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Old 04-27-2010, 02:33 AM   #1
David Yap
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"Transparent Power" Book

Hi,

Has anyone here read "Transparent Power" by Tatsuo Kimura? Apparently, the book has been a top-seller in Japan over 10 years and it has been translated to English a couple of years ago.

There two positive and two negative reviews on the Amazon.com site. At USD34.95 (excl. postage), it is still an expensive decision to buy or not. It is not an instructional book.

Appreciate the views of those have read or own the book.

Regards

David Y
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:16 AM   #2
bernardkwan
Dojo: Aikido Doyukai Hong Kong
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Re: Transparent Power

Although it is not an instructional book, I think its worth buying to

1) Understand that there were others besides Ueshiba with Aiki / additional historical information about training with Takeda in the pre-war years.
2) garner some descriptions of how Aiki feels
3) understand the importance of training beyond just waza in the dojo (i.e. solo training) to generate Aiki. Sagawa Sensei could still do a thousand(?) push-ups when he was in his 70s and 80s
4) Hints of training methods

Ask why a 5th Dan Aikidoka who studied under Yamaguchi Sensei would drop everything to train with Sagawa. If Yamaguchi is one of the greats what did Sagawa have that he didn't have.

Regardless I also think it is a fun read about his life, even if he comes across as arrogant and a misanthrope.
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:22 PM   #3
DH
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Re: Transparent Power

Quote:
Bernard Kwan wrote: View Post
Ask why a 5th Dan Aikidoka who studied under Yamaguchi Sensei would drop everything to train with Sagawa. If Yamaguchi is one of the greats what did Sagawa have that he didn't have.
Depth pf material?
Aiki?
I had a well known 6th dan who also trained under Yamguchi tell me he has learned more here in two years then in the last 20 years in aikido and that I could quote him.
Solo training to change the body, internal power/ breath power/ inculcated martial movement with weapons and empty hand is a pretty potent mix to generate aiki.
Trying to convince someone it is different from aikido on the internet or through a book is a fools errand when five minutes in person simply ends all debate.


Everyone will have thier own views, for me the overiding power of the book was
1. To finally have someone from DR admit that Aiki power is from changing the body through solo training and not waza. (this after I was told I was full of it for years by those in and out of DR) Some still deny it to this day all while claiming the deeper understanding -for themselves.
2. To finally have a well respected teacher admit openly that he was holding back from his students till near the end of his life (even intentionally misleading them) and that it was Sokaku himself who told him to. Tokimune admited it as well. And all of which was also denied by many in the art who claimed (of course) that it was misunderstood. I would say a general sampling of the movement of the vast majority of DR people speaks for itself and removes all doubt about only a very few getting the real "it" that Sagawa was on about.
3. That Takeda told him to NEVER teach gaijin, as they were already big and it would give them an advantage. Something which has been heard in ICMA aswell.

So other than pointing to a truth about solo training to change the body to generate aiki, and that the aiki body was the goal all along and not the waza- to the greater body of martial artists still in hot pursuit *of waza*...the rest of the book you can have.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 04-27-2010 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:33 PM   #4
David Yap
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

Dan,

Can we assume that Morihei Ueshiba might have also made a promise to his teacher, Sokaku Takeda, not to reveal the "secrets" of aiki to his students? A few talented ones, such as Tohei, have had to steal the "secrets" by thinking outside the box or cross-trained other disciplines.

Are there any hints on internal/solo trainings in that book?

Regards

David Y
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Old 04-28-2010, 05:28 AM   #5
MM
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

While I haven't read every book on aikido, I've covered a fair share of them that were published in English.

The only "reading" that I have done that has covered internal training to some depth, that has had exercises, hints, theory, and generally been written by someone who has a solid background ... has been here at Aikiweb.

If anyone really wants to put a price to a "book" that has some phenomenal information about aiki, internal training and skills, then one should "buy" an Aikiweb subscription. For the low price of, I think $9 or $10, you can support Aikiweb.

I don't know of any book out there that is that cheap and has that much information. No, it isn't handed to you by chapter and verse. Yes, there's a lot of posts to wade through. In the end, though, Aikiweb is the gold at the end of the rainbow.
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:02 AM   #6
DH
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

Quote:
David Yap wrote: View Post
Dan,
Can we assume that Morihei Ueshiba might have also made a promise to his teacher, Sokaku Takeda, not to reveal the "secrets" of aiki to his students? A few talented ones, such as Tohei, have had to steal the "secrets" by thinking outside the box or cross-trained other disciplines.
I don't think anyone knows. We do know that Sokaku told people not to teach but one of two of their students. Tokimune said the same. Some on the net (not one of which are impressive) say -that- is misunderstood.
So lets see
Sokaku-: of thousands who trained with him -only a handful were known for unusual power and skill
Tokimune-openly stated in an interview the very same thing-to only teach one or two. All of that would be conjecture and meaningless accept we see him teaching students for thirty years, some of whom were the president and secretary of his own organization, who did demos for all the big events, then he gives menkyo to Kondo and states he was the only one he taught real technique to. Tokimune's statement, and his actions are clear enough.I haven't felt or seen anyone from his school/style that impressed me as having it-it's all "Frankenstein like, one-step stiff jujutsu."
Sagawa-had one we know of
Kodo-has a few
Ueshiba- Who among his students is known for unusual power? Tohei and Shioda do not count, they went elsewhere and only AFTER that were they known to have gotten it.

Quote:
Are there any hints on internal/solo trainings in that book?
Specifically? No. The fact that he mentions over and over like a mantra that the path to aiki is to change the body and "make an aiki body" and talks about training with heavy poles is worth everything to the smart reader. He wasn't talking about muscle. Just how was he building those connections in his body to absorb power from an opponent and project? In and of itself, that is something that is never talked about or is openly denied.

YMMV, I think its smart to feel and also watch the vast majority of those in the arts (regardless of rank and affiliation) and let their understanding and their opinions, speak for itself. I don't debate it on the net anymore. Ten thousand words of debate all end ...in person, Your understanding is in your own hands and all is made clear.

What and how, are you training, David?
Cheers
Dan
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:55 PM   #7
Scott Harrington
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

Transparent Power is a book that made me TOTALLY mad, upset and a lot p***ed mad , frustratingly mad. Ranting to the wife mad. However, I heartily recommend it to anyone interested in Aikido and Daito-ryu. Huh??!?!

First reading
-- I wanted to smack Sagawa upside the head but he's dead and also I would never have been able to do that without flying across the room. Basically, he said you can't learn Ďaiki' for two reasons. The first is you haven't trained with him (and oh, by the way it was really hard to get to train with him besides Japan being far away and so on.) So there. The second reason is even if you had a chance to train with me you would never train as hard as Sagawa did so forget it. So there.

After nearly throwing the book across the room and several profane statements, I took a break, looked at the pictures of him in the book and sulked. Waited a week. Sulked some more. Then I read it again.

Second reading -- Once again, it clearly comes out that Takeda Sokaku was the SOURCE of "aiki' and while neat historical debating points, he clearly could do "aiki" and Sagawa was lucky to train under him and discover the first crack in the teaching wall at 17 which would lead to his mastering Daito-ryu in all its parts.

And then it hit me. Hidden in all the paragraphs of "you will never get it" were clues. Some blatant, some obscure, and probably some still hidden, but there were things to do to begin to learn "aiki" - if you did certain things.

I was really P***ed now. Why hadn't he just written out the clues, why hadn't other teachers told me this stuff, why did I give a damn? But, I went to the dojo, tried some stuff, did some drills and training at home, compared it to other stuff instructors in the IS world had mentioned and slightly, slowly, I could get a glimpse of the elusive "aiki". Couldn't do it but I could see something.

Third reading -- Just reviewed the historical stuff mentioned about Daito-ryu and Takeda Sokaku, along with Sagawa teaching, training and getting better. Good stuff, which didn't upset me.

Fourth reading -- Back to the clues, I have adopted some of them. Sagawa was a physical-fitness nut but even he realized that specialized exercise and drills were the road to better "aiki" for anyone interested. The vessel needs to be constructed to hold the art.

In a weird way, after you get past the "nah nah nah, you can't do this" Sagawa sensei is actually quite positive if you are really interested. An elder Aikidoka friend (in his 70's) bought the book after reading in it that Sagawa said his best gains were at the same 70's mark. He talks about if you find a better way, don't think about lost time, just start doing the better way. Duh!

Kimura sensei, who basically transcribed and edited this work, did a great job. Sure, I'd love for him to say, "It's done like this," but I don't think he can. Takeda Sokaku was a bad teacher (whether by choice or ability is a neat conundrum.) There is much that can only be learned by being shown and not by reading a book.

So, put up with some frustration and read this --several times. It is not really transparent but quite dense.

Scott Harrington
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Old 04-29-2010, 03:05 AM   #8
David Yap
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
What and how, are you training, David?
First and foremost, Dan, thank you for the insights on Aiki. Given the opportunity and $permit$, I would love to learn from you hands on.

I have been training aikido waza for the past 17 years. For me, the progress has been from hard to softer; the mystical "aiki" of aikido is still elusive in the sense that I have it (at least I believe) once in while but not all of the time. The progress is slow as generally the practitioners here are more interested in the waza of aikido. Even in my own dojo, there is only a couple of us who are keen and we practise before and/or after the class. At the moment, we concentrate on improving our aiki-age and aiki-nage using katate dori (single hand grab) and ryote dori (two hands grab) from suwariwaza, hanmi-handachi and tachiwaza positions; we do static exercise (no pushing or pulling) from low resistance to full resistance by the uke. I have problem moving my partner when in tachiwaza ryote-dori he grabs both my wrists as if he is holdings a wheelbarrow or a shear, i.e. with his arms straight and extended, and with full resistance coming from the base of his feet. From a static position, I can't apply aiki age or aiki sage. I can only do so by extending the "wheelbarrow" or the "shear" by transferring/sinking my weight to my back foot and then releasing back it. Would you call this IS or merely using leverage?

For solo exercise, I will just do 30 minutes of 'pole/ball-holding exercise' yi chuan style every other day. I hope to do it at least one hour a day.

I promise myself that there will be no dan upgrading until I have a good level of aiki skill. Your guidance, sensei, is much appreciated.

Regards

David
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Old 04-29-2010, 03:07 AM   #9
David Yap
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

Thanks, Bernard. Probably at that time, Kimura sensei felt a different type of aiki from Sagawa compared with Yamaguchi's.

Thanks, Scott, for the input.

I have the same experience with 'Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere'.

Regards

David

Last edited by David Yap : 04-29-2010 at 03:11 AM.
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:38 AM   #10
HL1978
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

Quote:
David Yap wrote: View Post
Are there any hints on internal/solo trainings in that book?

Regards

David Y
I have the japanese version of the book.

The only hints are:

1) You don't use the shoulders
2) You need to do massive amounts of solo training to build a body that is different than a normal body
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:00 PM   #11
sakumeikan
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I don't think anyone knows. We do know that Sokaku told people not to teach but one of two of their students. Tokimune said the same. Some on the net (not one of which are impressive) say -that- is misunderstood.
So lets see
Sokaku-: of thousands who trained with him -only a handful were known for unusual power and skill
Tokimune-openly stated in an interview the very same thing-to only teach one or two. All of that would be conjecture and meaningless accept we see him teaching students for thirty years, some of whom were the president and secretary of his own organization, who did demos for all the big events, then he gives menkyo to Kondo and states he was the only one he taught real technique to. Tokimune's statement, and his actions are clear enough.I haven't felt or seen anyone from his school/style that impressed me as having it-it's all "Frankenstein like, one-step stiff jujutsu."
Sagawa-had one we know of
Kodo-has a few
Ueshiba- Who among his students is known for unusual power? Tohei and Shioda do not count, they went elsewhere and only AFTER that were they known to have gotten it.

Specifically? No. The fact that he mentions over and over like a mantra that the path to aiki is to change the body and "make an aiki body" and talks about training with heavy poles is worth everything to the smart reader. He wasn't talking about muscle. Just how was he building those connections in his body to absorb power from an opponent and project? In and of itself, that is something that is never talked about or is openly denied.

YMMV, I think its smart to feel and also watch the vast majority of those in the arts (regardless of rank and affiliation) and let their understanding and their opinions, speak for itself. I don't debate it on the net anymore. Ten thousand words of debate all end ...in person, Your understanding is in your own hands and all is made clear.

What and how, are you training, David?
Cheers
Dan
Dear Dan
Who among O Sensei's students are powerful ?How about Chiba Sensei, Saito Sensei, Kanai Sensei ,Tamura Sensei to name a few?
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:37 AM   #12
DH
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

L
Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Dan
Who among O Sensei's students are powerful ?How about Chiba Sensei, Saito Sensei, Kanai Sensei ,Tamura Sensei to name a few?
Joe
They do not posses the type of power being discussed here. Chiba and Kannai-were conspicuously devoid of this type of skill when I trained with them many years ago and have no place in the discussion. I'm not discussing their Aikido waza- I'm talking about something different.
The only way I can discuss it with you is for you to go train with someone who has it so we have a common reference point.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 04-30-2010 at 05:46 AM.
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Old 04-30-2010, 01:49 PM   #13
ChrisMoses
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
I have the japanese version of the book.

The only hints are:

1) You don't use the shoulders
2) You need to do massive amounts of solo training to build a body that is different than a normal body
You forgot the much repeated, "Kimura, you're an idiot and will never be as powerful as ME!!!! Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!"



I guess that's wasn't really a hint.

That said, I found it very much worth the time to read (thanks Tom!). While it doesn't lay out a training paradigm, it offers goals. I found myself reading it thinking, "Hmm, can I do that? Do I even think that's possible? If so, what would I need to focus on to get that... Hmm, I can kind of do that, but not to the extent he's talking about, what would I need to do to actually come close to what he's talking about..." etc.

I feel like it helped nudge me in some positive directions in my training, but if I didn't have some context to relate to what he was talking about, it wouldn't have helped me at all.

Finally, just say, "No." to the Dynamic Sphere, it's awful. They were trying hard, but they really didn't know what they were doing or talking about (IMnsHO).

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:51 PM   #14
Rob Watson
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Finally, just say, "No." to the Dynamic Sphere, it's awful. They were trying hard, but they really didn't know what they were doing or talking about (IMnsHO).
Funny how many folks think it is a great book. It was the first one I picked up and likely is responsible for me starting the art. If it wasn't for 'Sphere' how many would never even be in a position to be looking for some of that 'aiki' stuff?

As for 'TP' I have not been able to sift out the nuggets as others seem to have found but I'm still only on the 3rd reading ...

Kind of scary if 10 years is not nearly enough and maybe even 20 either. Not many have the right stuff to stick to it for that long.

When Gleason (via DH) says he learned more in 2 than in 20 it does give one hope! Of course, the seed must fall onto fertile ground before it can thrive.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 05-05-2010, 06:16 PM   #15
DH
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

You might want to bounce over to e-budo's aiki-jujutsu forum (erroneously placed under the Kory section) and read some of the comments on the book there. There are some interesting comments being tossed out about some of those discussing the book, FWIW.

I think one thing worth noting is that the lack of any meaningful dialogue and the general level of understanding being displayed on the web from the martial artists reading the book -including those who translated it. Overal it does more to support Sagawa's view that almost no one "got it" than anything his detractors could offer.

At what point are bold statements...just the truth, and not arrogant, at all.
Dan
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:48 PM   #16
Lorel Latorilla
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
I have the japanese version of the book.

The only hints are:

1) You don't use the shoulders
2) You need to do massive amounts of solo training to build a body that is different than a normal body
I would also add that he did mention developing your back and strong legs (he's probably talking about the arch in the legs).

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
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Old 05-07-2010, 03:50 AM   #17
David Yap
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
You might want to bounce over to e-budo's aiki-jujutsu forum (erroneously placed under the Kory section) and read some of the comments on the book there. There are some interesting comments being tossed out about some of those discussing the book, FWIW.

I think one thing worth noting is that the lack of any meaningful dialogue and the general level of understanding being displayed on the web from the martial artists reading the book -including those who translated it. Overal it does more to support Sagawa's view that almost no one "got it" than anything his detractors could offer.

At what point are bold statements...just the truth, and not arrogant, at all.
Dan
Thanks for the lead, Dan.

Rgds

David Y
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:04 AM   #18
DH
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

David
I didn't suggest E-budo for any useful information about the book, but rather that people can go there and read more feedback from still other budo people guessing and wondering and misunderstanding the nature of the book and hear what they are saying about about our own discussions of the book.
Like the comments here- "strengthen the back and legs", or "lift your arm to throw," (words loaded; either with meaning or misinformation) we can see from several personal testimonies that being able to read the original Japanese, training in the art, and translating it, didn't help budo people in actually understanding the material and changing their own skill level. Even for those in the art- their own physical skills revealed their lack of understanding of the material and the direction Sagawa pointed to.

There are those who trained with Sagawa and who now train with Kimura who lack the skills. Recent personal testimony confirmed that Sagawa was telling the truth when he said he did not teach this stuff most of his life. Other testimony offered here seems to corroborate that fact that only Kimura got it to some degree or another.
One can debate just why that is, but consider this;
1. After years of personal one-on-one and hands-on with a teacher/student relationship intact, and with the now humorous idea of the "deeper initiation" model supposedly intact- the teacher reveals that he purposefully did not teach what he knew would make the defining difference.

2. We find other examples of purposeful misinformation and withholding from those with "deeper initiation."

3. You find out that the body of information, the real meat of what makes power and aiki exists as an undercurrent in Asian arts in different cultures and it is widely kept back there as well and we run into the same kind of "holdback" stories.

4. We realize that it isn't singular but an example of more of a widespread Asian model of teaching. Which explains why the vast majority of budo people feel like they do. It also helps explain the state of Budo throughout history: The rare budo giants who by all accounts can do amazing things, handle the efforts of accomplished budo men, go through their efforts with ease and stand apart from their own era's budo men like they were nothing more than budo "wall paper."

I've never bought the idea that the ones that "got it" in each generation were all geniuses and weirdly talented-and everyone of their peers were dolts stumbling around trying to get it....from the same information.
I think it is more realistic to consider it a case of the exceptional ones (meaning talented and above average) being actually taught defining material, and everyone else was left to guess and steal information. That makes more sense to me.
Which brings us back to Sagawa's statements which keep getting verified
Takeda said not to teach Gaijin the real art-so he didn't
Takeda said only teach one or two and no one else-so he didn't
Takeda said not to talk about the solo work-so he didn't

Now, in the modern Era; who -from that art- was talking about those very things publicly, years ago? Who, from that art was publicly denying it was so? What level of understanding is being displayed in various people's practice today?
I think it verifies and supports Sagawa's statements as true and as a budo "constant," yet again.

Dan

Last edited by DH : 05-07-2010 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:25 AM   #19
MM
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

Quote:
Scott Harrington wrote: View Post
Transparent Power is a book that made me TOTALLY mad, upset and a lot p***ed mad , frustratingly mad. Ranting to the wife mad. However, I heartily recommend it to anyone interested in Aikido and Daito-ryu. Huh??!?!

Scott Harrington
Any different take on the book now?

Mark
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:28 AM   #20
MM
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

It's funny that the book states Sagawa got aiki at 17. Then one reads a bit further on that sometime in Sagawa's adult life, he was trying to figure out how to be "sticky". He worked with women specifically on that. And to read that he was working on it because Takeda could do it. So, sometime in Sagawa's adult life, he's still working on how to do things Takeda could do. Being "sticky" is part of having aiki.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:30 AM   #21
MM
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

Interesting part of the book (thanks Steven!) is where it states that learning to become hard to throw is much easier than learning to throw someone else. This ties in to the current yonkyo thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18194) where it's easy to learn to cancel out a joint lock.
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:23 AM   #22
DH
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Interesting part of the book (thanks Steven!) is where it states that learning to become hard to throw is much easier than learning to throw someone else. This ties in to the current yonkyo thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18194) where it's easy to learn to cancel out a joint lock.
True, Funny to read the comment in the other thread where that guy relegated that to "resistance" and "jin" huh? It is interesting to see where others are coming from in there training. I'm not saying a word
So as you know, there are things that are the other side of the same coin that simply work in defense or offense that rely on the principle of non-resistance. but he doesn't discuss even some very basic things that could have been spelled out. I think it is very interesting that he chose not to discuss principles that have a high percentage of success. Think of what's up on my site right now. Think of that in sword and stick, no way in....against "no-resistance." Why didn't he talk about that since we now know he taught it?

It would also be interesting to see how far he took or knew about creating a center outside the body that you can control, walk through and around. He never spoke about that either but it is the flip side of "sustaining" kuzushi on contact. That's some of the key questions I would have loved to have tested him on. He hinted at some things but completely ignored or failed to mention things I think are more important. It would have been fascinating to have felt how he responded to the same conditioning model expressed more fully in active cancellation and reversal and whether he went there or not? He never discussed it. At least he got it out there that the key wasn't ever the waza in the first place, even though it won't change anything for the majority it opened the eyes of some.
Dan
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:05 PM   #23
Buck
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

Due to the many posts about this book, I had to read it. So shortly after it was published in English, I read it. I have held my opinions until now for the same reason tea is brewed.

Because parts of my review parallels the general opinions of others, like it's not an instructional book etc. I will skip that and provide what I feel is more specific to me in an overview.

Is the book good, yes. Lot of martial arts books are very technical and not motivating. I lend this book to be something equivalent to an autobiography (with a ghost writer who throws in his 2 cents) of any sports superstar or legend. It is done very much in the Japanese and Chinese traditional model of writing any martial art's book. That is having a student write down what the master said. This parallels books like that of Musashi's and Sun Tzu's. Therefore, makes it very popular and lends credibility among Japanese readers. It's written in formal model say like a great American novel about a sports legend. The thing here though Segawa wasn't well known in the public or martial arts world, in comparison to say O'Sensei.

Most people didn't know about Segawa until after his death per the book; Aikido Journal did do an interview with him. The interview was didn't provide the same depth or motivation. It wasn't revealing at all compared to the book. The interview was done in a typical Japanese martial art interview that wasn't controlled by Segawa who wasn't open at all about himself as in the book. It was a mantle article. I believe a Japanese news reporter also interviewed Segawa with the same results. Therefore, Segawa was relatively unknown. The public had no idea of who he was or what his abilities where, only a very few were aware of Segawa. Those few where seemingly hand picked by Segawa who stayed extremely private and selective.

The book, as some have pointed out does have layers of Segawa's personality which upon an initial read, can come off in English as an ego manic and braggart. Though more uncomfortable for me is the blending of the author's gushing on about his sensei and what Segawa was crafting per dictation to the author. Segawa was crafting a public image of himself, remember the public didn't know him or his skill.

Most of the book we have to go on Segawa's account of events and people that he uses to legitimize himself as well as discounting others. There are few solid footprints that attest to Segawa's accounts of events and connections. Yes, his sensei was Takeda, but that relationship we must depend on Segawa's account much as the whole book, as anyone who could of confirmed or refuted Segawa had already passed away.

Segawa was a reclusive martial artist, who was very selective and conservative with his image and those he taught. The book seems to do a 180 degree turn to promote Segawa, putting him in a spot light he wasn't in during his lifetime.

The book was very motivating but not unique. Much of what he said can be found in other well known books about martial arts, and is staple martial arts dictums and propaganda. O'Sensei's book has been criticized for him doing the same thing, a type of recycling information, for lack of a better term. But Doing so, may be a common device in Japanese martial arts literature. But, Segawa does it without abstract or mystical prose. There is no decoding in that sense to interfere with the read.

But, Segawa does seem to code things in his words and by what he doesn't say, again a traditional device that may lend to the public credibility of Segawa, who had never seen his skill publicly.
The coding doesn't lend to revealing technique as mentioned, rather insight into the check list of martial arts concepts. I think this lends to Segawa's depth in knowledge about understanding martial concepts and their application, in place of demonstration. It is like some you need to hire for a job, and by the prospective's explanation of a concept you are convinced he knows what he is talking about, and can do the job. Even before he starts.

Segawa was a great motivative speaker, and his student Kimura a good writer. That is evident by the popularity of the book in Japan. The Japanese love book's like Segawa's because it is about them, and it models a great book for them. Much like we love a great American novel. And much like a good motivational and inspirational speakers. This lends to Segawa’s greatest measurable skill.

Generally, I feel the book does a great job (vs. what we see by the attempts of McdDojo's and hack martial artists) of self-promotion in a way that is inspiring for some. Overall, the book is much like an old school basketball player no one has ever seen who writes about how great he is. We can easily discern that Segawa isn't a McDojo or a hack. That he has a solid understanding of martial arts concepts as applied in how he did the book and within the book. He has put himself now on everyone's lips, he has gotten a huge public spot light and has become a legend means of words printed with ink on pulp.

How Segawa compares to his peer, how much fact behind his claims and accounts in his book will always be a mystery. And the accuracy of Segawa’s accounts and stories, will also be a mystery. But, what we will know is Segawa has inspired many to become as great as the archetype of martial arts master he portrayed himself in this book. A market that walks hand in hand with martial arts.

Segawa and the author cut though the abstract prose to give a clear understanding that martial arts isn’t a kata dance, a McDojo, and all that. Rather he explains that the secret, like anything else, is martial arts takes hard work, dedication, allot of time and allot of effort. You don’t have to be special to achieve great skill, you stick your nose to the grind stone, don’t go
“Superstar,” don’t go “McDojo,” and all that, rather be dedicated to developing your art by working hard, being patient and concentrating only on that. And you only go public when after you die. That appeals greatly to Japanese as others. Remember, Segawa wrote the book for the Japanese only.

If you are looking for a book to put down what most Japanese and Japanese martial artists know that has been encoded by prose and verse, or unknown by most of us who got caught in McDojo's or convoluted or parsed dojos or just interested in Japanese martial arts then this book will be helpful. One thing Segawa did was he took allot to his grave, and gave us just enough morsels posed as secrets to keep our attention. But by no means are those morsels anything more than attention getter's. Segawa isn't going to shoot himself in the foot and expose anything. Otherwise it would strip him of his popularity and image. It was just a different way to keep things secret and inciting. The same model as so many recognized popular Japanese martial artists did including O'Sensei .That is the greatest secret in the book IMO.

BTW, image isn't it everything? It is important if you want to be known for something. The book is a good thought out well done publicity piece that is enjoyable to read.

Last edited by Buck : 07-12-2010 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:17 PM   #24
Patrick Hutchinson
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

"I have held my opinions until now for the same reason tea is brewed"
What did you do, wave the teabag at the water?
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:20 PM   #25
Buck
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Re: "Transparent Power" Book

The book also gives insight to how martial arts should be practiced vs the kata dancing, McDojos, etc. that martial arts have become in the US. If you want to get back to basic, to see how Japanese martial arts should be and how the Japanese see it, the book is good for that as well. It is like having a old school basketball player talk what it takes to be a pro basketball player vs. some sports announcer describe it, or a amateur, or hack pick up player talk about it.
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