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Old 12-04-2011, 04:48 PM   #51
hughrbeyer
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

("afforded the honour of national treasure on a government and nation level" = BS) = cheap shot
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:08 PM   #52
graham christian
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Woahhh, here we go again. Who says that a person who is passionately on a path cannot or would not or even would explain why he didn't teach properly or more? Wow,what an assumption.

On inspection I think you will find quite the opposite in fact. Every person who was passionate about their field of study that I have met are only too willing to share their views and very enthusiastically at that.

In fact their only frustrations come from those who 'twist' what they are saying or do other than what they are instructing them to do.

So rather than O'Sensei being a not so good teacher it's more that he was a passionate teacher and thus a frustrated one.

Let's take another's methods, Tohei. Rules of mind and body coordination and rules of Aikido practice.

There you are, a set of principles to practice. Every time you get stuck then just refer back to those principles. This takes honesty and discipline. It says look no further than these principles and you will find what you are looking for.

That's a different super disciplined way of study. Expected by the teacher. So simple that it's hard. Teacher gives principles, you practice them, you keep practicing them.

One point. How many have practiced that principle and to what degree? Some say they did it for x number of years. Really? If they did actually discipline themselves to honestly notice when they didn't have one point and how to keep it then half the statements I hear about Ki Aikido wouldn't be made.

This is the traditional martial way of study. No quick fixes, no new models, no phd's or big words. No yeah but he said or fancy advanced techniques.

The point is that when a person understands the principles of something then to them it becomes simple. They want to pass on this simplicity but find everyone getting all complicated and complex about it. When they say a simplicity it is real to them so they may say it's the practice of loving protection or some such. Then they watch everyone using force, violence, technical tricks and wonder what the hell they are doing. They may say it's masakatsu and agatsu, self developement, and stand back and watch everyone trying to beat the opponent or become some martial untouchable body.

They may say there is absolutely no violence in Aikido only to watch everyone justify yeah but.

Such is the way of the master and such are his frustrations dealing with willing yet far less aware others.

Regards.G.
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:14 AM   #53
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Perhaps it is more fair to his memory to judge, or discuss his teaching abilities from the period when he was actually teaching.

The era in which he actively taught he produced some remarkable men; Inue, Shirata, Mochizuki, Tomiki, Shioda, Hisa etc. These men were pretty substantial in their day.
Takuma Hisa is exactly the person I was thinking of. He learned Daito Ryu from Morihei Ueshiba first, then Sokaku Takeda. He didn't seem to find anything wrong with Osensei's pedagogy. He even ended up calling what he was teaching "aikido" and insisted it was the same thing.

If things did change, what were they? The fusion with Omoto-beliefs perhaps or is it just a case that he wasn't teaching much later on. I recall an interview with Takuma Hisa in which he had something to say about Takeda Sensei's own enlightenment, not totally dissimilar to Osensei's.

Thanks

Carl
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:37 AM   #54
Sacha Cloetens
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Takuma Hisa is exactly the person I was thinking of. He learned Daito Ryu from Morihei Ueshiba first, then Sokaku Takeda. He didn't seem to find anything wrong with Osensei's pedagogy. He even ended up calling what he was teaching "aikido" and insisted it was the same thing.

If things did change, what were they? The fusion with Omoto-beliefs perhaps or is it just a case that he wasn't teaching much later on. I recall an interview with Takuma Hisa in which he had something to say about Takeda Sensei's own enlightenment, not totally dissimilar to Osensei's.

Thanks

Carl
Hello,

It seems the teaching methodology indeed did change after te war, according to Doshu Kisshomaru.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=566

"You mentioned earlier that O-Sensei in his later years would demonstrate his technique in front of his students and that the students learned Aikido by watching and being attracted to his movements rather than O-Sensei teaching them. Was O-Sensei's teaching method like that from the beginning?

No. At first he taught techniques point by point although it didn't seem that he was attached to a specific teaching goal. But he emphasized that you have to do things exactly, one by one, so you won't make mistakes. Recently, there has been a tendency for Aikido training to become too soft and flowing and some beginners lightly bypass hard training. That's not the way it should be. If you are going to practice you must practice basics earnestly. This he told me frequently even in his later years… exactly, not changing anything… if you don't reach the level of softness beyond technique by getting the basics down perfectly, you won't develop true strength. If, from the beginning, you practice a "tofu-like(bean-curd) soft style, you will be vulnerable to an attack. So it's necessary to do solid training in the beginning. Over time, through this kind of solid training your technique will become effective. A soft effectiveness will emerge"

enjoy
Sacha
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:38 AM   #55
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Sacha Cloetens wrote: View Post
Recently, there has been a tendency for Aikido training to become too soft and flowing and some beginners lightly bypass hard training. That's not the way it should be. If you are going to practice you must practice basics earnestly. This he told me frequently even in his later years… exactly, not changing anything… if you don't reach the level of softness beyond technique by getting the basics down perfectly, you won't develop true strength. If, from the beginning, you practice a "tofu-like(bean-curd) soft style, you will be vulnerable to an attack. So it's necessary to do solid training in the beginning. Over time, through this kind of solid training your technique will become effective. A soft effectiveness will emerge"
I think I've heard that before.

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Old 12-05-2011, 04:48 PM   #56
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Sacha Cloetens wrote: View Post
Hello,

It seems the teaching methodology indeed did change after te war, according to Doshu Kisshomaru.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=566

"You mentioned earlier that O-Sensei in his later years would demonstrate his technique in front of his students and that the students learned Aikido by watching and being attracted to his movements rather than O-Sensei teaching them. Was O-Sensei's teaching method like that from the beginning?

No. At first he taught techniques point by point although it didn't seem that he was attached to a specific teaching goal. But he emphasized that you have to do things exactly, one by one, so you won't make mistakes. Recently, there has been a tendency for Aikido training to become too soft and flowing and some beginners lightly bypass hard training. That's not the way it should be. If you are going to practice you must practice basics earnestly. This he told me frequently even in his later years… exactly, not changing anything… if you don't reach the level of softness beyond technique by getting the basics down perfectly, you won't develop true strength. If, from the beginning, you practice a "tofu-like(bean-curd) soft style, you will be vulnerable to an attack. So it's necessary to do solid training in the beginning. Over time, through this kind of solid training your technique will become effective. A soft effectiveness will emerge"

enjoy
Sacha
I recall hearing the comparison with tofu before, but I don't think I'd ever read that interview in full. Thanks very much for sharing the link.

To me this echoes a common view that the founder moved more towards demonstrating, lecturing and observing towards the end. It seems Kisshomaru Sensei suggests that his father wasn't so concerned about transmitting his art later on and that the onus fell more on the students (stealing taken to a higher level). One thing was that at this point he had a cadre of instructors who had gone through the more rigorous approach already. How did he expect those instructors to teach when he observed them?

I also mentioned earlier the possible effect of the founder's religious experience. Kagura mai (a kind of spiritual dance) featured as part of his demonstrations in later years. The founder bound his Omoto training with the physical aspects of his art. One question I had earlier was whether this impaired his teaching ability.

Carl
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:58 AM   #57
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
The founder bound his Omoto training with the physical aspects of his art. One question I had earlier was whether this impaired his teaching ability.

Carl
Considering O Sensei involvement with Omoto started around 1920 I don't think the (post war) change was mainly caused by his beliefs in Omoto doctrine.

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Old 12-06-2011, 08:13 AM   #58
graham christian
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Considering his two realizations in the mid 40's I'd say it's a lot to do with it.

Regards.G.
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:19 AM   #59
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Considering O Sensei involvement with Omoto started around 1920 I don't think the (post war) change was mainly caused by his beliefs in Omoto doctrine.
Vs.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Considering his two realizations in the mid 40's I'd say it's a lot to do with it.
?

I was thinking it was interesting how Takuma Hisa described Takeda going through a similar process of enlightenment. Osensei just happened to go to the heart of Omoto-kyo for his spiritual training. Was the change something as mundane as retirement and delegation of part 1 while he got on with the more lecture-orientated teaching of part two?

Carl
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:22 AM   #60
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
I was thinking it was interesting how Takuma Hisa described Takeda going through a similar process of enlightenment.
Did Takeda changed his teaching method because said enlightenment?

Quote:
Osensei just happened to go to the heart of Omoto-kyo for his spiritual training.
And shorty after started to teach martial arts until his retirement to Iwama in 1942. I don't see how his beliefs in Oomoto doctrine could have affected his teaching method

Quote:
Was the change something as mundane as retirement and delegation of part 1 while he got on with the more lecture-orientated teaching of part two?
IMO, at some point after WW2 he switched from martial arts instructor to shaman with martial skills. If this had something to do with Oomoto, a lot of years have passed since he joined the cult.

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 12-07-2011 at 05:26 AM.

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Old 12-07-2011, 11:00 AM   #61
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

I think we might change the question from teaching "ability" to teaching "methodology". The methodology clearly changed over the years as the subject matter changed.

The 30's deshi were doing Daito Ryu originally. The material was different, it was still forms based early on. As O-Sensei moved in what he called Aiki Budo, this started to change a bit, but not that much. I have talked to folks who trained under '30s deshi and also have a Daito Ryu background and the all comment on the fact that what they were taught as "Aikido" was very Daito Ryu - like.

Even when you get to Saito Sensei, you find him walking around with O-Sensei's book from the pre-war period saying "See, I didn't change a thing." and Saito really was the last deshi to be systematically taught technique by the Founder.

By the time you get to Saotome Sensei's day, it was quite different. Saotome Sensei always said that he could remember three times in fifteen years in which O-Sensei talked in class about "how" to do a technique. Now, this reflects in the extremely wide range of interpretation and actually ability in the post war deshi.

Now, there are various interpretations of why this happened. My own personal take on this is that O-Sensei was simply teaching what he thought was important. He had trained several generations of teachers by this point. I simply don't think he felt he needed to be teaching technique, which any number of his senior students could do. What he thought of as his mission was to pass on the spiritual / philosophical underpinnings that underlay the technique. I think O-Sensei felt that this was the are that he could do that perhaps none of his students could quite do as well. So, his interest was in passing on the spiritual while his students more or less were interested in technique, by all accounts.

If you wanted to sum up the gist of any number of interviews available with the post war deshi, one thing you find over and over is a statement to the effect that "We were all young and stupid... all we paid attention to was technique. Now we wish we had paid more attention when O-Sensei taught." So, now you see many of the deshi hitting that same stage of their lives in which they are less technique oriented and more thoughtful about what they do. I recently attended a wonderful seminar with Okimura Sensei in which he commented, after taking for some time, that there seemed to be a time when teachers of Aikido became "professors" i.e. they felt the need to "profess". He said this with much humor, but he wasn't in the least apologetic about it. I think that in his mind, what he was telling us was just as important as any technical information he could impart.

This system only works when you have some sort of technical hierarchy of teachers. It's fine for the big guy to get all ethereal and wax philosophical as long as somebody else is around to teach people where to put their feet. So, it's not lack of teaching "ability" that was what caused some problems with the transmission, it was his disinterest in focusing on technical details.

So, then we have to ask why he was disinterested? Once again there are all sorts of opinions and interpretations about his whole period. O-Sensei's oft quoted statement that "No one is doing my Aikido" is brought out any number of times. Lately, one of the interpretations has been that his was an example of O-Sensei expressing his frustrations with the students not very sophisticated understanding of aiki and internal power principles. Personally, I see no evidence that this is what he meant. I am not saying that it wasn't true. There's huge range in what the deshi seemed to have been able to pick up in this area. But, doesn't it seem that, if this were the Founder's big complaint in the 1960's just before his death, that the deshi couldn't to technique the way he wanted, that he would have focused on that when he taught?

It's not like he was being told what to teach... he could do anything he wanted. he was the Founder, the Big Kahuna, he could talk for an hour and the deshi would sit there, knees screaming and never move. His complete lack of focus on "how to" but rather on "why" and "what's it mean" would say loud and clear that this was what he thought most important. He gave the deshi complete freedom to develop their own Aikido manifestation of form and physical principle and he kept trying to get them to see the connection between their Aikido and the larger universal picture. It's pretty much all he talked about. If he was at all concerned that his deshi couldn't do the five man push on the jo demo, he probably would have taught them the skills. You think? If he belived that a crucial element in Aikido was being able to blow a guy across the room when he pushed on the Founder's leg, well, it seems to me that he would have focused on that until his students got it. But he clearly did not. In the thrties he did, and after the war he didn't.

Who thinks that O-Sensei didn't notice that there was a qualitative difference (not better or worse but clearly different) between the post war deshi and Mochizuki, Shioda, Tomiki, and Shirata? Could you really maintain that he sat there bemoaning the fact that his post war students didn't have all the same skills his earlier students had had then did nothing to fix it? He simply showed no interest whatever in that issue. What I am saying is that, would he have been happy if his post war students had had an even deeper understanding of his waza than they did? I am sure he would have been happy with that. Every teacher wants his students to be better, to be as good as they can be. But, I would have to say that I don't know a single teacher, not have I ever met one, who didn't, at least with his or her "personal" students, focus on what they thought was MOST IMPORTANT for their students to understand. The idea that O-Sensei spent all his time teaching one thing and then lamented the fact that his students weren't any good at something else defies credibility. As far as I can tell he taught the deshi exactly what he thought was most important and then lamented the fact that most of them weren't, by their own accounts, listening.

So, making judgements about his ability to teach technique when he wasn't trying to teach technique is a bit silly. Clearly, back in the day, he knew how to teach technique when he wanted. He just wasn't interested... he had other folks who could do that, to his satisfaction I think. Perhaps the criticism might really be that he wasn't as good a salesman as he could have been in that he wasn't able to reach as much of his audience as he wished for. Or we could just say that a teacher can't teach without good students and his students, due to simple human nature, kept being distracted by what they could see and feel and didn't pay attention very closely to what they didn't understand. That's a failure oif the students as much as a failure of the teacher...

Anyway, I think this a question that hasn't usually been framed in the right terms.

- George

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Old 12-07-2011, 11:58 AM   #62
graham christian
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Vs.

?

I was thinking it was interesting how Takuma Hisa described Takeda going through a similar process of enlightenment. Osensei just happened to go to the heart of Omoto-kyo for his spiritual training. Was the change something as mundane as retirement and delegation of part 1 while he got on with the more lecture-orientated teaching of part two?

Carl
Takeda enlightenment? I don't think so, not in the terms of Ueshiba's anyway. The one thing he loved teaching or lecturing about was the spiritual underpinning of Aikido.

Now waiting for others to get more spiritual and understand the significance and indeed relevance to that base of Aikido by the look of things is quite a long wait.

Internal? Hah. Spiritually speaking anything bodily, whether inside the body or on the outside is all external. The only true internal is spiritual self and has nothing to do with a physical perspective.

Thus people are trapped in a physical only view trying to follow spiritual principles.

Still hypnotized by feats of strength, physically not needing to move, tales of superman. Ha,ha.

A man who talks spiritually and gives spiritual statements can only rely on extreme patience and thus can get frustrated.

Researched from this point of view all is revealed. Only then can you see what he means by how he used to use strength and want to be strong and contest. Only then can you see how Takeda opened his eyes to there is something more for that is one thing his 'aiki' does and that is show there are things you didn't understand. But alas, still pinned to physical.

Only when he realized and let go of all that physical and bodily internal stuff was he able to develop Aikido and explain it's all to do with those spiritual aspects he talked then about. Universal rather than internal and a rehabillitation of true self in harmony with the universe.

A hard thing to get across to people who can only translate physically and who even when they feel it from him can only translate it as physical strength and arms like steel.

So Aikido is 100% spiritual and harmonious and in so being unifies body and mind and has no enemies.

This is the message I believe Ueshiba was giving as to be practiced and understood through the form
of Aikido,

Thus, the words he spoke are still teaching today. They are the true reference points even now.

Only the not so spiritual feel the need to change them or alter them to fit in my opinion.

Truth cannot be changed, only denied, for it is always there, it is indeed universal and thus neither internal nor external. Facts on the other hand are physical and boy do people like them.

Regards.G.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:33 PM   #63
Ken McGrew
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

A senior instructor in any large dojo or organization, especially as he or she ages, will tend to allow his senior students to do more of the teaching. His or her instruction shifts more towards creating good teachers who can carry on than teaching the basics him or her self. I don't think there is anything unusual about this.

So these discussions about whether O Sensei was a good teacher are proxy arguments for other assumptions. I look at the Aikido world and see good post-war Aikido in general (though I fear we are headed off course lately). Others see bad Aikido. Some think it was always bad. Others think it got worse after the war. If Aikido is bad the world over, then the assumption is that O Sensei failed to teach well by any measure of what teaching means. If Aikido is good, at least among his senior students, then the assumption is that O Sensei did manage to teach what needed teaching. This is what is really being discussed.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:23 PM   #64
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I think we might change the question from teaching "ability" to teaching "methodology". The methodology clearly changed over the years as the subject matter changed.
Hi George,

Perhaps you are right, here. I think Ueshiba's "ability" to teach was just fine. I think his "methodology" was not as clear.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
The 30's deshi were doing Daito Ryu originally. The material was different, it was still forms based early on. As O-Sensei moved in what he called Aiki Budo, this started to change a bit, but not that much. I have talked to folks who trained under '30s deshi and also have a Daito Ryu background and the all comment on the fact that what they were taught as "Aikido" was very Daito Ryu - like.

Even when you get to Saito Sensei, you find him walking around with O-Sensei's book from the pre-war period saying "See, I didn't change a thing." and Saito really was the last deshi to be systematically taught technique by the Founder.

By the time you get to Saotome Sensei's day, it was quite different. Saotome Sensei always said that he could remember three times in fifteen years in which O-Sensei talked in class about "how" to do a technique. Now, this reflects in the extremely wide range of interpretation and actually ability in the post war deshi.
I think it was different ... but for other reasons. Let me detail out why.

First, let me go over the pre-war time and how often Ueshiba was at the Kobukan.

===
From 1926 until the outbreak of World War II, O-Sensei maintained a heavy teaching schedule centering his activities in Tokyo. His students were primarily military officers and person of high social standing and his teaching services were in constant demand. He was obliged to travel extensively around the country and made almost yearly visits to Manchuria, then under Japanese political control.

There was actually only a small amount of training in those years for the prewar students and only a few actually trained more than five years. Adding to that, Ueshiba had a very busy traveling schedule as he went to various places to train people. Morihiro Saito even mentions how busy Ueshiba was traveling before the war.

In fact, after Mochizuki opened his dojo around 1931, he stated that when Ueshiba would travel each month to Kyoto to teach Omoto kyo followers, that Ueshiba would stop at Mochizuki's dojo to teach there for two to three days. It has been said that Ueshiba spent one to two weeks per month away from the Kobukan dojo. Between the actual travel times and the teaching times, Ueshiba was not at the Kobukan dojo regularly.

Aiki News Issue 027
Aiki News Issue 013
http://www.yoseikanbudo.com/eng/minorumochizuki.shtml
Aiki News Issue 054
===

Now, let's just take a look at *how* Ueshiba was teaching in pre-war:

===
Takako Kunigoshi and Zenzaburo Akazawa relate their memories of training and that Ueshiba would show a technique but not explain it. Rinjiro Shirata, another pre-war student, gives some more details about Ueshiba's teaching style.

"We never practiced techniques in any specific order. It was not a practice where we were taught. As I told you before, Ueshiba had his own training. Therefore, he practiced techniques as he wanted. That was his training. Ueshiba Sensei's way of explaining techniques was first of all to give the names of kamisama (deities). After that, he explained the movement. He told us, "Aikido originally didn't have any form. The movements of the body in response to one's state of mind became the techniques."

and

"… in our time, Ueshiba Sensei didn't teach systematically. While we learned we had to systemize each technique in our mind so it was very hard. Ueshiba Sensei didn't have techniques. He said: "There are no techniques. What you express each time is a technique." "

However, Hisao Kimata notes that sometimes Ueshiba did explain while at other times, it was up to the student to figure things out. But, overall, the continuing theme from these students was that there was either no explanations or very little.

Yoshio Sugino remembers Ueshiba quickly showing a technique once and then having the students practice without detailed explanations. It is also interesting to see what Shioda thought about Ueshiba's teaching methods.

"Our way of training was, for example, to hold Ueshiba Sensei's hands or shoulders or seize him from behind and he would free himself from our grip. He would merely say to us, "Master it and forget it". "

and

"I know that Ueshiba Sensei's techniques were wonderful, but what he did one day was completely different from the day before. Since Ueshiba Sensei did whatever came into his mind, those who were training watched what he was doing without understanding. There were nothing at all like the basics we do today. He would do whatever came to his mind."

and

"As mentioned earlier, at the Ueshiba Dojo in the old days we didn't explicitly have any pre-set forms. The only thing the students could do was copy the techniques that Sensei performed on their own. In terms of instruction, the only thing we were told was to "become one with heaven and earth." "

Minoru Mochizuki relates that Ueshiba wasn't concerned with teaching and was using his students merely as training partners. Stan Pranin writes about the pre-war era, "Morihei's teaching style was long on action and short on words. He would execute techniques in rapid succession with almost no explanation."

Aiki News Issue 047
Aiki News Issue 062
Aiki News Issue 063
Aiki News Issue 049
Aiki News Issue 069
Aiki News Issue 80
Aiki News Issue 93
Aikido Shugyo by Gozo Shioda
Black Belt 1989 Vol 27 No 8
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=193
===

Now, let's take a look at what Ueshiba said while teaching in the pre-war era:

===
Ueshiba had about ten years before the Kobukan dojo opened to refine his spiritual ideology. Takako Kunigoshi states that there wasn't anyone who could understand Ueshiba. Shirata remembers Ueshiba giving the names of kamisama as explanations. Mochizuki considered Ueshiba a "primitive genius who couldn't explain anything." In fact, Mochizuki goes on to say that Ueshiba wouldn't explain but would rather say it came from God. Hikitsuchi remembers this about training, "So, O-Sensei would teach by talking about the (kototama) origins of the waza and teach how it came into existence" and this, "There was no pattern to O-Sensei's waza. It was kamigoto (divine working)".

Aiki News 047
Aiki News Issue 062
Black Belt 1980 Vol 18 No 4
Black Belt 1989 Vol 27 No 8
http://www.aikidokids.hu/eng/media/readings4.htm
===

Sounds a lot like the post-war period. Ueshiba not at the dojo often, doesn't explain often, just does whatever he wants in the way of techniques, and is always talking about spiritual stuff very few understood. Didn't matter post-war or pre-war.

So, yes, I agree with you when you state, "By the time you get to Saotome Sensei's day, it was quite different." But, it doesn't *appear* to be different because Ueshiba was doing something different. What the exact differences were ... that's still quite controversial.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Now, there are various interpretations of why this happened. My own personal take on this is that O-Sensei was simply teaching what he thought was important. He had trained several generations of teachers by this point. I simply don't think he felt he needed to be teaching technique, which any number of his senior students could do. What he thought of as his mission was to pass on the spiritual / philosophical underpinnings that underlay the technique. I think O-Sensei felt that this was the are that he could do that perhaps none of his students could quite do as well. So, his interest was in passing on the spiritual while his students more or less were interested in technique, by all accounts.
As I noted, Ueshiba had plenty of time to get settled into his spiritual ideology before the pre-war students arrived. And many of them stated they didn't know what he was talking about, so I'm not sure what you mean here. Ueshiba always had senior students to teach technique, both pre-war and post-war. He always waxed eloquent about his spiritual ideology, both pre-war and post-war. So, what was the difference in his spiritual ideology that he thought was more important post-war than pre-war?

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
This system only works when you have some sort of technical hierarchy of teachers. It's fine for the big guy to get all ethereal and wax philosophical as long as somebody else is around to teach people where to put their feet. So, it's not lack of teaching "ability" that was what caused some problems with the transmission, it was his disinterest in focusing on technical details.
As far as I can tell, in both pre-war and post-war, Ueshiba had a technical hierarchy of teachers. Of course, there were major differences in what and how the pre-war students trained compared to post-war. So, where do we look for why that came to be?

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Who thinks that O-Sensei didn't notice that there was a qualitative difference (not better or worse but clearly different) between the post war deshi and Mochizuki, Shioda, Tomiki, and Shirata? Could you really maintain that he sat there bemoaning the fact that his post war students didn't have all the same skills his earlier students had had then did nothing to fix it? He simply showed no interest whatever in that issue. What I am saying is that, would he have been happy if his post war students had had an even deeper understanding of his waza than they did?
I think he would have been happy had the post-war students had a deeper understanding. However, he was retired, spent time in Iwama away from Tokyo, spent time entertaining guests away from teaching, spent time on the road, spent time farming, and most importantly, left Tokyo in Kisshomaru's hands. It wasn't Morihei Ueshiba who set the daily activities in Tokyo, it was Kisshomaru. (Not saying good, bad, right or wrong here).

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
So, making judgements about his ability to teach technique when he wasn't trying to teach technique is a bit silly. Clearly, back in the day, he knew how to teach technique when he wanted. He just wasn't interested... he had other folks who could do that, to his satisfaction I think.
What if pre-war wasn't about techniques? They trained sumo in pre-war, did joint locks as a body conditioning exercises (not a technique), etc. So, what does Ueshiba do when he visits Tokyo, a place he left his son in charge of, and finds that he really can't change how things are taught. More than that, he only has a short morning class (when he is actually there, which isn't often). The rest of the class is taught by ... seniors, who are ... appointed by Kisshomaru, who has set the outline of how things work.

Now, in pre-war, the outline of how things work, are taught, what is focused on, etc was set by Ueshiba (which at that time was Daito ryu). His senior students taught what he wanted when he was gone. In Tokyo, the senior students taught ... what Kisshomaru wanted (or Tohei for a time). Big difference.

Well, in my opinion anyway.

Mark
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:47 PM   #65
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

A friend I respect greatly once told me that everyone (who has the will and the intention to get better) reaches a point where their teacher can no long help them. My take on this is 1) you have reached the teacher's limit of understanding, 2) the teacher has the skill and knowledge but just can't teach it 3) teacher can't or won't teach or share. Of course the student has any number of filters that affect/effect that students ability or willingness to learn. In the end it is the individuals responsibility to seek out knowledge wherever that knowledge (skills) can be found. It is that students responsibility to put it all together. Thank the teacher and then teach yourself.
Gary
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:14 PM   #66
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
A friend I respect greatly once told me that everyone (who has the will and the intention to get better) reaches a point where their teacher can no long help them. My take on this is 1) you have reached the teacher's limit of understanding, 2) the teacher has the skill and knowledge but just can't teach it 3) teacher can't or won't teach or share. Of course the student has any number of filters that affect/effect that students ability or willingness to learn. In the end it is the individuals responsibility to seek out knowledge wherever that knowledge (skills) can be found. It is that students responsibility to put it all together. Thank the teacher and then teach yourself.
Gary
All good points.

Regards.G.
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:17 PM   #67
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Mark,

I think you'll find interesting the following paragraphs from an interview with Mochizuki Minoru

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Vous avez été le premier enseignant qui fit connaître l'Aïkido à l'Occident. Vous êtes, je crois, allé en France en 1951.

Oui. Juste avant de partir je rendis visite à Maître Ueshiba pour prendre congé de lui. Nous étions très proches, plutôt comme un père et un fils et il n'y avait entre nous aucune flatterie ni courbette comme c'est si souvent le cas entre un professeur et son élève. Je rentrai directement chez lui et lui dis : " Sensei, cette fois je pars en Europe. " Il me dit alors: " Ainsi, vous allez le faire. Mon rêve s'est donc réalisé. L'Aïkido va être mondialement connu après ça. " Il me semble que, trois jours avant ma visite, O-Sensei avait eu un rêve au cours duquel un kami lui avait dit que l'un de ses élèves irait bientôt en Europe et que ce voyage serait à l'origine d'un développement de l'Aïkido dans le monde entier. " Si vous y allez pour moi, alors mon rêve deviendra réalité. "

Je suis parti en Europe avant la normalisation du statut du Japon comme nation, après sa défaite à la fin de la seconde Guerre mondiale, et de ce fait, j'ai voyagé avec un passeport délivré par le Quartier Général des Forces Alliées.

J'ai passé deux ans en France, j'ai beaucoup enseigné le Judo et seulement un peu d'Aïkido. Pendant mon séjour, le Championnat Européen de Judo se déroula. Il y avait une pause de trente minutes entre les demi-finales et les finales et quelqu'un me demanda si je pouvais faire une démonstration pendant cette interruption. Je trouvai six Judokas solides et les armai tant bien que mal avec un sabre en bois, un bâton, des manches à balais et tout ce que je pus trouver. Je leur dis de m'attaquer tous ensembles et que je donnerais un prix si quelqu'un arrivait à me toucher. Je leur avais demandé d'attaquer de toute leur force et ils le firent tous les six. Je fis ilimi et " Boum boum " les projetai tous. J'ignorais qu'une compagnie américaine de cinéma, Universal Studios, avait une équipe de journalistes sur place et qu'ils avaient non seulement tout filmé mais distribué le film dans le monde entier. Après ça, les lettres et les invitations commencèrent à arriver de partout. L'Argentine, par exemple, m'offrit un poste de Directeur de l'éducation physique. Même au Japon il y eut des effets notables. Mon fils était au cinéma quand les actualités passèrent. Il cria: " Eh, c'est mon père! " Plus tard il réussit à entraîner un groupe de membres de notre famille pour revoir le film.

Un jour que nous avions une préparation intensive pour un championnat, je demandai aux élèves de venir s'entraîner aussi le Dimanche. Il m'expliquèrent que ce ne serait pas possible car ils devaient aller à la messe. J'ai été très surpris car je ne savais pas que les jeunes gens allaient à l'église. Je leur ai demandé s'ils n'étaient pas fatigués d'entendre toujours les mêmes histoires au sujet de Dieu. Ils me répondirent: " Sensei, les êtres humains sont des animaux qui n'ont pas beaucoup de mémoire; " Je pensai dans mon fors intérieur que parfois j'oubliais moi aussi l'enseignement de mon professeur et des Kamis, que je me querellais avec ma femme et mes frères. Pas de mémoires ... Je crois vraiment qu'ils avaient raison. J'avais honte de moi et je me suis mis à réfléchir à ma conduite. Nous devrions écouter plus souvent les histoires de Kami parce que nous n'avons pas de mémoire. Alors, pour la première fois, j'ai compris pourquoi KANO Sensei nous rappelait l'importance de la Voie quand il enseignait le Judo et pourquoi Ueshiba Sensei parlait souvent des Kamis pendant ses cours d'Aïkido. J'ai senti que la vraie signification des Arts martiaux se trouvait-là.

Après mon voyage en Europe, d'autres élèves de Ueshiba Sensei commencèrent à visiter des pays étranger et l'Aïkido prit une importance mondiale. Pour dire vrai, à mon retour il y a trente ans, j'ai eu quelques problèmes avec Maître Ueshiba. En le retrouvant je lui avait dit: " Je suis allé outre-mer pour faire connaître votre oeuvre et j'ai fait des compétitions avec différentes personnes quand j'étais là-bas. J'ai compris qu'il était très difficile de gagner en utilisant seulement des techniques d'Aïkido. Dans certains cas, je passais instinctivement à des mouvements de Judo ou de Kendo et cela me permettait de me sortir de situations difficiles. J'ai beau retourner le problème dans tous les sens, je suis obligé de conclure que les techniques de Daito-ryu jujutsu ne suffisent pas dans toutes les situations. Les lutteurs ne sont pas perturbés par les chutes et roulent après avoir été projetés. Ils reviennent immédiatement à la charge et utilisent des techniques de corps à corps. Quand à la boxe française, elle va bien au delà des simples techniques de pied et de main de Karate. Je suis sûr qu'à l'avenir l'Aïkido va se répandre dans le monde entier, mais si c'est le cas, il devra élargir son éventail technique pour être capable de répondre avec succès à n'importe quelle attaque.

Après avoir écouter cette diatribe O-Sensei me dit: " Tu ne parles que de gagner ou de perdre. " Je continuai très vite: " Mais il faut être fort et gagner. Maintenant que l'Aïkido est connu dans le monde entier il faut qu'il soit théoriquement et techniquement capable d'affronter n'importe quel défi. " A quoi il me rétorqua: " Toute ta façon de penser est faussée. Bien sûr qu'il ne faut pas être faible, mais ce n'est qu'un aspect du problème. Ne comprends-tu pas que nous ne sommes plus à une époque où nous pouvons seulement même parler de victoire ou de défaite ? Nous sommes entrés dans un siècle d'amour, tu n'arrives pas à comprendre ça ? " Vous auriez dû voir ses yeux pendant qu'il me parlait!

A cette époque, je n'arrivais pas à saisir complètement le sens de ses paroles mais avec le temps elles sont devenues plus claires. C'est pourquoi aujourd'hui je ressens les choses autrement. Pendant ces quatre ou cinq dernières années, nous avons vu le monde se diriger vers une guerre capable de réduire la population du globe des deux tiers. Dans une telle atmosphère comment pouvons-nous encore jouer avec ces concepts de victoire ou de défaite ? C'est pourquoi je ressens sincèrement, du plus profond de mon coeur, que les conceptions du Maître sont exactement le genre de budo que je veux promouvoir. Je crois avec passion qu'il devrait exister des mots pour faire connaître au monde d'aujourd'hui les idées et les pensées de Ueshiba Sensei. Mais il nous faut aussi des techniques comme support pédagogique de cet enseignement. Il est indispensable de pouvoir l'exprimer en mots et le réaliser en actes.

Source: http://briveyoseikanbudo.over-blog.c...-75060708.html
Bold mine.

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Old 12-07-2011, 05:37 PM   #68
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

I've noticed there is an English version avalable in AJ...

Quote:
To tell the truth, I got into trouble with Ueshiba Sensei after my trip to Europe thirty years ago. When I got back I told him:

I went overseas to spread Aikido and had shiai matches with many different people while there. From that experience I realized that with only the techniques of Aikido it was very difficult to win. In those cases I instinctively switched to judo or kendo techniques and was able to come out on top of the situation. No matter how I thought about it I couldn’t avoid the conclusion that the techniques of Daito Ryu Jujutsu were not enough to decide the issue. Wrestlers and others with that sort of experience are not put off by being thrown down and rolling away. They get right back up and close for some grappling and the French style of boxing is far above the hand and foot techniques of karate. I’m sure that Aikido will become more and more international and worldwide in the future, but if it does, it’s technical range will have to expand to be able to respond to any sort of enemy successfully.

Having said all this, Sensei said to me, “All you ever talk about is winning and losing.” “But one must be strong and win. And now that Aikido is being spread throughout the whole world I think that it is necessary for it to be both theoretically and technically able to defeat any challenge,” I said to Sensei. “Your whole thinking is mistaken. Of course, it is wrong to be weak but that is not the whole story. Don’t you realize that it is no longer the age where we can even talk about whether we are winning or losing? It is the age of “Love” now, are you unable to see that?” This he told me and with those eyes of his!

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Old 12-07-2011, 05:40 PM   #69
kewms
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Now, in pre-war, the outline of how things work, are taught, what is focused on, etc was set by Ueshiba (which at that time was Daito ryu). His senior students taught what he wanted when he was gone. In Tokyo, the senior students taught ... what Kisshomaru wanted (or Tohei for a time). Big difference.
Do you really think Kisshomaru would have oriented the curriculum in a direction *not* approved by his father? While his father was alive?

The degree to which M. Ueshiba oversaw the details of the curriculum is debatable. The degree to which the curriculum designed by K. Ueshiba actually reflected his father's teaching is debatable. But the idea that K. Ueshiba just went off and did his own thing without worrying about what his father thought seems ... unlikely at best.

Or did these visits to Tokyo at which M. Ueshiba said "no one is doing my aikido" also lead to world-shaking arguments between father and son, the existence and content of which has somehow (I can't imagine how) failed to survive to the present day?

Katherine
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:58 PM   #70
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Or did these visits to Tokyo at which M. Ueshiba said "no one is doing my aikido" also lead to world-shaking arguments between father and son, the existence and content of which has somehow (I can't imagine how) failed to survive to the present day?

Katherine
Maybe there were arguments, maybe not, maybe this is a kind of information that should remain unavailable for those who doesn't need to be in the know but there is something that hints at people consciously doing things O Sensei didn't approve.

Quote:
Was O-Sensei irregular about coming to the dojo?

Yes, he was. When I was actively practicing there he often came and went. When he showed up everyone immediately sat down. At first, I thought that people were being courteous toward him. However, it wasn't only that. It was also that the practices we were doing were different from what O-Sensei expected us to do. Once he lost his temper at us. No one realized that he had come and he shouted: "What you people are doing is not aikido." His shout was so powerful it felt like the earth was trembling. He was then in his seventies but his voice nearly pierced our ear drums. Everybody just became quiet and looked gloomy.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=140

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Old 12-07-2011, 09:10 PM   #71
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
...Shuhari. I don't believe many really understand this. Stealing the technique does not mean stealing as in a car or whatever...
Graham,

You posted a thread on this. I bet you believe that you are one of the few who really understand this concept . Shu Ha Ri 守破離 which kanji or part of the kanji mentions "stealing"?

Perhaps you can answer this in your original post to avoid distraction from this thread.

Regards

David Y
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:47 PM   #72
MM
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Do you really think Kisshomaru would have oriented the curriculum in a direction *not* approved by his father? While his father was alive?
Yes. In fact, one point illustrates this very well. Kisshomaru was setting up a public demonstration and went to his father about it. Kisshomaru expected his father to fly in a rage because it went against his father's views on aikido. What happened? Ueshiba gave in because he had already handed Tokyo over to his son. There are too many stories, articles, interviews, etc all pointing to Kisshomaru (and Tohei) making changes.

And before people get their dander up, yet again, I'll NOTE that I am not stating good, bad, right, or wrong.

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
The degree to which M. Ueshiba oversaw the details of the curriculum is debatable. The degree to which the curriculum designed by K. Ueshiba actually reflected his father's teaching is debatable. But the idea that K. Ueshiba just went off and did his own thing without worrying about what his father thought seems ... unlikely at best.

Or did these visits to Tokyo at which M. Ueshiba said "no one is doing my aikido" also lead to world-shaking arguments between father and son, the existence and content of which has somehow (I can't imagine how) failed to survive to the present day?

Katherine
I think you're taking it too far. It wasn't that Kisshomaru created his own thing. He took his father's outline and made it his own. For example, Kisshomaru removed all those deity references to allow the message to be more acceptable to a world wide audience. He codified the techniques so that many people could practice and have something to focus on. Etc, etc, etc. Some of the message remained, some changed. Daito ryu aiki was gone, but the new version of peace, harmony, and love aiki took its place. (Again, read my note above.)

Ueshiba handed over Tokyo to his son and with that, he gave his son the leeway to do whatever he wanted. Kisshomaru removed Omoto kyo and Daito ryu aiki: The two major foundational influences on Morihei Ueshiba's aikido. Replaced was Kisshomaru's Modern Aikido. (Do I even need to say read my note?) Remember the one time Kisshomaru heard his father tell him he had done well? The question then becomes, was it that Ueshiba was proud that his son had kept Tokyo going and tried to follow in his footsteps or was it that Ueshiba was proud that his son had created something worthwhile and valuable on his own? I think it was the latter.

Ueshiba's ability to produce men of stature is never in question. His ability to teach is never in question. Ueshiba produced Tomiki, Shirata, Shioda, Mochizuki, etc in pre-war time frames and all in less time than he had with post-war students.

In both pre-war and post-war:
1. Ueshiba was hardly at the dojo teaching.
2. Ueshiba rambled on about spiritual ideology that few understood.
3. Ueshiba rarely explained.
4. Ueshiba just did whatever he wanted to work on.

So, ask yourself what changed from pre-war to post-war? It certainly wasn't Ueshiba's ability to teach. He had already proven that he could produce aiki men. It certainly wasn't his teaching methodology because pretty much all the students, pre and post war, say similar things about how he taught. Who was in charge pre-war and who set the training paradigm? Who was in charge in post-war and who set the training paradigm? What exactly happened to the sumo practice portion of training in post-war? What other practices in pre-war were dropped in post-war Tokyo? Why did some sought-after teachers in post-war train completely differently in their very private dojos compared to Tokyo hombu?

The spin created to attach Modern Aikido to Morihei Ueshiba was so ingrained and prevalent that many things have been overlooked. Even now, people hold onto certain aspects with a death grip and are not willing to look for the truth.

And the really sad part of it all is that the truth doesn't detract one bit from the importance of either Morihei Ueshiba's aikido or Kisshomaru's Modern Aikido.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:48 PM   #73
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I've noticed there is an English version avalable in AJ...
Yes, that's the one that I had read.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:56 PM   #74
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Mr Murray, could you please cite the source for pre war students practicing/training sumo?
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:39 AM   #75
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Brett Zimmerman wrote: View Post
Mr Murray, could you please cite the source for pre war students practicing/training sumo?
Here is one of the sources of pre-war sumo practise:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...6&postcount=47

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