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Old 11-18-2011, 08:29 AM   #551
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Lee Price wrote: View Post
Lol...nice one Cady
How is that a nice one?

 
Old 11-18-2011, 09:10 AM   #552
Keith Larman
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
How is that a nice one?
Well, the point of it was "wouldn't it be nice if things worked this way". They were discussing the meaning of someone else's words. So Woody Allen goes off screen and grabs the guy in question to have him answer the issue directly. There's been a lot of discussion about what Terry Dobson "really" meant in his writing. It would be nice (very nice on a number of levels) if he were still with us to actually address it rather than a continued discussion that most likely will never be resolved.

Having Terry pop in and say "Yeah, Ellis is right." or "Yeah, Ken is right." or "You're both missing it -- this is what I meant." would be great.

But it ain't gonna happen, unfortunately.

 
Old 11-18-2011, 09:52 AM   #553
Ken McGrew
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

I provided the other side a great hint which they failed to recognize. Here it is spelled out in great detail for them: A trained historian would be trying to access original documents like O Sensei's travel diary and his callendars. As well as those of the people around him. As well as any related receipts Etc. Only with these will you be able to establish how much he traveled during different periods and with whom.

Of course, this is a waste of time. It is not the sort of evidence that will prove what the other side wants to prove, which is that O Sensei did not have time to teach the Aiki of Aikido. The definition of instuction that they want to use is rediculously narrow.

They also fail to recognize that the things they have documented, like O Sensei lecturing on spiritual matters rather than showing technique, are actually support for the positions that I and others have presented - the positions that are supported by the current translations Etc. of his written words and all the other accounts that they want to dispute - as they suggest that Aiki, for O Sensei, was about blending and joining and that this had a largely spiritual basis in his understanding of how the Aiki of Aikido worked. Lecturing on spiritual matters was lecturing on Aiki, which the students then tried to apply.

These three paragraphs point to the obvious lack of rigor so far as methodology, and in particular analysis, are concerned. Of course, similar mistakes have been made throughout by the other side (who pretend to speak with one voice when it's helpful and then object when they are referred to as one group when it's helpful to their efforts to win rather than determine the truth). A few new translationed lines don't undermine the bulk of written work by O Sensei. It would be necessary to retranslate everyting, have the new translations examined by others for confirmation, and then only if they completely changed the meaning of what O Sensei was writing would it matter. There are also all the spoken interviews he gave that support the blending notion of Aiki. And so on and so forth. All the evidence given on several fronts just doesn't hold up.

The Dobson seminar transcription really points to the way the other side is using evidence. Because they can't dispute Dobson Sensei's own words, they accuse me of claiming to know him better than his own student and say they wish Dobson Sensei was here to speak for himself. He did speak for himself. It's on video. Any historian would agree. You have to show how he didn't mean what he said, maybe he was saying it under duress, maybe someone had a gun pointed at him from across the room. Otherwise he said what he said and we must assume he meant what he said (and showed as the video is unambiguous when you watch it). Methodological rigor.

The advocates this IS notion of Aiki make great claims that their Aiki is missing from Aikido and is in fact the secret of Aikido. Above we have two recent posts from the other side. One says that Aikido doesn't work. The other says that Aikido may work like a car in first gear but IS training will make it better. Neither back up their speculation with anything. These are just statement. If IS training is merely a way to make Aikido better, then it is not the secret to making Aikido work. If Aikido doesn't work, then IS training may be the missing link to make Aikido work. That statement, however, that Aikido doesn't work under duress or against bigger people is just rediculous. The other side is on an Aikido forum, rather than an IS forum, in order to recruit Aikido people. You won't recruit many Aikido people by trying to convince them that Aikido doesn't work. There is no concensus of that on this forum. Maybe on an MMA forum. We've all felt Aikido work. We may have had to use it. Our students may have been forced to use it.

It goes round and round with circular reasoning and circular argumentation, contradictory arguments from one post to another as if they could have it both ways to score points, and little evidence to support their claims. Lots of personal attacks. And still no concrete discussion of what they do and how it applies in martial situations. They say what it is not and yet claim that it is impossible to say what it is. It slices, it dices, it cures cancer, it will grow your hair back, change your body, and make you into a real budo man. We can't tell you what it is, but we can prove that it's the secret of Aikido when you come to the siminar, play by our rules of ukemi, and we can prove that we are right. Problem is that this does't prove your claims. It just proves that you are good at doing whatever it is that you are doing. You claim it's the secret to the jo trick. So what. The jo trick is not necessary to be able to do Aikido. Can Mr. Harden do the jo trick? Then maybe he hasn't proven that he found the secret to jo trick after all.

Last edited by Ken McGrew : 11-18-2011 at 10:00 AM.
 
Old 11-18-2011, 10:17 AM   #554
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
I provided the other side a great hint which they failed to recognize. Here it is spelled out in great detail for them: A trained historian would be trying to access original documents like O Sensei's travel diary and his callendars. As well as those of the people around him. As well as any related receipts Etc. Only with these will you be able to establish how much he traveled during different periods and with whom.
Yes, definitely. So, have you done that?

You really should look at your own methodology before you lecture other people about theirs.

Katherine
 
Old 11-18-2011, 10:33 AM   #555
raul rodrigo
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

How could he, Katherine? He can't read Japanese. We could wave laundry lists and restaurant menus at him, and say these are Morihei's daily calendars, and Ken wouldn't know the difference. Ken holds people to a standard that he and his arguments could never survive. He hasn't done the work. But he has the effrontery to criticize those who actually have done it.
 
Old 11-18-2011, 10:47 AM   #556
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
I
It goes round and round with circular reasoning and circular argumentation, contradictory arguments from one post to another as if they could have it both ways to score points, and little evidence to support their claims. Lots of personal attacks. And still no concrete discussion of what they do and how it applies in martial situations. They say what it is not and yet claim that it is impossible to say what it is. It slices, it dices, it cures cancer, it will grow your hair back, change your body, and make you into a real budo man. We can't tell you what it is, but we can prove that it's the secret of Aikido when you come to the siminar, play by our rules of ukemi, and we can prove that we are right. Problem is that this does't prove your claims. It just proves that you are good at doing whatever it is that you are doing. You claim it's the secret to the jo trick. So what. The jo trick is not necessary to be able to do Aikido. Can Mr. Harden do the jo trick? Then maybe he hasn't proven that he found the secret to jo trick after all.
Mr. McGrew
There is an old saying about the proof is in the pudding.....All this ends if you just get on the mat with Dan or any one of a number of folks posting on here who have trained IS/IP and show that what you have is all there is and all that is needed.....show that it trumps the IS/IP training. You do that and we all shutup......... otherwise you are just spitting into the wind and whisling in the dark........

So get out there...
Gary
 
Old 11-18-2011, 10:51 AM   #557
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Thumbs up Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Although quite humorous, this clip is a quick digest distilling the essence of this thread in 59 seconds.
Great find!

Hoi Pham
 
Old 11-18-2011, 11:33 AM   #558
ChrisMoses
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
I provided the other side a great hint which they failed to recognize. Here it is spelled out in great detail for them: A trained historian would be trying to access original documents like O Sensei's travel diary and his callendars. As well as those of the people around him. As well as any related receipts Etc. Only with these will you be able to establish how much he traveled during different periods and with whom.
This is what the people you are arguing with have done. YOU are the one that needs to do this. Quit treating the Dobson and Saotome books as scholarly works, they aren't.

When I was in college I had a history class that the ENTIRE grade was based on one paper that we had the whole term to write. It was simply to answer "Was Constantine a Christian?" We were only allowed to use primary sources from within 50 years of his death. It was incredibly difficult and really drove home the point of just how much room for interpretation there is behind a textbook statement like, "Constantine converted to Christianity in the year 312 AD." To the best of my ability, I have tried to apply that same critical thinking to how I view OSensei and what he was doing.

Chris Moses
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:38 AM   #559
Fred Little
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
The Dobson seminar transcription really points to the way the other side is using evidence. Because they can't dispute Dobson Sensei's own words, they accuse me of claiming to know him better than his own student and say they wish Dobson Sensei was here to speak for himself. He did speak for himself. It's on video. Any historian would agree. You have to show how he didn't mean what he said, maybe he was saying it under duress, maybe someone had a gun pointed at him from across the room. Otherwise he said what he said and we must assume he meant what he said (and showed as the video is unambiguous when you watch it). Methodological rigor.
This historian disagrees. Any such spontaneous remark made in a particular situation must be viewed, from a Certeauvian point of view, as a highly contingent bricolage which arose in a specific cultural context which presented a limited toolkit. From a Bordieuvian perspective, it must be regarded as conditioned by the habitus in which it occurred and considered with reference to the specific cultural, geographical, and architectural features of that habitus Viewed through a neo-Foucauldian lens, one might suggest that you are engaged in a violent act of hegemonic (mis)appropriation and re-valuation of a conditional statement which ignores or denies the statement's originally contingent and fluid nature, then reifies it for the express purpose of delineating and enforcing a disciplinary boundary.

Any academic historian worth his or her salt operating in the 21st Century would be well aware of the work of de Certeau, Bordieu, and Foucault, and even if proceeding along alternative lines of analysis, would provide a substantive argument as to why the sort of "contingency analysis" found in their work is not appropriate to the matter at hand, even if only implicitly. This element is entirely lacking in your presentation and all that is left is a corollary assertion to a reductio ad absurdum that because no such gun is visible that the the remark is (as you said explicitly) unambiguous and (as you suggest implicitly) supports your position. As historical reasoning, this is sophomoric at best, meretricious at the mid-point, and intellectually dishonest at worst.

The onus is not on another individual to prove the negative of your assertion -- this is a classic near-impossibility. Even were one to concede that there is no clear disagreement between the selected quote and your broad assertion, that does not make the quote a confirmation of your assertion. If you assert that a spontaneous statement made by a specific individual to correct a single aspect of a single individual's technical capacity on a particular occasion at a particular site may be taken to have a broader and more universal meaning, the onus is on you to effectively bound and nullify any and all contingencies that might undercut your claim. You have done no such thing, choosing rather to make emphatic but poorly grounded assertions based on cherry-picked evidence. This would suggest that while you know the phrase "methodological rigor," the efforts of your instructors to introduce any significant measure of such rigor to your working process, or to give you any working knowledge of what methodological rigor might entail, seem to have been less successful than one might hope.

You may wish to consider the extent to which your position is rather different from that of a non-academic individual who takes an amateur and avocational interest in a historical subject, to the extent that such an individual is wholly responsible for his or her own views and argumentation in advocacy of those views. Inasmuch as you have asserted your credentials as a professional academic, you may wish to consider that both the quality of reasoning which underlies the historical and historiographic arguments you present and the mode in which you advocate those arguments reflects, not solely on you as an individual, but also on multiple institutions with which you have been or continue to be affiliated.

You should also reflect on another reality -- there are a great many practitioners of aikido and readers of this board who both have advanced academic training which included basic methodology courses of one kind or another -- whether humanist, social scientific, technological, or scientific. They will have their own, no less professionally or formally informed, views about your method. And even in the absence of such formal methodology, there is always bricolage and tact. On that last, Terry had quite a bit to say about tact, and as he noted when he taught a seminar at Bond Street -- at a time when his health was not good and he knew these would be his last classes at his old dojo -- he said that "everything I know about tact was hard-won, (at which point the room erupted in knowing laughter) so I commend it to your attention."

And echoing that observation, in all of its particulars, I close.

FL

Last edited by Fred Little : 11-18-2011 at 11:42 AM. Reason: copy-editing

 
Old 11-18-2011, 12:01 PM   #560
gregstec
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Yaaaaawn - I see we are all still at it and the banter continues. Below are some quotes that I feel are somewhat appropriate to the general drift of this thread:

"There are no facts, only interpretations."
― Friedrich Nietzsche

"The reason I talk to myself is because I'm the only one whose answers I accept."
― George Carlin

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."
― Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays 2, 1926-29

"The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off."
― Gloria Steinem

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."
― Winston S. Churchill

"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't."
― Mark Twain

"No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong."
― François de La Rochefoucauld

"All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer."
― Ernest Hemingway

"Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you."
― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

"There are some things one remembers even though they may never have happened."
― Harold Pinter

"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth."
― Marcus Aurelius

"Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it."
― Mark Twain


I think I am going to take the advise of the last quote from Mark Twain and just bow out at this point - the thread has ran its course and nothing more of any worth will be coming out of it.

So, folks - Ken is right and we are all wrong - he won - time for us unenlightened ones to move on in our blindness

Greg
 
Old 11-18-2011, 01:12 PM   #561
Toby Threadgill
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
This historian disagrees. Any such spontaneous remark made in a particular situation must be viewed, from a Certeauvian point of view, as a highly contingent bricolage which arose in a specific cultural context which presented a limited toolkit. From a Bordieuvian perspective, it must be regarded as conditioned by the habitus in which it occurred and considered with reference to the specific cultural, geographical, and architectural features of that habitus Viewed through a neo-Foucauldian lens, one might suggest that you are engaged in a violent act of hegemonic (mis)appropriation and re-valuation of a conditional statement which ignores or denies the statement's originally contingent and fluid nature, then reifies it for the express purpose of delineating and enforcing a disciplinary boundary.

Any academic historian worth his or her salt operating in the 21st Century would be well aware of the work of de Certeau, Bordieu, and Foucault, and even if proceeding along alternative lines of analysis, would provide a substantive argument as to why the sort of "contingency analysis" found in their work is not appropriate to the matter at hand, even if only implicitly. This element is entirely lacking in your presentation and all that is left is a corollary assertion to a reductio ad absurdum that because no such gun is visible that the the remark is (as you said explicitly) unambiguous and (as you suggest implicitly) supports your position. As historical reasoning, this is sophomoric at best, meretricious at the mid-point, and intellectually dishonest at worst.

The onus is not on another individual to prove the negative of your assertion -- this is a classic near-impossibility. Even were one to concede that there is no clear disagreement between the selected quote and your broad assertion, that does not make the quote a confirmation of your assertion. If you assert that a spontaneous statement made by a specific individual to correct a single aspect of a single individual's technical capacity on a particular occasion at a particular site may be taken to have a broader and more universal meaning, the onus is on you to effectively bound and nullify any and all contingencies that might undercut your claim. You have done no such thing, choosing rather to make emphatic but poorly grounded assertions based on cherry-picked evidence. This would suggest that while you know the phrase "methodological rigor," the efforts of your instructors to introduce any significant measure of such rigor to your working process, or to give you any working knowledge of what methodological rigor might entail, seem to have been less successful than one might hope.

You may wish to consider the extent to which your position is rather different from that of a non-academic individual who takes an amateur and avocational interest in a historical subject, to the extent that such an individual is wholly responsible for his or her own views and argumentation in advocacy of those views. Inasmuch as you have asserted your credentials as a professional academic, you may wish to consider that both the quality of reasoning which underlies the historical and historiographic arguments you present and the mode in which you advocate those arguments reflects, not solely on you as an individual, but also on multiple institutions with which you have been or continue to be affiliated.

You should also reflect on another reality -- there are a great many practitioners of aikido and readers of this board who both have advanced academic training which included basic methodology courses of one kind or another -- whether humanist, social scientific, technological, or scientific. They will have their own, no less professionally or formally informed, views about your method. And even in the absence of such formal methodology, there is always bricolage and tact. On that last, Terry had quite a bit to say about tact, and as he noted when he taught a seminar at Bond Street -- at a time when his health was not good and he knew these would be his last classes at his old dojo -- he said that "everything I know about tact was hard-won, (at which point the room erupted in knowing laughter) so I commend it to your attention."

And echoing that observation, in all of its particulars, I close.

FL
Well....,

I've been waiting for this post to reveal itself. I knew in time it had to.

Logical fallacies bring forth such things, and Fred, you are priceless.

Toby

Last edited by Toby Threadgill : 11-18-2011 at 01:20 PM.
 
Old 11-18-2011, 01:15 PM   #562
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
This historian disagrees. Any such spontaneous remark made in a particular situation must be viewed, from a Certeauvian point of view, as a highly contingent bricolage which arose in a specific cultural context which presented a limited toolkit. From a Bordieuvian perspective, it must be regarded as conditioned by the habitus in which it occurred and considered with reference to the specific cultural, geographical, and architectural features of that habitus Viewed through a neo-Foucauldian lens, one might suggest that you are engaged in a violent act of hegemonic (mis)appropriation and re-valuation of a conditional statement which ignores or denies the statement's originally contingent and fluid nature, then reifies it for the express purpose of delineating and enforcing a disciplinary boundary.
FL
Rolling on the couch laughing, thanks Mr. Little!!! Together with the Woody Allan clip, that made my day.

Last edited by Nicholas Eschenbruch : 11-18-2011 at 01:20 PM. Reason: Deleted second half of post as pointless academic pissing contest :-)
 
Old 11-18-2011, 01:23 PM   #563
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Talking Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
Any academic historian worth his or her salt operating in the 21st Century would be well aware of the work of de Certeau, Bordieu, and Foucault,
But, but... these people are french!!!

Great post btw. Epic ownage I'd say.

 
Old 11-18-2011, 01:36 PM   #564
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Interestingly it was the Shihan that Stan trained with who revealed that Ueshiba was not a daily presence at Hombu. I know someone else who personally trained there who echoe's that same comment, and also said when he showed up training would change and they would begin....pushing on each other.
So I guess Mr McGrew is calling Stan Pranin and a veritable host of Aikido's shihan all liars.
Poo poo Mr. McGrew.
Dan
YOu have repeatedly claimed that O Sensei did not pass on what you call the body conditioning of Aiki. Now you say that when he taught they pushed on each other, which is to imply they trained in what you allege they should have trained in. Which is it?

When I say Harden and company the intent is to let people decide if they are in that company or not. How about, those who would agree with them, some of those who are posting certainly do... on every claim.

I do not intend to be drawn into the distraction of debating what the meaning of "is" is. The point here is that O Sensei taught the Aiki that he wanted to teach. He called what he taught Aiki. All within Aikido.

It's funny that no one jumped on the scientist commenting on his training. I have historical training. What has been presented so far looks rather one sided, doesn't dispense will the totality of evidence, and doesn't seem to support the agenda that is being advanced. I expect there will be ample problems trying to make the claims that are being made. I've seen enough counter evidence to believe this. Even the evidence presented that says that O Sensei traveled a lot does nothing to support the underlying claim that some people are trying to support. Does the head of a dojo teach every class? Does that mean he doesn't teach the students in his dojo as a whole? But I'm not going to be the one to present that historical fight as I'm doing other things. There are those who will.

No magic number of days of teaching in Tokyo will change the fact that O Sensei instructed his students in Aiki as he understood and wanted the concept to be understood after the war. He used the approach to instruction that he wanted to use. And Saotome Sensei in particular traveled with him often. It is simply not true that everyone after O Sensei turned the art into some watered down version that he was opposed to (one claim that is made) or alternatively that O Sensei was such a bad teacher that he couldn't convey his Aiki (another claim that is alternatively made).
Here is yet another example of why so many people are telling you that you are embarrasing yourself.
You went after us for calling Saotome a Liar. You went on and on about it.
We let you know in no uncertain terms that we were doing no such thing , but were quoting others.
Your response? All but obtuse. You did not address Stans research, you did not address so many of the Shihan that were interviewed, you did not address Mark.

Quote:
You claim it's the secret to the jo trick. So what. The jo trick is not necessary to be able to do Aikido. Can Mr. Harden do the jo trick? Then maybe he hasn't proven that he found the secret to jo trick after all.
Aahh...there ya go people!
I was quite certain that someone in the ASU was behind his efforts here. I can now guess who. It was clear that was 100% agenda driven as no one with an open and inquisitive mind would arrive at his conclusions this late in the game. This tact of using my name to recite rhetoric and opinions I do not hold and put words in my mouth was all too familiar.

Mr. McGrew
I have listened to the attacks on my name, to people taking about how much I make, and those sitting idly by and watching the train wreck with humor.
You are wise to make a public statement you are not interested in meeting me. While I would greet you in a friendly exchange, your opinions and your skills, would simply fail you and all you would have left -when it comes to aiki-would be your words. In fact you would be helpless to do aikido on me...at all. Why? You would have to know Ueshiba's aiki in order to do anything to me. And it remains clear, you do not. I will continue to train with the senior staff or your organization, and eventually put hands on Ikeda and Saotome. I will let you know where and when that is. You might want to attend and learn something about what aiki is and can do and what professional behavior is all about. Your behavior is anything but!

As Fred tried to spell out for you and Toby tried to tell you....
Ouch!
Oh well.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 11-18-2011 at 01:39 PM.
 
Old 11-18-2011, 04:52 PM   #565
Ken McGrew
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

No person in ASU is behind, meaning putting me up to or even advising me, ANYTHING that I have written. Please don't be paranoid. I have only expressed my own views.

Harden's ending here really speaks to what seems to be behind the entire approach of those who would side with him. It boils down to machismo, doesn't it? I certainly hope the comments about showing Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei Aiki wasn't meant the way it might be interpreted.

We have heard over and over again that the proof is in the pudding. If I felt the power of Harden and Ark Sensei I would be convinced that all that their admirers have stated on such a range of topics. If the proof that O Sensei was doing the Aiki that these folks describe is found in the jo trick display, and if Harden knows the secret that O Sensei knew, then why can't he do the jo trick? I realize that he may not have perfected the skill yet to that level. Fine. But until he does how can the proof be in the pudding? I'm just asking what I take to be a logical question based on the standard of proof that Harden and others have repeatedly presented. I guess I struck a nerve.

I don't know how to get this across any clearer to people who 1) don't do Aikido and 2) have convinced themselves that Aikido doesn't work because it lacks their notion of Aiki. Harden says I would be helpless to do aikido to him as I lack O Sensei's Aiki (as he defines it). I am helpless TO DO Aikido ON anyone. Aikido is not about domination by force. That is to say if an attacker is not really attacking, then there is little reason to do anything. If an attacker is attacking, then the idea is to avoid being damaged by the attack and to lead the energy of the attack to resolution.

I'll respond to the historical argument when I respond to the postmodern gibberish above.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Here is yet another example of why so many people are telling you that you are embarrasing yourself.
You went after us for calling Saotome a Liar. You went on and on about it.
We let you know in no uncertain terms that we were doing no such thing , but were quoting others.
Your response? All but obtuse. You did not address Stans research, you did not address so many of the Shihan that were interviewed, you did not address Mark.

Aahh...there ya go people!
I was quite certain that someone in the ASU was behind his efforts here. I can now guess who. It was clear that was 100% agenda driven as no one with an open and inquisitive mind would arrive at his conclusions this late in the game. This tact of using my name to recite rhetoric and opinions I do not hold and put words in my mouth was all too familiar.

Mr. McGrew
I have listened to the attacks on my name, to people taking about how much I make, and those sitting idly by and watching the train wreck with humor.
You are wise to make a public statement you are not interested in meeting me. While I would greet you in a friendly exchange, your opinions and your skills, would simply fail you and all you would have left -when it comes to aiki-would be your words. In fact you would be helpless to do aikido on me...at all. Why? You would have to know Ueshiba's aiki in order to do anything to me. And it remains clear, you do not. I will continue to train with the senior staff or your organization, and eventually put hands on Ikeda and Saotome. I will let you know where and when that is. You might want to attend and learn something about what aiki is and can do and what professional behavior is all about. Your behavior is anything but!

As Fred tried to spell out for you and Toby tried to tell you....
Ouch!
Oh well.
Dan
 
Old 11-18-2011, 05:19 PM   #566
Toby Threadgill
Location: Evergreen, Colorado
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

You know....

It's like watching a car wreck really.... On the one hand you're mesmerized by the event itself but want to look away. On the other hand you cannot look away because the inevitable tragedy transfixes your attention. Alas I'm off to teach in New Zealand tomorrow and must cast my gaze in a more rewarding direction. How will the accident end? Well most of us already know. We've seen this car wreck before.

Honk, honk....screeeeech! All that's missing is the "bang".

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

Last edited by Toby Threadgill : 11-18-2011 at 05:24 PM.
 
Old 11-18-2011, 05:23 PM   #567
Ken McGrew
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Fred,

There may be those who are impressed by impenetrable language that ultimately says little. I am not one of them.

The accusation made by Ellis was that I have said not one thing that Dobson Sensei would have ever agreed to the in slightest. That's an easy challenge to overcome. He threw down the gantlet in the most bold manner possible. Everything I said was completely wrong, and my evidence, including Dobson Sensei's commentaries, were completely wrong.

The things I had said, that Katherine, Ellis and others rejected as nonsense? That Aiki is about blending, joining, body positioning, leading and so forth. Now we have multiple quotes from the seminar with Dobson Sensei that refute the claim made by Ellis. It's quite obvious and clear for everyone to see:

"What I want to do is use non-resistance. That’s one of the basic things. So as it comes I lead his energy in the way it’s already going. That’s called Aiki. That’s called meeting. That’s called joining, blending, what not" (Dobson Sensei from the Seminar).

I have read through quite a bit of the historical evidence and analysis that has been alluded to in this discussion. I have done so to be fair. It all amounts to little. The fact that people gave interviews or otherwise reported that O Sensei traveled often does not support the claim that he had retired from teaching in 1941. People's memories of how often he traveled can be confused in time. There may have been periods when he traveled more and periods when he traveled less. So you'd still want to get your hands on the calendars wouldn't you? Just to nail it all down beyond dispute?

None of this matters much. It's just not the sort of evidence that can support the claims that Harden and others are trying to make. Rather than just say that they've found something cool that can help Aikido that maybe hasn't been explored much lately, they collectively support a web of claims: That they know the secret to Aiki, that it is the secret that O Sensei learned from Daito-ryu, that none of the teachers after the war learned the secret from O Sensei (because he either didn't want to teach them, was a bad teacher, or because he wasn't teaching at all), and that his own son was responsible for distorting the true nature of Aiki in both practice and literature.

Saotome Sensei is presented as one point of evidence. He describes training often with O Sensei, traveling with him, and having many relevant conversations with him. He quotes O Sensei related to these experiences. Harden and company would have us believe that this is not possible given the claims they are making and what they take as evidence to support them. They have presented evidence for the modern notion of Aiki themselves, though they don't want to acknowledge it, when they state that O Sensei often lectured on spiritual matters (which related no doubt to Aiki). It is circular reasoning. They believe that real Aiki is related to the process they are engaged in. They don't see the Aiki they believe in represented in students after O Sensei. Therefore they conclude that the students did not engage in the process in which they are engaging. They won't consider the possibility that O Sensei had endorsed a notion of Aiki that is different from theirs, one that was spiritually inspired, one that was ethically based, and one that was as Dobson Sensei describes in the video.

We know that O Sensei's notion of Aiki after the war (if it was ever different before the war I doubt) was the same notion of Aiki described by Dobson Sensei, Doshu, Saotome Sensei, and many others. We know this not only because they say so based on their interpretation. We know this because they quote him word for word at times. We know this because he wrote many things that support this understanding of Aiki in Aikido. All the people who are presented as authorities are selling something that relies on this web of claims. That alone doesn't make them wrong. But it may explain why they are so invested on insisting on them. I'm sorry that this group of folks take my responses as some sort of agenda or unwillingness to consider their evidence. I am considering their evidence, have taken the time to read things that people have been sending me, and simply don't see the evidence presented supporting the claims that are made.

Immagine if I said that he secret to Aikido, and the real power of Aiki, are pressure points. Pressure points are not stressed in modern Aikido as they seem to have been stressed by O Sensei as part of his art. Therefore modern Aikido has lost the true power of Aiki. Now if I were good at pressure points (which I'm not) and was able to impress people with that ability display, would it make my claims true?

People disagree all the time regardless of good faith. Calling me a train wreck is just short of calling names. Calling me a fool is name calling. Now I'm seeing border line suggestions of violence. What does it matter what I think, folks? Should I now have to fear Harder or people who train with him? Was that the intention of the comments by Harden? It's not worth getting hurt over. You win. You silenced the critic.

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
This historian disagrees. Any such spontaneous remark made in a particular situation must be viewed, from a Certeauvian point of view, as a highly contingent bricolage which arose in a specific cultural context which presented a limited toolkit. From a Bordieuvian perspective, it must be regarded as conditioned by the habitus in which it occurred and considered with reference to the specific cultural, geographical, and architectural features of that habitus Viewed through a neo-Foucauldian lens, one might suggest that you are engaged in a violent act of hegemonic (mis)appropriation and re-valuation of a conditional statement which ignores or denies the statement's originally contingent and fluid nature, then reifies it for the express purpose of delineating and enforcing a disciplinary boundary.

Any academic historian worth his or her salt operating in the 21st Century would be well aware of the work of de Certeau, Bordieu, and Foucault, and even if proceeding along alternative lines of analysis, would provide a substantive argument as to why the sort of "contingency analysis" found in their work is not appropriate to the matter at hand, even if only implicitly. This element is entirely lacking in your presentation and all that is left is a corollary assertion to a reductio ad absurdum that because no such gun is visible that the the remark is (as you said explicitly) unambiguous and (as you suggest implicitly) supports your position. As historical reasoning, this is sophomoric at best, meretricious at the mid-point, and intellectually dishonest at worst.

The onus is not on another individual to prove the negative of your assertion -- this is a classic near-impossibility. Even were one to concede that there is no clear disagreement between the selected quote and your broad assertion, that does not make the quote a confirmation of your assertion. If you assert that a spontaneous statement made by a specific individual to correct a single aspect of a single individual's technical capacity on a particular occasion at a particular site may be taken to have a broader and more universal meaning, the onus is on you to effectively bound and nullify any and all contingencies that might undercut your claim. You have done no such thing, choosing rather to make emphatic but poorly grounded assertions based on cherry-picked evidence. This would suggest that while you know the phrase "methodological rigor," the efforts of your instructors to introduce any significant measure of such rigor to your working process, or to give you any working knowledge of what methodological rigor might entail, seem to have been less successful than one might hope.

You may wish to consider the extent to which your position is rather different from that of a non-academic individual who takes an amateur and avocational interest in a historical subject, to the extent that such an individual is wholly responsible for his or her own views and argumentation in advocacy of those views. Inasmuch as you have asserted your credentials as a professional academic, you may wish to consider that both the quality of reasoning which underlies the historical and historiographic arguments you present and the mode in which you advocate those arguments reflects, not solely on you as an individual, but also on multiple institutions with which you have been or continue to be affiliated.

You should also reflect on another reality -- there are a great many practitioners of aikido and readers of this board who both have advanced academic training which included basic methodology courses of one kind or another -- whether humanist, social scientific, technological, or scientific. They will have their own, no less professionally or formally informed, views about your method. And even in the absence of such formal methodology, there is always bricolage and tact. On that last, Terry had quite a bit to say about tact, and as he noted when he taught a seminar at Bond Street -- at a time when his health was not good and he knew these would be his last classes at his old dojo -- he said that "everything I know about tact was hard-won, (at which point the room erupted in knowing laughter) so I commend it to your attention."

And echoing that observation, in all of its particulars, I close.

FL

Last edited by Ken McGrew : 11-18-2011 at 05:37 PM.
 
Old 11-18-2011, 05:35 PM   #568
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Toby Threadgill wrote: View Post
You know....

It's like watching a car wreck really.... On the one hand you're mesmerized by the event itself but want to look away, on the other hand you cannot because the inevitable tragedy transfixes your attention. Alas I'm off to teach in New Zealand tomorrow and must cast my gaze in a more rewarding direction. How will the accident end? Well most of us already know. We've seen this car wreck before.

Honk, honk....screeeeech! All that's missing is the "bang".

Toby Threadgill / TSYR
It's much worse than that. It's the horror of feeling totally helpless to stop someone from twisting others' words and denigrating some of the finest martial-arts scholars and historians of our time, and even worse, hurling direct ad hominems and insults at the one person who has been the most generous with his skills and knowledge.
 
Old 11-18-2011, 05:40 PM   #569
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
It's much worse than that. It's the horror of feeling totally helpless to stop someone from twisting others' words and denigrating some of the finest martial-arts scholars and historians of our time, and even worse, hurling direct ad hominems and insults at the one person who has been the most generous with his skills and knowledge.
Seconded.

By a guy who does not support Harden et al theories in their entirety.

 
Old 11-18-2011, 06:24 PM   #570
DH
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Hi Tobs
Big wreck!!
He has taken on Me, Ellis, Fred, Chris, I am sure you're next. And now he is once again taking my words and twisting them in ugly ways.
I said... I would greet you in a friendly exchange,
He is now stating I and "my followers" (I can't even say that with a straight face ) are suggesting violence.
Folks
I just heard from people who know this guy. Thank you for the heads up. While his repeated exchanges like this seem outrageous to us, you should understand that the disconnected and weird responses that are a surprise to us, are real and relevant....to him. Folks, We all know each other enough to have heated but fair and equal exchanges. Right now, we should all just walk away. Mary, Ron, Demetrio, Graham - I can debate with you guys later- I respect each of you, even when we disagree. This is different okay? I'll see you on another thread.

Happy thanksgiving to everyone.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 11-18-2011 at 06:38 PM.
 
Old 11-18-2011, 06:33 PM   #571
gregstec
Dojo: Aiki Kurabu
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Chris Knight wrote: View Post
this is a genuine question, before people start attacking my intent on the subject

many of the people currently teaching aiki and Aikido follow the thinking that O Sensei was a martial genius who had a mastery of "Aiki"

As most of these people training "aiki" nowadays have never met O Sensei, how do they know this? Disregarding second hand stories, and verbal accounts.


Looking at video footage, can this be seen through body movement, training methods, mechanics etc of Ueshiba Sensei or not?? What is it that can be seen? How do proponents of today's aiki know this immense skill was present??
Everything is a circle and all things flow around it; as so it appears that this thread does too as we come back to your original post

So, Chris, let me just say that your questions above have no definitive answer - absolutely no one alive today can say for sure exactly what Ueshiba's aiki was really about - period. No speculation, perception, or vast amount of evidence can be considered conclusive because it is all speculative without the opportunity to obtain clarification from Ueshiba today.

With that said, you need to form your own conclusions based upon you own consideration of other opinions coupled with your personal experiences. Personally, I give way more credence to those that have the experiences to back up their positions along with corroboration from others - these are the hands on people that have immersed themselves into the dirt of life and have come away with the wisdom of those that can say: 'been there, done that.' The people I give the least credibility to are the ones that do desk top exercises and flaunt their achievements as badges of accomplishments that demand respect and acknowledgment; respect has to be earned and not demanded -humility is the first virtue required for enlightenment and arrogance will perpetually strip you of that opportunity. Please note, there is a difference between confidence and arrogance - the former can personally back up what they say and the latter cannot.

In summary, you really stirred up a hornets nest here - I hope you obtained some useful information out of the myriad amount of BS - maybe the topic of your next thread should be "Ki, and who really had it"

Best

Greg

Last edited by gregstec : 11-18-2011 at 06:35 PM.
 
Old 11-18-2011, 07:12 PM   #572
raul rodrigo
Location: Quezon City
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

"Now I'm seeing border line suggestions of violence. What does it matter what I think, folks? Should I now have to fear Harder or people who train with him? Was that the intention of the comments by Harden? It's not worth getting hurt over. You win. You silenced the critic."

Only time will tell if the silence will hold.
 
Old 11-18-2011, 10:18 PM   #573
Toby Threadgill
Location: Evergreen, Colorado
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
"Now I'm seeing border line suggestions of violence. What does it matter what I think, folks? Should I now have to fear Harder or people who train with him? Was that the intention of the comments by Harden? It's not worth getting hurt over. You win. You silenced the critic."

Only time will tell if the silence will hold.
Mr Rodrigo,

I'm really too busy for this, but.....Seriously?

I have had my differences with Mr Harden over the years, and we've really locked horns a couple of times, but I have never heard Mr Harden, or any of Mr Harden's friends/training partners threaten anyone with physical violence. Quite the contrary, all I've heard is a "show me yours and I'll show you mine" offer, with a promise of friendly interaction. It is Mr McGrew who keeps irrationally "poking" people to the point that most of us are having a "Tennenhouse" moment (An aiki car wreck if there ever was one). "Tennenhouse, The Sequel" is a theatrical release none of us wish to waste our time on...again.

Au revoir,

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

Last edited by Toby Threadgill : 11-18-2011 at 10:23 PM.
 
Old 11-18-2011, 10:57 PM   #574
raul rodrigo
Location: Quezon City
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Mr. Threadgill:

What exactly in my post were you questioning? I was quoting Ken McGrew, not saying that he had actually been threatened.

best

RAUL RODRIGO

PS For what it's worth, I don't think he will actually stay silent. Ken swore to stay away from Aikiweb before, during some dustup with David Orange. Didn't last.

Last edited by raul rodrigo : 11-18-2011 at 11:00 PM.
 
Old 11-18-2011, 11:50 PM   #575
Toby Threadgill
Location: Evergreen, Colorado
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
Mr. Threadgill:

What exactly in my post were you questioning? I was quoting Ken McGrew, not saying that he had actually been threatened.

best

RAUL RODRIGO

PS For what it's worth, I don't think he will actually stay silent. Ken swore to stay away from Aikiweb before, during some dustup with David Orange. Didn't last.
Mr Rodrigo,

Ahhhh the imperfections of the internet discussion board. From the way it appears, I thought you were you speaking for yourself, not quoting Mr McGrew. From perusing your previous posts I now have a better handle on your position. Sorry about the confusion.....I need sleep.

Regards....

Last edited by Toby Threadgill : 11-18-2011 at 11:56 PM.
 

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