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Old 02-11-2011, 05:59 PM   #101
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
Akuzawa and Dan both have undeniable skills, but, in principle, how is what they are doing different from Tenyu is doing? Of course if they have received the appropriate license/permission, this is a non-issue, but it's probably worth clarifying.
I think both encountered similar reactions when they started to work outside of the establisment.

Quote:
Or am I missing something?
Group dynamics is what you are missing, imo.
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:09 PM   #102
graham christian
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I think both encountered similar reactions when they started to work outside of the establisment.

Group dynamics is what you are missing, imo.
Love it. I must say on this particular thread I am impressed by your views.
G.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:45 AM   #103
Lorel Latorilla
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Maybe we should see this guy to see he's teaching a legitimate style/legitimate knowledge. Maybe he's a martial arts genius (albeit a sheisty one), who knows?

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:15 AM   #104
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Quote:
Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
Maybe we should see this guy to see he's teaching a legitimate style/legitimate knowledge. Maybe he's a martial arts genius (albeit a sheisty one), who knows?
He is among good company. Aikiweb is getting to be so funny. It is all illusion. We have people on here who don't train in Aikido defining Aikido to people who have trained for decades. And those people are listening.

The emperor really has no clothes.
Mary
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:46 AM   #105
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
We have people on here who don't train in Aikido defining Aikido to people who have trained (in what they think is Aikido) for decades. And those people are listening.
Edited for
Quote:
The emperor really has no clothes.
I would not discard this possibility. Who is the emperor, btw?
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:33 AM   #106
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

"Who is the emperor, btw?"
It is a Fairy tale. Google "the Emperor's New Clothes."
M
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:29 PM   #107
graham christian
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Smile Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

We have people who havn't ever done politics telling Mubarak to go.
Ahhh. What is this world coming to?
Thoughtfully.G.
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:23 PM   #108
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
It is a Fairy tale. Google "the Emperor's New Clothes."
So you are pointing me to a 19th century danish version of a 14th century spanish tale...

You've just masakatsu agatsu katsu hayabi'ed this thread.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:20 PM   #109
Cady Goldfield
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
We have people on here who don't train in Aikido defining Aikido to people who have trained for decades. And those people are listening.
Unless we know the complete histories, scholarship and training backgrounds of these "people on here who don't train in Aikido," we should not be hasty in concluding that they have nothing of value to say about Aikido to "people who have trained for decades."

Maybe that is why "those people" of the latter group are listening to what those of the former group are saying.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:33 PM   #110
Chris Li
 
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
He is among good company. Aikiweb is getting to be so funny. It is all illusion. We have people on here who don't train in Aikido defining Aikido to people who have trained for decades. And those people are listening.

The emperor really has no clothes.
Mary
The fact that they are listening should say something important.

In the last 30 years I've trained with or seen just about every major student of the founder. I've also read everything that the founder ever wrote (that has been published, anyway), in the original Japanese.

And I'm listening.

Best,

Chris

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Old 02-12-2011, 03:17 PM   #111
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Wow!
What an interesting thread.

I'm reminded of a story told at the dojo I train at. Another chap in town runs his own style of aikido after my instructor refused him shodan due to a poor attitude. AFAIK, the guy has awesome technique and I have trained with people he has taught, however, my sensei refused him shodan due to his immense ego and ill-treatment of his uke during grading. This guy eventually sought out other aikido styles to train with to get himself graded to shodan. Then he opened up his own dojo and off he went.

To this day, my sensei feels guilty about letting him train for so long, hoping the guy would change as he came through the kyu ranks.

IMO, integrity, personal honour and especially humility play a large part in the MA. If not, you might as well be doing a sport.

Dean.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:33 PM   #112
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

You guys are right. I am noticeing a trend on here where people say they don't do seminars and they are not marketing anything and then the next thing we see is that they are saving aikido from itself. So why shouldn't Kenyru join right in?
Why is it okay for some and not for others?
Mary
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:48 PM   #113
dps
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Maybe Tenyu didn't recall he wasn't an Aikibojitsu Instructor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4qDZ4B1kww

dps

Last edited by dps : 02-12-2011 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:54 PM   #114
Cady Goldfield
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Mary,
I don't see anyone trying to "save aikido from itself," only a handful of approachable people with extraordinary body skill/knowledge that, if one were to scrutinize both it and Ueshiba O-Sensei's, would find that they are teachable and learnable, and are, in fact, truly the birthright of Aikido.

This is off-topic from the OP, and it's intended to be so. I am addressing only your comments about Aikido that are not a part of the original thread topic.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 02-12-2011 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:13 PM   #115
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Quote:
Dean Suter wrote: View Post
Wow!
What an interesting thread.

I'm reminded of a story told at the dojo I train at. Another chap in town runs his own style of aikido after my instructor refused him shodan due to a poor attitude.
Your story reminded me another similar one, but in this case the student's "poor attitude" alleged was in fact an attempt to preserve instructor's monopoly as the only legit aikido instruction provider in town.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:46 PM   #116
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
The fact that they are listening should say something important.

In the last 30 years I've trained with or seen just about every major student of the founder. I've also read everything that the founder ever wrote (that has been published, anyway), in the original Japanese.

And I'm listening.

Best,

Chris
Hi Chris,
It's the same with me... except for the original Japanese part... It's not that these folks from "outside" are arbiters of what is good Aikido. They don't do Aikido. However, they understand "aiki" and that makes them worth listening to. Not very many Aikido teachers from the post war period had the kind of "aiki" skills the pre-war folks did. And those that did, like my teacher Saotome Sensei, really had little or no vocabulary for talking about what he was doing.

The best TEACHERS of "aiki" I have encountered were all from outside Aikido. Kuroda, Don Angier and Toby Threadgill, all of whom Stan Pranin invited to the Aiki Expos, now ten years ago for the first one would fall into what I would call the softer side of the "aiki" skills continuum. Howard Popkin as well... Ushiro, Dan, Mike, and Ark would fall into the harder, more power oriented end of the "aiki" spectrum.

Meeting with Ushiro Sensei changed Ikeda Sensei's Aikido. As he put it, "Saotome Sensei was showing this to us all along, but we were too stupid to understand." Saotome Sensei himself, when watching Ushiro Sensei teaching commented that he had been teaching the same thing for 35 years. Sensei is a believer in the idea that Aikido, has no style or set form. As far as he was concerned, Ushiro's karate was Aikido. Anyway, my point is that someone as accomplished as Ikeda Sensei completely redid his Aikido based on listening to someone from outside who, one might say, didn't do Aikido.

William Gleason trained in Japan under Yamaguchi Sensei for ten years. He's been doing Aikido, some of the best Aikido you can find in my opinion, for 40 years or so. He has also been completely redoing his Aikido based on what he has gotten from Dan H. This is not a guy who needed to up his game to be one of the best, any more than Ikeda Sensei. These are people absolutely as good as anyone you can find anywhere and they are "listening" to folks from "outside".

I have trained with most of the big guys, here and in Japan. Some really have it, some don't. But even the ones who do, rarely explain it even remotely as well as the folks we frequently mention can do. Maybe, if you have one of the teachers who really does have the juice, IF you are talented, and IF you train your ass off, you MIGHT duplicate their skills. On the other hand, with decent explanation, anyone can do Aikido with "aiki". Certainly there will always be someone who does it better... but everyone is capable of doing Aikido that works for precisely the same reasons that the highest ranking Aikido teacher's does. "aiki" is not just the province of the 8th Dans.

I look at the current changes happening in Aikido as a process of trying to put "aiki" back into Aikido for the mass of folks training, not just a few 8th Dans while everyone else flounders around. I am sure there are plenty of folks who didn't see a problem existing in the first place and they simply wonder what all the fuss is about. It's like counseling... you can't get better until you admit there's a problem. Much of the Aikido community is "in denial' as far as I am concerned. I see this as cross style, cross organization. Whereas there are individual teachers who have figured things out, I have not yet encountered anyone from within Aikido that seems to have solved the issue of how to pass on the knowledge well.

The folks from outside tend to offer detailed, principle based instruction which can change your Aikido quickly and substantially if you already have some background. That's why people like me are listening. And I can tell you for a fact that there are others who are VERY senior doing the same but not talking about it because they'd get in trouble for doing so. I meet them on the mat, so I know.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:48 PM   #117
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Your story reminded me another similar one, but in this case the student's "poor attitude" alleged was in fact an attempt to preserve instructor's monopoly as the only legit aikido instruction provider in town.
It's just as easy to find a teacher who isn't acting well as a students who isn't. Most folks, in either role, are just fine. When you find one who isn't, it's time for a break.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:12 PM   #118
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Here I will say it again. Ron Ragusa Sensei has" IT". Honest, not that you will ever come here to find out. How could anyone in a tiny Aikido dojo in the Berkshires have it?
Well he does. He has IT and he has IT in the context of Aikido. With no competion or besting of others or making others wrong so he can be right.
Ignore this again because how can somebody from Aikido have IT?
Whatever!
Best
Mary
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:21 PM   #119
graham christian
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Here I will say it again. Ron Ragusa Sensei has" IT". Honest, not that you will ever come here to find out. How could anyone in a tiny Aikido dojo in the Berkshires have it?
Well he does. He has IT and he has IT in the context of Aikido. With no competion or besting of others or making others wrong so he can be right.
Ignore this again because how can somebody from Aikido have IT?
Whatever!
Best
Mary
Ah Mary. I begin to see what your frustration is. Don't worry about it and get frustrated, just use it as a chance to practice Aikido.
I've never met Ron and yet I see he has a greater understanding of Aiki than many. I notice he can differenciate between mind, body and spirit and see their correlation also. Of course those who like to call it 'body' this and'body' that are welcome to do so and that is also part of Aikido.
As I keep saying, and it's always misinterpreted, it's all good.
I mention IT is already in Aikido and get attacked but it's only by those who don't believe it or want it yesterday or think others are hiding the secrets of it. It's all good.
I mention many things and learn from the experience. It's all good. Sometimes it's very amusing too. Take the word Aiki for example and see how many respond with views of all kinds, even historical. It may be to justify their view or it may be to inform, it's all fascinating none the less.
I wonder how many know how far back Aiki goes? Takeda did either teach it or share it with O'Sensei but it goes way back further than that, back to kempo and buddhist monks. All interesting as background data but as always it will boil down to whether you view budo and such as self developement or self defence.
He who really studies the history of these things will see which came first and thus how it is then 'borrowed' for more violent means. Hence those who want it for self defence (fear reasons) or domination reasons or even control reasons will not only ignore certain people but will attack them if they are told they are wrong.
IT'S ALL GOOD.
Maintain your path of compassion, inspired by universal love and in the spirit of loving protection and as you say in your blog-All are your uke's.
Regards.G.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:47 PM   #120
dps
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Here I will say it again. Ron Ragusa Sensei has" IT". Honest, not that you will ever come here to find out. How could anyone in a tiny Aikido dojo in the Berkshires have it?
Well he does. He has IT and he has IT in the context of Aikido. With no competion or besting of others or making others wrong so he can be right.
Ignore this again because how can somebody from Aikido have IT?
Whatever!
Best
Mary
It is less embarrassing for an elite professional of Aikido to go to a stranger for help than go to someone of lesser stature or heaven forbid a hobbyist in Aikido.

It is an ego pride thing.

dps
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:21 PM   #121
phitruong
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Here I will say it again. Ron Ragusa Sensei has" IT". Honest, not that you will ever come here to find out. How could anyone in a tiny Aikido dojo in the Berkshires have it?
Well he does. He has IT and he has IT in the context of Aikido. With no competion or besting of others or making others wrong so he can be right.
Ignore this again because how can somebody from Aikido have IT?
Whatever!
Best
Mary
*warning thread rift*

is there a reason you feel the need to defend Ron? maybe he has and maybe has not. we are just shooting the breeze on the internet. personally, i don't question you or Ron whether you have or not. crossing hands in person is a different matter. me, i like the hand-on approach. until then, i wish you best in your aikido journey.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:35 PM   #122
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Here I will say it again. Ron Ragusa Sensei has" IT". Honest, not that you will ever come here to find out. How could anyone in a tiny Aikido dojo in the Berkshires have it?
Well he does. He has IT and he has IT in the context of Aikido. With no competion or besting of others or making others wrong so he can be right.
Ignore this again because how can somebody from Aikido have IT?
Whatever!
Best
Mary
Mary,
I haven't met you guys... I am not saying no one has it who is doing Aikido. I have not met you nor have I trained with you. I am certainly not saying you guys don't have it. It's quite possible you do. And if you do, it's more than likely you can explain it better than the Japanese teachers I have encountered.

If you guys have the skills I am talking about, then you already know how rare they are in general. There are all sorts of little pockets of great talent out there. My objection is that, often, these folks are not terribly prominent compared to far more famous and influential teachers who are. frankly, not terribly good.

A great example is Tom Read Sensei who has sat in Aracta, CA for decades developing a ridiculously sophisticated Aikido. Hardly anybody knows about him, yet he is as good as anyone I have ever been on the mat with. I am perfectly willing to believe that other folks are out there, just like that.

I know the tone of thee discussions often seems to disparage Aikido. I think Aikido is amazing. I love it, I eat it and sleep it. I have spent my entire adult life pursuing it. I want Aikido to be for everyone, what I experienced from my teacher. I want my own Aikido to be that good. But when I say most of the Aikido I see being done isn't what I want for my Aikido nor do I think that many years of training the way most folks currently train will get them to what I think is high level Aikido. The fact that I think the transmission in Aikido as a whole is broken doesn't at all mean I think that no one out there has great Aikido. It's just that it's fairly rare. And the folks that have IT, as you put it are not necessarily in a position to influence the larger community.

You are right that I am unlikely to come to your dojo to check things out... not because I have the least resistance to the idea, but rather, I have limited time, and limited money, and I have spent that developing a support network for my training. I've always been willing to try out new teachers, regardless of style or affiliation. But there are more people to check out, more teachers who are wonderful, that I'd like to support, than I can possibly do so.

Seriously, Mary, if I had the resources, I'd invite you guys to my dojo and we'd have you do a seminar. My problem is that I have a backlog of wonderful folks I'd like my students to see... That, coupled with the fact that I have tapped into certain people, like Howard Popkin Sensei, whom I have out regularly because he can help me and my students get where I want us to be, leaves me with about one, absolute max, two seminars a year in which I get to support other teachers from outside our existing circle.

The folks I do bring in I usually meet based on word of mouth. Someone tells me that so and so is great and I need to check the out. Although I will, if it's possible, attend a seminar that teacher might be doing, typically the expense is a bit much for traveling and training just on somebody's recommendation, so I try to bring that person in for a seminar. That way the "risk" is shared, so to speak. That's precisely how I got to know Howard Popkin Sensei... my friend started training with him and said he was awesome.

The Aiki Expos helped a lot on making great connections... I met some fabulous Aikido people like Chuck Clark and his son Aaron... I met some amazing folks from outside Aikido, like Toby Threadgill. There was a reason why Stan Pranin invited the particular non-Aikido folks he did. Each one was extremely high level and each had totally ridiculous "aiki" skills, in one form or another.

I can't believe that anyone thinks that any particular teacher, style or art has everything. The IP guys have high level IP but they don't even do Aikido. My only point is that Aikido would be better if the knowledge they have would be more common. If, as you say, you feel you guys have IT, whatever we mean by that, I certainly wouldn't argue with you that you don't, not without seeing you. But if you do have those kinds of skills, you can't be going about thinking they are common skills in our art. If you think that, you aren't getting out enough. On the other hand, if you really have a practice going that is that good, and once again, I am DEFINITELY not saying you don't, I think that you really should get out. Not for your training but to share what you are doing. There simply are not enough folks out there who are capable of taking the art in a better direction than it's been headed.

Many of the folks I know, whom I believe would be capable of making a difference, either don't wish to or don't know how to go about doing so. It doesn't matter if one is the "second coming" in Aikido if no one knows who they are.

In my own case, I have a lot of ideas and strong opinions, I am sure you've noticed... I think I have the ability to effect the art positively in a collective sense, not just on my own dojo level. But to do that, I have to have "access". Ten years ago, I was a not very well known person within my own organization and pretty much unknown outside it. I started using the internet to connect with people. I spent a lot of time writing and posting, responding to other folks writings, etc. Through that, I received an invitation to demo at the first Aiki Expo, which put me on the map with a huge community of folks I would probably never have met.

Through some of those folks I met other folks. I taught at a few places outside my own organization. I started putting some of my stuff on video and selling them on-line. I have now sold these videos all over the world. Most of my video business is repeat business. So not only have the videos generated much neede income but they have made it possible for me to reach out far beyond any range of actual face to face contact I might exepect to make over time.

At some point, and I mean after years and hundreds, if not thousands of hours, contributing to material on the net. After attending years of seminars and camps, working with people of all ranks and from all sorts of different groups. I started to develop a reputation. I am sure not everyone thinks it is a good reputation, but enough do that I teach moire and more seminars every year. I am developing blocks of instruction I offer at my own dojo and also outside my dojo, which are open to and attended by folks from beyond my own organization, even from outside the United States.

Anyway, my point is that, your posts feel a bit like you have some frustration with the fact that Ron, for instance, isn't recognized for having skills that these other teachers from outside Aikido are being recognized for, and you feel he does have them. I totally get that. I am the first one to say that a) American teachers of this art have a hard time establishing themselves compared to the Japanese teachers. b) any teacher who does not have the support of an organization behind him or her is even more likely to languish in obscurity, no matter how great they might be.

I think it is important to remember that five years ago or so. No one in the Aikido community had even heard of Mike Sigman, Dan Harden or Akuzawa. It's taken them a very long time to establish the fat that they have something to offer. Well, it's even harder for any given Aikido teacher to establish himself or herself as a recognized teacher. There are only 4 or 5 people who have the internal skills, are from outside our art, and are going out of their way to share them with the Aikido community. We can leave their various motivations for doing so out of the discussion...

But how many hundreds of just American teachers are there? Very few have the recognition it takes to be professional at it, really only a handful. The rest of the folks do something else to support themselves and use that to support their teaching. For someone not in an organization, lacking that support or the support of a major Shihan putting you forward, it's extremely difficult to get any recognition at all. And without recognition, no one knows you are there. And then, it doesn't matter how good you are, you don't have "access".

The only solution is to use the various tools available to develop that recognition. You guys are participating on the forums... I now know your names when I didn't a couple years ago. I think videos can be great put up on YouTube... just to get folks interested (although that has backfired for some folks when they put stuff up that wasn't very good). But I am taking you at your word that you guys have good stuff... so it's a matter of letting folks know that you do. In the end the real bottom line is getting face time. The Aiki Expos did that for me... I was treated totally differently after that experience, even by my own teacher, than I was before that. I continue to do things like attend the Bridge Seminars Ikeda Sensei is organizing, even when I am not teaching, because they allow me to meet and work wit folks I would not expect to encounter any other way. I train with Aikido folks, I train with non-Aikido folks. Doing this year after year has allowed me to establish myself as a recognized instructor, and that has given me "access' to a large enough community of Aikido folks that I feel I am starting to be able to make a difference. I am now traveling a lot of the time and also finding people coming from all over the world to events I do at my own school.

Anyway, I went on and on about this because I want you to understand that you could very well be correct that Ron has the "juice" so to speak. If so, it is all the more tragic that he isn't better known, that he isn't out there all over the place teaching because there aren't enough folks doing so who really are functioning at a high level. Most of what I see is either the use of movement to avoid an attack or application of a lot of physical power. Neither is "aiki".

It looks to me, based on your website, that Ron and I started Aikido at almost the same time. We both trained with students of the Founder. I have no reason to question you when you state he is very good at what he does. I hope we can meet and train together... you too. We are all serious Aikido people. That gives us more in common than anything we might have with folks from outside the art, no matter how good their "aiki" might be. Personally, I am committed to supporting any American teacher of this art who is trying to accomplish something better. We are not in conflict here about this, at least I don't think so, especially knowing the backgrounds you guys have.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 02-12-2011 at 09:38 PM.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:49 PM   #123
Amassus
 
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Your story reminded me another similar one, but in this case the student's "poor attitude" alleged was in fact an attempt to preserve instructor's monopoly as the only legit aikido instruction provider in town.
Huh? How 'bout that.
That certainly wasn't the case in this town, plenty of instructors here

I guess ego will rear its ugly head whenever groups of people are involved. Including what this thread is about. (sharing knowledge, using knowledge etc.)

It intrigues me how the IP/IT stuff comes up in most threads these days. It has really become something of a phenomenon.

Dean.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:56 PM   #124
Lorel Latorilla
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Japan
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
He is among good company. Aikiweb is getting to be so funny. It is all illusion. We have people on here who don't train in Aikido defining Aikido to people who have trained for decades. And those people are listening.

The emperor really has no clothes.
Mary
It's ok Mary. Let them define it. It's all an illusion, it won't scratch at the truth you have.

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:01 PM   #125
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Okay, I am done ranting. Thanks George, that was very interesting. I am planning to attend Friday night at Bedford Hills. Ron and I don't get out to other seminars much but I am interested in seeing what you are doing with Aiki and connection.
Mary
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