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Old 08-29-2011, 02:41 AM   #151
niall
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Quote:
In order to establish heaven on earth, we need a Budo that is pure in spirit, that is devoid of hatred and greed. It must follow natural principles and harmonize the material with the spiritual. Aikido means not to kill. Although nearly all creeds have a commandment against taking life, most of them justify killing for reason or another. In Aikido, however, we try to completely avoid killing, even the most evil person.
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To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace.
Morihei Ueshiba

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Morihei_Ueshiba

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:22 AM   #152
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
If you're going to use John Steven's translations, the person it should be attributed to is Kisshomaru Ueshiba and not Morihei Ueshiba. I think the latest round of threads talking about translations would have cleared that up by now.
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:42 AM   #153
graham christian
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
I just wanted to know whether the picture of a Ueshiba, being someone who did sometimes hurt his uke makes a difference to what people think of him and of what he taught.

And I simply was interested whether people know only this mentionend inicident or whether there is a knowledge of more of such. But this to me is only a question of "historical" interest. I just like to know things.

For me myself it doesn't change anything. But I was never arguing that aikido is designed to not hurt an attacker or that Ueshiba didn't hurt someone.
Hi Carsten.
Thanks for the clarification. I have read on here somewhere when someone pointed out an incident where the ukes hip was damaged but it sounded remarkably similar to the one you already know about. I think there's many versions of this same one floating about. Exaggerations abound no doubt.

I wouldn't be surprised if there are more, especially pre 1945, for he was a martial arts teacher and exponent over a lifetime.

Regards.G.
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:42 AM   #154
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

I'm not following you Mark. Are you saying you don't think those are O Sensei's words? I no longer have a copy of the book so I can't check the source. John Stevens, who speaks fluent Japanese, translated and compiled the book. He is a respected and world-famous writer and translator and expert on many aspects of Japanese culture and is also an aikido teacher. I'm sure you will understand that unless there is evidence to the contrary I will stick with his opinion.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:46 AM   #155
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
If you're going to use John Steven's translations, the person it should be attributed to is Kisshomaru Ueshiba and not Morihei Ueshiba. I think the latest round of threads talking about translations would have cleared that up by now.
Are you saying Kisshomaru said it?
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:50 AM   #156
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Just wanted to say a quick thanks to Mark for taking the time to answer me in such detail. I have a few more questions, but not much time to frame them well, so I'll try to formulate them offline and see if I can manage enough organization to add to the discussion properly.

Hi Graham, for the bulk of my short life so far I would've agreed hands down with the idea that philosophy is of higher importance than action. Now I see the two as two sides of the same mindfulness coin and am beginning to lean more in favor of action...but I've been a thinker and not much of a doer for a long time now, so I'm definately finding my bias swinging in the opposite direction from where it started. I think more to the point, I agree they are interdependant, and one without the other is asking for trouble.
Take care,
Matt
Thanks Matthew.
The fact they are interdependant is the most important datum. From that datum alone we can learn much.

Regards.G.
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Old 08-29-2011, 04:11 PM   #157
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Anita Dacanay wrote: View Post
I appreciate your clarifications, Mark. What you say is interesting, but I am not sure that I "get" the practical application of your conclusions for any of us who want to learn Aikido in the modern age. What you say seems to imply that unless we study Daito Ryu and Omoto Kyo, we will never be able to understand O Sensei's Aikido, so we may as well not even bother.

I am sure that Kisshomaru did his best to try and a fashion a way to teach the art his father had developed. Certainly, each of us can only do his or her best to try and understand what our teachers have to offer. Certainly later in his life, O Sensei's desire was to share Aikido with the world. He knew that he would not live forever, and that he had to pass the torch.

Personally, I have to believe that O Sensei was not completely unsuccessful in his goals. In my personal training, I think the best that I can do is to seek out and listen to the teachers whom I trust.

Also, referring back to the original post, upon reflection I think that the best answer to the question is indeed, "Yes" - as others have pointed out.
Hello,
People in Modern Aikido all over the world often turn to Morihei Ueshiba, the founder, to support their aikido. However, the person they really should be turning to is Kisshomaru Ueshiba. And to another extent, Koichi Tohei. Morihei Ueshiba's martial skills and his spiritual ideology are not present in most Modern Aikido.

That isn't to say that Modern Aikido is lacking. Modern Aikido has stood up for itself and actually done far better in the world than Ueshiba probably ever could have done. So, it isn't a matter of right, wrong, good, or bad.

It's a matter that most Modern Aikido really doesn't have much in common with Morihei Ueshiba's aikido. And up until late in Ueshiba's life, he did not want to open his aikido up to the world. Remember, when Kisshomaru took over in Tokyo and wanted to do an open demonstration, Kisshomaru feared his father's rage at the very idea. And rightly so.

Had Ueshiba truly been interested in "passing the torch", he would have taught someone to be as martially effective as himself. Instead, through many different deshi and his son, they all said Ueshiba was more interested in personal development than in teaching.

Mark
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Old 08-29-2011, 04:23 PM   #158
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
I'm not following you Mark. Are you saying you don't think those are O Sensei's words? I no longer have a copy of the book so I can't check the source. John Stevens, who speaks fluent Japanese, translated and compiled the book. He is a respected and world-famous writer and translator and expert on many aspects of Japanese culture and is also an aikido teacher. I'm sure you will understand that unless there is evidence to the contrary I will stick with his opinion.
I would wonder where the quote came from, who said it, and what the original Japanese text was. John Stevens is known to use translations but not to give citations as to where they came from. He is also known to have omitted parts of sentences from translations, changed meanings from other parts, and to translate ideas according to Japan's wishes.

IF you had to rely upon someone's translations to build a nuclear reactor or to do heart surgery, would you rely upon someone who worked like that? "Hey, let's take out this section where it talks about an important part of cooling a reactor because it really doesn't translate well."

But, if you want to rely upon Steven's translations ... that's up to you.
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Old 08-29-2011, 04:52 PM   #159
graham christian
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Maybe self development is the most martially effective part of Aikido.

Regards.G.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:40 PM   #160
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I would wonder where the quote came from, who said it, and what the original Japanese text was. John Stevens is known to use translations but not to give citations as to where they came from. He is also known to have omitted parts of sentences from translations, changed meanings from other parts, and to translate ideas according to Japan's wishes.

IF you had to rely upon someone's translations to build a nuclear reactor or to do heart surgery, would you rely upon someone who worked like that? "Hey, let's take out this section where it talks about an important part of cooling a reactor because it really doesn't translate well."

But, if you want to rely upon Steven's translations ... that's up to you.
Hi Mark -

That's a pretty serious literary indictment you have leveled at Mr. Stevens. Have you anything more than anecdotal evidence to back up your claims?

Best,

Ron

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Old 08-30-2011, 07:46 AM   #161
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Hello,
People in Modern Aikido all over the world often turn to Morihei Ueshiba, the founder, to support their aikido. However, the person they really should be turning to is Kisshomaru Ueshiba. And to another extent, Koichi Tohei. Morihei Ueshiba's martial skills and his spiritual ideology are not present in most Modern Aikido.

It's a matter that most Modern Aikido really doesn't have much in common with Morihei Ueshiba's aikido. Had Ueshiba truly been interested in "passing the torch", he would have taught someone to be as martially effective as himself. Instead, through many different deshi and his son, they all said Ueshiba was more interested in personal development than in teaching.

Mark
Hi Mark! I think that Kissomaru and Tohei taught a different, very soft form than o'sensei did that sometimes didn't look so martial. Tohei always had that tendency that eventually led to his aikido being more of a practicing form (yoga-like) than a true martial art. However, i don't believe that the form of aikido that we have today is mainly a reflection of this "soft" form. Take a look at the current Doshu, or Steven Seagal sensei for example. I am certain that in aikido there are people as martially effective as o'sensei was, if not even more, what makes you say that he wasn't teaching his students that way? It's not even a matter of passing the torch, if one practices seriously, nobody can "hide" aikido from him.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:48 AM   #162
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
Hi Mark! I think that Kissomaru and Tohei taught a different, very soft form than o'sensei did that sometimes didn't look so martial. Tohei always had that tendency that eventually led to his aikido being more of a practicing form (yoga-like) than a true martial art. However, i don't believe that the form of aikido that we have today is mainly a reflection of this "soft" form. Take a look at the current Doshu, or Steven Seagal sensei for example. I am certain that in aikido there are people as martially effective as o'sensei was, if not even more, what makes you say that he wasn't teaching his students that way? It's not even a matter of passing the torch, if one practices seriously, nobody can "hide" aikido from him.
Dear Yannis,
You certainly pick a contrast of Aikido styles when you ask us to look at the current Doshu and Mr Seagal. Frankly they are miles apart as far as their Aikido skills are concerned.Note I am not saying one is better /worse than the other just different.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:31 PM   #163
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Hi Mark -

That's a pretty serious literary indictment you have leveled at Mr. Stevens. Have you anything more than anecdotal evidence to back up your claims?

Best,

Ron
Uh, Ron, have you been reading Aikiweb the last few years? Everything I mentioned is noted in Aikiweb threads from the past few years. So, um, how is it that you missed them?

Mark
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:01 PM   #164
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Uh, Ron, have you been reading Aikiweb the last few years? Everything I mentioned is noted in Aikiweb threads from the past few years. So, um, how is it that you missed them?

Mark
Well Mark, I've read a lot of opinion on AikiWeb about how Mr. Stevens has done this or that with regards to his translations. Opinion however doesn't constitute evidence of anything other than the author's belief.

So appealing to Aikiweb posts as evidence of the veracity of your claim falls a little short. Note that I'm not saying your assertions are necessarily incorrect, only that when it comes to matters of translation something more than someone else's opinion is required as proof of statements asserting willful misrepresentation.

Best,

Ron

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Old 08-30-2011, 06:55 PM   #165
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Well Mark, I've read a lot of opinion on AikiWeb about how Mr. Stevens has done this or that with regards to his translations. Opinion however doesn't constitute evidence of anything other than the author's belief.

So appealing to Aikiweb posts as evidence of the veracity of your claim falls a little short. Note that I'm not saying your assertions are necessarily incorrect, only that when it comes to matters of translation something more than someone else's opinion is required as proof of statements asserting willful misrepresentation.

Best,

Ron
Opinion? There were actual japanese text presented with various translations. That's not opinion. I'd say that's fairly hard evidence of how some things were changed, omitted, etc. Again, perhaps you should go back and do research for these posts and threads.

Now, by that very fact, it's going to be willful. Each person decides how they are going to translate something. That's willful. But, nowhere, let me restate that *nowhere* did I say it was malicious. I, like others, think that John Stevens did the very best that he could under the circumstances. Especially where Kisshomaru and hombu was concerned.

But the fact is that certain things that Ueshiba said had very real meaning in the martial world but were somehow not conveyed in the translations. That's probably going to become even more evident as time goes by. Or you could just assign my posts as some rambling drivel by an unknown heretic who's clueless to the aikido world.

Mark
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:59 PM   #166
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Or you could just assign my posts as some rambling drivel by an unknown heretic who's clueless to the aikido world.
Actually Mark I find your posts contain lots of well thought out points that present the, shall we say,"Dan-centric" view of Aikido very well. You probably know that I view Aikido as an art with a very wide spectrum of applicability and, as such, don't believe that there are any heretical interpretations of Ueshiba's creation.

Before I decided to accept anyone else's word on the subject I should like to hear Mr. Steven's rebuttal of the criticism leveled at him. As he doesn't post here, and for all I know, isn't even aware of the controversy, that'll probably not come to pass.

No matter though, in the long run it's one's training that matters.

Best,

Ron

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Old 08-31-2011, 12:01 AM   #167
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Dear Yannis,
You certainly pick a contrast of Aikido styles when you ask us to look at the current Doshu and Mr Seagal. Frankly they are miles apart as far as their Aikido skills are concerned.Note I am not saying one is better /worse than the other just different.
Agreed. I never said they are the same. There is one aikido but each master has his personal style of executing techniques. Doshu and Seagal sensei are different, yet neither of them practicing a soft form with no martial effectiveness.
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:00 AM   #168
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
... Seagal sensei ...
It's ot but here in Germany it is said, that Seagal sensei wouldn't practice and teach anymore? Sounds like that wouldn't be true?
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:10 AM   #169
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
It's ot but here in Germany it is said, that Seagal sensei wouldn't practice and teach anymore? Sounds like that wouldn't be true?
From what i know it isn't true. There are some (not many) resent videos of him teaching on utube, although without traditional gi and hakama in some cases. In the second season of Steven Seagal:Lawman, there is a video of him teaching kumi-tachi wearing a full black gi and hakama and also practicing tameshi-giri with a katana. And there are also the videos of him teaching a couple of u.f.c athletes which i find a little bit outside the spirit of budo, but it is still an aikido teaching activity. He also teaches the police officers of Jefferson Parish, Luisiana and for some techniques he has one of his actual students serving as uke. I believe he considers aikido one of the most important aspects of his life, therefore i don't think he'll ever stop practicing. I really respect him very much as an aikido teacher and as a person (as far as i know about him).
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:19 AM   #170
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Before I decided to accept anyone else's word on the subject I should like to hear Mr. Steven's rebuttal of the criticism leveled at him. As he doesn't post here, and for all I know, isn't even aware of the controversy, that'll probably not come to pass.
Hi Ron,

In this interview Mr. Stevens hints to his approach regarding his writings about aikido.

http://www.aikido-world.com/articles...interview1.htm
http://www.aikido-world.com/articles...interview2.htm

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Old 08-31-2011, 06:58 AM   #171
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Hi Ron,

In this interview Mr. Stevens hints to his approach regarding his writings about aikido.

http://www.aikido-world.com/articles...interview1.htm
http://www.aikido-world.com/articles...interview2.htm
Thank you Demetrio. I'll try to give them a read today.

Best,

Ron

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Old 09-03-2011, 12:29 PM   #172
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Hi Mark,
After reading this article posted in another thread I thought instantly of your recent remarks to me. Here Nidai Doshu seems to describe, in what seems like fairly clear terms, the direction in which his efforts went.

Quote:
Pranin of Kisshomaru's remarks wrote:
[My father] put a broad interpretation on the idea of kata (form) placing instead emphasis on the pursuit of the highest spiritual plane. This is why Aikido became what it is today. In a sense, there is something in Aikido which corresponds to Zen. Aikido involves a complete change of thinking patterns...Also, its training method is in harmony with the workings of society. Morihei Ueshiba was a martial arts genius. We must do our best to bridge the gap between his flash of genius and society.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 09-03-2011 at 12:32 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:54 PM   #173
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Hi Mark,
After reading this article posted in another thread I thought instantly of your recent remarks to me. Here Nidai Doshu seems to describe, in what seems like fairly clear terms, the direction in which his efforts went.
Matthew,
Just because Modern Aikido is different than Ueshiba's aikido, doesn't mean that one can trivialize Modern Aikido (I know you aren't). Millions of people have given it life and purpose. The real and true founder is Kisshomaru Ueshiba. I really think people don't give him enough credit. It should be his portrait up there with his father's in most dojos. Or Tohei's portrait with Ueshiba's for other dojos. Those two did far, far more for Modern Aikido than Morihei Ueshiba ever did. Different does not equate to wrong or bad in the eyes of the world.

Where I tend to focus is to show that Morihei Ueshiba's aikido *is* different than Modern Aikido.
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:24 PM   #174
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Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Maybe self development is the most martially effective part of Aikido.

Regards.G.
Yes. And maybe it's all one, and his teachings was a way of showing that spiritualism and martial art cannot be separated. It might just be the same way.
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