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Old 04-03-2012, 11:19 PM   #151
Chris Li
 
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Tenyu Hamaki wrote: View Post
How old was Takeda when he got his teeth knocked out? People with teeth missing can still smile while keeping the mouth closed.
Whether you can or not is immaterial to the fact that you are self-conscious about it.

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Tenyu Hamaki wrote: View Post
That 'picture' looks like Ueshiba pre-war to me, he didn't fully realize Aikido till post-war. I bring up the differences between Ueshiba and Takeda because they had little in common regardless of the opposite being asserted here often.
You're right, it was painted pre-war. OTOH, the last time I saw it was when it was hanging on the wall at Aikikai Hombu (and I'm not that old). Anyway, when it was painted is immaterial to the fact that some people have felt it to be ostentatious, or that such feeling is still immaterial to the subject of this thread.

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This is absolutely false post-war.
Well, I disagree, but true or not - it still doesn't have anything to do with Ueshiba's teaching skills.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-04-2012, 06:22 AM   #152
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Tenyu Hamaki wrote: View Post
How old was Takeda when he got his teeth knocked out? People with teeth missing can still smile while keeping the mouth closed.

That 'picture' looks like Ueshiba pre-war to me, he didn't fully realize Aikido till post-war. I bring up the differences between Ueshiba and Takeda because they had little in common regardless of the opposite being asserted here often.

This is absolutely false post-war.
We 'd (me anyway) all like to know your references
And source materials for the above opinion(s)

A day will dawn when you will yourself laugh at your effort. That which is on the day of laughter is also now.
Ramana Maharishi
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:37 AM   #153
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Sir,
May I offer the term Shugyo which can be translated into intense training or a mindset in the present?Za Zen related. Or possibly the term Misogi , which is purification method usually done either by ascetic practice or again hard training Hope this helps, Cheers, Joe..
Thank you very much.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:22 AM   #154
jackie adams
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

I hope everyone is having a great day,


Looking at the Founder's life and his attitude it is clear he was a generous teacher who invested in his students because he had an altruistic vision toward his students. A key element if the Founder wanted his art spread carrying his spiritual message.

How could anyone say he held back the goods when he provided so much information and was so available and open to his students. I never measure a teacher's ability based solely on the performance of the students. We can't blame Socrates/Plato for all the problems education has today. We can't blame them for the drop out rates, or why a child is left behind. We can't blame them because little Sally failed to go to college and be come a Noble Peace Prize winner. More importantly we can't blame him for all his students for not being an Aristotle or Aristotle surpassing Socrates/Plato. How can we blame Socrates as a lousy teacher because none of the students surpassed him/Plato. The student isn't absent of the onus that comes with learning. There are great teachers who have had students failed.

Great people have had lousy teachers and have done remarkable things why beyond the teacher's capabilities. Even common people like me have had lousy teachers, and still succeeded. It isn't an uncommon event.

Measuring the Founder's teaching ability and the idea he with held information from his students can be easily answered, not by looking at his students. Instead, by looking at the Founder's life and the success of his mission.

It has been my pleasure to have the opportunity to express my thoughts and opinions here. Thank you everyone.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:38 AM   #155
Chris Li
 
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
I hope everyone is having a great day,

Looking at the Founder's life and his attitude it is clear he was a generous teacher who invested in his students because he had an altruistic vision toward his students. A key element if the Founder wanted his art spread carrying his spiritual message.
Said it before, and I'll say it again - being altruistic doesn't make you an effective instructor. Being an effective instructor makes you an effective instructor.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-04-2012, 10:27 AM   #156
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Said it before, and I'll say it again - being altruistic doesn't make you an effective instructor. Being an effective instructor makes you an effective instructor.

Best,

Chris
Hello Mr. Li,

It is kind of you that you have responded. I know I didn't go into too much detail at the start. Here goes.

The Founder was altruistic. It is obvious his best interest in mind was for only the students. This is an earmark of a good teacher, universally. He isn't going to with hold information for selfish reasons and personal gain. He wants his students to progress, to develop and be the best they can be. Whether or not they succeed him, is dependent on the student. Is the student as naturally talented as the Founder, does the student have the same work ethic, is the student, a good student who is smart and can learn quickly. The onus of effectiveness is shared by the student.

The Founder had an uncharitable and hospitable teacher, who by all standards was an ineffective teacher. He was someone who wasn't effective at all in teaching. For example, he offered no explanation when demonstrating a technique once. Also unlike the Founder, he was not committed to teaching. He didn't pen any books for his students. He didn't have a dojo, traveling and periodically teaching on an infrequent base though out Japan. Instruction was limited and in frequent with large gaps of time between sessions. Yet, the Founder was a bright student, with a good work ethic and determination, who could figure things out on his own.

The Founder's top students skill is debated unfairly by some. Those who feel the top students have fallen short in their skill can't hold that as a measure fairly up against the teaching effectiveness of the Founder. The Founder had hundreds of students who benefited and progressed. Effectiveness of teaching can't be reduced to the ability of a student to preform. No caring and devoted teacher is considered ineffective if a student doesn't go to college. Everyone knows there is an onus on the student to put forth the required effort to do well. It is the student's responsibility to learn and progress to the level they wish. Lots of time as we know, modern life reducing training time. You get out of something as much as you put into it. If you don't get anything out of it, you are in part to blame, even if your teach was really bad.

Mr.Li am not expecting you to agree or disagree, please feel at ease. I hope you don't feel the purpose of my comments is for you to do so. Please express your opinion without any expectation or distractions from me. My intention here is to answer the questions about the Founder's teaching ability. I am comfortable that I have achieved that sufficiently. Mr. Li I find your comments thought provoking and intelligent, and wish you great success. It has been a pleasure speaking with you. And I thank you for taking the time to respond.

Last edited by jackie adams : 04-04-2012 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:58 AM   #157
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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The Founder had hundreds of students who benefited and progressed. Effectiveness of teaching can't be reduced to the ability of a student to preform.
It is better safe than sorry, so this needs better clarification. When I said a student, I meant a teacher's effectiveness isn' t based on a few of the student's performance. Meaning a teacher doesn't get fired or is called ineffective based on the bell curve of student performance. A teacher is called effective over years of the high number of students failing. The lack of an altruistic approach from the teacher means the teacher doesn't care about the students, only collecting a pay check. If an altruistic teacher doesn't have great knowledge that teacher will seek it out and obtain it, improving upon themselves. Being altruistic has nothing to do with teaching methods or teaching style. An effective teacher has to care about the students to teach them to the best of their abilities. Altruistic teachers are the most effective teachers.They also are the most effective leaders. Anyone who has every been taught anything knows how true this is. We all have experienced it, if we have been to school. A teacher sucks because they don't care, a poor school is when the leadership doesn't have the students best interest in mind. The Founder has demonstrated by the success of his efforts of appealing to so many people who have recognized this about him. Otherwise, Aikido would have die with a whimper unnoticed.

It is my hope my comments have benefit to this discussion and not detracted from it. Thank you again.

Last edited by jackie adams : 04-04-2012 at 11:03 AM. Reason: added: The Founder has demonstrated by the success of his efforts of appealing to so many people who have recognized this ab
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:21 PM   #158
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
I hope everyone is having a great day,

Looking at the Founder's life and his attitude it is clear he was a generous teacher who invested in his students because he had an altruistic vision toward his students. A key element if the Founder wanted his art spread carrying his spiritual message.

How could anyone say he held back the goods when he provided so much information and was so available and open to his students. I never measure a teacher's ability based solely on the performance of the students. We can't blame Socrates/Plato for all the problems education has today. We can't blame them for the drop out rates, or why a child is left behind. We can't blame them because little Sally failed to go to college and be come a Noble Peace Prize winner. More importantly we can't blame him for all his students for not being an Aristotle or Aristotle surpassing Socrates/Plato. How can we blame Socrates as a lousy teacher because none of the students surpassed him/Plato. The student isn't absent of the onus that comes with learning. There are great teachers who have had students failed.

Great people have had lousy teachers and have done remarkable things why beyond the teacher's capabilities. Even common people like me have had lousy teachers, and still succeeded. It isn't an uncommon event.

Measuring the Founder's teaching ability and the idea he with held information from his students can be easily answered, not by looking at his students. Instead, by looking at the Founder's life and the success of his mission.

It has been my pleasure to have the opportunity to express my thoughts and opinions here. Thank you everyone.
I strongly agree with your ideas about good and bad teachers/students in general. I have little to go on for exactly how well O Sensei taught, but I'm sure it could be viewed in positive or negative terms depending on which criteria we use.
In a "non-budo" society (perhaps exemplified by post-war adjustments in Japan), I see bujutsu as relatively less important, and so I'm not sure how crucial physical potency is compared to other, perhaps more holistic, benefits. This isn't to say it isn't important or that there shouldn't be people who uphold this very central (if not absolutely critical) aspect of budo and budo-based practices, but I think it points to one possible reason why it might not have been held as the highest priority in all or even perhaps most cases.
I get the sense O Sensei was primarily concerned with seeking an understanding of the universe and his place within it; his practice was an extention of this; those around him could learn from his example, but it was up to them to really make it happen; and that he probably focused different efforts in different places based on what seemed most appropriate. Whatever he deemed as being most appropriate probably wasn't viewed in quite the same way by those he was teaching, so in some cases I'm sure there were people who thought they were being taught "everything" when in fact they were being taught whatever O Sensei believed they were able to manage.
Ultimately, of course, I have no real idea. This is all academic and fun to think about and try to flesh out the puzzle of history, but the "real" issue is "what are we doing with our practice today and where are we headed?" I think.
Thank you for the great food for thought!
Take care,
Matthew

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:29 PM   #159
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Mr. Gano,

You truly have a gift with writing. I admire your ability to express your ideas and thoughts. I wish I could have said it as well.

Have a wonder day.

My apologies to Mr Li, for not writing so well.

Last edited by jackie adams : 04-04-2012 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:54 PM   #160
Marc Abrams
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
Hello Mr. Li,

The Founder had an uncharitable and hospitable teacher, who by all standards was an ineffective teacher. He was someone who wasn't effective at all in teaching. For example, he offered no explanation when demonstrating a technique once. Also unlike the Founder, he was not committed to teaching. He didn't pen any books for his students. He didn't have a dojo, traveling and periodically teaching on an infrequent base though out Japan. Instruction was limited and in frequent with large gaps of time between sessions. Yet, the Founder was a bright student, with a good work ethic and determination, who could figure things out on his own.
Jackie:

I think that the bulk of the historical work that is out there does not concur with your position. I would suggest that you read Stanley Pranin's works regarding the interviews with Daito-ryu and Aikido teachers. O'Sensei modified what he learned from Sokaku Takeda. He did not figure things out on his own and became enlightened after learning directly from Takeda.

Teachers are frequently assessed by their ability to transfer information. This ability is typically assessed by the degree to which their students can demonstrate the knowledge/abilities/information learned. Using that as a measure, O'Sensei did not have good teaching abilities. His own students frequently commented on how difficult it was to learn from him. This pattern appeared to be made worse by a significantly lessened involvement in teaching Aikido after WWII. He appeared to be following his own unique path and shared what he did when others were around him. This is very different than someone who is simply dedicated to teaching others. In my opinion, you seem to be idolizing O'Sensei.

Marc Abrams
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:42 PM   #161
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Jackie:
Teachers are frequently assessed by their ability to transfer information. This ability is typically assessed by the degree to which their students can demonstrate the knowledge/abilities/information learned. Using that as a measure, O'Sensei did not have good teaching abilities. His own students frequently commented on how difficult it was to learn from him. This pattern appeared to be made worse by a significantly lessened involvement in teaching Aikido after WWII. He appeared to be following his own unique path and shared what he did when others were around him. This is very different than someone who is simply dedicated to teaching others. In my opinion, you seem to be idolizing O'Sensei.

Marc Abrams
Agreed. Using todays model in education, where there is a current push to make teachers more accountable for the results of their class(results oriented teaching and or the military model, which not everyone is really cut out for, so you dont join silly) makes little sense to pursue, unless you are trying hold a man dead for forty years accountable for something. The teacher/student relationship is currently not balanced, teachers, rules and regulations and testing is being further pushed into lives whether it is needed or not, somwhere around 70/30 or at the least 60/40 , teacher giving more to student than student requires. Success if often increased and seen by a student who is somehow being held to account for his actions or "hunger" for learning or lack there of. Not rare but not the majority are actually happy coming to school for a multitude of reasons. Survival is usually not one of the reasons, but it certainly played a role in Takeda's education and upbringing as well as the founder's and therefore creates a whole different paradigm of priorities.
So was an intellectual trail created by Ueshiba to follow for the logical progression of the Western or Eastern mind to follow? Again O'Sensei didnt say do A followed by BCD and you will arive at E like me or make it into a compound formula or intellectual trail over and over again..
Leading by example which is a whole different teaching paradigm, and the harder this student looks(hunger), I find that he did say do A and BCD and even E and even what they were, so on that part of it , teaching by example, or leading by example, there is success. Because we/I are starting to make the trail again for ourselves following his example.

Last edited by Garth : 04-04-2012 at 01:44 PM.

A day will dawn when you will yourself laugh at your effort. That which is on the day of laughter is also now.
Ramana Maharishi
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:01 PM   #162
jackie adams
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Jackie:

I think that the bulk of the historical work that is out there does not concur with your position. I would suggest that you read Stanley Pranin's works regarding the interviews with Daito-ryu and Aikido teachers. O'Sensei modified what he learned from Sokaku Takeda. He did not figure things out on his own and became enlightened after learning directly from Takeda.

Teachers are frequently assessed by their ability to transfer information. This ability is typically assessed by the degree to which their students can demonstrate the knowledge/abilities/information learned. Using that as a measure, O'Sensei did not have good teaching abilities. His own students frequently commented on how difficult it was to learn from him. This pattern appeared to be made worse by a significantly lessened involvement in teaching Aikido after WWII. He appeared to be following his own unique path and shared what he did when others were around him. This is very different than someone who is simply dedicated to teaching others. In my opinion, you seem to be idolizing O'Sensei.

Marc Abrams
If I could have stated things as well as Mr. Gano did,I would have. Not having the gift of gab, I would like to point to Mr. Gano explanation. The way he put things is way better than how I put it. Please don't confuse Mr. Gano for me, even if point to his explanation. It would not be fair to him.

As I respect your comment, please feel assured I am responding in the context of the original question. Yes, the Founder had teaching skill, otherwise Aikido would have died shortly after it's birth. No, I don't believe he held anything back from his students. Despite the arguments his students never came close in reaching the same level of proficiency as he did. I am not judging the Founder on the opinions of his students abilities. If anyone is to judge his students abilities it would be the Founder.

I would like to close with this thought. Today, Aikido an international organization existing for decades with hundreds of thousand students who have passed through its door and thousands more passing through right now. The future is still bright for Aikido, I don't see this star dying soon.
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:23 PM   #163
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

A post thought, I guess editing is timed: if some of his top students did complain about the Founder's communication skills, why did they stay? Why did they support Aikido and pioneer it? Playing pivotal roles in supporting the Founder's art? Why didn't they just walk a way shaking their heads? Some of his students where well trained martial artist before they started Aikido. Why did they train under the Founder? Why didn't they all write the Founder off as an ineffective teacher and seek Takeda or someone else? It is evident way the Founder wasn't abandon by his top students who complained about him.
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:30 PM   #164
Marc Abrams
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
If I could have stated things as well as Mr. Gano did,I would have. Not having the gift of gab, I would like to point to Mr. Gano explanation. The way he put things is way better than how I put it. Please don't confuse Mr. Gano for me, even if point to his explanation. It would not be fair to him.

As I respect your comment, please feel assured I am responding in the context of the original question. Yes, the Founder had teaching skill, otherwise Aikido would have died shortly after it's birth. No, I don't believe he held anything back from his students. Despite the arguments his students never came close in reaching the same level of proficiency as he did. I am not judging the Founder on the opinions of his students abilities. If anyone is to judge his students abilities it would be the Founder.

I would like to close with this thought. Today, Aikido an international organization existing for decades with hundreds of thousand students who have passed through its door and thousands more passing through right now. The future is still bright for Aikido, I don't see this star dying soon.
Jackie:

I cannot clearly gauge how you would like us to evaluate O'Sensei's teaching abilities. I do not think that he ever tried to hold things back. I do think that he was hemmed in by his unique personality and by the teaching modalities that he was exposed to and utilized. I also believe that there was a genuine disconnect between his expressing his thoughts, based upon a formal education in Chinese classics, and his students who were taught in a more western-based system. O'Sensei talked about things in a manner that reflected knowledge of Chinese classics to people who did not really understand what he was saying because they did not have that background of understanding.

The larger issue of the state of Aikido today is one that I look at differently. Just because it is popular, does not mean that a high level of learning is taking place. Martial arts is really based on a teaching modality of long-term, personal exposure and training with a highly skilled teacher, compounded with a lot of personal training. This teaching paradigm does not translate well into a setting where there is one teacher and many students. I look at our population from the statistical percentage of the bell-shaped curve. A lot of mediocrity, few incompetents and few highly skilled. Our art will continue into the future like a lot of other martial arts.... mostly watered down with a few highly competent people.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:30 PM   #165
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
A post thought, I guess editing is timed: if some of his top students did complain about the Founder's communication skills, why did they stay? Why did they support Aikido and pioneer it? Playing pivotal roles in supporting the Founder's art? Why didn't they just walk a way shaking their heads? Some of his students where well trained martial artist before they started Aikido. Why did they train under the Founder? Why didn't they all write the Founder off as an ineffective teacher and seek Takeda or someone else? It is evident way the Founder wasn't abandon by his top students who complained about him.
  1. Some of them did walk away - Inoue, Tomiki, Mochizuki, Shioda all walked away after the war. Shirata almost did, but was begged to stay.
  2. You don't usually walk out so easily in a Japanese system.
  3. Most of the folks after the war were young kids and the day to day instruction wasn't performed by Ueshiba anyway.
  4. Other places aren't necessarily any better.
  5. Same as today - people don't know what they don't know.
  6. Love the Kool-Aid!

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-04-2012, 03:56 PM   #166
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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  1. Some of them did walk away - Inoue, Tomiki, Mochizuki, Shioda all walked away after the war. Shirata almost did, but was begged to stay.
  2. You don't usually walk out so easily in a Japanese system.
  3. Most of the folks after the war were young kids and the day to day instruction wasn't performed by Ueshiba anyway.
  4. Other places aren't necessarily any better.
  5. Same as today - people don't know what they don't know.
  6. Love the Kool-Aid!

Best,

Chris
Hello again Mr. Li. It is nice to read your post. You always have something interesting to say. I believe

Mochizuki was 10 dan in Aikido. I don't think he complained about the Founder communication, did he?

Tomiki was awarded 8th dan, and taught Aikido at Waseda University many years starting his own Aikido association in 1974, right? Did he want to leave Aikido because he felt the Founder was a terrible teacher?

Shioda was 10th dan. Who used aikido effectively is a street fight, won an award for his Aikido demonstration, continued to teach Aikido up until his death. Shidoda could not train under the Founder because of post war economics. Was it because, he felt the Founder was a poor teacher. Shioda left easily.

Inoue helped the Founder with building Aikido, and had a personal disagreement over matters not related to the Founder's quality of teaching. He too left easily.

Shirata was 9th dan, "I want to follow [The Founders] Sensei's footsteps as my life path." Shirata Rinjiro. Surely, he didn't complain, and was very dedicated to the Founder.

The Founder really didn't teach is what your are saying. This means they had to develop their skill on their own? Who was teaching then? You said, the early students where kids being taught by the Founder....could that be the source of complaint. Kids always complaining about their teachers.

It seems Shiriata like the others had confidence in the Founder's ability to teach. At least he felt he was a effective teach to be so dedicated.

Was it really hard to leave a martial in early part of the 20th century, way was that?

Short day, I hope everyone is in good health and wish them good training.
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:01 PM   #167
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
Hello again Mr. Li. It is nice to read your post. You always have something interesting to say. I believe

Mochizuki was 10 dan in Aikido. I don't think he complained about the Founder communication, did he?

Tomiki was awarded 8th dan, and taught Aikido at Waseda University many years starting his own Aikido association in 1974, right? Did he want to leave Aikido because he felt the Founder was a terrible teacher?

Shioda was 10th dan. Who used aikido effectively is a street fight, won an award for his Aikido demonstration, continued to teach Aikido up until his death. Shidoda could not train under the Founder because of post war economics. Was it because, he felt the Founder was a poor teacher. Shioda left easily.

Inoue helped the Founder with building Aikido, and had a personal disagreement over matters not related to the Founder's quality of teaching. He too left easily.

Shirata was 9th dan, "I want to follow [The Founders] Sensei's footsteps as my life path." Shirata Rinjiro. Surely, he didn't complain, and was very dedicated to the Founder.

The Founder really didn't teach is what your are saying. This means they had to develop their skill on their own? Who was teaching then? You said, the early students where kids being taught by the Founder....could that be the source of complaint. Kids always complaining about their teachers.

It seems Shiriata like the others had confidence in the Founder's ability to teach. At least he felt he was a effective teach to be so dedicated.

Was it really hard to leave a martial in early part of the 20th century, way was that?

Short day, I hope everyone is in good health and wish them good training.
I should have stayed out the first time, I will now - there's just too much basic information you're missing here.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-04-2012, 04:03 PM   #168
jackie adams
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

"I was very lucky O-Sensei taught me thoroughly in detail, and I’m following his example.”
-Morihiro Saito

This speaks for it's self. There is so much praise by those the Founder taught, on how well he taught and how inspiring he was.

I didn't realize that until I entered this discussion. I think knowing how well of a teacher the Founder was has been very well establish, that he didn't keep any goods to himself. Questioning the Founders teaching abilities and character is plain silly.

I want to thank everyone for enriching my knowledge and appreciation of Aikido through this discussion.

Last edited by jackie adams : 04-04-2012 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:44 PM   #169
sakumeikan
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Abe was ten years before he left for Europe - much of that in Tokyo, and Ueshiba wasn't in Tokyo at that time. When Chiba was in Tokyo Ueshiba was not that active in teaching, although he was there a third to half the time.
Dear Mr Li,
I would like to point out that Chiba Sensei [and possibly other Uchi Deshi ] spent time with O Sensei as otomo/uke when O Sensei traveled to other areas.I would assume therefore that Chiba Sensei would have greater experience of training with O Sensei other than in Tokyo?Unfortunately Chiba Sensei did not tell me the exact time period he spent on this role.Cheers, Joe.

Last edited by akiy : 04-04-2012 at 08:43 PM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:01 PM   #170
gregstec
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Tim Fong wrote: View Post


Found this from a Youtube slideshow. If it's a real photo, appears to show Shioda with Kodo.
Yeah, that is Shioda next to Kodo - wonder who the two on the ends are?

Greg
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:12 PM   #171
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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In the years during and shortly after the war, O-Sensei was ensconced in Iwama. Finally from the early 1950s he began to resume his travels with occasional visits to Tokyo and the Kansai region. By the late 1950s his trips increased in frequency and it seemed no one ever knew where he would be at a given point in time. He divided his time between Iwama, Tokyo, and his favorite spots in Kansai which included Osaka, Kameoka, Ayabe, his native Tanabe, and Shingu. He even visited Kanshu Sunadomari in far away Kyushu. I remember hearing Michio Hikitsuchi Sensei state that O-Sensei visited Shingu more than sixty times after the war. Considering that this refers to a period of about twelve to fifteen years, we see that the founder was off in Kansai on the average of four to six times per year.

The astute reader will see no doubt see what I am leading up to. O-Sensei did not teach in Tokyo on a regular basis after the war. Even when he appeared on the mat, often he would spend most of the hour lecturing on esoteric subjects completely beyond the comprehension of the students present. The main teachers at the Hombu in the postwar years were Koichi Tohei Sensei and the present Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba. They were assisted by Okumura, Osawa, Arikawa, Tada, Tamura and the subsequent generation of uchideshi mentioned above.

I want to make my point perfectly clear. What I mean to say is that Morihei Ueshiba was NOT the main figure at the Hombu Dojo who taught on a day-to-day basis. O-Sensei was there at unpredictible intervals and often his instruction centered on philosophical subjects. Tohei and Kisshomaru Ueshiba are the persons most responsible for the technical content and development of aikido within the Aikikai Hombu system. As before the war, the uchideshi of later years would teach outside the Hombu Dojo in clubs and universities after only a relatively short period of apprenticeship. Also, this period was characterized by "dan inflation," many of these young teachers being promoted at the rate of one dan per year. In a number of cases, they also "skipped" ranks. But that is the subject of another article!

What does all of this mean? It means that the common view of the spread of aikido following the war taking place under the direct tutelage of the founder is fundamentally in error. Tohei and the present Doshu deserve the lion's share of the credit, not the founder. It means further that O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba was not seriously involved in the instruction or administration of aikido in the postwar years. He was already long retired and very focused on his personal training, spiritual development, travel and social activities. Also, it should be noted that, despite his stereotyped image as a gentle, kind old man, O-Sensei was also the possessor of piercing eyes and a heroic temper. His presence was not always sought at the Hombu Dojo due to his critical comments and frequent outbursts. This is the truth of the matter as attested to by numerous first-hand witnesses. In the past I have hinted at some of these things, but have only recently felt confident enough to speak out because of the weighty evidence gathered from numerous sources close to the founder. I can't say necessarily that these comments will help practitioners in the training or bring them closer to their goals, but I do sincerely hope that by shining the light of truth on an important subject, those committed to aikido will have a deeper understanding on which to base their judgments. I also hope that the key figure of Koichi Tohei who has in recent years been relegated to a peripheral role or overlooked entirely will be given his just due.

Aikido Journal #109 (Fall/Winter 1996)
I would only add that the numer of teachers later telling their deshi that they drew the bath for Ueshiba everyday...must have made his bath look like the famous N.Y. bath houses of the 70's. And the shear volume of those claiming to be his indoor "special student" and "the person who traveled with him" defies all logic and testimony to the contrary by equally famous teachers.
All that is left is to determine who where the ones who were really there.
Peter Goldsbury offers interesting insights into how a version of a story meant to convey a message-in this case the closeness of teacher to a student- makes these sorts of stories okay ina certain contextual framework.

Another point or reasoning to offer you by way finality in outcome. Many of these post war guys were dispatched with 5 to 6 years training. A first or maybe second dan in Japan / maybe a third kyu in the States. It explains much.
Dan

Last edited by akiy : 04-04-2012 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:37 PM   #172
gregstec
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
"I was very lucky O-Sensei taught me thoroughly in detail, and I'm following his example."
-Morihiro Saito

This speaks for it's self. There is so much praise by those the Founder taught, on how well he taught and how inspiring he was.

I didn't realize that until I entered this discussion. I think knowing how well of a teacher the Founder was has been very well establish, that he didn't keep any goods to himself. Questioning the Founders teaching abilities and character is plain silly.

I want to thank everyone for enriching my knowledge and appreciation of Aikido through this discussion.
Hi Jackie, I hope you are also having a wonderful day as you wish us all. From an objective point of view, it appears to me your posts are very authoritative in context without much reference to facts. However, the majority of your positions appear to conflict with a lot of facts that have been very thoroughly discussed in many other threads in this forum as well as others. A few of the people you have engaged are very familiar with those other posts due to their intimate involvement with them. As has been suggested, I believe much more research on the topics you have been discussing would be very beneficial to any further engagements you wish to pursue in this area.

As far as the Topic of the Founder's Teaching ability? well, it has long been my opinion that he really did not have much, nor did he care - IMO, his main approach was in using students as training partners to further his learning, and if any of them picked anything up, he helped them to the extent that they could comprehend and develop themselves - he just did not have a mission to teach; if he did, there would be students of his that had his level of skill. This is very evident once you have felt someone with true Aiki - a few seconds of contact speaks volumes of what really is.

Greg
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:47 PM   #173
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Hello All,

IMO, it's important to keep in mind, that ALL the great men mentioned in this thread are in the end simply men. Takeda, Ueshiba, Shioda, Horikawa, Shirata, Sagawa, Hisa...I could go on. They are all a great inspiration of what to strive for in our training. To me all the great research from AJ, HIPS, recent blog posts...etc, clearly show this. It also reminds me that they are men with many good points and others not so good. Not one perfect. So for me, it's important to keep this in mind otherwise things might become clouded. No Kami here, just great Budoka.

So as far as Ueshiba's teaching ability goes...it seems to me, he emulated his teacher. The one who opened his eyes to true budo. Good or bad, just reality. But worthy of looking to for direction in our own training. Thanks.

ChrisWestern

PS Thank you to all those mentioned above. Thanks for All the great reasearch, information, and inspiration.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:18 PM   #174
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Chris Western wrote: View Post
Hello All,

IMO, it's important to keep in mind, that ALL the great men mentioned in this thread are in the end simply men. Takeda, Ueshiba, Shioda, Horikawa, Shirata, Sagawa, Hisa...I could go on. They are all a great inspiration of what to strive for in our training. To me all the great research from AJ, HIPS, recent blog posts...etc, clearly show this. It also reminds me that they are men with many good points and others not so good. Not one perfect. So for me, it's important to keep this in mind otherwise things might become clouded. No Kami here, just great Budoka.

So as far as Ueshiba's teaching ability goes...it seems to me, he emulated his teacher. The one who opened his eyes to true budo. Good or bad, just reality. But worthy of looking to for direction in our own training. Thanks.

ChrisWestern

PS Thank you to all those mentioned above. Thanks for All the great reasearch, information, and inspiration.
We also need to remember with Ueshiba, we had Mochizuki, Shirata, Shioda, and others.
Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo, Hisa and Ueshiba were, in many ways from a culture and era that most of us would never understand how to function in. There standards and norms, and what was and was not expected of them were not ours.
Dan
RE edit: Thanks Jun!!!
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:26 PM   #175
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

I may be missing something here, but doesn't the fact that we are now 'talking' about a little man, born on an island a half a world away, whose singular vision was responsible for a world-wide 'movement' and who has been dead now some 40 odd years, say at least a little something about his teaching ability?

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