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  #76  
Old 07-14-2011, 02:46 PM
Francis Takahashi
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The Word "Aikido"

The word "Aikido" is simply a word. Like the word "Love", or "Hate" or even "Peace" are each but mere words. Like when looking at our atmosphere, we may see "blue" skies, or fiery "red" sunsets, or even the "grey" cloak of sunlight intercepted darkness. Does our description of what we see...

Last edited by akiy : 07-14-2011 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:43 PM   #75
hughrbeyer
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Aikido is a discipline. It's a "way." Which means it's supposed to define us more than we define it. Which suggests that it's our responsibility to be diligent in following this "way"--in researching what the way is, searching out teachers who can help us see where it leads, and being brutally honest with ourselves about whether we are are in fact practicing the way.

But we all know that ultimately, no one else can find the way for us. We have to find it in ourselves. And once we've found it, it won't make sense to anyone else. It's my responsibility to myself to come to my own understanding of O-Sensei's art.

So I can respect those who are trying to understand what O-Sensei was doing--or who claim they have a clue--and if they're credible I'll gladly train with them. I can respect those who claim to have found something effective, independent of Aikido... but that's not the way I'm following right now.

What I can't respect is people who aren't trying at all--who are doing whatever they did when they were nine, or who are taking whatever their sensei or their organization shovels in their direction without trying to understand and own it. Life's too short for that.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:50 PM   #76
graham christian
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

I like that post Hugh. Nice one.

Regards.G.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:56 PM   #77
Lee Salzman
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
I would say yes it is presumptuous of you.
Conceded, but I set myself up for that.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote:
As I have said there was promotion.1) People asked and were given descriptions of what Aikido is.2) O'Senseis words were usually in that promotion. 3) They saw film of him, others read about him, others met him, and were impressed by what they saw.

So for you personally seeing him himself may have been what defined it for you.

So he was both part promoter and party to it's promotion.
O'Sensei certainly didn't shy away from the attention he got. But, as Greg Steckel (hi, sorry for third person reference ) brings up, was his son not the more active party in actually driving it to him? And as for his words, due to the efforts of his son, are we not in fact looking at a scrubbed squeaky-clean of Omoto-kyo references version of what he said, and then pumped through a layer of English translation with all the capacity for misunderstanding, rather than what he actually said?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote:
As to should we promote on his back? I would say no. You should always promote on your own back for that is what you are offering isn't it? So you should promote your way of Aikido honestly and then those who want to learn that will come and not be dissatisfied for you are delivering what you promise.

Comparing to what you believe was O'Senseis Aikido you also have the right to do in response to questions asked about such and it's relation to yours. In other words people naturally ask about the founder, the person you thank for the wonderful art.

However, note the major difference. That is not the promotion, it is background information.

Regards.G.
It is background information, but sometimes I think there needs to be more active reality checking on incoming people. How many teachers have the balls and the firm sense of introspection to tell a student, who comes to them because of interest in O'Sensei's character, notions of being as skillful as O'Sensei, that, well, if you study my aikido, you will probably never become anything like O'Sensei, because, well, I have no idea how to be anything like him either. O'Sensei was talked of so reverently without qualification that, by everyone, that I always got the opposite vibe. I never heard that reality check from any of my teachers, but it is what I wish I had heard. Eventually I figured it out myself, but it's a hard comedown from that realization and not easy to come to in the first place.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:27 PM   #78
graham christian
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Conceded, but I set myself up for that.

O'Sensei certainly didn't shy away from the attention he got. But, as Greg Steckel (hi, sorry for third person reference ) brings up, was his son not the more active party in actually driving it to him? And as for his words, due to the efforts of his son, are we not in fact looking at a scrubbed squeaky-clean of Omoto-kyo references version of what he said, and then pumped through a layer of English translation with all the capacity for misunderstanding, rather than what he actually said?

It is background information, but sometimes I think there needs to be more active reality checking on incoming people. How many teachers have the balls and the firm sense of introspection to tell a student, who comes to them because of interest in O'Sensei's character, notions of being as skillful as O'Sensei, that, well, if you study my aikido, you will probably never become anything like O'Sensei, because, well, I have no idea how to be anything like him either. O'Sensei was talked of so reverently without qualification that, by everyone, that I always got the opposite vibe. I never heard that reality check from any of my teachers, but it is what I wish I had heard. Eventually I figured it out myself, but it's a hard comedown from that realization and not easy to come to in the first place.
The data given to do with his son promoting is no doubt partly true and to me obvious but the difference I see is that O'Sensei wanted it for he wanted to spread it as he believed the world needed it. So no different to me saying to someone 'yes I know I should put it out there more but it's not really my thing, I just like practicing and teaching whoever comes so if you could do that for me that's great'.

Secondly the data given about political usage of wordings and thus the search to find some changed words or words lost in translation. I question the motives of those doing this for it makes me feel it is them with the hidden agenda and they are just projecting that onto source. Why? Because I can find many times in researching where he said the same things to other people and there is no mistranslation. Therefore I conclude a false picture is painted.

So many things were said by O'Sensei time and time again which would be very hard to understand if he spoke in plain English and yet I find these concepts swept under the carpet as if he didn't say them or as if he was rambling instead of someone saying 'well he did say that on numerous occasions and I don't know what it means'

As to a teacher having the 'balls and firm sense of introspection' as you put it I totally agree. I would say personally it's purely and simply a lack of integrity and honesty. That may sound harsh but there you are. People, or many people aren't used to that but are very used to presenting an image.

Psychologically I would say that many want to be an O'Sensei replacement, some maybe even superior, (maybe that's super ego) but thus is the ego and the competitive mind in action.

Regards.G.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:05 PM   #79
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Quote:
The Founder made it clear that we individually and collectively are free to create our own template of Aikido, based if we wish, on the model that he himself created.
Did he?

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Old 07-21-2011, 03:37 PM   #80
Diana Frese
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

A little window into another time, if you will, around thirty-six years ago.

A modern twist on ancient wisdom in a book a friend of mine sent me from Long Island. Too bad I can't remember it exactly, but here goes. Where you are, there you are. Your luggage may be elsewhere. Today, I'm not sure what made me attempt to recreate that pearl of new-old wisdom, but here's the setting. I had just come back from Japan a few weeks previously and my Dad was giving me advice. "It's the YMCA, Just teach the exercise. Don't try to tell them the philosophy."

the Y had just gotten a brand new building, and I had followed up on a notice from the paper my mom had sent (my visa was expiring anyway) that there was "hakido" there.

I didn't know if that was a misspelling of Aikido or whether it was Hapkido (about which I wasn't sure just what it was)

The director didn't know either he just said that class "fell through" and where did I just come back from and could I teach it.

I think I remember the former mayor of NYC, Mayor Koch used to walk around saying, "How'm I doing?" At any rate the Y director used to walk around genially asking "How're ya doing?"

It was the perfect environment for a newbie shodan to start out in those days. Soon people from a neighboring dojo came down once a week in support of the class, an occasional yudansha would drop by, and some of us would visit other dojos and seminars, but, as Prof Goldsbury seems to be saying, we didn't really feel we needed to ask ourselves what Aikido was. We were fortunate to learn from many seniors so there was pretty much "philosophy" around. The "splits" seemed to be about teaching methods or organizations, they didn't seem to be about what Aikido was, or wasn't. Some teachers quoted O Sensei, some didn't, we respected them all.

As far as the students were concerned, that first evening at the Y I decided that to respect my dad's advice in a way, I wouldn't tell the students, I would ask them what they were looking for. "To be more centered" seemed to be the predominating answer among the small group of six people registered for what I asked the director to call "Introduction to Aikido" (after all, I was just shodan, but here was an opportunity to open the door, and sure, other Aikido people did join in the efforts and enjoyment some years more than others, some less, but it was well worth while and I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of it.)

What did I answer that first evening? "Well, if the teacher is centered, it is possible the student might not absorb that, and if the teacher is not centered, it's possible that the student will learn to be centered anyway. And I'm not telling you which I am."

Truth be told I had no idea, but the dojo did okay, due to so many people who came by and stayed for a visit or for several years. I'm glad I took that opportunity.

I guess that explains my peculiar point of view. Stuff has a way of happening, and we hope, for the best. People went on to train elsewhere when they moved, even years later they returned to Aikido in their new locations as I have said many times before.

I keep saying this, like a record that keeps skipping to the same place. But from my point of view there is all this stuff out there for people to learn, and people to learn from. I'd give some credit to the students, they very often know what they need and will find a way to find it.
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:06 AM   #81
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Hello Diana,

Thirty-six years ago...

That would be around 1975, right? One of the notable people I remember about the old NE Aikikai Dojo in Central Square is Fred Wagstaff. Did you know him? He used to teach occasionally and would always use Steve Carrabino as uke. He also occasionally talked about the street fights he got into in NY. He and Fred Newcomb made an interesting pair: completely chalk and cheese.

One of the things I remember about the NE Aikikai in Central Square is that we never questioned what aikido really was. I mention Fred Wagstaff because he used to organize an annual event in Boston, entitled Warrior Arts of the Orient, which always featured Kanai Sensei (these were the days of his distinctive hairstyle) who always did iaido and aikido. Other arts were demonstrated, but we all assumed that aikido was an art with martial credentials that never needed to be questioned.

I think we simply accepted that aikido was the art we practiced and I think we all strove to do it as well as the top people in the dojo, from Kanai Sensei downwards. Once, when someone mentioned reading books about aikido (the place was usually the dojo common room, or the restaurant below the dojo to which a core group retired after practice), Kanai Sensei commented, in English, "Why you need read books? You have me."

So it was just a word, but, of course, the art had a meaning, an importance, a significance for each individual, but this was not something we talked about: it was simply taken for granted. I remember a dojo party, when I asked Osawa Kisaburo Sensei whether it was easier for Japanese to practice aikido, given the culture etc, but he pondered the question, looked at me with some curiosity (I suspect he was told I was one of those Harvard types), and said No. I don't remember any searching questions about the meaning of aikido, but this was before all the stuff about Aiki as Aiki had been published.

Of course, this was the time of the Great Split, but the reasons for this were beyond us kyu mortals and I myself read K Tohei and K Ueshiba with equal enthusiasm.

Best wishes,

Peter G

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 07-22-2011 at 07:11 AM.

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Old 07-22-2011, 10:30 AM   #82
Allen Beebe
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

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

Thirty-six years ago...

That would be around 1975, right? One of the notable people I remember about the old NE Aikikai Dojo in Central Square is Fred Wagstaff. Did you know him? He used to teach occasionally and would always use Steve Carrabino as uke. He also occasionally talked about the street fights he got into in NY. He and Fred Newcomb made an interesting pair: completely chalk and cheese.

One of the things I remember about the NE Aikikai in Central Square is that we never questioned what aikido really was. I mention Fred Wagstaff because he used to organize an annual event in Boston, entitled Warrior Arts of the Orient, which always featured Kanai Sensei (these were the days of his distinctive hairstyle) who always did iaido and aikido. Other arts were demonstrated, but we all assumed that aikido was an art with martial credentials that never needed to be questioned.

I think we simply accepted that aikido was the art we practiced and I think we all strove to do it as well as the top people in the dojo, from Kanai Sensei downwards. Once, when someone mentioned reading books about aikido (the place was usually the dojo common room, or the restaurant below the dojo to which a core group retired after practice), Kanai Sensei commented, in English, "Why you need read books? You have me."

So it was just a word, but, of course, the art had a meaning, an importance, a significance for each individual, but this was not something we talked about: it was simply taken for granted. I remember a dojo party, when I asked Osawa Kisaburo Sensei whether it was easier for Japanese to practice aikido, given the culture etc, but he pondered the question, looked at me with some curiosity (I suspect he was told I was one of those Harvard types), and said No. I don't remember any searching questions about the meaning of aikido, but this was before all the stuff about Aiki as Aiki had been published.

Of course, this was the time of the Great Split, but the reasons for this were beyond us kyu mortals and I myself read K Tohei and K Ueshiba with equal enthusiasm.

Best wishes,

Peter G
Ah the good old days . . . there was one Church and everyone knew who the leader was. There weren't any books back in those days and nobody needed them anyway because we all relied upon our intercessors. Peace and happiness reigned in the land and it was heaven on earth . . . back in the good old days!


~ Allen Beebe
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:10 PM   #83
Diana Frese
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Thanks, Peter,

Yes, I knew them from the old days, Fred Newcomb from when NYAikikai hosted summer camp in the Catskills, I think it was.
Rodney Grantham from Georgia also attended, if I remember correctly. People were very friendly and genial and so when I was visiting my friend Ginny in Marblehead I also took a class in Andover, after checking by phone with Fred. He had mentioned the name of his company, Scudder Stevens and Clark but I was surprised on actually calling, it sounded like Scudder Stevens and Clack. Then I remembered the accent, even Ginny has a bit of The Accent. Clack spelled C-l-a-r-k....

I remember him telling me the mnemonic Scudder, like Rudder, but that wasn't the problem name as it turned out...

But, I digress...

What I admired the most about the Boston style was the hanmi, and the fact that Kanai Sensei had many tall students, although he himself.... wasn't. I remember being on the balcony at a party one summer camp. Those of us who were up there looked down at the dancers and to my shock Kanai Sensei was dancing out of hanmi.

Hanmi was very important to me, I felt that otherwise my feet would get totally tangled, being a tall person.

Seriously, Yamada Sensei always recommended visiting Cambridge, because Kanai Sensei was rather a shy type. He could be outspoken, though, when he felt a person needed advice, asked or unasked.... but that's a whole bunch of other stories. He didn't talk to me much, but what he did say, those things I never forgot.

I didn't know about Fred Wagstaff and the street efficaciousness.... I saw him train several times and like the others his Aikido form was excellent. Saturdays, before returning to Stamford at the excursion rate on the train, I always took Paul Keelan's class, and that was also very practical oriented. One thing I remember distinctly, he said the first second or so in a street situation is very important. It is the decisive thing. After you throw, you can hit the person or whatever.... I'm pretty sure that's about what he said to us.

I think Fred Wagstaff was a musician, cafe's or something, night club songs, maybe jazz. He played the piano if I remember correctly from an article I read a long time ago. I would have liked to have taken his classes too....

I talk on the phone with Ginny pretty often, and she said recently that Steve Carabino was from Swampscott, her original dojo. Bernie Mulligan, now sixth dan, I believe was very kind to me when Ginny was still training and she brought me along to class. I remember he invited me into the office for an aperitif liqueur after class before Ginny and I went home to her mother's house.

Oh well, I'm off on nostalgia planet it seems. Thanks again for asking if I remember. By the way, it was Francis' student Father Joe Miller who was visiting the Stamford area on business (Norwalk, actually) and practiced at our Y several times. He invited my assistant Lucy and myself along when he visited NEAikikai for an evening class. It was at the Central Square dojo, but by the time I went back and visited it was in Porter Square and they were practicing on the ground floor while the dojo was being built upstairs. Our hair turned gray by the time class was over from the tiny particles of sheet rock dust that found their way down....
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:19 PM   #84
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Hi Allen,

Your posts will be well worth studying, so I plan to check them out! I may be telling a lot of old stories about the old days, but there's a lot of fascinating new stuff I'm reading on Aiki Web.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:18 PM   #85
Cady Goldfield
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

I talk on the phone with Ginny pretty often, and she said recently that Steve Carabino was from Swampscott, her original dojo. Bernie Mulligan, now sixth dan, I believe was very kind to me when Ginny was still training and she brought me along to class. I remember he invited me into the office for an aperitif liqueur after class before Ginny and I went home to her mother's house.

Small world, Diana! I grew up just two miles up the road from Bernie Mulligan's Swampscott dojo, Shodokan on Humphrey Street. It was next door to the old Surf Theater (now a condo development, alas), and when I was a kid waiting in line for the Saturday matinee at the Surf, I would hear the sounds of bodies being thrown on the tatami up in Mr. Mulligan's top-floor training hall, and occasionally caught glimpses of white-suited men walking by the window.

Back then, Mr. Mulligan was teaching judo, mostly. I was fascinated with martial arts, having read a book about judo, and asked my mother if I could take lessons at Shodokan. But we learned that while there was a children's class, it was boys-only. The town of Swampscott (back in the arcane mid-1960s) forbade co-ed contact sports for children and teens. Since I was the only girl interested in judo then, it wasn't feasible to start a separate girl's class. Sigh.

When Mitsunari Kanai came to the U.S. to start his Boston-area Aikikai dojo, Mulligan let him use his mats (IIRC) for aikido classes until Kanai found a place of his own. That's when he started offering aikido in Swampscott -- late 60s, I think, like '68 or '69. Shodokan moved to Salem (on Canal St. for a while, then a big dojo on Franklin St.) and a couple of years ago they moved to Beverly. AFAIK, Mr. Mulligan is still at the helm! I trained briefly at his Franklin St. dojo in the early '90s, and like you remember him as being very kind.

Whenever I catch a whiff of a big ol' see-gar, hough with no-smoking laws making that a rare thing nowadays, I think of Bernie Mulligan.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 07-22-2011 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:06 PM   #86
Diana Frese
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Wow Cady, thanks for posting! I have such fond memories of visiting there, although I think only twice, with Ginny. I visited the Cambridge dojo as a result of "throwing my back out" at summer camp and deciding to get a rain check by going to the dojo. I had managed to attend the last class of the camp, though, and Kanai Sensei gave that bit of a samurai scowl thing and said, quite concerned "How's your back?!"

Since Ginny was no longer training, I didn't go back to the Swampscott dojo, or Salem, but she kept me up to date. I remember she said that one of the Cambridge yudansha, Frank was his name I think, but I forgot his last name, owned the King's Rook, a bar in Marblehead. I'm sorry you didn't get to practice back when you first wanted to start but glad persistence has paid off for you! I'll have to tell Ginny. Sorry to say, she doesn't have a computer, but she enjoys talking about the old days.

By the way, you just reminded me, he may have been called Bernie when we knew him at camp, and I think he was on the first Japan tour in 1971, but Ginny and the Swampscott people always called him Mr. Mulligan. Being the Boston area, English usages persisted! In New York, however, more Japanese words became a part of our regular vocabulary..... I was just thinking about zories, an English ending on a Japanese word. I still call them that, forgetting that while they are worn around the world (Brazil makes a great pair complete with built in arch support configuration called Reef Sandals) few people know what zori are these days.

Speaking of sandals, did you ever swim at that beautiful crescent shaped beach across the street from the old dojo?
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:09 PM   #87
Diana Frese
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

oops forgot to say didn't throw my back out in class, it was brushing my teeth -- I sneezed while leaning over the sink in the dorm...
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:14 PM   #88
Cady Goldfield
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Diana,
Frank Regan, who, sad to say, passed away 10 years ago, owned The King's Rook on State St. I didn't know he was an aikido person. The Rook was more of a folksy coffeehouse than a bar, though I think they had a beer and wine license. We used to hang out there as high school kids, play chess or checkers, and basically think Deep Thoughts while nursing a cup of expresso or iced chocolate for several hours on end. Some of us cried when the Rook closed. End of an era.

Swimming @ Fisherman's Beach? It's beautiful, but freezing cold! The water north of Cape Cod is under the dominion of the frigid Labrador Current, rather than the Gulf Stream which veers off the south-side of the Cape and heads to the UK! We always joked that if you needed surgery, just wade into the water off Swampscott or Marblehead and in 10 seconds you'll be numb enough to not need conventional anaesthesia.

Anyway, apologies for digressing!
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:32 PM   #89
Diana Frese
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

I'm the one who's always digressing! I guess I'll send a PM in the future but today or tomorrow I'll call Ginny, she will be so happy you also share memories of Swampscott. Too bad about Frank Regan passing away, but nice to know you enjoyed the King's Rook...
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:22 PM   #90
niall
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Thanks Francis for an interesting column as always. I'm not sure if it makes me one of the traditionalists of your third paragraph but I think the word aikido itself it gives us some hints about how to train.

If there is no harmony in your training you can throw out the ai. So you're left with KIDO.

If you are training without intention or energy or spirit you can throw out the ki. So you're left with DO.

And if you're training selfishly or blindly you can throw out the do. And you're left with... nothing.

Regards,

Niall

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Old 08-07-2011, 10:15 PM   #91
aikishihan
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Greetings Niall,

I am so amazed at the attempts to hijack my post, that I am at a loss as to how to appropriately respond to those I can respect and admire. Thank you for sanely bringing us back to the original discussion, and for your astute viewpoints.

The third paragraph was intended to portray the plight of “newbies” to the discussion on Aikido, and you certainly are not to be painted with that brush. Your astute and enlightening contributions are gold, and I look forward to your future postings.

I do apologize to those who may misunderstand my intentions, but I won’t change my fundamental position anytime soon. O Sensei’s magnificent Opus was the opening salvo for the campaign to discover all the dimensions of Aiki, not merely those that pertain predominantly to martial intent and legitimacy. It is my belief that the Founder discovered that “Aiki” is a fundamental ingredient in countless ways, and from a myriad of cultures over time. It is about the essential connection between a human being and those principles that resonate with, nourish, and inspire continued growth for that human being. He found it in literature, he found it in calligraphy, he found it in books written by giants from other cultures, he found it in the religions he studied, not only Omoto kyo. He found it in music, etc. etc. etc., like the King of Siam.

For this reason, I maintain that “Aikido” is a word. Perhaps it is a noun, then again, maybe an adjective. Allow it to be whatever you want it to be to express your own understanding of where you are today, and where you want to go from here tomorrow.

I disagree with the notion that the Do of Aikido is a “Way” predetermined to overshadow any other attempts to create an individual way. This is ludicrous on its face, as history consistently proves that nothing has been introduced by man that cannot be made better, more acceptable or more beneficial to those whose flexibility and ingenuity finds the way. Alas for those who feel constrained to fit their egos, self images and basis for self expression within the faulty confines of another person’s inherently fallible definition of the “Way”. Please, haven’t we seen enough of this fallacious kind of thinking? Then again, are we to be so sarcastic, even as the bandito Calvera in the Magnificent Seven opined, “If God did not want them shorn, he would not have made them sheep!” ? O Sensei was wise enough not to lead us down that slippery slope.

Readers, isn’t it time to return to the core Principles of Aiki, and employ more tolerance, more kindness and more respect for one another? Can we not build better and more harmonious relationships, or civil conversations at least, with the totality of the message of Aiki, as I truly believe the Founder meant it to be.

See you on that Silver Bridge!
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:50 AM   #92
Kevin Morrison
Dojo: National Aikido Training Centre, Macken Street
Location: Dublin
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

I had an interesting conversation with two non-practitioners when they saw the kanji for aikido. One of them said it was from the menu of the local chinese restaurant. It was a perfect que for a little joke.
I told them that it was the kanji for take away restaurant. is a lid on a pot, so the food doesn't spill. is the steam coming off the rice in the pot, pre-cooked and warm. is a road, you can take the food away with you.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:41 PM   #93
Mary Eastland
 
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Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Yes, Francis, "see you on the silver bridge"...I really love this. It inspired me to put some people on ignore and to focus on Aikido and what it means to me.
Thank you.
Mary
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:28 AM   #94
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
Location: Stamford Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 382
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Hi Francis,

I'm re reading your great column from the beginning. Here's an apology from the Queen of Digressions and Reminiscenses. The first time I caught myself doing that, I got a blog for those purposes, though I still am tempted on the threads. This time I got tempted again, but switched to PM made two new friends on this wonderful silver bridge, and they were kind enough to reply!

So I owe you yet again. I hope to make an intelligent contribution to the thread soon, this time I was waiting for Mary's post, last night only her name came up at the end of the thread. She always has inspiring things to say. (hubby needs computer now, so Hasta Luego)

Respectfully, Daian
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:13 AM   #95
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
Location: Stamford Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 382
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

I'm going to try again to summarize what this column means to me, but this time eliminate the personal experiences and stories, which lead me to digress too much from the topic.

I feel strongly that whatever attracts each person to Aikido is important for that person to preserve, in order to make possible further growth. I came from a modern dance background (before judo) so the movement was very important to me, having felt as a teenager that I had to struggle to keep up with the young ladies in modern dance class. Well, that's one point about what is important about Aikido to me.

The self defense was always an important part at NYAikikai, to some more than others but we all trained together, it was the same curriculum and most appreciated the effectiveness of the training. But I remind myself to just list some of the many aspects of Aikido in order to make my point.

Peter Shapiro (our senpai at Hombu at the time) and Saotome Sensei in Japan, and back in the US two or three programs in New York and two in New Haven by Hikitsuchi Sensei brought out the Shinto background of O Sensei for us, things about which glimpses had been given in the doka quotes in the Aikido classic texts in English.

Koichi Tohei Sensei and Terry Dobson Sensei gave us very valuable hints of the far ranging application of Aikido principles in daily life.

Not wanting to write an essay, essays are very difficult for me, I just wanted to make the point that it is this diversity which is so important to many of us over the course of our lives and growth as human beings, I may add. I hope to continue to develop using these resources, and for this reason I am asking all to heed Francis' request for mutual respect and consideration of each other's needs and views.

Thanks to all, Daian

Last edited by Diana Frese : 08-11-2011 at 07:17 AM.
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