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Old 06-23-2011, 10:06 AM   #1
dps
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What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

We all understand Aikido from our previous and ongoing experiences and training.

Most people in Aikido have previous martial arts or sports experience and there are some on this forum whose frame of reference is training and riding horses.

From;
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...t=12078&page=6,

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post

.......There is *no* doubt that Tohei trained with Nakamura who himself was considered the "father" of yoga in Japan. There is no doubt Tohei was profoundly affected by this training.

My understanding of the issue is that his training with Nakamura helped Tohei better understand what he was experiencing with Ueshiba. And that allowed Tohei to develop his systematic approach to teaching which in turn became "mainstream" aikido since Tohei was soon Chief Instructor. So there was an influence. I wouldn't say he had nothing then went outside to bring ki back. Nor would I say he already had it all and he just did some yoga on the side.

Now the question that remains is whether what he was doing/teaching/formulating was the absolute end all of aikido or the *only* way to go about transmitting the skillset. I think few would claim such a thing. I train in a lineage that goes directly to Tohei-sensei. I like/enjoy/train/teach much of the same stuff. However, time spent with others has greatly informed my understanding of what we learned from Tohei, from our founder, Kobayashi-sensei, and then from his senior students now carrying on what he taught. I have spent time with Mike, Dan, Toby, even Aaron Clark via an Aikiweb seminar. I learned much in all of them, adding things to my "to do" list each time. Stuff I try to do daily in addition to what I already do. And yet when I train and teach I don't think I'm doing anything outside the realm of Aikido. I just find there are new ways to improve, new insights, clarifications, etc. ......
What is your frame of reference for better understanding your experience with Aikido?
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:02 AM   #2
chillzATL
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

These days everything I do and think of in regards to aikido is framed around IS/IP skills. Coming from a lineage very similar to Keith, whom you quoted, I now see the point behind pretty much everything we do.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:52 AM   #3
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

As you pointed out, my frame of reference has changed much as time has gone on. At first, it was that of a kid who got in lots of fights and had lots of aggression. Aikido "blew" my mind from that reference point. To think a person could win a fight, without hurting anyone else, and do it effortlessly, seemed pretty amazing. This helped me to drop much of the fear and aggression that had gotten me into all of those childhood fights.

My frame of reference was changed again and made me believe that Aikido was a bunch of garbage, not long after getting my black belt. I got into my first fight since I started training, and my Aikido training didn't help me-in either avoiding, or dominating the fight.

That pushed me to sport martial arts. Which gave me a new reference point, and made Aikido seem just as silly. It also taught me more about what I considered to be "fighting" than I had learned previously.

Then I fought with the Dog brothers, and again my reference point was changed. In that fight, much of my Aikido training came into play. This opened up my perspective to the idea of different fighting contexts; that is to say that different kinds of fights require different fighting methods, strategies and ideologies. It made me realize that there was more to the martial world than kicking, punching, wrestling and high amperage throws.

This led me back home, and more training in Aikido. Lot's of long discussion, debate and training hours spent with Michael Varin, many other marital artists, and the people here on Aikiweb. Forming my current frame of reference for Aikido. A system designed to develop humanity through historically sound fighting methods, that revolve around the context of dealing with multiple attackers while armed.

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Old 06-23-2011, 12:49 PM   #4
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

For me it is horses. Horses led me to aikido because I heard that there was a relationship between the two and I am finding this to be very true. So quite often in the dojo I will try to find some connection between what I am working on and riding or handling horses. Ive even written a couple of short articles on the subject.
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:05 PM   #5
dps
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

From; http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=286372

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
...... Tohei did not bring ki to Aikido - he brought his own take on it and his own methodology of teaching it, which a lot came from outside the Aikido community. ........
Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
No one is saying ki and aiki were never in Aikido - Ueshiba had it, but unfortunately, not much of it got passed down. .......
I would disagree that it did not get passed down.

It was passed down.

O'sensei's method of passing down was him being an example and the student emulating what he was doing.

He did not try to find a coherent frame of reference for his students. He used his own frame of reference.

It was and is up to the student to supply their own frame of references to understand.

dps
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:11 PM   #6
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

For me it was horses, high school wrestling, weight lifting with free weights and lots of manual labor.

dps
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:13 PM   #7
chillzATL
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
He did not try to find a coherent frame of reference for his students. He used his own frame of reference.

It was and is up to the student to supply their own frame of references to understand.

dps
Which is why so few got so little of what he had and why fewer still could teach what little they got.
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:20 PM   #8
dps
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Which is why so few got so little of what he had and why fewer still could teach what little they got.
The information is in the techniques.

If you know the techniques you need frames of references to understand.

dp
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:21 PM   #9
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
The information is in the techniques.

If you know the techniques you need frames of references to understand.

dp
and he left no understandable frame of reference, hence, nobody really having what he had.
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:34 PM   #10
dps
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
and he left no understandable frame of reference, hence, nobody really having what he had.
Right, the frame of reference is missing to understand what they are emulating.

What O'sensi demonstrated for his students was like being given a book written in Spanish. If you already know how to read Spanish you can understand the book.

If you know Italian or Latin or any of the Romance languages then you may be able to understand the book a little bit.

If you don't know language except English you won't understand the book at all.

dps
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:41 PM   #11
chillzATL
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Right, the frame of reference is missing to understand what they are emulating.

What O'sensi demonstrated for his students was like being given a book written in Spanish. If you already know how to read Spanish you can understand the book.

If you know Italian or Latin or any of the Romance languages then you may be able to understand the book a little bit.

If you don't know language except English you won't understand the book at all.

dps
exactly, which is why it really wasn't passed down.
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:47 PM   #12
dps
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
exactly, which is why it really wasn't passed down.
No.

In my analogy the book is Aikido O"Sensei passed down.

The student must find a way to read the book.

dps
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:51 PM   #13
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
The information is in the techniques.
dp
"Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training. Only amateurs think that techniques are enough. They understand nothing." Sagawa

THe information is NOT in the techniques. That's why he routinely talked down to people who were technique oriented and he was well known for not repeating them. Something he learned from Takeda.

Interestingly enough Ueshiba spent hours and hours solo training and hours and hours talking to them about the mental aspects of Ki.
You realize of course, that you are more or less stating that you know better than the old man himself.
We can add Shirata, Tohei, Takeda, Sagawa, and many others to the list but...I don't think we need to.
Dan
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:53 PM   #14
dps
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
"Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training. Only amateurs think that techniques are enough. They understand nothing." Sagawa

THe information is NOT in the techniques. That's why he routinely talked down to people who were technique oriented and he was well known for not repeating them. Something he learned from Takeda.

Interestingly enough Ueshiba spent hours and hours solo training and hours and hours talking to them about the mental aspects of Ki.
You realize of course, that you are more or less stating that you know better than the old man himself.
We can add Shirata, Tohei, Takeda, Sagawa, and many others to the list but...I don't think we need to.
Dan
And what do you think he was doing in those hours solo training?

dps
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:57 PM   #15
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
No.

In my analogy the book is Aikido O"Sensei passed down.

The student must find a way to read the book.

dps
I'm not sure how well the analogy fits, David. The book and the method of reading it properly, so that it is transmitted in the same way that it was written, are pretty tightly connected, IMO.
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:18 PM   #16
Ketsan
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
The information is in the techniques.

If you know the techniques you need frames of references to understand.

dp
There's very little information in the techniques. You can do them ad infinitum and not really learn anything. If anything they hinder things.
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:21 PM   #17
dps
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
There's very little information in the techniques. You can do them ad infinitum and not really learn anything. If anything they hinder things.
There is alot of information in the techniques you just need the appropriate frame of reference for you.

dps
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:28 PM   #18
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
The information is in the techniques.

If you know the techniques you need frames of references to understand.

dp
interestingly enough, Saotome sensei said "aikido is principles, ideas, understand?" what can i say, his Japonglish is strange sometimes.

as far as frame of reference, it's drinking, partying, and general carousing and public disturbing after late night practice. as far as understanding aikido, still puzzle with why do we need to wear gi pant underneath hakama or wear anything at all? or why isn't there hot pink hakama with the lace trim, not that i would wear one, at least not in public, but why isn't there? why is there aiki ken but no aiki barbie? why aiki jo instead of aiki joe-bob or even billy-bob? and why can't we rap with O sensei doku?
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:52 PM   #19
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
exactly, which is why it really wasn't passed down.
I was getting ready to jump in on this somewhat off-logical exchange, but I see you are doing a good job of explaining my point - thanks! keep up the good work

Best
Greg
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:00 PM   #20
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
There is alot of information in the techniques you just need the appropriate frame of reference for you.

dps
The only information in a technique is what is put there by the practitioner. Techniques do not teach ki or aiki, they serve as examples of ki and aiki application only when performed by someone that already knows ki and aiki; which is what Ueshiba and Takeda did.

Greg
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:03 PM   #21
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Another derailed thread. Awesome.
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:03 PM   #22
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
interestingly enough, Saotome sensei said "aikido is principles, ideas, understand?" what can i say, his Japonglish is strange sometimes.

as far as frame of reference, it's drinking, partying, and general carousing and public disturbing after late night practice. as far as understanding aikido, still puzzle with why do we need to wear gi pant underneath hakama or wear anything at all? or why isn't there hot pink hakama with the lace trim, not that i would wear one, at least not in public, but why isn't there? why is there aiki ken but no aiki barbie? why aiki jo instead of aiki joe-bob or even billy-bob? and why can't we rap with O sensei doku?
This ramble makes more sense than some other statements I am reading in this thread

Greg
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:10 PM   #23
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
And what do you think he was doing in those hours solo training?

dps
probably developing his frame of reference, which was IS

Greg
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:19 PM   #24
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
And what do you think he was doing in those hours solo training?

dps
you could start here:

http://benotdefeatedbytherain.blogsp...ei-tanren.html

but keep in mind that you can do it and still not be doing it.
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:28 PM   #25
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Another derailed thread. Awesome.
How? It seems people are sharing/defending their different understanding of aikido.

Thread title: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?
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