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Old 04-21-2011, 08:22 PM   #226
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
It's a translation of "Takemusu Aiki" (somewhat abridged to make it more comprehensible). And yes, in the original Japanese Ueshiba states quite clearly that competition is "forbidden".

Once again, before anybody goes nuts again, I'm not saying he's right (or wrong), just that his opinion was stated quite clearly, in his own words.

Best,

Chris
Hi Chris,
How do you reconcile that with the times where people did challenge each other (e.g. Tohei and Abe; Tohei and the camera man)? It seems like some forms of competition (at least, as I think of the word) were ok some of the time.
Take care,
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 04-21-2011 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:25 PM   #227
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Hi Chris,
How do you reconcile that with the times where people did challenge each other? It seems like some forms of competition (at least, as I think of the word) were ok some of the time.
Take care,
Matt
He was talking about sporting contests (shiai), not competition as a general concept.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-21-2011, 08:26 PM   #228
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
He was talking about sporting contests (shiai), not competition as a general concept.

Best,

Chris
Thanks, Chris!
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:45 PM   #229
David Orange
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Hi Chris,
How do you reconcile that with the times where people did challenge each other (e.g. Tohei and Abe; Tohei and the camera man)? It seems like some forms of competition (at least, as I think of the word) were ok some of the time.
Take care,
Matt
In addition to Chris' comment, I'd like to add that challenges among budo men tended to be rather more serious than a sporting match. No points were awarded and the underlying question was which could kill the other? Maybe the difference between budo and bujutsu is that the budo men could understand who was better without having to take it all the way to someone's literal death.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 04-21-2011, 09:30 PM   #230
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Are you anti competition guys absolutely sure of that? I wasn't there nor were most if not all on this forum, so how can we really know that....?

We seem to forget that according to scripture (and we all know what that is like don't we David), the great Tohei left the aikikai, because K Ueshiba was jealous of Tohei's influence. What's to say that Tomiki didn't do much the same..... as K was losing what was handed down to him?
Even Mochizuki's lot do competition of sorts now don't they?

Blimey what a mess.....
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:36 PM   #231
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
Are you anti competition guys absolutely sure of that? I wasn't there nor were most if not all on this forum, so how can we really know that....?
It's out of print, but you can still find it and read it in his own words (if you read Japanese) - try:

http://ps06.aucfan.com/aucview/yahoo/r76803845/

Alternatively, there's an audio recording of a radio interview where you can here him say the very same thing in his own voice - it's even subtitled in English:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/catalog...ails?code=os06

Really, the "we weren't there" argument doesn't hold a lot of water, the evidence is quite clear.

And I'm not one of the "anti competition guys", all I'm saying is that it is a matter of record that Ueshiba quite clearly condemned the transformation of Aikido into a sport.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-22-2011, 12:19 AM   #232
David Orange
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
Are you anti competition guys absolutely sure of that?
Sport has nothing to do with budo, Tony. They're incompatible by nature.

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
I wasn't there nor were most if not all on this forum, so how can we really know that....?
I had long talks with Mochizuki Sensei as well as listening to his lengthy lectures and reading extensively in what he wrote. I also translated a book that he wrote, which was never published. You can look up some of his articles about the relation of sport to budo on aikido journal's website. Not only was Ueshiba abhorrent of the idea of sporting competition, Kano was rather conflicted about it. He definitely did not want judo to become an Olympic sport. Mochizuki's attitude was a mix of the two. He believed that there is a time and place and function for sport, especially judo. But he was clear that budo can never become sport or it will cease to exist. The essence of budo is far greater than the sum of sport, even though we can learn and grow with sport. But sport can also limit our growth and narrow our development, which is anathema to the spirit of budo.

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
We seem to forget that according to scripture (and we all know what that is like don't we David), the great Tohei left the aikikai, because K Ueshiba was jealous of Tohei's influence. What's to say that Tomiki didn't do much the same..... as K was losing what was handed down to him?
Toheis' problems with Kisshomaru were not related to sport. It was a matter of family familiarity breeding a lot of trouble. They were brothers-in-law, you know: Tohei married Kisshomaru's sister. He had the skill and Kisshomaru had the title. It was bound to happen.

And I don't think Tomiki's split was anything at all like that. He had his own organization a long time before Morihei Ueshiba died. It wasn't even a split, really, but more along the lines of Shioda's creation of his own aikido.

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
Even Mochizuki's lot do competition of sorts now don't they?
That's Minoru Mochizuki's son's group. I only know about what Minoru Mochizuki taught, and that included the fact that budo cannot be sport and that aikido is budo. He created a very broad form of randori which was more open and free than anything I've seen from shodokan: attackers came from all directions with karate, judo, sumo, jujutsu attacks, bearing bokken, clubs, staffs, knives, whatever, one after the other, and if the defender didn't throw someone with aikido in the very first move, that attacker would counter attack and it often went to submission grappling. Try that with ten attackers in a row. So it was athletic, no question about that. The aikido included every aikido technique but also every judo throw, every kind of jujutsu lock and hold and especially a broad number--maybe fifty--of sutemi waza. Most nights, we'd do a straight hour of sutemi-only randori with five or six black belts. There were usually more black belts than that in attendance, but we usually broke into smaller groups of five or six. Again, we got every kind of attack but every technique we did had to be sutemi. We did not do that for weapon attacks.

That was heavy duty practice, very serious. You had to be in a very steady state of mind because you were putting your neck on the line every time you stepped out there. And we got people from all over the world, stopping by to train on their vacations, fresh as daisies, strong and doing jujutsu for fun, while we regulars were there night after night, week after week, year round.

I don't think that kind of thing could be done the same if it involved points or winning. We developed all techniques with both the right and left side of the body, as well, which usually disappears when competition enters the picture. People find that they can do a particular technique well, especially on one side or the other and soon that's all they want to practice, and only on their "good" side. And it all deteriorates in that kind of mindset. So whatever washes out downstream, budo at the source is something pure and far superior to any sporting pursuit.

I did get shodan in judo while I was in Japan, however, through competition. I fought a Brazilian judo champion. He beat me decisively, but the kodokan declared me shodan.

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
Blimey what a mess.....
Not if you stick to the roots. It's very elemental there, and very powerful. Ueshiba was adamant that aikido must not become a sport.

Now, I'm not saying that Tomiki was wrong to create a sporting element, but it should always be understood that Tomiki's sporting aspect is only one facet that is possible with aikido and that aikido is much more than that and possesses a much greater nature than that.

David

Last edited by David Orange : 04-22-2011 at 12:24 AM.

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Old 04-22-2011, 04:51 AM   #233
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Sport has nothing to do with budo, Tony. They're incompatible by nature.

I had long talks with Mochizuki Sensei as well as listening to his lengthy lectures and reading extensively in what he wrote. I also translated a book that he wrote, which was never published. You can look up some of his articles about the relation of sport to budo on aikido journal's website. Not only was Ueshiba abhorrent of the idea of sporting competition, Kano was rather conflicted about it. He definitely did not want judo to become an Olympic sport. Mochizuki's attitude was a mix of the two. He believed that there is a time and place and function for sport, especially judo. But he was clear that budo can never become sport or it will cease to exist. The essence of budo is far greater than the sum of sport, even though we can learn and grow with sport. But sport can also limit our growth and narrow our development, which is anathema to the spirit of budo.

Toheis' problems with Kisshomaru were not related to sport. It was a matter of family familiarity breeding a lot of trouble. They were brothers-in-law, you know: Tohei married Kisshomaru's sister. He had the skill and Kisshomaru had the title. It was bound to happen.

And I don't think Tomiki's split was anything at all like that. He had his own organization a long time before Morihei Ueshiba died. It wasn't even a split, really, but more along the lines of Shioda's creation of his own aikido.

That's Minoru Mochizuki's son's group. I only know about what Minoru Mochizuki taught, and that included the fact that budo cannot be sport and that aikido is budo. He created a very broad form of randori which was more open and free than anything I've seen from shodokan: attackers came from all directions with karate, judo, sumo, jujutsu attacks, bearing bokken, clubs, staffs, knives, whatever, one after the other, and if the defender didn't throw someone with aikido in the very first move, that attacker would counter attack and it often went to submission grappling. Try that with ten attackers in a row. So it was athletic, no question about that. The aikido included every aikido technique but also every judo throw, every kind of jujutsu lock and hold and especially a broad number--maybe fifty--of sutemi waza. Most nights, we'd do a straight hour of sutemi-only randori with five or six black belts. There were usually more black belts than that in attendance, but we usually broke into smaller groups of five or six. Again, we got every kind of attack but every technique we did had to be sutemi. We did not do that for weapon attacks.

That was heavy duty practice, very serious. You had to be in a very steady state of mind because you were putting your neck on the line every time you stepped out there. And we got people from all over the world, stopping by to train on their vacations, fresh as daisies, strong and doing jujutsu for fun, while we regulars were there night after night, week after week, year round.

I don't think that kind of thing could be done the same if it involved points or winning. We developed all techniques with both the right and left side of the body, as well, which usually disappears when competition enters the picture. People find that they can do a particular technique well, especially on one side or the other and soon that's all they want to practice, and only on their "good" side. And it all deteriorates in that kind of mindset. So whatever washes out downstream, budo at the source is something pure and far superior to any sporting pursuit.

I did get shodan in judo while I was in Japan, however, through competition. I fought a Brazilian judo champion. He beat me decisively, but the kodokan declared me shodan.

Not if you stick to the roots. It's very elemental there, and very powerful. Ueshiba was adamant that aikido must not become a sport.

Now, I'm not saying that Tomiki was wrong to create a sporting element, but it should always be understood that Tomiki's sporting aspect is only one facet that is possible with aikido and that aikido is much more than that and possesses a much greater nature than that.

David
OK David so how come Judo has spread so well and has become the dynamic "sport" that it has?
Yet aikido seems to be floundering (according to AJ's Stan Pranin)
As many clubs are experiencing a downturn in their numbers?
Yet we see judo is flourishing, much like Tae kwon do which I believe is now an Olympic sport as well. Tae kwon do does well around this area. Had one or two come to vist and train a while as they were interested in the Kansetsu waza, throwing etc etc.....For me it has always been an uphill struggle financially to keep a dojo, one of the reasons I had to close down.....
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:11 AM   #234
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Just because something is more popular, doesn't mean it's better.
Is football better than rugby?

I think David's point was that judo (and tae kwon do) have become diluted (the charge you ad nauseum level against aikido), and though this has made them popular, it is no longer them: it's something else that is popular, under the same name.
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:20 AM   #235
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
Just because something is more popular, doesn't mean it's better.
Is football better than rugby?

I think David's point was that judo (and tae kwon do) have become diluted (the charge you ad nauseum level against aikido), and though this has made them popular, it is no longer them: it's something else that is popular, under the same name.
Here's an interesting article:

http://judoinfo.com/draeger.htm

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-22-2011, 10:11 AM   #236
David Orange
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
OK David so how come Judo has spread so well and has become the dynamic "sport" that it has?
Tony, do you want me to go back in history and rewrite the beliefs these great masters held? We can lie and delude ourselves, but Ueshiba and Mochizuki were clear that budo will die if it becomes a sport. And they were right. And Kano really felt the same about Judo becoming an Olympic sport. Before that, the era of Sampo Toku and Kyuzo Mifune, judo was straddling a line between sport and budo but Kano understood that the sport element was degrading the budo content. That's why he created the classical budo research group, which led to his sending Mochizuki to train with Ueshiba. I understand that Tomiki went to Ueshiba independently. But Kano wanted to bring judo back from the danger of becoming total sport and reintroduce the classical samurai values and knowledge of the sword to what was becoming just another form of wrestling.

And as for something spreading far and wide, just think of WalMart, McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Mass production does not mean mass quality. And there is definitely something missing from those mass distribution complexes that is similar to what has been lost in judo on the spiritual side.

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
Yet aikido seems to be floundering (according to AJ's Stan Pranin)
What's wrong with that? The quality of the practice is far more important than the numbers practicing. Frankly, aikido could use some pruning. It's way bigger today than in Ueshiba's day and the quality was higher in Ueshiba's time, so maybe there's a relation.

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
As many clubs are experiencing a downturn in their numbers?
Again, the art does not depend on the number of people doing it badly. It depends on a fair number doing it excellently.

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
Yet we see judo is flourishing, much like Tae kwon do which I believe is now an Olympic sport as well. Tae kwon do does well around this area.
I'm sure you have some McDonalds around the area, as well. What if all the pubs in England were replaced by McPubbys? What would be gained or lost by that? What if all the old nomikaya in Japan were replaced by Fudruckers and TGI Fridays? What if all the ryokans and onsen were replaced by Club Meds? Aikido is not a commercial product to be modified in whatever way sells best. It's a pure art meant to be pursued by and for the benefit of real artists--not beret-wearing wannabes.

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
Had one or two come to vist and train a while as they were interested in the Kansetsu waza, throwing etc etc.....For me it has always been an uphill struggle financially to keep a dojo, one of the reasons I had to close down.....
Minoru Mochizuki was the only full-time martial artist I knew in Japan and he sometimes worked as a sort of chiropractor on the side. Tezuka was a city manager, Washizu worked for the railroad (like Saito), Kenmotsu was a farmer. Yoshida was a pharmacist. Even Kenji Ushiro owns a company and makes his living from that. The only other full-time martial artist I knew was not Japanese and he was independently wealthy, so he could do whatever he wanted.

Most of the people you will meet who are very advanced in martial arts have a stable, well-paying job that allows them to have a stable home, control their time and travel internationally at will. They spend enormous amounts of money to study under the top teachers and to maintain dojos where they teach. They usually don't make enough "profit" to sneeze at, IF they even break even.

On the other hand, you can get a TKD black belt in about three years, be 7th dan in about eight years, grind out black belts in a storefront, bill them electronically, and make $100,000.00 a year, if that's the kind of martial art you want.

What I teach, I teach for free, just to have someone to train with.

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:15 AM   #237
David Orange
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
I think David's point was that judo (and tae kwon do) have become diluted (the charge you ad nauseum level against aikido), and though this has made them popular, it is no longer them: it's something else that is popular, under the same name.
Right. It's no longer the same art, but it uses the same name.

Thanks.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
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Old 04-22-2011, 12:07 PM   #238
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Tony, do you want me to go back in history and rewrite the beliefs these great masters held? We can lie and delude ourselves, but Ueshiba and Mochizuki were clear that budo will die if it becomes a sport. And they were right. And Kano really felt the same about Judo becoming an Olympic sport. Before that, the era of Sampo Toku and Kyuzo Mifune, judo was straddling a line between sport and budo but Kano understood that the sport element was degrading the budo content. That's why he created the classical budo research group, which led to his sending Mochizuki to train with Ueshiba. I understand that Tomiki went to Ueshiba independently. But Kano wanted to bring judo back from the danger of becoming total sport and reintroduce the classical samurai values and knowledge of the sword to what was becoming just another form of wrestling.

And as for something spreading far and wide, just think of WalMart, McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Mass production does not mean mass quality. And there is definitely something missing from those mass distribution complexes that is similar to what has been lost in judo on the spiritual side.

What's wrong with that? The quality of the practice is far more important than the numbers practicing. Frankly, aikido could use some pruning. It's way bigger today than in Ueshiba's day and the quality was higher in Ueshiba's time, so maybe there's a relation.

Again, the art does not depend on the number of people doing it badly. It depends on a fair number doing it excellently.

I'm sure you have some McDonalds around the area, as well. What if all the pubs in England were replaced by McPubbys? What would be gained or lost by that? What if all the old nomikaya in Japan were replaced by Fudruckers and TGI Fridays? What if all the ryokans and onsen were replaced by Club Meds? Aikido is not a commercial product to be modified in whatever way sells best. It's a pure art meant to be pursued by and for the benefit of real artists--not beret-wearing wannabes.

Minoru Mochizuki was the only full-time martial artist I knew in Japan and he sometimes worked as a sort of chiropractor on the side. Tezuka was a city manager, Washizu worked for the railroad (like Saito), Kenmotsu was a farmer. Yoshida was a pharmacist. Even Kenji Ushiro owns a company and makes his living from that. The only other full-time martial artist I knew was not Japanese and he was independently wealthy, so he could do whatever he wanted.

Most of the people you will meet who are very advanced in martial arts have a stable, well-paying job that allows them to have a stable home, control their time and travel internationally at will. They spend enormous amounts of money to study under the top teachers and to maintain dojos where they teach. They usually don't make enough "profit" to sneeze at, IF they even break even.

On the other hand, you can get a TKD black belt in about three years, be 7th dan in about eight years, grind out black belts in a storefront, bill them electronically, and make $100,000.00 a year, if that's the kind of martial art you want.

What I teach, I teach for free, just to have someone to train with.
Sounds like me then Dave..... But I am nowhere like rich, believe me I have never ever made a profit from it, mostly loss and hardly break even, and that was a rarity. I have to admit when I can get back a dojo, I hope by late summer, it won't be for the numbers, just for the joy of doing it, I have never had more than twenty members at any one time..... Like Tomiki and Draeger and all those now gone I have always balanced equally between kata and randori as it needs that balance.... I'm a great believer in loads of kihon as it's where it's all really at. The katas are like stories and makes things interesting.

I did teach professionally for about 3 - 4 years, but the late 80's early 90's recession took care of that and I had to survive where I could, but still managed to run at least one dojo..... Now I just want no more than half a dozen students and I would be as happy as Larry.... I hope I can afford to buy some more mats as the ones I had were trashed, but I won't go into that, it's a very sore point in my aikido life.... but I just keep getting up....
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Old 04-22-2011, 01:08 PM   #239
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Here's an interesting article:

http://judoinfo.com/draeger.htm

Best,

Chris
Dear Chris,
Excellent article. As it happens I have an old judo training partner a 7th dan .In conversation with him recently he stated that Judo Katas which have long been neglected are now making a comeback.He is a recognised Instructor on Judo Kata and his seminars are attracting attention from the young judoka, who are/were primarily shiai guys.
My friends name is Bob Thomas 7th Dan .He writes occasionally in the judo forums.
He is resident in Glasgow. Cheers, Joe.
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Old 04-22-2011, 02:12 PM   #240
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Right. It's no longer the same art, but it uses the same name.

Thanks.

David
No problem. The UK equivalent of Wal Mart is called Tesco; they move into areas, and tend to attract custom from local businesses, leading to closures, etc.
Only last night there was a violent backlash from the local community towards an unwanted Tesco store that had been opened in the area, against the wishes of the local people:

http://neurobonkers.com/?p=2509

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-13169684
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:05 PM   #241
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
Sounds like me then Dave..... But I am nowhere like rich, believe me I have never ever made a profit from it, mostly loss and hardly break even, and that was a rarity. I have to admit when I can get back a dojo, I hope by late summer, it won't be for the numbers, just for the joy of doing it, I have never had more than twenty members at any one time..... Like Tomiki and Draeger and all those now gone I have always balanced equally between kata and randori as it needs that balance.... I'm a great believer in loads of kihon as it's where it's all really at. The katas are like stories and makes things interesting.

I did teach professionally for about 3 - 4 years, but the late 80's early 90's recession took care of that and I had to survive where I could, but still managed to run at least one dojo..... Now I just want no more than half a dozen students and I would be as happy as Larry.... I hope I can afford to buy some more mats as the ones I had were trashed, but I won't go into that, it's a very sore point in my aikido life.... but I just keep getting up....
Dear Tony,
I have a colleague who has 50 blue rubber 6 by 3 mats for sale.If interested give me a bell.Cheers, Joe.
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:17 AM   #242
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Here's an interesting article:

http://judoinfo.com/draeger.htm
Since Judo was brought up in relation to the discussion, here is a link to much more up to date research on the same topic being addressed by Draeger - http://www.archbudo.com/abstracted.p...d_issue=834968. The article is the last one on the page, authored by F. Shishida.

I think you will find some contrasts to Draeger's concept that Kano "painstakingly removed that which he considered objectionable martial tone from his teachings". If this were true he would not have been studying fighting methods based on weapons (Kendo & Bo-jutsu)and self defence (Aiki-Bujutsu) well after the establishment of the original Kodokan Judo.

Apparently many have confused the limited sporting aspect of Judo as representative of the entire Budo of Kodokan Judo. I dare say the same may be happening with Tomiki's Aikido if we are not careful.

The concept that the sport version of Judo was not Kano's ultimate ideal was not lost on Tomiki when he created sport Aikido. As I indicated earlier, sport is a portion of the practice that must be kept within its context. Its limitations and benefits should be well known by those who refer to themselves as Instructors. If victory in shiai is the be all and end all of practice then one loses sight of the much larger objective and benefits of training.

Regarding the original question of whether Ueshiba M. condemned shiai or not, my question would be how many Shodokan Aikido practitioners (people who do shiai) plan on learning Ueshiba M.'s Aikido. If one wanted to walk in the steps of Ueshiba M. there are many outside of Shodokan (people who don't do shiai) who would serve quite well in teaching that approach imho. So there is no conflict.

The word "Aikido" is not a registered trademark of the Ueshiba family the last time I checked. In that light they don't get to define Aikido in all its possible expressions. If Ueshiba M. condemned shiai in his Aikido - there is nothing wrong with that. Tomiki learnt a method of fighting (DRAJJ) when he studied under Ueshiba M. so he based his systematic, pragmatic approach to training on that paradigm.

We see lots of relationships between combative methods and related sports throughout history. In the modern day we use guns and rifles in combat and we have competitive gun and rifle sports as well. In this light the sport serves to keep certain core skill sets sharp even during peace time. Combat sports based on aspects of empty handed combat serve the same purpose imho. At the end of the day, trained and sharpened mental and physical skills and reflexes serve one better than those that are not sharpened, whether on the street, at work, in the boardroom or in a competition or contest of any sort. In that light there is no comparison between the mental and physical speed, reflexes and body handling of someone who practices with a pressure-testing system (such as shiai) and someone who does not.

Just a few thoughts.

LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:23 AM   #243
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
Since Judo was brought up in relation to the discussion, here is a link to much more up to date research on the same topic being addressed by Draeger - http://www.archbudo.com/abstracted.p...d_issue=834968. The article is the last one on the page, authored by F. Shishida.

I think you will find some contrasts to Draeger's concept that Kano "painstakingly removed that which he considered objectionable martial tone from his teachings". If this were true he would not have been studying fighting methods based on weapons (Kendo & Bo-jutsu)and self defence (Aiki-Bujutsu) well after the establishment of the original Kodokan Judo.

Apparently many have confused the limited sporting aspect of Judo as representative of the entire Budo of Kodokan Judo. I dare say the same may be happening with Tomiki's Aikido if we are not careful.

The concept that the sport version of Judo was not Kano's ultimate ideal was not lost on Tomiki when he created sport Aikido. As I indicated earlier, sport is a portion of the practice that must be kept within its context. Its limitations and benefits should be well known by those who refer to themselves as Instructors. If victory in shiai is the be all and end all of practice then one loses sight of the much larger objective and benefits of training.

Regarding the original question of whether Ueshiba M. condemned shiai or not, my question would be how many Shodokan Aikido practitioners (people who do shiai) plan on learning Ueshiba M.'s Aikido. If one wanted to walk in the steps of Ueshiba M. there are many outside of Shodokan (people who don't do shiai) who would serve quite well in teaching that approach imho. So there is no conflict.

The word "Aikido" is not a registered trademark of the Ueshiba family the last time I checked. In that light they don't get to define Aikido in all its possible expressions. If Ueshiba M. condemned shiai in his Aikido - there is nothing wrong with that. Tomiki learnt a method of fighting (DRAJJ) when he studied under Ueshiba M. so he based his systematic, pragmatic approach to training on that paradigm.

We see lots of relationships between combative methods and related sports throughout history. In the modern day we use guns and rifles in combat and we have competitive gun and rifle sports as well. In this light the sport serves to keep certain core skill sets sharp even during peace time. Combat sports based on aspects of empty handed combat serve the same purpose imho. At the end of the day, trained and sharpened mental and physical skills and reflexes serve one better than those that are not sharpened, whether on the street, at work, in the boardroom or in a competition or contest of any sort. In that light there is no comparison between the mental and physical speed, reflexes and body handling of someone who practices with a pressure-testing system (such as shiai) and someone who does not.

Just a few thoughts.

LC
Good thoughts Larry, lets face it, the shiai arena is just a testing ground and the "moment of truth" that Tomiki Shihan wrote about in his many thesis. It is not the be all and end all that so many get confused about, unfortunately it does happen in all "sports"
I found out a lot from losing, more so than winning, it's the only way really.... Well for me it is anyway...

Just a couple of thoughts.....

As Haba Sensei used to say to me don't think! Do!!
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:58 AM   #244
sakumeikan
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Tony,
I have a colleague who has 50 blue rubber 6 by 3 mats for sale.If interested give me a bell.Cheers, Joe.
Dear tony,
If you rang me recently give me another call.If not in leave phone number. Joe
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:54 PM   #245
David Orange
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
At the end of the day, trained and sharpened mental and physical skills and reflexes serve one better than those that are not sharpened, whether on the street, at work, in the boardroom or in a competition or contest of any sort. In that light there is no comparison between the mental and physical speed, reflexes and body handling of someone who practices with a pressure-testing system (such as shiai) and someone who does not.
Larry, I agree with your general direction on this but in this last part, it gives me some thoughts.

You're right that the sharpened mental and physical skills and reflexes are better than the unsharpened and unrefined. And in that way, the sporting approach can give very similar results to the budo method. But while we know what is "missing" in a budo that does not include sport, we can't know what's missing from a sport that is not informed by budo.

Kano Sensei already felt that judo was missing a certain something by the 1920s and he felt that the missing element could only be gained in classical budo, which is why he sent his people to Ueshiba, Funakoshi and TSKSR.

Even if you retain a lot of the budo roots, as in judo, the greater emphasis will always (and probably increasingly) be the sport aspect. And the reason for competition in sport will far outweigh the budo reason for "competition" as it exists in budo. Which is to say, comparison for increased knowledge and understanding. It is something so subtle (for those with no knowledge of it) that sport can seem to replace it. But once it's gone, if there is no pure budo as a source of the old spirit, then it's gone for good.

Best to you.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 04-25-2011, 10:16 PM   #246
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Even if you retain a lot of the budo roots, as in judo, the greater emphasis will always (and probably increasingly) be the sport aspect. And the reason for competition in sport will far outweigh the budo reason for "competition" as it exists in budo. Which is to say, comparison for increased knowledge and understanding. It is something so subtle (for those with no knowledge of it) that sport can seem to replace it. But once it's gone, if there is no pure budo as a source of the old spirit, then it's gone for good.
Hi David,

I totally agree with your point. I merely wanted to make the benefits of the competition approach clear.

As far as I am concerned, modern Judo is a sport. The judoka out there who understand Budo are a very very small bunch from my experience.

This is why I keep repeating that the competition approach should be used as a tool for training and development but imho should not become the centre of ones practice method.

To me the difference between the sport and Budo approach can be both subtle and obvious depending on what we are looking at. I see it in both my Aikido and Jujutsu training. The mindset of the person with the Budo approach is quite different. The Budo mindset has served me quite well in sparring / randori in Aikido and Jujutsu. If I had to choose I'd take the Budo mindset every time.

This is why Tomiki's approach is centred on kata training with randori as a testing method. Budo was a central concept of his theory. A major part of the randori method was to maintain the martial edge of the method (both in mind and body). Unfortunately when we get caught up in competition too much we forget that aspect.

Just a few cents.

LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:48 PM   #247
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Aikido as Sport: Did O'Sensei Condemn It?

Good post Larry. I agree.

Chuck Clark
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