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  #51  
Old 03-28-2011, 03:36 PM
Francis Takahashi
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Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

It is mind boggling, and a bit disheartening for me to see the reams of questionable, and often grossly erroneous "facts" written about the Founder, his theories on Aiki, and on Aiki's constant role in shaping his Aikido over the entire period of his lifetime. It is especially so because I can...

Last edited by akiy : 03-27-2011 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:40 PM   #50
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Could you please define what you know aikido to be?
I do not know what aikido is.

However, I believe aikido is a technology of the self developed by Ueshiba Morihei, built on both martial techniques derived mostly from DRAJJ and religious/spiritual techniques derived from a personal mix of japanese mithology, Oomoto cosmology and kotodama.

Considering this, I do not do aikido.

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Old 04-06-2011, 01:52 PM   #51
RonRagusa
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I do not know what aikido is.

However, I believe aikido is a technology of the self developed by Ueshiba Morihei, built on both martial techniques derived mostly from DRAJJ and religious/spiritual techniques derived from a personal mix of japanese mithology, Oomoto cosmology and kotodama.

Considering this, I do not do aikido.
Hi Demetrio

So do you think that in order to do Aikido a student must duplicate in detail the training regimen and life style that O Sensei practiced? Accordingly, can you point to anyone who does Aikido? Does this extend to other martial arts as well? If I claim to practice Kyokushinkai Karate must I emulate Mas Oyama's life style in every detail? Do I actually have to go out and kill bulls with my bare hands?

I'm wondering if we need to be that rigid in what constitutes the practice of Aikido.

Best,

Ron

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Old 04-06-2011, 02:40 PM   #52
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I do not know what aikido is.

However, I believe aikido is a technology of the self developed by Ueshiba Morihei, built on both martial techniques derived mostly from DRAJJ and religious/spiritual techniques derived from a personal mix of japanese mithology, Oomoto cosmology and kotodama.

Considering this, I do not do aikido.
Hm. A fair effort at definition, I would say.

I would not agree with "technology" -- in the way he either stated it or demonstrated it -- much to the frustration of many who want there to be much more of an "owner's manual" or under-the-hood approach to physical principles or actions, and much less so in my eyes for the psycho-spiritual aspects.

To analogize: a sacrament in Christian understanding is an act that signifies and which effects what it signifies. I don't mean to draw the comparison too far or too closely, but I think Morihei's Ueshiba's idea is much more "sacramental" in that operative sense of "what Aikido truly is."

It is a Budo -- which is a way of war. As such, a definition may bear comparison and contrast to other ways. War is not technological; though it may use technological methods. It is not essential to its effectiveness as a way of war. What does it matter if I kill the village by swords or guns, or asphyxiating each of them individually in their sleep, or merely by poisoning their well, or burning their ripe fields? Dead is dead , does it matter how? As ways of making war -- each may be equally effective, though not equally moral -- and morals become odd things in war.

Aikido sees a way of war in which "moral" is not a separate category from "effective," but not subject to trivial rule-making either. -- as with stating that in aikido there is no attack while he starts demonstrations of aikido with repeatedly initiating an atemi to the face -- which now I understand, but before was mystifying... It signifies moral, by doing moral, in effectively entering into -- rather than avoiding, and yet not escalating --- violent action. But the action is not justified by the consequences (or lack thereof) but by the mind and heart of the action which effects what it signifies.

It is just as much error to eschew "effective" aspects of the violence, as it is to cabin off "moral" concerns over the nature of violence.

We are violent.

We must deal with it.

Aikido accepts that violence in others and seeks to avoid the trap of our own imitative escalations in response to it -- both positively, by the bigger, faster, badder approach, and negatively, by the passive-aggressive lure and pounce approach. The one side prefers bombs, the other poisons -- and both make a false distinction in their moral categories.

Deterrence and evasion are simply flip-sides of the same coin, in otherwords -- to forestall the violence until it can be even MORE destructive and in favor of their side of the conflict. Modern aikido has tended to the latter error, IMO, physically and spiritually. The present fad for certain "correctives" tends to the former, and both because they are trapped in their respective categories -- and which are more alike than they are different.

Aikido is meant to be neither. There are no sides; there is only one conflict -- Aikido continually enters conflict and turns it.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 04-06-2011 at 02:46 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:43 PM   #53
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Hi Demetrio

So do you think that in order to do Aikido a student must duplicate in detail the training regimen and life style that O Sensei practiced?
Only the relevant aspects of his training, lifestyle and belief system. If these are not available, you can look for equivalent ones.

Quote:
Accordingly, can you point to anyone who does Aikido?
No, I can't.

Quote:
Does this extend to other martial arts as well? If I claim to practice Kyokushinkai Karate must I emulate Mas Oyama's life style in every detail? Do I actually have to go out and kill bulls with my bare hands?
Only the relevant parts of his training.

Quote:
I'm wondering if we need to be that rigid in what constitutes the practice of Aikido
.
Probably not, but I think being too flexible in what constitutes aikido practise can take us to practise a different art without noticing it.

Following your Kyokushin example, Daido Juku (Kudo), for better or worse, is not Kyokushin anymore but its practitioners are conscious they're not doing Oyama's Kyokushin.

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 04-06-2011 at 02:47 PM.

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Old 04-06-2011, 03:24 PM   #54
carina reinhardt
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

How interesting all the replys! Reading and translating( it is worth) this afternoon the great article Jun shared with us in the home page Article: "Aikido female master of disabled kids" ,we should maybe ask what aikido truly is for Ha Thanh for example...
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:40 PM   #55
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
I would not agree with "technology" -- in the way he either stated it or demonstrated it -- much to the frustration of many who want there to be much more of an "owner's manual" or under-the-hood approach to physical principles or actions, and much less so in my eyes for the psycho-spiritual aspects.
I wrote "technology of the self", as in

As a context, we must understand that there are four major types of these "technologies," each a matrix of practical reason: (I) technologies of production, which permit us to produce, transform, or manipulate things; (2) technologies of sign systems, which permit us to use signs, meanings, symbols, or signification; (3) technologies of power, which determine the conduct of individuals and submit them to certain ends or domination, an objectivizing of the subject; (4) technologies of the self, which permit individuals to effect by their own means or with the help of others a certain number of operations on their own bodies and souls, thoughts, conduct, and way of being, so as to transform themselves in order to attain a certain state of happiness, purity, wisdom, perfection, or immortality.
http://foucault.info/documents/fouca...OfSelf.en.html

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Old 04-06-2011, 05:26 PM   #56
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I wrote "technology of the self", as in

As a context, we must understand that there are four major types of these "technologies," each a matrix of practical reason: (I) technologies of production, which permit us to produce, transform, or manipulate things; (2) technologies of sign systems, which permit us to use signs, meanings, symbols, or signification; (3) technologies of power, which determine the conduct of individuals and submit them to certain ends or domination, an objectivizing of the subject; (4) technologies of the self, which permit individuals to effect by their own means or with the help of others a certain number of operations on their own bodies and souls, thoughts, conduct, and way of being, so as to transform themselves in order to attain a certain state of happiness, purity, wisdom, perfection, or immortality.
http://foucault.info/documents/fouca...OfSelf.en.html
I was not criticizing the concept -- just the application. FWIW "sacramental" thinking in the operative sense I applied it here would encompass all four types at once, which makes it a category breaker right off the bat.

More to the point however, Aikido does not really seem, to me at least, to be a "matrix of practical reason." It seems more a subverter of the commonly accepted forms of "practical reason" about how to deal with conflict.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:50 PM   #57
RonRagusa
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
However, I believe aikido is a technology of the self developed by Ueshiba Morihei, built on both martial techniques derived mostly from DRAJJ and religious/spiritual techniques derived from a personal mix of japanese mithology, Oomoto cosmology and kotodama.
Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote:
So do you think that in order to do Aikido a student must duplicate in detail the training regimen and life style that O Sensei practiced?
Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote:
Only the relevant aspects of his training, lifestyle and belief system. If these are not available, you can look for equivalent ones.
Hi Demetrio -

Fair enough.

I'll only speak for myself and my training here. I don't share O Sensei's religious/spiritual belief systems but I do know that my practice contains elements of martial and spiritual techniques as you have noted above. The martial techniques are pretty much the same as Aikido techniques practiced anywhere. The throws, locks, immobilizations and pins as I practice them are easily recognizable by anyone who practices Aikido.

As for the spiritual side, except to say that for me Aikido has become a spiritual practice insofar as my training has enabled me to recognize and develop a side of myself that I didn't know existed until I began my study, I won't go into in any more detail. If you're interested to examine that side of my practice you can, as they say, read all about it, in my blog, Being, Essence & Motion.

In light of our discussion to date I'll stand by my statement that answered the question "Do you know what Aikido is?": "In the same sense that Justice Stewart knew what pornography is, yes."

Interesting discussion, thanks.

Ron

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Old 04-06-2011, 07:34 PM   #58
graham christian
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Hi Ron -

Very insightful. The idea that we should all be trying to replicate the Founder's Aikido strikes me as being at odds with the fact that our Aikido is a product of all "our time frames, experiences, and cultures" plus a host of other factors related to us as individuals. Demanding that, for reasons as yet unclear, we must be doing the Founder's Aikido completely ignores the fact Aikido is, in many ways, a vehicle of personal expression.

It also begs the question of which of O Sensei's forms of Aikido we should be doing. Should we be striving to emulate early Aikido that looked very much like Daito-Ryu? Perhaps we should be doing the Aikido of O Sensei's later years when he demonstrated a lot of no touch throwing? Something in between?

And how does one define O Sensei's Aikido in objective terms? Might as well try to define Beethoven's music, Dame Margot Fontaine's dance or Hemingway's writing.

I guess I just don't understand all the hand wringing and angst around trying to shoehorn ourselves into a mold that was fashioned by a man to fit his own personal unique style of training and living; a mold that was broken when he passed on.

Best,

Ron
Hi Ron.
I'm taken by your statement in the first paragraph above.

Aiming to replicate the founders Aikido I do not personally find at odds with with incorporating our own experiences and indeed developing our own expression of Aikido. I'll explain why.

As with any subject or any art the the only way to fully duplicate and understand it as given by the master of that art is by learning and duplicating and understanding the principles being taught. It's nothing to do with the physical. The 'basics' are not physical.

So it is necessary from this point of view to differenciate between basic principles as given compared to added data. When someone understands the principles of drawing, thus the technology, and can also apply those principles with pen on paper then they are free to express drawings according to their own purposes in their own way.

Only those who look at things physically alone and thus copying being their modus operandi would say that you or anyone else doing and expressing Aikido in a proficient way is not the founders Aikido. For obviously it is.

It is precisely for this reason that I have always told my students that one day I expect them to teach their own students but tell them they must develope their own way, their own style. Same principles-different style.

As an additive may I take the opportunity here to say how I apply or test my Aikido objectively as I have seen that word banded about quite freely.

All my students are learning what I teach and so how they get on in life using those principles is my objective study. For instance a lady who came and who I found out was trying to handle an abusive, both physically and mentally, son. Well, if someone comes to me it is because for whatever reason they need what I am teaching. So seeing not only the transformation in her but the subsequent handling of the situation is all I need as objective testing. So I would say Life gives you the true objective answers.

I say all this because I believe you are indeed doing the founders Aikido and are also expressing it in your way.

Respectfully.G.
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:08 PM   #59
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Hi Ron.
I'm taken by your statement in the first paragraph above.

Aiming to replicate the founders Aikido I do not personally find at odds with with incorporating our own experiences and indeed developing our own expression of Aikido. I'll explain why.

As with any subject or any art the the only way to fully duplicate and understand it as given by the master of that art is by learning and duplicating and understanding the principles being taught. It's nothing to do with the physical. The 'basics' are not physical.

So it is necessary from this point of view to differenciate between basic principles as given compared to added data. When someone understands the principles of drawing, thus the technology, and can also apply those principles with pen on paper then they are free to express drawings according to their own purposes in their own way.

Only those who look at things physically alone and thus copying being their modus operandi would say that you or anyone else doing and expressing Aikido in a proficient way is not the founders Aikido. For obviously it is.

It is precisely for this reason that I have always told my students that one day I expect them to teach their own students but tell them they must develope their own way, their own style. Same principles-different style.

As an additive may I take the opportunity here to say how I apply or test my Aikido objectively as I have seen that word banded about quite freely.

All my students are learning what I teach and so how they get on in life using those principles is my objective study. For instance a lady who came and who I found out was trying to handle an abusive, both physically and mentally, son. Well, if someone comes to me it is because for whatever reason they need what I am teaching. So seeing not only the transformation in her but the subsequent handling of the situation is all I need as objective testing. So I would say Life gives you the true objective answers.

I say all this because I believe you are indeed doing the founders Aikido and are also expressing it in your way.

Respectfully.G.
Hi Graham -

Interesting. If you're noting the invariance of Aikido principles with respect to stylistic interpretation of Aikido forms then I'd have to say I agree with you. I do feel, however, that the Founder's Aikido taken in its entirety as an integrated, principle based art was uniquely his. As we adopt the principles he laid down and give them form based on our own uniqueness as individuals our Aikido emerges as a natural consequence of our study.

While we may all share the principles that form a common foundation of our arts, the forms will be substantially different in their appearance and application. This, I think, is where the divisiveness begins to arise. People see only the form and the application of the form and, failing to discern the inner experience of the practitioner, decide that it's not the Aikido of Ueshiba. It's a shame, really, for I think Aikido was designed from the outset to be an art of inclusion rather than exclusion.

Best,

Ron

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Old 04-07-2011, 01:14 AM   #60
graham christian
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Hi Graham -

Interesting. If you're noting the invariance of Aikido principles with respect to stylistic interpretation of Aikido forms then I'd have to say I agree with you. I do feel, however, that the Founder's Aikido taken in its entirety as an integrated, principle based art was uniquely his. As we adopt the principles he laid down and give them form based on our own uniqueness as individuals our Aikido emerges as a natural consequence of our study.

While we may all share the principles that form a common foundation of our arts, the forms will be substantially different in their appearance and application. This, I think, is where the divisiveness begins to arise. People see only the form and the application of the form and, failing to discern the inner experience of the practitioner, decide that it's not the Aikido of Ueshiba. It's a shame, really, for I think Aikido was designed from the outset to be an art of inclusion rather than exclusion.

Best,

Ron
Ron.
I thoroughly agree. The way you put it made me think of this:

The founder did indeed lay the foundations. The different forms that arise from it is both envisioned and natural. No different in analogy from life it'self and the various life forms.

So in answer to the original question I would like to offer the following:

Any principle laid down by the founder which you understand and can apply in your Aikido shows you know some Aikido. Any principle you can apply on anyone no matter who they are shows you truly know that part of Aikido. Which leads us to another question which is 'How much Aikido do you truly know?'

Either way the resultant forms will look different for each individual and indeed group. I've never seen anyone do funakogi undo exactly the same as someone else let alone anything else. Externally different yet intrinsically the same.

Regards.G.

Last edited by graham christian : 04-07-2011 at 01:18 AM. Reason: SPELLING
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:11 PM   #61
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Late reply I know but:
Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Hi Larry
What kind of objective validation would you suggest?
The validation one seeks depends on ones training objectives imho. First one must have clear objectives and understand the critical skill sets required to achieve those objectives, then work on developing them. The final aspect is the evaluation or qualification method.

If the goal is effective physical waza (effective meaning that a technique should have the desired effect even if the attacker is uncooperative), then one can use testing in the form of sparring with varying levels of resistance and unpredictability. When ones techniques start failing regularly or the attacker's attacks start landing regularly it is time to stop and evaluate what is happening, where the breakdown is occurring and look for a method to fix or improve the area that's lacking. When the failings are addressed, keep increasing intensity and expanding the scope of attacks and aggression until your response fails again. Then repeat the analysis of the problem to find a new solution within the Aikido paradigm.

A similar approach can be used for different aspects of training depending on the goal of the practitioner.

Just my 2 cents.

LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:59 PM   #62
topgunc6
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Excellent word's Sensi. I will remind you of the trials and tribulations that Buddha lived to discover enlightenment. Most notably that all lessons came from suffering and only that suffering would allow each individual to learn those lessons. This suffering I refer to is the growth of Aikido. Mistakes will be made, but the true path will be discovered.
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