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Old 05-09-2011, 09:56 AM   #76
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Quote:
Lee Crockett wrote: View Post
So where have i given evidence i dont know what i am talking about? In fact, people have agreed with what i said by saying "deal with it"
Pay attention: Doshu changes have nothing to do with "we're not doing O Sensei's Aikido" nor with "what is being practiced today is not what O Sensei called Aikido".

We are not doing O sensei's Aikido because only O Sensei did O Sensei's Aikido.

Quote:
My source, a book by Pierre Chassang who was a student of Abe, Nakazono, Noro and Tamura. Though i have also read and heard it elsewhere.
I bet is misquoted.

Quote:
If people believe they know more than me, then where are people offering alternatives? They arent, its people just DISMISSING what i say without a valid argument to support their position.
I've offered you the alternative: spirit posession (a bit of kotodama practise should help). Just do it.

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 05-09-2011 at 10:00 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:03 AM   #77
Cliff Judge
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Quote:
Lee Crockett wrote: View Post
I am happy to DISCUSS,
You are not. You have been vehement in your refusal to accept new ideas or grant that anyone other than yourself may be correct. You have, furthermore, been doing a poor job arguing; you had one gentleman backing you up on "static wrist grabs only for ten years" but he's since stepped away from the keyboard...probably off somewhere training or something like that...
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:06 AM   #78
Lee Crockett
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Nicholas,

If the quotation by O'Sensei is correct, and i have no doubt it is, training today is differnet to O'Senseis teachings.

There also another thread on this forum about Abe and Tomiki commenting on this with regard to training at the Hombu.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:13 AM   #79
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
...St Augustine wrote "love, and then do whatever you want".
We could say: "Practice a lot, nearly in whatever way you want".
Amen to that! I think an important componant to this kind of thinking is the idea of mindfulness. To my mind, love and sincerity are very closely related, and I tend to think as long as we have our "first step" firmly rooted in that, everything else follows fairly naturally.
I think it when it comes to repetition, it's very easy to shut off the attention, and that's problematic...1000 bad habits done are harder to reverse, but when we really work on doing everything with the utmost sincerity, those 1000 repetitions aren't pure repetition. That is to say, they appear that way externally, but internally it's a 1000 different things because each one is a unique effort.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:13 AM   #80
Lee Crockett
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Cliff,

Have you heard the term Budo Sportif? This is how Arikawa referred to todays Aikido.

There may not be people on here agreeing with me, but that doesnt mean i am wrong. What makes you think you are right?
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:28 AM   #81
Lee Crockett
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Demetrio,

If you want to dismiss Arikawa stating there is only one Aikido, that is up to you, but i wouldnt dismiss Arikawa.

Your comments have become very personal, i too could do that, but i havent. Your insinutation that ive misquoted is one step too far, so on that note ill not say any more and leave it for you all to think that you are doing "Aikido".
.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:58 AM   #82
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Quote:
Lee Crockett wrote: View Post
Nicholas,

If the quotation by O'Sensei is correct, and i have no doubt it is, training today is differnet to O'Senseis teachings.

There also another thread on this forum about Abe and Tomiki commenting on this with regard to training at the Hombu.
Actually, he was talking about the term "Aiki" as it was used historically as opposed to how he was using it, he wasn't comparing modern Aikido practice to older Aikido practice. It becomes clear if you read it in context.

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-09-2011, 12:04 PM   #83
Cliff Judge
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Quote:
Lee Crockett wrote: View Post
Have you heard the term Budo Sportif? This is how Arikawa referred to todays Aikido.
Why don't you provide a quote, cite where you got it from (i.e. title of the book please), and then comment on the quotation, what you think it means, etc.

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Lee Crockett wrote: View Post
What makes you think you are right?
I don't.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:09 PM   #84
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Quote:
Lee Crockett wrote: View Post
Demetrio,

If you want to dismiss Arikawa stating there is only one Aikido, that is up to you, but i wouldnt dismiss Arikawa.
Where have I dismissed Arikawa Sensei's statements? I haven't seen any of them here.

Quote:
Your comments have become very personal, i too could do that, but i havent.
The passive-aggresiveness is strong with you.

Quote:
Your insinutation that ive misquoted is one step too far
Prove me wrong. Prove "That which people who practice the martial arts call Aiki is fundamentally different to what i call Aiki" is an O Sensei statement.

Quote:
so on that note ill not say any more and leave it for you all to think that you are doing "Aikido"
At least we're not doing "your" Aikido.
.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:31 PM   #85
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

I perceive a fundamental disconnect in this thread, Lee -- you have stated some positions, but for whatever reason haven't gone beyond a declaration to some sort of exposition; which a number of people respectfully requested. From my perspective, your responses often treat attempts to discuss as disagreement and disagreement as attack.

You really missed the boat re. Mr. Matthews, BTW, and showed a curious lack of curiosity when this first was pointed out to you. If you are interested in Arikawa's perspective, and find it speaks to you, seems to me you managed to discourage a conversation with exactly the wrong person.

Meanwhile, we were discussing the IDEA of three levels of aikido. How does this IDEA relate to your IDEAS? Not in pedigree or authorship -- but in substance.

David Henderson
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:19 PM   #86
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Well I just read most of the thread. As usual I made the mistake of trying to hit the ground running, but not knowing which way the road was coming from.
Graham, great OP! It really meshes well with my understanding, limited though I know it is. I think it's a great approach and I plan on referencing it personally as I continue with my own training.
Graham, would you say it's more or less true that I can view the first level as pertaining largely with personal integration, the second level as interpersonal integration (physical), and the third level as being an even greater degree of interpersonal integration (metaphysical)? and that this isn't so much a linear bunch of stepping stones as much as a tendancy for one to lead toward the other? Given some situation, for example, I might have poor level 1 and 2, but might still happen to see a way toward achieving level 3? ...Like if someone were to almost hit me for "eye-balling" him, but I'm able to let him know that not only was I not look at him, but at the other guy about to attack him from behind, and, giving ample warning, was able to save his life. In that case I might be physically meak and "scatter-brained" in confrontation, never mind the ability to apply myself with much effect on another mind/body, but still able to turn a potential enemy into a life-long friend.
Is all of that in keeping with your meaning?

Lee, I admire your passion and focus on what you're learning, but I have to wonder what you hope to accomplish with your delivery. You might well understand the one true Aikido better than most (or many), but I think you might want to consider looking into how to make your message received better...and if you're not interested in getting folks who disagree to accept your understanding on those things you have a greater understaning of, why put it out there to begin with? ...This is a rhetorical question. Any issues you have with it, please feel free to PM me. I apologize if I am mischaracterizing anything.
Sincerely,
Matthew

Last edited by mathewjgano : 05-09-2011 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:57 PM   #87
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

...A very quick apology to Graham, Jun, and others who would like to see the thread remain on-topic:
I should have made that last bit a PM. I'm not sure why I suggested a reply should be via PM but missed the fact that my own remarks should be too.
Sorry again,
Matt
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:14 PM   #88
graham christian
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
...A very quick apology to Graham, Jun, and others who would like to see the thread remain on-topic:
I should have made that last bit a PM. I'm not sure why I suggested a reply should be via PM but missed the fact that my own remarks should be too.
Sorry again,
Matt
Hi Matthew.
No problem. Regarding the previous post I liked your take on it, nice in life analogy. It's not given as an exact 'must be' but rather for people to muse. My precise meaning I'll try to sum up but I emphasize it's just my view.

To stop myself going on too long I'll give a simple or even simplistic sum up of my idea.

3 levels of responsibility.

1) Responsible for being at one, spirit mind and body in self, alert yet totally at ease.

2)Responsible for maintaining that whilst in danger. In Aikido whilst handling an attacking opponent and through that ability thus handling the opponent without harm.

3)Responsible for transcending even that and actually restoring the opponent to level 1.

A long path.

Regards.G.
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:15 PM   #89
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Hi Matthew.
No problem. Regarding the previous post I liked your take on it, nice in life analogy. It's not given as an exact 'must be' but rather for people to muse. My precise meaning I'll try to sum up but I emphasize it's just my view.

To stop myself going on too long I'll give a simple or even simplistic sum up of my idea.

3 levels of responsibility.

1) Responsible for being at one, spirit mind and body in self, alert yet totally at ease.

2)Responsible for maintaining that whilst in danger. In Aikido whilst handling an attacking opponent and through that ability thus handling the opponent without harm.

3)Responsible for transcending even that and actually restoring the opponent to level 1.

A long path.

Regards.G.
Hi Graham,
Thank you, sir! I think I see your meaning a little better. One of things that drew me to Aikido is what I perceived to be the ideal of healing; of taking a bad situation and not only negating harm, but even improving things for all involved.
I don't have a lot of experience to draw from so I tend to cue in on a small handful. This probably isn't a great example, but:
I "lived" in SFO for 3 days while waiting for a flight to Kansai and on the second night I had an encounter with a homeless guy who I've become fairly convinced was planning on jumping me. I bought him lunch earlier in the day and spent some time chatting with him. At around 2am as I was adding to my 20 minute nap from the night before, he woke me up and asked me if I would keep him company while he waited for a bus for which he had a ticket. I was so sleep deprived I didn't think clearly, and soon found myself walking down a long deserted hallway of the very empty airport. I took precautions: I made sure my hand closest to him was free and I lagged behind, fading somewhat into his rear corner in case he attacked me suddenly. As we waited for his "bus," chatting, he suddenly looked at me accusingly, saying I looked like an undercover cop. I adopted my most sincere, look-him-in-the-eye demeanor and explained, "hey man, I don't know what to say. I'm just a guy waiting to go to Japan to see his girlfriend." Now I should be clear that I tracked this guy before he first "casually" sat next to me earlier in the day, tried to strike up a conversation and then hit me up for money. I didn't trust him, but I did care about him, which is why I fed him. I was very clear about what I could and could not do for him from the start. I believe it was a mixture of my sincere kindness, my willingness to treat the guy with respect, and my simple and direct nature which ultimately kept him from attacking me later that night. I might have just been lucky too, but he seemed to forget about his bus story and offered to show me the "good places to sleep." We went there and I waited for him to fall asleep before I exited stage-anywhere-but-here.
Now I have a kid and another on the way, so I will not take such a risk again; period. I'm also a bit less forgiving toward pan-handlers since I've been to Cambodia and other places where I saw a deeper reality of need. I also wouldn't ever recommend anyone to allow themselves to be put into a situation like that. Flirting with danger is asking for trouble, but I'd like to think I made him understand the situation a bit more clearly and to reconsider his intent; to find some place a little closer to being centered than he was before.
Hard to say of course
Take care,
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 05-09-2011 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:16 AM   #90
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Quote:
Lee Crockett wrote: View Post
Im not going to respond to the points individually.
I didn't expect you would. That's how I chose my questions.

Why is just Arikawa sensei so important to you?
Why don't you "use" words of other students of Ueshiba?

Quote:
If you are happy doing what you are doing then fine, but it is not what O'Sensei left us. So you should not be calling it Aikido.
Well, I'm doing, learning and teaching aikido. For sure.
I'm sorry if you can't bring this together with your thinking.

Quote:
The simple fact of the matter is that we are not following O'Senseis teachings.
Well, the shihan I follow, talks about what O sensei told him or taught him.
When he transfers O senseis words and what he experienced with him to us, to me this is kind of following his teachings.
But following his teachings is not copying him.

There is a proverb in German:
If your ar pointing at someone with your index finger, there are three fingers poiting at yourself.

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 05-10-2011 at 02:23 AM.
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:42 AM   #91
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Why don't you provide a quote, cite where you got it from (i.e. title of the book please), and then comment on the quotation, what you think it means, etc.

I don't.
Hi Cliff

For the record - The book title is "Ai Ki Do - The way forward" by Pierre Chassang. I don't believe it has been published - just distributed among students of PC ( I believe PC may be the longest practicing Aikidoka in Europe...if not, hes certainly close).

The quote comes from a discussion in Paris 1993 between PC & Arikawa (who PC held in highest esteem) on the subject of European Aikido having lost its way somewhat.

PC used the term 'Modern Aikido' to distinguish between the Aikido being practiced at the time and that taught by O'Sensei.

Arikawa strong response "Chassang, there is only one Aikido, one only; there cannot be two. Aikido is unique,,,Modern Aikido! It makes no sense"

My comment on this quotation is that the situation is exactly the same observation as that in the various threads here on "Aiki-do v Aikido(TM)" and IS/IT.

So basically an argument that true Aikido is imbued with power from the hara and that training that focusses on the forms only is somehow lacking and a shallower copy.

If I could comment in general on this thread - Lee's mistake ...which I made myself when I first came to Aikiweb although not with same impact ...is to underestimate the numbers of people who are aware of 'IS' (as a convenient term) within Aikido and actively working to include this spice in their Aikido.

This is somewhat compounded by a failure to recognise the necessary etiquette in this virtual dojo ...and perhaps forgetting that that is all it is. Real exchange takes place on the tatami.

Much of what Lee says I agree with...and I believe so do many others but they just don't realise due to differences in terminology used and Lee's rather unharmonious forum style.

Thats all I want to say - I've no wish to become further embroiled in this thread or 'the other one' until things become a bit more civilised.

Regards

Daren
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:35 AM   #92
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Hi Daren,

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote: View Post
For the record - The book title is "Ai Ki Do - The way forward" by Pierre Chassang. I don't believe it has been published - just distributed among students of PC ( I believe PC may be the longest practicing Aikidoka in Europe...if not, hes certainly close).

The quote comes from a discussion in Paris 1993 between PC & Arikawa (who PC held in highest esteem) on the subject of European Aikido having lost its way somewhat.

PC used the term 'Modern Aikido' to distinguish between the Aikido being practiced at the time and that taught by O'Sensei.

Arikawa strong response "Chassang, there is only one Aikido, one only; there cannot be two. Aikido is unique,,,Modern Aikido! It makes no sense"
Thanks for the info.

Quote:
Much of what Lee says I agree with...and I believe so do many others but they just don't realise due to differences in terminology used and Lee's rather unharmonious forum style.
I would not say Lee opinions are absolutely wrong but, IMO, he needs to do a bit more of homework before lecturing people about "the real Aikido".

Quote:
Thats all I want to say - I've no wish to become further embroiled in this thread or 'the other one' until things become a bit more civilised.
I think people has been very civilised considering Lee's talibanesque approach.

Regards.

Ed.

I'm wondering if Chassang Sensei book could be availabe to people who are not his students.

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 05-10-2011 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:58 AM   #93
graham christian
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Hi Graham,
Thank you, sir! I think I see your meaning a little better. One of things that drew me to Aikido is what I perceived to be the ideal of healing; of taking a bad situation and not only negating harm, but even improving things for all involved.
I don't have a lot of experience to draw from so I tend to cue in on a small handful. This probably isn't a great example, but:
I "lived" in SFO for 3 days while waiting for a flight to Kansai and on the second night I had an encounter with a homeless guy who I've become fairly convinced was planning on jumping me. I bought him lunch earlier in the day and spent some time chatting with him. At around 2am as I was adding to my 20 minute nap from the night before, he woke me up and asked me if I would keep him company while he waited for a bus for which he had a ticket. I was so sleep deprived I didn't think clearly, and soon found myself walking down a long deserted hallway of the very empty airport. I took precautions: I made sure my hand closest to him was free and I lagged behind, fading somewhat into his rear corner in case he attacked me suddenly. As we waited for his "bus," chatting, he suddenly looked at me accusingly, saying I looked like an undercover cop. I adopted my most sincere, look-him-in-the-eye demeanor and explained, "hey man, I don't know what to say. I'm just a guy waiting to go to Japan to see his girlfriend." Now I should be clear that I tracked this guy before he first "casually" sat next to me earlier in the day, tried to strike up a conversation and then hit me up for money. I didn't trust him, but I did care about him, which is why I fed him. I was very clear about what I could and could not do for him from the start. I believe it was a mixture of my sincere kindness, my willingness to treat the guy with respect, and my simple and direct nature which ultimately kept him from attacking me later that night. I might have just been lucky too, but he seemed to forget about his bus story and offered to show me the "good places to sleep." We went there and I waited for him to fall asleep before I exited stage-anywhere-but-here.
Now I have a kid and another on the way, so I will not take such a risk again; period. I'm also a bit less forgiving toward pan-handlers since I've been to Cambodia and other places where I saw a deeper reality of need. I also wouldn't ever recommend anyone to allow themselves to be put into a situation like that. Flirting with danger is asking for trouble, but I'd like to think I made him understand the situation a bit more clearly and to reconsider his intent; to find some place a little closer to being centered than he was before.
Hard to say of course
Take care,
Matt
Hi Matthew.
Nice story. That's what I call Aikido. Taking what you learn on the mat and trying to apply it in life and thus learning more. That to me is true internal power.

My way, my approach to Aikido is precisely that. Over the years I have tried to convert the principles given by O'Sensei and other Shihan into simple more communicatable terms to students so that they can more easily test them in their lives and thus see there is more to Aikido than meets the eye.

Thus they find that when they are in any situation the goal is the same, if the other party or parties leave in a better condition and you do too then that is also Aikido.

As an example I relate 'acceptance' to being centered. Now in Aikido when someone is stuck and getting into a wrestling match or being taken off balance I point out they have lost their center and then show them how they can let the opponents force go to their center and extend Ki, or return their own energy from center. The key I tell them is acceptance. Accept the opponents Ki or even negative energy to center and give back your own.

Thus they get more and more aware of center and adjusting to positions where they can better do this etc.

The point is then when in life and someone winds you up and you get angry or similar then you have lost your center and that is down to your own lack of acceptance.

Recently a girl told me as I was walking down the road locally that my friend was having trouble in her pub across the road. I went to see her and she pointed out a fella who was being aggressive and swearing and had even refused to pay for a drink. he was sitting outside at a table, he had thrown his own wallet on the floor he was so pissed off.

On noticing how he had taken everyones center and got them quite scared I thought 'oh dear, looks like I'll have to do something.'

I proceede to go straight in so to speak, I entered his 'circle' with a 'hey, what's going down' and a big smile and sat down at his table. (I had also been informed he had broken up with his girlfriend) He proceeded to tell me in a rant about these f'ing idiots etc.etc. Still I let him 'be' styed with him (ma ai) kept connection gave him acceptance and understanding and carried on. All this time listening without interuption waiting for an opening to get him to look a bit deeper at his problem. Eventually he got on to the subject of his girlfriend and what abitch she was and blahh, blah, blah. Again I wait for the opening at which point I enter with the sword.

I suddenly say to him 'Tom, I know what your saying and I've been there as have many but the bottom line is you have to ACCEPT it.

Out came the rage now aimed at me but I remain centered and know I am communicating to source and merely helping him through his pain, that's all. The storm subsides and he asks me what good that would do. Now we're in my world and I proceed to give examples and again bottom line I tell him is without acceptance you cannot be stable and and 'let go' and calmly view anymore thus you are the true enemy of yourself.

He's finally laughing and apologizing. Job done. Aikido.

Thus when I hear the mantra just get on the mat and train I agree to that HALF of of Aikido, but it is only half, if that.

Regards.G.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:05 AM   #94
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Hello Daren,

When I knew Pierre Chassang, way way back in the seventies, we conversed in French and in the lengthy discussions I used to have with Arikawa Sensei when he was alive, we conversed in Japanese. You have given Pierre's quote in English and so I wonder if anything has been lost in the three-way translation.

I have three comments. One is that Arikawa Sensei's response to Pierre is ambiguous. Pierre distinguished between the aikido taught by Morihei Ueshiba and that practised at the time (in France, I suppose, or the aikido practised in Europe generally after the war). Arikawa Sensei's response can be understood at the conceptual level (it is impossible to have two concepts of aikido, regardless of what is actually being practised) or at the practical level (the type of activity done in Europe cannot be called aikido).

The second comment is that Arikawa Sensei was very devoted to Kisshomaru Ueshiba and was a close confidant. Stanley Pranin and I once conducted a six-hour interview in Tokyo and we ranged over the entire history of aikido, including its early relationship with Daito-ryu. Arikawa Sensei did not give permission for it to be published because, he said, it was "too early" and did not want to publish anything that could be construed as criticism of Kisshomaru Ueshiba. He taught his regular class at the Hombu and gave seminars here in Hiroshima until he became ill. After practice we used to talk a lot (in private, usually with the resident shihan in Hiroshima) and he was always happy to respond to questions, especially awkward questions.

The third comment is that I know from other sources that defining aikido in a certain way is especially an issue in France, where something like budo sportif is fostered by the French government. There are a number of French aikidoka who want the Aikikai to define much more closely what aikido is and to exclude in a clearer way what does not qualify. This is my own private opinion, but I think the Aikikai is reluctant to do this, since it will be making a general rule to fit a particular case. In any case, the Aikikai has its hands full with defining how aikido is, and is not, essentially Japanese.

Best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 05-10-2011 at 07:11 AM.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:10 AM   #95
Dazzler
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post

I'm wondering if Chassang Sensei book could be availabe to people who are not his students.
It should be...its very interesting.

As long as Pierre is alive I wouldn't dare to publish it ...if he wants it published that would be his wish and I respect that absolutely.

If we ever meet I'd be happy for you to read it though, The Aikido world is not that big especially in Europe so its not beyond realms of possibility.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:27 AM   #96
Dazzler
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Daren,

When I knew Pierre Chassang, way way back in the seventies, we conversed in French and in the lengthy discussions I used to have with Arikawa Sensei when he was alive, we conversed in Japanese. You have given Pierre's quote in English and so I wonder if anything has been lost in the three-way translation.

I have three comments. One is that Arikawa Sensei's response to Pierre is ambiguous. Pierre distinguished between the aikido taught by Morihei Ueshiba and that practised at the time (in France, I suppose, or the aikido practised in Europe generally after the war). Arikawa Sensei's response can be understood at the conceptual level (it is impossible to have two concepts of aikido, regardless of what is actually being practised) or at the practical level (the type of activity done in Europe cannot be called aikido).

The second comment is that Arikawa Sensei was very devoted to Kisshomaru Ueshiba and was a close confidant. Stanley Pranin and I once conducted a six-hour interview in Tokyo and we ranged over the entire history of aikido, including its early relationship with Daito-ryu. Arikawa Sensei did not give permission for it to be published because, he said, it was "too early" and did not want to publish anything that could be construed as criticism of Kisshomaru Ueshiba. He taught his regular class at the Hombu and gave seminars here in Hiroshima until he became ill. After practice we used to talk a lot (in private, usually with the resident shihan in Hiroshima) and he was always happy to respond to questions, especially awkward questions.

The third comment is that I know from other sources that defining aikido in a certain way is especially an issue in France, where something like budo sportif is fostered by the French government. There are a number of French aikidoka who want the Aikikai to define much more closely what aikido is and to exclude in a clearer way what does not qualify. This is my own private opinion, but I think the Aikikai is reluctant to do this, since it will be making a general rule to fit a particular case. In any case, the Aikikai has its hands full with defining how aikido is, and is, not essentially Japanese.

Best wishes,

PAG
Hi Peter

I'd love to have been around on the Aiki scene in the 70's ...sounds a very special time whenever people discuss it.

You may of course be correct, but from my own fairly length exposure to Pierre I'm absolutely confident in what I understood Pierre to mean and in HIS interpretation of Arikawas comments.

I take your 2nd point particularly, from my reading it was 'just a conversation' albeit an important one so perhaps Arikawa was more free with his thoughts than in a formal interview.

Point 3. Yes - I hear clearly.

I guess my personal experience is that none of us should be so judgemental here or elsewhere. Whether we like it or not there is a great degree of commonality across the Aikido of the world...and where there is not...well, some mat time can iron out many truths.

Thank you for your response.

Daren.

ps. As an aside - do you ever return to UK and teach? Michael Narey asked me to extend an invitation to you should you ever come this way. (PM is fine if you want to say no )
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:56 AM   #97
Cliff Judge
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Thank you to Darren and Dr. Goldsbury for your comments.

Graham,

I was thinking last night about how I might define three levels of Aikido, and I settled on these:

1) You are a beginner trying to figure out what is going on. You are focused on obtaining a result that is grossly approximate to what you see the instructor doing to uke at this point: generally throwing or taking down uke.

2) You are familiar with the overall shape of the techniques, and you've gotten plenty of feedback - probably frustrating - from your instructors and seniors about, for example, foot placement, keeping your posture, using your hips not your arms, etc. You begin to become very concerned about being centered, keeping your posture, not using muscles, etc. You seek to become the center of the technique.

3) It has perhaps bothered you at stage 2 that you can be centered, balanced, harmonious etc in yourself and yet not affect your partner's balance at all. So you begin to worry, again, about how to do that. This is the stage where you learn to combine your center with your partner's, to create one body, and break the balance of the one body, while still somehow keeping your own balance.

I think there are more beyond that....Ikeda Sensei says that the unification of both centers into one can take place automatically on contact if you develop the body instincts to set it up properly, and also that the movements that cause the unbalancing can be entirely internal and either extremely subtle or outright unmanifest (I am not sure I can tell the difference).

Your three stages probably map to my second and third, I think. Maybe your third goes beyond my third. I dunno.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:15 AM   #98
graham christian
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Re: Three Levels of Aikido

Cliff.
What can I say? I like it. That's good and in the true spirit of the thread.

I too say that in the end it's a matter of 'Being with' rather than disrupting anything.

Good post.

Regards.G.
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