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Old 11-10-2011, 10:46 PM   #76
Ken McGrew
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

O'Sensei observed Saotome Sensei teaching the morning class for years. He was very happy with Saotome's instruction. I'm sure he observed others also. He was not retired in the way that you are implying. You should know that if you are associated with an Aikido lineage.

Saito Sensei had a number of opinions. Ill take O'Sensei's comments about his own Aikido after the war as the stronger case.

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
This should start you out: http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=34

It's a 15 year old argument, at a minimum. Not many people really contest the issue anymore.

That kind of push test is nothing like what Dan is doing - or rather, it's just the very tip of the iceberg.

Morihiro Saito didn't think so. He used to carry the 1938 edition of "Budo" around to prove it. In any case, after the war he was largely retired.

Best,

Chris
 
Old 11-10-2011, 11:03 PM   #77
Ken McGrew
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Pranin Sensei is wrong at least in part. I say this based on what O'Sensei said about his own Aikido development after the war and also what Saotome Sensei wrote about the difference between Aiki Jujitsu, pre war Aikido, and post war Aikido.

Listen to yourself. You just claimed that most people accept that there's no difference between pre and post war Aikido and that they believe that O'Sensei had little influence after the war. This claim, that most people accept Pranin's claim or your claims, is refuted by posts on Aikiweb and basically everywhere except among the Saito Sensei and pre war Aikido practitioners. You might be right (though you are not right) but it is not true that most Aikido practitioners agree with you.

How many of your crowd who address Doshu so dismissively and make these arguments hold rank with Hombu? I'm not saying everything that has ever happened there was right. But maybe your crowd should have the decency to leave an organization that you regularly bash.

Dan and crowd have repeatedly argued,that no one has done Aikido properly since O'Sensei (or perhaps Saito Sensei). When they make these blanket statements they insult all of our teachers. If they won't back up these claims better than they have then they should expect to be criticized for having done so.

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
This should start you out: http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=34

It's a 15 year old argument, at a minimum. Not many people really contest the issue anymore.

That kind of push test is nothing like what Dan is doing - or rather, it's just the very tip of the iceberg.

Morihiro Saito didn't think so. He used to carry the 1938 edition of "Budo" around to prove it. In any case, after the war he was largely retired.

Best,

Chris

Last edited by Ken McGrew : 11-10-2011 at 11:09 PM.
 
Old 11-10-2011, 11:19 PM   #78
kewms
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
ASU is a big organization. People in ASU have also cross trained in MMA. So what? My comments in this discussion were all drawn from Saotome Sensei's books. you should read them.
I have. My current teacher is a direct student of Saotome Sensei. And has invited Dan Harden to the dojo on multiple occasions. He's on the calendar several times for 2012, and you'd be welcome to come train with us.

Katherine
 
Old 11-10-2011, 11:55 PM   #79
kewms
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
ASU is a big organization. People in ASU have also cross trained in MMA. So what? My comments in this discussion were all drawn from Saotome Sensei's books. you should read them.
My previous teacher helped translate one of Saotome Sensei's books. He's fluent in Japanese, studied in Japan, and wrote what are probably the definitive works in English on O Sensei's philosophy. He studies with Dan Harden, too.

Katherine
 
Old 11-11-2011, 12:49 AM   #80
Chris Li
 
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
How many of your crowd who address Doshu so dismissively and make these arguments hold rank with Hombu? I'm not saying everything that has ever happened there was right. But maybe your crowd should have the decency to leave an organization that you regularly bash.
Well, I've held dan ranks both directly from Saotome and from hombu since before you started Aikido.

I criticize the US government, but I'm still a US citizen - when did "love it or leave it" become the rule? If it is the rule - I think that Saotome is going to have to leave the Aikikai again, based on some of the comments I've heard him make .

Best,

Chris

 
Old 11-11-2011, 12:55 AM   #81
wxyzabc
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Maybe some of you guys should watch the following :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxQd_kBse-c&feature=fvst

Pay careful attention to around 2:00 to 2:40 (you may have to watch this a few times)...then think about what you know..or don't...

This is not to insult current teachers but to give Ueshiba the correct level of respect.
 
Old 11-11-2011, 01:02 AM   #82
Chris Li
 
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post

Dan and crowd have repeatedly argued,that no one has done Aikido properly since O'Sensei (or perhaps Saito Sensei). When they make these blanket statements they insult all of our teachers. If they won't back up these claims better than they have then they should expect to be criticized for having done so.
Actually, Dan's not that big a Saito fan, but that's beside the point. Dan's very pragmatic - if you have a better approach, or if you think that your current training paradigm is producing the same or better effects, and you can show him - he'll love it. If you can't, well...

I spent quite a few years with Saotome, and quite a few years in Japan. I've felt most of the big names - including Saotome's teacher, and this is where I am after feeling Dan. Give it a try and what he's saying will start to make sense.

Best,

Chris

 
Old 11-11-2011, 01:05 AM   #83
DH
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

The most ardent, derogatory comments I have heard about Aikido are FROM it's teachers. I am continually told I have breathed a new hope into their art. Both for infusing stunning aiki back in and for showing how it can transform from MMA to waza.
I am not inclined to debate with Mr. McGraw when his seniors agree with me and recognize that I am working to support Aikido, and not harm it.
I think he has some notion that I am interested in debating. something with him.
Dan

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Well, I've held dan ranks both directly from Saotome and from hombu since before you started Aikido.

I criticize the US government, but I'm still a US citizen - when did "love it or leave it" become the rule? If it is the rule - I think that Saotome is going to have to leave the Aikikai again, based on some of the comments I've heard him make .

Best,

Chris
 
Old 11-11-2011, 01:47 AM   #84
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Dan

Whatever people eventually choose to do, you have made (at least some of ) them think about what they are doing and/or what they could/should expect from Aikido. This is very much in line with the teachings of Ueshiba: be independent and search for yourself.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
 
Old 11-11-2011, 01:55 AM   #85
raul rodrigo
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Actually, Dan's not that big a Saito fan, but that's beside the point. Dan's very pragmatic - if you have a better approach, or if you think that your current training paradigm is producing the same or better effects, and you can show him - he'll love it. If you can't, well...

I spent quite a few years with Saotome, and quite a few years in Japan. I've felt most of the big names - including Saotome's teacher, and this is where I am after feeling Dan. Give it a try and what he's saying will start to make sense.

Best,

Chris
Chris, when you say Saotome's teacher, you mean Morihei?

best

RAUL
 
Old 11-11-2011, 04:52 AM   #86
Chris Knight
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken. It's very simple really. They are trying to prove that the internal stuff or aiki that Takeda had is the same that O'Sensei had and used as Aikido.

Completely false in my opinion, but they are trying to prove it. That's the nub of the matter as I see it.

Such bits of data as O'Sensei was largely retired after the war or even that in his later years didn't really have much to do with teaching Aikido to me are completely false.

It's best to let them get on with it for obviously it is their path.
really?? take a look at the video Lee posted of O Sensei and tell me this process doesn't require internal strength and perfect body allignment. In fact, I'm pretty sure, as far as I know, that nobody has replicated the Jo horizontal position, albeit as a trick using the centre as resistance, which he obviously isn't doing in this with his arms extended.

Anybody able to answer my original question, we seem to have swung wide of the subject??
 
Old 11-11-2011, 05:16 AM   #87
Alex Megann
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

This is one of the most interesting threads I have read on AikiWeb for a long while, and contains most of the arguments I have come across for and against what Dan and others are teaching.

My own teacher (Aikikai 7th Dan, and with a very interesting and eclectic history of teachers) is in the habit of publicly criticising "modern aikido". Being Japanese, he won't of course mention specific names, but most of us who have been around for a while have filled in the gaps and know exactly who he is talking about. We invite Hombu shihan to our Summer School every year, but it is obvious that - for better or for worse - what they are teaching is different in a deep essence to what he has been trying to get across in recent years. I'm sure many people see him as a crazy old guy, but I have come to appreciate that the core of what he teaches is very valuable and elusive. He repeatedly complains "how can you do aikido without aiki?"

I have managed to miss Dan's UK seminars so far, but I would very much like to feel what he is doing. From communicating with various people on and off AikiWeb, I gather that it is not too different from what I have felt from my teacher, Yamashima Sensei and others (although he teaches in a much more "western" and systematic way), and seen in plenty of clips of O-Sensei. I have come to the opinion (quite late in the day, admittedly!) that kokyu and aiki skills are at the heart of true aikido. It is an aspect that I have been trying to grasp in my own practice on and off the mat.

Alex

Last edited by Alex Megann : 11-11-2011 at 05:26 AM.
 
Old 11-11-2011, 05:19 AM   #88
Alex Megann
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
It is not aiki do. It is ai Ki do. This is not an opinion. This is what O'Sensei said. this is what my teachers say.
This goes round and round...

When did O-Sensei make this distinction?

Alex
 
Old 11-11-2011, 06:47 AM   #89
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
The fact that you're older than me doesn't make you right. For the record I've been training in Aikido for over 20 years with direct access and close access to a number of very senior martial artists in Aikido, Karate, Katori, Judo, and other arts. There isn't anything I've posted here that I did not learn directly and personally from these instructors.
Mr. McGrew,
Would you perhaps grace us with your list of senior martial artists that you've listed? Especially Katori. All the others are gendai, but you list a koryu. I'm curious whose name you are bandying and if they know you are doing so?

As for Aikido, I would guess that Bill Gleason (a highly ranked senior in your organization) isn't on your list. I would strongly urge you to talk to Bill. Actually, no, I take that back. I would strongly urge you to attend the very next seminar with Bill. If you are truly looking into Ueshiba's aiki, that is one of the best things that you can do.

For everyone, I don't mean to dismiss Saotome sensei in my recommendation to see Bill. I think very highly of Saotome sensei, but I think Bill can explain things better.
 
Old 11-11-2011, 07:18 AM   #90
Marc Abrams
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Mr. McGrew:

David Orange is in your area. He attended the first seminar that Dan Harden led for martial arts instructors. You might want to reach out to him and talk directly to him about his impressions of Dan.

1) Banding together with the "Golden child" from England will get you less than nowhere very quickly. He claims to have deep understandings of things without having anything to back it up. Those videos should speak for themselves.

2) You might do well to explore a deeper source of your anger. Many of us had faced such an anger before. Some of us have as our teachers, direct students of O'Sensei and have had some heart-to-heart conversations with them. It is noteworthy that they would love to turn the clock back and learn from O'Sensei now that they are able to see beyond what they could in their youths. We are guided by our teachers who DIRECTLY SUPPORT our pursuits of discovering the deep/hidden-in-plain-sight aspects of our art, that our teachers are pursuing as well.

3) You call people cowards, disingenuous, etc.. Why don't you meet some of these people first before jumping to your conclusions. I would be surprised if your opinions did not change after spending some time with them. To me, the coward is the person who takes pot-shots from afar. When I had my doubts about this stuff, I took it directly to Dan. I had enough personal integrity to directly confront him, while being open enough to allow him the chance to show me exactly what he was talking about. I had the personal integrity to apologize directly to Dan and like any good martial artist, check my ego in at the door and allow myself to learn about things that I was not getting, did not understand and needed to learn. As a teacher, this is my obligation that I owe to my teacher, myself and my students each and every day.

Ushiro Sensei states very cogently that the biggest impediment to learning is what you think that you already know. I appreciate your zeal and now I am personally asking you to put your ego aside and meet some of these people to see if maybe, just maybe, your anger might be misdirected.

Marc Abrams
 
Old 11-11-2011, 08:10 AM   #91
Chris Li
 
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
Chris, when you say Saotome's teacher, you mean Morihei?

best

RAUL
Actually, Yamaguchi.

Best,

Chris

 
Old 11-11-2011, 08:18 AM   #92
Marc Abrams
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

It was brought to my attention that Mr. McGrew and David Orange do know each other and from the tone of an old Aikweb thread, there is little chance, if any, that these two would speak civilly. That being said, there are enough people in the ASU who are senior in that organization that have hands-on experience with Dan Harden, that Mr. McGrew should ask them directly. If he needs some names, he can PM me and I will provide him with some names of people who would talk to him.

The larger issue remains, Mr. McGrew is willing to make comments from afar before meeting some people. Will he have the character to meet these people in order to see if his opinions in various areas are inaccurate or accurate?

marc abrams
 
Old 11-11-2011, 08:44 AM   #93
raul rodrigo
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Actually, Yamaguchi.

Best,

Chris
Thanks for clearing that up.

best

R
 
Old 11-11-2011, 09:08 AM   #94
phitruong
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Well, I've held dan ranks both directly from Saotome and from hombu since before you started Aikido.

Chris
hey, that would make you my sempai! since i know that you are very busy giving Dan massages and working on translating original stuffs from O Sensei in your spare time, you might not realize the sempai obligation to the aforementioned kohai, namely moi, that as a sempai, you are obligated to buy the said kohai food and drink.

*would you hurry up already on translating the stuffs and published it so we can buy and read? don't make me go out there and make you open a can of whoop-ass! *

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
 
Old 11-11-2011, 09:26 AM   #95
phitruong
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
Pranin Sensei is wrong at least in part. I say this based on what O'Sensei said about his own Aikido development after the war and also what Saotome Sensei wrote about the difference between Aiki Jujitsu, pre war Aikido, and post war Aikido.

Listen to yourself. You just claimed that most people accept that there's no difference between pre and post war Aikido and that they believe that O'Sensei had little influence after the war. This claim, that most people accept Pranin's claim or your claims, is refuted by posts on Aikiweb and basically everywhere except among the Saito Sensei and pre war Aikido practitioners. You might be right (though you are not right) but it is not true that most Aikido practitioners agree with you.

How many of your crowd who address Doshu so dismissively and make these arguments hold rank with Hombu? I'm not saying everything that has ever happened there was right. But maybe your crowd should have the decency to leave an organization that you regularly bash.

Dan and crowd have repeatedly argued,that no one has done Aikido properly since O'Sensei (or perhaps Saito Sensei). When they make these blanket statements they insult all of our teachers. If they won't back up these claims better than they have then they should expect to be criticized for having done so.
don't you just hate these folks. they wasted thousands of hour posting and reading and researching and so on and won't just give us a straight answer. they expect us to go and read through all their posts, journals, books and think things through which would have wasting lots of our time when they could have just tell us directly. what do they think we are at? some kind of research/higher learning institution or something? all these guys are just theory and opinion and postulate without exposed themselves for hand on testing of such theory and opinion and so on. hmmm.... oh wait! Dan and you IS folks, stop expose yourself to all these aikido teachers and messing up our argument! you guys supposed to run some kind of scam, at least try to act like it. there, that show em!

and that Chris Li, who he thinks he is. even though, he has been practiced more years in aikido than us wearing underwear, and practiced with the like of Yamaguchi, and translated for the previous doshu as well as the current doshu, come on, what does he know about aikido or aiki? he should take example from Ikeda sensei and went to learn aiki stuffs from the like of Ushiro sensei, not some unknown, unranked, nobody like Dan or Sigman or ..... just not right, if you ask me. oh wait! you didn't ask me. nevermind!

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
 
Old 11-11-2011, 09:38 AM   #96
chillzATL
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

They say history repeats itself... on aikiweb it does so almost weekly.

You guys should really just let people be. Though I have yet to work with Dan, I am in the same boat as "his people" when it comes to my feelings on these skills. They are the heart of everything aikido was supposed to be and they have been, by and large, completely missing within the art. If people are interested, let them find it themselves. It doesn't matter how great you tell people it is, if they don't want it, then it just doesn't matter. Even among the people who have felt it, believe in it and want it, only a few are actually going to really get anywhere with it. So why waste the time and energy recycling the same posts from five years ago for people who aren't interested enough to just get out and see for themselves? Just leave them to do whatever it is they want to do.
 
Old 11-11-2011, 09:45 AM   #97
hughrbeyer
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Actually, I thought Graham's summary of the discussion was spot on, as they say across the pond. "They are trying to prove that the internal stuff or aiki that Takeda had is the same that O'Sensei had and used as Aikido." Yeah.

Claim 1: The core of what made O-Sensei's art effective came from Takeda Sokaku through O-Sensei's Daito-Ryu training and is apparent in Takeda himself as well as some of his other students. This is what Dan calls "aiki"--because that's what Takeda and O-Sensei himself called it.

Claim 2: Aiki skill was not passed on effectively and is largely absent from Aikido as it is taught today.

Claim 3: Aiki skill will transform your art into something much more effective and powerful, and Dan has a methodology and language for teaching it. Unlike studying Systema or MMA to inform your Aikido, studying aiki is studying O-Sensei's own art and the foundational skill of his AIkido.

You don't, obviously, have to believe any of this, but arguments have been made to support all these claims. What are your counter-arguments? Really, the only one can bring to mind from the last few years of discussion here on aikiweb is, "Tens of thousands of aikidoka can't be wrong" -- or its variant, "My teacher can't be wrong" -- neither of which are persuasive to me.

And you have to account for all the senior aikidoka who have been hunting Dan out, saying, "This is what I was looking for all along" and, "Now that I know this, I can see things that were there all along but that I couldn't understand before."

The rest of the argument is really about history and transmission, and is independent of the above. I buy the above, for example, but don't buy all the other claims that have been made. I think that though O-Sensei started as a Daito-Ryu man, he had clearly created a new art before the war; that this alteration of the art was the main factor in the split between him and Takeda; that the techniques and method of practice that were passed on through Hombu came from him, not his son, and that they are, if not the essence of Aikido, at least its shape; that he continued to evolve his art and imbue it with deeper spirituality after the war, but not to change it in essence.

In particular, I think the ukemi and cooperative practice that are characteristic of Modern Aikido are valuable training tools. But that's all they are--training tools. They aren't an end in themselves.
 
Old 11-11-2011, 09:46 AM   #98
Marc Abrams
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
don't you just hate these folks. they wasted thousands of hour posting and reading and researching and so on and won't just give us a straight answer. they expect us to go and read through all their posts, journals, books and think things through which would have wasting lots of our time when they could have just tell us directly. what do they think we are at? some kind of research/higher learning institution or something? all these guys are just theory and opinion and postulate without exposed themselves for hand on testing of such theory and opinion and so on. hmmm.... oh wait! Dan and you IS folks, stop expose yourself to all these aikido teachers and messing up our argument! you guys supposed to run some kind of scam, at least try to act like it. there, that show em!

and that Chris Li, who he thinks he is. even though, he has been practiced more years in aikido than us wearing underwear, and practiced with the like of Yamaguchi, and translated for the previous doshu as well as the current doshu, come on, what does he know about aikido or aiki? he should take example from Ikeda sensei and went to learn aiki stuffs from the like of Ushiro sensei, not some unknown, unranked, nobody like Dan or Sigman or ..... just not right, if you ask me. oh wait! you didn't ask me. nevermind!
Now, Now Phil!

Please remember the Golden Rule: Everybody's opinions are valuable . How dare you suggest that well-informed, extensively researched "opinions" are more valuable than highly idiosyncratic and overly personalized ones! EGADS, that's it, off to the punishment center with you!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjio-F47IfM

Marc Abrams
 
Old 11-11-2011, 09:57 AM   #99
Chris Li
 
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
hey, that would make you my sempai! since i know that you are very busy giving Dan massages and working on translating original stuffs from O Sensei in your spare time, you might not realize the sempai obligation to the aforementioned kohai, namely moi, that as a sempai, you are obligated to buy the said kohai food and drink.

*would you hurry up already on translating the stuffs and published it so we can buy and read? don't make me go out there and make you open a can of whoop-ass! *
Dude - get yourself out here and I'll do just that.

Spent a week playing with Dan - now I'm going to spend a month making it up to my wife. Maybe some translation after that .

Best,

Chris

 
Old 11-11-2011, 10:24 AM   #100
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Well I'm the kohei of all of ya's and I'm heading down shortly to meet Dan for the first time.

My own perspective as an aiki-mutt is that there is a lot of aikido out there that doesn't do what it says it does. Now take that with as big a pile of salt as you like because I'm by no means a good martial artist; I was an older, slower beginner and I'm just older and slower now.

But I have to say that over the years I trained with many nidan, sandan and yondan in USAF and other Aikikai dojos, and being a small woman I am very very aware of when I'm being muscled. I'm sorry, dragging people around and then throwing them all at the same speed and adding tons power is not the aikido I'm interested in.

And I've also trained in many dojos where people thought they were doing really good aikido because they blended so nicely and their ukes were happy to go where they were supposed to and take pretty rolls. That's a fun workout but it's also not the aikido I'm interested in doing.

But getting around a lot I have also felt the real deal - people who connected with you, found your center, undermined it, and left you on the ground, not saying "powerful throw!" but "how the hell did I get here?!" - some within mainstream aikido organizations and some outside of the mainstream.

I lack the youth and talent to ever "excel" at aikido in the sense of being a leading practitioner or teacher or what-have-you, but I deeply love the art and so will happily train outside of aikido to develop the mind-body skills that enhance my practice within the dojo.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
 

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