Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-21-2011, 06:33 AM   #26
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,997
Japan
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Chris,
No one as yet has answered my very simple question-where does one acquire the re written transcripts of O Sensei?I am beginning to think I am asking for some Sumerian text or newly found Dead Sea scrolls.Guys, be specific tell me where you get the latest translation.I do not want to spend valuable time reading a discourse [however good it might be ] on aikiweb..I want to read the newer source articles as presented by the authors.Is this too much to ask? Thanks , Joe.
Hello Joe,

I am sure Chris Li will respond, but I have had the same problem as others have had. If you look at Morihei Ueshiba's writings commercially available in English translation, you will find the following: Budo Renshu (1933), translated by the Larry Bieri and his wife; Budo (1938), translated by John Stevens; Aiki Shinzui (collections of discourses published by the Aikikai Hombu), translated by John Stevens; and Takemusu Aiki (discourses given to a religious group), selected, edited and translated by John Stevens. All of the Stevens translations have been published by Kodansha International and conform to the (commercial) editorial policies of that company.

Since living in Japan, I have learned to read the discourses of Ueshiba in the original Japanese and am personally quite dissatisfied with the existing translations, for various reasons. However, I do not have the time to produce complete new versions, even if the copyright owners (the Aikikai) agreed, so the only alternative is to produce new translations piecemeal, as the need arises, in connection with articles I am writing. I have done this with my own columns here on Aikiweb and Chris Li has also produced one or two translations, also on Aikiweb. However, neither the Japanese texts themselves nor the available translations have been systemically revised anywhere.

Best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 10-21-2011 at 06:39 AM.

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
 
Old 10-21-2011, 06:54 AM   #27
Demetrio Cereijo
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,907
Spain
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

BTW, the Takemusu Aiki discourses are being published in French by Editions du Cénacle de France, but I can't say anything about the quality of the translation.

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 10-21-2011 at 06:54 AM. Reason: fixing link

 
Old 10-21-2011, 07:02 AM   #28
Jon Haas
Location: South Jersey
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 27
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Joe,

Chris answered your question. He did most of the re-translations that are being talked about here. Dan posted them here on Aikiweb. You need to go look for them. Search Dan's post for the past couple months, you'll find them.

Hope that helps.

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Chris,
No one as yet has answered my very simple question-where does one acquire the re written transcripts of O Sensei?I am beginning to think I am asking for some Sumerian text or newly found Dead Sea scrolls.Guys, be specific tell me where you get the latest translation.I do not want to spend valuable time reading a discourse [however good it might be ] on aikiweb..I want to read the newer source articles as presented by the authors.Is this too much to ask? Thanks , Joe.

 
Old 10-21-2011, 10:08 AM   #29
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,117
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

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

I am sure Chris Li will respond, but I have had the same problem as others have had. If you look at Morihei Ueshiba's writings commercially available in English translation, you will find the following: Budo Renshu (1933), translated by the Larry Bieri and his wife; Budo (1938), translated by John Stevens; Aiki Shinzui (collections of discourses published by the Aikikai Hombu), translated by John Stevens; and Takemusu Aiki (discourses given to a religious group), selected, edited and translated by John Stevens. All of the Stevens translations have been published by Kodansha International and conform to the (commercial) editorial policies of that company.

Since living in Japan, I have learned to read the discourses of Ueshiba in the original Japanese and am personally quite dissatisfied with the existing translations, for various reasons. However, I do not have the time to produce complete new versions, even if the copyright owners (the Aikikai) agreed, so the only alternative is to produce new translations piecemeal, as the need arises, in connection with articles I am writing. I have done this with my own columns here on Aikiweb and Chris Li has also produced one or two translations, also on Aikiweb. However, neither the Japanese texts themselves nor the available translations have been systemically revised anywhere.

Best wishes,

PAG
Dear Peter,
Thanks for reply. I thank the other guys who answered my blog as well.As you know I always like to hear /read the most accurate translation of any document. specially a document for a speeding offence etc [joking ]Hope you are well, Best regards, Joe.
 
Old 10-21-2011, 11:01 AM   #30
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,004
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Chris,
No one as yet has answered my very simple question-where does one acquire the re written transcripts of O Sensei?I am beginning to think I am asking for some Sumerian text or newly found Dead Sea scrolls.Guys, be specific tell me where you get the latest translation.I do not want to spend valuable time reading a discourse [however good it might be ] on aikiweb..I want to read the newer source articles as presented by the authors.Is this too much to ask? Thanks , Joe.
All of the original texts are publicly available in Japanese. A number of people (myself included) have been privately translating parts of those (Peter talked about this in more detail).

In any case, a number of them have been posted by Dan - and they're quite telling, if you take a look at them.

Best,

Chris

 
Old 10-22-2011, 02:01 AM   #31
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Dear Joe
I am currently in the UK conducting a seminar and will respond when I get home.
Personally I think quite a bit of disinformation has been rendered through the translations being done by those unfamiliar with the context or background knowledge of the material by Osensei's students. Frankly, I am uninterested in slogging through yet another attempt by any modern aikidoka who doesn't have the proper background and familiarity of the material he was discussing.
To answer your other question....I have yet to read or see any Japanese shihan who expressed the the same understanding, much less abilities adequate to the task.
Last, yes sir I left aikido out of a desperate need to discover aiki. Which I did. Oddly, when I wrote about it, aikido-ka laughed at it or dismissed it. Here we are 16 years later, and I find what I had been discussing is spelled out like a road map by Ueshiba himself. Hence, I have zero confidence in anyone in aikido-not being trained in these methods- being capable of producing anything worth reading, as certain discussions here recently demonstrated.
Dan
 
Old 10-22-2011, 08:42 AM   #32
Ernesto Lemke
Dojo: Seikokan , Leeuwarden
Location: Leeuwarden. the Netherlands
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 150
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Hey Dan, forget something? Check your mail...

Just a quick post to both say that it's great to see Rob posting here again (been a while) and that the first link he provided of Ueshiba was quite shocking to see anew.
I was telling Dan that I hadn't watched a Ueshiba vid in maybe 7 years or so (knew 'em by heart tho) but that watching them now, with all that I'm exposed to in the meantime, they make so much sense that it's hard to accept as well as belief that you can see anything other going on then IP/Aiki being expressed.

I'm staying out of the debate for now so apologies for tossing this in. Just wanted to share my enthusiasm and also share that it is possible to see whitout seeing. But now that I see (and I'm sure there is even more to see) it's so unbelievable (tho explainable) that I didn't see it in the past. The information, skill and knowledge is still there, but it requires someone in the know both willing and able to share for one to be able to see.

Ernesto
 
Old 10-22-2011, 11:34 PM   #33
Michael Varin
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 567
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote:
aiki alone is not a martial system. You become aiki and then whatever martial system you choose, you express aiki in it.
Mark,

So aiki is not martial? Or just not complete? But it is what set Ueshiba apart from other martial artists, correct? Can you expand on this?

Is aiki peculiar to martial arts, or can aiki be expressed in activities other than martial arts? If so, how does it fit in? How would it be trained?

Good luck with your book, by the way!

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
 
Old 10-23-2011, 06:28 AM   #34
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Mark,

So aiki is not martial? Or just not complete? But it is what set Ueshiba apart from other martial artists, correct? Can you expand on this?

Is aiki peculiar to martial arts, or can aiki be expressed in activities other than martial arts? If so, how does it fit in? How would it be trained?

Good luck with your book, by the way!
Aiki doesn't have to be martial, no. Aiki changes the body.

Sagawa (I think): Aiki is a body changing methodology.
Takeda's Daito ryu broken down into three: jujutsu, aikijujutsu, and aiki no jujutsu
Sagawa's father (after learning jujutsu) to Takeda: I want to learn aiki.
Mrs Horikawa: You steal it by watching the body
Ueshiba: You can't do what I do because you don't understand in/yo (not that you don't undestand enough techniques, i.e. jujutsu)

Etc, etc.

Once the body is changed, it naturally affects whatever that person chooses to do. Mifune in judo, Sagawa in Daito ryu, Ueshiba in aikido, Yoshida Kotaro in Yanagi ryu, Hong Junshen in Chen taiji, etc.

Why is it that Ueshiba gave rank to a dancer? Ueshiba saw *something* in that dancer that he believed was fundamental to his aikido. Yet the dancer was not a martial artist.

From what I understand, not all the great Chen style grand masters used what they knew for fighting.

To be good at judo, you have to train judo. To be good at fighting, you have to train fighting. Etc. So, while aiki can be made to change the body into a more effective, martial body, that still leaves training a martial system. How? Good luck with that one. Not being snide, or derogatory here, but being serious. Training aiki changes how the body works, so that it doesn't function "normally". If you're training most martial arts, you're learning how to make your body move and function "normally". By "normally", I mean how 95% of the rest of the world moves and functions. How do you merge the two if they are different training methodologies?

Some systems are somewhat compatible by their very nature: aikido, daito ryu, taiji, koryu. However, that doesn't mean it's 100%. Enough changes through history and you start to get removed from internal skills. Outward, physical jujutsu type movement is replaced to make up for lack of internally driven movement/functionality. And there are internal skills that have to be explicitly shown. Internal structure can sometimes be forced to be built in a body by training certain forms, but other internal attributes must be shown and trained specifically.

Aiki is what made Ueshiba great. But he used his aiki body in Daito ryu jujutsu, in weapons (of various sorts), in misogi, in farming, etc.

Thanks for the good wishes on my book. Appreciate it!

Mark
 
Old 11-06-2011, 10:04 AM   #35
Ken McGrew
Dojo: Aikido at UAB
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 202
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

I've read this and similar discussions and find little clarity or evidence for the claims being made. It's not clear what you are trying to say.

It would help to spell out each claim clearly and then provide evidence for it.

That some passages in O'Sensei's writing were either not included in translations or not translated to your liking does not prove on its face that you are the only people who understand his Aiki. For example, I've read the arguments that Aikido is about power not Ki and that his writing was mistranslated to say put Ki in your hand when it should have been translated as power. When asked what they mean by power these authors answer that you'll know it when you see it but you won't see it until you have it. How convenient! I suspect this translation difference is superficial. Power is Ki. If you mean something else say so and back it up with more evidence and explanation than what has been given in these discussions.

I've read the claim that related to this is the failure in Aikido to understand breaking balance internally. While there is clearly renewed interest lately in breaking balance internally, it is not new to Aikido. Watch the old videos of Terry Dobson, for example. It is also a false claim, if the claim being made is, that all of O'Sense's Aikido was about breaking internal balance. You can see him doing a number of things. He was clearly leading and blending at times, grounding at times, Etc. The relationship between the Chinese and Japanese martial arts has been explored most thoroughly by Sugawara Sensei. Very fruitful but certainly not new.

Finally I'd point out that there are multiple sources of evidence available. These include O'Sense's books. They also include interviews he gave, videos of both himself and the students under his supervision, and the recollections of those who trained with him.
 
Old 11-06-2011, 01:15 PM   #36
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
I've read this and similar discussions and find little clarity or evidence for the claims being made. It's not clear what you are trying to say.

It would help to spell out each claim clearly and then provide evidence for it.

That some passages in O'Sensei's writing were either not included in translations or not translated to your liking does not prove on its face that you are the only people who understand his Aiki. For example, I've read the arguments that Aikido is about power not Ki and that his writing was mistranslated to say put Ki in your hand when it should have been translated as power. When asked what they mean by power these authors answer that you'll know it when you see it but you won't see it until you have it. How convenient! I suspect this translation difference is superficial. Power is Ki. If you mean something else say so and back it up with more evidence and explanation than what has been given in these discussions.

I've read the claim that related to this is the failure in Aikido to understand breaking balance internally. While there is clearly renewed interest lately in breaking balance internally, it is not new to Aikido. Watch the old videos of Terry Dobson, for example. It is also a false claim, if the claim being made is, that all of O'Sense's Aikido was about breaking internal balance. You can see him doing a number of things. He was clearly leading and blending at times, grounding at times, Etc. The relationship between the Chinese and Japanese martial arts has been explored most thoroughly by Sugawara Sensei. Very fruitful but certainly not new.

Finally I'd point out that there are multiple sources of evidence available. These include O'Sense's books. They also include interviews he gave, videos of both himself and the students under his supervision, and the recollections of those who trained with him.
Mr. McGrew,

Your profile indicates you joined AikiWeb in May of 2006. In that time, have you kept up with and read all the threads about Internal Strength, Internal Skills, aiki, etc that have populated the Non-Aikido Martial Forum and other forums throughout this site? I ask because from reading your recent two posts (here and here), it does not appear to me that you have. It would be fairly long and involved to try to recap all of that. There are many threads detailing the information about which you are asking. Unfortunately, you are entering a conversation which has been going on for years.

Do you have specific questions?
 
Old 11-06-2011, 09:08 PM   #37
Ken McGrew
Dojo: Aikido at UAB
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 202
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

As my post indicates I have read several posts about alleged mistranslations of O'Sensei and other passages not translated. These posts don't seem to support the grandiose claims being made. Ofcourse they are incoherent at times, so there may be meaning behind them that is not clear. I could go back to the beginning of this forum and it would make the writing more readable. I'm genuinely trying to give you and others the benefit of fair consideration but the language is not clear at times. When it is clear the arguments are more implied than stated. The implied or not so implied argument seems to be that no one since O'Sensei (or a few direct students who trained with him early on) could do Aikido or even had a clue what it was they were trying to learn. I haven't read anything so far that can support a claim like that.

Specific questions:

Define power in plain English
Explain the difference between power and Ki
Is it your position that other than O'Sensei no one in Aikido understood breaking internal balance until recently?
Are you and others claiming that O'Sensei never demonstrated Aikido that relied on timing, blending, and leading?
To train the Aikido you and others are describing, what are the roles of Uke and Nage? Is it static, movement, or slow movement?
Are you denying the importance that O'Sensei gave to the spiritual and metaphysical in the larger purpose of Aikido and/or their relationship to Aikido' effectiveness?
How are you defining and using the concept of takemuso aiki?
 
Old 11-08-2011, 10:36 AM   #38
Ken McGrew
Dojo: Aikido at UAB
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 202
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

As requested I have read back to the beginning of posts by Mark, Chris, and HD. Go back far enough and you find Mark and HD disagreeing about the nature of ukemi. Now it seems that Mark is a convert.

From the beginning HD has been arguing that Aikido practitioners don't know how to defend themselves and that, though he doesn't train Aikido, that he knows true Aikido. Without clearer language and description it will be difficult to determine the extent to which what he is doing is Aikido, or some other art, or to judge his understanding of Aikido. We do find hints, however, that suggest a lack of understanding of the basic conception of Aikido. For examples, in one post he argues with Mark about why you would ever chose to fall down in response to a strike while in another post he argues that high ranking Aikido practitioners are unable to put him into locks or otherwise do Aikido to him.

Aikido is not based on the ability to "do" anything to an attacker. This is a basic misunderstanding of how the art works to think that anyone can put a lock on you if you aren't really attacking or that a given attack would lend itself to a lock (or even a particular technique). In fact O'Sensei was very clear on Aikido not being about technique at higher levels. O'Sensei was very clear that Aikido works in response to the attack and that the attacker is at a disadvantage for having broken the harmony of the universe. Chris might quibble over the translation of a word here or there, but the meaning is not lost. If we take the following quote from an interview with O'Sensei (which is less likely to involve translation problems than written work) we see O'Sensei making this point:

“In aikido, there is absolutely no attack. To attack means that the spirit has already lost. We adhere to the principle of absolute non-resistance, that is to say, we do not oppose the attacker. Thus, there is no opponent in aikido. The victory in aikido is masakatsu agatsu (correct victory, self-victory); since you win over everything in accordance with the mission of heaven, you possess absolute strength" (1976).

I think it's fine for HD, Chris, and Mark to question O'Sensei's ideas. But in doing so they should first acknowledge what his ideas were. Though more clarity is needed to make a final determination, it seems that they are describing an approach to the martial arts, that while potentially very good and even complimentary to Aikido at times, is not Aikido. HD's project seems to be to basically argue that O'Sensei had not developed a new art, that modern practitioners of Aikido don't understand what he was doing, so come pay me to learn how to do real Aikido. It is a mistake to take Aikido into the realm of fighting. Aikido is not about fighting. Aikido is not well suited for competitions. Aikido is about the refusal to fight. This can take many forms. The taking of many forms (including breaking balance internally and externally), spontaneously responding to a dynamic situation in an attack, is the meaning of Take Muso Aiki.

The cooperative nature of Aikido training is part of the "system" of teaching Aikido that O'Sensei developed (see Saotome Sensei's books). So, to answer the question HD asked years ago, Uke chooses to fall down in response to the atemi of Nage, so that Nage can learn to move in such a manner as to elicit that response more of the time. Uke also falls down for the same reason that boxers fall down when struck hard. Now imagine a boxer being struck and tripped at the same time as he came in and tried to punch himself. That's what Kokyu Tanden Ho basically accomplishes. There are problems in Aikido, in my opinion, but these problems are not those described by HD, Chris, and Mark. A problem in Aikido is that the system that O'Sensei developed has too often been forgotten. Another problem is that people try to make Aikido something it cannot be. Aikido can never be a cage fight art. There may be Aiki in arts like MMA. But that doesn't make them Aikido. I would argue that Aikido is closer to pure Aiki, as O'Sensei believed, but that doesn't really matter to this discussion. This discussion is supposed to be about Ueshiba's Aiki. He said his Aiki was based on leaving this plane of existence in order to engage in absolute non-resistance.

Last edited by Ken McGrew : 11-08-2011 at 10:43 AM.
 
Old 11-08-2011, 11:08 AM   #39
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Mr. McGrew
You would do better to stick with questions. You clearly do not understand what I am talking about and teaching. At it's very foundation, all that I do is nonresistance.
As far as it being Aikido? Lets just say that men far more qualified than you consider it Aiki...do at it highest level. What aiki...do is supposed to be. I don't necessarily care to argue the point either way, but I will take the view of 14 shihans and dozens of 4th, 5th and 6thI dans...over yours.
And for the record, your comment that I say or think "Come pay me and I will show you true Aikido" is rude, dismissive and does a disservice; not only to yourself and your teacher-it speaks ill of the judgement of hundreds of teachers who find this work (which is very old, and well established training) valuable.
I assume you don't know, but your teacher has approved and spoken favorably of what this teaching has done with some of HIS highest ranked students.
I think you should do a little more research before embarrassing yourself further. This work is uniting different lines of the art, and making friends of different teachers who have never met. It is embarrassing to write or reveal some of the heartfelt letters I have received about what this work is doing for someof teachers Aikido. It's all good, and moving in a very positive direction.
Just say'n
Dan

Last edited by DH : 11-08-2011 at 11:22 AM.
 
Old 11-08-2011, 11:19 AM   #40
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,004
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
As requested I have read back to the beginning of posts by Mark, Chris, and HD. Go back far enough and you find Mark and HD disagreeing about the nature of ukemi. Now it seems that Mark is a convert.

From the beginning HD has been arguing that Aikido practitioners don't know how to defend themselves and that, though he doesn't train Aikido, that he knows true Aikido. Without clearer language and description it will be difficult to determine the extent to which what he is doing is Aikido, or some other art, or to judge his understanding of Aikido. We do find hints, however, that suggest a lack of understanding of the basic conception of Aikido. For examples, in one post he argues with Mark about why you would ever chose to fall down in response to a strike while in another post he argues that high ranking Aikido practitioners are unable to put him into locks or otherwise do Aikido to him.

Aikido is not based on the ability to "do" anything to an attacker. This is a basic misunderstanding of how the art works to think that anyone can put a lock on you if you aren't really attacking or that a given attack would lend itself to a lock (or even a particular technique). In fact O'Sensei was very clear on Aikido not being about technique at higher levels. O'Sensei was very clear that Aikido works in response to the attack and that the attacker is at a disadvantage for having broken the harmony of the universe. Chris might quibble over the translation of a word here or there, but the meaning is not lost. If we take the following quote from an interview with O'Sensei (which is less likely to involve translation problems than written work) we see O'Sensei making this point:

“In aikido, there is absolutely no attack. To attack means that the spirit has already lost. We adhere to the principle of absolute non-resistance, that is to say, we do not oppose the attacker. Thus, there is no opponent in aikido. The victory in aikido is masakatsu agatsu (correct victory, self-victory); since you win over everything in accordance with the mission of heaven, you possess absolute strength" (1976).

I think it's fine for HD, Chris, and Mark to question O'Sensei's ideas. But in doing so they should first acknowledge what his ideas were. Though more clarity is needed to make a final determination, it seems that they are describing an approach to the martial arts, that while potentially very good and even complimentary to Aikido at times, is not Aikido. HD's project seems to be to basically argue that O'Sensei had not developed a new art, that modern practitioners of Aikido don't understand what he was doing, so come pay me to learn how to do real Aikido. It is a mistake to take Aikido into the realm of fighting. Aikido is not about fighting. Aikido is not well suited for competitions. Aikido is about the refusal to fight. This can take many forms. The taking of many forms (including breaking balance internally and externally), spontaneously responding to a dynamic situation in an attack, is the meaning of Take Muso Aiki.

The cooperative nature of Aikido training is part of the "system" of teaching Aikido that O'Sensei developed (see Saotome Sensei's books). So, to answer the question HD asked years ago, Uke chooses to fall down in response to the atemi of Nage, so that Nage can learn to move in such a manner as to elicit that response more of the time. Uke also falls down for the same reason that boxers fall down when struck hard. Now imagine a boxer being struck and tripped at the same time as he came in and tried to punch himself. That's what Kokyu Tanden Ho basically accomplishes. There are problems in Aikido, in my opinion, but these problems are not those described by HD, Chris, and Mark. A problem in Aikido is that the system that O'Sensei developed has too often been forgotten. Another problem is that people try to make Aikido something it cannot be. Aikido can never be a cage fight art. There may be Aiki in arts like MMA. But that doesn't make them Aikido. I would argue that Aikido is closer to pure Aiki, as O'Sensei believed, but that doesn't really matter to this discussion. This discussion is supposed to be about Ueshiba's Aiki. He said his Aiki was based on leaving this plane of existence in order to engage in absolute non-resistance.
Ken, I don't even know where to start, this is a conversation that has spanned years. I've been in Aikido for more than 30 years, I've translated for both Moriteru and Mitsuteru Ueshiba, and I've read everything ever published by Morihei Ueshiba in the original Japanese. I have a pretty good idea of what the central ideas of Aikido are.

I was training with Dan just last night, and he's not advocating against Morihei Ueshiba - he's advocating for him, and everything that he's doing is borne out in Ueshiba's own words.

Best advice - try and get a chance to get some hands on time with him and see for yourself.

Best,

Chris

 
Old 11-08-2011, 11:31 AM   #41
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,004
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
And for the record, your comment that I say or think "Come pay me and I will show you true Aikido" is rude, dismissive and does a disservice; not only to yourself and your teacher-it speaks ill of the judgement of hundreds of teachers who find this work (which is very old, and well established training) valuable.
I'd like to add that yes, we do pay Dan, but by the time he gets out here and covers air, hotel, and other costs, there is either little or nothing left. He ends making a lot less then minimum wage every time he visits - but of course the compensation is getting to see us .

Best,

Chris

 
Old 11-08-2011, 11:44 AM   #42
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
As requested I have read back to the beginning of posts by Mark, Chris, and HD. Go back far enough and you find Mark and HD disagreeing about the nature of ukemi. Now it seems that Mark is a convert.
Mr. McGrew,

I have about 1700 posts. Dan has about 2500. Let's be conservative and say half of them are off topic. That leaves 800 and 1200 posts amid, oh, let's say 200 threads. That's just the two of us. There were a few more main participants (Rob John, Mike Sigman, etc) which could double the above count.

Are you saying that between the time I posted on Nov 6th and today, you have read all those threads and posts? Because, personally, from your recent post, it really doesn't seem like it.

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
From the beginning HD has been arguing that Aikido practitioners don't know how to defend themselves and that, though he doesn't train Aikido, that he knows true Aikido. Without clearer language and description it will be difficult to determine the extent to which what he is doing is Aikido, or some other art, or to judge his understanding of Aikido. We do find hints, however, that suggest a lack of understanding of the basic conception of Aikido.
Speaking of ... in your website on Aikido history, you have this:

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote:
As a young man, Ueshiba trained in many forms of martial arts, always striving to increase his ability and to become stronger. At the same time he was drawn to various ascetic and spiritual practices. At one point after easily defeating an army officer who challenged him with a wooden sword while he himself was unarmed, Ueshiba had an enlightenment experience in which he felt himself to be one with the universe. Out of this experience emerged a new art which Ueshiba named "Aikido," which means "the way of harmony with universal energy."
According to Stan Pranin's extensive research, the above is really not true. Ueshiba did not train in many forms of martial arts. And those few he did study were short lived. His one, main art that he trained was Daito ryu.

Also, it was not out of that experience you describe which created Aikido and in fact, Ueshiba never named his art but just acknowledged his acceptance of the name.

Then, there's this section from your web site:

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote:
Before World War II, Aikido was practiced by only a few people. One needed an introduction even to be considered for admittance as a student. But with the lesson of war fresh in his mind, Ueshiba opened the practice of Aikido to the general public in the late 1940's, hoping that his art might help to contribute to greater social and personal harmony.
It was Kisshomaru Ueshiba who opened the practice of Aikido up to the general public, not Morihei. In fact, when Kisshomaru suggested a public demonstration, he feared his father would fly off in a rage at the notion. Instead, Morihei handed Tokyo hombu over to his son and Kisshomaru took things from there to a worldwide audience.

From there, it would be hard to have a conversation about aikido with someone who has ideas that are opposite historical facts. Stan Pranin has a subscription in which you can get a DVD with all the back issues of Aiki News/Aikido Journal. I would suggest starting there and reading through them.

If you don't wish to do that, then perhaps you should attend a seminar with Bill Gleason and have a long talk with him. Bill has the background, skills, and ability to help you understand aikido history, theory, spiritual ideology, and aiki.
 
Old 11-08-2011, 11:45 AM   #43
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,523
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
but of course the compensation is getting to see us .
But who in their right mind would want to visit you guys? Nothing to do, no good food, horrible weather...

Oh, lord, I am jealous... I think it's time to come up with an excuse to visit family in Hilo...

 
Old 11-08-2011, 11:48 AM   #44
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Yup
No one ever brings up how many free night training sessions I offer outside the seminar itself, either. Why not? Because it diminishes the value of the insult and ill- motives they are trying to establish
It is worth noting that many teachers have advised me that I need to patiently accept that people can be angry over some of these issues. I have taken that advice and throttled way down. Understanding and a willingness to listen as well as advocate is a better approach.
It is funny reading some posts about " Making money" with his stuff...then yakking with the more experienced teachers who crack up and share the war stories of traveling and adding up the hours spent. George Ledyard said it best. "It has to be a labor of love. Otherwise no one in their right mind would EVER do this to themselves."
Oops...time for my massage.
Scuba awaits!!!!!
Dan
" making my $6.00 an hour worth every penny

Last edited by DH : 11-08-2011 at 11:52 AM.
 
Old 11-08-2011, 12:03 PM   #45
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,523
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Honestly there are very few in any of these arts who in any way makes any sort of "money" in the sense of supporting themselves in some reasonable way. It seems to me that most all of us do this for the same reasons -- out of love of the art. That extends to guys like Dan as well. No one in the west is getting wealthy doing this. People get together. People pay to cover the costs. It ain't like you've got a cathedral filled with 1000 people. It's more like 25 smelly people standing on a mat together for a couple solid days trying to move each other around,.

But this is debating motives, not validity or authenticity. Few I've met who've made the effort to attend and learn have walked away without some benefit or acknowledgement that there's something here to learn.

But... Whatever. Agree, disagree, or neither. Get out and try it or don't. In the end that's the only way to take this conversation any further...

 
Old 11-08-2011, 01:34 PM   #46
SteveTrinkle
Dojo: Aikido Kenkyukai International
Location: Ambler, Pennsylvania
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 232
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Best advice - try and get a chance to get some hands on time with him and see for yourself.

Best,

Chris
I wholeheartedly agree with Chris's suggestion - once you do, many of the initial questions will immediately become moot, and there will suddenly be a whole new set of more interesting questions. My experience anyway.

Cheers.

 
Old 11-08-2011, 01:35 PM   #47
SteveTrinkle
Dojo: Aikido Kenkyukai International
Location: Ambler, Pennsylvania
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 232
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
But... Whatever. Agree, disagree, or neither. Get out and try it or don't. In the end that's the only way to take this conversation any further...
...and Keith's.

 
Old 11-08-2011, 07:24 PM   #48
matty_mojo911
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 38
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

We should cherish the past, but embrace change.

All martial arts morph and change, parts of what "we" do today are similar to what O'Sensei likely did, and parts aren't. Neither is right or wrong. Loosley speaking Aikido tends tend to get more and more embelished as the years past, more and more "art" like.

Make aikido your own. I of course never knew O'Sensei but I'm sure he would agree with that statement.

PS - in regards to the very recent posts above about $$$ made in Aikido. Most Aikido seminars I've been to over the years are people showing technique variations, or a lot of talk and breaking down one techinque to crazy levels. Generalisation I know.

People will pay what they think you are worth.

In BJJ, who charge the same fees here to many Akido clubs. Teachers at seminars will walk away with several thousand dollars for a few hours work. They can travel around teachin several of these a week. Very, very good money. Why do I pay a lot of money to go see these guys? Because they are unbelievably good, with some ground breaking ideas. Aikido could learn something here, being a 5th, 6th, 7th Dan doesn't mean you are worth listening to. A good "coach" is.

Last edited by matty_mojo911 : 11-08-2011 at 07:33 PM.
 
Old 11-08-2011, 07:41 PM   #49
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Matt Morris wrote: View Post
We should cherish the past, but embrace change.

All martial arts morph and change, parts of what "we" do today are similar to what O'Sensei likely did, and parts aren't. Neither is right or wrong. Loosley speaking Aikido tends tend to get more and more embelished as the years past, more and more "art" like.

Make aikido your own. I of course never knew O'Sensei but I'm sure he would agree with that statement.
It is the nature of aiki to change for each individual. However, if you have aiki, you still have certain qualities to your art as can be seen in Ueshiba's peers: Horikawa and Sagawa. Each of them said that they learned from Takeda, went past Takeda in areas, and were still trying to understand aiki. This is *not* Kisshomaru's "aiki". This is the aiki from Takeda. Do not make the mistake of thinking that Ueshiba's aiki is the same as Modern Aikido's aiki.

There is very little in common with what Modern Aikido does today and what Morihei Ueshiba did. And yes, there is a right and wrong when it comes to Ueshiba's aiki. And no, I don't believe Ueshiba would agree with you. Why do you think he stormed into the dojo and yelled at everyone that they weren't doing his aikido? That he said he looked back and no one was following him? That Saito was learning Daito ryu jujutsu techniques in Iwama while Tokyo under Kisshomaru's direction was doing something entirely different? That Ueshiba got angry when people called him religious? That Ueshiba stated strongly that he was a man of budo? That it was extremely common for Ueshiba to have students push on him, yet we do not find this kind of training in Modern Aikido? That Ueshiba was just standing and talking to someone and told his son, look, I'm training even now -- where is that training in Modern Aikido? That no one looked like Ueshiba when they were all doing fune koge? That some post war students came back after the war, took a look at what was going on in Tokyo and left? And not because of the spiritual nature ... they'd heard it all before from Ueshiba himself before the war.
 
Old 11-08-2011, 09:08 PM   #50
matty_mojo911
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 38
Offline
Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
There is very little in common with what Modern Aikido does today and what Morihei Ueshiba did. And yes, there is a right and wrong when it comes to Ueshiba's aiki. And no, I don't believe Ueshiba would agree with you. Why do you think he stormed into the dojo and yelled at everyone that they weren't doing his aikido? That he said he looked back and no one was following him? That Saito was learning Daito ryu jujutsu techniques in Iwama while Tokyo under Kisshomaru's direction was doing something entirely different?
You clearly know more about O'Sensei than I. If what you say is accurate, and I don't doubt that it is, then O'Sensei was just expressing a normal instructors frustration at his students either not listening, or doing their own thing. I can fully understand this. I've done that enough over the years.

However it is human nature to develop and change something to our own way of liking. I would like to think that most wise old men would understand this. If O'Sensei couldn't, and demanded that things be done his way forever then he lacked understanding of this part of human nature.
 

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18 Peter Goldsbury Columns 187 09-08-2011 02:41 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 17 Peter Goldsbury Columns 41 06-03-2010 09:46 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 14 Peter Goldsbury Columns 38 07-31-2009 11:19 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10 Peter Goldsbury Columns 200 02-04-2009 06:45 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:36 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate