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Old 12-16-2010, 05:38 PM   #426
Chris Li
 
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
This is what has happened to Aikido... Because people didn't understand crucial elements of how "aiki" works, it has become an art of "escaping" from an attack, rather than "joining with: and attack. Most Aikido you see is what I would call the "aiki of movement" and there is nothing inherently wrong with that part of it. It's great and is an essential part of the art. But because people do not understand "aiki" they think that "aiki" is simply non-resistant movement.
I would say that "aiki" is true non-resistant movement. What most people are talking about when they talk about non-resistant movement in Aikido is mostly evasion.

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-16-2010, 05:57 PM   #427
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Hi Tony:
Whoops. I just watched the videos and I have say I agree with you. Sorry for my rude comment. I really liked the MMA one.
Mary
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Old 12-16-2010, 09:12 PM   #428
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Hi Tony:
Whoops. I just watched the videos and I have say I agree with you. Sorry for my rude comment. I really liked the MMA one.
Mary
Mary, you don't have to apologise!!.... Take it in the fun that it was intended to be....

It's just me and Henry taking the proverbial..... I'm big and ugly enough to take it back as good as the rest.....

If people are happy being aiki bunnies, who really gives a monkeys ? They only do aikido disservice and ridicule themselves...
They may or may not have a rude awakening one day.... Just tough if they do, I don't think I will be sympathetic in the least. I just happen to live in the real world that's all.....
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:22 AM   #429
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I would say that "aiki" is true non-resistant movement. What most people are talking about when they talk about non-resistant movement in Aikido is mostly evasion.

Best,

Chris
Sure, this is really more true than the way I usually express it. I was just trying to draw the contrast between what most folks call "aiki" , which is all the big movement designed to keep one ahead of the opponent's power and true "aiki" which is contained within that conventional large movement and also allows very small technique that for many, isn't really Aikido as they have thought of it.

An example would be what Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei is doing. I heard of one senior Federation teacher who didn't think what Ikeda Sensei is doing is even Aikido because it doesn't look anything like what they typically do. That's the issue I referred to in another thread... that we are getting to the point at which people don't even know what high level Aikido actually is.

The idea that "aiki" stops when an attacker is able to grab you strongly... well, if that's what this young man's teacher told him, there's a problem. Perhaps he simply misunderstood, I don;t know.

But I do know a good many advanced Aikido practitioners who have fabulous movement but have very little ability once you actually physically connect. As long as they can evade they do quite well, but that's the limit of their understanding of "aiki". They have almost no ability to execute static technique with anyone who has a strong structure. To the extent that they do static technique, it is mostly collusive with ukes breaking their postures unnecessarily.

Some simply try to get strong enough that no one can stop them. But have those folks try the multiple grabber exercises and they are hosed. If one is using muscle power to do technique, each additional person grabbing makes things exponentially more difficult. Whereas, if one is using "aiki" principles properly it is no more difficult to move four than one because it's all simply one connection. In "aiki" we are giving direction to the energy of the connection. You are not moving four people, they are moving four people. You are just giving their energy direction. You can do this fairly gently, as someone like Endo Sensei would typically do or you can do it with a lot of power as the Internal Power folks would do. The effort would be the same regardless.

Anyway, it would be correct to say that that "aiki" is true non-resistant movement. That movement can be large but it can be so small that no outer movement is even visible. It's all about "irimi" but has little to do with what most folks associate with the term.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:39 AM   #430
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Sometimes people confuse leading uke with evading uke.
I feel lucky to have trained under varied Aikidoka. From the subtle movements to the exaggerated movements; you begin to see why each individual person started doing their Aikido the way they do.

MM
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:01 AM   #431
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

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Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
Sometimes people confuse leading uke with evading uke.
IMO:

This is the area of confusion between Ueshiba's aikido and Modern Aikido.

Modern Aikido relies upon a physical version of "leading uke". It uses physical "whole body" movement (whether very small or overly large), a "relaxed" body, and timing.

Ueshiba's aikido relies upon a very internally built body that utilizes internal pathways to appropriately change the energy of the attacker. This includes using an integrated, relaxed whole body structure that is resistant to throws and pushes. This aiki body involves the use of internal spirals and power, which help create the two effects of soft/ghosty and hard/powerful.

Not to say that either is wrong. There are quite a lot of people out there who have utilized Modern Aikido very effectively or have spiritualized their Modern Aikido to make their lives better. It is only to say that Modern Aikido is not Ueshiba's aikido. They function completely differently.

When talking about "aiki", I really do think people are going to have to start defining whether they mean Modern Aikido's aiki (which, IMO, is as varied as can be) or Ueshiba's aiki (which is very defined).

Mark
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:19 AM   #432
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Ai symbol Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
IMO:

This is the area of confusion between Ueshiba's aikido and Modern Aikido.

Modern Aikido relies upon a physical version of "leading uke". It uses physical "whole body" movement (whether very small or overly large), a "relaxed" body, and timing.

Ueshiba's aikido relies upon a very internally built body that utilizes internal pathways to appropriately change the energy of the attacker. This includes using an integrated, relaxed whole body structure that is resistant to throws and pushes. This aiki body involves the use of internal spirals and power, which help create the two effects of soft/ghosty and hard/powerful.

Not to say that either is wrong. There are quite a lot of people out there who have utilized Modern Aikido very effectively or have spiritualized their Modern Aikido to make their lives better. It is only to say that Modern Aikido is not Ueshiba's aikido. They function completely differently.

When talking about "aiki", I really do think people are going to have to start defining whether they mean Modern Aikido's aiki (which, IMO, is as varied as can be) or Ueshiba's aiki (which is very defined).

Mark
Do you believe that one can practice a combination of both? Is there a disadvantage or would that be an advantage? Which Shihan do you believe are currently teaching Osensei's version? It seems to me that for one, Ikeda sensei has been focusing on discombobulating the internal structure of Uke.
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:45 AM   #433
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

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Do you believe that one can practice a combination of both?
Currently, I do not. But, I also have placed some hope in people like Bill Gleason (and a few others who want to remain anonymous). I have an enormous respect for these people and if anyone can find a way, these are the people. I fully support what they're doing. Don't look to me for the future in regards to this question ... get out to these people's seminars and find the answer for yourself.

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Which Shihan do you believe are currently teaching Osensei's version?
I actually have no idea. I really wanted to get down to DC for the Endo seminar because I hear such good things about him. Unfortunately I missed it.

There are other people way more qualified to answer that question. In fact, I think there are a lot more people who have already answered that question with their own experiences.

I look back to history and see that a lot of high ranking martial artists from various arts met Ueshiba and walked away knowing that they'd encountered something entirely different than anything they'd experienced before. Not just that Ueshiba was good but what he was doing was very, very different. That even applies to Tomiki and Shioda.

So, in all seriousness, Who in Modern Aikido can we say this about?

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It seems to me that for one, Ikeda sensei has been focusing on discombobulating the internal structure of Uke.
I have a lot of respect for Ikeda. But, as George noted above, "An example would be what Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei is doing. I heard of one senior Federation teacher who didn't think what Ikeda Sensei is doing is even Aikido because it doesn't look anything like what they typically do. That's the issue I referred to in another thread... that we are getting to the point at which people don't even know what high level Aikido actually is."
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:21 AM   #434
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

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Jason Rudolph wrote: View Post
Do you believe that one can practice a combination of both? Is there a disadvantage or would that be an advantage? Which Shihan do you believe are currently teaching Osensei's version? It seems to me that for one, Ikeda sensei has been focusing on discombobulating the internal structure of Uke.
Tetsuro Nariyama would be a good start..... I'd say it was close....
at the age he's at now would compare almost identical to Ueshiba sensei at the same age concerning power and precision.......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWQmg...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbIyA...eature=related
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:33 AM   #435
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
IMO:

This is the area of confusion between Ueshiba's aikido and Modern Aikido.

Modern Aikido relies upon a physical version of "leading uke". It uses physical "whole body" movement (whether very small or overly large), a "relaxed" body, and timing.

Ueshiba's aikido relies upon a very internally built body that utilizes internal pathways to appropriately change the energy of the attacker. This includes using an integrated, relaxed whole body structure that is resistant to throws and pushes. This aiki body involves the use of internal spirals and power, which help create the two effects of soft/ghosty and hard/powerful.

Not to say that either is wrong. There are quite a lot of people out there who have utilized Modern Aikido very effectively or have spiritualized their Modern Aikido to make their lives better. It is only to say that Modern Aikido is not Ueshiba's aikido. They function completely differently.

When talking about "aiki", I really do think people are going to have to start defining whether they mean Modern Aikido's aiki (which, IMO, is as varied as can be) or Ueshiba's aiki (which is very defined).

Mark
Mark,

Ok Mark,
This sounds like Dan talking again and I am in fundamental disagreement with you guys on this subject. Not about O-Sensei's use and understanding of internal power, that's virtually indisputable I think. But that he wasn't the source of much that came later, I disagree with entirely.

If you look at the Asahi Dojo footage, the earliest known video of the Founder you can see him "leading" the uke's, to the point at which he seems to be quite ahead of them and you have to say they are colluding a bit by chasing his arm, etc.

Virtually all later footage shows the same thing, the best example being the famous rooftop dojo footage, which I would say represents the Founder at his post war peak. It is quite clear in that footage that the ukes were expected to follow him and connect. Everything one would see in most post war Aikido was right there.

As for the "spiritualization" issue... It simply was not the case that the folks who came later "spiritualized" the Founder's Aikido. It was exactly the opposite. Kisshomary, Osawa, Arikawa, and the other post war seniors got together and had to take out much of O-Sensei's spiritual / philosophical content to attempt to make what he was doing a) palatable for the military occupation authorities, b) comprehensible to a generation of Japanese that would not be classically educated and saw themselves as "modern", creating a modernized Japan.

There is no question, in my mind, that, as Peter Goldsbury has pointed out, this process continued get distorted as Aikido works appeared in English. This was due largely to John Stevens, whose Aikido teacher was actually one of the earliest of the Founder's students and one of the few that stayed with the Aikikai after the war (Shirata Sensei), trying to re-inject some of what was lost after the war in terms of the Founder's spiritual content. Because he was working from materials that often had already been heavily edited, during that initial post war period by the senior folks at the Aikikai, his attempts were sometimes a bit off base. Couple that with the fact that English often didn't have terms that were equivalent or did not have the range of meaning that the Japanese had, the American interpretation was often simplistic and distorted.

But I actually do not think that what folks here understood of the Founder's spirituality was so much wrong as simplistic to the point at which it led to a misunderstanding of how those spiritual values related to the physical art. But no matter how you cut the cake, Omotokyo is one of the two pillars of Aikido along with Daito Ryu. The internal power folks very often over emphasize the Daito Ryu element which is the part that they understand while ignoring the Omotokyo part, which they typically understand no better than the rest of us and in some cases less well.

I continue to stand by my position that the Founder created Aikido to be a form of personal practice geared towards personal and even societal transformation and he had little or no interest in fighting. It is just as much a distortion to deny this as it is to go off into la la land with his teachings.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 12-17-2010, 12:40 PM   #436
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Mark,

Ok Mark,
This sounds like Dan talking again and I am in fundamental disagreement with you guys on this subject.
George,
As a preface, I have respect for you and what you've done. But, just to put things straight. When it comes to aikido, Dan doesn't talk through me. Ever. I fully stand behind everything I write. Now, we can disagree on things and I'm fine with that.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Not about O-Sensei's use and understanding of internal power, that's virtually indisputable I think. But that he wasn't the source of much that came later, I disagree with entirely.
You keep quoting just "internal power" (IP). There is a whole lot more to it than that. And just coming back to internal power sort of glosses over and hides the other important factors like spiraling. Yeah, IP is sort of hard to miss when it hits you in the face (not literally) and yeah, some students mentioned Ueshiba's grip, but that wasn't all that Ueshiba was doing. There was a reason some students said he was soft yet felt like a mountain and it wasn't all IP.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
If you look at the Asahi Dojo footage, the earliest known video of the Founder you can see him "leading" the uke's, to the point at which he seems to be quite ahead of them and you have to say they are colluding a bit by chasing his arm, etc.

Virtually all later footage shows the same thing, the best example being the famous rooftop dojo footage, which I would say represents the Founder at his post war peak. It is quite clear in that footage that the ukes were expected to follow him and connect. Everything one would see in most post war Aikido was right there.
Yep, that's exactly right ... "Everything one would *see* in most post war Aikido was right there." Emphasis is mine. Those students copied the look. How many actually could *do* what Ueshiba did? It became the training model to mimic the movements, to concentrate on the techniques. Why? Because none of them could *do* what Ueshiba did. (As I said in another thread, I don't blame them. Ueshiba never taught aiki.)

Let me add a nice excerpt from Robert Frager from Yoga Journal March 1982.

Quote:
Robert Frager wrote:
I saw Osensei only occasionally the first year. At intervals he would come out to the mat during class to give a short talk and demonstration. We would all sit formally while he tossed around his training partners effortlessly, as if they were rag dolls.

I loved to be in Osensei's presence, although the younger Japanese would often get impatient. They hated to stop throwing each other around to listen to a philosophy lecture.

Finally, the master took pity on me. We were sitting facing each other, and he brought my hands together and placed one of his small hands over both my wrists. He told me to push as hard as I could. His hand was feather-light but at the same time solid as a wall. I couldn't move my hands an inch against that feather-light touch.
So, yeah, we *see* the look. We mimic the form. We do the dance. But, we don't have Ueshiba's aiki. Modern Aikido took a foundational and fundamental turn away from Ueshiba's aikido and the only thing it kept was the form.

We can mimic the moves that Ueshiba made, but that does not mean we are doing what Ueshiba did. Until we can replicate what he did, we only *think* that by mimicking the forms, we're doing what he did. Without aiki, exactly *why* are we leading as we see Ueshiba doing? Without aiki, it most certainly isn't the same thing that Ueshiba is doing.

We most certainly aren't "blending" as Ueshiba did. We don't "move" as Ueshiba did. We fail the push tests that Ueshiba did. We don't have the "power" that Ueshiba had. We don't have the mountain within softness feeling that Ueshiba had.

As I said in another thread ... if we are looking to *do* what Ueshiba did, there are a lot of things in Modern Aikido that will need microscopic attention. This "leading" or "blending" is just one.

For the rest of the world, if you're happy with Modern Aikido, just put me on mute or ignore. Probably the best thing to do.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
As for the "spiritualization" issue...
I rarely talk about the spiritual stuff in regards to Ueshiba. So, I'm not sure where you picked this up from?
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:02 PM   #437
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Hi Mark,
I think we are simply missing each other here... I don't disagree that what O-Sensei was doing was qualitatively different. I don't disagree that modern Aikido had much of the outer form with little of the inner content. But what I am saying is that much of this outer form is not suited to fighting and clearly had another purpose, whether it was O-Sensei doing it or one of his deshi. I am sorry I brought Dan into it... he can and has spoken for himself. It's just that that there is certain commonality of viewpoint amongst the various IP folks who are not Aikido practitioners themselves that I think represents a "revisionism" that is without merit. Not from the standpoint that the post war folks didn't misunderstand or misinterpret the Founder but that he wasn't primarily interested in Aikido as a spiritual practice or that he somehow wasn't intending Aikido to be a means of transforming the world. It is absolutely clear to me that he was seriously interested in "world peace" despite our association of that term with well, meaning, idealistic, but rather unrealistic folks.

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I rarely talk about the spiritual stuff in regards to Ueshiba. So, I'm not sure where you picked this up from?
Well, I was just keying off...
Quote:
Not to say that either is wrong. There are quite a lot of people out there who have utilized Modern Aikido very effectively or have spiritualized their Modern Aikido to make their lives better. It is only to say that Modern Aikido is not Ueshiba's aikido. They function completely differently.
That seemed to imply that the spiritual aspect was added by modern Aikido practitioners. If that wasn't your intention, then I read it wrong.

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Old 12-17-2010, 01:18 PM   #438
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

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Hi Mark,
I think we are simply missing each other here... I don't disagree that what O-Sensei was doing was qualitatively different. I don't disagree that modern Aikido had much of the outer form with little of the inner content. But what I am saying is that much of this outer form is not suited to fighting and clearly had another purpose, whether it was O-Sensei doing it or one of his deshi. I am sorry I brought Dan into it... he can and has spoken for himself. It's just that that there is certain commonality of viewpoint amongst the various IP folks who are not Aikido practitioners themselves that I think represents a "revisionism" that is without merit. Not from the standpoint that the post war folks didn't misunderstand or misinterpret the Founder but that he wasn't primarily interested in Aikido as a spiritual practice or that he somehow wasn't intending Aikido to be a means of transforming the world. It is absolutely clear to me that he was seriously interested in "world peace" despite our association of that term with well, meaning, idealistic, but rather unrealistic folks.
Hi George,
Sure sounds like it. I don't disagree with your views posted here about Ueshiba, so it must be as you said, missing each other. It's why I hate the Internet sometimes. So much is lost in conversations.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Well, I was just keying off...
Oh. Sorry for missing that. Couldn't really disagree with you on it, either.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
That seemed to imply that the spiritual aspect was added by modern Aikido practitioners. If that wasn't your intention, then I read it wrong.
I think some people have added their own brand of spirituality to Aikido, yeah. I came across a group one time that was doing Christian Aikido. Some others use Zen meditation as part of their aikido practice. Some remained as faithful to Ueshiba's Omoto views as they could. But, did they "add" something that wasn't already there? No, I agree with you that Ueshiba had that spiritual aspect to his aikido. I just meant that some groups have used their own views of spirituality to enhance their aikido while others have taken a more martial approach.

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:27 PM   #439
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
So, yeah, we *see* the look. We mimic the form. We do the dance. But, we don't have Ueshiba's aiki. Modern Aikido took a foundational and fundamental turn away from Ueshiba's aikido and the only thing it kept was the form.

We can mimic the moves that Ueshiba made, but that does not mean we are doing what Ueshiba did. Until we can replicate what he did, we only *think* that by mimicking the forms, we're doing what he did. Without aiki, exactly *why* are we leading as we see Ueshiba doing? Without aiki, it most certainly isn't the same thing that Ueshiba is doing.

We most certainly aren't "blending" as Ueshiba did. We don't "move" as Ueshiba did. We fail the push tests that Ueshiba did. We don't have the "power" that Ueshiba had. We don't have the mountain within softness feeling that Ueshiba had.
Hi Mark -

The problem I have with the assertions above is that you are taking your limited exposure to the Aikido universe and extrapolating it to Aikido as a whole. I'm not positing that your argument is incorrect only that your sample must be too small to be of statistical significance; unless, of course, you are widely, very widely traveled and have sampled the Aikido of a very large number of practitioners which would give credence to your point of view.

How are you defining "blending" so as to differentiate what Usehiba did from what others do?

Without Usehiba around how are we to gauge whether or not we "move" as he did? If, as you say, much of what he was doing while moving was internal and therefore not subject to visual scrutiny how are we to know whether we're doing it or not?

Usehiba's push tests are the root of Tohei's Ki tests and fairly common in the schools of Aikido that are within Ki Society and the schools that trace their lineage back to Tohei.

Lastly, is it entirely necessary that we replicate Ueshiba's Aikido in our Aikido? My view is that Ueshiba's Aikido was unique to him just as Mark Murry's Aikido is unique to him and mine is to me. The Aikido that each of us gives to the world is a product of our coordinated mind, body and spirit selves, and as individual as our fingerprints.

Best,

Ron
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:13 PM   #440
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Dang... for being a dead thread there is some great stuff here...

Quote:
I continue to stand by my position that the Founder created Aikido to be a form of personal practice geared towards personal and even societal transformation and he had little or no interest in fighting. It is just as much a distortion to deny this as it is to go off into la la land with his teachings.
This is an important point for me. I think it is clear that O'Sensei made a statement later in life that aikido is not about fighting (a point with which I agree). However, the chronology of O'Sensei's life made his martial experience a factor in his spiritual decisions later in life. I am not sure of the impact his spiritual experience made on his martial decisions earlier in life. It seems his involvement with Omoto-kyo came about after the majority of his martial development. That leaves me with the chicken before the egg argument? There is another thread running right now of a similar topic and I will be interested to see posts there. And also at some point we have to figure out how the significant amount of previous martial experience many of the pre-war students possed impacted their training, as well as some of the post-war students... Again, I am not sure O'Sensei's instruction did not build upon a pre-existing base of information with many of these students. Er, when he instructed and did not go on philosophical rants or demonstration...

Much of the advanced aikido that deals with the "feel" of aikido is different that how it looks and requires an experience education. As a result we can see divergent conclusions from the same source depending on how the conclusion was tested. This is one of the occassions where "feeling" aikido is required, along with the pre-requisite comprehension of the form [of the technique]. In trying to reverse engineer aikido, it seems logical to keep the pieces in the order of original assembly. In this case, I think we see a "train first, spiritualize second" modality. I do not think modern aikido does this and that may be significant in reverse-engineering aikido. I think internal power falls into this "rediscovered" country of physical training that aikido moved away from some years back. I find those IP posts to be interesting as they relate to aikido for this reason.

I can say that trying to feel what Ikeda Sensei does to me with ikkyo is most difficult even if I know the form of ikkyo. I would think it almost impossible to figure out what Sensei is doing if I didn't even know what he was supposed to be doing...

Last edited by jonreading : 12-17-2010 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:17 PM   #441
MM
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Hi Ron,

Good questions. Let me see if I can address them.

I, too, consider me as a statistically small viewpoint. However, when I expand that to the people I've met and talked to, it gets a bit larger. When I take into account that some of these people have their own amount of exposure in the aikido world, it adds a bit. To that, I add research. And, yeah, I still think it's too small of a statistical standpoint. Which is why I still get out there when I can.

Blending ... Ueshiba could capture center on contact without having to physically move. He was able to take whatever energy was incoming and appropriately match it to what he wanted without having to move. That was his blending. Well, part of it. The spiritual ideology of being one with the Universe, etc was another. Still, I don't know of many that can replicate the latter, let alone the former. Of course, anyone is free to video themselves sitting on a mat, cross legged and let people push on their forehead (without using their hands to touch the arms of the people pushing). Or as Tohei demonstrated, stand on one leg with one arm out and have someone really try to push you over.

Moving ... If any top ranking kendo people of today have come to any aikido teachers and asked to be taught taisabaki from them, I've not heard about it. As you said, statistically I'm holding a small sampling. Or if any highly ranked judo people have gotten together with any aikido teachers and said, yeah, that's an exemplary example of martial-ness, I haven't heard about it. Let alone sent top ranked judo students to study with the aikido teacher. Who, themselves were significantly awed at the aikido teacher's skills. Or any high ranked sumo people who came across any aikido teachers such that they couldn't best them.

So, historically, we know that these things happened with Ueshiba. That the way he moved and the way he handled people was significantly different. These were martial artists who had trained in jujutsu, judo, kenjutsu, kendo, sumo, etc and had trained with all manner of men of similar backgrounds. And upon encountering Ueshiba, they were awed with the difference of the experience.

So, as a statistically small segment of the aikido world, I keep asking for people to show the Modern Aikido teacher who can replicate these things. Who can point to any Modern Aikido teacher and say, hey that person has surpassed Tomiki, Shioda, Mochizuki, Shirata, etc? I've yet to hear anyone say they've surpassed their teacher, let alone Ueshiba. And that doesn't even get into the details of the actual time training that Ueshiba, Shioda, Tomiki, etc had (which wasn't all that long) with their teacher.

Push tests. I've noted two of them above. Can anyone replicate them? (I can't. yet.) How about someone pushing full force on your hips and you not only staying there, but able to lift either foot to show that you are free to move whenever you want?

Lastly ... well, no. If you're following Modern Aikido, I think your view is perfectly fine. I think a lot of people around the world are more than happy with it. But, again IMO, you aren't doing Ueshiba's aikido. Does it matter? Some yes, some no.

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Hi Mark -

The problem I have with the assertions above is that you are taking your limited exposure to the Aikido universe and extrapolating it to Aikido as a whole. I'm not positing that your argument is incorrect only that your sample must be too small to be of statistical significance; unless, of course, you are widely, very widely traveled and have sampled the Aikido of a very large number of practitioners which would give credence to your point of view.

How are you defining "blending" so as to differentiate what Usehiba did from what others do?

Without Usehiba around how are we to gauge whether or not we "move" as he did? If, as you say, much of what he was doing while moving was internal and therefore not subject to visual scrutiny how are we to know whether we're doing it or not?

Usehiba's push tests are the root of Tohei's Ki tests and fairly common in the schools of Aikido that are within Ki Society and the schools that trace their lineage back to Tohei.

Lastly, is it entirely necessary that we replicate Ueshiba's Aikido in our Aikido? My view is that Ueshiba's Aikido was unique to him just as Mark Murry's Aikido is unique to him and mine is to me. The Aikido that each of us gives to the world is a product of our coordinated mind, body and spirit selves, and as individual as our fingerprints.

Best,

Ron
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:46 PM   #442
ravenest
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Alll very interesting guys. ( I'm on a quick learning curve ). Due to my isolated regional training and what I have been exposed to I think I know what a 'dive-bunny' is. I'm starting to get a vague comprehension of what a aikibunny is, but whats all this stuff about ribbons (I hope its not what I think it is )
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:58 PM   #443
Hellis
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
Michael Wilson wrote: View Post
Alll very interesting guys. ( I'm on a quick learning curve ). Due to my isolated regional training and what I have been exposed to I think I know what a 'dive-bunny' is. I'm starting to get a vague comprehension of what a aikibunny is, but whats all this stuff about ribbons (I hope its not what I think it is )
I am not sure what you think ` it ` is ?
Here is the link to what `it` really is
http://aikidoellisvideo.magnify.net/...armony-With-Ki

Henry Ellis
http://aikidoarticles.blogspot.com/
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:34 PM   #444
Keith Larman
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

I believe this is the correct link Mr. Ellis is referring to.

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Old 12-17-2010, 06:41 PM   #445
Hellis
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Thanks Keith

Sorry, I did not check the link :-( It came with a price, I had to watch it again to get the link :-(

http://aikidoellisvideo.magnify.net/...armony-With-Ki

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

Last edited by Hellis : 12-17-2010 at 06:43 PM. Reason: error
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:42 PM   #446
Anjisan
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Ki Symbol Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Mark,

Ok Mark,
This sounds like Dan talking again and I am in fundamental disagreement with you guys on this subject. Not about O-Sensei's use and understanding of internal power, that's virtually indisputable I think. But that he wasn't the source of much that came later, I disagree with entirely.

If you look at the Asahi Dojo footage, the earliest known video of the Founder you can see him "leading" the uke's, to the point at which he seems to be quite ahead of them and you have to say they are colluding a bit by chasing his arm, etc.

Virtually all later footage shows the same thing, the best example being the famous rooftop dojo footage, which I would say represents the Founder at his post war peak. It is quite clear in that footage that the ukes were expected to follow him and connect. Everything one would see in most post war Aikido was right there.

As for the "spiritualization" issue... It simply was not the case that the folks who came later "spiritualized" the Founder's Aikido. It was exactly the opposite. Kisshomary, Osawa, Arikawa, and the other post war seniors got together and had to take out much of O-Sensei's spiritual / philosophical content to attempt to make what he was doing a) palatable for the military occupation authorities, b) comprehensible to a generation of Japanese that would not be classically educated and saw themselves as "modern", creating a modernized Japan.

There is no question, in my mind, that, as Peter Goldsbury has pointed out, this process continued get distorted as Aikido works appeared in English. This was due largely to John Stevens, whose Aikido teacher was actually one of the earliest of the Founder's students and one of the few that stayed with the Aikikai after the war (Shirata Sensei), trying to re-inject some of what was lost after the war in terms of the Founder's spiritual content. Because he was working from materials that often had already been heavily edited, during that initial post war period by the senior folks at the Aikikai, his attempts were sometimes a bit off base. Couple that with the fact that English often didn't have terms that were equivalent or did not have the range of meaning that the Japanese had, the American interpretation was often simplistic and distorted.

But I actually do not think that what folks here understood of the Founder's spirituality was so much wrong as simplistic to the point at which it led to a misunderstanding of how those spiritual values related to the physical art. But no matter how you cut the cake, Omotokyo is one of the two pillars of Aikido along with Daito Ryu. The internal power folks very often over emphasize the Daito Ryu element which is the part that they understand while ignoring the Omotokyo part, which they typically understand no better than the rest of us and in some cases less well.

I continue to stand by my position that the Founder created Aikido to be a form of personal practice geared towards personal and even societal transformation and he had little or no interest in fighting. It is just as much a distortion to deny this as it is to go off into la la land with his teachings.
To me, I see no reason why there has to be or needs to be a dichotomy between personal development and self-defence. Why can't Aikido be a both---why ala-cart?

It appears that Osensei had fought his personal demons, gone through personal challenges, confronting fears and was martially very skilled and as a result, (along with his Omotokyo beliefs) transcended as a person as he went along. My impression at least, is that when one examines his focus in his earlier years seemed to be more martially focused and moved to a more seemingly spiritual focus later on in his life.

Further, it seem that one cannot just skim the cream off without going through the crucible to some extent at least? In other words, the martial arts seem set up give up the most riches, go the deepest when one faces danger within and artificial (training--self defence) without.

Consequently, can one just cherry pick, and package those elements like material on the lecture circuit and take a short-cut to where Osensei ended up or even an approximation of it , assuming that that is the goal espoused--at least by many? I realize that our journey would only be a pale imitation, but still a sincere effort. Osensei was a warrior who naturally emphasized-it seems- a greater focus on philosophical/ spiritual matters-- perhaps because that is a natural evolution, but one can't take a short cut to get there. Perhaps it is a matter of degree--where without that type of journey one can still a better person, but maybe just not as improved as if they had pushed themselves a little further. So why would self-defence be an option to be watered down or removed entirely? Student retention?? Does it scare people off?

Do all of the personal development benefits evaporate if self-defence (dare I say even realistic) are practiced? It just seems that it much easier to discover and polish the personal development aspects if one has a better chance of remaining upright and breathing--unless one is a gambling type and hope for the best and pray that the worst doesn't happen. Other martial arts don't seem to have this issue.
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:51 PM   #447
Walter Martindale
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

And, for people who can REALLY harmonize with a ribbon...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5XsybhNOPs

I must be missing something - a rokudan? Ribbons?
Wakaranai...
W
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:05 PM   #448
Hellis
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Walter

I prefer your version of the ribbon dance.
http://aikidoellisvideo.magnify.net/...armony-With-Ki

Henry Ellis
http://aikidoarticles.blogspot.com/
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:51 AM   #449
Randall Lim
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
really? gosh! i got to tell Ikeda sensei that he has no aiki, since he got two big guys locked on him in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1fi3...eature=related and not lead & lure them first. the news would break his heart. oh the poor man! practicing aikido all these years and nothing to show for!
It appears to me that Ikeda Shihan was not demonstrating Aiki, but rather, the power of Ki extension from one's centre.

Besides Aiki, Ki extension is also another important aspect of Aikido.
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:22 AM   #450
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
Randall Lim wrote: View Post
It appears to me that Ikeda Shihan was not demonstrating Aiki, but rather, the power of Ki extension from one's centre.

Besides Aiki, Ki extension is also another important aspect of Aikido.
All this talk of '''''ki"" and so forth is so misleading and to me delusional .... Why don't people just say body mechanics used in such a way to effect the balance of a person when holding you..... then everybody can understand...

There is no mystical "ki" just plain and simple body mechanic techniques and movement ....
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