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Old 05-13-2012, 08:03 PM   #1
Chris Li
 
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Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Latest blog post!

Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words
From his mouth to our ears - how things get garbled and go astray.

http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/...slatable-words

Enjoy!

Chris

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Old 05-14-2012, 02:23 AM   #2
sakumeikan
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Latest blog post!

Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words
From his mouth to our ears - how things get garbled and go astray.

http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/...slatable-words

Enjoy!

Chris
Dear Chris,
Certainly food for thought.I also as many can, testify that Tamura Sensei when you tried to move him he felt like a brick wall.To this day I would like to know how he did what he did.Cheers, Joe.
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:32 AM   #3
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Chris,
Certainly food for thought.I also as many can, testify that Tamura Sensei when you tried to move him he felt like a brick wall.To this day I would like to know how he did what he did.Cheers, Joe.
Really?
It's sort of basic training! That by itself is Chris's point. Ueshiba actually quoted the path to do it.
Oh well...shrug.
Dan

Last edited by akiy : 05-15-2012 at 10:38 AM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:43 AM   #4
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Chris,
Certainly food for thought.I also as many can, testify that Tamura Sensei when you tried to move him he felt like a brick wall.To this day I would like to know how he did what he did.Cheers, Joe.
Hi Joe,

Did you never ask any of your teachers? Not that they would probably have told you (assuming they could have, not a given).. Just curious.

Best Regards,
John

www.chishindojo.co.uk
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:07 PM   #5
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Really?
It's sort of basic training! That by itself is Chris's point. Ueshiba actually quoted the path to do it.
Oh well...shrug.
Dan
Dear Dan,
With all due respect since I did not ask Tamura Sensei what training he did or didnt do to acquire this skill one cannot presume that the basic training you indicate is necessarily the same method as Tamura Sensei used.It may well be the same but then again it may not.Oh well -shrug??
Cheers, Joe

Last edited by akiy : 05-15-2012 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:17 PM   #6
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
John Burn wrote: View Post
Hi Joe,

Did you never ask any of your teachers? Not that they would probably have told you (assuming they could have, not a given).. Just curious.
Dear John,
Hope you are well. Funny I never got around to asking Tamura Sensei how he did what he did.As for asking my other teachers I have as yet not asked them.Some of those who might have been able to give me an answer have passed away. Sekiya Sensei for example held me down with a kesa gatame [scarf hold in Judo ] and I felt he weighed a ton.Barely budged him and he was not a heavy man.My own view is that the acquisition f what the Chinese call 'Heavy hands ' requires a total relaxation of the body and a certain mindset.If i do get a chance I will try to get some info on this subject.Unfortunately I may not be able at least for now to ask about this.Cheers, Joe
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:25 PM   #7
Chris Li
 
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear John,
Hope you are well. Funny I never got around to asking Tamura Sensei how he did what he did.As for asking my other teachers I have as yet not asked them.Some of those who might have been able to give me an answer have passed away. Sekiya Sensei for example held me down with a kesa gatame [scarf hold in Judo ] and I felt he weighed a ton.Barely budged him and he was not a heavy man.My own view is that the acquisition f what the Chinese call 'Heavy hands ' requires a total relaxation of the body and a certain mindset.If i do get a chance I will try to get some info on this subject.Unfortunately I may not be able at least for now to ask about this.Cheers, Joe
Mentioning Sekiya reminded me of another student of Yamaguchi who used to say that it was impossible to do Ikkyo correctly unless you can make your hands heavy (he never said how, though..).

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-14-2012, 02:52 PM   #8
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

fascinating. thanks for these posts!
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:21 PM   #9
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Dan,
With all due respect since I did not ask Tamura Sensei what training he did or didnt do to acquire this skill one cannot presume that the basic training you indicate is necessarily the same method as Tamura Sensei used.It may well be the same but then again it may not.Oh well -shrug??
Cheers, Joe
Hi Joe
Well to yield the results you are talking about...the same as is seen culture to culture....it should start to ring some bells that it is the same basics. The same ones the Indian and Chinese wrote about, and Ueshiba quoted!
Then we have to ask.....
Why can't everyone do it? It's a basic?
Bad teaching?
Or was it on purpose?
Thankfully there are those willing to do the job others can't or won't.
Dan

Last edited by akiy : 05-15-2012 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:27 PM   #10
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Mentioning Sekiya reminded me of another student of Yamaguchi who used to say that it was impossible to do Ikkyo correctly unless you can make your hands heavy (he never said how, though..).

Best,

Chris
Yamaguchi used to also say..."Not soft enough"...without ever saying what to do about it.
It is interesting to train with those who trained privately with him for over a decade and then...finally...having someone explain...what...to do.
Interesting that the one...solves the answer to the other issue you mentioned and why so few know the answer or different methods to train it!
Dan
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:41 PM   #11
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hi Joe
Well to yield the results you are talking about...the same as is seen culture to culture....it should start to ring some bells that it is the same basics. The same ones the Indian and Chinese wrote about, and Ueshiba quoted!
Then we have to ask.....
Why can't everyone do it? It's a basic?
Bad teaching?
Or was it on purpose?
Thankfully there are those willing to do the job others can't or won't.
Dan
Even though it is my own post this rang a bell for a further thought.
Why can't everyone do this stuff?
It's basic....yet shodan to Shihan...you can't do it.
Why?
The answer and the solution, should unite us in friendship, not divide us.
Dan

Last edited by akiy : 05-15-2012 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:45 PM   #12
Russ Q
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Hi Dan,

(Thread drift) Met you at George's in March and have been practising reeling silk and "opening and closing" by bowing the spine and using (trying) psoas muscles. Been getting a bit of back pain (small muscles spasming). Perhaps I'm being to eager BUT, hoping you might have some wisdom for me:-) See you again in August either way....

Cheers,

Russ
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:53 PM   #13
Chris Li
 
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Russ Qureshi wrote: View Post
Hi Dan,

(Thread drift) Met you at George's in March and have been practising reeling silk and "opening and closing" by bowing the spine and using (trying) psoas muscles. Been getting a bit of back pain (small muscles spasming). Perhaps I'm being to eager BUT, hoping you might have some wisdom for me:-) See you again in August either way....

Cheers,

Russ
I blew out my back last year running and I'm still working through it. None of this stuff should hurt your back, but we've had a couple of guys who described the same kinds of problems - mainly because of trying to pull too hard with the back when turning. It may help to concentrate on releasing the musculature and letting the turn come out naturally (you may also find that you can actually turn further that way).

FWIW...

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-14-2012, 07:04 PM   #14
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

The feeling of Aikido can be translated through training.

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Old 05-14-2012, 07:08 PM   #15
Chris Li
 
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
The feeling of Aikido can be translated through training.
It can - but if you have no idea where you're going then you're sure to get there.

That's why people have been writing this stuff down for thousands of years - it's one more tool.

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-14-2012, 08:10 PM   #16
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I blew out my back last year running and I'm still working through it. None of this stuff should hurt your back, but we've had a couple of guys who described the same kinds of problems - mainly because of trying to pull too hard with the back when turning. It may help to concentrate on releasing the musculature and letting the turn come out naturally (you may also find that you can actually turn further that way).

FWIW...

Best,

Chris
ditto on what chris said - it is extremely important to un-tense all muscle in this

greg
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:16 PM   #17
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

This is all for a different thread or P.M. isn't it?
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:38 AM   #18
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
This is all for a different thread or P.M. isn't it?
Easily distracted, I guess.

Here's an interesting companion read:

http://store.aikidojournal.com/koich...-pdf-download/

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-15-2012, 02:42 AM   #19
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Even though it is my own post this rang a bell for a further thought.
Why can't everyone do this stuff?
It's basic....yet shodan to Shihan...you can't do it.
Why?
The answer and the solution, should unite us in friendship, not divide us.
Dan
Dear Dan
I agree with your point about finding the answers and the solutions to this issue should unite everyone.The problem as I see it is making a clear distinction on 1.What the problems are 2.How one resolves the problems3.Is there more than one way to skin the cat?4.Finding people who are willing to transmit the method .
I would disagree only on one point Dan, I know that certain Shihan can demonstrate this factor.The problem may well be that for one reason or another this factor is not being transmitted. Sekiya Sensei
certainly gave some indications of how to manifest this factor.Unfotunately my time spent with him was too shortso I never had the opportunity to fully explore and develop this skill.I did however on his advice change my own way of doing Aikido.He indicated to me that I should train in a manner whereby
I should think of myself as being extremely weak and sickly.He stated that if one can do movement
which has an effect on Uke using minimum power /strength this was an indication that one was
on the right track.Cheers, Joe.

Last edited by akiy : 05-15-2012 at 10:40 AM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:35 AM   #20
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

In another thread this quote from an interview with Nobuyoshi Tamura appeared:

"O-Sensei would slip into the dojo, show a few techniques, and then slip out. If he felt like it he would speak for a while. We were all young, so mostly we just wanted to get on with the practice. (on the content of the lectures) He would talk about the gods - Izanagi, Izanami and so forth. In Sakurazawa-shiki (Macrobiotics) they have some of the same ideas, so I thought that he was speaking about something concerning In and Yo, but that's about as much as I understood."

The last sentence is very interesting in view of Ueshiba's saying:

"You can't do what I do because you don't understand in/yo."

Also, in another thread discussing Tamura's "warm up" (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...ht=Tamura+warm) it is mentioned that they are doing Do-In (Daoyin) exercises. The exercises are similar to the ones described here (my previous sensei frequently refered to them as "Ki exercises"):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baduanjin_qigong (BTW, how can be Baduanjin be translated?)
(in fact, there are a few more "warm up/breathing/solo" exercises which are not shown here)

I had only one chance to see Tamura in person doing these exercises. For an untrained eye like mine, when Tamura did them there was something else, something more than I saw in some of his students (my previous sensei included). Since I am no expert the only thing I can say is that while I could see that my sensei was actually "doing" these exercises, it looked like if Tamura was really not "doing" them, but the movements came from somewhere else.

I wonder where/when/how Tamura learnt these exercises and how he taught them. In addition, Tamura apparently attached great importance to them. I am not an expert, but it appears that these might convey some IT. Hopefully in the near future I will be able to meet some of the IT guys and have my eyes opened...

Roberto.

Roberto.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:12 AM   #21
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
The feeling of Aikido can be translated through training.
I practice for some 18 years now. And for me aikidō allways has been a certain feeling. Practice created this certain feeling within me. And this feeling again created "my" aikidō and gave form to my training.
(When Endo sensei teaches he very seldom uses just "ki", but mostly uses "ki-mochi" / 気持ち. Which means "feeling".)

Over the time I experienced that there exist quite different feelings of aikidō as a result of different ways of understanding what aikidō is or should be. And as a result of quite different ways or types of training. So a certain feeling only indicates a certain way of aikidō. Whether it is the way Ueshiba meant and taught can not be derived from that.

For this reason I found it so important to more and more be able to connect teh words of Ueshiba to specific ways of training. To experience that sayings like "the connection of heaven and earth" are not something vague, esoteric, spiritual but are certain ways of practice. Evoking a certain feeling. A certain feeling which is similar to certain ways of doing aikidō. But not to others.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:37 AM   #22
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

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Joe Curran wrote: View Post
, I know that certain Shihan can demonstrate this factor.The problem may well be that for one reason or another this factor is not being transmitted..
problem is they can demonstrate, but cannot explain/teach it to you. lots of time, it's the language and cultural barrier which prevented such explanation. I have the same problem with Ikeda sensei for years; actually, most folks did and do. i found some other sources that could explain and demonstrate. now, i understand Ikeda sensei stuffs perfectly. personally, fumbling in the dark hoping to gain knowledge is kinda suck. i don't have that much time to waste as my life clock ticking down by the second. one goes into life kicking and screaming because some bastard spank ya; one would hope to go out of life getting spank by a good looking nurse.

Last edited by phitruong : 05-15-2012 at 06:39 AM.

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Old 05-15-2012, 07:28 AM   #23
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
I practice for some 18 years now. And for me aikidō always has been a certain feeling. Practice created this certain feeling within me. And this feeling again created "my" aikidō and gave form to my training.
(When Endo sensei teaches he very seldom uses just "ki", but mostly uses "ki-mochi" / 気持ち. Which means "feeling".)

Over the time I experienced that there exist quite different feelings of aikidō as a result of different ways of understanding what aikidō is or should be. And as a result of quite different ways or types of training. So a certain feeling only indicates a certain way of aikidō. Whether it is the way Ueshiba meant and taught can not be derived from that.

For this reason I found it so important to more and more be able to connect teh words of Ueshiba to specific ways of training. To experience that sayings like "the connection of heaven and earth" are not something vague, esoteric, spiritual but are certain ways of practice. Evoking a certain feeling. A certain feeling which is similar to certain ways of doing aikidō. But not to others.
I respectfully agree. There are many different experiences under the umbrella of Aikido

I have been training for 25 years. Ron always, right from the beginning of my training, has emphasized developing correct feeling and connection with our ukes.

Any concepts that seem a mystery can be revealed in the training. The process and commitment are important.

I get suspicious when someone says that their way is the best way or the only way. Ron's teacher did that in kind of a joking way, but he really wasn't kidding, totally. Anyone can develop correct feeling and strength if they keep training.

Last edited by Mary Eastland : 05-15-2012 at 07:29 AM. Reason: is to is

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Old 05-15-2012, 07:44 AM   #24
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

I don't care who they are or what culture they come from. I've always said
"If they can't explain it...walk away."
"If they don't allow or don't want their students to go feel other methods...walk away"
"If they don't have good students with power....walk away."
Spend your time with those who can actually teach.

It now looks as if Ueshiba was at least trying by not only quoting Chinese classics but even using an anatomy book on at least one occasion to show the connection to the physical model.
Dan
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:54 AM   #25
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
I get suspicious when someone says that their way is the best way or the only way. Ron's teacher did that in kind of a joking way, but he really wasn't kidding, totally. Anyone can develop correct feeling and strength if they keep training.
Hi Mary, I think I disagree on this

Strength is debatable, anyone can be strong through learning to put their weight through an opponent - I'm interested in the strength and power which is contained in us at all times,
which can be unleashed in an atemi with no wind up
where the ground is felt in our body, anywhere at any time
where we are virtually untouchable (literally)

this is the power and strength i'm after, and so should the vast majority of aikidoka IMO

regards
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