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Old 03-02-2012, 10:34 AM   #26
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post

With all his students, why didn't he produce equals or superiors if he did teach this in practice?

Ellis Amdur
Sensei Amdur: In your personal opinion: If O Sensei didn't teach it, can it be found in Aikido? Or should those of us who seek it look elsewhere (and possibly give up on Aikido?)
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:11 PM   #27
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

First of all, all I have is opinions - just me, one man. That caveat taken into account -
1. I just wrote on another thread something I tried to convey in HIPS and feel even more strongly now. Modern aikido (which is almost ALL aikido aside from what Osensei did, in my opinion), stands on its own merits. I am utterly fascinated by IS - it has given my budo training an utterly new lease on life. I look forward to training in a way that I haven't in years. BUT - that's because I have specific goals. The goals of modern aikido are, in many ways, different from my personal goals, but unlike some, I think, that doesn't make them worse. Modern aikido is not, in my view, merely a watered-down version of Ueshiba Morihei's art, any more than Christianity is watered down Judaism, or Lutheranism is watered-down Catholicism, etc. If it hadn't been for Ueshiba Kisshomaru, Tohei Koichi and Shioda Gozo, in particular, aikido would be no more important than Sagawa-ha Daito-ryu - with is, aside from it's importance to a few people, insignificant. Just another sectarian martial art, trained like a koryu, with ten or twenty people in the whole world who give a damn.
2. Contrary, also, to some, I categorically believe that Ueshiba's singular IS can never be found. Ever. That's why I wrote the last chapter of HIPS. You cannot divide out his Internal Strength/aiki paradigm, derived largely (Possibly solely) from Daito-ryu, and that, almost surely passed down from China, from his mystical/shamanistic/religious practices and beliefs.
3. However, I do believe that IS is learnable, is accessible, in many forms (of the same basic paradigm) from many people. It is also possible that a few still remain within aikido - I've been told - always privately - about a few such people. Unless I get a chance to meet and feel them, who knows. It could be merely a matter of "we do that too." And one can go outside to learn the skills, and if sufficiently skilled oneself - HIGHLY skilled, in other words, one could bring it back into aikido in one's own unique way.
4. Continuing the same metaphor I used in HIPS, if you consider aikido technique, practice, etc to be a vessel - you first have to decide that this is the vessel you want to live with every day. IF you decide that is so, then I firmly believe that training in IS (from elsewhere) should not conflict, but should, in fact, be additive.

I wrote about this in a column on Aikido Journal, but I've been informed that the article has been lost from the site. I'll republish it and put it up on my own website - how to integrate the internal strength paradigm within modern aikido without doing violence to modern aikido.

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Old 03-02-2012, 03:14 PM   #28
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

So Ellis,

You would say Ueshiba's IS was a single, unique and unrepeatable event because his beliefs? Not simply another flavor of Daito-ryu's IS but a different kind of IS?

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Old 03-02-2012, 03:37 PM   #29
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Demetrio that's not what I was asked and that's not what I said. Seems to me you either weren't reading carefully or you are deliberately misreading what I wrote. In either event, I have no desire for yet another utterly pointless thread drift on whether ueshiba was really really really doing 100% Daito ryu overlaid by a pointless irrelevant layer of nonsensical religious fantasy. Don't waste my time or the much more interesting avenues that this blog of Chris's could go.

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Old 03-02-2012, 03:55 PM   #30
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Roger.

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Old 03-04-2012, 10:38 PM   #31
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

I found the article - it's not lost, it's just on the member's section of Aikido Journal. (Everyone should join! The amount of primary source material that Stanley Pranin is releasing these days is amazing.

"A Consideration of Aikido Practice Within the Context of Internal Training."

Anyway, I think it answers my viewpoint on this subject pretty completely (and therefore, answers Gordon's question as best I can).

Best
Ellis Amdur

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Old 03-05-2012, 06:18 PM   #32
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Part 2 - and a response from John Stevens:

http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/...d-kamae-part-2

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-06-2012, 03:23 AM   #33
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

About "roppo". In a book (in French) written by Tadashi Abewith the help of Jean Zin in around 1958 the term "roppo" is used as a form of how to move with the feet. The French word is : deplacement croise. It is a step forward (shite) with the back foot at an angle of 90°, followed by a step forward by the original leading foot. Uke is using the sampe principle to do a step backward.
It is mentioned that this way of moving is used against attacks with a stick or spear. Tadashi Abe was a postwar student of Morihei Ueshiba.
Around the same time a movie was made by Senta Yamada, and in the movie a similar step is used to step forward and doing a turning movement, the front foot is used to "step out to the inside". This stepping out to the inside has a flavour of Tadashi Abe's "deplacement croise". This kind of stepping we also can see in Kenji Tomiki's movie of the early fifties (Judo Taiso). As far as I know the term "roppo" is not used by Yamada or Tomiki. Stepping in this way gives the opportunity to move in almost a direction of 360°.
Can we conclude that in the early fifties some of Ueshiba's students had some "important" (?) knowledge, but were not able to pass it to the next generation?

Just a thought on "roppo"

Eddy
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:21 AM   #34
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Another view on 'Roppo' may be found in Okamoto's Roppokai - just a thought also....

Greg
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:19 AM   #35
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I found the article - it's not lost, it's just on the member's section of Aikido Journal. (Everyone should join! The amount of primary source material that Stanley Pranin is releasing these days is amazing.

"A Consideration of Aikido Practice Within the Context of Internal Training."

Anyway, I think it answers my viewpoint on this subject pretty completely (and therefore, answers Gordon's question as best I can).

Best
Ellis Amdur
Hi Ellis,

thank you for posting this, what a great read. The latter part of the essay, speaks to me directly. I will be out and about in the world soon, looking to find good practice wherever I go. However, I have been 'changed' in the last couple of years by my exposure to both Mike and Dan. So my 'aiki/is' practice feels more relevant than aikido waza. I still enjoy the waza, but my focus has changed.

I may well end up on the outside of the mainstream, but I don't see that as a bad thing.

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:24 AM   #36
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
Eddy Wolput wrote: View Post
About "roppo". In a book (in French) written by Tadashi Abewith the help of Jean Zin in around 1958 the term "roppo" is used as a form of how to move with the feet. The French word is : deplacement croise. It is a step forward (shite) with the back foot at an angle of 90°, followed by a step forward by the original leading foot. Uke is using the sampe principle to do a step backward.
It is mentioned that this way of moving is used against attacks with a stick or spear. Tadashi Abe was a postwar student of Morihei Ueshiba.
Around the same time a movie was made by Senta Yamada, and in the movie a similar step is used to step forward and doing a turning movement, the front foot is used to "step out to the inside". This stepping out to the inside has a flavour of Tadashi Abe's "deplacement croise". This kind of stepping we also can see in Kenji Tomiki's movie of the early fifties (Judo Taiso). As far as I know the term "roppo" is not used by Yamada or Tomiki. Stepping in this way gives the opportunity to move in almost a direction of 360°.
Can we conclude that in the early fifties some of Ueshiba's students had some "important" (?) knowledge, but were not able to pass it to the next generation?

Just a thought on "roppo"

Eddy
My personal opinion is:
  1. The "60 degree angle" is certainly not canonical. I gave a couple of examples, and the one's above are good too.
  2. It's really not about the angle. The important material that Ueshiba was discussing had little to do with that.

FWIW...

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-06-2012, 10:12 AM   #37
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

I think it is found in boxing too.
Didn't Mohammed Ali use a strategy called "roppo dope"?

-Doug Walker
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:15 AM   #38
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
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I think it is found in boxing too.
Didn't Mohammed Ali use a strategy called "roppo dope"?
good one! i bowed to your punch line!

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:56 AM   #39
Janet Rosen
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
Doug Walker wrote: View Post
I think it is found in boxing too.
Didn't Mohammed Ali use a strategy called "roppo dope"?

Janet Rosen
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:10 PM   #40
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Added one additional comment to the post discussing John Stevens' comments:

Quote:
Morihiro Saito's commentary on "Budo" has a portion of the original Japanese text, the John Stevens translation of "Budo" has none of the original text at all. I included the complete original text in Japanese - everybody is free to examine it and decide for themselves.
For the full post see http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/...d-kamae-part-2

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-06-2012, 12:14 PM   #41
Lee Salzman
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
My personal opinion is:
  1. The "60 degree angle" is certainly not canonical. I gave a couple of examples, and the one's above are good too.
  2. It's really not about the angle. The important material that Ueshiba was discussing had little to do with that.

FWIW...

Best,

Chris
In one sense, it's not really about angle. In another sense. it is about angle. Stand upright in a normal joe-schmoe posture with your feet just pointed neutrallyish forwardsish. Now squat down a bit by folding at the hip, and take note of how that felt. Then extend straight up and focus on extending the hip, take note of how that felt. Now turn your feet inwards so your toes are pointing at each other. Try to squat down again, then stand up again. Take note of how that felt. Now turn your feet out so yours toes are pointing straight out to the sides, the other extreme. Squat down, then stand up again. Take note of how that felt.

You might notice something like in the neutral orientation of the upper thigh with respect to the hip, force carries quite well, and the hip is quite strong. At either of the other extremes, the hip is just... weak, and easily loses connection with everything else, that connection with everything else being a very important thing to maintain. So if maintaining any stance that is to allow power to flow through, regardless of direction, that neutrality must be sought, regardless of the incidental starting position of the hip. If you take a kamae such that the hip socket is torqued, or rather, collapsed, to extremes, well, that is going to both impede external movement... and internal movement. The goal ain't to hold the hips in a position, the goal is to allow them to move actively in a powerful way.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:30 PM   #42
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
In one sense, it's not really about angle. In another sense. it is about angle. Stand upright in a normal joe-schmoe posture with your feet just pointed neutrallyish forwardsish. Now squat down a bit by folding at the hip, and take note of how that felt. Then extend straight up and focus on extending the hip, take note of how that felt. Now turn your feet inwards so your toes are pointing at each other. Try to squat down again, then stand up again. Take note of how that felt. Now turn your feet out so yours toes are pointing straight out to the sides, the other extreme. Squat down, then stand up again. Take note of how that felt.

You might notice something like in the neutral orientation of the upper thigh with respect to the hip, force carries quite well, and the hip is quite strong. At either of the other extremes, the hip is just... weak, and easily loses connection with everything else, that connection with everything else being a very important thing to maintain. So if maintaining any stance that is to allow power to flow through, regardless of direction, that neutrality must be sought, regardless of the incidental starting position of the hip. If you take a kamae such that the hip socket is torqued, or rather, collapsed, to extremes, well, that is going to both impede external movement... and internal movement. The goal ain't to hold the hips in a position, the goal is to allow them to move actively in a powerful way.
If we're saying that the angle of the feet are going to affect the rest of the body - sure, that's a no brainer, everything's obviously connected.

My question is:
  1. Is the angle of the feet what Ueshiba was talking about?
  2. If he was (I don't believe that he was) - is the difference between 60 and 90 degrees really a deep dark martial secret?
  3. If it is the angle, and it is that vital, why do we have other close students of Ueshiba with differing opinions on the angle?

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-06-2012, 12:48 PM   #43
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
If we're saying that the angle of the feet are going to affect the rest of the body - sure, that's a no brainer, everything's obviously connected.

My question is:
  1. Is the angle of the feet what Ueshiba was talking about?
  2. If he was (I don't believe that he was) - is the difference between 60 and 90 degrees really a deep dark martial secret?
  3. If it is the angle, and it is that vital, why do we have other close students of Ueshiba with differing opinions on the angle?

Best,

Chris
1. Probably not.
2. Even more probably not.
3. 'Cause most of them state they didn't understand what the old man was saying anyway so they guessed he was talking sumfin about footsies?

... but at the same time, it might have implications why someone farther down the line could look at a demonstration given and interpret the external appearance of what is being shown - oh, he's making a point about the feet - when in reality he could have just been exaggerating something to get at a larger point, but elaborated in one context as a starting point. So if someone grew irrationally attached to one context, without getting the larger point, and another grew irrationally attached to another context, without getting the larger point, they could all be quite vociferous about what they believe, and disagree amongst themselves, because they missed a larger point...

Last edited by Lee Salzman : 03-06-2012 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:52 PM   #44
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
3. 'Cause most of them state they didn't understand what the old man was saying anyway so they guessed he was talking sumfin about footsies?
Footsies and roppodope - no wonder they kept this stuff secret.

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-06-2012, 02:27 PM   #45
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
My personal opinion is:
  1. The "60 degree angle" is certainly not canonical. I gave a couple of examples, and the one's above are good too.
  2. It's really not about the angle. The important material that Ueshiba was discussing had little to do with that.

FWIW...

Best,

Chris
Hi Chris
I remain unmoved and uninterested in the assertions of those who claim they received " inside teachings" yet who's writing and skills portray anything out of the ordinary. Their skills should at the very least support their own claim of superior competency. John Steven's opinion of a thousand year old teaching being assigned to standing in hanmi is yet another example of what is missing in Aikido.
Since he decided to tell everyone here that ...you...are not qualified to discuss these things, and I'm here on the island-you can tell him if he would like to get a real explanation for all that he missed- I will be happy to cross hands with him and teach him what his own teacher was doing and he obviously does not grasp; either historically or physically.
This recent list of posts on shaminism, berserker mentality, traditionalism and home brewers...were off in the weeds, but at least they were interesting and fair handed. Now we see these completely erroneous and ignorant statements that six direction training and spiraling meant hanmi and swirling the legs...reminds me once again that these discussions really belong in the hands of those capable of actually doing and expressing unusual power.
Good writing skills are no qualifier for good Budo- not that they are mutually exclusive either. While we all enjoy our budo chroniclers, when we confuse their abilities at turning a good phrase with actual skills we can get into dangerous waters.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-06-2012 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:22 PM   #46
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hi Chris
I remain unmoved and uninterested in the assertions of those who claim they received " inside teachings" yet who's writing and skills portray anything out of the ordinary. Their skills should at the very least support their own claim of superior competency. John Steven's opinion of a thousand year old teaching being assigned to standing in hanmi is yet another example of what is missing in Aikido.
Since he decided to tell everyone here that ...you...are not qualified to discuss these things, and I'm here on the island-you can tell him if he would like to get a real explanation for all that he missed- I will be happy to cross hands with him and teach him what his own teacher was doing and he obviously does not grasp; either historically or physically.
This recent list of posts on shaminism, berserker mentality, traditionalism and home brewers...were off in the weeds, but at least they were interesting and fair handed. Now we see these completely erroneous and ignorant statements that six direction training and spiraling meant hanmi and swirling the legs...reminds me once again that these discussions really belong in the hands of those capable of actually doing and expressing unusual power.
Good writing skills are no qualifier for good Budo- not that they are mutually exclusive either. While we all enjoy our budo chroniclers, when we confuse their abilities at turning a good phrase with actual skills we can get into dangerous waters.
Dan
Passed it along...

Before anybody gets upset, this is absolutely not any kind of a weird challenge to a fight to the death, please don't take it that way - just an offer from Dan to demonstrate physically the principles of six directions and spiraling that I talked about in the original blog posting about Kamae and the post with the response from John Stevens.

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-06-2012, 06:32 PM   #47
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Passed it along...

Before anybody gets upset, this is absolutely not any kind of a weird challenge to a fight to the death, please don't take it that way - just an offer from Dan to demonstrate physically the principles of six directions and spiraling that I talked about in the original blog posting about Kamae and the post with the response from John Stevens.

Best,

Chris
I was just saying that to Tom. " Who in their right mind would ever take me offering to demonstrate ...as a threat?" Then I remembered certain sensitive souls here doing exactly that!!
So Yes Chris. It was an offer to explain what Ueshiba was referencing as a body of work in his writings and which is stunningly evident in Shirata's solo training exercises. It really doesn't matter to me how he sees himself as "qualified," since no Aikido Shihan I have ever met or seen can do and explain these things. Honestly, I think trying to find one- or as we have seen recently trying to invent one- isn't going to survive scrutiny by more educated budoka.
DAN
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:32 PM   #48
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Obviously there' infinite kamae but for high energy applications a 60 or 90 deg angle doesn't provide enough support. For yokomennage and shomennage a modified zenkutsu dachi works really well. When these strikes/throws are trained with other forms in sets, kata, or freestyle then ‘shallower' stances are ideal to facilitate transitions between forms. A right or left hanmi from 45 deg up to 0 deg (feet parallel) and all the way through to sanchin dachi can be used. O Sensei's height gave him the advantage of being able to ground with short distances between his feet, yet his historical video does show times where he opts to accommodate ground with his upper body instead of his kamae. O Sensei must have practiced it considerably, shown in the contraction and protrusion of his shoulders at strike termination, that it's been passed down and canonized in the Iwama line. It's important to note though the majority of his kata/freestyle rarely included shoulder resistance. The time commitment to release back into full non-resistance from resistance is a limiting factor, not to mention Aikido's understanding of non-resistance being the base of all action.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:39 PM   #49
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Angles and ways to stand are not the higher level...or better stated, more potent and important training models Ueshiba was talking about.
kamae is kindergarten and seeing teachers try to combine six direction -as kamae- is both sad...and rather funny.
Then again I have seen and witnessed a veritable host of various budo teachers reduce some truly profound work to their own meager level of understanding....and call it a good day. The students don't know the difference and so it goes....
Most are happy though, could care less, and both teacher and student will remain blissfully ignorant of the real power of aiki, in budo to their dying day.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-06-2012 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:39 PM   #50
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba, Budo and Kamae

Luckily O Sensei had a significant portion of his work recorded so not everyone can be fooled or limited by the status quo. To give due credit although not in their entirety, different parts of O Sensei's training have been passed down to different teachers. His contracted activations, part parcel to his size, concentrated energy mostly within himself ‘reflecting between heaven and earth.' Whereas his decontracted activations, the majority of his kata, concentrated energy through himself ‘from heaven to earth.' I'm much taller than O Sensei so I'm able to train contracted activations through rather than within. At the highest levels of energy, the ‘integrity' of heaven, man, and earth begin to disappear where the physical demands and the appearance of through and within can become indistinguishable. I know this probably doesn't make sense to anyone here but I find creating the description helpful if only for myself and my own ability to teach down the line in person.
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