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Old 08-31-2010, 09:57 AM   #176
Budd
 
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
There is more than one power category when talking about Ueshiba. (I leave aside all the spiritual "myths")

1. The first is purely muscular. 2. Internal Power. 3. The third ... for lack of a better term, let's call it aiki as learned from Takeda..
Mark, I get why you're breaking out your list this way . . but I think from the standpoint of "how's it work?" it might be useful to take it back up to an even higher level . .in terms of 1 . . you need muscle development to support efforts 2 and 3. In case of 2 you need a specific kind of connected muscle development and then in the case of 3 you need a coordinated and trained application of the structure and connections working together in as close to an automated fashion as possible.

I think it's the overlap between the conditioning and coordination of 2-3 that's something of the telling reagarding approaches to "this stuff"

Takeda may have had an approach that he shared with Ueshiba, Sagawa, etal .. etc. Individually, they may have then pursued the same or similar approach - or they may have each gone in slightly different directions based on building on the same foundation, but through acquired and discovered knowledge accounting for later differences (heck, you could probably say that Aikido as Ueshiba's expression is a result of that - without going down the path of how it's been transmitted).
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:14 AM   #177
David Orange
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
...you could probably say that Aikido as Ueshiba's expression is a result of that - without going down the path of how it's been transmitted...
Budd, I agree with your analysis of the overlapping nature of the levels Mark described.

About Ueshiba's expression of aikido, I believe that it finally was his effort to do with aiki-jujutsu what Jigoro Kano had done with judo. He took out the competitiveness and the most dangerous techniques to create something that could be safely practiced by almost anyone to build ability and power. And he did this after meeting Kano and after long association with two of Kano's top students--Tomiki and Mochizuki. And then he added the black belt system that Kano created.

All this would allow him to put thousands of people to work in the kind of energy-stirring he wanted to support him in his (entirely different) job of shaman and bridge between Heaven and Earth. So his aikido was his alone (according to Mochizuki: "Nobody does Ueshiba's aikido.") but he gave "another" aikido to the world.

Best to you.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 08-31-2010, 10:36 AM   #178
Michael Hackett
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

In 1953 it is hardly likely that the MPs were hardened combat veterans. The vast majority of veterans were discharged from service during 1945 and 1946, leaving only a cadre of experienced officers and non-commissioned officers to lead a very small military of rather inexperienced enlisted folks. For the most part US Army troops of the post-war period were actually poorly trained and poorly equipped, as evidenced by the severe drubbing they took at the start of the Korean Conflict. Clearly I don't know the biography of the individuals shown in the film clip, but I doubt that they were hardened combat vets with extensive self-defense training and experience.

On another note, most MPs of the time served in roles as gate guards and internal security on military posts, with only a relatively few serving in a "police patrol" function. And while servicemen did, and still do, sometimes get out of line, they still have a sense of military discipline about them and usually yield to military authority.

They all appear to be big, healthy young men, but not a great challenge to an experienced martial artist with years of practice and experience.

Michael
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:48 AM   #179
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
The greatest evidence to me of his power and skill has always been the respect of powerful budoka who were his peers.
Ellis, do you know how many of Ueshiba peers stopped what they were training and joined the kobukan?
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:50 AM   #180
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

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Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
In 1953 it is hardly likely that the MPs were hardened combat veterans.
To bring this thread back to the original post quite nicely, I believe Iwata Sensei was an MP in the Japanese army and this was how he encountered Ueshiba Sensei.

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:50 AM   #181
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

This is from the thread "Baseline skillset post #1634, http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...mes#post207173

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
Phil Davison over at the Aikido Journal forum made an interesting observation the other day about watching the 1935 Asahi film at what may be closer to the actual speed it was originally filmed at, and how that may change the conclusions a viewer would draw:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/forums/...ic.php?t=11895

Apart from martial arts, I'm a video editor by trade.

I've been watching the 1935 film from the Asahi News dojo, and I thought I noticed something wrong. The motion is wrong. They have the jerky motion that you can see in incorrectly transferred silent film.

The professional film standard is 24 frames per second (fps), however you can get acceptable motion at lower speeds. If you shoot at 18 frames per second the result looks OK, although not quite as smooth, and you use less film. Film is expensive. There is no way of knowing what speed an old film was shot at since many cameras were adjustable.

If the 1935 film was shot at 18 fps and then transferred to video at 24 fps this equates to a 33% speed increase, that's a little faster than the way Jackie Chan movies are shot.

So to test this I took the DVD apart and changed the speed to 75% (which is how the math works out) and discovered to my surprise a whole new look on the material.

I am sure the speed is correct when slowed to 75% because when viewed slower the fast movements are still very fast, and the flow of all the movements is much more natural. When seen faster everyone's footwork is almost superhumanly fast, most notably between the techniques as they are getting into position. If you watch the flapping of the hakama they look more natural at 75%.

This will require further study, but here are a few observations -

Ueshiba Sensei's kiai is audible. In two of the multiple grab techniques (e.g. the last technique in the film) on the 24fps video there is a sound like someone trod on a cat's tail. When the speed is lowered the pitch of the audio drops a little as well. The squeak becomes a rather frightening kiai.

The energy level exhibited by Ueshiba ramps up gradually during the film. The opening suwariwaza looks rather casual, the closing section looks much more energetic. Ueshiba looks like he is taking the injunction from the book Budo "Fill your body with ki" seriously.

The overall feel is quite different. The energy does not look nearly so electric. At first I was quite disappointed, but having watched it at the corrected speed I'm starting to revise my opinion. The energy exhibited is different, not necessarily worse. It's very interesting when viewed alongside Ellis Amdur's 'Hidden in pain sight' blogs.
What was the camera speed ( frames per second ) of cameras in the early fifties?

David

Last edited by dps : 08-31-2010 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:55 AM   #182
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
Mike,

Can you comment on what you feel is different between internal power to soft ghostlike technique? Do you see this as being any different than the "wrestling an empty jacket" comments told about the old time judo guys?
I got the impression from being uke for Maruyama Sensei (I should add for clarity that this has happened to me only twice so far so make of that what you will) that it was very much like wrestling the empty jacket, but with the distinct impression that should he wish to he could fill the jacket with something rather substantial. In other words a ghost of a large rock not the ghost of a man. Don't have time to elaborate any further sadly.

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:36 AM   #183
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

O'Sensei made plain that the aikido he learned was not how he wanted his students to learn. He altered his techniques and teaching methods to allow students to learn aikido without the prerequisite education he experienced.

While O'Sensei was given a teaching certificate in Daito Ryu, I do not believe he was lauded for significant experience in other Japanese martial arts, although he did train in several other arts prior to consolidating his aiki budo into aikido. I believe from this experience he extracted several key elements of combat strategy and physical interaction:

1. O'Sensei stressed the concept of initial victory and the importance of instantly dominating your partner. In Shioda Sensei's biography, he quotes O'Sensei as saying, "In aikido winners and losers are decided in a flash." It is indeed so. Unless you overcome your opponent with a single blow, you cannot call your art a 'budo.'" O'Sensei used words like domination and victory in many of his writings and his early students also demonstrate a similar perspective.
2. O'Sensei developed a precise series of techniques that use mechanical advantage and stress physical weakness. Aikido techniques themselves are not unique to martial arts, but rather are almost copied from other arts, but embellished or altered in small manner.
3. O'Sensei recognized that people responded to specific stimulus in a manner advantageous to manipulation. Further, he noticed different responses between people with body awareness and those without (read fighting experience here).

It seems [at least these, if not others] these principles are prevalent in aikido and also consistent with instruction received from O'Sensei and disseminated by his students.

Two elements not on this list are the development of aiki and a working (if not competent) knowledge of basic fighting. Ironically, I do not believe these points are "taught" in aikido class. That is not to say individual instructors do not provide this education, but it is to say that these elements do not exist in mainstream aikido. In fact, I recall a recent interview with Gleason Sensei who advocated that we do not teach aiki in aikido.

It is these two points that I think separate our aikido from what O'Sensei practiced. I think these two elements above others would be the starting point to evaluate what made O'Sensei better. It is in this vein I read my aikido materials.

We have all seen enough media to know that rarely is it 100% reflective of the actual subject. We also do not have the luxury of cross-referencing much of the material against its sources, many of whom are deceased. That will make for a tough empirical argument...
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:42 AM   #184
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Robert Smith and Ueshiba
Egads! This is enlightening, and I'm surprised I hadn't seen it until now, especially considering that it was written so long ago (1988 -- though its content stretches back much further).

This part is especially interesting:

Quote:
And it's a crying shame. I wrote about my aikido practice in Tokyo in the September 1961 issue of the Budokwai quarterly Judo: "The teaching is based on the deductive principle watch and do! It was arduous but funů . My earlier evaluation that there is still a lot of unfunctional material in aikido still holds. There are too many wide circles, multiple moves, and derring-do dance steps...."
This is important in the larger context of what O'Sensei did, how/if he transmitted the art, and how Ueshiba K. changed things.

The discussions about Ueshiba M.'s power often devolve into very broad statements: "O'Sensei was powerful and his technique was amazing." and then "His son watered down the art and made it more flowery, softer, and gave it bigger movements -- thereby making it more attractive to a wider audience but also less effective."

All of that may be true. It could be that O'Sensei's real stuff happened prior to WWII, after which his son took over and "the old man" just floated around giving inscrutable talks and doing neat demonstrations whenever he dropped in on a class.

The result is a dichotomy: you can either have large flowing technique (which, incidentally, relies on some help from uke) or powerful technique, but not both.

Yet O'Sensei seems to have been both powerful and to have had large flowing techniques (that, incidentally, relied on some help from uke).

In short, it's possible that to develop power like O'Sensei, we need, among a lot of other things, some collusion from our partners to really learn how to do things.

Yet, historically, the collusion seems to have had the opposite effect on students of aikido. The article linked above says as much in a quote from a friend of the author from 1996.

So how did we end up with, simultaneously, O'Sensei and Tohei seemingly having great skill/power/aiki and a legacy of a training methodology in aikido that seems to undermine that skill/power?

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Old 08-31-2010, 11:58 AM   #185
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

We have a very strong judo club at the Shindai Dojo as well as kendo and karate and iaijutsu and once a year we have a dojo day and all the teachers teach a class and then invite everyone to try it. It is a great learning experience. I get the same response every year WOW that really works! I would think the other teachers get it as well. Strong judo players and teachers (American, Spanish, French and Japanese) we all get to touch one another and many stereotypes are broken and when they see how and why it works they get a new appreciation for what once looked bogus to them. The thing is all of my Aikido teachers at the Shindai dojo (Shodan to Godan) have nothing to prove and are not interested in challenges however everyone is welcome in class.

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Old 08-31-2010, 12:16 PM   #186
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Two elements not on this list are the development of aiki and a working (if not competent) knowledge of basic fighting. Ironically, I do not believe these points are "taught" in aikido class. That is not to say individual instructors do not provide this education, but it is to say that these elements do not exist in mainstream aikido. In fact, I recall a recent interview with Gleason Sensei who advocated that we do not teach aiki in aikido.
Funnily enough, Gleason Sensei seems to be actually teaching aiki here at a public seminar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOs_Gnigupo

Also relevant, interview with Gleason Sensei: http://shobuaikido.ning.com/profiles...illiam-gleason
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:21 PM   #187
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
To bring this thread back to the original post quite nicely, I believe Iwata Sensei was an MP in the Japanese army and this was how he encountered Ueshiba Sensei.
I think Iwata Sensei was an Military Police Academy instructor at that time.

Quote:
I entered a former junior high school in 1927, and started learning kendo. I got my 3rd dan in August 1933, and I taught kendo as an assistant teacher for 4 months at the junior high school. In December 1933 I joined the army in Manchuria. I became a military policeman in 1935, and started to educate military policemen in April 1936. I kept teaching until August 1945. Since Japan was the defeated nation of the Pacific War, I became a prisoner in Russia in 1945. I only came back to Japan in December 1949.

I met Ueshiba Sensei at Military Police school, where he was giving lessons. I was there for two months just before the war broke. The training was meant to be for a year but war broke out after two months and it stopped. Ueshiba Sensei was a very special person. No one could reach him, he moved so well and his spirit was so strong. Even when ten people tried to attack him at the same time they were not able to catch him. But when he caught hold of your hand you had to move where he wanted you to move or your arm would break.
Quote:
Ueshiba Morihei, an aiki-jutsu teacher left me the strongest Yoin of his carriage. He coached me directly at the military police school at Nakani in Tokyo in 1942
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:45 PM   #188
Michael Hackett
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

I was writing about the American MPs. The vast majority of combat hardened American MPs were back home, trying to live their peacetime dreams by 1953. I am merely suggesting that those young men on the rooftop (without knowing for a fact)were probably on their first enlistment and didn't have combat experience or extensive training. They were big, strapping kids, in apparent good health and fitness, but still wouldn't have presented a great challenge to O Sensei. Simply put, that he was able to handle them so easily is testimony to his years of training and experience. Whether that transcended what others could have done in the same situation I will leave to Ellis, Marc, David and others.

Michael
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:04 PM   #189
Jim Sorrentino
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
What was the camera speed ( frames per second ) of cameras in the early fifties?David
David,

Phil Davison expanded his forum post into an excellent article on this subject at http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=704. What is the relationship between Ueshiba Morihei's power (as Ellis has described it) and the ability he displays in the 1935 Asahi News film?

Jim

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Old 08-31-2010, 06:13 PM   #190
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

Quote:
Jim Sorrentino wrote: View Post
David,

Phil Davison expanded his forum post into an excellent article on this subject at http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=704. What is the relationship between Ueshiba Morihei's power (as Ellis has described it) and the ability he displays in the 1935 Asahi News film?
It says to me in light of the analysis of the whole film in the link provided, that he was very critically observant, self-critical, and translated his observations into critical performance. I find that useful in light of Jon's points:
Quote:
Jon Reading wrote:
Two elements not on this list are the development of aiki and a working (if not competent) knowledge of basic fighting. Ironically, I do not believe these points are "taught" in aikido class. That is not to say individual instructors do not provide this education, but it is to say that these elements do not exist in mainstream aikido.
The lack, I find, on both points, is that both training in competent fighting and of aiki as a standalone endeavor -- devolves into coup counting on the one hand and the physical training equivalent of "conspiracy theories" on the other hand in which there is deep intolerance to those not "in the know" -- (bordering, IMO, on near-fetish). Neither attitude (coup-counting or power-seeking) is conducive to actually watching and feeling what is going on, grasping its significance, and adapting it systemically into one's own actions -- which is where Morihei Ueshiba's power truly lay. No one can actually teach that to any one.

This view is consistent with the intentional culling of the training to emphasize these observational, contemplative aspects (in the physical sense) of aikido training -- in preference to those that demonstrate mere displays of power, competitive skill in a system of fixed rules, or forms, or ability to manipulate the opponent as a sideshow exercise.

Whether this is more or less efficient than some methods or approaches being advanced currently is -- frankly -- beside the point.

My

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:39 PM   #191
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

Demetrio asked:
Quote:
Ellis, do you know how many of Ueshiba peers stopped what they were training and joined the kobukan?
(BTW - how do you get the person's name in the quote, like everyone else does?)

Anyway Demetrio, you've got the same sources I do. Just go to Aikido Journal and start reading. But honestly, that wasn't my point. For a minor example, I could give you a number of names of high ranking budoka who hold me in some respect. Some have even mentioned me in interviews and the like. None of them have decided to quit what they are doing and become my "disciple."

I hold certain people in respect. I'm not inclined to study with any of them.

It is a different metric (quite telling, sure) when a teacher literally abandons what they are already doing, particularly in a Taisho/early Showa context and becomes the disciple of another teacher. It happens. Heck, one of the most remarkable stories was the teacher of Henmi (can't remember other name), the developer of Kogen Itto-ryu, after Henmi's musha-shugyo decided that Henmi was better than him, and he became his own student's disciple! Now there's some admirable humility.

Best
Ellis Amdur

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Old 08-31-2010, 07:53 PM   #192
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Demetrio asked:

(BTW - how do you get the person's name in the quote, like everyone else does?)
Just click on the 'Quote' icon at the bottom right of their post; or you can click the quote button above the thing where you post your reply (like i'm doing now); when it gives you the 'Quote' and '/Quote' in parentheses, you amend the first one to read '[quote=person's name]'.

If that makes sense...
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:57 AM   #193
dps
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

I did a quick search for frame rates on movie cameras of the 1940's and 1950's. Most of the cameras I found had adjustable frame rates ranging from 16 frames per second to 64 frames per second in stepped intervals.

Phil Davison's comment,

(http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=704)

"Perhaps the first thing that one notices when watching the film at the corrected speed is that Ueshiba's technique is not as electric as when viewed artificially speeded up.".

If you take into account how many times the original film been copied, digitalized, compressed and converted to be viewed from YouTube you will realize that what you see is not a true representation of what was filmed.

David

Last edited by dps : 09-01-2010 at 01:00 AM.
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:28 AM   #194
Michael Hackett
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

David,
Can you explain your last paragraph? I understand the frame rate issue, but how does copying and so forth alter the movement of the images? To a non-technical guy, it would seem that the quality of the film and images would be degraded in terms of clarity, but not in content. I think what I'm asking is, if the film is viewed at the correct rate, wouldn't that be an accurate depiction, even though the individual frames might be lighter or something? I'm not arguing, just ignorant of the technical aspects of filming.

Michael
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:06 AM   #195
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
David,
Can you explain your last paragraph? I understand the frame rate issue, but how does copying and so forth alter the movement of the images? To a non-technical guy, it would seem that the quality of the film and images would be degraded in terms of clarity, but not in content. I think what I'm asking is, if the film is viewed at the correct rate, wouldn't that be an accurate depiction, even though the individual frames might be lighter or something? I'm not arguing, just ignorant of the technical aspects of filming.
My experience in this area is limited.

It is my understanding that copying, converting and compressing video not only degrades viewing quality but you can also loose data that could cause how fast the video is played back and possible lost of frames.

As far as YouTube, it has something to do with data rates when the video is posted onto YouTube. YouTube converts everything to Flash Video format (flv) that can use different data rates for when viewed.

I have noticed that when I download a video from YouTube and convert it to a different format other than flv, that the converted video sometimes is a different speed than the flv video.

If someone knows more about this then I do please correct me.

David

Last edited by dps : 09-01-2010 at 03:10 AM.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:35 PM   #196
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

David,
Thank you.

Michael
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:44 PM   #197
dps
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
David,
Thank you.
Your Welcome
David
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:30 PM   #198
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I could give you a number of names of high ranking budoka who hold me in some respect. Some have even mentioned me in interviews and the like. None of them have decided to quit what they are doing and become my "disciple."
Who in their right mind plays with a crazy guy that has a spiked ball on the end of a chane. Of course people don't want to play with you

Last edited by akiy : 09-02-2010 at 10:47 AM. Reason: Fixed quote tag

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Old 09-01-2010, 03:54 PM   #199
James Wyatt
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

Power flows from the truth and O'Sensei's power comes from his understanding and mastery of the underlying principles.

My sensei studied under O'Sensei for just under seven years and he said the attacks had to be fully committed and he likened receiving the techniques to "electric". Prior to enrolling at the Hombu dojo he was a well seasoned and hardened judo man and would not have studied unless he truly believed it was effective (he also studied at the Kodokan and partnered Donn Dreager as his uke).

Whilst we cannot experience O'Sensei's technique directly, the very fact the greats of other arts held him in enormous respect and sent their students suggests the respect was well deserved.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:04 PM   #200
Demetrio Cereijo
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,221
Spain
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Re: Ueshiba Morihei's power

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Anyway Demetrio, you've got the same sources I do. Just go to Aikido Journal and start reading.
Never heard about that place, sorry.

Quote:
But honestly, that wasn't my point. For a minor example, I could give you a number of names of high ranking budoka who hold me in some respect. Some have even mentioned me in interviews and the like. None of them have decided to quit what they are doing and become my "disciple."
Did you offered them a cup of tea?

Anyway Ellis, like you probably know, context is everything.
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