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Old 11-14-2011, 05:58 PM   #301
HL1978
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
Define aiki as Dan defines it.
It seems to be defined as grounding and breaking internal balance.
Where then is the aiki in sword?

Are you claiming that Saotome Sensei one Ikeda Sensei have trained with Dan much less that they are following him? Ikeda Sensei has been inspired by Ushiro Sensei, who Dan thinks little of, and Saotome Sensei is focussed primarilly on transmitting what he learned from O'Sensei to his students.
Read Ellis's post about how he connected through his weapon through the other person's weapon to the aite's center and was able to move him in any direction he wanted. This is apparently similar to the Kuroda video from Mind Body and Kickass moves with respect to the opponents movment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...SoXrNgo#t=328s

Now I won't comment if this is internal or not, but the following video shows the opponent getting knocked off line via a shinai.

v
 
Old 11-14-2011, 06:12 PM   #302
DH
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Dan says this ......
Dan says that......

Mr McGrew
You are purposefully misquoting me to represent views I do not hold, and statements about arts I do not agree with.
This is dishonest. While not a violation here it is in incredibly poor taste.
May I ask...Are you a young man?
Dan
 
Old 11-14-2011, 06:31 PM   #303
raul rodrigo
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Hunter, the thing that strikes me about Ellis' post (and Ellis himself said as much) is that the head of his koryu, when he saw the new technique that Ellis was doing (using internal strength to knock uke's sword away), he stopped the class and had Ellis teach everyone what he was doing.

Ellis said: "That is a man worth following - he cares about getting stronger, not about his 'position.'"

People get stronger by doing the work. The people who don't do the work can sit around and fume that their teacher's honor is being besmirched. As if Saotome cared.
 
Old 11-14-2011, 06:44 PM   #304
Marc Abrams
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
My name is Ken.

Were Dan, Mark, and Chris direct students of Takeda Sensei, O Sensei, or Saotome Sensei? It is they and others who made various claims about their teachings. They can make claims based on written words, videos, and personal experience, but I can't. It's such a dishonest way of engaging in debate.

You'll need to read the discussion from start to finish to understand what has transpired.
Ken:

1) I have been following this thread since it's inception. I actually responded to you back in post #90.

2) The people who you mentioned do not have to be direct students in order to make claims about other teachers. The people who you mentioned are far more informed, knowledgeable, experienced and open-minded than you. You might do well to step back from your position and begin to explore why your seniors in your organization ( people in other organizations as well) are pursuing the directions that they are.

3) [Ed: Link to personal information irrelevant to discussion removed.] This link ring a bell? Maybe it's me, but you seem to be a little bit like Don Quixote, swinging at the windmills.

4) You might do well to redirect your determination in more fruitful directions. You don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing..... Just a friendly suggestion....

Marc Abrams

Last edited by akiy : 11-15-2011 at 11:25 AM. Reason: Removed link to personal information irrelevant to topic
 
Old 11-14-2011, 06:46 PM   #305
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
I never met Dobson Sensei. Several of my instructors and Sempi were very familiar with his Aikido and thought. I have been privy to unpublished interviews with Dobson Sensei that you have not seen. Nothing I have said contradicts what Dobson Sensei came to believe about Aikido.
I'm just about finished here, but I had to laugh at this one. "privy to unpublished interviews" Quelle Surprise! Zut Alors!!!!!

I was Terry's uchi-deshi. I lived in his dojo. For one and one-half years, I met him every day, we at shrimp and soda-bread sandwiches at the Binibon Cafe in the Lower East Side, and smoked dope every day before practice. We chased the same women: he had craft and experience and I had long hair and good looks. I listened to every meandering thought that wiffled through his often drug-addled and yet, always brilliant brain. I am more qualified to speak about Terry in this light than any person alive. (P.S. - if some of the readers of this statement have another candidate, write to me PM and I'll prove my point). He was somewhat more that my older brother.

Terry loved Ueshiba, who literally saved his life. Yet he trained with Haga, Otake, Wang Shu Chin and was Hatsumi's first non-Japanese student. You could see a little Katori in his shomen uchi, some xingyi in his belly and some crazy-ass nonsense from early Bujinkan every now and then.

I caught him in my arms when he collapsed with a mini-stroke some months before his death. And we spent three days talking about power and aikido and what it meant to him.

He would have absolutely loved this creative ferment, and, were he able, would have taken part.

Let me put it as clearly as I can. Everything you have written - and the manner you write - directly contradicts what Terry believed about aikido. Without any ambiguity whatsoever - everything.

Ellis Amdur

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 11-14-2011 at 07:00 PM.

 
Old 11-14-2011, 06:59 PM   #306
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

It seems to me that Mr. McGrew is demonstrating incredible internal strength: He is resolved. He is unswayed by people who are dropping in to tell him he is arguing incorrectly. He is not distracted by people telling him to go elsewhere. He is not terribly affected by individuals shifting the context and meanings of statements. He is arguably holding his center without being drawn out by red herrings or falling into black holes. It seems that he is defining the ground where others meet him. Moreover, he does not appear to bind himself to "winning" within typical (perceived) aikido rules of engagement.

Still, people feel they must engage him, attack him, prove something, hit him with the ad hom. attacks, ... and there he stands.

Brilliant.

 
Old 11-14-2011, 07:09 PM   #307
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
There is an orthodoxy in the yo ho internal stuff that is being described here. Saotome Sensei is against orthodoxy. O Sensei was against orthodoxy. There are principles and their are general rules. There are exceptions. For example, the internal approach being advocated by Dan and company requires a strict notion of posture. I'm not saying that they are stiff or rigid. But they oppose leaning. I've been corrected in recent years by teachers who I believe have been influenced by Dan. Here's the problem, I have multiple screen shots of O Sensei, Saotome Sensei, and other high level Aikido practitioners engaging in strategic leaning. Ikeda sensei teaches this as a way to avoid the face punch as part of his tenkan. Despite the claims of Dan and others I am simply not as clueless about what they are doing and what my teachers are teaching as they'd like the world to believe.
I'm somewhat confused with respect to orthodoxy. Why does Ueshiba start using the various terminology and references in his writings to indicate that he is "in the know?"

As for the content of Dan's seminars, I can't comment as I have not been there, but I can certainly comment on IS type training in terms of what I understand Aiki to be and what it isn't. Aiki does not require cooperation (once you understand it). Aiki doesn't require pain compliance to work. Aiki does not require superior timing or superior technique as waza to work. Aiki doesn't require certain stances for power. Aiki can overcome considerable differences in mass and physical strength.

Aiki lets you quite littleraly join your body to someone elses to make them move as though they were an extension of you. That is to say, if you wanted to move them in any direction they would be powerless to resist you no matter how hard they tried. This is no different than how one can pick up an inanimate object and move it as though it was an extension of themselves. (Well that isn't exaclty true as to make the object part of you, you have to move in a manner to counterbalance the weight) Further, much like you don't really feel the weight of your arm when you move it, it is the same when you move your opponenet using "aiki".

With respect to non-resistance, consider the following. In judo when I push, you pull. You use that feedback resistance and add to it. With someone who understands aiki that doesn't work in part because you may not get that feeling. Now if you pull on the person who understands aiki, you may move them, but you won't unbalance them (they might be able to stop you too if so desiered) no matter how fast you move or hard you push and therefore applicaton of the waza will not work. You can only do this if you don't resist at all (even pushing back with the toes) which is a very hard urge to change as so many people get caught up with the feeling of physical strength (and "winning") and therefore have a hard time adapting to the fact that lack of feedback is what you want. Now what you may find is that if you don't resist, aite will often cause themselves to be put off balance, and you can add to that if you want with sometimes spectacular results that feel like little effort on your part.

While the founder may cite Kami as a source of power, his references to IS principles allows those to commit to training those prinicples to be able to replicate some of his demonstrations on those from outside the art.
 
Old 11-14-2011, 08:14 PM   #308
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
It seems to me that Mr. McGrew is demonstrating incredible internal strength: He is resolved. He is unswayed by people who are dropping in to tell him he is arguing incorrectly. He is not distracted by people telling him to go elsewhere. He is not terribly affected by individuals shifting the context and meanings of statements. He is arguably holding his center without being drawn out by red herrings or falling into black holes. It seems that he is defining the ground where others meet him. Moreover, he does not appear to bind himself to "winning" within typical (perceived) aikido rules of engagement.

Still, people feel they must engage him, attack him, prove something, hit him with the ad hom. attacks, ... and there he stands.

Brilliant.
Actually, quite the opposite. Mr. McGrew is doing a good job of tainting the reputation of the ASU. Had I done something like this, I know of quite a few seniors in at least two organizations I belonged to who would have walloped me up side the head (deservedly so) and told me to cut that sh*t out. If I was clueless, things would have been explained, in careful detail, just how badly I was acting. Had I continued, I would have been unceremoniously removed from the organizations.

While we might joke at practice, smile, have fun, we still take budo very seriously. And lackadaisically arguing with experienced budo men (Ellis Amdur, Chris Li, etc) because you've read books, articles, watched videos and asked some questions is, at the least, very presumptuous. I can only hope that some seniors in the ASU are sitting down with Mr. McGrew and explaining how a "good budo man" should conduct himself.

Mark
 
Old 11-14-2011, 08:27 PM   #309
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Dan, I have been responding to a range of people who claim to understand your views and approach. And also responding to what you have written. If I remembered something one of your supporters said as if you had said it I am sorry. I would never deliberately attribute statements to someone that they do not hold. Having said that, you don't point of specifics. I quoted you at length and did not change the quotes in any manner. I do not believe that I have misquoted you or misrepresented what it is you do or believe, though it was not easy to sort out these things given the lack of clarity. I have become a student of every word you and your supporters have ever written on the subjects at hand.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Dan says this ......
Dan says that......

Mr McGrew
You are purposefully misquoting me to represent views I do not hold, and statements about arts I do not agree with.
This is dishonest. While not a violation here it is in incredibly poor taste.
May I ask...Are you a young man?
Dan

Last edited by Ken McGrew : 11-14-2011 at 08:38 PM.
 
Old 11-14-2011, 08:52 PM   #310
Gary David
 
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
I have become a student of every word you and your supporters have ever written on the subjects at hand.
And you understand nothing..............

Gary
 
Old 11-14-2011, 08:53 PM   #311
raul rodrigo
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Gary got there first....
 
Old 11-14-2011, 08:56 PM   #312
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Actually, quite the opposite. Mr. McGrew is doing a good job of tainting the reputation of the ASU. Had I done something like this, I know of quite a few seniors in at least two organizations I belonged to who would have walloped me up side the head (deservedly so) and told me to cut that sh*t out. If I was clueless, things would have been explained, in careful detail, just how badly I was acting. Had I continued, I would have been unceremoniously removed from the organizations.

While we might joke at practice, smile, have fun, we still take budo very seriously. And lackadaisically arguing with experienced budo men (Ellis Amdur, Chris Li, etc) because you've read books, articles, watched videos and asked some questions is, at the least, very presumptuous. I can only hope that some seniors in the ASU are sitting down with Mr. McGrew and explaining how a "good budo man" should conduct himself.

Mark
not to worry about the reputation of ASU, since i are one. our reputation first and last will be done on the mat. words are like drums. the more hollowed the drum the louder it is. i just laughed when he would argue with Ellis on Saotome book and stuffs, but didn't even realize there was a picture of Ellis and Terry Dobson attacking Saotome on the beach, in one of the book's chapter. then arguing with Chris Li on japanese translation and didn't even bother do a bit of background research that it's one of Chris area of expertise. then asking ASU folks to do some uprising against the evil horde of Dan, yet didn't bother to check that at least two rokudan of ASU taking lessons from Dan; and one of them posts on aikiweb quite regularly and had knocked me in the head a few times for being dense. personally, i found it's entertaining in a sad kind of way.

ken, btw, dan's evil horde isn't the only one that needs challenge. there are the mike sigman's horde, arkuzawa's horde, ushiro's horde, couple of chen's horde and some others. i didn't mention howie's horde since he just has a bunch of misfit groupies, so not really horde like, if you count fishing and drinking and carousing. come to think of it, there is a phi's horde which includes various personalities of phi. and let me tell you. phi horde is the most vicious one of them all, because phi has ki, and in abundant of it.

for other folks, think of this as a training/testing kind of thing. it's painful, but it will soon pass, like a bad case of build up ki which will not ever becomes aiki, but more along the line of aiiieeeee kkiiiii.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
 
Old 11-14-2011, 09:08 PM   #313
Joe McParland
 
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Actually, quite the opposite. Mr. McGrew is doing a good job of tainting the reputation of the ASU. Had I done something like this, I know of quite a few seniors in at least two organizations I belonged to who would have walloped me up side the head (deservedly so) and told me to cut that sh*t out. If I was clueless, things would have been explained, in careful detail, just how badly I was acting. Had I continued, I would have been unceremoniously removed from the organizations.

While we might joke at practice, smile, have fun, we still take budo very seriously. And lackadaisically arguing with experienced budo men (Ellis Amdur, Chris Li, etc) because you've read books, articles, watched videos and asked some questions is, at the least, very presumptuous. I can only hope that some seniors in the ASU are sitting down with Mr. McGrew and explaining how a "good budo man" should conduct himself.

Mark
Internal strength need not take into consideration potential judgments or other consequences. He doesn't *have to* "blend."

 
Old 11-14-2011, 10:16 PM   #314
Keith Larman
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
It seems to me that Mr. McGrew is demonstrating incredible internal strength: He is resolved. He is unswayed by people who are dropping in to tell him he is arguing incorrectly. He is not distracted by people telling him to go elsewhere. He is not terribly affected by individuals shifting the context and meanings of statements. He is arguably holding his center without being drawn out by red herrings or falling into black holes. It seems that he is defining the ground where others meet him. Moreover, he does not appear to bind himself to "winning" within typical (perceived) aikido rules of engagement.

Still, people feel they must engage him, attack him, prove something, hit him with the ad hom. attacks, ... and there he stands.

Brilliant.
The same could be said of a 6-year-old with his fingers in his ears saying "La la la la la la I can't hear you."

 
Old 11-14-2011, 10:45 PM   #315
gates
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Ken. Simple question. What is it you are trying to achieve here?

Enjoy the journey
 
Old 11-14-2011, 11:20 PM   #316
Joe McParland
 
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
The same could be said of a 6-year-old with his fingers in his ears saying "La la la la la la I can't hear you."
Very good example, Keith!

One's internal strength need not be used to please another, nor must the "technique" conform to what anyone finds acceptable. For instance, we know that indirect passive-aggressive pot-shots can bolster our sense of self-righteousness through belittling and bullying another; but really they're just words, a "technique" employed to bring circumstances into conformity with our own worldview--just like that six-year-old... You hear me, right?

 
Old 11-14-2011, 11:23 PM   #317
Ken McGrew
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Keith Gates wrote: View Post
Ken. Simple question. What is it you are trying to achieve here?
Initially it was to make sure I understood what the claims being made were. They seemed so outlandish and I didn't want to falsely accuse.

Next it was to test whether the claims being made are well supported and ultimately convincing. They go against everything I've read and been told by Budo women as well as Budo men. I have given them the respect of serious consideration.

All the personal attacks eventually forced me to demonstrate that I wasn't just making things up as was and continues to be implied or stated.

It's a discussion forum. If people don't want to discuss then why are they here?
 
Old 11-14-2011, 11:34 PM   #318
gates
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Ken.
I think you made your point.

Enjoy the journey
 
Old 11-14-2011, 11:38 PM   #319
Lee Salzman
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
Initially it was to make sure I understood what the claims being made were. They seemed so outlandish and I didn't want to falsely accuse.

Next it was to test whether the claims being made are well supported and ultimately convincing. They go against everything I've read and been told by Budo women as well as Budo men. I have given them the respect of serious consideration.

All the personal attacks eventually forced me to demonstrate that I wasn't just making things up as was and continues to be implied or stated.

It's a discussion forum. If people don't want to discuss then why are they here?
We're here to exchange possibilities, opportunities for future growth and direction. I don't think any of us is going to be convinced about a way of expressing the body that is described in... text... on a screen. The best we can settle for is that we collected those seeds of ideas in our brains for potential exploration, and maybe even planted some seeds of ideas in other peoples' minds, and hopefully earned some friends in the process. But ultimately we have to pursue those ideas and those friendships offline, or it is nothing more than words.

So that is what I would encourage to you. I know you say you have encountered people of Dan's flavor, but next time I would encourage you to strike up a critical, but respectful dialog with them about your concerns. Not just watch them, but discuss, and allow them to demonstrate, and allow yourself to demonstrate, what can not be explained merely in text. I think you'd be pleasantly surprised by the results, really, honestly, sincerely. I think that's the most any of us can ask of you at this point. Whether or not this caricature of a debate this thread has become has swayed your emotions one way or another, I just please ask of you that much.
 
Old 11-14-2011, 11:48 PM   #320
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
While we might joke at practice, smile, have fun, we still take budo very seriously. And lackadaisically arguing with experienced budo men (Ellis Amdur, Chris Li, etc) because you've read books, articles, watched videos and asked some questions is, at the least, very presumptuous. I can only hope that some seniors in the ASU are sitting down with Mr. McGrew and explaining how a "good budo man" should conduct himself.
Ledyard Sensei would be the most likely candidate, due to his high profile online. He was at a seminar all weekend, taught class this evening, and was last seen talking aikido politics (with me). So he may not have caught up yet.

Katherine
 
Old 11-14-2011, 11:57 PM   #321
Ken McGrew
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

This led me to re-read everything I have by and about Dobson Sensei. Becuase I am attempting to continue some of his work but with kids instead of adults, it's important that I get him right. So I took your post seriously and double checked. I found some relevant passages for consideration. They don't take away from your time with him. He did discuss stopping attacks and moving them. He also made statements consistent with what I have said, pertaining to blending, using momentum, and the need for a real attack/energy in Aikido training:

"Eon by eon the rock is worn down, until halfway through eternity it has become a pebble... But what would happen if that rock could turn? At the very least it would stand a chance of surviving longer. As the water struck it, the rock would swivel around in the direction it was pushed... If the rock could turn with the force of the water, still retaining its place in the stream bed, the rock would lose nothing; the water would continue past.

That is part of the spirit of Aiki.

There is an old tale... which tells of the solid oak tree which stands next to the slender reed. The oak bosts of its strength, insulting the reed's delicacy-unitl the typhoon hits. The oak's inability to bend causes it's destruction. It is uprooted by the wind and flattened. The reed holds its ground by flowing with the wind, letting it blow itself far out to sea.

This is part of the spirit of Aiki.

You see, that's the nice thing about sincere, focussed attacks: They are so clearly directed at that point of the triangle, so committed to destroying you that they develop their own momentum and energy. That momentum will carry them past you if you roll or turn at the right moment. If you turn too early, your attacker will spot your response and change course. If you turn too late, you'll end up with the tip of the triangle sticking in your center.

If an attack is insincere and unfocused, if the attacker is only halfhearted about it, you don't have to do anything anyway. Nobody ever got hurt by a halfhearted attack except the attacker."

Aikido in everyday Life: Giving in to Get Your Way (1993 Terry Dobson and Victor Miller, pages 87 to 91 in the chapter on Aiki).

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I'm just about finished here, but I had to laugh at this one. "privy to unpublished interviews" Quelle Surprise! Zut Alors!!!!!

I was Terry's uchi-deshi. I lived in his dojo. For one and one-half years, I met him every day, we at shrimp and soda-bread sandwiches at the Binibon Cafe in the Lower East Side, and smoked dope every day before practice. We chased the same women: he had craft and experience and I had long hair and good looks. I listened to every meandering thought that wiffled through his often drug-addled and yet, always brilliant brain. I am more qualified to speak about Terry in this light than any person alive. (P.S. - if some of the readers of this statement have another candidate, write to me PM and I'll prove my point). He was somewhat more that my older brother.

Terry loved Ueshiba, who literally saved his life. Yet he trained with Haga, Otake, Wang Shu Chin and was Hatsumi's first non-Japanese student. You could see a little Katori in his shomen uchi, some xingyi in his belly and some crazy-ass nonsense from early Bujinkan every now and then.

I caught him in my arms when he collapsed with a mini-stroke some months before his death. And we spent three days talking about power and aikido and what it meant to him.

He would have absolutely loved this creative ferment, and, were he able, would have taken part.

Let me put it as clearly as I can. Everything you have written - and the manner you write - directly contradicts what Terry believed about aikido. Without any ambiguity whatsoever - everything.

Ellis Amdur

Last edited by Ken McGrew : 11-15-2011 at 12:01 AM.
 
Old 11-15-2011, 12:06 AM   #322
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

That book was one of Terry's greatest regrets. Insecure about his own writing (despite being brilliant, he was afflicted by terrible writer's block until near the end of his life), he associated himself with Miller, a hack writer who turned Terry's ideas into New Age pap. It's funny - just as with Ueshiba, one has to wend one's way through the rococo religious imagery, with this book, to glean even a little of what Terry really believed, you have to push your way through marzipan and New Age. And sadly, despite deciding consciously to sell out, in hopes of disseminating the moral ideals of aikido, as he saw them, to the wider populace, he ran smack into the 1980's (when the book was originally published), when the thrust was how to run your life like a hedge fund manager.

 
Old 11-15-2011, 12:45 AM   #323
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Stephen Trinkle wrote: View Post
Mmmm... that's not what I meant really, I was thinking more along the lines of how I can consistantly strive to be a better student.....
But off course! When you do that you will not stick with a teacher that does not challenge you, help you, now would you? So you end up with the teacher that does....
You can strive to be a better student, but are limited to what your teacher shows you, or you expect yourself to be the next O Sensei....

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.
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:26 AM   #324
Demetrio Cereijo
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
but didn't even realize there was a picture of Ellis and Terry Dobson attacking Saotome on the beach, in one of the book's chapter.
Not that is important, but I can't find that pic in the spanish edition of "Aikido and the Harmony of Nature". Which book is the one where said picture can be found?

 
Old 11-15-2011, 06:13 AM   #325
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Not that is important, but I can't find that pic in the spanish edition of "Aikido and the Harmony of Nature". Which book is the one where said picture can be found?
it's the same book. i made a mistake. it wasn't Terry Dobson, but Ken Nissen (another great old timer i have heard of, but have not a chance to meet). it's in the pages where Saotome sensei talked about relationship between nuclear reaction and multiple attack. back then Ellis still had quite a bit of hair; same went for John Messores. They both had since cleaned up quite nicely.

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