu technique? If I recall, some contend this is not only possible, but a better route to take.

(This does not describe my own practice or history BTW.)

Regards,

David Henderson
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Old 03-26-2010, 02:40 PM   #25
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Re: Martial, spiritual, and jujutsu (split off from Funakogi Thread)

Ah, now we are getting somewhere.

I personally distinguish Aiki an Ju by physical relation. I believe Aiki can be used without any physical contact, where Ju must be in contact with a direct force.

For example, I would say musicians playing music together are exhibiting a kind of Aiki. The music coming from their instruments (Ki) is working together to make a harmony (Ai). There is not a physical interaction between the musicians yet they are forming a harmony with the energy they are releasing.

Ju requires a physical force to be applied. For example a balloon has the quality of ju. If you push on it, it will yield to your force, yet as soon as the force is removed it will spring back into place, or move around the force.

Martially this can be seen: with Aiki I lead your mind with my mind, making you over extend yourself and become unbalanced; with Ju I physically stick to you, following you physically, applying force where you are weak and unbalancing you.

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