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  #101  
Old 06-15-2010, 12:33 PM
Peter A Goldsbury AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
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Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

INTERLUDE:
VII:Hidden in Plain Sight:
Tracing the Roots of Ueshiba Morihei's Power
By Ellis Amdur

A Review Essay:
Part 3: Takeda Sokaku, Ueshiba Morihei and Their Students

(NOTE:...
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Last edited by akiy : 06-16-2010 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:29 PM   #100
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Hello Carl,

Ah, I see I have stirred up the beginnings of a hornets' nest.

First, I have known Isoyama Shihan for many years and have had many conversations with him that have never entered the public record. In the Aikido Journal interview Isoyama Shihan talked largely of tanto-dori, tachi-dori and jo-dori, which are featured in all the demonstrations given by the present Doshu that I have seen so far.

Of course, I do not deny that weapons training still goes on in the Ibraragi Shibu Dojo and I am quite happy about this, After all, I practise and teach it myself in my own dojo here.

My point is that O Sensei's weapons training in Iwama has largely been associated with Saito Morihiro Sensei and this is why he receives attention in Ellis's book. The weapons training in Shingu and Kumamoto was different to what was going on in Iwama and Saito Sensei devoted his life to maintaining and nurturing what he had been taught in by O Sensei in Iwama. I suspect that 'Iwama no kokoro', to adapt a phrase that is often used here, is being kept alive largely by Hitohiro Saito, who is devoting himself to maintaining and nurturing the legacy he inherited from his father.

As for the statue, well, there is an ura aspect to this whole project, as well as the omote that you see. For me, it is notable that O Sensei is not depicted holding a weapon, like a sword or staff. He just stands there on his plinth, like a shrine guardian.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 07-18-2010, 01:20 AM   #101
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Hello professor
Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Ah, I see I have stirred up the beginnings of a hornets' nest.
I hope not. And you're going to have to poke your stick in here eventually aren't you?

I for one am only interested in adding what little I can to these high level discussions. A lot of what is currently available online about Iwama came about from rumours, suspicions and imagined conversations, usually from people with little direct connection to the situation being described. My experience of living in Iwama and training in the old dojo has contrasted sharply with that.

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
As for the statue, well, there is an ura aspect to this whole project, as well as the omote that you see. For me, it is notable that O Sensei is not depicted holding a weapon, like a sword or staff. He just stands there on his plinth, like a shrine guardian.
I'd say consider the statue in Tanabe. Osensei is depicted in action and many people accept this omote image of the founder and have their miniatures of it even though their ura view is that osensei's hips are dead. Had he been shown with a weapon, would he have been in a posture as taught by Tada Shihan or Nishio? I think even a classic Iwama hito-e-mi with a ken would have divided people, even within Iwama over its accuracy. The "guardian" posture represents a perfectly polite tatemae behind which all the different views of aikido can politely assemble without arguing about who is correct.

I think there have nevertheless been a number of concessions to Iwama regarding the statue and I suspect that it was the number of last-minute drafts and re-drafts that contributed to the spelling mistake on the English side.

Also, I agree that the various sensei's choices of [i]embu[/I represent a diplomatic omote in that they tend to cover the more common ground of bukidori rather than going into paired weapons practice.
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:40 AM   #102
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

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I think there have nevertheless been a number of concessions to Iwama regarding the statue and I suspect that it was the number of last-minute drafts and re-drafts that contributed to the spelling mistake on the English side.
Hello Carl,

I was involved in the English translation. On my return from Europe I found an e-mail waiting for me from Isoyama Shihan with a Japanese text and an English translation. I made about fifty corrections, but I was later told by Doshu that the corrections arrived too late to be used. I was somewhat disappointed by the slap-dash nature of the whole operation, for if you are going to add an English translation to a monument, it had better be correct and idiomatic.

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 07-18-2010 at 01:42 AM.

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Old 07-18-2010, 04:04 AM   #103
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Good evening professor and thanks for your continued responses to my comments today.

I think the wording and translation was overwrought rather than slapdash. Many people were asked to check the main text but the line in which the error occurs was added last-minute. On the whole, despite that relatively minor glitch, I think it is a fantastic symbol of the different Shihan working together and publicly acknowledging the founder’s time in Iwama.

Kind regards

Carl
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:42 AM   #104
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Hello Dan,

A few more comments, questions about a couple pf points in Post #89

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Again going back to oshiki-uchi
I have my own opinions about the ridiculous passing off and half ass treatment of oshiki-uchi as weird and improbable when it has very practical underpinnings. Why did this happen? Because the explanation for it by Tokimune (and only Tokimune) was ridiculous. We are left to wonder whether he lied (again with the lies) or he was simply uninformed, misinformed what have you. But no where in the many reviews did someone versed in the traditional Japanese koryu ever even consider the idea of an indoor teaching that was a a secret training to gain power in the arts that had not one thing to do with techniques and weapons but rather -how- to do them with aiki.
PAG. The question then would be: what was the content and manner of Saigo Tanomo's mastering of aiki? The latest publication on Saigo Tanomo I have acquired is another memoir, begun by Tanomo late when he was 70 years of age. Again edited by Setsuo Hotta, the title is: 『帰る雁が祢』私法: Notes on "The Returning Wild Goose as a Shrine Priest". Saigo began writing this memoir the year after he was visited by Takeda Sokaku. This visit lasted from May 12 to May 26.

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Knowing what I know of aiki, it is MORE than possible that this training was a separate training model entirely separate even wholly divorced from...any specific martial discipline and held within the clan or family.
Where do we see a precedent in recent times?
1. Sagawa taught Daito ryu for over sixty years we now know from his own admission the following
a) That he never taught the real truth of aiki until very late in his career.
b) Why? Takeda told him not to
c) What did he say about solo training? Not to talk about it. It was something you did on the side.
PAG. There might well be a recent precedent, but we are still left with the problem of the nature of the training model and this is why I devoted some space to a discussion of Takeda's teachers. Kurokochi Kanenori is an interesting case here, because we know that he was a martial artist held in awe by his contemporaries, that he taught in the Nisshinkan, and we also know what he taught. Did he have a training model for aiki, which he communicated to Sokichi?

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 07-18-2010, 01:29 PM   #105
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

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Hello Dan,

A few more comments, questions about a couple pf points in Post #89

PAG. The question then would be: what was the content and manner of Saigo Tanomo's mastering of aiki? The latest publication on Saigo Tanomo I have acquired is another memoir, begun by Tanomo late when he was 70 years of age. Again edited by Setsuo Hotta, the title is: 『帰る雁が祢』私法: Notes on "The Returning Wild Goose as a Shrine Priest". Saigo began writing this memoir the year after he was visited by Takeda Sokaku. This visit lasted from May 12 to May 26.

PAG. There might well be a recent precedent, but we are still left with the problem of the nature of the training model and this is why I devoted some space to a discussion of Takeda's teachers. Kurokochi Kanenori is an interesting case here, because we know that he was a martial artist held in awe by his contemporaries, that he taught in the Nisshinkan, and we also know what he taught. Did he have a training model for aiki, which he communicated to Sokichi?

Best wishes,

PAG
Hello Peter
Again I see you reverting to the balance of your comments looking at extant martial arts listings regarding Tanamos ability to have taught Takeda aiki. I am trying to stress something different for you to consider. That the “nature of his aiki training”- that I am trying to discuss here might be outside of the extant arts. Therefore, we might not find evidence in tradtional listing in martial arts; be it sword, spear, what have you and searching for Tanamos presence and ranking in them. Stan, Ellis and you cannot find anything. When you don’t you all go back to the search in Martial arts. Forgive me, but I already knew that going in to the discussion. It's not new information. Done and done.

Can we move on to another possibility?
Solo body training outside of any existing martial system?
Now that we have established no lineage; begin a search outside of established martial arts. I went down this road with Eliis, and now I am asking you, to consider alternates. Ellis did in his book. I think that were you more versed in the material I am discussing it would help you to understand the very real possibilities of another explanation, such as Ellis is looking at. Though he came up with little, the little he did come up with is because he now has a deeper understanding and his eyes were opened to another possibility; IP/ aiki outside of established arts.

I referenced many different forms of these in my previous post, so I will not repeat them here. However, if we are going to have a discussion I think it best that those points are addressed in some manner before we continue as they are pertinent to the discussion in many ways and could explain much.

Anyway, back to Tanamo / Takeda
With the backdrop I addressed in previous posts about solo training in various other arts; modern example of solo training that went ignored within Diato ryu itself, Misogi power building exercises completetly outside of any ryu etc.,
With Takeda, it is interesting that he spoke about martial arts often in various interviews. But when he discusses Tanamo Saigo, only two key points are raised.
That Tanamo told him to put down the sword, and teach empty hand arts, and that Tanamo taught him Aiki.
He was very clear. We have no other evidence suggesting he was a dishonest man either. Why did he himself differentiate?
Why did he not call himself soke like so many others before him when they had an enlightenment?
Why did Tanamo have something called oshiki-uchi in the first place?
Was is made up be him as a repository for his own solo power training he wished to pass on, or was it something shared with Takeda’s father as well, or even with a family or clan?
Knowing what is now known and more accepted about these skills it certainly could explain their reputations when used within the martial arts.
It might be fruitful to explore others for unusual power that might be related.

Regarding Tanamo’s admonitions about sword and empty hand.
There is a very clear relationship from sword and spear to empty hand in regards to aiki if you know what to look for. I have seen certain things demonstrated where men with decades of experience in the classical arts did not have a clue how to explain what just happened to them. Same thing happened in switching to empty hand. Nor could they replicate it. This understanding I am talking about did not come from an exhaustive mastery of several different classical arts either noe would a research project of any kind come up with the “correct” answer.

Modern examples
I will add to that there are dozens of teachers with decades of experience in an myriad of established arts out learning aiki from others with few credentials and they are totally stumped on how to stop what is happening and cannot explain it. To me that offers yet another modern explanation for Tanamo /Takeda. How is that? Lets consider, that twenty years from now were some one to interview these modern teachers and ask what they did in their careers, I think you would here some very similar comments to what Takeda said.
They would talk about various teachers in established arts teaching them aikido, or Daito ryu or Karate. Talk about waza and such, and then they could curiously switch and say..."I have to thank _____________________ for teaching me aiki."
Why can I say that?
I have heard it from the lips of men with many decades of experience who would in fact be found at the top of your “search into various lists of rank in the established martial arts.”
And were our future interviewer (in our contemporary example to match the Tanamo anomaly) were to go and research the current " names" out there who were teaching IP/aiki to the men we would be interviewing? how many are going to show up on a list of established arts with high ranks in anything. Yet here they would be; credited for teaching a skill that was changing the entire careers of those established artists you were interviewing.

There you would have yet another present and future example of the same dilemma we see in looking at Tanamo/ Takeda.

Last, curiously when Ueshiba talks about Takeda he talks about "having his eyes opened to true budo"..and he never talks about an incredible array of waza, and when he talks about weapons he talks about them outside of established arts and only talks about aiki.

I don't mind reading and considering the discipline of historical research. I have just seen it reach erroneous conclusions many times. I suggest there may be reasons that Takeda was actually telling the truth. And that the truth has a basis in fact that researchers didn't ever consider pursuing because they didn't even know how to consider the nature of a subject matter that he could have been talking about in the first place.
I am equally aware that it might prove to be a very difficult matter to pursue, but in keeping with Ellis original intentions -to entice others with more information and means to do further research in this area-you might the first step in opening up other possible research avenues to that end.
You have IP/aiki training as separate training, the possibiltiy of Misogi, solo training within Yagyu, and Sagawa himself retaining outside of his own teachings etc..
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 07-18-2010 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:27 PM   #106
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Just reading this now after rushing through it before making dinner. My apologies for the poor syntax and spelling errors.

I had an aquantence give me some advice. He said "For some people they see writing as seriously as I see my own budo, and that I need to treat this medium accordingly, or at least as I would any professional correspondance." In other words, slow down and at least review before pushing the button. Good advice, which I need to start to follow.
Apologies
Dan
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:32 PM   #107
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Hello Dan,

Many thanks for the detailed response.

Actually, I believed that Ellis was at least attempting to do in HIPS what you suggest, though I think he had no choice but to look at existing schools and figures. He starts off with a basic definition of IP/IS, looks at Chinese origins and possible influences on Japan and then searches for evidence of IP/IS in the skills & thinking of Takeda Sokichi, Takeda Sokaku and Ueshiba Morihei. You have 'three lives', here, but It seems to me that there is no basic requirement that these skills are tied to any particular sword or body art.

What you do have to do in any case, however, is look at the evidence and it is quite possible that this evidence is completely skewed: that the teachers and contemporaries of these three people had no clue at all about IS/IP and therefore did not describe their respective skills in these terms.

Actually, I believe Kurokochi Kanenori and Saigo Tanomo are two very good examples for a martial arts historian to look at. Perhaps Saigo Takamori and Sakamoto Ryoma, as well. Their lives are reasonably well documented and they also left letters and records, but their lives have never been examined with any IS/IP model in mind. The Boshin War and the siege of Aizu-Wakamatsu are good examples of a real war, involving samurai fighting, where the display of IP/IS would have been crucial. There are copious records and the wars were recent enough for real memories to remain among living descendants. So it is quite possible that Takeda Sokaku was telling the truth about Saigo Tanomo.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 07-19-2010, 08:57 AM   #108
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

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Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Good evening professor and thanks for your continued responses to my comments today.

I think the wording and translation was overwrought rather than slapdash. Many people were asked to check the main text but the line in which the error occurs was added last-minute. On the whole, despite that relatively minor glitch, I think it is a fantastic symbol of the different Shihan working together and publicly acknowledging the founder’s time in Iwama.

Kind regards

Carl
Hello Carl,

I have not visited Iwama recently, so have yet to see the statue and the translation, but all the other cases I have encountered like this were of 'translation-by-committee', with no native-speakers actually involved as members. Actually, your comment that 'many people were asked to check the main text' is quite telling. Why were so many checks necessary, when the judgments and intuitions of one native speaker would have been quite enough?

I know the person who did the main translation and he also did his own native checks. When I became involved, the translation had already been changed, as I found out from the translator, who was quite upset when he found out that his translation had been changed and that I was involved. Both his translation skills and his good faith had been called into question.

Of course, this is no big deal and does not really affect the main thrust of this thread--other than highlighting the major problems involved of making 'official' translations from Japanese of texts like O Sensei's discourses.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 07-22-2010, 05:27 PM   #109
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

You have my apologies for a slightly delayed (and jetlagged) response to this.
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Actually, your comment that 'many people were asked to check the main text' is quite telling. Why were so many checks necessary, when the judgments and intuitions of one native speaker would have been quite enough?
I mentioned that because I thought it told of how everyone's opinions seemed to be important. Referring back to my earlier point regarding Osensei's posture, I should think the combined effort that went into the wording on the plaque was appropriate to the statue's purpose. The same would go for the English version which we know can be strongly influenced by whoever translated it.
Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Of course, this is no big deal and does not really affect the main thrust of this thread--other than highlighting the major problems involved of making 'official' translations from Japanese of texts like O Sensei's discourses.
This diversion in the thread came about from my suggestion that the link to Osensei in Iwama has not been lost. Isoyama Shihan is just one sensei with twenty years under the founder and regardless of whether or not we think things like erecting statues (whether slapdash or considerately) and demonstrations before the Emperor etc constitute keeping a low profile, we could also argue about the necessity of a high profile to have a link to Osensei. Then we could do the same with the next shihan on the list and so on right down to the unknown yondans and godans with "only" five or so years with the founder.

That is something I think is telling.
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:14 AM   #110
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Hello Carl,

And you have my apologies for a delayed response, due to various reasons, like examinations at the end of the university term, preparations for the summer etc.

I do not want to give the impression that Iwama was special, in regard to the 'break' with O Sensei. The Hombu Dojo in Tokyo had the same problem. I think there are three levels here: (1) the actual, hands-on, contact that the very senior, prima-donna, deshi had with Morihei Ueshiba; (2) the contact that the other students had with O Sensei; (3) the 'political' issues concerning Iwama and Tokyo.

With respect to the first level, the prima donna were Saito and Kisshomaru. With the death of both, the contact was broken, but it was maintained in Tokyo far more clearly than in Iwama.

With respect to the second level, you are clearly correct. In the Aikikai Hombu Dojo, as in the Iwama Dojo, there are still many people training who had lengthy direct contact with O Sensei.

The third level is less clear. It seems to me that Saito Sensei supported the iemoto model, when it came down to deciding who should be the next Doshu. If you compare Saito Sensei and Tohei Sensei, there is evidence that Tohei was at least an extremely powerful candidate for the position of Doshu. This possibility was not entertained, as far as I know, with Saito Sensei, who always had the position of caretaker of the Aiki Shrine, on behalf of O Sensei. He continued to have this position after O Sensei's death.

However, I am thinking more in terms of the strong but varying personal relationships developed by O Sensei with his prime students, especially as concerned weapons training. I think this a major point made by Ellis in HIPS. There was Hikitsuchi in Shingu and Saito in Iwama. When both O Sensei and Saito Sensei passed away, this link, inevitably, was lost.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 07-30-2010, 12:56 PM   #111
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

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And you have my apologies for a delayed response, due to various reasons, like examinations at the end of the university term, preparations for the summer etc.
Thank you for taking the time reply when you're so busy Professor.

I think I have a clearer picture of where you are coming from now. I've also been occupied on a business trip in our native UK, hence the jetlag earlier and a short reply this time.

I hope you get some time to enjoy yourself over the summer

Carl
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:18 PM   #112
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

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Hello Keith,

Your post leads to an observation and a question.
I am sorry, I completely missed this post. I was rereading the TIE article once again and noticed this as I reread the comments. All apologies.

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First, the observation. Ellis never used the term Outliers in his book. He used it in a thread somewhere else in Aikiweb. I had not really thought much about the 'mechanics' of genius, but I read the book and realized that the 10,000 hours factor was crucial to aikido.

The strictly statistical use of outliers does not really work in aikido, because there is no objective basis on which to ground the statistical aberration. I do not see how you can talk of outliers in aikido in the absence of clear statistical data about how the 'inliers' actually train.

Thus I am inclined to think that the use of the term in relation to Takeda and Ueshiba is not--cannot be--statistically based.
You are absolutely correct. My discussion of outliers above started as an understanding of it as a term used by statisticians to convey that it wasn't a term used with any sort of positive/negative connotation. We start with that as a strict meaning but then the word is also used more loosely in statistics to refer to those things that seem to defy the trend. So it doesn't always have a strict meaning. In a strict definition of outliers as a statistical phenomena I cannot even begin to imagine how one would attempt to quantify it in the context of Aikido. But I would say you would also have the same problem quantifying what made the Beatles outliers compared to their contemporaries. Or Bill Gates (although the number of digits in his savings account is probably a good start). In the end what we have to go on are the accounts of others or some sort of external criterion. So strictly we call an outlier that which lies outside the general data trend. Basically any datapoint that deviates significantly from the rest of the data. I think the usage in terms of people is with respect to performance or abilities or achievements that seem to deviate so markedly that one cannot help but notice. They are simply put different from the rest.

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Secondly, the question. I mentioned in the TIE column that I believed Gladwell had been uncritical about the research of Geert Hofstede. However, I would be interested to hear more about your own reservations about Gladwell's research or putative results.

Best wishes,

PAG
I am not deeply familiar with Geert Hofstede. He is (was?) the sociologist with the theory of cultural dimensions, right? Not something I studied.

My personal "discomfort" with Gladwell's work is more along the lines of him selectively choosing examples to make his case. He is cherry picking those examples that support the thesis. I've read each of his books although I'll admit my reading of outliers was done quickly. Now that we're having this discussion I'll probably find myself rereading it this weekend with a more critical mind.

Let me think of another "great" in history.

Louis Armstrong (a hero of mine -- I love jazz) didn't touch a musical instrument until he was 11, certainly a lot later than most people who grow up to be top notch musicians. Much of his early life was filled with difficulty, work, pain, legal entanglements, death, and certainly not a lot of time to train correctly. And yet he became one of the great pioneers of jazz music, recognized as such even as a young man. 10,000 hours? Maybe. But there had to be hundreds of others with easier paths who started earlier, worked harder who didn't have the slightest impact on the music world. And that raises the other problem. When you look at data like this you look at those who succeed then "wind the clock backwards" trying to figure out how they got there. What you don't see are the 999 other people who may have done nearly the same exact thing who didn't succeed. So we're trying to generalize about what makes for "success" based on outliers. Yet the same approach likely failed on 999 other people. We just don't hear about them because they never succeeded. Do we really want to adopt that as our training method? Didn't work very well for virtually everyone else...

Anyway, there is the relevant point of the 10,000 hour rule. That's actually Dr. Anders Ericsson's thesis from some of his work about "deliberative" practice necessary for expertise. And few doubt that he has a very good point in his thesis. But this 10,000 hours is but one hurdle. And how we go about it is important. As are the opportunities that arise that allow us to continue. As are a thousand other things.

But once we get past the notion of 10,000 hours we still have to ask if that is really what separates someone like a Ueshiba from others? I don't think that is necessarily the case. We used to produce an aptitude for programming test. They'd learn a simple programming language and have to apply it to increasingly complex problems. There were a couple problems near the end of the test that weren't terribly difficult and the "usual" solution took about 10 steps. However, there was another way to use the language to solve the problem that had not been demonstrated that required an insight from the test taker. That solution was seen maybe once in 1000 tests given. It was an elegant solution. I never saw anyone come up with that solution who didn't also ace the test. When I'd see that solution I would be reminded of a quote I read once about Richard Feynman. I can't remember the exact quote, but it ran something like this. Feynman was a genius, but not a genius in the usual sense. Most geniuses are like the rest of us, but just a bit faster, a bit smarter. He was different. He was like a magician. He'd know the right answer without knowing how or why.

We are all different in many ways. We bring our own aptitudes and deficiencies to the table with us. Some things can be fixed, some cannot. I firmly believe in treating people equally but that is the correct moral/ethical stance. But it does not follow that people are equally skilled and equally imbued with aptitude for every possible task.

The bottom line is that I think he glossed over much too much to make primarily social commentary. The problem for me is that while I agree very much with him overall on many things, I was just not completely comfortable with how he presented his case. And honestly I'm not sure he'd have any argument with what I'm saying here. But the overall tone of the book seems to sell a particular point of view that I'm just not comfortable that he can fully support.

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Old 11-12-2010, 09:58 PM   #113
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Hello Keith,

The best information about Geert Hofstede can be found on his own website: http://www.geerthofstede.nl/

There you can find details of the two essential books that detail Hofstede's research: Culture's Consequences and Culture and Organizations: Software of the Mind. Since I finished teaching my own course on comparative culture (using the Japanese translation of the second book), another edition of the second book has appeared, a revised third edition. Amazon helpfully lists a number of critical reviews of this book, mainly from academics like myself who have used it in their university classes, and, as someone versed in statistics, you will be in a good position to see the liberties that Hofstede takes with his data.

Gladwell accepts Hofstede's 'dimensions' without any question and uses these in his chapter on the 'ethnic theory of plane crashes'. (Gladwell, Outliers, pp. 202-209).

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Old 11-13-2010, 12:00 AM   #114
Keith Larman
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Keith,

The best information about Geert Hofstede can be found on his own website: http://www.geerthofstede.nl/

Gladwell accepts Hofstede's 'dimensions' without any question and uses these in his chapter on the 'ethnic theory of plane crashes'. (Gladwell, Outliers, pp. 202-209).
Thank you Dr. Goldsbury, I'll look them up.

You reminded me of other reservations I've had with Gladwell's work. I think it was tipping point where he writes about the so-called "broken window" theory. He accepts this theory on a sort of "common sense" level. And while some do accept the theory, there is actually little consensus as to whether it is actually accurate. But Gladwell uses it because it fits his narrative. Then the concept gains traction *because* of Gladwell's writing creating a sort of self-validation cycle.

There is also a rather famous critique of Gladwell that included the note that one of his essays referred to something he called an "Igon value". Which is truly odd since there is no such thing. What he meant was eigenvalue, while not a "popular culture" term, it is quite common in linear algebra and especially important for matrix operations. But the point is that he just simply didn't know what it was. All while he's linking together all sorts of good sounding concepts. So it is like he's saying some of the right things with the right words, but there is the constant impression that he simply doesn't have any sort of deep or subtle understanding of the underlying concepts.

What I find interesting is that I am sympathetic with many of his ideas. It is just his supporting evidence, while easy reading, is often simply quite superficial at best. Add in his cherry picking of data, cherry picking of theories, and voila, he can create a great sounding bit of pop music with a snazzy hook. It all sounds good, it just lacks any substance.

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Old 01-04-2011, 12:05 PM   #115
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Hello Peter,

A question for you. In Stan Pranin's Daito-ryu book, there is an interview with Sagawa. In that interview, Sagawa states that the term, "aiki" was used before Ueshiba met Takeda. The interesting thing is that when Sagawa shows the notebook where the word aiki was written, aiki was written in katakana.

My question is why would it be written in katakana?

My wild, out of left field theory is perhaps because as we trace aiki from Takeda to Tanomo, we might find that Tanomo's Chinese connections were where these internal skills came from and because of that, Tanomo wrote aiki in katakana. Takeda, as we know, had an excellent memory (photographic, perhaps) and wrote aiki as he had been shown by Tanomo.

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:54 PM   #116
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

I'm not sure I'm following your logic Mark. If it came from a Chinese source why not write it in Chinese, particularly since the characters are the same in Japanese? Are you suggesting Tanamo was trying to obfuscate a Chinese connection, if there was one, by using kana?

Also, if very literate Tanomo wrote down stuff and that stuff was passed on to Takeda, Takeda would have no need to memorize what he received, other than what the written stuff signified knowledge wise. Rather, he could just employ someone to copy his Tanomo writings when that transference was called for.

For example, we know that early students of Ueshiba received various Daito Ryu scrolls reflecting what they presumedly had been taught by Ueshiba. Curiously enough, this continued after Ueshiba no longer used the term Daito Ryu for what he was teaching. My understanding is that the scrolls follow a predictable sequence, reflected (to one degree or another) within Daito Ryu (big surprise). I'm guessing Ueshiba did not invent these scrolls, he probably copied (or had copied) his scrolls. His scrolls would have come from his teacher. We will probably never see Ueshiba's scrolls, for the same reason we will probably never see the Daito Ryu scrolls of the students that stayed within the Ueshiba organization. (Although the Daito Ryu scrolls of those that left the Ueshiba umbrella are publicly documented.) BTW, we are also told that Hisa asserted that the techniques Ueshiba taught his group were the same as what Takeda taught upon his arrival. (This would indicate a strong similarity remaining even after a period of Ueshiba's active avoidance of Takeda's presence and his assertion of teaching a "different" art.") Takeda picked up where Ueshiba left off. We also read that Takeda would be able to remember where a student left off upon his departure and would pick up from there after his return indicating that Takeda had a memorized sequence of instruction. Also, it seems that Yoshida Kotaro awarded Oyama Mas a Daito Ryu licence for umbrella techniques (I believe the techniques are listed on the licence. I seem to remember reading them of a photograph in the past.) It would probably have been "bad form" for Yoshida to have simply made this up, so they were probably copied from a scroll that Yoshida received from Takeda (Takeda probably had it made or told Yoshida to copy it himself and Takeda would seal it.) It is my understanding that this scroll exists in some incarnation of the the Daito Ryu curriculum. Finally, Budo Renshu reflects much of the contents of a particular Daito Ryu scroll indicating that either the scroll was patterned off of Budo Renshu or, more likely, Budo Renshu reflected the pattern of instruction that Ueshiba had received if not an actual scroll that he probably possessed. Of course of you are trying to avoid your teacher and strike out on your own it would probably be best to sever ties that could easily be traced to a past that wanted payment due.

Personally, I don't find the arguments that Ueshiba changed what he learned a lot that convincing. Rather, looking at the photographic evidence I come to the conclusion that much of what he did remained the same although he may, as indicated by the Manchukuo Demo incident, have had a preference for what he wanted to emphasize in his demos. Also, since I find a commonality between the Noma dojo pictures and his later demonstrations and Hisa asserts that what Ueshiba taught at the time is what Takeda taught as well . . . one might very well guess that Takeda appeared much the same (although there may have been a qualitative difference) and it is the later Daito Ryu practitioners that changed much in the same way that it was the later Aikido practitioners that changed what Aikido commonly appears as today.

Well, just spewing off the cuff . .

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Hello Peter,

A question for you. In Stan Pranin's Daito-ryu book, there is an interview with Sagawa. In that interview, Sagawa states that the term, "aiki" was used before Ueshiba met Takeda. The interesting thing is that when Sagawa shows the notebook where the word aiki was written, aiki was written in katakana.

My question is why would it be written in katakana?

My wild, out of left field theory is perhaps because as we trace aiki from Takeda to Tanomo, we might find that Tanomo's Chinese connections were where these internal skills came from and because of that, Tanomo wrote aiki in katakana. Takeda, as we know, had an excellent memory (photographic, perhaps) and wrote aiki as he had been shown by Tanomo.

Thanks,
Mark

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Old 01-04-2011, 02:27 PM   #117
Allen Beebe
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

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Also, if very literate Tanomo wrote down stuff and that stuff was passed on to Takeda, Takeda would have no need to memorize what he received, other than what the written stuff signified knowledge wise. Rather, he could just employ someone to copy his Tanomo writings when that transference was called for.
That is huge "if" I realize. If the enrollment books were displayed, why not share any scrolls passed on to Takeda from Tanomo? They wouldn't have to display the contents, only the existence. It would certainly make tracing the history of the "Ryu" a heck of a lot easier . . . hmmm, maybe that's why . . . .

Oh well, don't mind me, I argue with myself all the time!

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Old 01-04-2011, 03:40 PM   #118
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

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I'm not sure I'm following your logic Mark. If it came from a Chinese source why not write it in Chinese, particularly since the characters are the same in Japanese? Are you suggesting Tanamo was trying to obfuscate a Chinese connection, if there was one, by using kana?
Uh, yeah, it would seem you didn't follow my logic. You went into an area that I wasn't even thinking about, although my thoughts run similar to yours on that topic.

Let me see if I can clear this up a bit more ...

Take a step back and let's look at the Chinese martial arts (CMA). There's a common set of phrases in the CMA. Outdoor Student and Indoor Student. The Outdoor Student is the regular person who is training with a teacher. These Outdoor Students are the people who are taught the forms. Then when a student is accepted by a teacher as a disciple or as someone the teacher wants to teach the "secrets" to, that student becomes the Indoor Student.

Now, borrowing from Dan's theory for this part (read his previous posts in this thread), what if Tanomo was an "Indoor Student" of some Chinese teacher who had Internal Skills? Tanomo learned internal structure, internal power generation, and spirals in a context that trained his body outside of any martial techniques or lessons.

Do you see how this fits completely with Shiro Saigo and his "Yama Arashi"? Not taught judo but taught aiki to make throws not seen in judo at that time.

Do you see how oshiki uchi would apply?

Let's take my theory one step further. Tanomo is told that these skills appropriately match chi/qi and Tanomo writes the katakana version of aiki because it came from a Chinese source.

Takeda then is taught by Tanomo and writes aiki in katakana just like his teacher did. Why? As Takeda was illiterate but highly intelligent and had excellent memory, then Takeda would have been able to remember how Tanomo wrote it and rewrite it the same way.
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:43 PM   #119
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Hi Mark,

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Do you see how this fits completely with Shiro Saigo and his "Yama Arashi"? Not taught judo but taught aiki to make throws not seen in judo at that time.
Have you checked Saigo Shiro birthdate, age at which he joined the Kodokan in Tokyo, timeframe of his life with Hoshina Chikanori and if the 1886 Kodokan vs Metropolitan Police matches ever happened?

Quote:
Takeda then is taught by Tanomo and writes aiki in katakana just like his teacher did. Why? As Takeda was illiterate...
I think Sokaku was not exacly illiterate.

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Old 01-04-2011, 05:42 PM   #120
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Hi Mark,
Have you checked Saigo Shiro birthdate, age at which he joined the Kodokan in Tokyo, timeframe of his life with Hoshina Chikanori and if the 1886 Kodokan vs Metropolitan Police matches ever happened?
Hi Demetrio,

Far as I know, Saigo Shiro was either the adopted son or illegitimate son or both of Hoshina Chikanori, who is also know as Saigo Tanomo. And as far as I know, that 1886 tournament happened.

Unless you know otherwise?
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:24 PM   #121
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Quote:
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Hi Demetrio,

Far as I know, Saigo Shiro was either the adopted son or illegitimate son or both of Hoshina Chikanori, who is also know as Saigo Tanomo. And as far as I know, that 1886 tournament happened.

Unless you know otherwise?
Saigo Shiro, born 1866. In 1882 he joined the Kodokan (sixteen years old). He was adopted by Hoshina Chikanori, if Ellis Amdur is correct*, in 1884 (18 years old).

At that time Chikanori was living in Nikkō Tōshō-gū -Togichi prefecture- about 140 km north of Tokyo. This means serious commuting from his adoptive father residence to Tokyo for Judo training and back home for aiki in 19th century Japan.

On the 1886 (Shiro being 20 years old) Judo vs JJ matches, there are serious doubts they happened as we have been told.

*See HIPS, p. 75-76

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 01-04-2011 at 06:28 PM.

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Old 01-04-2011, 07:24 PM   #122
Fred Little
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Let's take my theory one step further. Tanomo is told that these skills appropriately match chi/qi and Tanomo writes the katakana version of aiki because it came from a Chinese source.

Takeda then is taught by Tanomo and writes aiki in katakana just like his teacher did. Why? As Takeda was illiterate but highly intelligent and had excellent memory, then Takeda would have been able to remember how Tanomo wrote it and rewrite it the same way.
Tanomo knew how to read and write using Chinese characters. He had no personal need to write in katakana, except perhaps as furigana (smaller kana alongside Chinese characters in a text) to indicate the mixed reading of the compound

(see Josh Lerner's post 36 at this link):
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=178850

If we start from the documented premise that the reading is not a straight Chinese reading, but a strange mixed reading, the argument for the katakana being a sign that Tanomo was taught by a Chinese teacher is, well, strangely mixed.

Maybe he did, maybe he didn't, but I would have to suggest that this isn't evidence that is going to settle the question, or even point dimly toward a settlement.

Best,

FL

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Old 01-04-2011, 11:34 PM   #123
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Okay, okay . . . he wrote in kana in an attempt to prevent the possibility that Takeda's Korean house boy might read the text (It was rumored that some Koreans were literate.) and use the privileged information to assert a claim that he (As far fetched as it sounds.) actually observed, and even learned the Great Eastern Art. Worse still, if Tanomo wrote the characters in Chinese (Some Koreans could read Chinese since they had the misfortune of living nearer to the Chinese than they did to the land of the Kami), but of course they needed to be trained to read Chinese in the proper Japanese manner.), the house boy in question might use the same characters to, eventually, name his variant art, only pronouncing it (As outrageous as it may sound.) in his NON-Japanese Tongue. Oh the shame, the Great Eastern Art pretending to be practiced by a non-Great Eastern people and naming in the manner of some upstart offshoot, it boggles the mind . . .better to write in kana and prevent the whole problem from the outset!

He was a Shinto Priest right? Better to not pollute pure Japanese arts with foreign influences. Stick to good ol home grown kana, the stuff of Kotodama!! Oh, and repel the barbarians and up with the Shogunate. (He was an Aizu Shinto Priest after all!)

Nothing good could ever come from writing . . . dough!

(Only one glass of wine for that one! )

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Old 01-05-2011, 04:51 AM   #124
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Hello Peter,

A question for you. In Stan Pranin's Daito-ryu book, there is an interview with Sagawa. In that interview, Sagawa states that the term, "aiki" was used before Ueshiba met Takeda. The interesting thing is that when Sagawa shows the notebook where the word aiki was written, aiki was written in katakana.

My question is why would it be written in katakana?

My wild, out of left field theory is perhaps because as we trace aiki from Takeda to Tanomo, we might find that Tanomo's Chinese connections were where these internal skills came from and because of that, Tanomo wrote aiki in katakana. Takeda, as we know, had an excellent memory (photographic, perhaps) and wrote aiki as he had been shown by Tanomo.

Thanks,
Mark
Hello Mark,

First of all, the question of katakana.
(1) Katakana was used extensively, even as late as the time when Morihei Ueshiba was writing the explanations of Budo in 1938. Nowadays, hiragana is used as okurigana (the parts of Japanese that show the grammar; usually the endings of words), but Morihei Ueshiba wrote okurigana in katakana and if you look at the illustration on p.58 of Stan Pranin's Daito-ryu interviews, you will see that the okurigana were written in katakana.
(2) Secondly, in Takemusu Aiki, Morihei Ueshiba occasionally writes words in katakana for which there are already acceptable Chinese characters and in which they are usually written (in the same book). For example, on pp.77-78, several times he writes 高天原: high plain heaven: taka-ama-hara (all kun readings) as タカアマハラ. Why? Because he wants to draw attention to the individual syllables as a basis for his kotodama theories. But he uses katakana, not hiragana.

As for aiki, here is a quotation from pp. 311-313 of Fumiaki Shishida's book on budo education. The whole section is worth quoting.

「合気の概念
 合気武道という名辞が他の武道と識別されるのは、「合気」という概念にある。合気という言葉は、日本の江戸時代の武術伝書、例えば、一七六四年の起倒流柔術書「灯火問答 」に見ることができる。そこでは、「あいき(相気)」を、技の攻防の際に相手と気筋が合って闘うのに困難な状態になる意味で用いている。「合気」という用語の使用は、一八 〇〇年代の多くの武術伝書にも見いだすことができるが、これらの意味も「灯火問答」と同義である。こうした意味内容を転換させたのは一八九二年の「武道秘訣合気の術」であ り、ここで、「合気」の意味は武道の奥義であり、「敵より一歩先んずる」こととしている。ここには、「先んずる」前提として「敵人読心の術」と「掛声の合気」が説明されて いるが、具体的内容について記していない。
 大東流柔術において合気の意味をどのように定義付けていたのは、現在ではあまり明確に伝えられていない。それは同流中興の祖武田惣角が、日本武術の秘密主義の伝統に従っ てその内容を書物として残さなかったことによる。しかしながら、高弟の一人佐川子之𠮷は一九一三年のノートに「合気をかける (Mark, notice that Shishida writes aiki in kanji. The katakana reference clearly means little to him.) としばしば記しておる、大東流柔術おいて合気という言葉や技法が大東流合気柔術改称以前から指導されていたことが知られる。合気という言葉のこうした不明確性が、大東流合 気柔術教授代理・植芝の合気の解釈に曖昧さを生んだ。
 しかし、植芝流が大きくなるにつれて、植芝の門下生や後継者たちはその曖昧さを補うように、合気道における合気という言葉に次ぎのような解釈を行った。つまり、「合気」 が 「合」と「気」からなる文字の構成から「天地の気に合わせる道」という解釈や、体験的悟境から生まれた自然の動きや、動きのリズムに合わせるという「天人合一」の解釈 などである。」

Unfortunately, I do not have time to translate this passage at present. So take it as a New Year gift to the Japanese scholars on AikiWeb.

Best wishes,

PAG

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