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Old 10-29-2012, 07:53 AM   #1
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Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Spun off the "resp to Kokyu Rokyu thread" thread.

Quote:
Lee Price wrote: View Post
Those that do understand in Japan say it is very important to have the right mindset...you basically have to feel humble inside. Those that go off thinking about power etc are going to be in big trouble for sure...they can end up like some Stitch thing with all kinds of mental issues and confrontational problems. This kind of training can easily change your personality and not always for the best. Remember even Stitch went looking for a family...lol ^^
Lee
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Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
Pretty good advice in most of that post, but this section deserves highlighting IMO. I always wondered about people who say, spent hours on end on their own in a room practicing sumo stomps
with the intention of becoming unbeatable fighter, like Sagawa Yukiyoshi apparently did. It just can"t be good for your social skills, to say the least! I believe that this is one reason why a lot of solo training was practiced in the forms of calligraphy, dance, painting, tea ceremony etc. You were focussed on creating something beautiful that benefitted others.
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Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
Er, no, I"m not. I'm pointing out that obsessive practice focussed on empowering oneself over others can turn people into monomanical and selfish individuals. If you want to be like Sagawa, then off you go and train like Sagawa, just don"t be surprised if you turn out like him.
It's a topic all on its own. Like Oisin Bourke noted, it deserves highlighting.

We don't know a lot about Sokaku Takeda, but what we do know is that he could kill. He had the fighting abilities and power to hurt, maim, and kill. The stories handed down highlight some of the these things in Takeda's life. It also seemed that Takeda was obsessive compulsive about training. He was also very stubborn. Yet, in those same stories handed down, we find it rare that Takeda maimed or killed anyone in training.

We don't know a lot about Yukiyoshi Sagawa. The book, Transparent Power, is the most info that appears in one place. What do we know from it? Well, first, he was obsessive compulsive and stubborn about training. He trained more than anyone else that he knew. It was very tough to get into his dojo. Training there is reportedly very hard, but again, reports of Sagawa maiming or killing anyone are rare.

We don't know a lot about Kodo Horikawa. However, if we take the above two as guides, we can pretty much guess that Horikawa was obsessive compulsive about training. He was one of the top three: Horikawa, Sagawa, Ueshiba. And it is rare to hear of anyone being maimed or killed in his dojo.

We get to the famous one: Morihei Ueshiba. Stubborn. Obsessive compulsive. Quested for power and strength. He stated, proudly, that he would be a budo teacher. Chanted for hours. Trained all the time, everywhere.

Each of the aiki greats had a few things in common: obsessive/compulsive, stubborn behavior all directed towards training for strength (martial, not physical) and power.

Yet, all were not known for breaking their students. Not purposefully, anyway. I've heard of more injuries coming from Ueshiba's students than from any of them. Why did those who didn't have aiki like Ueshiba need to cause so much harm and damage to students while the aiki greats had far more power but far less injuries to students? Muscle/jujutsu vs aiki/power where power in this case is far less harmful.

Were they monomaniacs? Yeah, I think all of them were. I think they applied that to their training to become as great as they did. Sagawa told the truth and no one liked hearing it. He *did* train far more than anyone else ... except maybe Ueshiba and Horikawa. Maybe. Who knows. They were all peers and never publicly tested each other.

In these instances, the qualities of monomania, obsessive/compulsive, and stubbornness were applied in a generally healthy manner to allow for progressive, healthy martial growth in each individual. As opposed to, say, some of Ueshiba's students and dojos which were famous for breaking people.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:16 AM   #2
wxyzabc
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Hya Mark

I'll say something. All the people you have pointed to are deceased. I don't think there's a person on this forum that met any of them, so we can only listen to the words of others and trust their judgement...rightly or wrongly. That said if you are looking at Ueshiba he didn't exactly live a balanced life in the way that most would understand...nor did Sagawa from what I understand. Ueshiba didn't have a job and it seems he often spent his days in supplication.

I'm not going to make a judgement on that but it's not what most want is it now?.

I do know what can happen with aiki training gone wrong. It doesn't always produce a wonderful person and can lead to all manner of problems? my previous comments were to highlight that things can go wrong, they have and will again if people don't take care.

There's now some 10,000,000 people practising aikido...are you Mark going to take responsibility for them? especially when you've been telling them all kind of mistruths about a country I don't believe you have spent much time in?

It may seem a bit nasty, but then do you have a fully connected body and know what it really takes to get there so can speak with any kind of authority? just interested....

All the best

Lee
p.s. I don't take kindly to having my words requoted and connected to other people I didn't address.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:18 AM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

I would not use the term obsessive-compulsive which properly describes attention to rituals and details that don't have meaning or add to life (nobody ever got credit, much less world renown in any field, for having the cleanest hands in town or avoiding every fourth crack in the sidewalk).

However I've long held that most - not all, but most - people who actually devote their lives to something, anything, to the point that it changes the world are probably not the world's best parents or most skilled dinner companions. :-)

Janet Rosen
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:24 AM   #4
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I would not use the term obsessive-compulsive which properly describes attention to rituals and details that don't have meaning or add to life (nobody ever got credit, much less world renown in any field, for having the cleanest hands in town or avoiding every fourth crack in the sidewalk).

However I've long held that most - not all, but most - people who actually devote their lives to something, anything, to the point that it changes the world are probably not the world's best parents or most skilled dinner companions. :-)
Hi Janet,

Obs/Comp used clinically, yes, I agree with you. I was using it more informally, sort of in an excessive fixation-type behavior.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:47 AM   #5
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Lee Price wrote: View Post
I do know what can happen with aiki training gone wrong. It doesn't always produce a wonderful person and can lead to all manner of problems? my previous comments were to highlight that things can go wrong, they have and will again if people don't take care.
You're assuming that what I'm defining as "aiki" and what you're defining as "aiki" are the same. In my experience, that is not the case for most of the aikido done today.

Quote:
Lee Price wrote: View Post
There's now some 10,000,000 people practising aikido...are you Mark going to take responsibility for them? especially when you've been telling them all kind of mistruths about a country I don't believe you have spent much time in?
You've lost me here. What responsibility? What mistruths? I have no idea what you're talking about.

Quote:
Lee Price wrote: View Post
It may seem a bit nasty, but then do you have a fully connected body and know what it really takes to get there so can speak with any kind of authority? just interested....
Prior to training in IP/aiki, I couldn't stop any joint locks. Now, it's rare that they work on me. Prior to training IP/aiki, I had to move to capture uke's center. Now, I don't. I have 5 years with IP/aiki training and it's been off and on, not regular at all. Equivalent to 3-4 seminars a year with a teacher and the rest solo training. Do I have a connected body? Yep. Much, much more connected than anything Modern Aikido training gave. Do I know what it takes to get there. Definitely. My history in doing so speaks for itself.

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All the best

Lee
p.s. I don't take kindly to having my words requoted and connected to other people I didn't address.
Perhaps you shouldn't be on Forums. Words are requoted all over the place. Besides, your words weren't connected to anyone else. They were quoted as reference from the other thread.

Mark
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:59 AM   #6
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Maybe "excessively driven" would be an appropriate word to describe these men. This has a familiar ring to it, when considering excellence and success in other arenas, such as business, science, music and art. We all respect people who have "drive" and have earned their success with it. Without drive, we can all be so-so, okay, good, or even really good, but it's the ones with "super drive" who become the high bar.

Musing... It occurs to me that the Big Four all had wives, traditional Japanese wives, who tended to everything on the home front to make it possible for these men to train as they did.

What's that old saying about "Behind every successful man..."?
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:29 AM   #7
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Maybe "excessively driven" would be an appropriate word to describe these men. This has a familiar ring to it, when considering excellence and success in other arenas, such as business, science, music and art. We all respect people who have "drive" and have earned their success with it. Without drive, we can all be so-so, okay, good, or even really good, but it's the ones with "super drive" who become the high bar.

Musing... It occurs to me that the Big Four all had wives, traditional Japanese wives, who tended to everything on the home front to make it possible for these men to train as they did.

What's that old saying about "Behind every successful man..."?
Hi Cady,

Yeah, excessively driven for sure. But, it's also probable (not a given) that Ueshiba could have been obs/comp about his prayers/chanting. Sagawa could have been that way about the sumo exercise. What amount did Sagawa say he did every day? 1000? I forget. But it was a large number and that seems to go beyond excessively driven to me.

The point though is that these men were well beyond "normal" in their behaviors in martial training, yet historically they did not show a trend to maim, abuse, or kill their students. Ueshiba was famous for flying into a rage.

But if we compare Sagawa, Ueshiba, Horikawa to all their students in regards to hurting people ... Who becomes the better role model? Those with IP/aiki or those without?

How does excessive behavior factor into it?

How does IP/aiki change such that hurting people is no longer an option?

How does IP/aiki vs muscle/jujutsu compare?

(JOKE alert. Do you know when a woman is going to say something intelligent? She starts her sentence off with, "My husband told me that ..." )
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:34 AM   #8
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post

What's that old saying about "Behind every successful man..."?
"Behind every successful man, there is a woman
And behind every unsuccessful man, there are two. "

"The wise never marry.
and when they marry they become otherwise. "

*sorry couldn't help meself*

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:53 AM   #9
Marc Abrams
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I would not use the term obsessive-compulsive which properly describes attention to rituals and details that don't have meaning or add to life (nobody ever got credit, much less world renown in any field, for having the cleanest hands in town or avoiding every fourth crack in the sidewalk).

However I've long held that most - not all, but most - people who actually devote their lives to something, anything, to the point that it changes the world are probably not the world's best parents or most skilled dinner companions. :-)
I think that Mark is referring to obsessive-compulsive personality characteristics. THIS SHOULD NOT BE CONFUSED AS THE SAME AS ( or a lesser degree of ) OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER OR OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE PERSONALITY DISORDER.

Marc Abrams
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:56 AM   #10
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

I think it is very likely these men, particularly Ueshiba, all presented eccentric behavior compared to their contemporaries. I believe nowadays we call this "drive"; at least, that is what the announcers say about high-functioning athletes when I watch a football game...

Ueshiba excelled in martial science. Considering the amount, duration, and dedication he devoted to his study, it is likely that he prioritized his study above other functions, certainly more so than mainstream society. I think rather than wonder if they were not normal, the reverse question, "How could these guys possibly be right in the head?" is the better one.

I think we sometimes forget the sheer will power it takes to truly excel. Math, sports, writing. Whatever. Then forget about the separation between these figures and normal society. Guess what you are left with? Justin Bieber. Or, Britney Spears. Or OJ Simpson. Or John Nash. Or Issac Newton. Or Abraham Lincoln (when he wasn't killing vamps).

Call it what you will, but it is safe to say these guys were "touched in the head".

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Old 10-29-2012, 12:36 PM   #11
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I think it is very likely these men, particularly Ueshiba, all presented eccentric behavior compared to their contemporaries. I believe nowadays we call this "drive"; at least, that is what the announcers say about high-functioning athletes when I watch a football game...

Ueshiba excelled in martial science. Considering the amount, duration, and dedication he devoted to his study, it is likely that he prioritized his study above other functions, certainly more so than mainstream society. I think rather than wonder if they were not normal, the reverse question, "How could these guys possibly be right in the head?" is the better one.

I think we sometimes forget the sheer will power it takes to truly excel. Math, sports, writing. Whatever. Then forget about the separation between these figures and normal society. Guess what you are left with? Justin Bieber. Or, Britney Spears. Or OJ Simpson. Or John Nash. Or Issac Newton. Or Abraham Lincoln (when he wasn't killing vamps).

Call it what you will, but it is safe to say these guys were "touched in the head".
Well put! The singular attention and effort put into "mastery" demands other aspects of a person's life will fall by the wayside to some extent. I also think there is a tendancy for self-improvement focuses to turn into egocentric behavior somewhat.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:54 PM   #12
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Well put! The singular attention and effort put into "mastery" demands other aspects of a person's life will fall by the wayside to some extent. I also think there is a tendancy for self-improvement focuses to turn into egocentric behavior somewhat.
Hi Matthew,

I don't think many will argue that Ueshiba and the others were highly driven. The question that was brought up, which is valid, is whether that drive to excel at martial mastery would corrupt and turn them selfish and egotistical.

Or, maybe, it would depend more on their nature overall, rather than on the need to excel? Take Ueshiba, for example. Did it turn him selfish and egotistical? Did it turn Sagawa that way? Now, if we look at Aikido Japanese shihan, were there any who deliberately hurt students? Did they or did they not have IP/aiki? Did they have the same drive as Ueshiba, Sagawa, Horikawa? Or is it more a funtion of a person's personality that is the basis for whether or not they would turn selfish or egotistical when driven to excel?

As an offshoot, does IP/aiki negate that selfish, egotistical nature?

Mark
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:03 PM   #13
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

I think what Mark was getting at (and thanks for the thought provoking comments) was that did obsessive training make these exceptional men better or worse as people? Or what would they have been like WITHOUT such a deep study in which to immerse themselves?
Through solo training, they seemed to internalize their intensely competitive drives, as opposed to externalize it (by physically crushing opponents). I don't know. None of the high level individuals strike me as being sadists, but, according to his students, Sagawa encouraged them to go out and get into fights, Ueshiba injured ukes (and possibly had blood on his hands pre-war?) in his younger days. Even Horikawa was notorious for extremely tough practice when he was younger (I have this on first-hand information plus I've experienced some of these techniques and training methods).

The point I'm trying to make is this obsessive mindset seemed to cut them off from their fellow humans at some level: they saw them as problems to be overcome. To their great credit, Ueshiba and Horikawa seemed to have radically changed in later age. Perhaps this might partly be attributed to the social effects of practicing calligraphy, dance and religious rites within a community? Interestingly, Sagawa didn"t seem to put much stock in anything outside of bujutsu. Neither did Sokaku.
This change didn"t seem to happen to them.

The other question to ask of this kind of training is, what do we want Budo to be? To me (and I believe most praticioners) it is about achieving balance, both with oneself and with society, family etc. If one aspect starts to take precedence (for example the will to dominate others, the desire for fame etc), then can one be said to be a good budoka? There are no easy answers, but these are questions one must ask IMO.
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:04 PM   #14
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Musing... It occurs to me that the Big Four all had wives, traditional Japanese wives, who tended to everything on the home front to make it possible for these men to train as they did.

What's that old saying about "Behind every successful man..."?
An excellent point. Also, Takuma Hisa apparently left his wife on her deathbed to attend to Sokaku.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:12 PM   #15
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Hi Matthew,

I don't think many will argue that Ueshiba and the others were highly driven. The question that was brought up, which is valid, is whether that drive to excel at martial mastery would corrupt and turn them selfish and egotistical.

Or, maybe, it would depend more on their nature overall, rather than on the need to excel? Take Ueshiba, for example. Did it turn him selfish and egotistical? Did it turn Sagawa that way? Now, if we look at Aikido Japanese shihan, were there any who deliberately hurt students? Did they or did they not have IP/aiki? Did they have the same drive as Ueshiba, Sagawa, Horikawa? Or is it more a funtion of a person's personality that is the basis for whether or not they would turn selfish or egotistical when driven to excel?

As an offshoot, does IP/aiki negate that selfish, egotistical nature?

Mark
Hi Mark,
I originally wrote a big post on my personal views, but changed my mind...
In my view there is a strong connection between high levels of drive and a tendancy toward egocentric behavior. I don't mean to suggest every highly driven person is egocentric, and I suppose it has to do with a lot of factors...namely, the way they were raised and the people they came into contact with over time.
I don't think Aikido, IP, etc. necessarily cause any of the behaviors being discussed, but I do think the nature of isolated training regimens along with the severity implied by serious study of budo (and the power which can come with them) create a space which is ripe for selfish or otherwise anti-social behavior...this is why I think techers and mentors have such a huge responsibility for tracking how their students are developing in character as well as physical skill.
Also, in my own meager experiences with "self-improvement" (which has included lots of isolated practices) I've noticed a strange kind of selfishness and egocentricity crop up from time to time. And while I think being in diverse social groups generally improves social behavior, I can see how being in a group of people doesn't necessarily curb this (we can be in a group of people and still be rather alone with ourselves), particularly for those at the top of the hierarchical pyramid who often have people defering to their will so much more readily, never mind the ways those who strive for that top location might express that desire from time to time.
The bu in budo is a highly chaotic and extreme setting so it makes sense to me that many people who study budo (particularly those who emphasise the bu/"combat" readiness) will have some "interesting" traits develop. In my original post I spoke of my being a small kid who contemplated what I would need to protect my family and friends and it essentially meant developing a willingness for occasionally ruthless behavior. Simply contemplating this idea has meant that while I abhor harming any living thing, I was shifting my attitude in another direction. I don't think it would be very hard for people to develop a harsh mentality from looking long into the proverbial abyss, regardless of the internal/external nature of their art.
Per my extremely low level of understanding, I would guess IP/aiki doesn't necessarily negate this kind of thing. However, I have noticed that when i feel physically good (e.g. having what seems like a more balanced ki), I am a much nicer person who is less fearful and thus more open to the thoughts and actions of those around me...but I think a lot of my own experiences in this regard have their roots in how I was raised. Mom was a hippie so "love everyone like they were family" is pretty deeply established; maybe a different childhood would produce different results.
Sorry if any of this post seems a bit scattered; I'm feeling a bit out of it today.
Take care!
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 10-29-2012 at 02:18 PM.

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Old 10-29-2012, 04:18 PM   #16
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

How much are people simply just qualifying unusual skills to otherwise strange personality disorders?

Takeda had a terrible time as a child and without budo would have been most likely just as mean or weird (as most like to characterize him post mortem).
Ueshiba, without his DR training would have been yet another quasi religious guy with no power (no one else we know of go any power from his practices)
Sagawa was more than likely just a spoiled rich kid who would have worked out his foibles in some other fashion.
What about the fact that they did grow up in a more challenging culture and time?

What about the loooveelly Aikido shihan we were delivered who were womenizers, drunks, cocaine addicts, and rather awful people...with mediocre skills?

What about the sweet hearts and deeply caring shihans that came over

What about thousands of ICMA Master class guys who were fine individuals?
I think this is all convenient quibbling and just might smack of qualifying NOT putting in the work. I'm not saying that...I am wandering though.
Dan
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:25 PM   #17
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Mark speaks :

"You're assuming that what I'm defining as "aiki" and what you're defining as "aiki" are the same. In my experience, that is not the case for most of the aikido done today"

No I'm not ...not at all

"You've lost me here. What responsibility? What mistruths? I have no idea what you're talking about."

You've been saying, and quite forcibly I might add, that since the days of old...that NO ONE in modern aikido has real aikido or reached the level of some previous well known teachers. This clearly shows your ignorance and may I say it, slight conceit...that maybe Mark knows better. Sadly he doesn't. How much time have you spent in japan Mark? go on now be truthful

Now with clearly limited understanding and ability yourself you feel it ok to stand before the aikido world and say that they should listen to you and there are no risks to what you advocate? is this so Mark? several thousand posts versus my 135 ish would seem so imho

"Prior to training in IP/aiki, I couldn't stop any joint locks. Now, it's rare that they work on me. Prior to training IP/aiki, I had to move to capture uke's center. Now, I don't. I have 5 years with IP/aiki training and it's been off and on, not regular at all. Equivalent to 3-4 seminars a year with a teacher and the rest solo training. Do I have a connected body? Yep. Much, much more connected than anything Modern Aikido training gave. Do I know what it takes to get there. Definitely. My history in doing so speaks for itself."

So you started something but haven't got so far and basically show your own level with this..which to be fair to others isn't anywhere near where other people have gotten too. And now you want to basically start a flaming of others, their life and background as though you have some real understanding. What gets me Mark is that in every way there is nothing original from you is there really? everything is another persons work and "understanding" that you have replicated and spread forth with very little care at times. We all know about Chinese whispers.

"Perhaps you shouldn't be on Forums. Words are requoted all over the place. Besides, your words weren't connected to anyone else. They were quoted as reference from the other thread"

You quoted me in a way that seems to connect my comments to others that show disrespect imho. Which makes me question why others should show any respect to you in all honesty.
You'd do better to do your own thing, see where it takes you and stop the propoganda...America isn't the only country in the world..and there are a few here that wouldn't care to see what you've been writing..trust me ^^
Mark[/quote]

Last edited by wxyzabc : 10-29-2012 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:40 PM   #18
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Further to that you don't have to requote me or comment..I have better things to do than reply

All the best

Lee
p.s. I'm serious...my life is more than belittling others and spending hours on here quibbling like children....all the best now..have a good day
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:21 PM   #19
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Lee Price wrote: View Post
Mark speaks :

"You're assuming that what I'm defining as "aiki" and what you're defining as "aiki" are the same. In my experience, that is not the case for most of the aikido done today"

No I'm not ...not at all

"You've lost me here. What responsibility? What mistruths? I have no idea what you're talking about."

You've been saying, and quite forcibly I might add, that since the days of old...that NO ONE in modern aikido has real aikido or reached the level of some previous well known teachers. This clearly shows your ignorance and may I say it, slight conceit...that maybe Mark knows better. Sadly he doesn't. How much time have you spent in japan Mark? go on now be truthful

Now with clearly limited understanding and ability yourself you feel it ok to stand before the aikido world and say that they should listen to you and there are no risks to what you advocate? is this so Mark? several thousand posts versus my 135 ish would seem so imho

"Prior to training in IP/aiki, I couldn't stop any joint locks. Now, it's rare that they work on me. Prior to training IP/aiki, I had to move to capture uke's center. Now, I don't. I have 5 years with IP/aiki training and it's been off and on, not regular at all. Equivalent to 3-4 seminars a year with a teacher and the rest solo training. Do I have a connected body? Yep. Much, much more connected than anything Modern Aikido training gave. Do I know what it takes to get there. Definitely. My history in doing so speaks for itself."

So you started something but haven't got so far and basically show your own level with this..which to be fair to others isn't anywhere near where other people have gotten too. And now you want to basically start a flaming of others, their life and background as though you have some real understanding. What gets me Mark is that in every way there is nothing original from you is there really? everything is another persons work and "understanding" that you have replicated and spread forth with very little care at times. We all know about Chinese whispers.

"Perhaps you shouldn't be on Forums. Words are requoted all over the place. Besides, your words weren't connected to anyone else. They were quoted as reference from the other thread"

You quoted me in a way that seems to connect my comments to others that show disrespect imho. Which makes me question why others should show any respect to you in all honesty.
You'd do better to do your own thing, see where it takes you and stop the propoganda...America isn't the only country in the world..and there are a few here that wouldn't care to see what you've been writing..trust me ^^
Mark
As I said before, when people don't have the research, understanding, or experience to debate or talk about the actual subject matter, they delve into personalities, word play, format changes, etc.

Guess you haven't done the research or you'd find that in my thousands of posts, the utmost respect for some of the aikido teachers out there ... But you know what, you've bowed out of the thread. Let's leave it at that.

Mark
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:53 PM   #20
wxyzabc
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Well Mark I'll bow back in to say you're very wrong....further you don't seem to have given careful consideration to why only a few were ever fully advised beyond the usual. You're constant voicing to people you don't know shows that to be true unfortunately.

I have nothing against you personally Mark but I have concern for how you and a few others conduct yourself (and also the reasons why). Those with knowledge and experience generally remain quiet and don't endanger others without really knowing what they are doing.

There are high level skills outside of Asia too...but again they also stay quiet. Who is wise? you or them? hence thats why I say in the end you are taking on more responsibility than you should in many areas. Notice I haven't advised people to alter their physical make up or anything other than to take care and do what is sufficient and safe..I know some of the dangers you see.

Other intelligent people with skills have also said what is sufficient within aikido (to understand how to do taiso correctly for one)...but for some it's not enough...and that's it really..where does it end?

Now lets not have this turn into anything more....I'd just be careful what you say in a public domain. I've said a few things to show that generally people don't really have a clue what can happen...and that's a fair comment.

In the end you can show respect to the teachers...but you also have to have to show respect to everyone and protect if you can...and while you think you are...maybe you aren't.

Kindest regards

Lee
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:12 PM   #21
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Hi Cady,

Yeah, excessively driven for sure. But, it's also probable (not a given) that Ueshiba could have been obs/comp about his prayers/chanting. Sagawa could have been that way about the sumo exercise. What amount did Sagawa say he did every day? 1000? I forget. But it was a large number and that seems to go beyond excessively driven to me.

The point though is that these men were well beyond "normal" in their behaviors in martial training, yet historically they did not show a trend to maim, abuse, or kill their students. Ueshiba was famous for flying into a rage.

But if we compare Sagawa, Ueshiba, Horikawa to all their students in regards to hurting people ... Who becomes the better role model? Those with IP/aiki or those without?

How does excessive behavior factor into it?

How does IP/aiki change such that hurting people is no longer an option?

How does IP/aiki vs muscle/jujutsu compare?

(JOKE alert. Do you know when a woman is going to say something intelligent? She starts her sentence off with, "My husband told me that ..." )
Having aiki/IP is no guarantee of being a superior role model -- that someone won't hurt others, especially if a person does not yet recognize the extent of his power and doesn't know how to tone it down. Aiki is a tool, like anything else, that one must learn to use properly and to control... really, to control oneself.

Maybe consider what Uncle Ben told Peter Parker: "With great power comes great responsibility." Sagawa, Horikawa and Ueshiba were men who knew their power; they knew how to get the results they wanted to demonstrate -- complete balance and control of the opposing forces within themselves... externally demonstrated in the utter and absolute control of uke -- without having to do overkill, and on top of that they presumably already had enough ethical fiber to not abuse their power. They were not sociopaths, just men who were obsessed with aiki (understandable!) and pursued it as an artrist pursues his vision and is never, ever satisfied with his results.

Conversely, the many of their students, including aikido shihan who felt and observed what Ueshiba could do, but couldn't duplicate it - not for lack of trying - may have vented frustration or lack of confidence at their inabilities, or attempted to mimic what they saw and could not understand, by cranking and over-forcing their waza to make it work under resistance, hurting their ukes. Without aiki to power their waza, what else could they do? Maybe most did the best they could with what they had. They were and are good people, highly respected and much loved, and considered great teachers. I'm not sure how having aiki/IP or not would necessarily correlate to being a better or worse role model in this respect.

As for "beyond normal" behavior in Sagawa's, Horikawa's and Ueshiba's training, how did what they did for their personal training regimens differ from the self-centered, introverted, disciplined focus of, say, a virtuoso violinist? If you want to excel, then driven training, perhaps to the exclusion of many other aspects of life most of us would consider important, is the prescribed course. The main difference, is that the violinist can redeem himself for his selfish behavior by playing achingly beautiful music in public concerts. By contrast, an accomplished martial artist will oblige you by throwing you through a wall. But would you pay $50 for a ticket for that?
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:45 AM   #22
wxyzabc
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

I'm probably spending too much time on here, but in a way I'm really enjoying writing and using some English (can be rare to get that opportunity here) ^^.

In public forums everyone can and often does have an opinion. However perhaps we have to be careful not to wander into the area of conjecture...especially when talking about a culture and people that few have any real understanding of now, never mind in the past.

It may appear I'm a great defender of the Japanese but in reality I just have a balanced view. It must be said that if anyone has to go and live, often alone in another culture and start a new life then things aren't always going to be easy...I know I did it here and I've had a very tough time at the hands of some nationalistic types yet many have been really kind to me. It's very easy to get stressed and have all kinds of miscommunication and misunderstandings. If they've done wrong and for sure not every country is happy with how the Japanese have conducted themselves then sure it's understandable people have got upset.....but in aikido you've often got only one guy from a country of millions..so be fair.

If I was Japanese and had to go to America to teach aikido I don't know what I would have done..going from skinny/wiry built people to often big, muscle bound ones..I guess it's easy to have said.."well it's not going to be easy for them to do aikido well"..lol. Japanese have a clear advantage from the start and do better much quicker...with the right instruction/teacher of course. People often just don't get this simple fact at all..

The problems that lie with IP/IS can of course be how it's used...you know a few years back I came across one guy who thought it fantastic to really put people into the mat to show he understood something they didn't etc...quite sickening behaviour to be honest especially as uke were there to basically have a fun, nice time. I thought then yep this could go very wrong and more akin to devilution than evolution....very different to how skilled people here operate.

But over and above that people can become very sick in many ways.....I will reiterate this...don't think you've got a golden pill or ticket to success there because you haven't. It's also easy to think them Asians must be dumb and don't understand anything because they such silly things..but again I can assure you they're not and what is said by them can be very real. Their culture is far older than most...and they've wisely learnt to deal with what they have. I'm going to go do some work...try and teach them English...that's not easy either..lol ^^

All the best
Lee
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:16 AM   #23
jonreading
 
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

I was maybe too vague. The points I was addressing are:
1. Of the men discussed, each were considered by many to excel- present a skill beyond the normal range of ability. As with many other excellent people, the presentation of behavior (if not diagnosis) consistent with mental disorder is not uncommon. My point is to illustrate that the "drive" necessary to accomplish excellence is often extreme (beyond the range of "normal" people).
2. The subjective (and opined) definitions of "corrupt", "selfish", or "good" require a perspective. For example, why is "selfish" negatively used? My point is to illustrate that commitment requires prioritization, often egocentrically.

Cady brings this up referencing a violinist, but the example works in about every other profession. If I spoke about the lifer academic, the professional athlete, or the movie star we would would say "that person deserves the MVP, or an Oscar, or the Nobel prize". But for martial artists... They crazy and bad.

As for the tangental point that these men all possessed an internal power which may also created some negative effect... They all wore pants too. Maybe the pants were evil. Aikido does not a saint make.

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Old 10-30-2012, 11:31 AM   #24
DH
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

And to be clear again:
My point is that all of the qualifiers; to one degree or another implies that
1. Either they were weird driven men, who's strange personalities aided some sort of twisted focus in order to acquire their skills.
2. Or they were nice young chaps, who's purusit of these skills made them acquire weird and strange personalities.
Tr
No where, any where do we see mention that maybe these skills-provide neither of the above, and have also produced wonderful balanced people.
No where any where do we see mention of the people who have these skills to what ever degree, not fitting a profile of weird strange people, but rather are professional business people with familes and friends, who are warm and caring people.

I would be so bold to point out that no one..who actually has something approaching these skills, would agree with this idea that you must be crazy to attain them.

When reading your post Jon, it leaves one with the impression that ....of course they would have to be "not normal"...because, well, after all normal people don't have the skills!

I will stand on a prediction; Within ten years, lets review this thread. People are going to have to explain how thousands of normal people ended up with these skills-to one degree or another.
It is this work, the true nature of it...that has created budo giants for eons...and the vast majority of budo people simply didn't have access to it or refused to do the work. And that was all it was.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 10-30-2012 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:42 AM   #25
Conrad Gus
 
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Mark started the thread, and is assuming the IP/IS "worldview" as a premise:
  • IP/IS is fundamental and necessary to truly effective budo.
  • Certain historical "greats" had it.
  • They didn't or couldn't successfully pass it on.
  • Almost all current-day aikido is missing it.
  • It is in the process of making a resurgence in certain circles.

Whether you agree or don't (I don't), OP holds this worldview and is framing the discussion within it. I think that arguing against this is worldview off topic for this thread.

It's actually an interesting discussion to read. Personally, I would rather see it continue than have it get pulled into a "worldview" debate.

To add my two cents to the actual topic, I think you can find unpleasant, hurtful, or self-centered people within any group of humans anywhere (martial arts teachers who are abusive), and aikido is no exception. I would be willing to wager that there have been people in history with IP/IS abilities that exhibited similar negative qualities.

Cherry picking examples doesn't prove anything about the group they belong to or the practices they do or do not follow. Also, anything these three "greats" have in common might just be a coincidence and have nothing to do with their training practices.

Cheers,

Conrad
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