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Old 04-06-2012, 05:37 PM   #201
Ellis Amdur
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Bradley - I was at a basketball summer camp - he was the special guest - he was my hero.

E

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Old 04-06-2012, 06:31 PM   #202
gregstec
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Bradley - I was at a basketball summer camp - he was the special guest - he was my hero.

E
Yeah, being an old fart (like you ) I really liked him as a player and was disappointed he went into politics; I thought he deserved better than that

Greg
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:02 PM   #203
Tenyu
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Gregory Gargiso wrote: View Post
We 'd (me anyway) all like to know your references
And source materials for the above opinion(s)
Aikido Journal's six DVD collection of Ueshiba and Aikido Classics 1: Postwar Greats. If Takeda could do what you see in these videos he wouldn't have posed the picture I linked earlier.

Last edited by Tenyu : 04-06-2012 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:20 PM   #204
mathewjgano
 
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Tenyu Hamaki wrote: View Post
Aikido Journal's six DVD collection of Ueshiba and Aikido Classics 1: Postwar Greats. If Takeda could do what you see in these videos he wouldn't have posed the picture I linked earlier.
Why wouldn't he have?

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:52 PM   #205
mathewjgano
 
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

I recognize I'm in no position to add ANY weight to what Ellis said (I also agree with Pal Benko that his Gambit is a good option in chess), but it is exactly how I feel about the nature of greatness with regard to the teaching/learning interaction. It's because of this kind of thinking that I tend to place more emphasis on what the student is doing than what the teacher is doing. Teaching ability is important, don't get me wrong, but I believe the ability to learn plays a greater role...generally speaking.
FWLIW
Good night, folks!

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:49 AM   #206
Garth
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Ellis Amdur

P.S. Even without the talent, those who train hard enough will be something special none-the-less. I played basketball against Bill Bradley, Sam Jones (I scored on him twice ), George Karl, Geoff Petrie, John Hummer, Tom McMillan, and I think a few other pros. None of them were close to Michael Jordan - some were not even top-level talent. Yet each of them were unbelievable! Not great - that's how far Takeda or Ueshiba was from a top-level pro. So, perhaps we ought to reconsider this "no-a-good teacher thing" - because making pros who can stop the room is something in itself, even if they aren't literally <stars>.

P.P.S - but all of this is irrelevant if you are not willing to grind your gears to bare metal to get to the top.

Michael Jordan
Few take into account his committment and work ethic
He was cut from his high school team
So there was a huge turn around in attitude towards work
George Brett was another

And then finding the right coaches or people
In your life is a whole another set of circumstance
But I tend to think with an awesome work ethic
The people will find u
Greg

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 04-07-2012, 08:29 AM   #207
gregstec
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Gregory Gargiso wrote: View Post
Few take into account his committment and work ethic
He was cut from his high school team
So there was a huge turn around in attitude towards work
George Brett was another

And then finding the right coaches or people
In your life is a whole another set of circumstance
But I tend to think with an awesome work ethic
The people will find u

Greg
You would tend to think and hope so - but IMO, you make your own destiny and sitting around waiting for it is not the way to go - if you want someone to find you, you just got to put yourself in the place they are looking

Greg
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:46 AM   #208
MM
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Or possibly apples and oranges ...

Do we look at aiki training as similar to being a Jordan? Or to being a world class pianist? How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

I will never be a world class musician in any form. Nor would I ever be Jordan. But, we are talking specialties with what a person *does*, not what a person *is*. There is a major difference in the two.

Aiki training, as espoused by the greats, changes your body. What you do with it ... well, that's your choice. As far as the training goes, you do the correct training, you get better. The more obsessive compulsive you are about the training, the better you get. The more correct your training, the better you get. You can be obs/comp about the incorrect training all you want but it won't get you there.

Personally, I've seen non-martial people start aiki training and get better. I've seen people with long histories of martial arts start aiki training and be at the exact same level as the non-martial people.

We aren't talking about what a person *does*, like play basketball, play violin, throw a football, box, etc. We are talking about what a person *is*. Fundamental difference. Understand that aiki training changes how a person's body/mind/spirit works internally, not how a person utilizes one's body in an external, physical environment.

Course, after aiki training, it does change how a person uses their body in an external, physical environment, but that's a completely separate topic. Aiki training is internal. It is shown and taught, sometimes very detailed, sometimes not. But, no amount of taking ukemi for Ueshiba, Sagawa, Horikawa, etc will get you aiki ... unless you were taught.

And that is where we are now ... did Ueshiba really teach the secret of aiki to anyone? He, Sagawa, and Horkawa went through the training. They knew what to say and do to get others started in aiki training. That, I think, is firmly laid out. There was a reason why Sagawa's father went to Takeda and said, teach me aiki, not jujutsu. The path to aiki training was laid out for them by Takeda. They knew what it took to create others like them.

But, did they? If not, why? Were they capable as teachers? Given history repeats itself, does future represent past? In other words, if there are hundreds learning aiki right now in a long distance training environment and they are getting better, then that means they are not only being taught how to train, but get others started. If that can be done now, why not back then?

Takeda tossed the Japanese training model on its head, why just think he did so in one small manner (uke model). Could he not have also had a very explicit way of training aiki? That was able to be passed along so others could teach it? Didn't he say his training was easy to steal?

It could be as simple as Ueshiba wanting to be a great budo teacher and not wanting anyone else to steal his limelight. So, he left clues here and there but didn't overly teach. Maybe Sagawa liked being the big bad and didn't want competition. Could be lots of reasons why they didn't teach, but their ability to teach aiki? I think they had that. I think the question should be, Why Didn't They Teach?
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:20 AM   #209
jackie adams
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Greeting everyone,

I am enjoying many of the comments, it seems the discussion has gone in several different directions from its origin.

Did anyone teacher teach "aiki" to anyone else. That really is an impossible question to answer. The first problem is in the definition, depending on a definition it is yes, or no. The man that started all this aiki thing is Takeda. He is the gold standard. Problem is, we have no idea of how good Takeda was. The only recorded information we have access to publicly is really his students account. I would consider others, like the ones he killed using aiki can't say a thing, as they are dead.

Ever since Takeda died people have really no idea of his skill. Creating the question of how it compares to his students aiki, who had Takeda's aiki. Was it the Founder who defined Takeda's aiki or not.

There is a world of speculation based on Takeda's student's accounts. I have been exposed to many definitions of what aiki is or isn't, as we all have; people's opinion on or off the mat. Who really knows Takeda's aiki. His students did, like the Founder and the other thousands of people he taught. Yet, no one comes up with a discernible standard definition everyone agrees upon. The Founder included, I believe had no interest in doing so because that would place all the credibility in one man's hands.

Sadly to say some have taken the ambiguity of aiki and exploited it selfishly instead of objectively and altruistically for the purpose of the truth. They really muddy the water even more.

When there isn't allot known about a well known person's life and personality, people fill in the gaps with speculation and assumption. It is human nature to try and complete the puzzle. Very little known about Takeda's personal teaching style making it ripe for speculation. What is known of Takeda's aiki points with in the context of the times, how he thought of himself and the life-style he lived. They did call him the "Last Samurai." Many of the Founder's deshi feared him, and disliked him. He was demonized in Aikido because of that for generations. Again furthering the mudding of the water of the definition of aiki.

The next logical step then to find a definition of aiki is to look at Takeda's students ability. There are said to be somewhere around 30,000 students of Takeda's. Now who got Takeda's knowledge and who rose to the top, and who got both is the question. Traditionally, it would be his youngest son who would get "the goods." One of Takeda's students thinks differently, and there are where a couple of other students whose skill surpassed Takeda's son. Both of those students claimed their aiki surpassed Takeda's. Each student displayed a different skill unlike each others. Those comments need to be taken in context, as we don't know why the purpose for those comments where. Making assumptions would further muddy the water more. It would then be wise to see these comments showing that even Takeda's students had different definitions of aiki.

This leads us to the Founder, who had a role in Takeda finding the right lexical for his ability. Even with that we can't measure the Founder's aiki to that of Takeda's based on finding lable, which isn't a definition. What we can measure the Founder's aiki up against several other accomplished Takeda students to form a definition. The issue with that is there is no common experience agreed upon to define aiki. What results is individual definition competing to be the definition. An effect of compounded is the students of each student of Takeda's divide in to camps who enforce their instructor's aiki as being "it." We move farther and farther way then in defining Takeda's aiki and what aiki is.

I will not mention the input of others on the outside of the situation confusing the definition aiki with their definition and skill. It only distracts and further confuses the issue.

Awkwardly put, language helps us define aiki. But only in part in its limitation to describe an action in words to verbally communicate to others an experience. Ideally, it is the combination of language and experience for a common experience we can all agree upon as a definition. Will we never know what the gold aiki standard or definition is to be. Rather then ending there, a greater gap of knowledge is created, what did Takeda pass on or not pass on to his students including the Founder. The Founder was talented no doubt. Out of thousands of students he did raise to the top level. A level where he still sits alone. As Matt said and I do agree, it is all academic, because it really is about individual success. It has occurred to me, maybe this is why there is no standard lexical definition. The definition then is seen in Takeda, and the Founder who could put their skills to a measurable skill use and not at a theoretical use.

Thank you everyone. Have a good day.

Last edited by jackie adams : 04-07-2012 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:26 PM   #210
Mark Mueller
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Jackie, Well said.
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Old 04-07-2012, 01:23 PM   #211
gregstec
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
Greeting everyone,

I am enjoying many of the comments, it seems the discussion has gone in several different directions from its origin.

Did anyone teacher teach "aiki" to anyone else. That really is an impossible question to answer. The first problem is in the definition, depending on a definition it is yes, or no. The man that started all this aiki thing is Takeda. He is the gold standard. Problem is, we have no idea of how good Takeda was. The only recorded information we have access to publicly is really his students account. I would consider others, like the ones he killed using aiki can't say a thing, as they are dead.

Ever since Takeda died people have really no idea of his skill. Creating the question of how it compares to his students aiki, who had Takeda's aiki. Was it the Founder who defined Takeda's aiki or not.

There is a world of speculation based on Takeda's student's accounts. I have been exposed to many definitions of what aiki is or isn't, as we all have; people's opinion on or off the mat. Who really knows Takeda's aiki. His students did, like the Founder and the other thousands of people he taught. Yet, no one comes up with a discernible standard definition everyone agrees upon. The Founder included, I believe had no interest in doing so because that would place all the credibility in one man's hands.

Sadly to say some have taken the ambiguity of aiki and exploited it selfishly instead of objectively and altruistically for the purpose of the truth. They really muddy the water even more.

When there isn't allot known about a well known person's life and personality, people fill in the gaps with speculation and assumption. It is human nature to try and complete the puzzle. Very little known about Takeda's personal teaching style making it ripe for speculation. What is known of Takeda's aiki points with in the context of the times, how he thought of himself and the life-style he lived. They did call him the "Last Samurai." Many of the Founder's deshi feared him, and disliked him. He was demonized in Aikido because of that for generations. Again furthering the mudding of the water of the definition of aiki.

The next logical step then to find a definition of aiki is to look at Takeda's students ability. There are said to be somewhere around 30,000 students of Takeda's. Now who got Takeda's knowledge and who rose to the top, and who got both is the question. Traditionally, it would be his youngest son who would get "the goods." One of Takeda's students thinks differently, and there are where a couple of other students whose skill surpassed Takeda's son. Both of those students claimed their aiki surpassed Takeda's. Each student displayed a different skill unlike each others. Those comments need to be taken in context, as we don't know why the purpose for those comments where. Making assumptions would further muddy the water more. It would then be wise to see these comments showing that even Takeda's students had different definitions of aiki.

This leads us to the Founder, who had a role in Takeda finding the right lexical for his ability. Even with that we can't measure the Founder's aiki to that of Takeda's based on finding lable, which isn't a definition. What we can measure the Founder's aiki up against several other accomplished Takeda students to form a definition. The issue with that is there is no common experience agreed upon to define aiki. What results is individual definition competing to be the definition. An effect of compounded is the students of each student of Takeda's divide in to camps who enforce their instructor's aiki as being "it." We move farther and farther way then in defining Takeda's aiki and what aiki is.

I will not mention the input of others on the outside of the situation confusing the definition aiki with their definition and skill. It only distracts and further confuses the issue.

Awkwardly put, language helps us define aiki. But only in part in its limitation to describe an action in words to verbally communicate to others an experience. Ideally, it is the combination of language and experience for a common experience we can all agree upon as a definition. Will we never know what the gold aiki standard or definition is to be. Rather then ending there, a greater gap of knowledge is created, what did Takeda pass on or not pass on to his students including the Founder. The Founder was talented no doubt. Out of thousands of students he did raise to the top level. A level where he still sits alone. As Matt said and I do agree, it is all academic, because it really is about individual success. It has occurred to me, maybe this is why there is no standard lexical definition. The definition then is seen in Takeda, and the Founder who could put their skills to a measurable skill use and not at a theoretical use.

Thank you everyone. Have a good day.
Well, the one point you are pretty solid on is that there is a lot of speculation from many different sources on Takeda's life and aiki skills since I do not think anyone here has had first hand experience in that area. However, I disagree with your opinion as far as how much we do know about Takeda. There has been a lot of independent corroboration on many things that paint a good picture, and even though no one here has had first hand experience with Takeda, there a few here that have had first and second hand experience with some that have.

Greg
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:03 PM   #212
MM
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
Did anyone teacher teach "aiki" to anyone else. That really is an impossible question to answer.

There is a world of speculation based on Takeda's student's accounts. I have been exposed to many definitions of what aiki is or isn't, as we all have; people's opinion on or off the mat. Who really knows Takeda's aiki.
The sad truth of the matter is that if you think like the above ... if you think there's a lot of various definitions for aiki ... if you think aiki means moving around to blend with someone ... if you think aiki is an elusive concept defined by each individual ... you're wrong because you have never experienced Takeda's aiki or anyone who had it.

If you think you have, then go find a professional wrestler who is over 6 feet tall and weighs at least 240 pounds. Sit down and have that wrestler do whatever he can to push you over. When he fails, then with a flick of your hand, throw that wrestler down. Can you (plural) or any of your teachers do that? No? Why not? Perhaps you should take a good, hard look at all those myriad definitions of "aiki" that you're using or have heard. Maybe they aren't correct.

These are the related articles/stories about Ueshiba meeting Tenryu from Aikido Journal:

1. Aiki News Issue 001:
2. Aiki News Issue 019:
3. Aiki News Issue 023:
4. Aiki News Issue 025:
5. Aiki News Issue 049:
6. Aiki News Issue 076:

What did Ueshiba say about Tenryu failing miserably to push him over? Tenryu couldn't because ... Ueshiba knew the secret of aiki. How does your definition of aiki fit into just sitting there and not being pushed over by a professional wrestler doing his best to make you fall?

When you meet someone who has true aiki, it is as different from other martial arts as the sun is to the earth. So, now looking back to Ueshiba and Tenryu, who of Ueshiba's students could replicate that test? The very one in which Ueshiba stated outright that Tenryu failed because Ueshiba knew the secret of aiki. Now, we get back to the question of Ueshiba's teaching ... or not, as the case may be.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:27 PM   #213
Tenyu
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Location: Arcata CA
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
But, we are talking specialties with what a person *does*, not what a person *is*. There is a major difference in the two.

Aiki training, as espoused by the greats, changes your body. What you do with it ... well, that's your choice. As far as the training goes, you do the correct training, you get better. The more obsessive compulsive you are about the training, the better you get. The more correct your training, the better you get. You can be obs/comp about the incorrect training all you want but it won't get you there.

We aren't talking about what a person *does*, like play basketball, play violin, throw a football, box, etc. We are talking about what a person *is*. Fundamental difference. Understand that aiki training changes how a person's body/mind/spirit works internally, not how a person utilizes one's body in an external, physical environment.

Course, after aiki training, it does change how a person uses their body in an external, physical environment, but that's a completely separate topic. Aiki training is internal.
related excerpt ::::

The ascent of humanity is a descent into a language of conventional symbols, representations of reality instead of the integrated vocal dimension of reality. This gradual distancing, in which and through which language assumed a mediatory function, paralleled, contributed to, and resulted from the generalized separation of man and nature. It is the discrete and separate self that desires to name the things of nature, or that could even conceive of so doing. To name is to dominate, to categorize, to subjugate and, quite literally, to objectify. No wonder in Genesis, Adam's first act in confirmation of his God-given dominion over the animals is to name them. Before the conception of self that enabled dominion, there was no naming—none of the original vocalizations were nouns.

Fascinatingly, ancient languages were far less dominated by nouns than modern languages: from the ancient nounless original language, it is claimed, by Neolithic times only half of all words were verbs, declining to less than ten percent of words in modern English.xiii The trend continues to this day, with the growth of passive and intransitive uses of verbs that objectify and abstract reality by saying, in effect, A is B. Language has evolved toward an infinite regression of symbols, words defined in terms of each other, that distances us from the world. Significantly, some indigenous languages apparently lack a word for "is", as the shaman Martin Prechtel claims for at least two Native American languages.xiv I have also noticed that Taiwanese, an ancient Chinese dialect firmly based in a preindustrial society, has an amazing profusion of descriptive action words that do not exist in or have disappeared from modern Mandarin and English. In English the same tendency manifests as a gradual supplanting of the simple present by the present progressive ("I am walking" instead of "I walk").

A few modern thinkers have sought to reverse or undo this trend. Alfred Korzybski, in his monumental tome, Science and Sanity, spends over a thousand pages reproving us for our wanton use of the "is" of identity, which reduces things to other things, proposing what he believes is a new "non-Aristotelean" mode of thought. He was apparently unaware that numerous mystics (such as Lao Tze) preceded him in this insight by thousands of years. Nonetheless, writing in the 1920s, Korzybski was ahead of his time, and helped to launch the movement known as neurolinguistic programming that seeks to induce mental health (sanity) through new language patterns. More recently, the physicist-sage David Bohm has proposed a new mode of language he calls the rheomode, aimed specifically at recovering the dwindling verb form and thereby fostering an understanding of the universe in terms of process rather than thing. "The Rheomode" is the first chapter of his book Wholeness and the Implicate Order, in which Bohm attempts to introduce his interpretation of quantum mechanics. We might understand him to imply that the rheomode is the only way of speaking that is consistent with the true nature of physical reality, which is a fundamentally unified and interconnected whole. In Bohm's view, the artificial division of the world into subject and object is, at bottom, incoherent. I am not a separate I, I am the universe "Charles-ing".
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:26 PM   #214
gregstec
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Tenyu Hamaki wrote: View Post
related excerpt ::::

The ascent of humanity is a descent into a language of conventional symbols, representations of reality instead of the integrated vocal dimension of reality. This gradual distancing, in which and through which language assumed a mediatory function, paralleled, contributed to, and resulted from the generalized separation of man and nature. It is the discrete and separate self that desires to name the things of nature, or that could even conceive of so doing. To name is to dominate, to categorize, to subjugate and, quite literally, to objectify. No wonder in Genesis, Adam's first act in confirmation of his God-given dominion over the animals is to name them. Before the conception of self that enabled dominion, there was no naming—none of the original vocalizations were nouns.

Fascinatingly, ancient languages were far less dominated by nouns than modern languages: from the ancient nounless original language, it is claimed, by Neolithic times only half of all words were verbs, declining to less than ten percent of words in modern English.xiii The trend continues to this day, with the growth of passive and intransitive uses of verbs that objectify and abstract reality by saying, in effect, A is B. Language has evolved toward an infinite regression of symbols, words defined in terms of each other, that distances us from the world. Significantly, some indigenous languages apparently lack a word for "is", as the shaman Martin Prechtel claims for at least two Native American languages.xiv I have also noticed that Taiwanese, an ancient Chinese dialect firmly based in a preindustrial society, has an amazing profusion of descriptive action words that do not exist in or have disappeared from modern Mandarin and English. In English the same tendency manifests as a gradual supplanting of the simple present by the present progressive ("I am walking" instead of "I walk").

A few modern thinkers have sought to reverse or undo this trend. Alfred Korzybski, in his monumental tome, Science and Sanity, spends over a thousand pages reproving us for our wanton use of the "is" of identity, which reduces things to other things, proposing what he believes is a new "non-Aristotelean" mode of thought. He was apparently unaware that numerous mystics (such as Lao Tze) preceded him in this insight by thousands of years. Nonetheless, writing in the 1920s, Korzybski was ahead of his time, and helped to launch the movement known as neurolinguistic programming that seeks to induce mental health (sanity) through new language patterns. More recently, the physicist-sage David Bohm has proposed a new mode of language he calls the rheomode, aimed specifically at recovering the dwindling verb form and thereby fostering an understanding of the universe in terms of process rather than thing. "The Rheomode" is the first chapter of his book Wholeness and the Implicate Order, in which Bohm attempts to introduce his interpretation of quantum mechanics. We might understand him to imply that the rheomode is the only way of speaking that is consistent with the true nature of physical reality, which is a fundamentally unified and interconnected whole. In Bohm's view, the artificial division of the world into subject and object is, at bottom, incoherent. I am not a separate I, I am the universe "Charles-ing".
Ya know, this looks a lot like some of the gobbly gook that shows up in my SPAM folder every once in a while - I give the sources of these things the attention they deserve

Greg
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:25 PM   #215
jackie adams
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
Well, the one point you are pretty solid on is that there is a lot of speculation from many different sources on Takeda's life and aiki skills since I do not think anyone here has had first hand experience in that area. However, I disagree with your opinion as far as how much we do know about Takeda. There has been a lot of independent corroboration on many things that paint a good picture, and even though no one here has had first hand experience with Takeda, there a few here that have had first and second hand experience with some that have.

Greg
Hello Mr. Steckel, I hope your day is going well.

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I believe you are correct that there is much documented on Takeda's life. What is recorded talking about Takeda's aiki it is too vague for an exact definition we need. Takeda's aiki is a mystery. It is lost to time as his students have passed away. No one made the attempt to record it for the purpose of exacting a purposeful definition. Takeda's aiki is ambiguous to us today, for now. Someday, maybe, some evidence may arise that defines Takeda's aiki. The evidence will be definitive and not speculative. It will not be another party's account. Yes, we know much about Takeda's life. Defining aiki as originally conceived by Takeda well that isn't possible, well publicly for now. I am not holding my breath.

Thank for allowing me a response.
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:20 PM   #216
Henrypsim
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
Ya know, this looks a lot like some of the gobbly gook that shows up in my SPAM folder every once in a while - I give the sources of these things the attention they deserve

Greg
Greg,

Thank God I am an implant American and English is not my mother tongue. Such is my excuse for being so uneducated. The stuff is way over my head! Sorry.
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:21 PM   #217
Tengu859
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
Hello Mr. Steckel, I hope your day is going well.

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I believe you are correct that there is much documented on Takeda's life. What is recorded talking about Takeda's aiki it is too vague for an exact definition we need. Takeda's aiki is a mystery. It is lost to time as his students have passed away. No one made the attempt to record it for the purpose of exacting a purposeful definition. Takeda's aiki is ambiguous to us today, for now. Someday, maybe, some evidence may arise that defines Takeda's aiki. The evidence will be definitive and not speculative. It will not be another party's account. Yes, we know much about Takeda's life. Defining aiki as originally conceived by Takeda well that isn't possible, well publicly for now. I am not holding my breath.

Thank for allowing me a response.
Don't worry next time I'm in Osaka at the Asahi Dojo, I'll smuggle out a copy of the film of Takeda from the late 1930's showing him and all his aiki glory...!!! :0)

ChrisW
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:28 AM   #218
jackie adams
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Chris Western wrote: View Post
Don't worry next time I'm in Osaka at the Asahi Dojo, I'll smuggle out a copy of the film of Takeda from the late 1930's showing him and all his aiki glory...!!! :0)

ChrisW
Thank you Mr. Western, I didn't want to say it myself. It is kind of one of those things, because some treat it as rumor and debate its existence. If you do smuggle it out, let's hope it is him using aiki and not jujutsu.
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:10 AM   #219
Tengu859
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Talking Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
Thank you Mr. Western, I didn't want to say it myself. It is kind of one of those things, because some treat it as rumor and debate its existence. If you do smuggle it out, let's hope it is him using aiki and not jujutsu.
I think it's aiki no jutsu...Happy Easter to you and your family, and all of aikiweb!!!
Thanks
ChrisW
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:20 AM   #220
jackie adams
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Hello everyone again,

This discussion fascinates me. There has been some great well written and thought out comments main.

Being aware of the rumor a film existing of Takeda's, maybe someday seen by the public, YouTube! Until then all the public has is personal interpretations of Takeda's abilities. The difficulty presented with personal interpretation is accuracy.

I am aware of one certain story of Takeda's aiki being used with a bath towel. It was witnessed by the Japanese public of the time. I don't know where the account was first penned or the author. My speculation is it was a third party. The account of the eye witness say Takeda put "aiki in" a bath towel to make it rigid, turning it into a weapon fighting off attackers. Years later the event was interpreted by John Stevens differently, who basically said the towel was limp when used as a weapon. Perspective plays a huge factor interpretation accuracy. Making defining Takeda's aiki all that much harder.

An undefined aiki, opens the door to all kinds of personal interpretations. A film helps pin things down, but it doesn't make it definitive. A popular phrase used is, "you have to feel aiki, to understand aiki" when defining aiki. Maybe not the exact phrase, but it gets the idea across. People understand that to communicate aiki isn't something you can write down, it is something you have to feel an aspect important to definition. The danger of that is we loop back to personal interpretation. Even if a film exists and is seen by the public, Takeda's aiki will still be debated. The only exception I see is in the film is if Takeda does something remarkable like transform the state of a towel. A feat that can't be compared to any of his students. A film does reduce the number of personal interpretations, and speculations

Aiki as I have come to know it, is invisible. Aiki isn't seen. When aiki is demonstrated by the caliber of the founder, what we see is the result the control of the attacker in someway. Depending on how the attacker reacts and is controlled is used to measure aiki. The more control there is over the attacker eliciting a high level of violent and contorted reactions will have people saying that is aiki. Amplifying that effect is when, we see the person using aiki have their movements go undetected by an observer or go against the rational understanding of movement. A common thing I hear is, how did that teacher 5'5 105 lbs teacher throw that 6'2' 270 lbs student so effortlessly barely moving at all. I remember watching a film of the Founder for the first time thinking along the same lines, being told that was aiki. I didn't realize at the time, I couldn't see what was creating the grand results. Of course it was the Founder's interpretation of Takeda's aiki. Because aiki is invisible in terms of Takeda's use, it makes it even harder for a Takeda definition, visual observation is enough.

Takeda has passed away, it is impossible to completely define aiki. We will never know completely what Takeda defined as aiki. It is lost to time. Some will argue this isn't true, that we can define aiki. Stressing we know what aiki is as a result of this or that teacher's ability. I see that. But those teacher's aiki is an interpretation of either Takeda or of his student's abilities. Obviously, not everyone has the same interpretation, some are better than others. I am comfortable saying that interpretation changes greatly farther removed from the source, Takeda. The interpretation changes even greater way from the source when it is based on outside speculation. The further away from the source the greater the margin of interpretation and change, the more we move away from an accurate definition. It is my personal belief for this reason, there is great stress put on the preservation of technique. Preserving technique done in the same way as Takeda, unaltered works great for technique, but it hasn't worked so well for preserving Takeda's aiki.

The concept of aiki predates Takeda, with no single definitive definition. Takeda didn't create a definitive definition beyond his life that wasn't subjected to personal interpretation. I believe we will never really know Takeda's aiki. In his efforts to protect his abilities by being secretive, I don't think he was aware of the pandora's box he created that would be so readily opened.

I do enjoy reading everyone's opinion and thoughts. Am very thankful for this opportunity.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:22 AM   #221
gregstec
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
Hello Mr. Steckel, I hope your day is going well.

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I believe you are correct that there is much documented on Takeda's life. What is recorded talking about Takeda's aiki it is too vague for an exact definition we need. Takeda's aiki is a mystery. It is lost to time as his students have passed away. No one made the attempt to record it for the purpose of exacting a purposeful definition. Takeda's aiki is ambiguous to us today, for now. Someday, maybe, some evidence may arise that defines Takeda's aiki. The evidence will be definitive and not speculative. It will not be another party's account. Yes, we know much about Takeda's life. Defining aiki as originally conceived by Takeda well that isn't possible, well publicly for now. I am not holding my breath.

Thank for allowing me a response.
Hello Jackie,

You must have a Customer Relations/Service background - you are way too polite for this type of environment; loosen up a bit and start using people's first names

As far as Takeda's aiki is concerned, I think more of it is becoming clear due the efforts of some folks revisiting old translations and looking at them from a renewed perspective based on other knowledge of aiki and IS/IP that has been coming to light from those actively pursuing the internal skills.

Greg
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:23 AM   #222
jackie adams
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Chris Western wrote: View Post
I think it's aiki no jutsu...Happy Easter to you and your family, and all of aikiweb!!!
Thanks
ChrisW
Thank you, and to yours as well, Happy Easter. Yes, you are correct. Aiki no jutsu and not jujutsu.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:36 AM   #223
Ellis Amdur
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
I am aware of one certain story of Takeda's aiki being used with a bath towel. It was witnessed by the Japanese public of the time. I don't know where the account was first penned or the author. My speculation is it was a third party. The account of the eye witness say Takeda put "aiki in" a bath towel to make it rigid, turning it into a weapon fighting off attackers.
Oh, please God. Jackie, you are writing a lot of good, thought provoking stuff - but as soon as the laws of physics are violated, . . .That one's like Ueshiba being asked if he could do ninjutsu and suddenly he teleported to the top of the stairs and when asked to do it again, he berated his students, saying that each time he did it, he took ten years off his life. (I bet he had to practice more than a few times before he got it - if it hadn't been for that damn trick he'd have lived several thousand years!).

As for the film:
1. Stan Pranin first reported publicly that the Takumakai filmed Takeda - as I recall, Takeda didn't even grasp what a film was. He's made numerous inquiries and has found nothing.
2. I heard a rumor that the film - or another one - was owned by the Kodokai. The person who told me the story could not have seen it - but said he had heard a first person account of someone who had. I sent an inquiry to one of the top split-off shihan from the Kodokai and he sent back (true or false) that he'd never heard of such a thing.
3. One reason I doubt that the Takumakai had such a film is if they did, I strongly believe their DR would be different in execution and methodology. One of the leading Takumakai shihan stated in an interview that they and Yoshinkai were doing, essentially, the same thing. (waza different, execution the same).

Best
Ellis Amdur

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Old 04-08-2012, 11:05 AM   #224
Tengu859
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Hey Jackie,

On a more serious note, Takeda Sokaku with 30,000+ students must have had something. As far as what his aiki was like, we will most likely never know :0( . I truely don't think a film of him exsists(but deep inside, I hope somehow there is).

That being said, if you have not picked up a copy of HIPS by Ellis Amdur, do so. He really paints a vivid and human picture of Takeda Sokaku. Not to mention all the wonderful information on Ueshiba sensei. I've read it twice through already. It's a great refrence work to take your personal training in all different directions...all the best.

Thanks
ChrisW
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:31 AM   #225
jackie adams
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Oh, please God. Jackie, you are writing a lot of good, thought provoking stuff - but as soon as the laws of physics are violated, . . .That one's like Ueshiba being asked if he could do ninjutsu and suddenly he teleported to the top of the stairs and when asked to do it again, he berated his students, saying that each time he did it, he took ten years off his life. (I bet he had to practice more than a few times before he got it - if it hadn't been for that damn trick he'd have lived several thousand years!).

As for the film:
1. Stan Pranin first reported publicly that the Takumakai filmed Takeda - as I recall, Takeda didn't even grasp what a film was. He's made numerous inquiries and has found nothing.
2. I heard a rumor that the film - or another one - was owned by the Kodokai. The person who told me the story could not have seen it - but said he had heard a first person account of someone who had. I sent an inquiry to one of the top split-off shihan from the Kodokai and he sent back (true or false) that he'd never heard of such a thing.
3. One reason I doubt that the Takumakai had such a film is if they did, I strongly believe their DR would be different in execution and methodology. One of the leading Takumakai shihan stated in an interview that they and Yoshinkai were doing, essentially, the same thing. (waza different, execution the same).

Best
Ellis Amdur
Mr. Amdur hello, thank you for replying.

Oh no that is not where I was going at all. But, in a way I was. You provide a great example of what I was getting at commenting on personal interpretations and speculations of events and abilities. You are are using my point in a different context. Then there is something else you touched on something again concerning different perspectives and speculation. If a film does exists, I said it would only be part of the picture. You can't feel Takeda's aiki through a film. This may align in thought with yours, a film would change things. People could make limited comparisons giving a better idea of what Takeda defined as aiki. Again that is based on what techniques he is doing in the film, aiki no jutsu vs. aiki.

I personally find it hard to believe Takeda couldn't comprehend what a film was, I don't think he was at all primitive. He did allow people to take pictures of him, thus comprehended that. What he may not have comprehended is the technology, how film was developed, how cameras worked, and why. Which isn't an uncommon form people with technology even today. This falls into what I was saying about the problems that arise from interpretation and speculation that muddy the waters.

Opps.. I accidentally fell again upon the matter of interpretation and speculation. It will be raised that Takeda was illiterate. The assumption made would be he was stupid, and had no clue to penned Japanese language. The matter is than what is defined as illiterate, lacking any or limited formal education or the complete inability to read? He did travel alone all over Japan, he had contact with people, he had to have some command of reading the language over his lifetime. Even if people wrote things out for him. It is unrealistic to think otherwise he had no command of reading, or some ability to write what so ever, especially during the 1900s -1940s Japan.

Thank you for your time in expressing your thoughts. I enjoyed your comments.

Last edited by jackie adams : 04-08-2012 at 11:36 AM.
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