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Old 07-14-2011, 06:19 AM   #51
john.burn
 
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
If he was so left handed that he was unable to learn to write properly (right handed) he should have had similar problems learning to use weapons properly (right handed).
Hmmmm, well I'm very left handed and have no issues with right handed weapons work - actually holding a bokken left handed feels extremely weird to me. So, I really don't think because someone is left handed it has any influence on skill with a weapon. Not that I'm saying I have any weapons skills .

Best Regards,
John

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Old 07-14-2011, 06:30 AM   #52
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

Quote:
John Burn wrote: View Post
So, I really don't think because someone is left handed it has any influence on skill with a weapon. Not that I'm saying I have any weapons skills .
Since you said you are a lefty, how can you be sure this is not the reason? (really could not resist to let this one go, sorry)

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:27 AM   #53
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

LOL Yeah I kinda thought someone would chime in with that . It's fair to say that my Aikido isn't heavily weapons based but I feel quite comfortable doing Aikido type things right handed way more than I do if I switch to left handed in terms of bokken - jo is irrelevant, feels fine either side. So my point was, even if you're left handed then if you train predominantly right handed with a bokken (kinda normal I think) then you don't have any disadvantage over a righty training right handed.

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John

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Old 07-14-2011, 08:37 AM   #54
DH
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
If he was so left handed that he was unable to learn to write properly (right handed) he should have had similar problems learning to use weapons properly (right handed).
Actually I have found being left handed a distinct advantage with weapons and empty hand.

Quote:
But if he was ambidextrous, he could have had learned to write with his right hand.
Ambidextrous? Generations of left handed people were forced to write right handed.(as a product of a catholic school education I was myself, until my mother put an end to it).
Takeda was interesting guy beyond all doubt.
Supposedly illiterate.
Refused to be called Soke
Refused to be called Menkyo
Never called himself a shihan
His son stated that both he and his father had no rank
Did very unusual martial arts
Handed out an ever growing assortment of makimono (that came from where?)
Taught different things to different groups, instead a fixed set of kata (unlike established koryu)
Then, added ranks and awarded them in an art he said...was not his.

Many ancient densho survive.
We have not found nor ever heard of a single one for this "Daito" ryu from Aizu.

I think that the Japanese had trouble saying look at me I am a genius (even when they are).Or look what I created!
So instead we hear stories of God handing out scrolls, Tengu giving whole systems, mountain tengu teaching systems..and guys being "General affairs director" of an art with oshiki-uchi,
Or sons stating that their dads studied an array of Koryu arts and blended them together to make aikido.

Internet bloggers would have had a field day with some of these guys were they alive today.

Dan

Last edited by DH : 07-14-2011 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:50 AM   #55
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
A
Refused to be called Soke
Refused to be called Menkyo
Never called himself a shihan
His son stated that both he and his father had no rank
Then his grandson dies in a cold, remote little port town and one of the most fascinatingly bitter and nasty succession disputes occur over claims to the title of soke.
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:17 AM   #56
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

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Then his grandson dies in a cold, remote little port town and one of the most fascinatingly bitter and nasty succession disputes occur over claims to the title of soke.
Soke of what?
Doesn't it take a Soke to pass on an art?
Sokaku was not the soke by his own admission.
The only Soke of anything was Tokimune; who invented Daito ryu Aiki budo and called himself soke of that. He himself differentiates in some detail that the two arts are not the same
He awarded everyone (Kondo included) ranks in Aikibudo. Then he dies and somewhere in between awards Kondo Menkyo in Daito ryu aikijujutsu A menkyo award is stuffed out of place in between detailed and dated entries in the eimoroku after Tokimunes death (everyone is told Tokimune knew people would feel bad so he hid this award.

Then Kondo forbids his seniors in the art of Aikibudo use of the name Daito ryu.

1. So who is or was Soke of what?
Aikibudo or Aikijujutsu

2. Who is or was Menkyo in what?
Aikibudo or Aikijujutsu
Or
AIkiudo and Aikijujutsu
Where are those concurrent awarded ranks?

If one is Menkyo in Aikijujustsu, how does it apply any authority to aikibudo? An art your own teacher states had a different curriculum.
Even weirder, people trained for 35 yrs...become the reps, become president and treasurer of the organization and give embu all over Japan in front of and for Tokimune and all is well.
Then a part timer shows up with a lot of money...everyone is told he got the real art. They are told.."Naw...I never taught you..I lied to your face." by their teacher. Have a nice life!
Realize of course that all of this has been...er...explained in detail as well and tokimune told people he only taught Kondo.
He dies, a menkyo is awarded, recorded, what have you, the art is trademarked against others using it...and the former president, and treasurer, and senior students are out and prevented from using the name of the art they were ranked in and presented to Japan for most of their adult lives, Now you have threats of legal action! Potential law suits in traditional budo? Thank goodness this isn't the old days, I'm surprised no one has gotten violent. Then again who do you go after...teacher, or student?
All of this has been explained you understand. all neat and tidy like.
I've read and re read all of the stuff for years and talked with teachers and various insiders and authors. The only thing consistent about the art is how inconsistent it is, how it is traditionally so untraditional. Start to finish, a damn curious and weird Japanese art.
Anyone blame Ueshiba for running for the hills?
Dan

Last edited by DH : 07-14-2011 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:26 PM   #57
Cliff Judge
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
All of this has been explained you understand. all neat and tidy like.
I've read and re read all of the stuff for years and talked with teachers and various insiders and authors. The only thing consistent about the art is how inconsistent it is, how it is traditionally so untraditional. Start to finish, a damn curious and weird Japanese art.
Anyone blame Ueshiba for running for the hills?
Dan
That's a funny thought, that Ueshiba settled in with Deguchi because that environment was relatively sane and stable.

I wonder if the whole mess with the legal wrangling and public expulsions is just the omote, and in private these people are all still great friends. I have been told that Sugawara Sensei gets a new year's card from Otake Sensei every year.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:44 AM   #58
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Soke of what?
Doesn't it take a Soke to pass on an art?
Sokaku was not the soke by his own admission.
The only Soke of anything was Tokimune; who invented Daito ryu Aiki budo and called himself soke of that. He himself differentiates in some detail that the two arts are not the same
He awarded everyone (Kondo included) ranks in Aikibudo. Then he dies and somewhere in between awards Kondo Menkyo in Daito ryu aikijujutsu A menkyo award is stuffed out of place in between detailed and dated entries in the eimoroku after Tokimunes death (everyone is told Tokimune knew people would feel bad so he hid this award.

Then Kondo forbids his seniors in the art of Aikibudo use of the name Daito ryu.

1. So who is or was Soke of what?
Aikibudo or Aikijujutsu

2. Who is or was Menkyo in what?
Aikibudo or Aikijujutsu
Or
AIkiudo and Aikijujutsu
Where are those concurrent awarded ranks?

If one is Menkyo in Aikijujustsu, how does it apply any authority to aikibudo? An art your own teacher states had a different curriculum.
Even weirder, people trained for 35 yrs...become the reps, become president and treasurer of the organization and give embu all over Japan in front of and for Tokimune and all is well.
Then a part timer shows up with a lot of money...everyone is told he got the real art. They are told.."Naw...I never taught you..I lied to your face." by their teacher. Have a nice life!
Realize of course that all of this has been...er...explained in detail as well and tokimune told people he only taught Kondo.
He dies, a menkyo is awarded, recorded, what have you, the art is trademarked against others using it...and the former president, and treasurer, and senior students are out and prevented from using the name of the art they were ranked in and presented to Japan for most of their adult lives, Now you have threats of legal action! Potential law suits in traditional budo? Thank goodness this isn't the old days, I'm surprised no one has gotten violent. Then again who do you go after...teacher, or student?
All of this has been explained you understand. all neat and tidy like.
I've read and re read all of the stuff for years and talked with teachers and various insiders and authors. The only thing consistent about the art is how inconsistent it is, how it is traditionally so untraditional. Start to finish, a damn curious and weird Japanese art.
Anyone blame Ueshiba for running for the hills?
Dan
Hello Dan,

Just for the sake of controversy.

Any thoughts / comments on this Video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts1IXW8Zgro

According to the text going with it, Tokimune would have stated otherwise himself. - ? -
I don't speak Japanese , so I don't have a clue about what is actually beeing said,& if the text is accurate & a faithfull transcript.

Care to comment ?

Cheers,

Sacha
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:39 AM   #59
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

Quote:
Sacha Cloetens wrote: View Post
Hello Dan,

Just for the sake of controversy.

Any thoughts / comments on this Video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts1IXW8Zgro
According to the text going with it, Tokimune would have stated otherwise himself. - ? -
I don't speak Japanese , so I don't have a clue about what is actually beeing said,& if the text is accurate & a faithfull transcript.

Care to comment ?

Cheers,

Sacha
Hi Sacha
What is there to comment on. It's part of the record of what I was talking about.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:20 AM   #60
DH
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

Edit:
Sorry I was tied up with something.
I am aware not only of this video but how it arrived into public view and changed the opinion of one of Kondos detractors. It blew the seshinkans earlier comments out of the water, but it left a lot of curious stuff still on the table. Kondo's Menkyo (date of issue) was back dated (according to Stan) into the eimoroku. The reason was suggested that it was going to upset people. Did you think I was saying Kondo was not menkyo? I was commenting on the very weird way (after his death) that all of this went down for Tokimune's students and his family. Being awarded menkyo is usually a process, a celebration and your mates get to see you progress and in general everyone knows.

It's the soke of what? That is a curiosity to me, and who was awarded ranks in what of two different arts.
I thought it curious (and Stan didn't have an answer either) that Tokimune made it clear that he was soke of the art he created Daito ryu aiki budo which he clearly differentiates from Daito ryu aiki-jujutsu
Then he awarded ranks in both, but a menkyo in one..
Since Takeda S. did not call himself soke, how did Takeda T. become soke of Sokaku's art. Wouldn't he be the latest er...general affairs director as well?
Every art can do what ever the heck it wants. We have many precedents for arts that are koryu (or act like koryu). For the most part they are pretty straight forward. All of this was placed in the public eye by its own students, and played out there, so it came to everyone's attention. As such, the whole thing was very curious.

An art with no history has an extremely capable head, who claims it is an eight or nine hundred year old Koryu. Then he himself does not act in accordance with the norms of much of what that means, and as well invents, (discovers?) added scrolls as time goes on?
Then the Son has rather odd transmission issues as well.
We can say that a common theory is that Sokaku did indeed invent the art, but that opens another can of worms no one wants to touch.
This has been done to death. Every once in a while the weirdness of it all pops up, that's all,
Cheers
Dan
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:52 PM   #61
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Jonathan,

The original ancient name for Yamato was written as 倭. I gather that this was the name used by Chinese and Koreans to refer to Japan. Then under the Empress Genmei (707-715), the characters were changed to 大和. Or so my university students tell me. They are not aware of 大東 as a name for Yamato.
Hi professor, thank you for following up on this! Sorry I forgot to reply to this. So it is still a bit of an interesting unresolved issue why there would have been any confusion of "Yamato" and "Daito" in the spoken language when referring to the name of Takeda's art.

If it was a kanji issue-- did something change since then? And if there is no legitimate "alternate reading" explanation, then this seems to be a bit of anecdotal evidence for Takeda not being able to read. Though by now, we have covered that it is possible and likely for traditional info to have been received by Takeda through oral means, so the point I guess is....... happy Friday everyone!
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:40 PM   #62
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Hi professor, thank you for following up on this! Sorry I forgot to reply to this. So it is still a bit of an interesting unresolved issue why there would have been any confusion of "Yamato" and "Daito" in the spoken language when referring to the name of Takeda's art.
Hello Jonathan,

Many thanks for the response. Are you familiar with Takeda Tokimune's account of the origin of the art, including the name? The account appears on p. 42 of Stanley Pranin's Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu interviews. The Japanese text appears on p. 272-273 of Mr Pranin's 『武田惣角と大東流合気柔術』. Tokimune states that Daitou 大東 is the name of a place in Oshu 奥州, northeastern Japan, where Shinra Saburo Minamoto no Yoshimitsu stayed when he studied human anatomy. Saburo was a descendant of the Emperor Seiwa (850-881) and dissected corpses. He called himself Daito no Saburo 大東の三郎. Katsuyuki Kondo also mentions Shinra Saburo in his interview (Pranin, p. 154; pp. 133-134 of his Japanese edition.)

The problem is that Tokimune had a similar position in respect of Takeda Sokaku as Kisshomaru Ueshiba had in respect of Ueshiba Morihei. The difference is that Tokimune places Sokaku (and himself) firmly in a line beginning with the Emperor Seiwa, whereas Kisshomaru places great emphasis on Ueshiba as the start of a new line. In both cases, there is, shall we say, a certain looseness in the treatment of the historical evidence.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 07-16-2011, 12:15 AM   #63
DH
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
In both cases, there is, shall we say, a certain looseness in the treatment of the historical evidence.
Best wishes,
PAG
In other words they are both liars...spinning stories.
Were they modern Americans writing their stories- here or any where else on the internet- they would be thoroughly eviscerated for it and their art would be placed in the Bad budo or bullshido sections of various forums all over the world for the stories they tried to pass off.

I continue to be amazed at what Westerners will put up with. Their polite and neutral responses, are meant to tell people how "they need to understand", all in the guise of representing a sophisticated and nuanced understanding of what often amounts to as ...total bullshit. As if looking these guys in the eye and calling them on it makes you some sort of simpleton. We can certainly understand it contextually, we do not "need" to accept it or approve. Truth and lies as being a fluid concept starts to take on a cowardly artifice that we would never tolerate elsewhere.

We didn't include certain individuals one step down either. A model cited by Stan in his first paragaph of certain shihans claims, one example being:
"I trained with O Sensei everyday, privately." (years after he retired and left). It never happened. They are just well placed, well loved and very well thought of...liars.

I am so glad I left certain relationships in a particular art. At a certain point in time I consider the Westerners who have compromised themselves in order to TO REMAIN a part, and be ranked as worse than the Asians who do these things. I have no use for what they chose to represent.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 07-16-2011 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:07 AM   #64
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

For the private emails shocked at my insensitivity!!!
I am not talking about interpersonal relationships within a culture. I was referring to histories made up out of whole cloth.
Dan
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:00 PM   #65
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

Oh boy now that's more like it! Excited.

I have heard the stories about the "daito mansion." The question of its truth is of course the main issue with that... but besides that, it confuses the yamato-vs-daito issue even more. The pronounciation of 大東 within that "legend" is presumably straightforward. If Sokaku Takeda had exposure to that purported history, there is double reason that he would have been saying "daito" instead of "yamato."
(Reason 1 is "yamato" has its own kanji unrelated to 大東, reason 2 would be that 大東 refers to some kind of true history that people knew about and were talking about).

So instead, we are left with a legend that was made up/tied to the art after Takeda started teaching, and again, a strange kanji mixup.

Maybe in the absence of any real history, there was no name and no kanji at all for the art, and he was just calling it Yamato ryu. Later there came along some good reason(s) to just shift the name to Daito.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:35 AM   #66
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

I can say that o'sensei was not the only one that had such amazing power. I practiced with Chien man Cheng in Tainan, Taiwan, before I met o'sensei. Who had the most power? Is it easier to push over the empire state building, or the washinton momument?
I don't know, but I do know that o'sensei was not a 'one in a billion', others have reached a similar level, or at least, close to it.
That tai chi guy from the 'people's park' in Beijing, right now, seems to have such power. Humans can develop it, believe me.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:24 AM   #67
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

People seem to be asking, 'what did o'sensei add to daito aikijujitsu, to make it aikido?
The answer is Tai no henko. O'sensei added that, essentially invented it. This never existed in the old style aikijitsu, if they use it now, its because they stole it from aikido. O'sensei was fond of saying that every single technique in aikido uses tai no henko, or, at least its essential action, the circular turn. I also believe that he 100% took this move from Japanese sword styles, not chinese styles, as some have suggested.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:14 PM   #68
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

Quote:
Ike Spenser wrote: View Post
People seem to be asking, 'what did o'sensei add to daito aikijujitsu, to make it aikido?
The answer is Tai no henko. O'sensei added that, essentially invented it. This never existed in the old style aikijitsu, if they use it now, its because they stole it from aikido. O'sensei was fond of saying that every single technique in aikido uses tai no henko, or, at least its essential action, the circular turn. I also believe that he 100% took this move from Japanese sword styles, not chinese styles, as some have suggested.
I'm not inclined to think that Sagawa (who practiced tai no henko in a slightly different form) would steal anything from Ueshiba, if only because of Sagawa's massive ego and his dislike for Ueshiba. Kodokai also has a kind of tai no henko.

What's your reason for thinking that it didn't exist in Daito-ryu?

I don't he think he took anything from from Chinese styles either - or rather I think that the Chinese training paradigm entered Japan from China a long time before Ueshiba and that the received the Chinese paradigm from Japanese sources.

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-12-2012, 07:57 PM   #69
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

I also worked out with Sato, doshu of a branch of aikijitsu, I'm just repeating his view.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:01 PM   #70
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

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Ike Spenser wrote: View Post
I also worked out with Sato, doshu of a branch of aikijitsu, I'm just repeating his view.
Sato Kinbei? Never met him, but I'm given to believe that he's a little bit "out in left field" as far as the other Daito-ryu folks are concerned.

Love to hear more about him though...

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-13-2012, 10:46 AM   #71
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

Sorry, jumping in late here, but I recently noticed something some will find - perhaps - a little amusing, given the discussion about names of Daito-ryu and who made aikido and all of that.

In a recent post by Stan Pranin over at Aikido Journal (sorry, don't have the link), he wrote that O-sensei rarely called what he did "aikido." Rather, he generally referred to it as "aiki."

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Old 06-25-2012, 04:47 PM   #72
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

Its all too simple for me. I accept the change in my Aikido every time I enter the Dojo. Its my Universe and I hold it in the palm of my hand at every moment. Aiki is not for one person nor is it for all people. Aiki is for you. You have nothing more to do but enhance and express.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:31 PM   #73
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Re: Non-Aikido thoughts and considerations

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Hi Allen,

Did you open the can of worms on purpose?

Let me start by drawing a picture using sports cars and drag racing. Imagine that we have Morihei Ueshiba's car there on the drag strip. When you open the hood, you find an amazingly powerful engine. The car itself is sleek, rounded, has no sharp edges, but is painted with some very detailed, almost 3D type paint such that the car seems to float in the air. When other people race against this car, they lose. Badly. The car looks as part of the natural world as it floats quickly down the strip. Other cars leave rubber marks, exhaust fumes, and have loud noises, but Ueshiba's car does not.

Then, along comes Modern Aikido with Kisshomaru Ueshiba as the driver and Koichi Tohei as chief mechanic. They try to build a car just like Ueshiba's except they don't understand how Morihei Ueshiba painted it, nor how it got so smooth, rounded, and sleek. They also don't understand how Morihei Ueshiba built the very powerful engine. Of course, when they asked Morihei Ueshiba, his answer was to watch and steal the secrets. They do their best, even though they can't understand what Morihei Ueshiba is telling them in his lectures. Their car looks similar and runs similar but yet is so very different. If you look closely, you can make out the flaws in the design. When the Modern Aikido car races, it mostly loses, leaves rubber marks, has exhaust fumes, and is loud. When you look at the car, it appears to look like Morihei Ueshiba's car. When you open the hood, it appears to look like Morihei Ueshiba's engine. Except Modern Aikido's car never acts, runs, or moves like Morihei Ueshiba's car.

If we look at Morihei Ueshiba's car, we find that the engine is Daito ryu aiki while the body is Omoto kyo spirituality. Modern Aikido has replicated no understanding of either. Looking at the engine, we find that if you train Modern Aikido's exercises, then you are not doing Morihei Ueshiba's exercises, although they can appear to look alike. If Morihei Ueshiba found value in the exercises to enable him to become such a great martial artist, then if Modern Aikido is doing them just like Ueshiba, where are the Modern Morihei Ueshibas? After 40-50 years, we really can sum it up in two basic answers:

1. Morihei Ueshiba was a singularly unique individual. He was a one-in-a-billion kind of guy.

or

2. Modern practitioners of aikido aren't doing the same kind of training that Morihei Ueshiba did.

If we take a step back in time, we know that Sokaku Takeda created Yukiyoshi Sagawa, Morihei Ueshiba, Kodo Horikawa, Takuma Hisa, and others. They could all do very similar things. Morihei Ueshiba, in his early training, created Gozo Shioda, Kenji Tomiki, Rinjiro Shirata, and a few others. They were very similar in skills, although not as good as Ueshiba. Sagawa didn't really teach the secrets until late in his life. One student of Sagawa's has stood out - Tatsuo Kimura. Kodo Horikawa taught a couple of people, most notably Seigo Okamoto who can do similar things as all the rest. So, really, reason #1 is kind of hard to accept. If we look at the fact that Sokaku Takeda told people not to teach the secret except to one or two individuals, we can see why there were only a handful of great aiki martial artists. Yukiyoshi Sagawa upheld that. Tokimune Takeda did, too. Katsuyuki Kondo reiterated what Tokimune had done.

Basically, even though it is a hard pill to swallow, reason #2 is pretty much the remaining answer. Most people were never taught the secret of aikido. Morihei Ueshiba didn't really teach it, and his students had a near impossible time of trying to figure out what he was doing.

When Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Koichi Tohei entered the scene at the end of World War II, Modern Aikido was born. Both then raised adherents to Modern Aikido, sending them out into the world dressed as Morihei Ueshiba's child. Forty years later, the child is now a man. There would have been no understanding that there was a difference between Ueshiba's aikido and Modern Aikido, except that there were a few circumstances which allowed the secret of aiki to get out into the world. Some people are now looking at the Modern Aikido Man and seeing that he doesn't move, act, or do anything at all in the same way Morihei Ueshiba did. The Modern Aikido Man is a ghostly and pale imitation that rarely stands up in the same light as Morihei Ueshiba to the tests of the martial world, let alone the tests of the intertwined martial/spiritual world.

What of Modern Aikido? Frank Doran mentions that Tohei created many energy games and practices. (1) And Patrick Augé states:

Mochizuki Minoru Sensei said that when he was studying with Ueshiba Sensei (late 1920's), robuse was the name given to the technique that later became Ikkajo, then Ikkyo after the war. The present ikkyo as taught by most Aikikai (and Aikikai related) teachers is the result of the modifications made by Tohei and Kisshomaru Sensei in order to simplify Aikido and make it available to more people.... (2)

Stan Pranin notes that Kisshomaru Ueshiba gradually changed the technical syllabus and created a flowing style technique based system. (3) Koichi Tohei was head instructor for many years and his teaching was influenced by the Tempukai. (4) Morihiro Saito also makes note of some of the things that Koichi Tohei introduced into Modern Aikido training. (5) Tohei is quoted as saying, "Everyone thinks that I learned ki from Morihei Uyeshiba. That's not true. The Master taught me aikido; he did not teach me ki. I studied and learned it myself." (6) While Tohei's reason for stating this may have come from a rough period of time, the words themselves hold value. Ueshiba rarely taught "ki" to anyone.

It doesn't take a lot of research to find that the students of post-war aikido were more influenced by Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Koichi Tohei, that the manner in which the techniques that these students practiced were more influenced by Kisshomaru and Tohei, and that the spiritual harmonious definition of Aikido was more influenced by Kisshomaru and Tohei than by Morihei Ueshiba.

What about weapons in Modern Aikido compared to what Ueshiba practiced? In an interview with Nobuyoshi Tamura, he states that Ueshiba trained with the yari along with the jo and bokken. Ueshiba had a long spear at the dojo for training that he used quite often. He also states that he never saw Ueshiba practice tanto dori. (7) It was also noted that in Daito ryu, one would study sword techniques. (8) Because Ueshiba learned Daito ryu, it was mentioned that at the "Aikijutsu Dojo" in Tokyo, Ueshiba taught sword and spear. (9) Also, it's noted that Ueshiba trained with weapons on his own, including spear. (10) Rinjiro Shirata states that Ueshiba didn't teach weapons work to his students, but did practice it on his own. (11)

Also, from one interview in Aiki News:
Editor: We have seen old movies (in which juken were used in demonstrations) but did you ever use the juken (bayonet and rifle) in practice at that time?
Kunigoshi Sensei: Yes, we did. Someone would thrust with the training weapon and we would try to deal with that kind of attack. We also worked against a spear attack. Anyway, there were just about every type of major weapon in the dojo. Even I was expected to have practiced against a cutting attack made with the bokken. Nor were we only expected to be able to avoid the attacks of the weapon-carrying person. We were also expected to be able to take the role of the attacker and wield the weapons. (12)

Shoji Nishio talks about how he had to study weapons on his own because they were not taught at hombu. (13) Kisshomaru Ueshiba also noted that his father studied and trained with the spear. (14) Nobuyoshi Tamura makes an interesting comment in that he thinks Ueshiba's jo was actually spear work. (15) All of this goes to show that Ueshiba's weapons training was not carried forward into Modern Aikido. It is a rare sight to see spear training in any Modern Aikido dojo. And if true, while Modern Aikido trains tanto dori, it was not from Morihei Ueshiba. Most sword training in Modern Aikido is from a teacher's background in some other martial system or from a teacher's own creation. The practice that is left from Morihei Ueshiba is some jo and bokken take-away. Morihiro Saito is one of the few students to have gathered a chaotic weapons training under Ueshiba and created a structured syllabus. However, it does not cover most of what Ueshiba trained with weapons.

Training under the founder at Hombu appeared to have been a few hours each day while training with other instructors (Kisshomaru and Tohei included) took up the rest of the day. We also have quite a few students stating that Morihei Ueshiba would talk a lot and no one knew what he was talking about. Add in the fact that in 1956, Morihei Ueshiba was 73 years old. He wasn't teaching all day when these students started training in Aikido.

I'm not diminishing the commitment, heart, skills, or pure dedication of these students. We can all see how much they have contributed. But, on the other side of things, we must also acknowledge that Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Koichi Tohei had more influence on them than did Morihei Ueshiba. And that influence shines through very brightly in their Aikido, even today. There is a large disconnect when talking about the Founder's Aikido and these student's aikido.

What kind of vision of aikido are the shihan and top ranked teachers supposed to take into the future? Do they truly understand Morihei Ueshiba's Aikido, or is it more likely that they understand Kisshomaru and Tohei's Aikido? Those two visions of aikido are not one and the same. They are not even close. We have Morihei Ueshiba living his vision of Aikido, backed by aiki and some spiritual/religious ideology. In Kisshomaru/Tohei's aikido, we have harmony for a post-war world audience that is not backed by the martial skills of Morihei Ueshiba nor is it backed by his spiritual/religious views. The major consolation in all of this is that in the spiritual/religious sense, Morihei Ueshiba noted one didn't have to follow his exact footsteps. Modern Aikido has diverged from Morihei Ueshiba's Aikido.

References:

1. Aiki News Issue 010
Frank Doran: All of the energy kinds of games and practices, many of which Koichi Tohei developed are very useful tools to put someone in touch with this aliveness which is within you.

2. Yoseikan NA website:

3. http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclopedia?entryID=720
In 1963, Kisshomaru made his first trip abroad to the U.S. and subsequently traveled on numerous occasions to North and South America, and Europe. Although his efforts to expand the Aikikai on an organizational level are well-known, it should be noted that his technical influence was also great. Kisshomaru gradually modified the technical curriculum of the Aikikai by reducing the number of techniques taught and creating a standardized nomenclature. His flowing style of technique that emphasizes KI NO NAGARE movements have also become a de facto standard in many Aikikai dojos worldwide.

4. Aikido Journal Issue 112
Seiichi Sugano: Tohei Sensei's teaching was influenced by the Tempukai, and it was easier to follow, probably because much of the Tempukai curriculum originated in yoga.

5. Aiki News Issue 088
AN: Ki no Kenkyukai (Shinshin Toitsu Aikido) practices include lectures about the workings of ki, and demonstrations of the unbendable arm and the unliftable body. Did you ever experience this kind of practice in Iwama after the war under O-Sensei?
Saito: No, I didn't. It is a teaching method which Mr. Tohei devised.

6. Black Belt 1973 Vol 11 No 11
Article by Jon Shirota about Tohei and Ki

7. http://www.tsubakijournal.com/article-7142924.html

8. Aiki News Issue 010

9. Aiki News Issue 015

10. Aiki News Issue 051

11. Aiki News Issue 062

12. Aiki News Issue 047

13. Aiki News Issue 060
Nishio Sensei: (When I was a beginner) I asked how they applied the body techniques to the ken, but no one showed me. Since there was nothing to be done about the situation, I began practicing the ken in 1955 soon after I began Aikido training. What else could I do? Nobody taught me! O-Sensei did sword techniques at lightning speed and would say, "That's how you do it," and then disappeared from the dojo. I tried in vain to understand what he was doing and the next moment he was gone.

14. Aiki News Issue 065
Kisshomaru Ueshiba: There were some major events between 1937 and 1941. First, kendo training was allowed at the Kobukan dojo for a short period. The Founder had mastered various jujutsu forms and practiced spear technique for a while, but he had not seriously gotten into swordwork (kenjutsu). Now he stared swinging the sword frequently for his own research, especially after Aikido started dealing with empty-handed techniques against weapon attacks.

15. Aiki News Issue 066
Tamura Sensei: I think that O-Sensei's jo was not what we would call jodo but rather the spear (yari).
Thank you.

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:22 AM   #74
Chris Evans
Location: Berkeley, CA.
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Question jujutsu / yawara

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I don't think I've heard any good arguments against a point Ellis made in HIPS that "aiki" is a relatively new name for a concept that was fairly well understood inside many koryu systems that contained jujutsu / yawara in their syllabi.

Takeda was a guy who was good at it. He had a number of other skills as well. Whether he created from whole cloth or revitalized Daito Ryu, in my opinion, he was not creating an art for the purpose of studying aiki. Aiki was a high-level, inner teaching. He saved the good stuff for a small group of individuals, right? So it wasn't as if he was trying to get the world to study it.

Ueshiba, I think, did make an effort to distill the study of aiki for its own sake. Living though massive epochal change and connecting with really far-out seeker types, I think, convinced him that this stuff he could do that was special could bring about something desirable if disseminated. At least after the war was lost.

So while it is true that Takeda was Ueshiba's teacher, I really don't think he would be happy to see the way of aiki become a martial art trained all over the world.
What's the difference between jujutsu and yawara?

The late Zen teacher Taisen Deshimaru Roshi studied yawara and has written encouraging words on aikido.

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:44 AM   #75
Chris Li
 
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Re: jujutsu / yawara

Quote:
Chris Evans wrote: View Post
What's the difference between jujutsu and yawara?
Nothing.

Just different general terms for Japanese empty handed fighting.

Strictly speaking, Aikido can be called a form of jujutsu or yawara.

Best,

Chris

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