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Old 12-29-2010, 09:57 AM   #51
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
Re: Exercises for developing the centre (center)

Oh! Yeah, I did miss your point entirely. Sorry.

I think you're right in general. And, yes, I think the possibility of misrepresentation is there. And yes, the larger context is missing in the quoted material. Definitely agree with you there.

But, my larger context is also not presented either. If I were to present it, it would be pages long, so I post sections of it so people can start to see a bigger picture. Are the quotes out of context with a larger picture? Sure, but let me address that a bit further down.

We know that when people are angry and hurt (emotionally or mentally), they can lash out. Usually with hurtful remarks that they really didn't want to say. However, those remarks can have validity in what they believe, they just don't want to say them.

Yeah, the Tohei thing was complex and mostly behind the scenes. But, we know, not guess, not think, but know that Ueshiba didn't teach all that often at hombu. We know he demonstrated a lot using people as ukes. We know he lectured a lot. We know he traveled often. We know his answers to questions were wrapped in spiritual talk that was mostly not understood.

I know he didn't teach aiki. Now, people can look at the above, do their research, and come to their own conclusions on that. But, Tohei was present at the times above. I think Tohei really, really wanted to learn aiki. I think that's what pushed him to the Tempuka thinking that it would help him "steal" aiki from Ueshiba. Of course, it didn't (IMO). But Tohei did everything he could.

So, yeah, when the later break up occurred, I think Tohei was using a lot of the truth to further his side. I don't think Tohei learned "ki" from Ueshiba. (IMO, he really meant aiki but couldn't say that because then he couldn't teach aikido because he would have said he was never taught it. Follow?) So, while I agree with you that the quotes are out of context with *why* Tohei was saying these things, I think the actual content of *what* he said was valid.

And I think Tohei did the best he could with what he had in getting people started with "ki". I think he did teach "ki" work a bit differently (not saying that was bad) to get people to start becoming more internally strong. And I don't think Ueshiba had a lot to do with any of that. Except, of course, as some have noted that Ueshiba gave his "stamp of approval". Which, to me, just means Ueshiba let the youngsters squabble with themselves and find their own way.

Do my quotations, taken out of the larger context, support my points in painting an overall picture? I think they do, but I'm not an academic, Keith. More of a researcher putting pieces of a puzzle together from a huge volume of work (and I haven't even touched the other huge volume of work that's in Japanese). Yeah, I know it drives academics crazy. Peter has touched on some things, too. Yeah, here and there, I'm going to be wrong. Usually, it's the academic people who point out where, which is why I try to carefully read those posts. Sometimes I fail like yours. Totally missed your point. I'm glad you took the time to explain it to me. Thanks. And, in the end, your post means I'll go back and do more research, check on more things, and see what I can find.


Keith Larman wrote: View Post

You missed my point completely. I come from an academic background and I *fully* support using citations to support a position. You do it a *lot*. The problem is that I see you using citations which given a larger context and understanding are questionable at best as to whether they really support the points you are trying to make. It does not follow that I agree or disagree with the point. What I was trying to point out is that it is a bit misleading to post citations that you know can be very misleading. Anyone with any experience in the subtlety of the history simply does not take those quotes by Tohei-sensei at "face value". Devoid of the larger context of when they were made and the larger question of what he was talking about, they are misleading. So even if they "on the face of it" seem to support the position you want to forward, I am saying it is not really "kosher" to use them as supporting statements, especially when you are aware they are missing a larger context. Those not familiar with the history or the "background events" around which the statements were made will end up making judgments based on misleading statements.

I was not addressing the validity of what you were saying. Just asking for more nuanced usage of quotes since a number of the ones you used struck me as "cherry picked" and out of context.

Like I said, it has nothing to do with whether I agree with your position or not (and frankly I'm a lot closer to you than you may realize). It has to do with presenting the information fairly and accurately.

Back to your regularly scheduled program...
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:01 AM   #52
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
Re: Exercises for developing the centre (center)

Hi Matt,

Yeah, it looks like it was semantics. That's why I like conversations in person. They flow better.


Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I think I understand now. It's semantics, but I wouldn't say the exercises themselves are lacking, but rather that the instruction of them is lacking...based on your view of Aikido in general. So it would be a lack of explicit instruction which allows people to practice the same exercises while achieving different results. Theoretically, those who were taught "better" (in terms of aiki-related exercise) should be able to produce equally better students, though I seem to have taken the impression the pre-war schools aren't much better off at producing reliable aiki on the whole than post-war (rather, I should ask, for example, "did Shioda produce other Shiodas?"). I realize I may have misread this, however. This is why i said I think a big part of learning aiki must be in the individual's intensity and accuity for training. So where you said it's (1) or (2), I'm guessing it's (1) and (2).
...All guesses at best on my part, though. Again, i know I have very little point of reference. I'm just now beginning to take a serious look at where I essentially left off over a decade ago.

Take care,
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:47 PM   #53
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,237
Re: Exercises for developing the centre (center)

Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Hi Matt,

Yeah, it looks like it was semantics. That's why I like conversations in person. They flow better.

I agree. It's definately a more responsive vehicle!
What do you think about the rest of what I said? Looking over my post again I can see where I didn't express myself very well, but if you had any thoughts regarding anything else I said, I would definately like to hear them!
Take care and happy New Year!!!

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