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Old 12-07-2010, 08:31 PM   #101
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
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Re: Golden Center Sword

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Hi Graham,

Here you seem to be suggesting that none of these folks who have criticized your training have experienced ki-based training. Is that the case?

Are you saying your practice is unconcerned with remaining standing after someone attacks you? Or that it is a secondary or tertiary concern compared to generating an enjoyable, healthy feeling?
My meager sense of O Sensei's intent for Aikido was that, yes, on the whole it should feel good, but that "harmonization" has more to do with operating in accordance/concordance with natural laws/forces/strengths. Love is the ki we try to imbue our movements with so we cause as little harm as possible. In other words, sometimes we may need to let the attacker hit us for the greater good to come about, but sometimes we may also need to break something to serve that same noble goal. Knowing the difference and being able to account for both is damned hard, but that's why the need for such constant and sincere/intense training.
Take care,
Matthew
Hi Mathew,
On reading through this thread I saw you communicating to Chris Hein and commenting I didn't answer your questions so I that's why I've come back to this one.

On appearing to suggest none of the people criticising have experienced Ki based training. Well yes I was. However since then I have changed my mind to a degree.

As to remaining standing after an attack, well I don't know what you mean by that unless it's connected to the statement about feeling good giving that impression.

I stand by that statement that all training should make you feel good otherwise you're doing the wrong training. If a person is sweating blood and tears and knows why then they will feel good, and so they should.

As far as what O'Sensei meant by what he said, well I use these things as an entrance point for students rather than something they have to wait and find out about in 20 years. This I have found makes me different to most teachers I have read about or met or seen, note I said different, not better, not worse.

As an example, let's start with the word Aikido. Very simple to me, harmony-love,kindness,life energy-the way. I see people on some writings trying to say it's all a matter of interpretation and the japanese language blah, blah, blah. Well, not to me. Love is love and harmony is harmony so I suggest many people do not know what love is and also do not know what harmony is.

Your definition of harmony is one of the best I've seen which leads me to point out that there are indeed natural laws to be learned and followed in Aikido. It is precisely this point which could better be understood. For example love itself has natural laws so I translate these as priciples to be followed in Aikido.

Love never harms, nor does kindness and yet they are both enegies of Ki. They both work towards and result in harmony which is also non-harmful. So hence my statement in a previous thread that there is no harm in true Aikido.

As far as harmony goes I find most people translate it as moving in unison or even that it means moving in unison in order to attack, seek an opening and attack or dominate etc. etc. Excuse me for smiling but a little differenciation is needed here if anyone wants to understand better what O'Sensei meant by there is no attacking in Aikido(his own words) and there is no enemy.

There is a whole subject everyone is aware of which is the subject of harmony. It deals with sound. It's called music. Sounds in harmony.

Now two samurai may move in unison and strike and kill each other. This is not harmony. Another samurai may move in unison and kill the other samurai and yet remain alive. That is not harmony but he used 'some' rules of harmony in order to achieve his disharmonious goal. In music however you have notes all working in harmony, all in unison and yet in that unison the support, enhance and help each other. Result is music. Sounds clashing with each other or stopping each other or overwhelming each other or forcing each other or killing each other results in noise. It may be an interesting noise, it may be a loud noise, it may be a noise with five stars and gold braid but none the less it is just noise.

I don't expect others to teach like me or be like me for in a way I teach almost opposite to the way most people teach, I teach more like a zen master. But there is a difference, I am willing to explain in a way that any enquirer could understand if they should ask.

For me there is physical ma-ai, there is mental ma- ai and there is spiritual ma-ai and I make it my job to study the three aspects of all things Aikido and am not satisfied until I know and can demonstrate all three and I apply this to center, to koshi, to tai-sabke et al.

So there you are, a little insight into me and my way. It may lead to more questions than answers but there again if I was to tell you of my experiences in the real world you would still have the same questions. For example, the sword or Aikiken. Let's say as far as it is taught if someone was to ask me certain questions I might have to look up the terminology to see what they mean before I could answer them yet the principles I do know I teach in such a way that the student is still waiting to learn the sword, unaware that they know more than what they think for I tell them I will not teach them what others call the way of the sword or Aikiken until 'much later.Here's one little happening:

So off goes one of my students to cyprus, where he was born, to visit his family and spend a few months with them. Officially he knows hardly anything about the sword and if one of the experts on this forum was to give him a few questions he would probably be confused. Anyway he was harassed by some cousins to take them to a dojo to see some real martial arts so he took them to one which was nearby and was in fact a Kendo School.

As they watched he tried to explain what was happening. After the class finished the second in charge, as he called him, came over to talk to him as he had heard some of the things he had been saying and found them fascinating but strange. It ended with him giving him bokken to show what he meant. This led to the second dan attacking and losing, which then led to the teacher getting involved. Now he was a 6th dan and explained how in competition they would do real attacks and proceeded to demonstrate. Well the first time he had the bokken knocked out of his hands and on the second try he ended up on the floor. They were not angry but surprised. When he came back he was on a high for a month yet still trying to understand why it had been so easy for him.

Well it's all fun to me, hope I answered your question.
Good training. G.
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:12 PM   #102
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

Graham, you may have answered this earlier but please indulge me...What is the purpose of your training? While this can be a variety of different things do you expect to be able to defend yourself, expect that your students will be able to defend themselves in a physical manner against an attacker meaning to cause you/your student bodily harm?

Lyle Laizure
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:16 AM   #103
Amassus
 
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

Hello all.

I have found this thread to be interesting and insightful. As an aikido practitioner of an independent club, some points raised here have indeed intrigued me.

I, for one, am happy not to be part of the larger organisations found in NZ, but I also enjoy when a high ranking member of one of these organisations joins us on the mat from time to time. There is plenty to learn from them and it keeps our training in context.

I have really enjoyed how this thread did not grind down to a few posters ripping into each other. Instead, it appears, on the whole, a common ground was found.

Awesome guys!

Dean.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:38 AM   #104
Mark Peckett
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

Like Dean, I have followed this thread with interest.

It strikes me that the problem with aikido is that there is a quasi-religious element to it that doesn't exist in most other martial arts or sports; and that means that there is always going to be personal interpretation.

You can see this development in religions like Christianity; how many separate interpretations of that faith are there? And within Christianity there are those sects who believe that by channeling the Holy Spirit they can handle poisonous snakes or heal the sick. I don't doubt that most of these people are sincere in their belief, although without doubt there are a few who have made a great deal of money out of it.

Does not the same situation occur in aikido? There are those who believe that they are channeling ki to achieve remarkable results, although once again, there may be those who are simply exploiting the gullible.

However, as people like Richard Dawkins and Philip Pullman have found out, you can be as rational as you like, it does not change faith. It is the nature of faith that it cannot be rational. If God provably exists then there is no faith, and without faith there is no religion.

For some people within the aikido community, ki matters more than for others, and although debate will continue, it cannot reach a resolution.

I would add, that for me aikido is a tool for personal examination: on a physical/intellectual level "Why isn't this technique working? Why does this happen when I move my foot here, or if my hand does that?"; but also on an emotional/spiritual level "Why do I get angry when this person deliberately stops my technique? Why do I experience anger/fear when I get hit by a well-delivered tsuki during practice, and how can I resolve those emotions within myself and let them go? And if I can practise without emotional ties and intellectual questions, will I experience something greater than myself? And if I do, is that satori, God or ki?"

Provide practice is sincere, the debate about whether ki exists, or whether our art is collusive and not martial, although endlessly interesting, doesn't really matter.

But let me add the caveat that I would agree it would be dangerous to present what is effectively spiritual practice as an effective self-defence form and it behooves the teacher instructing the class both to be aware of the difference and to point it out to his students.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:42 AM   #105
sakumeikan
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Re: Golden Center Sword

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Hi Mathew,
On reading through this thread I saw you communicating to Chris Hein and commenting I didn't answer your questions so I that's why I've come back to this one.

On appearing to suggest none of the people criticising have experienced Ki based training. Well yes I was. However since then I have changed my mind to a degree.

As to remaining standing after an attack, well I don't know what you mean by that unless it's connected to the statement about feeling good giving that impression.

I stand by that statement that all training should make you feel good otherwise you're doing the wrong training. If a person is sweating blood and tears and knows why then they will feel good, and so they should.

As far as what O'Sensei meant by what he said, well I use these things as an entrance point for students rather than something they have to wait and find out about in 20 years. This I have found makes me different to most teachers I have read about or met or seen, note I said different, not better, not worse.

As an example, let's start with the word Aikido. Very simple to me, harmony-love,kindness,life energy-the way. I see people on some writings trying to say it's all a matter of interpretation and the japanese language blah, blah, blah. Well, not to me. Love is love and harmony is harmony so I suggest many people do not know what love is and also do not know what harmony is.

Your definition of harmony is one of the best I've seen which leads me to point out that there are indeed natural laws to be learned and followed in Aikido. It is precisely this point which could better be understood. For example love itself has natural laws so I translate these as priciples to be followed in Aikido.

Love never harms, nor does kindness and yet they are both enegies of Ki. They both work towards and result in harmony which is also non-harmful. So hence my statement in a previous thread that there is no harm in true Aikido.

As far as harmony goes I find most people translate it as moving in unison or even that it means moving in unison in order to attack, seek an opening and attack or dominate etc. etc. Excuse me for smiling but a little differenciation is needed here if anyone wants to understand better what O'Sensei meant by there is no attacking in Aikido(his own words) and there is no enemy.

There is a whole subject everyone is aware of which is the subject of harmony. It deals with sound. It's called music. Sounds in harmony.

Now two samurai may move in unison and strike and kill each other. This is not harmony. Another samurai may move in unison and kill the other samurai and yet remain alive. That is not harmony but he used 'some' rules of harmony in order to achieve his disharmonious goal. In music however you have notes all working in harmony, all in unison and yet in that unison the support, enhance and help each other. Result is music. Sounds clashing with each other or stopping each other or overwhelming each other or forcing each other or killing each other results in noise. It may be an interesting noise, it may be a loud noise, it may be a noise with five stars and gold braid but none the less it is just noise.

I don't expect others to teach like me or be like me for in a way I teach almost opposite to the way most people teach, I teach more like a zen master. But there is a difference, I am willing to explain in a way that any enquirer could understand if they should ask.

For me there is physical ma-ai, there is mental ma- ai and there is spiritual ma-ai and I make it my job to study the three aspects of all things Aikido and am not satisfied until I know and can demonstrate all three and I apply this to center, to koshi, to tai-sabke et al.

So there you are, a little insight into me and my way. It may lead to more questions than answers but there again if I was to tell you of my experiences in the real world you would still have the same questions. For example, the sword or Aikiken. Let's say as far as it is taught if someone was to ask me certain questions I might have to look up the terminology to see what they mean before I could answer them yet the principles I do know I teach in such a way that the student is still waiting to learn the sword, unaware that they know more than what they think for I tell them I will not teach them what others call the way of the sword or Aikiken until 'much later.Here's one little happening:

So off goes one of my students to cyprus, where he was born, to visit his family and spend a few months with them. Officially he knows hardly anything about the sword and if one of the experts on this forum was to give him a few questions he would probably be confused. Anyway he was harassed by some cousins to take them to a dojo to see some real martial arts so he took them to one which was nearby and was in fact a Kendo School.

As they watched he tried to explain what was happening. After the class finished the second in charge, as he called him, came over to talk to him as he had heard some of the things he had been saying and found them fascinating but strange. It ended with him giving him bokken to show what he meant. This led to the second dan attacking and losing, which then led to the teacher getting involved. Now he was a 6th dan and explained how in competition they would do real attacks and proceeded to demonstrate. Well the first time he had the bokken knocked out of his hands and on the second try he ended up on the floor. They were not angry but surprised. When he came back he was on a high for a month yet still trying to understand why it had been so easy for him.

Well it's all fun to me, hope I answered your question.
Good training. G.
Dear Graham,
If indeed the incidents that you described with your junior student occurred as you state and your student downed a 6th Dan Kendoka, all I can say is this either your guy is really good or the 6th Dan Kendoka should immediately hang up his hakama and shinai and take up tiddly winks.
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:21 AM   #106
ChrisHein
 
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
First, I'm surprised Jun let this go by. It's one thing to criticize in a discussion about how aikido is being done and whether or not it's personally defined as "aikido", but calling people "pompous asses"?

I have a very good idea of the kind of people that George Ledyard has trained with. I'd wager that he's also viewed quite a lot of video content, read books, etc. Would you care to compare your background, Chris, with George's? Care to offer your views on the thread topic?

Or let's substitute Marc Abrams ...

From Saotome to Ikeda to Imaizumi to Ushiro to Kaizen to a whole host of quality teachers/respected men, these people have put in the time to actually have informed opinions. Yes, criticism can be harsh at times. Who in their budo career hasn't gotten that from their teacher? But, I'd have an extremely hard time believing that George or Marc had any bad intent behind their words.

And even if you try to say that you didn't include them, it's still rather rude to apply "pompous asses" to the other people. Do you know them? Know their bona fides? If they are new students, they're certainly entitled to make mistakes. We all have been there. It's the seniors who are there to correct them, not call them "pompous asses". And if they've been around awhile, you want to compare bona fides with them so that you can assert your view that they are "pompous asses"? In front of the whole world?

I've heard (but haven't met) about one of your teachers. He has a very good reputation and I have yet to see him call someone a pompous ass online. I even wouldn't believe it if someone said he did. I'd have to say, show me. He's a stand up guy. Very respected.

What I'm trying to say is that I think you were a bit rude here. If that's who you want to be ... you're certainly welcome to become that kind of person. But, when you find doors closing, don't be surprised. Someone recently told me that in budo, it's *all* about the relationships. It was an extremely important and great piece of advice. Something worth thinking about ...

Mark
Hey Mark,
I stand on my own two feet. I'm glad you like one of my teachers (I probably like him as well), but we are different people. My current body of work, and my opinions are my own. I don't look at anyones list of credentials before I look at what they can do, because it simply doesn't matter.

What I said was weak compared to the earlier comments. I hope what I said had the power to make people look closer at what was being said, which was disgusting.

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Old 12-08-2010, 01:02 PM   #107
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Hey Mark,
I stand on my own two feet. I'm glad you like one of my teachers (I probably like him as well), but we are different people. My current body of work, and my opinions are my own. I don't look at anyones list of credentials before I look at what they can do, because it simply doesn't matter.

What I said was weak compared to the earlier comments. I hope what I said had the power to make people look closer at what was being said, which was disgusting.
Chris:

People made specific comments about specific aspects of what they took from the videos. Your comment was a broad-shot, without any specifics as to what you considered to be "pompous asses." Most people ignored your first post because it added nothing constructive to the thread. If you have any genuine concerns about specific people, then if you stand on your own two feet, either address the people directly through PM or on a public thread. Graham has done a fine job standing behind what he says without your "assistance."

Marc Abrams
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:39 PM   #108
Janet Rosen
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

EEK !!! Have mercy, people!!!! PLEASE take a moment to trim long posts you are quoting before adding your few sentences at the end. Thank you.

Last edited by Janet Rosen : 12-08-2010 at 02:40 PM. Reason: Spelling

Janet Rosen
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Old 12-08-2010, 05:13 PM   #109
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Golden Center Sword

Hi Graham,
Thanks for answering my questions!
Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
As to remaining standing after an attack, well I don't know what you mean by that unless it's connected to the statement about feeling good giving that impression.
I stand by that statement that all training should make you feel good otherwise you're doing the wrong training. If a person is sweating blood and tears and knows why then they will feel good, and so they should.
Absolutely, I agree. I was trying to see how you might set your priorities as a place to potentially address some of the comments made about the training in the videos, and partly because I came to Aikido without much care for learning a strictly martial form of effectiveness. My thinking was that, rather than address the appearance of the training, we might discuss the values which drive it.

Quote:
As an example, let's start with the word Aikido. Very simple to me, harmony-love,kindness,life energy-the way. I see people on some writings trying to say it's all a matter of interpretation and the japanese language blah, blah, blah. Well, not to me. Love is love and harmony is harmony so I suggest many people do not know what love is and also do not know what harmony is.
Well, there is certainly a valuable discussion to semantics, so I can see why folks would say that. However, that the homonym "ai" (love) is even discussed, i think, points to an undeniable intended aspect of Ueshiba Aikido. Arguably he felt somewhat differently earlier on in life...but then again haven't we all?
Quote:
Your definition of harmony is one of the best I've seen which leads me to point out that there are indeed natural laws to be learned and followed in Aikido. It is precisely this point which could better be understood. For example love itself has natural laws so I translate these as priciples to be followed in Aikido.
Thank you, though to my mind it's a very wide open definition and means that sometime I may have to intentionally hurt someone very badly. To my mind it means looking for both the best and worst-case scanarios to any given situation and accounting for them to the best of my ability. This means I have to be capable of being indominable as well as yielding and everything in between...again, to the best of my abilities, based on my daily priorities...which is always seems to involve some measure of a gamble, give and take, what-have-you...and that's Great Nature for you...as I've come to view it, at any rate
Well it appears my crying son is not going back to sleep so I'm done for now. Sorry if I got less comprehensibe here at the end...top of the head on a deep subject and all...
Take care,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:46 PM   #110
kewms
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Re: Golden Center Sword

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Well, there is certainly a valuable discussion to semantics, so I can see why folks would say that. However, that the homonym "ai" (love) is even discussed, i think, points to an undeniable intended aspect of Ueshiba Aikido.
Or else to a horrible mis-translation perpetuated by non-Japanese speakers.

Sorry, but if we're going to talk about Ueshiba Sensei's actual intent, we simply MUST consider what the words he used actually mean in Japanese. The Japanese meanings may or may not be relevant to *your* aikido, but they certainly were relevant to *his.*

Katherine
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:54 PM   #111
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Golden Center Sword

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Or else to a horrible mis-translation perpetuated by non-Japanese speakers.

Sorry, but if we're going to talk about Ueshiba Sensei's actual intent, we simply MUST consider what the words he used actually mean in Japanese. The Japanese meanings may or may not be relevant to *your* aikido, but they certainly were relevant to *his.*

Katherine
So there was never any reference of love being attributed to Aikido by O Sensei? I've heard folks say Kisshomaru emphasized it considerably more than O Sensei, but I thought he still described something to this effect.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 12-08-2010 at 08:01 PM.

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Old 12-08-2010, 09:27 PM   #112
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

Quote:
Love is love and harmony is harmony so I suggest many people do not know what love is and also do not know what harmony is.
Love is love, harmony is harmony, but 合 is neither love, nor harmony. I suggest that many people don't know what 合 is.

Which is not to say that 愛, love, was not an important part of Ueshiba Morihei's worldview.

Josh Reyer

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Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:39 PM   #113
graham christian
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Re: Golden Center Sword

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
So there was never any reference of love being attributed to Aikido by O Sensei? I've heard folks say Kisshomaru emphasized it considerably more than O Sensei, but I thought he still described something to this effect.
Hi Mathew, and Katherine and all.

This may or may not be old news but I shall give you a reference to where you can read what I say put by someone better qualified than me:

The Aikido Faq: An interview with O'Sensei and Kisshomaru Ueshiba.

Can also be found by just typing in: O'Sensei Interview on google.

Cheers. G.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:42 PM   #114
graham christian
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

Quote:
Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
Graham, you may have answered this earlier but please indulge me...What is the purpose of your training? While this can be a variety of different things do you expect to be able to defend yourself, expect that your students will be able to defend themselves in a physical manner against an attacker meaning to cause you/your student bodily harm?
Hi Lyle, nice to meet you.

The purpose? Well, first of all I entered Aikido because I was a young angry man and with a friend of mine discussed how we stood up to bullies, wouldn't follow the crowd of gang culture, were angry with life and agreed that even though we felt this was right we saw the end to continuously doing this would either be prison or worse, there must be something that could help us. I told him I had read books on chi and was willing to save up and go to china and learn it because it seemed to me the truth was in yourself if you could only find it. We had similar views.

The next year he told me he had found a guy in Watford who taught Ki which was the same thing so off we went.

Thus my first purpose was to learn 'chi'.

This soon turned into to improve myself.

As to defending myself against physical attacks I must point this out first. As a fit strong young man, me a footballer and my friend a boxer, we tried many times to defeat, to outwit, to test the teacher and others in the class and thus learned the hard way first.

Now, our greatest question to ourselves was could this that we were learning work in real life situations. We seemed masters of finding out so yes is the answer to your question.

I have been in many dangerous, physical situations and in the end wondered why? It all seemed good to me as I was prooving this way worked but then I realized somehow it was me who was creating these situations in order to prove. Everything changed at that point for me and I realized I had nothing to prove and plenty more to learn and it truly was a path of self developement even though the ability to handle physical aggressors was a side effect.

Now I only smile when a student tells me when something drastic happened and all they did was tai-sabake, or 'be with', or welcome the attack or.... you get the drift.

Recently my son was showing a girl around a house. He
works for a home cleaning company as a driver and basically picks up the cleaners and takes them to their destinations. This girl was new so he had been left the keys so he could take her in the house and show her where everything was.

A neighbour had seen him go in, leave the door open and put two and two together and decided he was a burglar in his friends house and so ran in to sort him out.

He said he was at the sink and turned to see this big bald guy rushing him and about to give him a right hook. All he knew was everything went to center and he joined him, he had turned and found himself next to him with his arm around his shoulders and the guy froze. He said all he did was smile and say Hi. He said the guys eyes were wide and confused so he proceeded to introduce himself and tell him what he was doing. The guy needed a cigarette, sat down and apologised and soon after they left together leaving the girl there to do her cleaning.

He said the only mischievous thing he did was act like nothing had happened leaving the poor guy totally bemused.

To me this was excellent Aikido and he was on a high for quite a while.

Cheers. G.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:26 AM   #115
kewms
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Re: Golden Center Sword

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Hi Mathew, and Katherine and all.

This may or may not be old news but I shall give you a reference to where you can read what I say put by someone better qualified than me:

The Aikido Faq: An interview with O'Sensei and Kisshomaru Ueshiba.

Can also be found by just typing in: O'Sensei Interview on google.

Cheers. G.
Do you have a link to the original Japanese?

I'm not saying this translation isn't accurate, just that many of the critical concepts (like 合気, for instance) really have no exact English equivalents. Moreover, even when a word like "harmony" is an accurate literal translation, the concept is not understood in the same way in the Japanese and American cultures.

Katherine
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:28 AM   #116
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

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Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
Love is love, harmony is harmony, but 合 is neither love, nor harmony. I suggest that many people don't know what 合 is.
Precisely.

Katherine
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:53 AM   #117
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Golden Center Sword

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
... many of the critical concepts (like 合気, for instance) really have no exact English equivalents. Moreover, even when a word like "harmony" is an accurate literal translation, the concept is not understood in the same way in the Japanese and American cultures.
Yes.

And this is self-evident, or better to say, natural, to everyone who works with historical texts (or facts). Texts from other times or/and other cultures can only be understood referring to their context.

E.g.: ki which is often understood as something "supernatural", belonging to the world of gods and religion, or at least being kind of mysterious, is an everyday term and phenomenon in it's original context. And aiki originally is just a techincal concept.
Not long ago I talked to a Japanese woman who was very astonished to learn that a lot of thoughts and phenomenons are seen as "spiritual" or even "religious" in western contexts.

It helps to regard that 合 can not be translated with "love".
But it may help also or even more, to take look to texts like "budo" and to see that terms like "harmony" or "love" are used different from the christian/western understanding.

So the "budo of love" can mean to "punch the opponent to his face with full force". (cited from my memory) It is simply obvious that "love" in this context does not mean the same as "love" in a christian understanding. (Which is the origin of the understanding of love in a modern-western context.)

It also helps a lot when remembering that terms like "love" and "harmony" where used by O Sensei already in 1925, which was also the year of his famous "enlightenment". Please look at his art in that time. (Which wasn't even called aiki budo then.)

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 12-09-2010 at 02:57 AM.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:57 AM   #118
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

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Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
Love is love, harmony is harmony, but 合 is neither love, nor harmony. I suggest that many people don't know what 合 is.

Which is not to say that 愛, love, was not an important part of Ueshiba Morihei's worldview.
in asia, we regularly referred to ki/chi/khi as gas, as in too much bean and cabbage.

so here i thought aikido is "the loving way of gasing" and O Sensei was a grandmaster in such thing; thus, i have been pursuit this to the detrimental of friends and family. is it wrong to pursuit such thing?
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:56 AM   #119
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Golden Center Sword

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Do you have a link to the original Japanese?
PAG. The original Japanese can be found on pp. 198-219 of a book with the title 『合気道』, a reprint of the Showa 32 (1957) original. This book is freely available in Japan, but, unfortunately, it is one of a number of books published under the name of Morihei Ueshiba that has not been translated into English.

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I'm not saying this translation isn't accurate, just that many of the critical concepts (like 合気, for instance) really have no exact English equivalents. Moreover, even when a word like "harmony" is an accurate literal translation, the concept is not understood in the same way in the Japanese and American cultures.
PAG. I think this is a point of crucial importance and should be borne in mind in any discussion of Morihei Ueshiba's use of 合気 and 愛気. Rather than in the FAQ 『合気道』interview, Ueshiba's views about 合気 and 愛気 are set out in some detail in a text that has been translated into English, after a fashion. The text is 『合気神髄』 and the English translation is The Secret Teachings of Aikido. This work is actually an edited collection of short articles published under the name of Morihei Ueshiba in the Aikikai's Aikido Shimbun. The articles all have their own titles and there is a whole section, Section 2, with the title 「合気とは愛気である」. The translator, John Stevens, renders this as Aikido is the Spirit of Love and this explains the qualification after a fashion, above. I think that Prof Stevens was set the task of producing a rendering of Morihei Ueshiba's thoughts, but as far as possible divorced from the Omoto cultural/religious milieu in which they were conceived. So he takes enormous liberties with the translation.

So I really believe that to understand Morihei Ueshiba's thinking about 合気 and 愛気, it is necessary to have at least an elementary grasp of the Japanese language and of Omoto thinking.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:13 AM   #120
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Re: Golden Center Sword

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
PAG. The original Japanese can be found on pp. 198-219 of a book with the title 『合気道』, a reprint of the Showa 32 (1957) original. This book is freely available in Japan, but, unfortunately, it is one of a number of books published under the name of Morihei Ueshiba that has not been translated into English.

PAG. I think this is a point of crucial importance and should be borne in mind in any discussion of Morihei Ueshiba's use of 合気 and 愛気. Rather than in the FAQ 『合気道』interview, Ueshiba's views about 合気 and 愛気 are set out in some detail in a text that has been translated into English, after a fashion. The text is 『合気神髄』 and the English translation is The Secret Teachings of Aikido. This work is actually an edited collection of short articles published under the name of Morihei Ueshiba in the Aikikai's Aikido Shimbun. The articles all have their own titles and there is a whole section, Section 2, with the title 「合気とは愛気である」. The translator, John Stevens, renders this as Aikido is the Spirit of Love and this explains the qualification after a fashion, above. I think that Prof Stevens was set the task of producing a rendering of Morihei Ueshiba's thoughts, but as far as possible divorced from the Omoto cultural/religious milieu in which they were conceived. So he takes enormous liberties with the translation.

So I really believe that to understand Morihei Ueshiba's thinking about 合気 and 愛気, it is necessary to have at least an elementary grasp of the Japanese language and of Omoto thinking.
Hello Peter, my old chum,
First how are you doing?Next for us ignorant Picts can you be so kind to include along with your Kanji lettering include the Romanization translation?it saves me looking at the Chinese restaurant menu for equivalent symbols or sneakily checking out the tattoos on the Geordie ladies on a Fri night down the Bigg market.
Cheers, Joe.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:32 AM   #121
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Golden Center Sword

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Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Hello Peter, my old chum,
First how are you doing?Next for us ignorant Picts can you be so kind to include along with your Kanji lettering include the Romanization translation?it saves me looking at the Chinese restaurant menu for equivalent symbols or sneakily checking out the tattoos on the Geordie ladies on a Fri night down the Bigg market.
Cheers, Joe.
Hello Joe,

I am fine and the weather is still quite good here in Hiroshima, compared to what you have been having in the land of the Picts recently. As for the romanization, I am happy to oblige.

"I think this is a point of crucial importance and should be borne in mind in any discussion of Morihei Ueshiba's use of 合気 [aiki] and 愛気 [aiki]. Rather than in the FAQ 『合気道』interview, Ueshiba's views about 合気 [aiki] and 愛気 [aiki] are set out in some detail in a text that has been translated into English, after a fashion. The text is 『合気神髄』 [Aiki Shinzui = The (Quint)Essence / Heart / Soul of Aiki] and the English translation is The Secret Teachings of Aikido. This work is actually an edited collection of short articles published under the name of Morihei Ueshiba in the Aikikai's Aikido Shimbun. The articles all have their own titles and there is a whole section, Section 2, with the title 「合気とは愛気である」[Aiki to wa aiki de aru]. The translator, John Stevens, renders this as Aikido is the Spirit of Love and this explains the qualification 'after a fashion', above. I think that Prof Stevens was set the task of producing a rendering of Morihei Ueshiba's thoughts, but as far as possible divorced from the Omoto cultural/religious milieu in which they were conceived. So he takes enormous liberties with the translation.

So I really believe that to understand Morihei Ueshiba's thinking about 合気 [aiki] and 愛気 [aiki], it is necessary to have at least an elementary grasp of the Japanese language and of Omoto thinking.

Note on Aiki to wa aiki de aru.
The construction to wa is short for to iu no wa [と言うのは] . Here is an example:
泥棒とは人の物を盗むやつのことだ。
Dorobou to wa hito no mono wo nusumu yatsu no koto da.
A thief is a person who steals the property of others.
What we mean by a thief is a guy who steals the property of others.

Morihei Ueshiba's expression is: 'What I mean by aiki 合気 is aiki 愛気'.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:37 AM   #122
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword

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Michael Gelum wrote: View Post
So true, Michael.

Greetings All,

While Graham has his "perspective", I also equate that same expression to that of several godan/rokudans that post here.

While the majority of members/posters here is Aikikai, when will the truth be told about those"perspectives" that are scoffed at by the rest of the world.

While the criticism of Graham's perspective has been harsh, when will that same criticism be levied upon the namedropping, "snake oil senseis".

While there are plenty of aikidoka that employ the physicality of Aikido daily, in life threatening or tense situations, why diminish it by rearing the " do not cause harm to the attacker" recital. The sick, lame and lazy that have their own "goals" established should not equate to those that push the bar higher daily. In reality, there are professionals that exemplify the basic tenets of Aikido daily.

As a matter of fact, Aikido, at least Aikikai for the most part and even some Tomiki perversions has become the Tai Chi of obese intellectuals and smug wannabe warriors, that could sell ice makers in the Arctic Circle.

"Can't we all just get along ", Hell no, because there will always be the ones who can and the ones who cannot...too bad there will always be a greater majority that cannot.

It is so easy to attack those that cannot, how about "putting up or shutting up" with the ones who can and will welcome the training?

Truth be told, it all comes down to the person...and in their own mind they know who and what they are.

Train well,

Mickey

ps...when one makes an endorsement, your credibility, ability and perspective are attached
Kinell.... Missed this one!! must be getting dafter by the minute!!

Love it!!
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