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Old 11-21-2011, 07:41 PM   #51
graham christian
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

kempo.4mg.com/articles/ninjutsu.htm

Now Eric. I hope the above link works. This is the guy I was talking about. An interesting read.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:45 PM   #52
graham christian
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Demetrio. If you havn't seen the above article before I'm sure you'll like it too.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:00 PM   #53
Eric in Denver
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Eric - getting closer

I honestly don't think that Ueshiba was the "greatest" martial artist of the 20th century. I know of one individual who defeated him soundly, when, allegedly, he was at the top of his game. (no, no, no, I'm not going in to this further, for reasons of confidences given).

But he was more than special. Let's say, for the sake of discussion, that Horikawa Kodo, was at least his equal in physical aiki and martial arts in general (don't know if that's true, in either direction, but bear with me). Horikawa was a fine gentleman - a school principal, and left a tidy legacy, so to speak, with one or two really excellent successors. But Ueshiba was a mover-and-shaker in Japanese society, and his manifestation of aiki/aikido transformed the lives of millions.

Ueshiba can do more than "inspire" us. I firmly believe that those who a) get good instruction b) put in the requisite 10,000's of hours can equal or surpass his physical abilities in aiki. It is a more complex question if we are actually following his path - I've outlined in HIPS how labyrinthine a path that might be. Further, can we achieve the level of greatness (with all the darkside that accompanies it, for he was not a pure soul, by any stretch), that he did? In other words, beyond aiki skills, what human being are we?

But without aiki skills, what kind of aikidoka are we?

Best
Ellis Amdur
Yeah, I think the discussion of whether he was the best of the whole world is a side issue for what I am thinking about.

I am not sure that we disagree all that much on the inspiration part. However, I think Ueshiba pretty much burned the house down. He is like the Hendrix of martial arts. I think at best, we can strive to push our own limits to create something wonderful, but I don't think any of us will capture the same mix of crazy and creative that he had.

However, I would like to question you about how you conceptualize aiki. It seems like in your previous post, the stress was on Ueshiba's aiki as an intwining of physical skills and spiritual pursuits, but in this post, you are talking about "physical aiki."

The question is:

Am I being too reductionist again?
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:16 PM   #54
Eric in Denver
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Eric. Here's a quote of O'Sensei.

Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your inner enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.
Thank you, Graham. That is an important quote. I hope it was translated correctly!
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:40 PM   #55
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Me? I define "aiki," as best I understand it as an admixture of skill and power derived from breath training (which develops the nervous system and the connective tissue in specific ways, "'intent" (directing attention so that specific, in many ways quite powerful effects are created within the body, all directed by tantien (or tantien(s)), which function as kind of universal joints, to a) effectively direct power from the wheels b) augment with it's own power.

My own skill in this area is quite limited. This is my understanding from that limited perspective. Most of my education is from a Chinese perspective (which I've retrofitted back into my Japanese koryu). If there are nuances or aspects unique to Japanese aiki arts, I'm not the one who can - at this point - enunciate them. It is very likely (I sure hope so) that as I practice enough, my understanding may change or be augmented significantly.

I've taken ukemi (see upcoming column - more later) from most of the top post-war shihan in the Aikikai. And I've only experienced mere shreds of what I define as aiki above. I met great athletes and some superlative martial artists - but little aiki - by the definition above - that I could discern.

What Ueshiba defined as "aiki" was, in my opinion, the above definition - braided with his spiritual/religious practices, which created, depending on the opinion-makers, something more or less than Daito-ryu aiki he learned, and something more or less than the t'ai chi or xingyi or whatever of top Chinese martial artists. Having never felt him, I don't have a clue.

Ellis Amdur

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 11-21-2011 at 09:42 PM.

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Old 11-21-2011, 10:06 PM   #56
Eric in Denver
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Me? I define "aiki," as best I understand it as an admixture of skill and power derived from breath training (which develops the nervous system and the connective tissue in specific ways, "'intent" (directing attention so that specific, in many ways quite powerful effects are created within the body, all directed by tantien (or tantien(s)), which function as kind of universal joints, to a) effectively direct power from the wheels b) augment with it's own power.
I now declare you the reductionist! Where is the spiritual possession?

Quote:
My own skill in this area is quite limited.
I bet mine is more limited that yours!

Quote:
It is very likely (I sure hope so) that as I practice enough, my understanding may change or be augmented significantly.
I hope it works out that way for me as well. God knows I waste enough time in my life as it is.

Quote:
What Ueshiba defined as "aiki" was, in my opinion, the above definition - braided with his spiritual/religious practices, which created, depending on the opinion-makers, something more or less than Daito-ryu aiki he learned, and something more or less than the t'ai chi or xingyi or whatever of top Chinese martial artists. Having never felt him, I don't have a clue.

Ellis Amdur
Sometimes when I read translations of Ueshiba, I feel like I am back to working in an Adolescent Day Treatment Program listening to some kid who has driven his ADHD into hyperdrive by drinking four cokes and eating three bags of skittles. I enjoy it, but it can be exhausting and confusing.

Thanks for the patient responses.
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:31 PM   #57
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights - Noto bene

I got so focused on the "internal power" aspect of internal power that, as a friend of mine just pointed out in a personal note, that "it takes two to tango." It's not just about cultivating energy - it is skill and energy that is not only exerted upon, but created through working with/on another person. To be clear, one cultivates within oneself abilities that make one able to work with/work another. As my friend wrote: "Whatever you are doing internally/IP-wise with your body, it will take uke along for the ride."

My friend writes, "The components of training aiki are part of IP method --the "powerful effects within the body" (your body) you wrote of -- not aiki itself. There must be IP to make aiki, but IP itself is not aiki."

What this means is that IP is not just another way of "power-up" weight lifting through another means. To be sure, some people use these methods and become very physically powerful. Wang Shu Chin was witnessed by a friend of mine literally shaking (!!!!!) the huge torii at Meiji shrine.
But that will not necessarily make THAT "internally powerful" person more powerful in interaction with another.

(I remember that Sugino Yoshio attempted to refuse to compare Takeda and Ueshiba, but signficantly, he said something like it was not necessary to say that Takeda was a ten and Ueshiba was an eight: both were great). In other words, the physically older and weaker guy was still more developed - and perhaps, able to do more in this area.

A final story to illustrate my friend's point. Cheng Man Ching, perhaps not nearly as good as Robert Smith described, but still pretty exceptional: he decided to learn bowling in New York and quit because the ball was too heavy for him. Too heavy! This guy that was seen sending people flying off their feet to crash into walls.

Ellis Amdur

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Old 11-22-2011, 01:52 AM   #58
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights - Noto bene

Quote:
Ellis Amdur;297738. Wang Shu Chin was witnessed by a friend of mine literally shaking (!!!!!) the huge torii at Meiji shrine.
Pic of said torii (?)

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Old 11-22-2011, 02:07 AM   #59
Lee Salzman
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights - Noto bene

Quote:
Bob Strahinjevich wrote: View Post
Pic of said torii (?)

Having a body mass that probably looked comparable to said torii surely did not hurt his ability to shake it either, I'd wager.
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:22 AM   #60
Lee Salzman
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights - Noto bene

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I got so focused on the "internal power" aspect of internal power that, as a friend of mine just pointed out in a personal note, that "it takes two to tango." It's not just about cultivating energy - it is skill and energy that is not only exerted upon, but created through working with/on another person. To be clear, one cultivates within oneself abilities that make one able to work with/work another. As my friend wrote: "Whatever you are doing internally/IP-wise with your body, it will take uke along for the ride."

My friend writes, "The components of training aiki are part of IP method --the "powerful effects within the body" (your body) you wrote of -- not aiki itself. There must be IP to make aiki, but IP itself is not aiki."

What this means is that IP is not just another way of "power-up" weight lifting through another means. To be sure, some people use these methods and become very physically powerful. Wang Shu Chin was witnessed by a friend of mine literally shaking (!!!!!) the huge torii at Meiji shrine.
But that will not necessarily make THAT "internally powerful" person more powerful in interaction with another.

(I remember that Sugino Yoshio attempted to refuse to compare Takeda and Ueshiba, but signficantly, he said something like it was not necessary to say that Takeda was a ten and Ueshiba was an eight: both were great). In other words, the physically older and weaker guy was still more developed - and perhaps, able to do more in this area.

A final story to illustrate my friend's point. Cheng Man Ching, perhaps not nearly as good as Robert Smith described, but still pretty exceptional: he decided to learn bowling in New York and quit because the ball was too heavy for him. Too heavy! This guy that was seen sending people flying off their feet to crash into walls.

Ellis Amdur
I guess it all depends on what you mean by "power" in IP. I study a derivative of a Chinese martial philosophy that you could legitimately say is almost mono-focused on explosive power. Yet, even within this framework, is the idea that power is change, or rather, it is change that makes power, and the ability to deploy constant and rapid change, as well as cultivating the level of reactiveness to make those rapid changes a response to the outside world, not just an internal monologue or pattern, is fundamental to the expression of it. No change, no power - no power, no change. That's not even really a quaint aphorism, once you dissect it, you realize all actions of the body are synthetic/artificial, and that the body is constantly responding and balancing forces at any given moment to accomplish what our mind sets it out to do. The exact relationship of this to aiki I can only speculate, but even still, just the subject of "power" is a lot deeper than it seems.
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:11 AM   #61
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights - Noto bene

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I remember that Sugino Yoshio attempted to refuse to compare Takeda and Ueshiba, ...
Did Sugino sensei meet Takeda Sokaku in person?
Is something of what you do refer to as "aiki" to be found in the teaching of TSKSR?
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:23 AM   #62
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights - Noto bene

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Did Sugino sensei meet Takeda Sokaku in person?
In the early days, I also met Sokaku Takeda Sensei who is said to have been one of Morihei Ueshiba Sensei's teachers. When we gave a Katori Shinto-ryu demonstration Sokaku Sensei put on an exhibition of Daito-ryu. I think he was nearly 80 years old at that time. He was small and thin and only about 4 feet 11 inches (151.5 cm) tall. Even so, his techniques were remarkable. Ueshiba Sensei was also a man of unusual ability, but in his case, he had a powerful physique. I thought that was also great. Although Sokaku Takeda Sensei seemed to have the type of body which could be easily knocked over, his demonstration was extraordinary. He was capable of easily throwing 4th and 5th dan holders of the Kodokan.
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=368

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Old 11-22-2011, 03:38 AM   #63
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Carsten -

The top exponents I've seen are Otake Risuke, Sugawara Tetsutaka (who also studies t'ai chi) Shigi-san (I can't remember his last name - he, like Sugawara, have separate organizations), and two deceased individuals: Donn Draeger and Noda- sensei (a sempai of Otake).

I'm not a member of TSKSR - I'd suggest research with those top figures, if they are willing to engage in such a discussion. Shigi is a 6th or 7th dan in judo as well - and is remarkable in randori, while close to 70. (And I don't mean young guy being polite with old guy randori, either).

Best
Ellis

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Old 11-22-2011, 04:21 AM   #64
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Demetrio,
I wasn't aware of the words of Sugino sensei, but reading them (again ) I remember, I should have known ... Thank you for reminding me.

Ellis,
thank you for your suggestion. I am afraid I will not be able to follow it for different reaseons. But I might have the opportunity to talk to Sugino Yukihiro when he visits Germany next summer.
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:21 AM   #65
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Demetrio. If you havn't seen the above article before I'm sure you'll like it too.

Regards.G.
Not the worst ninja apologist I've read, but I've been also reading some of his writings on religion and, me being raised roman catholic, I think some unexpected spanish inquisition ninjas should be knocking at his door.


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Old 11-22-2011, 08:36 AM   #66
Eric in Denver
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights - Noto bene

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I got so focused on the "internal power" aspect of internal power that, as a friend of mine just pointed out in a personal note, that "it takes two to tango." It's not just about cultivating energy - it is skill and energy that is not only exerted upon, but created through working with/on another person. To be clear, one cultivates within oneself abilities that make one able to work with/work another. As my friend wrote: "Whatever you are doing internally/IP-wise with your body, it will take uke along for the ride."

My friend writes, "The components of training aiki are part of IP method --the "powerful effects within the body" (your body) you wrote of -- not aiki itself. There must be IP to make aiki, but IP itself is not aiki."

What this means is that IP is not just another way of "power-up" weight lifting through another means. To be sure, some people use these methods and become very physically powerful. Wang Shu Chin was witnessed by a friend of mine literally shaking (!!!!!) the huge torii at Meiji shrine.
But that will not necessarily make THAT "internally powerful" person more powerful in interaction with another.

(I remember that Sugino Yoshio attempted to refuse to compare Takeda and Ueshiba, but signficantly, he said something like it was not necessary to say that Takeda was a ten and Ueshiba was an eight: both were great). In other words, the physically older and weaker guy was still more developed - and perhaps, able to do more in this area.

A final story to illustrate my friend's point. Cheng Man Ching, perhaps not nearly as good as Robert Smith described, but still pretty exceptional: he decided to learn bowling in New York and quit because the ball was too heavy for him. Too heavy! This guy that was seen sending people flying off their feet to crash into walls.

Ellis Amdur
I think this is an important distinction, however, I this does lead me to another question -- could you clarify what "Internal Power" is versus "aiki?"
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:52 AM   #67
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
I think this is an important distinction, however, I this does lead me to another question -- could you clarify what "Internal Power" is versus "aiki?"
First, I'm not the fricking arbiter of these phrases.

I noted that my friend noted that aiki, from a DR perspective, is the expression of internal power as it applies to another person.

Other people would say that this is internal power. Internal power is an English phrase, and it's many people's approximate translation of Chinese terms, in this case neikung, I believe. Probably not.

There's a certain point - which is frequently reached on Aikiweb - that it's all angels dancing on the head of a pin.

Let's sum up: specialized training, usually, but not exclusively solo, to forge the body (tanren) in specific ways - and result of this is, as Ueshiba said in the early twenties, something, like, "aiki is the ability to make others do what you want." (See, Dueling with Osensei, first chapter)

And for Ueshiba, all this was braided with his spiritual beliefs and <originially> religious shugyo practices.

That's all I know on the subject

Ellis Amdur

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Old 11-22-2011, 11:14 AM   #68
Eric in Denver
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
First, I'm not the fricking arbiter of these phrases.

I noted that my friend noted that aiki, from a DR perspective, is the expression of internal power as it applies to another person.

Other people would say that this is internal power. Internal power is an English phrase, and it's many people's approximate translation of Chinese terms, in this case neikung, I believe. Probably not.

There's a certain point - which is frequently reached on Aikiweb - that it's all angels dancing on the head of a pin.

Let's sum up: specialized training, usually, but not exclusively solo, to forge the body (tanren) in specific ways - and result of this is, as Ueshiba said in the early twenties, something, like, "aiki is the ability to make others do what you want." (See, Dueling with Osensei, first chapter)

And for Ueshiba, all this was braided with his spiritual beliefs and <originially> religious shugyo practices.

That's all I know on the subject

Ellis Amdur
Ellis, I am not attempting to try your patience, although it appears I have. Thanks for your insights.
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:15 AM   #69
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Oh by the way. Just was reminded of THIS POST.. Andrew, whom I may have met once, in three sentences, sums things up elegantly. I think this post should be an automatic pop-up on all these threads, and we'll all save time.

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Old 11-22-2011, 11:28 AM   #70
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Oh by the way. Just was reminded of THIS POST.. Andrew, whom I may have met once, in three sentences, sums things up elegantly. I think this post should be an automatic pop-up on all these threads, and we'll all save time.


Amen - Andy (whom I have met) knows and exhibits Aiki

Greg
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:23 PM   #71
Eric in Denver
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Oh by the way. Just was reminded of THIS POST.. Andrew, whom I may have met once, in three sentences, sums things up elegantly. I think this post should be an automatic pop-up on all these threads, and we'll all save time.
That was a lot easier than this whole discussion.


Quote:

Aiki is the result of one training their own body to be in unision with itself. Structure gives the Aiki a clear pathway to follow. Relaxation enables Aiki to travel through that structure. Intent is what fuels the Aiki in the body. When one comes into contact with one who has trained their body. Aiki is what is seen when the two meet.

Andrew Prochnow
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:43 PM   #72
graham christian
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Not the worst ninja apologist I've read, but I've been also reading some of his writings on religion and, me being raised roman catholic, I think some unexpected spanish inquisition ninjas should be knocking at his door.

Ahh, Demetrio. Ninja apologist....you disappoint me. What a cop out...

P.S. Send him some kami....

Regards.G.
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:43 PM   #73
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:

Ellis Amdur wrote:

Oh by the way. Just was reminded of THIS POST.. Andrew, whom I may have met once, in three sentences, sums things up elegantly. I think this post should be an automatic pop-up on all these threads, and we'll all save time.
That was a lot easier than this whole discussion.

Quote:
Quote:
Aiki is the result of one training their own body to be in unision with itself. Structure gives the Aiki a clear pathway to follow. Relaxation enables Aiki to travel through that structure. Intent is what fuels the Aiki in the body. When one comes into contact with one who has trained their body. Aiki is what is seen when the two meet.

Andrew Prochnow
I've said it so many times I get sick and tired of saying it.
Aiki in me, before Aiki between thee and me. The study of In yo ho is the study of yin and yang in the body...FIRST.
Ueshiba even laid it out...to deaf ears.
Andy is one of my guys. He has trained wih me for seventeen years. Ellis, you haven't met him-though you would love him; grappler through and through, ghosty soft...and hits like a freight train. We had to talk him out of going pro.
Many people here have trained with Andy.
Dan
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:38 PM   #74
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I've said it so many times I get sick and tired of saying it.
Aiki in me, before Aiki between thee and me. The study of In yo ho is the study of yin and yang in the body...FIRST.
Ueshiba even laid it out...to deaf ears.
Andy is one of my guys. He has trained wih me for seventeen years. Ellis, you haven't met him-though you would love him; grappler through and through, ghosty soft...and hits like a freight train. We had to talk him out of going pro.
Many people here have trained with Andy.
Dan
Andy is one of Dan's evil minion ! They are all part of a grand conspiracy to take over the Aikido world through the re-injection of Aiki ! Beware! Dark days are upon us as Dan and his evil minion take over the world. HA HA HA HA....

Seriously folks,

Met Andy once. Gentle giant of a young man who is gifted in what he can do and in his ability to teach it.

Gobble, Gobble,

Marc Abrams
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:53 PM   #75
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Andy is one of Dan's evil minion ! They are all part of a grand conspiracy to take over the Aikido world through the re-injection of Aiki ! Beware! Dark days are upon us as Dan and his evil minion take over the world. HA HA HA HA....
I am sadly disappointed. I think you could come up with a much better brand than Dan's Evil Minions.
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