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Old 06-11-2010, 08:40 AM   #51
phitruong
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
For those looking to get started, there is still plenty of material out there available on Tohie's stuff - but once you get an idea of what you need to do, you absolutely must get with someone with these skills to get the proper feedback for making adjustments in your training - it just cannot be done any other way.

Greg
you meant, there is no vulcan mind-meld? no phoenix or youtube online course for IS? I am shock! what kind of scam are you guys running?
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:43 AM   #52
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Where in modern aikido is another Shioda?
Mark - do you literally think there is no one in aikido today that can replicate Shioda's feats? Or are you speaking broad brush?

I whole heartedly agree if you are speaking generally about the lack of "aiki" among the vast majority of "shihan" out there.

However, as with all generalizations, there are exceptions to the rule. It is my current working hypothesis that Shioda began teaching internal skills to his higher level students a few years before he died to cement his legacy and preseve the organization he built.

How optimum his training methods were is debateable. However, I believe that at least two Yoshinkan shihan can perform most or all of the same aiki demonstrations as Shioda did.

I'd also like to ask where you got your information about Shioda getting his aiki skills from Kodo. We all know the stories about the two of them spending time together behind closed doors, but I've been hard pressed to find actual documentation of when they met, how many times, and for how long.

Could Shioda have gained his "aiki" from Kodo? I think it's possible but highly unlikely. More likely he learned certain things from Kodo - perhaps refining his skill or adding to his repertoire.

Don't forget - Tenryu supported Shioda when he first started up the Yoshinkan because his aikido was closest to Ueshiba's. Given Tenryu's understanding of "aiki" and the impression it made on him, I really don't think he was talking about jujutsu technique.

The stories I have heard about Shioda training with Kodo all refer to meetings with Shioda after he was Kancho of the Yoshinkan. Therefore, the timing doesn't seem to line up with that theory.

I don't have a preference as to where Shioda got his aiki skills. (We all know that Ueshiba was teaching DR in the early days when Shioda was a student anyway.) I'm just going where I see the historical evidence leading...

Last edited by Rabih Shanshiry : 06-11-2010 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:12 AM   #53
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
you meant, there is no vulcan mind-meld? no phoenix or youtube online course for IS? I am shock! what kind of scam are you guys running?
Actually there are, but we don't disclose those secrets until after you have signed up and paid for the full program
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:49 AM   #54
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post

With a broad brush, There is no aiki in modern aikido. Aiki is the defining difference between modern aikido and Ueshiba's aikido. It really is as simple as that.

NOTE: There is no assigning blame here, no pointing fingers. History isn't as neatly packaged to give a clear answer as to why aiki was never taught. In his later years, Ueshiba doesn't seem to have clearly taught it at all. But, then again, was he teaching it but in his own spiritual terms and words? Throw in different eras of Japanese history, Japanese culture, a World War, etc, and you get quite a mixed bag of events.
Mark,

I don't disagree with anything you said, but I'm not sure what value the fire and brimstone aiki talk is going to have long term. Everybody who had "something", put in the time to get it. While we talk about Shioda, Ueshiba and others and this sub-10 year mark, those guys trained for like 8 hours every day to get what they had. Now granted, one can cut that down significantly by getting rid of allt he fluff and tradition in transmission methods that htey had to suffer through, but still, we're talking about a LOT of training time to get to that level. How many aikidoka today do you really think will put in the time? Considering the work involved, why would anyone assume that the ratio of people who get it vs. those who just do waza will be any higher going forward?
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:32 AM   #55
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

Considering the work involved, why would anyone assume that the ratio of people who get it vs. those who just do waza will be any higher going forward?[/quote]
Because there are better ways to train than trying to get it through Kata and forms; ways that are faster, and better for targetting what you are looking for. Additionally there are ways to move, that while not trained in any modern Aikido I have ever seen or felt-never the less fit seemlessly within and bring it to another level- more in keeping with the founder.
IOW, contrary to the internet slams about there not being any shortcuts.. actually there are. I have met some pretty sharp people in these arts. They get it...and they are chasing it.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:50 AM   #56
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Because there are better ways to train than trying to get it through Kata and forms; ways that are faster, and better for targetting what you are looking for. Additionally there are ways to move, that while not trained in any modern Aikido I have ever seen or felt-never the less fit seemlessly within and bring it to another level- more in keeping with the founder.
IOW, contrary to the internet slams about there not being any shortcuts.. actually there are. I have met some pretty sharp people in these arts. They get it...and they are chasing it.
Cheers
Dan
I don't disagree at all and even mentioned that in my reply to Mark. That's one of the great benefits to us people who are just coming on board from the work Sigman, Ark and yourself (and others) have already put in. We get a nice jump on the learning curve and get to skip over a lot of the fluff.
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Old 06-11-2010, 12:01 PM   #57
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Mark,

I don't disagree with anything you said, but I'm not sure what value the fire and brimstone aiki talk is going to have long term. Everybody who had "something", put in the time to get it. While we talk about Shioda, Ueshiba and others and this sub-10 year mark, those guys trained for like 8 hours every day to get what they had.
Jason,

I'll ask an important question here ... Who said "those guys trained for like 8 hours every day to get what they had"? And follow up with, What research backs up that sentence?

There are a lot of things that modern aikido people have taken for granted for way too long. It's ingrained in them. In trying to get outside my own box, I ask a lot of questions. I test theories and ideas. I track down what research I can.

The quotes below are in regards to the Kobukan Dojo training.

Quote:
Aikido Journal wrote:
The new dojo was used extensively and normally two morning and three evening classes were held at the dojo with uchideshi having an opportunity to practice at other times during the day.
Quote:
Aikido Journal wrote:
Morihei's teaching style was long on action and short on words. He would execute techniques in rapid succession with almost no explanation. His teaching method was not at all systematic.
Quote:
Yoshio Sugino wrote:
Ueshiba Sensei, unlike present instructors at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo, taught techniques by quickly showing the movement just one time. He didn't provide detailed explanations. Even when we asked him to show us the technque again he would say, ‘No. Next technique!' Although he showed us three or four different techniques, we wanted to see the same technique many times. We ended up trying to ‘steal' his techniques.
So, I ask people who said they trained 8 hours a day? And if they did, with whom? How? In what manner?

Personally, I think it's a myth that they all trained 8 hours a day. And given Ueshiba's teaching style, what exactly were they getting? American instructors break everything down, go over it, explain it, and do their best to help a student "get it". Ueshiba did not.

And I ask, which is better? Ueshiba's early teaching style or the detailed explanation teaching style of Americans? Picture yourself seeing a technique once, quickly, then another, quickly, then another, and having to work on those techniques without explanations. How much quality training are you getting in 8 hours? If you did 8 hours of training with 2 morning sessions and 3 evening sessions?

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Now granted, one can cut that down significantly by getting rid of allt he fluff and tradition in transmission methods that htey had to suffer through, but still, we're talking about a LOT of training time to get to that level. How many aikidoka today do you really think will put in the time? Considering the work involved, why would anyone assume that the ratio of people who get it vs. those who just do waza will be any higher going forward?
People are getting quality training in aiki right now. And those people coming to train have realized that aiki is missing from modern aikido (broad brush).

There's a lot of myths in modern aikido that need dispelled.

There is no 20 year technique.

Prior martial arts backgrounds did not help students of Ueshiba to learn aiki (the exception being Tenryu who studied ... sumo ... see HiPS Takeda background).

Training times were 10-20 years to get very good with significant progression from there, depending on training style. Note that both Takeda and Ueshiba had similar training experiences. Testing, fighting, etc. Even 5 years of quality training in aiki will set you apart from everyone else. Takeda taught Ueshiba, Sagawa, Kodo, etc. He showed them how to train aiki and told them not to teach it to everyone. Ueshiba trained in the Kobukan days and knew what to work on. I'm impressed that anyone coming out of that era actually got as good as they did, considering the training style.

There is a specific way to train aiki that includes solo and paired training but doesn't focus on jujutsu techniques.
Quote:
Hisao Kamada wrote:
There were techniques like yonkajo, but these were ways of training the body, while I believe that using them as applied techniques (oyowaza) is a matter of the spirit. The basics went about as far as gokajo, and after that it was applied techniques.
Ways of training the body. Not applied techniques. Aiki is not a technique, but a way of changing the body. Specific ways of training to change the body. Ueshiba was taught aiki. He knew what to work on and how to work on it. Kodo knew it. Sagawa knew it.

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
I don't disagree at all and even mentioned that in my reply to Mark. That's one of the great benefits to us people who are just coming on board from the work Sigman, Ark and yourself (and others) have already put in. We get a nice jump on the learning curve and get to skip over a lot of the fluff.
It isn't that we're skipping over the "fluff". It is that there is a specific way to train aiki. That training has been lost to modern aikido. Everyone I know who is training aiki has had to start at the beginning. History yet again reasserts itself. Prior martial background doesn't mean much (unless it's specific internal training), prior martial background isn't on par with aiki, and everyone has to put in the work, both solo and paired.

But the training has little to do with jujutsu techniques.

The really big kick in the pants comes later ... After you've trained and have some aiki ... Just what in the world was Ueshiba meaning when he talked about spirituality?
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Old 06-11-2010, 12:10 PM   #58
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
.....in the early days, Ki training was the primary focus and I believe Tohie's methods will get you that foot in the door. His four principles of Mind and Body coordination are a good place to start to establish your internal skills foundation - but it is not the end, only the beginning.

.....For those looking to get started, there is still plenty of material out there available on Tohie's stuff - but once you get an idea of what you need to do, you absolutely must get with someone with these skills to get the proper feedback for making adjustments in your training - it just cannot be done any other way.

Greg
I think one of the many problems stems from the (conscious or unconscious) burden most if not all of the uchi deshi under O Sensei would have carried, from feeling they were the representatives of him and his Aikido, along with the effect that had on their egos. O Sensei approached and formulated things from a particular place, in a particular fashion, with a particular set of experiences, inclinations, and gifts that were all unique to him, and when he passed, I think most uchi deshi had to find their way forward by themselves, or in groups of like minds.

It's fairly well-known that O Sensei didn't answer many important questions for them, including a lot of "how to" processes, on both the practical and spiritual levels. Those who took up the task of providing those answers have formulated, and teach, what they believe to be correct. Because, in my opinion, most if not all (Tohei, for me, initially being somewhat of an exception) didn't have the complete picture, a lot of what they have passed down in Aikido became a practice of only a partial aspect of the art, often missing the key (or Ki) ingredients that made, and make, Aikido…. Aikido, and distinguish it from being simply a system of jujitsu based on "aiki-type movements." They came up with their own answers, but have been lacking because they weren't ultimately sourced in the same things that O Sensei's Aikido was, and for me this is a real problem. I'm not talking about Shinto per se, more the training and experiences he had that made him conscious of the deeper skills that come from subtle physical, energetic, and spiritual training.

There are various ways one might describe these "Aiki skills" - centering, energy dispersion and release, ki musubi and tracking at the energetic level, ki power, kuzushi (and tsukuri) at a whole different level, Kinesthetic Invisibility (my original teacher's term), even spiritual guidance - these, and more, in my experience, can be taught and learned.

Some people have more of an affinity (or even a gift) for this stuff than others; that's natural, and that can express itself in various ways, depending on inclination, intention, and need. If the basic training is sound, virtually everyone can get it - that is, experience it, learn to access it, and do/apply it. It's how much or deeply they get it, and where and how far they go with it that is the distinguishing thing.

Larry Novick
Head Instructor
ACE Aikido
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Old 06-11-2010, 12:38 PM   #59
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
.....That training has been lost to modern aikido.

.....the training has little to do with jujutsu techniques.

.....The really big kick in the pants comes later ... After you've trained and have some aiki ... Just what in the world was Ueshiba meaning when he talked about spirituality?
Basically, I really agree with you, except on one point. If we think of Aiki as only a way of changing the body, or that it only "lives at the physical level" then I feel we are limiting it to only that level of training and experience. To me, it goes way beyond that, into the energetic and spiritual realms as well. This is just my own personal experience.

In fact, I think this is what distinguishes Ueshiba from all, or most of, the others who "got or get Aiki."

Larry Novick
Head Instructor
ACE Aikido
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Old 06-11-2010, 12:55 PM   #60
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Jason,

I'll ask an important question here ... Who said "those guys trained for like 8 hours every day to get what they had"? And follow up with, What research backs up that sentence?

There are a lot of things that modern aikido people have taken for granted for way too long. It's ingrained in them. In trying to get outside my own box, I ask a lot of questions. I test theories and ideas. I track down what research I can.

The quotes below are in regards to the Kobukan Dojo training.

So, I ask people who said they trained 8 hours a day? And if they did, with whom? How? In what manner?

Personally, I think it's a myth that they all trained 8 hours a day. And given Ueshiba's teaching style, what exactly were they getting? American instructors break everything down, go over it, explain it, and do their best to help a student "get it". Ueshiba did not.
Well we're not dealing with absolutes here, but Shioda specifically referenced the typical day as an pre-war uchideshi as being something around 14 hours long (5:30-7:30 I think, without having it here in front of me). I recall similar remarks from others in a variety of aikidojournal interviews. They trained a LOT and of course it wasn't all direct training under Ueshiba, but that doesn't matter. Shioda himself did a lot of paying attention then a lot of figuring things out on his own too, which is still training. I don't really care what the mass of those students were doing, just the ones that really got it.

Ueshiba himself, while he may not have spent eight hours per day in the dojo, he trained ALL day. There are far too many reports of him spending hours in his room chanting (breath work?) and doing who knows what else. It's safe to say that while he honestly wanted to teach "something" to people, his existance as a budo teacher was just as much for him to have a way to continue to improve himself as much or more than it was for him to impart what he "really" knew. That holds true for Takeda, Sagawa and others.

Quote:
It isn't that we're skipping over the "fluff". It is that there is a specific way to train aiki. That training has been lost to modern aikido. Everyone I know who is training aiki has had to start at the beginning. History yet again reasserts itself. Prior martial background doesn't mean much (unless it's specific internal training), prior martial background isn't on par with aiki, and everyone has to put in the work, both solo and paired.

But the training has little to do with jujutsu techniques.

The really big kick in the pants comes later ... After you've trained and have some aiki ... Just what in the world was Ueshiba meaning when he talked about spirituality?
I disagree, it is most definitely skipping over the fluff. When you can take a 30 move form or kata and pull out the two really meaty, quality exercises and do them over and over again, that's skipping over the fluff!

Apart from that, you don't have to sell me on anything Mark. I had the luxury of reading five years worth of posts from you and others arguing against what Mike/Dan/etc were saying until you got and got your hands on someone and were able to happily insert your foot into your mouth. I say that jokingly of course, because I'm quite grateful for that. I read enough until I was convinced that this was worth exploring and fortunately had someone who was willing to actually reply to my emails and point me in a good direction.

As for what Ueshiba was talking about with his spirituality? It had been 17 years or so since I had spent any time bothering to read that stuff, but most of it takes on a completely different meaning to me now. A lot of it actually makes sense, or if nothing else I'm able to convince myself that it does. I try to reconcile heaven and earth within myself on a daily basis and it is most definitely a physical exercises, not a spiritual one, but I don't deny that it makes the spirit feel pretty damned good.
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:26 AM   #61
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Well we're not dealing with absolutes here, but Shioda specifically referenced the typical day as an pre-war uchideshi as being something around 14 hours long (5:30-7:30 I think, without having it here in front of me). I recall similar remarks from others in a variety of aikidojournal interviews. They trained a LOT and of course it wasn't all direct training under Ueshiba, but that doesn't matter. Shioda himself did a lot of paying attention then a lot of figuring things out on his own too, which is still training. I don't really care what the mass of those students were doing, just the ones that really got it.
Not trying to be argumentative, but rather trying to find the underlying research. What portion of an uchideshi's day was spent on training? While they may have spent 14 hours a day in duties, it would be nice to know what portion was actual training. Do you know what articles reference this or their training?

I'd agree that Shioda and the other students did a lot of trying to figure things out, but we have to also remember that Shioda went to Kodo and a lot of what Shioda demonstrates is very close to Kodokai material. We probably won't ever know how much Shioda learned from Ueshiba or Kodo.

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Ueshiba himself, while he may not have spent eight hours per day in the dojo, he trained ALL day. There are far too many reports of him spending hours in his room chanting (breath work?) and doing who knows what else.
To get that good, I think we both agree that Ueshiba was obsessive about training. I think he did a lot of "solo training". Which brings up the question of where is all that solo training now, in modern aikido?

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
I disagree, it is most definitely skipping over the fluff. When you can take a 30 move form or kata and pull out the two really meaty, quality exercises and do them over and over again, that's skipping over the fluff!
I guess we'll disagree here. Because after working solo exercises and paired exercises, I can see where most, if not all, aikido training can house aiki. Not as currently done in modern aikido but that's because aiki is missing and "replacement" moves (i.e. jujutsu principles) were used to fill in the gaps. This is where "timing" and "body placement" came into being in aikido. Look at the quote I posted about yonkyo being a body exercise, not a technique. Modern aikido uses yonkyo as a technique. Things changed, but it isn't about yonkyo being fluff. Instead, it's about revamping yonkyo to become what it was originally intended.

All the "warm up" exercises? Definitely can be used to build aiki. All the "techniques"? Why are they sooooo different than koryu jujutsu? They weren't really jujutsu after all, but vehicles/houses for the foundation of training aiki. No fluff in the kata/waza/techniques. Just missing the foundation of aiki.

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Apart from that, you don't have to sell me on anything Mark. I had the luxury of reading five years worth of posts from you and others arguing against what Mike/Dan/etc were saying until you got and got your hands on someone and were able to happily insert your foot into your mouth. I say that jokingly of course, because I'm quite grateful for that.
I think you have me confused with someone else. I met Dan in 2006. Prior to that, I was not in the group of people arguing with him for years. Sometime in 2006 (if memory serves me right. I doubt it was 2005), I had a run of posts with Dan on E-Budo leading up to me meeting him in Oct. That was the first mention of Dan that I had. The archives are out there for all to check. Wasn't me arguing with Dan/Mike/Rob/etc.
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:51 AM   #62
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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Rabih Shanshiry wrote: View Post
Mark - do you literally think there is no one in aikido today that can replicate Shioda's feats? Or are you speaking broad brush?

I whole heartedly agree if you are speaking generally about the lack of "aiki" among the vast majority of "shihan" out there.

However, as with all generalizations, there are exceptions to the rule. It is my current working hypothesis that Shioda began teaching internal skills to his higher level students a few years before he died to cement his legacy and preseve the organization he built.

How optimum his training methods were is debateable. However, I believe that at least two Yoshinkan shihan can perform most or all of the same aiki demonstrations as Shioda did.
We have to remember that high level jujutsu skills can mimic and look exactly like internal skills. The main difference is to the attacker or uke as they will feel entirely and completely different.

I'm sure there are still people out there who have had hands on time with Shioda. If those people have had hands on time with the shihan you think can replicate the aiki demonstrations, then ask them if those shihan feel like Shioda.

If they say no, you'll know that you're seeing high level jujutsu instead of aiki (again, nothing wrong with high level jujutsu. Great skill to have). If they say some parts do and don't, then you'll know somewhere along the lines, aiki wasn't entirely taught. If they say yes, well, there ya go. A good sign that Shioda passed on what he knew.

With all the aikido people training with Dan, have you? If you've felt these shihan you've mentioned and then trained with Dan, you will have direct first hand experience to make an informed decision about aiki in the Yoshinkan. Like other areas in the Budo world, you won't hear about a lot of things here on Aikiweb, but behind the scenes, it's an interesting turn of events.

Quote:
Rabih Shanshiry wrote: View Post
I'd also like to ask where you got your information about Shioda getting his aiki skills from Kodo. We all know the stories about the two of them spending time together behind closed doors, but I've been hard pressed to find actual documentation of when they met, how many times, and for how long.

Could Shioda have gained his "aiki" from Kodo? I think it's possible but highly unlikely. More likely he learned certain things from Kodo - perhaps refining his skill or adding to his repertoire.
If you're looking for documentation, I'd suggest the Kodokai. Other than that, I doubt you'll find any in the aikido world. As for aiki ... as I mentioned in another post, I don't think anyone will ever know just how much Shioda learned from Ueshiba or Kodo.

Perhaps Shioda learned a good bit from Ueshiba but was at a point where he couldn't progress and Ueshiba's "spiritual" discourses weren't making sense, so Shioda went to Kodo for a breakthrough?

Maybe Shioda didn't think he learned all that much but when he went to Kodo, a lot of "lights" clicked on from Ueshiba's training sessions?

If nothing else, I would imagine Shioda, Tomiki, Shirata, and some others were chasing the aiki they felt from Takeda. Since that aiki was a rarity, there weren't all that many teachers to turn to and it was a very closely guarded secret. Any avenue to get better was worth approaching. Shioda was very lucky to get to train with both Ueshiba and Kodo.
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:10 AM   #63
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Not trying to be argumentative, but rather trying to find the underlying research. What portion of an uchideshi's day was spent on training? While they may have spent 14 hours a day in duties, it would be nice to know what portion was actual training. Do you know what articles reference this or their training?
I believe it was his in his interviews on AJ.

Quote:
I'd agree that Shioda and the other students did a lot of trying to figure things out, but we have to also remember that Shioda went to Kodo and a lot of what Shioda demonstrates is very close to Kodokai material. We probably won't ever know how much Shioda learned from Ueshiba or Kodo.
I could be mistaken, but I believe their meeting was well after Shioda had already made a name for himself and had some skill. I agree as far as ever knowing just what he learned.

Quote:
To get that good, I think we both agree that Ueshiba was obsessive about training. I think he did a lot of "solo training". Which brings up the question of where is all that solo training now, in modern aikido?
Well, I think that's what Tohei tried to do with the taiso. While he gets credit for developing the taiso, he did so under the watchful eye and with the approval of Ueshiba, based on things Ueshiba himself did. The problem is that it doesn't seem like many people actually knew what they were supposed to be doing or feeling in the Taiso and even further, most people view those as warmups, not solo exercises. Then again, how many people ever ask?

Quote:
I guess we'll disagree here. Because after working solo exercises and paired exercises, I can see where most, if not all, aikido training can house aiki. Not as currently done in modern aikido but that's because aiki is missing and "replacement" moves (i.e. jujutsu principles) were used to fill in the gaps. This is where "timing" and "body placement" came into being in aikido. Look at the quote I posted about yonkyo being a body exercise, not a technique. Modern aikido uses yonkyo as a technique. Things changed, but it isn't about yonkyo being fluff. Instead, it's about revamping yonkyo to become what it was originally intended.

All the "warm up" exercises? Definitely can be used to build aiki. All the "techniques"? Why are they sooooo different than koryu jujutsu? They weren't really jujutsu after all, but vehicles/houses for the foundation of training aiki. No fluff in the kata/waza/techniques. Just missing the foundation of aiki.
I don't see any disagreement , just a misunderstanding of my use of the term fluff, but that's not problem. As far as how this training relates to Aikido, I think we're in perfect agreement. I now see things like the taiso and the actual waza can be used to build these skills and I think that was most definitely Ueshiba's intention. I can't say I'm really convinced that htey're the most efficient way, but if one wanted to keep what they're doing strictly in the aikdo realm, I think there's definitely enough meat there to get something as long as you have like minded partners and good instruction at the top.

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I think you have me confused with someone else. I met Dan in 2006. Prior to that, I was not in the group of people arguing with him for years. Sometime in 2006 (if memory serves me right. I doubt it was 2005), I had a run of posts with Dan on E-Budo leading up to me meeting him in Oct. That was the first mention of Dan that I had. The archives are out there for all to check. Wasn't me arguing with Dan/Mike/Rob/etc.
Sorry for confusing you with someone else then, either way, I'm glad there were plenty of other people out there who did the arguing, else I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing today.
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:22 AM   #64
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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If nothing else, I would imagine Shioda, Tomiki, Shirata, and some others were chasing the aiki they felt from Takeda. Since that aiki was a rarity, there weren't all that many teachers to turn to and it was a very closely guarded secret. Any avenue to get better was worth approaching. Shioda was very lucky to get to train with both Ueshiba and Kodo.
I don't think it is that simple Mark. And I definitely don't think Shioda, Tomiki and Shirata were chasing the aiki of Takeda. They were chasing the aiki of Ueshiba. IIRC, Shioda never met Takeda. There were "others" as you mentioned, but some of them did not like Takeda much and chose to train with Ueshiba instead. Admiral Takeshita was one of them.
Shioda's training was mainly with Ueshiba. While his training with Kodo was not extensive, it was what was covered, what he said about Kodo's skills, and how it changed his own practice in a different direction that is of interest. This ties back into your thoughts on exposure, and training times of Ueshiba's students and what they did or didn't get. How,does that relates to Bills own ideas on Ki in Aikido?

Time in- V exposure to correct practice:
Bill's comments, were you to hear them fleshed out, is that most people are not doing aikido correctly. That they are pursuing waza and external movement instead of ki and so they end up missing aiki. There is no amount of "time" that will change that. Change requires a shift in thought and direction; with MA that can come as an epiphany or from exposure to new schools of thought..

You have heard similar things yourself-now from other teachers, not only in AIkido, but other arts as well. How many times, in different places, have you met teachers who told you the information they just received, ( in some very short time frames) and the training they just encountered has changed their aikido forever; the way they see it, teach it and want to train it? You have heard people say they will NEVER go back to doing aikido the same ever again.
How is that any different, than:
Ueshiba saying Takeda "Opened my eyes to true budo."
Hisa meeting Takeda after training with Ueshiba and saying this was completely different then Ueshiba (at that time)
Shioda meeting Kodo and what he said to him, then his aikido changing, with him even copying the moves he is famous for.
Is it so far fetched to think that even a short exposure would change someones goals and practice forever?
And what did that change always revolve around...the pursuit of aiki.

So, as Bill noted,"Ki in aikido" is not a concept that produced a reality in movement and delivery from everyone who claimed to have it. Hence, the ki wars that happened. Now circling back, that seems to be changing again....through exposure.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:41 AM   #65
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Well, I think that's what Tohei tried to do with the taiso. While he gets credit for developing the taiso, he did so under the watchful eye and with the approval of Ueshiba, based on things Ueshiba himself did.
Again I would suggest you go back and read what Tohei actually said about what he got and from whom.
You can continue to repeat your view that he found it and developed it under Ueshiba's watchful eye. Lord knows you will find many who will agree with you. I think you would find it worthwhile to check in with what the man said and see how that aligns with your opinions of where he got it from.

Quote:
I don't see any disagreement , just a misunderstanding of my use of the term fluff, but that's not problem. As far as how this training relates to Aikido, I think we're in perfect agreement. I now see things like the taiso and the actual waza can be used to build these skills and I think that was most definitely Ueshiba's intention. I can't say I'm really convinced that htey're the most efficient way, but if one wanted to keep what they're doing strictly in the aikdo realm, I think there's definitely enough meat there to get something as long as you have like minded partners and good instruction at the top.
Actually I have never once thought that Tohei's movements and understanding were the same as Ueshiba's. Some basic things regarding center are, but IP/aiki is not all the same; particularly in how you choose to move with it.

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Sorry for confusing you with someone else then, either way, I'm glad there were plenty of other people out there who did the arguing, else I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing today.
Mark's initial meeting with me was the result of some of the infamous arguments that happened here over "Aikido ™ missing real aiki" that Mark read but did not participate in. Mark was sharp enough to just wait and then got out to check out Mike, Ark, me, Ikeda, Popkin, etc...all without (as you noted) putting his foot in his mouth. He continues to explore by meeting others, and testing it with some of the top guys -in- aikido.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 06-14-2010 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:19 AM   #66
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Again I would suggest you go back and read what Tohei actually said about what he got and from whom.
You can continue to repeat your view that he found it and developed it under Ueshiba's watchful eye. Lord knows you will find many who will agree with you. I think you would find it worthwhile to check in with what the man said and see how that aligns with your opinions of where he got it from.
I'm familiar with his AJ interviews and his claim that Ueshiba really only taught him 'how to relax", but I also know the lengths the man went to distance himself from the Ueshiba side of the art following the split. He was scorned, and rightfully so, so it's hard to take a comment like that all that seriously considering everything involved. Considering all the bad blood I don't think it's a stretch to think that.

The early 1961-ish books he put out and videos were all done with Ueshiba's approval and they all contain the taiso. In addition to that, you can see plenty of vids of Ueshiba doing things like funekogi, furitama and other things that contained movements that became the taiso. While Tohei obviously got things elsewhere too, the bouncing ball of logic tends to support that he got things from Ueshiba too.

Go a step further and factor in that he was the chosen son for a long time. Ueshiba obviously approved of what he was doing enough to let him put out books and videos with all of this stuff representing HIS art.

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Old 06-14-2010, 12:17 PM   #67
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

I read Gleason Sensei's comments to be driven at the observation that aikido students are incorrectly training and therefore not learning about the larger message inherent in aikido.

I believe that after many years exposed to bright minds and skilled practitioners that the curriculum of aikido would advance to be more efficient. In fact, I believe there should be constant pressure on aikido to provide better instruction (and therefore accelerated learning). While I saw "shortcut" expressed in a couple of posts, I am more comfortable expressing that advancement as an evolution of training method. Contrary to what we all saw in Rocky 3, using free weights is probably more efficient than pulling a railroad tie (I know...crushing). I think shortcut implies a bypass in effort, where I would argue we should be better educated on where to focus instruction and how to yield better results.

I believe the issue at hand lies [in part] with the curriculum cutting out instruction elements rather than advancing training methods to maintain a [more] complete curriculum. Each instructor is faced with what curriculum to present and how to present the curriculum within a reasonable expectation of time... Ultimately then reaching the challenge to review whether the curriculum accomplished the desired goal...

Early pioneers like Tohei or Shioda or Saito or (insert name here) were bigger than their aikido because they were the first. Many great aikido people can emulate previous demonstrations and techniques that were done by these early instructors, but that does not make them equal. I think we need to put pressure on our [current] pioneers to do more than was was previously done. Unbendable arm? Seriously, after 50 years unbendable arm is still aikido? After 50 years we still start our demonstrations and magic shows with unbendable arm? Where is the advancement?

We have a generation of great aikido people who are on the forefront of advancing our practice. I believe we need these individuals not only be be another Shioda, or Tohei, or Saito, or (insert name here), they need to be better. We have already seen these aikido greats; now we need to see new greats...
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:18 PM   #68
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

I think this is tricky because in my opinion, clarity about what O Sensei was actually doing, and where it was sourced from, is not generally present.

Was Shioda Ueshiba's "equal" because he could apparently perform Aiki in at least a similar manner as him? Was Tohei (whose Aiki skills were pretty good back then)? Does being "as good or better" than "those types of Shihan" mean that one is then at least as "good" as O Sensei, or even better? And what does "better" actually mean?

My answers come from my own relationship with what Aiki and Aikido are, and the idea that, for me, there is no Aikido without Ki and Aiki, but there can certainly be Ki and Aiki without Aikido. Aiki skills, internal skills, Ki and Ki power etc., are various descriptions of fundamental elements of Aikido, but they are not Aikido itself.

To me, O Sensei's Aikido became the conscious application of those skills in a certain manner, with a certain intention. This includes both martial and spiritual application, and for me, the sense that the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts.

To do (this kind of) Aikido, one must have a handle on Ki and Aiki skills, and (more than just the technical skills of Aiki-style jujitsu) the specific martial skills that emerge from them. But that is not enough. The "appropriate" intentionality behind it must also be present in it's application and the experience that one has, and that one imparts, to both student, and "recipient."

In modern training and practice, I personally don't see much in the way of (what I feel are) Ki and Aiki skills, nor of what I think of as Aikido. The skills are there to learn. Someone to teach them, very few and far between. How far one goes with them I suppose depends on many things, not the least of which is how much time one has, and what sacrifices one is willing to make in one's life.

In the end, we each follow our own path, for better or worse.

As far as unbendable arm goes, I don't think the issue is it's "anachronistic presence" in a modern-day demo, but whether or not it's being taught at all, and if so, is it being taught correctly.

Larry Novick
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ACE Aikido
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:59 AM   #69
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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Larry Novick wrote: View Post
As far as unbendable arm goes, I don't think the issue is it's "anachronistic presence" in a modern-day demo, but whether or not it's being taught at all, and if so, is it being taught correctly.
Or if it is being taught correctly if it is being used correctly or at all.

David
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:33 AM   #70
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

Good points Larry
We do each follow our own paths don't we, but how many are blazing a trail with a new vision and how many wandered off someone else's path ....into the weeds?

Your idea of taking the art forward may actually -require- the same sort of dynamics and trouble that was birthed in earlier times. People have noted the contentions between Takeda /Ueshiba and we had others like Ueshiba/ Hisa, Kisshomaru/Tohei. Maybe some or even most of that was the result of real vision. Vision in the MA in fact causes divisions. At least a couple of VERY well known teachers have laughed at the new IP/aiki movement saying..."It's good to finally shake things up a bit."

One could observe
1. The aiki arts were different from the established Koryu in their day
2. Their advocates were considered incredible Mixed Martial Artists, who took challenges.
3. They were openly acknowledged as being different from normal martial arts and each ended up on their own

Moving forward, where are the greats in the aiki arts now who even spar? What are they doing that anyone would really consider truly amazing in this age? Unbendable arm and aiki-age from semi cooperative wrist grabbing, and stupid jin tricks, may be all that's left in most circles.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 06-15-2010 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:50 AM   #71
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Moving forward, where are the greats in the aiki arts now who even spar? What are they doing that anyone would really consider truly amazing in this age? Unbendable arm and aiki-age from semi cooperative wrist grabbing, and stupid jin tricks, may be all that's left in most circles.
Dan
It's going to take someone showing up in the cage, winning and saying their style is "aiki" for anyone (masses) to really consider it amazing or even care. I've got friends who work for the top MMA magazine in the country and I've tried talking to them about this stuff. I've tried to get them to go to Tokyo and feel what Ark is doing. They shrug me off and say "talk to me when someone is in the cage with it". Yet their newest issue has an article written by the guy who hosts that "Human Weapon" show about the top five most underrated martial arts.

Basically they're giving their time to someone to talk about martial arts that none of them take seriously, but won't take the time to go out and feel something that I assure them will leave them scratching their heads and most likely, wanting more.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:55 AM   #72
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

I would argue that good aiki is in the cage, aikido people just can't see it anymore because it looks [so] different than what we practice. Look at the attack angles of George St. Pierre, or the center-line shifts Anderson Silva takes before he strikes. Look at how fighters break balance before executing a technique... They may not call it aiki, but many of MMA fighters can express their aiki better than we can - we just refuse to acknowledge some brute is more in tune with the namesake of our art than we are... Not to mention the fact that they can do it under a circumstance in which we can hardly perform.

I'm just waiting for UFC 399 where GSP tells Anderson Silva to grab him again because he wasn't ready when the bell rang...

There was a famous quote from Kano sensei describing aikido as what he envisioned for judo. When was the last time we heard about an instructor better describing aikido than the previous instructor? When was the last time a leader from another art expressed admiration about the direction and focus of aikido? On occasion, but I think we can do better...
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:27 PM   #73
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
We do each follow our own paths don't we, but how many are blazing a trail with a new vision and how many wandered off someone else's path ....into the weeds?
Well, in all honesty, I have to say, sadly (because of the state of things), that I completely agree with what you are really saying.

But happily, Aiki, and the Aikido that comes from it, is not dead, just... hidden.... ahem.... in, well.... plain... sight.... here and there....

Larry Novick
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:38 PM   #74
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Or if it is being taught correctly if it is being used correctly or at all.

David
Good point.

Larry Novick
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:07 PM   #75
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Re: Ki Aikido - quote from Gleason Sensei

Oops, messed that up. Try again...

Larry Novick wrote:
Quote:
Basically, I really agree with you [Mark Murray], except on one point. If we think of Aiki as only a way of changing the body, or that it only "lives at the physical level" then I feel we are limiting it to only that level of training and experience. To me, it goes way beyond that, into the energetic and spiritual realms as well. This is just my own personal experience.

In fact, I think this is what distinguishes Ueshiba from all, or most of, the others who "got or get Aiki."
Yes, I thought Ueshiba made it quite clear that the aiki he was talking about was different to the aiki that others had spoken of. I think it's fair to assume, given how much Ueshiba spoke about spirituality and the divine, that he was talking about spiritual realms and going beyond body or mind-body aiki. So maybe he thought that one could bypass the grosser mind-body aiki (the stuff that actually works in fights, and which we call Internal Skills) and go straight to a more spiritual expression of aiki. i.e. that it was not so much that Ueshiba was unwilling to teach mind-body aiki, but that he thought he was teaching something better - higher.

Could this may have been Ueshiba's big mistake? That he pitched his teachings too high and failed to remember how necessary his foundation in mind-body aiki training was to his, later, more spiritual understanding of aiki. This would explain why, as Jon Reading suggested, we are not finding enlightenment AND can't fight very well.

Just a hypothesis,
Jon.

Last edited by akiy : 06-16-2010 at 04:56 PM. Reason: Fixed quote tags. John, please use [quote] and [/quote] in the future.
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